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Sample records for feathers fossil evidence

  1. Fossilization of feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Paul G.; Briggs, Derek E. G.

    1995-09-01

    Scanning electron microscopy of feathers has revealed evidence that a bacterial glycocalyx (a network of exocellular polysaccharide fibers) played a role in promoting their fossilization in some cases. This mode of preservation has not been reported in other soft tissues. The majority of fossil feathers are preserved as carbonized traces. More rarely, bacteria on the surface are replicated by authigenic minerals (bacterial autolithification). The feathers of Archaeopteryx are preserved mainly by imprintation following early lithification of the substrate and decay of the feather. Lacustrine settings provide the most important taphonomic window for feather preservation. Preservation in terrestrial and normal-marine settings involves very different processes (in amber and in authigenically mineralized coprolites, respectively). Therefore, there may be a significant bias in the avian fossil record in favor of inland water habitats.

  2. Maturation experiments reveal bias in the fossil record of feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria; Field, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    The evolutionary history of birds and feathers is a major focus in palaeobiology and evolutionary biology. Diverse exceptionally preserved birds and feathered dinosaurs from Jurassic and Cretaceous biotas in China have provided pivotal evidence of early feathers and feather-like integumentary features, but the true nature of many of these fossil soft tissues is still debated. Interpretations of feathers at intermediate developmental stages (i.e. Stages II, III and IV) and of simple quill-like (Stage I) feathers are particularly controversial. This reflects key uncertainties relating to the preservation potential of feathers at different evolutionary-developmental stages, and to the relative preservation potential of diagnostic features of Stage I feathers and hair. To resolve these issues, we used high pressure-high temperature autoclave experiments to simulate the effects of burial on modern feathers from the Black Coucal (Centropus grilii) and Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), and on human hair. Our results reveal profound differences in the recalcitrance of feathers of different types during maturation: Stage I and Stage V feathers retain diagnostic morphological and ultrastructural details following maturation, whereas other feather types do not. Further, the morphology and arrangement of certain ultrastructural features diagnostic of Stages III and IV, e.g. barbules, are preferentially lost during maturation. These results indicate a pervasive bias in the fossil record of feathers, whereby preservation of feathers at Stages I and V is favored. Critical stages in the evolution of feathers, i.e. Stages II, III and IV, are less likely to be preserved and more likely to be misinterpreted as feathers at earlier developmental stages. Our discovery has major implications for our understanding of the fidelity of the fossil record of feathers and provides a framework for testing the significance of putative examples of fossil feathers at different developmental

  3. Seeking carotenoid pigments in amber-preserved fossil feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Daniel B.; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Dove, Carla J.; Grimaldi, David A.; James, Helen F.

    2014-06-01

    Plumage colours bestowed by carotenoid pigments can be important for visual communication and likely have a long evolutionary history within Aves. Discovering plumage carotenoids in fossil feathers could provide insight into the ecology of ancient birds and non-avian dinosaurs. With reference to a modern feather, we sought chemical evidence of carotenoids in six feathers preserved in amber (Miocene to mid-Cretaceous) and in a feather preserved as a compression fossil (Eocene). Evidence of melanin pigmentation and microstructure preservation was evaluated with scanning electron and light microscopies. We observed fine microstructural details including evidence for melanin pigmentation in the amber and compression fossils, but Raman spectral bands did not confirm the presence of carotenoids in them. Carotenoids may have been originally absent from these feathers or the pigments may have degraded during burial; the preservation of microstructure may suggest the former. Significantly, we show that carotenoid plumage pigments can be detected without sample destruction through an amber matrix using confocal Raman spectroscopy.

  4. Melanin concentration gradients in modern and fossil feathers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Field

    Full Text Available In birds and feathered non-avian dinosaurs, within-feather pigmentation patterns range from discrete spots and stripes to more subtle patterns, but the latter remain largely unstudied. A ∼55 million year old fossil contour feather with a dark distal tip grading into a lighter base was recovered from the Fur Formation in Denmark. SEM and synchrotron-based trace metal mapping confirmed that this gradient was caused by differential concentration of melanin. To assess the potential ecological and phylogenetic prevalence of this pattern, we evaluated 321 modern samples from 18 orders within Aves. We observed that the pattern was found most frequently in distantly related groups that share aquatic ecologies (e.g. waterfowl Anseriformes, penguins Sphenisciformes, suggesting a potential adaptive function with ancient origins.

  5. Study on Fossil Feather%简说羽毛化石的研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王敏; 周忠和

    2011-01-01

    自第一枚始祖鸟化石发现以来.鸟类的起源与演化成为了古生物研究的热点之一.有关鸟类的起源问题涉及了恐龙以及早期鸟类的形态结构、飞行以及羽毛等多方面内容.在早白垩世热河生物群以及相邻地区侏罗纪地层发现的许多保存精美的带毛恐龙,中生代的鸟类化石,为鸟类的恐龙起源提供了重要证据,并且使我们对羽毛的起源和演化有了较丰富的认识.笔者主要介绍了带毛恐龙的羽毛化石的研究现状,并结合发育生物学,讨论了关于羽毛的发育和演化问题.%The issues about the origin and evolution of the birds have been the hot biological topics since the first discovery of the Archaeopteryx. The question of the origin of birds includes many biological aspects, such as the morphology, flight and feathers. The exceptionally and exquisitely preserved feathered dinosaurs and Mesozoic birds fossils in the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota and Jurassic deposits in Northeast China provided highly important evidences on the dinosaurian origin of birds, and increased our knowledge about the evolution of feathers. The researches on the feathers of feathered dinosaurs were mainly reviewed,and the origin and evolution of feathers, combining evidences from developmental biology.

  6. 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.

  7. Cycads: Fossil evidence of late paleozoic origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamay, S.H.

    1969-01-01

    Plant fossils from Lower Permian strata of the southwestern United States have been interpreted as cycadalean megasporophylls. They are evidently descended from spermopterid elements of the Pennsylvanian Taeniopteris complex; thus the known fossil history of the cycads is extended from the Late Triassic into the late Paleozoic. Possible implications of the Permian fossils toward evolution of the angiosperm carpel are considered.

  8. Systematic and taphonomic insights of fossilized feathers: A new occurrence from the Oligocene of Taubaté Basin (SE, Brazil)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prado, Gustavo M. E. M.; Anelli, Luiz E.; Pacheco, Mírian L. A. F.; Petri, Setembrino; Romero, Guilherme R.

    2016-12-01

    Feathers are rare in the fossil record because they have a low fossilization potential. Despite their palaeobiological significance, they also provide important palaeoecological and taphonomic information. Here, we report a new occurrence of three isolated feathers from the shales of the Oligocene Tremembé Formation (Taubaté Basin, SE Brazil). Their possible taxonomic affinities and taphonomic features are also discussed. Analyses identified the specimens as representatives of two pennaceous morphotypes (i.e., a contour and a rectrice feather). Both are preserved as carbonized traces, although, due taphonomic processes, they show different degrees of preservation. Since the Tremembé Formation is responsible for the most diverse record of Cenozoic birds, and because water-adapted birds (e.g., anseriformes and phoenicopteriformes) occur in this unit, it is highly possible that these feathers belonged to these aquatic taxa. Further investigations should concentrate on geochemical and microscopic techniques in order to reveal additional taxonomic and paleoecological features currently unknown in Paleogene birds of Brazil.

  9. 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 Carbonifer

  10. 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.

  11. A new feathered maniraptoran dinosaur fossil that fills a morphological gap in avian origin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Xing; ZHAO Qi; NORELL Mark; SULLIVAN Corwin; HONE David; ERICKSON Gregory; WANG XiaoLin; HAN FengLu; GUO Yu

    2009-01-01

    Recent fossil discoveries have substantially reduced the morphological gap between non-avian and avian dinosaurs, yet avians including Archaeopteryx differ from non-avian theropods in their limb proportions. In particular, avians have proportionally longer and more robust forelimbs that are capable of supporting a large aerodynamic surface. Here we report on a new maniraptoran dinosaur, Anchiornis huxleyi gen. et sp. nov., based on a specimen collected from Iacustrine deposits of uncertain age in western Liaoning, China. With an estimated mass of 110 grams, Anchiornis is the smallest known non-avian theropod dinosaur. It exhibits some wrist features indicative of high mobility, presaging the wing-folding mechanisms seen in more derived birds and suggesting rapid evolution of the carpus. Otherwise, Anchiornis is intermediate in general morphology between non-avian and avian dinosaurs, particularly with regard to relative forelimb length and thickness, and represents a transitional step toward the avian condition. In contrast with some recent comprehensive phylogenetic analyses, our phylogenetic analysis incorporates subtle morphological variations and recovers a conventional result supporting the monophyly of Avialae.

  12. Fossil evidence for the early ant evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Lacau, Sébastien; Néraudeau, Didier; Nel, André

    2008-02-01

    Ants are one of the most studied insects in the world; and the literature devoted to their origin and evolution, systematics, ecology, or interactions with plants, fungi and other organisms is prolific. However, no consensus yet exists on the age estimate of the first Formicidae or on the origin of their eusociality. We review the fossil and biogeographical record of all known Cretaceous ants. We discuss the possible origin of the Formicidae with emphasis on the most primitive subfamily Sphecomyrminae according to its distribution and the Early Cretaceous palaeogeography. And we review the evidence of true castes and eusociality of the early ants regarding their morphological features and their manner of preservation in amber. The mid-Cretaceous amber forest from south-western France where some of the oldest known ants lived, corresponded to a moist tropical forest close to the shore with a dominance of gymnosperm trees but where angiosperms (flowering plants) were already diversified. This palaeoenvironmental reconstruction supports an initial radiation of ants in forest ground litter coincident with the rise of angiosperms, as recently proposed as an ecological explanation for their origin and successful evolution.

  13. Dinosaurs of a Feather

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    David Hone

    2010-01-01

    @@ From the earliest days of paleontological research,the origin of birds was an area of special interest.Largely thanks to the work of Thomas Huxley and the discovery of Archaeopteryx,theropod dinosaurs(the large group of bipeds that contain all the carnivorous species)rapidly became the most likely candidate for the ancestor of birds.However,controversy over this idea raged for many decades,and while the evidence supporting the dinosaur theory grew,there remained one outstanding problem.Apart from Archaeopteryx,there were simply no fossils of dinosaurs with feathers.

  14. The morphogenesis of feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Evidence of unique genotypes of beak and feather disease virus in southern Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, Livio; Martin, Darren P; Warburton, Louise; Perrin, Mike; Horsfield, William; Kingsley, Chris; Rybicki, Edward P; Williamson, Anna-Lise

    2004-09-01

    Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), caused by Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV), is the most significant infectious disease in psittacines. PBFD is thought to have originated in Australia but is now found worldwide; in Africa, it threatens the survival of the indigenous endangered Cape parrot and the vulnerable black-cheeked lovebird. We investigated the genetic diversity of putative BFDVs from southern Africa. Feathers and heparinized blood samples were collected from 27 birds representing 9 psittacine species, all showing clinical signs of PBFD. DNA extracted from these samples was used for PCR amplification of the putative BFDV coat protein (CP) gene. The nucleotide sequences of the CP genes of 19 unique BFDV isolates were determined and compared with the 24 previously described sequences of BFDV isolates from Australasia and America. Phylogenetic analysis revealed eight BFDV lineages, with the southern African isolates representing at least three distinctly unique genotypes; 10 complete genome sequences were determined, representing at least one of every distinct lineage. The nucleotide diversity of the southern African isolates was calculated to be 6.4% and is comparable to that found in Australia and New Zealand. BFDVs in southern Africa have, however, diverged substantially from viruses found in other parts of the world, as the average distance between the southern African isolates and BFDV isolates from Australia ranged from 8.3 to 10.8%. In addition to point mutations, recombination was found to contribute substantially to the level of genetic variation among BFDVs, with evidence of recombination in all but one of the genomes analyzed.

  16. Evidence for Evolution from the Vertebrate Fossil Record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingerich, Philip D.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses three examples of evolutionary transition in the vertebrate fossil record, considering evolutionary transitions at the species level. Uses archaic squirrel-like Paleocine primates, the earliest primates of modern aspect, as examples. Also reviews new evidence on the origin of whales and their transition from land to sea. (JN)

  17. 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 fila

  18. Evidence for Evolution from the Vertebrate Fossil Record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingerich, Philip D.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses three examples of evolutionary transition in the vertebrate fossil record, considering evolutionary transitions at the species level. Uses archaic squirrel-like Paleocine primates, the earliest primates of modern aspect, as examples. Also reviews new evidence on the origin of whales and their transition from land to sea. (JN)

  19. On the Morphogenesis of Feathers

    OpenAIRE

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

    2002-01-01

    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...

  20. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F; Currano, Ellen D; Jacobs, Louis L; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-13

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns.

  1. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Lyng Sylvestersen, Rene; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns.

  2. Peaches Preceded Humans: Fossil Evidence from SW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Tao; Wilf, Peter; Huang, Yongjiang; Zhang, Shitao; Zhou, Zhekun

    2015-11-01

    Peach (Prunus persica, Rosaceae) is an extremely popular tree fruit worldwide, with an annual production near 20 million tons. Peach is widely thought to have origins in China, but its evolutionary history is largely unknown. The oldest evidence for the peach has been Chinese archaeological records dating to 8000-7000 BP. Here, we report eight fossil peach endocarps from late Pliocene strata of Kunming City, Yunnan, southwestern China. The fossils are identical to modern peach endocarps, including size comparable to smaller modern varieties, a single seed, a deep dorsal groove, and presence of deep pits and furrows. These fossils show that China has been a critical region for peach evolution since long before human presence, much less agriculture. Peaches evolved their modern morphology under natural selection, presumably involving large, frugivorous mammals such as primates. Much later, peach size and variety increased through domestication and breeding.

  3. Feather pecking and feather loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodenburg, T.B.; Koene, P.

    2004-01-01

    Characterizing feather peckers seems a viable approach towards a better understanding of the problem of feather pecking. With our current state of knowledge on the causation of feather peckinq, the environmental factors that influence the development of feather pecking and the characteristics of fea

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Visuospatial integration and human evolution: the fossil evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruner, Emiliano; Lozano, Marina; Lorenzo, Carlos

    2016-06-20

    Visuospatial integration concerns the ability to coordinate the inner and outer environments, namely the central nervous system and the outer spatial elements, through the interface of the body. This integration is essential for every basic human activity, from locomotion and grasping to speech or tooling. Visuospatial integration is even more fundamental when dealing with theories on extended mind, embodiment, and material engagement. According to the hypotheses on extended cognition, the nervous system, the body and the external objects work as a single integrated unit, and what we call "mind" is the process resulting from such interaction. Because of the relevance of culture and material culture in humans, important changes in such processes were probably crucial for the evolution of Homo sapiens. Much information in this sense can be supplied by considering issues in neuroarchaeology and cognitive sciences. Nonetheless, fossils and their anatomy can also provide evidence according to changes involving physical and body aspects. In this article, we review three sources of morphological information concerning visuospatial management and fossils: evolutionary neuroanatomy, manipulative behaviors, and hand evolution.

  7. Evidence of 600-million-year old fungi-algae symbiosis discovered in marine fossils

    OpenAIRE

    Trulove, Susan

    2005-01-01

    Researchers from China and the United States have found evidence of lichen-like symbiosis in 600-million-year-old fossils from South China. The previous earliest evidence of lichen was 400-million-years-old, discovered in Scotland. The discovery also adds to the scarce fossil record of fungi and raises new questions about lichen evolution.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Jones, Bernard J T; Aragon-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 filaments. To this end, we constructed a catalogue of clean filaments containing edge-on galaxies. We started by applying the Multiscale Morphology Filter (MMF) technique to the galaxies in a redshift-distortion corrected version of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey DR5. From that sample we extracted those 426 filaments that contained edge-on galaxies (b/a < 0.2). These filaments were then visually classified relative to a variety of quality criteria. Statistical analysis using "feature measures" indicates that the distribution of orientations of these edge-on galaxies relative to their parent filament deviate significantly from what would be expected on the basis of a random distribution of orientations. The interpretat...

  9. Molecular and Fossil Evidence on the Origin of Angiosperms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, James A.

    2012-05-01

    Molecular data on relationships within angiosperms confirm the view that their increasing morphological diversity through the Cretaceous reflected their evolutionary radiation. Despite the early appearance of aquatics and groups with simple flowers, the record is consistent with inferences from molecular trees that the first angiosperms were woody plants with pinnately veined leaves, multiparted flowers, uniovulate ascidiate carpels, and columellar monosulcate pollen. Molecular data appear to refute the hypothesis based on morphology that angiosperms and Gnetales are closest living relatives. Morphological analyses of living and fossil seed plants that assume molecular relationships identify glossopterids, Bennettitales, and Caytonia as angiosperm relatives; these results are consistent with proposed homologies between the cupule of glossopterids and Caytonia and the angiosperm bitegmic ovule. Jurassic molecular dates for the angiosperms may be reconciled with the fossil record if the first angiosperms were restricted to wet forest understory habitats and did not radiate until the Cretaceous.

  10. Feather eating in individually caged hens which differ in their propensity to feather peck.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKeegan, D E.F.; Savory, C J.

    2001-07-28

    Two experiments examined the responses of 16 individually caged laying hens to the presentation of feathers plucked from dead birds of the same genetic line. In the first experiment, hens known from a previous experiment to be either feather 'peckers' or 'non-peckers' (8 of each) were tested for their propensity to eat feathers in four 10min trials, in which they were offered fresh semiplumes measuring 4-6cm (length), one at a time, in front of their cage. Wide variation between birds was observed in numbers of feathers eaten, pecked, picked-up and manipulated. Fourteen out of 16 birds readily ate presented feathers on one or more occasion and both birds that ate no feathers were non-peckers. Peckers ate, picked-up and manipulated feathers significantly more often than did non-peckers (P<0.05, P<0.01 and P<0.01, respectively). A second experiment investigated the possibility that presence of preen (uropygial) oil might contribute to the attractiveness of feathers to eat. The same group of 16 pecker and non-pecker hens were offered a choice between 20 washed and 20 unwashed semiplumes, presented simultaneously in separate containers, in two 10min trials. Unwashed feathers were eaten, pecked and picked-up in preference to washed feathers by both peckers and non-peckers (P<0.05, P<0.01, and P<0.01, respectively), indicating an attraction towards unwashed feathers, or an avoidance of washed feathers for some reason. Peckers and non-peckers did not differ significantly in their preferences. These results provide evidence of a relationship between feather eating and feather pecking at an individual level. The finding that hens could distinguish between normal feathers and those treated in such a way as to alter their olfactory (but not visual) properties suggests olfactory cues may be of importance in determining the attractiveness of conspecific feathers.

  11. The earliest fossil evidence for sexual dimorphism in primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishtalka, Leonard; Stucky, Richard K.; Beard, K. C.

    1990-01-01

    Recently obtained material of the early Eocene primate Notharctus venticolus, including two partial skulls from a single stratigraphic horizon, provides the geologically earliest evidence of sexual dimorphism in canine size and shape in primates and the only unequivocal evidence for such dimorphism in strepsirhines. By analogy with living platyrrhines, these data suggest that Notharctus venticolus may have lived in polygynous social groups characterized by a relatively high level of intermale competition for mates and other limited resources. The anatomy of the upper incisors and related evidence imply that Notharctus is not as closely related to extant lemuriform primates as has been recently proposed. The early Eocene evidence for canine sexual dimorphism reported here, and its occurrence in a nonanthropoid, indicates that in the order Primates such a condition is either primitive or evolved independently more than once.

  12. Microbial trace fossils in Antarctica and the search for evidence of early life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedmann, E. Imre; Friedmann, Roseli O.

    1989-01-01

    It is possible to hypothesize that, if microbial life evolved on early Mars, fossil remnants of these organisms may be preserved on the surface. However, the cooling and drying of Mars probably resembled a cold desert and such an environment is not suitable for the process of fossilization. The frigid Ross Desert of Antarctica is probably the closest terrestrial analog to conditions that may have prevailed on the surface of the cooling and drying Mars. In this desert, cryptoendolithic microbial communities live in the airspaces of porous rocks, the last habitable niche in a hostile outside environment. The organisms produce characteristic chemical and physical changes in the rock substrate. Environmental changes (deterioration of conditions) may result in the death of the community. Although no cellular structures are fossilized, the conspicuous changes in the rock substrate are preserved as trace fossils. Likewise, microbial trace fossils (without cellular structures) may also be preserved on Mars: Discontinuities in structure or chemistry of the rock that are independent of physical or chemical gradients may be of biological origin. Ross Desert trace fossils can be used as a model for planning search strategies and for instrument design to find evidence of past Martian life.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jones, Bernard J. T.; van de Weygaert, Rien; Aragón-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 e

  14. 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,…

  15. 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,…

  16. Evidence of organic structures in Ediacara-type fossils and associated microbial mats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, Michael; Reitner, Joachim

    2001-12-01

    Ediacara-type fossils represent a group of soft-bodied organisms, mainly known from imprints in Proterozoic coarse-grained siliciclastic sedimentary rocks. Circular compressions of Beltanelliformis brunsae and remains related to Ediacara-type fossils, such as Cucullus fraudulentus, and Mucuplagum primitivum are reported here in an organic mode of preservation from the Neoproterozoic Doushantuo and Liulaobei Formations of China. They can be interpreted as prokaryotic colonies. A charnid fossil with circular attachment disc and stalk, but torn-off frond, is documented in a three-dimensional and partly organic mode of preservation from the Neoproterozoic Ust-Pinega Formation (White Sea coast, Russia). According to their morphology and structure, the Charniidae are not regarded by us as pennatulaceans. Modern Myxobacteria illustrate that macroscopic size, complexity, and even compartmentalization can also be developed by prokaryotic colonies. Part of the Ediacara-type fossils may therefore represent prokaryotic colonies or symbiotic organisms involving prokaryotes. Finally, direct evidence indicates that biofilms with associated prokaryotic sheaths, preserved in both organic and pyritic fashion, form the wrinkled surfaces (“elephant skin”) that were preferentially colonized by Ediacara-type fossils. This finding supports previous interpretations, based on comparative morphological and sedimentological approaches, that ancient wrinkle structures were microbial mats.

  17. 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.

  18. Phylogenetic analysis of symbionts in feather-feeding lice of the genus Columbicola: evidence for repeated symbiont replacements

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Wendy A.; Oakeson, Kelly F.; Johnson, Kevin P.; Reed, David L.; Carter, Tamar; Smith, Kari L; Koga, Ryuichi; Fukatsu, Takema; Dale H Clayton; Dale, Colin

    2013-01-01

    Background Many groups of insects have obligate bacterial symbionts that are vertically transmitted. Such associations are typically characterized by the presence of a monophyletic group of bacteria living in a well-defined host clade. In addition the phylogeny of the symbiotic bacteria is typically congruent with that of the host, signifying co-speciation. Here we show that bacteria living in a single genus of feather lice, Columbicola (Insecta: Phthiraptera), present an exception to this ty...

  19. A total-evidence approach to dating with fossils, applied to the early radiation of the hymenoptera.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    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.].

  20. Occurrence of fossil organic matter in modern environments: Optical, geochemical and isotopic evidence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graz, Y., E-mail: Christian.Di-Giovanni@univ-orleans.fr [ISTO, Universite d' Orleans/Universite Francois Rabelais de Tours, CNRS/INSU UMR 6113, 1A rue de la Ferollerie, 45072 Orleans (France); Di-Giovanni, C. [ISTO, Universite d' Orleans/Universite Francois Rabelais de Tours, CNRS/INSU UMR 6113, 1A rue de la Ferollerie, 45072 Orleans (France); Copard, Y. [M2C, UMR 6143 CNRS/Universite de Rouen, place E. Blondel, Bat. Irese A, Universite de Rouen, 76821 Mont Saint Aignan Cedex (France); Elie, M.; Faure, P. [G2R UMR 7566 CNRS/Universite Henri Poincare, BP 239, 54506 Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy Cedex (France); Laggoun Defarge, F. [ISTO, Universite d' Orleans/Universite Francois Rabelais de Tours, CNRS/INSU UMR 6113, 1A rue de la Ferollerie, 45072 Orleans (France); Leveque, J. [UMR A111 INRA/Universite de Bourgogne - GeoSol, 6 bd Gabriel, 21000 Dijon (France); Michels, R. [G2R UMR 7566 CNRS/Universite Henri Poincare, BP 239, 54506 Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy Cedex (France); Olivier, J.E. [CEMAGREF, Grenoble, Unite de recherche ETNA, BP 76, 38402 Saint Martin d' Heres (France)

    2011-08-15

    Highlights: > Fossil organic matter contribution is significant in some modern carbon pools (soils or riverine particles). > Fossil organic matter fate appears to be controlled by the nature of the weathering processes. > The physical and chemical properties of fossil organic matter lead to a variation of its sensitivity toward weathering. - Abstract: This study relates to the input and fate of fossil organic matter (FOM) in the modern environment, and focuses on two experimental watersheds overlying Jurassic marls: Le Laval and Le Brusquet (1 km{sup 2} in area), located near Digne, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France. Considering that FOM delivery is mainly a result of different processes affecting sedimentary rocks [(bio)chemical and mechanical weathering], samples from different pools were collected: bedrocks, weathering profiles, soils and riverine particles. The samples were examined using complementary techniques: optical (palynofacies methods), geochemical (Rock-Eval 6 pyrolysis, C/N ratio), molecular (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) and isotopic (stable C isotopic composition). As a result, FOM markers were identified and tracked through the different pools. The results highlight the contribution of FOM, which can be found in all the studied pools. Transfer of FOM between bedrocks/weathering profiles (governed mainly by chemical weathering) and bedrocks/riverine particles (governed mainly by mechanical weathering) reveals any qualitative change. Weathering profiles/soils transition [governed by (bio)chemical weathering] is characterized by alteration of the FOM, which is difficult to describe because fossil material is mixed with recent organic matter (ROM). Despite this latter point, the study provides evidence for a relative resistance of FOM to weathering processes and points to its contribution to the modern geosystem and the C cycle.

  1. 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.

  2. Constraining the Deep Origin of Parasitic Flatworms and Host-Interactions with Fossil Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Baets, Kenneth; Dentzien-Dias, Paula; Upeniece, Ieva; Verneau, Olivier; Donoghue, Philip C J

    2015-01-01

    Novel fossil discoveries have contributed to our understanding of the evolutionary appearance of parasitism in flatworms. Furthermore, genetic analyses with greater coverage have shifted our views on the coevolution of parasitic flatworms and their hosts. The putative record of parasitic flatworms is consistent with extant host associations and so can be used to put constraints on the evolutionary origin of the parasites themselves. The future lies in new molecular clock analyses combined with additional discoveries of exceptionally preserved flatworms associated with hosts and coprolites. Besides direct evidence, the host fossil record and biogeography have the potential to constrain their evolutionary history, albeit with caution needed to avoid circularity, and a need for calibrations to be implemented in the most conservative way. This might result in imprecise, but accurate divergence estimates for the evolution of parasitic flatworms.

  3. Evidence of psittacine beak and feather disease virus spillover into wild critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrots (Neophema chrysogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Andrew; Patterson, Edward I; Baker, Barry G B; Holdsworth, Mark; Sarker, Subir; Ghorashi, Seyed A; Raidal, Shane R

    2014-04-01

    We report the recent emergence of a novel beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) genotype in the last remaining wild population of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster). This virus poses a significant threat to the recovery of the species and potentially its survival in the wild. We used PCR to detect BFDV in the blood of three psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD)-affected wild Orange-bellied Parrot fledglings captured as founders for an existing captive breeding recovery program. Complete BFDV genome sequence data from one of these birds demonstrating a 1,993-nucleotide-long read encompass the entire circular genome. Maximum-likelihood (ML) and neighbor-joining (NJ) phylogenetic analysis supported the solitary position of this viral isolate in a genetically isolated branch of BFDV. On Rep gene sequencing, a homologous genotype was present in a second wild orange-bellied parrot and the third bird was infected with a distantly related genotype. These viruses have newly appeared in a population that has been intensively monitored for BFDV for the last 13 yr. The detection of two distinct lineages of BFDV in the remnant wild population of Orange-bellied Parrots, consisting of fewer than 50 birds, suggests a role for other parrot species as a reservoir for infection by spillover into this critically endangered species. The potential for such a scenario to contribute to the extinction of a remnant wild animal population is supported by epidemiologic theory.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Ingicco

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Trace fossil evidence for late Permian shallow water condition in Guryul ravine, Kashmir, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parcha, Suraj; Horacek, Micha; Krystyn, Leopold; Pandey, Shivani

    2015-04-01

    The present study is focused on the Late Permian (Changhsingian) succession, present in the Guryul ravine, Kashmir Basin. The basin has a complete Cambro-Triassic sequence and thus contains a unique position in the geology of Himalaya. The Guryul Ravine Permian mainly comprises of mixed siliciclastic-carbonate sediments deposited in a shallow-shelf or ramp setting. The present assemblage of Ichnofossils is the first significant report of trace fossils in the Guryul ravine since early reports in the 1970s. The Ichnofossils reported from this section include: Diplichnites, Dimorphichnus, Monomorphichnus, Planolites, Skolithos along with burrow, scratch marks and annelid worm traces?. The ichnofossils are mainly preserved in medium grain sandstone-mudstone facies. The Ichnofossils are widely distributed throughout the section and are mostly belonging to arthropods and annelid origin, showing behavioral activity, mainly dwelling and feeding, and evidence the dominant presence of deposit feeders. The vertical to slightly inclined biogenic structures are commonly recognized from semi-consolidated substrate which are characteristic features of the near shore/foreshore marine environment, with moderate to high energy conditions. The topmost layer of silty shale contains trace fossils like Skolithos and poorly preserved burrows. The burrow material filled is same as that of host rock. The studied Zewan C and D sequence represents the early to late part of the Changhsingian stage, from 40 to 5 m below the top of Zewan D member with bioturbation still evident in some limestone layers till 2 metres above. No trace fossils could be recognized in the topmost 3 m beds of Zewan D due to their gliding related amalgamated structure. The widespread distribution of traces and their in situ nature will be useful for interpretation of the paleoecological and paleoenvironmental conditions during the late Permian in the Guryul ravine of Kashmir.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Bernard J. T.; van de Weygaert, Rien; Aragón-Calvo, Miguel A.

    2010-10-01

    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 end, we constructed a catalogue of clean filaments containing edge-on galaxies. We started by applying the multiscale morphology filter technique to the galaxies in a redshift-distortion-corrected version of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 5. From this sample, we extracted 426 filaments that contained edge-on galaxies (b/a spine of the parent filament (cosθ < 0.2). The candidate objects are found in relatively less dense filaments. This happens because galaxies in such locations suffer less interaction with surrounding galaxies and consequently better preserve their tidally induced orientations relative to the parent filament. These objects are also less intrinsically bright and smaller than their counterparts elsewhere in the filaments. The technique of searching for fossil evidence of alignment yields relatively few candidate objects, but it does not suffer from the dilution effects inherent in correlation analysis of large samples. The candidate objects could be the subjects of a programme of observations aimed at understanding in what way they might differ from their non-aligned counterparts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-22

    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. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clive Finlayson

    Full Text Available 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

  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. A critique of the chronometric evidence for hominid fossils: I. Africa and the Near East 500-50 ka.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millard, Andrew R

    2008-06-01

    The chronometric dating evidence for all hominid fossils from Africa and the Near East that have previously been dated to 500-50 ka is critically assessed using the concept of chronometric hygiene, and these dates are revised using Bayesian statistical analyses where possible. Sixteen relevant hominid sites lacking chronometric evidence are briefly discussed. Chronometric evidence from 37 sites is assessed in detail. The dates for many hominid fossils are poorly constrained, with a number dated by comparisons of faunal assemblages-a method that does not have good chronological resolution for much of the last million years. For sites with stratigraphic sequences of dates, it is generally possible to refine the dating, but in some cases, the revised chronology is less precise than previous chronologies. Fossils over 200 ka in age tend to be poorly dated, but for the last 200 kyr, dating is better due to the availability of electron-spin-resonance and thermoluminescence dating. Consideration of the chronologies favored by the proponents of the out-of-Africa and multiregional hypotheses of human evolution shows their selectivity. The chronological assessment of the fossils here is compatible with either hypothesis. If evolutionary schemes that do not rely on the morphology of the hominid fossils to decide the sequence of fossils are to be built, then further dating is required, alongside full publication of existing dates.

  14. Fossils from Quaternary fluvial archives: Sources of biostratigraphical, biogeographical and palaeoclimatic evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Tom S.; Bridgland, David R.; Limondin-Lozouet, Nicole; Schreve, Danielle C.

    2017-06-01

    Fluvial sedimentary archives have the potential to preserve a wide variety of palaeontological evidence, ranging from robust bones and teeth found in coarse gravel aggradations to delicate insect remains and plant macrofossils from fine-grained deposits. Over the last decade, advances in Quaternary biostratigraphy based on vertebrate and invertebrate fossils (primarily mammals and molluscs) have been made in many parts of the world, resulting in improved relative chronologies for fluviatile sequences. Complementary fossil groups, such as insects, ostracods and plant macrofossils, are also increasingly used in multi-proxy palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, allowing direct comparison of the climates and environments that prevailed at different times across widely separated regions. This paper reviews these topics on a regional basis, with an emphasis on the latest published information, and represents an update to the 2007 review compiled by the FLAG-inspired IGCP 449 biostratigraphy subgroup. Disparities in the level of detail available for different regions can largely be attributed to varying potential for preservation of fossil material, which is especially poor in areas of non-calcareous bedrock, but to some extent also reflect research priorities in different parts of the world. Recognition of the value of biostratigraphical and palaeoclimatic frameworks, which have been refined over many decades in the 'core regions' for such research (particularly for the late Middle and Late Pleistocene of NW Europe), has focussed attention on the need to accumulate similar palaeontological datasets in areas lacking such long research histories. Although the emerging datasets from these understudied regions currently allow only tentative conclusions to be drawn, they represent an important stage in the development of independent biostratigraphical and palaeoenvironmental schemes, which can then be compared and contrasted.

  15. Do you hear 'feather' when listening to 'rain'? Lexical tone activation during unconscious translation: Evidence from Mandarin-English bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin; Wang, Juan; Malins, Jeffrey G

    2017-12-01

    Although lexical tone is a highly prevalent phonetic cue in human languages, its role in bilingual spoken word recognition is not well understood. The present study investigates whether and how adult bilinguals, who use pitch contours to disambiguate lexical items in one language but not the other, access a tonal L1 when exclusively processing a non-tonal L2. Using the visual world paradigm, we show that Mandarin-English listeners automatically activated Mandarin translation equivalents of English target words such as 'rain' (Mandarin 'yu3'), and consequently were distracted by competitors whose segments and tones overlapped with the translations of English target words ('feather', also 'yu3' in Mandarin). Importantly, listeners were not distracted by competitors that overlapped with the translations of target words in all segments but not tone ('fish'; Mandarin 'yu2'), nor were they distracted by competitors that overlapped with the translations of target words in rime and tone ('wheat', Mandarin 'gu3'). These novel results demonstrate implicit access to L1 lexical representations through automatic/unconscious translation, as a result of cross-language top-down and/or lateral influence, and highlight the critical role of lexical tone activation in bilingual lexical access. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Considering the Case for Biodiversity Cycles: Reexamining the Evidence for Periodicity in the Fossil Record

    CERN Document Server

    Lieberman, Bruce S

    2007-01-01

    Medvedev and Melott (2007) have suggested that periodicity in fossil biodiversity may be induced by cosmic rays which vary as the Solar System oscillates normal to the galactic disk. We re-examine the evidence for a 62 million year (Myr) periodicity in biodiversity throughout the Phanerozoic history of animal life reported by Rohde & Mueller (2005), as well as related questions of periodicity in origination and extinction. We find that the signal is robust against variations in methods of analysis, and is based on fluctuations in the Paleozoic and a substantial part of the Mesozoic. Examination of origination and extinction is somewhat ambiguous, with results depending upon procedure. Origination and extinction intensity as defined by RM may be affected by an artifact at 27 Myr in the duration of stratigraphic intervals. Nevertheless, when a procedure free of this artifact is implemented, the 27 Myr periodicity appears in origination, suggesting that the artifact may ultimately be based on a signal in the...

  17. The Earliest Fossil Evidence for Life on Land and the Freshwater Origin of Algae?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battison, L.; Brasier, M. D.; Antcliffe, J. B.

    2009-04-01

    Some 150 years ago, in 1859, Charles Darwin was greatly puzzled by a seeming absence of fossils in rocks older than the Cambrian period. He drew attention to a veritable Lost World that it is now known to have spanned more than 80 per cent of Earth History. And he made a prediction that we here bring again into focus: 'The presence of phosphate nodules and bituminous matter in some of the lowest azoic rocks probably indicates the former existence of life at these periods (Darwin 1859, p.307). His prediction came to fruition in 1899, when Sir Archibald Geikie announced to the world the first discovery of genuine microfossils in Precambrian phosphatic rocks, made by Jephro Teall, Ben Peach and John Horne within the Torridonian rocks of Scotland. The Torridonian phosphate of NW Scotland has, however, been rather little studied until recently. It is remarkable for its fidelity of fossil preservation, and also for its non-marine depositional setting. Dating to the end of the Mesoproterozoic Era around 1Ga ago, thick packages of fluvial sandstones are found to serve the remains of very ancient intermontane lake ecosystems. Fossil assemblages from terrestrial settings are rarely seen before the Devonian ~ 350 Ma ago. Evidence for freshwater and terrestrial life in the Precambrian has therefore been circumstantial rather than detailed and none has yet come from freshwater phosphate. We here demonstrate that phosphate from ~ 1200-1000 Ma Mesoproterozoic lake sediments of the Torridon Group preserve a remarkable suite of organisms forming a freshwater, terrestrial, phototrophic ecosystem. Ephemeral lakes and streams developed in intermontane basins within the interior of the supercontinent of Rodinia and periodically experienced prolonged desiccation allowing phosphate precipitation. The microbiology of these lake sediments is being studied in detail, where they are yielding - with the aid of Automontage - fresh evidence for the earliest known terrestrial ecology and

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Fossil evidence for a herbaceous diversification of early eudicot angiosperms during the Early Cretaceous.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jud, Nathan A

    2015-09-07

    Eudicot flowering plants comprise roughly 70% of land plant species diversity today, but their early evolution is not well understood. Fossil evidence has been largely restricted to their distinctive tricolpate pollen grains and this has limited our understanding of the ecological strategies that characterized their primary radiation. I describe megafossils of an Early Cretaceous eudicot from the Potomac Group in Maryland and Virginia, USA that are complete enough to allow reconstruction of important life-history traits. I draw on quantitative and qualitative analysis of functional traits, phylogenetic analysis and sedimentological evidence to reconstruct the biology of this extinct species. These plants were small and locally rare but widespread, fast-growing herbs. They had complex leaves and they were colonizers of bright, wet, disturbance-prone habitats. Other early eudicot megafossils appear to be herbaceous rather than woody, suggesting that this habit was characteristic of their primary radiation. A mostly herbaceous initial diversification of eudicots could simultaneously explain the heretofore sparse megafossil record as well as their rapid diversification during the Early Cretaceous because the angiosperm capacity for fast reproduction and fast evolution is best expressed in herbs. © 2015 The Author(s).

  2. Evidence for gondwanan origins for sassafras (lauraceae)? : late cretaceous fossil wood of antarctica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poole, I.J.; Richter, Hans G.; Francis, Jane E.

    2000-01-01

    Sassafrasoxylon gottwaldii sp. nov. is a new taxon for fossil wood with a suite of features diagnostic of Sassafras Nees & Eberm. of the Lauraceae. The fossil wood described is from Late Cretaceous (Santonian- Maastrichtian) sediments of the northern Antarctica Peninsula region. This new species of

  3. Molecular composition and ultrastructure of Jurassic paravian feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindgren, Johan; Sjövall, Peter; Carney, Ryan M; Cincotta, Aude; Uvdal, Per; Hutcheson, Steven W; Gustafsson, Ola; Lefèvre, Ulysse; Escuillié, François; Heimdal, Jimmy; Engdahl, Anders; Gren, Johan A; Kear, Benjamin P; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Yans, Johan; Godefroit, Pascal

    2015-08-27

    Feathers are amongst the most complex epidermal structures known, and they have a well-documented evolutionary trajectory across non-avian dinosaurs and basal birds. Moreover, melanosome-like microbodies preserved in association with fossil plumage have been used to reconstruct original colour, behaviour and physiology. However, these putative ancient melanosomes might alternatively represent microorganismal residues, a conflicting interpretation compounded by a lack of unambiguous chemical data. We therefore used sensitive molecular imaging, supported by multiple independent analytical tests, to demonstrate that the filamentous epidermal appendages in a new specimen of the Jurassic paravian Anchiornis comprise remnant eumelanosomes and fibril-like microstructures, preserved as endogenous eumelanin and authigenic calcium phosphate. These results provide novel insights into the early evolution of feathers at the sub-cellular level, and unequivocally determine that melanosomes can be preserved in fossil feathers.

  4. Emergence and extinction of Dipterocarpaceae in western India with reference to climate change: Fossil wood evidences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Anumeha Shukla; R C Mehrotra; J S Guleria

    2013-10-01

    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 Gujarat). These taxa are marked by their complete absence in the region today. The presence of Dipterocarpaceae in western India has been noticed from the Early Eocene up to the Plio-Pleistocene in deep time. The family is usually a dominant component of the humid tropical and subtropical flora of the Indo-Malayan region and its discovery, along with earlier described fossils from western India indicates existence of ancient tropical rain forests in western India. A change in the climate affected warm and humid conditions occurring there during the Cenozoic resulting in arid to semi-arid climate at present which is responsible for the ultimate extinction of Dipterocarpaceae in the region. In addition, the palaeobiogeography of Dipterocarpaceae is reviewed.

