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Sample records for finch carpodacus mexicanus

  1. Detection of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in House Finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus) from Arizona.

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    Staley, Molly; Bonneaud, Camille; McGraw, Kevin J; Vleck, Carol M; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2018-03-01

    In 1994, an endemic poultry pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), was identified as the causative agent of a novel disease in house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus). After an initial outbreak in Maryland, MG spread rapidly throughout eastern North American populations of house finches. Subsequently, MG spread slowly through the northern interior of North America and then into the Pacific Northwest, finally reaching California in 2006. Until 2009, there were no reports of MG in the southwestern United States east of California. In August 2011, after reports of house finches displaying conjunctivitis characteristic of MG infection in Arizona, we trapped house finches at bird feeders in central Arizona (Tempe) and southern Arizona (Tucson and Green Valley) to assay for MG infection. Upon capture, we noted whether birds exhibited conjunctivitis, and we collected choanal swabs to test for the presence of MG DNA using PCR. We detected MG in finches captured from Green Valley (in ∼12% of birds captured), but not in finches from Tucson or Tempe. Based on resampling of house finches at these sites in July 2014, we suggest that central Arizona finches likely remain unexposed to MG. We also suggest that low urban connectivity between arid habitats of southern and central Arizona or a reduction in the prevalence of MG after its initial arrival in Arizona may be limiting the spread of MG from south to north in Arizona. In addition, the observed conjunctivitis-like signs in house finches that were negative for MG by PCR may be caused primarily by avian pox virus.

  2. Exploratory behavior is linked to stress physiology and social network centrality in free-living house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus).

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    Moyers, Sahnzi C; Adelman, James S; Farine, Damien R; Moore, Ignacio T; Hawley, Dana M

    2018-05-21

    Animal personality has been linked to individual variation in both stress physiology and social behaviors, but few studies have simultaneously examined covariation between personality traits, stress hormone levels, and behaviors in free-living animals. We investigated relationships between exploratory behavior (one aspect of animal personality), stress physiology, and social and foraging behaviors in wild house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). We conducted novel environment assays after collecting samples of baseline and stress-induced plasma corticosterone concentrations from a subset of house finches. We then fitted individuals with Passive Integrated Transponder tags and monitored feeder use and social interactions at radio-frequency identification equipped bird feeders. First, we found that individuals with higher baseline corticosterone concentrations exhibit more exploratory behaviors in a novel environment. Second, more exploratory individuals interacted with more unique conspecifics in the wild, though this result was stronger for female than for male house finches. Third, individuals that were quick to begin exploring interacted more frequently with conspecifics than slow-exploring individuals. Finally, exploratory behaviors were unrelated to foraging behaviors, including the amount of time spent on bird feeders, a behavior previously shown to be predictive of acquiring a bacterial disease that causes annual epidemics in house finches. Overall, our results indicate that individual differences in exploratory behavior are linked to variation in both stress physiology and social network traits in free-living house finches. Such covariation has important implications for house finch ecology, as both traits can contribute to fitness in the wild. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Parasites in the city: degree of urbanization predicts poxvirus and coccidian infections in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus.

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    Mathieu Giraudeau

    Full Text Available Urbanization can strongly impact the physiology, behavior, and fitness of animals. Conditions in cities may also promote the transmission and success of animal parasites and pathogens. However, to date, no studies have examined variation in the prevalence or severity of several distinct pathogens/parasites along a gradient of urbanization in animals or if these infections increase physiological stress in urban populations.Here, we measured the prevalence and severity of infection with intestinal coccidians (Isospora sp. and the canarypox virus (Avipoxvirus along an urban-to-rural gradient in wild male house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus. In addition, we quantified an important stress indicator in animals (oxidative stress and several axes of urbanization, including human population density and land-use patterns within a 1 km radius of each trapping site. Prevalence of poxvirus infection and severity of coccidial infection were significantly associated with the degree of urbanization, with an increase of infection in more urban areas. The degrees of infection by the two parasites were not correlated along the urban-rural gradient. Finally, levels of oxidative damage in plasma were not associated with infection or with urbanization metrics.These results indicate that the physical presence of humans in cities and the associated altered urban landscape characteristics are associated with increased infections with both a virus and a gastrointestinal parasite in this common songbird resident of North American cities. Though we failed to find elevations in urban- or parasite/pathogen-mediated oxidative stress, humans may facilitate infections in these birds via bird feeders (i.e. horizontal disease transmission due to unsanitary surfaces and/or elevations in host population densities and/or via elevations in other forms of physiological stress (e.g. corticosterone, nutritional.

  4. Prevalence of blood parasites in eastern versus Western house finches: are eastern birds resistant to infection?

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    Davis, Andrew K; Hood, Wendy R; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2013-09-01

    The rapid spread of the bacterial disease, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), throughout the introduced range of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in eastern North America, compared to its slower spread through the native western range, has puzzled researchers and highlights the need to understand the relative differences in health state of finches from both populations. We conducted a light-microscope survey of hemoparasites in populations of finches from Arizona (within the western range) and from Alabama (within the eastern range), and compared our estimates of prevalence to published reports from house finches sampled in both ranges. Of the 33 Arizona birds examined, we recorded hematozoan infections in 16 (48.5%) individuals, compared to 1 infected Alabama bird out of 30 birds examined (3.3%). Based on independent surveys of seven western North American and five eastern North American populations of house finches the average prevalence of blood parasites in western populations is 38.8% (±17.9 SD), while the average prevalence within the eastern range is only 5.9% (±6.1 SD). The average rate of infection among all songbirds sampled in the east is 34.2% (±4.8 SD). Thus, our surveys of wild birds as well as previously published observations point to eastern house finches having a much lower prevalence of blood parasite infections than their western counterparts. Combined with the fact that eastern finches also tend to have lower rates of avian pox infections than do western birds (based on a literature review), these observations suggest that eastern birds have either strong resistance to these infections or high susceptibility and associated mortality.

  5. A centroid model of species distribution with applications to the Carolina wren Thryothorus ludovicianus and house finch Haemorhous mexicanus in the United States

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    Huang, Qiongyu; Sauer, John R.; Swatantran, Anu; Dubayah, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Drastic shifts in species distributions are a cause of concern for ecologists. Such shifts pose great threat to biodiversity especially under unprecedented anthropogenic and natural disturbances. Many studies have documented recent shifts in species distributions. However, most of these studies are limited to regional scales, and do not consider the abundance structure within species ranges. Developing methods to detect systematic changes in species distributions over their full ranges is critical for understanding the impact of changing environments and for successful conservation planning. Here, we demonstrate a centroid model for range-wide analysis of distribution shifts using the North American Breeding Bird Survey. The centroid model is based on a hierarchical Bayesian framework which models population change within physiographic strata while accounting for several factors affecting species detectability. Yearly abundance-weighted range centroids are estimated. As case studies, we derive annual centroids for the Carolina wren and house finch in their ranges in the U.S. We further evaluate the first-difference correlation between species’ centroid movement and changes in winter severity, total population abundance. We also examined associations of change in centroids from sub-ranges. Change in full-range centroid movements of Carolina wren significantly correlate with snow cover days (r = −0.58). For both species, the full-range centroid shifts also have strong correlation with total abundance (r = 0.65, and 0.51 respectively). The movements of the full-range centroids of the two species are correlated strongly (up to r = 0.76) with that of the sub-ranges with more drastic population changes. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of centroids for analyzing distribution changes in a two-dimensional spatial context. Particularly it highlights applications that associate the centroid with factors such as environmental stressors, population characteristics

  6. The effects of dietary carotenoid supplementation and retinal carotenoid accumulation on vision-mediated foraging in the house finch.

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    Matthew B Toomey

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: For many bird species, vision is the primary sensory modality used to locate and assess food items. The health and spectral sensitivities of the avian visual system are influenced by diet-derived carotenoid pigments that accumulate in the retina. Among wild House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus, we have found that retinal carotenoid accumulation varies significantly among individuals and is related to dietary carotenoid intake. If diet-induced changes in retinal carotenoid accumulation alter spectral sensitivity, then they have the potential to affect visually mediated foraging performance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In two experiments, we measured foraging performance of house finches with dietarily manipulated retinal carotenoid levels. We tested each bird's ability to extract visually contrasting food items from a matrix of inedible distracters under high-contrast (full and dimmer low-contrast (red-filtered lighting conditions. In experiment one, zeaxanthin-supplemented birds had significantly increased retinal carotenoid levels, but declined in foraging performance in the high-contrast condition relative to astaxanthin-supplemented birds that showed no change in retinal carotenoid accumulation. In experiments one and two combined, we found that retinal carotenoid concentrations predicted relative foraging performance in the low- vs. high-contrast light conditions in a curvilinear pattern. Performance was positively correlated with retinal carotenoid accumulation among birds with low to medium levels of accumulation (∼0.5-1.5 µg/retina, but declined among birds with very high levels (>2.0 µg/retina. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that carotenoid-mediated spectral filtering enhances color discrimination, but that this improvement is traded off against a reduction in sensitivity that can compromise visual discrimination. Thus, retinal carotenoid levels may be optimized to meet the visual demands of specific

  7. The evolution of sexual size dimorphism in the house finch. V. Maternal effects.

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    Badyaev, Alexander V; Beck, Michelle L; Hill, Geoffrey E; Whittingham, Linda A

    2003-02-01

    The phenotype of a mother and the environment that she provides might differentially affect the phenotypes of her sons and daughters, leading to change in sexual size dimorphism. Whereas these maternal effects should evolve to accommodate the adaptations of both the maternal and offspring generations, the mechanisms by which this is accomplished are rarely known. In birds, females adjust the onset of incubation (coincident with the first egg or after all eggs are laid) in response to the environment during breeding, and thus, indirectly, determine the duration of offspring growth. In the two house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) populations that breed at the extremes of the species' distribution (Montana and Alabama), females experience highly distinct climatic conditions during nesting. We show that in close association with these conditions, females adjusted jointly the onset of incubation and the sequence in which they produced male and female eggs and consequently modified the growth of sons and daughters. The onset of incubation in newly breeding females closely tracked ambient temperature in a pattern consistent with the maintenance of egg viability. Because of the very different climates in Montana and Alabama, females in these populations showed the opposite patterns of seasonal change in incubation onset and the opposite sex bias in egg-laying order. In females with breeding experience, incubation onset and sex bias in laying order were closely linked regardless of the climatic variation. In nests in which incubation began with the onset of egg laying, the first-laid eggs were mostly females in Montana, but mostly males in Alabama. Because in both populations, male, but not female, embryos grew faster when exposed to longer incubation, the sex-bias produced highly divergent sizes of male and female juveniles between the populations. Overall, the compensatory interaction between the onset of incubation and the sex-biased laying order achieved a compromise

  8. Attenuated Phenotype of a Recent House Finch-Associated Mycoplasma gallisepticum Isolate in Domestic Poultry.

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    Pflaum, K; Tulman, E R; Beaudet, J; Liao, X; Dhondt, K V; Dhondt, A A; Hawley, D M; Ley, D H; Kerr, K M; Geary, S J

    2017-06-01

    Mycoplasma gallisepticum , known primarily as a respiratory pathogen of domestic poultry, has emerged since 1994 as a significant pathogen of the house finch ( Haemorhous mexicanus ) causing severe conjunctivitis and mortality. House finch-associated M. gallisepticum (HFMG) spread rapidly and increased in virulence for the finch host in the eastern United States. In the current study, we assessed virulence in domestic poultry with two temporally distant, and yet geographically consistent, HFMG isolates which differ in virulence for house finches-Virginia 1994 (VA1994), the index isolate of the epidemic, and Virginia 2013 (VA2013), a recent isolate of increased house finch virulence. Here we report a significant difference between VA1994 and VA2013 in their levels of virulence for chickens; notably, this difference correlated inversely to the difference in their levels of virulence for house finches. VA1994, while moderately virulent in house finches, displayed significant virulence in the chicken respiratory tract. VA2013, while highly virulent in the house finch, was significantly attenuated in chickens relative to VA1994, displaying less-severe pathological lesions in, and reduced bacterial recovery from, the respiratory tract. Overall, these data indicate that a recent isolate of HFMG is greatly attenuated in the chicken host relative to the index isolate, notably demonstrating a virulence phenotype in chickens inversely related to that in the finch host. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  9. A multiplex set of microsatellite markers for the scarlet rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Poláková, Radka; Vyskočilová, Martina; Martin, J.-F.; Mays Jr., H. L.; Hill, G. E.; Bryja, Josef; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 6 (2007), s. 1375-1378 ISSN 1471-8278 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/06/0851 Grant - others:NSF(US) DEB-0077804 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : Carpodacus * cross-amplification * heterozygosity * microsatellites Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.257, year: 2007

  10. Feeder density enhances house finch disease transmission in experimental epidemics.

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    Moyers, Sahnzi C; Adelman, James S; Farine, Damien R; Thomason, Courtney A; Hawley, Dana M

    2018-05-05

    Anthropogenic food provisioning of wildlife can alter the frequency of contacts among hosts and between hosts and environmental sources of pathogens. Despite the popularity of garden bird feeding, few studies have addressed how feeders influence host contact rates and disease dynamics. We experimentally manipulated feeder density in replicate aviaries containing captive, pathogen-naive, groups of house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus ) and continuously tracked behaviours at feeders using radio-frequency identification devices. We then inoculated one bird per group with Mycoplasma gallisepticum (Mg), a common bacterial pathogen for which feeders are fomites of transmission, and assessed effects of feeder density on house finch behaviour and pathogen transmission. We found that pathogen transmission was significantly higher in groups with the highest density of bird feeders, despite a significantly lower rate of intraspecific aggressive interactions relative to the low feeder density groups. Conversely, among naive group members that never showed signs of disease, we saw significantly higher concentrations of Mg-specific antibodies in low feeder density groups, suggesting that birds in low feeder density treatments had exposure to subclinical doses of Mg. We discuss ways in which the density of garden bird feeders could play an important role in mediating the intensity of Mg epidemics.This article is part of the theme issue 'Anthropogenic resource subsidies and host-parasite dynamics in wildlife'. © 2018 The Author(s).

  11. Differing House Finch Cytokine Expression Responses to Original and Evolved Isolates of Mycoplasma gallisepticum

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    Michal Vinkler

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The recent emergence of the poultry bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG in free-living house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus, which causes mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in this passerine bird species, resulted in a rapid coevolutionary arms-race between MG and its novel avian host. Despite extensive research on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of this host–pathogen system over the past two decades, the immunological responses of house finches to MG infection remain poorly understood. We developed seven new probe-based one-step quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays to investigate mRNA expression of house finch cytokine genes (IL1B, IL6, IL10, IL18, TGFB2, TNFSF15, and CXCLi2, syn. IL8L. These assays were then used to describe cytokine transcription profiles in a panel of 15 house finch tissues collected at three distinct time points during MG infection. Based on initial screening that indicated strong pro-inflammatory cytokine expression during MG infection at the periorbital sites in particular, we selected two key house finch tissues for further characterization: the nictitating membrane, i.e., the internal eyelid in direct contact with MG, and the Harderian gland, the secondary lymphoid tissue responsible for regulation of periorbital immunity. We characterized cytokine responses in these two tissues for 60 house finches experimentally inoculated either with media alone (sham or one of two MG isolates: the earliest known pathogen isolate from house finches (VA1994 or an evolutionarily more derived isolate collected in 2006 (NC2006, which is known to be more virulent. We show that the more derived and virulent isolate NC2006, relative to VA1994, triggers stronger local inflammatory cytokine signaling, with peak cytokine expression generally occurring 3–6 days following MG inoculation. We also found that the extent of pro-inflammatory interleukin 1 beta signaling was correlated with conjunctival

  12. Differing House Finch Cytokine Expression Responses to Original and Evolved Isolates of Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

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    Vinkler, Michal; Leon, Ariel E; Kirkpatrick, Laila; Dalloul, Rami A; Hawley, Dana M

    2018-01-01

    The recent emergence of the poultry bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) in free-living house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus ), which causes mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in this passerine bird species, resulted in a rapid coevolutionary arms-race between MG and its novel avian host. Despite extensive research on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of this host-pathogen system over the past two decades, the immunological responses of house finches to MG infection remain poorly understood. We developed seven new probe-based one-step quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays to investigate mRNA expression of house finch cytokine genes ( IL1B, IL6, IL10, IL18, TGFB2, TNFSF15 , and CXCLi2 , syn. IL8L ). These assays were then used to describe cytokine transcription profiles in a panel of 15 house finch tissues collected at three distinct time points during MG infection. Based on initial screening that indicated strong pro-inflammatory cytokine expression during MG infection at the periorbital sites in particular, we selected two key house finch tissues for further characterization: the nictitating membrane, i.e., the internal eyelid in direct contact with MG, and the Harderian gland, the secondary lymphoid tissue responsible for regulation of periorbital immunity. We characterized cytokine responses in these two tissues for 60 house finches experimentally inoculated either with media alone (sham) or one of two MG isolates: the earliest known pathogen isolate from house finches (VA1994) or an evolutionarily more derived isolate collected in 2006 (NC2006), which is known to be more virulent. We show that the more derived and virulent isolate NC2006, relative to VA1994, triggers stronger local inflammatory cytokine signaling, with peak cytokine expression generally occurring 3-6 days following MG inoculation. We also found that the extent of pro-inflammatory interleukin 1 beta signaling was correlated with conjunctival MG loads

  13. Epizoic fauna of Plecotus mexicanus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in Tlaxcala, Mexico.

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    Morales-Malacara, J B; López, R

    1990-07-01

    Four hundred nineteen arthropod ectoparasites were taken from Plecotus mexicanus (Vespertilionidae) collected in the state of Tlaxcala, Mexico: the insects Trichobius corynorhini Cockerell (Diptera: Streblidae) and Myodopsylla collinsi Kohls (Siphonaptera: Ischnopsyllidae) and the mites Macronyssus longisetosus (Furman) and M. unidens Radovsky (Macronyssidae), Spinturnix sp. (Spinturnicidae), Pteracarus elegans Dusbádek & Wilson and Acanthophthirius (Myotimyobia) sp. (Myobiidae), and Whartonia glenni Brennan (Trombiculidae). P. mexicanus is reported in the state of Tlaxcala for the first time. This is the first survey of ectoparasites of this bat, and all parasite associations with P. mexicanus are new host records as well as new range records for Tlaxcala. This is the first report from Mexico; it records a major southern extension of the ranges of M. longisetosus, M. unidens, and P. elegans. The genus Acanthophthirius is also reported in Mexico for the first time.

  14. ANDROID BASED TELEOPERATION FOR THE FINCH ROBOT

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    Oliver Faust

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The act of creating a robot involves systems engineering and creative problem solutions. It is about using established components to create a system that works in the natural or at least in the human environment. The current project is no exception, we have used the Robot Operating System (ROS to create an android based teleoperator application for the Finch robot. A Raspberry Pi processing platform establishes the link between the android device and the Finch robot. The most creative task, during the system design, was to translate the commands from the teleoperator application into wheel movements of the Finch robot. The translation must take into account the physical setup of the robot, including unintended negative influences, such as drag. The command translation involved a nonlinear coordinate transformation. The ROS framework enabled us to focus on that nonstandard coordinate translation task by offering a high level of abstraction and the ability to create component functionalities independently.

  15. Evolution of space dependent growth in the teleost Astyanax mexicanus.

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    Natalya D Gallo

    Full Text Available The relationship between growth rate and environmental space is an unresolved issue in teleosts. While it is known from aquaculture studies that stocking density has a negative relationship to growth, the underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated, primarily because the growth rate of populations rather than individual fish were the subject of all previous studies. Here we investigate this problem in the teleost Astyanax mexicanus, which consists of a sighted surface-dwelling form (surface fish and several blind cave-dwelling (cavefish forms. Surface fish and cavefish are distinguished by living in spatially contrasting environments and therefore are excellent models to study the effects of environmental size on growth. Multiple controlled growth experiments with individual fish raised in confined or unconfined spaces showed that environmental size has a major impact on growth rate in surface fish, a trait we have termed space dependent growth (SDG. In contrast, SDG has regressed to different degrees in the Pachón and Tinaja populations of cavefish. Mating experiments between surface and Pachón cavefish show that SDG is inherited as a dominant trait and is controlled by multiple genetic factors. Despite its regression in blind cavefish, SDG is not affected when sighted surface fish are raised in darkness, indicating that vision is not required to perceive and react to environmental space. Analysis of plasma cortisol levels showed that an elevation above basal levels occurred soon after surface fish were exposed to confined space. This initial cortisol peak was absent in Pachón cavefish, suggesting that the effects of confined space on growth may be mediated partly through a stress response. We conclude that Astyanax reacts to confined spaces by exhibiting SDG, which has a genetic component and shows evolutionary regression during adaptation of cavefish to confined environments.

  16. Response of Dendroctonus mexicanus (Hopkins) to two optical isomers of verbenone

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    Vicente Diaz-Nunez; Guillermo Sanchez-Martinez; Nancy E. Gillette

    2006-01-01

    Given the need for diminishing the use of pesticides in natural environments, in this research we investigated the efficacy of two optical isomers of verbenone (4, 6, 6-trimethylbicyclo[3.1.1] hepto-3-en-e-1) as controls of the attack of Dendroctonus mexicanus (Hopkins) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae).Two experiments were established in the...

  17. Ecoimmunity in Darwin's finches: invasive parasites trigger acquired immunity in the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis.

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    Sarah K Huber

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Invasive parasites are a major threat to island populations of animals. Darwin's finches of the Galápagos Islands are under attack by introduced pox virus (Poxvirus avium and nest flies (Philornis downsi. We developed assays for parasite-specific antibody responses in Darwin's finches (Geospiza fortis, to test for relationships between adaptive immune responses to novel parasites and spatial-temporal variation in the occurrence of parasite pressure among G. fortis populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs for the presence of antibodies in the serum of Darwin's finches specific to pox virus or Philornis proteins. We compared antibody levels between bird populations with and without evidence of pox infection (visible lesions, and among birds sampled before nesting (prior to nest-fly exposure versus during nesting (with fly exposure. Birds from the Pox-positive population had higher levels of pox-binding antibodies. Philornis-binding antibody levels were higher in birds sampled during nesting. Female birds, which occupy the nest, had higher Philornis-binding antibody levels than males. The study was limited by an inability to confirm pox exposure independent of obvious lesions. However, the lasting effects of pox infection (e.g., scarring and lost digits were expected to be reliable indicators of prior pox infection. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first demonstration, to our knowledge, of parasite-specific antibody responses to multiple classes of parasites in a wild population of birds. Darwin's finches initiated acquired immune responses to novel parasites. Our study has vital implications for invasion biology and ecological immunology. The adaptive immune response of Darwin's finches may help combat the negative effects of parasitism. Alternatively, the physiological cost of mounting such a response could outweigh any benefits, accelerating population decline. Tests

  18. Female Zebra Finches Smell Their Eggs.

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    Sarah Golüke

    Full Text Available Parental investment in unrelated offspring seems maladaptive from an evolutionary perspective, due to the costs of energy and resources that cannot be invested in related offspring at the same time. Therefore selection should favour mechanisms to discriminate between own and foreign offspring. In birds, much emphasis has been placed on understanding the visual mechanisms underlying egg recognition. However, olfactory egg recognition has almost been completely ignored. Here, we investigated whether female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata are able to discriminate between their own and a conspecific egg based on olfactory cues alone. Zebra finches are colonial-breeding songbirds. Eggs are monomorphic, i.e. without any spotting pattern, and intraspecific brood parasitism frequently occurs. In a binary choice experiment, female zebra finches were given the choice between the scent of their own and a conspecific egg. After the onset of incubation, females chose randomly and showed no sign of discrimination. However, shortly before hatching, females preferred significantly the odour of their own egg. The finding that females are capable to smell their own egg may inspire more research on the potential of olfaction involved in egg recognition, especially in cases where visual cues might be limited.

  19. Infección experimental del hámster (Mesocricetus auratus con metacercarias de Paragonimus mexicanus (peruvianus

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    Alina Huiza F

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available Un hámster hembra adulta infectada oralmente con 11 metacercarias de Paragonimus mexicanus (peruvianus murió a los 10 días de ser infectado. A la autopsia del animal, se observaron y recuperaron 5 ejemplares juveniles de Paragonimus mexicanus (peruvianus aún móviles: 2 en tejido pulmonar, 2 en cavidad toráxica y 1 en tejido graso del peritoneo abdominal.

  20. Species collapse via hybridization in Darwin's tree finches.

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    Kleindorfer, Sonia; O'Connor, Jody A; Dudaniec, Rachael Y; Myers, Steven A; Robertson, Jeremy; Sulloway, Frank J

    2014-03-01

    Species hybridization can lead to fitness costs, species collapse, and novel evolutionary trajectories in changing environments. Hybridization is predicted to be more common when environmental conditions change rapidly. Here, we test patterns of hybridization in three sympatric tree finch species (small tree finch Camarhynchus parvulus, medium tree finch Camarhynchus pauper, and large tree finch: Camarhynchus psittacula) that are currently recognized on Floreana Island, Galápagos Archipelago. Genetic analysis of microsatellite data from contemporary samples showed two genetic populations and one hybrid cluster in both 2005 and 2010; hybrid individuals were derived from genetic population 1 (small morph) and genetic population 2 (large morph). Females of the large and rare species were more likely to pair with males of the small common species. Finch populations differed in morphology in 1852-1906 compared with 2005/2010. An unsupervised clustering method showed (a) support for three morphological clusters in the historical tree finch sample (1852-1906), which is consistent with current species recognition; (b) support for two or three morphological clusters in 2005 with some (19%) hybridization; and (c) support for just two morphological clusters in 2010 with frequent (41%) hybridization. We discuss these findings in relation to species demarcations of Camarhynchus tree finches on Floreana Island.

  1. Morphological and molecular characterization of the metacercaria of Paragonimus caliensis, as a separate species from P. mexicanus in Costa Rica.

