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Sample records for feathers fossil evidence

  1. Fossil evidence for evolution of the shape and color of penguin feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Julia A; Ksepka, Daniel T; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Altamirano, Ali J; Shawkey, Matthew D; D'Alba, Liliana; Vinther, Jakob; DeVries, Thomas J; Baby, Patrice

    2010-11-12

    Penguin feathers are highly modified in form and function, but there have been no fossils to inform their evolution. A giant penguin with feathers was recovered from the late Eocene (~36 million years ago) of Peru. The fossil reveals that key feathering features, including undifferentiated primary wing feathers and broad body contour feather shafts, evolved early in the penguin lineage. Analyses of fossilized color-imparting melanosomes reveal that their dimensions were similar to those of non-penguin avian taxa and that the feathering may have been predominantly gray and reddish-brown. In contrast, the dark black-brown color of extant penguin feathers is generated by large, ellipsoidal melanosomes previously unknown for birds. The nanostructure of penguin feathers was thus modified after earlier macrostructural modifications of feather shape linked to aquatic flight.

  2. Structural coloration in a fossil feather.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinther, Jakob; Briggs, Derek E G; Clarke, Julia; Mayr, Gerald; Prum, Richard O

    2010-02-23

    Investigation of feathers from the famous Middle Eocene Messel Oil Shale near Darmstadt, Germany shows that they are preserved as arrays of fossilized melanosomes, the surrounding beta-keratin having degraded. The majority of feathers are preserved as aligned rod-shaped eumelanosomes. In some, however, the barbules of the open pennaceous, distal portion of the feather vane are preserved as a continuous external layer of closely packed melanosomes enclosing loosely aligned melanosomes. This arrangement is similar to the single thin-film nanostructure that generates an iridescent, structurally coloured sheen on the surface of black feathers in many lineages of living birds. This is, to our knowledge, the first evidence of preservation of a colour-producing nanostructure in a fossil feather and confirms the potential for determining colour differences in ancient birds and other dinosaurs.

  3. Fossilized skin reveals coevolution with feathers and metabolism in feathered dinosaurs and early birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria E; Zhang, Fucheng; Kearns, Stuart L; Orr, Patrick J; Toulouse, André; Foley, Tara; Hone, David W E; Rogers, Chris S; Benton, Michael J; Johnson, Diane; Xu, Xing; Zhou, Zhonghe

    2018-05-25

    Feathers are remarkable evolutionary innovations that are associated with complex adaptations of the skin in modern birds. Fossilised feathers in non-avian dinosaurs and basal birds provide insights into feather evolution, but how associated integumentary adaptations evolved is unclear. Here we report the discovery of fossil skin, preserved with remarkable nanoscale fidelity, in three non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs and a basal bird from the Cretaceous Jehol biota (China). The skin comprises patches of desquamating epidermal corneocytes that preserve a cytoskeletal array of helically coiled α-keratin tonofibrils. This structure confirms that basal birds and non-avian dinosaurs shed small epidermal flakes as in modern mammals and birds, but structural differences imply that these Cretaceous taxa had lower body heat production than modern birds. Feathered epidermis acquired many, but not all, anatomically modern attributes close to the base of the Maniraptora by the Middle Jurassic.

  4. Fossil wood evidences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Climate has played a crucial role in assigning a different kind of topography to Rajasthan and Gujarat since the Cenozoic time. Evidently, three genera, namely, Dipterocarpus Gaert. f., Hopea Roxb. And Shorea Roxb. of the Dipterocarpaceae are described from the Neogene sediments of western India (Rajasthan and ...

  5. Hummingbird with modern feathering: an exceptionally well-preserved Oligocene fossil from southern France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louchart, Antoine; Tourment, Nicolas; Carrier, Julie; Roux, Thierry; Mourer-Chauviré, Cécile

    2008-02-01

    Hummingbirds (Trochilidae) today have an exclusively New World distribution, but their pre-Pleistocene fossil record comes from Europe only. In this study, we describe an exceptionally preserved fossil hummingbird from the early Oligocene of southeastern France. The specimen is articulated, with a completely preserved beak and feathering. Osteological characters allow to identify it as Eurotrochilus sp. This genus is a stem group representative of Trochilidae and was recently described from the early Oligocene of southern Germany. The new fossil reveals that these European Trochilidae were remarkably modern in size, skeletal proportions and the shape of the wing, tail and beak and hyoid bones. These features confirm the early acquisition of the abilities of hovering and nectarivory in hummingbirds, probably before the Oligocene. In several morphological characteristics, they resemble members of the ‘true hummingbirds’ (subfamily Trochilinae) and differ from hermits (Phaethornithinae). These features, which include a short and square tail and a moderately long, almost straight beak, appear to be primitive within the family Trochilidae.

  6. Fossil evidence of the zygomycetous fungi

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krings, M.; Taylor, T.N.; Dotzler, N.

    2013-01-01

    Molecular clock data indicate that the first zygomycetous fungi occurred on Earth during the Precambrian, however, fossil evidence of these organisms has been slow to accumulate. In this paper, the fossil record of the zygomycetous fungi is compiled, with a focus on structurally preserved

  7. Reassessment of the wing feathers of Archaeopteryx lithographica suggests no robust evidence for the presence of elongated dorsal wing coverts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L Nudds

    Full Text Available Recently it was proposed that the primary feathers of Archaeopteryx lithographica (HMN1880 were overlaid by long covert feathers, and that a multilayered feathered wing was a feature of early fossils with feathered forelimbs. The proposed long covert feathers of Archaeopteryx were previously interpreted as dorsally displaced remiges or a second set of impressions made by the wing. The following study shows that the qualitative arguments forwarded in support of the elongated covert hypothesis are neither robust nor supported quantitatively. The idea that the extant bird wing with its single layer of overlapping primaries evolved from an earlier multilayered heavily coveted feathered forelimb as seen in Anchiornis huxleyi is reasonable. At this juncture, however, it is premature to conclude unequivocally that the wing of Archaeopteryx consisted of primary feathers overlaid with elongated coverts.

  8. Molecular evidence of keratin and melanosomes in feathers of the Early Cretaceous bird Eoconfuciusornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yanhong; Zheng, Wenxia; Moyer, Alison E; O'Connor, Jingmai K; Wang, Min; Zheng, Xiaoting; Wang, Xiaoli; Schroeter, Elena R; Zhou, Zhonghe; Schweitzer, Mary H

    2016-12-06

    Microbodies associated with feathers of both nonavian dinosaurs and early birds were first identified as bacteria but have been reinterpreted as melanosomes. Whereas melanosomes in modern feathers are always surrounded by and embedded in keratin, melanosomes embedded in keratin in fossils has not been demonstrated. Here we provide multiple independent molecular analyses of both microbodies and the associated matrix recovered from feathers of a new specimen of the basal bird Eoconfuciusornis from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China. Our work represents the oldest ultrastructural and immunological recognition of avian beta-keratin from an Early Cretaceous (∼130-Ma) bird. We apply immunogold to identify protein epitopes at high resolution, by localizing antibody-antigen complexes to specific fossil ultrastructures. Retention of original keratinous proteins in the matrix surrounding electron-opaque microbodies supports their assignment as melanosomes and adds to the criteria employable to distinguish melanosomes from microbial bodies. Our work sheds new light on molecular preservation within normally labile tissues preserved in fossils.

  9. The morphogenesis of feathers.

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    Yu, Mingke; Wu, Ping; Widelitz, Randall B; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2002-11-21

    Feathers are highly ordered, hierarchical branched structures that confer birds with the ability of flight. Discoveries of fossilized dinosaurs in China bearing 'feather-like' structures have prompted interest in the origin and evolution of feathers. However, there is uncertainty about whether the irregularly branched integumentary fibres on dinosaurs such as Sinornithosaurus are truly feathers, and whether an integumentary appendage with a major central shaft and notched edges is a non-avian feather or a proto-feather. Here, we use a developmental approach to analyse molecular mechanisms in feather-branching morphogenesis. We have used the replication-competent avian sarcoma retrovirus to deliver exogenous genes to regenerating flight feather follicles of chickens. We show that the antagonistic balance between noggin and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) has a critical role in feather branching, with BMP4 promoting rachis formation and barb fusion, and noggin enhancing rachis and barb branching. Furthermore, we show that sonic hedgehog (Shh) is essential for inducing apoptosis of the marginal plate epithelia, which results in spaces between barbs. Our analyses identify the molecular pathways underlying the topological transformation of feathers from cylindrical epithelia to the hierarchical branched structures, and provide insights on the possible developmental mechanisms in the evolution of feather forms.

  10. Fossil evidence for spin alignment of SDSS galaxies in filaments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jones, Bernard J.T.; Weygaert, Rien van de; Arag´on-Calvo, Miguel A.

    2010-01-01

    We search for and find fossil evidence that the distribution of the spin axes of galaxies in cosmic web filaments relative to their host filaments are not randomly distributed. This would indicate that the action of large scale tidal torques effected the alignments of galaxies located in cosmic

  11. The shape of pterosaur evolution: evidence from the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyke, G J; McGowan, A J; Nudds, R L; Smith, D

    2009-04-01

    Although pterosaurs are a well-known lineage of Mesozoic flying reptiles, their fossil record and evolutionary dynamics have never been adequately quantified. On the basis of a comprehensive data set of fossil occurrences correlated with taxon-specific limb measurements, we show that the geological ages of pterosaur specimens closely approximate hypothesized patterns of phylogenetic divergence. Although the fossil record has expanded greatly in recent years, collectorship still approximates a sigmoid curve over time as many more specimens (and thus taxa) still remain undiscovered, yet our data suggest that the pterosaur fossil record is unbiased by sites of exceptional preservation (lagerstätte). This is because as new species are discovered the number of known formations and sites yielding pterosaur fossils has also increased - this would not be expected if the bulk of the record came from just a few exceptional faunas. Pterosaur morphological diversification is, however, strongly age biased: rarefaction analysis shows that peaks of diversity occur in the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous correlated with periods of increased limb disparity. In this respect, pterosaurs appear unique amongst flying vertebrates in that their disparity seems to have peaked relatively late in clade history. Comparative analyses also show that there is little evidence that the evolutionary diversification of pterosaurs was in any way constrained by the appearance and radiation of birds.

  12. On the Morphogenesis of Feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Mingke; Wu, Ping; Widelitz, Randall B.; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2015-01-01

    The most unique character of the feather is its highly ordered hierarchical branched structure1, 2. This evolutionary novelty confers flight function to birds3–5. Recent discoveries of fossils in China have prompted keen interest in the origin and evolution of feathers6–14. However, controversy arises whether the irregularly branched integumentary fibers on dinosaurs such as Sinornithosaurus are truly feathers6, 11, and whether an integumentary appendage with a major central shaft and notched edges is a non-avian feather or a proto-feather8–10. Here we take a developmental approach to analyze molecular mechanisms in feather branching morphogenesis. We have used the replication competent avian sarcoma (RCAS) retrovirus15 to efficiently deliver exogenous genes to regenerating chicken flight feather follicles. We show that the antagonistic balance between noggin and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) plays a critical role in feather branching, with BMP4 promoting rachis formation and barb fusion, and noggin enhancing rachis and barb branching. Furthermore we show that sonic hedgehog (SHH) is essential for apoptosis of the marginal plate epithelia to become spaces between barbs. Our analyses show the molecular pathways underlying the topological transformation of feathers from cylindrical epithelia to the hierarchical branched structures, and provide first clues on the possible developmental mechanisms in the evolution of feather forms. PMID:12442169

  13. Fossil evidence for the origin of Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Jeffrey H; Tattersall, Ian

    2010-01-01

    Our species Homo sapiens has never received a satisfactory morphological definition. Deriving partly from Linnaeus's exhortation simply to "know thyself," and partly from the insistence by advocates of the Evolutionary Synthesis in the mid-20th Century that species are constantly transforming ephemera that by definition cannot be pinned down by morphology, this unfortunate situation has led to huge uncertainty over which hominid fossils ought to be included in H. sapiens, and even over which of them should be qualified as "archaic" or as "anatomically modern," a debate that is an oddity in the broader context of paleontology. Here, we propose a suite of features that seems to characterize all H. sapiens alive today, and we review the fossil evidence in light of those features, paying particular attention to the bipartite brow and the "chin" as examples of how, given the continuum from developmentally regulated genes to adult morphology, we might consider features preserved in fossil specimens in a comparative analysis that includes extant taxa. We also suggest that this perspective on the origination of novelty, which has gained a substantial foothold in the general field of evolutionary developmental biology, has an intellectual place in paleoanthropology and hominid systematics, including in defining our species, H. sapiens. Beginning solely with the distinctive living species reveals a startling variety in morphologies among late middle and late Pleistocene hominids, none of which can be plausibly attributed to H. sapiens/H. neanderthalensis admixture. Allowing for a slightly greater envelope of variation than exists today, basic "modern" morphology seems to have appeared significantly earlier in time than the first stirrings of the modern symbolic cognitive system. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. Tyrannosauroid integument reveals conflicting patterns of gigantism and feather evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Phil R; Campione, Nicolás E; Persons, W Scott; Currie, Philip J; Larson, Peter L; Tanke, Darren H; Bakker, Robert T

    2017-06-01

    Recent evidence for feathers in theropods has led to speculations that the largest tyrannosaurids, including Tyrannosaurus rex , were extensively feathered. We describe fossil integument from Tyrannosaurus and other tyrannosaurids ( Albertosaurus, Daspletosaurus, Gorgosaurus and Tarbosaurus ), confirming that these large-bodied forms possessed scaly, reptilian-like skin. Body size evolution in tyrannosauroids reveals two independent occurrences of gigantism; specifically, the large sizes in Yutyrannus and tyrannosaurids were independently derived. These new findings demonstrate that extensive feather coverings observed in some early tyrannosauroids were lost by the Albian, basal to Tyrannosauridae. This loss is unrelated to palaeoclimate but possibly tied to the evolution of gigantism, although other mechanisms exist. © 2017 The Author(s).

  15. Fossil Crinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, Hans; Ausich, William I.; Brett, Carlton E.; Simms, Michael J.

    2003-01-01

    Crinoids have graced the oceans for more than 500 million years. Among the most attractive fossils, crinoids had a key role in the ecology of marine communities through much of the fossil record, and their remains are prominent rock forming constituents of many limestones. This is the first comprehensive volume to bring together their form and function, classification, evolutionary history, occurrence, preservation and ecology. The main part of the book is devoted to assemblages of intact fossil crinoids, which are described in their geological setting in twenty-three chapters ranging from the Ordovician to the Tertiary. The final chapter deals with living sea lilies and feather stars. The volume is exquisitely illustrated with abundant photographs and line drawings of crinoids from sites around the world. This authoritative account recreates a fascinating picture of fossil crinoids for paleontologists, geologists, evolutionary and marine biologists, ecologists and amateur fossil collectors.

  16. Feather corticosterone reveals developmental stress in seabirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Will, Alexis P; Suzuki, Yuya; Elliott, Kyle H; Hatch, Scott A; Watanuki, Yutaka; Kitaysky, Alexander S

    2014-07-01

    In nest-bound avian offspring, food shortages typically trigger a release of the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT). Recent studies indicate that CORT is passively deposited in the tissue of growing feathers and thus may provide an integrated measure of stress incurred during development in the nest. The current hypothesis predicts that, assuming a constant rate of feather growth, elevated CORT circulating in the blood corresponds to higher levels of CORT in feather tissue, but experimental evidence for nutritionally stressed chicks is lacking. Here, we examined how food limitation affects feather CORT content in the rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca moncerata). We (i) used captive chicks reared on control versus restricted diets, and (ii) applied this technique to free-living chicks with unknown nutritional histories that fledged at three separate colonies. We found that (i) feather growth was not affected by experimentally induced nutritional stress; (ii) captive chicks raised on a restricted diet had higher levels of CORT in their primary feathers; (iii) feather CORT deposition is a sensitive method of detecting nutritional stress; and (iv) free-living fledglings from the colony with poor reproductive performance had higher CORT in their primary feathers. We conclude that feather CORT is a sensitive integrated measure revealing the temporal dynamics of food limitations experienced by rhinoceros auklet nestlings. The use of feather CORT may be a powerful endocrine tool in ecological and evolutionary studies of bird species with similar preferential allocation of limited resources to feather development. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Fossil evidence for spin alignment of Sloan Digital Sky Survey galaxies in filaments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jones, Bernard J. T.; van de Weijgaert, Marinus; Aragon-Calvo, Miguel A.

    2010-01-01

    We search for and find fossil evidence that the spin axes of galaxies in cosmic web filaments relative to their host filaments are not randomly distributed. This indicates the fact that the action of large-scale tidal torques affected the alignments of galaxies located in cosmic filaments. To this

  18. The first evidence of trace fossils and pseudo-fossils in the continental interlava volcaniclastic sediments on the Faroe Islands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pokorný, R.; Krmíček, Lukáš; Árting, U. E.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 63, č. 1 (2015), s. 45-57 ISSN 2245-7070 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : Faroe Islands * trace fossils * pseudo- fossils * volcaniclastic sediments Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.889, year: 2015 http://2dgf.dk/xpdf/bull63-45-57.pdf

  19. Fossil Explorers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Sean; McLaughlin, Cheryl; MacFadden, Bruce; Jacobbe, Elizabeth; Poole, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Many young learners are fascinated with fossils, particularly charismatic forms such as dinosaurs and giant sharks. Fossils provide tangible, objective evidence of life that lived millions of years ago. They also provide a timescale of evolution not typically appreciated by young learners. Fossils and the science of paleontology can, therefore,…

  20. Birds of Different Feathers Cooperate Together: No Evidence for Altruism Homophily in Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent Simpson

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Many evolutionary models of cooperation assume that altruists possess telltale signs of disposition that they use to find and selectively associate with each other. Prior research finds that people can detect these signs of altruism in strangers, but we do not yet know whether this results in altruism homophily. We argue that dispositions should matter less in repeated interactions, where behavior is based on reciprocity. As a consequence, we should not expect people to have accurate insight into the dispositions (egoism vs. altruism of their friends, nor should we expect these relations to be characterized by altruism homophily. Three studies, employing diverse methodologies and measures, find no evidence of altruism homophily. Moreover, we find that people have poor insight into their friends’ altruism. We discuss the implications of these findings for the emergence of altruism and the role of embedded interactions in sustaining human cooperation.

  1. Total-Evidence Dating under the Fossilized Birth-Death Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chi; Stadler, Tanja; Klopfstein, Seraina; Heath, Tracy A; Ronquist, Fredrik

    2016-03-01

    Bayesian total-evidence dating involves the simultaneous analysis of morphological data from the fossil record and morphological and sequence data from recent organisms, and it accommodates the uncertainty in the placement of fossils while dating the phylogenetic tree. Due to the flexibility of the Bayesian approach, total-evidence dating can also incorporate additional sources of information. Here, we take advantage of this and expand the analysis to include information about fossilization and sampling processes. Our work is based on the recently described fossilized birth-death (FBD) process, which has been used to model speciation, extinction, and fossilization rates that can vary over time in a piecewise manner. So far, sampling of extant and fossil taxa has been assumed to be either complete or uniformly at random, an assumption which is only valid for a minority of data sets. We therefore extend the FBD process to accommodate diversified sampling of extant taxa, which is standard practice in studies of higher-level taxa. We verify the implementation using simulations and apply it to the early radiation of Hymenoptera (wasps, ants, and bees). Previous total-evidence dating analyses of this data set were based on a simple uniform tree prior and dated the initial radiation of extant Hymenoptera to the late Carboniferous (309 Ma). The analyses using the FBD prior under diversified sampling, however, date the radiation to the Triassic and Permian (252 Ma), slightly older than the age of the oldest hymenopteran fossils. By exploring a variety of FBD model assumptions, we show that it is mainly the accommodation of diversified sampling that causes the push toward more recent divergence times. Accounting for diversified sampling thus has the potential to close the long-discussed gap between rocks and clocks. We conclude that the explicit modeling of fossilization and sampling processes can improve divergence time estimates, but only if all important model aspects

  2. Estimating Age-Dependent Extinction: Contrasting Evidence from Fossils and Phylogenies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Oskar; Andermann, Tobias; Quental, Tiago B; Antonelli, Alexandre; Silvestro, Daniele

    2018-05-01

    The estimation of diversification rates is one of the most vividly debated topics in modern systematics, with considerable controversy surrounding the power of phylogenetic and fossil-based approaches in estimating extinction. Van Valen's seminal work from 1973 proposed the "Law of constant extinction," which states that the probability of extinction of taxa is not dependent on their age. This assumption of age-independent extinction has prevailed for decades with its assessment based on survivorship curves, which, however, do not directly account for the incompleteness of the fossil record, and have rarely been applied at the species level. Here, we present a Bayesian framework to estimate extinction rates from the fossil record accounting for age-dependent extinction (ADE). Our approach, unlike previous implementations, explicitly models unobserved species and accounts for the effects of fossil preservation on the observed longevity of sampled lineages. We assess the performance and robustness of our method through extensive simulations and apply it to a fossil data set of terrestrial Carnivora spanning the past 40 myr. We find strong evidence of ADE, as we detect the extinction rate to be highest in young species and declining with increasing species age. For comparison, we apply a recently developed analogous ADE model to a dated phylogeny of extant Carnivora. Although the phylogeny-based analysis also infers ADE, it indicates that the extinction rate, instead, increases with increasing taxon age. The estimated mean species longevity also differs substantially, with the fossil-based analyses estimating 2.0 myr, in contrast to 9.8 myr derived from the phylogeny-based inference. Scrutinizing these discrepancies, we find that both fossil and phylogeny-based ADE models are prone to high error rates when speciation and extinction rates increase or decrease through time. However, analyses of simulated and empirical data show that fossil-based inferences are more

  3. Fossil evidence for open, Proteaceae-dominated heathlands and fire in the Late Cretaceous of Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Raymond J; Macphail, Michael K; Jordan, Gregory J; Hill, Robert S

    2015-12-01

    The origin of biomes is of great interest globally. Molecular phylogenetic and pollen evidence suggest that several plant lineages that now characterize open, burnt habitats of the sclerophyll biome, became established during the Late Cretaceous of Australia. However, whether this biome itself dates to that time is problematic, fundamentally because of the near-absence of relevant, appropriately aged, terrestrial plant macro- or mesofossils. We recovered, identified, and interpreted the ecological significance of fossil pollen, foliar and other remains from a section of core drilled in central Australia, which we dated as Late Campanian-Maastrichtian. The sediments contain plant fossils that indicate nutrient-limited, open, sclerophyllous vegetation and abundant charcoal as evidence of fire. Most interestingly, >30 pollen taxa and at least 12 foliage taxa are attributable to the important Gondwanan family Proteaceae, including several minute, amphistomatic, and sclerophyllous foliage forms consistent with subfamily Proteoideae. Microfossils, including an abundance of Sphagnales and other wetland taxa, provided strong evidence of a fenland setting. The local vegetation also included diverse Ericaceae and Liliales, as well as a range of ferns and gymnosperms. The fossils provide strong evidence in support of hypotheses of great antiquity for fire and open vegetation in Australia, point to extraordinary persistence of Proteaceae that are now emblematic of the Mediterranean-type climate southwestern Australian biodiversity hotspot and raise the profile of open habitats as centers of ancient lineages. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  4. Fossil evidence of wing shape in a stem relative of swifts and hummingbirds (Aves, Pan-Apodiformes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ksepka, Daniel T; Clarke, Julia A; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Kulp, Felicia B; Grande, Lance

    2013-06-22

    A feathered specimen of a new species of Eocypselus from the Early Eocene Green River Formation of Wyoming provides insight into the wing morphology and ecology in an early part of the lineage leading to extant swifts and hummingbirds. Combined phylogenetic analysis of morphological and molecular data supports placement of Eocypselus outside the crown radiation of Apodiformes. The new specimen is the first described fossil of Pan-Apodiformes from the pre-Pleistocene of North America and the only reported stem taxon with informative feather preservation. Wing morphology of Eocypselus rowei sp. nov. is intermediate between the short wings of hummingbirds and the hyper-elongated wings of extant swifts, and shows neither modifications for the continuous gliding used by swifts nor modifications for the hovering flight style used by hummingbirds. Elongate hindlimb elements, particularly the pedal phalanges, also support stronger perching capabilities than are present in Apodiformes. The new species is the smallest bird yet described from the Green River Formation, and supports the hypothesis that a decrease in body size preceded flight specializations in Pan-Apodiformes. The specimen also provides the first instance of melanosome morphology preserved in association with skeletal remains from the Green River Formation.

  5. A Total-Evidence Approach to Dating with Fossils, Applied to the Early Radiation of the Hymenoptera

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    Ronquist, Fredrik; Klopfstein, Seraina; Vilhelmsen, Lars; Schulmeister, Susanne; Murray, Debra L.; Rasnitsyn, Alexandr P.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Phylogenies are usually dated by calibrating interior nodes against the fossil record. This relies on indirect methods that, in the worst case, misrepresent the fossil information. Here, we contrast such node dating with an approach that includes fossils along with the extant taxa in a Bayesian total-evidence analysis. As a test case, we focus on the early radiation of the Hymenoptera, mostly documented by poorly preserved impression fossils that are difficult to place phylogenetically. Specifically, we compare node dating using nine calibration points derived from the fossil record with total-evidence dating based on 343 morphological characters scored for 45 fossil (4--20 complete) and 68 extant taxa. In both cases we use molecular data from seven markers (∼5 kb) for the extant taxa. Because it is difficult to model speciation, extinction, sampling, and fossil preservation realistically, we develop a simple uniform prior for clock trees with fossils, and we use relaxed clock models to accommodate rate variation across the tree. Despite considerable uncertainty in the placement of most fossils, we find that they contribute significantly to the estimation of divergence times in the total-evidence analysis. In particular, the posterior distributions on divergence times are less sensitive to prior assumptions and tend to be more precise than in node dating. The total-evidence analysis also shows that four of the seven Hymenoptera calibration points used in node dating are likely to be based on erroneous or doubtful assumptions about the fossil placement. With respect to the early radiation of Hymenoptera, our results suggest that the crown group dates back to the Carboniferous, ∼309 Ma (95% interval: 291--347 Ma), and diversified into major extant lineages much earlier than previously thought, well before the Triassic. [Bayesian inference; fossil dating; morphological evolution; relaxed clock; statistical phylogenetics.] PMID:22723471

  6. Relative feather mass indices: are feather masses needed to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Relative feather mass indices: are feather masses needed to estimate the percentage of new feather mass grown for moult regression models? ... As an alternative, it is here tested if feather mass indices may be sufficient replacements for species-specific feather masses. Thirty-five species of birds with known primary ...

  7. The oldest gibbon fossil (Hylobatidae) from insular Southeast Asia: evidence from Trinil, (East Java, Indonesia), Lower/Middle Pleistocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingicco, Thomas; de Vos, John; Huffman, O Frank

    2014-01-01

    A fossil femur excavated by Eugène Dubois between 1891-1900 in the Lower/Middle Pleistocene bonebed of the Trinil site (Java, Indonesia) was recognised by us as that of a Hylobatidae. The specimen, Trinil 5703 of the Dubois Collection (Leiden, The Netherlands), has the same distinctive form of fossilization that is seen in many of the bonebed fossils from Trinil in the collection. Anatomical comparison of Trinil 5703 to a sample of carnivore and primate femora, supported by morphometric analyses, lead to the attribution of the fossil to gibbon. Trinil 5703 therefore provides the oldest insular record of this clade, one of the oldest known Hylobatidae fossils from Southeast Asia. Because living Hylobatidae only inhabit evergreen rain forests, the paleoenvironment within the river drainage in the greater Trinil area evidently included forests of this kind during the Lower/Middle Pleistocene as revealed here.

  8. Fossil evidence for key innovations in the evolution of insect diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, David B.; Ross, Andrew J.; Mayhew, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Explaining the taxonomic richness of the insects, comprising over half of all described species, is a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Previously, several evolutionary novelties (key innovations) have been posited to contribute to that richness, including the insect bauplan, wings, wing folding and complete metamorphosis, but evidence over their relative importance and modes of action is sparse and equivocal. Here, a new dataset on the first and last occurrences of fossil hexapod (insects and close relatives) families is used to show that basal families of winged insects (Palaeoptera, e.g. dragonflies) show higher origination and extinction rates in the fossil record than basal wingless groups (Apterygota, e.g. silverfish). Origination and extinction rates were maintained at levels similar to Palaeoptera in the more derived Polyneoptera (e.g. cockroaches) and Paraneoptera (e.g. true bugs), but extinction rates subsequently reduced in the very rich group of insects with complete metamorphosis (Holometabola, e.g. beetles). Holometabola show evidence of a recent slow-down in their high net diversification rate, whereas other winged taxa continue to diversify at constant but low rates. These data suggest that wings and complete metamorphosis have had the most effect on family-level insect macroevolution, and point to specific mechanisms by which they have influenced insect diversity through time. PMID:25165766

  9. The extent of the preserved feathers on the four-winged dinosaur Microraptor gui under ultraviolet light.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David W E Hone

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The holotype of the theropod non-avian dinosaur Microraptor gui from the Early Cretaceous of China shows extensive preservation of feathers in a halo around the body and with flight feathers associated with both the fore and hindlimbs. It has been questioned as to whether or not the feathers did extend into the halo to reach the body, or had disassociated and moved before preservation. This taxon has important implications for the origin of flight in birds and the possibility of a four-winged gliding phase. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Examination of the specimen under ultraviolet light reveals that these feathers actually reach the body of the animal and were not disassociated from the bones. Instead they may have been chemically altered by the body tissues of the animal meaning that they did not carbonise close into the animal or more likely were covered by other decaying tissue, though evidence of their presence remains. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These UV images show that the feathers preserved on the slab are genuinely associated with the skeleton and that their arrangement and orientation is likely correct. The methods used here to reveal hidden features of the specimen may be applicable to other specimens from the fossil beds of Liaoning that produced Microraptor.

  10. Unzipping bird feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovalev, Alexander; Filippov, Alexander E; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2014-03-06

    The bird feather vane can be separated into two parts by pulling the barbs apart. The original state can be re-established easily by lightly stroking through the feather. Hooklets responsible for holding vane barbs together are not damaged by multiple zipping and unzipping cycles. Because numerous microhooks keep the integrity of the feather, their properties are of great interest for understanding mechanics of the entire feather structure. This study was undertaken to estimate the separation force of single hooklets and their arrays using force measurement of an unzipping feather vane. The hooklets usually separate in some number synchronously (20 on average) with the highest observed separation force of 1.74 mN (average force 0.27 mN), whereas the single hooklet separation force was 14 μN. A simple numerical model was suggested for a better understanding of zipping and unzipping behaviour in feathers. The model demonstrates features similar to those observed in experiments.

  11. Reconstructing Carotenoid-Based and Structural Coloration in Fossil Skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria E; Orr, Patrick J; Kearns, Stuart L; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver, Enrique

    2016-04-25

    Evidence of original coloration in fossils provides insights into the visual communication strategies used by ancient animals and the functional evolution of coloration over time [1-7]. Hitherto, all reconstructions of the colors of reptile integument and the plumage of fossil birds and feathered dinosaurs have been of melanin-based coloration [1-6]. Extant animals also use other mechanisms for producing color [8], but these have not been identified in fossils. Here we report the first examples of carotenoid-based coloration in the fossil record, and of structural coloration in fossil integument. The fossil skin, from a 10 million-year-old colubrid snake from the Late Miocene Libros Lagerstätte (Teruel, Spain) [9, 10], preserves dermal pigment cells (chromatophores)-xanthophores, iridophores, and melanophores-in calcium phosphate. Comparison with chromatophore abundance and position in extant reptiles [11-15] indicates that the fossil snake was pale-colored in ventral regions; dorsal and lateral regions were green with brown-black and yellow-green transverse blotches. Such coloration most likely functioned in substrate matching and intraspecific signaling. Skin replicated in authigenic minerals is not uncommon in exceptionally preserved fossils [16, 17], and dermal pigment cells generate coloration in numerous reptile, amphibian, and fish taxa today [18]. Our discovery thus represents a new means by which to reconstruct the original coloration of exceptionally preserved fossil vertebrates. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Birds of a feather: Neanderthal exploitation of raptors and corvids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finlayson, Clive; Brown, Kimberly; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Negro, Juan José; Bortolotti, Gary R; Finlayson, Geraldine; Sánchez Marco, Antonio; Giles Pacheco, Francisco; Rodríguez Vidal, Joaquín; Carrión, José S; Fa, Darren A; Rodríguez Llanes, José M

    2012-01-01

    The hypothesis that Neanderthals exploited birds for the use of their feathers or claws as personal ornaments in symbolic behaviour is revolutionary as it assigns unprecedented cognitive abilities to these hominins. This inference, however, is based on modest faunal samples and thus may not represent a regular or systematic behaviour. Here we address this issue by looking for evidence of such behaviour across a large temporal and geographical framework. Our analyses try to answer four main questions: 1) does a Neanderthal to raptor-corvid connection exist at a large scale, thus avoiding associations that might be regarded as local in space or time?; 2) did Middle (associated with Neanderthals) and Upper Palaeolithic (associated with modern humans) sites contain a greater range of these species than Late Pleistocene paleontological sites?; 3) is there a taphonomic association between Neanderthals and corvids-raptors at Middle Palaeolithic sites on Gibraltar, specifically Gorham's, Vanguard and Ibex Caves? and; 4) was the extraction of wing feathers a local phenomenon exclusive to the Neanderthals at these sites or was it a geographically wider phenomenon?. We compiled a database of 1699 Pleistocene Palearctic sites based on fossil bird sites. We also compiled a taphonomical database from the Middle Palaeolithic assemblages of Gibraltar. We establish a clear, previously unknown and widespread, association between Neanderthals, raptors and corvids. We show that the association involved the direct intervention of Neanderthals on the bones of these birds, which we interpret as evidence of extraction of large flight feathers. The large number of bones, the variety of species processed and the different temporal periods when the behaviour is observed, indicate that this was a systematic, geographically and temporally broad, activity that the Neanderthals undertook. Our results, providing clear evidence that Neanderthal cognitive capacities were comparable to those of

  13. First direct evidence of a vertebrate three-level trophic chain in the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriwet, Jürgen; Witzmann, Florian; Klug, Stefanie; Heidtke, Ulrich H J

    2008-01-22

    We describe the first known occurrence of a Permian shark specimen preserving two temnospondyl amphibians in its digestive tract as well as the remains of an acanthodian fish, which was ingested by one of the temnospondyls. This exceptional find provides for the first time direct evidence of a vertebrate three-level food chain in the fossil record with the simultaneous preservation of three trophic levels. Our analysis shows that small-sized Lower Permian xenacanthid sharks of the genus Triodus preyed on larval piscivorous amphibians. The recorded trophic interaction can be explained by the adaptation of certain xenacanthids to fully freshwater environments and the fact that in these same environments, large temnospondyls occupied the niche of modern crocodiles. This unique faunal association has not been documented after the Permian and Triassic. Therefore, this Palaeozoic three-level food chain provides strong and independent support for changes in aquatic trophic chain structures through time.

  14. Eocene fossil is earliest evidence of flower-visiting by birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, Gerald; Wilde, Volker

    2014-05-01

    Birds are important pollinators, but the evolutionary history of ornithophily (bird pollination) is poorly known. Here, we report a skeleton of the avian taxon Pumiliornis from the middle Eocene of Messel in Germany with preserved stomach contents containing numerous pollen grains of an eudicotyledonous angiosperm. The skeletal morphology of Pumiliornis is in agreement with this bird having been a, presumably nectarivorous, flower-visitor. It represents the earliest and first direct fossil evidence of flower-visiting by birds and indicates a minimum age of 47 million years for the origin of bird-flower interactions. As Pumiliornis does not belong to any of the modern groups of flower-visiting birds, the origin of ornithophily in some angiosperm lineages may have predated that of their extant avian pollinators. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  15. How do the stock prices of new energy and fossil fuel companies correlate? Evidence from China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wen, Xiaoqian; Guo, Yanfeng; Wei, Yu; Huang, Dengshi

    2014-01-01

    This study documents the return and volatility spillover effect between the stock prices of Chinese new energy and fossil fuel companies using the asymmetric BEKK model. Based on daily samples taken from August 30, 2006 to September 11, 2012, the dynamics of new energy/fossil fuel stock spillover are found to be significant and asymmetric. Compared with positive news, negative news about new energy and fossil fuel stock returns leads to larger return changes in their counter assets. News about both new energy and fossil fuel stock returns spills over into variances of their counter assets, and the volatility spillovers depend complexly on the respective signs of the return shocks of each asset. The empirical results demonstrate that new energy and fossil fuel stocks are generally viewed as competing assets, that positive news about new energy stocks could affect the attractiveness of fossil fuel stocks and that new energy stock investment is more speculative and riskier than fossil fuel stock investment. These results have potential implications for asset allocation, financial risk management and energy policymaking. - Highlights: • The dynamics of Chinese new energy/fossil fuel stock spillover are significant and asymmetric. • New energy and fossil fuel stocks are generally viewed as competing assets. • Positive news about new energy stocks affects the attractiveness of fossil fuel stocks. • New energy stock investment is more speculative and riskier than fossil fuel stock investment

  16. Fossilized melanosomes and the colour of Cretaceous dinosaurs and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fucheng; Kearns, Stuart L; Orr, Patrick J; Benton, Michael J; Zhou, Zhonghe; Johnson, Diane; Xu, Xing; Wang, Xiaolin

    2010-02-25

    Spectacular fossils from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group of northeastern China have greatly expanded our knowledge of the diversity and palaeobiology of dinosaurs and early birds, and contributed to our understanding of the origin of birds, of flight, and of feathers. Pennaceous (vaned) feathers and integumentary filaments are preserved in birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs, but little is known of their microstructure. Here we report that melanosomes (colour-bearing organelles) are not only preserved in the pennaceous feathers of early birds, but also in an identical manner in integumentary filaments of non-avian dinosaurs, thus refuting recent claims that the filaments are partially decayed dermal collagen fibres. Examples of both eumelanosomes and phaeomelanosomes have been identified, and they are often preserved in life position within the structure of partially degraded feathers and filaments. Furthermore, the data here provide empirical evidence for reconstructing the colours and colour patterning of these extinct birds and theropod dinosaurs: for example, the dark-coloured stripes on the tail of the theropod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx can reasonably be inferred to have exhibited chestnut to reddish-brown tones.

  17. The A/P axis in echinoderm ontogeny and evolution: evidence from fossils and molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, K. J.; Arenas-Mena, C.; Davidson, E. H.

    2000-01-01

    Even though echinoderms are members of the Bilateria, the location of their anterior/posterior axis has remained enigmatic. Here we propose a novel solution to the problem employing three lines of evidence: the expression of a posterior class Hox gene in the coeloms of the nascent adult body plan within the larva; the anatomy of certain early fossil echinoderms; and finally the relation between endoskeletal plate morphology and the associated coelomic tissues. All three lines of evidence converge on the same answer, namely that the location of the adult mouth is anterior, and the anterior/posterior axis runs from the mouth through the adult coelomic compartments. This axis then orients the animal such that there is but a single plane of symmetry dividing the animal into left and right halves. We tentatively hypothesize that this plane of symmetry is positioned along the dorsal/ventral axis. These axis identifications lead to the conclusion that the five ambulacra are not primary body axes, but instead are outgrowths from the central anterior/posterior axis. These identifications also shed insight into several other evolutionary mysteries of various echinoderm clades such as the independent evolution of bilateral symmetry in irregular echinoids, but do not elucidate the underlying mechanisms of the adult coelomic architecture.

  18. Linking the molecular evolution of avian beta (β) keratins to the evolution of feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwold, Matthew J; Sawyer, Roger H

    2011-12-15

    Feathers of today's birds are constructed of beta (β)-keratins, structural proteins of the epidermis that are found solely in reptiles and birds. Discoveries of "feathered dinosaurs" continue to stimulate interest in the evolutionary origin of feathers, but few studies have attempted to link the molecular evolution of their major structural proteins (β-keratins) to the appearance of feathers in the fossil record. Using molecular dating methods, we show that before the appearance of Anchiornis (∼155 Million years ago (Ma)) the basal β-keratins of birds began diverging from their archosaurian ancestor ∼216 Ma. However, the subfamily of feather β-keratins, as found in living birds, did not begin diverging until ∼143 Ma. Thus, the pennaceous feathers on Anchiornis, while being constructed of avian β-keratins, most likely did not contain the feather β-keratins found in the feathers of modern birds. Our results demonstrate that the evolutionary origin of feathers does not coincide with the molecular evolution of the feather β-keratins found in modern birds. More likely, during the Late Jurassic, the epidermal structures that appeared on organisms in the lineage leading to birds, including early forms of feathers, were constructed of avian β-keratins other than those found in the feathers of modern birds. Recent biophysical studies of the β-keratins in feathers support the view that the appearance of the subfamily of feather β-keratins altered the biophysical nature of the feather establishing its role in powered flight. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company.

  19. Isotopic evidence for enhanced fossil fuel sources of aerosol ammonium in the urban atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yuepeng; Tian, Shili; Liu, Dongwei; Fang, Yunting; Zhu, Xiaying; Gao, Meng; Gao, Jian; Michalski, Greg; Wang, Yuesi

    2018-04-20

    The sources of aerosol ammonium (NH 4 + ) are of interest because of the potential of NH 4 + to impact the Earth's radiative balance, as well as human health and biological diversity. Isotopic source apportionment of aerosol NH 4 + is challenging in the urban atmosphere, which has excess ammonia (NH 3 ) and where nitrogen isotopic fractionation commonly occurs. Based on year-round isotopic measurements in urban Beijing, we show the source dependence of the isotopic abundance of aerosol NH 4 + , with isotopically light (-33.8‰) and heavy (0 to +12.0‰) NH 4 + associated with strong northerly winds and sustained southerly winds, respectively. On an annual basis, 37-52% of the initial NH 3 concentrations in urban Beijing arises from fossil fuel emissions, which are episodically enhanced by air mass stagnation preceding the passage of cold fronts. These results provide strong evidence for the contribution of non-agricultural sources to NH 3 in urban regions and suggest that priority should be given to controlling these emissions for haze regulation. This study presents a carefully executed application of existing stable nitrogen isotope measurement and mass-balance techniques to a very important problem: understanding source contributions to atmospheric NH 3 in Beijing. This question is crucial to informing environmental policy on reducing particulate matter concentrations, which are some of the highest in the world. However, the isotopic source attribution results presented here still involve a number of uncertain assumptions and they are limited by the incomplete set of chemical and isotopic measurements of gas NH 3 and aerosol NH 4 + . Further field work and lab experiments are required to adequately characterize endmember isotopic signatures and the subsequent isotopic fractionation process under different air pollution and meteorological conditions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. First record of lobed trace fossils in Brazil's Upper Cretaceous paleosols: Rhizoliths or evidence of insects and their social behavior?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luciano do Nascimento, Diego; Batezelli, Alessandro; Bernardes Ladeira, Francisco Sérgio

    2017-11-01

    This is the first report of trace fossils potentially associated with insect social behavior in sandy and well-drained paleosols of the Upper Cretaceous continental sequence of Brazil. The trace fossils consist of dozens of lobed and vertical structures cemented by CaCO3 and preserved mainly in full relief in paleosols of the Marilia Formation (Bauru Basin) in the state of Minas Gerais. The described ichnofossils are predominantly vertical, up to 2 m long, and are composed of horizontal lobed structures connected by vertical tunnel-like structures that intersect in the center and at the edges. The lobed structures range from 3 to 15 cm long and 2-6 cm thick. Two different hypotheses are analyzed to explain the origin of the trace fossils; the less probable one is that the structures are laminar calcretes associated with rhizoliths and rhizoconcretions. The hypothesis involving social insects was considered because the trace fossils described herein partially resemble a modern ant nest and the ichnofossil Daimoniobarax. The micromorphological analysis of the lobed and tunnel-like structures indicates modifications of the walls, such as the presence of inorganic fluidized linings, dark linings and oriented grains, supporting the hypothesis that they are chambers and shafts. The architecture and size of the reported nests suggest the possibility that social insect colonies existed during the Maastrichtian and are direct evidence of the social behavior and reproductive strategies of the Cretaceous pedofauna.

  1. Alectorioid Morphologies in Paleogene Lichens: New Evidence and Re-Evaluation of the Fossil Alectoria succini Mägdefrau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaasalainen, Ulla; Heinrichs, Jochen; Krings, Michael; Myllys, Leena; Grabenhorst, Heinrich; Rikkinen, Jouko; Schmidt, Alexander R.

    2015-01-01

    One of the most important issues in molecular dating studies concerns the incorporation of reliable fossil taxa into the phylogenies reconstructed from DNA sequence variation in extant taxa. Lichens are symbiotic associations between fungi and algae and/or cyanobacteria. Several lichen fossils have been used as minimum age constraints in recent studies concerning the diversification of the Ascomycota. Recent evolutionary studies of Lecanoromycetes, an almost exclusively lichen-forming class in the Ascomycota, have utilized the Eocene amber inclusion Alectoria succinic as a minimum age constraint. However, a re-investigation of the type material revealed that this inclusion in fact represents poorly preserved plant remains, most probably of a root. Consequently, this fossil cannot be used as evidence of the presence of the genus Alectoria (Parmeliaceae, Lecanorales) or any other lichens in the Paleogene. However, newly discovered inclusions from Paleogene Baltic and Bitterfeld amber verify that alectorioid morphologies in lichens were in existence by the Paleogene. The new fossils represent either a lineage within the alectorioid group or belong to the genus Oropogon. PMID:26053106

  2. Evidence for environmental conditions during the last 20 000 years in Southern Africa from C-13 in fossil hyrax dung

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scott, L

    2000-11-01

    Full Text Available .elsevier.comrlocatergloplacha Evidence for environmental conditions during the last 20 000 years in Southern Africa from 13C in fossil hyrax dung L. Scott a,), J.C. Vogel b a Department of Botany and Genetics, Uni?ersity of the Orange Free State, PO Box 339, Bloemfontein 9300, South... in the studied hyrax middens, provide evidence that changes oc- curred on a regional scale. This is partly supported 13 by the d C sequences in stalagmite Talma and .Vogel, 1992 . In areas with summer-rains where AsweetB grass is likely to develop, d13C values...

  3. On the age of the hominid fossils at the Sima de los Huesos, Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain: paleomagnetic evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parés, J M; Pérez-González, A; Weil, A B; Arsuaga, J L

    2000-04-01

    We report new paleomagnetic data for the Middle Pleistocene hominid-bearing strata in the Sima de los Huesos, North Spain. Sediments (brown muds with human and bear fossils and the underlying sterile clayey and sandy unit) preserve both normal and reversed magnetic components. The sterile unit has exclusively reversed magnetization, dating back to the Matuyama Chron, and thus is Lower Pleistocene in age. The overlying fossiliferous muds have a dominant normal magnetization that overprints a partially resolved reversed magnetization. These data are compatible with one of the reversal events that occurred during the Brunhes Chron. Combined with the existing U-series dates and evidence from the macro- and microfauna, these paleomagnetic results suggest an age of the hominid fossils between 325 to 205 ka, whereas the underlying sand and silts are older than 780 ka. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  4. Fossil and Genetic Evidence for the Polyphyletic Nature of the Planktonic Foraminifera "Globigerinoides", and Description of the New Genus Trilobatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spezzaferri, Silvia; Kucera, Michal; Pearson, Paul Nicholas; Wade, Bridget Susan; Rappo, Sacha; Poole, Christopher Robert; Morard, Raphaël; Stalder, Claudio

    2015-01-01

    Planktonic foraminifera are one of the most abundant and diverse protists in the oceans. Their utility as paleo proxies requires rigorous taxonomy and comparison with living and genetically related counterparts. We merge genetic and fossil evidence of “Globigerinoides”, characterized by supplementary apertures on spiral side, in a new approach to trace their “total evidence phylogeny” since their first appearance in the latest Paleogene. Combined fossil and molecular genetic data indicate that this genus, as traditionally understood, is polyphyletic. Both datasets indicate the existence of two distinct lineages that evolved independently. One group includes “Globigerinoides” trilobus and its descendants, the extant “Globigerinoides” sacculifer, Orbulina universa and Sphaeroidinella dehiscens. The second group includes the Globigerinoides ruber clade with the extant G. conglobatus and G. elongatus and ancestors. In molecular phylogenies, the trilobus group is not the sister taxon of the ruber group. The ruber group clusters consistently together with the modern Globoturborotalita rubescens as a sister taxon. The re-analysis of the fossil record indicates that the first “Globigerinoides” in the late Oligocene are ancestral to the trilobus group, whereas the ruber group first appeared at the base of the Miocene with representatives distinct from the trilobus group. Therefore, polyphyly of the genus "Globigerinoides" as currently defined can only be avoided either by broadening the genus concept to include G. rubescens and a large number of fossil species without supplementary apertures, or if the trilobus group is assigned to a separate genus. Since the former is not feasible due to the lack of a clear diagnosis for such a broad genus, we erect a new genus Trilobatus for the trilobus group (type species Globigerina triloba Reuss) and amend Globoturborotalita and Globigerinoides to clarify morphology and wall textures of these genera. In the new

  5. Fossil manganese nodules from Timor: geochemical and radiochemical evidence for deep-sea origin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Margolis, S.V.; Fein, C.D.; Glasby, G.P.; Audley-Charles, M.G.

    1978-01-01

    Fossil Mn nodules of Cretaceous age from western Timor exhibit chemical, structural and radioisotope compositions consistent with their being of deep-sea origin. These nodules show characteristics similar to nodules now found at depths of 3,500-5,000 m in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Slight differences in the fine structure and chemistry of these nodules and modern deep-sea nodules are attributed to diagenetic alteration after uplift of enclosing sediments

  6. Does Non-Fossil Energy Usage Lower CO2 Emissions? Empirical Evidence from China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deshan Li

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper uses an autoregressive distributed lag model (ARDL to examine the dynamic impact of non-fossil energy consumption on carbon dioxide (CO2 emissions in China for a given level of economic growth, trade openness, and energy usage between 1965 and 2014. The results suggest that the variables are in a long-run equilibrium. ARDL estimation indicates that consumption of non-fossil energy plays a crucial role in curbing CO2 emissions in the long run but not in the short term. The results also suggest that, in both the long and short term, energy consumption and trade openness have a negative impact on the reduction of CO2 emissions, while gross domestic product (GDP per capita increases CO2 emissions only in the short term. Finally, the Granger causality test indicates a bidirectional causality between CO2 emissions and energy consumption. In addition, this study suggests that non-fossil energy is an effective solution to mitigate CO2 emissions, providing useful information for policy-makers wishing to reduce atmospheric CO2.

  7. Eocene and not Cretaceous origin of spider wasps: Fossil evidence from amber

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juanita Rodriguez

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Spider wasps had long been proposed to originate in the mid-Cretaceous based on the Burmese amber fossil Bryopompilus interfector Engel and Grimaldi, 2006. We performed a morphological examination of this fossil and determined it does not belong to Pompilidae or any other described hymenopteran family. Instead, we place it in the new family Bryopompilidae. The oldest verifiable member of the Pompilidae is from Baltic amber, which suggests the family probably originated in the Eocene, not in the mid-Cretaceous as previously proposed. The origin of spider wasps appears to be correlated with an increase in spider familial diversity in the Cenozoic. We also we add two genera to the extinct pompilid fauna: Tainopompilus gen. nov., and Paleogenia gen. nov., and describe three new species of fossil spider wasps: Anoplius planeta sp. nov., from Dominican amber (Burdigalian to Langhian; Paleogenia wahisi sp. nov., from Baltic amber (Lutetian to Priabonian; and Tainopompilus argentum sp. nov, from Dominican amber (Chattian to Langhian.

  8. Global patterns of insect diversification: towards a reconciliation of fossil and molecular evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condamine, Fabien L; Clapham, Matthew E; Kergoat, Gael J

    2016-01-18

    Macroevolutionary studies of insects at diverse taxonomic scales often reveal dynamic evolutionary patterns, with multiple inferred diversification rate shifts. Responses to major past environmental changes, such as the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution, or the development of major key innovations, such as wings or complete metamorphosis are usually invoked as potential evolutionary triggers. However this view is partially contradicted by studies on the family-level fossil record showing that insect diversification was relatively constant through time. In an attempt to reconcile both views, we investigate large-scale insect diversification dynamics at family level using two distinct types of diversification analyses on a molecular timetree representing ca. 82% of the extant families, and reassess the insect fossil diversity using up-to-date records. Analyses focusing on the fossil record recovered an early burst of diversification, declining to low and steady rates through time, interrupted by extinction events. Phylogenetic analyses showed that major shifts of diversification rates only occurred in the four richest holometabolous orders. Both suggest that neither the development of flight or complete metamorphosis nor the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution environmental changes induced immediate changes in diversification regimes; instead clade-specific innovations likely promoted the diversification of major insect orders.

  9. Trace Fossil Evidence of Trematode-Bivalve Parasite-Host Interactions in Deep Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntley, John Warren; De Baets, Kenneth

    2015-01-01

    Parasitism is one of the most pervasive phenomena amongst modern eukaryotic life and yet, relative to other biotic interactions, almost nothing is known about its history in deep time. Digenean trematodes (Platyhelminthes) are complex life cycle parasites, which have practically no body fossil record, but induce the growth of characteristic malformations in the shells of their bivalve hosts. These malformations are readily preserved in the fossil record, but, until recently, have largely been overlooked by students of the fossil record. In this review, we present the various malformations induced by trematodes in bivalves, evaluate their distribution through deep time in the phylogenetic and ecological contexts of their bivalve hosts and explore how various taphonomic processes have likely biased our understanding of trematodes in deep time. Trematodes are known to negatively affect their bivalve hosts in a number of ways including castration, modifying growth rates, causing immobilization and, in some cases, altering host behaviour making the host more susceptible to their own predators. Digeneans are expected to be significant agents of natural selection. To that end, we discuss how bivalves may have adapted to their parasites via heterochrony and suggest a practical methodology for testing such hypotheses in deep time. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Environmental evidence of fossil fuel pollution in Laguna Chica de San Pedro lake sediments (Central Chile)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chirinos, L. [Centro de Ciencias Ambientales EULA-Chile, Universidad de Concepcion, PO Box 160-C, Concepcion (Chile)]. E-mail: lchirin@pucp.edu.pe; Rose, N.L. [Environmental Change Research Centre, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WG1HOAP (United Kingdom); Urrutia, R. [Centro de Ciencias Ambientales EULA-Chile, Universidad de Concepcion, PO Box 160-C, Concepcion (Chile); Munoz, P. [Departamento de Biologia Marina, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Larrondo 1281, Coquimbo (Chile); Torrejon, F. [Centro de Ciencias Ambientales EULA-Chile, Universidad de Concepcion, PO Box 160-C, Concepcion (Chile); Torres, L. [Departamento de Botanica, Universidad de Concepcion, Concepcion (Chile); Cruces, F. [Departamento de Botanica, Universidad de Concepcion, Concepcion (Chile); Araneda, A. [Centro de Ciencias Ambientales EULA-Chile, Universidad de Concepcion, PO Box 160-C, Concepcion (Chile); Zaror, C. [Facultad de Ingenieria Quimica, Universidad de Concepcion, Concepcion (Chile)

    2006-05-15

    This paper describes lake sediment spheroidal carbonaceous particle (SCP) profiles from Laguna Chica San Pedro, located in the Biobio Region, Chile (36{sup o} 51' S, 73{sup o} 05' W). The earliest presence of SCPs was found at 16 cm depth, corresponding to the 1915-1937 period, at the very onset of industrial activities in the study area. No SCPs were found at lower depths. SCP concentrations in Laguna Chica San Pedro lake sediments were directly related to local industrial activities. Moreover, no SCPs were found in Galletue lake (38{sup o} 41' S, 71{sup o} 17.5' W), a pristine high mountain water body used here as a reference site, suggesting that contribution from long distance atmospheric transport could be neglected, unlike published data from remote Northern Hemisphere lakes. These results are the first SCP sediment profiles from Chile, showing a direct relationship with fossil fuel consumption in the region. Cores were dated using the {sup 21}Pb technique. - The lake sediment record of SCPs shows the record of fossil-fuel derived pollution in Central Chile.

  11. Environmental evidence of fossil fuel pollution in Laguna Chica de San Pedro lake sediments (Central Chile)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chirinos, L.; Rose, N.L.; Urrutia, R.; Munoz, P.; Torrejon, F.; Torres, L.; Cruces, F.; Araneda, A.; Zaror, C.

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes lake sediment spheroidal carbonaceous particle (SCP) profiles from Laguna Chica San Pedro, located in the Biobio Region, Chile (36 o 51' S, 73 o 05' W). The earliest presence of SCPs was found at 16 cm depth, corresponding to the 1915-1937 period, at the very onset of industrial activities in the study area. No SCPs were found at lower depths. SCP concentrations in Laguna Chica San Pedro lake sediments were directly related to local industrial activities. Moreover, no SCPs were found in Galletue lake (38 o 41' S, 71 o 17.5' W), a pristine high mountain water body used here as a reference site, suggesting that contribution from long distance atmospheric transport could be neglected, unlike published data from remote Northern Hemisphere lakes. These results are the first SCP sediment profiles from Chile, showing a direct relationship with fossil fuel consumption in the region. Cores were dated using the 21 Pb technique. - The lake sediment record of SCPs shows the record of fossil-fuel derived pollution in Central Chile

  12. Fossil and renewable energy consumption, GHGs (greenhouse gases) and economic growth: Evidence from a panel of EU (European Union) countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bölük, Gülden; Mert, Mehmet

    2014-01-01

    Recently a great number of empirical research studies have been conducted on the relationship between certain indicators of environmental degradation and income. The EKC (Environmental Kuznets Curve) hypothesis has been tested for various types of environmental degradation. The EKC hypothesis states that the relationship between environmental degradation and income per capita takes the form of an inverted U shape. In this paper the EKC hypothesis was investigated with regards to the relationship between carbon emissions, income and energy consumption in 16 EU (European Union) countries. We conducted panel data analysis for the period of 1990–2008 by fixing the multicollinearity problem between the explanatory variables using their centered values. The main contribution of this paper is that the EKC hypothesis has been investigated by separating final energy consumption into renewable and fossil fuel energy consumption. Unfortunately, the inverted U-shape relationship (EKC) does not hold for carbon emissions in the 16 EU countries. The other important finding is that renewable energy consumption contributes around 1/2 less per unit of energy consumed than fossil energy consumption in terms of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in EU countries. This implies that a shift in energy consumption mix towards alternative renewable energy technologies might decrease the GHG emissions. - Highlights: • We investigate the EKC (Environmental Kuznets Curve) hypothesis for 16 EU (European Union) countries. • We fix the multicollinearity problem between explanatory variables. • We found no evidence to support the EKC hypothesis in EU between 1990 and 2008 periods. • Renewable energy contributes less to GHGs (greenhouse gases) around ½ that of a unit of fossil energy

  13. Chemical regulation of body feather microbiota in a wild bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Staffan; Sallé, Louis; Zinger, Lucie; Chaine, Alexis S; Ducamp, Christine; Boutault, Léa; Russell, Andrew F; Heeb, Philipp

    2018-04-01

    The microbiota has a broad range of impacts on host physiology and behaviour, pointing out the need to improve our comprehension of the drivers of host-microbiota composition. Of particular interest is whether the microbiota is acquired passively, or whether and to what extent hosts themselves shape the acquisition and maintenance of their microbiota. In birds, the uropygial gland produces oily secretions used to coat feathers that have been suggested to act as an antimicrobial defence mechanism regulating body feather microbiota. However, our comprehension of this process is still limited. In this study, we for the first time coupled high-throughput sequencing of the microbiota of both body feathers and the direct environment (i.e., the nest) in great tits with chemical analyses of the composition of uropygial gland secretions to examine whether host chemicals have either specific effects on some bacteria or nonspecific broad-spectrum effects on the body feather microbiota. Using a network approach investigating the patterns of co-occurrence or co-exclusions between chemicals and bacteria within the body feather microbiota, we found no evidence for specific promicrobial or antimicrobial effects of uropygial gland chemicals. However, we found that one group of chemicals was negatively correlated to bacterial richness on body feathers, and a higher production of these chemicals was associated with a poorer body feather bacterial richness compared to the nest microbiota. Our study provides evidence that chemicals produced by the host might function as a nonspecific broad-spectrum antimicrobial defence mechanism limiting colonization and/or maintenance of bacteria on body feathers, providing new insight about the drivers of the host's microbiota composition in wild organisms. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Impact of feathers and feather follicles on broiler carcass bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cason, J A; Hinton, A; Buhr, R J

    2004-08-01

    Genetically featherless and feathered broiler siblings were used to test the contribution of feathers and feather follicles to the numbers of aerobic bacteria, Escherichia coli, and Campylobacter in whole-carcass rinse samples taken immediately after carcasses were defeathered for 30 or 60 s. Numbers of spoilage bacteria were counted after the same fully processed carcasses were stored for 1 wk at 2 degrees C. In each of 3 replications, twenty-eight 11-wk-old, mixed-sex, genetically featherless or feathered broilers were processed in a laboratory processing facility. Immediately after individual defeathering in a mechanical picker, carcasses were sampled using a carcass rinse technique. Carcasses were eviscerated, immersion chilled at 2 degrees C for 30 min, individually bagged, and stored for 1 wk at 2 degrees C, after which all carcasses were rinsed again, and spoilage bacteria in the rinsate were enumerated. There were no significant differences (P defeathering and no differences between carcasses picked for 30 or 60 s. There were no differences in numbers of spoilage bacteria after 1 wk of refrigeration for any of the feather presence-picking length combinations. Although the defeathering step in poultry processing has been identified as an opportunity for bacterial contamination from the intestinal tract and cross-contamination between carcasses, the presence of feathers and feather follicles does not make a significant difference in carcass bacterial contamination immediately after defeathering or in spoilage bacteria after 1 wk of refrigeration.

  15. Small scale karst features (tube karren) as evidence of a latest Quaternary fossil landslide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stöger, Tobias; Plan, Lukas; Draganits, Erich

    2017-04-01

    At least since 1933 numerous small dissolutional holes in the ceilings of overhangs and small caves have been known from a restricted area in the Northern Calcareous Alps in Lower Austria but not investigated yet. These tube-shaped structures are a few centimetres in diameter, more or less vertical, taper upwards, are closed at the top and penetrate some tens of centimetres into the Middle Triassic limestone. Very similar features were described by Simms (2002) from the shores of three lakes in western Ireland and termed Röhrenkarren or tube karren. According to his model they formed by condensation corrosion within air pockets trapped by seasonal floods. The features investigated in the present study occur on both sides of a valley in the north eastern part of the Northern Calcareous Alps south of the city Sankt Pölten. Presently there is no lake and so far no paleo lake is known from this area. Based on airborne laser scanning data and field observations in a narrow section of the valley downstream of the tube karren sites, a previously unknown potential fossil landslide was discovered. The clayey silty sediments upstream of the landslide are interpreted as palaeo-lake sediments. This interpretation is supported by the existence of abundant dragonfly eggs within these deposits. The same fine-grained sediments are partly also found inside the tube karren. These observations are interpreted that a landslide-dammed palaeo-lake formed due to the mass movement that blocked the river and the tube karren were formed by seasonal fluctuations of the lake level. Geochronological dating of calcite crusts covering the karren and of the organic material of the dragonfly eggs are on the way. As the karren features look quite fresh and unweathered and from the diffuse shape of the landslide a late Quaternary age is estimated. References Simms, M.J. 2002. The origin of enigmatic, tubular, lake-shore karren: a mechanism for rapid dissolution of limestone in carbonate

  16. Light diffraction through a feather

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pérez García, Hugo;

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We have used a feather to study light diffraction, in a qualitative as well as in a quantitative manner. Experimental measurement of the separation between the bright spots obtained with a laser pointer allowed the determination of the space between feather's barbs and barbules. The results we have obtained agree satisfactorily with those corresponding to a typical feather. Due to the kind of materials, the related concepts and the experimental results, this activity becomes an excellent didactic resource suitable for studying diffraction, both in introductory undergraduate as well as in secondary school physics courses.

  17. Aural exostoses (surfer's ear) provide vital fossil evidence of an aquatic phase in Man's early evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhys Evans, P H; Cameron, M

    2017-11-01

    For over a century, otolaryngologists have recognised the condition of aural exostoses, but their significance and aetiology remains obscure, although they tend to be associated with frequent swimming and cold water immersion of the auditory canal. The fact that this condition is usually bilateral is predictable since both ears are immersed in water. However, why do exostoses only grow in swimmers and why do they grow in the deep bony meatus at two or three constant sites? Furthermore, from an evolutionary point of view, what is or was the purpose and function of these rather incongruous protrusions? In recent decades, paleoanthropological evidence has challenged ideas about early hominid evolution. In 1992 the senior author suggested that aural exostoses were evolved in early hominid Man for protection of the delicate tympanic membrane during swimming and diving by narrowing the ear canal in a similar fashion to other semiaquatic species. We now provide evidence for this theory and propose an aetiological explanation for the formation of exostoses.

  18. Feather bedding and childhood asthma associated with house dust mite sensitisation : a randomised controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Glasgow, Nicholas J.; Ponsonby, Anne-Louise; Kemp, Andrew; Tovey, Euan; van Asperen, Peter; McKay, Karen; Forbes, Samantha

    Introduction Observational studies report inverse associations between the use of feather upper bedding (pillow and/or quilt) and asthma symptoms but there is no randomised controlled trial (RCT) evidence assessing the role of feather upper bedding as a secondary prevention measure. Objective To

  19. Decreased hydrophobicity of iridescent feathers: a potential cost of shiny plumage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliason, Chad M; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2011-07-01

    Honest advertisement models posit that sexually selected traits are costly to produce, maintain or otherwise bear. Brightly coloured feathers are thought to be classic examples of these models, but evidence for a cost in feathers not coloured by carotenoid pigments is scarce. Unlike pigment-based colours, iridescent feather colours are produced by light scattering in modified feather barbules that are characteristically flattened and twisted towards the feather surface. These modifications increase light reflectance, but also expose more surface area for water adhesion, suggesting a potential trade-off between colour and hydrophobicity. Using light microscopy, spectrometry, contact angle goniometry and self-cleaning experiments, we show that iridescent feathers of mallards, Anas platyrhynchos, are less hydrophobic than adjacent non-iridescent feathers, and that this is primarily caused by differences in barbule microstructure. Furthermore, as a result of this decreased hydrophobicity, iridescent feathers are less efficient at self-cleaning than non-iridescent feathers. Together, these results suggest a previously unforeseen cost of iridescent plumage traits that may help to explain the evolution and distribution of iridescence in birds.