  5. Evidence of temporary mining in the Cretaceous fossil mine assemblage of Negev,Israel

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Valentin A.Krassilov

    2008-01-01

    Temporary mining is a peculiar behavioral trait in leaf parasites requiring adaptations of consecutive larval stages to the endophytic and ectophytic life.The first fossil evidence for the origin of the trait comes from the Cretaceous (Turonian) plant-insect locality of the Negev Desert containing rich trace assemblages of leaf parasites,including blotch mines with leaf pieces cut out for case construction,as well as attached larval cases.The host plants are deciduous broadleafs or aquatic angiosperms with emergent leaves,suggesting that initial acquisition of the habit might have been related to leaf abscission and the risk for the larva being chocked in the mine during floods.Unlike tracks of permanent miners,temporary mines never co-occur on leaves with other type mines,which attests to their effect of enhancing plant resistance.Mine predation appears to have been widespread in the Cretaceous biotic community,suggesting a possibility of top-down regulation of mining habits at this early stage of their evolutionary development.

  6. Unzipping bird feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24352674

  7. Ancient origins and multiple appearances of carotenoid-pigmented feathers in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Daniel B; McGraw, Kevin J; Butler, Michael W; Carrano, Matthew T; Madden, Odile; James, Helen F

    2014-08-07

    The broad palette of feather colours displayed by birds serves diverse biological functions, including communication and camouflage. Fossil feathers provide evidence that some avian colours, like black and brown melanins, have existed for at least 160 million years (Myr), but no traces of bright carotenoid pigments in ancient feathers have been reported. Insight into the evolutionary history of plumage carotenoids may instead be gained from living species. We visually surveyed modern birds for carotenoid-consistent plumage colours (present in 2956 of 9993 species). We then used high-performance liquid chromatography and Raman spectroscopy to chemically assess the family-level distribution of plumage carotenoids, confirming their presence in 95 of 236 extant bird families (only 36 family-level occurrences had been confirmed previously). Using our data for all modern birds, we modelled the evolutionary history of carotenoid-consistent plumage colours on recent supertrees. Results support multiple independent origins of carotenoid plumage pigmentation in 13 orders, including six orders without previous reports of plumage carotenoids. Based on time calibrations from the supertree, the number of avian families displaying plumage carotenoids increased throughout the Cenozoic, and most plumage carotenoid originations occurred after the Miocene Epoch (23 Myr). The earliest origination of plumage carotenoids was reconstructed within Passeriformes, during the Palaeocene Epoch (66-56 Myr), and not at the base of crown-lineage birds.

  8. A new raptorial dinosaur with exceptionally long feathering provides insights into dromaeosaurid flight performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Gang; Chiappe, Luis M; Ji, Shu-An; Habib, Michael; Turner, Alan H; Chinsamy, Anusuya; Liu, Xueling; Han, Lizhuo

    2014-07-15

    Microraptorines are a group of predatory dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaurs with aerodynamic capacity. These close relatives of birds are essential for testing hypotheses explaining the origin and early evolution of avian flight. Here we describe a new 'four-winged' microraptorine, Changyuraptor yangi, from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China. With tail feathers that are nearly 30 cm long, roughly 30% the length of the skeleton, the new fossil possesses the longest known feathers for any non-avian dinosaur. Furthermore, it is the largest theropod with long, pennaceous feathers attached to the lower hind limbs (that is, 'hindwings'). The lengthy feathered tail of the new fossil provides insight into the flight performance of microraptorines and how they may have maintained aerial competency at larger body sizes. We demonstrate how the low-aspect-ratio tail of the new fossil would have acted as a pitch control structure reducing descent speed and thus playing a key role in landing.

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulla Kaasalainen

    Full Text Available 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.

  11. An HST Archival Survey of Feathers in Spiral Galaxies

    CERN Document Server

    La Vigne, M A; Ostriker, E C; Vigne, Misty A. La; Vogel, Stuart N.; Ostriker, Eve C.

    2006-01-01

    We present a survey of spiral arm extinction substructure referred to as feathers in 223 spiral galaxies using HST WFPC2 images. The sample includes all galaxies in the RC3 catalog with cz < 5000 km/s, B_T < 15, i < 60 degrees, and types Sa--Sd with well-exposed broadband WFPC2 images. The detection frequency of delineated, periodic feathers in this sample is 20% (45 of 223). This work is consistent with Lynds (1970), who concluded that feathers are common in prototypical Sc galaxies; we find that feathers are equally common in Sb galaxies. Sb--Sc galaxies without clear evidence for feathers either had poorer quality images, or flocculent or complex structure. We did not find clearly defined feathers in any Scd--Sd galaxy. The probability of detecting feathers was highest (83%) for spirals with well-defined primary dust lanes (PDLs; the lanes which line the inner edge of an arm); well-defined PDLs were only noted in Sab--Sc galaxies. Consistent with earlier work, we find that neighboring feathers ten...

  12. Endemism due to climate change: Evidence from Poeciloneuron Bedd. (Clusiaceae) leaf fossil from Assam, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Gaurav; Mehrotra, R. C.

    2013-04-01

    A fossil leaf resembling Poeciloneuron indicum Bedd. (Clusiaceae) is described from the Late Oligocene (Chattian 28.4-23 Myr) sediments of Assam. The modern analogue is endemic to the Western Ghats which is situated in the same palaeolatitude. Its presence, along with other known fossil records, indicates that the seasonality in temperature was less pronounced and CMMT (cold month mean temperature) was not less than 18°C with plenty of rainfall, in the region during the period of deposition. The study also indicates that the plant phenology is sensitive towards climate change. The present study is in congruence with the global data.

  13. Endemism due to climate change: Evidence from Poeciloneuron Bedd. (Clusiaceae) leaf fossil from Assam, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Gaurav Srivastava; R C Mehrotra

    2013-04-01

    A fossil leaf resembling Poeciloneuron indicum Bedd. (Clusiaceae) is described from the Late Oligocene (Chattian 28.4–23 Myr) sediments of Assam. The modern analogue is endemic to the Western Ghats which is situated in the same palaeolatitude. Its presence, along with other known fossil records, indicates that the seasonality in temperature was less pronounced and CMMT (cold month mean temperature) was not less than 18°C with plenty of rainfall, in the region during the period of deposition. The study also indicates that the plant phenology is sensitive towards climate change. The present study is in congruence with the global data.

  14. A new estimate of afrotherian phylogeny based on simultaneous analysis of genomic, morphological, and fossil evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seiffert Erik R

    2007-11-01

    origin of crown Afrotheria, and the second in the early Cenozoic, with the origin of crown Paenungulata. Morphological evidence for divergences during these two pulses either never existed or has largely been "erased" by subsequent evolution along long ordinal branches. There may, nevertheless, be more morphological character support for crown Afrotheria than is currently assumed; the features identified here as possible afrotherian synapomorphies can be further scrutinized through future phylogenetic analyses with broader taxon sampling, as well as recovery of primitive fossil afrotherians from the Afro-Arabian landmass, where the group is likely to have first diversified.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Family Feathers. [Videotape Series].

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999

    Family Feathers is a set of 18 videotapes for parents of preschool children, created by the Alaska Native Home Base Video Project of the Tlingit and Haida Head Start Program. This series offers culturally relevant solutions to the challenges of parenting, drawing on practical advice from Tlingit and Haida parents, wisdom from elders, and some of…

  18. Evidence of binary division in mature central capsules of a collosphaerid colonial radiolarian: Implications for shell ontogenetic patterns in modern and fossil species

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Anderson, O.R.; Gupta, S.M.

    Evidence is presented from fossil shells and living species of the colonial radiolarian Acrosphaera that maturer central capsules with shells can produce daughter central capsules and shells by binary fission. These data indicate that in colonial...

  19. The fossil record of Cunoniaceae: new evidence from Late Cretaceous wood of Antarctica?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poole; Cantrill; Hayes; Francis

    2000-08-01

    Fossil angiosperm wood from Upper Cretaceous sediments of Livingston Island and James Ross Island in the northern Antarctic Peninsula region is identified as having the combination of anatomical characters most similar to modern Cunoniaceae. The material is characterised by predominantly solitary vessels, opposite to scalariform intervessel pitting, scalariform perforation plates, heterocellular multiseriate and homocellular uniseriate rays, diffuse axial parenchyma. Anatomically, the specimens conform most closely to the fossil organ genus Weinmannioxylon Petriella which has been placed within the Cunoniaceae. The presence of Weinmannioxylon in Late Cretaceous sediments suggests that taxa within or stem taxa to the Cunoniaceae might have been a notable component of the forest vegetation that covered the Antarctic Peninsula during the Late Mesozoic and may therefore represent the earliest record of this family.

  20. On the age of eukaryotes: evaluating evidence from fossils and molecular clocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eme, Laura; Sharpe, Susan C; Brown, Matthew W; Roger, Andrew J

    2014-08-01

    Our understanding of the phylogenetic relationships among eukaryotic lineages has improved dramatically over the few past decades thanks to the development of sophisticated phylogenetic methods and models of evolution, in combination with the increasing availability of sequence data for a variety of eukaryotic lineages. Concurrently, efforts have been made to infer the age of major evolutionary events along the tree of eukaryotes using fossil-calibrated molecular clock-based methods. Here, we review the progress and pitfalls in estimating the age of the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) and major lineages. After reviewing previous attempts to date deep eukaryote divergences, we present the results of a Bayesian relaxed-molecular clock analysis of a large dataset (159 proteins, 85 taxa) using 19 fossil calibrations. We show that for major eukaryote groups estimated dates of divergence, as well as their credible intervals, are heavily influenced by the relaxed molecular clock models and methods used, and by the nature and treatment of fossil calibrations. Whereas the estimated age of LECA varied widely, ranging from 1007 (943-1102) Ma to 1898 (1655-2094) Ma, all analyses suggested that the eukaryotic supergroups subsequently diverged rapidly (i.e., within 300 Ma of LECA). The extreme variability of these and previously published analyses preclude definitive conclusions regarding the age of major eukaryote clades at this time. As more reliable fossil data on eukaryotes from the Proterozoic become available and improvements are made in relaxed molecular clock modeling, we may be able to date the age of extant eukaryotes more precisely.

  1. 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.

  2. The Cambrian Evolutionary Explosion: Novel Evidence from Fossils Studied by X-ray Tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Jun-Yuan [Nanjing University, China

    2011-06-01

    The Cambrian explosion (from 542 million years to 488 million years ago) is one of the greatest mysteries in evolutionary biology. It wasn't until this period that complex organisms became common and diverse. the magnitude of the event can be understood based on the contrast between the biota and the degree of diversity of the fossils from both sides. great advances have been made in Cambrian palaeontology over the past century, especially the discovery of the well-preserved soft-bodied fauna from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale and the Lower Cambrian Maotianshan Shale deposits. The Cambrian side of the "Cambrian explosion" is richly illustrated and contrasts greatly with the Precambrian side. The study of these extraordinarily preserved fossil biota is extremely difficult. A major challenge is 3-D reconstruction and determining the patter of the cell organization in Weng'an embryos and their buried structures in Maotianshan Shale fossils. This talk will show that two recent technological approaches, propagation phase contrast synchrotron x-ray microtomography and microtomography, provide unique analytical tools that permit the nondestructive computational examination and visualization of the internal and buried characters in virtual sections in any plane, and virtual 3-D depictions of internal structures.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Archaeopteryx feathers and bone chemistry fully revealed via synchrotron imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergmann, U; Morton, R W; Manning, P L; Sellers, W I; Farrar, S; Huntley, K G; Wogelius, R A; Larson, P

    2010-05-18

    Evolution of flight in maniraptoran dinosaurs is marked by the acquisition of distinct avian characters, such as feathers, as seen in Archaeopteryx from the Solnhofen limestone. These rare fossils were pivotal in confirming the dinosauria-avian lineage. One of the key derived avian characters is the possession of feathers, details of which were remarkably preserved in the Lagerstätte environment. These structures were previously simply assumed to be impressions; however, a detailed chemical analysis has, until now, never been completed on any Archaeopteryx specimen. Here we present chemical imaging via synchrotron rapid scanning X-ray fluorescence (SRS-XRF) of the Thermopolis Archaeopteryx, which shows that portions of the feathers are not impressions but are in fact remnant body fossil structures, maintaining elemental compositions that are completely different from the embedding geological matrix. Our results indicate phosphorous and sulfur retention in soft tissue as well as trace metal (Zn and Cu) retention in bone. Other previously unknown chemical details of Archaeopteryx are also revealed in this study including: bone chemistry, taphonomy (fossilization process), and curation artifacts. SRS-XRF represents a major advancement in the study of the life chemistry and fossilization processes of Archaeopteryx and other extinct organisms because it is now practical to image the chemistry of large specimens rapidly at concentration levels of parts per million. This technique has wider application to the archaeological, forensic, and biological sciences, enabling the mapping of "unseen" compounds critical to understanding biological structures, modes of preservation, and environmental context.

  6. Feathered non-avian dinosaurs from North America provide insight into wing origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François; Erickson, Gregory M; DeBuhr, Christopher L; Kobayashi, Yoshitsugu; Eberth, David A; Hadfield, Frank

    2012-10-26

    Previously described feathered dinosaurs reveal a fascinating record of feather evolution, although substantial phylogenetic gaps remain. Here we report the occurrence of feathers in ornithomimosaurs, a clade of non-maniraptoran theropods for which fossilized feathers were previously unknown. The Ornithomimus specimens, recovered from Upper Cretaceous deposits of Alberta, Canada, provide new insights into dinosaur plumage and the origin of the avian wing. Individuals from different growth stages reveal the presence of a filamentous feather covering throughout life and winglike structures on the forelimbs of adults. The appearance of winglike structures in older animals indicates that they may have evolved in association with reproductive behaviors. These specimens show that primordial wings originated earlier than previously thought, among non-maniraptoran theropods.

  7. Evolutionary Patterns among Living and Fossil Kogiid Sperm Whales: Evidence from the Neogene of Central America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velez-Juarbe, Jorge; Wood, Aaron R; De Gracia, Carlos; Hendy, Austin J W

    2015-01-01

    Kogiids are known by two living species, the pygmy and dwarf sperm whale (Kogia breviceps and K. sima). Both are relatively rare, and as their names suggest, they are closely related to the sperm whale, all being characterized by the presence of a spermaceti organ. However, this organ is much reduced in kogiids and may have become functionally different. Here we describe a fossil kogiid from the late Miocene of Panama and we explore the evolutionary history of the group with special attention to this evolutionary reduction. The fossil consists of cranial material from the late Tortonian (~7.5 Ma) Piña facies of the Chagres Formation in Panama. Detailed comparison with other fossil and extant kogiids and the results of a phylogenetic analysis place the Panamanian kogiid, herein named Nanokogia isthmia gen. et sp. nov., as a taxon most closely related to Praekogia cedrosensis from the Messinian (~6 Ma) of Baja California and to Kogia spp. Furthermore our results show that reduction of the spermaceti organ has occurred iteratively in kogiids, once in Thalassocetus antwerpiensis in the early-middle Miocene, and more recently in Kogia spp. Additionally, we estimate the divergence between extant species of Kogia at around the late Pliocene, later than previously predicted by molecular estimates. Finally, comparison of Nanokogia with the coeval Scaphokogia cochlearis from Peru shows that these two species display a greater morphological disparity between them than that observed between the extant members of the group. We hypothesize that this reflects differences in feeding ecologies of the two species, with Nanokogia being more similar to extant Kogia. Nanokogia shows that kogiids have been part of the Neotropical marine mammal communities at least since the late Miocene, and gives us insight into the evolutionary history and origins of one of the rarest groups of living whales.

  8. The Unusually High Halo Concentration of the Fossil Group NGC 6482: Evidence for Weak Adiabatic Contraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buote, David A.

    2017-01-01

    Although fossil galaxy systems are thought to be very old, and thus should possess above-average halo concentrations, typically fossils have unexceptional concentrations of their masses. We revisit the massive isolated elliptical galaxy/fossil group NGC 6482 for which previous X-ray studies of a modest Chandra observation obtained a very uncertain, but also possibly very high, halo concentration. We present new measurements of the hot gas surface brightness, temperature, and iron abundance using the modest Chandra observation and a previously unpublished Suzaku observation, the latter of which allows the measurements of the gas properties to be extended out to ∼ {r}2500. By constructing hydrostatic equilibrium models of the gas with separate components for the gas, the stellar mass of the large central galaxy (BCG), and the dark matter (DM), we measure {c}200=32.2+/- 7.1 and {M}200=(4.5+/- 0.6)× {10}12 {M}ȯ using a Navarro-Frenk-White (NFW) DM profile. For a halo of this mass, the measured concentration c200 exceeds the mean value (7.1) expected for relaxed ΛCDM halos by 3.5σ in terms of the observational error, and by 6σ considering the intrinsic scatter in the ΛCDM c–M relation, which situates NGC 6482 as the most extreme outlier known for a fossil system. We explored several variants of adiabatic contraction (AC) models and, while the AC models provide fits of the same quality as the uncontracted models, they do have the following advantages: (1) lower c200 that is less of an outlier in the ΛCDM c–M relation, and (2) baryon fractions ({f}{{b},200}) that agree better with the mean cosmic value. While the standard AC prescriptions yield a BCG stellar mass that is uncomfortably low compared to results from stellar population synthesis (SPS) models, a weaker AC variant that artificially shuts off cooling and star formation at z = 2 yields the same stellar mass as the uncontracted models. These are probably the reasons why our X-ray analysis prefers this

  9. The Unusually High Halo Concentration of the Fossil Group NGC 6482: Evidence for Weak Adiabatic Contraction

    CERN Document Server

    Buote, David A

    2016-01-01

    We revisit the massive isolated elliptical galaxy / fossil group NGC 6482 for which previous X-ray studies of a modest Chandra observation obtained a very uncertain, but also possibly very high, halo concentration. We present new measurements of the hot gas surface brightness, temperature, and iron abundance using the modest Chandra observation and a previously unpublished Suzaku observation, the latter of which allows measurements of the gas properties to be extended out to ~r_2500. By constructing hydrostatic equilibrium models of the gas with separate components for the gas, BCG stellar mass, and the dark matter (DM), we measure c_200 = 32.2 +/- 7.1 and M_200 = (4.5 +/- 0.6 x 10^12 M_sun using an NFW DM profile. For a halo of this mass, c_200 exceeds the mean value (7.1) expected for relaxed LCDM halos by $3.5 \\sigma$ in terms of the observational error, and by $6 \\sigma$ considering the intrinsic scatter in the LCDM c-M relation, which situates NGC 6482 as the most extreme outlier known for a fossil syste...

  10. Iterative adaptive radiations of fossil canids show no evidence for diversity-dependent trait evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Graham J

    2015-04-21

    A long-standing hypothesis in adaptive radiation theory is that ecological opportunity constrains rates of phenotypic evolution, generating a burst of morphological disparity early in clade history. Empirical support for the early burst model is rare in comparative data, however. One possible reason for this lack of support is that most phylogenetic tests have focused on extant clades, neglecting information from fossil taxa. Here, I test for the expected signature of adaptive radiation using the outstanding 40-My fossil record of North American canids. Models implying time- and diversity-dependent rates of morphological evolution are strongly rejected for two ecologically important traits, body size and grinding area of the molar teeth. Instead, Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes implying repeated, and sometimes rapid, attraction to distinct dietary adaptive peaks receive substantial support. Diversity-dependent rates of morphological evolution seem uncommon in clades, such as canids, that exhibit a pattern of replicated adaptive radiation. Instead, these clades might best be thought of as deterministic radiations in constrained Simpsonian subzones of a major adaptive zone. Support for adaptive peak models may be diagnostic of subzonal radiations. It remains to be seen whether early burst or ecological opportunity models can explain broader adaptive radiations, such as the evolution of higher taxa.

  11. 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.

  12. First fossil evidence of Connaraceae R. Br. from Indian Cenozoic and its phytogeographical significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Mahasin Ali; Bera, Subir

    2016-07-01

    Fossil leaflet impression described here as a new species Rourea miocaudata sp. nov., showing close resemblance with the modern leaflets of Rourea caudata Planch. (Connaraceae R. Br.), has been recorded from the lower part of the Siwalik sediments (Dafla Formation, middle-upper Miocene) exposed at the road-cutting section of Pinjoli area in West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh. The important morphological characters of the fossil are its narrow elliptic leaflet, cuneate base, long caudate apex, entire margin, eucamptodromous to brochidodromous secondary veins, presence of intersecondary veins, percurrent and reticulate tertiary veins and orthogonally reticulate quaternary veins. This is the first authentic record of the occurrence of leaflet comparable to R. caudata of Connaraceae from the Cenozoic sediments of India and abroad. At present R. caudata does not grow in India and is restricted only in southeast Asia especially in China and Myanmar. This taxon probably migrated to these southeast Asian regions after lower Siwalik sedimentation (middle-upper Miocene) due to climatic change caused by post-Miocene orogenic movement of the Himalaya. The recovery of this species and other earlier-described evergreen taxa from the same formation, suggests the existence of a tropical, warm and humid climatic conditions during the depositional period.

  13. Fossil evidence for life in post-Sturtian cap carbonates of the Rasthof Formation, northern Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pruss, S. B.; Bosak, T.; Dalton, L.; Lahr, D.; MacDonald, F. A.

    2010-12-01

    The Rasthof Formation of northern Namibia is a cap carbonate succession (~715 Ma) that overlies Sturtian-age glacial deposits of the Chuos Formation. The Sturtian low-latitude glaciation is thought to have been one of the most dramatic episodes of climate change in Earth history, but the impact on biota remains virtually unknown. The lower Rasthof Formation is characterized by dark gray organic-rich thinly (100 μm-long organic filaments and round unornamented vesicles (~5μm in diameter). These organic structures are probable remnants of fossil algae or cyanobacteria. Rare organic-rich agglutinated tubes with variable lengths (250-890 μm) and widths (26-123 μm) are also present in both facies. The common types of microfossils, fossil testate amoebae, agglutinated tubes, organic filaments and small unornamented vesicles, are found in both facies and at different localities. The occurrence of testate amoebae with high preservation potential in these assemblages points to the presence of a potentially larger and more diverse community than is preserved. Furthermore, testate amoebae and other shell-building organisms flourished in subtidal microbialites in the immediate aftermath of Sturtian glaciation and did not differ significantly from pre-Sturtian benthic microbial ecosystems.

  14. Fossil evidence for a hyperdiverse sclerophyll flora under a non-Mediterranean-type climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kale Sniderman, J. M.; Jordan, Gregory J.; Cowling, Richard M.

    2013-02-01

    The spectacular diversity of sclerophyll plants in the Cape Floristic Region in South Africa and Australia's Southwest Floristic Region has been attributed to either explosive radiation on infertile soils under fire-prone, summer-dry climates or sustained accretion of species under inferred stable climate regimes. However, the very poor fossil record of these regions has made these ideas difficult to test. Here, we reconstruct ecological-scale plant species richness from an exceptionally well-preserved fossil flora. We show that a hyperdiverse sclerophyll flora existed under high-rainfall, summer-wet climates in the Early Pleistocene in southeastern Australia. The sclerophyll flora of this region must, therefore, have suffered subsequent extinctions to result in its current relatively low diversity. This regional loss of sclerophyll diversity occurred at the same time as a loss of rainforest diversity and cannot be explained by ecological substitution of species of one ecological type by another type. We show that sclerophyll hyperdiversity has developed in distinctly non-Mediterranean climates, and this diversity is, therefore, more likely a response to long-term climate stability. Climate stability may have both reduced the intensity of extinctions associated with the Pleistocene climate cycles and promoted the accumulation of species richness by encouraging genetic divergence between populations and discouraging plant dispersal.

  15. First fossil evidence of Connaraceae R. Br. from Indian Cenozoic and its phytogeographical significance

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Mahasin Ali Khan; Subir Bera

    2016-07-01

    Fossil leaflet impression described here as a new species Rourea miocaudata sp. nov., showing close resemblance with the modern leaflets of Rourea caudata Planch. (Connaraceae R. Br.), has been recorded from the lower part of the Siwalik sediments (Dafla Formation, middle–upper Miocene) exposed at the road-cutting section of Pinjoli area in West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh. The importantmorphological characters of the fossil are its narrow elliptic leaflet, cuneate base, long caudate apex, entire margin, eucamptodromous to brochidodromous secondary veins, presence of intersecondary veins, percurrent and reticulate tertiary veins and orthogonally reticulate quaternary veins. This is the first authentic record of the occurrence of leaflet comparable to R. caudata of Connaraceae from the Cenozoic sediments of India and abroad. At present R. caudata does not grow in India and is restricted only in southeast Asia especially in China and Myanmar. This taxon probably migrated to these southeast Asian regions after lower Siwalik sedimentation (middle–upper Miocene) due to climatic change causedby post-Miocene orogenic movement of the Himalaya. The recovery of this species and other earlierdescribed evergreen taxa from the same formation, suggests the existence of a tropical, warm and humid climatic conditions during the depositional period.

  16. Fossil and genomic evidence constrains the timing of bison arrival in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froese, Duane; Stiller, Mathias; Heintzman, Peter D.; Reyes, Alberto V.; Zazula, Grant D.; Soares, André E. R.; Meyer, Matthias; Hall, Elizabeth; Jensen, Britta J. L.; Arnold, Lee J.; MacPhee, Ross D. E.; Shapiro, Beth

    2017-03-01

    The arrival of bison in North America marks one of the most successful large-mammal dispersals from Asia within the last million years, yet the timing and nature of this event remain poorly determined. Here, we used a combined paleontological and paleogenomic approach to provide a robust timeline for the entry and subsequent evolution of bison within North America. We characterized two fossil-rich localities in Canada’s Yukon and identified the oldest well-constrained bison fossil in North America, a 130,000-y-old steppe bison, Bison cf. priscus. We extracted and sequenced mitochondrial genomes from both this bison and from the remains of a recently discovered, ˜120,000-y-old giant long-horned bison, Bison latifrons, from Snowmass, Colorado. We analyzed these and 44 other bison mitogenomes with ages that span the Late Pleistocene, and identified two waves of bison dispersal into North America from Asia, the earliest of which occurred ˜195-135 thousand y ago and preceded the morphological diversification of North American bison, and the second of which occurred during the Late Pleistocene, ˜45-21 thousand y ago. This chronological arc establishes that bison first entered North America during the sea level lowstand accompanying marine isotope stage 6, rejecting earlier records of bison in North America. After their invasion, bison rapidly colonized North America during the last interglaciation, spreading from Alaska through continental North America; they have been continuously resident since then.

  17. A gigantic feathered dinosaur from the lower cretaceous of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xing; Wang, Kebai; Zhang, Ke; Ma, Qingyu; Xing, Lida; Sullivan, Corwin; Hu, Dongyu; Cheng, Shuqing; Wang, Shuo

    2012-04-04

    Numerous feathered dinosaur specimens have recently been recovered from the Middle-Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous deposits of northeastern China, but most of them represent small animals. Here we report the discovery of a gigantic new basal tyrannosauroid, Yutyrannus huali gen. et sp. nov., based on three nearly complete skeletons representing two distinct ontogenetic stages from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, China. Y. huali shares some features, particularly of the cranium, with derived tyrannosauroids, but is similar to other basal tyrannosauroids in possessing a three-fingered manus and a typical theropod pes. Morphometric analysis suggests that Y. huali differed from tyrannosaurids in its growth strategy. Most significantly, Y. huali bears long filamentous feathers, thus providing direct evidence for the presence of extensively feathered gigantic dinosaurs and offering new insights into early feather evolution.

  18. A review of interproximal wear grooves on fossil hominin teeth with new evidence from Olduvai Gorge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ungar, P S; Grine, F E; Teaford, M F; Pérez-Pérez, A

    2001-04-01

    Interproximal (approximal) grooves at the cementum-enamel junction of premolar and molar teeth have been observed in a broad range of human ancestors and related extinct species from 1.84 million years ago to the present. Many hypotheses have been presented to explain the aetiology of these grooves, though their form and positioning are most consistent with tooth-picking behaviours. This paper reviews occurrences of interproximal grooves in the cheek teeth of modern and fossil humans, evaluates hypotheses on their cause, and reports on a previously undescribed groove found in OH 60, a molar tooth from Olduvai Gorge. This specimen is among the earliest to show such grooving, and is most likely attributable to Homo erectus. It is concluded that, because interproximal grooves have been observed only on Homo teeth, they probably reflect a behaviour or behaviours unique to that genus.

  19. Bristles before down: a new perspective on the functional origin of feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persons, Walter S; Currie, Philip J

    2015-04-01

    Over the course of the last two decades, the understanding of the early evolution of feathers in nonavian dinosaurs has been revolutionized. It is now recognized that early feathers had a simple form comparable in general structure to the hairs of mammals. Insight into the prevalence of simple feathers throughout the dinosaur family tree has gradually arisen in tandem with the growing evidence for endothermic dinosaur metabolisms. This has led to the generally accepted opinion that the early feather coats of dinosaurs functioned as thermo insulation. However, thermo insulation is often erroneously stated to be a likely functional explanation for the origin of feathers. The problem with this explanation is that, like mammalian hair, simple feathers could serve as insulation only when present in sufficiently high concentrations. The theory therefore necessitates the origination of feathers en masse. We advocate for a novel origin theory of feathers as bristles. Bristles are facial feathers common among modern birds that function like mammalian tactile whiskers, and are frequently simple and hair-like in form. Bristles serve their role in low concentrations, and therefore offer a feasible first stage in feather evolution.

  20. Elemental characterisation of melanin in feathers via synchrotron X-ray imaging and absorption spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Nicholas P.; van Veelen, Arjen; Anné, Jennifer; Manning, Phillip L.; Bergmann, Uwe; Sellers, William I.; Egerton, Victoria M.; Sokaras, Dimosthenis; Alonso-Mori, Roberto; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Wogelius, Roy A.

    2016-09-01

    Melanin is a critical component of biological systems, but the exact chemistry of melanin is still imprecisely known. This is partly due to melanin’s complex heterogeneous nature and partly because many studies use synthetic analogues and/or pigments extracted from their natural biological setting, which may display important differences from endogenous pigments. Here we demonstrate how synchrotron X-ray analyses can non-destructively characterise the elements associated with melanin pigment in situ within extant feathers. Elemental imaging shows that the distributions of Ca, Cu and Zn are almost exclusively controlled by melanin pigment distribution. X-ray absorption spectroscopy demonstrates that the atomic coordination of zinc and sulfur is different within eumelanised regions compared to pheomelanised regions. This not only impacts our fundamental understanding of pigmentation in extant organisms but also provides a significant contribution to the evidence-based colour palette available for reconstructing the appearance of fossil organisms.

  1. Elemental characterisation of melanin in feathers via synchrotron X-ray imaging and absorption spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Nicholas P.; van Veelen, Arjen; Anné, Jennifer; Manning, Phillip L.; Bergmann, Uwe; Sellers, William I.; Egerton, Victoria M.; Sokaras, Dimosthenis; Alonso-Mori, Roberto; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Wogelius, Roy A.

    2016-01-01

    Melanin is a critical component of biological systems, but the exact chemistry of melanin is still imprecisely known. This is partly due to melanin’s complex heterogeneous nature and partly because many studies use synthetic analogues and/or pigments extracted from their natural biological setting, which may display important differences from endogenous pigments. Here we demonstrate how synchrotron X-ray analyses can non-destructively characterise the elements associated with melanin pigment in situ within extant feathers. Elemental imaging shows that the distributions of Ca, Cu and Zn are almost exclusively controlled by melanin pigment distribution. X-ray absorption spectroscopy demonstrates that the atomic coordination of zinc and sulfur is different within eumelanised regions compared to pheomelanised regions. This not only impacts our fundamental understanding of pigmentation in extant organisms but also provides a significant contribution to the evidence-based colour palette available for reconstructing the appearance of fossil organisms. PMID:27658854

  2. Oceanic environmental changes of subarctic Bering Sea in recent 100 years: Evidence from molecular fossils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LU; Bing; CHEN; Ronghua; ZHOU; Huaiyang; WANG; Zipan; CHEN

    2005-01-01

    The core sample B2-9 from the seafloor of the subarctic Bering Sea was dated with 210Pb to obtain a consecutive sequence of oceanic sedimentary environments at an interval of a decade during 1890-1999. A variety of molecular fossils were detected, including n-alkanes, isoprenoids, fatty acids, sterols, etc. By the characteristics of these fine molecules (C27, C28, and C29 sterols) and their molecular indices (Pr/Ph, ∑C+22/∑C?21, CPI and C18∶2/C18∶0) and in consideration of the variation of organic carbon content, the 100-year evolution history of subarctic sea paleoenvironment was reestablished. It is indicated that during the past 100 years in the Arctic, there were two events of strong climate warming (1920-1950 and 1980-1999), which resulted in an oxidated sediment environment owing to decreasing terrigenous organic matters and increasing marine-derived organic matters, and two events of transitory climate cooling (1910 and 1970-1980), which resulted in a slightly reduced sediment environment owing to increasing terrigenous organic matters and decreasing marine-derived organic matters. It is revealed that the processes of warming/cooling alternated climate are directly related to the Arctic and global climate variations.

  3. Siliceous Fragments in Space Micro-dust: evidence for a New Class of Fossil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyake, N.; Wallis, M. K.; Al-Mufti, S.

    2011-10-01

    Collection of Interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) by stratospheric balloon-borne cryosamplers has shown in recent years has shown this to be a superior technique to collection by rockets and aircraft. IDPs in the Cardiff collection from 40km altitude have been studied via scanning electron microscopy and associated X-ray emissions. This paper reports the identification of IDPs containing carbonbaceous-siliceous fibres and whiskers, unlike the mineral silicate particles normally identified with astrophysical silicate. The integration in some cases into cometary agglomerate particles and coatins with salt and other components shows aggregation on the comet. Two examples of fibres have also been found in a carbonaceous chondrite (Tagish Lake) which is thought to have a cometary origin. The fibres and and whiskers may have formed in the comet environment, but their accumulation from the pre-solar dust cloud is not excluded. An astrophysical origin as high temperature condensate in stellar outflows does not however explain the fibre mophologies. We therefore suggest the fibres and whiskers are fragments of fossilized organisms, like some species of terrestrial diatoms.

  4. 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

  5. Marquee Fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clary, Renee; Wandersee, James

    2008-01-01

    Professors of an online graduate-level paleontology class developed the concept of marquee fossils--fossils that have one or more unique characteristics that capture the attention and direct observation of students. In the classroom, Marquee fossils integrate the geology, biology, and environmental science involved in the study of fossilized…

  6. Feather loss in laying hens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hristov Slavča

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper examined the incidence of different forms of feather loss and cannibalism in laying hens aged 74 weeks following moulting and in laying hens following exploitation for a period of one year. The forms of feather loss were considered in detail through a repeated examination of video recordings and they were sorted according to localization - to feather loss on the ventral part of the neck, on the dorsal part of the neck, and on the back between the wings. Feather loss on the ventral part of the neck was established in 47.9% hens, and in the dorsal part in 16.77% hens of the 167 laying hens aged 74 weeks following moulting. The group of 129 laying hens that were observed following one-year exploitation exhibited considerably more frequent feather loss, in 96.90% hens it was localized on the ventral part of the neck, in 60.47% hens on the dorsal part of the neck, and in 20.16% hens it was localized on the back between the wings. A comparison of the results of the incidence of co localized forms of feather loss in the one and the other group of laying hens using the t-test showed statistically very significant differences. A detailed consideration of the video recordings using the method of sequence analysis did not reveal any cannibalism in either group of laying hens.

  7. Early modern humans and morphological variation in Southeast Asia: fossil evidence from Tam Pa Ling, Laos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrice Demeter

    Full Text Available Little is known about the timing of modern human emergence and occupation in Eastern Eurasia. However a rapid migration out of Africa into Southeast Asia by at least 60 ka is supported by archaeological, paleogenetic and paleoanthropological data. Recent discoveries in Laos, a modern human cranium (TPL1 from Tam Pa Ling's cave, provided the first evidence for the presence of early modern humans in mainland Southeast Asia by 63-46 ka. In the current study, a complete human mandible representing a second individual, TPL 2, is described using discrete traits and geometric morphometrics with an emphasis on determining its population affinity. The TPL2 mandible has a chin and other discrete traits consistent with early modern humans, but it retains a robust lateral corpus and internal corporal morphology typical of archaic humans across the Old World. The mosaic morphology of TPL2 and the fully modern human morphology of TPL1 suggest that a large range of morphological variation was present in early modern human populations residing in the eastern Eurasia by MIS 3.

  8. Are the oldest 'fossils', fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schopf, J. W.

    1976-01-01

    A comparative statistical study has been carried out on populations of modern algae, Precambrian algal microfossils, the 'organized elements' of the Orgueil carbonaceous meteorite, and the oldest microfossil-like objects now known (spheroidal bodies from the Fig Tree and Onverwacht Groups of the Swaziland Supergroup, South Africa). The distribution patterns exhibited by the more than 3000 m.y.-old Swaziland microstructures bear considerable resemblance to those of the abiotic 'organized elements' but differ rather markedly from those exhibited by younger, assuredly biogenic, populations. Based on these comparisons, it is concluded that the Swaziland spheroids could be, at least in part, of nonbiologic origin; these oldest known fossil-like microstructures should not be regarded as constituting firm evidence of Archean life.

  9. 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

  10. New fossil evidence of the early diversification of scarabs:Alloioscarabaeus cheni (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) from the Middle Jurassic of Inner Mongolia, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ming Bai; Dirk Ahrens; Xing-Ke Yang; Dong Ren

    2012-01-01

    Scarabaeoidea are known from the Lower Jurassic and may have originated in the Triassic based on fossil evidence and phylogenetic research.However,the early diversification of Scarabaeoidea remains unclear due to the lack of high-quality fossil evidence.Here we describe an exceptionally well-preserved new fossil of Scarabaeoidea,Alloioscarabaeus cheni gen.et sp.nov from the Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation of Inner Mongolia,China.Based on a morphometric analysis using 17 landmarks of the hind wing of Alloioscarabaeus and 10 scarabaeoid families,we found that Alloioscarabaeus cheni gen.et sp.nov clearly does not belong to any of the known scarabaeoid families and,consequently,is a new family,Alloioscarabaeidae fam.nov.,was erected.The discovery of Alloioscarabaeus brought further evidence for the early diversification of major scarab lineages which could allow more detail in the palaeobiogeography of the Scarabaeoidea and Northeast of China which might be one of the originating places or an important radiation place during the evolution of Scarabaeoidea.Alloioscarabaeidae were very likely not good diggers and might have fed on decaying organic materials.Based on the evidence we have now,we tend to believe that most families and some subfamilies of Scarabaeoidea were present in the Jurassic period.

  11. 14 CFR 35.22 - Feathering propellers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Feathering propellers. 35.22 Section 35.22 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AIRCRAFT AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: PROPELLERS Design and Construction § 35.22 Feathering propellers. (a) Feathering propellers...

  12. Ediacara Fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Now, a research team from Virginia Tech and Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology has discovered uniquely well-preserved fossil forms from 550-million-year-old rocks of the Ediacaran Period. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The discovery of these unusually preserved fossils reveals unprecedented…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Eagle Feathers, the Highest Honor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaverhead, Pete

    Following his own advice that elders of the tribe share their knowledge so that "the way of the Indians would come back to the children of today," Pete Beaverhead (1899-1975) tells of the traditions of respect and honor surrounding the eagle feather in a booklet illustrated with black and white drawings. The eagle is an Indian symbol of…

  18. Valdivian ecosystems in the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary of Antarctica: further evidence from myrtaceous and eucryphiaceous fossil wood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poole, I.J.; Mennega, A.M.W.; Cantrill, David J.

    2003-01-01

    Cool temperate rainforests growing on the flanks of the Andes and along the Coastal Range in Valdivia (Chile) today provide the closest analogue for the fossil floras of Antarctica during the Eocene. This paper records key Valdivian elements in a Maastrichtian to Eocene wood flora that extends the

  19. 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...

  20. Phylogeny of Dictyoptera: Dating the Origin of Cockroaches, Praying Mantises and Termites with Molecular Data and Controlled Fossil Evidence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Legendre

    Full Text Available Understanding the origin and diversification of organisms requires a good phylogenetic estimate of their age and diversification rates. This estimate can be difficult to obtain when samples are limited and fossil records are disputed, as in Dictyoptera. To choose among competing hypotheses of origin for dictyopteran suborders, we root a phylogenetic analysis (~800 taxa, 10 kbp within a large selection of outgroups and calibrate datings with fossils attributed to lineages with clear synapomorphies. We find the following topology: (mantises, (other cockroaches, (Cryptocercidae, termites. Our datings suggest that crown-Dictyoptera-and stem-mantises-would date back to the Late Carboniferous (~ 300 Mya, a result compatible with the oldest putative fossil of stem-dictyoptera. Crown-mantises, however, would be much more recent (~ 200 Mya; Triassic/Jurassic boundary. This pattern (i.e., old origin and more recent diversification suggests a scenario of replacement in carnivory among polyneopterous insects. The most recent common ancestor of (cockroaches + termites would date back to the Permian (~275 Mya, which contradicts the hypothesis of a Devonian origin of cockroaches. Stem-termites would date back to the Triassic/Jurassic boundary, which refutes a Triassic origin. We suggest directions in extant and extinct species sampling to sharpen this chronological framework and dictyopteran evolutionary studies.