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    Hernández-Chea, Roderico; Jiménez-Rocha, Ana Eugenia; Castro, Ruth; Blair, David; Dolz, Gaby

    2017-04-01

    The trematode Paragonimus mexicanus is the etiological agent of paragonimiasis, a food-borne zoonotic disease in Latin America. This species, as well as Paragonimus caliensis, have been reported from Costa Rica, but it is not known if the two are synonymous. Two types of Paragonimus metacercariae from freshwater pseudothelphusid crabs from several localities in Costa Rica were recognized by light microscopy. Morphologically, these corresponded to descriptions of P. mexicanus and P. caliensis. Metacercariae of the former species lacked a membrane or cyst and their bodies were yellow in color. Those of P. caliensis were contained in a transparent thin cyst and were pink in color. Morphotypes of metacercariae were determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Based on the number and distribution of papillae in the ventral sucker, three morphotypes were found for P. mexicanus and two for P. caliensis. Analysis of DNA sequences (nuclear ribosomal 28S and ITS2 genes, and partial mitochondrial cox1 gene) confirmed the presence of P. mexicanus and provided the first molecular data for P. caliensis. The two species are phylogenetically distinct from each other and distant from the Asian species. The confirmation of P. caliensis as a separate species from P. mexicanus raises several questions about the ecology, biological diversity, and epidemiology of the genus Paragonimus in Costa Rica. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Embryonic and larval development of Eugerres mexicanus (Perciformes: Gerreidae in Tenosique: Tabasco, Mexico

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    Raúl E Hernández

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Most studies on Eugerres mexicanus mainly consider biogeographic and systematic aspects and rarely address reproductive characteristics, which are useful for fishery population management plans. This study aimed at evaluating the ontogeny of E. mexicanus, based on 30 embryos and 30 larvae sampled by induced spawning of breeders, taken in February 2009 from the Usumacinta River in Tenosique, Tabasco, Mexico. All descriptions of the embryonic development were based on morphometric and meristic data and followed standard methods. Eggs, recovered at the gastrula stage, had an average diameter of 1.17mm (SD=0.08. The bud stage appeared during the first three hours of development, in which the posterior side was adhered to the vitellus; Kupffer´s vesicle was visible. Yolk-sac larvae hatched 18 hours after fertilization, exhibiting a light brown color and an average total length of 2.94mm (SD=0.70; the preflexion stage was reached eight days after hatching, with a total average length of 4.67mm (SD=0.50 and a total notochord length of 4.45mm (SD=0.50. The flexion stage was reached on the 16th day, with an average total length of 6.66mm (SD=1.53, while postflexion was reached on the 24th day, with 10.33mm (SD=1.45. The pre-juvenile stage was reached on the 33rd day, with a total length of 14.30mm (SD=0.93, showing IX spines and 10 rays and III spines and eight rays in the dorsal and anal fins, respectively. The juvenile stage was reached by the 45th day, with an average length of 28.16mm (SD=1.93 and average weight of 4.75g (SD=1.49. Prejuveniles showed an initial pigmentation with dark colored dots in the superior and inferior jaw and dispersed on the head, while juveniles presented the same pigmentation pattern, decreasing towards the margin of the caudal peduncle. In conclusion, the embryonic developmental stages of E. mexicanus were typical for the Gerreidae group. However, their morphometric characters were slightly different since the diameter

  3. RFSP simulations of Darlington FINCH refuelling transient

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carruthers, E.V.; Chow, H.C.

    1997-01-01

    Immediately after refuelling of a channel, the fresh bundles are free of fission products. Xenon-135, the most notable of the saturating fission products, builds up to an equilibrium level in about 30 h. The channel power of the refuelled channel would therefore initially peak and then drop to a steady-state level. The RFSP code can track saturating-fission-product transients and power transients. The Fully INstrumented CHannels (FINCHs) in Darlington NGS provides channel power data on the refuelling power transients. In this paper, such data has been used to identify the physical evidence of the fission-product transient effect on channel power, and to validate RFSP fission-product-driver calculation results. (author)

  4. Fitness consequences of polymorphic inversions in the zebra finch genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, Ulrich; Hemmrich-Stanisak, Georg; Wittig, Michael; Franke, Andre; Griffith, Simon C; Kempenaers, Bart; Forstmeier, Wolfgang

    2016-09-29

    Inversion polymorphisms constitute an evolutionary puzzle: they should increase embryo mortality in heterokaryotypic individuals but still they are widespread in some taxa. Some insect species have evolved mechanisms to reduce the cost of embryo mortality but humans have not. In birds, a detailed analysis is missing although intraspecific inversion polymorphisms are regarded as common. In Australian zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), two polymorphic inversions are known cytogenetically and we set out to detect these two and potentially additional inversions using genomic tools and study their effects on embryo mortality and other fitness-related and morphological traits. Using whole-genome SNP data, we screened 948 wild zebra finches for polymorphic inversions and describe four large (12-63 Mb) intraspecific inversion polymorphisms with allele frequencies close to 50 %. Using additional data from 5229 birds and 9764 eggs from wild and three captive zebra finch populations, we show that only the largest inversions increase embryo mortality in heterokaryotypic males, with surprisingly small effect sizes. We test for a heterozygote advantage on other fitness components but find no evidence for heterosis for any of the inversions. Yet, we find strong additive effects on several morphological traits. The mechanism that has carried the derived inversion haplotypes to such high allele frequencies remains elusive. It appears that selection has effectively minimized the costs associated with inversions in zebra finches. The highly skewed distribution of recombination events towards the chromosome ends in zebra finches and other estrildid species may function to minimize crossovers in the inverted regions.

  5. Parasitism of wild Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) by the air-sac mite Sternostoma tracheacolum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tidemann, S C; McOrist, S; Woinarski, J C; Freeland, W J

    1992-01-01

    Sixty-two percent of 26 wild caught Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) were infected with Sternostoma tracheacolum, a parasitic rhinonyssid mite. The intensity of infection was higher in adult finches than juveniles, and higher in juvenile females than juvenile males. Histopathological investigation of wild Gouldian Finches revealed bronchopneumonia and air sacculitis associated with mite infection. Although this mite may not have contributed to the decline of Gouldian finch populations in the wild during the past 20 yr, it may be suppressing the return of the finch to its former status.

  6. New insights into the phylogenetics and population structure of the prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Jacqueline M.; Bell, Douglas A.; Bloom, Peter H.; Emmons, Gavin; Fesnock, Amy; Katzner, Todd; LePre, Larry; Leonard, Kolbe; SanMiguel, Phillip; Westerman, Rick; DeWoody, J. Andrew

    2018-01-01

    BackgroundManagement requires a robust understanding of between- and within-species genetic variability, however such data are still lacking in many species. For example, although multiple population genetics studies of the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) have been conducted, no similar studies have been done of the closely-related prairie falcon (F. mexicanus) and it is unclear how much genetic variation and population structure exists across the species’ range. Furthermore, the phylogenetic relationship of F. mexicanus relative to other falcon species is contested. We utilized a genomics approach (i.e., genome sequencing and assembly followed by single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping) to rapidly address these gaps in knowledge.ResultsWe sequenced the genome of a single female prairie falcon and generated a 1.17 Gb (gigabases) draft genome assembly. We generated maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees using complete mitochondrial genomes as well as nuclear protein-coding genes. This process provided evidence that F. mexicanus is an outgroup to the clade that includes the peregrine falcon and members of the subgenus Hierofalco. We annotated > 16,000 genes and almost 600,000 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the nuclear genome, providing the raw material for a SNP assay design featuring > 140 gene-associated markers and a molecular-sexing marker. We subsequently genotyped ~ 100 individuals from California (including the San Francisco East Bay Area, Pinnacles National Park and the Mojave Desert) and Idaho (Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area). We tested for population structure and found evidence that individuals sampled in California and Idaho represent a single panmictic population.ConclusionsOur study illustrates how genomic resources can rapidly shed light on genetic variability in understudied species and resolve phylogenetic relationships. Furthermore, we found evidence of a single, randomly mating

  7. Taste bud development and patterning in sighted and blind morphs of Astyanax mexicanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varatharasan, Nirupa; Croll, Roger P; Franz-Odendaal, Tamara

    2009-12-01

    In the blind cave-dwelling morph of A. mexicanus, the eye degenerates while other sensory systems, such as gustation, are expanded compared to their sighted (surface-dwelling) ancestor. This study compares the development of taste buds along the jaws of each morph. To determine whether cavefish have an altered onset or rate of taste bud development, we fluorescently labeled basal and receptor cells within taste buds over a developmental series. Our results show that taste bud number increases during development in both morphs. The rate of development is, however, accelerated in cavefish; a small difference in taste bud number exists at 5 dpf reaching threefold by 22 dpf. The expansion of taste buds in cavefish is, therefore, detectable after the onset of eye degeneration. This study provides important insights into the timing of taste bud expansion in cavefish as well as enhances our understanding of taste bud development in teleosts in general. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  8. Severe Pleuropulmonary Paragonimiasis Caused by Paragonimus mexicanus Treated as Tuberculosis in Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvopina, Manuel; Romero-Alvarez, Daniel; Macias, Rubén; Sugiyama, Hiromu

    2017-01-11

    A 30-year-old male, from a subtropical region of Ecuador, was hospitalized with a 5-year history of persistent cough with rusty brown sputum, chest pain, and progressive dyspnea. The patient underwent thoracic surgery 3 years ago for pleural effusion and subsequently received a 9-month regimen treatment of tuberculosis. However, there was no clinical resolution and symptoms became progressively worse. A chest radiograph and computerized tomography scan showed several small nodules in both lungs. Eggs of Paragonimus spp. were observed in sputum smears, but the smears were negative for acid-fast bacilli. Molecular characterization of eggs by the internal transcribed spacer-2 regions identified them as Paragonimus mexicanus The patient was treated with praziquantel and tested negative parasitologically for 12 months. There was clinical resolution of the cough and expectoration, but dyspnea and chest pain persisted. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  9. Quantitative genetic analysis of retinal degeneration in the blind cavefish Astyanax mexicanus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly E O'Quin

    Full Text Available The retina is the light-sensitive tissue of the eye that facilitates vision. Mutations within genes affecting eye development and retinal function cause a host of degenerative visual diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa and anophthalmia/microphthalmia. The characin fish Astyanax mexicanus includes both eyed (surface fish and eyeless (cavefish morphs that initially develop eyes with normal retina; however, early in development, the eyes of cavefish degenerate. Since both surface and cave morphs are members of the same species, they serve as excellent evolutionary mutant models with which to identify genes causing retinal degeneration. In this study, we crossed the eyed and eyeless forms of A. mexicanus and quantified the thickness of individual retinal layers among 115 F(2 hybrid progeny. We used next generation sequencing (RAD-seq and microsatellite mapping to construct a dense genetic map of the Astyanax genome, scan for quantitative trait loci (QTL affecting retinal thickness, and identify candidate genes within these QTL regions. The map we constructed for Astyanax includes nearly 700 markers assembled into 25 linkage groups. Based on our scans with this map, we identified four QTL, one each associated with the thickness of the ganglion, inner nuclear, outer plexiform, and outer nuclear layers of the retina. For all but one QTL, cavefish alleles resulted in a clear reduction in the thickness of the affected layer. Comparative mapping of genetic markers within each QTL revealed that each QTL corresponds to an approximately 35 Mb region of the zebrafish genome. Within each region, we identified several candidate genes associated with the function of each affected retinal layer. Our study is the first to examine Astyanax retinal degeneration in the context of QTL mapping. The regions we identify serve as a starting point for future studies on the genetics of retinal degeneration and eye disease using the evolutionary mutant model Astyanax.

  10. Drinking songs: alcohol effects on learned song of zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher R Olson

    Full Text Available Speech impairment is one of the most intriguing and least understood effects of alcohol on cognitive function, largely due to the lack of data on alcohol effects on vocalizations in the context of an appropriate experimental model organism. Zebra finches, a representative songbird and a premier model for understanding the neurobiology of vocal production and learning, learn song in a manner analogous to how humans learn speech. Here we show that when allowed access, finches readily drink alcohol, increase their blood ethanol concentrations (BEC significantly, and sing a song with altered acoustic structure. The most pronounced effects were decreased amplitude and increased entropy, the latter likely reflecting a disruption in the birds' ability to maintain the spectral structure of song under alcohol. Furthermore, specific syllables, which have distinct acoustic structures, were differentially influenced by alcohol, likely reflecting a diversity in the neural mechanisms required for their production. Remarkably, these effects on vocalizations occurred without overt effects on general behavioral measures, and importantly, they occurred within a range of BEC that can be considered risky for humans. Our results suggest that the variable effects of alcohol on finch song reflect differential alcohol sensitivity of the brain circuitry elements that control different aspects of song production. They also point to finches as an informative model for understanding how alcohol affects the neuronal circuits that control the production of learned motor behaviors.

  11. Zebra finches are sensitive to prosodic features of human speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spierings, Michelle J; ten Cate, Carel

    2014-07-22

    Variation in pitch, amplitude and rhythm adds crucial paralinguistic information to human speech. Such prosodic cues can reveal information about the meaning or emphasis of a sentence or the emotional state of the speaker. To examine the hypothesis that sensitivity to prosodic cues is language independent and not human specific, we tested prosody perception in a controlled experiment with zebra finches. Using a go/no-go procedure, subjects were trained to discriminate between speech syllables arranged in XYXY patterns with prosodic stress on the first syllable and XXYY patterns with prosodic stress on the final syllable. To systematically determine the salience of the various prosodic cues (pitch, duration and amplitude) to the zebra finches, they were subjected to five tests with different combinations of these cues. The zebra finches generalized the prosodic pattern to sequences that consisted of new syllables and used prosodic features over structural ones to discriminate between stimuli. This strong sensitivity to the prosodic pattern was maintained when only a single prosodic cue was available. The change in pitch was treated as more salient than changes in the other prosodic features. These results show that zebra finches are sensitive to the same prosodic cues known to affect human speech perception. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  12. Brood size and immunity costs in zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhulst, S; Riedstra, B; Wiersma, P

    Birds rearing experimentally enlarged broods have lower antibody responses to a novel antigen, and we tested three hypotheses that could explain this result. We used zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata inoculated with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) as a study system, for which this trade-off was

  13. Embryonic and larval development of Eugerres mexicanus (Perciformes: Gerreidae in Tenosique: Tabasco, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl E Hernández

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Most studies on Eugerres mexicanus mainly consider biogeographic and systematic aspects and rarely address reproductive characteristics, which are useful for fishery population management plans. This study aimed at evaluating the ontogeny of E. mexicanus, based on 30 embryos and 30 larvae sampled by induced spawning of breeders, taken in February 2009 from the Usumacinta River in Tenosique, Tabasco, Mexico. All descriptions of the embryonic development were based on morphometric and meristic data and followed standard methods. Eggs, recovered at the gastrula stage, had an average diameter of 1.17mm (SD=0.08. The bud stage appeared during the first three hours of development, in which the posterior side was adhered to the vitellus; Kupffer´s vesicle was visible. Yolk-sac larvae hatched 18 hours after fertilization, exhibiting a light brown color and an average total length of 2.94mm (SD=0.70; the preflexion stage was reached eight days after hatching, with a total average length of 4.67mm (SD=0.50 and a total notochord length of 4.45mm (SD=0.50. The flexion stage was reached on the 16th day, with an average total length of 6.66mm (SD=1.53, while postflexion was reached on the 24th day, with 10.33mm (SD=1.45. The pre-juvenile stage was reached on the 33rd day, with a total length of 14.30mm (SD=0.93, showing IX spines and 10 rays and III spines and eight rays in the dorsal and anal fins, respectively. The juvenile stage was reached by the 45th day, with an average length of 28.16mm (SD=1.93 and average weight of 4.75g (SD=1.49. Prejuveniles showed an initial pigmentation with dark colored dots in the superior and inferior jaw and dispersed on the head, while juveniles presented the same pigmentation pattern, decreasing towards the margin of the caudal peduncle. In conclusion, the embryonic developmental stages of E. mexicanus were typical for the Gerreidae group. However, their morphometric characters were slightly different since the diameter

  14. Molecular systematics and biodiversity of the Cryptotis mexicanus group (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae): two new species from Honduras supported

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, Amy B.; McCarthy, Timothy J.; Trujillo, Robert G.; Kang, Yuan Yuan; Esmaeiliyan, Mehdi; Valdez, Joselyn; Woodman, Neal; Bickham, John W.

    2018-01-01

    Small-eared shrews of the genus Cryptotis (Mammalia: Eulipotyphla: Soricidae) are widespread in the northern Neotropics. Systematic studies of these shrews over the past two decades have revealed previously undocumented morphological and species diversity, resulting in a quadrupling of the number of recognized species. Unfortunately, a small proportion of the species in the genus have been included in molecular phylogenetic studies, and evolutionary relationships within the genus are incompletely known. Traditionally, species have been assigned to four or five morphologically defined ‘species groups’, but tests of the monophyly of some of these groups show weak support and relationships amongst species groups remain somewhat speculative. The largest species group is the C. mexicanus group inhabiting Mexico and northern Central America. We studied sequences from mitochondrial cytochrome-b and 16S genes, as well as nuclear ApoB and BRCA1 genes from 22 species of Cryptotis, including 15 species in the C. mexicanus group. Our combined analysis shows that the C. goldmani subgroup is very weakly supported as monophyletic; however, the C. mexicanus group as a whole is not monophyletic. Our molecular phylogenetic analyses confirm the distinctiveness of two newly described species (C. celaque and C. mccarthyi) from isolated highlands of western Honduras and illustrate their relationship with other species formerly considered part of a widespread C. goodwini.

  15. Ultrafast evolution and loss of CRISPRs following a host shift in a novel wildlife pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigel F Delaney

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Measureable rates of genome evolution are well documented in human pathogens but are less well understood in bacterial pathogens in the wild, particularly during and after host switches. Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG is a pathogenic bacterium that has evolved predominantly in poultry and recently jumped to wild house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus, a common North American songbird. For the first time we characterize the genome and measure rates of genome evolution in House Finch isolates of MG, as well as in poultry outgroups. Using whole-genome sequences of 12 House Finch isolates across a 13-year serial sample and an additional four newly sequenced poultry strains, we estimate a nucleotide diversity in House Finch isolates of only ∼2% of ancestral poultry strains and a nucleotide substitution rate of 0.8-1.2×10(-5 per site per year both in poultry and in House Finches, an exceptionally fast rate rivaling some of the highest estimates reported thus far for bacteria. We also found high diversity and complete turnover of CRISPR arrays in poultry MG strains prior to the switch to the House Finch host, but after the invasion of House Finches there is progressive loss of CRISPR repeat diversity, and recruitment of novel CRISPR repeats ceases. Recent (2007 House Finch MG strains retain only ∼50% of the CRISPR repertoire founding (1994-95 strains and have lost the CRISPR-associated genes required for CRISPR function. Our results suggest that genome evolution in bacterial pathogens of wild birds can be extremely rapid and in this case is accompanied by apparent functional loss of CRISPRs.

  16. Living with diversity in Jane-Finch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donya Ahmadi

    2017-11-01

    seeks to add to our understanding of urban diversity, as perceived and experienced by those who inhabit, frequent and govern urban areas. It answers the following primary research question: How is diversity experienced at the neighbourhood level, as (a discourse, (b social reality, and (c practice? Diversity as discourse refers to the public narratives around diversity, while diversity as social reality concerns the descriptive characteristics that render an area diverse. Diversity as practice refers to policies, programs and local practices that aim towards managing diversity (see also Berg and Sigona, 2013. The research question is investigated in four interconnected chapters, which engage with the three formerly mentioned dimensions to various degrees. The study further makes use of a variety of qualitative and participatory techniques (i.e. qualitative interviews, roundtable talks, participant observations, and focus groups to gather rigorous empirical data on living with and managing diversity in an inner-suburban neighbourhood of Toronto, namely Jane-Finch.

  17. Analysis of CR1 Repeats in the Zebra Finch Genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George E. Liu

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Most bird species have smaller genomes and fewer repeats than mammals. Chicken Repeat 1 (CR1 repeat is one of the most abundant families of repeats, ranging from ~133,000 to ~187,000 copies accounting for ~50 to ~80% of the interspersed repeats in the zebra finch and chicken genomes, respectively. CR1 repeats are believed to have arisen from the retrotransposition of a small number of master elements, which gave rise to multiple CR1 subfamilies in the chicken. In this study, we performed a global assessment of the divergence distributions, phylogenies, and consensus sequences of CR1 repeats in the zebra finch genome. We identified and validated 34 CR1 subfamilies and further analyzed the correlation between these subfamilies. We also discovered 4 novel lineage-specific CR1 subfamilies in the zebra finch when compared to the chicken genome. We built various evolutionary trees of these subfamilies and concluded that CR1 repeats may play an important role in reshaping the structure of bird genomes.

  18. The perception of regularity in an isochronous stimulus in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Aa, J.; Honing, H.; ten Cate, C.

    2015-01-01

    Perceiving temporal regularity in an auditory stimulus is considered one of the basic features of musicality. Here we examine whether zebra finches can detect regularity in an isochronous stimulus. Using a go/no go paradigm we show that zebra finches are able to distinguish between an isochronous

  19. Improved axial resolution of FINCH fluorescence microscopy when combined with spinning disk confocal microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Nisan; Brooker, Gary

    2014-09-22

    FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. Addition of a Nipkow disk real-time confocal image scanner is shown to reduce the FINCH depth of focus while improving transverse confocal resolution in a combined method called "CINCH".

  20. An Integrated Transcriptome-Wide Analysis of Cave and Surface Dwelling Astyanax mexicanus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Joshua B.; Furterer, Allison; Carlson, Brian M.; Stahl, Bethany A.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous organisms around the globe have successfully adapted to subterranean environments. A powerful system in which to study cave adaptation is the freshwater characin fish, Astyanax mexicanus. Prior studies in this system have established a genetic basis for the evolution of numerous regressive traits, most notably vision and pigmentation reduction. However, identification of the precise genetic alterations that underlie these morphological changes has been delayed by limited genetic and genomic resources. To address this, we performed a transcriptome analysis of cave and surface dwelling Astyanax morphs using Roche/454 pyrosequencing technology. Through this approach, we obtained 576,197 Pachón cavefish-specific reads and 438,978 surface fish-specific reads. Using this dataset, we assembled transcriptomes of cave and surface fish separately, as well as an integrated transcriptome that combined 1,499,568 reads from both morphotypes. The integrated assembly was the most successful approach, yielding 22,596 high quality contiguous sequences comprising a total transcriptome length of 21,363,556 bp. Sequence identities were obtained through exhaustive blast searches, revealing an adult transcriptome represented by highly diverse Gene Ontology (GO) terms. Our dataset facilitated rapid identification of sequence polymorphisms between morphotypes. These data, along with positional information collected from the Danio rerio genome, revealed several syntenic regions between Astyanax and Danio. We demonstrated the utility of this positional information through a QTL analysis of albinism in a surface x Pachón cave F2 pedigree, using 65 polymorphic markers identified from our integrated assembly. We also adapted our dataset for an RNA-seq study, revealing many genes responsible for visual system maintenance in surface fish, whose expression was not detected in adult Pachón cavefish. Conversely, several metabolism-related genes expressed in cavefish were not detected in

  1. Spinitectus mexicanus n. sp. (Nematoda : Cystidicolidae) from the intestine of the freshwater fish Heterandria bimaculata in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caspeta-Mandujano, J M; Moravec, F; Salgado-Maldonado, G

    2000-02-01

    A new nematode, Spinitectus mexicanus n. sp., is described on the basis of the specimens recovered from the intestine of Heterandria bimaculata (Heckel) (Poeciliidae, Cyprinodontiformes) from 3 rivers of the Papaloapan River basin (type locality La Basura River), Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz State, Mexico. It differs from its congeners mainly in having the spination of the cuticle separated into 4 longitudinal sectors, each with posteriorly diminishing numbers of larger spines at the anterior part of body. It is the first species of Spinitectus described from a poeciliid fish and the second reported from freshwater fishes in Mexico.

  2. Hypolobocera guayaquilensis (Decapoda: Pseudothelphusidae): A New Crab Intermediate Host of Paragonimus mexicanus in Manabí Province, Ecuador

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvopina, Manuel; Romero-Alvarez, Daniel; Rendon, Melina; Takagi, Hidekazu; Sugiyama, Hiromu

    2018-01-01

    To determine that Paragonimus sp. is actively transmitted in a tropical area of the Pacific region of Ecuador where human cases of pulmonary paragonimiasis have recently been documented, a total of 75 freshwater crabs were collected from 2 different streams in the Pedernales area of Manabí Province, Ecuador. All collected crabs were identified as Hypolobocera guayaquilensis based on morphological characteristics of the male gonopods. The hepatopancreas of each crab was examined by compressing it between 2 glass plates followed by observation under a stereomicroscope. Excysted Paragonimus metacercariae were detected in 39 (52.0%) crabs and their densities varied from 1 to 32 per infected crab. There was a positive relationship between crab size and metacercarial density. Sequences of the second internal transcribed spacer region of the ribosomal RNA gene of the Paragonimus metacercariae obtained in this study were identical to those of Paragonimus mexicanus deposited in the DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank database. Thus, the present study is the first to confirm that the crab species H. guayaquilensis is the second intermediate host of P. mexicanus in Manabí Province, Ecuador. Because this crab might be the possible source of human infections in this area, residents should pay attention to improper crab-eating habits related with a neglected parasitic disease, i.e., paragonimiasis. PMID:29742874

  3. "Bird Song Metronomics": Isochronous Organization of Zebra Finch Song Rhythm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Philipp; Scharff, Constance

    2016-01-01

    The human capacity for speech and vocal music depends on vocal imitation. Songbirds, in contrast to non-human primates, share this vocal production learning with humans. The process through which birds and humans learn many of their vocalizations as well as the underlying neural system exhibit a number of striking parallels and have been widely researched. In contrast, rhythm, a key feature of language, and music, has received surprisingly little attention in songbirds. Investigating temporal periodicity in bird song has the potential to inform the relationship between neural mechanisms and behavioral output and can also provide insight into the biology and evolution of musicality. Here we present a method to analyze birdsong for an underlying rhythmic regularity. Using the intervals from one note onset to the next as input, we found for each bird an isochronous sequence of time stamps, a "signal-derived pulse," or pulse(S), of which a subset aligned with all note onsets of the bird's song. Fourier analysis corroborated these results. To determine whether this finding was just a byproduct of the duration of notes and intervals typical for zebra finches but not dependent on the individual duration of elements and the sequence in which they are sung, we compared natural songs to models of artificial songs. Note onsets of natural song deviated from the pulse(S) significantly less than those of artificial songs with randomized note and gap durations. Thus, male zebra finch song has the regularity required for a listener to extract a perceived pulse (pulse(P)), as yet untested. Strikingly, in our study, pulses(S) that best fit note onsets often also coincided with the transitions between sub-note elements within complex notes, corresponding to neuromuscular gestures. Gesture durations often equaled one or more pulse(S) periods. This suggests that gesture duration constitutes the basic element of the temporal hierarchy of zebra finch song rhythm, an interesting parallel

  4. Invasive parasites, habitat change and heavy rainfall reduce breeding success in Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimadom, Arno; Ulloa, Angel; Meidl, Patrick; Zöttl, Markus; Zöttl, Elisabet; Fessl, Birgit; Nemeth, Erwin; Dvorak, Michael; Cunninghame, Francesca; Tebbich, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea) and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus), on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundance)is lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss.