  20. Common species link global ecosystems to climate change: dynamical evidence in the planktonic fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannisdal, Bjarte; Haaga, Kristian Agasøster; Reitan, Trond; Diego, David; Liow, Lee Hsiang

    2017-07-12

    Common species shape the world around us, and changes in their commonness signify large-scale shifts in ecosystem structure and function. However, our understanding of long-term ecosystem response to environmental forcing in the deep past is centred on species richness, neglecting the disproportional impact of common species. Here, we use common and widespread species of planktonic foraminifera in deep-sea sediments to track changes in observed global occupancy (proportion of sampled sites at which a species is present and observed) through the turbulent climatic history of the last 65 Myr. Our approach is sensitive to relative changes in global abundance of the species set and robust to factors that bias richness estimators. Using three independent methods for detecting causality, we show that the observed global occupancy of planktonic foraminifera has been dynamically coupled to past oceanographic changes captured in deep-ocean temperature reconstructions. The causal inference does not imply a direct mechanism, but is consistent with an indirect, time-delayed causal linkage. Given the strong quantitative evidence that a dynamical coupling exists, we hypothesize that mixotrophy (symbiont hosting) may be an ecological factor linking the global abundance of planktonic foraminifera to long-term climate changes via the relative extent of oligotrophic oceans. © 2017 The Authors.

  1. Key Drivers of PPPs in Electricity Generation in Developing Countries : Cross-Country Evidence of Switching between PPP Investment in Fossil Fuel and Renewable-Based Generation

    OpenAIRE

    Vagliasindi, Maria

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents new global evidence on the key determinants of public-private partnership investment in electricity generated by fossil fuels and renewable energy based on a panel data analysis for 105 developing countries over a period of 16 years from 1993 to 2008. It aims to identify the key factors affecting private investors' decision to enter electricity generation, through probi...

  2. Hinkley Point 'C' power station public inquiry: proof of evidence on comparison of non-fossil options to Hinkley Point 'C'

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goddard, S.C.

    1988-09-01

    A public inquiry has been set up to examine the planning application made by the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) for the construction of a 1200 MW Pressurized Water Reactor power station at Hinkley Point (Hinkley Point ''C'') in the United Kingdom. This evidence to the Inquiry sets out and explains the non-fossil fuel options, with particular reference to renewable energy sources and other PWR locations; gives feasibility, capital cost, performance and total resource estimates for the renewable sources; and shows that no other non-fossil fuel source is to be preferred to Hinkley Point ''C''. (author)

  3. Ancient feeding ecology inferred from stable isotopic evidence from fossil horses in South America over the past 3 Ma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberdi María T

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Stable isotope ratios (13C/12C and 18O/16O in fossil teeth and bone provide key archives for understanding the ecology of extinct horses during the Plio-Pleistocene in South America; however, what happened in areas of sympatry between Equus (Amerhippus and Hippidion is less understood. Results Here, we use stable carbon and oxygen isotopes preserved in 67 fossil tooth and bone samples for seven species of horses from 25 different localities to document the magnitude of the dietary shifts of horses and ancient floral change during the Plio-Pleistocene. Dietary reconstructions inferred from stable isotopes of both genera of horses present in South America document dietary separation and environmental changes in ancient ecosystems, including C3/C4 transitions. Stable isotope data demonstrate changes in C4 grass consumption, inter-species dietary partitioning and variation in isotopic niche breadth of mixed feeders with latitudinal gradient. Conclusions The data for Hippidion indicate a preference varying from C3 plants to mixed C3-C4 plants in their diet. Equus (Amerhippus shows three different patterns of dietary partitioning Equus (A. neogeus from the province of Buenos Aires indicate a preference for C3 plants in the diet. Equus (A. andium from Ecuador and Equus (A. insulatus from Bolivia show a preference for to a diet of mixed C3-C4 plants, while Equus (A. santaeelenae from La Carolina (sea level of Ecuador and Brazil are mostly C4 feeders. These results confirm that ancient feeding ecology cannot always be inferred from dental morphology. While the carbon isotope composition of horses skeletal material decreased as latitude increased, we found evidence of boundary between a mixed C3/C4 diet signal and a pure C4 signal around 32° S and a change from a mixed diet signal to an exclusively C3 signal around 35°S. We found that the horses living at high altitudes and at low to middle latitude still have a C4 component in their

  4. Bioplastics from feather quill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ullah, Aman; Vasanthan, Thavaratnam; Bressler, David; Elias, Anastasia L; Wu, Jianping

    2011-10-10

    Poultry feather quills have been extruded in a twin screw extruder with sodium sulfite treatment as a reducing agent. The effect of four different plasticizers (ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, glycerol, and diethyl tartrate) on the thermoplastic properties was then investigated. Conformational changes and plasticizer-protein interactions in the extruded resins were assessed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), while viscoelastic behavior of the quill keratin plasticized with different plasticizers was investigated by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to determine the effect of different plasticizers on protein denaturation. Thermal degradation patterns of the extrudates were studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The effect of plasticizers on the mechanical properties of resins was also assessed by tensile strength measurements. Results indicated that ethylene glycol was able to interact more effectively with quill keratin at the molecular level, exhibiting only one sharp glass transition, better mechanical properties, and higher transparency compared to other plasticized resins. The two phases found in glycerol plasticized material were attributed to glycerol-rich and protein-rich zones. Propylene glycol and diethyl tartrate exhibited lower H-bonding interactions and showed wide transition regions in DMA profiles during heating, suggesting weak and heterogeneous interactions between quill keratin and these plasticizers.

  5. parasitised feathered dinosaurs as revealed by Cretaceous amber assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñalver, Enrique; Arillo, Antonio; Delclòs, Xavier; Peris, David; Grimaldi, David A; Anderson, Scott R; Nascimbene, Paul C; Pérez-de la Fuente, Ricardo

    2017-12-12

    Ticks are currently among the most prevalent blood-feeding ectoparasites, but their feeding habits and hosts in deep time have long remained speculative. Here, we report direct and indirect evidence in 99 million-year-old Cretaceous amber showing that hard ticks and ticks of the extinct new family Deinocrotonidae fed on blood from feathered dinosaurs, non-avialan or avialan excluding crown-group birds. A †Cornupalpatum burmanicum hard tick is entangled in a pennaceous feather. Two deinocrotonids described as †Deinocroton draculi gen. et sp. nov. have specialised setae from dermestid beetle larvae (hastisetae) attached to their bodies, likely indicating cohabitation in a feathered dinosaur nest. A third conspecific specimen is blood-engorged, its anatomical features suggesting that deinocrotonids fed rapidly to engorgement and had multiple gonotrophic cycles. These findings provide insight into early tick evolution and ecology, and shed light on poorly known arthropod-vertebrate interactions and potential disease transmission during the Mesozoic.

  6. Fossil Fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with fossil fuels. Some topics covered are historic facts, development of fuels, history of oil production, current and future trends of the oil industry, refining fossil fuels, and environmental problems. Material in each unit may…

  7. The effect of fossil energy and other environmental taxes on profit incentives for change in an open economy: Evidence from the UK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Webster, Allan; Ayatakshi, Sukanya

    2013-01-01

    This paper argues that the underlying supply and demand analysis of fossil energy and other environmental taxes needs further elaboration when a country (a) introduces national fossil energy or environmental taxes and (b) is open to international trade at given world prices. We provide evidence that such conditions are plausible for many sectors in the UK. A key implication is that the short run effects of such taxes should not be felt in final good prices, since these are determined in world markets, but in terms of underlying profitability. These changes in underlying profits provide two key incentives for producers—to change to more environmentally friendly production techniques and to switch resources to production of less environmentally harmful goods. Using input—output techniques we provide evidence for the UK to show how existing fossil energy and other “green” taxes have affected underlying profitability. The evidence shows quite strong profit incentives to shift resources from a small number of energy intensive industries to others. - Highlights: • Energy taxes affect profits more than prices for sectors trading at world prices. • This study suggests that many sectors in the UK satisfy these conditions. • Our evidence suggests that few sectors are strongly affected by energy taxes. • Energy taxes have a strong effect relative to other possible environmental taxes

  8. Feather development genes and associated regulatory innovation predate the origin of Dinosauria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Craig B; Clarke, Julia A; Baker, Allan J; Haussler, David; Edwards, Scott V

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of avian feathers has recently been illuminated by fossils and the identification of genes involved in feather patterning and morphogenesis. However, molecular studies have focused mainly on protein-coding genes. Using comparative genomics and more than 600,000 conserved regulatory elements, we show that patterns of genome evolution in the vicinity of feather genes are consistent with a major role for regulatory innovation in the evolution of feathers. Rates of innovation at feather regulatory elements exhibit an extended period of innovation with peaks in the ancestors of amniotes and archosaurs. We estimate that 86% of such regulatory elements and 100% of the nonkeratin feather gene set were present prior to the origin of Dinosauria. On the branch leading to modern birds, we detect a strong signal of regulatory innovation near insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) 2 and IGFBP5, which have roles in body size reduction, and may represent a genomic signature for the miniaturization of dinosaurian body size preceding the origin of flight. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  9. Does feather corticosterone reflect individual quality or external stress in arctic-nesting migratory birds?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Legagneux

    Full Text Available The effects of environmental perturbations or stressors on individual states can be carried over to subsequent life stages and ultimately affect survival and reproduction. The concentration of corticosterone (CORT in feathers is an integrated measure of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity during the molting period, providing information on the total baseline and stress-induced CORT secreted during the period of feather growth. Common eiders and greater snow geese replace all flight feathers once a year during the pre-basic molt, which occurs following breeding. Thus, CORT contained in feathers of pre-breeding individuals sampled in spring reflects the total CORT secreted during the previous molting event, which may provide insight into the magnitude or extent of stress experienced during this time period. We used data from multiple recaptures to disentangle the contribution of individual quality vs. external factors (i.e., breeding investment or environmental conditions on feather CORT in arctic-nesting waterfowl. Our results revealed no repeatability of feather CORT within individuals of either species. In common eiders, feather CORT was not affected by prior reproductive investment, nor by pre-breeding (spring body condition prior to the molting period. Individual feather CORT greatly varied according to the year, and August-September temperatures explained most of the annual variation in feather CORT. Understanding mechanisms that affect energetic costs and stress responses during molting will require further studies either using long-term data or experiments. Although our study period encompassed only five years, it nonetheless provides evidence that CORT measured in feathers likely reflects responses to environmental conditions experienced by birds during molt, and could be used as a metric to study carry-over effects.

  10. Does feather corticosterone reflect individual quality or external stress in arctic-nesting migratory birds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legagneux, Pierre; Harms, N Jane; Gauthier, Gilles; Chastel, Olivier; Gilchrist, H Grant; Bortolotti, Gary; Bêty, Joël; Soos, Catherine

    2013-01-01

    The effects of environmental perturbations or stressors on individual states can be carried over to subsequent life stages and ultimately affect survival and reproduction. The concentration of corticosterone (CORT) in feathers is an integrated measure of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity during the molting period, providing information on the total baseline and stress-induced CORT secreted during the period of feather growth. Common eiders and greater snow geese replace all flight feathers once a year during the pre-basic molt, which occurs following breeding. Thus, CORT contained in feathers of pre-breeding individuals sampled in spring reflects the total CORT secreted during the previous molting event, which may provide insight into the magnitude or extent of stress experienced during this time period. We used data from multiple recaptures to disentangle the contribution of individual quality vs. external factors (i.e., breeding investment or environmental conditions) on feather CORT in arctic-nesting waterfowl. Our results revealed no repeatability of feather CORT within individuals of either species. In common eiders, feather CORT was not affected by prior reproductive investment, nor by pre-breeding (spring) body condition prior to the molting period. Individual feather CORT greatly varied according to the year, and August-September temperatures explained most of the annual variation in feather CORT. Understanding mechanisms that affect energetic costs and stress responses during molting will require further studies either using long-term data or experiments. Although our study period encompassed only five years, it nonetheless provides evidence that CORT measured in feathers likely reflects responses to environmental conditions experienced by birds during molt, and could be used as a metric to study carry-over effects.

  11. A trade-off between reproduction and feather growth in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Saino

    Full Text Available Physiological trade-offs mediated by limiting energy, resources or time constrain the simultaneous expression of major functions and can lead to the evolution of temporal separation between demanding activities. In birds, plumage renewal is a demanding activity, which accomplishes fundamental functions, such as allowing thermal insulation, aerodynamics and socio-sexual signaling. Feather renewal is a very expensive and disabling process, and molt is often partitioned from breeding and migration. However, trade-offs between feather renewal and breeding have been only sparsely studied. In barn swallows (Hirundo rustica breeding in Italy and undergoing molt during wintering in sub-Saharan Africa, we studied this trade-off by removing a tail feather from a large sample of individuals and analyzing growth bar width, reflecting feather growth rate, and length of the growing replacement feather in relation to the stage in the breeding cycle at removal and clutch size. Growth bar width of females and length of the growing replacement feather of both sexes were smaller when the original feather had been removed after clutch initiation. Importantly, in females both growth bar width and replacement feather length were negatively predicted by clutch size, and more strongly so for large clutches and when feather removal occurred immediately after clutch completion. Hence, we found strong, coherent evidence for a trade-off between reproduction, and laying effort in particular, and the ability to generate new feathers. These results support the hypothesis that the derived condition of molting during wintering in long-distance migrants is maintained by the costs of overlapping breeding and molt.

  12. Melanosome evolution indicates a key physiological shift within feathered dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Quanguo; Clarke, Julia A; Gao, Ke-Qin; Zhou, Chang-Fu; Meng, Qingjin; Li, Daliang; D'Alba, Liliana; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2014-03-20

    Inference of colour patterning in extinct dinosaurs has been based on the relationship between the morphology of melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) and colour in extant bird feathers. When this relationship evolved relative to the origin of feathers and other novel integumentary structures, such as hair and filamentous body covering in extinct archosaurs, has not been evaluated. Here we sample melanosomes from the integument of 181 extant amniote taxa and 13 lizard, turtle, dinosaur and pterosaur fossils from the Upper-Jurassic and Lower-Cretaceous of China. We find that in the lineage leading to birds, the observed increase in the diversity of melanosome morphologies appears abruptly, near the origin of pinnate feathers in maniraptoran dinosaurs. Similarly, mammals show an increased diversity of melanosome form compared to all ectothermic amniotes. In these two clades, mammals and maniraptoran dinosaurs including birds, melanosome form and colour are linked and colour reconstruction may be possible. By contrast, melanosomes in lizard, turtle and crocodilian skin, as well as the archosaurian filamentous body coverings (dinosaur 'protofeathers' and pterosaur 'pycnofibres'), show a limited diversity of form that is uncorrelated with colour in extant taxa. These patterns may be explained by convergent changes in the key melanocortin system of mammals and birds, which is known to affect pleiotropically both melanin-based colouration and energetic processes such as metabolic rate in vertebrates, and may therefore support a significant physiological shift in maniraptoran dinosaurs.

  13. Analysis of severe feather pecking behavior in a high feather pecking selection line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Labouriau, R; Kjaer, J B; Abreu, G C G

    2009-01-01

    Even though feather pecking (FP) in laying hens has been extensively studied, a good solution to prevent chickens from this behavior under commercial circumstances has not been found. Selection against FP behavior is possible, but for a more effective selection across different populations......, it is necessary to characterize the genetic mechanism associated with this behavior. In this study, we use a high FP selection line, which has been selected for 8 generations. We present evidence of the presence of a major dominant allele affecting the FP behavior by using an argument based on the presence...

  14. Keratin based bioplastic film from chicken feathers and its characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramakrishnan, Navina; Sharma, Swati; Gupta, Arun; Alashwal, Basma Yahya

    2018-05-01

    Plastics have been one of the highly valued materials and it plays an significant role in human's life such as in food packaging and biomedical applications. Bioplastic materials can gradually work as a substitute for various materials based on fossil oil. The issue like sustainability and environmental challenges which occur due to manufacturing and disposal of synthetic plastics can be conquering by bio-based plastics. Feathers are among the most inexpensive abundant, and renewable protein sources. Feathers disposal to the landfills leads to environmental pollutions and it results into wastage of 90% of protein raw material. Keratin is non-burning hydrophilic, and biodegradable due to which it can be applicable in various ways via chemical processing. Main objective of this research is to synthesis bioplastic using keratin from chicken feathers. Extracted keratin solution mixed with different concentration of glycerol (2 to 10%) to produce plastic films. The mixture was stirred under constant magnetic stirring at 60 °C for 5 h. The mixtures are then poured into aluminum weighing boat and dried in an oven at 60 °C for 24 h. The mechanical properties of the samples were tested and the physic-chemical properties of the bioplastic were studied. According to the results, Scanning Electron Microscopy test showed good compatible morphologies without holes, cavity and edge. The difference in chemical composition was analyzed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The samples were also characterized by thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-Ray diffraction (XRD) to check the thermal and crystallinity properties. Other than that, bioplastic made up from keratin with 2% of glycerol has the best mechanical and thermal properties. According to biodegradability test, all bioplastic produced are proven biodegradable. Therefore, the results showed possible application of the film as an alternative to fossil oil

  15. Wildfire Activity Across the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary in the Polish Basin: Evidence from New Fossil Charcoal & Carbon-isotope Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pointer, R.; Belcher, C.; Hesselbo, S. P.; Hodbod, M.; Pieńkowski, G.

    2017-12-01

    New fossil charcoal abundance and carbon-isotope data from two sedimentary cores provide new evidence of extreme environmental conditions in the Polish Basin during the Latest Triassic to Earliest Jurassic. Sedimentary cores from the Polish Basin provide an excellent record of terrestrial environmental conditions across the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary, a time of climatic extremes. Previous work has shown that the marine realm was affected by a large perturbation to the carbon cycle across the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary (manifested by large negative and positive carbon-isotope excursions) and limited records of charcoal abundance and organic geochemistry have indicated important changes in fire regime in the coeval ecosystems. Here we present two new carbon-isotope records generated from fossil plant matter across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, and present new charcoal records. The charcoal abundance data confirm that there was variation in wildfire activity during the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic in the Polish Basin. Peaks in the number of fossil charcoal fragments present occur in both sedimentary cores, and increases in fossil charcoal abundance are linked to wildfires, signalling a short-lived rise in wildfire activity. Fossil charcoal abundance does not appear to be fully controlled by total organic matter content, depositional environment or bioturbation. We argue that increased wildfire activity is likely caused by an increase in ignition of plant material as a result of an elevated number of lightning strikes. Global warming (caused by a massive input of carbon into the atmosphere, as indicated by carbon-isotope data) can increase storm activity, leading to increased numbers of lightning strikes. Previous Triassic-Jurassic Boundary wildfire studies have found fossil charcoal abundance peaks at other northern hemisphere sites (Denmark & Greenland), and concluded that they represent increases in wildfire activity in the earliest Jurassic. Our new charcoal and

  16. Applying chemical stimuli on feathers to reduce feather pecking in laying hens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harlander Matauschek, A.; Rodenburg, T.B.

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that spraying a distasteful substance (quinine) on a bird's feather cover reduced short-term feather pecking. The present experiment evaluated if other substances offer similar or better protection against feather pecking. One hundred and twenty birds were divided into 12

  17. Direct evidence of megamammal-carnivore interaction decoded from bone marks in historical fossil collections from the Pampean region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karina Vanesa Chichkoyan

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Pleistocene South American megafauna has traditionally attracted the interest of scientists and the popular media alike. However, ecological interactions between the species that inhabited these ecosystems, such as predator-prey relationships or interspecific competition, are poorly known. To this regard, carnivore marks imprinted on the fossil bones of megamammal remains are very useful for deciphering biological activity and, hence, potential interspecific relationships among taxa. In this article, we study historical fossil collections housed in different European and Argentinean museums that were excavated during the 19th and early 20th centuries in the Pampean region, Argentina, in order to detect carnivore marks on bones of megamammals and provide crucial information on the ecological relationships between South American taxa during the Pleistocene. Our results indicate that the long bones of megafauna from the Pampean region (e.g., the Mylodontidae and Toxodontidae families exhibit carnivore marks. Furthermore, long bones of medium-sized species and indeterminate bones also present punctures, pits, scores and fractures. Members of the large-carnivore guild, such as ursids, canids and even felids, are recognised as the main agents that inflicted the marks. We hypothesize that the analysed carnivore marks represent the last stages of megaherbivore carcass exploitation, suggesting full consumption of these animals by the same or multiple taxa in a hunting and/or scavenging scenario. Moreover, our observations provide novel insights that help further our understanding of the palaeoecological relationships of these unique communities of megamammals.

  18. J0454-0309: evidence of a strong lensing fossil group falling into a poor galaxy cluster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirmer, M.; Suyu, S.; Schrabback, T.; Hildebrandt, H.; Erben, T.; Halkola, A.

    2010-05-01

    Aims: We have discovered a strong lensing fossil group (J0454) projected near the well-studied cluster MS0451-0305. Using the large amount of available archival data, we compare J0454 to normal groups and clusters. A highly asymmetric image configuration of the strong lens enables us to study the substructure of the system. Methods: We used multicolour Subaru/Suprime-Cam and CFHT/Megaprime imaging, together with Keck spectroscopy to identify member galaxies. A VLT/FORS2 spectrum was taken to determine the redshifts of the brightest elliptical and the lensed arc. Using HST/ACS images, we determined the group's weak lensing signal and modelled the strong lens system. This is the first time that a fossil group is analysed with lensing methods. The X-ray luminosity and temperature were derived from XMM-Newton data. Results: J0454 is located at z = 0.26, with a gap of 2.5 mag between the brightest and second brightest galaxies within half the virial radius. Outside a radius of 1.5 Mpc, we find two filaments extending over 4 Mpc, and within we identify 31 members spectroscopically and 33 via the red sequence with i systems, a sparse cluster and an infalling fossil group, where the latter seeds the brightest cluster galaxy. An alternative to the sparse cluster could be a filament projected along the line of sight mimicking a cluster, with galaxies streaming towards the fossil group. This work is based on data collected at the Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan; based on observations obtained with MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of CFHT and CEA/DAPNIA, at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France, and the University of Hawaii; based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla and Paranal Observatories, Chile (ESO DDT

  19. Fossil mice and rats show isotopic evidence of niche partitioning and change in dental ecomorphology related to dietary shift in Late Miocene of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Yuri; Jacobs, Louis L; Cerling, Thure E; Uno, Kevin T; Ferguson, Kurt M; Flynn, Lawrence J; Patnaik, Rajeev

    2013-01-01

    Stable carbon isotope analysis in tooth enamel is a well-established approach to infer C3 and C4 dietary composition in fossil mammals. The bulk of past work has been conducted on large herbivorous mammals. One important finding is that their dietary habits of fossil large mammals track the late Miocene ecological shift from C3 forest and woodland to C4 savannah. However, few studies on carbon isotopes of fossil small mammals exist due to limitations imposed by the size of rodent teeth, and the isotopic ecological and dietary behaviors of small mammals to climate change remain unknown. Here we evaluate the impact of ecological change on small mammals by fine-scale comparisons of carbon isotope ratios (δ(13)C) with dental morphology of murine rodents, spanning 13.8 to ∼2.0 Ma, across the C3 to C4 vegetation shift in the Miocene Siwalik sequence of Pakistan. We applied in-situ laser ablation GC-IRMS to lower first molars and measured two grazing indices on upper first molars. Murine rodents yield a distinct, but related, record of past ecological conditions from large herbivorous mammals, reflecting available foods in their much smaller home ranges. In general, larger murine species show more positive δ(13)C values and have higher grazing indices than smaller species inhabiting the same area at any given age. Two clades of murine rodents experienced different rates of morphological change. In the faster-evolving clade, the timing and trend of morphological innovations are closely tied to consumption of C4 diet during the vegetation shift. This study provides quantitative evidence of linkages among diet, niche partitioning, and dental morphology at a more detailed level than previously possible.

  20. Fossil Mice and Rats Show Isotopic Evidence of Niche Partitioning and Change in Dental Ecomorphology Related to Dietary Shift in Late Miocene of Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Yuri; Jacobs, Louis L.; Cerling, Thure E.; Uno, Kevin T.; Ferguson, Kurt M.; Flynn, Lawrence J.; Patnaik, Rajeev

    2013-01-01

    Stable carbon isotope analysis in tooth enamel is a well-established approach to infer C3 and C4 dietary composition in fossil mammals. The bulk of past work has been conducted on large herbivorous mammals. One important finding is that their dietary habits of fossil large mammals track the late Miocene ecological shift from C3 forest and woodland to C4 savannah. However, few studies on carbon isotopes of fossil small mammals exist due to limitations imposed by the size of rodent teeth, and the isotopic ecological and dietary behaviors of small mammals to climate change remain unknown. Here we evaluate the impact of ecological change on small mammals by fine-scale comparisons of carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) with dental morphology of murine rodents, spanning 13.8 to ∼2.0 Ma, across the C3 to C4 vegetation shift in the Miocene Siwalik sequence of Pakistan. We applied in-situ laser ablation GC-IRMS to lower first molars and measured two grazing indices on upper first molars. Murine rodents yield a distinct, but related, record of past ecological conditions from large herbivorous mammals, reflecting available foods in their much smaller home ranges. In general, larger murine species show more positive δ13C values and have higher grazing indices than smaller species inhabiting the same area at any given age. Two clades of murine rodents experienced different rates of morphological change. In the faster-evolving clade, the timing and trend of morphological innovations are closely tied to consumption of C4 diet during the vegetation shift. This study provides quantitative evidence of linkages among diet, niche partitioning, and dental morphology at a more detailed level than previously possible. PMID:23936324

  1. Fossil mice and rats show isotopic evidence of niche partitioning and change in dental ecomorphology related to dietary shift in Late Miocene of Pakistan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri Kimura

    Full Text Available Stable carbon isotope analysis in tooth enamel is a well-established approach to infer C3 and C4 dietary composition in fossil mammals. The bulk of past work has been conducted on large herbivorous mammals. One important finding is that their dietary habits of fossil large mammals track the late Miocene ecological shift from C3 forest and woodland to C4 savannah. However, few studies on carbon isotopes of fossil small mammals exist due to limitations imposed by the size of rodent teeth, and the isotopic ecological and dietary behaviors of small mammals to climate change remain unknown. Here we evaluate the impact of ecological change on small mammals by fine-scale comparisons of carbon isotope ratios (δ(13C with dental morphology of murine rodents, spanning 13.8 to ∼2.0 Ma, across the C3 to C4 vegetation shift in the Miocene Siwalik sequence of Pakistan. We applied in-situ laser ablation GC-IRMS to lower first molars and measured two grazing indices on upper first molars. Murine rodents yield a distinct, but related, record of past ecological conditions from large herbivorous mammals, reflecting available foods in their much smaller home ranges. In general, larger murine species show more positive δ(13C values and have higher grazing indices than smaller species inhabiting the same area at any given age. Two clades of murine rodents experienced different rates of morphological change. In the faster-evolving clade, the timing and trend of morphological innovations are closely tied to consumption of C4 diet during the vegetation shift. This study provides quantitative evidence of linkages among diet, niche partitioning, and dental morphology at a more detailed level than previously possible.

  2. Low palaeoelevation of the northern Lhasa terrane during late Eocene: Fossil foraminifera and stable isotope evidence from the Gerze Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Yi; Zhang, Kexin; Garzione, Carmala N; Xu, Yadong; Song, Bowen; Ji, Junliang

    2016-06-08

    The Lhasa terrane is a key region for understanding the paleoelevation of the southern Tibetan Plateau after India-Asia collision. The Gerze Basin, located in the northern part of the Lhasa terrane, is a shortening-related basin. We discovered Lagena laevis (Bandy) fossils in upper Eocene strata of the Gerze Basin. This type of foraminifera is associated with lagoon and estuarine environments, indicating that the northern part of the Lhasa terrane was near sea level during the late Eocene. We speculate that these foraminifera were transported inland by storm surges to low elevation freshwater lakes during times of marine transgressions. This inference is consistent with the relatively positive δ(18)O values in carbonate from the same deposits that indicate low palaeoelevations close to sea level. Considering the palaeoelevation results from the nearby Oligocene basins at a similar latitude and the volcanic history of the Lhasa terrane, we infer that large-magnitude surface uplift of the northern Lhasa terrane occurred between late Eocene and late Oligocene time.

  3. Are melanized feather barbs stronger?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Michael; Johnson, Amy S

    2004-01-01

    Melanin has been associated with increased resistance to abrasion, decreased wear and lowered barb breakage in feathers. But, this association was inferred without considering barb position along the rachis as a potentially confounding variable. We examined the cross-sectional area, breaking force, breaking stress, breaking strain and toughness of melanized and unmelanized barbs along the entire rachis of a primary feather from an osprey (Pandion haliaetus). Although breaking force was higher for melanized barbs, breaking stress (force divided by cross-sectional area) was greater for unmelanized barbs. But when position was considered, all mechanical differences between melanized and unmelanized barbs disappeared. Barb breaking stress, breaking strain and toughness decreased, and breaking stiffness increased, distally along the rachis. These proximal-distal material property changes are small and seem unlikely to affect flight performance of barbs. Our observations of barb bending, breaking and morphology, however, lead us to propose a design principle for barbs. We propose that, by being thicker-walled dorso-ventrally, the barb's flexural stiffness is increased during flight; but, by allowing for twisting when loaded with dangerously high forces, barbs firstly avoid failure by bending and secondly avoid complete failure by buckling rather than rupturing.

  4. Kingfisher feathers - colouration by pigments, spongy nanostructures and thin films

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stavenga, Doekele G.; Tinbergen, Jan; Leertouwer, Hein L.; Wilts, Bodo D.

    2011-01-01

    The colours of the common kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, reside in the barbs of the three main types of feather: the orange breast feathers, the cyan back feathers and the blue tail feathers. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the orange barbs contain small pigment granules. The cyan and blue

  5. Preliminary study on chicken feather protein-based wood adhesives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehui Jiang; Daochun Qin; Chung-Yun Hse; Monlin Kuo; Zhaohui Luo; Ge Wang; Yan Yu

    2008-01-01

    The objective of this preliminary study was to partially replace phenol in the synthesis of phenol-formaldehyde resin with feather protein. Feather protein–based resins, which contained one part feather protein and two parts phenol, were formulated under the conditions of two feather protein hydrolysis methods (with and without presence of phenol during...

  6. The dinosaurian origin of feathers: perspectives from dolphin (Cetacea) collagen fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingham-Soliar, Theagarten

    2003-12-01

    The early origin of birds is a hotly disputed debate and may be broadly framed as a conflict between paleontologists and ornithologists. The paleontological emphasis has shifted from Archaeopteryx and its origins to recent finds of Cretaceous birds and "feathered" dinosaurs from China. The identification of alleged feathers has, however, relied principally on the visual image. Some workers have interpreted these integumentary structures as collagen fibers. To test the latter hypothesis, using light microscopy, collagen from the hypodermis (blubber) and subdermal connective tissue sheath was examined from a dolphin that had been buried for a year as part of an experiment. Within the blubber, toward the central thicker parts of the material, the collagen fibers had compacted and the three-dimensional latticework of normal blubber had more or less collapsed. Chromatographic analysis of the blubber revealed pronounced oxidation of the unsaturated lipids, probably accounting for the collapse of the latticework. Fibers normally bound together in bundles became separated into individual fibers or smaller bundles by degradation of the glue-like substance binding them together. These degraded collagen fibers show, in many instances, feather-like patterns, strikingly reminiscent of many of those identified as either "protofeathers" or "modern" feathers in dromaeosaurid dinosaurs. The findings throw serious doubt on the virtually complete reliance on visual image by supporters of the feathered dinosaur thesis and emphasize the need for more rigorous methods of identification using modern feathers as a frame of reference. Since collagen is the main fiber type found in most supporting tissues, the results have wide implications regarding the degradation and fossilization of vertebrate integument, such as that of the ichthyosaurs, dinosaurs and birds.

  7. Feather eating and its associations with plumage damage and feathers on the floor in commercial farms of laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch; Hinrichsen, Lena Karina

    2016-01-01

    Feather eating has been associated with feather pecking, which continues to pose economic and welfare problems in egg production. Knowledge on feather eating is limited and studies of feather eating in commercial flocks of laying hens have not been performed previously. Therefore, the main object...

  8. On the uniqueness of color patterns in raptor feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, D.H.

    2009-01-01

    For this study, I compared sequentially molted feathers for a few captive raptors from year to year and symmetrically matched feathers (left/right pairs) for many raptors to see if color patterns of sequential feather pairs were identical or if symmetrical pairs were mirror-image identical. Feather pairs were found to be identical only when without color pattern (e.g., the all-white rectrices of Bald Eagles [Haliaeetus leucocephalus]). Complex patterns were not closely matched, but some simple patterns were sometimes closely matched, although not identical. Previous claims that complex color patterns in feather pairs are fingerprint-identical (and therefore that molted feathers from wild raptors can be used to identify breeding adults from year to year with certainty) were found to be untrue: each feather is unique. Although it is unwise to be certain of bird of origin using normal feathers, abnormal feathers can often be so used. ?? 2009 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  9. Lead accumulation in feathers of nestling black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) experimentally treated in the field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golden, N.H.; Rattner, B.A.; Cohen, J.B.; Hoffman, D.J.; Russek-Cohen, E.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2003-01-01

    Although lead can attain high concentrations in feathers, interpretation of the biological significance of this phenomenon is difficult. As part of an effort to develop and validate non-invasive methods to monitor contaminant exposure in free-ranging birds, lead uptake by feathers of nestling black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) was evaluated in a controlled exposure study. Four to six day-old heron nestlings (one/nest) at Chincoteague Bay, Virginia, received a single intraperitoneal injection of dosing vehicle (control; n=7) or a dose of lead nitrate in water (0.01, 0.05, or 0.25 mg Pb/g body weight of nestling; n=6 or 7/dose) chosen to yield feather lead concentrations found at low to moderately polluted sites. Nestlings were euthanized at 15 days of age. Lead accumulation in feathers was associated with concentrations in bone, kidney, and liver (r = 0.32 - 0.74, p feather lead concentration. Culmen growth rate was depressed in nestlings treated with the highest dose of lead, but not correlated with feather lead concentration. These findings provide evidence that feathers of nestling herons are a sensitive indicator of lead exposure and have potential application for the extrapolation of lead concentrations in other tissues and the estimation of environmental lead exposure in birds.

  10. Lead accumulation in feathers of nestling black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) experimentally treated in the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golden, Nancy H; Rattner, Barnett A; Cohen, Jonathan B; Hoffman, David J; Russek-Cohen, Estelle; Ottinger, Mary Ann

    2003-07-01

    Although lead can attain high concentrations in feathers, interpretation of the biological significance of this phenomenon is difficult. As part of an effort to develop and validate noninvasive methods to monitor contaminant exposure in free-ranging birds, lead uptake by feathers of nestling black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) was evaluated in a controlled exposure study. Four- to 6-d-old heron nestlings (one/nest) at Chincoteague Bay, Virginia (USA), received a single intraperitoneal injection of dosing vehicle (control, n = 7) or a dose of lead nitrate in water (0.01, 0.05, or 0.25 mg Pb/g body wt of nestling; n = 6 or 7/dose) chosen to yield feather lead concentrations found at low- to moderately polluted sites. Nestlings were euthanized at 15 d of age. Lead accumulation in feathers was associated with concentrations in bone, kidney, and liver (r = 0.32-0.74, p feather lead concentration. Culmen growth rate was depressed in nestlings treated with the highest dose of lead but not correlated with feather lead concentration. These findings provide evidence that feathers of nestling herons are a sensitive indicator of lead exposure and have potential application for the extrapolation of lead concentrations in other tissues and the estimation of environmental lead exposure in birds.

  11. Using an alternate light source to detect electrically singed feathers and hair in a forensic setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viner, Tabitha C; Kagan, Rebecca A; Johnson, Jennifer L

    2014-01-01

    Mortality due to electrical injury in wildlife may occur in the form of lightning strike or power line contact. Evidence of electrical contact may be grossly obvious, with extensive singeing, curling, and blackening of feathers, fur, or skin. Occasionally, changes may be subtle, owing to lower current or reduced conductivity, making a definitive diagnosis of electrocution more difficult. We describe the use of an alternate light source in the examination of cases of lightning strike and power line contact in wildlife, and the enhanced detection of changes due to electrical currents in the hair and feathers of affected animals. Subtle changes in the wing feathers of 12 snow geese and 1 wolf that were struck by separate lightning events were made obvious by the use of an alternate light source. Similarly, this technique can be used to strengthen the evidence for power line exposure in birds. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  12. Hinkley Point 'C' power station public inquiry: proof of evidence on the need for Hinkley Point 'C' to help meet capacity requirement and the non-fossil-fuel proportion economically

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jenkin, F.P.

    1988-09-01

    A public inquiry has been set up to examine the planning application made by the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) for the construction of a 1200 MW Pressurized Water Reactor power station at Hinkley Point (Hinkley Point ''C'') in the United Kingdom. The purpose of this evidence to the Inquiry is to show why there is a need now to go ahead with the construction of Hinkley Point ''C'' generating station to help meet the non-fossil-fuel proportion of generation economically and also to help meet future generating capacity requirement. The CEGB submits that it is appropriate to compare Hinkley Point ''C'' with other non-fossil-fuel alternatives under various bases. Those dealt with by this proof of evidence are as follows: i) ability to contribute to capacity need and in assisting the distribution companies to meet their duty to supply electricity; ii) ability to contribute to the non-fossil-fuel proportion; iii) relative economic merit. (author)

  13. Low chronic doses impact on activity and component composition of oxidizing enzymes and dehydrogenates and feather-crass DNA structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarsenbaev, K.N.; Sarsembeva, M.; Ajdosova, S.S.; Zaka, R.; Misset, M.

    2005-01-01

    The paper is dedicated to study of nuclear explosion effects to morphological, biochemical and genetic properties of dominant plant of the STS - feather-grass. The cited data are evidence of birth of new genotypes having effective enzymatic anti-oxidative system and genes that coordinated them. It is result of the feather-grass growing during 40 years under conditions of chronic radiation. (author)

  14. The fearful feather pecker : applying the principles to practice to prevent feather pecking in laying hens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haas, de E.N.

    2014-01-01

    Billions of laying hens are kept worldwide. Severe feather pecking (SFP) is a behaviour which occurs with a high prevalence on commercial farms. SFP, the pecking and plucking of feathers of another bird, induces pain and stress and can ultimately lead to cannibalism. Moreover, SFP can occur if a

  15. Formulation of economical microbial feed using degraded chicken feathers by a novel Streptomyces sp: mitigation of environmental pollution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jayapradha Ramakrishnan

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available A new Streptomyces sp. IF 5 was isolated from the feather dumped soil and found to have a tremendous keratinase activity. The strain enabled the degradation of the chicken feathers very effectively in 60 h. The 16S rRNA sequence of 1474 bp long was submitted to the National centre for Biotechnological information. The keratinolytic activity in the culture medium was 1181 U/ml. The release and analyses of sulphydryl groups in the culture medium evident the degradation activity by the Streptomyces sp. IF 5. The idea of the present study was to use the degraded chicken feathers as the substrate for the growth and cultivation of microorganisms. We have designed a very economical culture medium that includes the usage of some basal salts alone and degraded chicken feathers (10 g/l. The results of the specific growth rate of the tested microbes confirm the usage of the new designed medium for microbial culturing.

  16. Isolation and characterization of feather degrading bacteria from ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    puchooa

    2012-09-04

    Sep 4, 2012 ... In Mauritius, the annual production of poultry meat is about 50,000 tonnes ... processing of feathers for the production of feather meal, instead of chemical ..... digestibility by bacterial keratinase as a feed additive. FASEB J.

  17. Purification and characterization of a keratinase from the feather ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yomi

    2012-01-31

    Jan 31, 2012 ... ... a keratinase from the feather-degrading cultures of Aspergillus flavipes ..... fumigatus (Santos et al., 1996) and A. oryzae (Bressollier et al., 1999). ..... composition and nitrogen characteristics of feather meal. Anim. Feed. Sci.

  18. Biogas Production from Citrus Wastes and Chicken Feather: Pretreatment and Codigestion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forgacs, Gergely

    2012-07-01

    Anaerobic digestion is a sustainable and economically feasible waste management technology, which lowers the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs), decreases the soil and water pollution, and reduces the dependence on fossil fuels. The present thesis investigates the anaerobic digestion of waste from food-processing industries, including citrus wastes (CWs) from juice processing and chicken feather from poultry slaughterhouses. Juice processing industries generate 15-25 million tons of citrus wastes every year. Utilization of CWs is not yet resolved, since drying or incineration processes are costly, due to the high moisture content; and biological processes are hindered by its peel oil content, primarily the D-limonene. Anaerobic digestion of untreated CWs consequently results in process failure because of the inhibiting effect of the produced and accumulated VFAs. The current thesis involves the development of a steam explosion pretreatment step. The methane yield increased by 426 % to 0.537 Nm{sup 3}/kg VS by employing the steam explosion treatment at 150 deg C for 20 min, which opened up the compact structure of the CWs and removed 94 % of the D-limonene. The developed process enables a production of 104 m{sup 3} methane and 8.4 L limonene from one ton of fresh CWs. Poultry slaughterhouses generate a significant amount of feather every year. Feathers are basically composed of keratin, an extremely strong and resistible structural protein. Methane yield from feather is low, around 0.18 Nm{sup 3}/kg VS, which corresponds to only one third of the theoretical yield. In the present study, chemical, enzymatic and biological pretreatment methods were investigated to improve the biogas yield of feather waste. Chemical pretreatment with Ca(OH){sub 2} under relatively mild conditions (0.1 g Ca(OH){sub 2}/g TS{sub feather}, 100 deg C, 30 min) improved the methane yield to 0.40 Nm{sup 3}/kg VS, corresponding to 80 % of the theoretical yield. However, prior to digestion, the

  19. Kingfisher feathers - colouration by pigments, spongy nanostructures and thin films

    OpenAIRE

    Stavenga, Doekele G.; Tinbergen, Jan; Leertouwer, Hein L.; Wilts, Bodo D.

    2011-01-01

    The colours of the common kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, reside in the barbs of the three main types of feather: the orange breast feathers, the cyan back feathers and the blue tail feathers. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the orange barbs contain small pigment granules. The cyan and blue barbs contain spongy nanostructures with slightly different dimensions, causing different reflectance spectra. Imaging scatterometry showed that the pigmented barbs create a diffuse orange scattering a...

  20. Feather eating and its associations with plumage damage and feathers on the floor in commercial farms of laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch; Hinrichsen, Lena Karina

    2016-01-01

    Feather eating has been associated with feather pecking, which continues to pose economic and welfare problems in egg production. Knowledge on feather eating is limited and studies of feather eating in commercial flocks of laying hens have not been performed previously. Therefore, the main...... objective was to investigate feather eating and its association with plumage damage and floor feather characteristics in commercial flocks of layers in barn and organic production systems. The study was performed in 13 flocks of barn layers and 17 flocks of organic layers. Each flock was visited at around.......3% in organic; P=0.99). Our hypothesis about a positive correlation between feather eating and plumage damage was not supported as no correlation was found between the prevalence of poor plumage condition and the prevalence of droppings with feather content. However, the prevalence of pecking damaged floor...

  1. Isolation and characterization of feather degrading bacteria from ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study is aimed at isolating and characterizing new culturable feather degrading bacteria from soils of the University of Mauritius Farm. Bacteria that were isolated were tested for their capability to grow on feather meal agar (FMA). Proteolytic bacteria were tested for feather degradation and were further identified ...

  2. Alternative fish feed production from waste chicken feathers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Jumini

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available In this This devotion has been done to provide education and training of the utilization of waste chicken manure, making flour chicken feathers as a fish feed alternative, that can overcome some of the problems that waste chicken feathers from the center cutting broiler chickens in the village Krasak enough, it causes pollution, and not used optimally; Low public awareness of awareness of environmental pollution; the lack of public knowledge about the utilization of waste chicken feathers, and processing technology, as well as to address the needs of fish feed more expensive, need alternative feed ingredients. This service program has provided insight to the public about waste chicken feathers so that it can be used as a new entrepreneurial startups. To achieve these objectives have been done of activity as follows: 1 Provide counseling and understanding of the community will be a negative impact on the environment of waste chicken feathers. 2 Provide counseling utilization of waste chicken feathers for people in nearby farms. 3 Make a chicken feather meal of chicken feather waste as an alternative fish feed to improve digestibility of chicken feathers. 3 The formation of the group for increasing the economic income of the family. This service activities program runs quite well with demonstrated some activity, namely: 1 Change Behavior Society (knowledge transfer; 2 Chicken Feather Extension Waste Utilization; 3 Making Unit Waste Chicken Feathers; 4 Establishment of New Business of Diversified Waste Chicken Feathers.

  3. Right-handed fossil humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano, Marina; Estalrrich, Almudena; Bondioli, Luca; Fiore, Ivana; Bermúdez de Castro, José-Maria; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Carbonell, Eudald; Rosas, Antonio; Frayer, David W

    2017-11-01

    Fossil hominids often processed material held between their upper and lower teeth. Pulling with one hand and cutting with the other, they occasionally left impact cut marks on the lip (labial) surface of their incisors and canines. From these actions, it possible to determine the dominant hand used. The frequency of these oblique striations in an array of fossil hominins documents the typically modern pattern of 9 right- to 1 left-hander. This ratio among living Homo sapiens differs from that among chimpanzees and bonobos and more distant primate relatives. Together, all studies of living people affirm that dominant right-handedness is a uniquely modern human trait. The same pattern extends deep into our past. Thus far, the majority of inferred right-handed fossils come from Europe, but a single maxilla from a Homo habilis, OH-65, shows a predominance of right oblique scratches, thus extending right-handedness into the early Pleistocene of Africa. Other studies show right-handedness in more recent African, Chinese, and Levantine fossils, but the sample compiled for non-European fossil specimens remains small. Fossil specimens from Sima del los Huesos and a variety of European Neandertal sites are predominately right-handed. We argue the 9:1 handedness ratio in Neandertals and the earlier inhabitants of Europe constitutes evidence for a modern pattern of handedness well before the appearance of modern Homo sapiens. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Three-dimensional morphometrics of thoracic vertebrae in Neandertals and the fossil evidence from El Sidrón (Asturias, Northern Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastir, Markus; García Martínez, Daniel; Rios, Luis; Higuero, Antonio; Barash, Alon; Martelli, Sandra; García Tabernero, Antonio; Estalrrich, Almudena; Huguet, Rosa; de la Rasilla, Marco; Rosas, Antonio

    2017-07-01

    Well preserved thoracic vertebrae of Neandertals are rare. However, such fossils are important as their three-dimensional (3D) spatial configuration can contribute to the understanding of the size and shape of the thoracic spine and the entire thorax. This is because the vertebral body and transverse processes provide the articulation and attachment sites for the ribs. Dorsal orientation of the transverse processes relative to the vertebral body also rotates the attached ribs in a way that could affect thorax width. Previous research indicates possible evidence for greater dorsal orientation of the transverse processes and small vertebral body heights in Neandertals, but their 3D vertebral structure has not yet been addressed. Here we present 15 new vertebral remains from the El Sidrón Neandertals (Asturias, Northern Spain) and used 3D geometric morphometrics to address the above issues by comparing two particularly well preserved El Sidrón remains (SD-1619, SD-1641) with thoracic vertebrae from other Neandertals and a sample of anatomically modern humans. Centroid sizes of El Sidrón vertebrae are within the human range. Neandertals have larger T1 and probably also T2. The El Sidrón vertebrae are similar in 3D shape to those of other Neandertals, which differ from Homo sapiens particularly in central-lower regions (T6-T10) of the thoracic spine. Differences include more dorsally and cranially oriented transverse processes, less caudally oriented spinous processes, and vertebral bodies that are anteroposteriorly and craniocaudally short. The results fit with current reconstructions of Neandertal thorax morphology. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Fault bars in bird feathers: mechanisms, and ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jovani, Roger; Rohwer, Sievert

    2017-05-01

    Fault bars are narrow malformations in feathers oriented almost perpendicular to the rachis where the feather vein and even the rachis may break. Breaks in the barbs and barbules result in small pieces of the feather vein being lost, while breaks in the rachis result in loss of the distal portion of the feather. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of 74 papers on fault bar formation in hopes of providing a clearer approach to their study. First, we review the evidence that the propensity to develop fault bars is modified by natural selection. Given that fault bars persist in the face of survival costs, we conclude that they must be an unfortunate consequence of some alternative adaptation that outweighs the fitness costs of fault bars. Second, we summarize evidence that the development of fault bars is triggered by psychological stress such as that of handling or predation attempts, and that they persist because the sudden contractions of the muscles in the feather follicle that control fright moults also causes the development of fault bars in growing feathers. Third, we review external and physiological (e.g. corticosterone) agents that may affect the likelihood that an acute stress will result in a growing feather exhibiting a fault bar. These modifying factors have often been treated as fundamental causes in the earlier literature on fault bars. Fourth, we then use this classification to propose a tentative model where fault bars of different severity (from light to severe) are the outcome of the interaction between the propensity to produce fault bars (which differs between species, individuals and feather follicles within individuals) and the intensity of the perturbation. This model helps to explain contradictory results in the literature, to identify gaps in our knowledge, and to suggest further studies. Lastly, we discuss ways in which better understanding of fault bars can inform us about other aspects of avian evolutionary ecology, such as the

  6. Premature feather loss among common tern chicks in Ontario: the return of an enigmatic developmental anomaly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M. Arnold

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available In July 2014, we observed premature feather loss (PFL among non-sibling, common tern Sterna hirundo chicks between two and four weeks of age at Gull Island in northern Lake Ontario, Canada. Rarely observed in wild birds, to our knowledge PFL has not been recorded in terns since 1974, despite the subsequent banding of hundreds of thousands of tern chicks across North America alone. The prevalence, 5% of chicks (9/167, and extent of feather loss we report is more extreme than in previous reports for common terns but was not accompanied by other aberrant developmental or physical deformities. Complete feather loss from all body areas (wing, tail, head and body occurred over a period of a few days but all affected chicks appeared vigorous and quickly began to grow replacement feathers. All but one chick (recovered dead and submitted for post-mortem most likely fledged 10–20 days after normal fledging age. We found no evidence of feather dystrophy or concurrent developmental abnormalities unusual among affected chicks. Thus, the PFL we observed among common terns in 2014 was largely of unknown origin. There was striking temporal association between the onset of PFL and persistent strong southwesterly winds that caused extensive mixing of near-shore surface water with cool, deep lake waters. One hypothesis is that PFL may have been caused by unidentified pathogens or toxins welling up from these deep waters along the shoreline but current data are insufficient to test this. PFL was not observed among common terns at Gull Island in 2015, although we did observe similar feather loss in a herring gull Larus argentatus chick in that year. Comparison with sporadic records of PFL in other seabirds suggests that PFL may be a rare, but non-specific, response to a range of potential stressors. PFL is now known for gulls, penguins and terns.

  7. Identification of shed or plucked origin of Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) tail feathers: preliminary findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahajpal, Vivek; Goyal, S P

    2008-06-01

    Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) tail covert feathers were studied to investigate the difference between shed and plucked feathers in the context of wildlife offence cases involving the killing of the Indian national bird for the purpose of plucking feathers. Plucked feathers were distinguished from shed feathers by examining their roots under low magnification of a stereoscopic microscope. A chemical test to show the presence of blood on the roots of plucked feathers was used to corroborate the plucked origin of feathers.

  8. Uranium concentration in fossils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Okano, J.; Uyeda, C.

    1988-01-01

    Recently it is known that fossil bones tend to accumulate uranium. The uranium concentration, C u in fossils has been measured so far by γ ray spectroscopy or by fission track method. The authors applied secondary ion mass spectrometry, SIMS, to detect the uranium in fossil samples. The purpose of this work is to investigate the possibility of semi-quantitative analyses of uranium in fossils, and to study the correlation between C u and the age of fossil bones. The further purpose of this work is to apply SIMS to measure the distribution of C u in fossil teeth

  9. What makes a feather shine? A nanostructural basis for glossy black colours in feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maia, Rafael; D'Alba, Liliana; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2011-07-07

    Colours in feathers are produced by pigments or by nanostructurally organized tissues that interact with light. One of the simplest nanostructures is a single layer of keratin overlying a linearly organized layer of melanosomes that create iridescent colours of feather barbules through thin-film interference. Recently, it has been hypothesized that glossy (i.e. high specular reflectance) black feathers may be evolutionarily intermediate between matte black and iridescent feathers, and thus have a smooth keratin layer that produces gloss, but not the layered organization of melanosomes needed for iridescence. However, the morphological bases of glossiness remain unknown. Here, we use a theoretical approach to generate predictions about morphological differences between matte and glossy feathers that we then empirically test. Thin-film models predicted that glossy spectra would result from a keratin layer 110-180 nm thick and a melanin layer greater than 115 nm thick. Transmission electron microscopy data show that nanostructure of glossy barbules falls well within that range, but that of matte barbules does not. Further, glossy barbules had a thinner and more regular keratin cortex, as well as a more continuous underlying melanin layer, than matte barbules. Thus, their quasi-ordered nanostructures are morphologically intermediate between matte black and iridescent feathers, and perceived gloss may be a form of weakly chromatic iridescence.

  10. A rich fossil record yields calibrated phylogeny for Acanthaceae (Lamiales) and evidence for marked biases in timing and directionality of intercontinental disjunctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripp, Erin A; McDade, Lucinda A

    2014-09-01

    More than a decade of phylogenetic research has yielded a well-sampled, strongly supported hypothesis of relationships within the large ( > 4000 species) plant family Acanthaceae. This hypothesis points to intriguing biogeographic patterns and asymmetries in sister clade diversity but, absent a time-calibrated estimate for this evolutionary history, these patterns have remained unexplored. Here, we reconstruct divergence times within Acanthaceae using fossils as calibration points and experimenting with both fossil selection and effects of invoking a maximum age prior related to the origin of Eudicots. Contrary to earlier reports of a paucity of fossils of Lamiales (an order of ∼ 23,000 species that includes Acanthaceae) and to the expectation that a largely herbaceous to soft-wooded and tropical lineage would have few fossils, we recovered 51 reports of fossil Acanthaceae. Rigorous evaluation of these for accurate identification, quality of age assessment and utility in dating yielded eight fossils judged to merit inclusion in analyses. With nearly 10 kb of DNA sequence data, we used two sets of fossils as constraints to reconstruct divergence times. We demonstrate differences in age estimates depending on fossil selection and that enforcement of maximum age priors substantially alters estimated clade ages, especially in analyses that utilize a smaller rather than larger set of fossils. Our results suggest that long-distance dispersal events explain present-day distributions better than do Gondwanan or northern land bridge hypotheses. This biogeographical conclusion is for the most part robust to alternative calibration schemes. Our data support a minimum of 13 Old World (OW) to New World (NW) dispersal events but, intriguingly, only one in the reverse direction. Eleven of these 13 were among Acanthaceae s.s., which comprises > 90% of species diversity in the family. Remarkably, if minimum age estimates approximate true history, these 11 events occurred within

  11. Feather bedding and childhood asthma associated with house dust mite sensitisation: a randomised controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glasgow, Nicholas J; Ponsonby, Anne-Louise; Kemp, Andrew; Tovey, Euan; van Asperen, Peter; McKay, Karen; Forbes, Samantha

    2011-06-01

    Observational studies report inverse associations between the use of feather upper bedding (pillow and/or quilt) and asthma symptoms but there is no randomised controlled trial (RCT) evidence assessing the role of feather upper bedding as a secondary prevention measure. To determine whether, among children not using feather upper bedding, a new feather pillow and feather quilt reduces asthma severity among house dust mite (HDM) sensitised children with asthma over a 1-year period compared with standard dust mite avoidance advice, and giving children a new mite-occlusive mattress cover. RCT. The Calvary Hospital in the Australian Capital Territory and the Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales. 197 children with HDM sensitisation and moderate to severe asthma. Intervention New upper bedding duck feather pillow and quilt and a mite-occlusive mattress cover (feather) versus standard care and a mite-occlusive mattress cover (standard). The proportion of children reporting four or more episodes of wheeze in the past year; an episode of speech-limiting wheeze; or one or more episodes of sleep disturbance caused by wheezing; and spirometry with challenge testing. Statistical analysis included multiple logistic and linear regression. No differences between groups were found for primary end points--frequent wheeze (OR 1.51, 95% CI 0.83 to 2.76, p=0.17), speech-limiting wheeze (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.32 to 1.48, p=0.35), sleep disturbed because of wheezing (OR 1.17, 95% CI 0.64 to 2.13, p=0.61) or for any secondary end points. Secondary analyses indicated the intervention reduced the risk of sleep being disturbed because of wheezing and severe wheeze to a greater extent for children who slept supine. No differences in respiratory symptoms or lung function were observed 1 year after children with moderate-severe asthma and HDM sensitisation were given a mite-occlusive mattress cover and then received either feather upper bedding (pillow and quilt) or standard

  12. The Fossile Episode

    OpenAIRE

    Hassler, John; Sinn, Hans-Werner

    2012-01-01

    We build a two-sector dynamic general equilibrium model with one-sided substitutability between fossil carbon and biocarbon. One shock only, the discovery of the technology to use fossil fuels, leads to a transition from an inital pre-industrial phase to three following phases: a pure fossil carbon phase, a mixed fossil and biocarbon phase and an absorbing biocarbon phase. The increased competition for biocarbon during phase 3 and 4 leads to increasing food prices. We provide closed form expr...

  13. The Fossil Episode

    OpenAIRE

    John Hassler; Hans-Werner Sinn

    2012-01-01

    We build a two-sector dynamic general equilibrium model with one-sided substitutability between fossil carbon and biocarbon. One shock only, the discovery of the technology to use fossil fuels, leads to a transition from an initial pre-industrial phase to three following phases: a pure fossil carbon phase, a mixed fossil and biocarbon phase and an absorbing biocarbon phase. The increased competition for biocarbon during phase 3 and 4 leads to increasing food prices. We provide closed form exp...

  14. Aerodynamics and Ecomorphology of Flexible Feathers and Morphing Bird Wings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaassen van Oorschot, Brett

    Birds are talented fliers capable of vertical take-off and landing, navigating turbulent air, and flying thousands of miles without rest. How is this possible? What allows birds to exploit the aerial environment with such ease? In part, it may be because bird wings are unlike any engineered wing. They are flexible, strong, lightweight, and dynamically capable of changes in shape on a nearly instantaneous basis (Rayner, 1988; Tobalske, 2007). Moreover, much of this change is passive, modulated only by changes in airflow angle and velocity. Birds actively morph their wings and their feathers morph passively in response to airflow to meet aerodynamic demands. Wings are highly adapted to myriad aeroecological factors and aerodynamic conditions (e.g. Lockwood et al., 1998; Bowlin and Winkler, 2004). This dissertation contains the results of my research on the complexities of morphing avian wings and feathers. I chose to study three related-but-discrete aspects of the avian wing: 1) the aerodynamics of morphing wings during take-off and gliding flight, 2) the presence and significance of wing tip slots across the avian clade, and 3) the aerodynamic role of the emarginate primary feathers that form these wing tip slots. These experiments ask fundamental questions that have intrigued me since childhood: Why do birds have different wing shapes? And why do some birds have slotted wing tips? It's fair to say that you will not find definitive answers here--rather, you will find the methodical, incremental addition of new hypotheses and empirical evidence which will serve future researchers in their own pursuits of these questions. The first chapter explores active wing morphing in two disparate aerodynamic regimes: low-advance ratio flapping (such as during takeoff) and high-advance ratio gliding. This chapter was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology (Klaassen van Oorschot et al., 2016) with the help of an undergraduate researcher, Emily Mistick. We found that wing

  15. Structural resonance and mode of flutter of hummingbird tail feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher J; Elias, Damian O; Girard, Madeline B; Prum, Richard O

    2013-09-15

    Feathers can produce sound by fluttering in airflow. This flutter is hypothesized to be aeroelastic, arising from the coupling of aerodynamic forces to one or more of the feather's intrinsic structural resonance frequencies. We investigated how mode of flutter varied among a sample of hummingbird tail feathers tested in a wind tunnel. Feather vibration was measured directly at ~100 points across the surface of the feather with a scanning laser Doppler vibrometer (SLDV), as a function of airspeed, Uair. Most feathers exhibited multiple discrete modes of flutter, which we classified into types including tip, trailing vane and torsional modes. Vibratory behavior within a given mode was usually stable, but changes in independent variables such as airspeed or orientation sometimes caused feathers to abruptly 'jump' from one mode to another. We measured structural resonance frequencies and mode shapes directly by measuring the free response of 64 feathers stimulated with a shaker and recorded with the SLDV. As predicted by the aeroelastic flutter hypothesis, the mode shape (spatial distribution) of flutter corresponded to a bending or torsional structural resonance frequency of the feather. However, the match between structural resonance mode and flutter mode was better for tip or torsional mode shapes, and poorer for trailing vane modes. Often, the 3rd bending structural harmonic matched the expressed mode of flutter, rather than the fundamental. We conclude that flutter occurs when airflow excites one or more structural resonance frequencies of a feather, most akin to a vibrating violin string.

  16. A 'feather-trap' for collecting DNA samples from birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, Golo; Beck, Nadeena; Double, Michael C

    2010-01-01

    Genetic analyses of birds are usually based on DNA extracted from a blood sample. For some species, however, obtaining blood samples is difficult because they are sensitive to handling, pose a conservation or animal welfare concern, or evade capture. In such cases, feathers obtained from live birds in the wild can provide an alternative source of DNA. Here, we provide the first description and evaluation of a 'feather-trap', consisting of small strips of double-sided adhesive tape placed close to a nest with chicks, as a simple, inexpensive and minimally invasive method to collect feathers. The feather-trap was tested in tropical conditions on the Australian pheasant coucal (Centropus phasianinus). None of the 12 pairs of coucals on which the feather-trap was used abandoned the nest, and feeding rates did not differ from those of birds not exposed to a feather-trap. On average, 4.2 feathers were collected per trap over 2-5 days and, despite exposure to monsoonal rain, DNA was extracted from 71.4% of samples, albeit at low concentrations. The amount of genomic DNA extracted from each feather was sufficient to reliably genotype individuals at up to five microsatellite loci for parentage analysis. We show that a feather-trap can provide a reliable alternative for obtaining DNA in species where taking blood is difficult. It may also prove useful for collecting feather samples for other purposes, e.g. stable-isotope analysis. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Identification of a feather β-keratin gene exclusively expressed in pennaceous barbule cells of contour feathers in chicken.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowata, Kinue; Nakaoka, Minori; Nishio, Kaori; Fukao, Ayaka; Satoh, Akira; Ogoshi, Maho; Takahashi, Sumio; Tsudzuki, Masaoki; Takeuchi, Sakae

    2014-05-25

    Feathers are elaborate skin appendages shared by birds and theropod dinosaurs that have hierarchical branching of the rachis, barbs, and barbules. Feather filaments consist of β-keratins encoded by multiple genes, most of which are located in tandem arrays on chromosomes 2, 25, and 27 in chicken. The expansion of the genes is thought to have contributed to feather evolution; however, it is unclear how the individual genes are involved in feather formation. The aim of the present study was to identify feather keratin genes involved in the formation of barbules. Using a combination of microarray analysis, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, and in situ hybridization, we found an uncharacterized keratin gene on chromosome 7 that was expressed specifically in barbule cells in regenerating chicken feathers. We have named the gene barbule specific keratin 1 (BlSK1). The BlSK1 gene structure was similar to the gene structure of previously characterized feather keratin genes, and consisted of a non-coding leader exon, an intron, and an exon with an open reading frame (ORF). The ORF was predicted to encode a 98 aa long protein, which shared 59% identity with feather keratin B. Orthologs of BlSK1 were found in the genomes of other avian species, including turkey, duck, zebra finch, and flycatcher, in regions that shared synteny with chromosome 7 of chicken. Interestingly, BlSK1 was expressed in feather follicles that generated pennaceous barbules but not in follicles that generated plumulaceous barbules. These results suggested that the composition of feather keratins probably varies depending on the structure of the feather filaments and, that individual feather keratin genes may be involved in building different portions and/or types of feathers in chicken. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Ultrastructure of the feather follicle in relation to the formation of the rachis in pennaceous feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2010-06-01

    The present ultrastructural study on follicle of regenerating feathers of four different avian species focuses on the formation and cytology of the rachis. Epithelial cells within the bottom part of the follicle (the collar) are contacted from mesenchymal cells of the dermal papilla. The most basal part of the collar is formed by a circular epithelium containing germinal cells, while in the upper ramogenic part of the collar barb ridges are generated. Epithelial cells rest upon a basement membrane that is stretched in actively forming barb ridges among which anchored mesenchymal cells send thin elongation. This observation suggests that an intense exchange of molecules with the epithelium occurs. The process of formation of the rachis occurs by fusion of barb ridges with the nonsegmented, dorsal or anterior part of the collar. The latter becomes the rachidial ridge, the upper part of the collar where barbs form the branches of the pennaceous feather. The rachis grows and matures into an external cortical part, containing compact corneous material (feather keratin, as confirmed by immunocytochemistry), and a vacuolated medulla with a process similar to that occurring in rami of single barbs. The extension of the medulla and cortex varies along the rachis in different species. In general a thin cortex is formed in those sections of the rachis where barbs are absent, and the feather keratin positive layer increases in the basal part of the feather, the calamus.