  1. Phylogeny of Dictyoptera: Dating the Origin of Cockroaches, Praying Mantises and Termites with Molecular Data and Controlled Fossil Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legendre, Frédéric; Nel, André; Svenson, Gavin J; Robillard, Tony; Pellens, Roseli; Grandcolas, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the origin and diversification of organisms requires a good phylogenetic estimate of their age and diversification rates. This estimate can be difficult to obtain when samples are limited and fossil records are disputed, as in Dictyoptera. To choose among competing hypotheses of origin for dictyopteran suborders, we root a phylogenetic analysis (~800 taxa, 10 kbp) within a large selection of outgroups and calibrate datings with fossils attributed to lineages with clear synapomorphies. We find the following topology: (mantises, (other cockroaches, (Cryptocercidae, termites)). Our datings suggest that crown-Dictyoptera-and stem-mantises-would date back to the Late Carboniferous (~ 300 Mya), a result compatible with the oldest putative fossil of stem-dictyoptera. Crown-mantises, however, would be much more recent (~ 200 Mya; Triassic/Jurassic boundary). This pattern (i.e., old origin and more recent diversification) suggests a scenario of replacement in carnivory among polyneopterous insects. The most recent common ancestor of (cockroaches + termites) would date back to the Permian (~275 Mya), which contradicts the hypothesis of a Devonian origin of cockroaches. Stem-termites would date back to the Triassic/Jurassic boundary, which refutes a Triassic origin. We suggest directions in extant and extinct species sampling to sharpen this chronological framework and dictyopteran evolutionary studies.

  2. 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 g

  3. Effective heat transport of Gulf Stream to subarctic North Atlantic during Miocene cooling: evidence from "Köppen signatures" of fossil plant assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Denk

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Shallowing of the Panama Sill and the closure of the Central American Seaway initiated the modern Loop Current/Gulf Stream circulation pattern during the Miocene but no direct evidence has yet been provided for effective heat transport to the northern North Atlantic during that time. Climatic signals from 11 precisely-dated plant-bearing sedimentary rock formations in Iceland, spanning 15–0.8 million years (Myr, resolve the impacts of the developing Miocene global thermohaline circulation on terrestrial vegetation in the subarctic North Atlantic region. "Köppen signatures" were implemented to express climatic properties of fossil plant taxa and their potential modern analogues using the principal concept of the generic Köppen–Geiger climate system, which is based on plant distribution patterns. Using Köppen signatures and the correlation between Köppen climate zones and major global vegetation zones, fossil assemblages were used to trace major vegetation shifts. This evidence was combined with evidence from tectonics and palaeoceanography. In contrast to the global climatic trend, the vegetation record reveals no cooling between ~ 15 and 12 Myr, whereas periods of climatic deterioration between 12–10 Myr, 8–4 Myr, and in the Pleistocene are in phase with increased pulses of ice-rafted debris in the Northern Hemisphere. The observed sequence of climate change in the northern North Atlantic can only be explained by an effective Gulf Stream-mediated heat transport from the middle Miocene onwards.

  4. 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 , 1993 . Stable carbon 13 13 12C ratio per mil .relative to an international standard in fossil .speleothems Talma and Vogel, 1992 , palaeosols .Botha et al., 1992; Bond et al., 1994 , antelope .tooth collagen Vogel, 1983 and tooth enamel .Lee... and soil carbon data from .KwazulurNatal Botha et al., 1992 . Tooth enamel samples from grazer remains in Equus Cave in the summer-rain region to the north Lee-Thorp and .Beaumont, 1995 , may be closer to the tropical lakes pattern but dating resolution...

  5. J0454-0309: Evidence for a strong lensing fossil group falling into a poor galaxy cluster

    CERN Document Server

    Schirmer, Mischa; Schrabback, Tim; Hildebrandt, Hendrik; Halkola, Aleksi; Erben, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    We have discovered a strong lensing fossil group (J0454) at z=0.26, projected near the well-studied cluster MS0451-0305. Using multicolour Subaru/Suprime-Cam and CFHT/Megaprime imaging together with Keck spectroscopy we 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 determine the group's weak lensing signal and model the strong lens system. This is the first time that a fossil group is analysed with lensing methods. The X-ray luminosity and temperature are derived from XMM-Newton data. We find two filaments extending over 4 Mpc, and within the virial radius we identify 31 members spectroscopically and 33 via the red sequence with i<22 mag. They segregate into spirals and a dynamically cooler central concentration of ellipticals with a velocity dispersion of 480 km/s. Weak lensing and cluster richness relations yield r200 = 830 kpc and M200 = 0.85 x 10^14 Msun. The brightest group galaxy (BGG) is inc...

  6. 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.

  7. The allometry of number of feathers in birds changes seasonally

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Anders Pape Møller

    2015-01-01

    Background:Feathers are a defining feature of birds with multiple functions such as flight, insulation, protection against predation and signaling. Feathers are lost during the annual molt while the rate of such loss at other times of the year and its fitness consequences remain poorly known. Methods:I used information on the number and the mass of feathers for 160 individuals belonging to 85 species of birds in general linear mixed models to analyze allometry of feathers and to investigate possible factors explaining variation in the number of feathers. A phylogenetic effect was assessed by quantifying the random effect of genus. Results:The total mass of feathers increased isometrically with body mass, while the total number of feathers and the mean mass of feathers showed negative allometry. Negative allometry implied that small-sized species had relatively many small feathers. There was a negative association between the number of feathers and migration distance. The total number of feathers initially increased during fall and winter, consistent with individuals growing more feathers later during the year or with individuals with fewer feathers selectively disappearing from the population. In contrast, the number of feathers decreased from winter through spring and summer. Conclusions:These findings suggest that thermoregulation has affected the evolution of the number and the size of feathers, there is selection against feather loss, and that the number of feathers varies across seasons.

  8. The allometry of number of feathers in birds changes seasonally

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Anders; Pape; Mller

    2015-01-01

    Background: Feathers are a defining feature of birds with multiple functions such as flight, insulation, protection against predation and signaling. Feathers are lost during the annual molt while the rate of such loss at other times of the year and its fitness consequences remain poorly known.Methods: I used information on the number and the mass of feathers for 160 individuals belonging to 85 species of birds in general linear mixed models to analyze allometry of feathers and to investigate possible factors explaining variation in the number of feathers. A phylogenetic effect was assessed by quantifying the random effect of genus.Results: The total mass of feathers increased isometrically with body mass, while the total number of feathers and the mean mass of feathers showed negative allometry. Negative allometry implied that small-sized species had relatively many small feathers. There was a negative association between the number of feathers and migration distance. The total number of feathers initially increased during fall and winter, consistent with individuals growing more feathers later during the year or with individuals with fewer feathers selectively disappearing from the population. In contrast, the number of feathers decreased from winter through spring and summer.Conclusions: These findings suggest that thermoregulation has affected the evolution of the number and the size of feathers, there is selection against feather loss, and that the number of feathers varies across seasons.

  9. Sulfur-cycling fossil bacteria from the 1.8-Ga Duck Creek Formation provide promising evidence of evolution's null hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schopf, J. William; Kudryavtsev, Anatoliy B.; Walter, Malcolm R.; Van Kranendonk, Martin J.; Williford, Kenneth H.; Kozdon, Reinhard; Valley, John W.; Gallardo, Victor A.; Espinoza, Carola; Flannery, David T.

    2015-01-01

    The recent discovery of a deep-water sulfur-cycling microbial biota in the ∼2.3-Ga Western Australian Turee Creek Group opened a new window to life's early history. We now report a second such subseafloor-inhabiting community from the Western Australian ∼1.8-Ga Duck Creek Formation. Permineralized in cherts formed during and soon after the 2.4- to 2.2-Ga “Great Oxidation Event,” these two biotas may evidence an opportunistic response to the mid-Precambrian increase of environmental oxygen that resulted in increased production of metabolically useable sulfate and nitrate. The marked similarity of microbial morphology, habitat, and organization of these fossil communities to their modern counterparts documents exceptionally slow (hypobradytelic) change that, if paralleled by their molecular biology, would evidence extreme evolutionary stasis. PMID:25646436

  10. Sulfur-cycling fossil bacteria from the 1.8-Ga Duck Creek Formation provide promising evidence of evolution's null hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schopf, J. William; Kudryavtsev, Anatoliy B.; Walter, Malcolm R.; Van Kranendonk, Martin J.; Williford, Kenneth H.; Kozdon, Reinhard; Valley, John W.; Gallardo, Victor A.; Espinoza, Carola; Flannery, David T.

    2015-02-01

    The recent discovery of a deep-water sulfur-cycling microbial biota in the ∼2.3-Ga Western Australian Turee Creek Group opened a new window to life's early history. We now report a second such subseafloor-inhabiting community from the Western Australian ∼1.8-Ga Duck Creek Formation. Permineralized in cherts formed during and soon after the 2.4- to 2.2-Ga "Great Oxidation Event," these two biotas may evidence an opportunistic response to the mid-Precambrian increase of environmental oxygen that resulted in increased production of metabolically useable sulfate and nitrate. The marked similarity of microbial morphology, habitat, and organization of these fossil communities to their modern counterparts documents exceptionally slow (hypobradytelic) change that, if paralleled by their molecular biology, would evidence extreme evolutionary stasis.

  11. 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 instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and NASA; based on data obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Ancient DNA recovers the origins of Māori feather cloaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartnup, K; Huynen, L; Te Kanawa, R; Shepherd, L D; Millar, C D; Lambert, D M

    2011-10-01

    Feather cloaks ("kakahu"), particularly those adorned with kiwi feathers, are treasured items or "taonga" to the Māori people of "Aotearoa"/New Zealand. They are considered iconic expression of Māori culture. Despite their status, much of our knowledge of the materials used to construct cloaks, the provenance of cloaks, and the origins of cloak making itself, has been lost. We used ancient DNA methods to recover mitochondrial DNA sequences from 849 feather samples taken from 109 cloaks. We show that almost all (>99%) of the cloaks were constructed using feathers from North Island brown kiwi. Molecular sexing of nuclear DNA recovered from 92 feather cloak samples also revealed that the sex ratio of birds deviated from a ratio of 1:1 observed in reference populations. Additionally, we constructed a database of 185 mitochondrial control region DNA sequences of kiwi feathers comprising samples collected from 26 North Island locations together with data available from the literature. Genetic subdivision (G(ST)), nucleotide subdivision (N(ST)) and Spatial Analysis of Molecular Variants (SAMOVA) analyses revealed high levels of genetic structuring in North Island brown kiwi. Together with sequence data from previously studied ancient and modern kiwi samples, we were able to determine the geographic provenance of 847 cloak feathers from 108 cloaks. A surprising proportion (15%) of cloaks were found to contain feathers from different geographic locations, providing evidence of kiwi trading among Māori tribes or organized hunting trips into other tribal areas. Our data also suggest that the east of the North Island of New Zealand was the most prolific of all kiwi cloak making areas, with over 50% of all cloaks analyzed originating from this region. Similar molecular approaches have the potential to discover a wealth of lost information from artifacts of endemic cultures worldwide.

  15. Specialized primary feathers produce tonal sounds during flight in rock pigeons (Columba livia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niese, Robert L; Tobalske, Bret W

    2016-07-15

    For centuries, naturalists have suggested that the tonal elements of pigeon wing sounds may be sonations (non-vocal acoustic signals) of alarm. However, spurious tonal sounds may be produced passively as a result of aeroelastic flutter in the flight feathers of almost all birds. Using mechanistic criteria emerging from recent work on sonations, we sought to: (1) identify characteristics of rock pigeon flight feathers that might be adapted for sound production rather than flight, and (2) provide evidence that this morphology is necessary for in vivo sound production and is sufficient to replicate in vivo sounds. Pigeons produce tonal sounds (700±50 Hz) during the latter two-thirds of each downstroke during take-off. These tones are produced when a small region of long, curved barbs on the inner vane of the outermost primary feather (P10) aeroelastically flutters. Tones were silenced in live birds when we experimentally increased the stiffness of this region to prevent flutter. Isolated P10 feathers were sufficient to reproduce in vivo sounds when spun at the peak angular velocity of downstroke (53.9-60.3 rad s(-1)), but did not produce tones at average downstroke velocity (31.8 rad s(-1)), whereas P9 and P1 feathers never produced tones. P10 feathers had significantly lower coefficients of resultant aerodynamic force (CR) when spun at peak angular velocity than at average angular velocity, revealing that production of tonal sounds incurs an aerodynamic cost. P9 and P1 feathers did not show this difference in CR These mechanistic results suggest that the tonal sounds produced by P10 feathers are not incidental and may function in communication.

  16. Environmental-induced acquisition of nuptial plumage expression: a role of denaturation of feather carotenoproteins?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Guillermo; Frías, Oscar; Garrido-Fernández, Juan; Hornero-Méndez, Dámaso

    2005-01-01

    Several avian species show a bright carotenoid-based coloration during spring and following a period of duller coloration during the previous winter, despite carotenoids presumably being fully deposited in feathers during the autumn moult. Carotenoid-based breast feathers of male linnets (Carduelis cannabina) increased in hue (redness), saturation and brightness after exposing them to outdoor conditions from winter to spring. This represents the first experimental evidence showing that carotenoid-based plumage coloration may increase towards a colourful expression due to biotic or abiotic environmental factors acting directly on full-grown feathers when carotenoids may be fully functional. Sunlight ultraviolet (UV) irradiation was hypothesized to denature keratin and other proteins that might protect pigments from degradation by this and other environmental factors, suggesting that sunlight UV irradiation is a major factor in the colour increase from winter to spring. Feather proteins and other binding molecules, if existing in the follicles, may be linked to carotenoids since their deposition into feathers to protect colourful features of associated carotenoids during the non-breeding season when its main signalling function may be relaxed. Progress towards uncovering the significance of concealment and subsequent display of colour expression should consider the potential binding and protecting nature of feather proteins associated with carotenoids. PMID:16191594

  17. 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...

  18. Morphometry of auricular feathers of barn owls (Tyto alba).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, U R; Wagner, H

    2002-02-01

    In all owl species, the facial plumage forms a parabolic dish, the facial ruff, which is most conspicuous in the the barn owl (Tyto alba). The center of the ruff is formed by auricular feathers. Such feathers are also found on the preaural flaps which cover the ear openings, and in the region of the beak. In this study, we compare the different types of auricular feathers of the barn owl with contour feathers from the neck. Auricular feathers are characterised by an open vane structure and fewer barbs as compared to contour feathers. Auricular feathers also have fewer distal and proximal barbules than contour feathers. The open vane of the auricular feather results from an acute angle between the barb and the basis of the barbules, and from the extension of the pennula parallel to the barbs. These reductions are differently expressed in the three different types of auricular feathers investigated here and correspond with their function (protecting the ruff from dust).

  19. Towards a comprehensive model of feather regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maderson, Paul F A; Hillenius, Willem J; Hiller, Uwe; Dove, Carla C

    2009-10-01

    Understanding of the regeneration of feathers, despite a 140 year tradition of study, has remained substantially incomplete. Moreover, accumulated errors and mis-statements in the literature have confounded the intrinsic difficulties in describing feather regeneration. Lack of allusion to Rudall's (Rudall [1947] Biochem Biophys Acta 1:549-562) seminal X-ray diffraction study that revealed two distinct keratins, beta- and alpha-, in a mature feather, is one of the several examples where lack of citation long inhibited progress in understanding. This article reviews and reevaluates the available literature and provides a synthetic, comprehensive, morphological model for the regeneration of a generalized, adult contour feather. Particular attention is paid to several features that have previously been largely ignored. Some of these, such as the beta-keratogenic sheath and the alpha-keratogenic, supra-umbilical, pulp caps, are missing from mature, functional feathers sensu stricto because they are lost through preening, but these structures nevertheless play a critical role in development. A new developmental role for a tissue unique to feathers, the medullary pith of the rachis and barb rami, and especially its importance in the genesis of the superior umbilical region (SUR) that forms the transition from the spathe (rachis and vanes) to the calamus, is described. It is postulated that feathers form through an intricate interplay between cyto- and histodifferentiative processes, determined by patterning signals that emanate from the dermal core, and a suite of interacting biomechanical forces. Precisely regulated patterns of loss of intercellular adhesivity appear to be the most fundamental aspect of feather morphogenesis and regeneration: rather than a hierarchically branched structure, it appears more appropriate to conceive of feathers as a sheet of mature keratinocytes that is "full of holes.

  20. Early evolution of life cycles in embryophytes:A focus on the fossil evidence of gametophyte/sporophyte size and morphological complexity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Philippe GERRIENNE; Paul GONEZ

    2011-01-01

    Embryophytes (land plants) are distinguished from their green algal ancestors by diplobiontic life cycles,that is,alternation of multicellular gametophytic and sporophytic generations.The bryophyte sporophyte is small and matrotrophic on the dominant gametophyte; extant vascular plants have an independent,dominant sporophyte and a reduced gametophyte.The elaboration of the diplobiontic life cycle in embryophytes has been thoroughly discussed within the context of the Antithetic and the Homologous Theories.The Antithetic Theory proposes a green algal ancestor with a gametophyte-dominant haplobiontic life cycle.The Homologous Theory suggests a green algal ancestor with alternation of isomorphic generations.The shifts that led from haplobiontic to diplobiontic life cycles and from gametophytic to sporophytic dominance are most probably related with terrestrial habitats.Cladistic studies strongly support the Antithetic Theory in repeatedly identifying charophycean green algae as the closest relatives of land plants.In recent years,exceptionally well-preserved axial gametophytes have been described from the Rhynie chert (Lower Devonian,410 Ma),and the complete life cycle of several Rhynie chert plants has been reconstructed.All show an alternation of more or less isomorphic generations,which is currently accepted as the plesiomorphic condition among all early polysporangiophytes,including basal tracheophytes.Here we review the existing evidence for early embryophyte gametophytes.We also discuss some recently discovered plants preserved as compression fossils and interpreted as gametophytes.All the fossil evidence supports the Antithetic Theory and indicates that the gametophytic generation/sporophytic generation size and complexity ratios show a gradual decrease along the land plant phylogenetic tree.

  1. A novel DNA virus associated with feather inclusions in psittacine beak and feather disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latimer, K S; Rakich, P M; Steffens, W L; Kircher, I M; Ritchie, B W; Niagro, F D; Lukert, P D

    1991-07-01

    The nature of feather inclusions was characterized in 32 psittacine birds (30 cockatoos, one peach-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis), and one red-lored Amazon parrot (Amazona autumnalis autumnalis] with naturally-acquired psittacine beak and feather disease. Intranuclear inclusions within feather epithelial cells and intracytoplasmic inclusions within macrophages in the feather epithelium and pulp cavity contained psittacine beak and feather disease viral antigen when stained by the avidin-biotin complex immunoperoxidase technique. Ultrastructurally, inclusions were observed primarily within macrophages and to a lesser extent within epithelial cell nuclei. Macrophage inclusions appeared as paracrystalline arrays of viral particles. Intranuclear inclusions were less well defined, although scattered viral particles were present. Intracytoplasmic and intranuclear particles in ultrastructural preparations were identified by colloidal gold labeling as psittacine beak and feather disease virus. Feather epithelium was more frequently and severely involved in the disease process than was adjacent follicular epithelium. Plucked feathers with an intact epidermal collar and feather epithelium were preferred to follicular biopsies for histopathologic examination.

  2. Differences in intestinal microbial metabolites in laying hens with high and low levels of repetitive feather-pecking behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Beatrice; Zentek, Jürgen; Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra

    2013-02-17

    Feather pecking in laying hens is a serious behavioral problem and is often associated with feather eating. There is some evidence that ingested feathers affect gut function. The aim of the present study was to explore whether differences in intestinal microbial metabolites in laying hens with high and low levels of repetitive feather-pecking behavior exist. Sixty high feather-pecking birds (H) and sixty low feather-pecking birds (L) of the White Leghorn breed were used for behavioral recordings of feather pecking. Feather pecking activity was observed for 5 weeks, after which 22 H birds with the highest and 22 L birds with the lowest feather pecking activity were chosen. The number of whole feathers and feather parts in the gizzard and intestinal microbial metabolites in the ileum and ceca of these laying hens was examined. Biogenic amines, short-chain fatty acids, ammonia and lactate were measured as microbial metabolites. A higher number of feather parts and particles were found in H than in L birds. Putrescine and cadaverine concentrations were higher in the ileum of the hens with low pecking activity (P<0.001 and P=0.012). In the cecum the amounts of l-lactate, d-lactate and total lactate and SCFA were higher in H birds (P=0.007, P=0.005, P=0.006, and P<0.001). Acetate, i-butyrate, i-valeriate and n-valeriate all displayed significantly higher molar ratios in the cecal contents of L birds (P=0.001, P=0.003, P=0.001, and P<0.001). Propionate and n-butyrate showed higher molar ratios in H birds (P<0.001 and P=0.034). Ammonia was higher in the ileum and cecum of the L birds (P<0.001 and P=0.004). For the first time, this study shows that birds with high and low numbers of repetitive pecking movements to the plumage of other birds differ in their intestinal microbial metabolism. Further experiments should be conducted to investigate whether these differences alter behavior in H and L feather pecking birds. The present results, however, open new avenues of research

  3. 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.

  4. Ice Formation Delay on Penguin Feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alizadehbirjandi, Elaheh; Tavakoli-Dastjerdi, Faryar; St. Leger, Judy; Davis, Stephen H.; Rothstein, Jonathan P.; Kavehpour, H. Pirouz

    2015-11-01

    Antarctic penguins reside in a harsh environment where air temperature may reach -40 °C with wind speed of 40 m/s and water temperature remains around -2.2 °C. Penguins are constantly in and out of the water and splashed by waves, yet even in sub-freezing conditions, the formation of macroscopic ice is not observed on their feathers. Bird feathers are naturally hydrophobic; however, penguins have an additional hydrophobic coating on their feathers to reinforce their non-wetting properties. This coating consists of preen oil which is applied to the feathers from the gland near the base of the tail. The combination of the feather's hydrophobicity and surface texture is known to increase the contact angle of water drops on penguin feathers to over 140 ° and classify them as superhydrophobic. We here develop an in-depth analysis of ice formation mechanism on superhydrophobic surfaces through careful experimentations and development of a theory to address how ice formation is delayed on these surfaces. Furthermore, we investigate the anti-icing properties of warm and cold weather penguins with and without preen oil to further design a surface minimizing the frost formation which is of practical interest especially in aircraft industry.

  5. Investigations on feathering, feather growth and potential influences of nutrient supply on feathers' regrowth in small pet birds (canaries, budgerigars and lovebirds).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, P; Rabehl, N; Kamphues, J

    2003-04-01

    The aim of this study was to quantitate feathering in several companion birds. Besides the ratio of feathers to whole body mass, feather length as well as feather weight were of interest. Furthermore, data on feather loss and growth rates were estimated. In general, it could be observed that the proportion of feathers relative to body mass varied between 14 (canaries) and 7.4% (lovebirds). Feather losses (outside the moult period) amounted to an average of 6.65 (canaries), 8.98 (budgerigars), and 8.43 (lovebirds) mg/bird/day respectively or 37 (canaries), 20 (budgerigars), and 17 (lovebirds) mg/100 g body weight/day (values of interest in calculating of protein requirements for maintenance). In canaries, the average growth rate of the developing feathers amounted to 2 mm/day. In contrast to the onset of feather regeneration, the growth rate of new feathers leaving the follicle was not influenced by the supplements used here. The regeneration period (first measurable feather growth) of a plucked pinion can be used as an indicator and objective parameter to test potential nutritional influences. Parallel to the improvement of nutrient supply the rates of feather losses and also replacement increased, whereas the rates decreased when seed mixtures without any addition of minerals, sulphurous amino acids, and vitamins were fed.

  6. 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

  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...... for each floor feather. In week 62, a higher prevalence of hens with poor plumage condition was found in barn (22.2%) compared with organic production systems (7.4%; P... directly from other hens or dislodged during preening of own feathers....

  8. Fossilization of melanosomes via sulfurization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria E; van Dongen, Bart E; Lockyer, Nick P; Bull, Ian D; Orr, Patrick J

    2016-05-01

    Fossil melanin granules (melanosomes) are an important resource for inferring the evolutionary history of colour and its functions in animals. The taphonomy of melanin and melanosomes, however, is incompletely understood. In particular, the chemical processes responsible for melanosome preservation have not been investigated. As a result, the origins of sulfur-bearing compounds in fossil melanosomes are difficult to resolve. This has implications for interpretations of original colour in fossils based on potential sulfur-rich phaeomelanosomes. Here we use pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry (Py-GCMS), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) to assess the mode of preservation of fossil microstructures, confirmed as melanosomes based on the presence of melanin, preserved in frogs from the Late Miocene Libros biota (NE Spain). Our results reveal a high abundance of organosulfur compounds and non-sulfurized fatty acid methyl esters in both the fossil tissues and host sediment; chemical signatures in the fossil tissues are inconsistent with preservation of phaeomelanin. Our results reflect preservation via the diagenetic incorporation of sulfur, i.e. sulfurization (natural vulcanization), and other polymerization processes. Organosulfur compounds and/or elevated concentrations of sulfur have been reported from melanosomes preserved in various invertebrate and vertebrate fossils and depositional settings, suggesting that preservation through sulfurization is likely to be widespread. Future studies of sulfur-rich fossil melanosomes require that the geochemistry of the host sediment is tested for evidence of sulfurization in order to constrain interpretations of potential phaeomelanosomes and thus of original integumentary colour in fossils.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramakrishnan, Jayapradha; Balakrishnan, Hariram; Raja, Selvaraj Thirupathi Kumara; Sundararamakrishnan, Natarajan; Renganathan, Sadagoban; Radha, Venkatesh Nagarajan

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:24031698

  11. 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

  12. Expanding the scope of anatomical sciences: the case of "Human evolution: The fossil evidence" course at the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notzer, Netta; Abramovitz, Ruth

    2012-01-01

    The Anatomy Department at Tel-Aviv University Medical School offers its students an elective course of 26 didactic hours on human evolution. The course is open to students from all faculties, who must fulfill all academic requirements, without a prerequisite of a background in anatomy. Approximately 120 students attend annually, a third of them are nonmedical students who major in philosophy, archeology, and sociology. This article discusses the course's contributions to students' understanding of a scientific concept that a scientific theory can be contradicted by new evidence, because facts govern science. Also, research methods of applying scientific principles establish the understanding of the human body, which evidently contributes to health and medicine. In the classes, the students are divided into mini-groups of 2-3 students, while the lecturer moves among students to examine fossils. In addition, analogies, open-discussions, and explanations accompany the tangible experiences. The lecturer of the course is an experienced anthropologist-anatomist researcher. He is a role-model and a mentor, sharing with the students his belief that a scientist should be persistent in his research to overcome difficult circumstances. Students, regardless of their backgrounds, express high appreciation of the course in their feedback questionnaires. The message conveyed by this course is that not only knowledge counts but also its integration with scientific principles. This course teaches us that science can bring students from different areas to study together and share ideas. In conclusion, this is a unique course in the eyes of the faculty and students alike.

  13. Evaluation of a novel feather scoring system for monitoring feather damaging behaviour in parrots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Zeeland, Yvonne R A; Bergers, Madeleine J; van der Valk, Lisette; Schoemaker, Nico J; Lumeij, Johannes T

    2013-05-01

    Feather damaging behaviour is common in captive psittacine birds and there is a need for reliable methods to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic and preventive interventions. This study compared the inter- and intra-observer reliabilities of a novel feather scoring system with an existing system to assess the plumage of grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Regions of the body were photographed separately at 1 week intervals and shown at random to 35 examiners (avian veterinarians and veterinary students), who used the two scoring systems to assess plumage. Since the quality of the photographs was insufficient to allow accurate assessment of the individual flight and tail feathers, the novel scoring system was only evaluated for its reliability regarding covert and down feathers. Inter- and intra-observer reliabilities were determined using the intra-class correlation coefficient. Bland-Altman analysis was performed to determine absolute reliabilities for both systems. Correlation coefficients were 0.90 and 0.95 for intra-observer reliability and 0.83 and 0.89 for inter-observer reliability for the existing and novel feather scoring systems, respectively. When using the novel system, a change in plumage condition of ≥10% was needed to ensure that the change reflected a real difference in 95% of cases, while a change of ≥15% was needed for the existing system. Since it may take from 4 weeks (covert or down feathers) to over 1 year (flight or tail feathers) for feathers to regrow, sufficient time should be allowed to elapse between two scoring sessions to reliably evaluate the efficacy of preventive or therapeutic interventions for feather damaging behaviour.

  14. Stabilization of solutions of feather keratins by sodium dodecyl sulphate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schrooyen, P.M.M.; Dijkstra, Pieter J.; Oberthür, Radulf C.; Bantjes, A.; Bantjes, Adriaan; Feijen, Jan

    2001-01-01

    Feather keratins were extracted from chicken feathers with aqueous solutions of urea and 2-mercaptoethanol. After filtration of the insoluble residue, a feather keratin solution was obtained. Removal of 2-mercaptoethanol and urea by dialysis resulted in aggregation of the keratin polypeptide chains

  15. Feather pecking and related behavioural characteristics in laying hens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodenburg, T.B.

    2003-01-01

    Feather pecking is a major welfare and economic problem in laying hens. It is characterised by pecking at- and pulling out of feathers of conspecifics. A bird's propensity to develop feather pecking may be related with other behavioural characteristics, such as reaction to frustration (the omission

  16. 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.

  17. A new Jurassic theropod from China documents a transitional step in the macrostructure of feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefèvre, Ulysse; Cau, Andrea; Cincotta, Aude; Hu, Dongyu; Chinsamy, Anusuya; Escuillié, François; Godefroit, Pascal

    2017-10-01

    Genuine fossils with exquisitely preserved plumage from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of northeastern China have recently revealed that bird-like theropod dinosaurs had long pennaceous feathers along their hindlimbs and may have used their four wings to glide or fly. Thus, it has been postulated that early bird flight might initially have involved four wings (Xu et al. Nature 421:335-340, 2003; Hu et al. Nature 461:640-643, 2009; Han et al. Nat Commun 5:4382, 2014). Here, we describe Serikornis sungei gen. et sp. nov., a new feathered theropod from the Tiaojishan Fm (Late Jurassic) of Liaoning Province, China. Its skeletal morphology suggests a ground-dwelling ecology with no flying adaptations. Our phylogenetic analysis places Serikornis, together with other Late Jurassic paravians from China, as a basal paravians, outside the Eumaniraptora clade. The tail of Serikornis is covered proximally by filaments and distally by slender rectrices. Thin symmetrical remiges lacking barbules are attached along its forelimbs and elongate hindlimb feathers extend up to its toes, suggesting that hindlimb remiges evolved in ground-dwelling maniraptorans before being co-opted to an arboreal lifestyle or flight.

  18. The Weight of Iron and Feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zendri, G.; Gratton, L. M.; Oss, S.

    2014-01-01

    We discuss the popular question concerning the difference in weight between 1 kg of iron and 1 kg of feathers, by taking into account the non-trivial aspect of the semantic interpretation of "weight" and the weighting procedure. The inclusion of air buoyancy makes the correct answer an interesting one. We describe and comment on the…

  19. Arsenic species in poultry feather meal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nachman, K E; Raber, G; Francesconi, K A; Navas-Acien, A; Love, D C

    2012-02-15

    Organoarsenical drugs are widely used in the production of broiler chickens in the United States. Feathers from these chickens are processed into a meal product that is used as an animal feed additive and as an organic fertilizer. Research conducted to date suggests that arsenical drugs, specifically roxarsone, used in poultry production result in the accumulation of arsenic in the keratinous material of poultry feathers. The use of feather meal product in the human food system and in other settings may result in human exposures to arsenic. Consequently, the presence and nature of arsenic in twelve samples of feather meal product from six US states and China were examined. Since arsenic toxicity is highly species-dependent, speciation analysis using HPLC/ICPMS was performed to determine the biological relevance of detected arsenic. Arsenic was detected in all samples (44-4100 μg kg(-1)) and speciation analyses revealed that inorganic forms of arsenic dominated, representing 37 - 83% of total arsenic. Roxarsone was not detected in the samples (arsenic in the food system, and may pose additional risks to humans as a result of its use as an organic fertilizer and when animal waste is managed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Feather-pecking response of laying hens to feather and cellulose-based rations fed during rearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriegseis, I; Bessei, W; Meyer, B; Zentek, J; Würbel, H; Harlander-Matauschek, A

    2012-07-01

    Recent studies in laying hens have shown that feather peckers eat more feathers than nonpeckers. We hypothesized that food pellets containing feathers would decrease the birds' appetite for feathers and thereby also decrease feather pecking. To separate the effect of feathers from that of insoluble fiber per se, additional control groups were fed pellets containing similar amounts of cellulose. Sixty (experiment 1) and 180 (experiment 2) 1-d-old Lohmann-Selected Leghorn birds were divided into 12 groups of 5 (experiment 1) and 15 (experiment 2) birds, respectively, and kept on slatted floors. During the rearing period, 4 groups each had ad libitum access to either a commercial pelleted diet, a pelleted diet containing 5% (experiment 1) or 10% (experiment 2) of chopped feathers, respectively, or a pelleted diet containing 5% (experiment 1) or 10% (experiment 2) of cellulose, respectively. In the consecutive laying period, all groups received a commercial pelleted diet. In experiment 1, feather pecking was recorded weekly from wk 5 to wk 16. In the laying period, observations were made in wk 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 30. In experiment 2, feather pecking was recorded weekly from wk 5 to 11, in wk 16 to wk 18, and in wk 20 and 21. At the end of the rearing period, plumage condition per individual hen was scored. Scores from 1 (denuded) to 4 (intact) were given for each of 6 body parts. The addition of 10% of feathers to the diet reduced the number of severe feather-pecking bouts (P < 0.0129) and improved plumage condition of the back area (P < 0.001) significantly compared with control diets. The relationship between feather pecking/eating and the gastrointestinal consequences thereof, which alter feather pecking-behavior, are unclear. Understanding this relationship might be crucial for understanding the causation of feather pecking in laying hens.

  1. Ediacaran Macro Body Fossils

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Timothy D.; Jei-Fu Shaw; Liang Zheng; Chun-Lan Huang; YiLung Chang; ChuanWei Yang

    2010-01-01

    This paper, Ediacaran Macro Body Fossils, reports a new discovery of well preserved three dimensional macro body fossils of the Ediacaran Period in central YunNan province in the People's Republic of China. These body fossils will enable more detailed and in-depth exploration of the evolution of multi-cellular macro organisms on this planet, whereas in the past, researches could only rely on cast or imprint fossils.

  2. 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...

  3. The Fossil 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 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...

  4. Pyrite framboids associated with the Mesozoic Jehol Biota in northeastern China: Implications for microenvironment during early fossilization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    Despite of the recent influx of reports describing important fossil specimens from the Mesozoic Jehol Biota, detailed information on the mechanism of fossilization and paleoenvironment in which these fossils were deposited is scanty. We present an analysis of microenvironment based upon scanning electron microscope observations of in situ pyrite framboids and microcrystallines of plant and vertebrate feather fossils in the Jehol Biota. Pyrite microcrystallines and framboids occur extensively inside and on surface of plant fossils.Framboids found on feathers and in sedimentary matrix were in a lower abundance. These framboids have diameters ranging from 6 μm to 31 μm with an average of 20 μm, indicating a dysoxic aqueous condition with free oxygen level less than 30 μmol/L for the microenvironment where these framboids were formed. The outgrowth of framboids inside plant tissues suggests the presence of water molecules and free oxygen at the cellular level during pyritization; the relative timing between tissue decay and framboid formation implies a rapid tissue degradation occurred during the very early stage of fossilization. This line of reasoning is consistent with the observation that cell level structure of plant fossils from these deposits is rarely preserved. We propose a "fossil envelop" model to accommodate the different geochemical conditions between the microenvironment surrounding the fossil material and the macroenvironment of background lake bottom water.

  5. Exceptional preservation and the fossil record of tetrapod integument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliason, Chad M; Hudson, Leah; Watts, Taylor; Garza, Hector; Clarke, Julia A

    2017-09-13

    The fossil record of exceptionally preserved soft tissues in Konservat-Lagerstätten provides rare yet significant insight into past behaviours and ecologies. Such deposits are known to occur in bursts rather than evenly through time, but reasons for this pattern and implications for the origins of novel structures remain unclear. Previous assessments of these records focused on marine environments preserving chemically heterogeneous tissues from across animals. Here, we investigate the preservation of skin and keratinous integumentary structures in land-dwelling vertebrates (tetrapods) through time, and in distinct terrestrial and marine depositional environments. We also evaluate previously proposed biotic and abiotic controls on the distribution of 143 tetrapod Konservat-Lagerstätten from the Permian to the Pleistocene in a multivariate framework. Gap analyses taking into account sampling intensity and distribution indicate that feathers probably evolved close to their first appearance in the fossil record. By contrast, hair and archosaur filaments are weakly sampled (five times less common than feathers), and their origins may significantly pre-date earliest known occurrences in the fossil record. This work suggests that among-integument variation in preservation can bias the reconstructed first origins of integumentary novelties and has implications for predicting where, and in what depositional environments, to expect further discoveries of exquisitely preserved tetrapod integument. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. 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.

  7. Biothermoplastics from hydrolyzed and citric acid crosslinked chicken feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Narendra; Chen, Lihong; Yang, Yiqi

    2013-04-01

    We demonstrate a novel approach of developing thermoplastic films from feathers by alkaline hydrolysis and crosslinking with citric acid. Unlike previous approaches that used toxic chemicals, complicated and/or expensive methods to develop films, in this research, feathers were hydrolyzed using various concentrations of alkali and the hydrolyzed feathers were compression molded into films using glycerol as plasticizer and crosslinked with citric acid to improve water stability. Alkali hydrolyzed feathers could be compression molded into films with tensile strength of 5.9 MPa and elongation of 31.7% but had poor wet strength. Feather films crosslinked with citric acid had tensile strength of 1.9 MPa and elongation of 24.6% after being in 90% humidity at 21 °C for 24 hours. Alkaline hydrolysis and citric acid crosslinking provides an opportunity to develop inexpensive and biodegradable thermoplastics from the inexpensive, renewable and sustainable poultry feathers.

  8. 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 < 0.02), but exhibited only modest dose-dependence. Blood delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity was inhibited by lead, although effects on other biochemical endpoints were marginal. Tarsus growth rate was inversely related to 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.

  9. 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.

  10. From feathers to syngas - technologies and devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudyński, Marek; Kwiatkowski, Kamil; Bajer, Konrad

    2012-04-01

    The poultry waste produced by industrial slaughterhouses typically contains not only feathers, but also a mixture of animal entrails, nails, blood, beaks and whole carcasses. Economical utilisation of this mixture, varying strongly in composition and moisture content, is, in general, difficult. We demonstrate that this awkward material can be successfully used for gasification in a simple, fixed-bed gasifier. The method of gasification, which we developed, enables control of the gasification process and ensures its stability in the operational regime of a working poultry processing plant. The installation, which has been working in Poland for 2 years, utilises 2 tons of feathers per hour and produces syngas of stable composition and fairly high quality. The syngas is burnt in the combustion chamber adjacent to the gasifier. Heat is recuperated in a boiler producing 3.5 tons per hour of technological steam continuously used for the operation of the slaughterhouse. The whole process complies with the stringent emission standards. In the paper we present the end-use device for feather utilisation and describe the underlying gasification and syngas combustion processes. Key elements of the whole installation are briefly discussed. The environmental impacts of the installation are summarized.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Feather keratin hydrolysates obtained from microbial keratinases: effect on hair fiber

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Villa, Ana Lúcia Vazquez; Aragão, Márcia Regina Senrra; Dos Santos, Elisabete Pereira; Mazotto, Ana Maria; Zingali, Russolina B; de Souza, Edilma Paraguai; Vermelho, Alane Beatriz

    2013-01-01

    .... Most of these hydrolysates are obtained by chemical hydrolysis and hydrothermal methods, but recently hydrolyzed hair keratin, feather keratin peptides, and feather meal peptides have been obtained...

  14. Factors contributing to fossilization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐菁

    2010-01-01

    As the most prominent feature of interlanguage, fossilization is a complex and essential topic in the field of SLA research. Various causes, in spite quantity of them are only theories, have been studied by different researchers from multiple points of view. Daiwei Dong(1990) has pointed out that virtually every inaccurate cause leads to language fossilization. This paper tries to conclude update causes of fossilization.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Repeated adaptive divergence of microhabitat specialization in avian feather lice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnson Kevin P

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Repeated adaptive radiations are evident when phenotypic divergence occurs within lineages, but this divergence into different forms is convergent when compared across lineages. Classic examples of such repeated adaptive divergence occur in island (for example, Caribbean Anolis lizards and lake systems (for example, African cichlids. Host-parasite systems in many respects are analogous to island systems, where host species represent isolated islands for parasites whose life cycle is highly tied to that of their hosts. Thus, host-parasite systems might exhibit interesting cases of repeated adaptive divergence as seen in island and lake systems. The feather lice of birds spend their entire life cycle on the body of the host and occupy distinct microhabitats on the host: head, wing, body and generalist. These microhabitat specialists show pronounced morphological differences corresponding to how they escape from host preening. We tested whether these different microhabitat specialists were a case of repeated adaptive divergence by constructing both morphological and molecular phylogenies for a diversity of avian feather lice, including many examples of head, wing, body and generalist forms. Results Morphological and molecular based phylogenies were highly incongruent, which could be explained by rampant convergence in morphology related to microhabitat specialization on the host. In many cases lice from different microhabitat specializations, but from the same group of birds, were sister taxa. Conclusions This pattern indicates a process of repeated adaptive divergence of these parasites within host group, but convergence when comparing parasites across host groups. These results suggest that host-parasite systems might be another case in which repeated adaptive radiations could be relatively common, but potentially overlooked, because morphological convergence can obscure evolutionary relationships.