  5. Invasive parasites, habitat change and heavy rainfall reduce breeding success in Darwin's finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arno Cimadom

    Full Text Available Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus, on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundanceis lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss.

  6. Colour preferences in nest-building zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muth, Felicity; Steele, Matthew; Healy, Susan D

    2013-10-01

    Some bird species are selective in the materials they choose for nest building, preferring, for example, materials of one colour to others. However, in many cases the cause of these preferences is not clear. One of those species is the zebra finch, which exhibits strong preferences for particular colours of nest material. In an attempt to determine why these birds strongly prefer one colour of material over another, we compared the preferences of paired male zebra finches for nest material colour with their preferences for food of the same colours. We found that birds did indeed prefer particular colours of nest material (in most cases blue) but that they did not generally prefer food of one colour over the other colours. It appears, then, that a preference for one colour or another of nest material is specific to the nest-building context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: insert SI title. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Exploring vocal recovery after cranial nerve injury in Bengalese finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbano, Catherine M; Peterson, Jennifer R; Cooper, Brenton G

    2013-02-08

    Songbirds and humans use auditory feedback to acquire and maintain their vocalizations. The Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica) is a songbird species that rapidly modifies its vocal output to adhere to an internal song memory. In this species, the left side of the bipartite vocal organ is specialized for producing louder, higher frequencies (≥2.2kHz) and denervation of the left vocal muscles eliminates these notes. Thus, the return of higher frequency notes after cranial nerve injury can be used as a measure of vocal recovery. Either the left or right side of the syrinx was denervated by resection of the tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve. Histologic analyses of syringeal muscle tissue showed significant muscle atrophy in the denervated side. After left nerve resection, songs were mainly composed of lower frequency syllables, but three out of five birds recovered higher frequency syllables. Right nerve resection minimally affected phonology, but it did change song syntax; syllable sequence became abnormally stereotyped after right nerve resection. Therefore, damage to the neuromuscular control of sound production resulted in reduced motor variability, and Bengalese finches are a potential model for functional vocal recovery following cranial nerve injury. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. INFECCIÓN DE HYPOLOBOCERA CHILENSIS EIGENMANI POR METACERCARIAS DE PARAGONIMUS MEXICANUS (= PERUVIANUS EN EL DISTRITO DE CONDEBAMBA (CAJAMARCA, PERÚ

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Huiza F.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Cangrejos de rio Hypolobocera chilensis eigenmanni fueron colectados de acequias durante el año 1997 en estación seca (mayo a diciembre en Chaquicocha, Área que pertenece al distrito de Condebamba (departamento de Cajamarca en la parte norte del Perú. Ciento treinta y un cangrejos colectados fueron transportados al Laboratorio de Parasitología y examinados por disección, 27 de 131 (20,6% estaban infectados por metacercarias de Paragonimus mexicanus(=peruvianus. La intensidad de la infección fue de 1 a 5 en la mayoría de los; casos (81,5% con un promedio de 4,85 por cangrejo. Estos datos son diferentes; a los de estudios anteriores; en la misma Área donde fueron más; altos, lo que indica una tendencia al decrecimiento del número de cangrejos infectados.

  9. Ecología poblacional del ratón Peromyscus mexicanus (Rodentia: Muridae en el Parque Nacional Volcán Poás, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Licidia Rojas Rojas

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Se estudió el tamaño poblacional, la proporción de sexos, el peso y el número de adultos e inmaduros de Peromyscus mexicanus en tres sitios, durante 14 meses, en el Parque Nacional volcán Poás, Costa Rica. Se colocaron 30 trampas Sherman en cada sitio, para un estudio de captura-recaptura durante seis días consecutivos de cada mes, desde marzo de 2002 hasta abril de 2003. Se hicieron 2 393 capturas, hallándose en Tierra Fría, además de P. mexicanus, Reithrodontomys creper, R. rodriguezi, Scotinomys teguina y Oryzomys devius (Muridae. En Potrero Grande se capturaron P. mexicanus, R. creper, R. sumichrasti, S. teguina y O. devius. En Canto de las Aves se capturaron P. mexicanus, R. creper, R. rodriguezi y O. devius. El 34.77 % del total de ratones capturados fueron P. mexicanus. Se capturaron en promedio 34 individuos por mes por hectárea en Tierra Fría y 11 en Potrero Grande; en Canto de las Aves sólo se capturaron 4 individuos en todo el muestreo. El tamaño estimado de la población de P. mexicanus no varió mensualmente en Tierra Fría, pero si en Potrero Grande. No se observó variación en la proporción de sexos en ninguno de los dos sitios. El valor promedio de peso en Tierra Fría fue de 43.83+1.93 g machos 39.29+2.07 g hembras. En Potrero Grande fue 43.54+3.42 g machos y 42.08+3.45 g hembras. En ninguno de los dos sitios se encontraron diferencias en la cantidad de individuos inmaduros a través del tiempo.Population ecology of the mouse Peromyscus mexicanus (Rodentia: Muridae in Poas Volcano National Park, Costa Rica. The Mexican Deer Mouse has been reported as an abundant wild mouse in Costa Rica; nevertheless, it has not been studied as well as other Peromyscus species. Thirty Sherman traps were placed on three habitats during six consecutive days of each month, from March 2002 through April 2003 in three sites of Poás volcano National Park, Costa Rica. A total of 2 393 mice were captured. Other species such as

  10. Gaze strategy in the free flying zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis Eckmeier

    Full Text Available Fast moving animals depend on cues derived from the optic flow on their retina. Optic flow from translational locomotion includes information about the three-dimensional composition of the environment, while optic flow experienced during a rotational self motion does not. Thus, a saccadic gaze strategy that segregates rotations from translational movements during locomotion will facilitate extraction of spatial information from the visual input. We analysed whether birds use such a strategy by highspeed video recording zebra finches from two directions during an obstacle avoidance task. Each frame of the recording was examined to derive position and orientation of the beak in three-dimensional space. The data show that in all flights the head orientation was shifted in a saccadic fashion and was kept straight between saccades. Therefore, birds use a gaze strategy that actively stabilizes their gaze during translation to simplify optic flow based navigation. This is the first evidence of birds actively optimizing optic flow during flight.

  11. Stationing a U.S. Army Reserve Black Hawk Helicopter Company at Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    include the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglotos), black phoebe (Saynoris nigricans), house finch (Carpodacus...cumulative impacts. Any wildlife killed during aviation activities is reported to the JFTB Los Alamitos Environmental Office for proper identification

  12. Causes and consequences of change rates in the habitat of the threatened tropical porcupine, Sphiggurus mexicanus (Rodentia: Erethizontidae) in Oaxaca, Mexico: implications for its conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Lorenzo, Consuelo; Sántiz, Eugenia C; Navarrete, Darío A; Bolaños, Jorge

    2014-01-01

    Land use changes by human activities have been the main causes of habitats and wildlife population degradation. In the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Oaxaca, the tropical habitat of the porcupine Sphiggurus mexicanus has been subject to vegetation and land use changes, causing its reduction and fragmentation. In this study, we estimated vegetation cover and land use (δn) change rates and assessed habitat availability and potential corridors for possible porcupine movements to avoid its isolation. In ...

  13. Molecular phylogenetics of finches and sparrows: consequences of character state removal in cytochrome b sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groth, J G

    1998-12-01

    The complete mitochondrial cytochrome b genes of 53 genera of oscine passerine birds representing the major groups of finches and some allies were compared. Phylogenetic trees resulting from three levels of character partition removal (no data removed, transitions at third positions of codons removed, and all transitions removed [transversion parsimony]) were generally concordant, and all supported several basic statements regarding relationships of finches and finch-like birds, including: (1) larks (Alaudidae) show no close relationship to any finch group; (2) Peucedramus (olive warbler) is phylogenetically far removed from true wood warblers; (3) a clade consisting of fringillids, passerids, motacillids, and emberizids is supported, and this clade is characterized by evolution of a vestigial 10th wing primary; and (4) Hawaiian honeycreepers are derived from within the cardueline finches. Excluding transition substitutions at third positions of codons resulted in phylogenetic trees similar to, but with greater bootstrap nodal support than, trees derived using either all data (equally weighted) or transversion parsimony. Relative to the shortest trees obtained using all data, the topologies obtained after elimination of third-position transitions showed only slight increases in realized treelength and homoplasy. These increases were negligable compared to increases in overall nodal support; therefore, this partition removal scheme may enhance recovery of deep phylogenetic signal in protein-coding DNA datasets. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  14. Is Beak Morphology in Darwin's Finches Tuned to Loading Demands?

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    Joris Soons

    Full Text Available One of nature's premier illustrations of adaptive evolution concerns the tight correspondence in birds between beak morphology and feeding behavior. In seed-crushing birds, beaks have been suggested to evolve at least in part to avoid fracture. Yet, we know little about mechanical relationships between beak shape, stress dissipation, and fracture avoidance. This study tests these relationships for Darwin's finches, a clade of birds renowned for their diversity in beak form and function. We obtained anatomical data from micro-CT scans and dissections, which in turn informed the construction of finite element models of the bony beak and rhamphotheca. Our models offer two new insights. First, engineering safety factors are found to range between 1 and 2.5 under natural loading conditions, with the lowest safety factors being observed in species with the highest bite forces. Second, size-scaled finite element (FE models reveal a correspondence between inferred beak loading profiles and observed feeding strategies (e.g. edge-crushing versus tip-biting, with safety factors decreasing for base-crushers biting at the beak tip. Additionally, we identify significant correlations between safety factors, keratin thickness at bite locations, and beak aspect ratio (depth versus length. These lines of evidence together suggest that beak shape indeed evolves to resist feeding forces.

  15. Infeccion natural de Ptychophallus tristani (Crustacea: decapoda con metacercarias de Paragonimus mexicanus (Trematoda en Tabarcia de Mora, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Monge

    1985-02-01

    Full Text Available Se determinó el grado de infección de los crustáceos Ptychophallus tristani presentes en una área endémica de Paragonimus mexicanus, encontrándose que de un total de 182 cangrejos, 161 resultaron positivos (88,5% por metacercarias. Al comparar la infección entre machos y hembras no se encontró diferencias estadísticamente significativas y en relación a su tamaño se observó una relación directa entre tamaño y porcentaje y grado de infección. Se estableció que no existen diferencias significativas en relación a la época del año en que los cangrejos fueron capturados lo que epidemiológicamente es importante pues indica que las fuentes de infección permanecen potencialmente activas durante todo el año.

  16. The perception of regularity in an isochronous stimulus in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Aa, Jeroen; Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel

    2015-06-01

    Perceiving temporal regularity in an auditory stimulus is considered one of the basic features of musicality. Here we examine whether zebra finches can detect regularity in an isochronous stimulus. Using a go/no go paradigm we show that zebra finches are able to distinguish between an isochronous and an irregular stimulus. However, when the tempo of the isochronous stimulus is changed, it is no longer treated as similar to the training stimulus. Training with three isochronous and three irregular stimuli did not result in improvement of the generalization. In contrast, humans, exposed to the same stimuli, readily generalized across tempo changes. Our results suggest that zebra finches distinguish the different stimuli by learning specific local temporal features of each individual stimulus rather than attending to the global structure of the stimuli, i.e., to the temporal regularity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Acoustic fine structure may encode biologically relevant information for zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prior, Nora H; Smith, Edward; Lawson, Shelby; Ball, Gregory F; Dooling, Robert J

    2018-04-18

    The ability to discriminate changes in the fine structure of complex sounds is well developed in birds. However, the precise limit of this discrimination ability and how it is used in the context of natural communication remains unclear. Here we describe natural variability in acoustic fine structure of male and female zebra finch calls. Results from psychoacoustic experiments demonstrate that zebra finches are able to discriminate extremely small differences in fine structure, which are on the order of the variation in acoustic fine structure that is present in their vocal signals. Results from signal analysis methods also suggest that acoustic fine structure may carry information that distinguishes between biologically relevant categories including sex, call type and individual identity. Combined, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that zebra finches can encode biologically relevant information within the fine structure of their calls. This study provides a foundation for our understanding of how acoustic fine structure may be involved in animal communication.

  18. Sexual Dimorphism in the Early Embryogenesis in Zebra Finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Makhsud Tagirov

    Full Text Available Sex-specific gene expression before the onset of gonadogensis has been documented in embryos of mammals and chickens. In several mammalian species, differences in gene expression are accompanied by faster growth of pre-implantation male embryos. Here we asked whether avian embryos before gonadal differentiation are also sex-dimorphic in size and what genes regulate their growth. We used captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata whose freshly laid eggs were artificially incubated for 36-40 hours. Analyses controlling for the exact time of incubation of 81 embryos revealed that males were larger than females in terms of Hamburger and Hamilton stage and number of somites. Expression of 15 genes involved in cell cycle regulation, growth, metabolic activity, steroidogenic pathway and stress modulation were measured using RT-PCR in 5 male and 5 female embryos incubated for exactly 36 h. We found that in the presence of equal levels of the growth hormone itself, the faster growth of male embryos is most likely achieved by the overexpression of the growth hormone receptor gene and three other genes responsible for cell cycle regulation and metabolism, all of them located on the Z chromosome. Autosomal genes did not show sex-specific expression, except for the steroidogenic factor 1 which was expressed only in female embryos. To our knowledge this is the first report of sexual size dimorphism before gonadogenesis in birds. The finding suggests that faster growth of early male embryos is conserved through the mammalian and bird phyla, irrespective of their differential sex chromosome systems.

  19. Examining Natural Selection by Sketching and Making Models of the Finches of the Galapagos Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Phoebe J. Z.; Teske, Jolene K.

    2017-01-01

    This practical lesson describes how students in six eighth grade science classes participated in a lesson combining the National Core Arts Standards with the Next Generation Science Standards. The goal of the lesson was to provide visual representations of finch beak form and function so students could better understand genetic variation and how…

  20. Mechanisms underlying speech sound discrimination and categorization in humans and zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burgering, Merel A.; ten Cate, Carel; Vroomen, Jean

    Speech sound categorization in birds seems in many ways comparable to that by humans, but it is unclear what mechanisms underlie such categorization. To examine this, we trained zebra finches and humans to discriminate two pairs of edited speech sounds that varied either along one dimension (vowel

  1. Bird brains and songs : Neural mechanisms of auditory memory and perception in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gobes, S.M.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304832669

    2009-01-01

    Songbirds, such as zebra finches, learn their songs from a ‘tutor’ (usually the father), early in life. There are strong parallels between the behavioural, cognitive and neural processes that underlie vocal learning in humans and songbirds. In both cases there is a sensitive period for auditory

  2. Sex-specific effects of yolk testosterone on survival, begging and growth of zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    von Engelhardt, N; Carere, C; Dijkstra, C; Groothuis, TGG

    2006-01-01

    Yolk androgens affect offspring hatching, begging, growth and survival in many bird species. If these effects are sex-specific, yolk androgen deposition may constitute a mechanism for differential investment in male and female offspring. We tested this hypothesis in zebra finches. In this species,

  3. Costs of reproduction in the Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata : Manipulation of brood size in the laboratory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    deKogel, CH; Overkamp, GFJ

    1996-01-01

    Brood size of Zebra Finches Taeniopygia guttata was manipulated in an attempt to identify a trade-off between current and subsequent reproduction in a laboratory situation with ad libitum food availability. The birds were able to raise a larger brood than the most frequent brood size under the same

  4. Song decrystallization in adult zebra finches does not require the song nucleus NIf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Arani; Mooney, Richard

    2009-08-01

    In adult male zebra finches, transecting the vocal nerve causes previously stable (i.e., crystallized) song to slowly degrade, presumably because of the resulting distortion in auditory feedback. How and where distorted feedback interacts with song motor networks to induce this process of song decrystallization remains unknown. The song premotor nucleus HVC is a potential site where auditory feedback signals could interact with song motor commands. Although the forebrain nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf) appears to be the primary auditory input to HVC, NIf lesions made in adult zebra finches do not trigger song decrystallization. One possibility is that NIf lesions do not interfere with song maintenance, but do compromise the adult zebra finch's ability to express renewed vocal plasticity in response to feedback perturbations. To test this idea, we bilaterally lesioned NIf and then transected the vocal nerve in adult male zebra finches. We found that bilateral NIf lesions did not prevent nerve section-induced song decrystallization. To test the extent to which the NIf lesions disrupted auditory processing in the song system, we made in vivo extracellular recordings in HVC and a downstream anterior forebrain pathway (AFP) in NIf-lesioned birds. We found strong and selective auditory responses to the playback of the birds' own song persisted in HVC and the AFP following NIf lesions. These findings suggest that auditory inputs to the song system other than NIf, such as the caudal mesopallium, could act as a source of auditory feedback signals to the song motor network.

  5. Behavioral Relevance of Species-Specific Vasotocin Anatomy in Gregarious Finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey M Kelly

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite substantial species differences in the vasotocin/vasopressin (VT/VP circuitry of the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm and lateral septum (LS; a primary projection target of BSTm VT/VP cells, functional consequences of this variation are poorly known. Previous experiments in the highly gregarious zebra finch (Estrildidae: Taeniopygia guttata demonstrate that BSTm VT neurons promote gregariousness in a male-specific manner and reduce anxiety in both sexes. However, in contrast to the zebra finch, the less gregarious Angolan blue waxbill (Estrildidae: Uraeginthus angolensis exhibits fewer VT-immunoreactive cells in the BSTm as well as differences in receptor distribution across the LS subnuclei, suggesting that knockdown of VT production in the BSTm would produce behavioral effects in Angolan blue waxbills that are distinct from zebra finches. Thus, we here quantified social contact, gregariousness (i.e. preference for the larger of two groups, and anxiety-like behavior following bilateral antisense knockdown of VT production in the BSTm of male and female Angolan blue waxbills. We find that BSTm VT neurons promote social contact, but not gregariousness (as in male zebra finches, and that antisense effects on social contact are significantly stronger in male waxbills than in females. Knockdown of BSTm VT production has no effect on anxiety-like behavior. These data provide novel evidence that species differences in the VT/VP circuitry arising in the BSTm are accompanied by species-specific effects on affiliation behaviors.

  6. Three Molecular Markers Show No Evidence of Population Genetic Structure in the Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae.

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    Peri E Bolton

    Full Text Available Assessment of genetic diversity and connectivity between regions can inform conservation managers about risk of inbreeding, potential for adaptation and where population boundaries lie. The Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae is a threatened species in northern Australia, occupying the savannah woodlands of the biogeographically complex monsoon tropics. We present the most comprehensive population genetic analysis of diversity and structure the Gouldian finch using 16 microsatellite markers, mitochondrial control region and 3,389 SNPs from genotyping-by-sequencing. Mitochondrial diversity is compared across three related, co-distributed finches with different conservation threat-statuses. There was no evidence of genetic differentiation across the western part of the range in any of the molecular markers, and haplotype diversity but not richness was lower than a common co-distributed species. Individuals within the panmictic population in the west may be highly dispersive within this wide area, and we urge caution when interpreting anecdotal observations of changes to the distribution and/or flock sizes of Gouldian finch populations as evidence of overall changes to the population size of this species.

  7. A three-dimensional MRI atlas of the zebra finch brain in stereotaxic coordinates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poirier, Colline; Vellema, Michiel; Verhoye, Marleen

    2008-01-01

    of different brain areas (nuclei) involved in the sensory and motor control of song. Until now, the only published atlases of songbird brains consisted in drawings based on histological slices of the canary and of the zebra finch brain. Taking advantage of high-magnetic field (7 Tesla) MRI technique, we...

  8. Gene duplication and fragmentation in the zebra finch major histocompatibility complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balakrishnan, Christopher N; Ekblom, Robert; Völker, Martin; Westerdahl, Helena; Godinez, Ricardo; Kotkiewicz, Holly; Burt, David W; Graves, Tina; Griffin, Darren K; Warren, Wesley C; Edwards, Scott V

    2010-04-01

    Due to its high polymorphism and importance for disease resistance, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has been an important focus of many vertebrate genome projects. Avian MHC organization is of particular interest because the chicken Gallus gallus, the avian species with the best characterized MHC, possesses a highly streamlined minimal essential MHC, which is linked to resistance against specific pathogens. It remains unclear the extent to which this organization describes the situation in other birds and whether it represents a derived or ancestral condition. The sequencing of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata genome, in combination with targeted bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequencing, has allowed us to characterize an MHC from a highly divergent and diverse avian lineage, the passerines. The zebra finch MHC exhibits a complex structure and history involving gene duplication and fragmentation. The zebra finch MHC includes multiple Class I and Class II genes, some of which appear to be pseudogenes, and spans a much more extensive genomic region than the chicken MHC, as evidenced by the presence of MHC genes on each of seven BACs spanning 739 kb. Cytogenetic (FISH) evidence and the genome assembly itself place core MHC genes on as many as four chromosomes with TAP and Class I genes mapping to different chromosomes. MHC Class II regions are further characterized by high endogenous retroviral content. Lastly, we find strong evidence of selection acting on sites within passerine MHC Class I and Class II genes. The zebra finch MHC differs markedly from that of the chicken, the only other bird species with a complete genome sequence. The apparent lack of synteny between TAP and the expressed MHC Class I locus is in fact reminiscent of a pattern seen in some mammalian lineages and may represent convergent evolution. Our analyses of the zebra finch MHC suggest a complex history involving chromosomal fission, gene duplication and translocation in the

  9. Ontogeny of adaptive antibody response to a model antigen in captive altricial zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tess L Killpack

    Full Text Available Based on studies from the poultry literature, all birds are hypothesized to require at least 4 weeks to develop circulating mature B-cell lineages that express functionally different immunoglobulin specificities. However, many altricial passerines fledge at adult size less than four weeks after the start of embryonic development, and therefore may experience a period of susceptibility during the nestling and post-fledging periods. We present the first study, to our knowledge, to detail the age-related changes in adaptive antibody response in an altricial passerine. Using repeated vaccinations with non-infectious keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH antigen, we studied the ontogeny of specific adaptive immune response in altricial zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata. Nestling zebra finches were first injected at 7 days (7d, 14 days (14d, or 21 days post-hatch (21d with KLH-adjuvant emulsions, and boosted 7 days later. Adults were vaccinated in the same manner. Induced KLH-specific IgY antibodies were measured using ELISA. Comparisons within age groups revealed no significant increase in KLH-specific antibody levels between vaccination and boost in 7d birds, yet significant increases between vaccination and boost were observed in 14d, 21d, and adult groups. There was no significant difference among age groups in KLH antibody response to priming vaccination, yet KLH antibody response post-boost significantly increased with age among groups. Post-boost antibody response in all nestling age groups was significantly lower than in adults, indicating that mature adult secondary antibody response level was not achieved in zebra finches prior to fledging (21 days post-hatch in zebra finches. Findings from this study contribute fundamental knowledge to the fields of developmental immunology and ecological immunology and strengthen the utility of zebra finches as a model organism for future studies of immune ontogeny.

  10. Experimental demonstration of the fitness consequences of an introduced parasite of Darwin's finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A H Koop

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduced parasites are a particular threat to small populations of hosts living on islands because extinction can occur before hosts have a chance to evolve effective defenses. An experimental approach in which parasite abundance is manipulated in the field can be the most informative means of assessing a parasite's impact on the host. The parasitic fly Philornis downsi, recently introduced to the Galápagos Islands, feeds on nestling Darwin's finches and other land birds. Several correlational studies, and one experimental study of mixed species over several years, reported that the flies reduce host fitness. Here we report the results of a larger scale experimental study of a single species at a single site over a single breeding season.We manipulated the abundance of flies in the nests of medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis and quantified the impact of the parasites on nestling growth and fledging success. We used nylon nest liners to reduce the number of parasites in 24 nests, leaving another 24 nests as controls. A significant reduction in mean parasite abundance led to a significant increase in the number of nests that successfully fledged young. Nestlings in parasite-reduced nests also tended to be larger prior to fledging.Our results confirm that P. downsi has significant negative effects on the fitness of medium ground finches, and they may pose a serious threat to other species of Darwin's finches. These data can help in the design of management plans for controlling P. downsi in Darwin's finch breeding populations.