  19. Phylogenetics and ecomorphology of emarginate primary feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaassen van Oorschot, Brett; Tang, Ho Kwan; Tobalske, Bret W

    2017-07-01

    Wing tip slots are a distinct morphological trait broadly expressed across the avian clade, but are generally perceived to be unique to soaring raptors. These slots are the result of emarginations on the distal leading and trailing edges of primary feathers, and allow the feathers to behave as individual airfoils. Research suggests these emarginate feathers are an adaptation to increase glide efficiency by mitigating induced drag in a manner similar to aircraft winglets. If so, we might expect birds known for gliding and soaring to exhibit emarginate feather morphology; however, that is not always the case. Here, we explore emargination across the avian clade, and examine associations between emargination and ecological and morphological variables. Pelagic birds exhibit pointed, high-aspect ratio wings without slots, whereas soaring terrestrial birds exhibit prominent wing-tip slots. Thus, we formed four hypotheses: (1) Emargination is segregated according to habitat (terrestrial, coastal/freshwater, pelagic). (2) Emargination is positively correlated with mass. (3) Emargination varies inversely with aspect ratio and directly with wing loading and disc loading. (4) Emargination varies according to flight style, foraging style, and diet. We found that emargination falls along a continuum that varies with habitat: Pelagic species tend to have zero emargination, coastal/freshwater birds have some emargination, and terrestrial species have a high degree of emargination. Among terrestrial and coastal/freshwater species, the degree of emargination is positively correlated with mass. We infer this may be the result of selection to mitigate induced power requirements during slow flight that otherwise scale adversely with increasing body size. Since induced power output is greatest during slow flight, we hypothesize that emargination may be an adaptation to assist vertical take-off and landing rather than glide efficiency as previously hypothesized. © 2017 Wiley

  20. Avian Feathers: An Examination of Lightweight Resilience and Bioinspired Designs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Tarah Naoe

    In bird flight, the majority of the wing surface consists of highly refined and hierarchically organized beta-keratinous feathers. Thus, flight feathers contain ingenious combinations of components that optimize lift, stiffness, aerodynamics, and damage resistance. Their design involves two main parts: a central shaft which prescribes stiffness and lateral vanes that allow for the capture of air. Within the feather vane, barbs branch from the shaft and barbules branch from barbs, forming a flat surface and ensuring lift. Microhooks at the end of barbules hold barbs tightly together, providing a close-knit, unified structure and enabling repair of the vane through the reattachment of un-hooked junctions. In this dissertation, unique aspects of feather architecture are explored to uncover principles translatable to the design of modern aerospace materials and structures. Specifically, understudied aspects of the feather's lightweight yet resilient properties are investigated. This research has revealed several novel characteristics of the feather. Allometric scaling relationships are developed linking the geometry of a bird's wing components to its flight characteristics and total mass. Barbule spacing within the feather vane is found to be 8-16 microm for birds ranging from 0.02-11 kg. Additionally, it is discovered that strength is recovered with the shape recovery property of feathers, and a mechanism for this phenomenon is proposed. Barbule adhesion within the vane is found to prevent barbs from twisting in flexure, maintaining the vane's stiffness, and the extent to which unzipping these connections affects the feather's ability to capture air is related to barb shape. Directional permeability of the feather vane is experimentally confirmed and related to the intricate microstructure of barbules. Lastly, the exceptional architecture of the feather motivated the design of novel bioinspired structures with tailored and unique properties. The avian feather serves

  1. Short barb: a feather structure mutation in Japanese quail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, J E; Roberts, C W; Nichols, C R; Cheng, K M

    1982-12-01

    A type of feather structure abnormality in Japanese quail resulting in shortened barbs on contour feathers was found to be controlled by a single autosomal recessive gene, sh (short barb). The mutation was first identified in a full-sib family from the University of British Columbia wild type line. Unlike other feather structure mutations in Japanese quail reported previously in literature, the short barb mutation is not associated with poor reproduction.

  2. Spatially modulated structural colour in bird feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parnell, Andrew J.; Washington, Adam L.; Mykhaylyk, Oleksandr O.; Hill, Christopher J.; Bianco, Antonino; Burg, Stephanie L.; Dennison, Andrew J. C.; Snape, Mary; Cadby, Ashley J.; Smith, Andrew; Prevost, Sylvain; Whittaker, David M.; Jones, Richard A. L.; Fairclough, J. Patrick. A.; Parker, Andrew R.

    2015-12-01

    Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) feathers display periodic variations in the reflected colour from white through light blue, dark blue and black. We find the structures responsible for the colour are continuous in their size and spatially controlled by the degree of spinodal phase separation in the corresponding region of the feather barb. Blue structures have a well-defined broadband ultra-violet (UV) to blue wavelength distribution; the corresponding nanostructure has characteristic spinodal morphology with a lengthscale of order 150 nm. White regions have a larger 200 nm nanostructure, consistent with a spinodal process that has coarsened further, yielding broader wavelength white reflectance. Our analysis shows that nanostructure in single bird feather barbs can be varied continuously by controlling the time the keratin network is allowed to phase separate before mobility in the system is arrested. Dynamic scaling analysis of the single barb scattering data implies that the phase separation arrest mechanism is rapid and also distinct from the spinodal phase separation mechanism i.e. it is not gelation or intermolecular re-association. Any growing lengthscale using this spinodal phase separation approach must first traverse the UV and blue wavelength regions, growing the structure by coarsening, resulting in a broad distribution of domain sizes.

  3. Spatially modulated structural colour in bird feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parnell, Andrew J; Washington, Adam L; Mykhaylyk, Oleksandr O; Hill, Christopher J; Bianco, Antonino; Burg, Stephanie L; Dennison, Andrew J C; Snape, Mary; Cadby, Ashley J; Smith, Andrew; Prevost, Sylvain; Whittaker, David M; Jones, Richard A L; Fairclough, J Patrick A; Parker, Andrew R

    2015-12-21

    Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) feathers display periodic variations in the reflected colour from white through light blue, dark blue and black. We find the structures responsible for the colour are continuous in their size and spatially controlled by the degree of spinodal phase separation in the corresponding region of the feather barb. Blue structures have a well-defined broadband ultra-violet (UV) to blue wavelength distribution; the corresponding nanostructure has characteristic spinodal morphology with a lengthscale of order 150 nm. White regions have a larger 200 nm nanostructure, consistent with a spinodal process that has coarsened further, yielding broader wavelength white reflectance. Our analysis shows that nanostructure in single bird feather barbs can be varied continuously by controlling the time the keratin network is allowed to phase separate before mobility in the system is arrested. Dynamic scaling analysis of the single barb scattering data implies that the phase separation arrest mechanism is rapid and also distinct from the spinodal phase separation mechanism i.e. it is not gelation or intermolecular re-association. Any growing lengthscale using this spinodal phase separation approach must first traverse the UV and blue wavelength regions, growing the structure by coarsening, resulting in a broad distribution of domain sizes.

  4. Integrating developmental biology and the fossil record of reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skawiński, Tomasz; Tałanda, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

    Numerous new discoveries and new research techniques have influenced our understanding of reptile development from a palaeontological perspective. They suggest for example that transition from mineralized to leathery eggshells and from oviparity to viviparity appeared much more often in the evolution of reptiles than was previously thought. Most marine reptiles evolved from viviparous terrestrial ancestors and had probably genetic sex determination. Fossil forms often display developmental traits absent or rare among modern ones such as polydactyly, hyperphalangy, the presence of ribcage armour, reduction of head ornamentation during ontogeny, extreme modifications of vertebral count or a wide range of feather-like structures. Thus, they provide an empirical background for many morphogenetic considerations.

  5. Fearfulness and feather damage in laying hens divergently selected for high and low feather pecking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodenburg, T Bas; de Haas, Elske N; Nielsen, Birte Lindstrøm

    2010-01-01

    Feather pecking (FP) remains a major welfare and economic problem in laying hens. FP has been found to be related to other behavioural characteristics, such as fearfulness. There are indications that fearful birds are more likely to develop FP. Furthermore, FP can lead to increased fearfulness...... in the victims. To investigate further the relationship between FP and fearfulness, feather damage and behavioural fear responses were recorded in three White Leghorn lines of laying hens: a line selected for high FP (HFP line), a line selected for low FP (LFP line) and an unselected control line (10th...... in fear responses between the HFP and LFP lines were not found, neither in the TI-test, nor in the HA or NO test. As expected, birds from the HFP line had considerably more feather damage than birds from the LFP line and birds from the unselected control line were intermediate. Cages that withdrew from...

  6. Biological treatment of chicken feather waste for improved biogas production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gergely Forgács; Saeid Alinezhad; Amir Mirabdollah; Elisabeth Feuk-Lagerstedt; Ilona Sárvári Horwáth

    2011-01-01

    A two-stage system was developed which combines the biological degradation of keratin-rich waste with the production of biogas.Chicken feather waste was treated biologically with a recombinant Bacillus megaterium strain showing keratinase activity prior to biogas production.Chopped,autoclaved chicken feathers (4%,W/V) were completely degraded,resulting in a yellowish fermentation broth with a level of 0.51 mg/mL soluble proteins after 8 days of cultivation of the recombinant strain.During the subsequent anaerobic batch digestion experiments,methane production of 0.35 Nm3/kg dry feathers (i.e.,0.4 Nm3/kg volatile solids of feathers),corresponding to 80% of the theoretical value on proteins,was achieved from the feather hydrolyzates,independently of the prehydrolysis time period of 1,2 or 8 days.Cultivation with a native keratinase producing strain,Bacillus licheniformis resulted in only 0.25 mg/mL soluble proteins in the feather hydrolyzate,which then was digested achieving a maximum accumulated methane production of 0.31 Nm3/kg dry feathers.Feather hydrolyzates treated with the wild type B.megaterium produced 0.21 Nm3 CH4/kg dry feathers as maximum yield.

  7. Global associations between birds and vane-dwelling feather mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doña, Jorge; Proctor, Heather; Mironov, Sergey; Serrano, David; Jovani, Roger

    2016-11-01

    Understanding host-symbiont networks is a major question in evolutionary ecology. Birds host a great diversity of endo- and ectosymbiotic organisms, with feather mites (Arachnida: Acariformes: Analgoidea, Pterolichoidea) being among the most diverse of avian symbionts. A global approach to the ecology and evolution of bird-feather-mite associations has been hampered because of the absence of a centralized data repository. Here we present the most extensive data set of associations between feather mites and birds. Data include 12 036 records of 1887 feather mite species located on the flight feathers of 2234 bird species from 147 countries. Feather mites typically located inside quills, on the skin, or on downy body feathers are not included. Data were extracted from 493 published sources dating from 1882 to 2015. Data exploration shows that although most continents and bird families are represented, most bird species remain unexplored for feather mites. Nevertheless, this is the most comprehensive data set available for enabling global macroecological analyses of feather mites and their hosts, such as ecological network analyses. This metadata file outlines the structure of these data and provides primary references for all records used. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  8. Modes of fossil preservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schopf, J.M.

    1975-01-01

    The processes of geologic preservation are important for understanding the organisms represented by fossils. Some fossil differences are due to basic differences in organization of animals and plants, but the interpretation of fossils has also tended to be influenced by modes of preservation. Four modes of preservation generally can be distinguished: (1) Cellular permineralization ("petrifaction") preserves anatomical detail, and, occasionally, even cytologic structures. (2) Coalified compression, best illustrated by structures from coal but characteristic of many plant fossils in shale, preserves anatomical details in distorted form and produces surface replicas (impressions) on enclosing matrix. (3) Authigenic preservation replicates surface form or outline (molds and casts) prior to distortion by compression and, depending on cementation and timing, may intergrade with fossils that have been subject to compression. (4) Duripartic (hard part) preservation is characteristic of fossil skeletal remains, predominantly animal. Molds, pseudomorphs, or casts may form as bulk replacements following dissolution of the original fossil material, usually by leaching. Classification of the kinds of preservation in fossils will aid in identifying the processes responsible for modifying the fossil remains of both animals and plants. ?? 1975.

  9. Extinction and the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, ,. J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    The author examines evidence of mass extinctions in the fossil record and searches for reasons for such large extinctions. Five major mass extinctions eliminated at least 40 percent of animal genera in the oceans and from 65 to 95 percent of ocean species. Questions include the occurrence of gradual or catastrophic extinctions, causes, environment, the capacity of a perturbation to cause extinctions each time it happens, and the possibility and identification of complex events leading to a mass extinction.

  10. Skin pigmentation provides evidence of convergent melanism in extinct marine reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindgren, Johan; Sjövall, Peter; Carney, Ryan M; Uvdal, Per; Gren, Johan A; Dyke, Gareth; Schultz, Bo Pagh; Shawkey, Matthew D; Barnes, Kenneth R; Polcyn, Michael J

    2014-02-27

    Throughout the animal kingdom, adaptive colouration serves critical functions ranging from inconspicuous camouflage to ostentatious sexual display, and can provide important information about the environment and biology of a particular organism. The most ubiquitous and abundant pigment, melanin, also has a diverse range of non-visual roles, including thermoregulation in ectotherms. However, little is known about the functional evolution of this important biochrome through deep time, owing to our limited ability to unambiguously identify traces of it in the fossil record. Here we present direct chemical evidence of pigmentation in fossilized skin, from three distantly related marine reptiles: a leatherback turtle, a mosasaur and an ichthyosaur. We demonstrate that dark traces of soft tissue in these fossils are dominated by molecularly preserved eumelanin, in intimate association with fossilized melanosomes. In addition, we suggest that contrary to the countershading of many pelagic animals, at least some ichthyosaurs were uniformly dark-coloured in life. Our analyses expand current knowledge of pigmentation in fossil integument beyond that of feathers, allowing for the reconstruction of colour over much greater ranges of extinct taxa and anatomy. In turn, our results provide evidence of convergent melanism in three disparate lineages of secondarily aquatic tetrapods. Based on extant marine analogues, we propose that the benefits of thermoregulation and/or crypsis are likely to have contributed to this melanisation, with the former having implications for the ability of each group to exploit cold environments.

  11. The original colours of fossil beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria E; Briggs, Derek E G; Orr, Patrick J; Noh, Heeso; Cao, Hui

    2012-03-22

    Structural colours, the most intense, reflective and pure colours in nature, are generated when light is scattered by complex nanostructures. Metallic structural colours are widespread among modern insects and can be preserved in their fossil counterparts, but it is unclear whether the colours have been altered during fossilization, and whether the absence of colours is always real. To resolve these issues, we investigated fossil beetles from five Cenozoic biotas. Metallic colours in these specimens are generated by an epicuticular multi-layer reflector; the fidelity of its preservation correlates with that of other key cuticular ultrastructures. Where these other ultrastructures are well preserved in non-metallic fossil specimens, we can infer that the original cuticle lacked a multi-layer reflector; its absence in the fossil is not a preservational artefact. Reconstructions of the original colours of the fossils based on the structure of the multi-layer reflector show that the preserved colours are offset systematically to longer wavelengths; this probably reflects alteration of the refractive index of the epicuticle during fossilization. These findings will allow the former presence, and original hue, of metallic structural colours to be identified in diverse fossil insects, thus providing critical evidence of the evolution of structural colour in this group.

  12. Value-added products from chicken feather fiber and protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Xiuling

    Worldwide poultry consumption has generated a huge amount of feather "waste" annually. Currently, the feather has a low value-being used for animal feed in the world. The quality of fibrous air filters depend on their main component, fibers. The main physical structure of chicken feathers is barbs which can be used directly as fibers. They have small diameter, which makes them a good choice for air filtration. The main chemical structure of chicken feathers is structural fibrous protein, keratin. Therefore, chicken feathers could potentially be used for protein fiber production. To obtain chicken feather fibers, barbs were stripped from the quills by a stripping device and separated with a blender. Some feather fibers were entangled with polyester staple fibers, and needlepunched to form a nonwoven fabric. Some feather fibers were blended with CelBond(TM) bi-component polyester as binder fibers, and pressed between two hot plates to produce thermobonded nonwovens. Whole chicken feathers were ground into powder and their keratin was reduced in water. The reduced keratin was salt precipitated, dried and dissolved in ionic liquid with/without bleach cotton. The reduced chicken feather keratin ionic liquid solutions were spun into regenerated fibers through dry-jet wet spinning. The needlepunched and thermobonded nonwovens were tested for filtration and other properties. With an increase of areal density and feather fiber composition, the air permeability of the needlepunched nonwovens decreased, and their filtration efficiency and pressure drop both increased. The case can be made that feather fibers gave fabrics better filtration at the same fabric weight, but at the expense of air permeability and pressure drop. The scrim and needlepunching process improved the filtration efficiency. Their strength depended on scrim. The hot-press process was very simple. The thermobonded nonwovens had very high air permeability. In them, there was also an inverse relation between

  13. Feather pecking in growers: a study with individually marked birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wechsler, B; Huber-Eicher, B; Nash, David Richard

    1998-01-01

    1. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether individual birds specialise in feather pecking. Growers were individually marked and reared in groups of 30 or 31 in pens with a slatted floor. At an age of 4 to 6 weeks feather pecking was frequent in all pens. 2. On average 83% of all g...

  14. Replacement Value of Feather Meal for Fishmeal on the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Replacement Value of Feather Meal for Fishmeal on the Performance of Starter Cockerels. ... ratio and feed cost/kg weights gain. Considering the results of final live weight and daily weight gain, it appeared that the 7.5% level of FEM could be the optimal inclusion level feather meal in the diets of growing cockerels.

  15. Improved keratinase production for feather degradation by Bacillus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Optimal medium was used to improve the production of keratinase by Bacillus licheniformis ZJUEL31410, which has a promising application in the transformation of feather into soluble protein. The results of single factor design revealed that the concentration of feather at 20 g/l and the initial pH at value 8 was the best for ...

  16. Genetic analysis of feather pecking behavior in laying hens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buitenhuis, A.J.

    2003-01-01

    This thesis describes the genetic analysis of feather pecking behavior in laying hens. Feather pecking (FP) is a major welfare problem in laying hens.In the European

  17. Early and late feathering in Turkey and chicken

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derks, Martijn F.L.; Herrero-Medrano, Juan M.; Crooijmans, Richard P.M.A.; Vereijken, Addie; Long, Julie A.; Megens, Hendrik Jan; Groenen, Martien A.M.

    2018-01-01

    Background: Sex-linked slow (SF) and fast (FF) feathering rates at hatch have been widely used in poultry breeding for autosexing at hatch. In chicken, the sex-linked K (SF) and k+ (FF) alleles are responsible for the feathering rate phenotype. Allele K is dominant and a partial duplication of the

  18. Feather pecking and monoamines - a behavioral and neurobiological approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kops, M.S.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/341590649

    2014-01-01

    Severe feather pecking (SFP) remains one of the major welfare issues in laying hens. SFP is the pecking at and pulling out of feathers, inflicting damage to the plumage and skin of the recipient. The neurobiological profile determining the vulnerability of individual hens to develop into a severe

  19. Valorisation of chicken feathers: Characterisation of chemical properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesfaye, Tamrat; Sithole, Bruce; Ramjugernath, Deresh; Chunilall, Viren

    2017-10-01

    The characterisation of the chemical properties of the whole chicken feather and its fractions (barb and rachis), was undertaken to identify opportunities for valorizing this waste product. The authors have described the physical, morphological, mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of the chicken feathers and related them to potential valorisation routes of the waste. However, identification of their chemical properties is necessary to complete a comprehensive description of chicken feather fractions. Hence, the chicken feathers were thoroughly characterised by proximate and ultimate analyses, elemental composition, spectroscopic analyses, durability in different solvents, burning test, and hydrophobicity. The proximate analysis of chicken feathers revealed the following compositions: crude lipid (0.83%), crude fibre (2.15%), crude protein (82.36%), ash (1.49%), NFE (1.02%) and moisture content (12.33%) whereas the ultimate analyses showed: carbon (64.47%), nitrogen (10.41%), oxygen (22.34%), and sulphur (2.64%). FTIR analysis revealed that the chicken feather fractions contain amide and carboxylic groups indicative of proteinious functional groups; XRD showed a crystallinity index of 22. Durability and burning tests confirmed that feathers behaved similarly to animal fibre. This reveals that chicken feather can be a valuable raw material in textile, plastic, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, biomedical and bioenergy industries. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Giant fossil tortoise and freshwater chelid turtle remains from the middle Miocene, Quebrada Honda, Bolivia: Evidence for lower paleoelevations for the southern Altiplano

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadena, Edwin A.; Anaya, Federico; Croft, Darin A.

    2015-12-01

    We describe the first Miocene turtle remains from Bolivia, which were collected from the late middle Miocene (13.18-13.03 Ma) of Quebrada Honda, southern Bolivia. This material includes a large scapula-acromion and fragmentary shell elements conferred to the genus Chelonoidis (Testudinidae), and a left xiphiplastron from a pleurodire or side-necked turtle, conferred to Acanthochelys (Chelidae). The occurrence of a giant tortoise and a freshwater turtle suggests that the paleoelevation of the region when the fossils were deposited was lower than has been estimated by stable isotope proxies, with a maximum elevation probably less than 1000 m. At a greater elevation, cool temperatures would have been beyond the tolerable physiological limits for these turtles and other giant ectotherm reptiles.

  1. New Insights into Non-Avian Dinosaur Reproduction and Their Evolutionary and Ecological Implications: Linking Fossil Evidence to Allometries of Extant Close Relatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Jan; Griebeler, Eva Maria

    2013-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that a high reproductive output contributes to the unique gigantism in large dinosaur taxa. In order to infer more information on dinosaur reproduction, we established allometries between body mass and different reproductive traits (egg mass, clutch mass, annual clutch mass) for extant phylogenetic brackets (birds, crocodiles and tortoises) of extinct non-avian dinosaurs. Allometries were applied to nine non-avian dinosaur taxa (theropods, hadrosaurs, and sauropodomorphs) for which fossil estimates on relevant traits are currently available. We found that the reproductive traits of most dinosaurs conformed to similar-sized or scaled-up extant reptiles or birds. The reproductive traits of theropods, which are considered more bird-like, were indeed consistent with birds, while the traits of sauropodomorphs conformed better to reptiles. Reproductive traits of hadrosaurs corresponded to both reptiles and birds. Excluding Massospondylus carinatus , all dinosaurs studied had an intermediary egg to body mass relationship to reptiles and birds. In contrast, dinosaur clutch masses fitted with either the masses predicted from allometries of birds (theropods) or to the masses of reptiles (all other taxa). Theropods studied had probably one clutch per year. For sauropodomorphs and hadrosaurs, more than one clutch per year was predicted. Contrary to current hypotheses, large dinosaurs did not have exceptionally high annual egg numbers (AEN). Independent of the extant model, the estimated dinosaur AEN did not exceed 850 eggs (75,000 kg sauropod) for any of the taxa studied. This estimated maximum is probably an overestimation due to unrealistic assumptions. According to most AEN estimations, the dinosaurs studied laid less than 200 eggs per year. Only some AEN estimates obtained for medium to large sized sauropods were higher (200-400 eggs). Our results provide new (testable) hypotheses, especially for reproductive traits that are insufficiently

  2. New insights into non-avian dinosaur reproduction and their evolutionary and ecological implications: linking fossil evidence to allometries of extant close relatives.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Werner

    Full Text Available It has been hypothesized that a high reproductive output contributes to the unique gigantism in large dinosaur taxa. In order to infer more information on dinosaur reproduction, we established allometries between body mass and different reproductive traits (egg mass, clutch mass, annual clutch mass for extant phylogenetic brackets (birds, crocodiles and tortoises of extinct non-avian dinosaurs. Allometries were applied to nine non-avian dinosaur taxa (theropods, hadrosaurs, and sauropodomorphs for which fossil estimates on relevant traits are currently available. We found that the reproductive traits of most dinosaurs conformed to similar-sized or scaled-up extant reptiles or birds. The reproductive traits of theropods, which are considered more bird-like, were indeed consistent with birds, while the traits of sauropodomorphs conformed better to reptiles. Reproductive traits of hadrosaurs corresponded to both reptiles and birds. Excluding Massospondyluscarinatus, all dinosaurs studied had an intermediary egg to body mass relationship to reptiles and birds. In contrast, dinosaur clutch masses fitted with either the masses predicted from allometries of birds (theropods or to the masses of reptiles (all other taxa. Theropods studied had probably one clutch per year. For sauropodomorphs and hadrosaurs, more than one clutch per year was predicted. Contrary to current hypotheses, large dinosaurs did not have exceptionally high annual egg numbers (AEN. Independent of the extant model, the estimated dinosaur AEN did not exceed 850 eggs (75,000 kg sauropod for any of the taxa studied. This estimated maximum is probably an overestimation due to unrealistic assumptions. According to most AEN estimations, the dinosaurs studied laid less than 200 eggs per year. Only some AEN estimates obtained for medium to large sized sauropods were higher (200-400 eggs. Our results provide new (testable hypotheses, especially for reproductive traits that are insufficiently

  3. New insights into non-avian dinosaur reproduction and their evolutionary and ecological implications: linking fossil evidence to allometries of extant close relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Jan; Griebeler, Eva Maria

    2013-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that a high reproductive output contributes to the unique gigantism in large dinosaur taxa. In order to infer more information on dinosaur reproduction, we established allometries between body mass and different reproductive traits (egg mass, clutch mass, annual clutch mass) for extant phylogenetic brackets (birds, crocodiles and tortoises) of extinct non-avian dinosaurs. Allometries were applied to nine non-avian dinosaur taxa (theropods, hadrosaurs, and sauropodomorphs) for which fossil estimates on relevant traits are currently available. We found that the reproductive traits of most dinosaurs conformed to similar-sized or scaled-up extant reptiles or birds. The reproductive traits of theropods, which are considered more bird-like, were indeed consistent with birds, while the traits of sauropodomorphs conformed better to reptiles. Reproductive traits of hadrosaurs corresponded to both reptiles and birds. Excluding Massospondyluscarinatus, all dinosaurs studied had an intermediary egg to body mass relationship to reptiles and birds. In contrast, dinosaur clutch masses fitted with either the masses predicted from allometries of birds (theropods) or to the masses of reptiles (all other taxa). Theropods studied had probably one clutch per year. For sauropodomorphs and hadrosaurs, more than one clutch per year was predicted. Contrary to current hypotheses, large dinosaurs did not have exceptionally high annual egg numbers (AEN). Independent of the extant model, the estimated dinosaur AEN did not exceed 850 eggs (75,000 kg sauropod) for any of the taxa studied. This estimated maximum is probably an overestimation due to unrealistic assumptions. According to most AEN estimations, the dinosaurs studied laid less than 200 eggs per year. Only some AEN estimates obtained for medium to large sized sauropods were higher (200-400 eggs). Our results provide new (testable) hypotheses, especially for reproductive traits that are insufficiently documented

  4. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Alexei J; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-07-19

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth-death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the 'morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using

  5. OKLO: fossil reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naudet, R.

    Events leading up to the discovery during the summer of 1972 of the Oklo fossil reactor in Gabon and its subsequent exploration are reviewed. Results of studies are summarized; future investigations are outlined

  6. Uranium in fossil bones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koul, S.L.

    1978-01-01

    An attempt has been made to determine the uranium content and thus the age of certain fossil bones Haritalyangarh (Himachal Pradesh), India. The results indicate that bones rich in apatite are also rich in uranium, and that the radioactivity is due to radionuclides in the uranium series. The larger animals apparently have a higher concentration of uranium than the small. The dating of a fossil jaw (elephant) places it in the Pleistocene. (Auth.)

  7. Evolution of body size, vision, and biodiversity of coral-associated organisms: evidence from fossil crustaceans in cold-water coral and tropical coral ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klompmaker, Adiël A; Jakobsen, Sten L; Lauridsen, Bodil W

    2016-06-16

    Modern cold-water coral and tropical coral environments harbor a highly diverse and ecologically important macrofauna of crustaceans that face elevated extinction risks due to reef decline. The effect of environmental conditions acting on decapod crustaceans comparing these two habitats is poorly understood today and in deep time. Here, we compare the biodiversity, eye socket height as a proxy for eye size, and body size of decapods in fossil cold-water and tropical reefs that formed prior to human disturbance. We show that decapod biodiversity is higher in fossil tropical reefs from The Netherlands, Italy, and Spain compared to that of the exceptionally well-preserved Paleocene (Danian) cold-water reef/mound ecosystem from Faxe (Denmark), where decapod diversity is highest in a more heterogeneous, mixed bryozoan-coral habitat instead of in coral and bryozoan-dominated facies. The relatively low diversity at Faxe was not influenced substantially by the preceding Cretaceous/Paleogene extinction event that is not apparent in the standing diversity of decapods in our analyses, or by sampling, preservation, and/or a latitudinal diversity gradient. Instead, the lower availability of food and fewer hiding places for decapods may explain this low diversity. Furthermore, decapods from Faxe are larger than those from tropical waters for half of the comparisons, which may be caused by a lower number of predators, the delayed maturity, and the increased life span of crustaceans in deeper, colder waters. Finally, deep-water specimens of the benthic crab Caloxanthus from Faxe exhibit a larger eye socket size compared to congeneric specimens from tropical reefs, suggesting that dim light conditions favored the evolution of relatively large eyes. The results suggest a strong habitat control on the biodiversity of crustaceans in coral-associated environments and that the diversity difference between deep, cold-water reefs and tropical reefs evolved at least ~63 million years ago

  8. Methodological considerations for measuring glucocorticoid metabolites in feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berk, Sara A.; McGettrick, Julie R.; Hansen, Warren K.; Breuner, Creagh W.

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, researchers have begun to use corticosteroid metabolites in feathers (fCORT) as a metric of stress physiology in birds. However, there remain substantial questions about how to measure fCORT most accurately. Notably, small samples contain artificially high amounts of fCORT per millimetre of feather (the small sample artefact). Furthermore, it appears that fCORT is correlated with circulating plasma corticosterone only when levels are artificially elevated by the use of corticosterone implants. Here, we used several approaches to address current methodological issues with the measurement of fCORT. First, we verified that the small sample artefact exists across species and feather types. Second, we attempted to correct for this effect by increasing the amount of methanol relative to the amount of feather during extraction. We consistently detected more fCORT per millimetre or per milligram of feather in small samples than in large samples even when we adjusted methanol:feather concentrations. We also used high-performance liquid chromatography to identify hormone metabolites present in feathers and measured the reactivity of these metabolites against the most commonly used antibody for measuring fCORT. We verified that our antibody is mainly identifying corticosterone (CORT) in feathers, but other metabolites have significant cross-reactivity. Lastly, we measured faecal glucocorticoid metabolites in house sparrows and correlated these measurements with corticosteroid metabolites deposited in concurrently grown feathers; we found no correlation between faecal glucocorticoid metabolites and fCORT. We suggest that researchers should be cautious in their interpretation of fCORT in wild birds and should seek alternative validation methods to examine species-specific relationships between environmental challenges and fCORT. PMID:27335650

  9. Advanced slab polyurethane foam with feather touch; Soft feather urethane foam no kaihatsu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yamada, Y; Ono, H [Toyota Motor Corp., Aichi (Japan); Mori, A; Yamaguchi, N; Nakamura, T [Bridgestone Corp., Tokyo (Japan)

    1997-10-01

    Automotive seat plays an important part, which are not only retention of sitting position, but also comfort and high-class feeling. Wadding, which is a part of the seat, is a key component for the sitting comfortableness. This paper is concerned with advanced slab polyurethane foam with feather touch feeling. The compounding of formation, foaming process and reliability of mass production is studied. 2 refs., 10 figs., 3 tabs.

  10. A lightweight, biological structure with tailored stiffness: The feather vane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Tarah N; Pissarenko, Andreï; Herrera, Steven A; Kisailus, David; Lubarda, Vlado A; Meyers, Marc A

    2016-09-01

    The flying feathers of birds are keratinous appendages designed for maximum performance with a minimum weight penalty. Thus, their design contains ingenious combinations of components that optimize lift, stiffness, aerodynamics, and damage resistance. This design involves two main parts: a central shaft that prescribes stiffness and lateral vanes which allows for the capture of air. Within the feather vane, barbs branch from the shaft and barbules branch from barbs, forming a flat surface which ensures lift. Microhooks at the end of barbules hold barbs tightly together, providing the close-knit, unified structure of the feather vane and enabling a repair of the structure through the reattachment of un-hooked junctions. Both the shaft and barbs are lightweight biological structures constructed of keratin using the common motif of a solid shell and cellular interior. The cellular core increases the resistance to buckling with little added weight. Here we analyze the detailed structure of the feather barb and, for the first time, explain its flexural stiffness in terms of the mechanics of asymmetric foam-filled beams subjected to bending. The results are correlated and validated with finite element modeling. We compare the flexure of single barbs as well as arrays of barbs and find that the interlocking adherence of barbs to one another enables a more robust structure due to minimized barb rotation during deflection. Thus, the flexure behavior of the feather vane can be tailored by the adhesive hooking between barbs, creating a system that mitigates damage. A simplified three-dimensional physical model for this interlocking mechanism is constructed by additive manufacturing. The exceptional architecture of the feather vane will motivate the design of bioinspired structures with tailored and unique properties ranging from adhesives to aerospace materials. Despite its importance to bird flight, literature characterizing the feather vane is extremely limited. The feather

  11. Dinosaur fossils predict body temperatures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James F Gillooly

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Perhaps the greatest mystery surrounding dinosaurs concerns whether they were endotherms, ectotherms, or some unique intermediate form. Here we present a model that yields estimates of dinosaur body temperature based on ontogenetic growth trajectories obtained from fossil bones. The model predicts that dinosaur body temperatures increased with body mass from approximately 25 degrees C at 12 kg to approximately 41 degrees C at 13,000 kg. The model also successfully predicts observed increases in body temperature with body mass for extant crocodiles. These results provide direct evidence that dinosaurs were reptiles that exhibited inertial homeothermy.

  12. North Fork Feather River Erosion Control Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harrison, L.

    1991-01-01

    PG and E, an investor owned gas and electric utility serving northern and central California, has been engaged since 1984 in the development and implementation of a regional erosion control program for the 954 square mile northern Sierra Nevada watersheed of the East Branch of the North Fork Feather River in Plumas County, California. PG and E entered into an agreement with 13 governmental agencies and a number of private landowners using Coordinated Resource Management and Planning: to cooperatively develop, fund and implement the program. The group has completed several field projects and has a number of additional projects in various stages of development. This paper reports that the program provides multiple environmental and economic benefits including reduction of soil erosion and sedimentation, improved fisheries, enhancement of riparian habitat, increased land values, improved recreation opportunities, and preservation of watershed resources

  13. Tropical tales of polar ice: evidence of Last Interglacial polar ice sheet retreat recorded by fossil reefs of the granitic Seychelles islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutton, Andrea; Webster, Jody M.; Zwartz, Dan; Lambeck, Kurt; Wohlfarth, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    In the search for a record of eustatic sea level change on glacial-interglacial timescales, the Seychelles ranks as one of the best places on the planet to study. Owing to its location with respect to the former margins of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets that wax and wane on orbital cycles, the local-or relative-sea level history is predicted to lie within a few meters of the globally averaged eustatic signal during the Last Interglacial period. We have surveyed and dated Last Interglacial fossil corals to ascertain peak sea level and hence infer maximum retreat of polar ice sheets during this time interval. We observe a pattern of gradually rising sea level in the Seychelles between ˜129 and 125 thousand years ago (ka), with peak eustatic sea level attained after 125 ka at 7.6 ± 1.7 m higher than present. After accounting for thermal expansion and loss of mountain glaciers, this sea-level budget would require ˜5-8 m of polar ice sheet contribution, relative to today's volume, of which only ˜2 m came from the Greenland ice sheet. This result clearly identifies the Antarctic ice sheet as a significant source of melt water, most likely derived from one of the unstable, marine-based sectors in the West and/or East Antarctic ice sheet. Furthermore, the establishment of a +5.9 ± 1.7 m eustatic sea level position by 128.6 ± 0.8 ka would require that partial AIS collapse was coincident with the onset of the sea level highstand.

  14. Theory of the development of curved barbs and their effects on feather morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feo, Teresa J; Simon, Emma; Prum, Richard O

    2016-08-01

    Feathers exhibit an extraordinary diversity of shapes, which are used by birds to accomplish a diverse set of functions. Pennaceous feathers have a double branched morphology that develops from a tube of epidermis, and variation in branch geometry determines feather shape. Feather development is both complex (i.e., a simple developmental modification can have multiple effects on mature feather shape), and redundant (i.e., different developmental modifications can create the same shape). Due to this, it is not readily apparent how different feather shapes develop. In many feathers, barbs are not straight, but instead curve in toward, or away, from the feather tip. Barb curvature can affect the shape of mature feathers but the development of curved barbs is unknown. Previous research has hypothesized that barb curvature could develop either during the helical growth of barb ridges in the tubular feather germ, or during barb angle expansion as the feather unfurls from the sheath. To better understand the development of curved barbs and their effects on mature feathers we present a theoretical model of curved barb development and test the model with empirical investigations of feathers. We find that curved barbs affect many aspects of feather morphology including vane width, barb length, and barb spacing. In real feathers, curved barbs can develop both during helical barb ridge growth and during barb angle expansion, with most of the observed curvature due to barb angle expansion. Our results demonstrate that barb angle expansion as a feather unfurls from the sheath is a complex and dynamic process that plays an important role in determining the shape and structure of mature feathers. Curved barbs create heterogeneity in barb geometry within the feather vane, which could have important implications for aerodynamic function and the development of within feather pigmentation patterns. J. Morphol. 277:995-1013, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley

  15. Temporal overlap and repeatability of feather corticosterone levels: practical considerations for use as a biomarker.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Christopher M; Madliger, Christine L; Love, Oliver P

    2016-01-01

    The measurement of corticosterone (CORT) levels in feathers has recently become an appealing tool for the conservation toolbox, potentially providing a non-invasive, integrated measure of stress activity throughout the time of feather growth. However, because the mechanism of CORT deposition, storage and stability in feathers is not fully understood, it is unclear how reliable this measure may be, especially when there is an extended interval between growth and feather collection. We compared CORT levels of naturally grown feathers from tree swallows ( Tachycineta bicolor ) that were moulted and regrown concurrently and therefore expected to have similar CORT levels. Specifically, we compared the same feather from the left and right wing (moulted symmetrically) and different types of feathers (wing, back and tail) expected to have been moulted within the same time period. We found that larger, heavier feathers held more CORT per unit length. In addition, we found a lack of concordance in CORT levels both within the same feather type and between different feather types, even after taking into account differences in feather density. Our results indicate that naturally grown feathers may not consistently provide an indication of stress status. Additionally, conflict in results may arise depending on the feather assayed, and total feather volume may be an important consideration when interpreting feather CORT levels. Future work is necessary to determine explicitly the mechanisms of CORT deposition, the effects of environmental exposure and feather wear on the permanence of the feather CORT signal, and the influence of responses to wild stressors on feather CORT levels, before feather CORT can be implemented effectively as a tool for ecological and conservation applications.

  16. Purification and characterization of a keratinase from the feather ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yomi

    2012-01-31

    Jan 31, 2012 ... Keratinase was purified and characterized from the solid cultures of ... Feather from the poultry processing plant is the common source ... keratinous wastes by proteolytic enzymes is a potent ... After treatment with keratinase,.

  17. Effects of oil and oil burn residues on seabird feathers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fritt-Rasmussen, Janne; Linnebjerg, Jannie Fries; Sørensen, Martin X.

    2016-01-01

    It is well known, that in case of oil spill, seabirds are among the groups of animals most vulnerable. Even small amounts of oil can have lethal effects by destroying the waterproofing of their plumage, leading to loss of insulation and buoyancy. In the Arctic these impacts are intensified....... To protect seabirds, a rapid removal of oil is crucial and in situ burning could be an efficient method. In the present work exposure effects of oil and burn residue in different doses was studied on seabird feathers from legally hunted Common eider (Somateria mollissima) by examining changes in total weight...... of the feather and damages on the microstructure (Amalgamation Index) of the feathers before and after exposure. The results of the experiments indicate that burn residues from in situ burning of an oil spill have similar or larger fouling and damaging effects on seabird feathers, as compared to fresh oil....

  18. Feather wastes digestion by new isolated strains Bacillus sp. in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Feather wastes digestion by new isolated strains Bacillus sp. in Morocco. ... The most efficient isolated strain selected was compared with Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633. Results showed ... African Journal of Biotechnology Vol.3(1) 2004: 67-70 ...

  19. Feather growth influences blood mercury level of young songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condon, Anne M; Cristol, Daniel A

    2009-02-01

    Dynamics of mercury in feathers and blood of free-living songbirds is poorly understood. Nestling eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) living along the mercury-contaminated South River (Virginia, USA) had blood mercury levels an order of magnitude lower than their parents (nestling: 0.09 +/- 0.06 mg/kg [mean +/- standard deviation], n = 156; adult: 1.21 +/- 0.57 mg/kg, n = 86). To test whether this low blood mercury was the result of mercury sequestration in rapidly growing feathers, we repeatedly sampled free-living juveniles throughout the period of feather growth and molt. Mean blood mercury concentrations increased to 0.52 +/- 0.36 mg/kg (n = 44) after the completion of feather growth. Some individuals had reached adult blood mercury levels within three months of leaving the nest, but levels dropped to 0.20 +/- 0.09 mg/kg (n = 11) once the autumn molt had begun. Most studies of mercury contamination in juvenile birds have focused on recently hatched young with thousands of rapidly growing feathers. However, the highest risk period for mercury intoxication in young birds may be during the vulnerable period after fledging, when feathers no longer serve as a buffer against dietary mercury. We found that nestling blood mercury levels were not indicative of the extent of contamination because a large portion of the ingested mercury ended up in feathers. The present study demonstrates unequivocally that in songbirds blood mercury level is influenced strongly by the growth and molt of feathers.

  20. Fossil power plant automation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Divakaruni, S.M.; Touchton, G.

    1991-01-01

    This paper elaborates on issues facing the utilities industry and seeks to address how new computer-based control and automation technologies resulting from recent microprocessor evolution, can improve fossil plant operations and maintenance. This in turn can assist utilities to emerge stronger from the challenges ahead. Many presentations at the first ISA/EPRI co-sponsored conference are targeted towards improving the use of computer and control systems in the fossil and nuclear power plants and we believe this to be the right forum to share our ideas

  1. Molecular Biology of Feather Morphogenesis: A Testable Model for Evo-Devo Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    WIDELITZ, RANDALL B.; JIANG, TING XIN; YU, MINGKE; SHEN, TED; SHEN, JEN-YEE; WU, PING; YU, ZHICAO; CHUONG, CHENG-MING

    2015-01-01

    Darwin’s theory describes the principles that are responsible for evolutionary change of organisms and their attributes. The actual mechanisms, however, need to be studied for each species and each organ separately. Here we have investigated the mechanisms underlying these principles in the avian feather. Feathers comprise one of the most complex and diverse epidermal organs as demonstrated by their shape, size, patterned arrangement and pigmentation. Variations can occur at several steps along each level of organization, leading to highly diverse forms and functions. Feathers develop gradually during ontogeny through a series of steps that may correspond to the evolutionary steps that were taken during the phylogeny from a reptilian ancestor to birds. These developmental steps include 1) the formation of feather tract fields on the skin surfaces; 2) periodic patterning of the individual feather primordia within the feather tract fields; 3) feather bud morphogenesis establishing anterio - posterior (along the cranio - caudal axis) and proximo - distal axes; 4) branching morphogenesis to create the rachis, barbs and barbules within a feather bud; and 5) gradual modulations of these basic morphological parameters within a single feather or across a feather tract. Thus, possibilities for variation in form and function of feathers occur at every developmental step. In this paper, principles guiding feather tract formation, distributions of individual feathers within the tracts and variations in feather forms are discussed at a cellular and molecular level. PMID:12949772

  2. Eggshell bacterial load is related to antimicrobial properties of feathers lining barn swallow nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peralta-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; Soler, Juan José; Martín-Platero, Antonio Manuel; Knight, Rob; Martínez-Bueno, Manuel; Møller, Anders Pape

    2014-02-01

    The use of feathers to line bird's nests has traditionally been interpreted as having a thermoregulatory function. Feather-degrading bacteria growing on feathers lining nests may have antimicrobial properties, which may provide an additional benefit to lining nests with feathers. We test the hypothesis that the production of antimicrobial substances by feather bacteria affects the microbiological environment of the nest, and therefore the bacterial density on eggshells and, indirectly, hatching success. These effects would be expected to differ between nests lined with pigmented and white feathers, because bacteria grow differently on feathers of different colors. We experimentally manipulated the composition of pigmented and unpigmented feathers in nests of the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) and studied the antimicrobial properties against the keratin-degrading bacterium Bacillus licheniformis of bacteria isolated from feathers of each color. Analyzed feathers were collected at the end of the incubation period, and antimicrobial activity was defined as the proportion of bacteria from the feathers that produce antibacterial substances effective against B. licheniformis. Our experimental manipulation affected antimicrobial activity, which was higher in nests with only white feathers at the beginning of incubation. Moreover, white feathers showed higher antimicrobial activity than black ones. Interestingly, antimicrobial activity in feathers of one of the colors correlated negatively with bacterial density on feather of the opposite color. Finally, antimicrobial activity of white feathers was negatively related to eggshell bacterial load. These results suggest that antimicrobial properties of feathers in general and of white feathers in particular affect the bacterial environment in nests. This environment in turn affects the bacterial load on eggshells, which may affect hatching success.

  3. Biomineralization and biosignatures of coralloid-type speleothems from lava tubes of Galapagos Islands: evidences on the fossil record of prokaryotes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Ana Z.; Garcia-Sanchez, Angela M.; Pereira, Manuel F. C.; Gazquez, Fernando; Calaforra, José M.; Forti, Paolo; Toulkeridis, Theofilos; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Saiz-Jimenez, Cesareo

    2016-04-01

    , whereas the final stage mainly consists of low crystalline calcite. FESEM-EDS analysis revealed mineralized bacterial filaments rich in Si on the coralloid samples, as well as minerals precipitation associated with extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), which serve as nuclei for preferential precipitation on the extracellular sheaths. This suggests that biological activity played a major role in the development of these speleothems. In addition, imprints of filamentous cells and microboring readily preserved on siliceous minerals were observed on the coralloid speleothems. These features are recognized as biosignatures valuable for astrobiology and may represent modern analogs of the fossil record of prokaryotes. DNA-based analyses showed that bacteria belonging to Actinobacteria (31%) Gemmatimonadetes (25%) and Proteobacteria (24%) phyla dominated in this cave ecosystem, followed by Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Nitrospirae. Most of the identified phylotypes were affiliated to chemoautotrophs, including thermophilic bacteria such as Ferrithrix thermotolerans, and other mineral utilizing microorganisms like Aciditerrimonas ferrireducens, Desulfuromonas sp. and Desulfovibrio sp., indicating that Galapagos lava tubes host highly specialized subsurface biosphere dominated by microorganisms able to interact with minerals and promote biomineralization. Acknowledgments: This work has been supported by the project PC-65-14 from the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador. AZM acknowledges the support from the Marie Curie Fellowship of the 7th EC Framework Programme (PIEF-GA-2012-328689-DECAVE). The authors acknowledge the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (project CGL2013-41674-P) and FEDER funds for financial support.

  4. Fossil energy research meeting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kropschot, R. H.; Phillips, G. C.

    1977-12-01

    U.S. ERDA's research programs in fossil energy are reviewed with brief descriptions, budgets, etc. Of general interest are discussions related to the capabilities for such research of national laboratories, universities, energy centers, etc. Of necessity many items are treated briefly, but a general overview of the whole program is provided. (LTN)

  5. Fossils and decapod phylogeny

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schram, Frederick R.; Dixon, Christopher

    2003-01-01

    An expanded series of morphological characters developed for a cladistic analysis of extant decapods has yielded a new hypothesis for the phylogeny of the group. Application of this database to selected fossil genera produces some interesting results and demonstrates the feasibility of treating

  6. Quantification of feather structure, wettability and resistance to liquid penetration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Siddarth; Chhatre, Shreerang S.; Guardado, Jesus O.; Park, Kyoo-Chul; Parker, Andrew R.; Rubner, Michael F.; McKinley, Gareth H.; Cohen, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    Birds in the cormorant (Phalacrocoracidae) family dive tens of metres into water to prey on fish while entraining a thin layer of air (a plastron film) within the microstructures of their feathers. In addition, many species within the family spread their wings for long periods of time upon emerging from water. To investigate whether wetting and wing-spreading are related to feather structure, microscopy and photographic studies have previously been used to extract structural parameters for barbs and barbules. In this work, we describe a systematic methodology to characterize the quasi-hierarchical topography of bird feathers that is based on contact angle measurements using a set of polar and non-polar probing liquids. Contact angle measurements on dip-coated feathers of six aquatic bird species (including three from the Phalacrocoracidae family) are used to extract two distinguishing structural parameters, a dimensionless spacing ratio of the barbule (D*) and a characteristic length scale corresponding to the spacing of defect sites. The dimensionless spacing parameter can be used in conjunction with a model for the surface topography to enable us to predict a priori the apparent contact angles of water droplets on feathers as well as the water breakthrough pressure required for the disruption of the plastron on the feather barbules. The predicted values of breakthrough depths in water (1–4 m) are towards the lower end of typical diving depths for the aquatic bird species examined here, and therefore a representative feather is expected to be fully wetted in a typical deep dive. However, thermodynamic surface energy analysis based on a simple one-dimensional cylindrical model of the feathers using parameters extracted from the goniometric analysis reveals that for water droplets on feathers of all six species under consideration, the non-wetting ‘Cassie–Baxter’ composite state represents the global energy minimum of the system. By contrast, for other

  7. Quantification of feather structure, wettability and resistance to liquid penetration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Siddarth; Chhatre, Shreerang S; Guardado, Jesus O; Park, Kyoo-Chul; Parker, Andrew R; Rubner, Michael F; McKinley, Gareth H; Cohen, Robert E

    2014-07-06

    Birds in the cormorant (Phalacrocoracidae) family dive tens of metres into water to prey on fish while entraining a thin layer of air (a plastron film) within the microstructures of their feathers. In addition, many species within the family spread their wings for long periods of time upon emerging from water. To investigate whether wetting and wing-spreading are related to feather structure, microscopy and photographic studies have previously been used to extract structural parameters for barbs and barbules. In this work, we describe a systematic methodology to characterize the quasi-hierarchical topography of bird feathers that is based on contact angle measurements using a set of polar and non-polar probing liquids. Contact angle measurements on dip-coated feathers of six aquatic bird species (including three from the Phalacrocoracidae family) are used to extract two distinguishing structural parameters, a dimensionless spacing ratio of the barbule (D*) and a characteristic length scale corresponding to the spacing of defect sites. The dimensionless spacing parameter can be used in conjunction with a model for the surface topography to enable us to predict a priori the apparent contact angles of water droplets on feathers as well as the water breakthrough pressure required for the disruption of the plastron on the feather barbules. The predicted values of breakthrough depths in water (1-4 m) are towards the lower end of typical diving depths for the aquatic bird species examined here, and therefore a representative feather is expected to be fully wetted in a typical deep dive. However, thermodynamic surface energy analysis based on a simple one-dimensional cylindrical model of the feathers using parameters extracted from the goniometric analysis reveals that for water droplets on feathers of all six species under consideration, the non-wetting 'Cassie-Baxter' composite state represents the global energy minimum of the system. By contrast, for other wetting

  8. Sustainability of Fossil Fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lackner, K. S.

    2002-05-01

    For a sustainable world economy, energy is a bottleneck. Energy is at the basis of a modern, technological society, but unlike materials it cannot be recycled. Energy or more precisely "negentropy" (the opposite of entropy) is always consumed. Thus, one either accepts the use of large but finite resources or must stay within the limits imposed by dilute but self-renewing resources like sunlight. The challenge of sustainable energy is exacerbated by likely growth in world energy demand due to increased population and increased wealth. Most of the world still has to undergo the transition to a wealthy, stable society with the near zero population growth that characterizes a modern industrial society. This represents a huge unmet demand. If ten billion people were to consume energy like North Americans do today, world energy demand would be ten times higher. In addition, technological advances while often improving energy efficiency tend to raise energy demand by offering more opportunity for consumption. Energy consumption still increases at close to the 2.3% per year that would lead to a tenfold increase over the course of the next century. Meeting future energy demands while phasing out fossil fuels appears extremely difficult. Instead, the world needs sustainable or nearly sustainable fossil fuels. I propose the following definition of sustainable under which fossil fuels would well qualify: The use of a technology or resource is sustainable if the intended and unintended consequences will not force its abandonment within a reasonable planning horizon. Of course sustainable technologies must not be limited by resource depletion but this is only one of many concerns. Environmental impacts, excessive land use, and other constraints can equally limit the use of a technology and thus render it unsustainable. In the foreseeable future, fossil fuels are not limited by resource depletion. However, environmental concerns based on climate change and other environmental

  9. Seabird feathers as monitors of the levels and persistence of heavy metal pollution after the Prestige oil spill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moreno, Rocio; Jover, Lluis; Diez, Carmen; Sanpera, Carola

    2011-01-01

    We measured heavy metal concentrations in yellow-legged gulls (n = 196) and European shags (n = 189) in order to assess the temporal pattern of contaminant exposure following the Prestige oil spill in November 2002. We analysed Pb, Cu, Zn, Cr, Ni and V levels in chick feathers sampled at four colonies during seven post-spill years (2003-2009), and compared results with pre-spill levels obtained from feathers of juvenile shag corpses (grown in spring/summer 2002). Following the Prestige wreck, Cu (4.3-10 μg g -1 ) and Pb concentrations (1.0-1.4 μg g -1 ) were, respectively, between two and five times higher than pre-spill levels (1.5-3.6 and 0.1-0.4 μg g -1 ), but returned to previous background concentrations after three years. Our study highlights the suitability of chick feathers of seabirds for assessing the impact of oil spills on heavy metal contamination, and provides the best evidence to date on the persistence of oil pollution after the Prestige incident. - Highlights: → Seabirds as sentinel species of levels and persistence of heavy metal pollution after oil spills. → Pb, Cu, Zn, Cr, Ni, V in chick feathers of Phalacrocorax aristotelis and Larus michahellis. → Chronic oil pollution in the marine food web for at least three years after the Prestige oil spill. - Monitoring heavy metal in seabird feathers indicated chronic oil pollution in the marine food web for at least three years after the Prestige oil spill.

  10. Renewables vs fossil fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adams, K. (Energy Research and Development Corporation (Australia))

    1992-01-01

    The paper examines some of the factors which will influence the future mix of energy from fossil fuels and renewable sources in Australia. Aspects covered include: the present energy situation; impact of environmental issues; potential for renewable energy; motivators for change; and research and development. It is concluded that the future for fossil fuels and renewable energy is dependent on a number of complex factors, many of which are currently unknown. The key factor is economic viability and that will be influenced by a range of factors such as policies of the Australian and overseas governments in relation to pollution and environment protection (reflected in the cost of meeting such requirements), exploration and production costs (also influenced by government policies), availability of supply, rate of technological development and the size of export markets. 8 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  11. Flight feather attachment in rock pigeons (Columba livia): covert feathers and smooth muscle coordinate a morphing wing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hieronymus, Tobin L

    2016-11-01

    Mechanisms for passively coordinating forelimb movements and flight feather abduction and adduction have been described separately from both in vivo and ex vivo studies. Skeletal coordination has been identified as a way for birds to simplify the neuromotor task of controlling flight stroke, but an understanding of the relationship between skeletal coordination and the coordination of the aerodynamic control surface (the flight feathers) has been slow to materialize. This break between the biomechanical and aerodynamic approaches - between skeletal kinematics and airfoil shape - has hindered the study of dynamic flight behaviors. Here I use dissection and histology to identify previously overlooked interconnections between musculoskeletal elements and flight feathers. Many of these structures are well-placed to directly link elements of the passive musculoskeletal coordination system with flight feather movements. Small bundles of smooth muscle form prominent connections between upper forearm coverts (deck feathers) and the ulna, as well as the majority of interconnections between major flight feathers of the hand. Abundant smooth muscle may play a role in efficient maintenance of folded wing posture, and may also provide an autonomically regulated means of tuning wing shape and aeroelastic behavior in flight. The pattern of muscular and ligamentous linkages of flight feathers to underlying muscle and bone may provide predictable passive guidance for the shape of the airfoil during flight stroke. The structures described here provide an anatomical touchstone for in vivo experimental tests of wing surface coordination in an extensively researched avian model species. © 2016 Anatomical Society.

  12. A fossils detector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buffetaut, E.

    1998-01-01

    Because fossil bones are often rich in uraninite they can be detected using a portable gamma-ray detector run over the prospected site. Zones with higher radioactivity are possible accumulations of bones or skeletons. This method invented by R. Jones from the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, USA) has been successfully used in the field and led to the discovery of new dinosaur skeletons. Short paper. (J.S.)

  13. Early evolutionary colocalization of the nuclear ribosomal 5S and 45S gene families in seed plants: evidence from the living fossil gymnosperm Ginkgo biloba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galián, J A; Rosato, M; Rosselló, J A

    2012-06-01

    In seed plants, the colocalization of the 5S loci within the intergenic spacer (IGS) of the nuclear 45S tandem units is restricted to the phylogenetically derived Asteraceae family. However, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) colocalization of both multigene families has also been observed in other unrelated seed plant lineages. Previous work has identified colocalization of 45S and 5S loci in Ginkgo biloba using FISH, but these observations have not been confirmed recently by sequencing a 1.8 kb IGS. In this work, we report the presence of the 45S-5S linkage in G. biloba, suggesting that in seed plants the molecular events leading to the restructuring of the ribosomal loci are much older than estimated previously. We obtained a 6.0 kb IGS fragment showing structural features of functional sequences, and a single copy of the 5S gene was inserted in the same direction of transcription as the ribosomal RNA genes. We also obtained a 1.8 kb IGS that was a truncate variant of the 6.0 kb IGS lacking the 5S gene. Several lines of evidence strongly suggest that the 1.8 kb variants are pseudogenes that are present exclusively on the satellite chromosomes bearing the 45S-5S genes. The presence of ribosomal IGS pseudogenes best reconciles contradictory results concerning the presence or absence of the 45S-5S linkage in Ginkgo. Our finding that both ribosomal gene families have been unified to a single 45S-5S unit in Ginkgo indicates that an accurate reassessment of the organization of rDNA genes in basal seed plants is necessary.

  14. Theoretical morphology and development of flight feather vane asymmetry with experimental tests in parrots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feo, Teresa J; Prum, Richard O

    2014-06-01

    Asymmetry in flight feather vane width is a major functional innovation associated with the evolution of flight in the ancestors of birds. However, the developmental and morphological basis of feather shape is not simple, and the developmental processes involved in vane width asymmetry are poorly understood. We present a theoretical model of feather morphology and development that describes the possible ways to modify feather development and produce vane asymmetry. Our model finds that the theoretical morphospace of feather shape is redundant, and that many different combinations of parameters could be responsible for vane asymmetry in a given feather. Next, we empirically measured morphological and developmental model parameters in asymmetric and symmetric feathers from two species of parrots to identify which combinations of parameters create vane asymmetry in real feathers. We found that both longer barbs, and larger barb angles in the relatively wider trailing vane drove asymmetry in tail feathers. Developmentally, longer barbs were the result of an offset of the radial position of the new barb locus, whereas larger barb angles were produced by differential expansion of barbs as the feather unfurls from the tubular feather germ. In contrast, the helical angle of barb ridge development did not contribute to vane asymmetry and could be indicative of a constraint. This research provides the first comprehensive description of both the morphological and developmental modifications responsible for vane asymmetry within real feathers, and identifies key steps that must have occurred during the evolution of vane asymmetry. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. The development and causation of feather pecking in the domestic fowl

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blokhuis, H.J.

    1989-01-01

    Feather pecking in poultry consists of pecking directed at the feathers of other birds, sometimes pulling out and eating these feathers. It may result in severe damage of the integument of the birds, including wounds of the skin. Finally wounded birds may be pecked to death (cannibalism).

  16. 77 FR 12493 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Feather River Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-01

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Feather River Air Quality Management District AGENCY... limited disapproval of revisions to the Feather River Air Quality Management District (FRAQMD) portion of.... * * * * * (c) * * * (378) * * * (i) * * * (E) Feather River Air Quality Management District. (1) Rule 3.22...

  17. Do spotless starlings place feathers at their nests by ultraviolet color?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avilés, Jesús M.; Parejo, Deseada; Pérez-Contreras, Tomás; Navarro, Carlos; Soler, Juan J.

    2010-02-01

    A considerable number of bird species carry feathers to their nests. Feathers’ presence in the nests has traditionally been explained by their insulating properties. Recently, however, it has been suggested that feathers carried to the nests by females of the spotted starling ( Sturnus unicolor L.) could have an ornamental function based on their ultraviolet (300-400 nm) and human-visible longer wavelength (400-700 nm) coloration. In our population, 95.7% of feathers found inside next-boxes occupied by nesting starlings were rock dove fly feathers. Of these feathers, 82.7% were naturally positioned with their reverse side oriented toward the entrance hole and 42.4% of all found feathers were situated within the nest-cup. Here we experimentally assess the signaling function of ultraviolet coloration of feathers in nests of spotless starlings by providing nests with a number of pigeon flight feathers that were respectively treated on their obverse, reverse, both, or neither side with a UV blocker. Starlings placed 42.5% of the experimental feathers in the nest-cup irrespective of the UV block treatment. Orientation of feathers toward the entrance hole was not related with their ultraviolet radiation. However, feathers placed within the nest-cup were more likely found with their reverse side oriented toward the entrance hole confirming our correlative findings. These results suggest a minor role of ultraviolet coloration on feather location by spotless starlings.

  18. Determination of Cr and Cd concentration adsorbed by chicken feathers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez M, A.; Cuapio O, L.A.; Cardenas P, S.; Balcazar, M.; Jauregui, V.; Bonilla P, A.

    2008-01-01

    In this work the results of the samples analysis of chicken feathers are presented, used as adsorber of the heavy metals Cd and Cr present in water solutions with well-known concentrations of these metals. It was used the Neutron Activation Analysis technique (AAN), using the TRIGA Mark-III reactor of the Nuclear Center of Mexico. The obtained results they show the advantages of having a versatile installation for the analysis of this type of samples. By means of the analysis of the results, it was determined the feasibility of using chicken feathers like adsorber of these metals present in polluted waters, additionally, it was detected the presence of others polluting elements in the inputs to prepare the reference solutions as well as in the processes, so much of preparation of the feathers like of the metals adsorption. (Author)

  19. Morphology of primary feathers in two falcon species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honisch, B.; Bleckmann, H.; Schmitz, H.; Schmitz, A.

    2012-04-01

    Primary feathers allow birds to fly; however, morphology and material properties of theses feathers vary in different bird species. We therefore analysed both morphology and material properties of primary feathers in two raptor species, the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) which is the fastest vertical flyer known, and the kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and nanoindentation. The program AutoCAD was used for the computation of the moments of inertia. The reduced E-modulus of the cortex of the rachis of the first, fifth, and tenth primary were measured at proximal (10% of total rachis length), central (50%) and distal (75%) cross-sections. In all cross sections the kestrel showed higher E-moduli than the peregrine falcon (values varied between 6.7 and 9.1 GPa). In the primaries, values increased from proximal to central but decreased distally. Looking at the hardness, the kestrel had higher values than the peregrine falcon yet again. The main differences occurred in the first primary. Values ranged between 0.17 and 0.4 GPa. SEM studies revealed that the tenth primary was more stable in the peregrine falcon, featuring more hamuli than the kestrel at all analysed positions and longer hamuli at the distal positions. The higher moments of inertia found in the peregrine falcon caused a much higher bending stiffness in this species. Values were 4.4 to 9.1 times larger in the peregrine falcon than in the kestrel. Because the given structures are responsible for the stability of the feather face it seems that the feathers of F. peregrinus are more robust than those of F. tinnunculus. Even when considering the higher body mass of the peregrine falcon compared to the kestrel (3.4 times), the determined stability of the feather compensates for this problem.

  20. Fossil Microorganisms in Archaean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astafleva, Marina; Hoover, Richard; Rozanov, Alexei; Vrevskiy, A.

    2006-01-01

    Ancient Archean and Proterozoic rocks are the model objects for investigation of rocks comprising astromaterials. The first of Archean fossil microorganisms from Baltic shield have been reported at the last SPIE Conference in 2005. Since this confeence biomorphic structures have been revealed in Archean rocks of Karelia. It was determined that there are 3 types of such bion structures: 1. structures found in situ, in other words microorganisms even-aged with rock matrix, that is real Archean fossils biomorphic structures, that is to say forms inhabited early formed rocks, and 3. younger than Archean-Protherozoic minerali microorganisms, that is later contamination. We made attempt to differentiate these 3 types of findings and tried to understand of burial of microorganisms. The structures belongs (from our point of view) to the first type, or real Archean, forms were under examination. Practical investigation of ancient microorganisms from Green-Stone-Belt of Northern Karelia turns to be very perspective. It shows that even in such ancient time as Archean ancient diverse world existed. Moreover probably such relatively highly organized cyanobacteria and perhaps eukaryotic formes existed in Archean world.

  1. Both feather peckers and victims are more asymmetrical than control hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machado Tahamtani, Fernanda; Forkman, Björn; Hinrichsen, Lena Karina

    2017-01-01

    Feather pecking is the major welfare issue facing the egg farming industry worldwide. Previous research has found a relationship between cannibalistic behaviour, fluctuating asymmetry of bilateral traits (FA) and body weight in laying hens. As cannibalism is linked to severe feather pecking......, it could be suggested that a relationship between feather pecking, FA and body weight also exists. The purpose of this study was to analyse the association between feather pecking behaviour and a) FA, b) body weight and c) comb size in laying hens. Sixty-four laying hens were categorised as feather peckers...

  2. Pyrolyzed feather fibers for adsorbent and high temperature applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senoz, Erman

    Chicken feather fibers (CFF) are problematic and costly for the poultry industry in terms of managing maintenance and disposal. Considering their great availability, low cost, and unique protein structure, CFF can be an environmentally friendly and bio-renewable candidate to replace petroleum products. CFF's low degradation and melting temperature render them useless at high temperatures. Pyrolysis methods were developed for CFF by using two temperature steps to convert them into high temperature resistant and adsorbent fibers while retaining their original physical appearance and affine dimensions. An intermolecular crosslinking mechanism in the first step of pyrolysis at 215 ºC for 24 h provided an intact fibrous structure with no subsequent melting. The evidence obtained from the thermal, bulk, and surface analysis techniques was indication of the simultaneous side chain degradation, polypeptide backbone scission, disulfide bond cleavage, and isopeptide crosslinking. The variation in the reaction kinetics of disulfide bond cleavage and isopeptide crosslinking played an important role in the melting transition. Consequently, long-lasting heat treatments below the melting point provided sufficient crosslinks in the protein matrix to keep the fibrous structure intact. Water-insoluble and crosslinked CFF reinforced the triglyceride-fatty acid based composites by providing a 15 fold increase in storage and tensile modulus at room temperature. These thermally stable fibers can be used instead of CFF in composites which may require high temperature compounding and molding processes. The second step of pyrolysis at 400--450 ºC for 1 h resulted in microporous fibers with a micropore volume of ˜0.18 cm3/g STP and with a narrower pore size distribution than commercial activated carbons through thermal degradation. Nearly all accessible pores in the microporous pyrolyzed chicken feather fibers (PCFF) had diameters less than 1 nm and therefore, showed a potential to be

  3. Ecomorphology of parasite attachment: experiments with feather lice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, Sarah E; Sohn, Edward; Clayton, Dale H

    2006-02-01

    The host specificity of some parasites can be reinforced by morphological specialization for attachment to mobile hosts. For example, ectoparasites with adaptations for attaching to hosts of a particular size might not be able to remain attached to larger or smaller hosts. This hypothesis is suggested by the positive correlation documented between the body sizes of many parasites and their hosts. We adopted an ecomorphological approach to test the attachment hypothesis. We tested the ability of host-specific feather lice (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera) to attach to 6 novel species of pigeons and doves that vary in size by nearly 2 orders of magnitude. Surprisingly, Rock Pigeon lice (Columbicola columbae) remained attached equally well to all 6 novel host species. We tested the relative importance of 3 factors that could facilitate louse attachment: whole-body insertion, tarsal claw use, and mandible use. Insertion, per se, was not necessary for attachment. However, insertion on coarse feathers of large hosts allowed lice to access feather barbules with their mandibles. Mandible use was a key component of attachment regardless of feather size. Attachment constraints do not appear to reinforce host specificity in this system.