  19. Non-food industrial applications of poultry feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Narendra

    2015-11-01

    Poultry feathers are one of the unique coproducts that have versatile applications ranging from composites, fibers, tissue engineering scaffolds, nano and micro particles, electronic devices and many others. Despite their low cost, abundant availability, wide applicability and unique properties, non-food industrial applications of feather keratin are very limited. Poor-thermoplasticity, difficulty in dissolving keratin and limited knowledge on the processability and properties of products developed are some of the limitations for the large scale use of feather/keratin. Nevertheless, increasing interests in using renewable and sustainable raw materials and need to decrease dependence on non-renewable petroleum resources make feathers an attractive raw material for bioproducts. This review provides an overview of the products developed from poultry feathers and their limitations and advantages.

  20. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Alexei J.; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    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

  1. A bizarre Jurassic maniraptoran from China with elongate ribbon-like feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fucheng; Zhou, Zhonghe; Xu, Xing; Wang, Xiaolin; Sullivan, Corwin

    2008-10-23

    Recent coelurosaurian discoveries have greatly enriched our knowledge of the transition from dinosaurs to birds, but all reported taxa close to this transition are from relatively well known coelurosaurian groups. Here we report a new basal avialan, Epidexipteryx hui gen. et sp. nov., from the Middle to Late Jurassic of Inner Mongolia, China. This new species is characterized by an unexpected combination of characters seen in several different theropod groups, particularly the Oviraptorosauria. Phylogenetic analysis shows it to be the sister taxon to Epidendrosaurus, forming a new clade at the base of Avialae. Epidexipteryx also possesses two pairs of elongate ribbon-like tail feathers, and its limbs lack contour feathers for flight. This finding shows that a member of the avialan lineage experimented with integumentary ornamentation as early as the Middle to Late Jurassic, and provides further evidence relating to this aspect of the transition from non-avian theropods to birds.

  2. 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.

  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. 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

  5. Biomimetic Drag Reduction Study on Herringbone Riblets of Bird Feather

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Huawei Chen; Fugang Rao; Xiaopeng Shang; Deyuan Zhang; Ichiro Hagiwara

    2013-01-01

    Birds have gradually formed various excellent structures such as streamlined shape and hollow shaft of feather to improve their flying performance by millions of years of natural selection.As typical property of bird feather,herringbone riblets align along the shaft of each feather,which is caused by perfect link of barbs,especially for the primary and secondary feathers of wings.Such herringbone riblets of feather are assumed to have great impact on drag reduction.In this paper,microstructures of secondary feathers of adult pigeons are investigated by SEM,and their structural parameters are statistically obtained.Based on quantitative analysis of feather structure,novel biomimetic herringbone riblets with narrow smooth edge are proposed to reduce surface drag.In comparison with traditional microgroove riblets and other drag reduction structures,the drag reduction rate of the proposed biomimetic herringbone riblets is experimentally clarified up to 16%,much higher than others.Moreover,the drag reduction mechanism of herringbone riblets are also confirmed and exploited by CFD.

  6. Fossil turbulence revisited

    CERN Document Server

    Gibson, C H

    1999-01-01

    A theory of fossil turbulence presented in the 11th Liege Colloquium on Marine turbulence is "revisited" in the 29th Liege Colloquium "Marine Turbulence Revisited". The Gibson (1980) theory applied universal similarity theories of turbulence and turbulent mixing to the vertical evolution of an isolated patch of turbulence in a stratified fluid as it is constrained and fossilized by buoyancy forces. Towed oceanic microstructure measurements of Schedvin (1979) confirmed the predicted universal constants. Universal constants, spectra, hydrodynamic phase diagrams (HPDs) and other predictions of the theory have been reconfirmed by a wide variety of field and laboratory observations. Fossil turbulence theory has many applications; for example, in marine biology, laboratory and field measurements suggest phytoplankton species with different swimming abilities adjust their growth strategies differently by pattern recognition of several days of turbulence-fossil-turbulence dissipation and persistence times above thres...

  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. Keratinase Production by Three Bacillus spp. Using Feather Meal and Whole Feather as Substrate in a Submerged Fermentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Maria Mazotto

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Three Bacillus species (B. subtilis LFB-FIOCRUZ 1270, B. subtilis LFB-FIOCRUZ 1273, and B. licheniformis LFB-FIOCRUZ 1274, isolated from the poultry industry, were evaluated for keratinase production using feathers or feather meal as the sole carbon and nitrogen sources in a submerged fermentation. The three Bacillus spp. produced extracellular keratinases and peptidases after 7 days. Feather meal was the best substrate for keratinase and peptidase production in B. subtilis 1273, with 412 U/mL and 463 U/ml. The three strains were able to degrade feather meal (62–75% and feather (40–95% producing 3.9–4.4 mg/ml of soluble protein in feather meal medium and 1.9–3.3 mg/ml when feather medium was used. The three strains produced serine peptidases with keratinase and gelatinase activity. B. subtilis 1273 was the strain which exhibited the highest enzymatic activity.

  9. New evidence of the reproductive organs of Glossopteris based on permineralized fossils from Queensland, Australia. II: pollen-bearing organ Ediea gen. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishida, Harufumi; Pigg, Kathleen B; Kudo, Kensuke; Rigby, John F

    2014-03-01

    Ediea homevalensis H. Nishida, Kudo, Pigg & Rigby gen. et sp. nov. is proposed for permineralized pollen-bearing structures from the Late Permian Homevale Station locality of the Bowen Basin, Queensland, Australia. The taxon represents unisexual fertile shoots bearing helically arranged leaves on a central axis. The more apical leaves are fertile microsporophylls bearing a pair of multi-branched stalks on their adaxial surfaces that each supports a cluster of terminally borne pollen sacs. Proximal to the fertile leaves there are several rows of sterile scale-like leaves. The pollen sacs (microsporangia) have thickened and dark, striate walls that are typical of the Arberiella type found in most pollen organs presumed to be of glossopterid affinity. An examination of pollen organs at several developmental stages, including those containing in situ pollen of the Protohaploxypinus type, provides the basis for a detailed analysis of these types of structures, which bear similarities to both compression/impression Eretmonia-type glossopterid microsporangiate organs and permineralized Eretmonia macloughlinii from Antarctica. These fossils demonstrate that at least some Late Permian pollen organs were simple microsporophyll-bearing shoot systems and not borne directly on Glossopteris leaves.

  10. Fossil Fuel Combustion-Related Emissions Dominate Atmospheric Ammonia Sources during Severe Haze Episodes: Evidence from (15)N-Stable Isotope in Size-Resolved Aerosol Ammonium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yuepeng; Tian, Shili; Liu, Dongwei; Fang, Yunting; Zhu, Xiaying; Zhang, Qiang; Zheng, Bo; Michalski, Greg; Wang, Yuesi

    2016-08-02

    The reduction of ammonia (NH3) emissions is urgently needed due to its role in aerosol nucleation and growth causing haze formation during its conversion into ammonium (NH4(+)). However, the relative contributions of individual NH3 sources are unclear, and debate remains over whether agricultural emissions dominate atmospheric NH3 in urban areas. Based on the chemical and isotopic measurements of size-resolved aerosols in urban Beijing, China, we find that the natural abundance of (15)N (expressed using δ(15)N values) of NH4(+) in fine particles varies with the development of haze episodes, ranging from -37.1‰ to -21.7‰ during clean/dusty days (relative humidity: ∼ 40%), to -13.1‰ to +5.8‰ during hazy days (relative humidity: 70-90%). After accounting for the isotope exchange between NH3 gas and aerosol NH4(+), the δ(15)N value of the initial NH3 during hazy days is found to be -14.5‰ to -1.6‰, which indicates fossil fuel-based emissions. These emissions contribute 90% of the total NH3 during hazy days in urban Beijing. This work demonstrates the analysis of δ(15)N values of aerosol NH4(+) to be a promising new tool for partitioning atmospheric NH3 sources, providing policy makers with insights into NH3 emissions and secondary aerosols for regulation in urban environments.

  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. 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.

  13. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritt-Rasmussen, Janne; Linnebjerg, Jannie Fries; Sørensen, Martin X; Brogaard, Nicholas L; Rigét, Frank F; Kristensen, Paneeraq; Jomaas, Grunde; Boertmann, David M; Wegeberg, Susse; Gustavson, Kim

    2016-08-15

    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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yomi

    2012-01-31

    Jan 31, 2012 ... polymers (Yamauchi, 1996). Feather- ... quently reported form various bacterial species including. Bacillus spp ... enzyme, compared to those from various microbial ..... keratin degradation by a mutant strain of Bacillus subtilis.

  16. Effects of feather pecking phenotype (severe feather peckers, victims and non-peckers) on serotonergic and dopaminergic activity in four brain areas of laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kops, M.S.; Haas, de E.N.; Rodenburg, T.B.; Ellen, E.D.; Korte-Bouws, G.A.H.; Olivier, B.; Güntürkün, O.; Bolhuis, J.E.; Korte, S.M.

    2013-01-01

    Severe feather pecking (SFP) in laying hens is a detrimental behavior causing loss of feathers, skin damage and cannibalism. Previously, we have associated changes in frontal brain serotonin (5-HT) turnover and dopamine (DA) turnover with alterations in feather pecking behavior in young pullets (28–

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The distribution of integumentary structures in a feathered dinosaur.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Q; Norell, M A; Gao, K Q; Ji, S A; Ren, D

    2001-04-26

    Non-avian theropod dinosaurs with preserved integumentary coverings are becoming more common; but apart from the multiple specimens of Caudipteryx, which have true feathers, animals that are reasonably complete and entirely articulated that show these structures in relation to the body have not been reported. Here we report on an enigmatic small theropod dinosaur that is covered with filamentous feather-like structures over its entire body.

  20. First fossil chimpanzee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBrearty, Sally; Jablonski, Nina G

    2005-09-01

    There are thousands of fossils of hominins, but no fossil chimpanzee has yet been reported. The chimpanzee (Pan) is the closest living relative to humans. Chimpanzee populations today are confined to wooded West and central Africa, whereas most hominin fossil sites occur in the semi-arid East African Rift Valley. This situation has fuelled speculation regarding causes for the divergence of the human and chimpanzee lineages five to eight million years ago. Some investigators have invoked a shift from wooded to savannah vegetation in East Africa, driven by climate change, to explain the apparent separation between chimpanzee and human ancestral populations and the origin of the unique hominin locomotor adaptation, bipedalism. The Rift Valley itself functions as an obstacle to chimpanzee occupation in some scenarios. Here we report the first fossil chimpanzee. These fossils, from the Kapthurin Formation, Kenya, show that representatives of Pan were present in the East African Rift Valley during the Middle Pleistocene, where they were contemporary with an extinct species of Homo. Habitats suitable for both hominins and chimpanzees were clearly present there during this period, and the Rift Valley did not present an impenetrable barrier to chimpanzee occupation.

  1. Toxic metals and associated sporulated bacteria on Andean hummingbird feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Góngora, Esteban; Cadena, Carlos Daniel; Dussán, Jenny

    2016-11-01

    Human activities in the Sabana de Bogotá, Colombia, release toxic metals such as lead (Pb) and chromium (Cr) into the environment polluting the air, water, and soil. Because birds are in contact with these pollutants and their sources, they may serve as bioindicator organisms. We evaluated the use of hummingbird feathers obtained from individuals captured in three sites of the Sabana de Bogotá as bioindicators of toxic metal pollution using spectrophotometric and spectroscopic methods based on single-feather samples. We also characterized the bacterial microbiota associated with hummingbird feathers by molecular identification using the 16S rRNA with a special focus on sporulated bacteria. Finally, we described the interactions which naturally occur among the feathers, their associated bacteria, and pollutants. We found differences in Pb and Cr concentrations between sampling sites, which ranged from 2.11 to 4.69 ppm and 0.38 to 3.00 ppm, respectively. This may reflect the impact of the activities held in those sites which release pollutants to the environment. Bacterial assemblages mainly consisted of sporulated bacilli in the Bacillaceae family (65.7 % of the identified morphotypes). We conclude that the feathers of wild tropical birds, including hummingbirds, can be used as lead and chromium bioindicators and that bacteria growing on feathers may in fact interact with these two toxic metals.

  2. Do feather-degrading bacteria affect sexually selected plumage color?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shawkey, Matthew D.; Pillai, Shreekumar R.; Hill, Geoffrey E.

    2009-01-01

    Models of parasite-mediated sexual selection propose that males with more elaborate sexual traits will have fewer parasites. These models have generally been tested using metazoan or protozoan parasites of the blood, gut, or integument. Fewer studies have examined sexual ornaments in relation to bacterial infections. While most surface bacteria are harmless or beneficial, feather-degrading bacteria may have detrimental effects. In this study, we examined the relationships between overall bacterial load, feather-degrading bacterial load, and sexually selected carotenoid-based plumage color in a wild population of house finches ( Carpodacus mexicanus). We found that males with the redder plumage preferred by females had similar overall bacterial loads, but lower feather-degrading bacterial loads, than males with less red plumage. These data suggest that plumage color can signal abundance of feather-degrading bacteria to potential mates. It remains unclear whether feather-degrading bacteria directly or indirectly affect plumage color, but the observed correlations suggest that feather-degrading bacteria may play some role in sexual selection.

  3. Stable-Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Ratios of Songbird Feathers Grown in Two Terrestrial Biomes: Implications for Evaluating Trophic Relationships and Breeding Origins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Keith A. Hobson

    1999-01-01

    ... (108 feathers representing 12 species). No difference in feather δ 13C values between these biomes was found, but feathers from boreal forest songbirds were depleted in 15N compared to feathers from birds in southern agricultural areas...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moreno, Rocio, E-mail: rocio@rociomoreno.com [Dept. Biologia Animal (Vertebrats), Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Avgda. Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Jover, Lluis, E-mail: lluis_jover@ub.edu [Dept. Salut Publica, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat de Barcelona, Casanova 143, 08036 Barcelona (Spain); Diez, Carmen, E-mail: karminha13@gmail.com [Dept. Ecoloxia e Bioloxia Animal, Facultade de Ciencias, Universidade de Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Galicia (Spain); Sanpera, Carola, E-mail: csanpera@ub.edu [Dept. Biologia Animal (Vertebrats), Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Avgda. Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona (Spain)

    2011-10-15

    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 {mu}g g{sup -1}) and Pb concentrations (1.0-1.4 {mu}g g{sup -1}) were, respectively, between two and five times higher than pre-spill levels (1.5-3.6 and 0.1-0.4 {mu}g g{sup -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.

  7. Mineralization of fossil wood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buurman, P.

    1972-01-01

    Several pieces of fossil wood have been analyzed with X-ray diffraction and were grouped on the basis of mineralogical composition. Various mineralizations were studied in thin sections and by means of the scanning electron microscope. Wood-opals appear to show a structure preservation that points t

  8. 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 foss

  9. Fossil Dot Com

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2011-01-01

    , and the transformation has moved 50% of us to live in cities, whereas a mere 3% dwelled in cities in 1800. However, this 200 year long fossil fuelled bubble is coming to an end, which affects societies around the world and the way we design products and services for these societies beyond imagination. With rich...

  10. 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)

  11. Feathering collisions in beating reed simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyth, Tamara; Abel, Jonathan S.; Smith, Julius O.

    2003-10-01

    Pressure controlled valves are the primary sound production mechanisms for woodwind and brass musical instruments, as well as for many bioacoustic vocal systems such as the larynx and syrinx (the vocal organ in birds). During sound production, air flow sets a reed or membrane into motion creating a variable height in the valve channel and, potentially, periodically closing the channel completely. Depending on how this event is handled, an abrupt termination of air flow between open and closed states can cause undesirable discontinuities and inaccuracies in a discrete-time simulation-particularly at relatively low audio sampling rates. A solution was developed by re-examining the behavior of the differential equation governing volume flow through a pressure-controlled valve, paying particular attention to this rather troublesome transition. A closed-form solution for the time evolution of volume flow is given and used to derive an update for volume flow. The result is a smoother, more accurate, and nearly alias-free transition from open to closed. ``Feathered collisions'' of this nature can refine the sound quality produced by the numerical simulation of beating reeds, such as in clarinets, at typical audio sampling rates.

  12. On The Nature of Fossil Galaxy Groups

    CERN Document Server

    La Barbera, F; De la Rosa, I G; Sorrentino, G; Gal, R R; Kohl-Moreira, J L

    2009-01-01

    We present a new sample of 25 fossil groups (FGs) at z < 0.1, along with a control sample of seventeen bright ellipticals located in non-fossil systems. Both the global properties of FGs (e.g. X-ray luminosity) as well as the photometric properties (i.e. isophotal shape parameter, a4) and spectroscopic parameters (e.g. the alpha-enhancement) of their first-ranked ellipticals are consistent with those of the control sample. This result favors a scenario where FGs are not a distinct class of systems, but rather a common phase in the life of galaxy groups. We also find no evidence for an evolutionary sequence explaining the formation of galaxies in fossil systems through the merging of galaxies in compact groups.

  13. 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

  14. Macroevolutionary developmental biology: Embryos, fossils, and phylogenies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Organ, Chris L; Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Hieronymus, Tobin L

    2015-10-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental biology is broadly focused on identifying the genetic and developmental mechanisms underlying morphological diversity. Connecting the genotype with the phenotype means that evo-devo research often considers a wide range of evidence, from genetics and morphology to fossils. In this commentary, we provide an overview and framework for integrating fossil ontogenetic data with developmental data using phylogenetic comparative methods to test macroevolutionary hypotheses. We survey the vertebrate fossil record of preserved embryos and discuss how phylogenetic comparative methods can integrate data from developmental genetics and paleontology. Fossil embryos provide limited, yet critical, developmental data from deep time. They help constrain when developmental innovations first appeared during the history of life and also reveal the order in which related morphologies evolved. Phylogenetic comparative methods provide a powerful statistical approach that allows evo-devo researchers to infer the presence of nonpreserved developmental traits in fossil species and to detect discordant evolutionary patterns and processes across levels of biological organization.

  15. Whole-Genome Sequence of a Beak and Feather Disease Virus Isolate from a Fledgling Red-Capped Parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subir, Sarker; Forwood, Jade K.; Ghorashi, Seyed A.; Raidal, Shane R.

    2016-01-01

    The complete genome sequence of beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) from a fledgling red-capped parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius) was assembled and characterized. The genome consists of 1,995 nucleotides and encodes two major proteins in opposing directions. This is the first evidence of BFDV infectivity and a complete genome sequence for this novel host. PMID:27738029

  16. Barn owl feathers as biomonitors of mercury: sources of variation in sampling procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roque, Inês; Lourenço, Rui; Marques, Ana; Coelho, João Pedro; Coelho, Cláudia; Pereira, Eduarda; Rabaça, João E; Roulin, Alexandre

    2016-04-01

    Given their central role in mercury (Hg) excretion and suitability as reservoirs, bird feathers are useful Hg biomonitors. Nevertheless, the interpretation of Hg concentrations is still questioned as a result of a poor knowledge of feather physiology and mechanisms affecting Hg deposition. Given the constraints of feather availability to ecotoxicological studies, we tested the effect of intra-individual differences in Hg concentrations according to feather type (body vs. flight feathers), position in the wing and size (mass and length) in order to understand how these factors could affect Hg estimates. We measured Hg concentration of 154 feathers from 28 un-moulted barn owls (Tyto alba), collected dead on roadsides. Median Hg concentration was 0.45 (0.076-4.5) mg kg(-1) in body feathers, 0.44 (0.040-4.9) mg kg(-1) in primary and 0.60 (0.042-4.7) mg kg(-1) in secondary feathers, and we found a poor effect of feather type on intra-individual Hg levels. We also found a negative effect of wing feather mass on Hg concentration but not of feather length and of its position in the wing. We hypothesize that differences in feather growth rate may be the main driver of between-feather differences in Hg concentrations, which can have implications in the interpretation of Hg concentrations in feathers. Finally, we recommend that, whenever possible, several feathers from the same individual should be analysed. The five innermost primaries have lowest mean deviations to both between-feather and intra-individual mean Hg concentration and thus should be selected under restrictive sampling scenarios.

  17. The Review of Interlanguage Fossilization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李霄露

    2011-01-01

    Interlanguage fossilization is a common phenomenon in second language acquisition. This paper reyiews the important achievements in the study of interlanguage fossilization, analyzing its definition, types and causes. And then find some ways to re- duce the interference of interlanguage fossilization in second language learning.

  18. The largest fossil rodent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderknecht, Andrés; Blanco, R. Ernesto

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Fossil Association from the Lower Cambrian Yanjiahe Formation in the Yangtze Gorges Area, Hubei, South China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO Junfeng; Tsuyoshi KOMIYA; LI Yong; HAN Jian; ZHANG Xingliang; ZHANG Zhifei; OU Qiang; LIU Jianni; SHU Degan; Shigenori MARUYAMA

    2008-01-01

    Apart from previously reported Small Shelly Fossils (SSFs), a macroscopic fossil assemblage, comprising abundant algae, cone-shaped tubular fossil forms, and probable impressions of a megascopic metazoan, comes from the Lower Cambrian Yanjiahe Formation in the Yangtze Gorges area of western Hubei Province, south China. The visible fossils are preserved in thin-laminated siltstone or muddy siltstone intercalated between 8-15 mm-thick carbonate deposits, probably representing sedimentary settings of a constrained local depression in the shallow water carbonate platform during the Early Cambrian Meishucunian Stage. The macroscopic fossil association provides significant fossil evidence about the evolution of life from the late Precambrian to the 'Cambrian explosion' interval.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Zeeland, Yvonne R. A.; Spruit, Berry M.; Rodenburg, T. Bas; Riedstra, Bernd; van Hierden, Yvonne M.; Buitenhuis, Bart; Korte, S. Mechiel; Lumeij, Johannes T.

    2009-01-01

    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, to date

  1. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    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-

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zeeland, van Y.R.A.; Spruit, B.M.; Rodenburg, T.B.; Riedstra, B.; Hierden, van Y.M.; Buitenhuis, A.J.; Korte, S.M.; Lumeij, J.T.

    2009-01-01

    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, to date

  4. 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). About 30 y

  5. 75 FR 30013 - South Feather Water and Power Agency; Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-28

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission South Feather Water and Power Agency; Notice of Availability of...), Commission staff has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) regarding South Feather Water and Power Agency... Creek development of the South Feather Power Project (FERC No. 2088). Sly Creek is located on Sly...

  6. Nonmedical factors associated with feather picking in pet psittacine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskins, Lori A; Hungerford, Laura

    2014-06-01

    A nested case-control study was performed to determine nonmedical risk factors associated with feather picking in psittacine birds. Forty-two case birds, reported by their owners to pick their feathers, and 126 unaffected birds were compared. The odds of feather picking were higher in 2 species categories, African grey parrots (Psitticus erithacus, adjusted odds ratio [ORadj = 8.4, P picking also were higher for birds that were out of their cages more than 8 hours per day (ORadj = 7.4, P picking decreased by almost 90% (ORadj = 0.1, P < .005) for birds that interacted with people at least 4 hours a day. These findings identify characteristics that practitioners may want to include when asking bird owners about behavioral history and may be useful in focusing future research regarding this behavior.

  7. 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.

  8. Cycles in fossil diversity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rohde, Robert A.; Muller, Richard A.

    2004-10-20

    It is well-known that the diversity of life appears to fluctuate during the course the Phanerozoic, the eon during which hard shells and skeletons left abundant fossils (0-542 Ma). Using Sepkoski's compendium of the first and last stratigraphic appearances of 36380 marine genera, we report a strong 62 {+-} 3 Myr cycle, which is particularly strong in the shorter-lived genera. The five great extinctions enumerated by Raup and Sepkoski may be an aspect of this cycle. Because of the high statistical significance, we also consider contributing environmental factors and possible causes.

  9. Biodesulfurization of fossil fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Kevin A; Mrachko, Gregory T; Squires, Charles H

    2003-06-01

    Biotechnological techniques enabling the specific removal of sulfur from fossil fuels have been developed. In the past three years there have been important advances in the elucidation of the mechanisms of biodesulfurization; some of the most significant relate to the role of a flavin reductase, DszD, in the enzymology of desulfurization, and to the use of new tools that enable enzyme enhancement via DNA manipulation to influence both the rate and the substrate range of Dsz. Also, a clearer understanding of the unique desulfinase step in the pathway has begun to emerge.

  10. The disposition of oxytetracycline to feathers after poultry treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berendsen, B.J.A.; Bor, G.; Gerritsen, H.W.; Jansen, L.J.M.; Zuidema, T.

    2013-01-01

    In the combat against bacterial resistance, there is a clear need to check the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry, including poultry breeding. The use of chicken feathers as a tool for the detection of use of antibiotics was investigated. An extraction method for the analysis of oxytetracycline

  11. Plumage disorders in psittacine birds - part 2: feather damaging behaviour

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Zeeland, Y.R.A.; Schoemaker, N.J.

    2014-01-01

    Plumage disorders in parrots represent one of the more common, but also one of the more challenging and frustrating problems that veterinarians dealing with parrots in their daily practice face on a day-to-day basis. This second part of the review will deal with diseases causing lack of feather grow

  12. 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...

  13. Repeatability of feather mite prevalence and intensity in passerine birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Diaz-Real

    Full Text Available Understanding why host species differ so much in symbiont loads and how this depends on ecological host and symbiont traits is a major issue in the ecology of symbiosis. A first step in this inquiry is to know whether observed differences among host species are species-specific traits or more related with host-symbiont environmental conditions. Here we analysed the repeatability (R of the intensity and the prevalence of feather mites to partition within- and among-host species variance components. We compiled the largest dataset so far available: 119 Paleartic passerine bird species, 75,944 individual birds, ca. 1.8 million mites, seven countries, 23 study years. Several analyses and approaches were made to estimate R and adjusted repeatability (R(adj after controlling for potential confounding factors (breeding period, weather, habitat, spatial autocorrelation and researcher identity. The prevalence of feather mites was moderately repeatable (R = 0.26-0.53; R(adj = 0.32-0.57; smaller values were found for intensity (R = 0.19-0.30; R(adj = 0.18-0.30. These moderate repeatabilities show that prevalence and intensity of feather mites differ among species, but also that the high variation within species leads to considerable overlap among bird species. Differences in the prevalence and intensity of feather mites within bird species were small among habitats, suggesting that local factors are playing a secondary role. However, effects of local climatic conditions were partially observed for intensity.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. The cyanobacterial role in the resistance of feather mosses to decomposition--toward a new hypothesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathrin Rousk

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria-plant symbioses play an important role in many ecosystems due to the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen (N by the cyanobacterial symbiont. The ubiquitous feather moss Pleurozium schreberi (Brid. Mitt. is colonized by cyanobacteria in boreal systems with low N deposition. Here, cyanobacteria fix substantial amounts of N₂ and represent a potential N source. The feather moss appears to be resistant to decomposition, which could be partly a result of toxins produced by cyanobacteria. To assess how cyanobacteria modulated the toxicity of moss, we measured inhibition of bacterial growth. Moss with varying numbers of cyanobacteria was added to soil bacteria to test the inhibition of their growth using the thymidine incorporation technique. Moss could universally inhibit bacterial growth, but moss toxicity did not increase with N₂ fixation rates (numbers of cyanobacteria. Instead, we see evidence for a negative relationship between moss toxicity to bacteria and N₂ fixation, which could be related to the ecological mechanisms that govern the cyanobacteria-moss relationship. We conclude that cyanobacteria associated with moss do not contribute to the resistance to decomposition of moss, and from our results emerges the question as to what type of relationship the moss and cyanobacteria share.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Rocío; Jover, Lluís; Diez, Carmen; Sanpera, Carola

    2011-10-01

    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.

  19. Phylogenetic placement, developmental trajectories and evolutionary implications of a feathered dinosaur tail in Mid-Cretaceous amber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambertz, Markus

    2017-03-20

    In a recent report in Current Biology, Xing and colleagues [1] present a small fragment of a vertebrate tail preserved in amber that bears integumentary appendages (DIP-V-15103, Dexu Institute of Paleontology, Chaozhou, China; Figure 1). Following several analyses using cutting-edge technology the authors conclude that: the tail belongs to a non-avian theropod dinosaur (non-avialan according to the authors, but non-avian used synonymously here); the dinosaur most likely was a member of the Coelurosauria, possibly even Maniraptora; and, the integumentary appendages are feathers that support a barbule-first evolutionary pattern for feathers. DIP-V-15103 is indeed an intriguing specimen with potential implications for contributing to understanding the evolution of feathers among dinosaurs, which remains a current and undoubtedly controversial topic [2,3]. However, I would like to raise several concerns about the available evidence for the phylogenetic hypothesis concerning the placement of DIP-V-15103 as concluded by Xing and colleagues [1], and furthermore discuss the developmental trajectories predicted by them in light of their far-reaching evolutionary implications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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).

  1. 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

  2. Fossil turbulence and fossil turbulence waves can be dangerous

    CERN Document Server

    Gibson, Carl H

    2012-01-01

    Turbulence is defined as an eddy-like state of fluid motion where the inertial-vortex forces of the eddies are larger than any other forces that tend to damp the eddies out. By this definition, turbulence always cascades from small scales where vorticity is created to larger scales where turbulence fossilizes. Fossil turbulence is any perturbation in a hydrophysical field produced by turbulence that persists after the fluid is no longer turbulent at the scale of the perturbation. Fossil turbulence patterns and fossil turbulence waves preserve and propagate energy and information about previous turbulence. Ignorance of fossil turbulence properties can be dangerous. Examples include the Osama bin Laden helicopter crash and the Air France 447 Airbus crash, both unfairly blamed on the pilots. Observations support the proposed definitions, and suggest even direct numerical simulations of turbulence require caution.

  3. Keratinolytic activity of Bacillus megaterium F7-1, a feather-degrading mesophilic bacterium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Geun-Tae; Son, Hong-Joo

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate environmental conditions affecting chicken feather degradation and keratinolytic enzyme production by Bacillus megaterium F7-1, a feather-degrading mesophilic bacterium. B. megaterium F7-1 degraded whole chicken feather completely within 7 days. The bacterium grew with an optimum at pH 7.0-11.0 and 25-40 degrees C, where maximum keratinolytic activity was also observed. The production of keratinolytic enzyme by B. megaterium F7-1 was inducible with feather. Keratinolytic enzyme production by B. megaterium F7-1 at 0.6% (w/v) skim milk was 468U/ml, which was about 9.4-fold higher than that without skim milk. The amount of keratinolytic enzyme production depended on feather concentrations. The degradation rate of autoclaved chicken feathers by cell-free culture supernatant was 26% after 24h of incubation, but the degradation of untreated chicken feathers was unsuccessful. B. megaterium F7-1 effectively degraded feather meal, duck feather and human nail, whereas human hair and sheep wool showed relatively low degradation rates. B. megaterium F7-1 presented high keratinolytic activity and was very effective in feather degradation, providing potential use for biotechnological processes of keratin hydrolysis.

  4. A closer look at the feather coloration in the male purple sunbird, Nectarinia asiatica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahapatra, Biswa Bhusana; Marathe, Sandhya Amol; Meyer-Rochow, Victor Benno; Mishra, Monalisa

    2016-06-01

    During the breeding season male, but not female, individuals of the purple sunbird possess colourful plumage of chiefly blue and black coloration with a splatter of orange and yellow on the chest. Representative feathers of these colours were collected from male birds during the breeding season and analyzed by reflectance and scanning electron microscopy. The rachis, which is the central support of a feather on which various barbs and barbules are arranged, is spongy and made up of keratin layers with rod-shaped melanosomes sparsely distributed within these layers. Barbs and barbules are the structural units of the feather and depending on how they are arranged provide a characteristic shape to the feather. X-Ray diffraction (XRD) analyses of the feathers revealed the presence of various metal elements that might contribute to the feathers' colorations. Blue feathers are iridescent and contain mainly iron, copper, zinc and cobalt (in that order of abundance); black feathers were also found to contain mainly iron and copper, but chromium instead of zinc and cobalt, while yellow feathers were found to contain predominantly cobalt and nickel. The metal content of the feathers in an as yet unknown way may be involved in the production of the distinct absorbance and reflectance patterns that the brilliant plumage of the purple sunbird is renowned for.

  5. Differential effects of 4 types of environmental enrichment on aggressive pecking, feather pecking, feather loss, food wastage and productivity in Japanese quail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, K A; Mench, J A

    2006-12-01

    1. We examined the effects of 4 types of environmental enrichment (foraging opportunities, structural complexity, sensory stimulation/novelty, and social companionship) on aggressive and feather pecking, feather condition, food wastage, body weight, feed conversion, and egg production in adult Japanese quail. Sex differences were examined where possible. 2. GLM analysis was used to evaluate the effects of enrichment and housing, while test-retest reliability and the stability of measures over 18 d were assessed using partial correlation. 3. Foraging enrichment reduced food wastage. 4. Body weight, feed conversion, and egg production were not affected by enrichment. Rates of aggressive and feather pecking were also not significantly affected, but these behaviours were observed very infrequently in this study. 5. Socially-housed birds had poorer feather condition, lower body weight and less efficient feed conversion than singly-housed birds. Social housing did not affect food wastage. 6. There were not sex differences in feather pecking, feather condition, food wastage, or feed conversion. 7. All measures except feather pecking were reliable over 24 h, but only feather condition and body weight were stable over 18 d. The instability f the behavioural measures over time suggest that enrichment effects may vary with age.

  6. Influence of dietary feathers on the fecal microbiota in captive Arctic fox: do dietary hair or feathers play a role in the evolution of carnivorous mammals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Liang; Yang, Shuhui; Xu, Yanchun; Dahmer, Thomas D

    2014-11-01

    Hair and feathers are composed of keratin and are indigestible, inalimental and unpalatable for carnivores. However, carnivores often ingest hair and feathers during feeding or when grooming. We hypothesized that ingestion of hair and feathers changes species diversity and relative abundance of bacteria in the gut of carnivores. To test this hypothesis, we added disinfected poultry down feathers to the normal diet of captive Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus). We then used fluorescently labeled terminal restriction fragments (T-RFs) to examine changes in fecal bacterial diversity and abundance. The results showed that the number of bacterial species increased significantly after feather ingestion, but that total abundance was unchanged. This demonstrated that addition of disinfected feathers to the diet stimulated increased production among less abundant bacteria, resulting in a balancing of relative abundance of different bacterial species, or that some newly-ingested microbial species would colonize the gut because a suitable microhabitat had become available. This implies that the overall production of bacterial metabolites would be made up of a greater range of substances after feather ingestion. On one hand, the host's immune response would be more diverse, increasing the capacity of the immune system to regulate gut microflora. On the other hand, the animal's physiological performance would also be affected. For wild animals, such altered physiological traits would be subjected to natural selection, and, hence, persistent geographic differences in the character of ingested feathers or fur would drive speciation.

  7. 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

  8. Fossil Diatoms in a New Carbonaceous Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickramasinghe, N. C.; Wallis, J.; Wallis, D. H.; Samaranayake, Anil

    2013-01-01

    We report the discovery for the first time of diatom frustules in a carbonaceous meteorite that fell in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka on 29 December 2012. Contamination is excluded by the circumstance that the elemental abundances within the structures match closely with those of the surrounding matrix. There is also evidence of structures morphologically similar to red rain cells that may have contributed to the episode of red rain that followed within days of the meteorite fall. The new data on "fossil" diatoms provide strong evidence to support the theory of cometary panspermia.

  9. UTILIZATION OF α-KERATIN OF CHICKEN FEATHERS AS ADSORBEN OF LEAD ION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rais Nur Latifah

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Research of Pb ions adsorption with chicken feathers adsorbent has been conducted. This research aims to determine adsorption properties of activated chicken feathers and the chicken feathers that were not activatedby Na2S for Pb ions. The adsorption process was conducted by batch method with variation of the concentration, pH, and contact time. Pb content in solution is characterized by AAS spectroscopy (Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. The results show that the contact time and pH condition for adsorption equilibrium are 60 min for activated chicken feathers and 90 min for chicken feathers which were not activated by Na2S at pH 8. Pb absorption by chicken feathers follows Freundlich isotherm and the reaction kinetics follow the Ho equation.

  10. Iridescence in the neck feathers of domestic pigeons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Haiwei; Shi, Lei; Sha, Jing; Li, Yizhou; Qin, Youhua; Dong, Biqin; Meyer, Serge; Liu, Xiaohan; Zhao, Li; Zi, Jian

    2006-11-01

    We conducted structural characterizations, reflection measurements, and theoretical simulations on the iridescent green and purple neck feathers of domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica). We found that both green and purple barbules are composed of an outer keratin cortex layer surrounding a medullary layer. The thickness of the keratin cortex layer shows a distinct difference between green and purple barbules. Green barbules vary colors from green to purple with the observing angle changed from normal to oblique, while purple barbules from purple to green in an opposite way. Both the experimental and theoretical results suggest that structural colors in green and purple neck feathers should originate from the interference in the top keratin cortex layer, while the structure beyond acts as a poor mirror.

  11. 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

  12. Grafting of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes with Chicken Feather Keratin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoxkin Estévez-Martínez

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Keratin, obtained from chicken feathers, was grafted on the surface of commercially available carbon nanotubes. The original procedure developed allows a covalent interaction between some specific chemical groups characteristic of the keratin, with some functional groups introduced on purpose on the surface of the nanotubes, as revealed by infrared and Raman spectroscopies, which also allowed to determine structural changes introduced during the process, such as crystallinity, which lead to changes in other properties, as well.

  13. Regulation of chick early B-cell factor-1 gene expression in feather development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Magd, Mohammed Abu; Sayed-Ahmed, Ahmed; Awad, Ashraf; Shukry, Mustafa

    2014-05-01

    The chick Ebf1 (early B-cell factor-1) gene is a member of a novel family of helix loop helix transcription factors. The expression profile, regulation and significance of this gene have been extensively studied in lymphatic, nervous, adipose and muscular tissues. However, cEbf1 expression, regulation and function in the feather of chick embryo have not yet been investigated. cEbf1 expression was first detected throughout the mesenchymal core of some few feather placodes (D7-D7.5). After feathers became mature and grew distally (D9 and D10), the mesenchymal expression of cEbf1 became confined to the caudal margin of the proximal half of all formed feather buds. Because this dynamic pattern of expression resembles that of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) protein and bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp4) plus the crucial role of these two major signals in feather development, we hypothesized that cEbf1 expression in the feather may be regulated by Shh and Bmp4. In a feather explant culture system, Shh signals are necessary to initiate and maintain cEbf1 expression in the posterior half of the feather bud, while Bmp4 is crucial for the initial cEbf1 expression in the anterior half of the feather bud. Inhibition of Shh, not only down-regulates cEbf1, but also changes the morphology of feather buds, which become irregular and fused. This is the first study to demonstrate that cEbf1 expression in the feather bud is under the control of Shh and Bmp4 signals and that expression may play a role in the normal development of feathers.

  14. Crop impaction resulting from feather ball formation in caged layers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morishita, T Y; Aye, P P; Harr, B S

    1999-01-01

    Abnormal behaviors in commercial poultry, including feather pulling and pica, have been known to occur when birds are exposed to an unfamiliar environment. We report here the development of crop impactions resulting from feather ball formation. Twelve specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens were placed in one of three cages housed among a commercial layer flock in three different buildings on a farm site. Three weeks after placement, the birds were removed from the cages and given a physical exam. Chickens were thin, and one bird in each of the three caged groups had a palpable mass at the level of the thoracic inlet. At necropsy, a mass was noted in the crop. Upon further dissection, a wet, foul-smelling mass consisting of feathers and feed debris was recovered. Results from our case indicate that unfamiliar surroundings can cause pica in birds. Hence, avian researchers and veterinarians planning to introduce new birds into a flock, i.e., SPF birds, should consider the birds' previous environmental conditions prior to placement because sudden placement in unfamiliar surroundings can result in pica.

  15. Bionic Research on Bird Feather for Drag Reduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beibei Feng

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available To reduce friction drag with bionic method in a more feasible way, the surface microstructure of bird feather was analyzed attempting to reveal the biologic features responding to skin friction drag reduction. Then comparative bionic surface mimicking bird feather was fabricated through hot-rolling technology for drag reduction. The microriblet film was formed on a PVC substrate through a self-developed hot-rolling equipment. The bionic surface with micron-scale riblets formed spontaneously due to the elastic-plastic deformation of PVC in high temperature and high pressure environment. Comparative experiments between micro-structured bionic surface and smooth surface were performed in a wind tunnel to evaluate the effect of bionic surface on drag reduction, and significant drag reduction efficiency was obtained. Numerical simulation results show that microvortex induced in the solid-gas interface of bionic surface has the effect of shear stress reduction and the small level of an additional pressure drag resulting from pressure distribution deviation on bird feather like surface, hence reducing the skin friction drag significantly. Therefore, with remarkable drag reduction performance and simple fabrication technology, the proposed drag reduction technique shows the promise for practical applications.