  11. Selective auditory grouping by zebra finches: testing the iambic-trochaic law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spierings, Michelle; Hubert, Jeroen; Ten Cate, Carel

    2017-07-01

    Humans have a strong tendency to spontaneously group visual or auditory stimuli together in larger patterns. One of these perceptual grouping biases is formulated as the iambic/trochaic law, where humans group successive tones alternating in pitch and intensity as trochees (high-low and loud-soft) and alternating in duration as iambs (short-long). The grouping of alternations in pitch and intensity into trochees is a human universal and is also present in one non-human animal species, rats. The perceptual grouping of sounds alternating in duration seems to be affected by native language in humans and has so far not been found among animals. In the current study, we explore to which extent these perceptual biases are present in a songbird, the zebra finch. Zebra finches were trained to discriminate between short strings of pure tones organized as iambs and as trochees. One group received tones that alternated in pitch, a second group heard tones alternating in duration, and for a third group, tones alternated in intensity. Those zebra finches that showed sustained correct discrimination were next tested with longer, ambiguous strings of alternating sounds. The zebra finches in the pitch condition categorized ambiguous strings of alternating tones as trochees, similar to humans. However, most of the zebra finches in the duration and intensity condition did not learn to discriminate between training stimuli organized as iambs and trochees. This study shows that the perceptual bias to group tones alternating in pitch as trochees is not specific to humans and rats, but may be more widespread among animals.

  12. FoxP2 isoforms delineate spatiotemporal transcriptional networks for vocal learning in the zebra finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Nancy F; Kimball, Todd Haswell; Aamodt, Caitlin M; Heston, Jonathan B; Hilliard, Austin T; Xiao, Xinshu; White, Stephanie A

    2018-01-01

    Human speech is one of the few examples of vocal learning among mammals yet ~half of avian species exhibit this ability. Its neurogenetic basis is largely unknown beyond a shared requirement for FoxP2 in both humans and zebra finches. We manipulated FoxP2 isoforms in Area X, a song-specific region of the avian striatopallidum analogous to human anterior striatum, during a critical period for song development. We delineate, for the first time, unique contributions of each isoform to vocal learning. Weighted gene coexpression network analysis of RNA-seq data revealed gene modules correlated to singing, learning, or vocal variability. Coexpression related to singing was found in juvenile and adult Area X whereas coexpression correlated to learning was unique to juveniles. The confluence of learning and singing coexpression in juvenile Area X may underscore molecular processes that drive vocal learning in young zebra finches and, by analogy, humans. PMID:29360038

  13. Peregrine falcon predation of endangered Laysan teal and Laysan Finches on remote Hawaiian atolls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Nash, Sarah A.B.; Courtot, Karen

    2015-01-01

    We report the first records of Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) predation on endangered Laysan teal (or duck; Anas laysanensis) and predation on endangered Laysan finches (Telespiza cantans). At Midway Atoll, vagrant Peregrine falcons killed ≥4% of a newly translocated Laysan teal population in 2006 and ≥2% in 2008. On Laysan Island during 2008–2009, remains of >76 Laysan finches (<1% of the population) were found at peregrine perches. On Midway Atoll, all depredated Laysan teal and other seabirds were recovered at kill sites on tarmac (runways). If the frequency or duration of vagrant raptors visitation increases at small atolls, this could pose a mortality risk to consider, especially during proposed translocations of endangered species. Vegetation restoration of abandoned runways near wetlands at Midway Atoll would provide cover and may help reduce mortality of endangered species due to vagrant raptors.

  14. CINCH (confocal incoherent correlation holography) super resolution fluorescence microscopy based upon FINCH (Fresnel incoherent correlation holography).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Nisan; Storrie, Brian; Bruce, Marc; Brooker, Gary

    2015-02-07

    FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates high resolution super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. The simple addition of a real-time Nipkow disk confocal image scanner in a conjugate plane of this incoherent holographic system is shown to reduce the depth of focus, and the combination of both techniques provides a simple way to enhance the axial resolution of FINCH in a combined method called "CINCH". An important feature of the combined system allows for the simultaneous real-time image capture of widefield and holographic images or confocal and confocal holographic images for ready comparison of each method on the exact same field of view. Additional GPU based complex deconvolution processing of the images further enhances resolution.

  15. Vasodilatory effects of exogenous nitric oxide on the brood patch of the Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    OpenAIRE

    Södergren, Anna

    2010-01-01

    In birds like the Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) the female, but not the male develop a brood patch upon incubation of eggs. The brood patch functions to increase heat exchange between the bird and the eggs. Development of the brood patch includes de-feathering, increased vascularization and edema formation. The increased vascularization is due to the development of arteriovenous anastomoses, AVA. The AVA are thermoregulatory vessels involved in cold induced vasodilation, CIVD, demonstrate...

  16. Estradiol and song affect female zebra finch behavior independent of dopamine in the striatum

    OpenAIRE

    Svec, Lace A.; Lookingland, Keith J.; Wade, Juli

    2009-01-01

    Female songbirds display preferences for certain song characteristics, but the neural and hormonal mechanisms mediating these preferences are not fully clear. The present study sought to further explore the role of estradiol, as well as assess potential roles of dopaminergic systems, on behavioral responses to song. Adult female zebra finches were treated with estradiol and exposed to tutored or untutored song or silence. Behavior was quantified and neurochemistry of the nucleus accumbens and...

  17. Does foraging behaviour affect female mate preferences and pair formation in captive zebra finches?

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    Neeltje J Boogert

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Successful foraging is essential for survival and reproductive success. In many bird species, foraging is a learned behaviour. To cope with environmental change and survive periods in which regular foods are scarce, the ability to solve novel foraging problems by learning new foraging techniques can be crucial. Although females have been shown to prefer more efficient foragers, the effect of males' foraging techniques on female mate choice has never been studied. We tested whether females would prefer males showing the same learned foraging technique as they had been exposed to as juveniles, or whether females would prefer males that showed a complementary foraging technique. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We first trained juvenile male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata to obtain a significant proportion of their food by one of two foraging techniques. We then tested whether females showed a preference for males with the same or the alternative technique. We found that neither a male's foraging technique nor his foraging performance affected the time females spent in his proximity in the mate-choice apparatus. We then released flocks of these finches into an aviary to investigate whether assortative pairing would be facilitated by birds taught the same technique exploiting the same habitat. Zebra finches trained as juveniles in a specific foraging technique maintained their foraging specialisation in the aviary as adults. However, pair formation and nest location were random with regard to foraging technique. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings show that zebra finches can be successfully trained to be foraging specialists. However, the robust negative results of the conditions tested here suggest that learned foraging specializations do not affect mate choice or pair formation in our experimental context.

  18. Are olfactory cues involved in nest recognition in two social species of estrildid finches?

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    E Tobias Krause

    Full Text Available Reliably recognizing their own nest provides parents with a necessary skill to invest time and resources efficiently in raising their offspring and thereby maximising their own reproductive success. Studies investigating nest recognition in adult birds have focused mainly on visual cues of the nest or the nest site and acoustic cues of the nestlings. To determine whether adult songbirds also use olfaction for nest recognition, we investigated the use of olfactory nest cues for two estrildid finch species, zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata and Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica during the nestling and fledgling phase of their offspring. We found similar behavioural responses to nest odours in both songbird species. Females preferred the odour of their own nest over a control and avoided the foreign conspecific nest scent over a control during the nestling phase of their offspring, but when given the own odour and the foreign conspecific odour simultaneously we did not find a preference for the own nest odour. Males of both species did not show any preferences at all. The behavioural reaction to any nest odour decreased after fledging of the offspring. Our results show that only females show a behavioural response to olfactory nest cues, indicating that the use of olfactory cues for nest recognition seems to be sex-specific and dependent on the developmental stage of the offspring. Although estrildid finches are known to use visual and acoustic cues for nest recognition, the similar behavioural pattern of both species indicates that at least females gain additional information by olfactory nest cues during the nestling phase of their offspring. Thus olfactory cues might be important in general, even in situations in which visual and acoustic cues are known to be sufficient.

  19. Immunological investments reflect parasite abundance in island populations of Darwin's finches.

    OpenAIRE

    Lindström, Karin M.; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Pärn, Henrik; Wikelski, Martin

    2004-01-01

    The evolution of parasite resistance can be influenced by the abundance of parasites in the environment. However, it is yet unresolved whether vertebrates change their investment in immune function in response to variation in parasite abundance. Here, we compare parasite abundance in four populations of small ground finches (Geospiza fuliginosa) in the Galapagos archipelago. We predicted that populations exposed to high parasite loads should invest more in immune defence, or alternatively use...

  20. Sex-dependent effects of nutrition on telomere dynamics in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    OpenAIRE

    Noguera, Jose C.; Metcalfe, Neil B.; Boner, Winnie; Monaghan, Pat

    2015-01-01

    At a cellular level, oxidative stress is known to increase telomere attrition, and hence cellular senescence and risk of disease. It has been proposed that dietary micronutrients play an important role in telomere protection due to their antioxidant properties. We experimentally manipulated dietary micronutrients during early life in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We found no effects of micronutrient intake on telomere loss during chick growth. However, females given a diet high in micr...

  1. Evaluation of Best Practices for the Euthanasia of Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Kathleen E; Bracchi, Lauren A; Lieberman, Mia T; Hill, Nichola J; Caron, Tyler J; Patterson, Mary M

    2017-11-01

    Although zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) have been used in biomedical research for many years, no published reports are available about euthanizing these small birds. In this study, we compared 5 methods for zebra finch euthanasia: sodium pentobarbital (NaP) given intracoelomically with physical restraint but no anesthesia; isoflurane anesthesia followed by intracoelomic injection of NaP; and CO2 asphyxiation at 20%, 40%, and 80% chamber displacement rates (percentage of chamber volume per minute). Birds undergoing euthanasia were videorecorded and scored by 2 observers for behaviors potentially related to discomfort or distress. Time to recumbency and time until respiratory arrest (RA) were also assessed. RA was achieved faster by using NaP in a conscious bird compared to using isoflurane anesthesia followed by NaP; however, neither method caused behaviors that might affect animal welfare, such as open-mouth breathing, to any appreciable extent. Among the CO2 treatment groups, there was an inverse correlation between the chamber displacement rate used and the duration of open-mouth breathing, onset of head retroflexion, and time to RA. The results demonstrate that the intracoelomic administration of NaP in an awake, restrained zebra finch is a rapid and effective method of euthanasia. If CO2 is used to euthanize these birds, a high displacement rate (for example, 80%) will minimize the duration of the procedure and associated behaviors.

  2. Maternal effects underlie ageing costs of growth in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathilde L Tissier

    Full Text Available Maternal effects provide a mechanism to adapt offspring phenotype and optimize the mother's fitness to current environmental conditions. Transferring steroids to the yolk is one way mothers can translate environmental information into potential adaptive signals for offspring. However, maternally-derived hormones might also have adverse effects for offspring. For example, recent data in zebra finch chicks suggested that ageing related-processes (i.e. oxidative stress and telomere loss were increased after egg-injection of corticosterone (CORT. Still, we have few experimental data describing the effect of maternal effects on the growth-ageing trade-off in offspring. Here, we chronically treated pre-laying zebra finch females (Taeniopygia guttata with 17-β-estradiol (E2 or CORT, and followed offspring growth and cellular ageing rates (oxidative stress and telomere loss. CORT treatment decreased growth rate in male chicks and increased rate of telomere loss in mothers and female offspring. E2 increased body mass gain in male offspring, while reducing oxidative stress in both sexes but without affecting telomere loss. Since shorter telomeres were previously found to be a proxy of individual lifespan in zebra finches, maternal effects may, through pleiotropic effects, be important determinants of offspring life-expectancy by modulating ageing rate during embryo and post-natal growth.

  3. Zebra finch mates use their forebrain song system in unlearned call communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ter Maat, Andries; Trost, Lisa; Sagunsky, Hannes; Seltmann, Susanne; Gahr, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    Unlearned calls are produced by all birds whereas learned songs are only found in three avian taxa, most notably in songbirds. The neural basis for song learning and production is formed by interconnected song nuclei: the song control system. In addition to song, zebra finches produce large numbers of soft, unlearned calls, among which "stack" calls are uttered frequently. To determine unequivocally the calls produced by each member of a group, we mounted miniature wireless microphones on each zebra finch. We find that group living paired males and females communicate using bilateral stack calling. To investigate the role of the song control system in call-based male female communication, we recorded the electrical activity in a premotor nucleus of the song control system in freely behaving male birds. The unique combination of acoustic monitoring together with wireless brain recording of individual zebra finches in groups shows that the neuronal activity of the song system correlates with the production of unlearned stack calls. The results suggest that the song system evolved from a brain circuit controlling simple unlearned calls to a system capable of producing acoustically rich, learned vocalizations.

  4. A daily oscillation in the fundamental frequency and amplitude of harmonic syllables of zebra finch song.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William E Wood

    Full Text Available Complex motor skills are more difficult to perform at certain points in the day (for example, shortly after waking, but the daily trajectory of motor-skill error is more difficult to predict. By undertaking a quantitative analysis of the fundamental frequency (FF and amplitude of hundreds of zebra finch syllables per animal per day, we find that zebra finch song follows a previously undescribed daily oscillation. The FF and amplitude of harmonic syllables rises across the morning, reaching a peak near mid-day, and then falls again in the late afternoon until sleep. This oscillation, although somewhat variable, is consistent across days and across animals and does not require serotonin, as animals with serotonergic lesions maintained daily oscillations. We hypothesize that this oscillation is driven by underlying physiological factors which could be shared with other taxa. Song production in zebra finches is a model system for studying complex learned behavior because of the ease of gathering comprehensive behavioral data and the tractability of the underlying neural circuitry. The daily oscillation that we describe promises to reveal new insights into how time of day affects the ability to accomplish a variety of complex learned motor skills.

  5. Castration modulates singing patterns and electrophysiological properties of RA projection neurons in adult male zebra finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Songhua Wang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Castration can change levels of plasma testosterone. Androgens such as testosterone play an important role in stabilizing birdsong. The robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA is an important premotor nucleus critical for singing. In this study, we investigated the effect of castration on singing patterns and electrophysiological properties of projection neurons (PNs in the RA of adult male zebra finches. Adult male zebra finches were castrated and the changes in bird song assessed. We also recorded the electrophysiological changes from RA PNs using patch clamp recording. We found that the plasma levels of testosterone were significantly decreased, song syllable’s entropy was increased and the similarity of motif was decreased after castration. Spontaneous and evoked firing rates, membrane time constants, and membrane capacitance of RA PNs in the castration group were lower than those of the control and the sham groups. Afterhyperpolarization AHP time to peak of spontaneous action potential (AP was prolonged after castration.These findings suggest that castration decreases song stereotypy and excitability of RA PNs in male zebra finches.

  6. Bill redness is positively associated with reproduction and survival in male and female zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirre J P Simons

    Full Text Available Sexual traits can serve as honest indicators of phenotypic quality when they are costly. Brightly coloured yellow to red traits, which are pigmented by carotenoids, are relatively common in birds, and feature in sexual selection. Carotenoids have been linked to immune and antioxidant function, and the trade-off between ornamentation and these physiological functions provides a potential mechanism rendering carotenoid based signals costly. Mutual ornamentation is also common in birds and can be maintained by mutual mate choice for this ornament or by a correlated response in one sex to selection on the other sex. When selection pressures differ between the sexes this can cause intralocus sexual conflict. Sexually antagonistic selection pressures have been demonstrated for few sexual traits, and for carotenoid-dependent traits there is a single example: bill redness was found to be positively associated with survival and reproductive output in male zebra finches, but negatively so in females. We retested these associations in our captive zebra finch population without two possible limitations of this earlier study. Contrary to the earlier findings, we found no evidence for sexually antagonistic selection. In both sexes, individuals with redder bills showed higher survival. This association disappeared among the females with the reddest bills. Furthermore, females with redder bills achieved higher reproductive output. We conclude that bill redness of male and female zebra finches honestly signals phenotypic quality, and discuss the possible causes of the differences between our results and earlier findings.

  7. Insights into the evolution of Darwin’s finches from comparative analysis of the Geospiza magnirostris genome sequence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rands Chris M

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A classical example of repeated speciation coupled with ecological diversification is the evolution of 14 closely related species of Darwin’s (Galápagos finches (Thraupidae, Passeriformes. Their adaptive radiation in the Galápagos archipelago took place in the last 2–3 million years and some of the molecular mechanisms that led to their diversification are now being elucidated. Here we report evolutionary analyses of genome of the large ground finch, Geospiza magnirostris. Results 13,291 protein-coding genes were predicted from a 991.0 Mb G. magnirostris genome assembly. We then defined gene orthology relationships and constructed whole genome alignments between the G. magnirostris and other vertebrate genomes. We estimate that 15% of genomic sequence is functionally constrained between G. magnirostris and zebra finch. Genic evolutionary rate comparisons indicate that similar selective pressures acted along the G. magnirostris and zebra finch lineages suggesting that historical effective population size values have been similar in both lineages. 21 otherwise highly conserved genes were identified that each show evidence for positive selection on amino acid changes in the Darwin's finch lineage. Two of these genes (Igf2r and Pou1f1 have been implicated in beak morphology changes in Darwin’s finches. Five of 47 genes showing evidence of positive selection in early passerine evolution have cilia related functions, and may be examples of adaptively evolving reproductive proteins. Conclusions These results provide insights into past evolutionary processes that have shaped G. magnirostris genes and its genome, and provide the necessary foundation upon which to build population genomics resources that will shed light on more contemporaneous adaptive and non-adaptive processes that have contributed to the evolution of the Darwin’s finches.

  8. Gene duplication and fragmentation in the zebra finch major histocompatibility complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burt David W

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Due to its high polymorphism and importance for disease resistance, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC has been an important focus of many vertebrate genome projects. Avian MHC organization is of particular interest because the chicken Gallus gallus, the avian species with the best characterized MHC, possesses a highly streamlined minimal essential MHC, which is linked to resistance against specific pathogens. It remains unclear the extent to which this organization describes the situation in other birds and whether it represents a derived or ancestral condition. The sequencing of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata genome, in combination with targeted bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC sequencing, has allowed us to characterize an MHC from a highly divergent and diverse avian lineage, the passerines. Results The zebra finch MHC exhibits a complex structure and history involving gene duplication and fragmentation. The zebra finch MHC includes multiple Class I and Class II genes, some of which appear to be pseudogenes, and spans a much more extensive genomic region than the chicken MHC, as evidenced by the presence of MHC genes on each of seven BACs spanning 739 kb. Cytogenetic (FISH evidence and the genome assembly itself place core MHC genes on as many as four chromosomes with TAP and Class I genes mapping to different chromosomes. MHC Class II regions are further characterized by high endogenous retroviral content. Lastly, we find strong evidence of selection acting on sites within passerine MHC Class I and Class II genes. Conclusion The zebra finch MHC differs markedly from that of the chicken, the only other bird species with a complete genome sequence. The apparent lack of synteny between TAP and the expressed MHC Class I locus is in fact reminiscent of a pattern seen in some mammalian lineages and may represent convergent evolution. Our analyses of the zebra finch MHC suggest a complex history involving

  9. Model calculations for the airborne Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber FINCH-HALO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nillius, B.; Bingemer, H.; Bundke, U.; Jaenicke, R.; Reimann, B.; Wetter, T.

    2009-04-01

    Ice nuclei (IN) initiate the formation of primary ice in tropospheric clouds. In mixed phase clouds the primary ice crystals can grow very fast by the Bergeron-Findeisen process (Findeisen, 1938) at the expense of evaporating water droplets, and form precipitation. Thus, IN are essential for the development of precipitation in mixed phase clouds in the middle latitude. However, the role of IN in the development of clouds is still poorly understood and needs to be studied (Levin and Cotton, 2007). A Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber (FINCH-HALO) for airborne operation on the High And LOng Range research aircraft (HALO) is under development at the Institute for Atmosphere and Environment University Frankfurt. IN particles are activated within the chamber at certain ice super-saturation and temperature by mixing three gas flows, a warm moist, a cold dry, and an aerosol flow. After activation the particles will grow within a processing chamber. In an optical depolarisation detector droplets and ice crystals are detected separately. The setup of the new FINCH-HALO instrument is based on the ground based IN counter FINCH (Bundke, 2008). In FINCH-HALO a new cooling unit is used. Thus, measurements down to -40°C are possible. Furthermore minor changes of the inlet section where the mixing occurs were done. The contribution will present 3D model calculations with FLUENT of the flow conditions in the new inlet section for different pressure levels during a flight typical for HALO. Growth rates of ice crystals in the chamber at different temperature and super-saturation will be shown. References: Bundke U., B. Nillius, R. Jaenicke, T. Wetter, H. Klein, H. Bingemer, (2008). The Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber FINCH, Atmospheric Research, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2008.02.008 Findeisen, R., (1938). Meteorologisch-physikalische Begebenheiten der Vereisung in der Atmosphäre. Hauptversammlung 1938 der Lilienthal-Gesellschaft. Levin, Z., W. Cotton, (2007). Aerosol pollution impact on precipitation

  10. Causes and consequences of change rates in the habitat of the threatened tropical porcupine, Sphiggurus mexicanus (Rodentia: Erethizontidae) in Oaxaca, Mexico: implications for its conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzo, Consuelo; Sántiz, Eugenia C; Navarrete, Darío A; Bolaños, Jorge

    2014-12-01

    Land use changes by human activities have been the main causes of habitats and wildlife population degradation. In the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Oaxaca, the tropical habitat of the porcupine Sphiggurus mexicanus has been subject to vegetation and land use changes, causing its reduction and fragmentation. In this study, we estimated vegetation cover and land use (δn) change rates and assessed habitat availability and potential cor- ridors for possible porcupine movements to avoid its isolation. In the study area, the type of vegetation with the most change rate value was the savanna (δn = -2.9), transformed into induced grasslands. Additionally, we have observed the porcupine (since 2011) in semi-deciduous (δn = -0.87) and tropical dry (δn = -0.89) forests that have been transformed in temporal agriculture and mesquite and induced grasslands. The vegetation inhabited by the porcupine resulted in recording a total of 64 plant species (44 trees, nine vines, seven herbs, four shrubs), of which the vine Bunchosia lanceolata showed the highest importance value (41.85) followed by the trees Guazuma ulmifolia (22.71), Dalbergia glabra (18.05), and Enterolobium cyclocarpum (17.02). The habitat evaluation and potential corridor analysis showed that only 1 501.93ha could be considered as suitable habitats with optimum structural conditions (coverage, surface, and distances to transformed areas) to maintain viable populations of S. mexicanus, and 293.6 ha as corridors. An increasing destruction of the porcupines' habitat has been observed in the study area due to excessive logging, and actions for this species and its habitat conserva- tion and management have to be taken urgently.

  11. Causes and consequences of change rates in the habitat of the threatened tropical porcupine, Sphiggurus mexicanus (Rodentia: Erethizontidae in Oaxaca, Mexico: implications for its conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Consuelo Lorenzo

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Land use changes by human activities have been the main causes of habitats and wildlife population degradation. In the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Oaxaca, the tropical habitat of the porcupine Sphiggurus mexicanus has been subject to vegetation and land use changes, causing its reduction and fragmentation. In this study, we estimated vegetation cover and land use (δn change rates and assessed habitat availability and potential corridors for possible porcupine movements to avoid its isolation. In the study area, the type of vegetation with the most change rate value was the savanna (δn=-2.9, transformed into induced grasslands. Additionally, we have observed the porcupine (since 2011 in semi-deciduous (δn=-0.87 and tropical dry (δn=-0.89 forests that have been transformed in temporal agriculture and mesquite and induced grasslands. The vegetation inhabited by the porcupine resulted in recording a total of 64 plant species (44 trees, nine vines, seven herbs, four shrubs, of which the vine Bunchosia lanceolata showed the highest importance value (41.85 followed by the trees Guazuma ulmifolia (22.71, Dalbergia glabra (18.05, and Enterolobium cyclocarpum (17.02. The habitat evaluation and potential corridor analysis showed that only 1 501.93ha could be considered as suitable habitats with optimum structural conditions (coverage, surface, and distances to transformed areas to maintain viable populations of S. mexicanus, and 293.6ha as corridors. An increasing destruction of the porcupines’ habitat has been observed in the study area due to excessive logging, and actions for this species and its habitat conservation and management have to be taken urgently. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (4: 1481-1494. Epub 2014 December 01.

  12. A novel role for Mc1r in the parallel evolution of depigmentation in independent populations of the cavefish Astyanax mexicanus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua B Gross

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of degenerate characteristics remains a poorly understood phenomenon. Only recently has the identification of mutations underlying regressive phenotypes become accessible through the use of genetic analyses. Focusing on the Mexican cave tetra Astyanax mexicanus, we describe, here, an analysis of the brown mutation, which was first described in the literature nearly 40 years ago. This phenotype causes reduced melanin content, decreased melanophore number, and brownish eyes in convergent cave forms of A. mexicanus. Crosses demonstrate non-complementation of the brown phenotype in F(2 individuals derived from two independent cave populations: Pachón and the linked Yerbaniz and Japonés caves, indicating the same locus is responsible for reduced pigmentation in these fish. While the brown mutant phenotype arose prior to the fixation of albinism in Pachón cave individuals, it is unclear whether the brown mutation arose before or after the fixation of albinism in the linked Yerbaniz/Japonés caves. Using a QTL approach combined with sequence and functional analyses, we have discovered that two distinct genetic alterations in the coding sequence of the gene Mc1r cause reduced pigmentation associated with the brown mutant phenotype in these caves. Our analysis identifies a novel role for Mc1r in the evolution of degenerative phenotypes in blind Mexican cavefish. Further, the brown phenotype has arisen independently in geographically separate caves, mediated through different mutations of the same gene. This example of parallelism indicates that certain genes are frequent targets of mutation in the repeated evolution of regressive phenotypes in cave-adapted species.