  4. 50 CFR 20.91 - Commercial use of feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Commercial use of feathers. 20.91 Section 20.91 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.... Any person may possess, purchase, sell, barter, or transport for the making of fishing flies, bed...

  5. Modelling growth curves of Nigerian indigenous normal feather ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study was conducted to predict the growth curve parameters using Bayesian Gompertz and logistic models and also to compare the two growth function in describing the body weight changes across age in Nigerian indigenous normal feather chicken. Each chick was wing-tagged at day old and body weights were ...

  6. Mercury bioaccumulation in Southern Appalachian birds, assessed through feather concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca Hylton Keller; Lingtian Xie; David B. Buchwalter; Kathleen E. Franzreb; Theodore R Simons

    2014-01-01

    Mercury contamination in wildlife has rarely been studied in the Southern Appalachians despite high deposition rates in the region. From 2006 to 2008 we sampled feathers from 458 birds representing 32 species in the Southern Appalachians for total mercury and stable isotope ä 15N. Mercury concentrations (mean ± SE) averaged 0.46...

  7. Corrected placement of Mus-Rattus fossil calibration forces precision in the molecular tree of rodents

    OpenAIRE

    Kimura, Yuri; Hawkins, Melissa T. R.; McDonough, Molly M.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Flynn, Lawrence J.

    2015-01-01

    Time calibration derived from the fossil record is essential for molecular phylogenetic and evolutionary studies. Fossil mice and rats, discovered in the Siwalik Group of Pakistan, have served as one of the best-known fossil calibration points in molecular phylogenic studies. Although these fossils have been widely used as the 12 Ma date for the Mus/Rattus split or a more basal split, conclusive paleontological evidence for the nodal assignments has been absent. This study analyzes newly reco...

  8. Preparation and characterization of sponge film made from feathers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhuang, Yuan; Wu, Xiaoqian [College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620 (China); Cao, Zhangjun [College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620 (China); Zhao, Xiaoxiang; Zhou, Meihua [College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620 (China); Gao, Pin, E-mail: gaopin@mail.dhu.edu.cn [College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620 (China)

    2013-12-01

    Feather wastes generated from poultry farms will pose a problem for disposal, but they are sustainable resources of keratin. Reduction is one of the commonly used methods to obtain soluble keratin from feather. However, the residues generated during feather reduction reaction were rarely investigated. In this study, the residues were transformed into a porous and flexible sponge film by freeze-drying without pretreatment or addition of cross-linking agents. Glycerol was used to alter the physical and chemical characteristics of the sponge film. The film was characterized with a fiber strong stretch instrument, a Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer, scanning electron microscopy, an elemental analyzer, a differential scanning calorimeter and an automatic air permeability apparatus. Tensile strength and melting point of the sponge film with the optimum glycerol content were 6.2 MPa and 170 °C respectively. Due to air permeability of 368 mm/s, the film can potentially be used in medicine, biology, textile, environmental technology, and so on. It is ecologically friendly and will produce additional benefits from the renewable materials. The film was utilized as adsorbents to remove Cr(VI) from aqueous solutions and as a filtering material for air pollution. Its maximum Cr(VI) uptake capacity was about 148.8 mg/g and the removal rate of PM{sub 10} was 98.3%. - Graphical abstract: The reduction residues were made into a smooth, elastic, porous and flexible sponge film through freeze drying, no pretreatment and no cross-linking agent added. - Highlights: • The residue from feather waste reduction was turned into a sponge film. • A glycerol content of 5% produced a sponge with the optimum characteristics. • The sponge was uniform, stable up to 160 °C, and had an air permeability of 368 mm/s. • Feather-derived sponge film has potential applications in medicine and technology.

  9. Preparation and characterization of sponge film made from feathers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhuang, Yuan; Wu, Xiaoqian; Cao, Zhangjun; Zhao, Xiaoxiang; Zhou, Meihua; Gao, Pin

    2013-01-01

    Feather wastes generated from poultry farms will pose a problem for disposal, but they are sustainable resources of keratin. Reduction is one of the commonly used methods to obtain soluble keratin from feather. However, the residues generated during feather reduction reaction were rarely investigated. In this study, the residues were transformed into a porous and flexible sponge film by freeze-drying without pretreatment or addition of cross-linking agents. Glycerol was used to alter the physical and chemical characteristics of the sponge film. The film was characterized with a fiber strong stretch instrument, a Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer, scanning electron microscopy, an elemental analyzer, a differential scanning calorimeter and an automatic air permeability apparatus. Tensile strength and melting point of the sponge film with the optimum glycerol content were 6.2 MPa and 170 °C respectively. Due to air permeability of 368 mm/s, the film can potentially be used in medicine, biology, textile, environmental technology, and so on. It is ecologically friendly and will produce additional benefits from the renewable materials. The film was utilized as adsorbents to remove Cr(VI) from aqueous solutions and as a filtering material for air pollution. Its maximum Cr(VI) uptake capacity was about 148.8 mg/g and the removal rate of PM 10 was 98.3%. - Graphical abstract: The reduction residues were made into a smooth, elastic, porous and flexible sponge film through freeze drying, no pretreatment and no cross-linking agent added. - Highlights: • The residue from feather waste reduction was turned into a sponge film. • A glycerol content of 5% produced a sponge with the optimum characteristics. • The sponge was uniform, stable up to 160 °C, and had an air permeability of 368 mm/s. • Feather-derived sponge film has potential applications in medicine and technology

  10. Diagnosing Homo sapiens in the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stringer, Christopher Brian; Buck, Laura Tabitha

    2014-01-01

    Diagnosing Homo sapiens is a critical question in the study of human evolution. Although what constitutes living members of our own species is straightforward, in the fossil record this is still a matter of much debate. The issue is complicated by questions of species diagnoses and ideas about the mode by which a new species is born, by the arguments surrounding the behavioural and cognitive separateness of the species, by the increasing appreciation of variation in the early African H. sapiens record and by new DNA evidence of hybridization with extinct species. This study synthesizes thinking on the fossils, archaeology and underlying evolutionary models of the last several decades with recent DNA results from both H. sapiens and fossil species. It is concluded that, although it may not be possible or even desirable to cleanly partition out a homogenous morphological description of recent H. sapiens in the fossil record, there are key, distinguishing morphological traits in the cranium, dentition and pelvis that can be usefully employed to diagnose the H. sapiens lineage. Increasing advances in retrieving and understanding relevant genetic data provide a complementary and perhaps potentially even more fruitful means of characterizing the differences between H. sapiens and its close relatives.

  11. Radioactivity in fossils at the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, C Neal; Kathren, Ronald L; Christensen, Craig

    2008-08-01

    Since 1996, higher than background levels of naturally occurring radioactivity have been documented in both fossil and mineral deposits at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in south-central Idaho. Radioactive fossil sites occur primarily within an elevation zone of 900-1000 m above sea level and are most commonly found associated with ancient river channels filled with sand. Fossils found in clay rich deposits do not exhibit discernable levels of radioactivity. Out of 300 randomly selected fossils, approximately three-fourths exhibit detectable levels of natural radioactivity ranging from 1 to 2 orders of magnitude above ambient background levels when surveyed with a portable hand held Geiger-Muller survey instrument. Mineral deposits in geologic strata also show above ambient background levels of radioactivity. Radiochemical lab analysis has documented the presence of numerous natural radioactive isotopes. It is postulated that ancient groundwater transported radioactive elements through sand bodies containing fossils which precipitated out of solution during the fossilization process. The elevated levels of natural radioactivity in fossils may require special precautions to ensure that exposures to personnel from stored or displayed items are kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA).

  12. Owls may use faeces and prey feathers to signal current reproduction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo Penteriani

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Many animals communicate by marking focal elements of their home range with different kinds of materials. Visual signaling has been demonstrated to play a previously unrecognized role in the intraspecific communication of eagle owls (Bubo bubo, in both territorial and parent-offspring contexts. Visual signals may play a role in a variety of circumstances in this crepuscular and nocturnal species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we report that a large amount of extremely visible white faeces and prey feathers appear during the breeding season on posts and plucking sites in proximity to the nest, potentially representing a way for eagle owls to mark their territory. We present descriptive and experimental evidence showing that faeces and prey remains could act as previously unrecognized visual signals in a nocturnal avian predator. This novel signaling behavior could indicate the owls' current reproductive status to potential intruders, such as other territorial owls or non-breeding floaters. Faeces and prey feather markings may also advertise an owl's reproductive status or function in mate-mate communication. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We speculate that faeces marks and plucking may represent an overlooked but widespread method for communicating current reproduction to conspecifics. Such marking behavior may be common in birds, and we may now be exploring other questions and mechanisms in territoriality.

  13. Vertical transmission of feather lice between adult blackbirds Turdus merula and their nestlings: a lousy perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke, M de L

    2010-12-01

    There is limited information about the natural history of the transmission of feather lice (Phthiraptera) from parent birds to their young. This article therefore examines the transmission of 4 species of feather lice from parent blackbirds to their nestlings in an English population, and addresses questions formulated from the perspective of the lice. The lice that disperse onto the several young in the nest were mostly found on the larger chicks, those with higher survival prospects. The lice dispersing to chicks were overwhelmingly nymphs, which cannot be sexed morphologically, and so the prediction that the adult lice dispersing would be disproportionately female, potential founders of a new population, was only supported for the most numerous species, Brueelia merulensis. There was no evidence that louse dispersal to chicks was density dependent and more likely when the parents were more heavily infested. Finally, I predicted that lice might aggregate on female blackbirds, which undertake more brooding, to increase their chance of transmission to nestlings. For 1 louse species, B. merulensis, prevalence, but not louse intensity, was higher on female than male blackbirds. For 2 other louse species, Philopterus turdi and Menacanthus eurysternus, no differences between male and female blackbirds were detected.

  14. Owls may use faeces and prey feathers to signal current reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penteriani, Vincenzo; Delgado, Maria del Mar

    2008-08-20

    Many animals communicate by marking focal elements of their home range with different kinds of materials. Visual signaling has been demonstrated to play a previously unrecognized role in the intraspecific communication of eagle owls (Bubo bubo), in both territorial and parent-offspring contexts. Visual signals may play a role in a variety of circumstances in this crepuscular and nocturnal species. Here, we report that a large amount of extremely visible white faeces and prey feathers appear during the breeding season on posts and plucking sites in proximity to the nest, potentially representing a way for eagle owls to mark their territory. We present descriptive and experimental evidence showing that faeces and prey remains could act as previously unrecognized visual signals in a nocturnal avian predator. This novel signaling behavior could indicate the owls' current reproductive status to potential intruders, such as other territorial owls or non-breeding floaters. Faeces and prey feather markings may also advertise an owl's reproductive status or function in mate-mate communication. We speculate that faeces marks and plucking may represent an overlooked but widespread method for communicating current reproduction to conspecifics. Such marking behavior may be common in birds, and we may now be exploring other questions and mechanisms in territoriality.

  15. The Talking Neanderthals: What Do Fossils, Genetics, and Archeology Say?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sverker Johansson

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Did Neanderthals have language? This issue has been debated back and forth for decades, without resolution. But in recent years new evidence has become available. New fossils and archeological finds cast light on relevant Neanderthal anatomy and behavior. New DNA evidence, both fossil and modern, provides clues both to the relationship between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, and to the genetics of language. In this paper, I review and evaluate the available evidence. My conclusion is that the preponderance of the evidence supports the presence of some form of language in Neanderthals.

  16. Adrenocortical reactivity and central serotonin and dopamine turnover in young chicks from a high and low feather-pecking line of laying hens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hierden, YM; Korte, SM; Ruesink, EW; van Reenen, CG; Engel, B; Korte-Bouws, GAH; Koolhaas, JM; Blokhuis, HJ

    2002-01-01

    Feather pecking in domestic fowl is a behavioral abnormality that consists of mild or injurious pecking at feathers of conspecifics. Previously, it was shown that chicks from a high feather-pecking (HFP) and low feather-pecking (LFP) line of laying hens already differ in their propensity to feather

  17. First fossil insectivores from Flores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoek Ostende, van den L.W.; Berch, van der G.; Awe Due, R.

    2006-01-01

    The hominid bearing strata from the Liang Bua cave on Flores have yielded a large amount of microvertebrate remains. Among these are three mandibles of shrews, the first record of fossil insectivores from the island. The fossils, representing two different species, are not referable to any of the

  18. The morphology of neoptile feathers: ancestral state reconstruction and its phylogenetic implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foth, Christian

    2011-04-01

    Avian neoptile feathers are defined as the first feather generation, which covers the chick after hatching, and usually described as simple structures consisting of numerous downy barbs which are radially symmetrically arranged and come together in a short calamus. In contrast, in some birds (e.g., Anas platyrhynchos, Dromaius novaehollandiae) the neoptile feathers have a prominent rhachis, and therefore display clear bilateral symmetry. Because the symmetrical variety found in neoptile feathers is poorly understood, their morphology was studied in a more comprehensive and phylogenetic approach. Neoptile body feathers from over 22 bird species were investigated using light microscopy, SEM, and MicroCT. Characters such as an anterior-posterior axis, a central rhachis, medullary cells, and structure of the calamus wall were defined and mapped onto recent phylogenetic hypotheses for extant birds. It can be shown that bilaterally symmetric neoptile feathers (with a solid calamus wall) were already present in the stem lineage of crown-group birds (Neornithes). In contrast, simple radially symmetric neoptile feathers (with a fragile calamus wall) are an apomorphic character complex for the clade Neoaves. The simple morphology of this feather type may be the result of a reduced period of development during embryogenesis. To date, embryogenesis of neoptile feathers from only a few bird species was used as a model to reconstruct feather evolution. Because this study shows that the morphology of neoptile feathers is more diverse and even shows a clear phylogenetic signal, it is necessary to expand the spectrum of "model organisms" to species with bilaterally symmetric neoptile feathers and compare differences in the frequency of feather development from a phylogenetic point of view. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Fossil fuel furnace reactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, William J.

    1987-01-01

    A fossil fuel furnace reactor is provided for simulating a continuous processing plant with a batch reactor. An internal reaction vessel contains a batch of shale oil, with the vessel having a relatively thin wall thickness for a heat transfer rate effective to simulate a process temperature history in the selected continuous processing plant. A heater jacket is disposed about the reactor vessel and defines a number of independent controllable temperature zones axially spaced along the reaction vessel. Each temperature zone can be energized to simulate a time-temperature history of process material through the continuous plant. A pressure vessel contains both the heater jacket and the reaction vessel at an operating pressure functionally selected to simulate the continuous processing plant. The process yield from the oil shale may be used as feedback information to software simulating operation of the continuous plant to provide operating parameters, i.e., temperature profiles, ambient atmosphere, operating pressure, material feed rates, etc., for simulation in the batch reactor.

  20. Manakins can produce iridescent and bright feather colours without melanosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igic, Branislav; D'Alba, Liliana; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2016-06-15

    Males of many species often use colourful and conspicuous ornaments to attract females. Among these, male manakins (family: Pipridae) provide classic examples of sexual selection favouring the evolution of bright and colourful plumage coloration. The highly iridescent feather colours of birds are most commonly produced by the periodic arrangement of melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) within barbules. Melanin increases the saturation of iridescent colours seen from optimal viewing angles by absorbing back-scattered light; however, this may reduce the wide-angle brightness of these signals, contributing to a dark background appearance. We examined the nanostructure of four manakin species (Lepidothrix isidorei, L. iris, L. nattereri and L. coeruleocapilla) to identify how they produce their bright plumage colours. Feather barbs of all four species were characterized by dense and fibrous internal spongy matrices that likely increase scattering of light within the barb. The iridescent, yet pale or whitish colours of L. iris and L. nattereri feathers were produced not by periodically arranged melanosomes within barbules, but by periodic matrices of air and β-keratin within barbs. Lepidothrix iris crown feathers were able to produce a dazzling display of colours with small shifts in viewing geometry, likely because of a periodic nanostructure, a flattened barb morphology and disorder at a microstructural level. We hypothesize that iridescent plumage ornaments of male L. iris and L. nattereri are under selection to increase brightness or luminance across wide viewing angles, which may potentially increase their detectability by females during dynamic and fast-paced courtship displays in dim light environments. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. Feather mites of Calidris fuscicollis (Aves: Scolopacidae) in Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Gomes, S. N.; Pesenti, T. C.; Cirne, M. P.; Müller, G.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract During the period 2010-2012, eighty individuals of Calidris fuscicollis (Vieillot, 1819) were collected on the southern coast of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, with the objective of determining the presence of feather mites. Of the 80 birds examined, 32.5% were infested by mites, identified as Avenzoaria calidridis (Oudemans, 1904) (Avenzoariidae) (31.25%), Montchadskiana securicata (Megnin & Trouessart 1884) (Pterolichidae) (22.5%) and Alloptes limosae (Dubinin, 1951) (Alloptidae) (6.25...

  2. Fully Biodegradable Biocomposites with High Chicken Feather Content

    OpenAIRE

    Aranberri, Ibon; Montes, Sarah; Azcune, Itxaso; Rekondo, Alaitz; Grande, Hans-Jürgen

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this work was to develop new biodegradable polymeric materials with high loadings of chicken feather (CF). In this study, the effect of CF concentration and the type of biodegradable matrix on the physical, mechanical and thermal properties of the biocomposites was investigated. The selected biopolymers were polylactic acid (PLA), polybutyrate adipate terephthalate (PBAT) and a PLA/thermoplastic copolyester blend. The studied biocomposites were manufactured with a to...

  3. Chicken feather fiber as an additive in MDF composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerrold E. Winandy; James H. Muehl; Jessie A. Glaeser; Walter Schmidt

    2007-01-01

    Medium density fiberboard (MDF) panels were made with aspen fiber and 0-95% chicken feather fiber (CFF) in 2.5%, 5%, or 25% increments, using 5% phenol formaldehyde resin as the adhesive. Panels were tested for mechanical and physical properties as well as decay. The addition of CFF decreased strength and stiffness of MDF-CFF composites compared with that of all-wood...

  4. Poultry feather wastes recycling possibility as soil nutrient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lili Mézes

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Poultry feathers are produced in large amounts as a waste in poultry slaughterhouses. Only 60-70% of the poultry slaughterhouse products are edible for human being. This means more million tons annually worldwide (Papadopoulus et al., 1986; Williams et al., 1991; Hegedűs et al., 1998. The keratin-content of feather can be difficulty digested, so physical, chemical and/or biological pre-treatment are needed in practice, which have to be set according to the utilization method. Feather was enzymatic degraded, and then fermented in separated bioreactors. The anaerobic bioreactor system (4 digesters with 6 litre volume was controlled by ACE SCADA software running on Linux platforms. Pot scale seed germination tests were established to suggest the quantity of digested slurry to be utilized. The chosen test plants were lettuce (Lactuca sativa. In case of reproduction test Student’s t-test was applied to examine significant differences between the root lengths of the control and the treated plant species. In case of pot seed germination variance analysis with Tukey B’s and Duncan test was applied to examine significant differences between the root lengths of plants, grown on different treatments. The effect of treatments on germination ability of the plant species was expressed in the percentage of the controls. According to Student’s t-test significant difference was found between root lengths of different treatments. Based on variance analysis with Tukey B’s and Duncan tests could be detected a significant difference between the treatments. Utilization of the fermented material reduces the use of fertilizers and because of its large moisture content it reduces the watering costs. Recycle of the slaughterhouse feather and different agricultural wastes and by-products can solve three main problems: disposal of harmful materials, producing of renewable energy and soil nutrient, measuring reflectance at the certain spectral range, which can

  5. Evaluation of hard fossil fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zivkovic, S.; Nuic, J.

    1999-01-01

    Because of its inexhaustible supplies hard fossil fuel will represent the pillar of the power systems of the 21st century. Only high-calorie fossil fuels have the market value and participate in the world trade. Low-calorie fossil fuels ((brown coal and lignite) are fuels spent on the spot and their value is indirectly expressed through manufactured kWh. For the purpose of determining the real value of a tonne of low-calorie coal, the criteria that help in establishing the value of a tonne of hard coal have to be corrected and thus evaluated and assessed at the market. (author)

  6. Study of chemisrty and hydrolysates drying parameters of feather-downy raw material

    OpenAIRE

    LISITSYN A.B.; KRIGER O.V.; MITROKHIN P.V.

    2016-01-01

    The article describes chemical and amino acid composition of feather-downy raw material. It determines the mass fraction of crude protein, crude fiber, ash, calcium, phosphorus, sodium in the samples of feather-downy raw material. It is stated that the waste from poultry processing obtained from hens of all the studied species are characterized by a high content of crude protein and low in crude fiber and ash. The most valuable feather-downy raw material regarding protein is waste containing ...

  7. Shrimp pond wastewater treatment using pyrolyzed chicken feather as adsorbent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Wei Chek; Jbara, Mohamad Hasan; Palaniandy, Puganeshwary; Yusoff, Mohd Suffian

    2017-10-01

    In this study, chicken feather fiber was used as a raw material to prepare a non-expensive adsorbent by pyrolysis without chemical activation. The main pollutants treated in this study were chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammoniacal nitrogen (NH3-N) from shrimp pond wastewater containing high concentrations of nutrients, which caused the eutrophication phenomenon in adjacent water. Batch adsorption studies were performed to investigate the effect of pH (5-8), mass of adsorbent (0.5-3 g), and shaking time (0.5-2 h) on the removal efficiency of COD and NH3- N. Experimental results showed that the optimum conditions were as follows: pH 5, 0.5 g of adsorbent, and 0.5 h of shaking. Under these conditions, 34.01% and 40.47% of COD and NH3-N were removed, respectively, from shrimp pond wastewater. The adsorption processes were best described by the Langmuir isotherm model for COD and NH3-N removal, with maximum monolayer adsorption capacity of 36.9 and 7.24 mg/g for COD and NH3-N, respectively. The results proved that chicken feather could remove COD and NH3-N from shrimp pond wastewater. However, further studies on thermal treatment should be carried out to increase the removal efficiency of pyrolyzed chicken feather fiber.

  8. Fully Biodegradable Biocomposites with High Chicken Feather Content

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibon Aranberri

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to develop new biodegradable polymeric materials with high loadings of chicken feather (CF. In this study, the effect of CF concentration and the type of biodegradable matrix on the physical, mechanical and thermal properties of the biocomposites was investigated. The selected biopolymers were polylactic acid (PLA, polybutyrate adipate terephthalate (PBAT and a PLA/thermoplastic copolyester blend. The studied biocomposites were manufactured with a torque rheometer having a CF content of 50 and 60 wt %. Due to the low tensile strength of CFs, the resulting materials were penalized in terms of mechanical properties. However, high-loading CF biocomposites resulted in lightweight and thermal-insulating materials when compared with neat bioplastics. Additionally, the adhesion between CFs and the PLA matrix was also investigated and a significant improvement of the wettability of the feathers was obtained with the alkali treatment of the CFs and the addition of a plasticizer like polyethylene glycol (PEG. Considering all the properties, these 100% fully biodegradable biocomposites could be adequate for panel components, flooring or building materials as an alternative to wood–plastic composites, contributing to the valorisation of chicken feather waste as a renewable material.

  9. Preparation and characterization of sponge film made from feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, Yuan; Wu, Xiaoqian; Cao, Zhangjun; Zhao, Xiaoxiang; Zhou, Meihua; Gao, Pin

    2013-12-01

    Feather wastes generated from poultry farms will pose a problem for disposal, but they are sustainable resources of keratin. Reduction is one of the commonly used methods to obtain soluble keratin from feather. However, the residues generated during feather reduction reaction were rarely investigated. In this study, the residues were transformed into a porous and flexible sponge film by freeze-drying without pretreatment or addition of cross-linking agents. Glycerol was used to alter the physical and chemical characteristics of the sponge film. The film was characterized with a fiber strong stretch instrument, a Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer, scanning electron microscopy, an elemental analyzer, a differential scanning calorimeter and an automatic air permeability apparatus. Tensile strength and melting point of the sponge film with the optimum glycerol content were 6.2 MPa and 170°C respectively. Due to air permeability of 368 mm/s, the film can potentially be used in medicine, biology, textile, environmental technology, and so on. It is ecologically friendly and will produce additional benefits from the renewable materials. The film was utilized as adsorbents to remove Cr(VI) from aqueous solutions and as a filtering material for air pollution. Its maximum Cr(VI) uptake capacity was about 148.8 mg/g and the removal rate of PM10 was 98.3%. © 2013.

  10. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in feathers of colonial water-bird species from Pakistan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malik, Riffat Naseem, E-mail: r_n_malik2000@yahoo.co.uk [Environmental Biology Laboratory, Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, PO 45320 (Pakistan); Moeckel, Claudia [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4AP (United Kingdom); Jones, Kevin C.; Hughes, David [Centre for Chemicals Management, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Feathers of two colonial water-birds species (Bubulcus ibis, Egretta garzetta) from four heronries in the Punjab province, Pakistan were analysed for 28 Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) congeners. Median concentrations of {Sigma}PBDEs were 2.41 and 1.91 ng/g in little and cattle egrets. PBDE-47, -100, -138, -153 were abundant and detected in >70% of feather samples in both species. Species-specific differences based on dietary preferences indicated higher concentration of PBDE-47, -66, -75, -100, -153, -154, and -183 in fish eating little egret. BDE-47 and -100 were more frequent in little egrets and BDE-99 was more dominant in cattle egret which feed on terrestrial habitat. Higher {Sigma}hexa- and hepta-BDEs congeners showed larger concentrations in feathers from heronries close to water bodies which receive urban and industrial effluents whereas lower-brominated congeners (BDE-47-BDE-100) dominated in rural/agricultural regions. Hazard quotients (HQs) indicated that measured {Sigma}PBDEs pose no risk to egret population. - Highlights: > Feathers as non-destructive tool to asses Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) contamination. > PBDE-47 and -100 frequent in feathers of fish eating egrets. > BDE-99 dominant in feathers of egrets feed in terrestrial habitats. > Lower-brominated congeners (BDE-47-BDE-100) dominate in feathers from rural areas. > Greater contents of hexa- and hepta-BDEs in feathers from areas receive urban/industrial effluents. - Feathers are used as a biomonitoring tool for PBDEs contamination.

  11. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in feathers of colonial water-bird species from Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malik, Riffat Naseem; Moeckel, Claudia; Jones, Kevin C.; Hughes, David

    2011-01-01

    Feathers of two colonial water-birds species (Bubulcus ibis, Egretta garzetta) from four heronries in the Punjab province, Pakistan were analysed for 28 Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) congeners. Median concentrations of ΣPBDEs were 2.41 and 1.91 ng/g in little and cattle egrets. PBDE-47, -100, -138, -153 were abundant and detected in >70% of feather samples in both species. Species-specific differences based on dietary preferences indicated higher concentration of PBDE-47, -66, -75, -100, -153, -154, and -183 in fish eating little egret. BDE-47 and -100 were more frequent in little egrets and BDE-99 was more dominant in cattle egret which feed on terrestrial habitat. Higher Σhexa- and hepta-BDEs congeners showed larger concentrations in feathers from heronries close to water bodies which receive urban and industrial effluents whereas lower-brominated congeners (BDE-47-BDE-100) dominated in rural/agricultural regions. Hazard quotients (HQs) indicated that measured ΣPBDEs pose no risk to egret population. - Highlights: → Feathers as non-destructive tool to asses Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) contamination. → PBDE-47 and -100 frequent in feathers of fish eating egrets. → BDE-99 dominant in feathers of egrets feed in terrestrial habitats. → Lower-brominated congeners (BDE-47-BDE-100) dominate in feathers from rural areas. → Greater contents of hexa- and hepta-BDEs in feathers from areas receive urban/industrial effluents. - Feathers are used as a biomonitoring tool for PBDEs contamination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Organic preservation of fossil musculature with ultracellular detail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria; Orr, Patrick J; Kearns, Stuart L; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver-Mollá, Enrique

    2010-02-07

    The very labile (decay-prone), non-biomineralized, tissues of organisms are rarely fossilized. Occurrences thereof are invaluable supplements to a body fossil record dominated by biomineralized tissues, which alone are extremely unrepresentative of diversity in modern and ancient ecosystems. Fossil examples of extremely labile tissues (e.g. muscle) that exhibit a high degree of morphological fidelity are almost invariably replicated by inorganic compounds such as calcium phosphate. There is no consensus as to whether such tissues can be preserved with similar morphological fidelity as organic remains, except when enclosed inside amber. Here, we report fossilized musculature from an approximately 18 Myr old salamander from lacustrine sediments of Ribesalbes, Spain. The muscle is preserved organically, in three dimensions, and with the highest fidelity of morphological preservation yet documented from the fossil record. Preserved ultrastructural details include myofilaments, endomysium, layering within the sarcolemma, and endomysial circulatory vessels infilled with blood. Slight differences between the fossil tissues and their counterparts in extant amphibians reflect limited degradation during fossilization. Our results provide unequivocal evidence that high-fidelity organic preservation of extremely labile tissues is not only feasible, but likely to be common. This is supported by the discovery of similarly preserved tissues in the Eocene Grube Messel biota.

  14. Adrenocortical reactivity and central serotonin and dopamine turnover in young chicks from a high and low feather-pecking line of laying hens

    OpenAIRE

    van Hierden, YM; Korte, SM; Ruesink, EW; van Reenen, CG; Engel, B; Korte-Bouws, GAH; Koolhaas, JM; Blokhuis, HJ

    2002-01-01

    Feather pecking in domestic fowl is a behavioral abnormality that consists of mild or injurious pecking at feathers of conspecifics. Previously, it was shown that chicks from a high feather-pecking (HFP) and low feather-pecking (LFP) line of laying hens already differ in their propensity to feather peck at 14 and 28 days of age. As a first step in investigating a possible relationship between the development of feather pecking and physiological and neurobiological characteristics of laying he...

  15. Status of fossil fuel reserves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laherrere, J.

    2005-01-01

    Reserves represent the sum of past and future productions up to the end of production. In most countries the reserve data of fields are confidential. Therefore, fossil fuel reserves are badly known because the published data are more political than technical and many countries make a confusion between resources and reserves. The cumulated production of fossil fuels represents only between a third and a fifth of the ultimate reserves. The production peak will take place between 2020 and 2050. In the ultimate reserves, which extrapolate the past, the fossil fuels represent three thirds of the overall energy. This document analyses the uncertainties linked with fossil fuel reserves: reliability of published data, modeling of future production, comparison with other energy sources, energy consumption forecasts, reserves/production ratio, exploitation of non-conventional hydrocarbons (tar sands, extra-heavy oils, bituminous shales, coal gas, gas shales, methane in overpressure aquifers, methane hydrates), technology impacts, prices impact, and reserves growth. (J.S.)

  16. Dating fossil opal phytoliths

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lentfer, C.; Boyd, B.; Torrence, R.

    1999-01-01

    Full text: Opal phytoliths are microscopic silica bodies formed by the precipitation of hydrated silica dioxide (SiO 2 nH 2 0) in, around and between cell walls. They are relatively resistant to degradation in most environments and thus, can occur in large quantities in palaeosediments. Consequently, they are valuable tools for environmental reconstruction. Furthermore, phytoliths are often the only recoverable organic material in well oxidised sediments, the occluded carbon provides the opportunity for dating sediment whose ages have previously been difficult to determine, and thus, increase the potential for fine resolution determination of environmental change. This poster describes the results of an investigation assessing the viability of AMS radiocarbon dating of fossil phytolith inclusions using samples from Garua Island, West New Britain, PNG. Thirteen phytolith samples, isolated from sediments previously dated using tephrastratigraphy and C14 dating of macroremains of nutshells and wood charcoal, were used in the analysis. As a control measure, thirteen parallel samples of microscopic charcoal were also dated using AMS. The results show that the AMS dates for the microscopic charcoal samples are consistent with ages anticipated from the other dating methods, for all but one sample. However, the dates for eight of the thirteen phytolith samples are considerably younger than expected. This bias could be explained by several factors, including downwashing of phytolith through soils, bioturbation, carbon exchange through the siliceous matrix of the phytolith bodies, and contamination from extraneous sources of modern carbon retained in the samples. Research is currently focusing on the investigation of these issues and selected samples are in the process of being retreated with strong oxidising agents to clear contaminants prior to re-dating. Further to this, a full investigation of one profile with a long sequence is underway. High concentrations of

  17. The legacy of fossil fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armaroli, Nicola; Balzani, Vincenzo

    2011-03-01

    Currently, over 80% of the energy used by mankind comes from fossil fuels. Harnessing coal, oil and gas, the energy resources contained in the store of our spaceship, Earth, has prompted a dramatic expansion in energy use and a substantial improvement in the quality of life of billions of individuals in some regions of the world. Powering our civilization with fossil fuels has been very convenient, but now we know that it entails severe consequences. We treat fossil fuels as a resource that anyone anywhere can extract and use in any fashion, and Earth's atmosphere, soil and oceans as a dump for their waste products, including more than 30 Gt/y of carbon dioxide. At present, environmental legacy rather than consistence of exploitable reserves, is the most dramatic problem posed by the relentless increase of fossil fuel global demand. Harmful effects on the environment and human health, usually not incorporated into the pricing of fossil fuels, include immediate and short-term impacts related to their discovery, extraction, transportation, distribution, and burning as well as climate change that are spread over time to future generations or over space to the entire planet. In this essay, several aspects of the fossil fuel legacy are discussed, such as alteration of the carbon cycle, carbon dioxide rise and its measurement, greenhouse effect, anthropogenic climate change, air pollution and human health, geoengineering proposals, land and water degradation, economic problems, indirect effects on the society, and the urgent need of regulatory efforts and related actions to promote a gradual transition out of the fossil fuel era. While manufacturing sustainable solar fuels appears to be a longer-time perspective, alternatives energy sources already exist that have the potential to replace fossil fuels as feedstocks for electricity production. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. The legacy of fossil fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Armaroli, N.; Balzani, V. [CNR, Bologna (Italy)

    2011-03-01

    Currently, over 80% of the energy used by mankind comes from fossil fuels. Harnessing coal, oil and gas, the energy resources contained in the store of our spaceship, Earth, has prompted a dramatic expansion in energy use and a substantial improvement in the quality of life of billions of individuals in some regions of the world. Powering our civilization with fossil fuels has been very convenient, but now we know that it entails severe consequences. We treat fossil fuels as a resource that anyone anywhere can extract and use in any fashion, and Earth's atmosphere, soil and oceans as a dump for their waste products, including more than 30 Gt/y of carbon dioxide. At present, environmental legacy rather than consistence of exploitable reserves, is the most dramatic problem posed by the relentless increase of fossil fuel global demand. Harmful effects on the environment and human health, usually not incorporated into the pricing of fossil fuels, include immediate and short-term impacts related to their discovery, extraction, transportation, distribution, and burning as well as climate change that are spread over time to future generations or over space to the entire planet. In this essay, several aspects of the fossil fuel legacy are discussed, such as alteration of the carbon cycle, carbon dioxide rise and its measurement, greenhouse effect, anthropogenic climate change, air pollution and human health, geoengineering proposals, land and water degradation, economic problems, indirect effects on the society, and the urgent need of regulatory efforts and related actions to promote a gradual transition out of the fossil fuel era. While manufacturing sustainable solar fuels appears to be a longer-time perspective, alternatives energy sources already exist that have the potential to replace fossil fuels as feedstocks for electricity production.

  19. A comparison of mercury levels in feathers and eggs of osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in the North American Great Lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, K D; Ewins, P J; Clark, K E

    1997-11-01

    Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) eggs and chick feathers were collected for mercury analysis from nests at four Great Lakes study areas in Ontario (three "naturally formed" lakes in southern Ontario and one reservoir in northern Ontario) and two New Jersey study areas in 1991-1994. Adult osprey feathers were sampled from three Great Lakes study areas in 1991. Feathers sampled from chicks (approximately 28-35 days old) appear to be better indicators of local contaminant conditions since spatial patterns of mercury in known prey, yellow perch (Perca flavescens), also collected in these areas, were more similar to chick feathers than to eggs. Mercury levels were less variable in chick feathers than in eggs. Estimates of biomagnification factors using prey of known size at these areas were also less variable in feathers than in eggs. At naturally formed lakes, no significant correlation in mercury levels between eggs and chick feathers from the same nest was apparent, suggesting that the source of mercury contamination was not the same in these two tissues: mercury levels in eggs reflect mercury acquired on the breeding grounds, wintering grounds, and migratory route; mercury levels in chick feathers reflect local dietary conditions on the breeding grounds. Mercury levels in both osprey eggs and chick feathers were higher at the Ogoki Reservoir than at naturally formed lakes. Adult osprey feathers had higher mercury concentrations than chick feathers. Mercury levels in osprey eggs, chick feathers, and adult feathers did not approach levels associated with toxic reproductive effects.

  20. New record of a fossil haplotilapiine cichlid from Central Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie B. R. Penk

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available African freshwater cichlids (Cichlidae: Pseudocrenilabrinae are well known for their exceptionally great diversity and their capability of rapid speciation as well as diverse adaptations. The extant Pseudocrenilabrinae can be grouped into 27 tribes, with more than 2000 species harbored in the Great Lakes and surrounding water bodies of the East African Rift System. However, this unique diversity is not reflected in the fossil record because fossil cichlids were predominantly reported based on isolated teeth and bones. Moreover, the few articulated specimens that are known have not been analyzed sufficiently with regard to their systematic position due to lack of comparative material. Here we present a new extraordinarily well-preserved cichlid fish fossil from the Middle Miocene (c. 12.5 Ma Lagerstaette Kabchore, which was recovered during recent fieldwork in the Tugen Hills (Baringo County, Central Kenya Rift. Based on the evidence of tricuspid teeth, the Kabchore fossil can be assigned to the subclade of the Haplotilapiines within the Pseudocrenilabrinae. The multivariate analysis of a large meristic data set, derived from 1014 extant specimens (encompassing all main lineages of Haplotilapiines and usage of available osteological data suggest that this fossil is most likely related to one of the three haplotilapiine tribes Tilapiini, Haplochromini or Oreochromini. Moreover, the fossil specimen closely resembles the extinct cichlid Oreochromis martyni (Van Couvering, 1982, previously described as species of Sarotherodon from the Middle Miocene alkaline Kapkiamu Lake in the Tugen Hills. The analysis of the greatly preserved fossil fish specimen from Kabchore definitely supplements the fragmentary fossil record of Africa’s Cichlidae and will afford new insights into its evolutionary history. We also expect that this fossil will be useful as calibration point for new divergence-time estimates.

  1. Fossil life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, M. R.

    1989-01-01

    Three major problems beset paleontologists searching for morphological evidence of life on early Earth: selecting a prospective site; finding biogenic structures; and distinguishing biogenic from abiogenic structures. The same problems arise on Mars. Terrestrial experience suggests that, with the techniques that can be employed remotely, ancient springs, including hot springs, are more prospective than lake deposits. If, on the other hand, the search is for chemical evidence, the strategy can be very different, and lake deposits are attractive targets. Lakes and springs frequenly occur in close proximity, and therefore a strategy that combines the two would seem to maximize the chance of success. The strategy for a search for stromatolite on Mars is discussed.

  2. Environmental biotechnologies for the fossil fuel industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, D. W.; Donald, G. M.

    1997-01-01

    Five recent technologies that have been proven to be viable means to mitigate the environmental impact of the fossil fuel industry were described as evidence of the industry's concern about environmental pollution. The technologies were: bioventing, bioslurping, biofiltration, phytoremediation and the use of genetically engineered organisms. Special attention was paid to genetic modification strategies with reference to improved degradation rates and the regulations in Canada affecting genetically engineered organisms and their use. Case histories were cited to illustrate application of the various processes. 34 refs

  3. Environmental biotechnologies for the fossil fuel industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, D W; Donald, G M [Hycal Energy Research Labs. Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    1997-09-01

    Five recent technologies that have been proven to be viable means to mitigate the environmental impact of the fossil fuel industry were described as evidence of the industry`s concern about environmental pollution. The technologies were: bioventing, bioslurping, biofiltration, phytoremediation and the use of genetically engineered organisms. Special attention was paid to genetic modification strategies with reference to improved degradation rates and the regulations in Canada affecting genetically engineered organisms and their use. Case histories were cited to illustrate application of the various processes. 34 refs.

  4. Uranium concentrations in fossils measured by SIMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uyeda, Chiaki; Okano, Jun

    1988-01-01

    Semiquantitative analyses of uranium in fossil bones and teeth were carried out by SIMS. The results show a tendency that uranium concentrations in the fossils increase with the ages of the fossils. It is noticed that fossil bones and teeth having uranium concentration of more than several hundred ppm are not rare. (author)

  5. Evident?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plant, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe are often seen as self-evident approaches, but particular interests lie behind......Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe are often seen as self-evident approaches, but particular interests lie behind...

  6. Determination of the viability of chicken feather as oil spill clean-up ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study a comparative assessment was conducted between chicken feather and a conventional synthetic sorbent mat used in the oil industry to clean-up oil spill. The result of the study shows that chicken feather has higher oil sorption capacity and sorbed oil recoverability than the standard (synthetic sorbent mat), and ...

  7. Trade in Andean Condor Vulture gryphus feathers and body parts in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    body parts in the city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley,. Cusco region, Peru. Robert S. R. ... The sale of Andean Condor feathers and body parts is undertaken openly in the tourist markets of Cusco and the Sacred .... and shops. Prices in local currency – Nuevo Sol and US Dollar equivalent given in parentheses). Feather.

  8. The performance of broiler finisher birds fed varying levels of feather ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The performance of broiler finisher birds fed varying levels of feather meal as replacement for soya bean meal. ... meal increased, feed cost/ kg weight gain increased and both differed significantly (P<0.05) between treatment means, while the birds tolerated feather meal up to 7.5% inclusion level, 2.5% was the optimal.

  9. 76 FR 76115 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Feather River Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-06

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Feather River Air Quality Management District AGENCY... limited disapproval of revisions to the Feather River Air Quality Management District (FRAQMD) portion of..., Regulatory Planning and Review The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this regulatory action...

  10. Comparison of four feed proteases for improvement of nutritive value of poultry feather meal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Mads Brøgger; Yu, S; Plumstead, P

    2012-01-01

    in the production of cost-effective feather by-products for use as feed and fertilizers. The current study examined 4 commercial feed proteases from Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis PWD-1, Aspergillus niger, and Serratia proteamaculans HY-3 used to hydrolyze chicken feather under different conditions...

  11. The preference for high-fiber feed in laying hens divergently selected on feather pecking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalmendal, R; Bessei, W

    2012-08-01

    Earlier studies in laying hens have demonstrated a negative correlation between feather pecking and the dietary fiber content of the feed. However, the factors underlying this relationship are not fully understood. In the present experiment, we hypothesized that birds prone to feather pecking would prefer a diet supplemented with dietary fiber. Thus, the aim was to investigate the voluntary consumption of a wheat-soy control diet (CON) and a diet supplemented with 8% spelt hulls (FIB) on the expense of wheat in 20 individually caged hens selected for high feather pecking (HFP) behavior and 20 individually caged hens selected for low feather pecking (LFP) behavior. The proportional intake of FIB was 0.39 and significantly different from 0.50 (Phens (0.36; Phens had inferior plumage condition (Pfeed intake (Phens plucked more feathers from a simple inanimate feather-pecking model, but the number of feathers being pulled out did not correlate with the proportional intake of FIB. It was concluded that the preference for feed supplemented with spelt hulls was different between hens displaying different feather-pecking behavior. The underlying reason for such a difference needs further investigation.

  12. THE ENERGETIC COST OF FEATHER SYNTHESIS IS PROPORTIONAL TO BASAL METABOLIC-RATE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VISSER, GH; DAAN, S

    1993-01-01

    The cost of feather production, C(f) (kJ . [g dry feathers]-1), differs substantially between species. We studied the molt cost in one insectivorous songbird (bluethroat, Luscinia s. svecica) and one granivorous songbird (common redpoll, Carduelis f. flammea), We wanted to test whether differences

  13. Heritability of feather pecking and open-field response of laying hens at two different ages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodenburg, T.B.; Buitenhuis, A.J.; Ask, B.; Uitdehaag, K.A.; Koene, P.; Poel, van der J.J.; Bovenhuis, H.

    2003-01-01

    The objective of the current study was to estimate heritabilities. (h(2)) of feather pecking and open-field response of laying hens at two different ages. An F-2 cross, originating from a high and a low feather pecking line of laying hens, was used for the experiment. Each of the 630 birds of the

  14. Feathers at nests are potential female signals in the spotless starling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veiga, José P; Polo, Vicente

    2005-09-22

    Although the presence of feathers in the nest is widespread among birds, it has not been previously suggested that feathers can be used as sexual signals. Females of the spotless starling (Sturnus unicolor) regularly carry feathers to their nest, mostly during laying and incubation. We show that the arrangement of these feathers was non-random with respect to the side (obverse or reverse) placed upwards (which can be viewed from the nest entrance). Feathers of the wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) and the spotless starling, which exhibit higher ultraviolet and visible reflectance on their reverse side, were predominantly placed with this side upwards. On the contrary, feathers of the jay (Garrulus glandarius) were predominantly found exhibiting the obverse side, which possesses higher reflectance in this species. Feathers of the azure-winged magpie (Cyanopica cyana), with similar reflectance values on either side, were placed indiscriminately in obverse and reverse positions. The results suggest that feathers are arranged to maximize their conspicuousness within the nest and hence that they might be potentially used as intraspecific signals.

  15. Effect of an early bitter taste experience on subsequent feather-pecking behaviour in laying hens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harlander, A.; Beck, P.S.A.; Rodenburg, T.B.

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies showed that laying hens learn not to peck at bitter-tasting feathers from conspecifics. In the present experiment, feathers of newly hatched chicks were made distasteful by spraying them with a bitter-tasting substance (quinine). It was hypothesized that chicks could detect quinine

  16. Microorganisms associated with feathers of barn swallows in radioactively contaminated areas around chernobyl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czirják, Gábor Arpád; Møller, Anders Pape; Mousseau, Timothy A; Heeb, Philipp

    2010-08-01

    The Chernobyl catastrophe provides a rare opportunity to study the ecological and evolutionary consequences of low-level, environmental radiation on living organisms. Despite some recent studies about negative effects of environmental radiation on macroorganisms, there is little knowledge about the effect of radioactive contamination on diversity and abundance of microorganisms. We examined abundance patterns of total cultivable bacteria and fungi and the abundance of feather-degrading bacterial subset present on feathers of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica), a colonial migratory passerine, around Chernobyl in relation to levels of ground level environmental radiation. After controlling for confounding variables, total cultivable bacterial loads were negatively correlated with environmental radioactivity, whereas abundance of fungi and feather-degrading bacteria was not significantly related to contamination levels. Abundance of both total and feather-degrading bacteria increased with barn swallow colony size, showing a potential cost of sociality. Males had lower abundance of feather-degrading bacteria than females. Our results show the detrimental effects of low-level environmental radiation on total cultivable bacterial assemblage on feathers, while the abundance of other microorganism groups living on barn swallow feathers, such as feather-degrading bacteria, are shaped by other factors like host sociality or host sex. These data lead us to conclude that the ecological effects of Chernobyl may be more general than previously assumed and may have long-term implications for host-microbe interactions and overall ecosystem functioning.

  17. Plumas como enfeites da moda Feathers in fashion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helmut Schindler

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available O texto aborda a presença da plumária na moda feminina do século XIX. No Brasil, houve produção de enfeites com penas, que não provinha dos índios. Havia manufaturas que forneciam mercadorias para as lojas da capital. Com base nos relatos de viajantes que passaram pelo Brasil no século XIX, e no material depositado no Museu Estatal de Etnologia de Munique, o autor enfatiza as manufaturas existentes no Brasil e a captura indiscriminada de determinadas espécies de aves para atender a demanda da sociedade da época. Desde o século passado, as aves de penas mais bonitas passam a rarear, o que começa a ser acompanhado pela preocupação com o controle da caça.The article focus on the presence of plumage in the 19th century fashion. In Brazil, the feathers for the production of feather pieces were not necessarily supplied by Indians. There were manufacturers that supplied the stores in the country's capital with these pieces. Based on travelers' reports on nineteenth-century Brazil as well as on material from the State Museum of Ethnology in Munich, the author emphasizes the indiscriminate capture of some species of birds in order to face the demand of society at the time. In the 19th century, the most beautifully-feathered birds progressively began to become rare, which naturally brought forth the concern with uncontrolled bird capture.

  18. Trace element contamination in feather and tissue samples from Anna’s hummingbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikoni, Nicole A.; Poppenga, Robert H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Foley, Janet E.; Hazlehurst, Jenny; Purdin, Güthrum; Aston, Linda; Hargrave, Sabine; Jelks, Karen; Tell, Lisa A.

    2017-01-01

    Trace element contamination (17 elements; Be, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Mo, Cd, Ba, Hg, Tl, and Pb) of live (feather samples only) and deceased (feather and tissue samples) Anna's hummingbirds (Calypte anna) was evaluated. Samples were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS; 17 elements) and atomic absorption spectrophotometry (Hg only). Mean plus one standard deviation (SD) was considered the benchmark, and concentrations above the mean + 1 SD were considered elevated above normal. Contour feathers were sampled from live birds of varying age, sex, and California locations. In order to reduce thermal impacts, minimal feathers were taken from live birds, therefore a novel method was developed for preparation of low mass feather samples for ICP-MS analysis. The study found that the novel feather preparation method enabled small mass feather samples to be analyzed for trace elements using ICP-MS. For feather samples from live birds, all trace elements, with the exception of beryllium, had concentrations above the mean + 1 SD. Important risk factors for elevated trace element concentrations in feathers of live birds were age for iron, zinc, and arsenic, and location for iron, manganese, zinc, and selenium. For samples from deceased birds, ICP-MS results from body and tail feathers were correlated for Fe, Zn, and Pb, and feather concentrations were correlated with renal (Fe, Zn, Pb) or hepatic (Hg) tissue concentrations. Results for AA spectrophotometry analyzed samples from deceased birds further supported the ICP-MS findings where a strong correlation between mercury concentrations in feather and tissue (pectoral muscle) samples was found. These study results support that sampling feathers from live free-ranging hummingbirds might be a useful, non-lethal sampling method for evaluating trace element exposure and provides a sampling alternative since their small body size limits traditional sampling of blood and tissues. The

  19. Hydrophobic duck feathers and their simulation on textile substrates for water repellent treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Yuyang; Chen Xianqiong; Xin, J H

    2008-01-01

    Inspired by the non-wetting phenomena of duck feathers, the water repellent property of duck feathers was studied at the nanoscale. The microstructures of the duck feather were investigated by a scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging method through a step-by-step magnifying procedure. The SEM results show that duck feathers have a multi-scale structure and that this multi-scale structure as well as the preening oil are responsible for their super hydrophobic behavior. The microstructures of the duck feather were simulated on textile substrates using the biopolymer chitosan as building blocks through a novel surface solution precipitation (SSP) method, and then the textile substrates were further modified with a silicone compound to achieve low surface energy. The resultant textiles exhibit super water repellent properties, thus providing a simple bionic way to create super hydrophobic surfaces on soft substrates using flexible material as building blocks

  20. Mechanical and Morphology Properties of Feather Fiber Composite for Dental Post Application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Siti Maizatul Farhain Salehuddin; Mohammed Rafiq Abdul Kadir; Eshamsul Sulaiman; Noor Hayaty Abu Kasim

    2014-01-01

    Feather/plastic composite material was fabricated from polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), feather fiber (FF) and montmorillonite (MMT) using brabender internal mixer. PMMA based composites were produced with 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 phr composite of mass feather fiber with and without 4 % of montmorillonite (MMT). Alkali treatment was used to improve the interfacial adhesion among the feather fiber (FF) and the PMMA. Flexural properties of FF/ PMMA and FF/ PMMA/ MMT composites were investigated. Composites were analyzed by Scanning Electron (SEM) and Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR) spectroscopy techniques. The result showed that, the addition of FF significantly increased the flexural strength of the composites. The hydrophobic nature of feather fiber displayed an excellent compatibility among fibers and PMMA matrix. (author)

  1. Spectral tuning of Amazon parrot feather coloration by psittacofulvin pigments and spongy structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinbergen, Jan; Wilts, Bodo D; Stavenga, Doekele G

    2013-12-01

    The feathers of Amazon parrots are brightly coloured. They contain a unique class of pigments, the psittacofulvins, deposited in both barbs and barbules, causing yellow or red coloured feathers. In specific feather areas, spongy nanostructured barb cells exist, reflecting either in the blue or blue-green wavelength range. The blue-green spongy structures are partly enveloped by a blue-absorbing, yellow-colouring pigment acting as a spectral filter, thus yielding a green coloured barb. Applying reflection and transmission spectroscopy, we characterized the Amazons' pigments and spongy structures, and investigated how they contribute to the feather coloration. The reflectance spectra of Amazon feathers are presumably tuned to the sensitivity spectra of the visual photoreceptors.

  2. Pronounced variation in tarsal and foot feathering in the upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) in Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, D.H.; Woffinden, N.; Whitlock, P.L.; Tsengeg, Pu

    1999-01-01

    During 1994, 1995, 1997, and 1998 expeditions across Mongolia, we located over 250 upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) nests. At these, we noted considerable morphological variation in plumage coloration and in leg pterylosis. In 1997 and 1998, we examined 131 nests scattered across eastern and central Mongolia and report here the tarsal condition of 119 nestlings from 59 broods where young were at least 2 weeks of age. Of 119 birds carefully examined, 50 (42%) had less than fully feathered tarsi and 4 of the 69 with fully feathered tarsi had scattered feathers on their toes. Thus, 54 of 119 birds (45%) in some way deviated from the feathered tarsibare toes condition. This extraordinary degree of variability in feather patterns may be best explained as the result of extensive and relatively recent hybridization between the longlegged (Buteo rufinus) and roughlegged (B. lagopus) buzzards and/or between long-legged and upland buzzards.

  3. Hide depilation and feather disintegration studies with keratinolytic serine protease from a novel Bacillus subtilis isolate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Priya; Archana, G

    2008-03-01

    Keratinases play an important role in biotechnological applications such as improvement of feather meal, enzymatic dehairing and production of amino acids or peptides from high molecular weight substrates. Bacillus subtilis P13, isolated from Vajreshwari hot spring (45-50 degrees C) near Mumbai, India, produces a neutral serine protease and has an optimum temperature of 65 degrees C. This enzyme preparation was keratinolytic in nature and could disintegrate whole chicken feathers, except for the remnants of shafts. The enzyme preparation also exhibited depilation of goat hides with the recovery of intact animal hair. The enzyme preparation could release peptides from ground feathers and bring about their weight reduction; however, similar action on hair was relatively weak. A single major PMSF-sensitive protease band could be detected upon zymogram analysis, indicating that a single enzyme may be responsible for feather degradation and hide depilation. The importance of these findings in the biotechnological application for feather and leather industries is discussed.

  4. Cohesinopathies of a feather flock together.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert V Skibbens

    Full Text Available Roberts Syndrome (RBS and Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS are severe developmental maladies that present with nearly an identical suite of multi-spectrum birth defects. Not surprisingly, RBS and CdLS arise from mutations within a single pathway--here involving cohesion. Sister chromatid tethering reactions that comprise cohesion are required for high fidelity chromosome segregation, but cohesin tethers also regulate gene transcription, promote DNA repair, and impact DNA replication. Currently, RBS is thought to arise from elevated levels of apoptosis, mitotic failure, and limited progenitor cell proliferation, while CdLS is thought to arise, instead, from transcription dysregulation. Here, we review new information that implicates RBS gene mutations in altered transcription profiles. We propose that cohesin-dependent transcription dysregulation may extend to other developmental maladies; the diagnoses of which are complicated through multi-functional proteins that manifest a sliding scale of diverse and severe phenotypes. We further review evidence that cohesinopathies are more common than currently posited.

  5. Fossil Groups as Cosmological Labs

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Onghia, Elena

    Optical and X-ray measurements of fossil groups (FGs) suggest that they are old and relaxed systems. If FGs are assembled at higher redshift, there is enough time for intermediate-luminosity galaxies to merge, resulting in the formation of the brightest group galaxy (BGG). We carry out the first, systematic study of a large sample of FGs, the "FOssil Group Origins'' (FOGO) based on an International Time Project at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory. For ten FOGO FGs we have been awarded time at SUZAKU Telescope to measure the temperature of the hot intragroup gas (IGM). For these systems we plan to evaluate and correlate their X-ray luminosity and X-ray temperature, Lx-Tx, optical luminosity and X-ray temperature, Lopt-Tx, and group velocity dispersion with their X-ray temperature, sigma V-Tx, as compared to the non fossil systems. By combining these observations with state-of-art cosmological hydrodynamical simulations we will open a new window into the study of the IGM and the nature of fossil systems. Our proposed work will be of direct relevance for the understanding and interpretation of data from several NASA science missions. Specifically, the scaling relations obtained from these data combined with our predictions obtained using state-of-the-art hydrodynamical simulation numerical adopting a new hydrodynamical scheme will motivate new proposal on CHANDRA X-ray telescope for fossil groups and clusters. We will additionally create a public Online Planetarium Show. This will be an educational site, containing an interactive program called: "A Voyage to our Universe''. In the show we will provide observed images of fossil groups and similar images and movies obtained from the numerical simulations showing their evolution. The online planetarium show will be a useful reference and an interactive educational tool for both students and the public.

  6. FOSSIL2 energy policy model documentation: FOSSIL2 documentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1980-10-01

    This report discusses the structure, derivations, assumptions, and mathematical formulation of the FOSSIL2 model. Each major facet of the model - supply/demand interactions, industry financing, and production - has been designed to parallel closely the actual cause/effect relationships determining the behavior of the United States energy system. The data base for the FOSSIL2 program is large, as is appropriate for a system dynamics simulation model. When possible, all data were obtained from sources well known to experts in the energy field. Cost and resource estimates are based on DOE data whenever possible. This report presents the FOSSIL2 model at several levels. Volumes II and III of this report list the equations that comprise the FOSSIL2 model, along with variable definitions and a cross-reference list of the model variables. Volume II provides the model equations with each of their variables defined, while Volume III lists the equations, and a one line definition for equations, in a shorter, more readable format.

  7. Interpopulation Variation in Contour Feather Structure Is Environmentally Determined in Great Tits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broggi, Juli; Gamero, Anna; Hohtola, Esa; Orell, Markku; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2011-01-01

    Background The plumage of birds is important for flying, insulation and social communication. Contour feathers cover most of the avian body and among other functions they provide a critical insulation layer against heat loss. Feather structure and composition are known to vary among individuals, which in turn determines variation in the insulation properties of the feather. However, the extent and the proximate mechanisms underlying this variation remain unexplored. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed contour feather structure from two different great tit populations adapted to different winter regimes, one northern population in Oulu (Finland) and one southern population in Lund (Sweden). Great tits from the two populations differed significantly in feather structure. Birds from the northern population had a denser plumage but consisting of shorter feathers with a smaller proportion containing plumulaceous barbs, compared with conspecifics from the southern population. However, differences disappeared when birds originating from the two populations were raised and moulted in identical conditions in a common-garden experiment located in Oulu, under ad libitum nutritional conditions. All birds raised in the aviaries, including adult foster parents moulting in the same captive conditions, developed a similar feather structure. These feathers were different from that of wild birds in Oulu but similar to wild birds in Lund, the latter moulting in more benign conditions than those of Oulu. Conclusions/Significance Wild populations exposed to different conditions develop contour feather differences either due to plastic responses or constraints. Environmental conditions, such as nutrient availability during feather growth play a crucial role in determining such differences in plumage structure among populations. PMID:21949798

  8. Biomechanics of the Peacock’s Display: How Feather Structure and Resonance Influence Multimodal Signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dakin, Roslyn; McCrossan, Owen; Hare, James F.; Montgomerie, Robert; Amador Kane, Suzanne

    2016-01-01

    Courtship displays may serve as signals of the quality of motor performance, but little is known about the underlying biomechanics that determines both their signal content and costs. Peacocks (Pavo cristatus) perform a complex, multimodal “train-rattling” display in which they court females by vibrating the iridescent feathers in their elaborate train ornament. Here we study how feather biomechanics influences the performance of this display using a combination of field recordings and laboratory experiments. Using high-speed video, we find that train-rattling peacocks stridulate their tail feathers against the train at 25.6 Hz, on average, generating a broadband, pulsating mechanical sound at that frequency. Laboratory measurements demonstrate that arrays of peacock tail and train feathers have a broad resonant peak in their vibrational spectra at the range of frequencies used for train-rattling during the display, and the motion of feathers is just as expected for feathers shaking near resonance. This indicates that peacocks are able to drive feather vibrations energetically efficiently over a relatively broad range of frequencies, enabling them to modulate the feather vibration frequency of their displays. Using our field data, we show that peacocks with longer trains use slightly higher vibration frequencies on average, even though longer train feathers are heavier and have lower resonant frequencies. Based on these results, we propose hypotheses for future studies of the function and energetics of this display that ask why its dynamic elements might attract and maintain female attention. Finally, we demonstrate how the mechanical structure of the train feathers affects the peacock’s visual display by allowing the colorful iridescent eyespots–which strongly influence female mate choice–to remain nearly stationary against a dynamic iridescent background. PMID:27119380

  9. Biomechanics of the Peacock's Display: How Feather Structure and Resonance Influence Multimodal Signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roslyn Dakin

    Full Text Available Courtship displays may serve as signals of the quality of motor performance, but little is known about the underlying biomechanics that determines both their signal content and costs. Peacocks (Pavo cristatus perform a complex, multimodal "train-rattling" display in which they court females by vibrating the iridescent feathers in their elaborate train ornament. Here we study how feather biomechanics influences the performance of this display using a combination of field recordings and laboratory experiments. Using high-speed video, we find that train-rattling peacocks stridulate their tail feathers against the train at 25.6 Hz, on average, generating a broadband, pulsating mechanical sound at that frequency. Laboratory measurements demonstrate that arrays of peacock tail and train feathers have a broad resonant peak in their vibrational spectra at the range of frequencies used for train-rattling during the display, and the motion of feathers is just as expected for feathers shaking near resonance. This indicates that peacocks are able to drive feather vibrations energetically efficiently over a relatively broad range of frequencies, enabling them to modulate the feather vibration frequency of their displays. Using our field data, we show that peacocks with longer trains use slightly higher vibration frequencies on average, even though longer train feathers are heavier and have lower resonant frequencies. Based on these results, we propose hypotheses for future studies of the function and energetics of this display that ask why its dynamic elements might attract and maintain female attention. Finally, we demonstrate how the mechanical structure of the train feathers affects the peacock's visual display by allowing the colorful iridescent eyespots-which strongly influence female mate choice-to remain nearly stationary against a dynamic iridescent background.

  10. Biomechanics of the Peacock's Display: How Feather Structure and Resonance Influence Multimodal Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dakin, Roslyn; McCrossan, Owen; Hare, James F; Montgomerie, Robert; Amador Kane, Suzanne

    2016-01-01

    Courtship displays may serve as signals of the quality of motor performance, but little is known about the underlying biomechanics that determines both their signal content and costs. Peacocks (Pavo cristatus) perform a complex, multimodal "train-rattling" display in which they court females by vibrating the iridescent feathers in their elaborate train ornament. Here we study how feather biomechanics influences the performance of this display using a combination of field recordings and laboratory experiments. Using high-speed video, we find that train-rattling peacocks stridulate their tail feathers against the train at 25.6 Hz, on average, generating a broadband, pulsating mechanical sound at that frequency. Laboratory measurements demonstrate that arrays of peacock tail and train feathers have a broad resonant peak in their vibrational spectra at the range of frequencies used for train-rattling during the display, and the motion of feathers is just as expected for feathers shaking near resonance. This indicates that peacocks are able to drive feather vibrations energetically efficiently over a relatively broad range of frequencies, enabling them to modulate the feather vibration frequency of their displays. Using our field data, we show that peacocks with longer trains use slightly higher vibration frequencies on average, even though longer train feathers are heavier and have lower resonant frequencies. Based on these results, we propose hypotheses for future studies of the function and energetics of this display that ask why its dynamic elements might attract and maintain female attention. Finally, we demonstrate how the mechanical structure of the train feathers affects the peacock's visual display by allowing the colorful iridescent eyespots-which strongly influence female mate choice-to remain nearly stationary against a dynamic iridescent background.

  11. A lifting line model to investigate the influence of tip feathers on wing performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fluck, M; Crawford, C

    2014-01-01

    Bird wings have been studied as prototypes for wing design since the beginning of aviation. Although wing tip slots, i.e. wings with distinct gaps between the tip feathers (primaries), are very common in many birds, only a few studies have been conducted on the benefits of tip feathers on the wing's performance, and the aerodynamics behind tip feathers remains to be understood. Consequently most aircraft do not yet copy this feature. To close this knowledge gap an extended lifting line model was created to calculate the lift distribution and drag of wings with tip feathers. With this model, is was easily possible to combine several lifting surfaces into various different birdwing-like configurations. By including viscous drag effects, good agreement with an experimental tip slotted reference case was achieved. Implemented in C++ this model resulted in computation times of less than one minute per wing configuration on a standard notebook computer. Thus it was possible to analyse the performance of over 100 different wing configurations with and without tip feathers. While generally an increase in wing efficiency was obtained by splitting a wing tip into distinct, feather-like winglets, the best performance was generally found when spreading more feathers over a larger dihedral angle out of the wing plane. However, as the results were very sensitive to the precise geometry of the feather fan (especially feather twist) a careless set-up could just as easily degrade performance. Hence a detailed optimization is recommended to realize the full benefits by simultaneously optimizing feather sweep, twist and dihedral angles. (paper)

  12. Evaluating cleansing effects on trace elements and stable isotope values in feathers of oiled birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valladares, Sonia; Moreno, Roćio; Jover, Lluis; Sanpera, Carola

    2010-01-01

    Feathers of seabirds are widely used as a nondestructive tissue for pollution monitoring of trace elements, as well as convenient samples for trophic ecology studies by means of stable isotope analysis (SIA). Nevertheless, feathers can be occasionally impregnated with oil from deliberate ship discharges and from massive oil spill accidents. The feather structure makes them effective traps for particles and are subject to external contamination. It is unknown to what extent the oil adhered to feathers can change trace element concentrations or stable isotope signatures. This study has two primary objectives: (1) to assess if there are differences between trace element concentrations and stable isotope signatures of oiled and clean feathers, and (2) to determine if the cleansing of oiled feathers using commonly applied techniques such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH) washes in combination with an organic solvent (hexane) is more effective than using NaOH alone. In order to do this, we analysed trace elements (Se, Hg, Pb, Cu and Zn) and stable isotopes (delta(13)C and delta(15)N) of individual feathers of yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis) which were affected by the 2002 Prestige oil spill in Galicia (NW Spain). Two sets of feathers were analysed, one group were oil-free (Control group) and the other had oil adhered to its surface (Oiled group). We expected to find differences between control and oiled feathers when cleaning exclusively with NaOH and no differences when using hexane. Our results did not show significant differences between Control and Oiled groups as a consequence of the cleansing method used. Unexpectedly, the additional cleansing with hexane resulted in decreasing selenium concentrations and increasing zinc and delta(15)N values in all groups of feathers.