  16. 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 III lists the model equations and a one line definition for equations, in a short, readable format.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Development of feather keratin nanoparticles and investigation of their hemostatic efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ju; Hao, Shilei; Luo, Tiantian; Yang, Qian; Wang, Bochu

    2016-11-01

    Chicken feathers are considered as the major waste in poultry industry, which are mostly constituted of keratin proteins. Development of feather keratin for biomedical application is very attractive for chicken feather recycling. Human hair keratins have been demonstrated the significant hemostatic efficacy in the previous studies, but there are few reports of feather keratin for the hemostatic application. Here, the chicken feather keratin nanoparticle was developed for use as a hemostatic agent. Keratin was extracted from chicken feather in the present study, and a modified ultrasonic dispersion method was used to prepare keratin nanoparticles. The characterizations of feather keratin extracts and nanoparticles were investigated, including electrophoretic separation, amino acid composition, particle size, zeta potential, morphology, chemical structure and crystal form. Additionally, the hemostatic efficacy in vitro and in vivo of keratin nanoparticles were also studied. The results of hemostatic tests showed that the bleeding time and blood loss in tail amputation and liver scratch rat models can be significantly decreased after application of feather keratin nanoparticles, which demonstrated the potential application of feather keratin nanoparticles for hemostasis.

  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. Homology and Potential Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms for the Development of Unique Feather Morphologies in Early Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J. Bottjer

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available At least two lineages of Mesozoic birds are known to have possessed a distinct feather morphotype for which there is no neornithine (modern equivalent. The early stepwise evolution of apparently modern feathers occurred within Maniraptora, basal to the avian transition, with asymmetrical pennaceous feathers suited for flight present in the most basal recognized avian, Archaeopteryx lithographica. The number of extinct primitive feather morphotypes recognized among non-avian dinosaurs continues to increase with new discoveries; some of these resemble feathers present in basal birds. As a result, feathers between phylogenetically widely separated taxa have been described as homologous. Here we examine the extinct feather morphotypes recognized within Aves and compare these structures with those found in non-avian dinosaurs. We conclude that the “rachis dominated” tail feathers of Confuciusornis sanctus and some enantiornithines are not equivalent to the “proximally ribbon-like” pennaceous feathers of the juvenile oviraptorosaur Similicaudipteryx yixianensis. Close morphological analysis of these unusual rectrices in basal birds supports the interpretation that they are modified pennaceous feathers. Because this feather morphotype is not seen in living birds, we build on current understanding of modern feather molecular morphogenesis to suggest a hypothetical molecular developmental model for the formation of the rachis dominated feathers of extinct basal birds.

  2. 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.

  3. Earth's early fossil record: Why not look for similar fossils on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awramik, Stanley M.

    1989-01-01

    The oldest evidence of life on Earth is discussed with attention being given to the structure and formation of stromatolites and microfossils. Fossilization of microbes in calcium carbonate or chert media is discussed. In searching for fossil remains on Mars, some lessons learned from the study of Earth's earliest fossil record can be applied. Certain sedimentary rock types and sedimentary rock configurations should be targeted for investigation and returned by the Martian rover and ultimately by human explorers. Domical, columnar to wavy laminated stratiform sedimentary rocks that resemble stromatolites should be actively sought. Limestone, other carbonates, and chert are the favored lithology. Being macroscopic, stromatolites might be recognized by an intelligent unmanned rover. In addition, black, waxy chert with conchoidal fracture should be sought. Chert is by far the preferred lithology for the preservation of microbes and chemical fossils. Even under optimal geological conditions (little or no metamorphism or tectonic alteration, excellent outcrops, and good black chert) and using experienced field biogeologists, the chances of finding well preserved microbial remains in chert are very low.

  4. Dietary inclusion of feathers affects intestinal microbiota and microbial metabolites in growing Leghorn-type chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, B; Bessei, W; Bessei, A W; Vahjen, W; Zentek, J; Harlander-Matauschek, A

    2012-07-01

    Feather pecking in laying hens is a serious behavioral problem that is often associated with feather eating. The intake of feathers may influence the gut microbiota and its metabolism. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of 2 different diets, with or without 5% ground feathers, on the gut microbiota and the resulting microbial fermentation products and to identify keratin-degrading bacteria in chicken digesta. One-day-old Lohmann-Selected Leghorn chicks were divided into 3 feeding groups: group A (control), B (5% ground feathers in the diet), and C, in which the control diet was fed until wk 12 and then switched to the 5% feather diet to study the effect of time of first feather ingestion. The gut microbiota was analyzed by cultivation and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of ileum and cecum digesta. Short-chain fatty acids, ammonia, and lactate concentrations were measured as microbial metabolites. The concentration of keratinolytic bacteria increased after feather ingestion in the ileum (P < 0.001) and cecum (P = 0.033). Bacterial species that hydrolyzed keratin were identified as Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus crispatus, Lactobacillus reuteri-like species (97% sequence homology), and Lactobacillus salivarius-like species (97% sequence homology). Molecular analysis of cecal DNA extracts showed that the feather diet lowered the bacterial diversity indicated by a reduced richness (P < 0.001) and shannon (P = 0.012) index. The pattern of microbial metabolites indicated some changes, especially in the cecum. This study showed that feather intake induced an adaptation of the intestinal microbiota in chickens. It remains unclear to what extent the changed metabolism of the microbiota reflects the feather intake and could have an effect on the behavior of the hens.

  5. Dating fossil opal phytoliths

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lentfer, C.; Boyd, B. [Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW (Australia). School of Resource Science and Management; Torrence, R. [Australian Museum, Sydney, NSW (Australia). Division of Anthropology

    1999-11-01

    Full text: Opal phytoliths are microscopic silica bodies formed by the precipitation of hydrated silica dioxide (SiO{sub 2}nH{sub 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

  6. Correlated evolution and dietary change in fossil stickleback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purnell, Mark A; Bell, Michael A; Baines, David C; Hart, Paul J B; Travis, Matthew P

    2007-09-28

    The importance of trophic ecology in adaptation and evolution is well known, yet direct evidence that feeding controls microevolution over extended evolutionary time scales, available only from the fossil record, is conspicuously lacking. Through quantitative analysis of tooth microwear, we show that rapid evolutionary change in Miocene stickleback was associated with shifts in feeding, providing direct evidence from the fossil record for changes in trophic niche and resource exploitation driving directional, microevolutionary change over thousands of years. These results demonstrate the potential for tooth microwear analysis to provide powerful insights into trophic ecology during aquatic adaptive radiations.

  7. Comparing amber fossil assemblages across the Cenozoic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penney, David; Langan, A Mark

    2006-06-22

    To justify faunistic comparisons of ambers that differ botanically, geographically and by age, we need to determine that resins sampled uniformly. Our pluralistic approach, analysing size distributions of 671 fossilized spider species from different behavioural guilds, demonstrates that ecological information about the communities of two well-studied ambers is retained. Several lines of evidence show that greater structural complexity of Baltic compared to Dominican amber trees explains the presence of larger web-spinners. No size differences occur in active hunters. Consequently, we demonstrate for the first time that resins were trapping organisms uniformly and that comparisons of amber palaeoecosystem structure across deep time are possible.

  8. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Puttick, Mark; Thomas, Gavin

    2015-01-01

    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 a...

  10. 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 an

  11. Selection on feather pecking affects response to novelty and foraging behaviour in laying hens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Haas, Elske N; Nielsen, Birte L; Buitenhuis, A J (Bart)

    2010-01-01

    , therefore we studied the behaviour of 16 birds from a high feather pecking (HFP) line and 16 birds from a low feather pecking (LFP) line at 35 weeks of age inside a plus-maze. Birds were from the 10th generation of selection for either high or low FP. First exposure to the maze was used to measure birds...

  12. 76 FR 76115 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Feather River Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-06

    ... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Feather River Air Quality Management District AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: EPA is proposing a limited approval and limited disapproval of revisions to the Feather River Air...

  13. 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...

  14. Metals in albatross feathers from Midway Atoll: Influence of species, age, and nest location

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burger, J.; Gochfeld, M.

    2000-03-01

    In this paper the authors examine the concentrations of metals (heavy metals, mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, manganese, tin; and metalloids, arsenic and selenium), in the down and contour (body) feathers of half-grown young albatrosses, and contour feathers of one of their parents. They collected feathers from Laysan Diomedea immutabilis and black-footed Diomedea nigripes albatrosses from Midway Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean. The authors test the null hypotheses that there is no difference in metal levels as a function of species, age, feather type, and location on the island. Using linear regression they found significant models accounting for the variation in the concentrations of mercury, lead, cadmium, selenium, chromium, and manganese (but not arsenic or tin) as a function of feather type (all metals), collection location (all metals but lead), species (selenium only), and interactions between these factors. Most metals (except mercury, arsenic, and tin) were significantly higher in down than in the contour feathers of either chicks or adults. Comparing the two species, black-footed albatross chicks had higher levels of most elements (except arsenic) in their feathers and/or down. Black-footed adults had significantly higher levels of mercury and selenium. They also collected down and feathers from Laysan albatross chicks whose nests were close to buildings, including buildings with flaking lead paint and those that had been lead-abated.

  15. Partial duplication of the PRLR and SPEF2 genes at the late feathering locus in chicken

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elferink, M.G.; Vallee, N.; Jungerius, B.J.; Crooijmans, R.P.M.A.; Groenen, M.A.M.

    2008-01-01

    Background One of the loci responsible for feather development in chickens is K. The K allele is partially dominant to the k+ allele and causes a retard in the emergence of flight feathers at hatch. The K locus is sex linked and located on the Z chromosome. Therefore, the locus can be utilized to pr

  16. Replacement and growth of primary feathers in captive rock pigeons, Columba livia (Aves: Columbidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Mallet-Rodrigues

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The replacement and growth of 311 primary feathers of eight captive male rock pigeons, Columba livia Gmelin, 1789 were monitored daily. Feather replacement was recorded in all months, but the primaries 1 to 5 (innermost primaries were replaced mostly from September to December, whereas the primaries 6 to 10 (outermost primaries were more frequently replaced from January to August. Each primary was held in plumage from six to fifteen months, but the lifetime of the outer feathers was longer than that of the inner feathers. A new primary emerges two or three days after its predecessor has been dropped, but the primaries replacing the feathers accidentally lost during bird handling emerge only after about eight days. The average growth period of a primary ranged from 21 to 37 days, with the larger and outermost feathers exhibiting a longer growth period. A constant average growth rate of 4 to 5 mm/day was found for all primaries until the last two days of growth, when the growth rate of the feathers became progressively slower. Bilateral symmetry in the primary replacement, when the same feather is replaced simultaneously in both wings, was not significant (22.2% in the birds monitored in this study.

  17. 76 FR 5 - Feathering Propeller Systems for Light-Sport Aircraft Powered Gliders

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-03

    ... aircraft, if powered, would be limited to a fixed or ground adjustable propeller.'' We determined that ``a... found in multi-engine aircraft, automatically feather a propeller in the event of a power loss during... manual feathering propeller on an LSA powered glider could impose a hazard to the aircraft...

  18. The prevention and control of feather pecking: application to commercial systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nicol, C.J.; Bestman, M.; Gilani, A.M.; Haas, de E.N.; Jong, de I.C.; Lampton, S.; Wagenaar, J.P.; Weeks, C.A.; Rodenburg, T.B.

    2013-01-01

    Studies on the prevalence of feather pecking in different commercial laying hen 23 systems and its welfare and economic impacts are reviewed in the following paper. 24 Current methods for controlling feather pecking include beak-trimming and alterations to light regimes, but these methods have signi

  19. 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 F-

  20. Variation in the mechanical properties of flight feathers of the blackcap Sylvia atricapilla in relation to migration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De la Hera, I.; Hedenström, A.; Pérez-Tris, J.; Tellería, J.L.

    2010-01-01

    Migration causes temporal and energetic constraints during plumage development, which can compromise feather structure and function. In turn, given the importance of a good quality of flight feathers in migratory movements, selection may have favoured the synthesis of feathers with better mechanical

  1. Integrating fossils with molecular phylogenies improves inference of trait evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Graham J; Harmon, Luke J; Alfaro, Michael E

    2012-12-01

    Comparative biologists often attempt to draw inferences about tempo and mode in evolution by comparing the fit of evolutionary models to phylogenetic comparative data consisting of a molecular phylogeny with branch lengths and trait measurements from extant taxa. These kinds of approaches ignore historical evidence for evolutionary pattern and process contained in the fossil record. In this article, we show through simulation that incorporation of fossil information dramatically improves our ability to distinguish among models of quantitative trait evolution using comparative data. We further suggest a novel Bayesian approach that allows fossil information to be integrated even when explicit phylogenetic hypotheses are lacking for extinct representatives of extant clades. By applying this approach to a comparative dataset comprising body sizes for caniform carnivorans, we show that incorporation of fossil information not only improves ancestral state estimates relative to those derived from extant taxa alone, but also results in preference of a model of evolution with trend toward large body size over alternative models such as Brownian motion or Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes. Our approach highlights the importance of considering fossil information when making macroevolutionary inference, and provides a way to integrate the kind of sparse fossil information that is available to most evolutionary biologists. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 羽绒羽毛检测方法分析%Down and Feather Detection Methods

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈钢

    2014-01-01

    结合羽绒羽毛检测的内容,对羽绒羽毛的检测方法进行了简单分析。对氢氧化钠溶液对几种常见羽毛的化学溶解性进行了测试。结果表明,羽毛的溶解性差异可以作为羽绒羽毛的检测方法之一。%Combining content feather detection method for detecting down and Feather were simple analysis. Sodium hydroxide solution, the solubility of several common chemical feathers was tested. The results showed that differences in solubility feathers can be used as a method of detecting down feathers.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu Yuyang; Chen Xianqiong; Xin, J H [Institute of Textiles and Clothing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong (China)], E-mail: liuxx751@umn.edu

    2008-12-01

    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.

  6. 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

    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......, to date much of the information regarding the aetiology and treatment in both syndromes is based on ‘expert' opinion rather than on experimentally founded results. Comparative research in humans and parrots might therefore be mutually beneficial. Feather damaging behaviour (FDB) may also share...... 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...

  7. Travels with the Fossil Hunters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whybrow, Peter J.

    2000-04-01

    Whether dodging bullets in West Africa, or rabid dogs in Pakistan, surviving yak-butter tea in Tibet, or eating raw fish in China, the life of a globe-trotting fossil hunter is often hazardous and always filled with surprises. Travels with the Fossil Hunters lets readers share the wonder, joys of discovery, and excitement of these intrepid scientists. Packed with more than 100 beautiful, full-color photographs, the volume takes readers on twelve expeditions to remote parts of the world in search of diverse fossil remains, from those of dinosaurs to human ancestors. Each expedition by paleontologists from London's Natural History Museum reveals the problems and challenges of working in extreme conditions, from the deserts of the Sahara and Yemen to the frozen wastes of Antarctica, from the mountains of India to the forests of Latvia. Along the way they also describe the paleontology and geology of the countries they visit and the scientific reasons for their expeditions. With a foreword from Sir David Attenborough and an introduction from Richard Fortey, this fascinating book will appeal to amateur and professional fossil hunters alike and to readers interested in accounts of exotic locales. Peter Whybrow is a research scientist at the Natural History Museum, London. His research interests include Arabian Miocene vertebrates, paleoclimates, paleogeography, and biotic diversity. He is senior editor with A. Hill of Fossil Vertebrates of Arabia (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1999).

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juli Broggi

    Full Text Available 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.

  11. Symbiotic bacteria living in the hoopoe's uropygial gland prevent feather degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Rodríguez, M; Valdivia, E; Soler, Juan J; Martín-Vivaldi, M; Martín-Platero, A M; Martínez-Bueno, M

    2009-11-01

    Among potential agents that might damage bird feathers are certain microorganisms which secrete enzymes that digest keratin, as is the case of the ubiquitous bacterium Bacillus licheniformis, present in both the feathers and skin of wild birds. It is therefore a good candidate for testing the effects of bird defences against feather-degrading microorganisms. One of these defences is the oil secreted by the uropygial gland, which birds use to protect their feathers against parasites. In previous studies we have shown how Enterococcus faecalis strains isolated from nestling hoopoes exert antagonistic effects against B. licheniformis, mediated by the production of bacteriocins. Consequently we hypothesized that this enterococcus and the bacteriocins it engenders might act as a defence against feather-degrading microorganisms in hoopoes. We investigated this hypothesis in a series of laboratory experiments and evaluated the extent to which the keratinolytic effects caused by B. licheniformis were reduced by the E. faecalis MRR10-3 strain, isolated from hoopoes, and its bacteriocins. In different treatments, feathers or pure keratin was incubated with B. licheniformis, B. licheniformis together with E. faecalis MRR10-3, and B. licheniformis together with the bacteriocins produced by E. faecalis MRR10-3. Our results were in accordance with the predicted effects on hoopoe feathers. There was a significant decrease both in pure keratin loss and in feather degradation in the presence of the symbiotic bacterium or its bacteriocin. These results suggest that by preening their feathers hoopoes benefit from their symbiotic relationship with bacteriocin-producing enterococci, which constitute a chemical defence against feather degradation.

  12. 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

  13. Effects of feather pecking phenotype (severe feather peckers, victims and non-peckers) on serotonergic and dopaminergic activity in four brain areas of laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kops, Marjolein S; de Haas, Elske N; Rodenburg, T Bas; Ellen, Esther D; Korte-Bouws, Gerdien A H; Olivier, Berend; Güntürkün, O; Bolhuis, J Elizabeth; Korte, S Mechiel

    2013-08-15

    Severe feather pecking (SFP) in laying hens is a detrimental behavior causing loss of feathers, skin damage and cannibalism. Previously, we have associated changes in frontal brain serotonin (5-HT) turnover and dopamine (DA) turnover with alterations in feather pecking behavior in young pullets (28-60 days). Here, brain monoamine levels were measured in adult laying hens; focusing on four brain areas that are involved in emotional behavior or are part of the basal ganglia-thalamopallial circuit, which is involved in obsessive compulsive disorders. Three behavioral phenotypes were studied: Severe Feather Peckers (SFPs), Victims of SFP, and Non-Peckers (NPs). Hens (33 weeks old) were sacrificed after a 5-min manual restraint test. SFPs had higher 5-HIAA levels and a higher serotonin turnover (5-HIAA/5-HT) in the dorsal thalamus than NPs, with intermediate levels in victims. NPs had higher 5-HT levels in the medial striatum than victims, with levels of SFPs in between. 5-HT turnover levels did not differ between phenotypes in medial striatum, arcopallium and hippocampus. DA turnover levels were not affected by feather pecking phenotype. These findings indicate that serotonergic neurotransmission in the dorsal thalamus and striatum of adult laying hens depends on differences in behavioral feather pecking phenotype, with, compared to non-pecking hens, changes in both SFP and their victims. Further identification of different SFP phenotypes is needed to elucidate the role of brain monoamines in SFP.

  14. Turbulence and diffusion fossil turbulence

    CERN Document Server

    Gibson, C H

    2000-01-01

    Fossil turbulence processes are central to turbulence, turbulent mixing, and turbulent diffusion in the ocean and atmosphere, in astrophysics and cosmology, and in most other natural flows. George Gamov suggested in 1954 that galaxies might be fossils of primordial turbulence produced by the Big Bang. John Woods showed that breaking internal waves on horizontal dye sheets in the interior of the stratified ocean form highly persistent remnants of these turbulent events, which he called fossil turbulence. The dark mixing paradox of the ocean refers to undetected mixing that must exist somewhere to explain why oceanic scalar fields like temperature and salinity are so well mixed, just as the dark matter paradox of galaxies refers to undetected matter that must exist to explain why rotating galaxies don't fly apart by centrifugal forces. Both paradoxes result from sampling techniques that fail to account for the extreme intermittency of random variables involved in self-similar, nonlinear, cascades over a wide ra...

  15. A Galactic Fossil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-05-01

    How old are the oldest stars? Using ESO's VLT, astronomers recently measured the age of a star located in our Galaxy. The star, a real fossil, is found to be 13.2 billion years old, not very far from the 13.7 billion years age of the Universe. The star, HE 1523-0901, was clearly born at the dawn of time. "Surprisingly, it is very hard to pin down the age of a star", the lead author of the paper reporting the results, Anna Frebel, explains. "This requires measuring very precisely the abundance of the radioactive elements thorium or uranium, a feat only the largest telescopes such as ESO's VLT can achieve." ESO PR Photo 23a/07 ESO PR Photo 23a/07 The 'Cosmic Clock' This technique is analogous to the carbon-14 dating method that has been so successful in archaeology over time spans of up to a few tens of thousands of years. In astronomy, however, this technique must obviously be applied to vastly longer timescales. For the method to work well, the right choice of radioactive isotope is critical. Unlike other, stable elements that formed at the same time, the abundance of a radioactive (unstable) isotope decreases all the time. The faster the decay, the less there will be left of the radioactive isotope after a certain time, so the greater will be the abundance difference when compared to a stable isotope, and the more accurate is the resulting age. Yet, for the clock to remain useful, the radioactive element must not decay too fast - there must still be enough left of it to allow an accurate measurement, even after several billion years. "Actual age measurements are restricted to the very rare objects that display huge amounts of the radioactive elements thorium or uranium," says Norbert Christlieb, co-author of the report. ESO PR Photo 23b/07 ESO PR Photo 23b/07 Uranium Line in the Spectrum of an Old Star Large amounts of these elements have been found in the star HE 1523-0901, an old, relatively bright star that was discovered within the Hamburg/ESO survey [1]. The

  16. Fossil Group Origins VII. Galaxy substructures in fossil systems

    CERN Document Server

    Zarattini, S; Aguerri, J A L; Boschin, W; Barrena, R; del Burgo, C; Castro-Rodriguez, N; Corsini, E M; D'Onghia, E; Kundert, A; Méndez-Abreu, J; Sánchez-Janssen, R

    2016-01-01

    Fossil groups are expected to be the final product of galaxy merging within galaxy groups. In simulations, they are predicted to assemble their mass at high redshift. This early formation allows for the innermost $M^\\ast$ galaxies to merge into a massive central galaxy. Then, they are expected to maintain their fossil status because of the few interactions with the large-scale structure. In this context, the magnitude gap between the two brightest galaxies of the system is considered a good indicator of its dynamical status. As a consequence, the systems with the largest gaps should be dynamically relaxed. In order to examine the dynamical status of these systems, we systematically analyze, for the first time, the presence of galaxy substructures in a sample of 12 spectroscopically-confirmed fossil systems with redshift $z \\le 0.25$. We apply a number of tests in order to investigate the substructure in fossil systems in the two-dimensional space of projected positions out to $R_{200}$. Moreover, for a subsam...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Assessment of the effect of housing on feather damage in laying hens using IR thermography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichová, K; Bilčík, B; Košt'ál, L'

    2017-04-01

    Plumage damage represents one of the animal-based measures of laying hens welfare. Damage occurs predominantly due to age, environment and damaging pecking. IR thermography, due to its non-invasiveness, objectivity and repeatability is a promising alternative to feather damage scoring systems such as the system included in the Welfare Quality ® assessment protocol for poultry. The aim of this study was to apply IR thermography for the assessment of feather damage in laying hens kept in two housing systems and to compare the results with feather scoring. At the start of the experiment, 16-week-old laying hens (n=30) were divided into two treatments such as deep litter pen and enriched cage. During 4 months, feather damage was assessed regularly in 2-week intervals. One more single assessment was done nine and a half months after the start of the experiment. The feather damage on four body regions was assessed by scoring and IR thermography: head and neck, back and rump, belly, and underneck and breast. Two variables obtained by IR thermography were used: the difference between the body surface temperature and ambient temperature (ΔTB) and the proportion of featherless areas, which were defined as areas with a temperature >33.5°C. Data were analyzed using a GLM model. The effects of housing, time, region and their interactions on feather damage, measured by the feather scoring and by both IR thermography measures, were all significant (P<0.001). The ΔTB in all assessed regions correlated positively with the feather score. Feather scoring revealed higher damage in enriched cages compared with deep litter pens starting from week 6 of the experiment on the belly and back and rump regions, whereas ΔTB from week 6 in the belly and from week 8 on the back and rump region. The proportion of featherless areas in the belly region differed significantly between the housings from week 8 of the experiment and on the back and rump region from week 12. The IR thermography

  20. Feather damage due to mycotic infections in wild turkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, W R; Shotts, E B; Teska, J; Moreland, D W

    1989-10-01

    Wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) from Pearl River Wildlife Management Area, St. Tammany Parish and from adjacent St. Helena Parish, Louisiana (USA) were observed to have broken and frayed rectrices. The condition was noted in 21% of 90 wild turkeys harvested by hunters during the springs of 1985 through 1988 from the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area. Damage to feathers ranged from mild to severe. Histologic and microbiologic study of five birds disclosed colonization and invasion of the rachis sheath and pulp by fungi of the genera Aspergillus, Curvularia, Cladosporium, Dactylella, Exophiala, Helminthosporium and Trichophyton and by Streptomyces. Sterilized normal rectrices from wild turkeys were inoculated with these organisms and subsequently developed damage that was histologically compatible with field cases. The condition was diagnosed as a multiple etiology mycosis. Successful colonization and invasion of experimentally inoculated feathers required addition of moisture and elevation of relative humidity within the cultures. The apparent high moisture requirements of the fungi suggest that late winter and early spring flooding may be a probable predisposing factor for this condition.

  1. Seagull feather shaft: Correlation between structure and mechanical response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Meyers, Marc André

    2017-01-15

    Flight feathers are unique among a variety of keratinous appendages in that they are lightweight, stiff and strong. They are designed to withstand aerodynamic forces, but their morphology and structure have been oversimplified and thus understudied historically. Here we present an investigation of the shaft from seagull primary feathers, elucidate the hierarchical fibrous and porous structure along the shaft length, and correlate the tensile and nanomechanical properties to the fiber orientation. An analysis of the compressive behavior of the rachis based on a square-section model shows a good fit with experimental results, and demonstrates the synergy between the cortex and medulla. Flexural properties of the shaft along the shaft length, analyzed as a sandwich composite, reveal that although all flexural parameters decrease towards the distal shaft, the specific equivalent flexural modulus and strength increase by factors of 2 and 3, respectively. The failure mode in flexure for all specimens is buckling on the compressive surface, whereas the foamy medulla prevents destructive axial cracking and introduces important toughening mechanisms: crack deflection, fiber bridging, and microcracking.

  2. 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.

  3. Paleoarchean trace fossils in altered volcanic glass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staudigel, Hubert; Furnes, Harald; DeWit, Maarten

    2015-01-01

    Microbial corrosion textures in volcanic glass from Cenozoic seafloor basalts and the corresponding titanite replacement microtextures in metamorphosed Paleoarchean pillow lavas have been interpreted as evidence for a deep biosphere dating back in time through the earliest periods of preserved life on earth. This interpretation has been recently challenged for Paleoarchean titanite replacement textures based on textural and geochronological data from pillow lavas in the Hooggenoeg Complex of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. We use this controversy to explore the strengths and weaknesses of arguments made in support or rejection of the biogenicity interpretation of bioalteration trace fossils in Cenozoic basalt glasses and their putative equivalents in Paleoarchean greenstones. Our analysis suggests that biogenicity cannot be taken for granted for all titanite-based textures in metamorphosed basalt glass, but a cautious and critical evaluation of evidence suggests that biogenicity remains the most likely interpretation for previously described titanite microtextures in Paleoarchean pillow lavas. PMID:26038543

  4. Paleoarchean trace fossils in altered volcanic glass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staudigel, Hubert; Furnes, Harald; DeWit, Maarten

    2015-06-02

    Microbial corrosion textures in volcanic glass from Cenozoic seafloor basalts and the corresponding titanite replacement microtextures in metamorphosed Paleoarchean pillow lavas have been interpreted as evidence for a deep biosphere dating back in time through the earliest periods of preserved life on earth. This interpretation has been recently challenged for Paleoarchean titanite replacement textures based on textural and geochronological data from pillow lavas in the Hooggenoeg Complex of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. We use this controversy to explore the strengths and weaknesses of arguments made in support or rejection of the biogenicity interpretation of bioalteration trace fossils in Cenozoic basalt glasses and their putative equivalents in Paleoarchean greenstones. Our analysis suggests that biogenicity cannot be taken for granted for all titanite-based textures in metamorphosed basalt glass, but a cautious and critical evaluation of evidence suggests that biogenicity remains the most likely interpretation for previously described titanite microtextures in Paleoarchean pillow lavas.

  5. Nuclear β-catenin localization supports homology of feathers, avian scutate scales, and alligator scales in early development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musser, Jacob M; Wagner, Günter P; Prum, Richard O

    2015-01-01

    Feathers are an evolutionary novelty found in all extant birds. Despite recent progress investigating feather development and a revolution in dinosaur paleontology, the relationship of feathers to other amniote skin appendages, particularly reptile scales, remains unclear. Disagreement arises primarily from the observation that feathers and avian scutate scales exhibit an anatomical placode-defined as an epidermal thickening-in early development, whereas alligator and other avian scales do not. To investigate the homology of feathers and archosaur scales we examined patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization during early development of feathers and different bird and alligator scales. In birds, nuclear β-catenin is first localized to the feather placode, and then exhibits a dynamic pattern of localization in both epidermis and dermis of the feather bud. We found that asymmetric avian scutate scales and alligator scales share similar patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization with feathers. This supports the hypothesis that feathers, scutate scales, and alligator scales are homologous during early developmental stages, and are derived from early developmental stages of an asymmetric scale present in the archosaur ancestor. Furthermore, given that the earliest stage of β-catenin localization in feathers and archosaur scales is also found in placodes of several mammalian skin appendages, including hair and mammary glands, we hypothesize that a common skin appendage placode originated in the common ancestor of all amniotes. We suggest a skin placode should not be defined by anatomical features, but as a local, organized molecular signaling center from which an epidermal appendage develops.

  6. Fossil group origins. III. The relation between optical and X-ray luminosities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girardi, M.; Aguerri, J. A. L.; De Grandi, S.; D'Onghia, E.; Barrena, R.; Boschin, W.; Méndez-Abreu, J.; Sánchez-Janssen, R.; Zarattini, S.; Biviano, A.; Castro-Rodriguez, N.; Corsini, E. M.; del Burgo, C.; Iglesias-Páramo, J.; Vilchez, J. M.

    2014-05-01

    Aims: This study is part of the Fossil group origins (FOGO) project which aims to carry out a systematic and multiwavelength study of a large sample of fossil systems. Here we focus on the relation between the optical luminosity (Lopt) and X-ray luminosity (LX). Methods: Out of a total sample of 28 candidate fossil systems, we consider a sample of 12 systems whose fossil classification has been confirmed by a companion study. They are compared with the complementary sample of 16 systems whose fossil nature has not been confirmed and with a subsample of 102 galaxy systems from the RASS-SDSS galaxy cluster survey. Fossil and normal systems span the same redshift range 0 cannibalism of other group galaxies with conservation of the optical light. We find no evidence for a peculiar state of the hot intracluster medium. Tables 1 and 2 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  7. 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 belo

  8. Equatorial spread F fossil plumes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. L. Ossakow

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Behaviour of equatorial spread F (ESF fossil plumes, i.e., ESF plumes that have stopped rising, is examined using the NRL SAMI3/ESF three-dimensional simulation code. We find that fossil bubbles, plasma density depletions associated with fossil plumes, can persist as high-altitude equatorial depletions even while being "blown" by zonal winds. Corresponding airglow-proxy images of fossil plumes, plots of electron density versus longitude and latitude at a constant altitude of 288 km, are shown to partially "fill in" in most cases, beginning with the highest altitude field lines within the plume. Specifically, field lines upon which the E field has fallen entirely to zero are affected and only the low altitude (≤600 km portion if each field line fills in. This suggests that it should be possible to observe a bubble at high altitude on a field line for which the corresponding airglow image no longer shows a depletion. In all cases ESF plumes stop rising when the flux-tube-integrated ion mass density inside the upper edge of the bubble is equal to that of the nearby background, further supporting the result of Krall et al. (2010b.

  9. 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

  10. Cleanskin Structure, Northern Territory and Queensland, Australia: Evidence for an Impact Origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haines, P. W.; Sweet, I. P.; Mitchell, K.

    2012-09-01

    The Cleanskin structure, Australia, is a 15 km diameter circular feature with central uplift. Evidence for impact-produced shock includes shatter cones, planar fractures with feather features and possible planar deformation features in quartz.

  11. Feathers as a Tool to Assess Mercury Contamination in Gentoo Penguins: Variations at the Individual Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedro, Sara; Xavier, José C; Tavares, Sílvia; Trathan, Phil N; Ratcliffe, Norman; Paiva, Vitor H; Medeiros, Renata; Pereira, Eduarda; Pardal, Miguel A

    2015-01-01

    Feathers have been widely used to assess mercury contamination in birds as they reflect metal concentrations accumulated between successive moult periods: they are also easy to sample and have minimum impact on the study birds. Moult is considered the major pathway for mercury excretion in seabirds. Penguins are widely believed to undergo a complete, annual moult during which they do not feed. As penguins lose all their feathers, they are expected to have a low individual-variability in feather mercury concentration as all feathers are formed simultaneously from the same somatic reserves. This assumption is central to penguin studies that use feathers to examine the annual or among-individual variation in mercury concentrations in penguins. To test this assumption, we measured the mercury concentrations in 3-5 body feathers of 52 gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) breeding at Bird Island, South Georgia (54°S 38°W). Twenty-five percent of the penguins studied showed substantial within-individual variation in the amount of mercury in their feathers (Coefficient of Variation: 34.7-96.7%). This variation may be caused by differences in moult patterns among individuals within the population leading to different interpretations in the overall population. Further investigation is now needed to fully understand individual variation in penguins' moult.

  12. Feathers as a Tool to Assess Mercury Contamination in Gentoo Penguins: Variations at the Individual Level.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Pedro

    Full Text Available Feathers have been widely used to assess mercury contamination in birds as they reflect metal concentrations accumulated between successive moult periods: they are also easy to sample and have minimum impact on the study birds. Moult is considered the major pathway for mercury excretion in seabirds. Penguins are widely believed to undergo a complete, annual moult during which they do not feed. As penguins lose all their feathers, they are expected to have a low individual-variability in feather mercury concentration as all feathers are formed simultaneously from the same somatic reserves. This assumption is central to penguin studies that use feathers to examine the annual or among-individual variation in mercury concentrations in penguins. To test this assumption, we measured the mercury concentrations in 3-5 body feathers of 52 gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua breeding at Bird Island, South Georgia (54°S 38°W. Twenty-five percent of the penguins studied showed substantial within-individual variation in the amount of mercury in their feathers (Coefficient of Variation: 34.7-96.7%. This variation may be caused by differences in moult patterns among individuals within the population leading to different interpretations in the overall population. Further investigation is now needed to fully understand individual variation in penguins' moult.

  13. Assessment of regrowth of flight feathers after manual removal in American kestrels (Falco sparverius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delnatte, Pauline; Lair, Stéphane; Beauchamp, Guy; Fitzgerald, Guy

    2014-09-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate if extraction of broken feathers outside the molting period was an efficient method to induce growth of new flight feathers as part of the rehabilitation process of raptors with damaged plumage. Primaries, secondaries, and rectrices (four of each) were removed under general anesthesia from 10 American kestrels (Falco sparverius) using two different protocols: with and without filling the follicle with bismuth subnitrate (Orbeseal) to prevent it from sealing. Birds were kept in large aviaries under natural daylight and outdoor temperatures. Rate and quality of growth of new feathers were assessed regularly for 4 mo. Results were significantly different between the types of feathers: 100% of rectrices, 58% of secondaries, and 8% of primaries started to grow within the 4 winter months, and 95% of rectrices, 30% of secondaries, and 0% of primaries completed their growth normally within this period. The use of Orbeseal did not improve the outcome. The tail feathers began to grow between the second and third weeks at about 2.7 mm/day, and growth was completed within 7 wk. Rate, starting time, and duration of remigial growth were less predictable and varied widely among individuals. Although the exact impact of these extractions on the natural molt is still unclear, most of the primaries that were plucked during this study failed to regrow normally during the following molt. In conclusion, plucking damaged tail feathers in kestrels can successfully decrease the duration of rehabilitation. However, this procedure would not be recommended for wing feathers.

  14. Production of keratinolytic enzyme by an indigenous feather-degrading strain Bacillus cereus Wu2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Wei-Hsun; Too, Jui-Rze; Wu, Jane-Yii

    2012-12-01

    A novel feather-degrading microorganism was isolated from a poultry farm in Taiwan, and was identified Bacillus cereus Wu2 according to 16S rRNA sequencing. The isolated strain produces keratinolytic enzyme using chicken feather as the sole carbon and nitrogen source. The experimental results indicated that the extra carbon sources (glucose, fructose, starch, sucrose, or lactose) could act as a catabolite repressor to the enzyme secretion or keratinolytic activity when keratinous substrates were employed as protein sources. However, addition of 2 g/L of NH(4)Cl to the feather medium increased the enzyme production. The optimum temperature and initial pH for enzyme production were 30°C and 7.0, respectively. The maximum yield of the enzyme was 1.75 kU/mL in the optimal chicken feather medium; this value was about 17-fold higher than the yield in the basal hair medium. The B. cereus Wu2 possessed disulfide reductase activity along with keratinolytic activity. The amino acid contents of feathers degradated by B. cereus Wu2 were higher, especially for lysine, methionine and threonine which were nutritionally essential amino acids and usually deficient in the feather meal. Thus, B. cereus Wu2 could be not only used to enhance the nutritional value of feather meal but is also a potential bioinoculant in agricultural environments.

  15. Bio-thermoplastics from grafted chicken feathers for potential biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Narendra; Jiang, Qiuran; Jin, Enqi; Shi, Zhen; Hou, Xiuliang; Yang, Yiqi

    2013-10-01

    This research demonstrated the feasibility of using bio-thermoplastics developed from chicken feathers grafted with acrylates and methacrylates as scaffolds for tissue engineering. Keratin, the major protein in feathers, is a highly crosslinked biopolymer that has been reported to be biocompatible. However, it is difficult to break the disulfide bonds and make keratin soluble to develop materials for tissue engineering and other medical applications. Previously, keratin extracted from feathers using alkaline hydrolysis has been made into scaffolds but with poor water stability and mechanical properties. In this study, thermoplastic films were compression molded from chicken feathers grafted with 6 different acrylate monomers. The influence of the concentration and structures of grafted monomers on grafting parameters and the tensile strength, water stability and cytocompatibility of grafted feathers compression molded into films were investigated. It was found that the grafted feather films were water stable and had good strength and better supported cell growth than poly(lactic acid) films. Grafted feathers demonstrated the potential to be used for fabrication of biomaterials for various biomedical applications.

  16. Chemical composition and amino acid profile of differently processed feather meal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adejumo Oluseun Isaac

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Feather wastes represent potential alternative ingredients for animal feedstuffs which can ameliorate the protein shortage for food and feed. Previous attempts to provide information about the nutrient composition of feather meal are either too complicated for rural livestock farmers in developing countries or they provided incomplete information on chemical composition. Washed feathers were subjected to different processing techniques such as pre-soaking in distilled water, wood ash, 0.3M NaOH, a mixture of wood ash and 0.3M NaOH, incubated at 37°C and boiled at 150°C for 60 minutes. Treated feather meals were analysed for chemical composition and amino acid profile. The overall result showed that feather meal pre-soaked with wood ash for 24 hr boiled at 150oC for 60 minutes, those pre-soaked with 0.3M NaOH and wood ash incubated at 37°C for 24 hr boiled at 150°C for 60 minutes and raw feather meal pre-soaked in distilled water for 24 hr boiled at 150°C for 60 minutes gave better results. Wood ash and 0.3M NaOH and their mixture could enhance the nutritional value of feather meal.

  17. Fossil Energy: Drivers and Challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedmann, Julio

    2007-04-01

    Concerns about rapid economic growth, energy security, and global climate change have created a new landscape for fossil energy exploration, production, and utilization. Since 85% of primary energy supply comes from fossil fuels, and 85% of greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil fuel consumption, new and difficult technical and political challenges confront commercial, governmental, and public stakeholders. As such, concerns over climate change are explicitly weighed against security of international and domestic energy supplies, with economic premiums paid for either or both. Efficiency improvements, fuel conservation, and deployment of nuclear and renewable supplies will help both concerns, but are unlikely to offset growth in the coming decades. As such, new technologies and undertakings must both provide high quality fossil energy with minimal environmental impacts. The largest and most difficult of these undertakings is carbon management, wherein CO2 emissions are sequestered indefinitely at substantial incremental cost. Geological formations provide both high confidence and high capacity for CO2 storage, but present scientific and technical challenges. Oil and gas supply can be partially sustained and replaced through exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels such as tar-sands, methane hydrates, coal-to-liquids, and oil shales. These fuels provide enormous reserves that can be exploited at current costs, but generally require substantial energy to process. In most cases, the energy return on investment (EROI) is dropping, and unconventional fuels are generally more carbon intensive than conventional, presenting additional carbon management challenges. Ultimately, a large and sustained science and technology program akin to the Apollo project will be needed to address these concerns. Unfortunately, real funding in energy research has dropped dramatically (75%) in the past three decades, and novel designs in fission and fusion are not likely to provide any

  18. 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.