  13. Using Digital Images of the Zebra Finch Song System as a Tool to Teach Organizational Effects of Steroid Hormones: A Free Downloadable Module

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, William; Schottler, Natalie A.; Beck McCauley, Lisa M.; Pham, Anh P.; Ruiz, Maureen L.; Fong, Michelle C.; Cui, Xinran

    2011-01-01

    Zebra finch song behavior is sexually dimorphic: males sing and females do not. The neural system underlying this behavior is sexually dimorphic, and this sex difference is easy to quantify. During development, the zebra finch song system can be altered by steroid hormones, specifically estradiol, which actually masculinizes it. Because of the…

  14. Exploring the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata as a novel animal model for the speech-language deficit of fragile X syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winograd, Claudia; Ceman, Stephanie

    2012-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and presents with markedly atypical speech-language, likely due to impaired vocal learning. Although current models have been useful for studies of some aspects of FXS, zebra finch is the only tractable lab model for vocal learning. The neural circuits for vocal learning in the zebra finch have clear relationships to the pathways in the human brain that may be affected in FXS. Further, finch vocal learning may be quantified using software designed specifically for this purpose. Knockdown of the zebra finch FMR1 gene may ultimately enable novel tests of therapies that are modality-specific, using drugs or even social strategies, to ameliorate deficits in vocal development and function. In this chapter, we describe the utility of the zebra finch model and present a hypothesis for the role of FMRP in the developing neural circuitry for vocalization.

  15. Discovery of the First Germline-Restricted Gene by Subtractive Transcriptomic Analysis in the Zebra Finch, Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biederman, Michelle K; Nelson, Megan M; Asalone, Kathryn C; Pedersen, Alyssa L; Saldanha, Colin J; Bracht, John R

    2018-05-21

    Developmentally programmed genome rearrangements are rare in vertebrates, but have been reported in scattered lineages including the bandicoot, hagfish, lamprey, and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) [1]. In the finch, a well-studied animal model for neuroendocrinology and vocal learning [2], one such programmed genome rearrangement involves a germline-restricted chromosome, or GRC, which is found in germlines of both sexes but eliminated from mature sperm [3, 4]. Transmitted only through the oocyte, it displays uniparental female-driven inheritance, and early in embryonic development is apparently eliminated from all somatic tissue in both sexes [3, 4]. The GRC comprises the longest finch chromosome at over 120 million base pairs [3], and previously the only known GRC-derived sequence was repetitive and non-coding [5]. Because the zebra finch genome project was sourced from male muscle (somatic) tissue [6], the remaining genomic sequence and protein-coding content of the GRC remain unknown. Here we report the first protein-coding gene from the GRC: a member of the α-soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion protein (NSF) attachment protein (α-SNAP) family hitherto missing from zebra finch gene annotations. In addition to the GRC-encoded α-SNAP, we find an additional paralogous α-SNAP residing in the somatic genome (a somatolog)-making the zebra finch the first example in which α-SNAP is not a single-copy gene. We show divergent, sex-biased expression for the paralogs and also that positive selection is detectable across the bird α-SNAP lineage, including the GRC-encoded α-SNAP. This study presents the identification and evolutionary characterization of the first protein-coding GRC gene in any organism. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Mate call as reward: Acoustic communication signals can acquire positive reinforcing values during adulthood in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, Alexandra M; Perez, Emilie C; Mulard, Hervé; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine

    2016-02-01

    Social stimuli can have rewarding properties and promote learning. In birds, conspecific vocalizations like song can act as a reinforcer, and specific song variants can acquire particular rewarding values during early life exposure. Here we ask if, during adulthood, an acoustic signal simpler and shorter than song can become a reward for a female songbird because of its particular social value. Using an operant choice apparatus, we showed that female zebra finches display a preferential response toward their mate's calls. This reinforcing value of mate's calls could be involved in the maintenance of the monogamous pair-bond of the zebra finch. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Faithful reconstruction of digital holograms captured by FINCH using a Hamming window function in the Fresnel propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Nisan; Rosen, Joseph; Brooker, Gary

    2013-10-01

    Recent advances in Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH) increase the signal-to-noise ratio in hologram recording by interference of images from two diffractive lenses with focal lengths close to the image plane. Holograms requiring short reconstruction distances are created that reconstruct poorly with existing Fresnel propagation methods. Here we show a dramatic improvement in reconstructed fluorescent images when a 2D Hamming window function substituted for the disk window typically used to bound the impulse response in the Fresnel propagation. Greatly improved image contrast and quality are shown for simulated and experimentally determined FINCH holograms using a 2D Hamming window without significant loss in lateral or axial resolution.

  18. Oscillating magnetic field disrupts magnetic orientation in Zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wiltschko Wolfgang

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Zebra finches can be trained to use the geomagnetic field as a directional cue for short distance orientation. The physical mechanisms underlying the primary processes of magnetoreception are, however, largely unknown. Two hypotheses of how birds perceive magnetic information are mainly discussed, one dealing with modulation of radical pair processes in retinal structures, the other assuming that iron deposits in the upper beak of the birds are involved. Oscillating magnetic fields in the MHz range disturb radical pair mechanisms but do not affect magnetic particles. Thus, application of such oscillating fields in behavioral experiments can be used as a diagnostic tool to decide between the two alternatives. Methods In a setup that eliminates all directional cues except the geomagnetic field zebra finches were trained to search for food in the magnetic north/south axis. The birds were then tested for orientation performance in two magnetic conditions. In condition 1 the horizontal component of the geomagnetic field was shifted by 90 degrees using a helmholtz coil. In condition 2 a high frequently oscillating field (1.156 MHz was applied in addition to the shifted field. Another group of birds was trained to solve the orientation task, but with visual landmarks as directional cue. The birds were then tested for their orientation performance in the same magnetic conditions as applied for the first experiment. Results The zebra finches could be trained successfully to orient in the geomagnetic field for food search in the north/south axis. They were also well oriented in test condition 1, with the magnetic field shifted horizontally by 90 degrees. In contrast, when the oscillating field was added, the directional choices during food search were randomly distributed. Birds that were trained to visually guided orientation showed no difference of orientation performance in the two magnetic conditions. Conclusion The results

  19. Sexual dimorphism in song-induced ZENK expression in the medial striatum of juvenile zebra finches

    OpenAIRE

    Bailey, David J.; Wade, Juli

    2006-01-01

    In the brains of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), the nuclei that direct song learning and production are larger than the corresponding regions in females, who do not sing. The dimorphism in Area X of the medial striatum (MSt), an area important for song learning, is even more dramatic in that it is identifiable in males but not females by Nissl stain. In the present study, conspecific song, but not other auditory stimuli, induced expression of the immediate early gene ZENK in the MS...

  20. Experimental evidence for millisecond activation timescales using the Fast IN Chamber (FINCH) measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundke, U.; Jaenicke, R.; Klein, H.; Nillius, B.; Reimann, B.; Wetter, T.; Bingemer, H.

    2009-04-01

    Ice formation in clouds is a subject of great practical and fundamental importance since the occurrence of ice particle initializes dramatic changes in the microphysical structure of the cloud, which finally ends in the formation of precipitation. The initially step of ice formation is largely unknown. Homogenous nucleation of ice occurs only below -40 °C. If an ice nucleus (IN) is present, heterogeneous nucleation may occur at higher temperature. Here deposition freezing, condensation and immersion freezing as well as contact freezing are known. Also growth rates of ice particles are known as function of crystal surface properties, temperature and super saturation. Timescales for homogenous freezing activation in the order of 0.01 seconds and nucleation rates have been measured by Anderson et al. (1980) and Hagen et al., (1981) using their expansion cloud chamber. This contribution of deposition mode freezing measurements by the ice nucleus counter FINCH presents evidence that the activation timescale of this freezing mode is in the order of 1E-3 seconds. FINCH is an Ice Nucleus counter which activates IN in a supersaturated environment at freezing temperatures. The activation conditions are actively controlled by mixing three gas flows (aerosol, particle-free cold-dry and warm-humid flows).See Bundke et al. 2008 for details. In a special operation mode of FINCH we are able to produce a controlled peak super saturation in the order of 1 ms duration. For several test aerosols the results observed in this particular mode are comparable to normal mode operations, where the maximum super saturation remains for more than a second, thus leading to the conclusion that the time for activation is in the order of 1ms or less. References: R.J. Anderson et al, "A Study of Homogeneous Condensation Freezing Nucleation of Small Water Droplets in an Expansion Cloud Chamber, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 37, 2508-2520, 1980 U.Bundke et al., "The fast Ice Nucleus

  1. Evolution of sex-biased maternal effects in birds: I. Sex-specific resource allocation among simultaneously growing oocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, R L; Badyaev, A V

    2004-11-01

    Females in species that produce broods of multiple offspring need to partition resources among simultaneously growing ova, embryos or neonates. In birds, the duration of growth of a single egg exceeds the ovulation interval, and when maternal resources are limited, a temporal overlap among several developing follicles in the ovary might result in a trade-off of resources among them. We studied growth of oocytes in relation to their future ovulation order, sex, and overlap with other oocytes in a population of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) where strongly sex-biased maternal effects are favoured by natural selection. We found pronounced differences in growth patterns between oocytes that produced males and females. Male oocytes grew up to five times faster and reached their ovulation size earlier than female oocytes. Early onset and early termination of male oocytes' growth in relation to their ovulation resulted in their lesser temporal overlap with other growing ova compared with female oocytes. Consequently, ovulation mass of female but not male oocytes was strongly negatively affected by temporal overlap with other oocytes. In turn, mass of male oocytes was mostly affected by the order of ovulation and by maternal incubation strategy. These results provide a mechanism for sex-biased allocation of maternal resources during egg formation and provide insights into the timing of the sex-determining meiotic division in relation to ovulation in this species.

  2. Blood-feeding patterns of the Culex pipiens complex in Sacramento and Yolo Counties, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Matthew J; Thiemann, Tara; Macedo, Paula; Brown, David A; Scott, Thomas W

    2011-03-01

    Mosquitoes in the Culex pipiens complex are competent vectors of West Nile virus (WNV; family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus) in the laboratory, and field-collected mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus in California and elsewhere. A better understanding of Cx. pipiens complex blood-feeding patterns will help define the threat that these mosquitoes pose to human health and their role in WNV amplification in northern California. We collected blood-engorged Cx. pipiens complex mosquitoes from resting sites near and away from human habitation in Sacramento and Yolo Counties. Cytochrome c oxidase 1 gene sequences were used to identify the vertebrate species from which blood meals were taken. Of 330 engorged mosquitoes collected at 28 sites from June through August 2007 and May through August 2008, >99% fed on an avian host. Three mosquitoes contained bovine blood and none had fed on a human. American Robins (Turdus migratorius) were bitten most often, and the proportion of American Robin blood meals increased significantly over the summer. Other important avian hosts included House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus), Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica), Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta), and Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura). In rural areas, Barn Swallows, Brewer's Blackbirds (Euphagus cyanocephalus), and House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) were frequent hosts. In settings near human habitation, Mourning Doves and Western Meadowlarks were common hosts. Our data indicate that in north central California mosquitoes in the Cx. pipiens complex may be more important as epiornitic than epidemic vectors of WNV.

  3. Digital atlas of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain: a high-resolution photo atlas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karten, Harvey J; Brzozowska-Prechtl, Agnieszka; Lovell, Peter V; Tang, Daniel D; Mello, Claudio V; Wang, Haibin; Mitra, Partha P

    2013-11-01

    We describe a set of new comprehensive, high-quality, high-resolution digital images of histological sections from the brain of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and make them publicly available through an interactive website (http://zebrafinch.brainarchitecture.org/). These images provide a basis for the production of a dimensionally accurate and detailed digital nonstereotaxic atlas. Nissl- and myelin-stained brain sections are provided in the transverse, sagittal, and horizontal planes, with the transverse plane approximating the more traditional Frankfurt plane. In addition, a separate set of brain sections in this same plane is stained for tyrosine hydroxylase, revealing the distribution of catecholaminergic neurons (dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and adrenergic) in the songbird brain. For a subset of sagittal sections we also prepared a corresponding set of drawings, defining and annotating various nuclei, fields, and fiber tracts that are visible under Nissl and myelin staining. This atlas of the zebra finch brain is expected to become an important tool for birdsong research and comparative studies of brain organization and evolution. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Use of a barbed tool by an adult and a juvenile woodpecker finch (Cactospiza pallida).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabine, Tebbich; Irmgard, Teschke; Erica, Cartmill; Sophia, Stankewitz

    2012-02-01

    Here we describe the modification and use of a new tool type in the woodpecker finch (Cactospiza pallida). This species is known to habitually use twigs or cactus spines to extract arthropods out of tree holes. We observed an adult and a juvenile bird using several barbed twigs from introduced blackberry bushes (Rubus niveus) which the adult bird had first modified by removing leaves and side twigs. The barbs of blackberry tools provide a novel functional feature not present in tools made from native plants and de-leafing of twigs never has been observed before. Both birds were observed using several of these tools to extract prey from under the bark of the native scalesia tree (Scalesia penduculta). They oriented the twigs such that the barbs pointed towards themselves; this rendered the barbs functional as they could be used to drag prey out of a crevice. The juvenile bird first watched the adult using the tool and then used the tool that the adult bird had left under the bark at the same location and in the same way as the adult. Our observation highlights the fact that opportunities for the transmission of social information do occur in the wild and indicates that woodpecker finches are flexible in their choice of tool material and tool modification. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Autoradiographic localization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain of the zebra finch (Poephila guttata)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, J.T.; Adkins-Regan, E.; Whiting, P.; Lindstrom, J.M.; Podleski, T.R.

    1988-01-01

    We have localized nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the zebra finch brain by using three 125I-labelled ligands: alpha bungarotoxin and two monoclonal antibodies to neuronal nicotinic receptors. Unfixed brains from intact adult male and female zebra finches were prepared for in vitro autoradiography. Low-resolution film autoradiograms and high-resolution emulsion autoradiograms were prepared for each of the three ligands. The major brain structures that bind all three of the ligands are hippocampus; hyperstriatum dorsalis; hyperstriatum ventralis; nucleus lentiformis mesencephali; nucleus pretectalis, some layers of the optic tectum; nucleus mesencephalicus lateralis; pars dorsalis; locus ceruleus; and all cranial motor nuclei except nucleus nervi hypoglossi. The major structures labelled only by [125I]-alpha bungarotoxin binding included hyperstriatum accessorium and the nuclei: preopticus medialis, medialis hypothalami posterioris, semilunaris, olivarius inferior, and the periventricular organ. Of the song control nuclei, nucleus magnocellularis of the anterior neostriatum; hyperstriatum ventralis, pars caudalis; nucleus intercollicularis; and nucleus hypoglossus were labelled. The binding patterns of the two antibodies were similar to one another but not identical. Both labelled nucleus spiriformis lateralis and nucleus geniculatus lateralis, pars ventralis especially heavily and also labelled the nucleus habenula medialis; nucleus subpretectalis; nucleus isthmi, pars magnocellularis; nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis; nucleus reticularis lateralis; nucleus tractus solitarii; nucleus vestibularis dorsolateralis; nucleus vestibularis lateralis; nucleus descendens nervi trigemini; and the deep cerebellar nuclei

  6. Zebra finches can use positional and transitional cues to distinguish vocal element strings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jiani; Ten Cate, Carel

    2015-08-01

    Learning sequences is of great importance to humans and non-human animals. Many motor and mental actions, such as singing in birds and speech processing in humans, rely on sequential learning. At least two mechanisms are considered to be involved in such learning. The chaining theory proposes that learning of sequences relies on memorizing the transitions between adjacent items, while the positional theory suggests that learners encode the items according to their ordinal position in the sequence. Positional learning is assumed to dominate sequential learning. However, human infants exposed to a string of speech sounds can learn transitional (chaining) cues. So far, it is not clear whether birds, an increasingly important model for examining vocal processing, can do this. In this study we use a Go-Nogo design to examine whether zebra finches can use transitional cues to distinguish artificially constructed strings of song elements. Zebra finches were trained with sequences differing in transitional and positional information and next tested with novel strings sharing positional and transitional similarities with the training strings. The results show that they can attend to both transitional and positional cues and that their sequential coding strategies can be biased toward transitional cues depending on the learning context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: In Honor of Jerry Hogan. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Familial differences in the effects of mercury on reproduction in zebra finches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.

    2013-01-01

    Ecotoxicologists often implicitly assume that populations are homogenous entities in which all individuals have similar responses to a contaminant. However, genetically variable responses occur within populations. This variation can be visualized using dose–response curves of genetically related groups, similar to the way that evolutionary biologists construct reaction norms. We assessed the variation in reproductive success of full-sibling families of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) experimentally exposed to methylmercury. We found significant variation among families in the effects of methylmercury on several reproductive parameters. This variation suggests that there may be strong responses to selection for resistant genotypes in contaminated areas. This has important implications for the evolution of tolerance as well as risk assessment and wildlife conservation efforts on sites with legacy contamination. -- Highlights: •Dose-response curves can visualize genetic differences in response to pollutants. •Families of zebra finch respond differently to mercury contamination. •Differences in reproductive success can lead to selection for resistant genotypes. •Resistance to contamination has implications for risk assessment and conservation. -- Genetic variation in response to contaminants can lead to adaptation on long-term contaminated sites, with implications for risk assessment and conservation of impacted populations

  8. Budgerigars and zebra finches differ in how they generalize in an artificial grammar learning experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spierings, Michelle J.; ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

    The ability to abstract a regularity that underlies strings of sounds is a core mechanism of the language faculty but might not be specific to language learning or even to humans. It is unclear whether and to what extent nonhuman animals possess the ability to abstract regularities defining the relation among arbitrary auditory items in a string and to generalize this abstraction to strings of acoustically novel items. In this study we tested these abilities in a songbird (zebra finch) and a parrot species (budgerigar). Subjects were trained in a go/no-go design to discriminate between two sets of sound strings arranged in an XYX or an XXY structure. After this discrimination was acquired, each subject was tested with test strings that were structurally identical to the training strings but consisted of either new combinations of known elements or of novel elements belonging to other element categories. Both species learned to discriminate between the two stimulus sets. However, their responses to the test strings were strikingly different. Zebra finches categorized test stimuli with previously heard elements by the ordinal position that these elements occupied in the training strings, independent of string structure. In contrast, the budgerigars categorized both novel combinations of familiar elements as well as strings consisting of novel element types by their underlying structure. They thus abstracted the relation among items in the XYX and XXY structures, an ability similar to that shown by human infants and indicating a level of abstraction comparable to analogical reasoning. PMID:27325756

  9. Social interaction with a tutor modulates responsiveness of specific auditory neurons in juvenile zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagihara, Shin; Yazaki-Sugiyama, Yoko

    2018-04-12

    Behavioral states of animals, such as observing the behavior of a conspecific, modify signal perception and/or sensations that influence state-dependent higher cognitive behavior, such as learning. Recent studies have shown that neuronal responsiveness to sensory signals is modified when animals are engaged in social interactions with others or in locomotor activities. However, how these changes produce state-dependent differences in higher cognitive function is still largely unknown. Zebra finches, which have served as the premier songbird model, learn to sing from early auditory experiences with tutors. They also learn from playback of recorded songs however, learning can be greatly improved when song models are provided through social communication with tutors (Eales, 1989; Chen et al., 2016). Recently we found a subset of neurons in the higher-level auditory cortex of juvenile zebra finches that exhibit highly selective auditory responses to the tutor song after song learning, suggesting an auditory memory trace of the tutor song (Yanagihara and Yazaki-Sugiyama, 2016). Here we show that auditory responses of these selective neurons became greater when juveniles were paired with their tutors, while responses of non-selective neurons did not change. These results suggest that social interaction modulates cortical activity and might function in state-dependent song learning. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Reproductive behavior of the Red-crested Finch Coryphospingus cucullatus (Aves: Thraupidae in southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo V.Q. Zima

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Several behavioral aspects of the Red-crested Finch Coryphospingus cucullatus (Statius Müller, 1776 are poorly studied. Here we provide reproductive information on 16 active nests. This information may be valuable to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships of this bird, and to design plans to manage it. Nesting activities occurred from October to February. Clutches consisted of two to three eggs (2.06 ± 0.25, which were laid on consecutive days. Incubation usually started the morning the females laid their last egg and lasted 11.27 ± 0.47 days. Hatching was synchronous, or happened at a one-day interval. The nestling stage lasted 12 ± 0.89 days. Only females incubated the eggs and they fed the young more often than the males did. Overall nesting success, from incubation to fledging, was 28.2%. Nest architecture and egg color proved to be diagnostic characteristics of Coryphospingus , supporting its maintenance as a distinct genus within the recently proposed sub-family Tachyphoninae. Red-crested Finches showed a preference for certain nesting sites, i.e., forest borders or a Cerrado in late regeneration stage. This information can be useful to programs aiming to release illegally trapped individuals.

  11. Chick Development and Asynchroneous Hatching in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikebuchi, Maki; Okanoya, Kazuo; Hasegawa, Toshikazu; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2017-10-01

    The mode of hatching in birds has important impacts on both parents and chicks, including the costs and risks of breeding for parents, and sibling competition in a clutch. Birds with multiple eggs in a single clutch often begin incubating when most eggs are laid, thereby reducing time of incubation, nursing burden, and sibling competition. In some songbirds and some other species, however, incubation starts immediately after the first egg is laid, and the chicks thus hatch asynchronously. This may result in differences in parental care and in sibling competition based on body size differences among older and younger chicks, which in turn might produce asynchronous development among siblings favoring the first hatchling, and further affect the development and fitness of the chicks after fledging. To determine whether such processes in fact occur in the zebra finch, we observed chick development in 18 clutches of zebra finches. We found that there were effects of asynchronous hatching, but these were smaller than expected and mostly not significant. Our observations suggest that the amount of care given to each chick may be equated with such factors as a camouflage effect of the down feathers, and that the low illumination within the nest also complicates the determination of the hatching order by the parents.

  12. Altered auditory BOLD response to conspecific birdsong in zebra finches with stuttered syllables.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henning U Voss

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available How well a songbird learns a song appears to depend on the formation of a robust auditory template of its tutor's song. Using functional magnetic resonance neuroimaging we examine auditory responses in two groups of zebra finches that differ in the type of song they sing after being tutored by birds producing stuttering-like syllable repetitions in their songs. We find that birds that learn to produce the stuttered syntax show attenuated blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD responses to tutor's song, and more pronounced responses to conspecific song primarily in the auditory area field L of the avian forebrain, when compared to birds that produce normal song. These findings are consistent with the presence of a sensory song template critical for song learning in auditory areas of the zebra finch forebrain. In addition, they suggest a relationship between an altered response related to familiarity and/or saliency of song stimuli and the production of variant songs with stuttered syllables.

  13. The roles of vocal and visual interactions in social learning zebra finches: A video playback experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M; Healy, Susan D

    2017-06-01

    The transmission of information from an experienced demonstrator to a naïve observer often depends on characteristics of the demonstrator, such as familiarity, success or dominance status. Whether or not the demonstrator pays attention to and/or interacts with the observer may also affect social information acquisition or use by the observer. Here we used a video-demonstrator paradigm first to test whether video demonstrators have the same effect as using live demonstrators in zebra finches, and second, to test the importance of visual and vocal interactions between the demonstrator and observer on social information use by the observer. We found that female zebra finches copied novel food choices of male demonstrators they saw via live-streaming video while they did not consistently copy from the demonstrators when they were seen in playbacks of the same videos. Although naive observers copied in the absence of vocalizations by the demonstrator, as they copied from playback of videos with the sound off, females did not copy where there was a mis-match between the visual information provided by the video and vocal information from a live male that was out of sight. Taken together these results suggest that video demonstration is a useful methodology for testing social information transfer, at least in a foraging context, but more importantly, that social information use varies according to the vocal interactions, or lack thereof, between the observer and the demonstrator. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    OpenAIRE

    Mariam Honarmand; E. Tobias Krause; Marc Naguib

    2017-01-01

    The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in ...