  13. Interpopulation variation in contour feather structure is environmentally determined in great tits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juli Broggi

    Full Text Available The plumage of birds is important for flying, insulation and social communication. Contour feathers cover most of the avian body and among other functions they provide a critical insulation layer against heat loss. Feather structure and composition are known to vary among individuals, which in turn determines variation in the insulation properties of the feather. However, the extent and the proximate mechanisms underlying this variation remain unexplored.We analyzed contour feather structure from two different great tit populations adapted to different winter regimes, one northern population in Oulu (Finland and one southern population in Lund (Sweden. Great tits from the two populations differed significantly in feather structure. Birds from the northern population had a denser plumage but consisting of shorter feathers with a smaller proportion containing plumulaceous barbs, compared with conspecifics from the southern population. However, differences disappeared when birds originating from the two populations were raised and moulted in identical conditions in a common-garden experiment located in Oulu, under ad libitum nutritional conditions. All birds raised in the aviaries, including adult foster parents moulting in the same captive conditions, developed a similar feather structure. These feathers were different from that of wild birds in Oulu but similar to wild birds in Lund, the latter moulting in more benign conditions than those of Oulu.Wild populations exposed to different conditions develop contour feather differences either due to plastic responses or constraints. Environmental conditions, such as nutrient availability during feather growth play a crucial role in determining such differences in plumage structure among populations.

  14. Feather-picking psittacines: histopathology and species trends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garner, M M; Clubb, S L; Mitchell, M A; Brown, L

    2008-05-01

    Histologic findings are described for 408 feather-picking or self-mutilating psittacines with the use of biopsies from clinically affected and unaffected skin. Inflammatory skin disease was diagnosed in 210 birds, and traumatic skin disease was diagnosed in 198 birds. Criteria used for the diagnosis of inflammatory skin disease included the presence of perivascular inflammation in the superficial or deep dermis of clinically affected and unaffected sites. The primary histologic criteria for the diagnosis of traumatic skin disease were superficial dermal scarring with or without inflammation in the affected sites and an absence of inflammation in the unaffected sites. The inflammatory cells associated with the lesions were typically lymphocytes and occasionally plasma cells, histiocytes, and granulocytes. A preponderance of inflammatory skin disease was seen in macaws (Ara spp.) and Amazon parrots (Amazona spp.). A preponderance of traumatic skin disease was seen in cockatoos (Cacatua spp.) and African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). The prevalence of each was approximately equal in several other species, including conures (Aratinga and Pyrrhura spp.), eclectus parrots (Eclectus roratus), quaker parrots (Myiopsitta monachus), cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), parakeets (Cyanorhamphus and Psittacula spp.), and caiques (Pionites spp.). No geographic or gender-based trends were identified. These findings could be helpful for identifying and treating birds with feather-picking disorders.

  15. Energy value of meat in selected species of feathered game

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    František Vitula

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to compare gross energy (GE in breast and thigh muscles in the following six species of feathered game reared in Europe: guineafowl (Numida meleagris, common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus, Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica, chukar (Alectoris chucar, grey partridge (Perdix perdix and wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo. Calorimetric analysis revealed significant (P ≤ 0.05 and highly significant (P ≤ 0.01 differences between individual species in the content of energy in breast and thigh muscles. The highest content of energy (recalculated to dry matter was found in breast muscles from wild turkey (24.75 MJ·kg-1 and Japanese quail (24.57 MJ·kg-1 whereas the highest content of energy (recalculated to dry matter in thigh muscles was found in Japanese quail and grey partridge. Highly significant (P ≤ 0.01 differences in the energy content were also found between breast and thigh muscles in all studied game species except for wild turkey. Differences in the content of energy in muscles between individual species occur mainly due to different contents of fat in muscles. This is also confirmed by high correlation coefficients between the content of energy and the content of fat in breast (r = 0.912 and thigh muscles (r = 0.878. Our study provides more specific data on the amount of energy in muscles of major species of feathered game reared in Europe and significantly extends current knowledge in this field.

  16. New fossil fuel combustion technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Minghetti, E.; Palazzi, G.

    1995-01-01

    The aim of the present article is to supply general information concerning fossil fuels that represent, today and for the near future, the main energy source of our Planet. New fossil fuel technologies are in continual development with two principal goals: to decrease environmental impact and increase transformation process efficiency. Examples of this efforts are: 1) gas-steam combined cycles integrated with coal gasification plants, or with pressurized-fluidized-bed combustors; 2) new cycles with humid air or coal direct fired turbine, now under development. In the first part of this article the international and national energy situations and trends are shown. After some brief notes on environmental problems and alternative fuels, such as bio masses and municipal wastes, technological aspects, mainly relevant to increase fossil-fueled power plant performances, are examined in greater depth. Finally the research and technological development activities of ENEA (Italian Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Environment) Engineering Branch, in order to improve fossil fuels energy and environmental use are presented

  17. Progress of fossil fuel science

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demirbas, M.F.

    2007-07-01

    Coal is the most abundant and widely distributed fossil fuel. More than 45% of the world's electricity is generated from coal, and it is the major fuel for generating electricity worldwide. The known coal reserves in the world are enough for more than 215 years of consumption, while the known oil reserves are only about 39 times of the world's consumption and the known natural gas reserves are about 63 times of the world's consumption level in 1998. In recent years, there have been effective scientific investigations on Turkish fossil fuels, which are considerable focused on coal resources. Coal is a major fossil fuel source for Turkey. Turkish coal consumption has been stable over the past decade and currently accounts for about 24% of the country's total energy consumption. Lignite coal has had the biggest share in total fossil fuel production, at 43%, in Turkey. Turkish researchers may investigate ten broad pathways of coal species upgrading, such as desulfurization and oxydesulfurization, pyrolysis and hydropyrolysis, liquefaction and hydroliquefaction, extraction and supercritical fluid extraction, gasification, oxidation, briquetting, flotation, and structure identification.

  18. Fossil Polypodiaceae and their spores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uffelen, van Gerda A.

    1991-01-01

    In this publication emphasis is laid on the modern definition of the family Polypodiaceae (Filicales), which is based on an extensive study of Recent material and which is much restricted with respect to older circumscriptions of the family as usually applied by palaeobotanists. Fossils of fems

  19. Fossil energy and food security

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Folke, G.

    2001-01-01

    To fulfil the basic goal of delivering food for the tables of the citizens, modern Western agriculture is extremely dependent on supporting material flows, infrastructure, and fossil energy. According to several observers, fossil fuel production is about to peak, i.e., oil extraction is no longer capable of keeping pace with the increasing demand. This situation may trigger an unprecedented increase in fossil energy prices, which may make the current highly energy dependent food production-distribution system highly vulnerable. The paper starts with a survey of this vulnerability. Also, the supply of phosphorus, a key factor in agriculture, may be at stake under such circumstances. The paper analyses this situation and discusses settlement structures integrated with agriculture that might increase food security by reducing energy demands. In the proposed ideal societal structure, agriculture is integrated with settlements and most of the food needed by the population is produced locally, and the nutrients for food production are recycled from households and animals by means of biological processes demanding considerably less mechanical investment and fossil support energy than the conventional type of agriculture. The vulnerability of this structure would be considerably lower, than that of the current system. (author)

  20. Keratin decomposition by trogid beetles: evidence from a feeding experiment and stable isotope analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiura, Shinji; Ikeda, Hiroshi

    2014-03-01

    The decomposition of vertebrate carcasses is an important ecosystem function. Soft tissues of dead vertebrates are rapidly decomposed by diverse animals. However, decomposition of hard tissues such as hairs and feathers is much slower because only a few animals can digest keratin, a protein that is concentrated in hairs and feathers. Although beetles of the family Trogidae are considered keratin feeders, their ecological function has rarely been explored. Here, we investigated the keratin-decomposition function of trogid beetles in heron-breeding colonies where keratin was frequently supplied as feathers. Three trogid species were collected from the colonies and observed feeding on heron feathers under laboratory conditions. We also measured the nitrogen (δ15N) and carbon (δ13C) stable isotope ratios of two trogid species that were maintained on a constant diet (feathers from one heron individual) during 70 days under laboratory conditions. We compared the isotopic signatures of the trogids with the feathers to investigate isotopic shifts from the feathers to the consumers for δ15N and δ13C. We used mixing models (MixSIR and SIAR) to estimate the main diets of individual field-collected trogid beetles. The analysis indicated that heron feathers were more important as food for trogid beetles than were soft tissues under field conditions. Together, the feeding experiment and stable isotope analysis provided strong evidence of keratin decomposition by trogid beetles.

  1. Variation of heavy metals within and among feathers of birds of prey: effects of molt and external contamination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dauwe, T.; Bervoets, L.; Pinxten, R.; Blust, R.; Eens, M

    2003-08-01

    Concentrations of many heavy metals in feathers, except Hg, did not reflect the molting sequence, suggesting external contamination. - In this study we examined the effect of external contamination on the heavy metal (Ag, Al, As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) concentration in feathers. We compared the heavy metal content among the 10 primary wing feathers of sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus), little owls (Athene nocta) and barn owls (Tyto alba) and the variation within the outermost tail feather of sparrowhawks and tawny owls (Strix aluco). The concentration of Hg was significantly higher in feathers molted first, suggesting that levels in feathers reflect levels in the blood during formation. For some other elements (Al, Co, Ni, Pb, Zn) on the other hand, there are strong indications that external contamination may have an important impact on the levels detected in the feathers. This should be taken into account in future monitoring studies.

  2. Keratin Production by Decomposing Feather Waste Using Some Local Bacillus spp. Isolated from Poultry Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mojtaba Salouti

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Feather waste is generated in large amounts as a by-product of commercial poultry processing. The main component of feather is keratin. The main purpose of this study was to identify Bacillus spp. (the keratinolytic bacteria that are able to degrade the feather for producing keratin. Methods: Bacillus spp. Were isolated from the waste of poultries located in Miyaneh city. The bacteria were grown on basal medium containing 1% hen feather as the sole source of carbon ,nitrogen, sulfur and energy at 27ºC for 7 days. Then,the isolates capable of feather degrading were identified. The Bradford method was used to assay the production of keratin in the feather samples. Different pH and temperatures were studied to determine the best conditions for production of keratinase enzyme. Results: Seven Bacillus spp. including: B. pumilis, B. subtilis, B. firmus, B. macerance, B. popilliae, B. lentimorbus and B. larvae were found to be able to degrade the feather with different abilities. Conclusion: B. subtilis was found to be most productive isolate for keratinase enzyme production.

  3. Hovering hummingbird wing aerodynamics during the annual cycle. II. Implications of wing feather moult

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapir, Nir; Elimelech, Yossef

    2018-01-01

    Birds usually moult their feathers in a particular sequence which may incur aerodynamic, physiological and behavioural implications. Among birds, hummingbirds are unique species in their sustained hovering flight. Because hummingbirds frequently hover-feed, they must maintain sufficiently high flight capacities even when moulting their flight feathers. A hummingbird wing consists of 10 primary flight feathers whose absence during moult may strongly affect wing performance. Using dynamic similarity rules, we compared time-accurate aerodynamic loads and flow field measurements over several wing geometries that follow the natural feather moult sequence of Calypte anna, a common hummingbird species in western North America. Our results suggest a drop of more than 20% in lift production during the early stages of the moult sequence in which mid-wing flight feathers are moulted. We also found that the wing's ability to generate lift strongly depended on the morphological integrity of the outer primaries and leading-edge. These findings may explain the evolution of wing morphology and moult attributes. Specifically, the high overlap between adjacent wing feathers, especially at the wing tip, and the slow sequential replacement of the wing feathers result in a relatively small reduction in wing surface area during moult with limited aerodynamic implications. We present power and efficiency analyses for hover flight during moult under several plausible scenarios, suggesting that body mass reduction could be a compensatory mechanism that preserves the energetic costs of hover flight. PMID:29515884

  4. Anaerobic digestion of chicken feather with swine manure or slaughterhouse sludge for biogas production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Yun; Massé, Daniel I; McAllister, Tim A; Beaulieu, Carole; Ungerfeld, Emilio

    2012-03-01

    Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of chicken feathers with swine manure or slaughterhouse sludge was assessed in two separate experiments. Ground feathers without any pre-treatment were added to 42-L digesters inoculated with swine manure or slaughterhouse sludge, representing 37% and 23% of total solids, respectively and incubated at 25°C in batch mode. Compared to the control without feather addition, total CH(4) production increased by 130% (Pswine manure and the slaughterhouse sludge digesters, respectively. Mixed liquor NH(4)N concentration increased (Pdigestion to 6.9 and 3.5 g/L at the end of digestion in the swine manure and the slaughterhouse sludge digesters, respectively. The fraction of proteolytic microorganisms increased (Pdigestion from 12.5% to 14.5% and 11.3% to 13.0% in the swine manure and the slaughterhouse sludge digesters with feather addition, respectively, but decreased in the controls. These results are reflective of feather digestion. Feather addition did not affect CH(4) yields of the swine manure digesters (P=0.082) and the slaughterhouse sludge digesters (P=0.21), indicating that feathers can be digested together with swine manure or slaughterhouse sludge without negatively affecting the digestion of swine manure and slaughterhouse sludge. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Viscoelastic Characterization of Long-Eared Owl Flight Feather Shaft and the Damping Ability Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia-li Gao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Flight feather shaft of long-eared owl is characterized by a three-parameter model for linear viscoelastic solids to reveal its damping ability. Uniaxial tensile tests of the long-eared owl, pigeon, and golden eagle flight feather shaft specimens were carried out based on Instron 3345 single column material testing system, respectively, and viscoelastic response of their stress and strain was described by the standard linear solid model. Parameter fitting result obtained from the tensile tests shows that there is no significant difference in instantaneous elastic modulus for the three birds’ feather shafts, but the owl shaft has the highest viscosity, implying more obvious viscoelastic performance. Dynamic mechanical property was characterized based on the tensile testing results. Loss factor (tanδ of the owl flight feather shaft was calculated to be 1.609 ± 0.238, far greater than those of the pigeon (0.896 ± 0.082 and golden eagle (1.087 ± 0.074. It is concluded that the long-eared owl flight feather has more outstanding damping ability compared to the pigeon and golden eagle flight feather shaft. Consequently, the long-eared owl flight feathers can dissipate the vibration energy more effectively during the flying process based on the principle of damping mechanism, for the purpose of vibration attenuation and structure radiated noise reduction.

  6. Sanitary effects of fossil fuels; Effets sanitaires des combustibles fossiles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nifenecker, H. [Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (IN2P3/CNRS), 38 - Grenoble (France)

    2006-07-01

    In this compilation are studied the sanitary effects of fossil fuels, behavioral and environmental sanitary risks. The risks in connection with the production, the transport and the distribution(casting) are also approached for the oil(petroleum), the gas and the coal. Accidents in the home are evoked. The risks due to the atmospheric pollution are seen through the components of the atmospheric pollution as well as the sanitary effects of this pollution. (N.C.)

  7. Metals and trace elements in feathers: A geochemical approach to avoid misinterpretation of analytical responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borghesi, Fabrizio; Migani, Francesca; Andreotti, Alessandro; Baccetti, Nicola; Bianchi, Nicola; Birke, Manfred; Dinelli, Enrico

    2016-02-15

    Assessing trace metal pollution using feathers has long attracted the attention of ecotoxicologists as a cost-effective and non-invasive biomonitoring method. In order to interpret the concentrations in feathers considering the external contamination due to lithic residue particles, we adopted a novel geochemical approach. We analysed 58 element concentrations in feathers of wild Eurasian Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus fledglings, from 4 colonies in Western Europe (Spain, France, Sardinia, and North-eastern Italy) and one group of adults from zoo. In addition, 53 elements were assessed in soil collected close to the nesting islets. This enabled to compare a wide selection of metals among the colonies, highlighting environmental anomalies and tackling possible causes of misinterpretation of feather results. Most trace elements in feathers (Al, Ce, Co, Cs, Fe, Ga, Li, Mn, Nb, Pb, Rb, Ti, V, Zr, and REEs) were of external origin. Some elements could be constitutive (Cu, Zn) or significantly bioaccumulated (Hg, Se) in flamingos. For As, Cr, and to a lesser extent Pb, it seems that bioaccumulation potentially could be revealed by highly exposed birds, provided feathers are well cleaned. This comprehensive study provides a new dataset and confirms that Hg has been accumulated in feathers in all sites to some extent, with particular concern for the Sardinian colony, which should be studied further including Cr. The Spanish colony appears critical for As pollution and should be urgently investigated in depth. Feathers collected from North-eastern Italy were the hardest to clean, but our methods allowed biological interpretation of Cr and Pb. Our study highlights the importance of external contamination when analysing trace elements in feathers and advances methodological recommendations in order to reduce the presence of residual particles carrying elements of external origin. Geochemical data, when available, can represent a valuable tool for a correct

  8. What fossils can tell us about the evolution of viviparity and placentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, A M

    2008-01-01

    Recently a fossil of one of the earliest jawed fishes was found with a fetal skeleton and the remains of a cord. It was from the Devonian period and takes the history of vertebrate placentation back to 380 million years ago. This and later fossil evidence for viviparity in marine reptiles and early...

  9. Keratin homogeneity in the tail feathers of Pavo cristatus and Pavo cristatus mut. alba

    OpenAIRE

    Pabisch, S.; Puchegger, S.; Kirchner, H.O.K.; Weiss, I.M.; Peterlik, H.

    2010-01-01

    The keratin structure in the cortex of peacocks? feathers is studied by X-ray diffraction along the feather, from the calamus to the tip. It changes considerably over the first 5?cm close to the calamus and remains constant for about 1?m along the length of the feather. Close to the tip, the structure loses its high degree of order. We attribute the X-ray patterns to a shrinkage of a cylindrical arrangement of ?-sheets, which is not fully formed initially. In the final structure, the crystall...

  10. The environmental dilemma of fossil fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MacCracken, M.C.

    1992-04-01

    The increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide poses an environmental dilemma for fossil fuel energy generation that, unlike other related emissions, cannot be resolved by control technologies alone. Although fossil fuels presently provide the most cost-effective global energy source, and model projections suggest that their use is initiating climatic changes which, while quite uncertain, may induce significant, counter-balancing impacts to water resources, coastal resources, ecological systems, and possibly agricultural production. The climate model indicate that the warming should have begun, and there is some evidence for this occurring, but at a less rapid and more uneven rate than projected. In addition, different climate models are not yet in agreement in their latitudinal or regional predictions, and it will likely require a decade or more for such agreement to develop as high performance computers become available for addressing this ''grand challenge'' problem. Thus, in addition to the prospect for climatic change, the uncertainties of the changes and associated impacts contribute to the dilemma of dealing with the issue. Further, the problem is pervasive and international scope, with different countries and peoples having differing perspectives of technology, development, and environmental responsibility. Dealing with this issue will thus require creativity, commitment, and flexibility

  11. News technology utilization fossil fuel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blišanová Monika

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Fossil fuel – “alternative energy“ is coal, petroleum, natural gas. Petroleum and natural gas are scarce resources, but they are delimited. Reserves petroleum will be depleted after 39 years and reserves natural gas after 60 years.World reserves coal are good for another 240 years. Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel. It is the least expensive energy source for generating electricity. Many environmental problems associated with use of coal:in coal production, mining creates environmental problems.On Slovakia representative coal only important internal fuel – power of source and coal is produced in 5 locality. Nowadays, oneself invest to new technology on utilization coal. Perspective solution onself shows UCG, IGCC.

  12. Clustering fossils in solid inflation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akhshik, Mohammad, E-mail: m.akhshik@ipm.ir [Department of Physics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2015-05-01

    In solid inflation the single field non-Gaussianity consistency condition is violated. As a result, the long tenor perturbation induces observable clustering fossils in the form of quadrupole anisotropy in large scale structure power spectrum. In this work we revisit the bispectrum analysis for the scalar-scalar-scalar and tensor-scalar-scalar bispectrum for the general parameter space of solid. We consider the parameter space of the model in which the level of non-Gaussianity generated is consistent with the Planck constraints. Specializing to this allowed range of model parameter we calculate the quadrupole anisotropy induced from the long tensor perturbations on the power spectrum of the scalar perturbations. We argue that the imprints of clustering fossil from primordial gravitational waves on large scale structures can be detected from the future galaxy surveys.

  13. Fossil resource trade balances. Emerging trends for the UK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Papathanasopoulou, Eleni; Jackson, Tim

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to examine the extent to which the UK can be classified as a net importer of fossil resources and a creator of pollution havens abroad between 1968 and 2000. Using input-output techniques and a derived Resource Flow Classification System, both the physical trade balance (PTB) and pollution trade balance (UTB) associated with fossil resource use are computed. The PTB shows that between 1968 and the early 1980's the UK is presented as a net importer of direct fossil resource flows. Between 1984 and 2000, the UK is identified as a net exporter of direct fossil resources. These trends are primarily explained by the UK's discovery and commercial production of North Sea oil and gas fields in the late 1970s. On the other hand, the UTB shows that over the whole period the indirect used flows attributable to the UK's exports are higher than those attributable to its imports. These findings suggest that the UK did not create pollution havens abroad from the use of fossil resources between 1968 and 2000. However, it is noticeable in both cases that from 1995 the UK's position as a net exporter has been decreasing considerably. Maturing North Sea oil and gas fields set against increasing demands for fossil fuels and imported goods is signalling a return to the UK's pre-1984 dependence on direct imported fossil resources and the possible creation of pollution havens abroad. Knowledge of these trends contributes to the evidence base for the UK's changing import and export structure and the potential environmental repercussions at home and abroad. (author)

  14. Fossil butterflies, calibration points and the molecular clock (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jong, Rienk DE

    2017-05-25

    Fossil butterflies are extremely rare. Yet, they are the only direct evidence of the first appearance of particular characters and as such, they are crucial for calibrating a molecular clock, from which divergence ages are estimated. In turn, these estimates, in combination with paleogeographic information, are most important in paleobiogeographic considerations. The key issue here is the correct allocation of fossils on the phylogenetic tree from which the molecular clock is calibrated.The allocation of a fossil on a tree should be based on an apomorphic character found in a tree based on extant species, similar to the allocation of a new extant species. In practice, the latter is not done, at least not explicitly, on the basis of apomorphy, but rather on overall similarity or on a phylogenetic analysis, which is not possible for most butterfly fossils since they usually are very fragmentary. Characters most often preserved are in the venation of the wings. Therefore, special attention is given to possible apomorphies in venational characters in extant butterflies. For estimation of divergence times, not only the correct allocation of the fossil on the tree is important, but also the tree itself influences the outcome as well as the correct determination of the age of the fossil. These three aspects are discussed.        All known butterfly fossils, consisting of 49 taxa, are critically reviewed and their relationship to extant taxa is discussed as an aid for correctly calibrating a molecular clock for papilionoid Lepidoptera. In this context some aspects of age estimation and biogeographic conclusions are briefly mentioned in review. Specific information has been summarized in four appendices.

  15. Fossil resource trade balances. Emerging trends for the UK

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Papathanasopoulou, Eleni; Jackson, Tim [Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7TH (United Kingdom)

    2008-06-15

    The aim of this paper is to examine the extent to which the UK can be classified as a net importer of fossil resources and a creator of pollution havens abroad between 1968 and 2000. Using input-output techniques and a derived Resource Flow Classification System, both the physical trade balance (PTB) and pollution trade balance (UTB) associated with fossil resource use are computed. The PTB shows that between 1968 and the early 1980's the UK is presented as a net importer of direct fossil resource flows. Between 1984 and 2000, the UK is identified as a net exporter of direct fossil resources. These trends are primarily explained by the UK's discovery and commercial production of North Sea oil and gas fields in the late 1970s. On the other hand, the UTB shows that over the whole period the indirect used flows attributable to the UK's exports are higher than those attributable to its imports. These findings suggest that the UK did not create pollution havens abroad from the use of fossil resources between 1968 and 2000. However, it is noticeable in both cases that from 1995 the UK's position as a net exporter has been decreasing considerably. Maturing North Sea oil and gas fields set against increasing demands for fossil fuels and imported goods is signalling a return to the UK's pre-1984 dependence on direct imported fossil resources and the possible creation of pollution havens abroad. Knowledge of these trends contributes to the evidence base for the UK's changing import and export structure and the potential environmental repercussions at home and abroad. (author)

  16. Sanitary effects of fossil fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nifenecker, H.

    2006-01-01

    In this compilation are studied the sanitary effects of fossil fuels, behavioral and environmental sanitary risks. The risks in connection with the production, the transport and the distribution(casting) are also approached for the oil(petroleum), the gas and the coal. Accidents in the home are evoked. The risks due to the atmospheric pollution are seen through the components of the atmospheric pollution as well as the sanitary effects of this pollution. (N.C.)

  17. Blood biomarkers and contaminant levels in feathers and eggs to assess environmental hazards in heron nestlings from impacted sites in Ebro basin (NE Spain)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barata, C.; Fabregat, M.C.; Cotin, J.; Huertas, D.; Sole, M.; Quiros, L.; Sanpera, C.; Jover, L.; Ruiz, X.; Grimalt, J.O.; Pina, B.

    2010-01-01

    Blood biomarkers and levels of major pollutants in eggs and feathers were used to determine pollution effects in nestlings of the Purple Heron Ardea purpurea and the Little Egret Egretta garzetta, sampled on three Ebro River (NE Spain) areas: a reference site, a site affected by the effluents of a chlor-alkali industry and the river Delta. The two impacted heron populations showed mutually different pollutant and response patterns, suggesting different sources of contamination. In the population nesting near the chlor-alkali plant, elevated levels of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) in eggs, and mercury in feathers in A. purpurea chicks were related with reduced blood antioxidant defenses and increased levels of micronuclei. In Ebro Delta, high levels of plasmatic lactate dehydrogenase in A. purpurea chicks and high frequency of micronuclei in blood of both species were tentatively associated with intensive agricultural activities taking place in the area. These results provide the first evidence of a biological response in heron chicks to the release of pollutants at a chlor-alkali plant. - High levels of organochlorine and mercury levels in eggs and feathers were related with altered blood biomarkers of heron nesting chicks.

  18. Structural Color of Rock Dove’s Neck Feather

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Eri; Yoshioka, Shinya; Kinoshita, Shuichi

    2008-12-01

    It is well known that some kinds of animal have surprisingly brilliant colors showing beautiful iridescence. These colors are called structural colors, and are thought to originate from optical interference caused by periodic microstructures that have sizes comparable with the wavelength of light. However, much larger structural modifications can also play an important role in the coloration mechanism. In this paper, we show through careful optical and structural investigations that the structural color of the neck feather of rock dove, Columba livia, has a very comprehensive mechanism: the thin-layer optical interference phenomenon fundamentally produces the iridescence, while the layer structure is accompanied by various kinds of larger-size structural modifications that control the angular range of the reflection. Further, it is found that the granules containing melanin pigment exist in a localized manner to effectively enhance the contrast of the color caused by optical interference.

  19. The chicken frizzle feather is due to an α-keratin (KRT75 mutation that causes a defective rachis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Siang Ng

    Full Text Available Feathers have complex forms and are an excellent model to study the development and evolution of morphologies. Existing chicken feather mutants are especially useful for identifying genetic determinants of feather formation. This study focused on the gene F, underlying the frizzle feather trait that has a characteristic curled feather rachis and barbs in domestic chickens. Our developmental biology studies identified defects in feather medulla formation, and physical studies revealed that the frizzle feather curls in a stepwise manner. The frizzle gene is transmitted in an autosomal incomplete dominant mode. A whole-genome linkage scan of five pedigrees with 2678 SNPs revealed association of the frizzle locus with a keratin gene-enriched region within the linkage group E22C19W28_E50C23. Sequence analyses of the keratin gene cluster identified a 69 bp in-frame deletion in a conserved region of KRT75, an α-keratin gene. Retroviral-mediated expression of the mutated F cDNA in the wild-type rectrix qualitatively changed the bending of the rachis with some features of frizzle feathers including irregular kinks, severe bending near their distal ends, and substantially higher variations among samples in comparison to normal feathers. These results confirmed KRT75 as the F gene. This study demonstrates the potential of our approach for identifying genetic determinants of feather forms.

  20. Feather damaging behaviour in parrots: A review with consideration of comparative aspects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Zeeland, Yvonne R A; Spruit, Berry M; Rodenburg, T Bas

    2009-01-01

    similarities with behavioural disorders present in other bird species. Feather pecking (FP) in poultry is of particular interest in this case. Because of the major impacts on welfare and economy, the disorder has been thoroughly investigated. It has been shown that genetic, socio-environmental...... and neurobiological factors all play a role in FP. Several theories have been postulated about the different motivational systems that affect the behaviour, of which (redirected) foraging appears to be the most generally accepted. FDB may result from similar motivations and underlying mechanisms, but has also been......Feather damaging behaviour (also referred to as feather picking or feather plucking) is a behavioural disorder that is frequently encountered in captive parrots. This disorder has many characteristics that are similar to trichotillomania, an impulse control disorder in humans. Unfortunately...

  1. Vibrational spectroscopic analyses of unique yellow feather pigments (spheniscins) in penguins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Daniel B; McGoverin, Cushla M; McGraw, Kevin J; James, Helen F; Madden, Odile

    2013-06-06

    Many animals extract, synthesize and refine chemicals for colour display, where a range of compounds and structures can produce a diverse colour palette. Feather colours, for example, span the visible spectrum and mostly result from pigments in five chemical classes (carotenoids, melanins, porphyrins, psittacofulvins and metal oxides). However, the pigment that generates the yellow colour of penguin feathers appears to represent a sixth, poorly characterized class of feather pigments. This pigment class, here termed 'spheniscin', is displayed by half of the living penguin genera; the larger and richer colour displays of the pigment are highly attractive. Using Raman and mid-infrared spectroscopies, we analysed yellow feathers from two penguin species (king penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus; macaroni penguin, Eudyptes chrysolophus) to further characterize spheniscin pigments. The Raman spectrum of spheniscin is distinct from spectra of other feather pigments and exhibits 17 distinctive spectral bands between 300 and 1700 cm(-1). Spectral bands from the yellow pigment are assigned to aromatically bound carbon atoms, and to skeletal modes in an aromatic, heterocyclic ring. It has been suggested that the penguin pigment is a pterin compound; Raman spectra from yellow penguin feathers are broadly consistent with previously reported pterin spectra, although we have not matched it to any known compound. Raman spectroscopy can provide a rapid and non-destructive method for surveying the distribution of different classes of feather pigments in the avian family tree, and for correlating the chemistry of spheniscin with compounds analysed elsewhere. We suggest that the sixth class of feather pigments may have evolved in a stem-lineage penguin and endowed modern penguins with a costly plumage trait that appears to be chemically unique among birds.

  2. Sexual dimorphism in melanin pigmentation, feather coloration and its heritability in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Saino

    Full Text Available Melanin is the main pigment in animal coloration and considerable variation in the concentrations of the two melanin forms (pheo- and eumlanin in pigmented tissues exists among populations and individuals. Melanin-based coloration is receiving increasing attention particularly in socio-sexual communication contexts because the melanocortin system has been hypothesized to provide a mechanistic basis for covariation between coloration and fitness traits. However, with few notable exceptions, little detailed information is available on inter-individual and inter-population variation in melanin pigmentation and on its environmental, genetic and ontogenetic components. Here, we investigate melanin-based coloration in an Italian population of a passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica, its sex- and age-related variation, and heritability. The concentrations of eu- and pheomelanin in the throat (brown and belly (white-to-brownish feathers differed between sexes but not according to age. The relative concentration of either melanin (Pheo:Eu differed between sexes in throat but not in belly feathers, and the concentrations in males compared to females were larger in belly than in throat feathers. There were weak correlations between the concentrations of melanins within as well as among plumage regions. Coloration of belly feathers was predicted by the concentration of both melanins whereas coloration of throat feathers was only predicted by pheomelanin in females. In addition, Pheo:Eu predicted coloration of throat feathers in females and that of belly feathers in males. Finally, we found high heritability of color of throat feathers. Melanization was found to differ from that recorded in Hirundo rustica rustica from Scotland or from H. r. erythrogaster from North America. Hence, present results show that pigmentation strategies vary in a complex manner according to sex and plumage region, and also among geographical populations

  3. Drag Analysis of an Aircraft Wing Model withand without Bird Feather like Winglet

    OpenAIRE

    Altab Hossain; Ataur Rahman; A.K.M. P. Iqbal; M. Ariffin; M. Mazian

    2011-01-01

    This work describes the aerodynamic characteristic for aircraft wing model with and without bird feather like winglet. The aerofoil used to construct the whole structure is NACA 653-218 Rectangular wing and this aerofoil has been used to compare the result with previous research using winglet. The model of the rectangular wing with bird feather like winglet has been fabricated using polystyrene before design using CATIA P3 V5R13 software and finally fabricated in wood. Th...

  4. Feather mites (Acari, Astigmata) associated with birds in an Atlantic Forest fragment in Northeastern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Silva, HM; Hernandes, FA; Pichorim, M

    2015-01-01

    AbstractThe present study reports associations between feather mites (Astigmata) and birds in an Atlantic Forest fragment in Rio Grande do Norte state, in Brazil. In the laboratory, mites were collected through visual examination of freshly killed birds. Overall, 172 individuals from 38 bird species were examined, between October 2011 and July 2012. The prevalence of feather mites was 80.8%, corresponding to 139 infested individuals distributed into 30 species and 15 families of hosts. Fiftee...

  5. VARIANCE COMPONENTS AND SELECTION FOR FEATHER PECKING BEHAVIOR IN LAYING HENS

    OpenAIRE

    Su, Guosheng; Kjaer, Jørgen B.; Sørensen, Poul

    2005-01-01

    Variance components and selection response for feather pecking behaviour were studied by analysing the data from a divergent selection experiment. An investigation show that a Box-Cox transformation with power =-0.2 made the data be approximately normally distributed and fit best by the given model. Variance components and selection response were estimated using Bayesian analysis with Gibbs sampling technique. The total variation was rather large for the two traits in both low feather peckin...

  6. Coastal Microstructure: From Active Overturn to Fossil Turbulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tau Leung, Pak

    2011-11-01

    The Remote Anthropogenic Sensing Program was a five year effort (2001- 2005) to examine subsurface phenomena related to a sewage outfall off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. This research has implications for basic ocean hydrodynamics, particularly for a greatly improved understanding of the evolution of turbulent patches. It was the first time a microstructure measurement was used to study such a buoyancy-driven turbulence generated by a sea-floor diffuser. In 2004, two stations were selected to represent the near field and ambient conditions. They have nearly identical bathymetrical and hydrographical features and provide an ideal environment for a control experiment. Repeated vertical microstructure measurements were performed at both stations for 20 days. A time series of physical parameters was collected and used for statistical analysis. After comparing the data from both stations, it can be concluded that the turbulent mixing generated by the diffuser contributes to the elevated dissipation rate observed in the pycnocline and bottom boundary layer. To further understand the mixing processes in both regions, data were plotted on a Hydrodynamic Phase Diagram. The overturning stages of the turbulent patches are identified by Hydrodynamic Phase Diagram. This technique provides detailed information on the evolution of the turbulent patches from active overturns to fossilized scalar microstructures in the water column. Results from this study offer new evidence to support the fossil turbulence theory. This study concluded that: 1. Field Data collected near a sea-floor outfall diffuser show that turbulent patches evolve from active (overturning) to fossil (buoyancy-inhibited) stages, consistent with the process of turbulent patch evolution proposed by fossil turbulence theory. 2. The data show that active (overturning) and fossil (buoyancy-inhibited) patches have smaller length scales than the active+fossil (intermediate) stage of patch evolution, consistent with fossil

  7. Fossil-Fuel C02 Emissions Database and Exploration System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krassovski, M.; Boden, T.

    2012-04-01

    Fossil-Fuel C02 Emissions Database and Exploration System Misha Krassovski and Tom Boden Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center Oak Ridge National Laboratory The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) quantifies the release of carbon from fossil-fuel use and cement production each year at global, regional, and national spatial scales. These estimates are vital to climate change research given the strong evidence suggesting fossil-fuel emissions are responsible for unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. The CDIAC fossil-fuel emissions time series are based largely on annual energy statistics published for all nations by the United Nations (UN). Publications containing historical energy statistics make it possible to estimate fossil-fuel CO2 emissions back to 1751 before the Industrial Revolution. From these core fossil-fuel CO2 emission time series, CDIAC has developed a number of additional data products to satisfy modeling needs and to address other questions aimed at improving our understanding of the global carbon cycle budget. For example, CDIAC also produces a time series of gridded fossil-fuel CO2 emission estimates and isotopic (e.g., C13) emissions estimates. The gridded data are generated using the methodology described in Andres et al. (2011) and provide monthly and annual estimates for 1751-2008 at 1° latitude by 1° longitude resolution. These gridded emission estimates are being used in the latest IPCC Scientific Assessment (AR4). Isotopic estimates are possible thanks to detailed information for individual nations regarding the carbon content of select fuels (e.g., the carbon signature of natural gas from Russia). CDIAC has recently developed a relational database to house these baseline emissions estimates and associated derived products and a web-based interface to help users worldwide query these data holdings. Users can identify, explore and download desired CDIAC

  8. Microstructural tissue-engineering in the rachis and barbs of bird feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingham-Soliar, Theagarten

    2017-03-27

    Feathers do not have to be especially strong but they do need to be stiff and at the same time resilient and to have a high work of fracture. Syncitial barbule fibres are the highest size-class of continuous filaments in the cortex of the rachis of the feather. However, the rachis can be treated as a generalized cone of rapidly diminishing volume. This means that hundreds of syncitial barbule fibres of the rachis may have to be terminated before reaching the tip - creating potentially thousands of inherently fatal crack-like defects. Here I report a new microstructural architecture of the feather cortex in which most syncitial barbule fibres deviate to the right and left edges of the feather rachis from far within its borders and extend into the barbs, side branches of the rachis, as continuous filaments. This novel morphology adds significantly to knowledge of β-keratin self-assembly in the feather and helps solve the potential problem of fatal crack-like defects in the rachidial cortex. Furthermore, this new complexity, consistent with biology's robust multi-functionality, solves two biomechanical problems at a stroke. Feather barbs deeply 'rooted' within the rachis are also able to better withstand the aerodynamic forces to which they are subjected.

  9. Diverse uses of feathers with emphasis on diagnosis of avian viral infections and vaccine virus monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Davidson

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The large amounts of feathers produced by the poultry industry, that is considered as a waste was explored for possible uses in various industries, such as meals for animals, biofuels, biodegradable plastic materials, combating water pollution and more. That review mentions these uses, but concentrate on the utilization of feathers for the diagnosis of viral infections and for monitoring vaccine viruses in chickens after vaccination. The viral diseases in which diagnosis using nucleic acids extracted from the feather shafts was described are, Marek's disease virus, circoviruses, chicken anemia virus, fowlpox virus, avian retroviruses, avian influenza virus and infectious laryngotracheitis virus. In two cases, of Marek's disease virus and of infectious laryngotracheitis virus, the differentiation of vaccine and wild-type viruses from feather shafts was made possible, thus allowing for monitoring the vaccination efficacy. The present review demonstrates also the stability of DNA viruses in feather shafts, and the possible evaluation of environmental dissemination of pathogens. When viruses are transmitted vertically, like in the cases of the retrovirus REV, a teratogenic effect on the development of feathers of the day-old newly hatched chick might occur in the case of avian influenza and the chicken anemia virus, which might indicate on a viral infection.

  10. Feather mites (Acari, Astigmata from Azorean passerines (Aves, Passeriformes: lower species richness compared to European mainland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigues Pedro

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ten passerine species were examined on three islands of the Azores (North Atlantic during 2013 and 2014 in order to identify their feather mite assemblages. We recorded 19 feather mite species belonging to four families of the superfamily Analgoidea (Analgidae, Proctophyllodidae, Psoroptoididae and Trouessartiidae. A high prevalence of feather mite species was recorded on the majority of the examined host species. Only three passerine species (Sylvia atricapilla, Regulus regulus and Serinus canaria presented the same full complex of mite species as commonly occurs in the plumage of their closest relatives in continental Europe. Passer domesticus presented the same limited fauna of feather mites living in the plumage as do its co-specifics in continental Europe. Carduelis carduelis bears the same feather mite species as do most of its continental populations in Europe, but it lacks one mite species occurring on this host in Egypt. Turdus merula, Pyrrhula murina and Fringilla coelebs are missing several mite species common to their continental relatives. This diminution could be explained by the founder effect, whereby a limited number of colonizing individuals did not transport the full set of feather mite species, or by the extinction of some mite species after initially having reached the Azores. The only individual of Motacilla cinerea sampled in this study presented a new host record for the mite species Trouessartia jedliczkai.

  11. Amino acid neurotoxins in feathers of the Lesser Flamingo, Phoeniconaias minor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalf, J S; Banack, S A; Kotut, K; Krienitz, L; Codd, G A

    2013-01-01

    The Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) is known to use cyanobacteria (primarily Arthrospira) as a major food source in the East African Rift Valley lakes. Periodically, mass mortalities have occurred, associated with the cyanobacterial toxins (cyanotoxins), microcystins and anatoxin-a. Deposition of these cyanotoxins into P. minor feathers has been shown to occur, consistent with the presence of cyanotoxins in the livers, stomach and faecal contents after dietary intake. As cyanobacteria have been shown to also produce the neurotoxins β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) and 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB), stored wing feathers, previously recovered from flamingos which had been exposed to microcystins and anatoxin-a and had subsequently died, were analysed for these neurotoxic amino acids. Trace amounts of BMAA were detected in extracts from Lake Nakuru flamingo feathers, with DAB also present at concentrations between 3.5 and 8.5 μg g(-1) dry weight in feathers from both lakes. Toxin recovery by solid-phase extraction of feather digests was tested with spiked deuterated BMAA and showed good recovery when analysed by LC-MS/MS (80-94%). This is the first report of these neurotoxic amino acids in birds. We discuss the origin and significance of DAB, alongside other cyanotoxins of dietary origin, in the feathers of the Lesser Flamingo. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Prudence in a fossil generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruschak, R.R.; Yost, R.E.

    1991-01-01

    During the last decade, regulatory agencies have increasingly required that to be reimbursed for an investment in facilities, utilities must first prove their generating facility construction projects were prudently managed. The proof was almost always solicited when the plants were nearing completion. Utilities failing this retrospective prudence test have often suffered severe financial penalties. Thus far fossil plants have been spared the brunt of the prudence challenge. However, this situation may change. Regulatory agencies are honing the prudence concept into a broad tool. Application of this regulatory method is not likely to wane but rather just change its focus - from that of nuclear to other large utility expenditures. The primary ones being fossil construction, fuel purchases, and transmission facilities. For new plant construction to begin again and successfully pass the prudence challenge, the industry must learn from the troubles of the nuclear era, and change the way that decisions are made, documented and archived. Major decisions resulting in the commitment of millions of dollars over extended time periods (and governmental administrations) must be appropriately structured, packaged, collated to key issues and stored for ease of retrieval when the Prudence questions are asked. This paper describes how utilities can anticipate fossil-related prudence and shield themselves from extensive retrospective reconstruction of decisions made years ago. Through the establishment of a formal program of prudence safeguards, utility management can reduce its exposure to potentially adverse prudence reviews. In many cases, the resulting focus on, and improvements in, the decision making process can have beneficial side effects - such as better decisions that lead to lower project costs

  13. Developing fossil fuel based technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manzoori, A.R.; Lindner, E.R.

    1991-01-01

    Some of the undesirable effects of burning fossil fuels in the conventional power generating systems have resulted in increasing demand for alternative technologies for power generation. This paper describes a number of new technologies and their potential to reduce the level of atmospheric emissions associated with coal based power generation, such as atmospheric and pressurized fluid bed combustion systems and fuel cells. The status of their development is given and their efficiency is compared with that of conventional pc fired power plants. 1 tab., 7 figs

  14. Corrected placement of Mus-Rattus fossil calibration forces precision in the molecular tree of rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Yuri; Hawkins, Melissa T R; McDonough, Molly M; Jacobs, Louis L; Flynn, Lawrence J

    2015-09-28

    Time calibration derived from the fossil record is essential for molecular phylogenetic and evolutionary studies. Fossil mice and rats, discovered in the Siwalik Group of Pakistan, have served as one of the best-known fossil calibration points in molecular phylogenic studies. Although these fossils have been widely used as the 12 Ma date for the Mus/Rattus split or a more basal split, conclusive paleontological evidence for the nodal assignments has been absent. This study analyzes newly recognized characters that demonstrate lineage separation in the fossil record of Siwalik murines and examines the most reasonable nodal placement of the diverging lineages in a molecular phylogenetic tree by ancestral state reconstruction. Our specimen-based approach strongly indicates that Siwalik murines of the Karnimata clade are fossil members of the Arvicanthini-Otomyini-Millardini clade, which excludes Rattus and its relatives. Combining the new interpretation with the widely accepted hypothesis that the Progonomys clade includes Mus, the lineage separation event in the Siwalik fossil record represents the Mus/Arvicanthis split. Our test analysis on Bayesian age estimates shows that this new calibration point provides more accurate estimates of murine divergence than previous applications. Thus, we define this fossil calibration point and refine two other fossil-based points for molecular dating.

  15. Sparkling feather reflections of a bird-of-paradise explained by finite-difference time-domain modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilts, Bodo D; Michielsen, Kristel; De Raedt, Hans; Stavenga, Doekele G

    2014-03-25

    Birds-of-paradise are nature's prime examples of the evolution of color by sexual selection. Their brilliant, structurally colored feathers play a principal role in mating displays. The structural coloration of both the occipital and breast feathers of the bird-of-paradise Lawes' parotia is produced by melanin rodlets arranged in layers, together acting as interference reflectors. Light reflection by the silvery colored occipital feathers is unidirectional as in a classical multilayer, but the reflection by the richly colored breast feathers is three-directional and extraordinarily complex. Here we show that the reflection properties of both feather types can be quantitatively explained by finite-difference time-domain modeling using realistic feather anatomies and experimentally determined refractive index dispersion values of keratin and melanin. The results elucidate the interplay between avian coloration and vision and indicate tuning of the mating displays to the spectral properties of the avian visual system.

  16. The late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record of eastern Asia: synthesis and review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Christopher J

    2010-01-01

    Traditionally, Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils that cannot be allocated to Homo erectus sensu lato or modern H. sapiens have been assigned to different specific taxa. For example, in eastern Asia, these hominin fossils have been classified as archaic, early, or premodern H. sapiens. An increasing number of Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils are currently being assigned to H. heidelbergensis. This is particularly the case for the African and European Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record. There have been suggestions that perhaps the eastern Asian late Middle Pleistocene hominins can also be allocated to the H. heidelbergensis hypodigm. In this article, I review the current state of the late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record from eastern Asia and examine the various arguments for assigning these hominins to the different specific taxa. The two primary conclusions drawn from this review are as follows: 1) little evidence currently exists in the eastern Asian Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record to support their assignment to H. heidelbergensis; and 2) rather than add to the growing list of hominin fossil taxa by using taxonomic names like H. daliensis for northeast Asian fossils and H. mabaensis for Southeast Asian fossils, it is better to err on the side of caution and continue to use the term archaic H. sapiens to represent all of these hominin fossils. What should be evident from this review is the need for an increase in the quality and quantity of the eastern Asian hominin fossil data set. Fortunately, with the increasing number of large-scale multidisciplinary paleoanthropological field and laboratory research projects in eastern Asia, the record is quickly becoming better understood. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. Effects of Endotoxin and Psychological Stress on Redox Physiology, Immunity and Feather Corticosterone in Greenfinches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Meitern

    Full Text Available Assessment of costs accompanying activation of immune system and related neuroendocrine pathways is essential for understanding the selective forces operating on these systems. Here we attempted to detect such costs in terms of disruption to redox balance and interference between different immune system components in captive wild-caught greenfinches (Carduelis chloris. Study birds were subjected to an endotoxin-induced inflammatory challenge and temporary exposure to a psychological stressor (an image of a predator in a 2*2 factorial experiment. Injection of bacterial endotoxin resulted in up-regulation of two markers of antioxidant protection - erythrocyte glutathione, and plasma oxygen radical absorbance (OXY. These findings suggest that inflammatory responses alter redox homeostasis. However, no effect on markers of oxidative damage to proteins or DNA in erythrocytes could be detected. We found no evidence that the endotoxin injection interfered with antibody production against Brucella abortus antigen or the intensity of chronic coccidiosis. The hypothesis of within-immune system trade-offs as a cost of immunity was thus not supported in our model system. We showed for the first time that administration of endotoxin can reduce the level of corticosterone deposited into feathers. This finding suggests a down-regulation of the corticosterone secretion cascade due to an endotoxin-induced immune response, a phenomenon that has not been reported previously. Exposure to the predator image did not affect any of the measured physiological parameters.

  18. Individual odor recognition in birds: an endogenous olfactory signature on petrels' feathers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonadonna, Francesco; Miguel, Eve; Grosbois, Vladimir; Jouventin, Pierre; Bessiere, Jean-Marie

    2007-09-01

    A growing body of evidence indicates that odors are used in individual, sexual, and species recognition in vertebrates, and may be reliable signals of quality and compatibility. Petrels are seabirds that exhibit an acute sense of smell. During the breeding period, many species of petrels live in dense colonies on small oceanic islands and form pairs that use individual underground burrows. Mates alternate between parental duties and foraging trips at sea. Returning from the ocean at night (to avoid bird predators), petrels must find their nest burrow. Antarctic prions, Pachyptila desolata, are thought to identify their nest by recognizing their partner's odor, suggesting the existence of an individual odor signature. We used gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to analyze extracts obtained from the feathers of 13 birds. The chemical profile of a single bird was more similar to itself, from year to year, than to that of any other bird. The profile contained up to a hundred volatile lipids, but the odor signature may be based on the presence or absence of a few specific compounds. Our results show that the odor signature in Antarctic prions is probably endogenous, suggesting that in some species of petrels it may broadcast compatibility and quality of potential mates.

  19. Fossil energy program. Summary document

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1980-05-01

    This program summary document presents a comprehensive overview of the research, development, and demonstration (RD and D) activities that will be performed in FY 1981 by the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (ASFE), US Department of Energy (DOE). The ASFE technology programs for the fossil resources of coal, petroleum (including oil shale) and gas have been established with the goal of making substantive contributions to the nation's future supply and efficienty use of energy. On April 29, 1977, the Administration submitted to Congress the National Energy Plan (NEP) and accompanying legislative proposals designed to establish a coherent energy policy structure for the United States. Congress passed the National Energy Act (NEA) on October 15, 1978, which allows implementation of the vital parts of the NEP. The NEP was supplemented by additional energy policy statements culminating in the President's address on July 15, 1979, presenting a program to further reduce dependence on imported petroleum. The passage of the NEA-related energy programs represent specific steps by the Administration and Congress to reorganize, redirect, and clarify the role of the Federal Government in the formulation and execution of national energy policy and programs. The energy technology RD and D prog4rams carried out by ASFE are an important part of the Federal Government's effort to provide the combination and amounts of energy resources needed to ensure national security and continued economic growth.

  20. Looking for Fossil Bacteria in Martian Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, F.; Walsh, M. M.; Mckay, D. D.; Wentworth, S.; Gibson, E. K.; Steele, A.; Toporski, J.; Lindstrom, D.; Martinez, R.; Allen, C. C.

    1999-01-01

    The rationale for looking for prokaryote fossils in Martian materials is based on our present understanding of the environmental evolution of that planet in comparison to the history of the terrestrial environments and the development and evolution of life on Earth. On Earth we have clear, albeit indirect, evidence of life in 3.8 b.y.-old rocks from Greenland and the first morphological fossils in 3.3-3.5 b.y.-old cherts from South Africa and Australia. In comparison, Mars, being smaller, probably cooled down after initial aggregation faster than the Earth. Consequently, there could have been liquid water on its surface earlier than on Earth. With a similar exogenous and endogenous input of organics and life-sustaining nutrients as is proposed for the Earth, life could have arisen on that planet, possibly slightly earlier dm it did on Earth. Whereas on Earth liquid water has remained at the surface of the planet since about 4.4 b.y. (with some possible interregnums caused by planet-sterilising impacts before 3.8. b.y. and perhaps a number of periods of a totally frozen Earth, this was not the case with Mars. Although it is not known exactly when surficial water disappeared from the surface, there would have been sufficient time for life to have developed into something similar to the terrestrial prokaryote stage. However, given the earlier environmental deterioration, it is unlikely that it evolved into the eukaryote stage and even evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis may not have been reached. Thus, the impetus of research is on single celled life simnilar to prokaryotes. We are investigating a number of methods of trace element analysis with respect to the Early Archaean microbial fossils. Preliminary neutron activation analysis of carbonaceous layers in the Early Archaean cherts from South Africa and Australia shows some partitioning of elements such as As, Sb, Cr with an especial enrichment of lanthanides in a carbonaceous-rich banded iron sediment . More

  1. Fossilization Processes in Thermal Springs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Cady, Sherry; Desmarais, David J.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    To create a comparative framework for the study of ancient examples, we have been carrying out parallel studies of the microbial biosedimentology, taphonomy and geochemistry of modem and sub-Recent thermal spring deposits. One goal of the research is the development of integrated litho- and taphofacies models for siliceous and travertline sinters. Thermal springs are regarded as important environments for the origin and early evolution of life on Earth, and we seek to utilize information from the fossil record to reconstruct the evolution of high temperature ecosystems. Microbial contributions to the fabric of thermal spring sinters occur when population growth rates keep pace with, or exceed rates of inorganic precipitation, allowing for the development of continuous biofilms or mats. In siliceous thermal springs, microorganisms are typically entombed while viable. Modes of preservation reflect the balance between rates of organic matter degradation, silica precipitation and secondary infilling. Subaerial sinters are initially quite porous and permeable and at temperatures higher than about 20 C, organic materials are usually degraded prior to secondary infilling of sinter frameworks. Thus, organically-preserved microfossils are rare and fossil information consists of characteristic biofabrics formed by the encrustation and underplating of microbial mat surfaces. This probably accounts for the typically low total organic carbon values observed in thermal spring deposits. In mid-temperature, (approx. 35 - 59 C) ponds and outflows, the surface morphology of tufted Phormidium mats is preserved through mat underplating by thin siliceous: crusts. Microbial taxes lead to clumping of ceils and/or preferred filament orientations that together define higher order composite fabrics in thermal spring stromatolites (e.g. network, coniform, and palisade). At lower temperatures (less than 35 C), Calothrix mats cover shallow terracette pools forming flat carpets or pustular

  2. Fossil fuels: Kyoto initiatives and opportunities. Part 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pinelli, G.; Zerlia, T.

    2008-01-01

    GHG emission in the upstream step of fossil fuel chains could give an environmental as well as economic opportunity for traditional sectors. This study deepens the matter showing an increasing number of initiative over the last few years taken both the involved sectors and by various stake holders (public and private subjects) within the Kyoto flexible mechanism (CDM and JI) or linked to voluntary national or at a global level actions. The above undertakings give evidence for an increased interest and an actual activity dealing with GHG reduction whose results play an evident and positive role for the environment too. Part 1. of this study deals with fossil fuel actions within the Kyoto protocol mechanism. Part 2. will show international and national voluntary initiative [it

  3. Response of sheep fed on concentrate containing feather meal and supplemented with mineral Chromium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yulistiani D

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of substitution of protein concentrate with feather meal supplemented with organic chromium mineral on performance of lambs. Twenty five male lambs were fed basal feed of fresh chopped king grass ad libitum and were allotted to either one of five different supplements (five dietary treatments: Control (C; 10% of protein in concentrate was substituted by feather meal (FM; 10% of protein in concentrate was substituted by feather meal supplemented with Cr yeast at 1.5 mg (FMCrOrg; 10% of protein in concentrate was substituted by feather meal supplemented with Cr inorganic which equal to the amount of Cr bound in yeast (FMCr; Concentrate control supplemented with 1.5 mg Cr yeast (CCrOrg. Cr-organic was synthesized by incorporating CrCl3 in fermented rice flour by Rhizopus sp. The mineral is mixed with feather meal as a mineral carrier. Sheep in all treatments received iso protein concentrate. Parameters observed were body weight change, feed consumption and nutrient digestibility. Results shows that there was no significant effect of diet treatments on average daily gain (ADG, dry matter consumption and feed conversion, with the average value of 75.4 gr/day; 74.9 g/BW0.75 and 9.9 respectively, However diet treatment of organic chromium and protein substitution with feather meal (FMCrOrg showed tendency of having higher ADG (83.57 g/h/d. Average nutrient digestibility of dry matter, organic matter and NDF were 68.7; 69.6 and 60.9%, respectively. However NDF digestibility of FMCrOrg tended to be higher than other treatment (67.0%. It is concluded that partial substitution of protein concentrate by feather meal and 1.5 mg Cr-organic supplementation did not affect sheep performance.

  4. Isotopic characterization of flight feathers in two pelagic seabirds: Sampling strategies for ecological studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, Anne E.; Ostrom, Peggy H.; Stricker, Craig A.; James, Helen F.; Gandhi, Hasand

    2010-01-01

    We wish to use stable-isotope analysis of flight feathers to understand the feeding behavior of pelagic seabirds, such as the Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) and Newell’s Shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newelli). Analysis of remiges is particularly informative because the sequence and timing of remex molt are often known. The initial step, reported here, is to obtain accurate isotope values from whole remiges by means of a minimally invasive protocol appropriate for live birds or museum specimens. The high variability observed in D13C and D15N values within a feather precludes the use of a small section of vane. We found the average range within 42 Hawaiian Petrel remiges to be 1.3‰ for both D13C and D15N and that within 10 Newell’s Shearwater remiges to be 1.3‰ and 0.7‰ for D13C and D15N, respectively. The D13C of all 52 feathers increased from tip to base, and the majority of Hawaiian Petrel feathers showed an analogous trend in D15N. Although the average range of DD in 21 Hawaiian Petrel remiges was 11‰, we found no longitudinal trend. We discuss influences of trophic level, foraging location, metabolism, and pigmentation on isotope values and compare three methods of obtaining isotope averages of whole feathers. Our novel barb-sampling protocol requires only 1.0 mg of feather and minimal preparation time. Because it leaves the feather nearly intact, this protocol will likely facilitate obtaining isotope values from remiges of live birds and museum specimens. As a consequence, it will help expand the understanding of historical trends in foraging behavior

  5. Operation Clean Feather: Reducing oil pollution in Newfoundland waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chardine, J.W.; Pelly, G.

    1994-01-01

    Oil pollution of marine waters around Newfoundland, and particularly in the vicinity of Placentia Bay, is a frequent occurrence. Many oiled seabirds are found on beaches in the bay, particularly in winter. The most likely pollution sources are ship operators who dump waste oils from bilges and slop tanks. In an effort to reduce the chronic discharge of waste oil into Placentia Bay, and thus the incidence of bird oiling, Operation Clean Feather was launched in 1991-92 and consisted of weekly surveys of Placentia Bay beaches, sampling of oil from vessels using the bay and from oiled birds and beaches, and experimentation to determine possible recovery rates of birds oiled at sea. The operation was considered a success at a number of levels. Significant reductions in numbers of oiled birds were noted in both 1991 and 1992 compared to 1989 or 1990. Estimated oil-related mortality was reduced to ca 25% of levels seen in the two years prior to the operation. The operation also provided the opportunity to test and refine an organizational framework designed to deal with the problem of chronic oil pollution reports. Communication efforts heightened the awareness of the oil pollution problem in Newfoundland waters. These efforts included distribution of pamphlets in various languages to ship operators, describing the seriousness of oil-related marine bird mortality and warning of the substantial fines that can be imposed under the Canada Shipping Act. 6 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab

  6. Paleoradiology. Imaging mummies and fossils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chhem, Rethy K. [Western Ontario Univ. London Health Sciences Centre, ON (Canada). Dept. of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine; Brothwell, Don R. [York Univ. (United Kingdom). Dept. of Archaeology

    2008-07-01

    This is an important work on a topic of huge interest to archaeologists and related scientists, since the use of imaging techniques in the field has been expanding rapidly in recent decades. Paleoradiology involves the use of X-rays and advanced medical imaging modalities to evaluate ancient human and animal skeletons as well as biological materials from archaeological sites. Paleoradiological studies have been performed on mummies, skeletal remains and fossils to determine their sex and age at death. Diagnostic paleoradiology is the use of X-ray studies to detect ancient diseases. The broad range of themes and imaging techniques in this volume reflects four decades of research undertaken by Don Brothwell in the fields of anthropology, human paleopathology, and zooarchaeology, combined with two decades of skeletal radiology experience during which Rethy Chhem read over 150,000 skeletal X-ray and CT studies. (orig.)

  7. Paleoradiology. Imaging mummies and fossils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chhem, Rethy K.; Brothwell, Don R.

    2008-01-01

    This is an important work on a topic of huge interest to archaeologists and related scientists, since the use of imaging techniques in the field has been expanding rapidly in recent decades. Paleoradiology involves the use of X-rays and advanced medical imaging modalities to evaluate ancient human and animal skeletons as well as biological materials from archaeological sites. Paleoradiological studies have been performed on mummies, skeletal remains and fossils to determine their sex and age at death. Diagnostic paleoradiology is the use of X-ray studies to detect ancient diseases. The broad range of themes and imaging techniques in this volume reflects four decades of research undertaken by Don Brothwell in the fields of anthropology, human paleopathology, and zooarchaeology, combined with two decades of skeletal radiology experience during which Rethy Chhem read over 150,000 skeletal X-ray and CT studies. (orig.)

  8. Retrofitting for fossil fuel flexibility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newell, J.; Trueblood, R.C.; Lukas, R.W.; Worster, C.M.; Marx, P.D.

    1991-01-01

    Described in this paper are two fossil plant retrofits recently completed by the Public Service Company of New Hampshire that demonstrate the type of planning and execution required for a successful project under the current regulatory and budget constraints. Merrimack Units 1 and 2 are 120 MW and 338 MW nominal cyclone-fired coal units in Bow, New Hampshire. The retrofits recently completed at these plants have resulted in improved particulate emissions compliance, and the fuel flexibility to allow switching to lower sulphur coals to meet current and future SO 2 emission limits. Included in this discussion are the features of each project including the unique precipitator procurement approach for the Unit 1 Retrofit, and methods used to accomplish both retrofits within existing scheduled maintenance outages through careful planning and scheduling, effective use of pre-outage construction, 3-D CADD modeling, modular construction and early procurement. Operating experience while firing various coals in the cyclone fired boilers is also discussed

  9. The oldest Mahonia (Berberidaceae) fossil from East Asia and its biogeographic implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jian; Su, Tao; Lebereton-Anberrée, Julie; Zhang, Shi-Tao; Zhou, Zhe-Kun

    2016-03-01

    Interpretation of the biogeography of the genus Mahonia (Berberidaceae) is limited by the lack of fossil records in East Asia. Compressed fossil foliage, described here as Mahonia mioasiatica sp. nov., were collected from the Upper Miocene Xiaolongtan Formation in Wenshan, Yunnan, southwest China. These specimens represent the oldest reliable fossil record of Mahonia in East Asia. This new fossil species shows a general similarity to Group Orientales and is most similar to the extant eastern Asian Mahonia conferta. Considering other fossil evidence of Mahonia, we propose a migration route of this genus to Asia over the North Atlantic Land Bridge rather than the Bering Land Bridge. Our results also suggest that North America, Europe and East Asia have been successive centers of diversity for the genus, as a consequence of diversification in Group Orientales potentially related to historical climate change.

  10. From Fossil Parasitoids to Vectors: Insects as Parasites and Hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, Christina; Haug, Joachim T

    2015-01-01

    Within Metazoa, it has been proposed that as many as two-thirds of all species are parasitic. This propensity towards parasitism is also reflected within insects, where several lineages independently evolved a parasitic lifestyle. Parasitic behaviour ranges from parasitic habits in the strict sense, but also includes parasitoid, phoretic or kleptoparasitic behaviour. Numerous insects are also the host for other parasitic insects or metazoans. Insects can also serve as vectors for numerous metazoan, protistan, bacterial and viral diseases. The fossil record can report this behaviour with direct (parasite associated with its host) or indirect evidence (insect with parasitic larva, isolated parasitic insect, pathological changes of host). The high abundance of parasitism in the fossil record of insects can reveal important aspects of parasitic lifestyles in various evolutionary lineages. For a comprehensive view on fossil parasitic insects, we discuss here different aspects, including phylogenetic systematics, functional morphology and a direct comparison of fossil and extant species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Feather mites (Acari, Astigmata associated with birds in an Atlantic Forest fragment in Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HM Silva

    Full Text Available AbstractThe present study reports associations between feather mites (Astigmata and birds in an Atlantic Forest fragment in Rio Grande do Norte state, in Brazil. In the laboratory, mites were collected through visual examination of freshly killed birds. Overall, 172 individuals from 38 bird species were examined, between October 2011 and July 2012. The prevalence of feather mites was 80.8%, corresponding to 139 infested individuals distributed into 30 species and 15 families of hosts. Fifteen feather mite taxa could be identified to the species level, sixteen to the genus level and three to the subfamily level, distributed into the families Analgidae, Proctophyllodidae, Psoroptoididae, Pteronyssidae, Xolalgidae, Trouessartiidae, Falculiferidae and Gabuciniidae. Hitherto unknown associations between feather mites and birds were recorded for eleven taxa identified to the species level, and nine taxa were recorded for the first time in Brazil. The number of new geographic records, as well as the hitherto unknown mite-host associations, supports the high estimates of diversity for feather mites of Brazil and show the need for research to increase knowledge of plumicole mites in the Neotropical region.