  19. Avian feathers as bioindicators of the exposure to heavy metal contamination of food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markowski, Marcin; Kaliński, Adam; Skwarska, Joanna; Wawrzyniak, Jarosław; Bańbura, Mirosława; Markowski, Janusz; Zieliński, Piotr; Bańbura, Jerzy

    2013-09-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the possibility of using feathers of blue tit nestlings to assess the level of endogenous accumulation of lead. For this purpose we conducted an experiment with lead application to randomly chosen nestlings from eight randomly drawn broods. Five days after the exposure, feathers of lead-treated nestlings had significantly higher lead concentrations than control nestlings. This result suggests that feathers can be used as reliable non-destructive bioindicators to assess the level of heavy metals originating from contaminated food, which is of great significance for comparative studies on ecological consequences of pollution.

  20. Viscerotropic velogenic Newcastle disease virus replication in feathers of infected chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Dong-Hun; Kwon, Jung-Hoon; Noh, Jin-Yong; Park, Jae-Keun; Yuk, Seong-Su; Erdene-Ochir, Tseren-Ochir; Nahm, Sang-Soep; Kwon, Yong-Kuk; Lee, Sang-Won; Song, Chang-Seon

    2016-03-01

    Newcastle disease viruses (NDVs) cause systemic diseases in chickens with high mortality. However, little is known about persistence of NDVs in contaminated tissues from infected birds. In this study, we examined viral replication in the feather pulp of chickens inoculated with viscerotropic velogenic NDV (vvNDV) genotype VII. Reverse transcription real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry were used to investigate viral persistence in the samples. vvNDV was detected in the oropharynx and cloaca and viral antigens were detected in the feathers, suggesting that feathers act as sources of viral transmission.

  1. 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.)

  2. The Fossil Phase in the Life of a Galaxy Group

    CERN Document Server

    von Benda-Beckmann, Alexander M; Gottloeber, Stefan; Hoeft, Matthias; Khalatyan, Arman; Klypin, Anatoly; Mueller, Volker

    2007-01-01

    We investigate the origin and evolution of fossil groups in a concordance LCDM cosmological simulation. We consider haloes with masses between $(1-5)\\times10^{13} \\hMsun$ and study the physical mechanisms that lead to the formation of the large gap in magnitude between the brightest and the second most bright group member, which is typical for these fossil systems. Fossil groups are found to have high dark matter concentrations, which we can relate to their early formation time. The large magnitude-gaps arise after the groups have build up half of their final mass, due to merging of massive group members. We show that the existence of fossil systems is primarily driven by the relatively early infall of massive satellites, and that we do not find a strong environmental dependence for these systems. In addition, we find tentative evidence for fossil group satellites falling in on orbits with typically lower angular momentum, which might lead to a more efficient merger onto the host. We find a population of grou...

  3. Looking at Fossils in New Ways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flannery, Maura C.

    2005-01-01

    Existing fossils could be studied from a different prospective with the use of new methods of analysis for gathering more information. The new techniques of studying fossils binds the new and the old techniques and information and provides another way to look at fossils.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 δ 15N. Mercury concentrations (mean ± SE) averaged 0.46 ± 0.02 μg g−1 (range 0.01–3.74 μg g−1). Twelve of 32 species had individuals (7 % of all birds sampled) with mercury concentrations higher than 1 μg g−1. Mercury concentrations were 17 % higher in juveniles compared to adults (n = 454). In adults, invertivores has higher mercury levels compared to omnivores. Mercury was highest at low-elevation sites near water, however mercury was detected in all birds, including those in the high elevations (1,000–2,000 m). Relative trophic position, calculated from δ 15N, ranged from 2.13 to 4.87 across all birds. We fitted linear mixed-effects models to the data separately for juveniles and year-round resident adults. In adults, mercury concentrations were 2.4 times higher in invertivores compared to omnivores. Trophic position was the main effect explaining mercury levels in juveniles, with an estimated 0.18 ± 0.08 μg g−1 increase in feather mercury for each one unit rise in trophic position. Our research demonstrates that mercury is biomagnifying in birds within this terrestrial mountainous system, and further research is warranted for animals foraging at higher trophic levels, particularly those associated with aquatic environments downslope from montane areas receiving high mercury deposition.

  6. A water-quality assessment of the Feather Creek watershed, Vermillion County, Indiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eikenberry, Stephen E.

    1977-01-01

    Chemical quality of surface water within the Feather Creek watershed is generally good. However, fecal bacteria concentrations are high enough to represent a potential problem, especially because of the high water-contact recreation proposed for the future reservoir.

  7. Microsporum fulvum IBRL SD3: as novel isolate for chicken feathers degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darah, I; Nur-Diyana, A; Nurul-Husna, S; Jain, K; Lim, Sheh-Hong

    2013-12-01

    Keratinous wastes have increasingly become a problem and accumulate in the environment mainly in the form of feathers, generated mainly from a large number of poultry industries. As keratins are very difficult to degrade by general proteases, they pose a major environmental problem. Therefore, microorganisms which would effectively degrade keratins are needed for recycling such wastes. A geophilic dermatophyte, Microsporum fulvum IBRL SD3 which was isolated from a soil sample collected from a chicken feather dumping site using a baiting technique, was capable to produce keratinase significantly. The crude keratinase was able to degrade whole chicken feathers effectively. The end product of the degradation was protein that contained essential amino acids and may have potential application in animal feed production. Thus, M. fulvum could be a novel organism to produce keratinase for chicken feathers degradation.

  8. Hygroscopic motions of fossil conifer cones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Nestle, Nikolaus; Šandor, Andrea; Reible, Bruno; Masselter, Tom; Bruchmann, Bernd; Speck, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Conifer cones represent natural, woody compliant structures which move their scales as passive responses to changes in environmental humidity. Here we report on water-driven opening and closing motions in coalified conifer cones from the Eemian Interglacial (approx. 126,000–113,000 years BP) and from the Middle Miocene (approx. 16.5 to 11.5 million years BP). These cones represent by far the oldest documented evidence of plant parts showing full functionality of such passive hydraulically actuated motion. The functional resilience of these structures is far beyond the biological purpose of seed dispersal and protection and is because of a low level of mineralization of the fossils. Our analysis emphasizes the functional-morphological integrity of these biological compliant mechanisms which, in addition to their biological fascination, are potentially also role models for resilient and maintenance-free biomimetic applications (e.g., adaptive and autonomously moving structures including passive hydraulic actuators).

  9. Hygroscopic motions of fossil conifer cones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Nestle, Nikolaus; Šandor, Andrea; Reible, Bruno; Masselter, Tom; Bruchmann, Bernd; Speck, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Conifer cones represent natural, woody compliant structures which move their scales as passive responses to changes in environmental humidity. Here we report on water-driven opening and closing motions in coalified conifer cones from the Eemian Interglacial (approx. 126,000–113,000 years BP) and from the Middle Miocene (approx. 16.5 to 11.5 million years BP). These cones represent by far the oldest documented evidence of plant parts showing full functionality of such passive hydraulically actuated motion. The functional resilience of these structures is far beyond the biological purpose of seed dispersal and protection and is because of a low level of mineralization of the fossils. Our analysis emphasizes the functional-morphological integrity of these biological compliant mechanisms which, in addition to their biological fascination, are potentially also role models for resilient and maintenance-free biomimetic applications (e.g., adaptive and autonomously moving structures including passive hydraulic actuators). PMID:28074936

  10. Using more than the oldest fossils: dating osmundaceae with three Bayesian clock approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Guido W; Kapli, Paschalia; Bomfleur, Benjamin; McLoughlin, Stephen; Renner, Susanne S

    2015-05-01

    A major concern in molecular clock dating is how to use information from the fossil record to calibrate genetic distances from DNA sequences. Here we apply three Bayesian dating methods that differ in how calibration is achieved-"node dating" (ND) in BEAST, "total evidence" (TE) dating in MrBayes, and the "fossilized birth-death" (FBD) in FDPPDiv-to infer divergence times in the royal ferns. Osmundaceae have 16-17 species in four genera, two mainly in the Northern Hemisphere and two in South Africa and Australasia; they are the sister clade to the remaining leptosporangiate ferns. Their fossil record consists of at least 150 species in ∼17 genera. For ND, we used the five oldest fossils, whereas for TE and FBD dating, which do not require forcing fossils to nodes and thus can use more fossils, we included up to 36 rhizomes and frond compression/impression fossils, which for TE dating were scored for 33 morphological characters. We also subsampled 10%, 25%, and 50% of the 36 fossils to assess model sensitivity. FBD-derived divergence ages were generally greater than those inferred from ND; two of seven TE-derived ages agreed with FBD-obtained ages, the others were much younger or much older than ND or FBD ages. We prefer the FBD-derived ages because they best fit the Osmundales fossil record (including Triassic fossils not used in our study). Under the preferred model, the clade encompassing extant Osmundaceae (and many fossils) dates to the latest Paleozoic to Early Triassic; divergences of the extant species occurred during the Neogene. Under the assumption of constant speciation and extinction rates, the FBD approach yielded speciation and extinction rates that overlapped those obtained from just neontological data. However, FBD estimates of speciation and extinction are sensitive to violations in the assumption of continuous fossil sampling; therefore, these estimates should be treated with caution.

  11. Comment on "A Jurassic ornithischian dinosaur from Siberia with both feathers and scales".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingham-Soliar, Theagarten

    2014-10-24

    Godefroit et al. (Reports, 25 July 2014, p. 451) reported scales and feathers, including "basal plates," in an ornithischian dinosaur. Their arguments against the filaments being collagen fibers are not supported because of a fundamental misinterpretation of such structures and underestimation of their size. The parsimonious explanation is that the filaments are support fibers in association with badly degraded scales and that they do not represent early feather stages.

  12. Use of infrared thermography to assess laying-hen feather coverage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Y; Xin, H; Dong, B

    2013-02-01

    Infrared thermography (IRT) was compared with the traditional 4-scale feather scoring (FS, with 1 representing the worst feather coverage and 4 the best) method for assessing feather coverage of laying hens. The feather coverage of 6 body parts (head, dorsal neck, front neck and crop, back, breast, and belly), body surface temperature distribution, and relative change in sensible heat loss of 60 laying hens (Lohmann SL white breed) at 28, 56, or 73 wk of age (20 hens per age group) were compared by using IRT. For all the 6 body parts and the area-weighted overall, the area of excellent feather (EF) determined by IRT was positively correlated with the 4-scale scores determined by FS (P hens at all body parts. Feather coverage of the hens was classified as 98.7% EF, 1.3% FF, and 0% NF at 28 wk of age; 70.2% EF, 20.6% FF, and 9.2% NF at 56 wk of age; and 35.4% EF, 17.1% FF, and 49.5% NF at 73 wk of age. As a result of less feather coverage and higher surface temperature, sensible heat loss was speculated to be higher for 56- and 73-wk-old hens than for 28-wk-old hens, potentially leading to higher feed-to-egg conversion for the elder hens. It was concluded that IRT is a promising technique or tool that may provide a more objective and quantitative evaluation of laying-hen feather conditions and delineation of bird thermoregulation.

  13. Feather Vibration as a Stimulus for Sensing Incipient Separation in Falcon Diving Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-07-07

    flight conditions as regions of locally separated flow. A life-size model in V-shape of a falcoperegrinus with artificial feathers fixed along the body...raction and to allow optical tracking, we used artificial feathers which are adapted in stiffness and shape to the bird’s ones and were marked at...a) pictures from life recording and b) transformation of wing-shape configuration into a physical model. body of a male falcon and modified the

  14. Synthesis, structure and antimicrobial property of green composites from cellulose, wool, hair and chicken feather.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Chieu D; Prosencyes, Franja; Franko, Mladen; Benzi, Gerald

    2016-10-20

    Novel composites between cellulose (CEL) and keratin (KER) from three different sources (wool, hair and chicken feather) were successfully synthesized in a simple one-step process in which butylmethylimidazolium chloride (BMIm(+)Cl(-)), an ionic liquid, was used as the sole solvent. The method is green and recyclable because [BMIm(+)Cl(-)] used was recovered for reuse. Spectroscopy (FTIR, XRD) and imaging (SEM) results confirm that CEL and KER remain chemically intact and homogeneously distributed in the composites. KER retains some of its secondary structure in the composites. Interestingly, the minor differences in the structure of KER in wool, hair and feather produced pronounced differences in the conformation of their corresponding composites with wool has the highest α-helix content and feather has the lowest content. These results correlate well with mechanical and antimicrobial properties of the composites. Specifically, adding CEL into KER substantially improves mechanical strength of [CEL+KER] composites made from all three different sources, wool, hair and chicken feathers i.e., [CEL+wool], [CEL+hair] and [CEL+feather]. Since mechanical strength is due to CEL, and CEL has only random structure, [CEL+feather] has, expectedly, the strongest mechanical property because feather has the lowest content of α-helix. Conversely, [CEL+wool] composite has the weakest mechanical strength because wool has the highest α-helix content. All three composites exhibit antibacterial activity against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The antibacterial property is due not to CEL but to the protein and strongly depends on the type of the keratin, namely, the bactericidal effect is strongest for feather and weakest for wool. These results together with our previous finding that [CEL+KER] composites can control release of drug such as ciprofloxacin clearly indicate that these composites can potentially be used as wound dressing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saino, Nicola; Romano, Maria; Rubolini, Diego; Teplitsky, Celine; Ambrosini, Roberto; Caprioli, Manuela; Canova, Luca; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2013-01-01

    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, potentially

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Structural color change following hydration and dehydration of iridescent mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shawkey, Matthew D; D'Alba, Liliana; Wozny, Joel; Eliason, Chad; Koop, Jennifer A H; Jia, Li

    2011-04-01

    Dynamic changes in integumentary color occur in cases as diverse as the neurologically controlled iridiphores of cephalopod skin and the humidity-responsive cuticles of longhorn beetles. By contrast, feather colors are generally assumed to be relatively static, changing by small amounts only over periods of months. However, this assumption has rarely been tested even though structural colors of feathers are produced by ordered nanostructures that are analogous to those in the aforementioned dynamic systems. Feathers are neither innervated nor vascularized and therefore any color change must be caused by external stimuli. Thus, we here explore how feathers of iridescent mourning doves Zenaida macroura respond to a simple stimulus: addition and evaporation of water. After three rounds of experimental wetting and subsequent evaporation, iridescent feather color changed hue, became more chromatic and increased in overall reflectance by almost 50%. To understand the mechanistic basis of this change, we used electron microscopy to examine macro- and nanostructures before and after treatment. Transmission electron microscopy and transfer matrix thin-film models revealed that color is produced by thin-film interference from a single (∼ 35 nm layer of keratin around the edge of feather barbules, beneath which lies a layer of air and melanosomes. After treatment, the most striking morphological difference was a twisting of colored barbules that exposed more of their surface area for reflection, explaining the observed increase in brightness. These results suggest that some plumage colors may be more malleable than previously thought, leading to new avenues for research on dynamic plumage color.

  19. Diverse feather shape evolution enabled by coupling anisotropic signalling modules with self-organizing branching programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ang; Figueroa, Seth; Jiang, Ting-Xin; Wu, Ping; Widelitz, Randall; Nie, Qing; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2017-01-01

    Adaptation of feathered dinosaurs and Mesozoic birds to new ecological niches was potentiated by rapid diversification of feather vane shapes. The molecular mechanism driving this spectacular process remains unclear. Here, through morphology analysis, transcriptome profiling, functional perturbations and mathematical simulations, we find that mesenchyme-derived GDF10 and GREM1 are major controllers for the topologies of rachidial and barb generative zones (setting vane boundaries), respectively, by tuning the periodic-branching programme of epithelial progenitors. Their interactions with the anterior–posterior WNT gradient establish the bilateral-symmetric vane configuration. Additionally, combinatory effects of CYP26B1, CRABP1 and RALDH3 establish dynamic retinoic acid (RA) landscapes in feather mesenchyme, which modulate GREM1 expression and epithelial cell shapes. Incremental changes of RA gradient slopes establish a continuum of asymmetric flight feathers along the wing, while switch-like modulation of RA signalling confers distinct vane shapes between feather tracts. Therefore, the co-option of anisotropic signalling modules introduced new dimensions of feather shape diversification. PMID:28106042

  20. The evolution of avian wing shape and previously unrecognized trends in covert feathering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xia; Clarke, Julia A

    2015-10-07

    Avian wing shape has been related to flight performance, migration, foraging behaviour and display. Historically, linear measurements of the feathered aerofoil and skeletal proportions have been used to describe this shape. While the distribution of covert feathers, layered over the anterior wing, has long been assumed to contribute to aerofoil properties, to our knowledge no previous studies of trends in avian wing shape assessed their variation. Here, these trends are explored using a geometric-morphometric approach with landmarks describing the wing outline as well as the extent of dorsal and ventral covert feathers for 105 avian species. We find that most of the observed variation is explained by phylogeny and ecology but shows only a weak relationship with previously described flight style categories, wing loading and an investigated set of aerodynamic variables. Most of the recovered variation is in greater primary covert feather extent, followed by secondary feather length and the shape of the wing tip. Although often considered a plastic character strongly linked to flight style, the estimated ancestral wing morphology is found to be generally conservative among basal parts of most major avian lineages. The radiation of birds is characterized by successive diversification into largely distinct areas of morphospace. However, aquatic taxa show convergence in feathering despite differences in flight style, and songbirds move into a region of morphospace also occupied by basal taxa but at markedly different body sizes. These results have implications for the proposed inference of flight style in extinct taxa.

  1. Implementation of Combined Feather and Surface-Normal Ice Growth Models in LEWICE/X

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velazquez, M. T.; Hansman, R. J., Jr.

    1995-01-01

    Experimental observations have shown that discrete rime ice growths called feathers, which grow in approximately the direction of water droplet impingement, play an important role in the growth of ice on accreting surfaces for some thermodynamic conditions. An improved physical model of ice accretion has been implemented in the LEWICE 2D panel-based ice accretion code maintained by the NASA Lewis Research Center. The LEWICE/X model of ice accretion explicitly simulates regions of feather growth within the framework of the LEWICE model. Water droplets impinging on an accreting surface are withheld from the normal LEWICE mass/energy balance and handled in a separate routine; ice growth resulting from these droplets is performed with enhanced convective heat transfer approximately along droplet impingement directions. An independent underlying ice shape is grown along surface normals using the unmodified LEWICE method. The resulting dual-surface ice shape models roughness-induced feather growth observed in icing wind tunnel tests. Experiments indicate that the exact direction of feather growth is dependent on external conditions. Data is presented to support a linear variation of growth direction with temperature and cloud water content. Test runs of LEWICE/X indicate that the sizes of surface regions containing feathers are influenced by initial roughness element height. This suggests that a previous argument that feather region size is determined by boundary layer transition may be incorrect. Simulation results for two typical test cases give improved shape agreement over unmodified LEWICE.

  2. Fibroblast growth factor 2 can replace ectodermal signaling for feather development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, H; Wang, Y; Goetinck, P F

    1996-09-17

    The initiation and morphogenesis of cutaneous appendages depend on a series of reciprocal signaling events between the epithelium and mesenchyme of the embryonic skin. In the development of feather germs, early dermal signals induce the formation of epidermal placodes that in turn signal the mesoderm to form dermal condensations immediately beneath them. We find a spatially and temporally restricted pattern of transcription for the genes that encode fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 2 and FGF receptor (FGFR) 1 in developing feather germs of the chicken embryo. FGF-2 expression is restricted to the epidermal placodes, whereas FGFR-1 expression is limited to the dermal condensations. Transcription of these genes could not be detected in skins of scaleless (sc/sc) embryos that fail to develop feathers as a result of an ectodermal defect. Treatment of sc/sc skins with FGF-2 results in the formation of feathers at the site of application of the growth factor and the induced feathers express FGFR-1 in their dermal condensations. Thus, we have established FGF-2 as an epidermal signal in early feather germ formation. The observation that FGF-2 can rescue the mutant phenotype of sc/sc embryos suggests that FGF-2 either is, or is downstream from, the signal that the sc/sc mutant ectoderm fails to generate.

  3. 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.

  4. The effects of environmental enrichment devices on feather picking in commercially housed Pekin ducks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colton, S; Fraley, G S

    2014-09-01

    Like other poultry species, Pekin ducks occasionally show an auto-mutilation behavior referred to as feather picking. Self-picking can lead to further pecking by conspecifics and ultimately to reduced feather quality and poor overall health of the bird. Although the reasons underlying feather picking are not clear, it appears to occur when the ducks are transitioning between downy feathers and adult plumage, between 17 and 22 d of age. We hypothesized that giving Pekin ducks a substitute outlet for this behavior in the form of environmental enrichment devices (EED) would decrease feather picking and improve feather quality and duck health and welfare. The EED were plastic Wiffle-style balls, each threaded with 4 zip-ties. In the first experiment, we set out to determine that placement of EED would not induce fear or harmful behaviors. Five barns were each divided into 2 pens, holding an average combined total of approximately 4,500 ducks with one pen per barn used as control. Upon placement of the EED in one pen per barn, both pens were videotaped for a total of 2 h per day. The physical characteristics of 100 ducks per pen were scored at age 7, 21, 28, and 35. Results showed a decrease (P = 0.034) in both self-picking and conspecific-pecking in pens with EED compared with pens without EED. Although no differences in body condition scores were observed at 7 d of age, by d 21 ducks with EED showed better (P = 0.021) feather quality and cleanliness scores compared with ducks without EED. In a second experiment, we set out to determine if ducks had a color preference for blue/green, red, or white EED. Again, ducks with EED showed reduced (P = 0.038) feather picking compared with ducks without EED. Ducks interacted considerably more (P = 0.00089) frequently with blue/green EED then either red or white EED. These results suggest that providing environmental enrichment may minimize feather picking and improve feather quality and duck welfare.

  5. Latent methane in fossil coals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A.D. Alexeev; E.V. Ulyanova; G.P. Starikov; N.N. Kovriga [Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Donetsk (Ukraine). Institute for Physics of Mining Processes

    2004-07-01

    It is established experimentally using 1H NMR wide line spectroscopy that methane can exist in coals not only in open or closed porosity and fracture systems but also in solid solutions in coal substance, in particular, under methane pressure 2 MPa or higher. Methane dissolved in coal minerals reversibly modifies their lattice parameters as determined from X-ray diffraction analysis. Co-existence of these methane forms in fossil coals causes multi-step desorption kinetics. It is shown experimentally that the long-term latent methane desorption is effected mainly by closed porosity, which in turn is determined by coal rank. 21 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. Feather meal: a previously unrecognized route for reentry into the food supply of multiple pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, D C; Halden, R U; Davis, M F; Nachman, K E

    2012-04-03

    Antimicrobials used in poultry production have the potential to bioaccumulate in poultry feathers but available data are scarce. Following poultry slaughter, feathers are converted by rendering into feather meal and sold as fertilizer and animal feed, thereby providing a potential pathway for reentry of drugs into the human food supply. We analyzed feather meal (n = 12 samples) for 59 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) using EPA method 1694 employing liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). All samples tested positive and six classes of antimicrobials were detected, with a range of two to ten antimicrobials per sample. Caffeine and acetaminophen were detected in 10 of 12 samples. A number of PPCPs were determined to be heat labile during laboratory simulation of the rendering process. Growth of wild-type E. coli in MacConkey agar was inhibited by sterilized feather meal (p = 0.01) and by the antimicrobial enrofloxacin (p < 0.0001) at levels found in feather meal. Growth of a drug-resistant E. coli strain was not inhibited by sterilized feather meal or enrofloxacin. This is the first study to detect antimicrobial residues in feather meal. Initial results suggest that more studies are needed to better understand potential risks posed to consumers by drug residues in feather meal.

  7. Evolution in fossil lineages: paleontology and The Origin of Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Gene

    2010-12-01

    Of all of the sources of evidence for evolution by natural selection, perhaps the most problematic for Darwin was the geological record of organic change. In response to the absence of species-level transformations in the fossil record, Darwin argued that the fossil record was too incomplete, too biased, and too poorly known to provide strong evidence against his theory. Here, this view of the fossil record is evaluated in light of 150 years of subsequent paleontological research. Although Darwin's assessment of the completeness and resolution of fossiliferous rocks was in several ways astute, today the fossil record is much better explored, documented, and understood than it was in 1859. In particular, a reasonably large set of studies tracing evolutionary trajectories within species can now be brought to bear on Darwin's expectation of gradual change driven by natural selection. An unusually high-resolution sequence of stickleback-bearing strata records the transformation of this lineage via natural selection. This adaptive trajectory is qualitatively consistent with Darwin's prediction, but it occurred much more rapidly than he would have guessed: almost all of the directional change was completed within 1,000 generations. In most geological sequences, this change would be too rapid to resolve. The accumulated fossil record at more typical paleontological scales (10(4)-10(6) years) reveals evolutionary changes that are rarely directional and net rates of change that are perhaps surprisingly slow, two findings that are in agreement with the punctuated-equilibrium model. Finally, Darwin's view of the broader history of life is reviewed briefly, with a focus on competition-mediated extinction and recent paleontological and phylogenetic attempts to assess diversity dependence in evolutionary dynamics.

  8. The eukaryotic fossil record in deep time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butterfield, N.

    2011-12-01

    Eukaryotic organisms are defining constituents of the Phanerozoic biosphere, but they also extend well back into the Proterozoic record, primarily in the form of microscopic body fossils. Criteria for identifying pre-Ediacaran eukaryotes include large cell size, morphologically complex cell walls and/or the recognition of diagnostically eukaryotic cell division patterns. The oldest unambiguous eukaryote currently on record is an acanthomorphic acritarch (Tappania) from the Palaeoproterozoic Semri Group of central India. Older candidate eukaryotes are difficult to distinguish from giant bacteria, prokaryotic colonies or diagenetic artefacts. In younger Meso- and Neoproterozoic strata, the challenge is to recognize particular grades and clades of eukaryotes, and to document their macro-evolutionary expression. Distinctive unicellular forms include mid-Neoproterozoic testate amoebae and phosphate biomineralizing 'scale-microfossils' comparable to an extant green alga. There is also a significant record of seaweeds, possible fungi and problematica from this interval, documenting multiple independent experiments in eukaryotic multicellularity. Taxonomically resolved forms include a bangiacean red alga and probable vaucheriacean chromalveolate algae from the late Mesoproterozoic, and populations of hydrodictyacean and siphonocladalean green algae of mid Neoproterozoic age. Despite this phylogenetic breadth, however, or arguments from molecular clocks, there is no convincing evidence for pre-Ediacaran metazoans or metaphytes. The conspicuously incomplete nature of the Proterozoic record makes it difficult to resolve larger-scale ecological and evolutionary patterns. Even so, both body fossils and biomarker data point to a pre-Ediacaran biosphere dominated overwhelming by prokaryotes. Contemporaneous eukaryotes appear to be limited to conspicuously shallow water environments, and exhibit fundamentally lower levels of morphological diversity and evolutionary turnover than

  9. 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.

  10. Thermo-orientation and the movement of feather-feeding lice on hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbison, Christopher W; Boughton, Rachel M

    2014-08-01

    Temperature variation on the host is known to influence ectoparasite distributions. Ectoparasites may also use temperature gradients between host regions when moving on the host; however, tests are rare. Feather-feeding wing lice (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera) spend the majority of their time on the flight feathers of their avian hosts where they insert their bodies between feather barbs to escape host preening. However, because wing lice feed on downy abdominal feathers, they must repeatedly migrate between the flight feathers and body regions of their hosts. We performed a series of experiments that tested thermo-orientation in wing lice and evaluated its potential use during louse migrations between host regions. We found that wing lice can rapidly and accurately locate nearby heat targets that approximate host temperatures (37 C), demonstrating a capacity for directed thermo-orientation. We next tested the preference of wing lice for temperatures found along migration routes between bird flight feathers and their body regions. Wing lice could distinguish between temperatures found within distinct bird regions, and lice that had recently fed preferred the cooler temperatures (32 C), similar to those within bird flight feathers where they typically reside. However, when starved for 18-20 hr, wing lice shifted their preferences toward temperatures typical of bird body regions where they feed (36 C), demonstrating an ability to use thermal cues when moving between bird regions. We discuss the use of thermal cues during louse migration and microhabitat selection, as well as other potential impacts of thermo-orientation on host-parasite interactions.

  11. Trace metals in primary feathers of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba guttatus) in The Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denneman, W D; Douben, P E

    1993-01-01

    The number of Barn Owls in The Netherlands has been reduced substantially over the last few decades. Death as a result of poisoning seems unlikely, but the pathology of all bird species found dead in The Netherlands between 1975 and 1988 (n = 15 422) shows that 21% of all the birds were contaminated. However, the most important factor responsible for the decline in Barn Owl numbers in The Netherlands has not yet been established. As a part of a new national protection plan for the Barn Owl, the role of heavy metals has been investigated. Concentrations of heavy metals in the primary feathers of the Barn Owl varied according to their position in the wing; especially As, Sb, Fe and Zn whose concentrations depended on the place of the primary feather in the wing and the part of the vane which is used for the monitoring. The HS7 feather vane appears to provide a good estimate, even though the metal concentrations of this feather are always slightly lower than the concentrations in mixed samples of all ten primaries. It is recommended that they are used as a standard. Many factors affect metal concentrations. Increasing levels with age are found, presumably because metals are stored during growth at the end of the feathers as a method of reducing possible harmful effects. No significant correlations were found between the metal concentrations in the organs and those in the feather. Kidney and liver concentrations are always lower than the generally accepted levels for pathological damage of these organs. Even though metal concentrations in Barn Owl feathers are high compared with those reported for other birds in the Netherlands, it is concluded that Barn Owls are not adversely affected by current levels of heavy metal contamination in The Netherlands.

  12. 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.

  13. Niche Partitioning of Feather Mites within a Seabird Host, Calonectris borealis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura M Stefan

    Full Text Available According to classic niche theory, species can coexist in heterogeneous environments by reducing interspecific competition via niche partitioning, e.g. trophic or spatial partitioning. However, support for the role of competition on niche partitioning remains controversial. Here, we tested for spatial and trophic partitioning in feather mites, a diverse and abundant group of arthropods. We focused on the two dominant mite species, Microspalax brevipes and Zachvatkinia ovata, inhabiting flight feathers of the Cory's shearwater, Calonectris borealis. We performed mite counts across and within primary and tail feathers on free-living shearwaters breeding on an oceanic island (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. We then investigated trophic relationships between the two mite species and the host using stable isotope analyses of carbon and nitrogen on mite tissues and potential host food sources. The distribution of the two mite species showed clear spatial segregation among feathers; M. brevipes showed high preference for the central wing primary feathers, whereas Z. ovata was restricted to the two outermost primaries. Morphological differences between M. brevipes and Z. ovata support an adaptive basis for the spatial segregation of the two mite species. However, the two mites overlap in some central primaries and statistical modeling showed that Z. ovata tends to outcompete M. brevipes. Isotopic analyses indicated similar isotopic values for the two mite species and a strong correlation in carbon signatures between mites inhabiting the same individual host suggesting that diet is mainly based on shared host-associated resources. Among the four candidate tissues examined (blood, feather remains, skin remains and preen gland oil, we conclude that the diet is most likely dominated by preen gland oil, while the contribution of exogenous material to mite diets is less marked. Our results indicate that ongoing competition for space and resources plays a

  14. Niche Partitioning of Feather Mites within a Seabird Host, Calonectris borealis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefan, Laura M.; Gómez-Díaz, Elena; Elguero, Eric; Proctor, Heather C.; McCoy, Karen D.; González-Solís, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    According to classic niche theory, species can coexist in heterogeneous environments by reducing interspecific competition via niche partitioning, e.g. trophic or spatial partitioning. However, support for the role of competition on niche partitioning remains controversial. Here, we tested for spatial and trophic partitioning in feather mites, a diverse and abundant group of arthropods. We focused on the two dominant mite species, Microspalax brevipes and Zachvatkinia ovata, inhabiting flight feathers of the Cory’s shearwater, Calonectris borealis. We performed mite counts across and within primary and tail feathers on free-living shearwaters breeding on an oceanic island (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands). We then investigated trophic relationships between the two mite species and the host using stable isotope analyses of carbon and nitrogen on mite tissues and potential host food sources. The distribution of the two mite species showed clear spatial segregation among feathers; M. brevipes showed high preference for the central wing primary feathers, whereas Z. ovata was restricted to the two outermost primaries. Morphological differences between M. brevipes and Z. ovata support an adaptive basis for the spatial segregation of the two mite species. However, the two mites overlap in some central primaries and statistical modeling showed that Z. ovata tends to outcompete M. brevipes. Isotopic analyses indicated similar isotopic values for the two mite species and a strong correlation in carbon signatures between mites inhabiting the same individual host suggesting that diet is mainly based on shared host-associated resources. Among the four candidate tissues examined (blood, feather remains, skin remains and preen gland oil), we conclude that the diet is most likely dominated by preen gland oil, while the contribution of exogenous material to mite diets is less marked. Our results indicate that ongoing competition for space and resources plays a central role in

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Social Perspective on Fossilization of Interlanguage

    OpenAIRE

    Ren Hulin

    2013-01-01

    The paper is to investigate the role of social factors that influence the fossilization of learners’ interlanguage. In this context, "fossilization" refers to the stopping in the acquisition of a second language (L2) short of native-like proficiency(Towell and Hawkins, 1994). The paper begins with Wolfson’s (1989) overview of social settings that influence the fossilization of learners’ interlanguage and Ellis (2005) discussion of the impact of social factors on L2 proficiency evidenced with ...

  18. Branch, Spur, and Feather Formation in Spiral Galaxies

    CERN Document Server

    Chakrabarti, S; Shu, F H

    2003-01-01

    We use hydrodynamical simulations to investigate the response of geometrically thin, self-gravitating, singular isothermal disks of gas to imposed rigidly rotating spiral potentials. By minimizing reflection-induced feedback from boundaries, and by restricting our attention to models where the swing parameter $X sim 10$, we minimize the swing amplification of global normal modes even in models where Toomre's $Q_g sim 1-2$ in the gas disk. We perform two classes of simulations: short-term ones over a few galactic revolutions where the background spiral forcing is large, and long-term ones over many galactic revolutions where the spiral forcing is considerably smaller. In both classes of simulations, the initial response of the gas disk is smooth and mimics the driving spiral field. At late times, many of the models evince substructure akin to the so-called branches, spurs, and feathers observed in real spiral galaxies. We comment on the parts played respectively by ultraharmonic resonances, reflection off inte...

  19. Efficient Degradation of Feather by Keratinase Producing Bacillus sp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Jeevana Lakshmi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Keratinase producing microorganisms are being increasingly utilized for degradation and recycling of poultry feather waste. Two native strains BF11 (Bacillus subtilis and BF21 (Bacillus cereus degrading keratin completely were characterized. The native strains produced more than 10 KU/mL of enzyme. Strain improvement resulted in isolation of MBF11 and MBF21 from BF11 and BF21 isolates, respectively. Optimization of nutritional and physical parameters of these MBF isolates at laboratory scale increased the overall keratinase activity by 50-fold resulting in a yield of 518–520 KU/mL. Fermentation media designed with starch as carbon source and soya bean meal as nitrogen source supported high levels of enzyme production. The optimum conditions for enzyme production were determined to be pH 8.5 and temperatures of 45–55°C for MBF11 and 37°C for MBF21, respectively. Culture filtrate showed a significant increase in the amounts of cysteine, cystine, methionine, and total free amino acids during the fermentation period. The ratio of organic sulphur concentration was also considerably higher than that of the inorganic sulphate in the culture filtrate suggesting the hydrolysis of disulphide by the isolates.

  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. An AFM Observation on Fossil Cytoplasm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Xin; YU Junping; FANG Xiaohong

    2008-01-01

    Fossil cytoplasm is a new research topic of interest in paleobotany. Atomic force microscope (AFM) is a new technology applied widely in physics and biology; however, it is rarely used in paleontology. Here we applied AFM for the first time to study fossil cytoplasm. The results indicate that the fossil cytoplasm is heterogeneous and full of ultrastructures, just like extant cytoplasm, and that the application of AFM, especially in combination with other techniques, can reveal the subcellular details of fossil plants with more confidence.

  2. Sexual Dimorphism and Population Differences in Structural Properties of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica Wing and Tail Feathers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Péter L Pap

    Full Text Available Sexual selection and aerodynamic forces affecting structural properties of the flight feathers of birds are poorly understood. Here, we compared the structural features of the innermost primary wing feather (P1 and the sexually dimorphic outermost (Ta6 and monomorphic second outermost (Ta5 tail feathers of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica from a Romanian population to investigate how sexual selection and resistance to aerodynamic forces affect structural differences among these feathers. Furthermore, we compared structural properties of Ta6 of barn swallows from six European populations. Finally, we determined the relationship between feather growth bars width (GBW and the structural properties of tail feathers. The structure of P1 indicates strong resistance against aerodynamic forces, while the narrow rachis, low vane density and low bending stiffness of tail feathers suggest reduced resistance against airflow. The highly elongated Ta6 is characterized by structural modifications such as large rachis width and increased barbule density in relation to the less elongated Ta5, which can be explained by increased length and/or high aerodynamic forces acting at the leading tail edge. However, these changes in Ta6 structure do not allow for full compensation of elongation, as reflected by the reduced bending stiffness of Ta6. Ta6 elongation in males resulted in feathers with reduced resistance, as shown by the low barb density and reduced bending stiffness compared to females. The inconsistency in sexual dimorphism and in change in quality traits of Ta6 among six European populations shows that multiple factors may contribute to shaping population differences. In general, the difference in quality traits between tail feathers cannot be explained by the GBW of feathers. Our results show that the material and structural properties of wing and tail feathers of barn swallows change as a result of aerodynamic forces and sexual selection, although the

  3. 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

  4. Molecular shifts in limb identity underlie development of feathered feet in two domestic avian species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domyan, Eric T; Kronenberg, Zev; Infante, Carlos R; Vickrey, Anna I; Stringham, Sydney A; Bruders, Rebecca; Guernsey, Michael W; Park, Sungdae; Payne, Jason; Beckstead, Robert B; Kardon, Gabrielle; Menke, Douglas B; Yandell, Mark; Shapiro, Michael D

    2016-01-01

    Birds display remarkable diversity in the distribution and morphology of scales and feathers on their feet, yet the genetic and developmental mechanisms governing this diversity remain unknown. Domestic pigeons have striking variation in foot feathering within a single species, providing a tractable model to investigate the molecular basis of skin appendage differences. We found that feathered feet in pigeons result from a partial transformation from hindlimb to forelimb identity mediated by cis-regulatory changes in the genes encoding the hindlimb-specific transcription factor Pitx1 and forelimb-specific transcription factor Tbx5. We also found that ectopic expression of Tbx5 is associated with foot feathers in chickens, suggesting similar molecular pathways underlie phenotypic convergence between these two species. These results show how changes in expression of regional patterning genes can generate localized changes in organ fate and morphology, and provide viable molecular mechanisms for diversity in hindlimb scale and feather distribution. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12115.001 PMID:26977633

  5. Determination of Adsorption of Diesel onto a Poultry Waste: Chicken Feather

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    *Kelle, H. I

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Chicken feather is a poultry waste. With the recent development of waste management strategy viz; waste recycle, re-use and waste reduction e.t.c., chicken feather has been put to various uses such as in the production of animal feed, organic fertilizer, biodegradable plastic and others. It has been mentioned in some text/resource that chicken feather can be used to mop oil spill. However, there is scarce literature on the mopping account of hydrocarbon oil by chicken feather. This led to the study. In this study the equilibrium adsorption capacity (qe of diesel onto chicken feather, the amount of adsorbed diesel recovered from chicken feather and the amount of diesel retained by chicken feather was determined by simple kinetic studies and compared with that of a conventional synthetic sorbent used in mopping oil spill in the oil industry. This conventional synthetic sorbent served as standard. Both sorbents were compared under the same experimental condition and the experiment was carried out at room temperature 290 C. Linearized adsorption isotherms of Langmuir, Freundlich, Elovich, Temkin and Dubinin-Radushkevich were used to verify the adsorption process of both sorbents. The result of the study shows that the equilibrium adsorption capacity (qe of diesel onto chicken feather is 11.04g/g, the time required to attain equilibrium adsorption is 80 minutes, while that of the standard is 10.20g/g at 60 minutes. This shows that chicken feather has a higher adsorption capacity. The best fitting isotherm for the adsorption process of both sorbents is the linearized form Ce/qe versus Ce of the Langmuir adsorption isotherm with coefficient of determination (r2 of 0.999 for both sorbents (chicken feather and standard. The validity of Langmuir model was check by calculating the average percentage error (APE %. The APE values obtained for chicken feather and standard are 0.0024 and 0.005 respectively. The low APE values show that Langmuir model is valid

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, H M; Hernandes, F A; Pichorim, M

    2015-08-01

    The 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.