  15. In-situ measurements of ice nucleating particles with FINCH (Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Rebecca; Frank, Fabian; Curtius, Joachim; Rose, Diana

    2017-04-01

    Ice nucleating particles (INPs), which are a small fraction of the total aerosol population, are capable of triggering ice formation under atmospheric conditions. Since INPs play an important role for the radiative properties of clouds as well as for the formation of precipitation it is important to get quantitative information on the ice activity of various atmospheric aerosol species. With the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH; Bundke et al., 2008) the number concentration of INP is determined at different freezing temperatures and supersaturations. In contrast to other commonly used INP counters, i.e., continuous flow diffusion chambers (CFDCs, DeMott et al., 2011), in FINCH the supersaturation is reached by mixing the sample flow of ambient aerosol with a warm moist as well as a cold dry airflow. By changing the flow rates and temperatures of the individual airflows the freezing temperature (down to -50°C) and supersaturation (up to above water saturation) can be varied relatively quickly. Particles that are ice active at the prescribed freezing temperature and supersaturation grow to crystals and are counted by a home-built optical particle counter (OPC) mounted below the chamber (Bundke et al., 2010). FINCH was operated during the four-week INUIT-BACCHUS-ACTRIS field campaign in Cyprus in April 2016. The measuring site was the location of the Cyprus Atmospheric Observatory (CAO) at Agia Marina Xyliatou, which is typically influenced by dust from the Sahara and the Middle East, an aerosol that is known to have relatively good ice nucleating ability. First results from this campaign will be presented. Acknowledgements: The authors thank the entire INUIT-BACCHUS-ACTRIS campaign team for their cooperation and support. The INUIT-2 project is financed by the German Research Foundation DFG (FOR 1525). The INUIT-Cyprus campaign is a cooperation with the EU-funded project BACCHUS and is also funded by ACTRIS-TNA. References: Bundke, U., Nillius, B., Jaenicke, R

  16. Development and validation of a house finch interleukin-1β (HfIL-1β) ELISA system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sungwon; Park, Myeongseon; Leon, Ariel E; Adelman, James S; Hawley, Dana M; Dalloul, Rami A

    2017-08-30

    A unique clade of the bacterium Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), which causes chronic respiratory disease in poultry, has resulted in annual epidemics of conjunctivitis in North American house finches since the 1990s. Currently, few immunological tools have been validated for this songbird species. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a prototypic multifunctional cytokine and can affect almost every cell type during Mycoplasma infection. The overall goal of this study was to develop and validate a direct ELISA assay for house finch IL-1β (HfIL-1β) using a cross-reactive chicken antibody. A direct ELISA approach was used to develop this system using two different coating methods, carbonate and dehydration. In both methods, antigens (recombinant HfIL-1b or house finch plasma) were serially diluted in carbonate-bicarbonate coating buffer and either incubated at 4 °C overnight or at 60 °C on a heating block for 2 hr. To generate the standard curve, rHfIL-1b protein was serially diluted at 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24 ng/mL. Following blocking and washing, anti-chicken IL-1b polyclonal antibody was added, plates were later incubated with detecting antibodies, and reactions developed with tetramethylbenzidine solution. A commercially available anti-chicken IL-1β (ChIL-1β) polyclonal antibody (pAb) cross-reacted with house finch plasma IL-1β as well as bacterially expressed recombinant house finch IL-1β (rHfIL-1β) in immunoblotting assays. In a direct ELISA system, rHfIL-1β could not be detected by an anti-ChIL-1β pAb when the antigen was coated with carbonate-bicarbonate buffer at 4°C overnight. However, rHfIL-1β was detected by the anti-ChIL-1β pAb when the antigen was coated using a dehydration method by heat (60°C). Using the developed direct ELISA for HfIL-1β with commercial anti-ChIL-1β pAb, we were able to measure plasma IL-1β levels from house finches. Based on high amino acid sequence homology, we hypothesized and demonstrated cross-reactivity of

  17. Song exposure regulates known and novel microRNAs in the zebra finch auditory forebrain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Jong H

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In an important model for neuroscience, songbirds learn to discriminate songs they hear during tape-recorded playbacks, as demonstrated by song-specific habituation of both behavioral and neurogenomic responses in the auditory forebrain. We hypothesized that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs may participate in the changing pattern of gene expression induced by song exposure. To test this, we used massively parallel Illumina sequencing to analyse small RNAs from auditory forebrain of adult zebra finches exposed to tape-recorded birdsong or silence. Results In the auditory forebrain, we identified 121 known miRNAs conserved in other vertebrates. We also identified 34 novel miRNAs that do not align to human or chicken genomes. Five conserved miRNAs showed significant and consistent changes in copy number after song exposure across three biological replications of the song-silence comparison, with two increasing (tgu-miR-25, tgu-miR-192 and three decreasing (tgu-miR-92, tgu-miR-124, tgu-miR-129-5p. We also detected a locus on the Z sex chromosome that produces three different novel miRNAs, with supporting evidence from Northern blot and TaqMan qPCR assays for differential expression in males and females and in response to song playbacks. One of these, tgu-miR-2954-3p, is predicted (by TargetScan to regulate eight song-responsive mRNAs that all have functions in cellular proliferation and neuronal differentiation. Conclusions The experience of hearing another bird singing alters the profile of miRNAs in the auditory forebrain of zebra finches. The response involves both known conserved miRNAs and novel miRNAs described so far only in the zebra finch, including a novel sex-linked, song-responsive miRNA. These results indicate that miRNAs are likely to contribute to the unique behavioural biology of learned song communication in songbirds.

  18. “Bird Song Metronomics”: Isochronous Organization of Zebra Finch Song Rhythm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Philipp; Scharff, Constance

    2016-01-01

    The human capacity for speech and vocal music depends on vocal imitation. Songbirds, in contrast to non-human primates, share this vocal production learning with humans. The process through which birds and humans learn many of their vocalizations as well as the underlying neural system exhibit a number of striking parallels and have been widely researched. In contrast, rhythm, a key feature of language, and music, has received surprisingly little attention in songbirds. Investigating temporal periodicity in bird song has the potential to inform the relationship between neural mechanisms and behavioral output and can also provide insight into the biology and evolution of musicality. Here we present a method to analyze birdsong for an underlying rhythmic regularity. Using the intervals from one note onset to the next as input, we found for each bird an isochronous sequence of time stamps, a “signal-derived pulse,” or pulseS, of which a subset aligned with all note onsets of the bird's song. Fourier analysis corroborated these results. To determine whether this finding was just a byproduct of the duration of notes and intervals typical for zebra finches but not dependent on the individual duration of elements and the sequence in which they are sung, we compared natural songs to models of artificial songs. Note onsets of natural song deviated from the pulseS significantly less than those of artificial songs with randomized note and gap durations. Thus, male zebra finch song has the regularity required for a listener to extract a perceived pulse (pulseP), as yet untested. Strikingly, in our study, pulsesS that best fit note onsets often also coincided with the transitions between sub-note elements within complex notes, corresponding to neuromuscular gestures. Gesture durations often equaled one or more pulseS periods. This suggests that gesture duration constitutes the basic element of the temporal hierarchy of zebra finch song rhythm, an interesting parallel to the

  19. Muscle activation patterns and motor anatomy of Anna's hummingbirds Calypte anna and zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Edward R; Keeney, Brooke K; Kung, Eric; Makan, Sirish; Wild, J Martin; Altshuler, Douglas L

    2013-01-01

    Flying animals exhibit profound transformations in anatomy, physiology, and neural architecture. Although much is known about adaptations in the avian skeleton and musculature, less is known about neuroanatomy and motor unit integration for bird flight. Hummingbirds are among the most maneuverable and specialized of vertebrate fliers, and two unusual neuromuscular features have been previously reported: (1) the pectoralis major has a unique distribution pattern of motor end plates (MEPs) compared with all other birds and (2) electromyograms (EMGs) from the hummingbird's pectoral muscles, the pectoralis major and the supracoracoideus, show activation bursts composed of one or a few spikes that appear to have a very consistent pattern. Here, we place these findings in a broader context by comparing the MEPs, EMGs, and organization of the spinal motor neuron pools of flight muscles of Anna's hummingbird Calypte anna, zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, and, for MEPs, several other species. The previously shown MEP pattern of the hummingbird pectoralis major is not shared with its closest taxonomic relative, the swift, and appears to be unique to hummingbirds. MEP arrangements in previously undocumented wing muscles show patterns that differ somewhat from other avian muscles. In the parallel-fibered strap muscles of the shoulder, MEP patterns appear to relate to muscle length, with the smallest muscles having fibers that span the entire muscle. MEP patterns in pennate distal wing muscles were the same regardless of size, with tightly clustered bands in the middle portion of the muscle, not evenly distributed bands over the muscle's entire length. Muscle activations were examined during slow forward flight in both species, during hovering in hummingbirds, and during slow ascents in zebra finches. The EMG bursts of a wing muscle, the pronator superficialis, were highly variable in peak number, size, and distribution across wingbeats for both species. In the pectoralis

  20. First Report of Coccidiosis and Gizzard Erosion in a Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata of Iran

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    Moini, M.

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Coccidiosis and gizzard erosion are rare conditions in cage bird. A male zebra finch was presented with a history of watery diarrhea, anorexia, ruffled feathers, weight loss, and lethargy and died finally. Gross necropsy revealed small areas of erosions and hemorrhages on the gizzard wall. The intestine was oedematous. The spleen appeared pale and small. The testes were asymmetric.Histologically, necrosis of mucosal layer with infiltration of inflammatory cells observed in cecum. Eimeria stages were detected in the enterocytes. In Gizzard, hemorrhage and ulceration of mucosal layer with infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells in to the underlying mucosa were seen. In hepatic tissue, mild focal necrosis with mononuclear cells infiltration was seen. The disease was diagnosed as coccidiosis and gizzard erosion.

  1. Patterns of call communication between group-housed zebra finches change during the breeding cycle.

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    Gill, Lisa F; Goymann, Wolfgang; Ter Maat, Andries; Gahr, Manfred

    2015-10-06

    Vocal signals such as calls play a crucial role for survival and successful reproduction, especially in group-living animals. However, call interactions and call dynamics within groups remain largely unexplored because their relation to relevant contexts or life-history stages could not be studied with individual-level resolution. Using on-bird microphone transmitters, we recorded the vocalisations of individual zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) behaving freely in social groups, while females and males previously unknown to each other passed through different stages of the breeding cycle. As birds formed pairs and shifted their reproductive status, their call repertoire composition changed. The recordings revealed that calls occurred non-randomly in fine-tuned vocal interactions and decreased within groups while pair-specific patterns emerged. Call-type combinations of vocal interactions changed within pairs and were associated with successful egg-laying, highlighting a potential fitness relevance of calling dynamics in communication systems.

  2. Sex differences in audiovisual discrimination learning by Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seki, Yoshimasa; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2008-02-01

    Both visual and auditory information are important for songbirds, especially in developmental and sexual contexts. To investigate bimodal cognition in songbirds, the authors conducted audiovisual discrimination training in Bengalese finches. The authors used two types of stimulus: an "artificial stimulus," which is a combination of simple figures and sound, and a "biological stimulus," consisting of video images of singing males along with their songs. The authors found that while both sexes predominantly used visual cues in the discrimination tasks, males tended to be more dependent on auditory information for the biological stimulus. Female responses were always dependent on the visual stimulus for both stimulus types. Only males changed their discrimination strategy according to stimulus type. Although males used both visual and auditory cues for the biological stimulus, they responded to the artificial stimulus depending only on visual information, as the females did. These findings suggest a sex difference in innate auditory sensitivity. (c) 2008 APA.

  3. Form of Dietary Methylmercury does not Affect Total Mercury Accumulation in the Tissues of Zebra Finch.

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    Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Whitney, Margaret; Rice, Gary W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-07-01

    Exposure to mercury in humans, other mammals, and birds is primarily dietary, with mercury in the methylated form and bound to cysteine in the tissues of prey items. Yet dosing studies are generally carried out using methylmercury chloride. Here we tested whether the accumulation of total mercury in zebra finch blood, egg, muscle, liver, kidney or brain differed depending on whether dietary mercury was complexed with chloride or cysteine. We found no effect of form of mercury on tissue accumulation. Some previous studies have found lower accumulation of mercury in tissues of animals fed complexed mercury. Much remains to be understood about what happens to ingested mercury once it enters the intestines, but our results suggest that dietary studies using methylmercury chloride in birds will produce similar tissue accumulation levels to those using methylmercury cysteine.

  4. Exposure to dietary mercury alters cognition and behavior of zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swaddle, John P; Diehl, Tessa R; Taylor, Capwell E; Fanaee, Aaron S; Benson, Jessica L; Huckstep, Neil R; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-04-01

    Environmental stressors can negatively affect avian cognitive abilities, potentially reducing fitness, for example by altering response to predators, display to mates, or memory of locations of food. We expand on current knowledge by investigating the effects of dietary mercury, a ubiquitous environmental pollutant and known neurotoxin, on avian cognition. Zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata were dosed for their entire lives with sub-lethal levels of mercury, at the environmentally relevant dose of 1.2 parts per million. In our first study, we compared the dosed birds with controls of the same age using tests of three cognitive abilities: spatial memory, inhibitory control, and color association. In the spatial memory assay, birds were tested on their ability to learn and remember the location of hidden food in their cage. The inhibitory control assay measured their ability to ignore visible but inaccessible food in favor of a learned behavior that provided the same reward. Finally, the color association task tested each bird's ability to associate a specific color with the presence of hidden food. Dietary mercury negatively affected spatial memory ability but not inhibitory control or color association. Our second study focused on three behavioral assays not tied to a specific skill or problem-solving: activity level, neophobia, and social dominance. Zebra finches exposed to dietary mercury throughout their lives were subordinate to, and more active than, control birds. We found no evidence that mercury exposure influenced our metric of neophobia. Together, these results suggest that sub-lethal exposure to environmental mercury selectively harms neurological pathways that control different cognitive abilities, with complex effects on behavior and fitness.

  5. Dopamine physiology in the basal ganglia of male zebra finches during social stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ihle, Eva C; van der Hart, Marieke; Jongsma, Minke; Tecott, Larry H; Doupe, Allison J

    2015-06-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that dopamine (DA) is involved in altering neural activity and gene expression in a zebra finch cortical-basal ganglia circuit specialized for singing, upon the shift between solitary singing and singing as a part of courtship. Our objective here was to sample changes in the extracellular concentrations of DA in Area X of adult and juvenile birds, to test the hypothesis that DA levels would change similarly during presentation of a socially salient stimulus in both age groups. We used microdialysis to sample the extracellular milieu of Area X in awake, behaving adult and juvenile male zebra finches, and analysed the dialysate using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection. The extracellular levels of DA in Area X increased significantly during both female presentation to adult males and tutor presentation to juvenile males. DA levels were not correlated with the time spent singing. We also reverse-dialysed Area X with pharmacologic agents that act either on DA systems directly or on norepinephrine, and found that all of these agents significantly increased DA levels (3- to 10-fold) in Area X. These findings suggest that changes in extracellular DA levels can be stimulated similarly by very different social contexts (courtship and interaction with tutor), and influenced potently by dopaminergic and noradrenergic drugs. These results raise the possibility that the arousal level or attentional state of the subject (rather than singing behavior) is the common feature eliciting changes in extracellular DA concentration. © 2015 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Diurnal and Reproductive Stage-Dependent Variation of Parental Behaviour in Captive Zebra Finches.

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    Boglárka Morvai

    Full Text Available Parental care plays a key role in ontogeny, life-history trade-offs, sexual selection and intra-familial conflict. Studies focusing on understanding causes and consequences of variation in parental effort need to quantify parental behaviour accurately. The applied methods are, however, diverse even for a given species and type of parental effort, and rarely validated for accuracy. Here we focus on variability of parental behaviour from a methodological perspective to investigate the effect of different samplings on various estimates of parental effort. We used nest box cameras in a captive breeding population of zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, a widely used model system of sexual selection, intra-familial dynamics and parental care. We investigated diurnal and reproductive stage-dependent variation in parental effort (including incubation, brooding, nest attendance and number of feedings based on 12h and 3h continuous video-recordings taken at various reproductive stages. We then investigated whether shorter (1h sampling periods provided comparable estimates of overall parental effort and division of labour to those of longer (3h sampling periods. Our study confirmed female-biased division of labour during incubation, and showed that the difference between female and male effort diminishes with advancing reproductive stage. We found individually consistent parental behaviours within given days of incubation and nestling provisioning. Furthermore, parental behaviour was consistent over the different stages of incubation, however, only female brooding was consistent over nestling provisioning. Parental effort during incubation did not predict parental effort during nestling provisioning. Our analyses revealed that 1h sampling may be influenced heavily by stochastic and diurnal variation. We suggest using a single longer sampling period (3h may provide a consistent and accurate estimate for overall parental effort during incubation in zebra

  7. An experimental test of condition-dependent male and female mate choice in zebra finches.

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    Marie-Jeanne Holveck

    Full Text Available In mating systems with social monogamy and obligatory bi-parental care, such as found in many songbird species, male and female fitness depends on the combined parental investment. Hence, both sexes should gain from choosing mates in high rather than low condition. However, theory also predicts that an individual's phenotypic quality can constrain choice, if low condition individuals cannot afford prolonged search efforts and/or face higher risk of rejection. In systems with mutual mate choice, the interaction between male and female condition should thus be a better predictor of choice than either factor in isolation. To address this prediction experimentally, we manipulated male and female condition and subsequently tested male and female mating preferences in zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, a songbird species with mutual mate choice and obligatory bi-parental care. We experimentally altered phenotypic quality by manipulating the brood size in which the birds were reared. Patterns of association for high- or low-condition individuals of the opposite sex differed for male and female focal birds when tested in an 8-way choice arena. Females showed repeatable condition-assortative preferences for males matching their own rearing background. Male preferences were also repeatable, but not predicted by their own or females' rearing background. In combination with a brief review of the literature on condition-dependent mate choice in the zebra finch we discuss whether the observed sex differences and between-studies differences arise because males and females differ in context sensitivity (e.g. male-male competition suppressing male mating preferences, sampling strategies or susceptibility to rearing conditions (e.g. sex-specific effect on physiology. While a picture emerges that juvenile and current state indeed affect preferences, the development and context-dependency of mutual state-dependent mate choice warrants further study.

  8. Mercury alters initiation and construction of nests by zebra finches, but not incubation or provisioning behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Stephanie Y; Hopkins, William A; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-11-01

    Mercury is an environmental contaminant that impairs avian reproduction, but the behavioral and physiological mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to determine whether lifetime dietary exposure to mercury (1.2 µg/g wet weight in food) impacted avian parental behaviors, and how this might influence reproductive success. To distinguish between the direct effects of mercury on parents and offspring, we created four treatment groups of captive-bred zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), with control and mercury-exposed adults raising cross-fostered control or mercury-exposed eggs (from maternal transfer). Control parents were 23% more likely to fledge young than parents exposed to mercury, regardless of egg exposure. Mercury-exposed parents were less likely to initiate nests than controls and spent less time constructing them. Nests of mercury-exposed pairs were lighter, possibly due to an impaired ability to bring nest material into the nestbox. However, nest temperature, incubation behavior, and provisioning rate did not differ between parental treatments. Unexposed control eggs tended to have shorter incubation periods and higher hatching success than mercury-exposed eggs, but there was no effect of parental exposure on these parameters. We accidentally discovered that parent finches transfer some of their body burden of mercury to nestlings during feeding through secretion in the crop. These results suggest that, in mercury-exposed songbirds, pre-laying parental behaviors, combined with direct exposure of embryos to mercury, likely contribute to reduced reproductive success and should be considered in future studies. Further research is warranted in field settings, where parents are exposed to greater environmental challenges and subtle behavioral differences might have more serious consequences than were observed in captivity.

  9. Syringeal specialization of frequency control during song production in the Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica.

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    Kristen R Secora

    Full Text Available Singing in songbirds is a complex, learned behavior which shares many parallels with human speech. The avian vocal organ (syrinx has two potential sound sources, and each sound generator is under unilateral, ipsilateral neural control. Different songbird species vary in their use of bilateral or unilateral phonation (lateralized sound production and rapid switching between left and right sound generation (interhemispheric switching of motor control. Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata domestica have received considerable attention, because they rapidly modify their song in response to manipulations of auditory feedback. However, how the left and right sides of the syrinx contribute to acoustic control of song has not been studied.Three manipulations of lateralized syringeal control of sound production were conducted. First, unilateral syringeal muscular control was eliminated by resection of the left or right tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve, which provides neuromuscular innervation of the syrinx. Spectral and temporal features of song were compared before and after lateralized nerve injury. In a second experiment, either the left or right sound source was devoiced to confirm the role of each sound generator in the control of acoustic phonology. Third, air pressure was recorded before and after unilateral denervation to enable quantification of acoustic change within individual syllables following lateralized nerve resection.These experiments demonstrate that the left sound source produces louder, higher frequency, lower entropy sounds, and the right sound generator produces lower amplitude, lower frequency, higher entropy sounds. The bilateral division of labor is complex and the frequency specialization is the opposite pattern observed in most songbirds. Further, there is evidence for rapid interhemispheric switching during song production. Lateralized control of song production in Bengalese finches may enhance acoustic

  10. Myosin heavy-chain isoforms in the flight and leg muscles of hummingbirds and zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velten, Brandy P; Welch, Kenneth C

    2014-06-01

    Myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform complement is intimately related to a muscle's contractile properties, yet relatively little is known about avian MHC isoforms or how they may vary with fiber type and/or the contractile properties of a muscle. The rapid shortening of muscles necessary to power flight at the high wingbeat frequencies of ruby-throated hummingbirds and zebra finches (25-60 Hz), along with the varied morphology and use of the hummingbird hindlimb, provides a unique opportunity to understand how contractile and morphological properties of avian muscle may be reflected in MHC expression. Isoforms of the hummingbird and zebra finch flight and hindlimb muscles were electrophoretically separated and compared with those of other avian species representing different contractile properties and fiber types. The flight muscles of the study species operate at drastically different contraction rates and are composed of different histochemically defined fiber types, yet each exhibited the same, single MHC isoform corresponding to the chicken adult fast isoform. Thus, despite quantitative differences in the contractile demands of flight muscles across species, this isoform appears necessary for meeting the performance demands of avian powered flight. Variation in flight muscle contractile performance across species may be due to differences in the structural composition of this conserved isoform and/or variation within other mechanically linked proteins. The leg muscles were more varied in their MHC isoform composition across both muscles and species. The disparity in hindlimb MHC expression between hummingbirds and the other species highlights previously observed differences in fiber type composition and thrust production during take-off. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  11. Early lens ablation causes dramatic long-term effects on the shape of bones in the craniofacial skeleton of Astyanax mexicanus.

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    Megan Dufton

    Full Text Available The Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus, exists as two morphs of a single species, a sighted surface morph and a blind cavefish. In addition to eye regression, cavefish have an increased number of taste buds, maxillary teeth and have an altered craniofacial skeleton compared to the sighted morph. We investigated the effect the lens has on the development of the surrounding skeleton, by ablating the lens at different time points during ontogeny. This unique long-term study sheds light on how early embryonic manipulations on the eye can affect the shape of the adult skull more than a year later, and the developmental window during which time these effects occur. The effects of lens ablation were analyzed by whole-mount bone staining, immunohistochemisty and landmark based morphometric analyzes. Our results indicate that lens ablation has the greatest impact on the skeleton when it is ablated at one day post fertilisation (dpf compared to at four dpf. Morphometric analyzes indicate that there is a statistically significant difference in the shape of the supraorbital bone and suborbital bones four through six. These bones expand into the eye orbit exhibiting plasticity in their shape. Interestingly, the number of caudal teeth on the lower jaw is also affected by lens ablation. In contrast, the shape of the calvariae, the length of the mandible, and the number of mandibular taste buds are unaltered by lens removal. We demonstrate the plasticity of some craniofacial elements and the stability of others in the skull. Furthermore, this study highlights interactions present between sensory systems during early development and sheds light on the cavefish phenotype.

  12. Mate choice for a male carotenoid-based ornament is linked to female dietary carotenoid intake and accumulation

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    Toomey Matthew B

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The coevolution of male traits and female mate preferences has led to the elaboration and diversification of sexually selected traits; however the mechanisms that mediate trait-preference coevolution are largely unknown. Carotenoid acquisition and accumulation are key determinants of the expression of male sexually selected carotenoid-based coloration and a primary mechanism maintaining the honest information content of these signals. Carotenoids also influence female health and reproduction in ways that may alter the costs and benefits of mate choice behaviours and thus provide a potential biochemical link between the expression of male traits and female preferences. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated the dietary carotenoid levels of captive female house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus and assessed their mate choice behavior in response to color-manipulated male finches. Results Females preferred to associate with red males, but carotenoid supplementation did not influence the direction or strength of this preference. Females receiving a low-carotenoid diet were less responsive to males in general, and discrimination among the colorful males was positively linked to female plasma carotenoid levels at the beginning of the study when the diet of all birds was carotenoid-limited. Conclusions Although female preference for red males was not influenced by carotenoid intake, changes in mating responsiveness and discrimination linked to female carotenoid status may alter how this preference is translated into choice. The reddest males, with the most carotenoid rich plumage, tend to pair early in the breeding season. If carotenoid-related variations in female choice behaviour shift the timing of pairing, then they have the potential to promote assortative mating by carotenoid status and drive the evolution of carotenoid-based male plumage coloration.

  13. The relationship between plants used to sustain finches (Fringillidae) and uses for human medicine in southeast Spain

    OpenAIRE

    Belda, Antonio; Peiro, Victoriano; Seva Román, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract fin...

  14. Housing conditions and sacrifice protocol affect neural activity and vocal behavior in a songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elie, Julie Estelle; Soula, Hédi Antoine; Trouvé, Colette; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine

    2015-12-01

    Individual cages represent a widely used housing condition in laboratories. This isolation represents an impoverished physical and social environment in gregarious animals. It prevents animals from socializing, even when auditory and visual contact is maintained. Zebra finches are colonial songbirds that are widely used as laboratory animals for the study of vocal communication from brain to behavior. In this study, we investigated the effect of single housing on the vocal behavior and the brain activity of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): male birds housed in individual cages were compared to freely interacting male birds housed as a social group in a communal cage. We focused on the activity of septo-hypothalamic regions of the "social behavior network" (SBN), a set of limbic regions involved in several social behaviors in vertebrates. The activity of four structures of the SBN (BSTm, medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis; POM, medial preoptic area; lateral septum; ventromedial hypothalamus) and one associated region (paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus) was assessed using immunoreactive nuclei density of the immediate early gene Zenk (egr-1). We further assessed the identity of active cell populations by labeling vasotocin (VT). Brain activity was related to behavioral activities of birds like physical and vocal interactions. We showed that individual housing modifies vocal exchanges between birds compared to communal housing. This is of particular importance in the zebra finch, a model species for the study of vocal communication. In addition, a protocol that daily removes one or two birds from the group affects differently male zebra finches depending of their housing conditions: while communally-housed males changed their vocal output, brains of individually housed males show increased Zenk labeling in non-VT cells of the BSTm and enhanced correlation of Zenk-revealed activity between the studied structures. These results show that

  15. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae) and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge. PMID:22611428

  16. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain

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    Antonio Belda

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses; thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158, and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (=158. Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge.

  17. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae) and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge.

  18. Is the rate of metabolic ageing and survival determined by Basal metabolic rate in the zebra finch?

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    Bernt Rønning

    Full Text Available The relationship between energy metabolism and ageing is of great interest because aerobic metabolism is the primary source of reactive oxygen species which is believed to be of major importance in the ageing process. We conducted a longitudinal study on captive zebra finches where we tested the effect of age on basal metabolic rate (BMR, as well as the effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing (decline in BMR with age and survival. Basal metabolic rate declined with age in both sexes after controlling for the effect of body mass, indicating a loss of functionality with age. This loss of functionality could be due to accumulated oxidative damage, believed to increase with increasing metabolic rate, c.f. the free radical theory of ageing. If so, we would expect the rate of metabolic ageing to increase and survival to decrease with increasing BMR. However, we found no effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing. Furthermore, survival was not affected by BMR in the males. In female zebra finches there was a tendency for survival to decrease with increasing BMR, but the effect did not reach significance (P<0.1. Thus, the effect of BMR on the rate of functional deterioration with age, if any, was not strong enough to influence neither the rate of metabolic ageing nor survival in the zebra finches.