  12. Sounds of Modified Flight Feathers Reliably Signal Danger in a Pigeon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Trevor G; Zeil, Jochen; Magrath, Robert D

    2017-11-20

    In his book on sexual selection, Darwin [1] devoted equal space to non-vocal and vocal communication in birds. Since then, vocal communication has become a model for studies of neurobiology, learning, communication, evolution, and conservation [2, 3]. In contrast, non-vocal "instrumental music," as Darwin called it, has only recently become subject to sustained inquiry [4, 5]. In particular, outstanding work reveals how feathers, often highly modified, produce distinctive sounds [6-9], and suggests that these sounds have evolved at least 70 times, in many orders [10]. It remains to be shown, however, that such sounds are signals used in communication. Here we show that crested pigeons (Ochyphaps lophotes) signal alarm with specially modified wing feathers. We used video and feather-removal experiments to demonstrate that the highly modified 8 th primary wing feather (P8) produces a distinct note during each downstroke. The sound changes with wingbeat frequency, so that birds fleeing danger produce wing sounds with a higher tempo. Critically, a playback experiment revealed that only if P8 is present does the sound of escape flight signal danger. Our results therefore indicate, nearly 150 years after Darwin's book, that modified feathers can be used for non-vocal communication, and they reveal an intrinsically reliable alarm signal. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Fifty shades of white: how white feather brightness differs among species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igic, Branislav; D'Alba, Liliana; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2018-04-01

    White colouration is a common and important component of animal visual signalling and camouflage, but how and why it varies across species is poorly understood. White is produced by wavelength-independent and diffuse scattering of light by the internal structures of materials, where the degree of brightness is related to the amount of light scattered. Here, we investigated the morphological basis of brightness differences among unpigmented pennaceous regions of white body feathers across 61 bird species. Using phylogenetically controlled comparisons of reflectance and morphometric measurements, we show that brighter white feathers had larger and internally more complex barbs than duller white feathers. Higher brightness was also associated with more closely packed barbs and barbules, thicker and longer barbules, and rounder and less hollow barbs. Larger species tended to have brighter white feathers than smaller species because they had thicker and more complex barbs, but aquatic species were not significantly brighter than terrestrial species. As similar light scattering principals affect the brightness of chromatic signals, not just white colours, these findings help broaden our general understanding of the mechanisms that affect plumage brightness. Future studies should examine how feather layering on a bird's body contributes to differences between brightness of white plumage patches within and across species.

  14. Hidden keys to survival: the type, density, pattern and functional role of emperor penguin body feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Cassondra L; Hagelin, Julie C; Kooyman, Gerald L

    2015-10-22

    Antarctic penguins survive some of the harshest conditions on the planet. Emperor penguins breed on the sea ice where temperatures drop below -40°C and forage in -1.8°C waters. Their ability to maintain 38°C body temperature in these conditions is due in large part to their feathered coat. Penguins have been reported to have the highest contour feather density of any bird, and both filoplumes and plumules (downy feathers) are reported absent in penguins. In studies modelling the heat transfer properties and the potential biomimetic applications of penguin plumage design, the insulative properties of penguin plumage have been attributed to the single afterfeather attached to contour feathers. This attribution of the afterfeather as the sole insulation component has been repeated in subsequent studies. Our results demonstrate the presence of both plumules and filoplumes in the penguin body plumage. The downy plumules are four times denser than afterfeathers and play a key, previously overlooked role in penguin survival. Our study also does not support the report that emperor penguins have the highest contour feather density. © 2015 The Author(s).

  15. k{sub 0}-INAA for determining chemical elements in bird feathers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Franca, Elvis J., E-mail: ejfranca@usp.b [CENA/USP, Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura, Universidade of Sao Paulo, P.O. Box 97, 13400-970, Piracicaba, SP (Brazil); Fernandes, Elisabete A.N.; Fonseca, Felipe Y. [CENA/USP, Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura, Universidade of Sao Paulo, P.O. Box 97, 13400-970, Piracicaba, SP (Brazil); Antunes, Alexsander Z. [IF, Instituto Florestal do Estado de Sao Paulo, Rua do Horto 931, Horto Florestal 02377-000, Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Bardini Junior, Claudiney; Bacchi, Marcio A.; Rodrigues, Vanessa S.; Cavalca, Isabel P.O. [CENA/USP, Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura, Universidade of Sao Paulo, P.O. Box 97, 13400-970, Piracicaba, SP (Brazil)

    2010-10-11

    The k{sub 0}-method instrumental neutron activation analysis (k{sub 0}-INAA) was employed for determining chemical elements in bird feathers. A collection was obtained taking into account several bird species from wet ecosystems in diverse regions of Brazil. For comparison reason, feathers were actively sampled in a riparian forest from the Marins Stream, Piracicaba, Sao Paulo State, using mist nets specific for capturing birds. Biological certified reference materials were used for assessing the quality of analytical procedure. Quantification of chemical elements was performed using the k{sub 0}-INAA Quantu Software. Sixteen chemical elements, including macro and micronutrients, and trace elements, have been quantified in feathers, in which analytical uncertainties varied from 2% to 40% depending on the chemical element mass fraction. Results indicated high mass fractions of Br (max=7.9 mg kg{sup -1}), Co (max=0.47 mg kg{sup -1}), Cr (max=68 mg kg{sup -1}), Hg (max=2.79 mg kg{sup -1}), Sb (max=0.20 mg kg{sup -1}), Se (max=1.3 mg kg{sup -1}) and Zn (max=192 mg kg{sup -1}) in bird feathers, probably associated with the degree of pollution of the areas evaluated. In order to corroborate the use of k{sub 0}-INAA results in biomonitoring studies using avian community, different factor analysis methods were used to check chemical element source apportionment and locality clustering based on feather chemical composition.

  16. Do fossil vertebrate biominerals hold the key to the Palaeozoic climate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Žigaitė, Ž.

    2012-04-01

    Fossil vertebrate hard tissues - teeth and dermoskeleton - are considered among the most geochemically stable biominerals, and therefore are widely used for palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstructions. Elemental and isotopic compositions of fossil dental tissues may provide unique palaeoenvironmental information, ranging from the diet and trophic positions on a food chain, to the palaeosalinity and water temperatures of ancient seas. However, the post-mortem alteration and re-crystallisation of fossil hard tissues may hamper these interpretations. Chemical composition and isotopic equilibrium of the biomineral change readily at any time from the earliest diagenesis to the final laboratory acid treatment during the fossil preparation. This is why particular attention shall be given to the preservation of fossil tissues, evaluating carefully the level of possible alteration in the primary geochemical composition. Pre-evaluation of fossil preservation can be made by semi-quantitative spot geochemistry analyses on fine polished teeth and scale thin sections using Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), and help to preview the chemical composition of biomineral. The Electron Backscatter Diffractometry (EBSD) is useful to examine the cristallinity and possible structural alterations. In addition, rare earth element (REE) abundances can be measured in situ within the fine fossil tissues (such as enamel) using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass-spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), giving evidence on the selective geochemical resilience between separate vertebrate hard tissues. Therefore, in order to decipher the geochemical signal correctly, the evaluation of preservation is a necessary starting point to any further studies of fossil biomineral geochemistry.

  17. Impacts of curatorial and research practices on the preservation of fossil hominid remains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Cabec, Adeline; Toussaint, Michel

    2017-12-30

    Fossil remains are the only physical evidence of past forms of life which researchers can use to study the evolutionary biology of a species, especially regarding the human lineage. We review and consider the way in which the conditions surrounding a fossil's discovery and its use for scientific research impacts its long-term preservation. The deterioration of the body starts soon after death, continues in the sediments and only a subsample of the anatomical elements will persist and may finally be unearthed by archeologists. From their recovery onwards, fossil remains are exposed to many sources of further damage: from handling, restoration, measuring to invasive sampling. On the one hand, curators are faced with the inherent challenge of balancing their responsibility to protect fossil specimens with allowing researchers to perform specific analyses or invasive sampling detrimental to the preservation of the fossil. On the other hand, scientists may find their analyses complicated by multiple factors including taphonomy, or restoration techniques (e.g., consolidants, cleaning chemicals). We provide several historical examples illustrating the complex nature of the factors acting on fossil preservation. We discuss concerns about producing and sharing (digital) data from fossils. Finally, we also suggest and support some curatorial practices which maximize the traceability of treatments underwent by a fossil.

  18. Combining fossil and molecular data to date the diversification of New World Primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrago, C G; Mello, B; Soares, A E R

    2013-11-01

    Recent methodological advances in molecular dating associated with the growing availability of sequence data have prompted the study of the evolution of New World Anthropoidea in recent years. Motivated by questions regarding historical biogeography or the mode of evolution, these works aimed to obtain a clearer scenario of Platyrrhini origins and diversification. Although some consensus was found, disputed issues, especially those relating to the evolutionary affinities of fossil taxa, remain. The use of fossil taxa for divergence time analysis is traditionally restricted to the provision of calibration priors. However, new analytical approaches have been developed that incorporate fossils as terminals and, thus, directly assign ages to the fossil tips. In this study, we conducted a combined analysis of molecular and morphological data, including fossils, to derive the timescale of New World anthropoids. Differently from previous studies that conducted total-evidence analysis of molecules and morphology, our approach investigated the morphological clock alone. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that living platyrrhines diversified in the last 20 Ma and that Miocene Patagonian fossils compose an independent evolutionary radiation that diversified in the late Oligocene. When compared to the node ages inferred from the molecular timescale, the inclusion of fossils augmented the precision of the estimates for nodes constrained by the fossil tips. We show that morphological data can be analysed using the same methodological framework applied in relaxed molecular clock studies. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Fossils and living taxa agree on patterns of body mass evolution: a case study with Afrotheria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puttick, Mark N; Thomas, Gavin H

    2015-12-22

    Most of life is extinct, so incorporating some fossil evidence into analyses of macroevolution is typically seen as necessary to understand the diversification of life and patterns of morphological evolution. Here we test the effects of inclusion of fossils in a study of the body size evolution of afrotherian mammals, a clade that includes the elephants, sea cows and elephant shrews. We find that the inclusion of fossil tips has little impact on analyses of body mass evolution; from a small ancestral size (approx. 100 g), there is a shift in rate and an increase in mass leading to the larger-bodied Paenungulata and Tubulidentata, regardless of whether fossils are included or excluded from analyses. For Afrotheria, the inclusion of fossils and morphological character data affect phylogenetic topology, but these differences have little impact upon patterns of body mass evolution and these body mass evolutionary patterns are consistent with the fossil record. The largest differences between our analyses result from the evolutionary model, not the addition of fossils. For some clades, extant-only analyses may be reliable to reconstruct body mass evolution, but the addition of fossils and careful model selection is likely to increase confidence and accuracy of reconstructed macroevolutionary patterns. © 2015 The Authors.

  20. High-precision U-Pb geochronology of the Jurassic Yanliao Biota from Jianchang (western Liaoning Province, China): Age constraints on the rise of feathered dinosaurs and eutherian mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Zhuyin; He, Huaiyu; Ramezani, Jahandar; Bowring, Samuel A.; Hu, Dongyu; Zhang, Lijun; Zheng, Shaolin; Wang, Xiaolin; Zhou, Zhonghe; Deng, Chenglong; Guo, Jinghui

    2016-10-01

    The Yanliao Biota of northeastern China comprises the oldest feathered dinosaurs, transitional pterosaurs, as well as the earliest eutherian mammals, multituberculate mammals, and new euharamiyidan species that are key elements of the Mesozoic biotic record. Recent discovery of the Yanliao Biota in the Daxishan section near the town of Linglongta, Jianchang County in western Liaoning Province have greatly enhanced our knowledge of the transition from dinosaurs to birds, primitive to derived pterosaurs, and the early evolution of mammals. Nevertheless, fundamental questions regarding the correlation of fossil-bearing strata, rates of dinosaur and mammalian evolution, and their relationship to environmental change in deep time remain unresolved due to the paucity of precise and accurate temporal constraints. These limitations underscore the importance of placing the rich fossil record of Jianchang within a high-resolution chronostratigraphic framework that has thus far been hampered by the relatively low precision of in situ radioisotopic dating techniques. Here we present high-precision U-Pb zircon geochronology by the chemical abrasion isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (CA-ID-TIMS) from three interstratified ash beds previously dated by secondary-ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) technique. The results constrain the key fossil horizons of the Daxishan section to an interval spanning 160.89 to 160.25 Ma with 2σ analytical uncertainties that range from ±46 to ±69 kyr. These data place the Yanliao Biota from Jianchang in the Oxfordian Stage of the Late Jurassic, and mark the Daxishan section as the site of Earth's oldest precisely dated feathered dinosaurs and eutherian mammals.

  1. A genome-wide association study in a large F2-cross of laying hens reveals novel genomic regions associated with feather pecking and aggressive pecking behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Lutz, Vanessa; Stratz, Patrick; Preu?, Siegfried; Tetens, Jens; Grashorn, Michael A.; Bessei, Werner; Bennewitz, J?rn

    2017-01-01

    Background Feather pecking and aggressive pecking in laying hens are serious economic and welfare issues. In spite of extensive research on feather pecking during the last decades, the motivation for this behavior is still not clear. A small to moderate heritability has frequently been reported for these traits. Recently, we identified several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with feather pecking by mapping selection signatures in two divergent feather pecking lines. Here, we...

  2. Fossil energy: From laboratory to marketplace

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-03-01

    The purpose of this work is to provide a summary description of the role of advanced research in the overall Fossil Energy R ampersand D program successes. It presents the specific Fossil Energy advanced research products that have been adopted commercially or fed into other R ampersand D programs as part of the crosscutting enabling technology base upon which advanced systems are based

  3. Fossil Fuels, Backstop Technologies, and Imperfect Substitution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Meijden, G.C.; Pittel, Karen; van der Ploeg, Frederick; Withagen, Cees

    2014-01-01

    This chapter studies the transition from fossil fuels to backstop technologies in a general equilibrium model in which growth is driven by research and development. The analysis generalizes the existing literature by allowing for imperfect substitution between fossil fuels and the new energy

  4. Oldest record of Metrosideros (Myrtaceae): Fossil flowers, fruits, and leaves from Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarran, Myall; Wilson, Peter G; Hill, Robert S

    2016-04-01

    Myrtaceous fossil capsular fruits and flowers from the northwest of Tasmania, in the Early Oligocene-aged Little Rapid River (LRR) deposit, are described. The reproductive organs are found in association with Myrtaceous leaves previously thought to belong to a fleshy-fruited genus, Xanthomyrtus at both LRR, and an Eocene Tasmanian site at Hasties, which are reassessed with fresh morphological evidence. Standard Light Microscopy (LM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) were used to investigate cuticular characters and an auto-montage camera system was used to take high-resolution images of fossil and extant fruits. Fossils are identified using a nearest living relative (NLR) approach. The fossil fruits and flowers share a number of characters with genera of capsular-fruited Myrtaceae, in particular sharing several synapomorphies with species of Metrosideros subg. Metrosideros (tribe: Metrosidereae). The fossil is here described, and named Metrosideros leunigii, sp. nov. This research establishes the presence of Metrosideros (aff. subg. Metrosideros) in the Eocene-Oligocene (∼40-30 mya) of Tasmania, Australia. This is the first fossil record of Metrosideros in Australia, as well as the oldest conclusive fossil record, and may provide evidence for an Australian origin of the genus. It is also yet another example of extinction in the Tertiary of a group of plants on the Australian mainland that is only found today on nearby Pacific landmasses. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  5. Supply of fossil heating and motor fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaegi, W.; Siegrist, S.; Schaefli, M.; Eichenberger, U.

    2003-01-01

    This comprehensive study made for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) within the framework of the Energy Economics Fundamentals research programme examines if it can be guaranteed that Swiss industry can be supplied with fossil fuels for heating and transport purposes over the next few decades. The results of a comprehensive survey of literature on the subject are presented, with a major focus being placed on oil. The study examines both pessimistic and optimistic views and also presents an overview of fossil energy carriers and the possibilities of substituting them. Scenarios and prognoses on the availability of fossil fuels and their reserves for the future are presented. Also, new technologies for exploration and the extraction of fossil fuels are discussed, as are international interdependencies that influence supply. Market and price scenarios are presented that take account of a possible increasing scarcity of fossil fuels. The implications for industry and investment planning are examined

  6. Environmental costs of fossil fuel energy production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riva, A.; Trebeschi, C.

    1997-01-01

    The costs of environmental impacts caused by fossil fuel energy production are external to the energy economy and normally they are not reflected in energy prices. To determine the environmental costs associated with an energy source a detailed analysis of all environmental impacts of the complete energy cycle is required. The economic evaluation of environmental damages is presented caused by atmospheric emissions produced by fossil fuel combustion for different uses. Considering the emission factors of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, dust and carbon dioxide and the economic evaluation of their environmental damages reported in literature, a range of environmental costs associated with different fossil fuels and technologies is presented. A comparison of environmental costs resulting from atmospheric emissions produced by fossil-fuel combustion for energy production shows that natural gas has a significantly higher environmental value than other fossil fuels. (R.P.)

  7. Genetic and phenotypic correlations between feather pecking and open-field reponse in laying hens at two different ages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodenburg, T.B.; Buitenhuis, A.J.; Ask, B.; Uitdehaag, K.A.; Koene, P.; Poel, van der J.J.; Arendonk, van J.A.M.; Bovenhuis, H.

    2004-01-01

    The object of this research was to study the relationship between feather pecking and open-field activity in laying hens at two different ages. A population of 550 birds of a laying hen cross was subjected to an open-field test at 5 and 29 weeks of age and to a social feather pecking test at 6 and

  8. Keratin subsidies promote feather decomposition via an increase in keratin-consuming arthropods and microorganisms in bird breeding colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiura, Shinji; Masuya, Hayato

    2015-06-01

    Resource subsidies are well known to increase population densities of consumers. The decomposition process of these subsidised resources can be influenced by increasing consumer abundance. However, few studies have assessed whether resource subsidies can promote resource decomposition via a population increase in consumers. Here, we examined the effects of keratin subsidies on feather decomposition in egret and heron breeding colonies. Egrets and herons (Ardeidae) frequently breed in inland forests and provide large amounts of keratin materials to the forest floor in the form of feathers of chicks (that die). We compared the decrease in the weights of egret and heron feathers (experimentally placed on the forest floor) over a 12-month period among egret/heron breeding colonies (five sites) and areas outside of colonies (five sites) in central Japan. Of the feathers placed experimentally on forest floors, 92-97 % and 99-100 % in colonies and 47-50 % and 71-90 % in non-colony areas were decomposed after 4 and 12 months, respectively. Then, decomposition rates of feathers were faster in colonies than in areas outside of colonies, suggesting that keratin subsidies can promote feather decomposition in colonies. Field observations and laboratory experiments indicated that keratin-feeding arthropods and keratinophilic fungi played important roles in feather decomposition. Therefore, scavenging arthropods and keratinophilic fungi, which dramatically increased in egret and heron breeding colonies, could accelerate the decomposition of feathers supplied to the forest floor of colonies.

  9. Sparkling feather reflections of a bird-of-paradise explained by finite-difference time-domain modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilts, Bodo D; Michielsen, Kristel; De Raedt, Hans; Stavenga, Doekele G

    2014-01-01

    Birds-of-paradise are nature's prime examples of the evolution of color by sexual selection. Their brilliant, structurally colored feathers play a principal role in mating displays. The structural coloration of both the occipital and breast feathers of the bird-of-paradise Lawes' parotia is produced

  10. Reply to: “A response to some unwarranted criticisms of single-grain dating” by J.K. Feathers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Kristina Jørkov; Murray, Andrew Sean; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter

    2017-01-01

    In the note “A response to some unwarranted criticisms of single-grain dating” Feathers raises many issues with both the approach and the conclusions of Thomsen et al. (2016). After careful consideration, we find we disagree with Feather's analysis and conclusions, and stand by the original concl...

  11. No effects of a feather mite on body condition, survivorship, or grooming behavior in the Seychelles warbler, Acrocephalus sechellensis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dowling, DK; Richardson, DS; Komdeur, J; Dowling, Damian K.; Richardson, David S.; Czeschlik, T.

    A common assumption of studies examining host-symbiont interactions is that all symbiotic organisms are parasitic. Feather mites are widespread symbionts of birds that do not appear to deplete the host of any vital resources. Instead they feed on the oily secretions that cover the feathers and the

  12. Variation in carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios in flight feathers of a moulting White-bellied Sunbird Cinnyris talatala

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Symes, CT

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The authors measured d13C and d15N isotope signatures in flight feathers of a White-bellied Sunbird to assess the value of using stable isotopes of feathers in avian dietary studies. Significant variation in d13C and d15N isotope values of flight...

  13. REVISITING THE FOSSIL GROUP CANDIDATES UGC 842 AND NGC 6034

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Oliveira, R. Lopes; De Oliveira, C. Mendes; Bortoletto, D. R.; Cypriano, E.; Sodre, L.; Neto, G B. Lima; Carrasco, E. R.

    2010-01-01

    We present a new insight on NGC 6034 and UGC 842, two groups of galaxies previously reported in the literature as being fossil groups. The study is based on optical photometry and spectroscopy obtained with the CTIO Blanco telescope and Sloan Digital Sky Survey archival data. We find that NGC 6034 is embedded in a large structure, dominated by three rich clusters and other small groups. Its first and next four ranked galaxies have magnitude differences in the r band and projected distances which violate the optical criteria to classify it as a fossil group. We confirm that the UGC 842 group is a fossil group, but with about half the velocity dispersion that is reported in previous works. The velocity distribution of its galaxies reveals the existence of two structures in its line of sight, one with σ v ∼ 223 km s -1 and another with σ v ∼ 235 km s -1 , with a difference in velocity of ∼820 km s -1 . The main structure is dominated by passive galaxies, while these represent ∼60% of the second structure. The X-ray temperature for the intragroup medium of a group with such a velocity dispersion is expected to be kT ∼0.5-1 keV, against the observed value of kT ∼1.9 keV reported in the literature. This result makes UGC 842 a special case among fossil groups because (1) it represents more likely the interaction between two small groups, which warms the intragroup medium and/or (2) it could constitute evidence that member galaxies lost energy in the process of spiraling toward the group center, and decreased the velocity dispersion of the system. As far as we know, UGC 842 is the first low-mass fossil group studied in detail.

  14. Amorphous diamond-structured photonic crystal in the feather barbs of the scarlet macaw.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Haiwei; Dong, Biqin; Liu, Xiaohan; Zhan, Tianrong; Shi, Lei; Zi, Jian; Yablonovitch, Eli

    2012-07-03

    Noniridescent coloration by the spongy keratin in parrot feather barbs has fascinated scientists. Nonetheless, its ultimate origin remains as yet unanswered, and a quantitative structural and optical description is still lacking. Here we report on structural and optical characterizations and numerical simulations of the blue feather barbs of the scarlet macaw. We found that the sponge in the feather barbs is an amorphous diamond-structured photonic crystal with only short-range order. It possesses an isotropic photonic pseudogap that is ultimately responsible for the brilliant noniridescent coloration. We further unravel an ingenious structural optimization for attaining maximum coloration apparently resulting from natural evolution. Upon increasing the material refractive index above the level provided by nature, there is an interesting transition from a photonic pseudogap to a complete bandgap.

  15. Keratin homogeneity in the tail feathers of Pavo cristatus and Pavo cristatus mut. alba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pabisch, S; Puchegger, S; Kirchner, H O K; Weiss, I M; Peterlik, H

    2010-12-01

    The keratin structure in the cortex of peacocks' feathers is studied by X-ray diffraction along the feather, from the calamus to the tip. It changes considerably over the first 5 cm close to the calamus and remains constant for about 1m along the length of the feather. Close to the tip, the structure loses its high degree of order. We attribute the X-ray patterns to a shrinkage of a cylindrical arrangement of β-sheets, which is not fully formed initially. In the final structure, the crystalline beta-cores are fixed by the rest of the keratin molecule. The hydrophobic residues of the beta-core are locked into a zip-like arrangement. Structurally there is no difference between the blue and the white bird. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Amorphous diamond-structured photonic crystal in the feather barbs of the scarlet macaw

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Haiwei; Dong, Biqin; Liu, Xiaohan; Zhan, Tianrong; Shi, Lei; Zi, Jian; Yablonovitch, Eli

    2012-01-01

    Noniridescent coloration by the spongy keratin in parrot feather barbs has fascinated scientists. Nonetheless, its ultimate origin remains as yet unanswered, and a quantitative structural and optical description is still lacking. Here we report on structural and optical characterizations and numerical simulations of the blue feather barbs of the scarlet macaw. We found that the sponge in the feather barbs is an amorphous diamond-structured photonic crystal with only short-range order. It possesses an isotropic photonic pseudogap that is ultimately responsible for the brilliant noniridescent coloration. We further unravel an ingenious structural optimization for attaining maximum coloration apparently resulting from natural evolution. Upon increasing the material refractive index above the level provided by nature, there is an interesting transition from a photonic pseudogap to a complete bandgap. PMID:22615350

  17. Dinosaur evolution. A Jurassic ornithischian dinosaur from Siberia with both feathers and scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godefroit, Pascal; Sinitsa, Sofia M; Dhouailly, Danielle; Bolotsky, Yuri L; Sizov, Alexander V; McNamara, Maria E; Benton, Michael J; Spagna, Paul

    2014-07-25

    Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous deposits from northeastern China have yielded varied theropod dinosaurs bearing feathers. Filamentous integumentary structures have also been described in ornithischian dinosaurs, but whether these filaments can be regarded as part of the evolutionary lineage toward feathers remains controversial. Here we describe a new basal neornithischian dinosaur from the Jurassic of Siberia with small scales around the distal hindlimb, larger imbricated scales around the tail, monofilaments around the head and the thorax, and more complex featherlike structures around the humerus, the femur, and the tibia. The discovery of these branched integumentary structures outside theropods suggests that featherlike structures coexisted with scales and were potentially widespread among the entire dinosaur clade; feathers may thus have been present in the earliest dinosaurs. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. Antelope--Fossil rebuild project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-04-01

    The Columbia Power Cooperative Association (CPCA), Monument, Oregon, proposes to upgrade a 69-kV transmission line in Wasco and Wheeler Counties, Oregon, between the Antelope Substation and the Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) Fossil Substation. The project involves rebuilding and reconductoring 23.2 miles of transmission line, including modifying it for future use at 115 kV. Related project activities will include setting new wood pole structures, removing and disposing of old structures, conductors, and insulators, and stringing new conductor, all within the existing right-of-way. No new access roads will be required. A Borrower's Environmental Report was prepared for the 1992--1993 Work Plan for Columbia Power Cooperative Association in March 1991. This report investigated cultural resources, threatened or endangered species, wetlands, and floodplains, and other environmental issues, and included correspondence with appropriate Federal, state, and local agencies. The report was submitted to the Rural Electrification Administration for their use in preparing their environmental documentation for the project

  19. Fracture toughness of zirconia ceramic crowns made by feather-edge tooth preparation design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirković Nemanja

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aim. Fracture toughness determines functional crown strenght and prevents damages on ceramics during mastication. There is a lack of relevant literature data about fracture toughness of crowns made by feather-edge preparation. Mechanical testing of ceramic samples is supposed to show if feather-edge tooth preparation is a successful method for making ceramic crowns without any risk of reduction of their mechanical properties. This research was done to establish effects of feather-edge tooth preparation on fracture toughness of single zirconia ceramic crowns. Methods. The research was performed as an experimental study. Sixty (60 ceramic crowns were made on non-carious extracted human premolars. Thirty (30 crowns were made on the basis of feather-edge preparation (experimental group I. The group II included 30 crowns made on 1 mm rounded shoulder. Crowns fabrication was executed on a copy mill production system “Zirkonzahn” (Zirkonzahn GMBH, Gais, Germany. The spherical compression test was used to determine fracture toughness, using 6 mm diameter ceramic ball. Fracture load for damaging ceramic crown was recorded on a universal testing machine - Zwick, type 1464, with the speed of 0.05 mm/min. Results. The results of this research introduced significant differences between fracture toughness of ceramic samples in every examined group. However, fracture toughness of crowns from both group was above 2 000 N, what was double beyond a recommended value. The mean value of fracture toughness in the feather-edge group was 2 090 N, and in shoulder group it was 2 214 N. Conclusion. This research showed a high fracture toughness of zirconia crowns made on feather-edge preparation. The examined crowns showed a fracture resistance at a sufficient distance in relation to the minimum values of functional loads. Further research of functional loads of these crown is necessary, as well as research of marginal adaptation of cemented crowns and

  20. Fossil DCN in Orion-KL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mangum, J.G.; Plambeck, R.L.; Wootten, A.

    1991-01-01

    The J = 1 - 0 transition of DCN was mapped toward Orion-KL with the BIMA array. With a synthesized beam width of 7.6 arcsec, emission from the hot core, compact ridge, and northern cloud regions was identified. Over half of the integrated DCN emission detected originates from the hot core component, with progressively smaller contributions from the compact ridge and northern cloud. The DCN fractional abundance is 10 to the -9th in the hot core, 4 x 10 to the -10th in the compact ridge, and 2 x 10 to the -10th in the northern cloud; it is estimated that the corresponding DCN/HCN ratios are about 0.005, 0.02, and 0.02. Chemical models suggest that such high DCN/HCN abundance ratios are produced only in clouds colder than about 20 K. Since the present temperatures near Orion-KL are 50-275 K, it is evident that most of the DCN formed before this region was heated by massive star formation. Much of the fossil DCN which is now observed may have sublimated from icy grain mantles. 32 refs

  1. New fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco and the pan-African origin of Homo sapiens

    OpenAIRE

    Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Ben-Ncer, Abdelouahed; Bailey, Shara E.; Freidline, Sarah E.; Neubauer, Simon; Skinner, Matthew M.; Bergmann, Inga; Le Cabec, Adeline; Benazzi, Stefano; Harvati, Katerina; Gunz, Philipp

    2017-01-01

    Fossil evidence points to an African origin of Homo sapiens from a group called either H. heidelbergensis or H. rhodesiensis. However, the exact place and time of emergence of H. sapiens remain obscure because the fossil record is scarce and the chronological age of many key specimens remains uncertain. In particular, it is unclear whether the present day ‘modern’ morphology rapidly emerged approximately 200 thousand years ago (ka) among earlier representatives of H. sapiens1 or evolved gradu...

  2. Vanadium contents in Kazakhstan fossils hydrocarbons by data of nuclear-physical analysis methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nadirov, N.K.; Solodukhin, V.P.

    1998-01-01

    Investigation of nuclear physical methods possibilities of vanadium determination analysis in organic fossils and an application of these methods for solution of scientific and practical tasks are presented. Vanadium contents in high viscous petroleums and petroleum bituminous rock of different deposits of Western Kazakhstan and carbonaceous shales of Dzhangariya are studied. Presented data evidence that organic fossils of numerous deposits of Kazakhstan have industrial interest because of high vanadium concentration in its contents

  3. Wing Shape of Four New Bee Fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) Provides Insights to Bee Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Dehon, Manuel; Michez, Denis; Nel, André; Engel, Michael S.; De Meulemeester, Thibaut

    2014-01-01

    Bees (Anthophila) are one of the major groups of angiosperm-pollinating insects and accordingly are widely studied in both basic and applied research, for which it is essential to have a clear understanding of their phylogeny, and evolutionary history. Direct evidence of bee evolutionary history has been hindered by a dearth of available fossils needed to determine the timing and tempo of their diversification, as well as episodes of extinction. Here we describe four new compression fossils o...

  4. The rediscovered Hula painted frog is a living fossil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biton, Rebecca; Geffen, Eli; Vences, Miguel; Cohen, Orly; Bailon, Salvador; Rabinovich, Rivka; Malka, Yoram; Oron, Talya; Boistel, Renaud; Brumfeld, Vlad; Gafny, Sarig

    2013-01-01

    Amphibian declines are seen as an indicator of the onset of a sixth mass extinction of life on earth. Because of a combination of factors such as habitat destruction, emerging pathogens and pollutants, over 156 amphibian species have not been seen for several decades, and 34 of these were listed as extinct by 2004. Here we report the rediscovery of the Hula painted frog, the first amphibian to have been declared extinct. We provide evidence that not only has this species survived undetected in its type locality for almost 60 years but also that it is a surviving member of an otherwise extinct genus of alytid frogs, Latonia, known only as fossils from Oligocene to Pleistocene in Europe. The survival of this living fossil is a striking example of resilience to severe habitat degradation during the past century by an amphibian.

  5. Spitzer Digs Up Galactic Fossil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1 [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 2 This false-color image taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a globular cluster previously hidden in the dusty plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Globular clusters are compact bundles of old stars that date back to the birth of our galaxy, 13 or so billion years ago. Astronomers use these galactic 'fossils' as tools for studying the age and formation of the Milky Way. Most clusters orbit around the center of the galaxy well above its dust-enshrouded disc, or plane, while making brief, repeated passes through the plane that each last about a million years. Spitzer, with infrared eyes that can see into the dusty galactic plane, first spotted the newfound cluster during its current pass. A visible-light image (inset of Figure 1) shows only a dark patch of sky. The red streak behind the core of the cluster is a dust cloud, which may indicate the cluster's interaction with the Milky Way. Alternatively, this cloud may lie coincidentally along Spitzer's line of sight. Follow-up observations with the University of Wyoming Infrared Observatory helped set the distance of the new cluster at about 9,000 light-years from Earth - closer than most clusters - and set the mass at the equivalent of 300,000 Suns. The cluster's apparent size, as viewed from Earth, is comparable to a grain of rice held at arm's length. It is located in the constellation Aquila. Astronomers believe that this cluster may be one of the last in our galaxy to be uncovered. This image composite was taken on April 21, 2004, by Spitzer's infrared array camera. It is composed of images obtained at four wavelengths: 3.6 microns (blue), 4.5 microns (green), 5.8 microns (orange) and 8 microns (red). Galactic Fossil Found Behind Curtain of Dust In Figure 2, the image mosaic shows the same patch of sky in various wavelengths of light. While the visible-light image (left) shows a dark sky speckled

  6. Fossil fuel support mechanisms in Finland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lampinen, Ari

    2013-10-15

    Fossil fuel subsidies and other state support for fossil fuels are forbidden by the Kyoto Protocol and other international treaties. However, they are still commonly used. This publication presents and analyses diverse state support mechanisms for fossil fuels in Finland in 2003-2010. Total of 38 support mechanisms are covered in quantitative analysis and some other mechanisms are mentioned qualitatively only. For some mechanisms the study includes a longer historical perspective. This is the case for tax subsidies for crude oil based traffic fuels that have been maintained in Finland since 1965.

  7. The fossil history of pseudoscorpions (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Harms

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Pseudoscorpions, given their resemblance to scorpions, have attracted human attention since the time of Aristotle, although they are much smaller and lack the sting and elongated tail. These arachnids have a long evolutionary history but their origins and phylogenetic affinities are still being debated. Here, we summarise their fossil record based on a comprehensive review of the literature and data contained in other sources. Pseudoscorpions are one of the oldest colonisers of the land, with fossils known since the Middle Devonian (ca. 390 Ma. The only arachnid orders with an older fossil record are scorpions, harvestmen and acariform mites, plus two extinct groups. Pseudoscorpions do not fossilise easily, and records from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic consist almost exclusively of amber inclusions. Most Mesozoic fossils come from Archingeay and Burmese ambers (Late Cretaceous and those from the Cenozoic are primarily from Eocene Baltic amber, although additional fossils from, for example, Miocene Dominican and Mexican ambers, are known. Overall, 16 of the 26 families of living pseudoscorpions have been documented from fossils and 49 currently valid species are recognised in the literature. Pseudoscorpions represent a case of morphological stasis and even the Devonian fossils look rather modern. Indeed, most amber fossils are comparable to Recent groups despite a major gap in the fossil record of almost 250 Myr. Baltic amber inclusions indicate palaeofauna inhabiting much warmer climates than today and point to climatic shifts in central Europe since the Eocene. They also indicate that some groups (e.g. Feaellidae and Pseudogarypidae had much wider Eocene distributions. Their present-day occurrence is relictual and highlights past extinction events. Faunas from younger tropical amber deposits (e.g. Dominican and Mexican amber are comparable to Recent ones. Generally, there is a strong bias in the amber record towards groups that live under tree

  8. Direct dating of fossils by the helium-uranium method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaeffer, O.A.

    1967-01-01

    The He-U method has been found to be applicable to the dating of fossil carbonates. This method furnishes a new dating technique particularly applicable to the Pleistocene and the Tertiary periods, especially the Late Tertiary, for which other methods of age dating either fail or are difficult to correlate with the fossil record. The method has been checked for possible losses of helium and uranium from or to the surroundings. It has been found that, while a calcite lattice does not appear to retain helium, if the lattice is aragonite there is good evidence that helium leakage is not a problem. This is true at least for times up to 20 m. y. For corals where the uranium is apparently uniformly distributed within the lattice as a trace element, the uranium does not exchange or undergo concentration changes. As a result aragonite corals yield reliable He-U ages. On the other hand, the uranium in mollusc fossils is apparently mainly in the grain boundaries and is not always a tight system as far as uranium exchange or concentration changes are concerned. To obtain a reliable age for a mollusc one needs additional evidence to ensure lack of changes in uranium concentration. If the measurement of U and He is combined with 238 U, 234 U and 230 Th determinations, it appears that many mollusc shells will also be datable by the method. The resulting evidence for secular equilibrium in the 238 U chain is good evidence for a closed system as far as U concentration changes are concerned. (author)

  9. Multiple Threats to Child Health from Fossil Fuel Combustion: Impacts of Air Pollution and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Frederica P.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Approaches to estimating and addressing the risk to children from fossil fuel combustion have been fragmented, tending to focus either on the toxic air emissions or on climate change. Yet developing children, and especially poor children, now bear a disproportionate burden of disease from both environmental pollution and climate change due to fossil fuel combustion. Objective: This commentary summarizes the robust scientific evidence regarding the multiple current and projected health impacts of fossil fuel combustion on the young to make the case for a holistic, child-centered energy and climate policy that addresses the full array of physical and psychosocial stressors resulting from fossil fuel pollution. Discussion: The data summarized here show that by sharply reducing our dependence on fossil fuels we would achieve highly significant health and economic benefits for our children and their future. These benefits would occur immediately and also play out over the life course and potentially across generations. Conclusion: Going beyond the powerful scientific and economic arguments for urgent action to reduce the burning of fossil fuels is the strong moral imperative to protect our most vulnerable populations. Citation: Perera FP. 2017. Multiple threats to child health from fossil fuel combustion: impacts of air pollution and climate change. Environ Health Perspect 125:141–148; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP299 PMID:27323709

  10. Multiple Threats to Child Health from Fossil Fuel Combustion: Impacts of Air Pollution and Climate Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Frederica P

    2017-02-01

    Approaches to estimating and addressing the risk to children from fossil fuel combustion have been fragmented, tending to focus either on the toxic air emissions or on climate change. Yet developing children, and especially poor children, now bear a disproportionate burden of disease from both environmental pollution and climate change due to fossil fuel combustion. This commentary summarizes the robust scientific evidence regarding the multiple current and projected health impacts of fossil fuel combustion on the young to make the case for a holistic, child-centered energy and climate policy that addresses the full array of physical and psychosocial stressors resulting from fossil fuel pollution. The data summarized here show that by sharply reducing our dependence on fossil fuels we would achieve highly significant health and economic benefits for our children and their future. These benefits would occur immediately and also play out over the life course and potentially across generations. Going beyond the powerful scientific and economic arguments for urgent action to reduce the burning of fossil fuels is the strong moral imperative to protect our most vulnerable populations. Citation: Perera FP. 2017. Multiple threats to child health from fossil fuel combustion: impacts of air pollution and climate change. Environ Health Perspect 125:141-148; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP299.

  11. The Fossil Calibration Database-A New Resource for Divergence Dating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ksepka, Daniel T; Parham, James F; Allman, James F; Benton, Michael J; Carrano, Matthew T; Cranston, Karen A; Donoghue, Philip C J; Head, Jason J; Hermsen, Elizabeth J; Irmis, Randall B; Joyce, Walter G; Kohli, Manpreet; Lamm, Kristin D; Leehr, Dan; Patané, Josés L; Polly, P David; Phillips, Matthew J; Smith, N Adam; Smith, Nathan D; Van Tuinen, Marcel; Ware, Jessica L; Warnock, Rachel C M

    2015-09-01

    Fossils provide the principal basis for temporal calibrations, which are critical to the accuracy of divergence dating analyses. Translating fossil data into minimum and maximum bounds for calibrations is the most important-often least appreciated-step of divergence dating. Properly justified calibrations require the synthesis of phylogenetic, paleontological, and geological evidence and can be difficult for nonspecialists to formulate. The dynamic nature of the fossil record (e.g., new discoveries, taxonomic revisions, updates of global or local stratigraphy) requires that calibration data be updated continually lest they become obsolete. Here, we announce the Fossil Calibration Database (http://fossilcalibrations.org), a new open-access resource providing vetted fossil calibrations to the scientific community. Calibrations accessioned into this database are based on individual fossil specimens and follow best practices for phylogenetic justification and geochronological constraint. The associated Fossil Calibration Series, a calibration-themed publication series at Palaeontologia Electronica, will serve as a key pipeline for peer-reviewed calibrations to enter the database. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Fossil energy use and the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sage, P.W.

    1994-01-01

    Energy demand projections indicate that fossil energy will provide some ninety per cent of global primary energy demand for the foreseeable future. This paper considers the principal environmental impacts associated with fossil energy use and describes approaches to minimise them. Technologies are now available to reduce significantly pollutant emissions from fossil fuel use. Emerging technologies offer higher conversion efficiencies to reduce still further specific emissions per unit of energy output. It is essential, particularly in those areas of rapid growth in energy use, that best practice and technology are deployed. Technology transfer and training will help to achieve this and enable fossil energy use to be fully compatible with increasingly stringent environmental requirements. (author) 4 figs., 12 refs

  13. Developments in fossil fuel electricity generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, A.; Argiri, M.

    1993-01-01

    A major part of the world's electricity is generated by the combustion of fossil fuels, and there is a significant environmental impact due to the production of fossil fuels and their combustion. Coal is responsible for 63% of the electricity generated from fossil fuels; natural gas accounts for about 20% and fuel oils for 17%. Because of developments in supply and improvements in generating efficiencies there is apparently a considerable shift towards a greater use of natural gas, and by the year 2000 it could provide 25% of the world electricity output. At the same time the amount of fuel oil burned will have decreased. The means to minimize the environmental impact of the use of fossil fuels, particularly coal, in electricity production are considered, together with the methods of emission control. Cleaner coal technologies, which include fluidized bed combustion and an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), can reduce the emissions of NO x , SO 2 and CO 2 . (author)

  14. Pollution and exhaustibility of fossil fuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Withagen, C.A.A.M.

    1994-01-01

    The use of fossil fuels causes environmental damage. This is modeled and the ‘optimal’ rate of depletion is derived. Also this trajectory is compared with the case where there occurs no environmental damage.

  15. The fossil record of the sixth extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plotnick, Roy E; Smith, Felisa A; Lyons, S Kathleen

    2016-05-01

    Comparing the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis with those in the fossil record is difficult without an understanding of differential preservation. Integrating data from palaeontological databases with information on IUCN status, ecology and life history characteristics of contemporary mammals, we demonstrate that only a small and biased fraction of threatened species (fossil record, compared with 20% of non-threatened species. We find strong taphonomic biases related to body size and geographic range. Modern species with a fossil record tend to be large and widespread and were described in the 19(th) century. The expected magnitude of the current extinction based only on species with a fossil record is about half of that of one based on all modern species; values for genera are similar. The record of ancient extinctions may be similarly biased, with many species having originated and gone extinct without leaving a tangible record. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  16. Fossil fuels in the 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lincoln, Stephen F

    2005-12-01

    An overview of the importance of fossil fuels in supplying the energy requirements of the 21st century, their future supply, and the impact of their use on global climate is presented. Current and potential alternative energy sources are considered. It is concluded that even with substantial increases in energy derived from other sources, fossil fuels will remain a major energy source for much of the 21st century and the sequestration of CO2 will be an increasingly important requirement.

  17. The Structure of the Water-Holding Feathers of the Namaqua ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The barbule is solid, consisting of three layers, and bears a number of appendages at its distal end, where it is more rounded in transverse section. The uncoiling of barbules from the abdominal feathers on contact with water may be initiated by water uptake and further facilitated by the number of helical coils at the base of ...

  18. Kingfisher feathers--colouration by pigments, spongy nanostructures and thin films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavenga, Doekele G; Tinbergen, Jan; Leertouwer, Hein L; Wilts, Bodo D

    2011-12-01

    The colours of the common kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, reside in the barbs of the three main types of feather: the orange breast feathers, the cyan back feathers and the blue tail feathers. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the orange barbs contain small pigment granules. The cyan and blue barbs contain spongy nanostructures with slightly different dimensions, causing different reflectance spectra. Imaging scatterometry showed that the pigmented barbs create a diffuse orange scattering and the spongy barb structures create iridescence. The extent of the angle-dependent light scattering increases with decreasing wavelength. All barbs have a cortical envelope with a thickness of a few micrometres. The reflectance spectra of the cortex of the barbs show oscillations when measured from small areas, but when measured from larger areas the spectra become wavelength independent. This can be directly understood with thin film modelling, assuming a somewhat variable cortex thickness. The cortex reflectance appears to be small but not negligible with respect to the pigmentary and structural barb reflectance.

  19. Using Pb-Al ratios to discriminate between internal and external deposition of Pb in feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardiel, Iris E; Taggart, Mark A; Mateo, Rafael

    2011-05-01

    Feathers provide a potentially useful biomonitoring option in studies regarding pollution exposure in avian species. However, they must be used with care because the complex, fine structure is highly prone to accumulating surface contamination. This may therefore give a misleading indication of pollutant intake in the animal. Here, data are presented for 4 large scavenging raptor species collected in Spain, and analyses are undertaken on feather barbs and rachis for both Pb and Al concentrations. Aluminium levels are used as a marker of surface contamination by inorganic particulate material. Despite using a thorough washing technique, feather barbs showed significantly higher levels of Pb than did the rachis for all 4 species studied. We also observed a significant correlation (r=0.782, pbarbs, whilst rachis Al levels were below our detection limit in all samples analysed. Results indicate that the rachis would provide more representative data as regards Pb (or other heavy metal) uptake and tissue deposition within bird tissues during the period of feather growth. As such, data would be more toxicologically relevant. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Development of Bird-like Micro Aerial Vehicle with Flapping and Feathering Wing Motions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maglasang, Jonathan; Goto, Norihiro; Isogai, Koji

    To investigate the feasibility of a highly efficient flapping system capable of avian maneuvers, such as rapid takeoff, hover and gliding, a full scale bird-like (ornithopter) flapping-wing micro aerial vehicle (MAV) shaped and patterned after a typical pigeon (Columba livia) has been designed and constructed. Both numerical and experimental methods have been used in the development of this vehicle. This flapping-wing micro aerial vehicle utilizes both the flapping and feathering motions of an avian wing by employing a novel flapping-feathering mechanism, which has been synthesized and constructed so as to best describe the properly coordinated flapping and feathering wing motions at phase angle difference of 90° in a horizontal steady level flight condition. This design allows high flapping and feathering amplitudes and is configurable for asymmetric wing motions which are desirable in high-speed flapping flight and maneuvering. The preliminary results indicate its viability as a practical and an efficient flapping-wing micro aerial vehicle.

  1. Effect of dietary substitution of feather meal for fish meal on the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Also significant differences (p<0.05) were observed in daily feed intake, daily weight gain and feed cost/kg weight gain. Considering the results of final live weight and daily weight gain, it appeared that the 7.5% level of FEM is the optimal replacement level for FM. Keywords: Feather meal, fishmeal, poultry feed, broiler chick ...

  2. New species of the feather mite subfamily Pterodectinae (Astigmata, Proctophyllodidae) from passerines in Senegal

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mironov, S. V.; Literák, I.; Čapek, Miroslav; Koubek, Petr

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 55, č. 4 (2010), s. 399-413 ISSN 1230-2821 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA601690901 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : Feather mites * systematics * Senegal * Passeriformes * Proctophyllodidae Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.144, year: 2010

  3. Prenatal light exposure affects early feather-pecking behaviour in the domestic chick

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riedstra, B; Groothuis, TGG

    Recently we proposed that early feather pecking is a form of social exploration. Social recognition, important for exploration, is a lateralized function in the domestic chick. Lateralization of functions can be influenced by light exposure late in embryonic development. Therefore, we investigated

  4. Concentration of trace elements in feathers of three Antarctic penguins: Geographical and interspecific differences

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jerez, Silvia [Area de Toxicologia, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia (Spain); Motas, Miguel, E-mail: motas@um.es [Area de Toxicologia, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia (Spain); Palacios, Maria Jose; Valera, Francisco [Departamento de Ecologia Funcional y Evolutiva, Estacion Experimental de Zonas Aridas, CSIC, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 La Canada de San Urbano, Almeria (Spain); Cuervo, Jose Javier; Barbosa, Andres [Departamento de Ecologia Funcional y Evolutiva, Estacion Experimental de Zonas Aridas, CSIC, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 La Canada de San Urbano, Almeria (Spain); Departamento de Ecologia Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, C/Jose Gutierrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid (Spain)

    2011-10-15

    Antarctica is often considered as one of the last pristine regions, but it could be affected by pollution at global and local scale. Concentrations of Al, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Cd and Pb were determinated by ICP-MS in feathers (n = 207 individuals) of gentoo, chinstrap and Adelie penguin collected in 8 locations throughout the Antarctic Peninsula (2006-2007). The highest levels of several elements were found in samples from King George Island (8.08, 20.29 and 1.76 {mu}g g{sup -1} dw for Cr, Cu and Pb, respectively) and Deception Island (203.13, 3.26 and 164.26 {mu}g g{sup -1} dw for Al, Mn and Fe, respectively), where probably human activities and large-scale transport of pollutants contribute to increase metal levels. Concentrations of Cr, Mn, Cu, Se or Pb, which are similar to others found in different regions of the world, show that some areas in Antarctica are not utterly pristine. - Highlights: > We study levels of trace elements in feathers of Antarctic penguins. > Eight different rookeries throughout the Antarctic Peninsula were sampled. > Interspecific (gentoo, chinstrap, Adelie) and geographical differences were tested. > Relatively high metal levels were found in areas with major human presence. > Penguin feather can be useful for metals monitoring in the Antarctic environment. - Trace element levels in feathers of three penguin species from the Antarctic Peninsula indicate the presence of pollution in certain locations.

  5. Feather conditions and clinical scores as indicators of broilers welfare at the slaughterhouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saraiva, S; Saraiva, C; Stilwell, G

    2016-08-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the welfare of 64 different broiler farms on the basis of feather conditions and clinical scores measures collected at the slaughterhouse. A 3-point scale (0, 1 or 2) was used to classify dirty feathers, footpad dermatitis and hock burns measures, and a 2-point scale (present or absent) was used to classify breast burns, breast blisters and breast ulcer measures. Flocks were allocated into three body weight (BW) classes (A, B, C): class A (light) ≥1.43 and ≤1.68kg, class B (medium) ≥1.69 and ≤1.93kg; class C (heavy) ≥1.94 and ≤2.41kg. The absence of hock burns was more common in class A, while mild hock burns was more common in class B flocks. Breast ulcer was observed in class C flocks. The association observed for mild hock burns, breast burns and severe footpad dermatitis can indicate a simultaneous occurrence of these painful lesions. Very dirty feathers and severe footpad dermatitis relationship suggest litter humidity to be the common underlying cause. In conclusion, it was shown that clinical indicators can be used at the slaughterhouse to identify welfare problems. In the studied flocks, footpad dermatitis, feather conditions and hock burns were the main restrictions for good welfare and should be considered significant welfare indicators of the on-farm rearing conditions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Hair and feathers as indicator of internal contamination of 210Po and 210Pb

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holm, E. (ed.); Gwynn, J.; Zaborska, A.; Gaefvert, T. (Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (Norway)); Roos, P. (Technical Univ. of Denmark, Risoe National Lab. for Sustainable Energy, Roskilde (Denmark)); Henricsson, F. (Lund Univ., Lund (Sweden))

    2010-03-15

    The activities of the NKS-B HAIRPOL project is summarised in this report. The objective was to investigate if hair and feathers were suitable matrices for the estimation of the intake of 210Po. Human hair from people of different sex and age was analysed for 210Po showing concentrations between 0.4 to 11 Bq/kg dry weight. Samples from horses, mane, fur and tail showed concentration from 6 to 17 Bq/kg with no significant difference between the different sample types. Musk ox from Greenland showed much higher concentrations since the animal has to graze a large surface. In fur the concentration was 260 Bq/kg. A considerable fraction of the total 210Po in this animal is contained in the hair. Also different organs were analysed and the highest concentration was found in kidney, 2 700 Bq/kg. The 210Pb concentration in hair was estimated to about 20 Bq/kg. Three different seabirds from Svalbard were analysed. Feathers from all three seabird species show increasing activity concentrations of 210Po and 210Pb from the base to the tip of the feather, but it was difficult to relate feather concentrations to muscle concentrations due to a number of complicating factors. (author)

  7. The feather damaging Grey parrot: an analysis of its behaviour and needs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Zeeland, Y.R.A.

    2013-01-01

    With an estimated prevalence of 10-15%, feather damaging behaviour (FDB) is a common behavioural disorder in captive parrots (in particular Grey parrots, the species studied in this thesis) that may have aesthetic, medical and welfare consequences and often results in relinquishment or euthanasia.

  8. Birds of a Feather Don't Always Flock Together : User Problems in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Birds of a Feather Don't Always Flock Together : User Problems in Identifying ... for Advanced Learners and Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary) revealed a lack ... This paper is based on 14 of these phrasemes, which appear in one or more of ... Five strategies are presented to help learners with their dictionary searches.

  9. 75 FR 30013 - South Feather Water and Power Agency; Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-28

    ... Water and Power Agency; Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment May 20, 2010. In accordance... assessment (EA) regarding South Feather Water and Power Agency's (SFWPA) request to raise the dam crest and... Project (FERC No. 2088). Sly Creek is located on Sly Creek [[Page 30014

  10. Directional reflectance and milli-scale feather morphology of the African Emerald Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx cupreus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Todd Alan; Bostwick, Kimberly S; Marschner, Steve

    2013-09-06

    Diverse plumages have evolved among birds through complex morphological modifications. We investigate how the interplay of light with surface and subsurface feather morphology determines the direction of light propagation, an understudied aspect of avian visual signalling. We hypothesize that milli-scale modifications of feathers produce anisotropic reflectance, the direction of which may be predicted by the orientation of the milli-scale structure. The subject of this study is the African Emerald Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx cupreus, noted for its shimmering green iridescent appearance. Using a spherical gantry, we measured the change in the directional reflectance across the feather surface and over a hemisphere of incident lighting directions. Using a microCT scanner, we also studied the morphology of the structural branches of the barb. We tracked the changes in the directional reflectance to the orientation of the structural branches as observed in the CT data. We conclude that (i) the far-field signal of the feather consists of multiple specular components, each associated with a different structural branch and (ii) the direction of each specular component is correlated to the orientation of the corresponding structure.

  11. Hair and feathers as indicator of internal contamination of 210Po and 210Pb

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holm, E.; Roos, P.; Henricsson, F.

    2010-03-01

    The activities of the NKS-B HAIRPOL project is summarised in this report. The objective was to investigate if hair and feathers were suitable matrices for the estimation of the intake of 210 Po. Human hair from people of different sex and age was analysed for 210 Po showing concentrations between 0.4 to 11 Bq/kg dry weight. Samples from horses, mane, fur and tail showed concentration from 6 to 17 Bq/kg with no significant difference between the different sample types. Musk ox from Greenland showed much higher concentrations since the animal has to graze a large surface. In fur the concentration was 260 Bq/kg. A considerable fraction of the total 210 Po in this animal is contained in the hair. Also different organs were analysed and the highest concentration was found in kidney, 2 700 Bq/kg. The 210 Pb concentration in hair was estimated to about 20 Bq/kg. Three different seabirds from Svalbard were analysed. Feathers from all three seabird species show increasing activity concentrations of 210 Po and 210 Pb from the base to the tip of the feather, but it was difficult to relate feather concentrations to muscle concentrations due to a number of complicating factors. (author)

  12. Concentration of trace elements in feathers of three Antarctic penguins: Geographical and interspecific differences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jerez, Silvia; Motas, Miguel; Palacios, Maria Jose; Valera, Francisco; Cuervo, Jose Javier; Barbosa, Andres

    2011-01-01

    Antarctica is often considered as one of the last pristine regions, but it could be affected by pollution at global and local scale. Concentrations of Al, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Cd and Pb were determinated by ICP-MS in feathers (n = 207 individuals) of gentoo, chinstrap and Adelie penguin collected in 8 locations throughout the Antarctic Peninsula (2006-2007). The highest levels of several elements were found in samples from King George Island (8.08, 20.29 and 1.76 μg g -1 dw for Cr, Cu and Pb, respectively) and Deception Island (203.13, 3.26 and 164.26 μg g -1 dw for Al, Mn and Fe, respectively), where probably human activities and large-scale transport of pollutants contribute to increase metal levels. Concentrations of Cr, Mn, Cu, Se or Pb, which are similar to others found in different regions of the world, show that some areas in Antarctica are not utterly pristine. - Highlights: → We study levels of trace elements in feathers of Antarctic penguins. → Eight different rookeries throughout the Antarctic Peninsula were sampled. → Interspecific (gentoo, chinstrap, Adelie) and geographical differences were tested. → Relatively high metal levels were found in areas with major human presence. → Penguin feather can be useful for metals monitoring in the Antarctic environment. - Trace element levels in feathers of three penguin species from the Antarctic Peninsula indicate the presence of pollution in certain locations.

  13. Selection on feather pecking affects response to novelty and foraging behaviour in laying hens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haas, de E.N.; Nielsen, B.; Rodenburg, T.B.; Buitenhuis, A.J.

    2010-01-01

    Feather pecking (FP) is a major welfare problem in laying hens, influenced by multiple factors. FP is thought to be redirected foraging behaviour, however fearful birds are also known to be more sensitive to develop FP. The relationship between fear-responses, foraging and FP is not well understood,

  14. The prevention and control of feather pecking in laying hens : identifying the underlying principles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodenburg, T. B.; van Krimpen, M. M.; de Jong, I. C.; de Haas, E. N.; Kops, M. S.; Riedstra, B. J.; Nordquist, R. E.; Wagenaar, J. P.; Bestman, M.; Nicol, C. J.

    Feather pecking (FP) in laying hens remains an important economic and welfare issue. This paper reviews the literature on causes of FP in laying hens. With the ban on conventional cages in the EU from 2012 and the expected future ban on beak trimming in many European countries, addressing this

  15. Integrating toxicity risk in bird eggs and chicks: using chick down feathers to estimate mercury concentrations in eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T; Eagles-Smith, Collin A

    2009-03-15

    The concentration of mercury (Hg) in eggs that causes reduced hatching success is regarded as a critical end point for Hg toxicity in birds. However, incorporating effects of in ovo mercury exposure on chick health and survival could improve risk assessment. We developed equations to predict Hg in eggs using Hg in chick down feathers, and vice versa, by assessing the relationship between Hg in feathers (0.5-32.4 microg g(-1) fw) and eggs (0.04-2.79 microg g(-1) fww) for three waterbird species in San Francisco Bay, CA. Feather Hg sampled from embryos of pipping eggs was highly correlated with fresh whole-egg Hg (n=94, r2 = 0.96). Additionally, using an egg microsampling technique, albumen Hg was correlated with feather Hg sampled from chicks in the same nest (n=28, r2 = 0.79). Down feather Hg in recaptured chicks (feather Hg at hatching (feathers of chicks < or =10 days of age to nonlethally predict Hg in eggs and thus provide the ability to develop exposure thresholds for eggs that incorporate in ovo Hg's effects on both egg hatchability and subsequent chick mortality.

  16. Progress in ESR dating of fossils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikeya, M.

    1983-01-01

    In this review the progress of ESR dating is briefly described together with its historical development. Examples of fossil dating include shells and corals in geological sediments, fossil bones and teeth in anthropology and fossil woods in geology. The total dose of natural radiation (TD) equivalent to the archaeological dose in TL dating was obtained by the additive dose method. Initially, the TDs were plotted against the known ages; using the apparent annual dose-rate thus obtained gives the ESR age within a factor of 2 or 3 for a fossil. Precise assessment of the radiation environment was made later taking the disequilibrium of uranium series disintegration into account. ESR ages of corals agreed well with those obtained by radiocarbon and uranium-thorium methods. The time-independent accumulation rate or a linear accumulation or uranium was adopted as a first sensible model for the opensystem fossil bones: the relation between the TD and the age explains the ages of anthropologically important bones. Lastly, geological assessment of fossil woods was made by ESR based on the organic radicals and electron traps in the silicified part. (author)

  17. Primate diversification inferred from phylogenies and fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, James P

    2017-12-01

    Biodiversity arises from the balance between speciation and extinction. Fossils record the origins and disappearance of organisms, and the branching patterns of molecular phylogenies allow estimation of speciation and extinction rates, but the patterns of diversification are frequently incongruent between these two data sources. I tested two hypotheses about the diversification of primates based on ∼600 fossil species and 90% complete phylogenies of living species: (1) diversification rates increased through time; (2) a significant extinction event occurred in the Oligocene. Consistent with the first hypothesis, analyses of phylogenies supported increasing speciation rates and negligible extinction rates. In contrast, fossils showed that while speciation rates increased, speciation and extinction rates tended to be nearly equal, resulting in zero net diversification. Partially supporting the second hypothesis, the fossil data recorded a clear pattern of diversity decline in the Oligocene, although diversification rates were near zero. The phylogeny supported increased extinction ∼34 Ma, but also elevated extinction ∼10 Ma, coinciding with diversity declines in some fossil clades. The results demonstrated that estimates of speciation and extinction ignoring fossils are insufficient to infer diversification and information on extinct lineages should be incorporated into phylogenetic analyses. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  18. Feather pecking in chickens is genetically related to behavioural and developmental traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, P; Keeling, L; Schütz, K; Andersson, L; Mormède, P; Brändström, H; Forkman, B; Kerje, S; Fredriksson, R; Ohlsson, C; Larsson, S; Mallmin, H; Kindmark, A

    2005-09-15

    Feather pecking (FP) is a detrimental behaviour in chickens, which is performed by only some individuals in a flock. FP was studied in 54 red junglefowl (ancestor of domestic chickens), 36 White Leghorn laying hens, and 762 birds from an F(2)-intercross between these two lines. From all F(2)-birds, growth and feed consumption were measured. Age at sexual maturity and egg production in females, and corticosterone levels in males were also measured. From 333 F(2)-birds of both sexes, and 20 parental birds, body composition with respect to bone mineral content, muscle and fat was obtained by post-mortem examinations using Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA). In femurs of the same birds, the bone density and structure were analysed using DXA and Peripheral Quantitative Computerized Tomography (pQCT), and a biomechanical analysis of bone strength was performed. Furthermore, plumage condition was determined in all birds as a measure of being exposed to feather pecking. Using 105 DNA-markers in all F(2)-birds, a genome-wide scan for Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL), associated with the behaviour in the F(2)-generation was performed. FP was at least as frequent in the red junglefowl as in the White Leghorn strain studied here, and significantly more common among females both in the parental strains and in the F(2)-generation. In the F(2)-birds, FP was phenotypically linked to early sexual maturation, fast growth, weak bones, and, in males, also high fat accumulation, indicating that feather peckers have a different resource allocation pattern. Behaviourally, F(2) feather peckers were more active in an open field test, in a novel food/novel object test, and in a restraint test, indicating that feather pecking might be genetically linked to a proactive coping strategy. Only one suggestive QTL with a low explanatory value was found on chromosome 3, showing that many genes, each with a small effect, are probably involved in the causation of feather pecking. There were significant

  19. Haste makes waste but condition matters: molt rate-feather quality trade-off in a sedentary songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Csongor I Vágási

    Full Text Available The trade-off between current and residual reproductive values is central to life history theory, although the possible mechanisms underlying this trade-off are largely unknown. The 'molt constraint' hypothesis suggests that molt and plumage functionality are compromised by the preceding breeding event, yet this candidate mechanism remains insufficiently explored.The seasonal change in photoperiod was manipulated to accelerate the molt rate. This treatment simulates the case of naturally late-breeding birds. House sparrows Passer domesticus experiencing accelerated molt developed shorter flight feathers with more fault bars and body feathers with supposedly lower insulation capacity (i.e. shorter, smaller, with a higher barbule density and fewer plumulaceous barbs. However, the wing, tail and primary feather lengths were shorter in fast-molting birds if they had an inferior body condition, which has been largely overlooked in previous studies. The rachis width of flight feathers was not affected by the treatment, but it was still condition-dependent.This study shows that sedentary birds might face evolutionary costs because of the molt rate-feather quality conflict. This is the first study to experimentally demonstrate that (1 molt rate affects several aspects of body feathers as well as flight feathers and (2 the costly effects of rapid molt are condition-specific. We conclude that molt rate and its association with feather quality might be a major mediator of life history trade-offs. Our findings also suggest a novel advantage of early breeding, i.e. the facilitation of slower molt and the condition-dependent regulation of feather growth.

  20. Haste Makes Waste but Condition Matters: Molt Rate–Feather Quality Trade-Off in a Sedentary Songbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vágási, Csongor I.; Pap, Péter L.; Vincze, Orsolya; Benkő, Zoltán; Marton, Attila; Barta, Zoltán

    2012-01-01

    Background The trade-off between current and residual reproductive values is central to life history theory, although the possible mechanisms underlying this trade-off are largely unknown. The ‘molt constraint’ hypothesis suggests that molt and plumage functionality are compromised by the preceding breeding event, yet this candidate mechanism remains insufficiently explored. Methodology/Principal Findings The seasonal change in photoperiod was manipulated to accelerate the molt rate. This treatment simulates the case of naturally late-breeding birds. House sparrows Passer domesticus experiencing accelerated molt developed shorter flight feathers with more fault bars and body feathers with supposedly lower insulation capacity (i.e. shorter, smaller, with a higher barbule density and fewer plumulaceous barbs). However, the wing, tail and primary feather lengths were shorter in fast-molting birds if they had an inferior body condition, which has been largely overlooked in previous studies. The rachis width of flight feathers was not affected by the treatment, but it was still condition-dependent. Conclusions/Significance This study shows that sedentary birds might face evolutionary costs because of the molt rate–feather quality conflict. This is the first study to experimentally demonstrate that (1) molt rate affects several aspects of body feathers as well as flight feathers and (2) the costly effects of rapid molt are condition-specific. We conclude that molt rate and its association with feather quality might be a major mediator of life history trade-offs. Our findings also suggest a novel advantage of early breeding, i.e. the facilitation of slower molt and the condition-dependent regulation of feather growth. PMID:22808221

  1. Nuclear versus fossil power plants: evolution of economic evaluation techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thuesen, G.J.