  7. Assessing heavy metal pollution using Great Tits (Parus major): feathers and excrements from nestlings and adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, R A; Eeva, T; Eira, C; Vaqueiro, J; Vingada, J V

    2013-06-01

    Passerine species have been increasingly used as bioindicators of metal bioaccumulation especially by taking benefit of non-invasive procedures, such as collecting feathers and excrements. In 2009, metal (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se and Zn) concentrations were determined in feathers and excrements of nestling and adult female great tits (Parus major) in industrial (a paper mill) and rural sites in maritime pine forests on the west coast of Portugal. The aim of this study was to compare the levels of metals between the areas but also between sampling methods (feather vs. excrement) and age classes (nestling vs. adult). Although excrements and feathers of nestling great tits showed different concentrations, similar patterns of accumulation were detected in both study areas. There was a significantly higher concentration of mercury in the industrial area and significantly higher concentrations of arsenic in the rural area in both sample types. Metal levels in adult females had quite different results when compared to nestlings, and only nickel presented significantly higher levels near the paper mill. Since metal levels showed a consistent pattern in feathers and excrements of nestling great tits, we conclude that both represent good and non-invasive methods for the evaluation of these elements in polluted areas.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Razorbill (Alca torda) feathers as an alternative tool for evaluating exposure to organochlorine pesticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espín, Silvia; Martínez-López, Emma; María-Mojica, Pedro; García-Fernández, Antonio J

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to explore the usefulness of feathers as a biomonitoring tool for organochlorine pesticides (OC) in a razorbill population (Alca torda). Fifteen OC were analyzed in feathers, including α-, β- and δ-hexachlorocyclohexane, lindane, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, endosulfan I and II, endosulfan sulfate, p,p'-DDT, DDD, DDE, heptachlor and its epoxide. The geometric mean concentrations observed in this study were ∑DDT 67.40 ng/g, ∑HCH 62.88 ng/g, ∑Heptachlor 61.75 ng/g, ∑Endosulfan 19.70 ng/g, and ∑Drins 10.17 ng/g. The higher OC levels found in this study compared with other studies are probably affected by the razorbill diet and migration status. However, levels found in the feathers of the present study are related to concentrations in internal tissues below those which cause adverse reproductive and behavioral effects or other signs of organochlorine-pesticide poisoning in birds. Age does affect the concentration of OC pesticides in feathers. Thus, feathers would appear to be a promising tool for OC biomonitoring in seabirds, since it is possible to quantify OC compounds.

  11. Arc Discharge Synthesis and Photoluminescence of 3D Feather-like AlN Nanostructures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zou ZY

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A complex three-dimensional (3D feather-like AlN nanostructure was synthesized by a direct reaction of high-purity Al granules with nitrogen using an arc discharge method. By adjusting the discharge time, a coral-like nanostructure, which evolved from the feather-like nanostructure, has also been observed. The novel 3D feather-like AlN nanostructure has a hierarchical dendritic structure, which means that the angle between the trunk stem and its branch is always about 30° in any part of the structure. The fine branches on the surface of the feather-like nanostructure have shown a uniform fish scale shape, which are about 100 nm long, 10 nm thick and several tens of nanometers in width. An alternate growth model has been proposed to explain the novel nanostructure. The spectrum of the feather-like products shows a strong blue emission band centered at 438 nm (2.84 eV, which indicates their potential application as blue light-emitting diodes.

  12. 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.)

  13. Gastropods Associated with Fossil Traces from Yacoraite Formation (Maastrichtian-Danian), and its Paleoenvironmental Significance, Jujuy,Northwestern Argentina

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Carlos A. C(O)NSOLE GONELLA; Miguel GRIFFIN; Florencio G. ACE(N)OLAZA

    2009-01-01

    We present results tending to characterize the new records of invertebrates from the Yacoraite Formation (Maastrichtian-Danian). The fossils reported come from two stratigraphic sections exposed in the surroundings of Maimara and Jueya, province of Jujuy, northwestern Argentina. The selection was based on geological and paleontological evidence. The recovered fossils include gastropods and invertebrate fossil traces, including Planolites, Skolithos and Gastrochanoelites ichnogenns. As result of our review, we discussed the possibility of assigning the analyzed gastropods to the family Zygopleuridae (gene. et. sp. indet.), as an approximation to the taxonomic resolution of this fossil fauna. The trace fossils were assigned to the archetypical Glossifungites ichnofacies. The study of the fossil assemblage allowed us to defme a shallow depositional environment, characteristic of a marine context with high-energy conditions.

  14. 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...

  15. 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 3

  16. The impact of uropygial gland secretions on mechanically induced wearing of barn owl and pigeon body feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ott, Benjamin; Müsse, Annika; Wagner, Hermann

    2016-04-01

    Bird feathers are remarkable structures light but yet durable providing insulation and the ability of flight. Owls are highly specialized birds of prey, widely known for their ability to y silently which is enabled by (micro-) structural specializations of the feathers. The barn owl replaces feathers less frequently in comparison to other same sized birds like pigeons, indicating a much better resistance against material fatigue of these delicate microstructures. We used axisymmetric drop shape analysis (ADSA) of water drop contact angles as a non-destructive method of characterizing wearing processes in feathers. We hypothesized that feathers become more wettable when worn. We also investigated the impact of ethanol treatment in order to remove fatty residues of the uropygial gland secretions, barn owls and pigeons use for preening, on ageing processes. Ethanol treatment resulted in a slight, but significant increase of water repellency in barn owl but not in pigeon flight feathers. Our preliminary data also suggest that the uropygial gland secretions decelerate the wearing process of the feather keratin. We observed this effect in both species, however, it was more distinct for barn owl uropygial gland secretions. The results of this study, obtained by contact angle measurements used as a non-destructive evaluation method of material fatigue, yield insights into the material fatigue of feathers and the decelerating effect of uropygial gland secretions on wear on the other hand.

  17. 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

  18. Effects of dietary dilution source and dilution level on feather damage, performance, behaviour, and litter condition in pullets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Qaisrani, S.N.; Krimpen, van M.M.; Kwakkel, R.P.

    2013-01-01

    An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary dilution sources and levels on feather damage, performance, feeding behavior, and litter condition in rearing pullets. It was hypothesized that dietary dilution increases feeding-related behavior and improves feather condition, partic

  19. Metabolism of Chicken Feathers and Concomitant Electricity Generation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa by Employing Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venkatesh Chaturvedi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Keratinolytic potential of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain SDS3 has been evaluated for the metabolism of chicken feathers. Results indicated that strain SDS3 showed complete metabolism of 0.1 and 0.5% (w/v chicken feathers in minimal medium. Feathers were metabolized up to 80% at 1% (w/v concentration. Maximum soluble protein (480.8±17.1 μg/mL and keratinase (15.4±0.25 U/mL were observed in the presence of 1% chicken feathers after five days of incubation. The effect of carbon and nitrogen sources showed that feather degradation was stimulated by complex carbon/nitrogen sources such as starch, malt extract, tryptone, and beef extract and was inhibited by simple carbon and nitrogen sources. Electricity production by employing chicken feathers as a substrate in microbial fuel cell (MFC was evaluated. It was observed that maximum voltage corresponding to 141 mV was observed after 14 days of incubation. Maximum power density of 1206.78 mW/m2 and maximum current density of 8.6 mA/m2 were observed. The results clearly indicate that chicken feathers can be successfully employed as a cheap substrate for electricity production in MFC. This is the first report showing employment of chicken feathers as substrate in MFC.

  20. Birds of a Feather: Moving Towards a Joint Acquisition Process to Support the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Enterprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    AU/ACSC/9694/2008-09 AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE AIR UNIVERSITY BIRDS OF A FEATHER Moving Towards a Joint Acquisition Process to Support the...number. 1. REPORT DATE APR 2009 2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Moving Towards a Joint...INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................................................................1 " Birds of a

  1. The non-uniformity of fossil preservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Steven M

    2016-07-19

    The fossil record provides the primary source of data for calibrating the origin of clades. Although minimum ages of clades are given by the oldest preserved fossil, these underestimate the true age, which must be bracketed by probabilistic methods based on multiple fossil occurrences. Although most of these methods assume uniform preservation rates, this assumption is unsupported over geological timescales. On geologically long timescales (more than 10 Myr), the origin and cessation of sedimentary basins, and long-term variations in tectonic subsidence, eustatic sea level and sedimentation rate control the availability of depositional facies that preserve the environments in which species lived. The loss of doomed sediments, those with a low probability of preservation, imparts a secular trend to fossil preservation. As a result, the fossil record is spatially and temporally non-uniform. Models of fossil preservation should reflect this non-uniformity by using empirical estimates of fossil preservation that are spatially and temporally partitioned, or by using indirect proxies of fossil preservation. Geologically, realistic models of preservation will provide substantially more reliable estimates of the origination of clades.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using rocks and clocks'.

  2. Estimating body mass of fossil rodents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Freudenthal, M.; Martín-Suárez, E.

    2013-01-01

    Reconstructing the body mass of a fossil animal is an essential step toward understanding its palaeoecological role. Length × width (L×W) of the first lower molar (m1) is frequently used as a proxy for body mass in fossil mammals. However, among rodents, Muroidea have no premolar and an elongated m1

  3. 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.

  4. 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, pfeather growth. As such, data would be more toxicologically relevant.

  5. Biodegradability of injection molded bioplastic pots containing polylactic acid and poultry feather fiber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, H K; Huda, M S; Smith, M C; Mulbry, W; Schmidt, W F; Reeves, J B

    2011-04-01

    The biodegradability of three types of bioplastic pots was evaluated by measuring carbon dioxide produced from lab-scale compost reactors containing mixtures of pot fragments and compost inoculum held at 58 °C for 60 days. Biodegradability of pot type A (composed of 100% polylactic acid (PLA)) was very low (13 ± 3%) compared to literature values for other PLA materials. Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) results suggest that the PLA undergoes chemical structural changes during polymer extrusion and injection molding. These changes may be the basis of the low biodegradability value. Biodegradability of pot types B (containing 5% poultry feather, 80% PLA, 15% starch), and C (containing 50% poultry feather, 25% urea, 25% glycerol), were 53 ± 2% and 39 ± 3%, respectively. More than 85% of the total biodegradation of these bioplastics occurred within 38 days. NIRS results revealed that poultry feather was not degraded during composting.

  6. A continued role for signaling functions in the early evolution of feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruxton, Graeme D; Persons Iv, W Scott; Currie, Philip J

    2017-03-01

    Persons and Currie (2015) argued against either flight, thermoregulation, or signaling as a functional benefit driving the earliest evolution of feathers; rather, they favored simple feathers having an initial tactile sensory function, which changed to a thermoregulatory function as density increased. Here, we explore the relative merits of early simple feathers that may have originated as tactile sensors progressing instead toward a signaling, rather than (or in addition to) a thermoregulatory function. We suggest that signaling could act in concert with a sensory function more naturally than could thermoregulation. As such, the dismissal of a possible signaling function and the presumption that an initial sensory function led directly to a thermoregulatory function (implicit in the title "bristles before down") are premature. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  7. Microlichus americanus acariasis in saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola) with dermatitis and feather loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rettenmund, Christy L; Ossiboff, Robert J; McAloose, Denise; Knee, Wayne; Wade, Susan E; Paré, Jean A

    2015-05-01

    Over a 5-year period, 13 saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola) housed in mixed aviaries at the Bronx Zoo (Bronx, New York) were examined with feather loss and dermatitis, primarily affecting the nape, neck, and dorsum. Feather loss, hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, and mixed granulocytic and mononuclear inflammation were identified in biopsies from live birds and tissue sections from postmortem specimens. In 10 of 13 cases, sections of arthropod parasites were seen histologically within feather follicles and along the surface of affected skin. Based on morphological characteristics, mites recovered from samples of formalin-fixed skin in 4 birds were identified as Microlichus americanus, an epidermoptid mite infrequently reported from wild birds and hippoboscid flies. Gross and histological lesions strongly implicate M. americanus as the cause of dermatitis affecting practically all saffron finches in the collection.

  8. Radio properties of fossil galaxy groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miraghaei, H.; Khosroshahi, H. G.

    2016-09-01

    We study 1.4 GHz radio properties of a sample of fossil galaxy groups using GMRT radio observations and the FIRST survey catalog. Fossil galaxy groups, having no recent major mergers in their dominant galaxies and also group scale mergers, give us the opportunity to investigate the effect of galaxy merger on AGN activity. In this work, we compare the radio properties of a rich sample of fossil groups with a sample of normal galaxy groups and clusters and show that the brightest group galaxies in fossil groups are under luminous at 1.4 GHz, relative to the general population of the brightest group galaxies, indicating that the dynamically relaxed nature of fossil groups has influenced the AGN activity in their dominant galaxy.

  9. New genomic and fossil data illuminate the origin of enamel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Qingming; Haitina, Tatjana; Zhu, Min; Ahlberg, Per Erik

    2015-10-01

    Enamel, the hardest vertebrate tissue, covers the teeth of almost all sarcopterygians (lobe-finned bony fishes and tetrapods) as well as the scales and dermal bones of many fossil lobe-fins. Enamel deposition requires an organic matrix containing the unique enamel matrix proteins (EMPs) amelogenin (AMEL), enamelin (ENAM) and ameloblastin (AMBN). Chondrichthyans (cartilaginous fishes) lack both enamel and EMP genes. Many fossil and a few living non-teleost actinopterygians (ray-finned bony fishes) such as the gar, Lepisosteus, have scales and dermal bones covered with a proposed enamel homologue called ganoine. However, no gene or transcript data for EMPs have been described from actinopterygians. Here we show that Psarolepis romeri, a bony fish from the the Early Devonian period, combines enamel-covered dermal odontodes on scales and skull bones with teeth of naked dentine, and that Lepisosteus oculatus (the spotted gar) has enam and ambn genes that are expressed in the skin, probably associated with ganoine formation. The genetic evidence strengthens the hypothesis that ganoine is homologous with enamel. The fossil evidence, further supported by the Silurian bony fish Andreolepis, which has enamel-covered scales but teeth and odontodes on its dermal bones made of naked dentine, indicates that this tissue originated on the dermal skeleton, probably on the scales. It subsequently underwent heterotopic expansion across two highly conserved patterning boundaries (scales/head-shoulder and dermal/oral) within the odontode skeleton.

  10. Novel photonic crystals: incorporation of nano-CdS into the natural photonic crystals within peacock feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Jie; Su, Huilan; Song, Fang; Gu, Jiajun; Di, Zhang; Jiang, Limin

    2009-03-01

    In this investigation, the natural 2D photonic crystals (PhCs) within peacock feathers are applied to incorporate CdS nanocrystallites. Peacock feathers are activated by ethylenediaminetetraacetic/dimethylformamide suspension to increase the reactive sites on the keratin component, on which CdS nanoparticles (nano-CdS) are in situ formed in succession and serve as the "seeds" to direct further incorporation during the following solvothermal procedure. Thus, homogeneous nano-CdS are loaded both on the feathers' surface layer and inside the 2D PhCs. The obtained nano-CdS/peacock feathers hybrids are novel photonic crystals whose photonic stop bands are markedly different from that of the natural PhCs within original peacock feathers, as observed by the reflection spectra.

  11. Direct Growth of Feather-Like ZnO Structures by a Facile Solution Technique for Photo-Detecting Application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yurong; Liu, Xingbing; Cai, Fangmin; Liu, Hairui

    2017-08-01

    The feather-like hierarchical zinc oxide (ZnO) was synthesized via successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction without any seed layer or metal catalyst. A possible growth mechanism is proposed to explain the forming process of ZnO feather-like structures. Meanwhile, the photo-electronic performances of the feather-like ZnO have been investigated with the UV-vis-NIR spectroscopy, I-V and I-tmeasurements. The results indicate that feather-like ZnO hierarchical structures have good anti-reflection and excellent photo-sensitivity. All results suggest that the direct growth processing of novel feather-like ZnO is envisaged to have promising application in the field of photo-detector devices.

  12. Origin of archosaurian integumentary appendages: the bristles of the wild turkey beard express feather-type beta keratins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawyer, Roger H; Washington, Lynette D; Salvatore, Brian A; Glenn, Travis C; Knapp, Loren W

    2003-06-15

    The discovery that structurally unique "filamentous integumentary appendages" are associated with several different non-avian dinosaurs continues to stimulate the development of models to explain the evolutionary origin of feathers. Taking the phylogenetic relationships of the non-avian dinosaurs into consideration, some models propose that the "filamentous integumentary appendages" represent intermediate stages in the sequential evolution of feathers. Here we present observations on a unique integumentary structure, the bristle of the wild turkey beard, and suggest that this non-feather appendage provides another explanation for some of the "filamentous integumentary appendages." Unlike feathers, beard bristles grow continuously from finger-like outgrows of the integument lacking follicles. We find that these beard bristles, which show simple branching, are hollow, distally, and express the feather-type beta keratins. The significance of these observations to explanations for the evolution of archosaurian integumentary appendages is discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher J; Prum, Richard O

    2015-11-01

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

  14. 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

  15. The Importance of Fossils in Understanding the Evolution of Parasites and Their Vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Baets, Kenneth; Littlewood, D Timothy J

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge concerning the diversity of parasitism and its reach across our current understanding of the tree of life has benefitted considerably from novel molecular phylogenetic methods. However, the timing of events and the resolution of the nature of the intimate relationships between parasites and their hosts in deep time remain problematic. Despite its vagaries, the fossil record provides the only direct evidence of parasites and parasitism in the fossil record of extant and extinct lineages. Here, we demonstrate the potential of the fossil record and other lines of geological evidence to calibrate the origin and evolution of parasitism by combining different kinds of dating evidence with novel molecular clock methodologies. Other novel methods promise to provide additional evidence for the presence or the life habit of pathogens and their vectors, including the discovery and analysis of ancient DNA and other biomolecules, as well as computed tomographic methods.

  16. Self-organized criticality, evolution and the fossil extinction record

    CERN Document Server

    Newman, M E J

    1996-01-01

    Statistical analysis indicates that the fossil extinction record is compatible with a distribution of extinction events whose frequency is related to their size by a power law with an exponent close to two. This result is in agreement with predictions based on self-organized critical models of extinction, and might well be taken as evidence of critical behaviour in terrestrial evolution. We argue however that there is a much simpler explanation for the appearance of a power law in terms of extinctions caused by stresses (either biotic or abiotic) to which species are subjected by their environment. We give an explicit model of this process and discuss its properties and implications for the interpretation of the fossil record.

  17. 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.

  18. Occurrence of polycadinene in fossil and recent resins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Aarssen, B. G. K.; de Leeuw, J. W.; Collinson, M.; Boon, J. J.; Goth, K.

    1994-01-01

    Dammars produced by Dipterocarpaceae growing in Southeast Asia are partly composed of a macromolecule with a polycadinene structure. This polymer is the precursor of many specific compounds encountered in crude oils and sediment extracts from South Asia. Until recently there was no evidence for a more widespread geographical occurrence of this resinous polymer. Using different pyrolysis methods it is shown that the polymers present in a resinite from Utah, USA, and in resins contained in resin canals of Eocene fossil fruits from Germany and England are also polycadinenes. The fossil fruits were undoubtedly produced by ancient representatives of mastixioid Cornaceae, a group of plants which was widespread in the Tertiary of Europe and North America and which is not related to Dipterocarpaceae. These findings extend the known occurrence and origin of the sesquiterpenoid type resin polymer. It is to be expected that catagenetic products of these resin polymers should be present in oils, coals, and sediment extracts from areas outside Southeast Asia.

  19. Unique pattern of molt leads to low intraindividual variation in feather mercury concentrations in penguins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brasso, Rebecka L; Drummond, Bridgette E; Borrett, Stuart R; Chiaradia, André; Polito, Michael J; Rey, Andrea Raya

    2013-10-01

    The authors hypothesized that the catastrophic annual molt of penguins (Sphenisciformes) would lead to reduced intraindividual variation of mercury concentrations in body feathers. While mean mercury concentrations varied significantly among 8 penguin species, intraindividual variability did not differ among species and was 3 times lower than values observed in other seabirds. The findings of the present study suggest that a single body feather collected at random per individual can be adequate to estimate mercury exposure at the population level in penguins. © 2013 SETAC.

  20. Photocatalytic Activity of TiO2 Coating on Natural Feather Zeolite in Degradation of Orthomonochlorphenol

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Liang; ZHANG Zhi-xiang; CHEN Dong-hui

    2006-01-01

    TiO2 coatings on natural feather zeolite are respectively prepared by a collosol (Sol-gel) method and two powder coating methods with deionized water or dehydrated ethanol as a dispersant. During degradation of orthomonochlorphenol solutions by ultraviolet, the strong adsorption capability of the zeolite results in increased concentration of substrate on its surface. The TiO2 film coated on feather zeolite further enhances the photocatalytic activity. The TiO2 film on the zeolite prepared by the Sol-gel method is found more effective as a catalyst than that by two powder coating methods.

  1. Approaches to bioremediation of fossil fuel contaminated soil: An ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Biological methods for combating pollutants generated within the fossil fuels ... metabolism of fossil fuel contaminants in soil and water bodies is presented. ... Keywords: Fossil fuels, coal, petroleum hydrocarbons, biodegradation, pollutants

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Selective Preservation of Fossil Ghost Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meacham, Amanda

    2016-04-01

    A unique type of fossil fish preservation has been discovered in the Angelo Member (Fossil Lake) of the Green River Formation. The Angelo Member is a predominately evaporative deposit dominated by dolomite, but contains facies of fossiliferous laminated calcimicrite. Fossil fish occurring in two beds conspicuously lack bones. Fish in the lower bed are only preserved as organic material, including skin, pigments, and eyes. Fish in the upper bed have three-dimensional etching where bones once existed but also contain skin, pigments, and eyes. The top third of the upper bed often contains calcite crystals that are pseudomorphs after trona and possibly halite. Preliminary mineralogical analysis and mapping of evaporate facies suggests that this unique preservation may be related to lake geochemical conditions, such as high pH and alkalinity. To our knowledge, this is the first time this type of preservation has been observed and studied. Fossils and sediments within these beds are being studied both vertically and laterally through the one-meter thick sequence containing the fossil fish using XRD, isotopic, SEM, thin section, and total organic carbon analysis. Nine quarries, 0.5-1 meter square, were excavated for both fossils and rock samples along with 17 additional rock sample locations across an approximately 25-kilometer square region. This investigation has the capability of reconstructing the paleoenvironment and lake chemistry of Fossil Lake during the deposition of the "ghost-fish" beds and solving the mystery of the "missing bones" and the unusual process of preservation.

  5. Summary statistics for fossil spider species taxonomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Penney

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Spiders (Araneae are one of the most species-rich orders on Earth today, and also have one of the longest geological records of any terrestrial animal groups, as demonstrated by their extensive fossil record. There are currently around 1150 described fossil spider species, representing 2.6% of all described spiders (i.e. extinct and extant. Data for numbers of fossil and living spider taxa described annually (and various other metrics for the fossil taxa were compiled from current taxonomic catalogues. Data for extant taxa showed a steady linear increase of approximately 500 new species per year over the last decade, reflecting a rather constant research activity in this area by a large number of scientists, which can be expected to continue. The results for fossil species were very different, with peaks of new species descriptions followed by long troughs, indicating minimal new published research activity for most years. This pattern is indicative of short bursts of research by a limited number of authors. Given the frequent discovery of new fossil deposits containing spiders, a wealth of new material coming to light from previously worked deposits, and the application of new imaging techniques in palaeoarachnology that allow us to extract additional data from historical specimens, e.g. X-ray computed tomography, it is important not only to ensure a sustained research activity on fossil spiders (and other arachnids through training and enthusing the next generation of palaeoarachnologists, but preferably to promote increased research and expertise in this field.

  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. Cell differentiation and germ-soma separation in Ediacaran animal embryo-like fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lei; Xiao, Shuhai; Pang, Ke; Zhou, Chuanming; Yuan, Xunlai

    2014-12-01

    Phosphorites of the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation (~600 million years old) yield spheroidal microfossils with a palintomic cell cleavage pattern. These fossils have been variously interpreted as sulphur-oxidizing bacteria, unicellular protists, mesomycetozoean-like holozoans, green algae akin to Volvox, and blastula embryos of early metazoans or bilaterian animals. However, their complete life cycle is unknown and it is uncertain whether they had a cellularly differentiated ontogenetic stage, making it difficult to test their various phylogenetic interpretations. Here we describe new spheroidal fossils from black phosphorites of the Doushantuo Formation that have been overlooked in previous studies. These fossils represent later developmental stages of previously published blastula-like fossils, and they show evidence for cell differentiation, germ-soma separation, and programmed cell death. Their complex multicellularity is inconsistent with a phylogenetic affinity with bacteria, unicellular protists, or mesomycetozoean-like holozoans. Available evidence also indicates that the Doushantuo fossils are unlikely crown-group animals or volvocine green algae. We conclude that an affinity with cellularly differentiated multicellular eukaryotes, including stem-group animals or algae, is likely but more data are needed to constrain further the exact phylogenetic affinity of the Doushantuo fossils.

  8. Cell differentiation and germ-soma separation in Ediacaran animal embryo-like fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lei; Xiao, Shuhai; Pang, Ke; Zhou, Chuanming; Yuan, Xunlai

    2014-12-11

    Phosphorites of the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation (∼600 million years old) yield spheroidal microfossils with a palintomic cell cleavage pattern. These fossils have been variously interpreted as sulphur-oxidizing bacteria, unicellular protists, mesomycetozoean-like holozoans, green algae akin to Volvox, and blastula embryos of early metazoans or bilaterian animals. However, their complete life cycle is unknown and it is uncertain whether they had a cellularly differentiated ontogenetic stage, making it difficult to test their various phylogenetic interpretations. Here we describe new spheroidal fossils from black phosphorites of the Doushantuo Formation that have been overlooked in previous studies. These fossils represent later developmental stages of previously published blastula-like fossils, and they show evidence for cell differentiation, germ-soma separation, and programmed cell death. Their complex multicellularity is inconsistent with a phylogenetic affinity with bacteria, unicellular protists, or mesomycetozoean-like holozoans. Available evidence also indicates that the Doushantuo fossils are unlikely crown-group animals or volvocine green algae. We conclude that an affinity with cellularly differentiated multicellular eukaryotes, including stem-group animals or algae, is likely but more data are needed to constrain further the exact phylogenetic affinity of the Doushantuo fossils.

  9. 北京白羽鹌鹑微卫星多态性分析%Polymorphism analysis of microsatellite marker of Beijing white-feather quail

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    庞有志; 白俊艳; 张小辉; 赵淑娟; 吴胜军; 于美琴; 许华伟

    2015-01-01

    为了从分子水平上揭示北京白羽鹌鹑群体的遗传结构,为北京白羽鹌鹑遗传资源的评价、保护和利用提供新的依据,采用 PCR 扩增、聚丙烯酰胺凝胶电泳等方法对北京白羽鹌鹑群体9个微卫星标记( GUJ0023、GUJ0028、GUJ0029、GUJ0057、GUJ0059、GUJ0063、GUJ0077、GUJ0083、GUJ0097)的遗传多样性进行分析。结果表明,9个微卫星标记共检测出43个等位基因,平均每个标记检测到4.7778个等位基因。平均杂合度为0.7046,平均多态信息含量(PIC)为0.6587,平均有效等位基因数为3.6135。除GUJ0063(PIC=0.4639)在北京白羽鹌鹑群体中为中度多态性标记外,其余8个微卫星基因座均为高度多态性标记,可以作为北京白羽鹌鹑群体遗传多样性分析的有效遗传标记。微卫星基因座GUJ0023和GUJ0029在白羽鹌鹑群体中的χ2值小于χ20.01,符合哈迪-温伯格定律,其余微卫星基因座均偏离哈迪-温伯格平衡定律,这种遗传不平衡可能与近年来人们对北京白羽鹌鹑进行小群体保种有关。%To reveal the genetic structure of Beijing white-feather quail at molecular level and to provide new evi-dence for the evaluation, protection and utilization of genetic resources of Beijing white-feather quail, the genetic diversity of Beijing white-feather quail population was analyzed with 9 microsatellite markers using PCR amplification, polyacrylam-ide gel electrophoresis. Totally 43 alleles were detected in 9 microsatellite markers GUJ0023, GUJ0028, GUJ0029, GUJ0057, GUJ0059, GUJ0063, GUJ0077, GUJ0083, GUJ0097, 4. 777 8 for each marker on average. The average het-erozygosity is 0. 704 6, the average polymorphism information content (PIC) is 0. 658 7 and the average effective allele is 3.613 5. Except for marker GUJ0063 (PIC=0.463 9) which was moderately polymorphic, the other 8 microsatellite markers showed high polymorphism which could serve as the effective genetic markers to analyze the genetic

  10. Fossil fungi with suggested affinities to the Endogonaceae from the Middle Triassic of Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krings, Michael; Taylor, Thomas N; Dotzler, Nora; Persichini, Gianna

    2012-01-01

    Documented fossil evidence of zygomycetous fungi is rare. A conspicuous fungal fossil, Jimwhitea circumtecta gen. et sp. nov., occurs in permineralized peat from the Middle Triassic of Antarctica. The fossil is interpreted as a mantled zygosporangium that buds from a macrogametangium subtended by a sac-like macrosuspensor. The macrogametangium is united at its tip with a microgametangium which is subtended by a micro-suspensor. This configuration is strikingly similar to the zygosporangium-gametangia complexes seen in certain modern Endogonaceae. Co-occurring with J. circumtecta are isolated propagules closely resembling the zygosporangium of J. circumtecta and a portion of a sporocarp containing zygosporangia embedded in a gleba. Several of the sporangia are borne on ovoid or elongate structures, which we interpret as gametangia. These fossils offer an exceptionally detailed view of the morphology and reproductive biology of early Mesozoic zygomycetes.

  11. 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.

    2009-01-01

    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 μg g−1 fw) and eggs (0.04−2.79 μg 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 (≤10 days old) was correlated with down feather Hg at hatching (≤3 days old; n = 88, r2 = 0.74). Our results demonstrate the utility of using down feathers of chicks ≤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.

  12. Response to Comment on "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

    2014-10-24

    Lingham-Soliar questions our interpretation of integumentary structures in the Middle-Late Jurassic ornithischian dinosaur Kulindadromeus as feather-like appendages and alternatively proposes that the compound structures observed around the humerus and femur of Kulindadromeus are support fibers associated with badly degraded scales. We consider this hypothesis highly unlikely because of the taphonomy and morphology of the preserved structures.

  13. Feather meal : evaluation of the effect of processing conditions by chemical and chick assays

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Papadopoulos, M.C.

    1984-01-01

    Feather waste at poultry processing plants, has been of interest in nutritional studies because of its high protein content. This material must be hydrolyzed in order to be digested by the animal, because in its natural state it is of no nutritive value. However, this product will be of variable

  14. Feather growth rate and mass in nearctic passerines with variablemigratory behavior and molt pattern

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De la Hera, I.; DeSante, D.F.; Mila, B.

    2012-01-01

    Bird species vary greatly in the duration of their annual complete feather molt. However, such variation is not well documented in birds from many biogeographic areas, which restricts our understanding of the diversification of molt strategies. Recent research has revealed that molt duration can be

  15. 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.

  16. High refractive index of melanin in shiny occipital feathers of a bird of paradise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stavenga, Doekele G.; Leertouwer, Heinrich; Osorio, Daniel C.; Wilts, Bodo D.

    2015-01-01

    Male Lawes's Parotia, a bird of paradise, use the highly directional reflection of the structurally colored, brilliant-silvery occipital feathers in their courtship display. As in other birds, the structural coloration is produced by ordered melanin pigmentation. The barbules of the Parotia's occipi

  17. High refractive index of melanin in shiny occipital feathers of a bird of paradise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stavenga, Doekele G.; Leertouwer, Heinrich; Osorio, Daniel C.; Wilts, Bodo D.

    Male Lawes's Parotia, a bird of paradise, use the highly directional reflection of the structurally colored, brilliant-silvery occipital feathers in their courtship display. As in other birds, the structural coloration is produced by ordered melanin pigmentation. The barbules of the Parotia's

  18. Production and characterization of keratinase of a feather-degrading Bacillus licheniformis PWD-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, S W; Hu, H M; Shen, S W; Takagi, H; Asano, M; Tsai, Y C

    1995-12-01

    The keratinase produced by Bacillus licheniformis PWD-1 was induced by feather powder. Maximal enzyme production could be achieved by culturing in a medium containing 1% hammer-milled feather powder (100 mesh) at 45 degrees C for 30 h. Maximal growth of PWD-1 was achieved at 50 degrees C, and maximal enzyme induction was at 45 degrees C. The molecular mass and isoelectric point of this enzyme were 31.4 kDa and 8.5, respectively. This enzyme was stable from pH 5 to 12. The optimal reaction pHs for feather powder and casein were 8.5 and 10.5 to 11.5, respectively. The optimal reaction temperature was 50 degrees C to 55 degrees C. The relative activity of this enzyme toward casein, feather powder, keratin, elastin, and collagen was 100:52:41:18:7, and 100:56:32:3 for Suc-AAPL-pNA, Suc-AAPF-pNA, Suc-AAPM-pNA, and Suc-AAVA-pNA (Suc, succinyl; pNA, p-nitrophenylanilide).

  19. 77 FR 12493 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Feather River Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-01

    ... River Air Quality Management District. (1) Rule 3.22, ``Internal Combustion Engines,'' adopted on June... AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Feather River Air Quality Management District AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: EPA...

  20. Physical and chemical properties of biobased plastic resins containing chicken feather fibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study was conducted to (a) characterize bioplastic pellets containing feather fibers (pellets) by low temperature-scanning electron microscopy and X-Ray diffraction analysis, (b) evaluate growth and flowering of Begonia boliviensis A. DC. ‘Bonfire’ when grown in medium amended with pellets, and...

  1. Feather damaging behaviour in parrots: a review with consideration of comparative aspects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Zeeland, Y.R.A.; Spruijt, B.M.; Rodenburg, T.B.; Riedstra, B.; Buitenhuis, B.; van Hierden, Y.M.; Korte, S.M.; Lumeij, J.T.

    2009-01-01

    Feather damaging behaviour in parrots: A review with consideration of comparative aspects Yvonne R.A. van Zeelanda, , , Berry M. Spruitb, T. Bas Rodenburgc, Bernd Riedstrad, Yvonne M. van Hierdene, Bart Buitenhuisf, S. Mechiel Korteg, h and Johannes T. Lumeija aDivision of Zoological Medicine, Depar

  2. 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. L

  3. Feather pecking in poultry: the application of science in a search for practical solutions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jones, R.B.; Blokhuis, H.J.; Jong, de I.C.; Keeling, L.J.; McAdie, T.M.; Preisinger, R.

    2004-01-01

    Traditional battery cages for laying hens will soon be banned in the EU but the increased risk of feather pecking (FP) hampers the adoption of alternative housing systems. FP can cause injury and lead to cannibalism and the painful death of target birds. Current management practices (beak trimming,

  4. 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)

  5. Feather meal: evaluation of the effect of processing conditions by chemical and chick assays

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Papadopoulos, M.C.

    1984-01-01

    Feather waste at poultry processing plants, has been of interest in nutritional studies because of its high protein content. This material must be hydrolyzed in order to be digested by the animal, because in its natural state it is of no nutritive value. However, this product will be of variable qua

  6. 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.

  7. Variation in carotenoid-protein interaction in bird feathers produces novel plumage coloration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes-Pinto, Maria M; LaFountain, Amy M; Stoddard, Mary Caswell; Prum, Richard O; Frank, Harry A; Robert, Bruno

    2012-12-01

    Light absorption by carotenoids is known to vary substantially with the shape or conformation of the pigment molecule induced by the molecular environment, but the role of interactions between carotenoid pigments and the proteins to which they are bound, and the resulting impact on organismal coloration, remain unclear. Here, we present a spectroscopic investigation of feathers from the brilliant red scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber, Threskiornithidae), the orange-red summer tanager (Piranga rubra, Cardinalidae) and the violet-purple feathers of the white-browed purpletuft (Iodopleura isabellae, Tityridae). Despite their striking differences in colour, all three of these feathers contain canthaxanthin (β,β-carotene-4,4'-dione) as their primary pigment. Reflectance and resonance Raman (rR) spectroscopy were used to investigate the induced molecular structural changes and carotenoid-protein interactions responsible for the different coloration in these plumage samples. The results demonstrate a significant variation between species in the peak frequency of the strong ethylenic vibration (ν(1)) peak in the rR spectra, the most significant of which is found in I. isabellae feathers and is correlated with a red-shift in canthaxanthin absorption that results in violet reflectance. Neither polarizability of the protein environment nor planarization of the molecule upon binding can entirely account for the full extent of the colour shift. Therefore, we suggest that head-to-tail molecular alignment (i.e. J-aggregation) of the protein-bound carotenoid molecules is an additional factor.

  8. 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.

  9. Current Status of Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo along the Sacramento and Feather Rivers, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dettling, Mark D; Seavy, Nathaniel E; Howell, Christine A; Gardali, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    To evaluate the current status of the western population of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) along the Sacramento and Feather rivers in California's Sacramento Valley, we conducted extensive call playback surveys in 2012 and 2013. We also quantified the amount and distribution of potential habitat. Our survey transects were randomly located and spatially balanced to sample representative areas of the potential habitat. We estimated that the total area of potential habitat was 8,134 ha along the Sacramento River and 2,052 ha along the Feather River, for a total of 10,186 ha. Large-scale restoration efforts have created potential habitat along both of these rivers. Despite this increase in the amount of habitat, the number of cuckoos we detected was extremely low. There were 8 detection occasions in 2012 and 10 occasions in 2013 on the Sacramento River, in both restored and remnant habitat. We had no detections on the Feather River in either year. We compared our results to 10 historic studies from as far back as 1972 and found that the Yellow-billed Cuckoo had unprecedentedly low numbers in 2010, 2012, and 2013. The current limiting factor for the Yellow-billed Cuckoo in the Sacramento Valley is likely not the amount of appropriate vegetation, as restoration has created more habitat over the last 30 years. Reasons for the cuckoo decline on the Sacramento and Feather rivers are unclear.

  10. Reaction to frustration in high and low feather pecking laying hens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodenburg, T.B.; Zimmerman, P.H.; Koene, P.

    2002-01-01

    Reaction to frustration of high (HFP) and low feather pecking (LFP) laying hens was investigated. From a HFP- and a LFP-line five birds with a HFP- and five birds with a LFP-phenotype were selected. Birds from the HFP-line were expected to show more key pecking and covered feeder pecking during frus

  11. Environmental and genetic effects on pigment-based vs. structural component of yellow feather colouration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Matrková

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Carotenoid plumage is of widespread use in bird communication. Carotenoid-based feather colouration has recently been shown to be dependent on both pigment concentration and feather structure. If these two components are determined differently, one plumage patch may potentially convey different aspects of individual quality. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We evaluated the effects of genetic and environmental factors on carotenoid-based yellow breast colouration of Great Tit (Parus major nestlings. By partial cross-fostering, we separated the genetic and pre-natal vs. post-natal parental effects on both the structural and the pigment-based component of carotenoid-based plumage colouration. We also simultaneously manipulated the post-hatching environment by brood size manipulation. The structural component of nestling colouration reflected features of female colouration. On the other hand, the pigment-based component was more affected by rearing conditions presumably representing food quality. While the structural component was related to both origin- and environment-related factors, the pigment-based component seemed to be environment-dependent only. These results support the notion that pigment-based and structural components of feather colouration are determined differently. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Chromatic and achromatic components of carotenoid-based feather colouration reflected different aspects of individual quality and history, and thus may potentially form a multicomponent signal.

  12. Optical feather and foil for shape and dynamic load sensing of critical flight surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Richard J.; Costa, Joannes M.; Faridian, Fereydoun; Moslehi, Behzad; Pakmehr, Mehrdad; Schlavin, Jon; Sotoudeh, Vahid; Zagrai, Andrei

    2014-04-01

    Future flight vehicles may comprise complex flight surfaces requiring coordinated in-situ sensing and actuation. Inspired by the complexity of the flight surfaces on the wings and tail of a bird, it is argued that increasing the number of interdependent flight surfaces from just a few, as is normal in an airplane, to many, as in the feathers of a bird, can significantly enlarge the flight envelope. To enable elements of an eco-inspired Dynamic Servo-Elastic (DSE) flight control system, IFOS is developing a multiple functionality-sensing element analogous to a feather, consisting of a very thin tube with optical fiber based strain sensors and algorithms for deducing the shape of the "feather" by measuring strain at multiple points. It is envisaged that the "feather" will act as a unit of sensing and/or actuation for establishing shape, position, static and dynamic loads on flight surfaces and in critical parts. Advanced sensing hardware and software control algorithms will enable the proposed DSE flight control concept. The hardware development involves an array of optical fiber based sensorized needle tubes for attachment to key parts for dynamic flight surface measurement. Once installed the optical fiber sensors, which can be interrogated over a wide frequency range, also allow damage detection and structural health monitoring.

  13. 76 FR 9495 - Feathering Propeller Systems for Light-Sport Aircraft Powered Gliders

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-18

    ... Administration 14 CFR Part 1 RIN 2120-AJ81 Feathering Propeller Systems for Light-Sport Aircraft Powered Gliders... propeller operation for powered gliders that qualify as light-sport aircraft. DATES: The effective date for... aircraft (LSA) had a fixed or autofeathering propeller system. The restriction to ``autofeathering''...

  14. Time trends of mercury in feathers of West Greenland birds of prey during 1851-2003

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, Rune; Riget, Frank Farsø; Boertmann, David

    2006-01-01

    Temporal trends of mercury (Hg) in West Greenland gyrfalcons, peregrine falcons, and white-tailed eagles were determined over 150 years from 1851 to 2003. Hg was measured in the fifth primary feather. Results showed that Hg increased in the order gyrfalcon (lowest)

  15. The effect of optimized lighting conditions on feather pecking and production of laying hens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruis, M.A.W.; Reuvekamp, B.F.J.; Gunnink, H.; Binnendijk, G.P.

    2010-01-01

    Verenpikken is één van de grootste problemen in de commerciële leghennenhouderij. Dit onderzoek bekijkt het effect van kunstlicht op het pikken van veren.Feather pecking is one of the major problems in commercially kept laying hens. The current research considers the relevance of colour of light in

  16. 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,

  17. Fossils, molecules and embryos: new perspectives on the Cambrian explosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentine, J. W.; Jablonski, D.; Erwin, D. H.