  19. Is the rate of metabolic ageing and survival determined by Basal metabolic rate in the zebra finch?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rønning, Bernt; Moe, Børge; Berntsen, Henrik H; Noreen, Elin; Bech, Claus

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between energy metabolism and ageing is of great interest because aerobic metabolism is the primary source of reactive oxygen species which is believed to be of major importance in the ageing process. We conducted a longitudinal study on captive zebra finches where we tested the effect of age on basal metabolic rate (BMR), as well as the effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing (decline in BMR with age) and survival. Basal metabolic rate declined with age in both sexes after controlling for the effect of body mass, indicating a loss of functionality with age. This loss of functionality could be due to accumulated oxidative damage, believed to increase with increasing metabolic rate, c.f. the free radical theory of ageing. If so, we would expect the rate of metabolic ageing to increase and survival to decrease with increasing BMR. However, we found no effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing. Furthermore, survival was not affected by BMR in the males. In female zebra finches there was a tendency for survival to decrease with increasing BMR, but the effect did not reach significance (PBMR on the rate of functional deterioration with age, if any, was not strong enough to influence neither the rate of metabolic ageing nor survival in the zebra finches.

  20. Cannabinoid exposure during zebra finch sensorimotor vocal learning persistently alters expression of endocannabinoid signaling elements and acute agonist responsiveness

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    Lichtman Aron H

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previously we have found that cannabinoid treatment of zebra finches during sensorimotor stages of vocal development alters song patterns produced in adulthood. Such persistently altered behavior must be attributable to changes in physiological substrates responsible for song. We are currently working to identify the nature of such physiological changes, and to understand how they contribute to altered vocal learning. One possibility is that developmental agonist exposure results in altered expression of elements of endocannabinoid signaling systems. To test this hypothesis we have studied effects of the potent cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN on endocannabinoid levels and densities of CB1 immunostaining in zebra finch brain. Results We found that late postnatal WIN treatment caused a long-term global disregulation of both levels of the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG and densities of CB1 immunostaining across brain regions, while repeated cannabinoid treatment in adults produced few long-term changes in the endogenous cannabinoid system. Conclusions Our findings indicate that the zebra finch endocannabinoid system is particularly sensitive to exogenous agonist exposure during the critical period of song learning and provide insight into susceptible brain areas.

  1. Naris deformation in Darwin’s finches: Experimental and historical evidence for a post-1960s arrival of the parasite Philornis downsi

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    Sonia Kleindorfer

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The rate of evolution depends on the strength of selection, which may be particularly strong for introduced parasites and their naive hosts. Because natural selection acts on phenotypes and because parasites can alter host phenotype, one fruitful starting point to measure the impact of novel pathogens is to quantify parasite-induced changes to host phenotype. Our study system is Darwin’s finches on Floreana Island, Galápagos Archipelago, and the virulent fly larvae of Philornis downsi that were first discovered in Darwin’s finch nests in 1997. We use an experimental approach and measure host phenotype in parasitized and parasite-free chicks in Darwin’s small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa. Beak size did not differ between the two treatment groups, but naris size was 106% larger in parasitized chicks (∼3.3 mm versus parasite-free chicks (∼1.6 mm. To test if P. downsi was present prior to the 1960s, we compared naris size in historical (1899–1962 and contemporary birds (2004–2014 on Floreana Island in small ground finches (G. fuliginosa and medium tree finches (Camarhynchus pauper. Contemporary Darwin’s finches had significantly larger naris size (including extreme deformation, whereas historical naris size was both smaller and less variable. These findings provide the first longitudinal analysis for the extent of P. downsi-induced change to host naris size and show that Darwin’s finches, prior to the 1960s, were not malformed. Thus natural selection on altered host phenotype as a consequence of P. downsi parasitism appears to be contemporary and novel.

  2. Metabolic and respiratory costs of increasing song amplitude in zebra finches.

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    Sue Anne Zollinger

    Full Text Available Bird song is a widely used model in the study of animal communication and sexual selection, and several song features have been shown to reflect the quality of the singer. Recent studies have demonstrated that song amplitude may be an honest signal of current condition in males and that females prefer high amplitude songs. In addition, birds raise the amplitude of their songs to communicate in noisy environments. Although it is generally assumed that louder song should be more costly to produce, there has been little empirical evidence to support this assumption. We tested the assumption by measuring oxygen consumption and respiratory patterns in adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata singing at different amplitudes in different background noise conditions. As background noise levels increased, birds significantly increased the sound pressure level of their songs. We found that louder songs required significantly greater subsyringeal air sac pressure than quieter songs. Though increased pressure is probably achieved by increasing respiratory muscle activity, these increases did not correlate with measurable increases in oxygen consumption. In addition, we found that oxygen consumption increased in higher background noise, independent of singing behaviour. This observation supports previous research in mammals showing that high levels of environmental noise can induce physiological stress responses. While our study did not find that increasing vocal amplitude increased metabolic costs, further research is needed to determine whether there are other non-metabolic costs of singing louder or costs associated with chronic noise exposure.

  3. Evolution of female carotenoid coloration by sexual constraint in Carduelis finches

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    Cardoso Gonçalo C

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Females often express the same ornaments as males to a similar or lesser degree. Female ornaments can be adaptive, but little is known regarding their origins and mode of evolution. Current utility does not imply evolutionary causation, and therefore it is possible that female ornamentation evolved due to selection on females, as a correlated response to selection on males (sexual constraint, or a combination of both. We tested these ideas simulating simple models for the evolution of male and female correlated traits, and compared their predictions against the coloration of finches in the genus Carduelis. Results For carotenoid-based ornamental coloration, a model of sexual constraint on females fits the Carduelis data well. The two alternative models (sexual constraint on males, and mutual constraint were rejected as causing the similarities in carotenoid coloration between males and females. For melanin coloration, the correlation between the sexes was weaker, indicating that males and females evolved independently to a greater extent. Conclusions This indicates that sexual constraint on females was an important mechanism for the evolution of ornamental carotenoid coloration in females, but less so for melanin coloration. This does not mean that female carotenoid coloration is non-adaptive or maladaptive, because sexual dichromatism could evolve if it were maladaptive. It suggests, however, that most evolution of female carotenoid coloration was male-driven and, when adaptive, may not be an adaptation stricto sensu.

  4. Maternal antibody transfer can lead to suppression of humoral immunity in developing zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

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    Merrill, Loren; Grindstaff, Jennifer L

    2014-01-01

    Maternally transferred antibodies have been documented in a wide range of taxa and are thought to adaptively provide protection against parasites and pathogens while the offspring immune system is developing. In most birds, transfer occurs when females deposit immunoglobulin Y into the egg yolk, and it is proportional to the amount in the female's plasma. Maternal antibodies can provide short-term passive protection as well as specific and nonspecific immunological priming, but high levels of maternal antibody can result in suppression of the offspring's humoral immune response. We injected adult female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with one of two antigens (lipopolysaccharide [LPS] or keyhole limpet hemocyanin [KLH]) or a control and then injected offspring with LPS, KLH, or a control on days 5 and 28 posthatch to examine the impact of maternally transferred antibodies on the ontogeny of the offspring's humoral immune system. We found that offspring of females exposed to KLH had elevated levels of KLH-reactive antibody over the first 17-28 days posthatch but reduced KLH-specific antibody production between days 28 and 36. We also found that offspring exposed to either LPS or KLH exhibited reduced total antibody levels, compared to offspring that received a control injection. These results indicate that high levels of maternal antibodies or antigen exposure during development can have negative repercussions on short-term antibody production and may have long-term fitness repercussions for the offspring.

  5. Large-scale synchronized activity during vocal deviance detection in the zebra finch auditory forebrain.

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    Beckers, Gabriël J L; Gahr, Manfred

    2012-08-01

    Auditory systems bias responses to sounds that are unexpected on the basis of recent stimulus history, a phenomenon that has been widely studied using sequences of unmodulated tones (mismatch negativity; stimulus-specific adaptation). Such a paradigm, however, does not directly reflect problems that neural systems normally solve for adaptive behavior. We recorded multiunit responses in the caudomedial auditory forebrain of anesthetized zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) at 32 sites simultaneously, to contact calls that recur probabilistically at a rate that is used in communication. Neurons in secondary, but not primary, auditory areas respond preferentially to calls when they are unexpected (deviant) compared with the same calls when they are expected (standard). This response bias is predominantly due to sites more often not responding to standard events than to deviant events. When two call stimuli alternate between standard and deviant roles, most sites exhibit a response bias to deviant events of both stimuli. This suggests that biases are not based on a use-dependent decrease in response strength but involve a more complex mechanism that is sensitive to auditory deviance per se. Furthermore, between many secondary sites, responses are tightly synchronized, a phenomenon that is driven by internal neuronal interactions rather than by the timing of stimulus acoustic features. We hypothesize that this deviance-sensitive, internally synchronized network of neurons is involved in the involuntary capturing of attention by unexpected and behaviorally potentially relevant events in natural auditory scenes.

  6. Increased fat catabolism sustains water balance during fasting in zebra finches.

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    Rutkowska, Joanna; Sadowska, Edyta T; Cichoń, Mariusz; Bauchinger, Ulf

    2016-09-01

    Patterns of physiological flexibility in response to fasting are well established, but much less is known about the contribution of water deprivation to the observed effects. We investigated body composition and energy and water budget in three groups of zebra finches: birds with access to food and water, food-deprived birds having access to drinking water and food-and-water-deprived birds. Animals were not stimulated by elevated energy expenditure and they were in thermoneutral conditions; thus, based on previous studies, water balance of fasting birds was expected to be maintained by increased catabolism of proteins. In contrast to this expectation, we found that access to water did not prevent reduction of proteinaceous tissue, but it saved fat reserves of the fasting birds. Thus, water balance of birds fasting without access to water seemed to be maintained by elevated fat catabolism, which generated 6 times more metabolic water compared with that in birds that had access to water. Therefore, we revise currently established views and propose fat to serve as the primary source for metabolic water production. Previously assumed increased protein breakdown for maintenance of water budget would occur if fat stores were depleted or if fat catabolism reached its upper limits due to high energy demands. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  7. Mitochondria-targeted molecules determine the redness of the zebra finch bill.

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    Cantarero, Alejandro; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos

    2017-10-01

    The evolution and production mechanisms of red carotenoid-based ornaments in animals are poorly understood. Recently, it has been suggested that enzymes transforming yellow carotenoids to red pigments (ketolases) in animal cells may be positioned in the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) intimately linked to the electron transport chain. These enzymes may mostly synthesize coenzyme Q 10 (coQ 10 ), a key redox-cycler antioxidant molecularly similar to yellow carotenoids. It has been hypothesized that this shared pathway favours the evolution of red traits as sexually selected individual quality indices by revealing a well-adjusted oxidative metabolism. We administered mitochondria-targeted molecules to male zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) measuring their bill redness, a trait produced by transforming yellow carotenoids. One molecule included coQ 10 (mitoquinone mesylate, MitoQ) and the other one (decyl-triphenylphosphonium; dTPP) has the same structure without the coQ 10 aromatic ring. At the highest dose, the bill colour of MitoQ and dTPP birds strongly differed: MitoQ birds' bills were redder and dTPP birds showed paler bills even compared to birds injected with saline only. These results suggest that ketolases are indeed placed at the IMM and that coQ 10 antioxidant properties may improve their efficiency. The implications for evolutionary theories of sexual signalling are discussed. © 2017 The Author(s).

  8. Heterologous Synapsis and Crossover Suppression in Heterozygotes for a Pericentric Inversion in the Zebra Finch.

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    del Priore, Lucía; Pigozzi, María I

    2015-01-01

    In the zebra finch, 2 alternative morphs regarding centromere position were described for chromosome 6. This polymorphism was interpreted to be the result of a pericentric inversion, but other causes of the centromere repositioning were not ruled out. We used immunofluorescence localization to examine the distribution of MLH1 foci on synaptonemal complexes to test the prediction that pericentric inversions cause synaptic irregularities and/or crossover suppression in heterozygotes. We found complete suppression of crossing over in the region involved in the rearrangement in male and female heterozygotes. In contrast, the same region showed high levels of crossing over in homozygotes for the acrocentric form of this chromosome. No inversion loops or synaptic irregularities were detected along bivalent 6 in heterozygotes suggesting that heterologous pairing is achieved during zygotene or early pachytene. Altogether these findings strongly indicate that the polymorphic chromosome 6 originated by a pericentric inversion. Since inversions are common rearrangements in karyotypic evolution in birds, it seems likely that early heterologous pairing could help to fix these rearrangements, preventing crossing overs in heterozygotes and their deleterious effects on fertility. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Impulsiveness does not prevent cooperation from emerging but reduces its occurrence: an experiment with zebra finches.

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    Chia, Camille; Dubois, Frédérique

    2017-08-17

    Reciprocal altruism, the most probable mechanism for cooperation among unrelated individuals, can be modelled as a Prisoner's Dilemma. This game predicts that cooperation should evolve whenever the players, who expect to interact repeatedly, make choices contingent to their partner's behaviour. Experimental evidence, however, indicates that reciprocity is rare among animals. One reason for this would be that animals are very impulsive compared to humans. Several studies have reported that temporal discounting (that is, strong preferences for immediate benefits) has indeed a negative impact on the occurrence of cooperation. Yet, the role of impulsive action, another facet of impulsiveness, remains unexplored. Here, we conducted a laboratory experiment in which male and female zebra finches (Taenyopigia guttata) were paired assortatively with respect to their level of impulsive action and then played an alternating Prisoner's Dilemma. As anticipated, we found that self-controlled pairs achieved high levels of cooperation by using a Generous Tit-for-Tat strategy, while impulsive birds that cooperated at a lower level, chose to cooperate with a fixed probability. If the inability of impulsive individuals to use reactive strategies are due to their reduced working memory capacity, thus our findings might contribute to explaining interspecific differences in cooperative behaviour.

  10. Early-Life Stress Triggers Juvenile Zebra Finches to Switch Social Learning Strategies.

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    Farine, Damien R; Spencer, Karen A; Boogert, Neeltje J

    2015-08-17

    Stress during early life can cause disease and cognitive impairment in humans and non-humans alike. However, stress and other environmental factors can also program developmental pathways. We investigate whether differential exposure to developmental stress can drive divergent social learning strategies between siblings. In many species, juveniles acquire essential foraging skills by copying others: they can copy peers (horizontal social learning), learn from their parents (vertical social learning), or learn from other adults (oblique social learning). However, whether juveniles' learning strategies are condition dependent largely remains a mystery. We found that juvenile zebra finches living in flocks socially learned novel foraging skills exclusively from adults. By experimentally manipulating developmental stress, we further show that social learning targets are phenotypically plastic. While control juveniles learned foraging skills from their parents, their siblings, exposed as nestlings to experimentally elevated stress hormone levels, learned exclusively from unrelated adults. Thus, early-life conditions triggered individuals to switch strategies from vertical to oblique social learning. This switch could arise from stress-induced differences in developmental rate, cognitive and physical state, or the use of stress as an environmental cue. Acquisition of alternative social learning strategies may impact juveniles' fit to their environment and ultimately change their developmental trajectories. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. Blocking estradiol synthesis affects memory for songs in auditory forebrain of male zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoder, Kathleen M; Lu, Kai; Vicario, David S

    2012-11-14

    Estradiol (E2) has recently been shown to modulate sensory processing in an auditory area of the songbird forebrain, the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM). When a bird hears conspecific song, E2 increases locally in NCM, where neurons express both the aromatase enzyme that synthesizes E2 from precursors and estrogen receptors. Auditory responses in NCM show a form of neuronal memory: repeated playback of the unique learned vocalizations of conspecific individuals induces long-lasting stimulus-specific adaptation of neural responses to each vocalization. To test the role of E2 in this auditory memory, we treated adult male zebra finches (n=16) with either the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole (FAD) or saline for 8 days. We then exposed them to 'training' songs and, 6 h later, recorded multiunit auditory responses with an array of 16 microelectrodes in NCM. Adaptation rates (a measure of stimulus-specific adaptation) to playbacks of training and novel songs were computed, using established methods, to provide a measure of neuronal memory. Recordings from the FAD-treated birds showed a significantly reduced memory for the training songs compared with saline-treated controls, whereas auditory processing for novel songs did not differ between treatment groups. In addition, FAD did not change the response bias in favor of conspecific over heterospecific song stimuli. Our results show that E2 depletion affects the neuronal memory for vocalizations in songbird NCM, and suggest that E2 plays a necessary role in auditory processing and memory for communication signals.

  12. VizieR Online Data Catalog: URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) (Finch+, 2016)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finch, C. T.; Zacharias, N.

    2016-04-01

    The URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) consists of 112177 parallaxes. The catalog utilizes all Northern Hemisphere epoch data from the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) Robotic Astrometric Telescope (URAT). This data includes all individual exposures from April 2012 to June 2015 giving a larger epoch baseline for determining parallaxes over the 2-year span of the First USNO Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog (URAT1) (Zacharias et al., 2015, Cat. I/329) published data. The URAT parallax pipeline is custom code that utilizes routines from (Jao, C.-W., 2004, PhD thesis Georgia Stat), the JPL DE405 ephemeris and Green's parallax factor (Green, R.M., 1985, Spherical Astronomy) for determining parallaxes from a weighted least-squares reduction. The relative parallaxes have been corrected to absolute by using the distance color relation described in (Finch et. al, 2014, Cat. J/AJ/148/119) to determine a mean distance of all UCAC4 reference stars (R=8-16 mag) used in the astrometric reductions. Presented here are all significant parallaxes from the URAT Northern Hemisphere epoch data comprising of 2 groups: a) URAT parallax results for stars with prior published parallax, and b) first time trigonometric parallaxes as obtained from URAT data of stars without prior published parallax. Note, more stringent selection criteria have been applied to the second group than the first in order to keep the rate of false detections low. For specific information about the astrometric reductions please see 'The First U.S. Naval Observatory Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog' published paper (Zacharias et al., 2015AJ....150..101Z, Cat. I/329). For complete details regarding the parallax pipeline please see 'Parallax Results From URAT Epoch Data' (Finch and Zacharias, 2016, AJ, in press). This catalog gives all positions on the ICRS at Epoch J2014.0; it covers the magnitude range 6.56 to 16.93 in the URAT band-pass, with an average parallax precision of 4.3mas for stars having no known

  13. Experimental Infection and Clearance of Coccidian Parasites in Mercury-Exposed Zebra Finches.

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    Ebers Smith, Jessica H; Cristol, Daniel A; Swaddle, John P

    2018-01-01

    Mercury is a globally distributed, persistent environmental contaminant that affects the health of many taxa. It can suppress the immune system, which often plays a role in defense against parasites. However, there have been few investigations of whether mercury affects the abilities of animals to resist parasitic infection. Here, we exposed zebra finches to a lifetime dietary exposure of methylmercury (1.2 μg/g wet weight) and experimentally infected them with coccidian parasites to examine the effect of methylmercury exposure on parasitic infection. The mercury-exposed birds did not have an altered immune response (heterophil:lymphocyte ratio) nor a reduced ability to clear the infection. However, mercury-exposed birds tended to have higher parasite loads at the time when we expected the greatest immune response (2-3 weeks post-infection). Although mercury did not greatly influence the infection-course of this parasite in captivity, responses may be more accentuated in the wild where birds face additional immune challenges.

  14. Personality is Tightly Coupled to Vasopressin-Oxytocin Neuron Activity in a Gregarious Finch

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    Aubrey M Kelly

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Nonapeptides of the vasopressin-oxytocin family modulate social processes differentially in relation to sex, species, behavioral phenotype, and human personality. However, the mechanistic bases for these differences are not well understood, in part because multidimensional personality structures remain to be described for common laboratory animals. Based upon principal components (PC analysis of extensive behavioral measures in social and nonsocial contexts, we now describe three complex dimensions of phenotype (personality for the zebra finch, a species that exhibits a human-like social organization that is based upon biparental nuclear families embedded within larger social groups. These dimensions can be characterized as Social competence/dominance, Gregariousness, and Anxiety. We further demonstrate that the phasic Fos response of nonapeptide neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are significantly predicted by personality, sex, social context, and their interactions. Furthermore the behavioral PCs are each associated with a distinct suite of neural PCs that incorporate both peptide cell numbers and their phasic Fos responses, indicating that personality is reflected in complex patterns of neuromodulation arising from multiple peptide cell groups. These findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying sex- and phenotype-specific modulation of behavior, and should be broadly relevant, given that vasopressin-oxytocin systems are strongly conserved across vertebrates.

  15. Uropygial gland volatiles may code for olfactory information about sex, individual, and species in Bengalese finches Lonchura striata

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    Jian-Xu ZHANG et al.

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Over-shadowed by eye-catching vocal and visual signals, chemical communication has long been overlooked in birds. This study aimed at exploring whether volatile composition of the uropygial gland secretion (UGS of birds was associated with the information about sex, individual and species. By using dichloromethane extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS, we analyzed the UGS volatiles of domesticated Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata, Estrildiea which is also known as white-rumped munias. We characterized 16 volatile molecules from the UGS, including eight n-alkanols, five diesters, an ester, an aldehyde and a fatty acid, and quantified them in terms of GC peak area percentages (relative abundances. Among these compounds, hexadecanol and octadecanol were major components in both sexes. The former was richer in males than females and the latter richer in females than males, suggesting that they might be male and female pheromone candidates, respectively. The high inter-individual variations, in relative abundance, of the UGS volatiles implied that they might carry information about individuality. The similarity between GC profiles of the UGS and wing feather from same individuals indicates that the birds might preen the secretion to their feathers to transmit chemical cues. Additionally, by comparing with three sympatric passerine species,i.e., zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, yellow-bowed buntings Emberiza chrysophrys and rooks Corvus frugilegus, we found that the composition of C13-C18 alkanols in the UGS might contain information about species. Our study also show that quantitative differences (degree of same UGS volatiles might be the key for the Bengalese finch to code for information about sex and individuality whereas both the kind and degree of UGS constituents could be utilized to code for information about species [Current Zoology 55 (5:–2009].

  16. Experimental demonstration of a parasite-induced immune response in wild birds: Darwin's finches and introduced nest flies.

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    Koop, Jennifer A H; Owen, Jeb P; Knutie, Sarah A; Aguilar, Maria A; Clayton, Dale H

    2013-08-01

    Ecological immunology aims to explain variation among hosts in the strength and efficacy of immunological defenses. However, a shortcoming has been the failure to link host immune responses to actual parasites under natural conditions. Here, we present one of the first experimental demonstrations of a parasite-induced immune response in a wild bird population. The recently introduced ectoparasitic nest fly Philornis downsi severely impacts the fitness of Darwin's finches and other land birds in the Galápagos Islands. An earlier study showed that female medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) had P. downsi-binding antibodies correlating with presumed variation in fly exposure over time. In the current study, we experimentally manipulated fly abundance to test whether the fly does, in fact, cause changes in antibody levels. We manipulated P. downsi abundance in nests and quantified P. downsi-binding antibody levels of medium ground finch mothers, fathers, and nestlings. We also quantified host behaviors, such as preening, which can integrate with antibody-mediated defenses against ectoparasites. Philornis downsi-binding antibody levels were significantly higher among mothers at parasitized nests, compared to mothers at (fumigated) nonparasitized nests. Mothers with higher antibody levels tended to have fewer parasites in their nests, suggesting that antibodies play a role in defense against parasites. Mothers showed no behavioral changes that would enhance the effectiveness of the immune response. Neither adult males, nor nestlings, had P. downsi-induced immunological or behavioral responses that would enhance defense against flies. None of the parasitized nests fledged any offspring, despite the immune response by mothers. Thus, this study shows that, while the immune response of mothers appeared to be defensive, it was not sufficient to rescue current reproductive fitness. This study further shows the importance of testing the fitness consequences of immune

  17. Effect of laying sequence on egg mercury in captive zebra finches: an interpretation considering individual variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Langbo; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2015-08-01

    Bird eggs are used widely as noninvasive bioindicators for environmental mercury availability. Previous studies, however, have found varying relationships between laying sequence and egg mercury concentrations. Some studies have reported that the mercury concentration was higher in first-laid eggs or declined across the laying sequence, whereas in other studies mercury concentration was not related to egg order. Approximately 300 eggs (61 clutches) were collected from captive zebra finches dosed throughout their reproductive lives with methylmercury (0.3 μg/g, 0.6 μg/g, 1.2 μg/g, or 2.4 μg/g wet wt in diet); the total mercury concentration (mean ± standard deviation [SD] dry wt basis) of their eggs was 7.03 ± 1.38 μg/g, 14.15 ± 2.52 μg/g, 26.85 ± 5.85 μg/g, and 49.76 ± 10.37 μg/g, respectively (equivalent to fresh wt egg mercury concentrations of 1.24 μg/g, 2.50 μg/g, 4.74 μg/g, and 8.79 μg/g). The authors observed a significant decrease in the mercury concentration of successive eggs when compared with the first egg and notable variation between clutches within treatments. The mercury level of individual females within and among treatments did not alter this relationship. Based on the results, sampling of a single egg in each clutch from any position in the laying sequence is sufficient for purposes of population risk assessment, but it is not recommended as a proxy for individual female exposure or as an estimate of average mercury level within the clutch. © 2015 SETAC.