    1975-01-01

    The purpose of this presentation is to document the evolution of methods used by an electric utility for comparing the economic attractiveness of nuclear versus fossil electric power generation. This process of change is examined as it took place within the Georgia Power Company (GPC), a company spending in the neighborhood of half a billion dollars annually for capital improvements. This study provides a look at the variety of richness of information that can be made available through the application of different methods of economic analysis. In addition, the varied presentations used to disclose relationships between alternatives furnish evidence as to the effectiveness of providing pertinent information in a simple, meaningful manner. It had been generally accepted throughout GPC that nuclear power was economically desirable as an alternative for the production of base-load power. With inflation increasing, its advantage over fossil power appeared to be significantly increasing as the large operating costs of fossil generation seemed to be more vulnerable to inflation than the costs of operating a nuclear facility. An early indication that the company should reevaluate this position was the experience gained with the installation of their first nuclear plant. Here, actual total costs were exceeding their original construction estimates by a factor of two. Thus the question arose ''Does the high capital cost of nuclear generation offset its operating advantages when compared to similar-sized coal-burning plants.'' To answer this question, additional analyses were undertaken

  2. Development of colour-producing β-keratin nanostructures in avian feather barbs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prum, Richard O.; Dufresne, Eric R.; Quinn, Tim; Waters, Karla

    2009-01-01

    The non-iridescent structural colours of avian feather barbs are produced by coherent light scattering from amorphous (i.e. quasi-ordered) nanostructures of β-keratin and air in the medullary cells of feather barb rami. Known barb nanostructures belong to two distinct morphological classes. ‘Channel’ nanostructures consist of β-keratin bars and air channels of elongate, tortuous and twisting forms. ‘Spherical’ nanostructures consist of highly spherical air cavities that are surrounded by thin β-keratin bars and sometimes interconnected by tiny passages. Using transmission electron microscopy, we observe that the colour-producing channel-type nanostructures of medullary β-keratin in feathers of the blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna, Psittacidae) develop by intracellular self-assembly; the process proceeds in the absence of any biological prepattern created by the cell membrane, endoplasmic reticulum or cellular intermediate filaments. We examine the hypothesis that the shape and size of these self-assembled, intracellular nanostructures are determined by phase separation of β-keratin protein from the cytoplasm of the cell. The shapes of a broad sample of colour-producing channel-type nanostructures from nine avian species are very similar to those self-assembled during the phase separation of an unstable mixture, a process called spinodal decomposition (SD). In contrast, the shapes of a sample of spherical-type nanostructures from feather barbs of six species show a poor match to SD. However, spherical nanostructures show a strong morphological similarity to morphologies produced by phase separation of a metastable mixture, called nucleation and growth. We propose that colour-producing, intracellular, spongy medullary β-keratin nanostructures develop their characteristic sizes and shapes by phase separation during protein polymerization. We discuss the possible role of capillary flow through drying of medullary cells in the development of the hollow

  3. Development of colour-producing beta-keratin nanostructures in avian feather barbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prum, Richard O; Dufresne, Eric R; Quinn, Tim; Waters, Karla

    2009-04-06

    The non-iridescent structural colours of avian feather barbs are produced by coherent light scattering from amorphous (i.e. quasi-ordered) nanostructures of beta-keratin and air in the medullary cells of feather barb rami. Known barb nanostructures belong to two distinct morphological classes. 'Channel' nanostructures consist of beta-keratin bars and air channels of elongate, tortuous and twisting forms. 'Spherical' nanostructures consist of highly spherical air cavities that are surrounded by thin beta-keratin bars and sometimes interconnected by tiny passages. Using transmission electron microscopy, we observe that the colour-producing channel-type nanostructures of medullary beta-keratin in feathers of the blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna, Psittacidae) develop by intracellular self-assembly; the process proceeds in the absence of any biological prepattern created by the cell membrane, endoplasmic reticulum or cellular intermediate filaments. We examine the hypothesis that the shape and size of these self-assembled, intracellular nanostructures are determined by phase separation of beta-keratin protein from the cytoplasm of the cell. The shapes of a broad sample of colour-producing channel-type nanostructures from nine avian species are very similar to those self-assembled during the phase separation of an unstable mixture, a process called spinodal decomposition (SD). In contrast, the shapes of a sample of spherical-type nanostructures from feather barbs of six species show a poor match to SD. However, spherical nanostructures show a strong morphological similarity to morphologies produced by phase separation of a metastable mixture, called nucleation and growth. We propose that colour-producing, intracellular, spongy medullary beta-keratin nanostructures develop their characteristic sizes and shapes by phase separation during protein polymerization. We discuss the possible role of capillary flow through drying of medullary cells in the development of the

  4. Variance components and selection response for feather-pecking behavior in laying hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, G; Kjaer, J B; Sørensen, P

    2005-01-01

    Variance components and selection response for feather pecking behavior were studied by analyzing the data from a divergent selection experiment. An investigation indicated that a Box-Cox transformation with power lambda = -0.2 made the data approximately normally distributed and gave the best fit for the model. Variance components and selection response were estimated using Bayesian analysis with Gibbs sampling technique. The total variation was rather large for the investigated traits in both the low feather-pecking line (LP) and the high feather-pecking line (HP). Based on the mean of marginal posterior distribution, in the Box-Cox transformed scale, heritability for number of feather pecking bouts (FP bouts) was 0.174 in line LP and 0.139 in line HP. For number of feather-pecking pecks (FP pecks), heritability was 0.139 in line LP and 0.105 in line HP. No full-sib group effect and observation pen effect were found in the 2 traits. After 4 generations of selection, the total response for number of FP bouts in the transformed scale was 58 and 74% of the mean of the first generation in line LP and line HP, respectively. The total response for number of FP pecks was 47 and 46% of the mean of the first generation in line LP and line HP, respectively. The variance components and the realized selection response together suggest that genetic selection can be effective in minimizing FP behavior. This would be expected to reduce one of the major welfare problems in laying hens.

  5. Module-based complexity formation: periodic patterning in feathers and hairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Yeh, Chao-Yuan; Jiang, Ting-Xin; Widelitz, Randall

    2013-01-01

    Patterns describe order which emerges from homogeneity. Complex patterns on the integument are striking because of their visibility throughout an organism’s lifespan. Periodic patterning is an effective design because the ensemble of hair or feather follicles (modules) allows the generation of complexity, including regional variations and cyclic regeneration, giving the skin appendages a new lease on life. Spatial patterns include the arrangements of feathers and hairs in specific number, size, and spacing.We explorehowa field of equivalent progenitor cells can generate periodically arranged modules based on genetic information, physical–chemical rules and developmental timing. Reconstitution experiments suggest a competitive equilibrium regulated by activators/inhibitors involving Turing reaction-diffusion. Temporal patterns result from oscillating stem cell activities within each module (microenvironment regulation), reflected as growth (anagen) and resting (telogen) phases during the cycling of feather and hair follicles. Stimulating modules with activators initiates the spread of regenerative hair waves, while global inhibitors outside each module (macroenvironment) prevent this. Different wave patterns can be simulated by cellular automata principles. Hormonal status and seasonal changes can modulate appendage phenotypes, leading to ‘organ metamorphosis’, with multiple ectodermal organ phenotypes generated from the same precursors. We discuss potential novel evolutionary steps using this module-based complexity in several amniote integument organs, exemplified by the spectacular peacock feather pattern. We thus explore the application of the acquired knowledge of patterning in tissue engineering. New hair follicles can be generated after wounding. Hairs and feathers can be reconstituted through self-organization of dissociated progenitor cells. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Crustaceans from bitumen clast in Carboniferous glacial diamictite extend fossil record of copepods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selden, Paul A; Huys, Rony; Stephenson, Michael H; Heward, Alan P; Taylor, Paul N

    2010-08-10

    Copepod crustaceans are extremely abundant but, because of their small size and fragility, they fossilize poorly. Their fossil record consists of one Cretaceous (c. 115 Ma) parasite and a few Miocene (c. 14 Ma) fossils. In this paper, we describe abundant crustacean fragments, including copepods, from a single bitumen clast in a glacial diamictite of late Carboniferous age (c. 303 Ma) from eastern Oman. Geochemistry identifies the source of the bitumen as an oilfield some 100-300 km to the southwest, which is consistent with an ice flow direction from glacial striae. The bitumen likely originated as an oil seep into a subglacial lake. This find extends the fossil record of copepods by some 188 Ma, and of free-living forms by 289 Ma. The copepods include evidence of the extant family Canthocamptidae, believed to have colonized fresh water in Pangaea during Carboniferous times.

  7. Decomposition of intact chicken feathers by a thermophile in combination with an acidulocomposting garbage-treatment process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shigeri, Yasushi; Matsui, Tatsunobu; Watanabe, Kunihiko

    2009-11-01

    In order to develop a practical method for the decomposition of intact chicken feathers, a moderate thermophile strain, Meiothermus ruber H328, having strong keratinolytic activity, was used in a bio-type garbage-treatment machine working with an acidulocomposting process. The addition of strain H328 cells (15 g) combined with acidulocomposting in the garbage machine resulted in 70% degradation of intact chicken feathers (30 g) within 14 d. This degradation efficiency is comparable to a previous result employing the strain as a single bacterium in flask culture, and it indicates that strain H328 can promote intact feather degradation activity in a garbage machine currently on the market.

  8. Fossil evidence for serpentinization fluids fueling chemosynthetic assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lartaud, Franck; Little, Crispin T S; de Rafelis, Marc; Bayon, Germain; Dyment, Jerome; Ildefonse, Benoit; Gressier, Vincent; Fouquet, Yves; Gaill, Françoise; Le Bris, Nadine

    2011-05-10

    Among the deep-sea hydrothermal vent sites discovered in the past 30 years, Lost City on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) is remarkable both for its alkaline fluids derived from mantle rock serpentinization and the spectacular seafloor carbonate chimneys precipitated from these fluids. Despite high concentrations of reduced chemicals in the fluids, this unique example of a serpentinite-hosted hydrothermal system currently lacks chemosynthetic assemblages dominated by large animals typical of high-temperature vent sites. Here we report abundant specimens of chemosymbiotic mussels, associated with gastropods and chemosymbiotic clams, in approximately 100 kyr old Lost City-like carbonates from the MAR close to the Rainbow site (36 °N). Our finding shows that serpentinization-related fluids, unaffected by high-temperature hydrothermal circulation, can occur on-axis and are able to sustain high-biomass communities. The widespread occurrence of seafloor ultramafic rocks linked to likely long-range dispersion of vent species therefore offers considerably more ecospace for chemosynthetic fauna in the oceans than previously supposed.

  9. First fossil evidence of Connaraceae R. Br. from Indian Cenozoic ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    the road-cutting section of Pinjoli area in West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh. The important ... climatic conditions during the depositional period. 1. ... east Asian element Rouea caudata of Connaraceae which is being .... 4.1 Comparison.

  10. Climatic influences on species: Evidence from the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, T. M.; Schneider, C.E.

    1990-01-01

    The detailed Neogene and Quaternary paleoclimatic reconstructions now available provide a means to test how species respond to environmental change. Paleontologic studies of marine organisms show that climatic change causes evolution (via cladogenesis and anagenesis), ecophenotypic variation, migration, morphologic stasis and extinction. Evolution during climatic change is a rare event relative to the number of climatic cycles that have occurred, but climate-related environmental barriers, usually temperature, may play an important role in the isolation of populations during allopatric speciation.

  11. Blood biomarkers and contaminant levels in feathers and eggs to assess environmental hazards in heron nestlings from impacted sites in Ebro basin (NE Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barata, C; Fabregat, M C; Cotín, J; Huertas, D; Solé, M; Quirós, L; Sanpera, C; Jover, L; Ruiz, X; Grimalt, J O; Piña, B

    2010-03-01

    Blood biomarkers and levels of major pollutants in eggs and feathers were used to determine pollution effects in nestlings of the Purple Heron Ardea purpurea and the Little Egret Egretta garzetta, sampled on three Ebro River (NE Spain) areas: a reference site, a site affected by the effluents of a chlor-alkali industry and the river Delta. The two impacted heron populations showed mutually different pollutant and response patterns, suggesting different sources of contamination. In the population nesting near the chlor-alkali plant, elevated levels of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) in eggs, and mercury in feathers in A. purpurea chicks were related with reduced blood antioxidant defenses and increased levels of micronuclei. In Ebro Delta, high levels of plasmatic lactate dehydrogenase in A. purpurea chicks and high frequency of micronuclei in blood of both species were tentatively associated with intensive agricultural activities taking place in the area. These results provide the first evidence of a biological response in heron chicks to the release of pollutants at a chlor-alkali plant. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Dental development in living and fossil orangutans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Tanya M

    2016-05-01

    Numerous studies have investigated molar development in extant and fossil hominoids, yet relatively little is known about orangutans, the only great ape with an extensive fossil record. This study characterizes aspects of dental development, including cuspal enamel daily secretion rate, long-period line periodicities, cusp-specific molar crown formation times and extension rates, and initiation and completion ages in living and fossil orangutan postcanine teeth. Daily secretion rate and periodicities in living orangutans are similar to previous reports, while crown formation times often exceed published values, although direct comparisons are limited. One wild Bornean individual died at 4.5 years of age with fully erupted first molars (M1s), while a captive individual and a wild Sumatran individual likely erupted their M1s around five or six years of age. These data underscore the need for additional samples of orangutans of known sex, species, and developmental environment to explore potential sources of variation in molar emergence and their relationship to life history variables. Fossil orangutans possess larger crowns than living orangutans, show similarities in periodicities, and have faster daily secretion rate, longer crown formation times, and slower extension rates. Molar crown formation times exceed reported values for other fossil apes, including Gigantopithecus blacki. When compared to African apes, both living and fossil orangutans show greater cuspal enamel thickness values and periodicities, resulting in longer crown formation times and slower extension rates. Several of these variables are similar to modern humans, representing examples of convergent evolution. Molar crown formation does not appear to be equivalent among extant great apes or consistent within living and fossil members of Pongo or Homo. Copyright © 2016 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  13. Investments in Fossil Energy Technology: How the Government's Fossil Energy R&D Program Has Made a Difference

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-03-01

    America has the technological capacity to change its energy future. There is no reason, for example, why our nation must continue following a path of rising oil imports when billions of barrels of crude oil remain in domestic oil fields. There is no reason why we cannot continue to use our abundant supplies of high-value, low-cost coal when we have the scientific know-how to remove virtually all of its pollutants and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is no reason why we cannot turn increasingly to clean-burning natural gas and tap the huge supplies we know exist within our borders. We remain a nation rich in the fuels that have powered economic growth. Today 85 percent of the energy we use to heat our homes and businesses, generate our electricity, and fuel our vehicles comes from coal, petroleum and natural gas. As we move toward a new century, the contributions of these fuels will grow. By 2015, the United States is likely to require nearly 20 percent more energy than it uses today, and fossil fuels are projected to supply almost 88 percent of the energy Americans will consume. We have the scientific know-how to continue using our fossil fuel wealth without fear of environmental damage or skyrocketing costs. The key is technology - developing cutting edge concepts that are beyond the private sector's current capabilities. Some of the most important innovations in America's energy industry are the results of investments in the Federal government's fossil energy research and development programs. Today, our air and water are cleaner, our economy is stronger, and our industries are more competitive in the global market because these programs have produced results. This booklet summarizes many of these achievements. It is not a comprehensive list by any means. Still, it provides solid evidence that the taxpayers' investment in government fossil energy research has paid real and measurable dividends.

  14. Microscopical and elemental FESEM and Phenom ProX-SEM-EDS analysis of osteocyte- and blood vessel-like microstructures obtained from fossil vertebrates of the Eocene Messel Pit, Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadena, Edwin

    2016-01-01

    The Eocene (∾48 Ma) Messel Pit in Germany is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its exceptionally preserved fossils, including vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Messel fossil vertebrates are typically characterized by their articulated state, and in some cases the skin, hair, feathers, scales and stomach contents are also preserved. Despite the exceptional macroscopic preservation of Messel fossil vertebrates, the microstructural aspect of these fossils has been poorly explored. In particular, soft tissue structures such as hair or feathers have not been chemically analyzed, nor have bone microstructures. I report here the preservation and recovery of osteocyte-like and blood vessel-like microstructures from the bone of Messel Pit specimens, including the turtles Allaeochelys crassesculpta and Neochelys franzeni, the crocodile Diplocynodon darwini, and the pangolin Eomanis krebsi. I used a Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) and a Phenom ProX desktop scanning electron microscope (LOT-QuantumDesign) equipped with a thermionic CeB6 source and a high sensitivity multi-mode backscatter electron (BSE) for microscopical and elemental characterization of these bone microstructures. Osteocyte-like and blood vessel-like microstructures are constituted by a thin layer (∾50 nm thickness), external and internal mottled texture with slightly marked striations. Circular to linear marks are common on the external surface of the osteocyte-like microstructures and are interpreted as microbial troughs. Iron (Fe) is the most abundant element found in the osteocyte-like and blood vessel-like microstructures, but not in the bone matrix or collagen fibril-like microstructures. The occurrence of well-preserved soft-tissue elements (at least their physical form) establishes a promising background for future studies on preservation of biomolecules (proteins or DNA) in Messel Pit fossils.

  15. Microscopical and elemental FESEM and Phenom ProX-SEM-EDS analysis of osteocyte- and blood vessel-like microstructures obtained from fossil vertebrates of the Eocene Messel Pit, Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin Cadena

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Eocene (∾48 Ma Messel Pit in Germany is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its exceptionally preserved fossils, including vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Messel fossil vertebrates are typically characterized by their articulated state, and in some cases the skin, hair, feathers, scales and stomach contents are also preserved. Despite the exceptional macroscopic preservation of Messel fossil vertebrates, the microstructural aspect of these fossils has been poorly explored. In particular, soft tissue structures such as hair or feathers have not been chemically analyzed, nor have bone microstructures. I report here the preservation and recovery of osteocyte-like and blood vessel-like microstructures from the bone of Messel Pit specimens, including the turtles Allaeochelys crassesculpta and Neochelys franzeni, the crocodile Diplocynodon darwini, and the pangolin Eomanis krebsi. I used a Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM and a Phenom ProX desktop scanning electron microscope (LOT-QuantumDesign equipped with a thermionic CeB6 source and a high sensitivity multi-mode backscatter electron (BSE for microscopical and elemental characterization of these bone microstructures. Osteocyte-like and blood vessel-like microstructures are constituted by a thin layer (∾50 nm thickness, external and internal mottled texture with slightly marked striations. Circular to linear marks are common on the external surface of the osteocyte-like microstructures and are interpreted as microbial troughs. Iron (Fe is the most abundant element found in the osteocyte-like and blood vessel-like microstructures, but not in the bone matrix or collagen fibril-like microstructures. The occurrence of well-preserved soft-tissue elements (at least their physical form establishes a promising background for future studies on preservation of biomolecules (proteins or DNA in Messel Pit fossils.

  16. Taxing fossil fuels under speculative storage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tumen, Semih; Unalmis, Deren; Unalmis, Ibrahim; Unsal, D. Filiz

    2016-01-01

    Long-term environmental consequences of taxing fossil fuel usage have been extensively studied in the literature. However, these taxes may also impose several short-run macroeconomic policy challenges, the nature of which remains underexplored. This paper investigates the mechanisms through which environmental taxes on fossil fuel usage can affect the main macroeconomic variables in the short-run. We concentrate on a particular mechanism: speculative storage. Formulating and using a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model, calibrated for the United States, with an explicit storage facility and nominal rigidities, we show that in designing environmental tax policies it is crucial to account for the fact that fossil fuel prices are subject to speculation. The existence of forward-looking speculators in the model improves the effectiveness of tax policies in reducing fossil fuel usage. Improved policy effectiveness, however, is costly: it drives inflation and interest rates up, while impeding output. Based on this tradeoff, we seek an answer to the question how monetary policy should interact with environmental tax policies in our DSGE model of fossil fuel storage. We show that, in an environment with no speculative storers, monetary policy should respond to output along with CPI inflation in order to minimize the welfare losses brought by taxes. However, when the storage facility is activated, responding to output in the monetary policy rule becomes less desirable.

  17. When will fossil fuel reserves be diminished?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shafiee, Shahriar; Topal, Erkan

    2009-01-01

    Crude oil, coal and gas are the main resources for world energy supply. The size of fossil fuel reserves and the dilemma that 'when non-renewable energy will be diminished' is a fundamental and doubtful question that needs to be answered. This paper presents a new formula for calculating when fossil fuel reserves are likely to be depleted and develops an econometrics model to demonstrate the relationship between fossil fuel reserves and some main variables. The new formula is modified from the Klass model and thus assumes a continuous compound rate and computes fossil fuel reserve depletion times for oil, coal and gas of approximately 35, 107 and 37 years, respectively. This means that coal reserves are available up to 2112, and will be the only fossil fuel remaining after 2042. In the Econometrics model, the main exogenous variables affecting oil, coal and gas reserve trends are their consumption and respective prices between 1980 and 2006. The models for oil and gas reserves unexpectedly show a positive and significant relationship with consumption, while presenting a negative and significant relationship with price. The econometrics model for coal reserves, however, expectedly illustrates a negative and significant relationship with consumption and a positive and significant relationship with price. Consequently, huge reserves of coal and low-level coal prices in comparison to oil and gas make coal one of the main energy substitutions for oil and gas in the future, under the assumption of coal as a clean energy source

  18. Fossil fuel usage and the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klass, D.L.

    1991-01-01

    The Greenhouse Effect and global warming, ozone formation in the troposphere, ozone destruction in the stratosphere, and acid rain are important environmental issues. The relationship of fossil fuel usage to some of these issues is discussed. Data on fossil fuel consumption and the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, and ozone indicate that natural gas provides lower emissions of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen and sulfur oxides than other fossil fuels. Global emissions of methane from the gas industry are significantly less than those from other anthropogenic activities and natural sources, and methane plays an important role along with carbon monoxide and nitric oxide in tropospheric ozone formation. Reductions in any or all of these air pollutants would reduce ozone in the lower atmosphere. Several remedial measures have been or are being implemented in certain countries to reduce fossil fuel emissions. These include removal of emissions from the atmosphere by new biomass growth, fuel substitution by use of cleaner burning fuels for stationary and mobile sources, and fossil fuel combustion at higher efficiencies. It is unlikely that concerted environmental action by all governments of the world will occur soon, but much progress has been made to achieve clean air

  19. Children's Ideas about Fossils and Foundational Concepts Related to Fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgerding, Lisa A.; Raven, Sara

    2018-01-01

    Many standards documents and learning progressions recommend evolution learning in elementary grades. Given young children's interest in dinosaurs and other fossils, fossil investigations can provide a rich entry into evolutionary biology for young learners. Educational psychology literature has addressed children's reasoning about foundational…

  20. In vitro gas production tests on irradiated-chicken feathers to estimate its nutritive value as feed for ruminants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deocaris, Custer C.; De Vera, Azucena C.; Asaad, Celia O.; Ellana, Marivic M.

    2003-01-01

    Chicken feathers are a highly abundant agro-waste product containing high amount of protein from keratin. However, these are not practically utilized as animal feeds since they provide little, if any nutritional value due to low digestibility in its natural state. Using an in vitro fermentation approach, the ruminant feed potential of chicken feathers treated with gamma-radiation was estimated. Gas production within an incubation period of 96 hours was monitored and values were fitted in the rumen degradability model by McDonald and Orskov (1981). Radiation treatment which could induce depolymerization of chicken feather keratin allowed for the improvement in the nutritive value for ruminants by liberating an additional 7.2% in metabolizable energy (ME) (P<0.005) for ruminant livestock. However, increasing the absorbed dose to 50 kGy resulted in significantly lower energy value for the feather substrate possibility accrued from the induced protein-protein cross-linking phenomenon. (Authors)

  1. Optimisation of surfactant decontamination and pre-treatment of waste chicken feathers by using response surface methodology

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Tesfaye, T

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Commercially processed, untreated chicken feathers are biologically hazardous due to the presence of blood-borne pathogens. Prior to valorisation, it is crucial that they are decontaminated to remove the microbial contamination. The present study...

  2. Morphometric characterisation of wing feathers of the barn owl Tyto alba pratincola and the pigeon Columba livia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaas Michael

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Owls are known for their silent flight. Even though there is some information available on the mechanisms that lead to a reduction of noise emission, neither the morphological basis, nor the biological mechanisms of the owl's silent flight are known. Therefore, we have initiated a systematic analysis of wing morphology in both a specialist, the barn owl, and a generalist, the pigeon. This report presents a comparison between the feathers of the barn owl and the pigeon and emphasise the specific characteristics of the owl's feathers on macroscopic and microscopic level. An understanding of the features and mechanisms underlying this silent flight might eventually be employed for aerodynamic purposes and lead to a new wing design in modern aircrafts. Results A variety of different feathers (six remiges and six coverts, taken from several specimen in either species, were investigated. Quantitative analysis of digital images and scanning electron microscopy were used for a morphometric characterisation. Although both species have comparable body weights, barn owl feathers were in general larger than pigeon feathers. For both species, the depth and the area of the outer vanes of the remiges were typically smaller than those of the inner vanes. This difference was more pronounced in the barn owl than in the pigeon. Owl feathers also had lesser radiates, longer pennula, and were more translucent than pigeon feathers. The two species achieved smooth edges and regular surfaces of the vanes by different construction principles: while the angles of attachment to the rachis and the length of the barbs was nearly constant for the barn owl, these parameters varied in the pigeon. We also present a quantitative description of several characteristic features of barn owl feathers, e.g., the serrations at the leading edge of the wing, the fringes at the edges of each feather, and the velvet-like dorsal surface. Conclusion The quantitative

  3. Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oskam, Charlotte L; Haile, James Seymour; McLay, Emma

    2010-01-01

    Owing to exceptional biomolecule preservation, fossil avian eggshell has been used extensively in geochronology and palaeodietary studies. Here, we show, to our knowledge, for the first time that fossil eggshell is a previously unrecognized source of ancient DNA (aDNA). We describe the successful...... isolation and amplification of DNA from fossil eggshell up to 19 ka old. aDNA was successfully characterized from eggshell obtained from New Zealand (extinct moa and ducks), Madagascar (extinct elephant birds) and Australia (emu and owl). Our data demonstrate excellent preservation of the nucleic acids......, evidenced by retrieval of both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA from many of the samples. Using confocal microscopy and quantitative PCR, this study critically evaluates approaches to maximize DNA recovery from powdered eggshell. Our quantitative PCR experiments also demonstrate that moa eggshell has...

  4. Lessons learned from fossil FAC assessments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dooley, R. Barry; Shields, Kevin J. [Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., Oakville, ON (Canada); Shulder, Stephen J. [Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., Annapolis, MD (United States)

    2010-09-15

    In their work the authors have noted great diversity in the Flow-Accelerated Corrosion (FAC) Programs used at conventional fossil power plants. The results and findings of FAC Program assessments conducted at 22 conventional plants are summarized and discussed. By comparing the FAC Program characteristics and relevant unit features with damage and failure experiences, a number of common factors requiring attention from fossil utility organizations have been identified. The assessment experiences have also provided a picture of trends in specific FAC activities and general awareness within the conventional fossil fleet. One of the most important aspects of these studies is that while a few new locations of FAC have been found, there is some consolidation of the most frequently found locations. (orig.)

  5. Education Program on Fossil Resources Including Coal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usami, Masahiro

    Fossil fuels including coal play a key role as crucial energies in contributing to economic development in Asia. On the other hand, its limited quantity and the environmental problems causing from its usage have become a serious global issue and a countermeasure to solve such problems is very much demanded. Along with the pursuit of sustainable development, environmentally-friendly use of highly efficient fossil resources should be therefore, accompanied. Kyushu-university‧s sophisticated research through long years of accumulated experience on the fossil resources and environmental sectors together with the advanced large-scale commercial and empirical equipments will enable us to foster cooperative research and provide internship program for the future researchers. Then, this program is executed as a consignment business from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry from 2007 fiscal year to 2009 fiscal year. The lecture that uses the textbooks developed by this program is scheduled to be started a course in fiscal year 2010.

  6. Harmonic hopping, and both punctuated and gradual evolution of acoustic characters in Selasphorus hummingbird tail-feathers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher James Clark

    Full Text Available Models of character evolution often assume a single mode of evolutionary change, such as continuous, or discrete. Here I provide an example in which a character exhibits both types of change. Hummingbirds in the genus Selasphorus produce sound with fluttering tail-feathers during courtship. The ancestral character state within Selasphorus is production of sound with an inner tail-feather, R2, in which the sound usually evolves gradually. Calliope and Allen's Hummingbirds have evolved autapomorphic acoustic mechanisms that involve feather-feather interactions. I develop a source-filter model of these interactions. The 'source' comprises feather(s that are both necessary and sufficient for sound production, and are aerodynamically coupled to neighboring feathers, which act as filters. Filters are unnecessary or insufficient for sound production, but may evolve to become sources. Allen's Hummingbird has evolved to produce sound with two sources, one with feather R3, another frequency-modulated sound with R4, and their interaction frequencies. Allen's R2 retains the ancestral character state, a ∼1 kHz "ghost" fundamental frequency masked by R3, which is revealed when R3 is experimentally removed. In the ancestor to Allen's Hummingbird, the dominant frequency has 'hopped' to the second harmonic without passing through intermediate frequencies. This demonstrates that although the fundamental frequency of a communication sound may usually evolve gradually, occasional jumps from one character state to another can occur in a discrete fashion. Accordingly, mapping acoustic characters on a phylogeny may produce misleading results if the physical mechanism of production is not known.

  7. Problems related to fossil fuels utilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rota, R.

    1999-01-01

    Fossil fuels still present the main energy source in the world since about 90% of the energy produced comes from combustion. This paper, based on the lectures given at the conference of Energy and Environment hold at the Accademia dei Lincei in 1998, presents a short review of some of the problems related to the utilization of fossil fuels, such as their availability in the medium period, the effect of pollutant dispersion in the atmosphere as well as the available technologies to deal with such problems [it

  8. Environmental damage caused by fossil fuels consumption

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barbir, F.; Veziroglu, T.N.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports that the objectives of this study is to identify the negative effects of the fossil fuels use and to evaluate their economic significance. An economic value of the damage for each of the analyzed effects has been estimated in US dollars per unit energy of the fuel used ($/GJ). This external costs of fossil fuel use should be added to their existing market price, and such real costs should be compared with the real costs of other, environmentally acceptable, energy alternatives, such as hydrogen

  9. Experimental taphonomy and the anatomy and diversity of the earliest fossil vertebrates (Chengjiang Biota, Cambrian, China)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purnell, Mark; Gabbott, Sarah; Murdock, Duncan; Cong, Peiyun

    2016-04-01

    The oldest fossil vertebrates are from the Lower Cambrian Chengjiang biota of China, which contains four genera of fish-like, primitive vertebrates: Haikouichthys, Myllokunmingia, Zhongjianichthys and Zhongxiniscus. These fossils play key roles in calibrating molecular clocks and informing our view of the anatomy of animals close to the origin of vertebrates, potentially including transitional forms between vertebrates and their nearest relatives. Despite the evident importance of these fossils, the degree to which taphonomic processes have affected their anatomical completeness has not been investigated. For example, some or all might have been affected by stemward slippage - the pattern observed in experimental decay of non-biomineralised chordates in which preferential decay of synapomorphies and retention of plesiomorphic characters would cause fossil taxa to erroneously occupy more basal positions than they should. This hypothesis is based on experimental data derived from decay of non-biomineralised chordates under laboratory conditions. We have expanded this analysis to include a broader range of potentially significant environmental variables; we have also compared and combined the results of experiments from several taxa to identify general patterns of chordate decay. Examination of the Chengjiang vertebrates in the light of these results demonstrates that, contrary to some assertions, experimentally derived models of phylogenetic bias are applicable to fossils. Anatomical and phylogenetic interpretations of early vertebrates that do not take taphonomic biases into account risk overestimating diversity and the evolutionary significance of differences between fossil specimens.

  10. Biogeographic distribution and metric dental variation of fossil and living orangutans (Pongo spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tshen, Lim Tze

    2016-01-01

    The genus Pongo has a relatively richer Quaternary fossil record than those of the African great apes. Fossil materials are patchy in terms of anatomical parts represented, limited almost exclusively to isolated teeth, jaw and bone fragments. Fossil evidence indicates that the genus Pongo had a broadly continuous distribution across the southern part of the Indomalayan biogeographic region, ranging in time from Early Pleistocene to Holocene: southern China (77 fossil sites), Vietnam (15), Laos (6), Cambodia (2), Thailand (4), Peninsular Malaysia (6), Sumatra (4), Borneo (6) and Java (4). Within this distribution range, there are major geographical gaps with no known orangutan fossils, notably central and southern Indochina, central and southern Thailand, eastern Peninsular Malaysia, northern and southern Sumatra, and Kalimantan. The geological time and place of origin of the genus remain unresolved. Fossil orangutan assemblages usually show greater extent of dental metrical variation than those of modern-day populations. Such variability shown in prehistoric populations has partially contributed to confusion regarding past taxonomic diversity and systematic relationships among extinct and living forms. To date, no fewer than 14 distinct taxa have been identified and named for Pleistocene orangutans. Clear cases suggestive of predation by prehistoric human are few in number, and limited to terminal Pleistocene-Early Holocene sites in Borneo and a Late Pleistocene site in Vietnam.

  11. Wedge cells during regeneration of juvenile and adult feathers and their role in carving out the branching pattern of barbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2007-01-01

    The present ultrastructural study on regenerating feathers emphasizes the role of supportive cells in determining the branching pattern of barbs. Supportive cells are localized among developing barb and barbule cells, in marginal plates, and underneath the feather sheath, and their differentiative fate, in general, is a form of lipid degeneration. The Latter process determines the carving out of barb branching in both downfeathers and pennaceous feathers. In the latter feathers, some supportive cells (barb vane cells and cylindrical cells of marginal plates) degenerate within each barb ridge leaving separate barbules. Other supportive cells, here termed wedge cells, form columns of cornified material that merge into elongated corneous scaffolds localized among barbs and the rachis. This previously undescribed form of cornification of supportive cells derives from the aggregation of periderm and dense granules present in wedge cells. The latter cells give origin to a corneous material different from feather keratin that may initially sustain the early and soft barbules. After barbules are cornified the supportive cells scaffolds are eventually sloughed as the sheath breaks allowing the new feather to open up and form a planar vane. The corneous material of wedge cells may also contribute to molding of the overlapped nodes of barbule cells that form lateral spines or hooklets in mature barbules. Eventually, the disappearance of wedge cell scaffolding determines the regular spacing of barbs attached to the rachis in order to form a close vane.

  12. Proteomic analysis of enzyme production by Bacillus licheniformis using different feather wastes as the sole fermentation media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrado, J; Rodriguez-Morgado, B; Tejada, M; Hernandez, T; Garcia, C

    2014-04-10

    This study evaluates the use of different types of feathers as fermentation media for enzyme production. Bacillus licheniformis was grown on the feathers, which lead to total biodegradation due to bacterial enzymatic hydrolytic excretion. B. licheniformis excretes protease and lipase activity, with feather concentration being the main parameter controlling their generation. Using a proteomic approach, the proteins excreted during fermentation were identified, and the influence of the chemical composition of the feathers on protein secretion was tested. The identified proteins are hydrolytic enzymes such as keratinase, gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase, chitosanases, and glicosidases. The diversity of proteins is related to the chemical complexity of the feathers. Understanding the composition of a hydrolytic system, when B. licheniformis is cultured on different feathers, may assist in utilizing such a system for producing different hydrolytic enzymes. The data indicate that proteomics can be a valuable tool for describing the physiological state of B. licheniformis cell populations growing on different wastes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Wing shape of four new bee fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila provides insights to bee evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Dehon

    Full Text Available Bees (Anthophila are one of the major groups of angiosperm-pollinating insects and accordingly are widely studied in both basic and applied research, for which it is essential to have a clear understanding of their phylogeny, and evolutionary history. Direct evidence of bee evolutionary history has been hindered by a dearth of available fossils needed to determine the timing and tempo of their diversification, as well as episodes of extinction. Here we describe four new compression fossils of bees from three different deposits (Miocene of la Cerdanya, Spain; Oligocene of Céreste, France; and Eocene of the Green River Formation, U.S.A.. We assess the similarity of the forewing shape of the new fossils with extant and fossil taxa using geometric morphometrics analyses. Predictive discriminant analyses show that three fossils share similar forewing shapes with the Apidae [one of uncertain tribal placement and perhaps near Euglossini, one definitive bumble bee (Bombini, and one digger bee (Anthophorini], while one fossil is more similar to the Andrenidae. The corbiculate fossils are described as Euglossopteryx biesmeijeri De Meulemeester, Michez, & Engel, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Euglossopteryx Dehon & Engel, n. gen. and Bombus cerdanyensis Dehon, De Meulemeester, & Engel, sp. nov. They provide new information on the distribution and timing of particular corbiculate groups, most notably the extension into North America of possible Eocene-Oligocene cooling-induced extinctions. Protohabropoda pauli De Meulemeester & Michez, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Protohabropoda Dehon & Engel, n. gen. reinforces previous hypotheses of anthophorine evolution in terms of ecological shifts by the Oligocene from tropical to mesic or xeric habitats. Lastly, a new fossil of the Andreninae, Andrena antoinei Michez & De Meulemeester, sp. nov., further documents the presence of the today widespread genus Andrena Fabricius in the Late Oligocene of France.

  14. Wing shape of four new bee fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) provides insights to bee evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehon, Manuel; Michez, Denis; Nel, André; Engel, Michael S; De Meulemeester, Thibaut

    2014-01-01

    Bees (Anthophila) are one of the major groups of angiosperm-pollinating insects and accordingly are widely studied in both basic and applied research, for which it is essential to have a clear understanding of their phylogeny, and evolutionary history. Direct evidence of bee evolutionary history has been hindered by a dearth of available fossils needed to determine the timing and tempo of their diversification, as well as episodes of extinction. Here we describe four new compression fossils of bees from three different deposits (Miocene of la Cerdanya, Spain; Oligocene of Céreste, France; and Eocene of the Green River Formation, U.S.A.). We assess the similarity of the forewing shape of the new fossils with extant and fossil taxa using geometric morphometrics analyses. Predictive discriminant analyses show that three fossils share similar forewing shapes with the Apidae [one of uncertain tribal placement and perhaps near Euglossini, one definitive bumble bee (Bombini), and one digger bee (Anthophorini)], while one fossil is more similar to the Andrenidae. The corbiculate fossils are described as Euglossopteryx biesmeijeri De Meulemeester, Michez, & Engel, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Euglossopteryx Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) and Bombus cerdanyensis Dehon, De Meulemeester, & Engel, sp. nov. They provide new information on the distribution and timing of particular corbiculate groups, most notably the extension into North America of possible Eocene-Oligocene cooling-induced extinctions. Protohabropoda pauli De Meulemeester & Michez, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Protohabropoda Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) reinforces previous hypotheses of anthophorine evolution in terms of ecological shifts by the Oligocene from tropical to mesic or xeric habitats. Lastly, a new fossil of the Andreninae, Andrena antoinei Michez & De Meulemeester, sp. nov., further documents the presence of the today widespread genus Andrena Fabricius in the Late Oligocene of France.

  15. Ancient wet aeolian environments on Earth: clues to presence of fossil/live microorganisms on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaney, William C.; Milner, Michael W.; Netoff, D. I.; Malloch, David; Dohm, James M.; Baker, Victor R.; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Hare, Trent M.; Komatsu, Goro

    2004-09-01

    Ancient wet aeolian (wet-sabkha) environments on Earth, represented in the Entrada and Navajo sandstones of Utah, contain pipe structures considered to be the product of gas/water release under pressure. The sediments originally had considerable porosity allowing the ingress of living plant structures, microorganisms, clay minerals, and fine-grained primary minerals of silt and sand size from the surface downward in the sedimentary column. Host rock material is of a similar size and porosity and presumably the downward migration of fine-grained material would have been possible prior to lithogenesis and final cementation. Recent field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and EDS (energy-dispersive spectrometry) examination of sands from fluidized pipes in the Early Jurassic Navajo Sandstone reveal the presence of fossil forms resembling fungal filaments, some bearing hyphopodium-like structures similar to those produced by modern tropical leaf parasites. The tropical origin of the fungi is consistent with the paleogeography of the sandstone, which was deposited in a tropical arid environment. These fossil fungi are silicized, with minor amounts of CaCO 3 and Fe, and in some cases a Si/Al ratio similar to smectite. They exist as pseudomorphs, totally depleted in nitrogen, adhering to the surfaces of fine-grained sands, principally quartz and orthoclase. Similar wet aeolian paleoenvironments are suspected for Mars, especially following catastrophic sediment-charged floods of enormous magnitudes that are believed to have contributed to rapid formation of large water bodies in the northern plains, ranging from lakes to oceans. These events are suspected to have contributed to a high frequency of constructional landforms (also known as pseudocraters) related to trapped volatiles and water-enriched sediment underneath a thick blanket of materials that were subsequently released to the martian surface, forming piping structures at the near surface and

  16. Mercury in feathers of Swedish gyrfalcons, Falco rusticolus, in relation to diet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lindberg, P.

    1984-01-01

    The gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) is mainly a resident bird breeding in mountain areas in Fennoscandia. The population (estimated to 300-500 pairs) probably fluctuates according to the presence of willow grouse (Lagopus lagopus) and ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus). Little is known about pollutant levels in Fennoscandian gyrfalcons. Previous studies found low levels of DDE, PCB and mercury in organs from six Norwegian gyrfalcons. In this paper the author has included additional information on mercury levels, based on feather analyses from a few nests in northern Sweden. The use of feathers is a simple method to monitor mercury levels without sacrificing the birds. Food habits were checked by analyzing food remains at and near the nests

  17. Resistance of Feather-Associated Bacteria to Intermediate Levels of Ionizing Radiation near Chernobyl

    OpenAIRE

    Ruiz-Gonz?lez, Mario Xavier; Czirj?k, G?bor ?rp?d; Genevaux, Pierre; M?ller, Anders Pape; Mousseau, Timothy Alexander; Heeb, Philipp

    2016-01-01

    Ionizing radiation has been shown to produce negative effects on organisms, although little is known about its ecological and evolutionary effects. As a study model, we isolated bacteria associated with feathers from barn swallows Hirundo rustica from three study areas around Chernobyl differing in background ionizing radiation levels and one control study site in Denmark. Each bacterial community was exposed to four different ? radiation doses ranging from 0.46 to 3.96 kGy to test whether ch...

  18. Rockets and feathers meet Joseph: Reinvestigating the oil-gasoline asymmetry on the international markets

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krištoufek, Ladislav; Luňáčková, P.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 49, č. 1 (2015), s. 1-8 ISSN 0140-9883 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GP14-11402P Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GAP402/11/0948 Program:GA Institutional support: RVO:67985556 Keywords : Rockets and feathers * Asymmetry * Gasoline * Crude oil * Cointegration Subject RIV: AH - Economics Impact factor: 2.862, year: 2015 http://library.utia.cas.cz/separaty/2015/E/kristoufek-0452312.pdf

  19. [Dynamics of infection of Fringilla coelebs chaffinch nestlings with feather mites (Acari: Analgoidea)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mironov, S V; Malyshev, L L

    2002-01-01

    A process of infecting the chaffinch nestlings Fringilla coelebs with three analgoid feather mites, Analges passerinus L., 1758, Monojoubertia microphylla (Robin, 1877), and Pteronyssoides striatus (Robin, 1977), commonly occurred on this bird species was investigated. 15 nests contained totally 65 nestlings, from 2 to 6 individuals in a brood, have been examined from the day of hatching till 11th day. Observations were held in the neighbourhood of the bird banding station "Rybachy" (Russia, Kaliningrad Province) in June of 1982. Number of mites on alive nestlings taken temporarily from their nest was counted by means of binocular lens under the magnification x12.5 and x25. The nestlings receive the mites from the chaffinch female during the night time, when the female sits together with the young birds and heats them. In the condition of this prolonged direct contact the mites migrate from the female onto the nestlings. As it was shown in our study of seasonal dynamics of mites on the chaffinch (Mironov, 2000), the chaffinch female only gives its mites to young generation and looses about three quarter of its mite micropopulation during the nesting period (June), hile in the chaffinch males the number of mites continues to increase during all summer. The infections with three feather mite species happen in the second part of the nestling's stay in the nest. The starting time of this process, its intensity, and sex and age structure of mite micropopulations on the nestlings just before their leaving the nest are different in the mite species examined. These peculiarities of feather mite species are determined by the biology of examined species, and first of all by their morphological characteristic and specialisation to different microhabitats, i.e. certain structural zones of plumage. Pteronyssoides striatus (Pteronyssidae) is rather typical mite specialised to feathers with vanes. In adult birds with completely developed plumage this species occupies the ventral

  20. Fossil Energy Materials Program conference proceedings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Judkins, R.R. (comp.)

    1987-08-01

    The US Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy has recognized the need for materials research and development to assure the adequacy of materials of construction for advanced fossil energy systems. The principal responsibility for identifying needed materials research and for establishing a program to address these needs resides within the Office of Technical Coordination. That office has established the Advanced Research and Technology Development (AR and TD) Fossil Energy Materials Program to fulfill that responsibility. In addition to the AR and TD Materials Program, which is designed to address in a generic way the materials needs of fossil energy systems, specific materials support activities are also sponsored by the various line organizations such as the Office of Coal Gasification. A conference was held at Oak Ridge, Tennessee on May 19-21, 1987, to present and discuss the results of program activities during the past year. The conference program was organized in accordance with the research thrust areas we have established. These research thrust areas include structural ceramics (particularly fiber-reinforced ceramic composites), corrosion and erosion, and alloy development and mechanical properties. Eighty-six people attended the conference. Papers have been entered individually into EDB and ERA. (LTN)

  1. The Fascinating Story of Fossil Fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asimov, Isaac

    1973-01-01

    How this energy source was created, its meaning to mankind, our drastically reduced supply, and why we cannot wait for nature to make more are considered. Today fossil fuels supply 96 percent of the energy used but we must find alternate energy options if we are to combat the energy crisis. (BL)

  2. Fossil Hunting: Intracluster Stars in Virgo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Murphy, Eric; Bridge, Carrie; Desai, Vandana; Kenney, Jeffrey; Krick, Jessica; Surace, Jason; van Gorkom, Jacqueline

    2009-01-01

    In dense clusters, galaxy interactions and mergers play a significant role in galaxy evolution. During these interactions, tidal forces can lead to the ejection of stars from their parent galaxies; these stars are a fossil record of environmentally-driven galaxy evolution. We propose to map the

  3. Fossil rhinoceroses from Hopefield, South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooijer, D.A.; Singer, R.

    1960-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The fossil specimens of rhinoceroses recovered at the "Elandsfontein" site, Hopefield, Cape Province, belong to the two living species of Africa, viz., Ceratotherium simum (Burchell) and Diceros bicornis (L.) (Singer, 1954). Both are widely distributed in the African Pleistocene (see

  4. The fossil hippopotamus from Hopefield, South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooijer, D.A.; Singer, R.

    1961-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The fossil remains of Hippopotamus from the Pleistocene "Elandsfontein" site near Hopefield, Cape Province, have already been briefly described by Singer and Keen (1955), who found that the material available at the time was not different from the living Hippopotamus amphibius L.

  5. Carbon Risk and the Fossil Fuel Industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mathieu, Carole

    2015-04-01

    As calls for ambitious climate action intensify, questions arise concerning the resilience of the fossil fuel industry in a world ever more inclined to favour climate protection. This article will attempt to assess the extent of present risks and show how the strength of debate can affect practices and strategy employed by companies in this sector. (author)

  6. Colour-producing [beta]-keratin nanofibres in blue penguin (Eudyptula minor) feathers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D; Alba, Liliana; Saranathan, Vinodkumar; Clarke, Julia A.; Vinther, Jakob A.; Prum, Richard O.; Shawkey, Matthew D. (Yale); (Akron); (Texas)

    2012-03-26

    The colours of living organisms are produced by the differential absorption of light by pigments (e.g. carotenoids, melanins) and/or by the physical interactions of light with biological nanostructures, referred to as structural colours. Only two fundamental morphologies of non-iridescent nanostructures are known in feathers, and recent work has proposed that they self-assemble by intracellular phase separation processes. Here, we report a new biophotonic nanostructure in the non-iridescent blue feather barbs of blue penguins (Eudyptula minor) composed of parallel {beta}-keratin nanofibres organized into densely packed bundles. Synchrotron small angle X-ray scattering and two-dimensional Fourier analysis of electron micrographs of the barb nanostructure revealed short-range order in the organization of fibres at the appropriate size scale needed to produce the observed colour by coherent scattering. These two-dimensional quasi-ordered penguin nanostructures are convergent with similar arrays of parallel collagen fibres in avian and mammalian skin, but constitute a novel morphology for feathers. The identification of a new class of {beta}-keratin nanostructures adds significantly to the known mechanisms of colour production in birds and suggests additional complexity in their self-assembly.

  7. Soluble proteins from fowl feather keratin. II. Isolation of some proteins from barbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murayama, K; Akahane, K; Murozono, S

    1977-01-01

    Four fractions, GF-1, 2, 3, and 4, which had been separated from S-carboxymethylated (SCM-) proteins of fowl feathers by gel filtration, were each chromatographed on a DEAE-cellulose column in 0.05 M Tris-HCl buffer (pH 8.5) containing 8 M urea. The major fraction, GF-3, was further separated into seven peaks; the first four were shown to be single components by polyacrylamide disc gel electrophoresis. Chromatograms of GF-1 and 2 showed broad peaks which appeared at nearly the same volume as in GF-3. The components from GF-3 had very similar amino acid compositions except that the SCM-cysteine content showed a tendency to increase in the order of elution from the column. SCM-extract prepared from barbs of the wing feathers of a fowl was more heterogeneous than that taken from the body feathers. A combination of gel filtration on Sephadex G-75 and chromatography on DEAE-cellulose was found to be more effective for the isolation of soluble SCM-proteins.

  8. Two-dimensional Fourier analysis of the spongy medullary keratin of structurally coloured feather barbs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prum, R. O.; Torres, R.; Williamson, S.; Dyck, J.

    1999-01-01

    We conducted two-dimensional (2D) discrete Fourier analyses of the spatial variation in refractive index of the spongy medullary keratin from four different colours of structurally coloured feather barbs from three species of bird: the rose-faced lovebird, Agapornis roseicollis (Psittacidae), the budgerigar, Melopsittacus undulatus (Psittacidae), and the Gouldian finch, Poephila guttata (Estrildidae). These results indicate that the spongy medullary keratin is a nanostructured tissue that functions as an array of coherent scatterers. The nanostructure of the medullary keratin is nearly uniform in all directions. The largest Fourier components of spatial variation in refractive index in the tissue are of the appropriate size to produce the observed colours by constructive interference alone. The peaks of the predicted reflectance spectra calculated from the 2D Fourier power spectra are congruent with the reflectance spectra measured by using microspectrophotometry. The alternative physical models for the production of these colours, the Rayleigh and Mie theories, hypothesize that medullary keratin is an incoherent array and that scattered waves are independent in phase. This assumption is falsified by the ring-like Fourier power spectra of these feathers, and the spacing of the scattering air vacuoles in the medullary keratin. Structural colours of avian feather barbs are produced by constructive interference of coherently scattered light waves from the optically heterogeneous matrix of keratin and air in the spongy medullary layer.

  9. Study on elements concentrations on seabird feathers by instrumental neutron activation analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Theophilo, Carolina Y.S.; Moreira, Edson G. [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN-CNEN/SP), São Paulo, SP (Brazil); Figueira, Rubens C.L.; Colabuono, Fernanda I., E-mail: carolina.theophilo@gmail.com, E-mail: emoreira@ipen.br, E-mail: rfigueira@usp.br, E-mail: ficolabuono@gmail.com [Universidade de São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, SP (Brazil). Instituto Oceanográfico

    2017-07-01

    Seabirds are very sensitive to environmental changes and because of their large longevity they are also sensitive to cumulative impacts. These birds usually occupy the higher trophic levels. White-chinned petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis) and black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris) are Procellariiformes, which is a seabird order, composed of 4 families. In the last years, researches are being done and actions are being taken to reduce the mortality of albatrosses and petrels caused by human activities. Due to the great ecological importance of these birds and the developed work with Procellariiformes, this study purpose is to quantify the Br, Cl, Cu, K, Mg, Mn, Na and V elements in white-chinned petrel and black-browed albatross feathers. Bird specimens were killed accidentally by pelagic longline fisheries operating off southern Brazil. Feathers were cleaned with acetone and then milled in a cryogenic mill. Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) was used for quantification of the element concentrations and measurements of induced activities were performed in a HPGe detector for gamma ray spectrometry. The obtained results on feathers showed that concentrations in these birds are not higher than others studies with the same species and, with exception of Br, there are no significant differences between elements mean concentrations in the two seabirds. (author)

  10. Multiple UV reflectance peaks in the iridescent neck feathers of pigeons

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Kevin J.

    Recent studies of colorful plumage signals in birds have been aided by the finding that birds can see ultraviolet (UV) light and thus may communicate using colors invisible to humans. Some of the pioneering and more pivotal work on avian color vision was performed with domestic pigeons (Columba livia), yet surprisingly there have been few detailed reports of the UV-reflecting properties of pigeon feathers. Here, I use UV-VIS fiber-optic spectrometry to document the full-spectrum reflectance characteristics of iridescent purple and green neck plumage in pigeons. Neck feathers that appear purple to the human eye exhibit four reflectance peaks-two in the UV and one in the blue and red regions-and thus exhibit a UV-purple hue. Neck feathers that appear green to the human eye are characterized by five spectral peaks: two in the UV (UVA and UVB), a predominant green peak, and secondary violet and red peaks, conferring a UV-purple-green color. Such elaborate UV coloration suggests that birds may use an even more complex and `hidden' UV signaling system than previously thought.

  11. Chicken feather peptone: A new alternative nitrogen source for pigment production by Monascus purpureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orak, Tugba; Caglar, Ozge; Ortucu, Serkan; Ozkan, Hakan; Taskin, Mesut

    2018-04-10

    Peptones are accepted as one of the most favourable nitrogen sources supporting pigment synthesis in Monascus purpureus. The present study was performed to test the feasibility of chicken feather peptone (CFP) as nitrogen source for pigment production from M. purpureus ATCC16365. CFP was compared with fish peptone (FP) and protease peptone (PP) in order to elucidate its effectiveness on pigment production. CFP was prepared from waste feathers using hydrolysis (KOH) and neutralization (H 2 SO 4 ) methods. The protein content of CFP was determined as 67.2 g/100 g. Optimal concentrations of CFP and glucose for pigment production were determined as 3 and 20 g/L, respectively. A medium pH of 5.5 and an incubation period of 7-days were found to be more favourable for pigment production. In CFP, PP and FP media, yellow pigment absorbances were 2.819, 2.870 and 2.831, red pigment absorbances were 2.709, 2.304 and 2.748, and orange pigment absorbances were 2.643, 2.132 and 2.743, respectively. Sugar consumption and mycelia growth showed the similar trends in CFP, FP and PP media. This study indicates that the peptone from chicken feathers may be a good nutritional substrate for pigment production from M. purpureus. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Performance and Heterosis of Indigenous Chicken Crossbreed (Naked Neck x Frizzled Feather In The Humid Tropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremiah Monday Nwenya

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Forty-four (44 birds (about 50 weeks old male and female inbred naked necked and frizzle feathered chickens were crossed to generate F1 crossbred chicken that were used to evaluate the performance and heterosis effects. Data taken on 180 chicks (97 NN and 83 FF day-old chick weight (BWT0, body weight (BWT, daily average feed intake (AFI, feed conversion ratio (FCR, brooding and rearing mortalities, linear body measurements (LBM: body length, wing length, keel length, shank length and breast width were used to estimate heterosis and performance of F1 progenies. Results of the experiment showed positive heterosis with significant differences among the F1 progenies over their parents in body weight, average feed intake and feed conversion ratio. The reciprocal cross (i.e. frizzle feather rooster x naked neck hen showed a significant improvement in their performances genetically, explaining that better results are achieved through crossbreeding of these indigenous breeds. With reference to their body linear parameters, the reciprocal cross of naked neck and frizzle feathered chickens developed higher body length, whereas the main crosses performed better in their wing length, keel length, shank length and body width respectively, mainly after 8 weeks suggesting that earlier performance was attributable to maternal influences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plikus, Maksim V; Astrowski, Aliaksandr A

    2014-07-01

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

  14. Colour-producing β-keratin nanofibres in blue penguin (Eudyptula minor) feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alba, Liliana; Saranathan, Vinodkumar; Clarke, Julia A.; Vinther, Jakob A.; Prum, Richard O.; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2011-01-01

    The colours of living organisms are produced by the differential absorption of light by pigments (e.g. carotenoids, melanins) and/or by the physical interactions of light with biological nanostructures, referred to as structural colours. Only two fundamental morphologies of non-iridescent nanostructures are known in feathers, and recent work has proposed that they self-assemble by intracellular phase separation processes. Here, we report a new biophotonic nanostructure in the non-iridescent blue feather barbs of blue penguins (Eudyptula minor) composed of parallel β-keratin nanofibres organized into densely packed bundles. Synchrotron small angle X-ray scattering and two-dimensional Fourier analysis of electron micrographs of the barb nanostructure revealed short-range order in the organization of fibres at the appropriate size scale needed to produce the observed colour by coherent scattering. These two-dimensional quasi-ordered penguin nanostructures are convergent with similar arrays of parallel collagen fibres in avian and mammalian skin, but constitute a novel morphology for feathers. The identification of a new class of β-keratin nanostructures adds significantly to the known mechanisms of colour production in birds and suggests additional complexity in their self-assembly. PMID:21307042

  15. Traceability of poultry viscera meal by stable isotopes in broiler feathers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Araujo, Priscila Cavalca de; Sartori, Jose Roberto; Pezzato, Antonio Celso; Stradiotti, Ana Cristina; Pelicia, Vanessa Cristina; Ducatti, Carlos

    2011-01-01

    The objective of this work was to evaluate the presence of poultry viscera meal (VM) in the diet of broiler chickens, through the feather analyses by stable isotopes of carbon ( 13 C/ 12 C) and nitrogen ( 15 N/ 14 N) and mass spectrophotometry. Seven hundred and twenty Cobb male broiler chicks were subjected to the following treatments: vegetable diet based on corn and soybean meal, from 1 to 42 days of age; diet with 8% poultry viscera meal, from 1 to 42 days of age; vegetable diet from 1 to 21 days, and diet with VM from 22 to 42 days; vegetable diet from 1 to 35 days, and diet with VM from 36 to 42 days; diet with VM from 1 to 21 days and, and vegetable diet from 22 to 42 days; diet with VM from 1 to 35 days, and vegetable diet from 36 to 42 days. Feather samples were collected from four birds per treatment at 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42 days of age, which were subjected to isotopic analysis for carbon ( 13 C/ 12 C) and nitrogen ( 15 N/ 14 N) by mass spectrometry. The use of the stable C and N isotope technique in feathers allow the VM detection in broiler chicken diet after 21 days of VM inclusion. (author)

  16. [Breeding biology of the whiskered auklet (Aethia pygmaea): incubation, chick growth, and feather ontogenesis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koniukhov, N B; Zubakin, V A; Williams, J; Fischer, J

    2000-01-01

    This is the second publication on the results of studies of the whiskered auklet breeding biology on Buldir Island. In 1993, according to the time of chick hatching the egg-laying period began in late April-early May. The single egg was incubated by both parents, which relieved each other once a day, usually at early night. Among the chicks under observation, the first hatched on June 11; the median of hatching was on June 17. After hatching, the egg shell usually remained in the nest. The chick was continuously brooded by one of parents for the first several days but since the age of 7-9 days, it stayed in the nest by itself during the daytime. Each parent fed the chick once a day, at early night, although occasional feedings were recorded also during daytime and at dawn. A newly hatched chick was covered by typical embryonal (natal) down. The remiges, rectrices, their coverts, and large feathers on pteryla humeralis had a mesoptile stage during their growth (the second down generation). The juvenile plumage consisted of semiplumes of types I and II and contour feathers of type I and, possibly, type II. In fledglings, the ornamental feathers were underdeveloped: the crest was absent and facial plumes only began growing. By reaching 100 g, the chicks left their nests at the age of about 37 days. A longer nesting period than in other Aethia auklets appears to be related to a low feeding rate due to the nocturnal activity in the colony.

  17. Study on elements concentrations on seabird feathers by instrumental neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Theophilo, Carolina Y.S.; Moreira, Edson G.; Figueira, Rubens C.L.; Colabuono, Fernanda I.

    2017-01-01

    Seabirds are very sensitive to environmental changes and because of their large longevity they are also sensitive to cumulative impacts. These birds usually occupy the higher trophic levels. White-chinned petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis) and black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris) are Procellariiformes, which is a seabird order, composed of 4 families. In the last years, researches are being done and actions are being taken to reduce the mortality of albatrosses and petrels caused by human activities. Due to the great ecological importance of these birds and the developed work with Procellariiformes, this study purpose is to quantify the Br, Cl, Cu, K, Mg, Mn, Na and V elements in white-chinned petrel and black-browed albatross feathers. Bird specimens were killed accidentally by pelagic longline fisheries operating off southern Brazil. Feathers were cleaned with acetone and then milled in a cryogenic mill. Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) was used for quantification of the element concentrations and measurements of induced activities were performed in a HPGe detector for gamma ray spectrometry. The obtained results on feathers showed that concentrations in these birds are not higher than others studies with the same species and, with exception of Br, there are no significant differences between elements mean concentrations in the two seabirds. (author)

  18. Using scale and feather traits for module construction provides a functional approach to chicken epidermal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Weier; Greenwold, Matthew J; Sawyer, Roger H

    2017-11-01

    Gene co-expression network analysis has been a research method widely used in systematically exploring gene function and interaction. Using the Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis (WGCNA) approach to construct a gene co-expression network using data from a customized 44K microarray transcriptome of chicken epidermal embryogenesis, we have identified two distinct modules that are highly correlated with scale or feather development traits. Signaling pathways related to feather development were enriched in the traditional KEGG pathway analysis and functional terms relating specifically to embryonic epidermal development were also enriched in the Gene Ontology analysis. Significant enrichment annotations were discovered from customized enrichment tools such as Modular Single-Set Enrichment Test (MSET) and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). Hub genes in both trait-correlated modules showed strong specific functional enrichment toward epidermal development. Also, regulatory elements, such as transcription factors and miRNAs, were targeted in the significant enrichment result. This work highlights the advantage of this methodology for functional prediction of genes not previously associated with scale- and feather trait-related modules.

  19. New methods reveal oldest known fossil epiphyllous moss: Bryiidites utahensis gen. et sp. nov. (Bryidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barclay, Richard S; McElwain, Jennifer C; Duckett, Jeffrey G; van Es, Maarten H; Mostaert, Anika S; Pressel, Silvia; Sageman, Bradley B

    2013-12-01

    Epiphyllous bryophytes are a highly characteristic feature of many humid tropical forest ecosystems. In contrast to the extensive fossil record for the leaves of their host plants, the record is virtually nonexistent for the epiphylls themselves, despite a fossil record for mosses that begins in the Middle Carboniferous Period, 330 million years ago. Epifluorescence optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy were employed to investigate an intimate association between a newly discovered epiphyllous moss and a Lauraceae plant host from the middle Cretaceous. We describe the oldest fossil specimen of an epiphyllous moss, Bryiidites utahensis gen. et sp. nov., identified from an individual specimen only 450 µm long, situated on an approximately one millimeter square fossil leaf fragment. The moss epiphyll is exquisitely preserved as germinating spores and short-celled protonemata with transverse and oblique cross-walls closely matching those of extant epiphyllous mosses on the surface of the plant-leaf hosts. The extension of the epiphyll record back to the middle Cretaceous provides fossil evidence for the appearance of epiphyllous mosses during the diversification of flowering plants, at least 95 million years ago. It also provides substantive evidence for a tropical maritime climate in central North America during the middle Cretaceous.

  20. Effect of Sex-linked Feathering Genes on Body Weight, Age At Sexual Maturity, Feed Intake and Subsequent Laying Performance of Baladi Chickens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. AI-Sobayel

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available A total of 320 twenty week-old slow and rapid feathering Saudi Arabian Baladi pullers were used to assess the effect of sex-linked feathering genes on body weight, age at sexual maturity, feed intake and subsequent laying performance. Similar numbers of rapid feathering Leghorns pullets were included in the study for the purpose of comparison. The experimental birds of each genotypic group were randomly divided into four replicates and subjected to standard management practices. Slow feathering Baladi pullers had higher (P<0.05 adult body weight, rate of mortality, and feed intake and a similar age at sexual maturity but showed lower (P< 0.05 hen-day, and hen-housed egg production and feed conversion compared with rapid feathering Baladi pullets. Rapid feathering Leghorns had higher (P<0.05 adult body weight. age at sexual maturity, hen-day egg production, rate of mortality and feed intake and lower feed intake/kg eggs than rapid and slow feathering Baladi. However, rapid feathering Baladi and Leghorns had similar hen-housed egg production and feed intake per dozen eggs and had better (l’<0.05' performance than slow feathering Baladi.

  1. Gaps in the Rock and Fossil Records and Implications for the Rate and Mode of Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Grant Sackett

    1988-01-01

    Examines three types of gaps in the fossil record: real gaps, imaginary gaps, and temporary gaps. Reviews some recent evidence concerning evolution from the paleontological record of microfossils, invertebrates, and vertebrates in order to make some general conclusions regarding the manner in which life evolved on earth. (CW)

  2. Charles Darwin's beagle voyage, fossil vertebrate succession, and "the gradual birth & death of species".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Paul D

    2010-01-01

    The prevailing view among historians of science holds that Charles Darwin became a convinced transmutationist only in the early spring of 1837, after his Beagle collections had been examined by expert British naturalists. With respect to the fossil vertebrate evidence, some historians believe that Darwin was incapable of seeing or understanding the transmutationist implications of his specimens without the help of Richard Owen. There is ample evidence, however, that he clearly recognized the similarities between several of the fossil vertebrates he collected and some of the extant fauna of South America before he returned to Britain. These comparisons, recorded in his correspondence, his diary and his notebooks during the voyage, were instances of a phenomenon that he later called the "law of the succession of types." Moreover, on the Beagle, he was following a geological research agenda outlined in the second volume of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, which implies that paleontological data alone could provide an insight into the laws which govern the appearance of new species. Since Darwin claims in On the Origin of Species that fossil vertebrate succession was one of the key lines of evidence that led him to question the fixity of species, it seems certain that he was seriously contemplating transmutation during the Beagle voyage. If so, historians of science need to reconsider both the role of Britain's expert naturalists and the importance of the fossil vertebrate evidence in the development of Darwin's ideas on transmutation.