    1999-01-01

    The Cambrian explosion is named for the geologically sudden appearance of numerous metazoan body plans (many of living phyla) between about 530 and 520 million years ago, only 1.7% of the duration of the fossil record of animals. Earlier indications of metazoans are found in the Neoproterozic; minute trails suggesting bilaterian activity date from about 600 million years ago. Larger and more elaborate fossil burrows appear near 543 million years ago, the beginning of the Cambrian Period. Evidence of metazoan activity in both trace and body fossils then increased during the 13 million years leading to the explosion. All living phyla may have originated by the end of the explosion. Molecular divergences among lineages leading to phyla record speciation events that have been earlier than the origins of the new body plans, which can arise many tens of millions of years after an initial branching. Various attempts to date those branchings by using molecular clocks have disagreed widely. While the timing of the evolution of the developmental systems of living metazoan body plans is still uncertain, the distribution of Hox and other developmental control genes among metazoans indicates that an extensive patterning system was in place prior to the Cambrian. However, it is likely that much genomic repatterning occurred during the Early Cambrian, involving both key control genes and regulators within their downstream cascades, as novel body plans evolved.

  18. The hominin fossil record: taxa, grades and clades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Bernard; Lonergan, Nicholas

    2008-04-01

    This paper begins by reviewing the fossil evidence for human evolution. It presents summaries of each of the taxa recognized in a relatively speciose hominin taxonomy. These taxa are grouped in grades, namely possible and probable hominins, archaic hominins, megadont archaic hominins, transitional hominins, pre-modern Homo and anatomically modern Homo. The second part of this contribution considers some of the controversies that surround hominin taxonomy and systematics. The first is the vexed question of how you tell an early hominin from an early panin, or from taxa belonging to an extinct clade closely related to the Pan-Homo clade. Secondly, we consider how many species should be recognized within the hominin fossil record, and review the philosophies and methods used to identify taxa within the hominin fossil record. Thirdly, we examine how relationships within the hominin clade are investigated, including descriptions of the methods used to break down an integrated structure into tractable analytical units, and then how cladograms are generated and compared. We then review the internal structure of the hominin clade, including the problem of how many subclades should be recognized within the hominin clade, and we examine the reliability of hominin cladistic hypotheses. The last part of the paper reviews the concepts of a genus, including the criteria that should be used for recognizing genera within the hominin clade.

  19. Trace fossils in coal-bearing sequences

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pollard, J.E.

    1988-03-01

    In the past decade trace fossils have been recorded extensively from coal-bearing sediments, differing widely in facies, age and location. Westphalian or Stephanian 'coal-measures' in Britain, Europe and Eastern Canada contain an ichnofauna produced by invertebrates and/or vertebrates in upper delta plain sediments. This contrasts with the marine-related lower delta plain ichnofaunas known from Pennsylvanian rocks of the United States and Permian Gondwana 'coal-measures' of South Africa. Deltaic complexes of Middle Jurassic age in the North Sea basin and Upper Cretaceous age in North America contain marine trace fossils and dinosaur footprints in coastal coal- bearing facies. These case histories illustrate the importance of trace fossils both in facies analysis of coal-bearing sequences and in recording the presence of animals rarely known as body fossils in such clastic sediments. 80 refs., 5 figs.

  20. Evolution: Fossil Ears and Underwater Sonar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Olivier

    2016-08-22

    A key innovation in the history of whales was the evolution of a sonar system together with high-frequency hearing. Fossils of an archaic toothed whale's inner ear bones provide clues for a stepwise emergence of underwater echolocation ability.

  1. Fossil energy program. Progress report, July 1980

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McNeese, L. E.

    1980-10-01

    This report - the seventy-second of a series - is a compendium of monthly progress reports for the ORNL research and development programs that are in support of the increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuel alternatives to oil and gas as sources of clean energy. The projects reported this month include those for coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation, technical support to major liquefaction projects, process and program analysis, fossil energy environmental analysis, coal preparation and waste utilization, coal preparation plant automation, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, technical support to the TVA fluidized bed combustion demonstration plant program, fossil energy applications assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international assessment of atmospheric fluidized bed combustion technology, and PFBC systems analysis.

  2. Biodiversity Risks from Fossil Fuel Extraction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    N. Butt; H. L. Beyer; J. R. Bennett; D. Biggs; R. Maggini; M. Mills; A. R. Renwick; L. M. Seabrook; H. P. Possingham

    2013-01-01

    .... Although fossil fuel (FF) extraction has traditionally been seen as a temporary and spatially limited perturbation to ecosystems , even local or limited biodiversity loss can have large cascade effects on ecosystem function and productivity...

  3. 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 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Primate diversification inferred from phylogenies and fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, James P

    2017-09-14

    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 consistently 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. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  6. The shadow price of fossil groundwater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierkens, Marc F. P.; Reinhard, Stijn; de Bruijn, Jens A.; Wada, Yoshihide

    2017-04-01

    The expansion of irrigated agriculture into areas with limited precipitation and surface water during the growing season has greatly increased the use of fossil groundwater (Wada et al., 2012). As a result, the depletion rate of fossil groundwater resources has shown an increasing rate during the last decades (Wada et al, 2010; Konikow, 2011; Wada et al., 2012; De Graaf et al. 2015; Ritchy et al., 2015). Although water pricing has been used extensively to stimulate efficient application of water to create maximum value (e.g. Medellín-Azuara et al., 2012; Rinaudo et al., 2012; Dinar et al., 2015), it does not preclude the use of non-renewable water resources. Here, we use a global hydrological model and historical crop production and price data to assess the shadow price of non-renewable or fossil groundwater applied to major crops in countries that use large quantities of fossil groundwater. Our results show that shadow prices for many crops are very low, indicating economically inefficient or even wasteful use of fossil groundwater resources. Using India as an example, we show that small changes in the crop mix could lead to large reductions in fossil groundwater use or alternatively, create additional financial means to invest in water saving technologies. Our study thus provides a hydro-economic basis to further the sustainable use of finite groundwater resources.

  7. Hydrogen isotope measurement of bird feather keratin, one laboratory's response to evolving methodologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Majie; Dettman, David L

    2015-01-01

    Hydrogen in organic tissue resides in a complex mixture of molecular contexts. Some hydrogen, called non-exchangeable (H(non)), is strongly bound, and its isotopic ratio is fixed when the tissue is synthesized. Other pools of hydrogen, called exchangeable hydrogen (H(ex)), constantly exchange with ambient water vapor. The measurement of the δ(2)H(non) in organic tissues such as hair or feather therefore requires an analytical process that accounts for exchangeable hydrogen. In this study, swan feather and sheep wool keratin were used to test the effects of sample drying and capsule closure on the measurement of δ(2)H(non) values, and the rate of back-reaction with ambient water vapor. Homogenous feather or wool keratins were also calibrated at room temperature for use as control standards to correct for the effects of exchangeable hydrogen on feathers. Total δ(2)H values of both feather and wool samples showed large changes throughout the first ∼6 h of drying. Desiccant plus low vacuum seems to be more effective than room temperature vacuum pumping for drying samples. The degree of capsule closure affects exchangeable hydrogen equilibration and drying, with closed capsules responding more slowly. Using one control keratin standard to correct for the δ(2)H(ex) value for a batch of samples leads to internally consistent δ(2)H(non) values for other calibrated keratins run as unknowns. When placed in the context of other recent improvements in the measurement of keratin δ(2)H(non) values, we make recommendations for sample handing, data calibration and the reporting of results.

  8. Feather corticosterone reveals stress associated with dietary changes in a breeding seabird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Will, Alexis; Watanuki, Yutaka; Kikuchi, Dale M; Sato, Nobuhiko; Ito, Motohiro; Callahan, Matt; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine; Hatch, Scott; Elliott, Kyle; Slater, Leslie; Takahashi, Akinori; Kitaysky, Alexander

    2015-10-01

    Changes in climate and anthropogenic pressures might affect the composition and abundance of forage fish in the world's oceans. The junk-food hypothesis posits that dietary shifts that affect the quality (e.g., energy content) of food available to marine predators may impact their physiological state and consequently affect their fitness. Previously, we experimentally validated that deposition of the adrenocortical hormone, corticosterone, in feathers is a sensitive measure of nutritional stress in seabirds. Here, we use this method to examine how changes in diet composition and prey quality affect the nutritional status of free-living rhinoceros auklets (Cerorhinca monocerata). Our study sites included the following: Teuri Is. Japan, Middleton Is. central Gulf of Alaska, and St. Lazaria Is. Southeast Alaska. In 2012 and 2013, we collected "bill loads" delivered by parents to feed their chicks (n = 758) to document dietary changes. We deployed time-depth-temperature recorders on breeding adults (n = 47) to evaluate whether changes in prey coincided with changes in foraging behavior. We measured concentrations of corticosterone in fledgling (n = 71) and adult breeders' (n = 82) feathers to determine how birds were affected by foraging conditions. We found that seasonal changes in diet composition occurred on each colony, adults dove deeper and engaged in longer foraging bouts when capturing larger prey and that chicks had higher concentrations of corticosterone in their feathers when adults brought back smaller and/or lower energy prey. Corticosterone levels in feathers of fledglings (grown during the breeding season) and those in feathers of adult breeders (grown during the postbreeding season) were positively correlated, indicating possible carryover effects. These results suggest that seabirds might experience increased levels of nutritional stress associated with moderate dietary changes and that physiological responses to changes in prey composition

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular fossils and the late rise of oxygenic photosynthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocks, J. J.

    2012-04-01

    Biomarkers are the molecular fossils of natural products such as lipids and pigments. They can yield a wealth of information about early microbial ecosystems and are particularly valuable when preserved in > 1 billion-year old (Ga) sedimentary rocks where conventional fossils are often lacking. Therefore, in 1999, the detection of traces of biomarkers in 2.5 to 2.7 Ga shales from Western Australia (Brocks et al. 1999, Summons et al. 1999) was celebrated as a breakthrough. The discovery, which was later confirmed by several independent studies, led to far reaching conclusions about the early evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis (Summons et al. 1999) and ancestral eukaryotes (Brocks et al. 1999). However, here we present new data based on the carbon isotopic composition of solidified hydrocarbons (Rasmussen et al. 2008) and the spatial distribution of liquid hydrocarbons within the original 2.5 and 2.7 Ga shales (Brocks 2011) that demonstrate that the molecules must have entered the rocks much later in Earth's history and therefore provide no information about the Archean (>2.5 Ga) biosphere or environment. The elimination of the Archean biomarker data has immense implications for our understanding of Earth's early biosphere. 2-Methylhopanes have been interpreted as evidence for the existence of cyanobacteria at 2.7 Ga, about ~300 million years before the atmosphere became mildly oxygenated in the Great Oxidation Event (GOE; between 2.45 and 2.32 Ga). Now, the oldest direct fossil evidence for cyanobacteria reverts back to 2.15 Ga, and the most ancient robust sign for oxygenic photosynthesis becomes the GOE itself. Moreover, the presence of steranes has been interpreted as evidence for the existence of ancestral eukaryotes at 2.7 Ga. However, without the steranes, the oldest fossil evidence for the domain falls into the range ~1.78-1.68 Ga. Recognition that the biomarkers from Archean rocks are not of Archean age renders permissive hypotheses about a late evolution

  12. 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.

  13. A Brief Analysis of Oral Fossilization of English Major Students

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SUN Jian-xia

    2014-01-01

    This paper on the basis of former studies and researches has analyzed fossilization particularly oral fossilization. Further more, this paper has analyzed the reasons of fossilization and at the same time put forward some tentative solutions to reduce or avoid fossilization. Hope that this paper can offer some help for both the second language learners and teachers.

  14. Comparing primate crania: The importance of fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleagle, John G; Gilbert, Christopher C; Baden, Andrea L

    2016-10-01

    Extant primate crania represent a small subset of primate crania that have existed. The main objective here is to examine how the inclusion of fossil crania changes our understanding of primate cranial diversity relative to analyses of extant primates. We hypothesize that fossil taxa will change the major axes of cranial shape, occupy new areas of morphospace, change the relative diversity of major primate clades, and fill in notable gaps separating major primate taxa/clades. Eighteen 3D landmarks were collected on 157 extant and fossil crania representing 90 genera. Data were subjected to a Generalized Procrustes Analysis then principal components analysis. Relative diversity between clades was assessed using an F-statistic. Fossil taxa do not significantly alter major axes of cranial shape, but they do occupy unique areas of morphospace, change the relative diversity between clades, and fill in notable gaps in primate cranial evolution. Strepsirrhines remain significantly less diverse than anthropoids. Fossil hominins fill the gap in cranial morphospace between extant great apes and modern humans. The morphospace outlined by living primates largely includes that occupied by fossil taxa, suggesting that the cranial diversity of living primates generally encompasses the total diversity that has evolved in this Order. The evolution of the anthropoid cranium was a significant event allowing anthropoids to achieve significantly greater cranial diversity compared to strepsirrhines. Fossil taxa fill in notable gaps within and between clades, highlighting their transitional nature and eliminating the appearance of large morphological distances between extant taxa, particularly in the case of extant hominids. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. [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

  16. 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.

  17. A comprehensive database of quality-rated fossil ages for Sahul’s Quaternary vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Rey, Marta; Herrando-Pérez, Salvador; Brook, Barry W.; Saltré, Frédérik; Alroy, John; Beeton, Nicholas; Bird, Michael I.; Cooper, Alan; Gillespie, Richard; Jacobs, Zenobia; Johnson, Christopher N.; Miller, Gifford H.; Prideaux, Gavin J.; Roberts, Richard G.; Turney, Chris S. M.; Bradshaw, Corey J. A.

    2016-07-01

    The study of palaeo-chronologies using fossil data provides evidence for past ecological and evolutionary processes, and is therefore useful for predicting patterns and impacts of future environmental change. However, the robustness of inferences made from fossil ages relies heavily on both the quantity and quality of available data. We compiled Quaternary non-human vertebrate fossil ages from Sahul published up to 2013. This, the FosSahul database, includes 9,302 fossil records from 363 deposits, for a total of 478 species within 215 genera, of which 27 are from extinct and extant megafaunal species (2,559 records). We also provide a rating of reliability of individual absolute age based on the dating protocols and association between the dated materials and the fossil remains. Our proposed rating system identified 2,422 records with high-quality ages (i.e., a reduction of 74%). There are many applications of the database, including disentangling the confounding influences of hypothetical extinction drivers, better spatial distribution estimates of species relative to palaeo-climates, and potentially identifying new areas for fossil discovery.

  18. Detecting ancient codispersals and host shifts by double dating of host and parasite phylogenies: Application in proctophyllodid feather mites associated with passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimov, Pavel B; Mironov, Sergey V; OConnor, Barry M

    2017-07-22

    Inferring cophylogeographic events requires matching the timing of these events on both host and symbiont (e.g., parasites) phylogenies because divergences of hosts and their symbionts may not temporally coincide, and host switches may occur. We investigate a large radiation of birds (Passeriformes) and their permanent symbionts, the proctophyllodid feather mites (117 species from 116 bird species; six genes, 11,468 nt aligned) using two time-calibration strategies for mites: fossils only and host phylogeography only. Out of 10 putative cophylogeographic events 4 agree in timing for both symbiont and host events being synchronous co-origins or codispersals; three were based on host shifts, but agree in timing being very close to the origin of modern hosts; two disagree; and one large basal mite split was seemingly independent from host phylogeography. Among these events was an ancient (21-25.3 Mya), synchronous codispersal from the Old World leading to the origin and diversifications of New World emberizoid passerids and their mites, the thraupis + quadratus species groups of Proctophyllodes. Our framework offers a more robust detection of host and symbiont cophylogeographic events (as compared to host-symbiont reconciliation analysis and using host phylogeography for time-calibration) and provides independent data for testing alternative hypotheses on timing of host diversification and dispersal. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  19. Contaminant Case Report: Spectacled eider (Somateria fischeri) eggs and feathers from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — We collected spectacled eider (Somateria fischeri) eggs and shed breast contour feathers from nests on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, in 1992 to evaluate...

  20. 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 implications for interpreting avian diets using stable isotopes. However, by analysing feathers, dietary input may be interpreted at different levels if the moult process is well understood....

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Fossil fuels in a trillion tonne world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Vivian; Haszeldine, R. Stuart; Tett, Simon F. B.; Oschlies, Andreas

    2015-05-01

    The useful energy services and energy density value of fossil carbon fuels could be retained for longer timescales into the future if their combustion is balanced by CO2 recapture and storage. We assess the global balance between fossil carbon supply and the sufficiency (size) and capability (technology, security) of candidate carbon stores. A hierarchy of value for extraction-to-storage pairings is proposed, which is augmented by classification of CO2 containment as temporary (100,000 yr). Using temporary stores is inefficient and defers an intergenerational problem. Permanent storage capacity is adequate to technically match current fossil fuel reserves. However, rates of storage creation cannot balance current and expected rates of fossil fuel extraction and CO2 consequences. Extraction of conventional natural gas is uniquely holistic because it creates the capacity to re-inject an equivalent tonnage of carbon for storage into the same reservoir and can re-use gas-extraction infrastructure for storage. By contrast, balancing the extraction of coal, oil, biomass and unconventional fossil fuels requires the engineering and validation of additional carbon storage. Such storage is, so far, unproven in sufficiency.

  5. C-isotope composition of fossil sedges and grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurschner, Wolfram M.

    2010-05-01

    C4 plants differ from C3 plants regarding their anatomy and their C-isotope composition. Both features can be used in the geological record to determine the presence of C4 plants. Yet, the evolution of the C4 pathway in the fossil record is enigmatic as palaeobotanical and geological evidence for C4 plants is sparse. The oldest structural evidence for Kranz anatomy has been found in Late Miocene permineralized grass leaf remains. But studies on the C-isotope composition of sedimentary organic matter indicate that abundant C4 biomass was present in N-America and Asia throughout the Miocene in expanding savannahs and grasslands. The success of C4 plants appears to be related also to an increasing seasonal aridity in the tropical climate belts and the co-evolution of grazers. However, C- isotope composition of palaeosols or vertebrate teeth only allows to estimate the abundance of C4 plant biomass in the vegetation or in the diet without further taxonomical specification which plant groups would have had C4 metabolism. In this contribution the first extensive C-isotope analysis of fossil seeds of sedges and a few grasses are presented. The age of the carpological material ranges from Late Eocene to Pliocene and was collected from several central European brown coal deposits. The 52 different taxa studied include several species of Carex, Cladiocarya, Eriopherum, Eleocharis, Scirpus, Sparganium. Most of them representing herbaceous elements of a (sub)tropical vegetation growing near the edge of a lake. The C-isotope composition of the fossil seeds varies between -30 and -23 o/oo indicating C3 photosynthesis. This first systematic inventory shows that C4 plants were absent in the European (sub)tropical brown coal forming wetland vegetation during the Tertiary. These preliminary data are in agreement with phylogenetic studies which predict the origin of C4 plants outside the European realm.

  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. A quantitative analysis of flight feather replacement in the Moustached Tree Swift Hemiprocne mystacea, a tropical aerial forager.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sievert Rohwer

    Full Text Available The functional life span of feathers is always much less than the potential life span of birds, so feathers must be renewed regularly. But feather renewal entails important energetic, time and performance costs that must be integrated into the annual cycle. Across species the time required to replace flight feather increases disproportionately with body size, resulting in complex, multiple waves of feather replacement in the primaries of many large birds. We describe the rules of flight feather replacement for Hemiprocne mystacea, a small, 60 g tree swift from the New Guinea region. This species breeds and molts in all months of the year, and flight feather molt occurs during breeding in some individuals. H. mystacea is one to be the smallest species for which stepwise replacement of the primaries and secondaries has been documented; yet, primary replacement is extremely slow in this aerial forager, requiring more than 300 days if molt is not interrupted. We used growth bands to show that primaries grow at an average rate of 2.86 mm/d. The 10 primaries are a single molt series, while the 11 secondaries and five rectrices are each broken into two molt series. In large birds stepwise replacement of the primaries serves to increase the rate of primary replacement while minimizing gaps in the wing. But stepwise replacement of the wing quills in H. mystacea proceeds so slowly that it may be a consequence of the ontogeny of stepwise molting, rather than an adaptation, because the average number of growing primaries is probably lower than 1.14 feathers per wing.

  8. A quantitative analysis of flight feather replacement in the Moustached Tree Swift Hemiprocne mystacea, a tropical aerial forager.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohwer, Sievert; Wang, Luan-Keng

    2010-07-14

    The functional life span of feathers is always much less than the potential life span of birds, so feathers must be renewed regularly. But feather renewal entails important energetic, time and performance costs that must be integrated into the annual cycle. Across species the time required to replace flight feather increases disproportionately with body size, resulting in complex, multiple waves of feather replacement in the primaries of many large birds. We describe the rules of flight feather replacement for Hemiprocne mystacea, a small, 60 g tree swift from the New Guinea region. This species breeds and molts in all months of the year, and flight feather molt occurs during breeding in some individuals. H. mystacea is one to be the smallest species for which stepwise replacement of the primaries and secondaries has been documented; yet, primary replacement is extremely slow in this aerial forager, requiring more than 300 days if molt is not interrupted. We used growth bands to show that primaries grow at an average rate of 2.86 mm/d. The 10 primaries are a single molt series, while the 11 secondaries and five rectrices are each broken into two molt series. In large birds stepwise replacement of the primaries serves to increase the rate of primary replacement while minimizing gaps in the wing. But stepwise replacement of the wing quills in H. mystacea proceeds so slowly that it may be a consequence of the ontogeny of stepwise molting, rather than an adaptation, because the average number of growing primaries is probably lower than 1.14 feathers per wing.

  9. Comparison of fattening performance, carcass characteristics, and egg quality characteristics of Japanese quails with different feather colors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hakan Inci

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to compare fattening performance, carcass traits, and egg quality of Japanese quails with different feather colors (white, dark brown, golden, and wild-type. In the study, 360 one-day-old quail chicks with 4 different feather colors were used as animal material. Quails were fed ad libitum for 42 days to determine fattening performance and carcass traits. To determine egg traits, 48 hens from each group, in a total of 192, were selected and caged according to feather color. Eggs were collected for four consecutive weeks and egg quality characteristics were measured. Different feather colors had a significant effect on live weight, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, and carcass characteristics. Significant differences between the groups were detected for egg weight, specific gravity, shape index, shell weight, albumen weight, yolk weight, albumen index, and yolk index. Japanese quails with all four feather colors can be reared depending on the choice. However, due to lower feed conversion ratio, white-feathered quails may be preferred for meat production purposes. Color variations should be considered when selecting quails.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Simpson, Brent; Brashears, Matthew; Gladstone, Eric; Harrell, Ashley

    2014-01-01

    .... 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...

  11. Recent synchronous radiation of a living fossil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagalingum, N S; Marshall, C R; Quental, T B; Rai, H S; Little, D P; Mathews, S

    2011-11-11

    Modern survivors of previously more diverse lineages are regarded as living fossils, particularly when characterized by morphological stasis. Cycads are often cited as a classic example, reaching their greatest diversity during the Jurassic-Cretaceous (199.6 to 65.5 million years ago) then dwindling to their present diversity of ~300 species as flowering plants rose to dominance. Using fossil-calibrated molecular phylogenies, we show that cycads underwent a near synchronous global rediversification beginning in the late Miocene, followed by a slowdown toward the Recent. Although the cycad lineage is ancient, our timetrees indicate that living cycad species are not much older than ~12 million years. These data reject the hypothesized role of dinosaurs in generating extant diversity and the designation of today's cycad species as living fossils.

  12. Cerium anomaly at microscale in fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gueriau, Pierre; Mocuta, Cristian; Bertrand, Loïc

    2015-09-01

    Patterns in rare earth element (REE) concentrations are essential instruments to assess geochemical processes in Earth and environmental sciences. Excursions in the "cerium anomaly" are widely used to inform on past redox conditions in sediments. This proxy resources to the specificity of cerium to adopt both the +III and +IV oxidation states, while most rare earths are purely trivalent and share very similar reactivity and transport properties. In practical terms, the level of cerium anomaly is established through elemental point quantification and profiling. All these models rely on a supposed homogeneity of the cerium oxidation state within the samples. However, this has never been demonstrated, whereas the cerium concentration can significantly vary within a sample, as shown for fossils, which would vastly complicate interpretation of REE patterns. Here, we report direct micrometric mapping of Ce speciation through synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy and production of local rare earth patterns in paleontological fossil tissues through X-ray fluorescence mapping. The sensitivity of the approach is demonstrated on well-preserved fishes and crustaceans from the Late Cretaceous (ca. 95 million years (Myr) old). The presence of Ce under the +IV form within the fossil tissues is attributed to slightly oxidative local conditions of burial and agrees well with the limited negative cerium anomaly observed in REE patterns. The [Ce(IV)]/[Ce(tot)] ratio appears remarkably stable at the microscale within each fossil and is similar between fossils from the locality. Speciation maps were obtained from an original combination of synchrotron microbeam X-ray fluorescence, absorption spectroscopy, and diffraction, together with light and electron microscopy. This work also highlights the need for more systematic studies of cerium geochemistry at the microscale in paleontological contexts, in particular across fossil histologies.

  13. Microbial Fossils Detected in Desert Varnish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flood, B. E.; Allen, C.; Longazo, T.

    2003-01-01

    Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer data indicate regions with significant levels of hematite (_Fe2O3). Fe-oxides, like hematite, can form as aqueous mineral precipitates and as such may preserve microscopic fossils or other biosignatures. Several potential terrestrial analogues to martian hematite like hydrothermal vents have preserved microfossils. Microbial fossilization in Fe-oxides is often a function of biomineralization. For example, goethite (FeO2H) encrustation of fungal mycelia from the mid-Tertiary preserved fungal morphologies such that their genera could be determined.

  14. Insect diversity in the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

    Insects possess a surprisingly extensive fossil record. Compilation of the geochronologic ranges of insect families demonstrates that their diversity exceeds that of preserved vertebrate tetrapods through 91 percent of their evolutionary history. The great diversity of insects was achieved not by high origination rates but rather by low extinction rates comparable to the low rates of slowly evolving marine invertebrate groups. The great radiation of modern insects began 245 million years ago and was not accelerated by the expansion of angiosperms during the Cretaceous period. The basic trophic machinery of insects was in place nearly 100 million years before angiosperms appeared in the fossil record.

  15. Dinosaur Footprint Fossils Discovered in Xinjiang

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    @@ Recently,a Chinese-German science fieldwork investigation team,composed of staff from the SinoGerman Paleontology and Geography Joint Lab and the Xinjiang Geological Work Station,announced that they discovered a batch of dinosaur footprint fossils in the dessert 20 kilometers to the east of Shanshan County in the Turpan Basin,Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.These fossils spread around an area of 100 square meters and scientists believed that these footprints were left behind by carnivore dinosaurs.This major discovery has been published in Global Geology,an English journal published by the NorthEast Asia Geology Center.

  16. Fossils, Genes and The Origin of Organs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shubin, Neil (University of Chicago)

    2011-04-20

    A toolkit of experimental and comparative biology can be applied to understand the great transformations in the history of life. Expeditionary paleontology can be used to target key nodes of the tree of life for which new fossils can provide insights into major morphological transformations. These fossils often have intermediate conditions that allow extant creatures to be compared in new ways. The tools of developmental genetics can then be used to explore these new comparisons to understand the genetic basis for macroevolutionary change. These different approaches can be used to predict new discoveries and this is only possible because of the empirical content of the tree of life.

  17. Identification and localization of a novel zinc finger gene in developing chick skin and feather buds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padanilam, B J; Solursh, M

    1996-03-07

    We have cloned and sequenced a cDNA encoding a novel zinc finger protein (Fzf-1) containing two tandem repeats of zinc finger motifs of the C2H2 type. The cDNA is 3.0 Kb long and has an open reading frame which codes for a protein of 789 amino acids. The expression pattern of the zinc finger gene was studied in chick embryonic skin and feathers by in situ hybridization. The expression of the gene is found to be temporally and spatially regulated. In stage 38 chick embryos, the transcripts are localized to the epidermis but in 10-day-old embryos, the signal is localized to the forming dermis. In 12-day-old chick, the transcripts are localized to the mesenchymal region of the elongated feather buds. Reverse transcription followed by Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) did not detect the transcripts in any other tissues.

  18. Light Like a Feather: A Fibrous Natural Composite with a Shape Changing from Round to Square.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Meyers, Marc André

    2017-03-01

    Only seldom are square/rectangular shapes found in nature. One notable exception is the bird feather rachis, which raises the question: why is the proximal base round but the distal end square? Herein, it is uncovered that, given the same area, square cross sections show higher bending rigidity and are superior in maintaining the original shape, whereas circular sections ovalize upon flexing. This circular-to-square shape change increases the ability of the flight feathers to resist flexure while minimizes the weight along the shaft length. The walls are themselves a heterogeneous composite with the fiber arrangements adjusted to the local stress requirements: the dorsal and ventral regions are composed of longitudinal and circumferential fibers, while lateral walls consist of crossed fibers. This natural avian design is ready to be reproduced, and it is anticipated that the knowledge gained from this work will inspire new materials and structures for, e.g., manned/unmanned aerial vehicles.

  19. Dissolution and characterization of biofunctional keratin particles extracted from chicken feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Swati; Gupta, Arun; Chik, Syed Mohd Saufi Bin Tuan; Yeo Gek Kee, Chua; Poddar, Pradeep Kumar

    2017-04-01

    In the present study chicken feathers were hydrolyzed in alkaline environment. The pH value of feather hydrolyzed solution was adjusted according to the principle of isoelectric precipitation. Three kinds of precipitates of keratin polypeptide were collected at pH of 3.5, 5.5 and 7.5 respectively. The keratin solution were freeze dried and denoted as FKP1, FKP2, FKP3 respectively. All keratin particles possessed smooth, uniform and round surface by scanning electron microscope (SEM). FKP1, FKP2 and FKP3 had higher glass transition temperature examined by thermogravimetry (TG). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) revealed that the extracted keratin retained the most of protein backbone, with the breakage of disulfide cross-links and hydrogen bonds.

  20. Locational differences in metal concentrations in feathers of Australasian gannet (Morus serrator) in New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, J; Veitch, C R; Gochfeld, M

    1994-08-01

    Levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, selenium, manganese and chromium were examined in breast feathers of Australasian Gannets (Morus serrator) from New Zealand waters, where they breed on coastal rocky stacks, islands, and occasionally coastal headlands. There were significant differences in the concentrations of all metals except mercury, with gannets from Ninety Mile Beach having significantly lower levels of all metals than those from the other beaches. Ninety Mile Beach is on the northern tip of the North Island, away from urbanization and industrialization, whereas the other beaches are closer to Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand. The levels of most metals were similar or lower than those reported for feathers from elsewhere around the world. Mercury, however, was at the high end, being exceeded only by raptors and gulls from industrialized countries. Several metal levels were highly correlated, indicating that gannets were usually exposed to several metals at once.

  1. An Evaluation of Otolith Thermal Marking at the Feather River Hatchery, California

    OpenAIRE

    Mercer, Michael; Kurth, Ryon

    2014-01-01

    doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.15447/sfews.2014v12iss4art3 California’s Feather River Hatchery (FRH) propagates two runs of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): spring run and fall run. Loss of spawning habitat and historical hatchery practices have led to introgression of these runs. Recent efforts to reform hatchery operations at the FRH are focused on reducing introgression and increasing the proportion of natural-origin spawners in the broodstock. Implementing these re...

  2. Geophysical Surveys for Assessing Levee Foundation Conditions, Feather River Levees, Marysville/Yuba City, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    aggradation on nearby Yuba River at Marysville was delayed until 1905, where a total of nearly 6.5 m of aggradation was observed. By the late 1860s... aggradation was so extreme that the beds of the Yuba and Feather Rivers were higher than the city streets in Marysville. After mining ceased, the sediment...when the bed began to rest upon pre-hydraulic material that was more resistant to erosion. As a result of the rapid aggradation and subsequent incision

  3. Five new species of the feather mite genus Trouessartia Canestrini from South America (Acari: Trouessartiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandes, Fabio Akashi

    2014-08-21

    Five new feather mite species of the genus Trouessartia Canestrini are described from South American birds: Trouessartia latiducta sp. nov. from Phylloscartes kronei (Tyrannidae), T. basileuteri sp. nov. from Basileuterus culicivorus (Parulidae), T. sicaliae sp. nov. from Sicalis flaveola (Emberizidae), T. savanae sp. nov. from Tyrannus savana (Tyrannidae), and T. picumni from Picumnus fulvescens (Picidae). The latter species is the first representative of the genus described from a bird of the order Piciformes. 

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. Seed germination ecology of feather lovegrass [Eragrostis tenella (L. Beauv. Ex Roemer & J.A. Schultes].

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhagirath S Chauhan

    Full Text Available Feather lovegrass [Eragrostis tenella (L. Beauv. Ex Roemer & J.A. Schultes] is a C4 grass weed that has the ability to grow in both lowland and upland conditions. Experiments were conducted in the laboratory and screenhouse to evaluate the effect of environmental factors on germination, emergence, and growth of this weed species. Germination in the light/dark regime was higher at alternating day/night temperatures of 30/20 °C (98% than at 35/25 °C (83% or 25/15 °C (62%. Germination was completely inhibited by darkness. The osmotic potential and sodium chloride concentrations required for 50% inhibition of maximum germination were -0.7 MPa and 76 mM, respectively. The highest seedling emergence (69% was observed from the seeds sown on the soil surface and no seedlings emerged from seeds buried at depths of 0.5 cm or more. The use of residue as mulches significantly reduced the emergence and biomass of feather lovegrass seedlings. A residue amount of 0.5 t ha(-1 was needed to suppress 50% of the maximum seedlings. Because germination was strongly stimulated by light and seedling emergence was the highest for the seeds sown on the soil surface, feather lovegrass is likely to become a problematic weed in zero-till systems. The knowledge gained from this study could help in developing effective and sustainable weed management strategies.

  7. 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.

  8. Laboratory diagnosis of psittacine beak and feather disease by haemagglutination and haemagglutination inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raidal, S R; Sabine, M; Cross, G M

    1993-04-01

    Simple and sensitive haemagglutination and haemagglutination inhibition assays were developed for psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) virus and serum antibody, respectively. The assays were used in the examination of samples from 73 birds clinically affected with PBFD. High antigen titres (log2 9 to log2 12) were detected in feathers, faeces and cloacal contents of PBFD-affected birds. Antigen was not detected in either faecal or feather samples from 20 normal galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus) and 9 normal sulphur crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita). After kaolin treatment and haemadsorption of serum, haemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody titres could not be detected in serum from 42 PBFD-affected birds, whereas serum HI titres from 64 normal psittacine birds ranged from less than log2 1 to log2 8. Serum and yolk HI antibody responses of 6 PBFD virus-inoculated layer hens were measured. Pre-inoculation chicken sera contained high concentrations of non-specific haemagglutination inhibitors (not detected in chloroform-extracted yolk), which were removed by kaolin treatment and haemadsorption.

  9. 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.

  10. Seed germination ecology of feather lovegrass [Eragrostis tenella (L.) Beauv. Ex Roemer & J.A. Schultes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauhan, Bhagirath S

    2013-01-01

    Feather lovegrass [Eragrostis tenella (L.) Beauv. Ex Roemer & J.A. Schultes] is a C4 grass weed that has the ability to grow in both lowland and upland conditions. Experiments were conducted in the laboratory and screenhouse to evaluate the effect of environmental factors on germination, emergence, and growth of this weed species. Germination in the light/dark regime was higher at alternating day/night temperatures of 30/20 °C (98%) than at 35/25 °C (83%) or 25/15 °C (62%). Germination was completely inhibited by darkness. The osmotic potential and sodium chloride concentrations required for 50% inhibition of maximum germination were -0.7 MPa and 76 mM, respectively. The highest seedling emergence (69%) was observed from the seeds sown on the soil surface and no seedlings emerged from seeds buried at depths of 0.5 cm or more. The use of residue as mulches significantly reduced the emergence and biomass of feather lovegrass seedlings. A residue amount of 0.5 t ha(-1) was needed to suppress 50% of the maximum seedlings. Because germination was strongly stimulated by light and seedling emergence was the highest for the seeds sown on the soil surface, feather lovegrass is likely to become a problematic weed in zero-till systems. The knowledge gained from this study could help in developing effective and sustainable weed management strategies.

  11. 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.

  12. Effect of Keratin Structures from Chicken Feathers on Expansive Soil Remediation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elda Montes-Zarazúa

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Chicken feathers are composed mainly of avian keratin, a fibrillar protein with a complex structure, and important properties such as durability, hydrophobicity, being chemically unreactive, and depending on the specific function can change its morphological and inner structure. This study takes advantage of these features and for the first time the use of keratin from chicken feathers to modify characteristics on expansive soils is reported. Swelling characteristics of remolded expansive soil specimens were studied through varying the percentage of keratin fiber content using 0.25, 0.50, 1.00 and 3.00 wt%. One-dimensional swell-consolidation tests were conducted on oedometric specimens, specific surface area was determined using methylene blue, and degree of saturation was also analyzed. Finally random distribution and interaction between keratin structures and soil were studied by scanning electron microscopy. The results show that randomly distributed fibers are useful in restraining the swelling tendency of expansive soils. The maximum reduction of pressure (43.99% due to swelling is achieved by reducing the void ratio, which can be reached with the addition of chicken feather keratin structures to the expansive soil. Finally, the mechanism by which discrete and randomly distributed fibers reduce swelling pressure of expansive soil is explained.

  13. 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.

  14. Late Paleocene fossils from the Cerrejón Formation, Colombia, are the earliest record of Neotropical rainforest

    OpenAIRE

    Wing, Scott L.; Herrera, Fabiany; Jaramillo, Carlos A.; Gómez-Navarro, Carolina; Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C.

    2009-01-01

    Neotropical rainforests have a very poor fossil record, making hypotheses concerning their origins difficult to evaluate. Nevertheless, some of their most important characteristics can be preserved in the fossil record: high plant diversity, dominance by a distinctive combination of angiosperm families, a preponderance of plant species with large, smooth-margined leaves, and evidence for a high diversity of herbivorous insects. Here, we report on an ≈58-my-old flora from the Cerrejón Formatio...

  15. The role of mechanical forces on the patterning of the avian feather-bearing skin: A biomechanical analysis of the integumentary musculature in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homberger, Dominique G; de Silva, Kumudini N

    2003-08-15

    The integumentary musculature of birds consists of three distinct components. The smooth musculature comprises feather and apterial muscles, which form a continuous musculo-elastic layer within the dermis. The feather muscles, which consistently include at least erectors and depressors, interconnect contour feathers within pterylae (i.e., feather tracts) along gridlines that are oriented diagonally to the longitudinal and transverse axes of the body. The apterial muscles interconnect pterylae by attaching to the contour feathers along their peripheries. The striated musculature is composed of individual subcutaneous muscles, most of which attach to contour feathers along the caudal periphery of pterylae A new integrative functional analysis of the integumentary musculature proposes how apterial muscles stabilize the pterylae and modulate the tension of the musculo-elastic layer, and how subcutaneous muscles provide the initial stimulus for erector muscles being able to ruffle the contour feathers within pterylae. It also shows how the arrangement of the contour feathers and integumentary muscles reflects the stresses and strains that act on the avian skin. These mechanical forces are in effect not only in the adult, especially during flight, but may also be active during feather morphogenesis. The avian integument with its complex structural organization may, therefore, represent an excellent model for analyzing the nature of interactions between the environment and genetic material. The predictions of our model are testable, and our study demonstrates the relevance of integrated analyses of complex organs as mechanically coherent systems for evolutionary and developmental biology. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. Fossil fuels supplies modeling and research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leiby, P.N.

    1996-06-01

    The fossil fuel supplies modeling and research effort focuses on models for US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) planning and management. Topics covered included new SPR oil valuation models, updating models for SPR risk analysis, and fill-draw planning. Another task in this program area is the development of advanced computational tools for three-dimensional seismic analysis.

  17. 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)

  18. On the fossil record of the Gekkota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daza, Juan D; Bauer, Aaron M; Snively, Eric D

    2014-03-01

    Gekkota is often interpreted as sister to all remaining squamates, exclusive of dibamids, or as sister to Autarchoglossa. It is the only diverse lineage of primarily nocturnal lizards and includes some of the smallest amniotes. The skeleton of geckos has often been interpreted as paedomorphic and/or "primitive" but these lizards also display a wide range of structural specializations of the postcranium, including modifications associated with both scansorial locomotion and limb reduction. Although the concept of "Gekkota" has been variously applied by different authors, we here apply a rigorous apomorphy based definition, recent advances in gekkotan morphology and phylogenetics, and diverse comparative material to provide a comprehensive assessment of 28 known pre-Quaternary geckos, updating the last such review, published three decades ago. Fossils evaluated include both sedimentary fossils and amber-embedded specimens. Known Cretaceous geckos are exclusively Asian and exhibit character combinations not seen in any living forms. Cenozoic gekkotans derive from sites around the world, although Europe is especially well represented. Paleogene geckos are largely known from disarticulated remains and show similarities to Sphaerodactylidae and Diplodactylidae, although resemblances may be plesiomorphic in some cases. Many Neogene gekkotans are referable to living families or even genera, but their geographic occurrences are often extralimital to those of modern groups, as is consistent with paleoclimatic conditions. The phylogenetic placement of fossil gekkotans has important repercusions for timetree calibration, but at present only a small number of fossils can be confidently assigned to even family level groupings, limiting their utility in this regard.

  19. 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)

  20. 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)