  3. Status of fossil fuel reserves; Etat des reserves des combustibles fossiles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laherrere, J

    2005-07-01

    Reserves represent the sum of past and future productions up to the end of production. In most countries the reserve data of fields are confidential. Therefore, fossil fuel reserves are badly known because the published data are more political than technical and many countries make a confusion between resources and reserves. The cumulated production of fossil fuels represents only between a third and a fifth of the ultimate reserves. The production peak will take place between 2020 and 2050. In the ultimate reserves, which extrapolate the past, the fossil fuels represent three thirds of the overall energy. This document analyses the uncertainties linked with fossil fuel reserves: reliability of published data, modeling of future production, comparison with other energy sources, energy consumption forecasts, reserves/production ratio, exploitation of non-conventional hydrocarbons (tar sands, extra-heavy oils, bituminous shales, coal gas, gas shales, methane in overpressure aquifers, methane hydrates), technology impacts, prices impact, and reserves growth. (J.S.)

  4. [Determination of 10 elements in the feather of brown-eared pheasant by ICP and AAS].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yu-Zhen; Zhang, Feng; Wang, Meng-Ben; Zhao, Gen-Gui

    2008-03-01

    Crossoptilon mantchuricum (brown-eared pheasant) is an endemic to northern China and one of the state first-protection animals, which is now confined to scattered localities in Guandi Mountains, Guancen Mountains, Luliang Ranges of western Shanxi, and the mountains of north-western Hebei, western Beijing and central Shaanxi. Its range is fragmented by habitat loss because of human activity and other intervention, and isolated populations are resulting in facing the extinction risk from further forest destroyed and other pressures. The trace elements are very important to the growth and development of brown-eared pheasant, and these elements in the feather are closely correlated to the contents in the organs of the bird. By research on the elements contents in the feather, the authors are able to get more information about the growth, development, reproduction, immunity and metabolism function for this bird. The aim of this study is to try providing scientific basis for further enhancing the protection and the artificial breeding. Ten elements including Mo, Zn, Ni, Fe, Mn, Cr, Cu, K, Pb and Cd were determined in the feather of brown-eared pheasant by ICP and AAS, respectively. For the analysis two samples were from Luya Mountain Natural Reserve and Pangquangou Natural Reserve, and one was from Taiyuan Zoo, Shanxi. The contents of the elements in the feather of wild and captive brown-eared pheasants were compared each other. The results showed that the contents of the eight elements the feather from the Zoo were lower than those from Luya Mountain Natural Reserve and Pangquangou Natural Reserve. Moreover, Fe is the highest among those ten elements, Cd was not found, and Mo and Cr were much lower than the others. It is suggested that varying habitats have obvious effects on the elements contents of wild bird body, and wild habitant is more beneficial to the bird growth and development. Applying the results to wild animal management would be favorable to the protection

  5. Bacterial recovery from breast skin of genetically feathered and featherless broiler carcasses immediately following scalding and picking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buhr, R J; Berrang, M E; Cason, J A

    2003-10-01

    Genetically feathered and featherless sibling broilers selected for matched BW were killed, scalded, and defeathered to determine the consequences of feathers and empty feather follicles on the recovery of bacteria from carcass breast skin. In trial 1, the vents of all carcasses were plugged and sutured before scalding to prevent the expulsion of cloacal contents during picking. In trial 2, half of the carcasses had their vents plugged and sutured. Immediately after defeathering, breast skin was aseptically removed, and bacteria associated with it were enumerated. In trial 1, the levels of bacteria recovered did not differ between feathered and featherless carcasses: Campylobacter log10 1.4 cfu/mL of rinse, coliform log10 1.8, Escherichia coli log10 1.6, and total aerobic bacteria log10 3.1. In trial 2, the carcasses that had vents plugged and sutured had lower levels of all four types of bacteria (differences of Campylobacter log10 0.7 cfu/mL, coliform log10 1.8, E. coli log10 1.7, and total aerobic bacteria log10 0.5) than those carcasses with open vents. The lower levels of bacteria recovered from carcasses with the vents plugged and sutured during picking enabled detection of small but significant differences between feathered and featherless carcasses. The level of coliform and E. coli recovered was slightly higher by log10 0.7 cfu for feathered carcasses, but featherless carcasses had marginally higher levels of total aerobic bacteria by log10 0.4 cfu. Feathered and featherless carcasses with open vents during picking did not differ in the levels of recovery of coliform, E. coli, and total aerobic bacteria from breast skin.

  6. An early Oligocene fossil demonstrates treeshrews are slowly evolving "living fossils".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiang; Ni, Xijun

    2016-01-14

    Treeshrews are widely considered a "living model" of an ancestral primate, and have long been called "living fossils". Actual fossils of treeshrews, however, are extremely rare. We report a new fossil species of Ptilocercus treeshrew recovered from the early Oligocene (~34 Ma) of China that represents the oldest definitive fossil record of the crown group of treeshrews and nearly doubles the temporal length of their fossil record. The fossil species is strikingly similar to the living Ptilocercus lowii, a species generally recognized as the most plesiomorphic extant treeshrew. It demonstrates that Ptilocercus treeshrews have undergone little evolutionary change in their morphology since the early Oligocene. Morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analysis support the long-standing idea that Ptilocercus treeshrews are morphologically conservative and have probably retained many characters present in the common stock that gave rise to archontans, which include primates, flying lemurs, plesiadapiforms and treeshrews. This discovery provides an exceptional example of slow morphological evolution in a mammalian group over a period of 34 million years. The persistent and stable tropical environment in Southeast Asia through the Cenozoic likely played a critical role in the survival of such a morphologically conservative lineage.

  7. Energy and the transport sector. [For countries with no fossil fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olson, P E

    1979-01-01

    This article describes the current energy situation from both the global viewpoint and the viewpoint of countries with no indigenous sources of fossil fuels. The lack of fossil fuels necessitates a substitution with indigenous sources of energy, where feasible. Long-distance railway transport is a self-evident element in the expanding transport sector. In view of the proven high energy efficiency of electric railway systems, there is every incentive for a more active investment policy in railway electrification. This applies to both medium-distance transportation of freight and passengers and different electric mass transit systems.

  8. Surface modifications of the Sima de los Huesos fossil humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, P; Fernandez Jalvo, Y

    1997-01-01

    The sample of fossil human bones from the Sima de los Huesos, Atapuerca, has been analysed to trace parts of its taphonomic history. The work reported here is restricted to analysis of the skeletal elements preserved and their surface modifications. Preliminary plans of specimen distribution published 6 years ago indicate that the skeletal elements are dispersed within the cave, but more recent data are not yet available. Most of the fossils are broken, with some breakage when the bone was fresh and some when already partly mineralized, both types showing some rounding. There are few longitudinal breaks on shafts of long bones and so very few bone splinters. All skeletal elements are preserved but in unequal proportions, with elements like femora, humeri and mandibles and teeth with greater structural density being best represented. There is no evidence of weathering or of human damage such as cut marks on any of the human assemblage, but trampling damage is present on most bones. Carnivore damage is also common, with some present on more than half the sample, but it is mostly superficial, either on the surfaces of shafts and articular ends or on the edges of spiral breaks. The sizes and distribution of the carnivore pits indicate extensive canid activity, and this is interpreted as scavenging of the bones in place in the cave. Indications of tooth marks from a larger carnivore indicate the activity possibly of a large felid: the marks are too large to be produced by small canids, with the larger marks concentrated on spiral breaks on the more robust bones, and there is no evidence of bone crushing and splintering in the manner of hyaenas. The nature of the SH human assemblage is also consistent with accumulation by humans, the evidence for this being the lack of other animals, especially the lack of herbivorous animals, associated with the humans, and the high number of individuals preserved.

  9. Bolide impacts and their significance in fossil fuel geochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saxby, J.D. (CSIRO Division of Coal Technology (Australia))

    1989-01-01

    One of the most dramatic scientific theories of the past ten years has been that a collision between the earth and a large meteor or bolide about 10 km in diameter caused mass extinctions of most of the then-existing species (including dinosaurs) at the end of the Cretaceous, 65 million years ago. Controversy continues but, by and large, organic geochemists researching fossil fuels have not been active participants. Only recently has a relationship between kerogen and the all-important iridium anomaly been investigated (Schmitz et al., 1988). Sediment samples at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary contain anomalously high concentrations of iridium, an element whose abundance in the earth's crust is only one ten thousandth of that found in meteorites and presumably in other solar system debris. The purpose of this paper is to briefly raise some questions regarding the bolide impact theory as it affects coal and petroleum deposits. It may well be that organic geochemical evidence will be crucial in either supporting or refuting the impact hypothesis or one of its variations. Even if future research tends to favor widespread explosive volcanism, rather than bolide impacts, the significance of such catastrophic events to the formation and characteristics of fossil fuels needs to be assessed.

  10. Fossil Microorganisms and Formation of Early Precambrian Weathering Profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozanov, A. Yu; Astafieva, M. M.; Vrevsky, A. B.; Alfimova, N. A.; Matrenichev, V. A.; Hoover, R. B.

    2009-01-01

    Weathering crusts are the only reliable evidences of the existence of continental conditions. Often they are the only source of information about exogenous processes and subsequently about conditions under which the development of the biosphere occurred. A complex of diverse fossil microorganisms was discovered as a result of Scanning Electron Microscope investigations. The chemical composition of the discovered fossils is identical to that of the host rocks and is represented by Si, Al, Fe, Ca and Mg. Probably, the microorganisms fixed in rocks played the role of catalyst. The decomposition of minerals comprising the rocks and their transformation into clayey (argillaceous) minerals, most likely occurred under the influence of microorganisms. And may be unique weathering crusts of Early Precambrian were formed due to interaction between specific composition of microorganism assemblage and conditions of hypergene transformations. So it is possible to speak about colonization of land by microbes already at that time and about existence of single raw from weathering crusts (Primitive soils) to real soils.

  11. Bolide impacts and their significance in fossil fuel geochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saxby, J D [CSIRO Division of Coal Technology (Australia)

    1989-01-01

    One of the most dramatic scientific theories of the past ten years has been that a collision between the earth and a large meteor or bolide about 10 km in diameter caused mass extinctions of most of the then-existing species (including dinosaurs) at the end of the Cretaceous, 65 million years ago. Controversy continues but, by and large, organic geochemists researching fossil fuels have not been active participants. Only recently has a relationship between kerogen and the all-important iridium anomaly been investigated (Schmitz et al., 1988). Sediment samples at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary contain anomalously high concentrations of iridium, an element whose abundance in the earth's crust is only one ten thousandth of that found in meteorites and presumably in other solar system debris. The purpose of this paper is to briefly raise some questions regarding the bolide impact theory as it affects coal and petroleum deposits. It may well be that organic geochemical evidence will be crucial in either supporting or refuting the impact hypothesis or one of its variations. Even if future research tends to favor widespread explosive volcanism, rather than bolide impacts, the significance of such catastrophic events to the formation and characteristics of fossil fuels needs to be assessed.

  12. Fossils and palaeontological distributions of Macaranga and Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nucete, M.; van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, J.H.A.; van Welzen, P.C.

    2012-01-01

    The correct identification of described plant fossils from the sister genera Macaranga and Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae) needs to be confirmed in order to correctly date their phylogeny and map their palaeontological distributions. Previous identifications of fossil specimens often appear to be

  13. Using extant taxa to inform studies of fossil footprints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkingham, Peter; Gatesy, Stephen

    2016-04-01

    Attempting to use the fossilized footprints of extinct animals to study their palaeobiology and palaeoecology is notoriously difficult. The inconvenient extinction of the trackmaker makes direct correlation between footprints and foot far from straightforward. However, footprints are the only direct evidence of vertebrate motion recorded in the fossil record, and are potentially a source of data on palaeobiology that cannot be obtained from osteological remains alone. Our interests lie in recovering information about the movements of dinosaurs from their tracks. In particular, the Hitchcock collection of early Jurassic tracks held at the Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst, provide a rare look into the 3D form of tracks at and below the surface the animal walked on. Breaking naturally along laminations into 'track books', the specimens present sediment deformation at multiple levels, and in doing so record more of the foot's motion than a single surface might. In order to utilize this rich information source to study the now extinct trackmakers, the process of track formation must be understood at a fundamental level; the interaction of the moving foot and compliant substrate. We used bi-planar X-ray techniques (X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology) to record the limb and foot motions of a Guineafowl traversing both granular and cohesive substrates. This data was supplemented with photogrammetric records of the resultant track surfaces, as well as the motion of metal beads within the sediment, to provide a full experimental dataset of foot and footprint formation. The physical experimental data was used to generate computer simulations of the process using high performance computing and the Discrete Element Method. The resultant simulations showed excellent congruence with reality, and enabled visualization within the sediment volume, and throughout the track-forming process. This physical and virtual experimental set-up has provided major insight into

  14. Fossil energy waste management. Technology status report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bossart, S.J.; Newman, D.A.

    1995-02-01

    This report describes the current status and recent accomplishments of the Fossil Energy Waste Management (FE WM) projects sponsored by the Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC) of the US Department of Energy (DOE). The primary goal of the Waste Management Program is to identify and develop optimal strategies to manage solid by-products from advanced coal technologies for the purpose of ensuring the competitiveness of advanced coal technologies as a future energy source. The projects in the Fossil Energy Waste Management Program are divided into three types of activities: Waste Characterization, Disposal Technologies, and Utilization Technologies. This technology status report includes a discussion on barriers to increased use of coal by-products. Also, the major technical and nontechnical challenges currently being addressed by the FE WM program are discussed. A bibliography of 96 citations and a list of project contacts is included if the reader is interested in obtaining additional information about the FE WM program.

  15. Mineralogy of Non-Silicified Fossil Wood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George E. Mustoe

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The best-known and most-studied petrified wood specimens are those that are mineralized with polymorphs of silica: opal-A, opal-C, chalcedony, and quartz. Less familiar are fossil woods preserved with non-silica minerals. This report reviews discoveries of woods mineralized with calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, various iron and copper minerals, manganese oxide, fluorite, barite, natrolite, and smectite clay. Regardless of composition, the processes of mineralization involve the same factors: availability of dissolved elements, pH, Eh, and burial temperature. Permeability of the wood and anatomical features also plays important roles in determining mineralization. When precipitation occurs in several episodes, fossil wood may have complex mineralogy.

  16. Diatoms: a fossil fuel of the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levitan, Orly; Dinamarca, Jorge; Hochman, Gal; Falkowski, Paul G

    2014-03-01

    Long-term global climate change, caused by burning petroleum and other fossil fuels, has motivated an urgent need to develop renewable, carbon-neutral, economically viable alternatives to displace petroleum using existing infrastructure. Algal feedstocks are promising candidate replacements as a 'drop-in' fuel. Here, we focus on a specific algal taxon, diatoms, to become the fossil fuel of the future. We summarize past attempts to obtain suitable diatom strains, propose future directions for their genetic manipulation, and offer biotechnological pathways to improve yield. We calculate that the yields obtained by using diatoms as a production platform are theoretically sufficient to satisfy the total oil consumption of the US, using between 3 and 5% of its land area. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Danmarks Største Fossiler

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindow, Bent Erik Kramer; Cuny, Gilles Guy Roger

    2008-01-01

    For 8 millioner år siden myldrede Nordsøen af en mangfoldighed af hajer, hvaler, havskildpadder og sæler, mange flere end i dag. Blandt dem finder man Danmarks største fossiler som er udstillet på Museum Sønderjylland - Naturhistorie og Palæontologi i Gram.......For 8 millioner år siden myldrede Nordsøen af en mangfoldighed af hajer, hvaler, havskildpadder og sæler, mange flere end i dag. Blandt dem finder man Danmarks største fossiler som er udstillet på Museum Sønderjylland - Naturhistorie og Palæontologi i Gram....

  18. Fossil Energy Planning for Navajo Nation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Acedo, Margarita [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2017-08-11

    This project includes fossil energy transition planning to find optimal solutions that benefit the Navajo Nation and stakeholders. The majority of the tribe’s budget currently comes from fossil energy-revenue. The purpose of this work is to assess potential alternative energy resources including solar photovoltaics and biomass (microalgae for either biofuel or food consumption). This includes evaluating carbon-based reserves related to the tribe’s resources including CO2 emissions for the Four Corners generating station. The methodology for this analysis will consist of data collection from publicly available data, utilizing expertise from national laboratories and academics, and evaluating economic, health, and environmental impacts. Finally, this report will highlight areas of opportunities to implement renewable energy in the Navajo Nation by presenting the technology requirements, cost, and considerations to energy, water, and environment in an educational structure.

  19. Transitional fossils and the origin of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bever, Gabe S; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Joyce, Walter G; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2010-12-23

    The origin of turtles is one of the most contentious issues in systematics with three currently viable hypotheses: turtles as the extant sister to (i) the crocodile-bird clade, (ii) the lizard-tuatara clade, or (iii) Diapsida (a clade composed of (i) and (ii)). We reanalysed a recent dataset that allied turtles with the lizard-tuatara clade and found that the inclusion of the stem turtle Proganochelys quenstedti and the 'parareptile' Eunotosaurus africanus results in a single overriding morphological signal, with turtles outside Diapsida. This result reflects the importance of transitional fossils when long branches separate crown clades, and highlights unexplored issues such as the role of topological congruence when using fossils to calibrate molecular clocks.

  20. Decarbonisation of fossil energy via methane pyrolysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kreysa, G.; Agar, D.W.; Schultz, I. [Technische Univ. Dortmund (Germany)

    2010-12-30

    Despite the rising consumption of energy over the last few decades, the proven reserves of fossil fuels have steadily increased. Additionally, there are potentially tremendous reserves of methane hydrates available, which remain to be exploited. The use of fossil energy sources is thus increasingly being dictated less by supply than by the environmental concerns raised by climate change. In the context of the decarbonisation of the global energy system that this has stimulated, new means must be explored for using methane as energy source. Noncatalytic thermal pyrolysis of methane is proposed here as a promising concept for utilising methane with low to zero carbon dioxide emissions. Following cracking, only the energy content of the hydrogen is used, while the carbon can be stored safely and retrievably in disused coal mines. The thermodynamics and different process engineering concepts for the technical realisation of such a carbon moratorium technology are discussed. The possible contribution of methane pyrolysis to carbon negative geoengineering is also addressed. (orig.)

  1. Children Are Likely to Suffer Most from Our Fossil Fuel Addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Frederica P.

    2008-01-01

    Background The periods of fetal and child development arguably represent the stages of greatest vulnerability to the dual impacts of fossil fuel combustion: the multiple toxic effects of emitted pollutants (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, particles, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, metals) and the broad health impacts of global climate change attributable in large part to carbon dioxide released by fossil fuel burning. Objectives In this commentary I highlight current scientific evidence indicating that the fetus and young child are at heightened risk of developmental impairment, asthma, and cancer from fossil fuel pollutants and from the predicted effects of climate disruption such as heat waves, flooding, infectious disease, malnutrition, and trauma. Increased risk during early development derives from the inherently greater biologic vulnerability of the developing fetus and child and from their long future lifetime, during which early insults can potentially manifest as adult as well as childhood disease. I cite recent reports concluding that reducing dependence on fossil fuel and promoting clean and sustainable energy is economically feasible. Discussion Although much has been written separately about the toxicity of fossil fuel burning emissions and the effects of climate change on health, these two faces of the problem have not been viewed together with a focus on the developing fetus and child. Adolescence and old age are also periods of vulnerability, but the potential for both immediate and long-term adverse effects is greatest when exposure occurs prenatally or in the early years. Conclusions Consideration of the full spectrum of health risks to children from fossil fuel combustion underscores the urgent need for environmental and energy policies to reduce fossil fuel dependence and maximize the health benefits to this susceptible population. We do not have to leave our children a double legacy of ill health and ecologic disaster. PMID:18709169

  2. Children are likely to suffer most from our fossil fuel addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Frederica P

    2008-08-01

    The periods of fetal and child development arguably represent the stages of greatest vulnerability to the dual impacts of fossil fuel combustion: the multiple toxic effects of emitted pollutants (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, particles, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, metals) and the broad health impacts of global climate change attributable in large part to carbon dioxide released by fossil fuel burning. In this commentary I highlight current scientific evidence indicating that the fetus and young child are at heightened risk of developmental impairment, asthma, and cancer from fossil fuel pollutants and from the predicted effects of climate disruption such as heat waves, flooding, infectious disease, malnutrition, and trauma. Increased risk during early development derives from the inherently greater biologic vulnerability of the developing fetus and child and from their long future lifetime, during which early insults can potentially manifest as adult as well as childhood disease. I cite recent reports concluding that reducing dependence on fossil fuel and promoting clean and sustainable energy is economically feasible. Although much has been written separately about the toxicity of fossil fuel burning emissions and the effects of climate change on health, these two faces of the problem have not been viewed together with a focus on the developing fetus and child. Adolescence and old age are also periods of vulnerability, but the potential for both immediate and long-term adverse effects is greatest when exposure occurs prenatally or in the early years. Consideration of the full spectrum of health risks to children from fossil fuel combustion underscores the urgent need for environmental and energy policies to reduce fossil fuel dependence and maximize the health benefits to this susceptible population. We do not have to leave our children a double legacy of ill health and ecologic disaster.

  3. Mercury and other metals in eggs and feathers of glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) in the Aleutians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gochfeld, Michael; Jeitner, Christian; Burke, Sean; Volz, Conrad D.; Snigaroff, Ronald; Snigaroff, Daniel; Shukla, Tara; Shukla, Sheila

    2014-01-01

    Levels of mercury and other contaminants should be lower in birds nesting on isolated oceanic islands and at high latitudes without any local or regional sources of contamination, compared to more urban and industrialized temperate regions. We examined concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium in the eggs, and the feathers of fledgling and adult glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) nesting in breeding colonies on Adak, Amchitka, and Kiska Islands in the Aleutian Chain of Alaska in the Bering Sea/North Pacific. We tested the following null hypotheses: 1) There were no differences in metal levels among eggs and feathers of adult and fledgling glaucous-winged gulls, 2) There were no differences in metal levels among gulls nesting near the three underground nuclear test sites (Long Shot 1965, Milrow 1969, Cannikin 1971) on Amchitka, 3) There were no differences in metal levels among the three islands, and 4) There were no gender-related differences in metal levels. All four null hypotheses were rejected at the 0.05 level, although there were few differences among the three test sites on Amchitka. Eggs had the lowest levels of cadmium, lead, and mercury, and the feathers of adults had the lowest levels of selenium. Comparing only adults and fledglings, adults had higher levels of cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury, and fledglings had higher levels of arsenic, manganese and selenium. There were few consistent interisland differences, although levels were generally lower for eggs and feathers from gulls on Amchitka compared to the other islands. Arsenic was higher in both adult feathers and eggs from Amchitka compared to Adak, and chromium and lead were higher in adult feathers and eggs from Adak compared to Amchitka. Mercury and arsenic, and chromium and manganese levels were significantly correlated in the feathers of both adult and fledgling gulls. The feathers of males had significantly higher levels of chromium and

  4. Adaptation, plant evolution, and the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoll, A. H.; Niklas, K. J.

    1987-01-01

    The importance of adaptation in determining patterns of evolution has become an important focus of debate in evolutionary biology. As it pertains to paleobotany, the issue is whether or not adaptive evolution mediated by natural selection is sufficient to explain the stratigraphic distributions of taxa and character states observed in the plant fossil record. One means of addressing this question is the functional evaluation of stratigraphic series of plant organs set in the context of paleoenvironmental change and temporal patterns of floral composition within environments. For certain organ systems, quantitative estimates of biophysical performance can be made on the basis of structures preserved in the fossil record. Performance estimates for plants separated in time or space can be compared directly. Implicit in different hypotheses of the forces that shape the evolutionary record (e.g. adaptation, mass extinction, rapid environmental change, chance) are predictions about stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental trends in the efficacy of functional performance. Existing data suggest that following the evolution of a significant structural innovation, adaptation for improved functional performance can be a major determinant of evolutionary changes in plants; however, there are structural and development limits to functional improvement, and once these are reached, the structure in question may no longer figure strongly in selection until and unless a new innovation evolves. The Silurian-Devonian paleobotanical record is consistent with the hypothesis that the succession of lowland floodplain dominants preserved in the fossil record of this interval was determined principally by the repeated evolution of new taxa that rose to ecological importance because of competitive advantages conferred by improved biophysical performance. This does not seem to be equally true for Carboniferous-Jurassic dominants of swamp and lowland floodplain environments. In these cases

  5. IGT calculates world reserves of fossil fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1986-01-01

    The Institute of Gas Technology has published the IGT World Reserves Survey, giving their latest tabulation of world reserves of fossil fuels and uranium. The report contains 120 Tables and 41 Figures. Estimates are provided for proved reserves, resources, current production, and life indexes of the non-renewable energy sources of the US and of the world as a whole. World regional data are also provided in many cases. The data are summarized here. 2 figures, 5 tables

  6. The phylogeny of fossil whip spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garwood, Russell J; Dunlop, Jason A; Knecht, Brian J; Hegna, Thomas A

    2017-04-21

    Arachnids are a highly successful group of land-dwelling arthropods. They are major contributors to modern terrestrial ecosystems, and have a deep evolutionary history. Whip spiders (Arachnida, Amblypygi), are one of the smaller arachnid orders with ca. 190 living species. Here we restudy one of the oldest fossil representatives of the group, Graeophonus anglicus Pocock, 1911 from the Late Carboniferous (Duckmantian, ca. 315 Ma) British Middle Coal Measures of the West Midlands, UK. Using X-ray microtomography, our principal aim was to resolve details of the limbs and mouthparts which would allow us to test whether this fossil belongs in the extant, relict family Paracharontidae; represented today by a single, blind species Paracharon caecus Hansen, 1921. Tomography reveals several novel and significant character states for G. anglicus; most notably in the chelicerae, pedipalps and walking legs. These allowed it to be scored into a phylogenetic analysis together with the recently described Paracharonopsis cambayensis Engel & Grimaldi, 2014 from the Eocene (ca. 52 Ma) Cambay amber, and Kronocharon prendinii Engel & Grimaldi, 2014 from Cretaceous (ca. 99 Ma) Burmese amber. We recovered relationships of the form ((Graeophonus (Paracharonopsis + Paracharon)) + (Charinus (Stygophrynus (Kronocharon (Charon (Musicodamon + Paraphrynus)))))). This tree largely reflects Peter Weygoldt's 1996 classification with its basic split into Paleoamblypygi and Euamblypygi lineages; we were able to score several of his characters for the first time in fossils. Our analysis draws into question the monophyly of the family Charontidae. Our data suggest that Graeophonus is a crown group amblypygid, and falls within a monophyletic Paleoamblypgi clade, but outside the family Paracharontidae (= Paracharonopsis + Paracharon). Our results also suggest a new placement for the Burmese amber genus Kronocharon, a node further down from its original position. Overall, we offer a

  7. Clean fossil-fuelled power generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliver, Tony

    2008-01-01

    Using fossil fuels is likely to remain the dominant means of producing electricity in 2030 and even 2050, partly because power stations have long lives. There are two main ways of reducing CO 2 emissions from fossil-fuelled power plants. These are carbon capture and storage (CCS), which can produce near-zero CO 2 emissions, and increases in plant efficiency, which can give rise to significant reductions in CO 2 emissions and to reduced costs. If a typical UK coal-fired plant was replaced by today's best available technology, it would lead to reductions of around 25% in emissions of CO 2 per MW h of electricity produced. Future technologies are targeting even larger reductions in emissions, as well as providing a route, with CCS, to zero emissions. These two routes are linked and they are both essential activities on the pathway to zero emissions. This paper focuses on the second route and also covers an additional third route for reducing emissions, the use of biomass. It discusses the current status of the science and technologies for fossil-fuelled power generation and outlines likely future technologies, development targets and timescales. This is followed by a description of the scientific and technological developments that are needed to meet these challenges. Once built, a power plant can last for over 40 years, so the ability to upgrade and retrofit a plant during its lifetime is important

  8. Feather barbs as a good source of mtDNA for bird species identification in forensic wildlife investigations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speller, Camilla F; Nicholas, George P; Yang, Dongya Y

    2011-07-28

    The ability to accurately identify bird species is crucial for wildlife law enforcement and bird-strike investigations. However, such identifications may be challenging when only partial or damaged feathers are available for analysis. By applying vigorous contamination controls and sensitive PCR amplification protocols, we found that it was feasible to obtain accurate mitochondrial (mt)DNA-based species identification with as few as two feather barbs. This minimally destructive DNA approach was successfully used and tested on a variety of bird species, including North American wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), blue heron (Ardea herodias) and pygmy owl (Glaucidium californicum). The mtDNA was successfully obtained from 'fresh' feathers, historic museum specimens and archaeological samples, demonstrating the sensitivity and versatility of this technique. By applying appropriate contamination controls, sufficient quantities of mtDNA can be reliably recovered and analyzed from feather barbs. This previously overlooked substrate provides new opportunities for accurate DNA species identification when minimal feather samples are available for forensic analysis.

  9. Mummified fossil woods of Fagaceae from the upper Oligocene of Guangxi, South China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Luliang; Jin, Jianhua; Quan, Cheng; Oskolski, Alexei A.

    2018-02-01

    Three new fossil species, two attributed to the genus Castanopsis (C. nanningensis and C. guangxiensis) and one to the organ genus Lithocarpoxylon (L. nanningensis) are described on the basis of well-preserved mummified wood from the upper Oligocene of Yongning Formation in the Nanning Basin, Guangxi Province, South China. The two species of Castanopsis represent the most ancient reliable wood record of this genus in China and also southeastern Asia, which is the center of diversity of extant species. The fossil leaf records of Castanopsis indicated this genus has migrated to South China in the late Eocene. This fossil wood evidence confirms the presence and persistence of Castanopsis in this region in the late Oligocene. In the Yongning Formation, the presence of numerous Fagaceae woods with faint or absent growth ring boundaries (in C. nanningensis) occasionally associated with prominent ring-porous patterns, suggests that Guangxi (South China) had a seasonal (probably monsoonal) tropical climate during the late Oligocene.

  10. New radiocarbon dates for Milu (Elaphurus davidianus) sub-fossils from southeast China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ding, X.F. [State Key Laboratory of Nuclear Physics and Technology and Institute of Heavy Ion Physics, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Shen, C.D., E-mail: cdshen@gig.ac.cn [State Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 510640 Guangzhou (China); Ding, P.; Yi, W.X. [State Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 510640 Guangzhou (China); Fu, D.P.; Liu, K.X. [State Key Laboratory of Nuclear Physics and Technology and Institute of Heavy Ion Physics, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China)

    2013-01-15

    Milu (Elaphurus davidianus, Pere David's deer) is one of the few species of large mammals that became extinct in the wild, but survived domestically. A good understanding of expansion and habitat is required if the reintroduction of Milu into the wild is to be implemented. Among the widely reported findings of Milu sub-fossils, only a small fraction have been dated. Here we report new AMS radiocarbon dates on Milu sub-fossil samples unearthed from two sites at Qingdun, Jiangsu and Fujiashan, Zhejiang in southeast China. These AMS {sup 14}C ages of Milu sub-fossils provide new evidence for the presence of Milu expansion in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River during the Holocene Optimum interval from 5000 yr BC to 3000 yr BC. These new ages also have important implications for the reconstruction of the paleoclimate and paleogeography during the Neolithic Period in southeast China.

  11. The beginnings of human palaeontology: prehistory, craniometry and the 'fossil human races'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrum, Matthew R

    2016-09-01

    Since the nineteenth century, hominid palaeontology has offered critical information about prehistoric humans and evidence for human evolution. Human fossils discovered at a time when there was growing agreement that humans existed during the Ice Age became especially significant but also controversial. This paper argues that the techniques used to study human fossils from the 1850s to the 1870s and the way that these specimens were interpreted owed much to the anthropological examination of Stone, Bronze, and Iron Age skeletons retrieved by archaeologists from prehistoric tombs throughout Europe. What emerged was the idea that a succession of distinct human races, which were identified using techniques such as craniometry, had occupied and migrated into Europe beginning in the Ice Age and continuing into the historic period. This marks a phase in the history of human palaeontology that gradually gave way to a science of palaeoanthropology that viewed hominid fossils more from the perspective of evolutionary theory and hominid phylogeny.

  12. Estimating thumb–index finger precision grip and manipulation potential in extant and fossil primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feix, Thomas; Kivell, Tracy L.; Pouydebat, Emmanuelle; Dollar, Aaron M.

    2015-01-01

    Primates, and particularly humans, are characterized by superior manual dexterity compared with other mammals. However, drawing the biomechanical link between hand morphology/behaviour and functional capabilities in non-human primates and fossil taxa has been challenging. We present a kinematic model of thumb–index precision grip and manipulative movement based on bony hand morphology in a broad sample of extant primates and fossil hominins. The model reveals that both joint mobility and digit proportions (scaled to hand size) are critical for determining precision grip and manipulation potential, but that having either a long thumb or great joint mobility alone does not necessarily yield high precision manipulation. The results suggest even the oldest available fossil hominins may have shared comparable precision grip manipulation with modern humans. In particular, the predicted human-like precision manipulation of Australopithecus afarensis, approximately one million years before the first stone tools, supports controversial archaeological evidence of tool-use in this taxon. PMID:25878134

  13. A fossil brain from the Cretaceous of European Russia and avian sensory evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurochkin, Evgeny N; Dyke, Gareth J; Saveliev, Sergei V; Pervushov, Evgeny M; Popov, Evgeny V

    2007-06-22

    Fossils preserving traces of soft anatomy are rare in the fossil record; even rarer is evidence bearing on the size and shape of sense organs that provide us with insights into mode of life. Here, we describe unique fossil preservation of an avian brain from the Volgograd region of European Russia. The brain of this Melovatka bird is similar in shape and morphology to those of known fossil ornithurines (the lineage that includes living birds), such as the marine diving birds Hesperornis and Enaliornis, but documents a new stage in avian sensory evolution: acute nocturnal vision coupled with well-developed hearing and smell, developed by the Late Cretaceous (ca 90Myr ago). This fossil also provides insights into previous 'bird-like' brain reconstructions for the most basal avian Archaeopteryx--reduction of olfactory lobes (sense of smell) and enlargement of the hindbrain (cerebellum) occurred subsequent to Archaeopteryx in avian evolution, closer to the ornithurine lineage that comprises living birds. The Melovatka bird also suggests that brain enlargement in early avians was not correlated with the evolution of powered flight.

  14. Discovery of the fossil otter Enhydritherium terraenovae (Carnivora, Mammalia) in Mexico reconciles a palaeozoogeographic mystery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Z Jack; Pacheco-Castro, Adolfo; Carranza-Castañeda, Oscar; Aranda-Gómez, José Jorge; Wang, Xiaoming; Troncoso, Hilda

    2017-06-01

    The North American fossil otter Enhydritherium terraenovae is thought to be partially convergent in ecological niche with the living sea otter Enhydra lutris , both having low-crowned crushing teeth and a close association with marine environments. Fossil records of Enhydritherium are found in mostly marginal marine deposits in California and Florida; despite presence of very rich records of fossil terrestrial mammals in contemporaneous localities inland, no Enhydritherium fossils are hitherto known in interior North America. Here we report the first occurrence of Enhydritherium outside of Florida and California, in a land-locked terrestrial mammal fauna of the upper Miocene deposits of Juchipila Basin, Zacatecas State, Mexico. This new occurrence of Enhydritherium is at least 200 km from the modern Pacific coastline, and nearly 600 km from the Gulf of Mexico. Besides providing further evidence that Enhydritherium was not dependent on coastal marine environments as originally interpreted, this discovery leads us to propose a new east-to-west dispersal route between the Florida and California Enhydritherium populations through central Mexico. The proximity of the fossil locality to nearby populations of modern neotropical otters Lontra longicaudis suggests that trans-Mexican freshwater corridors for vertebrate species in riparian habitats may have persisted for a prolonged period of time, pre-dating the Great American Biotic Interchange. © 2017 The Author(s).

  15. Emissions Scenarios and Fossil-fuel Peaking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brecha, R.

    2008-12-01

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emissions scenarios are based on detailed energy system models in which demographics, technology and economics are used to generate projections of future world energy consumption, and therefore, of greenhouse gas emissions. Built into the assumptions for these scenarios are estimates for ultimately recoverable resources of various fossil fuels. There is a growing chorus of critics who believe that the true extent of recoverable fossil resources is much smaller than the amounts taken as a baseline for the IPCC scenarios. In a climate optimist camp are those who contend that "peak oil" will lead to a switch to renewable energy sources, while others point out that high prices for oil caused by supply limitations could very well lead to a transition to liquid fuels that actually increase total carbon emissions. We examine a third scenario in which high energy prices, which are correlated with increasing infrastructure, exploration and development costs, conspire to limit the potential for making a switch to coal or natural gas for liquid fuels. In addition, the same increasing costs limit the potential for expansion of tar sand and shale oil recovery. In our qualitative model of the energy system, backed by data from short- and medium-term trends, we have a useful way to gain a sense of potential carbon emission bounds. A bound for 21st century emissions is investigated based on two assumptions: first, that extractable fossil-fuel resources follow the trends assumed by "peak oil" adherents, and second, that little is done in the way of climate mitigation policies. If resources, and perhaps more importantly, extraction rates, of fossil fuels are limited compared to assumptions in the emissions scenarios, a situation can arise in which emissions are supply-driven. However, we show that even in this "peak fossil-fuel" limit, carbon emissions are high enough to surpass 550 ppm or 2°C climate protection guardrails. Some

  16. Aluminum-26 in the early solar system - Fossil or fuel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, T.; Papanastassiou, D. A.; Wasserburg, G. J.

    1977-01-01

    The isotopic composition of Mg was measured in different phases of a Ca-Al-rich inclusion in the Allende meteorite. Large excesses of Mg-26 of up to 10% were found. These excesses correlate strictly with the Al-27/Mg-24 ratio for four coexisting phases with distinctive chemical compositions. Models of in situ decay of Al-26 within the solar system and of mixing of interstellar dust grains containing fossil Al-26 with normal solar system material are presented. The observed correlation provides definitive evidence for the presence of Al-26 in the early solar system. This requires either injection of freshly synthesized nucleosynthetic material into the solar system immediately before condensation and planet formation, or local production within the solar system by intense activity of the early sun. Planets promptly produced from material with the inferred Al-26/Al-27 would melt within about 300,000 years.

  17. Regulatory taxation of fossil fuels. Theory and policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolfson, Dirk J.; Koopmans, Carl C.

    1996-01-01

    Research on energy taxation is often based on purely theoretical deductions. This paper stays closer to the real world, using empirical data and interpreting results in a political-economic setting of risk and uncertainty. Economic growth in developing countries will boost energy demand, increasing the risk of shortages of oil and natural gas half-way through the next century, and of coal towards the year 2100. Furthermore, there is mounting evidence that emissions of CO 2 trigger harmful climate changes. A timely introduction of regulatory taxes will reduce demand for fossil fuels and accelerate the introduction of sustainable technology. The empirical results presented show, moreover, that such taxes may claim a substantial part of the rent on energy extraction for the energy-importing countries. It is argued that optimal control and the avoidance of displacement effects require a tax affecting marginal use, with exceptions to safeguard competitive positions. Exceptions may be scaled down as the jurisdiction is enlarged

  18. Isotopic study of some fossil and actual hydrothermal systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demont, J.M.

    1981-07-01

    Oxygen and hydrogen isotopic compositions of rocks from the INAG no 1 drillhole provide evidence of a fossil hydrothermal system in the Ceyssat region of the Massif Central. Oxygen isotope temperatures for the mineral paragenesis are about 275 0 C and the water is of marine origin. Measurements have also been made of delta 13 C values of dissolved carbon and gaseous CO 2 from several hot springs in the Pyrenees and Massif Central. The carbon isotopic composition of the total systems have been calculated from the gas-liquid ratios at the emergence sites and these results are discussed in terms of the origin of the carbon. Most of the hydrothermal carbon is of deep origin. The observed variations in isotopic compositions may be explained by the behavior of the fluids during their ascent to the surface [fr

  19. Automatic feathering of split fields for step-and-shoot intensity modulated radiation therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dogan, Nesrin; Leybovich, Leonid B; Sethi, Anil; Emami, Bahman

    2003-01-01

    Due to leaf travel range limitations of the Varian Dynamic Multileaf Collimator (DMLC) system, an IMRT field width exceeding 14.5 cm is split into two or more adjacent abutting sub-fields. The abutting sub-fields are then delivered as separate treatment fields. The accuracy of the delivery is very sensitive to multileaf positioning accuracy. The uncertainties in leaf and carriage positions cause errors in the delivered dose (e.g., hot or cold spots) along the match line of abutting sub-fields. The dose errors are proportional to the penumbra slope at the edge of each sub-field. To alleviate this problem, we developed techniques that feather the split line of IMRT fields. Feathering of the split line was achieved by dividing IMRT fields into several sub-groups with different split line positions. A Varian 21EX accelerator with an 80-leaf DLMC was used for IMRT delivery. Cylindrical targets with varying widths (>14.5 cm) were created to study the split line positions. Seven coplanar 6 MV fields were selected for planning using the NOMOS-CORVUS TM system. The isocentre of the fields was positioned at the centre of the target volume. Verification was done in a 30 x 30 x 30 cm 3 polystyrene phantom using film dosimetry. We investigated two techniques to move the split line from its original position or cause feathering of them: (1) varying the isocentre position along the target width and (2) introduction of a 'pseudo target' outside of the patient (phantom). The position of the 'pseudo target' was determined by analysing the divergence of IMRT fields. For target widths of 14-28 cm, IMRT fields were automatically split into two sub-fields, and the split line was positioned along the centre of the target by CORVUS. Measured dose distributions demonstrated that the dose to the critical structure was 10% higher than planned when the split line crossed through the centre of the target. Both methods of modifying the split line positions resulted in maximum shifts of ∼1 cm

  20. Validating the use of intrinsic markers in body feathers to identify inter-individual differences in non-breeding areas of northern fulmars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Lucy R; Meharg, Andrew A; van Franeker, Jan A; Graham, Isla M; Thompson, Paul M

    Many wildlife studies use chemical analyses to explore spatio-temporal variation in diet, migratory patterns and contaminant exposure. Intrinsic markers are particularly valuable for studying non-breeding marine predators, when direct methods of investigation are rarely feasible. However, any inferences regarding foraging ecology are dependent upon the time scale over which tissues such as feathers are formed. In this study, we validate the use of body feathers for studying non-breeding foraging patterns in a pelagic seabird, the northern fulmar. Analysis of carcasses of successfully breeding adult fulmars indicated that body feathers moulted between September and March, whereas analyses of carcasses and activity patterns suggested that wing feather and tail feather moult occurred during more restricted periods (September to October and September to January, respectively). By randomly sampling relevant body feathers, average values for individual birds were shown to be consistent. We also integrated chemical analyses of body feather with geolocation tracking data to demonstrate that analyses of δ 13 C and δ 15 N values successfully assigned 88 % of birds to one of two broad wintering regions used by breeding adult fulmars from a Scottish study colony. These data provide strong support for the use of body feathers as a tool for exploring non-breeding foraging patterns and diet in wide-ranging, pelagic seabirds.

  1. Sex and migratory strategy influence corticosterone levels in winter-grown feathers, with positive breeding effects in a migratory pelagic seabird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, Cristóbal; Granadeiro, José Pedro; Dias, Maria P; Catry, Paulo

    2016-08-01

    To overcome unpredictable stressful transitory events, animals trigger an allostatic response involving the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal cortex. This hormonal response, which involves the release of glucocorticoids which in turn mediate between the main physiological mechanisms that regulate the energetic demands and resource allocation trade-off with behavioural responses to environmental perturbations and may ultimately lead to variation in fitness. We have used the Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis, a sexually dimorphic pelagic seabird with a partial migratory strategy, as a model bird species to analyse a number of traits related to the stress response. We investigated whether the activation of a stressful response, mediated by corticosterone, during the wintering period (1) correlated with the previous breeding success, (2) was affected by the migratory behaviour of male birds and (3) had consequences in the fitness of the birds. Corticosterone levels in feathers grown overwinter were analysed in 61 adult birds during three consecutive migratory periods (2009-2012) and in 14 immature birds in the wintering period 2010-2011. Moreover, the levels of corticosterone were analysed in experimental birds which were freed from their reproductive duties and compared with control birds which raised fledglings to the end of the breeding period. The results show that the levels of corticosterone were sex dependent, differed between years and were affected by the migratory strategy performed by the birds. The activation of the stressful response over the wintering period generated residual carry-over effects that positively affected the reproductive output in the subsequent breeding stage, a phenomenon previously undescribed in a long-lived pelagic seabird. Our study provides evidence that the analysis of corticosterone from feathers is a useful tool to evaluate carry-over effects in birds far away from breeding sites, opening new possibilities for future studies in

  2. Searching for fossil fragments of the Galactic bulge formation process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraro, Francesco

    2017-08-01

    We have discovered that the stellar system Terzan5 (Ter5) in the Galactic bulge harbors stellar populations with very different IRON content (delta[Fe/H] 1 dex, Ferraro+09, Nature 462, 483) and AGES (12 Gyr and 4.5 Gyr for the sub-solar and super-solar metallicity populations, respectively, Ferraro+16, ApJ,828,75). This evidence demonstrates that Ter5 is not a globular cluster, and identifies it as (1) a site in the Galactic bulge where recent star formation occurred, and (2) the remnant of a massive system able to retain the iron-enriched gas ejected by violent supernova explosions. The striking chemical similarity between Ter5 and the bulge opens the fascinating possibility that we discovered the fossil remnant of a pristine massive structure that could have contributed to the Galactic bulge assembly.Prompted by this finding, here we propose to secure deep HST optical observations for the bulge stellar system Liller1, that shows a similar complexity as Ter5, with evidence of two stellar populations with different iron content. The immediate goal is to properly explore the main sequence turnoff region of the system for unveiling possible splits due to stellar populations of different ages. As demonstrated by our experience with Ter5, the requested HST observations, in combination with the K-band diffraction limited images that we already secured with GeMS-Gemini, are essential to achieve this goal.The project will allow us to establish if other fossil remnants of the bulge formation epoch do exist, thus probing that the merging of pre-evolved massive structures has been an important channel for the formation of the Galactic bulge.

  3. The peacock's train (Pavo cristatus and Pavo cristatus mut. alba) II. The molecular parameters of feather keratin plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Ingrid M; Schmitt, Karl P; Kirchner, Helmut O K

    2011-06-01

    Thermal activation analysis of plastic deformation of peacock tail feathers, by temperature changes and stress relaxation, gave for the keratin cortex an activation enthalpy of 1.78 ± 0.89 eV and an activation volume of 0.83 ± 0.13 nm³, for both the blue and the white subspecies. These values suggest that breaking of electrostatic bonds is responsible for plasticity in feather keratin. These might be bonds between keratin and nonkeratinous matrix or keratin-keratin cross-links. The mechanical properties of the rachis cortex are surprisingly uniform along the length of the feathers. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company.

  4. The peacock's train (Pavo cristatus and Pavo cristatus mut. alba) I. structure, mechanics, and chemistry of the tail feather coverts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Ingrid M; Kirchner, Helmut O K

    2010-12-01

    The feathers in the train of the peacock serve not for flying but for sexual display. They are long, slender beams loaded in bending by their own weight. An outer circular conical shell, the cortex, is filled by a closed foam of 7.6% relative density, the medulla, both of feather keratin. Outer diameter and thickness of the cortex decrease linearly from the body toward the tip. This self-similar geometry leads to a division of labor. The cortex (longitudinal Young's modulus 3.3 GPa, transverse modulus 1 GPa) provides 96% of the longitudinal strength and bending rigidity of the feather. The medulla (Young's modulus 10 MPa) provides 96% of the transverse compressive rigidity. Fracture stress of the cortex, both longitudinal and transverse, is 120 MPa. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company.

  5. Integument pattern formation involves genetic and epigenetic controls: feather arrays simulated by digital hormone models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ting-Xin; Widelitz, Randall B; Shen, Wei-Min; Will, Peter; Wu, Da-Yu; Lin, Chih-Min; Jung, Han-Sung; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2004-01-01

    Pattern formation is a fundamental morphogenetic process. Models based on genetic and epigenetic control have been proposed but remain controversial. Here we use feather morphogenesis for further evaluation. Adhesion molecules and/or signaling molecules were first expressed homogenously in feather tracts (restrictive mode, appear earlier) or directly in bud or inter-bud regions ( de novo mode, appear later). They either activate or inhibit bud formation, but paradoxically colocalize in the bud. Using feather bud reconstitution, we showed that completely dissociated cells can reform periodic patterns without reference to previous positional codes. The patterning process has the characteristics of being self-organizing, dynamic and plastic. The final pattern is an equilibrium state reached by competition, and the number and size of buds can be altered based on cell number and activator/inhibitor ratio, respectively. We developed a Digital Hormone Model which consists of (1) competent cells without identity that move randomly in a space, (2) extracellular signaling hormones which diffuse by a reaction-diffusion mechanism and activate or inhibit cell adhesion, and (3) cells which respond with topological stochastic actions manifested as changes in cell adhesion. Based on probability, the results are cell clusters arranged in dots or stripes. Thus genetic control provides combinational molecular information which defines the properties of the cells but not the final pattern. Epigenetic control governs interactions among cells and their environment based on physical-chemical rules (such as those described in the Digital Hormone Model). Complex integument patterning is the sum of these two components of control and that is why integument patterns are usually similar but non-identical. These principles may be shared by other pattern formation processes such as barb ridge formation, fingerprints, pigmentation patterning, etc. The Digital Hormone Model can also be applied to

  6. A high prevalence of beak and feather disease virus in non-psittacine Australian birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amery-Gale, Jemima; Marenda, Marc S; Owens, Jane; Eden, Paul A; Browning, Glenn F; Devlin, Joanne M

    2017-07-01

    Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) is a circovirus and the cause of psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD). This disease is characterized by feather and beak deformities and is a recognized threat to endangered Psittaciformes (parrots and cockatoos). The role that non-psittacine birds may play as reservoirs of infection is unclear. This study aimed to begin addressing this gap in our knowledge of PBFD. Liver samples were collected from birds presented to the Australian Wildlife Health Centre at Zoos Victoria's Healesville Sanctuary for veterinary care between December 2014 and December 2015, and tested for BFDV DNA using polymerase chain reaction coupled with sequencing and phylogenetic analyses.Results/Key findings. Overall BFDV was detected in 38.1 % of 210 birds. BFDV was detected at high prevalence (56.2 %) in psittacine birds, in the majority of cases without any observed clinical signs of PBFD. We also found that BFDV was more common in non-psittacine species than previously recognized, with BFDV detected at 20.0 % prevalence in the non-psittacine birds tested, including species with no clear ecological association with psittacines, and without showing any detectable clinical signs of BFDV infection. Further research to determine the infectivity and transmissibility of BFDV in non-psittacine species is indicated. Until such work is undertaken the findings from this study suggest that every bird should be considered a potential carrier of BFDV, regardless of species and clinical presentation. Veterinary clinics and wildlife rehabilitation facilities caring for birds that are susceptible to PBFD should reconsider biosecurity protocols aimed at controlling BFDV.

  7. Handheld XRF analysis of a 16th century Mexican Feather Headdress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karydas, A.G; Padilla-Alvarez, R.; Drozdenko, M.; Korn, M.; Moreno Guzmán, M.O.

    2014-01-01

    The 16th century feather headdress in the Weltmuseum Wien (WMW), an affiliated institution of the Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM) in Vienna, is the most renowned of the few remaining pre-Columbian “Arte Plumaria” artefacts, which were made by feather artisans (Amantecas) using traditional techniques in the territory of present day Mexico. The recorded history of the headdress begins in 1596, when it is first mentioned in the estate inventory of the art collection of Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol at Ambras Castle. Due to its age, the variety of materials used, its history and former restoration treatments, the artefact is today one of the most sensitive and demanding care objects of the museum. Despite the object’s long history, very little documentation on past interventions exists. From 2010-2012, a binational research project between Mexico (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia) and Austria (Weltmuseum Wien) performed a systematic investigation focused on the identification of manufacturing techniques and the various materials, the old restoration measures and its conservation. Handheld x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometers are extremely useful for the study of art works in museum collections. The possibility of bringing the instrument to inspect the objects on-site facilitates the study of artefacts that cannot be moved either due to their extreme fragility or due to their large size and/or weight. In addition, non-destructive analysis constitutes a preferred alternative to invasive sampling techniques, which are usually not allowed in the study of unique or extremely valuable objects. The aim of the XRF analysis was twofold: to investigate the possible presence of inorganic toxic elements that could be associated to the use of pesticides in past conservation interventions and; to characterize the chemical composition of the authentic gold and the gilded brass ornaments, which were added in the 19th century. The results of the XRF analytical

  8. Photonic Crystals with an Eye Pattern Similar to Peacock Tail Feathers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minghui Wang

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available A facile fabrication of photonic crystals (PCs with an eye pattern similar to peacock tail feathers has been demonstrated by self-assembly of colloidal particles in a sandwich mode. The sandwich mode is formed by superhydrophilic flat substrate sandwiching the poly(styrene-methyl methacrylate-arylic acid (Poly(St-MMA-AA latex suspension (2 wt% by the hydrophobic one. The patterns are characterized by optical microscopy images, reflection spectra, and the relative scanning electronic microscope images. This work will provide beneficial help for the understanding of the self-assembly process of colloidal crystals.

  9. Primary feather molt of adult mourning doves in North and South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, G.H.; Amend, S.R.

    1979-01-01

    Examination of 8,141 adult mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) in North and South Carolina revealed that substantial numbers complete primary feather molt in September. Adult mourning doves shed primaries at the rate of 1 per 14 days. No difference was found in this rate between sexes or among years, 1969-74. The initiation of molt differed from year to year, and female molt always preceded male molt. Available data show that southern doves complete primary molt a month earlier than northern doves. Therefore, age based on primary molt can be biased upward if all molt-complete wings from southern hunting samples are considered immature.

  10. [Study on a collagenase protocol to extract DNA from remnant feathers in edible bird's nest].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ling-Li; Chen, Nian; Zhang, Wei-Wei; Wu, Guo-Hong; Lai, Xiao-Ping

    2013-08-01

    To establish a method for extracting genomic DNA from rudimental bird feather from the precious edible bird's nest (EBN) harvested from the swiftlet cave. Observed the EBN using endoscopic and studied the influence of adding collagenase on the extracting yield of DNA. PCR amplification and sequencing for the extraction was also conducted. Collagenase was used in addition to protease K which could substantively increase the DNA yield. The DNA extracted by this method could be used for PCR and other molecular biology analyses. This method can be applied to identify the species types in biological products, especially for animal tissue materials that rich in collagen.

  11. Traversing the mountaintop: world fossil fuel production to 2050.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehring, Richard

    2009-10-27

    During the past century, fossil fuels--petroleum liquids, natural gas and coal--were the dominant source of world energy production. From 1950 to 2005, fossil fuels provided 85-93% of all energy production. All fossil fuels grew substantially during this period, their combined growth exceeding the increase in world population. This growth, however, was irregular, providing for rapidly growing per capita production from 1950 to 1980, stable per capita production from 1980 to 2000 and rising per capita production again after 2000. During the past half century, growth in fossil fuel production was essentially limited by energy demand. During the next half century, fossil fuel production will be limited primarily by the amount and characteristics of remaining fossil fuel resources. Three possible scenarios--low, medium and high--are developed for the production of each of the fossil fuels to 2050. These scenarios differ primarily by the amount of ultimate resources estimated for each fossil fuel. Total fossil fuel production will continue to grow, but only slowly for the next 15-30 years. The subsequent peak plateau will last for 10-15 years. These production peaks are robust; none of the fossil fuels, even with highly optimistic resource estimates, is projected to keep growing beyond 2050. World fossil fuel production per capita will thus begin an irreversible decline between 2020 and 2030.

  12. Hawaii energy strategy project 2: Fossil energy review. Task 1: World and regional fossil energy dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breazeale, K. [ed.; Isaak, D.T.; Yamaguchi, N.; Fridley, D.; Johnson, C.; Long, S.

    1993-12-01

    This report in the Hawaii Energy Strategy Project examines world and regional fossil energy dynamics. The topics of the report include fossil energy characteristics, the world oil industry including reserves, production, consumption, exporters, importers, refining, products and their uses, history and trends in the global oil market and the Asia-Pacific market; world gas industry including reserves, production, consumption, exporters, importers, processing, gas-based products, international gas market and the emerging Asia-Pacific gas market; the world coal industry including reserves, classification and quality, utilization, transportation, pricing, world coal market, Asia-Pacific coal outlook, trends in Europe and the Americas; and environmental trends affecting fossil fuels. 132 figs., 46 tabs.

  13. An analytical hierarchical model explaining the robustness and flaw-tolerance of the interlocking barb-barbule structure of bird feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Qiang; Gorb, Stanislav; Kovalev, Alexander; Li, Zhiyong; Pugno, Nicola

    2016-10-01

    Feathers can fulfill their aerodynamic function only if the pennaceous vane forms an airfoil stabilized by robust interlocking between barbules. Thus, revealing the robustness of the interlocking mechanical behavior of the barbules is very important to understand the function and long-term resilience of bird feathers. This paper, basing on the small- and large-beam deflection solutions, presents a hierarchical mechanical model for deriving the critical delamination conditions of the interlocking barbules between two adjacent barbs in bird feathers. The results indicate a high robustness and flaw-tolerant design of the structure. This work contributes to the understanding of the mechanical behavior of the robust interlocking barb-barbule structure of the bird feather, and provides a basis for design of feather-inspired materials with robust interlocking mechanism, such as advanced bio-inspired micro-zipping devices.

  14. Feather retention force in broilers ante-, peri-, and post-mortem as influenced by electrical and carbon dioxide stunning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buhr, R J; Cason, J A; Rowland, G N

    1997-11-01

    Stunning and slaughter trials were conducted to evaluate the influence of stunning method (electrical 50 V alternating current, CO2 gas: 0 to 40% for 90 s or 40 to 60% for 30 s) on feather retention force (FRF) in commercial broilers. Feathers from the pectoral, sternal, and femoral feather tracts were sampled with a force gauge before stunning (ante-mortem) and contralaterally either after stunning (peri-mortem from 0.5 to 4 min) or after stunning and bleeding (post-mortem from 2 to 6 min). Prior to stunning, ante-mortem FRF values varied among assigned stunning methods only for the pectoral (7%) feather tract. After stunning, peri-mortem FRF values were higher only for the sternal tract (11% for 40 to 60% CO2 for 30 s); whereas after stunning and bleeding, post-mortem FRF values were lower than ante- or peri-mortem only for the sternal tract (10% lower for 40 to 60% CO2 for 30 s). Peri- and post-mortem FRF values did not differ among stunning methods for the pectoral and femoral feather tracts. Small changes in FRF values occurred from ante-mortem to peri-mortem (-1 to +12%), and from ante-mortem to post-mortem (-2 to +8%) across stunning methods. A significant increase was determined for only the pectoral tract (7%) from ante- to peri-mortem across stunning methods. Electrically stunned broilers that were not bled gained weight in excess of the 36 feathers removed (0.16%), apparently due to body surface water pickup during the brine-stunning process, whereas CO2-stunned broilers lost weight due to excretion of cloacal contents (-0.31 to -0.98%). The change in body weight among stunning methods was significant (P defeathering efficiency may not differ after scalding.

  15. Chicken feather hydrolysate as an inexpensive complex nitrogen source for PHA production by Cupriavidus necator on waste frying oils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benesova, P; Kucera, D; Marova, I; Obruca, S

    2017-08-01

    The chicken feather hydrolysate (FH) has been tested as a potential complex nitrogen source for the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates by Cupriavidus necator H16 when waste frying oil was used as a carbon source. The addition of FH into the mineral salt media with decreased inorganic nitrogen source concentration improved the yields of biomass and polyhydrohyalkanoates. The highest yields were achieved when 10 vol.% of FH prepared by microwave-assisted alkaline hydrolysis of 60 g l -1 feather was added. In this case, the poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) yields were improved by more than about 50% as compared with control cultivation. A positive impact of FH was also observed for accumulation of copolymer poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) when sodium propionate was used as a precursor. The copolymer has superior processing and mechanical properties in comparison with PHB homopolymer. The application of FH eliminated the inhibitory effect of propionate and resulted in altered content of 3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV) in copolymer. Therefore, the hydrolysed feather can serve as an excellent complex source of nitrogen for the polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) production. Moreover, by the combination of two inexpensive types of waste, such as waste frying oil and feather hydrolysate, it is possible to produce PHA with substantially improved efficiency and sustainability. Millions of tons of feathers, important waste product of poultry-processing industry, are disposed off annually without any further benefits. Thus, there is an inevitable need for new technologies that enable ecologically and economically sensible processing of this waste. Herein, we report that alkali-hydrolysed feathers can be used as a complex nitrogen source considerably improving polyhydroxyalkanoates production on waste frying oil employing Cupriavidus necator. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  16. Flight performance and feather quality: paying the price of overlapping moult and breeding in a tropical highland bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Angela Echeverry-Galvis

    Full Text Available A temporal separation of energetically costly life history events like reproduction and maintenance of the integumentary system is thought to be promoted by selection to avoid trade-offs and maximize fitness. It has therefore remained somewhat of a paradox that certain vertebrate species can undergo both events simultaneously. Identifying potential costs of overlapping two demanding life history stages will further our understanding of the selection pressures that shape the temporal regulation of life history events in vertebrates. We studied free-living tropical Slaty brush-finches (Atlapetes schistaceus, in which individuals spontaneously overlap reproduction and moult or undergo both events in separation. To assess possible costs of such an overlap we quantified feather quality and flight performance of individuals in different states. We determined individual's life history state by measuring gonad size and scoring moult stage, and collected a newly grown 7(th primary wing feather for later analysis of feather quality. Finally, we quantified flight performance for each individual in the wild. Overlapping individuals produced lighter and shorter wing feathers than individuals just moulting, with females decreasing feather quality more strongly during the overlap than males. Moreover, overlapping individuals had a reduced flight speed during escape flights, while their foraging flight speed was unaffected. Despite overlappers being larger and having a smaller wing area, their lower body mass resulted in a similar wing load as in breeders or moulters. Individuals measured repeatedly in different states also showed significant decreases in feather quality and escape flight speed during the overlap. Reduced escape flight speed may represent a major consequence of the overlap by increasing predation risk. Our data document costs to undergoing two life history stages simultaneously, which likely arise from energetic trade-offs. Impairments in

  17. Molecular fossils of prokaryotes in ancient authigenic minerals: archives of microbial activity in reefs and mounds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heindel, Katrin; Birgel, Daniel; Richoz, Sylvain; Westphal, Hildegard; Peckmann, Jörn

    2016-04-01

    Molecular fossils (lipid biomarkers) are commonly used as proxies in organic-rich sediments of various sources, including eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Usually, molecular fossils of organisms transferred from the water column to the sediment are studied to monitor environmental changes (e.g., temperature, pH). Apart from these 'allochthonous' molecular fossils, prokaryotes are active in sediments and mats on the seafloor and leave behind 'autochthonous' molecular fossils in situ. In contrast to many phototrophic organisms, most benthic sedimentary prokaryotes are obtaining their energy from oxidation or reduction of organic or inorganic substrates. A peculiarity of some of the sediment-thriving prokaryotes is their ability to trigger in situ mineral precipitation, often but not only due to metabolic activity, resulting in authigenic rocks (microbialites). During that process, prokaryotes are rapidly entombed in the mineral matrix, where the molecular fossils are protected from early (bio)degradation. In contrast to other organic compounds (DNA, proteins etc.), molecular fossils can be preserved over very long time periods (millions of years). Thus, molecular fossils in authigenic mineral phases are perfectly suitable to trace microbial activity back in time. Among the best examples of molecular fossils, which are preserved in authigenic rocks are various microbialites, forming e.g. in phototrophic microbial mats and at cold seeps. Microbialite formation is reported throughout earth history. We here will focus on reefal microbialites form the Early Triassic and the Holocene. After the End-Permian mass extinction, microbialites covered wide areas on the ocean margins. In microbialites from the Griesbachian in Iran and Turkey (both Neotethys), molecular fossils of cyanobacteria, archaea, anoxygenic phototrophs, and sulphate-reducing bacteria indicate the presence of layered microbial mats on the seafloor, in which carbonate precipitation was induced. In association with

  18. Comparative evaluation of solar, fission, fusion, and fossil energy resources. Part 4: Energy from fossil fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J. R.

    1974-01-01

    The conversion of fossil-fired power plants now burning oil or gas to burn coal is discussed along with the relaxation of air quality standards and the development of coal gasification processes to insure a continued supply of gas from coal. The location of oil fields, refining areas, natural gas fields, and pipelines in the U.S. is shown. The technologies of modern fossil-fired boilers and gas turbines are defined along with the new technologies of fluid-bed boilers and MHD generators.

  19. Present knowledge on the fossil mammals record from Chile; Estado actual del conocimiento de los mamiferos fosiles de Chile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Canto, J.; Yanez, J.; Rovira, J.

    2010-07-01

    An updated revision is presented regarding fossil mammals of aquatic and terrestrial environments. This update includes up to year 2008. Those registrations of doubtful assignation or that couldn't be confirmed were not considered in this review. These new registrations are classified in four groups of time that extend from the Late Eocene-Early Oligocene to the Pleistocene-Recent. The evidence shows that the greatest quantity of fossils are concentrated from the Early Miocene to the Middle Miocene reaching 37 (41.5%) genus of a total of 77 and 54 (49.5%) fossil species of a total of 89. It is observed a significant increase in works devoted to paleontology of mammal fossils in Chile between 1981-2008. (Author)

  20. Energy Ontologies: Wind, Biomass, and Fossil Transportation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidi Scott

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This article uses literary sources to draw ontological distinctions among three distinct energy sources: wind power, biomass, and fossil fuels. The primary aim is to demonstrate how radically our fossil fuel regime has changed human ontology in the last two centuries during which we have entered the Anthropocene. Because this radical transformation contains myriad elements, this article will focus on transportation: the speed, quality, and quantity of travel permitted by successive energy sources. To consider the comparative literatures of energy as they relate to transportation, we will begin with wind, then consider muscle-driven biomass giving way to coal locomotion, and conclude with the highest octane fuel, petroleum. The central interest is in how the fuel depicted in literature illuminates historical moments in which the interfaces between self, society, and nature are configured by specific energy regimes. By using literature as a source text, we may arrive at an emotionally and philosophically more robust synthesis of energy history than the social and natural sciences, relying upon objective accounts and statistics, are able to provide. By re-reading literature through the lens of the Anthropocene, we gain perspective on how earlier insights into the relationship between energy and experience can inform our explorations of today’s ontological reality. Energy literature instructs us out of the fossil fuel mindset of world domination and back to a physical realm in which we are small actors in a world guided by capricious forces. Such a reality requires hard muscular work and emotional immersion to restore an ethic of care and sustainability.