  18. Effects of acute corticosterone treatment on partner preferences in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaPlante, Kimberly A; Huremovic, Enida; Tomaszycki, Michelle L

    2014-04-01

    Stress alters physiology and behavior across species. Most research on the effects of stress on behavior uses chronic stressors, and most are correlational. The effects of acute stressors on physiology and behavior have been mixed. Here, we use zebra finches, a highly gregarious species that forms long-term pair bonds, to test the effects of an acute corticosterone (CORT) on opposite-sex partner preferences over a same-sex individual or a group (the latter is a highly appealing option). We had two competing hypotheses. First, we predicted that acute CORT would alter preferences for the opposite sex bird in both conditions in both sexes. However, since there is a sex difference in the effects of CORT on partner preferences in voles, these effects may be more pronounced in males than in females. To test our hypotheses, we administered 2 doses of CORT (10μg and 20μg) or vehicle (control) using a repeated measures design. In the male vs. female test, there was a significant Sex by Treatment interaction, such that in males, 10μg CORT increased preferences for a female over the male compared to when these same males were treated with saline at baseline. There were no effects of treatment in females. In the opposite-sex vs. group condition, there was an overall effect of Treatment, such that the 10μg dose increased preference for the opposite-sex individual over both saline treatments, regardless of sex. These findings further our understanding of the effects of an acute stressor on sexual partner preferences. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Oxytocin mechanisms of stress response and aggression in a territorial finch.

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    Goodson, James L; Schrock, Sara E; Kingsbury, Marcy A

    2015-03-15

    All jawed vertebrates produce a form of oxytocin (OT), and in birds, mammals and fish, OT is strongly associated with affiliation. However, remarkably few data are available on the roles of OT and OT receptors (OTRs) in aggression. Because OT and OTRs exert anxiolytic effects in mammals (although context-specific) and modulate stress coping, we hypothesized that OTR activation is at least permissive for territorial aggression. Indeed, we find that peripheral injections of an OTR antagonist significantly reduce male-male and female-female aggression in a highly territorial finch. This finding suggests the hypothesis that aggression is accompanied by an increase in transcriptional (Fos) activity of OT neurons, but contrary to this hypothesis, we find that dominant male residents do not elevate OT-Fos colocalization following an aggressive encounter and that OT-Fos colocalization in the preoptic area and hypothalamus correlates negatively with aggression. Furthermore, OT-Fos colocalization increases dramatically in males that were aggressively subjugated or pursued by a human hand, likely reflecting OT modulation of stress response. Because OT inhibits the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, the antagonist effects may reflect the fact that aggressive birds and mammals tend to be hyporesponsive to stress. If this is correct, then 1) the observed effects of OTR antagonism may reflect alterations in corticosterone feedback to the brain rather than centrally mediated OTR effects, and 2) the negative correlation between OT-Fos colocalization and aggression may reflect the fact that more aggressive, stress hyporesponsive males require less inhibition of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis than do less aggressive males, despite the requirement of that inhibition for the normal display of aggression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schielzeth, H; Burger, C; Bolund, E; Forstmeier, W

    2008-09-01

    Sexual imprinting on discrete variation that serves the identification of species, morphs or sexes is well documented. By contrast, sexual imprinting on continuous variation leading to individual differences in mating preferences within a single species, morph and sex has been studied only once (in humans). We measured female preferences in a captive population of wild-type zebra finches. Individual cross-fostering ensured that all subjects grew up with unrelated foster parents and nest mates. Females from two cohorts (N = 113) were given a simultaneous choice between (two or four) unfamiliar males, one of which was a genetic son of their foster parents (SFP). We found no significant overall preference for the SFP (combined effect size d = 0.14 +/- 0.15). Additionally, we tested if foster parent traits could potentially explain between-female variation in preferences. However, neither the effectiveness of cooperation between the parents nor male contribution to parental care affected female preferences for the son of the foster father. We conclude that at least in zebra finches sexual imprinting is not a major source of between-individual variation in mating preferences.

  1. The influence of inherited plumage colour morph on morphometric traits and breeding investment in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata.

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    E Tobias Krause

    Full Text Available Melanin-based plumage polymorphism occurs in many wild bird populations and has been linked to fitness variation in several species. These fitness differences often arise as a consequence of variation in traits such as behaviour, immune responsiveness, body size and reproductive investment. However, few studies have controlled for genetic differences between colour morphs that could potentially generate artefactual associations between plumage colouration and trait variation. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata as a model system in order to evaluate whether life-history traits such as adult body condition and reproductive investment could be influenced by plumage morph. To maximise any potential differences, we selected wild-type and white plumage morphs, which differ maximally in their extent of melanisation, while using a controlled three-generation breeding design to homogenise the genetic background. We found that F2 adults with white plumage colouration were on average lighter and had poorer body condition than wild-type F2 birds. However, they appeared to compensate for this by reproducing earlier and producing heavier eggs relative to their own body mass. Our study thus reveals differences in morphological and life history traits that could be relevant to fitness variation, although further studies will be required to evaluate fitness effects under natural conditions as well as to characterise any potential fitness costs of compensatory strategies in white zebra finches.

  2. Growth and atrophy of neurons labeled at their birth in a song nucleus of the zebra finch

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konishi, M.; Akutagawa, E.

    1990-01-01

    The robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA) is one of the forebrain nuclei that control song production in birds. In the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), this nucleus contains more and larger neurons in the male than in the female. A single injection of tritiated thymidine into the egg on the 6th or 7th day of incubation resulted in labeling of many RA neurons with tritium. The size of tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them did not differ between the sexes at 15 days after hatching. In the adult brain, tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them were much larger in the male than in the female. Also, tritium-labeled RA neurons were large in females which received an implant of estrogen immediately after hatching. The gender differences in the neuron size and nuclear volume of the zebra finch RA are, therefore, due not to the replacement of old neurons by new ones during development but to the growth and atrophy of neurons born before hatching. Similarly, the masculinizing effects of estrogen on the female RA are due not to neuronal replacement but to the prevention of atrophy and promotion of growth in preexisting neurons

  3. Sex Differences in Brain Thyroid Hormone Levels during Early Post-Hatching Development in Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

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    Shinji Yamaguchi

    Full Text Available Thyroid hormones are closely linked to the hatching process in precocial birds. Previously, we showed that thyroid hormones in brain had a strong impact on filial imprinting, an early learning behavior in newly hatched chicks; brain 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3 peaks around hatching and imprinting training induces additional T3 release, thus, extending the sensitive period for imprinting and enabling subsequent other learning. On the other hand, blood thyroid hormone levels have been reported to increase gradually after hatching in altricial species, but it remains unknown how the brain thyroid hormone levels change during post-hatching development of altricial birds. Here, we determined the changes in serum and brain thyroid hormone levels of a passerine songbird species, the zebra finch using radioimmunoassay. In the serum, we found a gradual increase in thyroid hormone levels during post-hatching development, as well as differences between male and female finches. In the brain, there was clear surge in the hormone levels during development in males and females coinciding with the time of fledging, but the onset of the surge of thyroxine (T4 in males preceded that of females, whereas the onset of the surge of T3 in males succeeded that of females. These findings provide a basis for understanding the functions of thyroid hormones during early development and learning in altricial birds.

  4. Sex Differences in Brain Thyroid Hormone Levels during Early Post-Hatching Development in Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Shinji; Hayase, Shin; Aoki, Naoya; Takehara, Akihiko; Ishigohoka, Jun; Matsushima, Toshiya; Wada, Kazuhiro; Homma, Koichi J

    2017-01-01

    Thyroid hormones are closely linked to the hatching process in precocial birds. Previously, we showed that thyroid hormones in brain had a strong impact on filial imprinting, an early learning behavior in newly hatched chicks; brain 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) peaks around hatching and imprinting training induces additional T3 release, thus, extending the sensitive period for imprinting and enabling subsequent other learning. On the other hand, blood thyroid hormone levels have been reported to increase gradually after hatching in altricial species, but it remains unknown how the brain thyroid hormone levels change during post-hatching development of altricial birds. Here, we determined the changes in serum and brain thyroid hormone levels of a passerine songbird species, the zebra finch using radioimmunoassay. In the serum, we found a gradual increase in thyroid hormone levels during post-hatching development, as well as differences between male and female finches. In the brain, there was clear surge in the hormone levels during development in males and females coinciding with the time of fledging, but the onset of the surge of thyroxine (T4) in males preceded that of females, whereas the onset of the surge of T3 in males succeeded that of females. These findings provide a basis for understanding the functions of thyroid hormones during early development and learning in altricial birds.

  5. Developmental exposure to a brominated flame retardant: An assessment of effects on physiology, growth, and reproduction in a songbird, the zebra finch

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eng, Margaret L.; Williams, Tony D.; Elliott, John E.

    2013-01-01

    Mixtures of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been widely used as additive flame retardants, and BDE-99 is one of the most predominant congeners found in the environment. BDE-99 has been reported in avian samples worldwide, yet knowledge of its toxicity to birds is minimal. We assessed the short- and long-term effects of nestling exposure to environmentally relevant levels of BDE-99 in a model passerine, the zebra finch. Early exposure to BDE-99 did not affect hematocrit, oxidative stress, or thyroid hormones in either the juvenile or adult stages, and there were no effects on chick growth or survival. BDE-99 exposure caused a dose-dependent delay in timing of reproduction, but there were no other effects on reproductive success. In zebra finches, endpoints related to reproductive behavior appear to be the most sensitive to BDE-99. However, passerines overall appear to be less sensitive than birds of prey or mammals to PBDE exposure. -- Highlights: •We exposed zebra finches nestlings to BDE-99 and raised them to sexual maturity. •Found no effects on physiology, chick growth, survival, or reproductive success. •As BDE-99 dose increased, laying interval increased. •Passerine birds possibly less sensitive to BDE-99 than mammals or other bird species. -- Nestling exposure to BDE-99 affects timing of breeding in zebra finches, but overall passerines appear to be less sensitive to PBDEs than mammals or other bird species

  6. Cannabinoid mitigation of neuronal morphological change important to development and learning: insight from a zebra finch model of psychopharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderstrom, Ken; Gilbert, Marcoita T

    2013-03-19

    Normal CNS development proceeds through late-postnatal stages of adolescent development. The activity-dependence of this development underscores the significance of CNS-active drug exposure prior to completion of brain maturation. Exogenous modulation of signaling important in regulating normal development is of particular concern. This mini-review presents a summary of the accumulated behavioral, physiological and biochemical evidence supporting such a key regulatory role for endocannabinoid signaling during late-postnatal CNS development. Our focus is on the data obtained using a unique zebra finch model of developmental psychopharmacology. This animal has allowed investigation of neuronal morphological effects essential to establishment and maintenance of neural circuitry, including processes related to synaptogenesis and dendritic spine dynamics. Altered neurophysiology that follows exogenous cannabinoid exposure during adolescent development has the potential to persistently alter cognition, learning and memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Eimeria pileata n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the rufous-capped brush finch Atlapetes pileatus Wagler (Passeriformes: Emberizidae) in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano-Vargas, Edgardo; Medina, Juan Pablo; Salgado-Miranda, Celene; García-Conejo, Michele; Galindo-Sánchez, Karla Patrícia; Janczur, Mariusz Krzysztof; Berto, Bruno Pereira; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes

    2015-11-01

    A new coccidian species (Protista: Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) collected from the rufous-capped brush finch Atlapetes pileatus Wagler in the Nevado de Toluca Natural Protected Area, Mexico. Oöcysts of Eimeria pileata n. sp. are ellipsoidal, measuring on average 16.5 × 14.1 μm, with a smooth, bi-layered wall. Micropyle and oöcyst residuum are absent, but a polar granule is present. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal, measuring on average 9.0 × 5.4 μm. Stieda and sub-Stieda bodies are both present. A sporocyst residuum is present as a compact mass of granules. This is the third description of an eimeriid coccidian infecting passerines.

  8. Divergence in problem-solving skills is associated with differential expression of glutamate receptors in wild finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audet, Jean-Nicolas; Kayello, Lima; Ducatez, Simon; Perillo, Sara; Cauchard, Laure; Howard, Jason T; O'Connell, Lauren A; Jarvis, Erich D; Lefebvre, Louis

    2018-03-01

    Problem solving and innovation are key components of intelligence. We compare wild-caught individuals from two species that are close relatives of Darwin's finches, the innovative Loxigilla barbadensis , and its most closely related species in Barbados, the conservative Tiaris bicolor . We found an all-or-none difference in the problem-solving capacity of the two species. Brain RNA sequencing analyses revealed interspecific differences in genes related to neuronal and synaptic plasticity in the intrapallial neural populations (mesopallium and nidopallium), especially in the nidopallium caudolaterale, a structure functionally analogous to the mammalian prefrontal cortex. At a finer scale, we discovered robust differences in glutamate receptor expression between the species. In particular, the GRIN2B/GRIN2A ratio, known to correlate with synaptic plasticity, was higher in the innovative L. barbadensis . These findings suggest that divergence in avian intelligence is associated with similar neuronal mechanisms to that of mammals, including humans.

  9. A Landscape-Scale, Applied Fire Management Experiment Promotes Recovery of a Population of the Threatened Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae, in Australia's Tropical Savannas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Legge

    Full Text Available Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species--one endangered (Gouldian finch and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch--from two large areas (> 2,830 km2 with initial contrasting fire regimes ('extreme': frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus 'benign': less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires. Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food, different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty, and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation. Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the 'benign

  10. A Landscape-Scale, Applied Fire Management Experiment Promotes Recovery of a Population of the Threatened Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae, in Australia's Tropical Savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legge, Sarah; Garnett, Stephen; Maute, Kim; Heathcote, Joanne; Murphy, Steve; Woinarski, John C Z; Astheimer, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species--one endangered (Gouldian finch) and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch)--from two large areas (> 2,830 km2) with initial contrasting fire regimes ('extreme': frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus 'benign': less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires). Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food), different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty), and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation). Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the 'benign' fire regime

  11. Short- and long-term consequences of early developmental conditions: a case study on wild and domesticated zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschirren, B; Rutstein, A N; Postma, E; Mariette, M; Griffith, S C

    2009-02-01

    Divergent selection pressures among populations can result not only in significant differentiation in morphology, physiology and behaviour, but also in how these traits are related to each other, thereby driving the processes of local adaptation and speciation. In the Australian zebra finch, we investigated whether domesticated stock, bred in captivity over tens of generations, differ in their response to a life-history manipulation, compared to birds taken directly from the wild. In a 'common aviary' experiment, we thereto experimentally manipulated the environmental conditions experienced by nestlings early in life by means of a brood size manipulation, and subsequently assessed its short- and long-term consequences on growth, ornamentation, immune function and reproduction. As expected, we found that early environmental conditions had a marked effect on both short- and long-term morphological and life-history traits in all birds. However, although there were pronounced differences between wild and domesticated birds with respect to the absolute expression of many of these traits, which are indicative of the different selection pressures wild and domesticated birds were exposed to in the recent past, manipulated rearing conditions affected morphology and ornamentation of wild and domesticated finches in a very similar way. This suggests that despite significant differentiation between wild and domesticated birds, selection has not altered the relationships among traits. Thus, life-history strategies and investment trade-offs may be relatively stable and not easily altered by selection. This is a reassuring finding in the light of the widespread use of domesticated birds in studies of life-history evolution and sexual selection, and suggests that adaptive explanations may be legitimate when referring to captive bird studies.

  12. Food, stress, and reproduction: short-term fasting alters endocrine physiology and reproductive behavior in the zebra finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, Sharon E; Stamplis, Teresa B; Barrington, William T; Weida, Nicholas; Hudak, Casey A

    2010-07-01

    Stress is thought to be a potent suppressor of reproduction. However, the vast majority of studies focus on the relationship between chronic stress and reproductive suppression, despite the fact that chronic stress is rare in the wild. We investigated the role of fasting in altering acute stress physiology, reproductive physiology, and reproductive behavior of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with several goals in mind. First, we wanted to determine if acute fasting could stimulate an increase in plasma corticosterone and a decrease in corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) and testosterone. We then investigated whether fasting could alter expression of undirected song and courtship behavior. After subjecting males to fasting periods ranging from 1 to 10h, we collected plasma to measure corticosterone, CBG, and testosterone. We found that plasma corticosterone was elevated, and testosterone was decreased after 4, 6, and 10h of fasting periods compared with samples collected from the same males during nonfasted (control) periods. CBG was lower than control levels only after 10h of fasting. We also found that, coincident with these endocrine changes, males sang less and courted females less vigorously following short-term fasting relative to control conditions. Our data demonstrate that acute fasting resulted in rapid changes in endocrine physiology consistent with hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis activation and hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis deactivation. Fasting also inhibited reproductive behavior. We suggest that zebra finches exhibit physiological and behavioral flexibility that makes them an excellent model system for studying interactions of acute stress and reproduction. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Ecologically-relevant exposure to methylmercury during early development does not affect adult phenotype in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morran, Spencer A M; Elliott, John E; Young, Jessica M L; Eng, Margaret L; Basu, Niladri; Williams, Tony D

    2018-04-01

    Methylmercury causes behavioural and reproductive effects in adult mammals via early developmental exposure. Similar studies in birds are limited and mostly focussed on aquatic systems, but recent work has reported high blood mercury concentrations in terrestrial, passerine songbirds. We used the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) as a model to explore the long-term effects of early developmental exposure to methylmercury exposure. Chicks were dosed orally with either the vehicle control, 0.0315 µg Hg/g bw/day, or 0.075 µg Hg/g bw/day throughout the nestling period (days 1-21 post-hatching). We then measured (a) short-term effects on growth, development, and behaviour (time to self-feeding, neophobia) until 30 days of age (independence), and (b) long-term effects on courtship behaviour and song (males) and reproduction (females) once methylmercury-exposed birds reached sexual maturity (90 days post-hatching). High methylmercury treated birds had mean blood mercury of 0.734 ± 0.163 µg/g at 30 days post-hatching, within the range of values reported for field-sampled songbirds at mercury contaminated sites. However, there were no short-term effects of treatment on growth, development, and behaviour of chicks, and no long-term effects on courtship behaviour and song in males or reproductive performance in females. These results suggest that the nestling period is not a critical window for sensitivity to mercury exposure in zebra finches. Growing nestlings can reduce blood mercury levels through somatic growth and depuration into newly growing feathers, and as a result they might actually be less susceptible compared to adult birds receiving the same level of exposure.

  14. Estradiol induces region-specific inhibition of ZENK but does not affect the behavioral preference for tutored song in adult female zebra finches

    OpenAIRE

    Svec, Lace A.; Wade, Juli

    2008-01-01

    Female zebra finches display a preference for songs of males raised with tutors compared to those from males without tutors. To determine howthis behavioral preference may bemediated by auditory perception sites, the social behavior network, and the dopamine reward system, and whether responses of these regions are affected by estradiol, females were treated with hormone or blank implants.An auditory choice test was conducted followed by exposure to tutored or untutored song or silence to exa...

  15. Variability of IN measured with the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH) at the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch during wintertime 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Fabian; Nillius, Björn; Bundke, Ulrich; Curtius, Joachim

    2014-05-01

    Ice nuclei (IN) are an important component of the atmospheric aerosol. Despite their low concentrations in the atmosphere, they have an influence on the formation of ice crystals in mixed-phase clouds and therefore on precipitation. The Fast Ice Nucleus CHamber (FINCH)1, a counter for ice nucleating particles developed at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main allows long-term measurements of the IN number concentration. In FINCH the ice activation of the aerosol particles is achieved by mixing air flows with different temperature and humidity. The IN number concentration measurements at different meteorological conditions during the INUIT-JFJ campaign at the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch in Switzerland are presented and its variability are discussed. The good operational performance of the instrument allowed up to 10 hours of continuous measurements. Acknowledgment: This work was supported by the German Research Foundation, DFG Grant: BU 1432/3-2 BU 1432/4-1 in the framework of INUIT (FOR 1525) and SPP 1294 HALO. 1- Bundke, U., Nillius, B., Jaenicke, R., Wetter, T., Klein, H., and Bingemer, H. (2008). The fast ice nucleus chamber finch. Atmospheric Research, 90:180-186.

  16. Exploring sex differences in the adult zebra finch brain: In vivo diffusion tensor imaging and ex vivo super-resolution track density imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamaide, Julie; De Groof, Geert; Van Steenkiste, Gwendolyn; Jeurissen, Ben; Van Audekerke, Johan; Naeyaert, Maarten; Van Ruijssevelt, Lisbeth; Cornil, Charlotte; Sijbers, Jan; Verhoye, Marleen; Van der Linden, Annemie

    2017-02-01

    Zebra finches are an excellent model to study the process of vocal learning, a complex socially-learned tool of communication that forms the basis of spoken human language. So far, structural investigation of the zebra finch brain has been performed ex vivo using invasive methods such as histology. These methods are highly specific, however, they strongly interfere with performing whole-brain analyses and exclude longitudinal studies aimed at establishing causal correlations between neuroplastic events and specific behavioral performances. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to implement an in vivo Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) protocol sensitive enough to detect structural sex differences in the adult zebra finch brain. Voxel-wise comparison of male and female DTI parameter maps shows clear differences in several components of the song control system (i.e. Area X surroundings, the high vocal center (HVC) and the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN)), which corroborate previous findings and are in line with the clear behavioral difference as only males sing. Furthermore, to obtain additional insights into the 3-dimensional organization of the zebra finch brain and clarify findings obtained by the in vivo study, ex vivo DTI data of the male and female brain were acquired as well, using a recently established super-resolution reconstruction (SRR) imaging strategy. Interestingly, the SRR-DTI approach led to a marked reduction in acquisition time without interfering with the (spatial and angular) resolution and SNR which enabled to acquire a data set characterized by a 78μm isotropic resolution including 90 diffusion gradient directions within 44h of scanning time. Based on the reconstructed SRR-DTI maps, whole brain probabilistic Track Density Imaging (TDI) was performed for the purpose of super resolved track density imaging, further pushing the resolution up to 40μm isotropic. The DTI and TDI maps realized atlas

  17. Stressful dieting: nutritional conditions but not compensatory growth elevate corticosterone levels in zebra finch nestlings and fledglings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariam Honarmand

    Full Text Available Unfavourable conditions throughout the period of parental care can severely affect growth, reproductive performance, and survival. Yet, individuals may be affected differently, depending on the developmental period during which constraints are experienced. Here we tested whether the nestling phase compared to the fledgling phase is more susceptible to nutritional stress by considering biometry, physiology, sexually selected male ornaments and survival using zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata as a model species. As nestlings (day 0-17 or fledglings (day 17-35, subjects were raised either on low or high quality food. A low quality diet resulted in significantly elevated baseline corticosterone titres in both nestlings and fledglings. Subjects showed substantial compensatory growth after they had experienced low quality food as nestlings but catch-up growth did neither lead to elevated baseline corticosterone titres nor did we detect long term effects on biometry, male cheek patch, or survival. The compensation for temporally unfavourable environmental conditions reflects substantial phenotypic plasticity and the results show that costs of catch-up growth were not mediated via corticosterone as a physiological correlate of allostatic load. These findings provide new insights into the mechanisms and plasticity with which animals respond to periods of constraints during development as they may occur in a mistiming of breeding.

  18. MC1R genotype and plumage colouration in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata: population structure generates artefactual associations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph I Hoffman

    Full Text Available Polymorphisms at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R gene have been linked to coloration in many vertebrate species. However, the potentially confounding influence of population structure has rarely been controlled for. We explored the role of the MC1R in a model avian system by sequencing the coding region in 162 zebra finches comprising 79 wild type and 83 white individuals from five stocks. Allelic counts differed significantly between the two plumage morphs at multiple segregating sites, but these were mostly synonymous. To provide a control, the birds were genotyped at eight microsatellites and subjected to Bayesian cluster analysis, revealing two distinct groups. We therefore crossed wild type with white individuals and backcrossed the F1s with white birds. No significant associations were detected in the resulting offspring, suggesting that our original findings were a byproduct of genome-wide divergence. Our results are consistent with a previous study that found no association between MC1R polymorphism and plumage coloration in leaf warblers. They also contribute towards a growing body of evidence suggesting that care should be taken to quantify, and where necessary control for, population structure in association studies.

  19. Systemic Amyloidosis and Testicular Interstitial Tumor in a Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata: a Case Report in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehrnoush Moeini Jazani

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Systemic amyloidosis and testicular interstitial tumor are rare conditions in birds and this is the first report in Iran. A male zebra finch was presented because of white diarrhea, anorexia, loss of weight and lethargy. At necropsy, the small intestine was edematous and congested. The spleen appeared pale. The liver was large, firm and brown. One testis was cystic and neoplastic and the remaining testis was atrophic. Histologically, amyloid materials were seen predominantly in the liver and spleen. Hyaline substances were deposited in the Disse space and in the media of blood vessels of the liver. In spleen, marked deposits thickened the basement membranes of blood vessels and extended into the surrounding parenchyma. In addition, there were lesser degrees of amyloidosis in other organs such as small intestine. Amyloid stained positively with Congo red. In testis, there was encapsulated unilateral interstitial cell tumor, with multiple foci of necrosis and hemorrhage. The neoplastic cells were round to polyhedral, with small round hyperchromatic nuclei and finely vacuolated cytoplasm. Signs of feminization were observed. The cause of amyloidosis in this study was not conclusively identified.

  20. Encoding of naturalistic optic flow by motion sensitive neurons of nucleus rotundus in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis eEckmeier

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The retinal image changes that occur during locomotion, the optic flow, carry information about self-motion and the three-dimensional structure of the environment. Especially fast moving animals with only little binocular vision depend on these depth cues for manoeuvring. They actively control their gaze to facilitate perception of depth based on cues in the optic flow. In the visual system of birds, nucleus rotundus neurons were originally found to respond to object motion but not to background motion. However, when background and object were both moving, responses increase the more the direction and velocity of object and background motion on the retina differed. These properties may play a role in representing depth cues in the optic flow. We therefore investigated how neurons in nucleus rotundus respond to optic flow that contains depth cues. We presented simplified and naturalistic optic flow on a panoramic LED display while recording from single neurons in nucleus rotundus of anaesthetized zebra finches. Unlike most studies on motion vision in birds, our stimuli included depth information.We found extensive responses of motion selective neurons in nucleus rotundus to optic flow stimuli. Simplified stimuli revealed preferences for optic flow reflecting translational or rotational self-motion. Naturalistic optic flow stimuli elicited complex response modulations, but the presence of objects was signalled by only few neurons. The neurons that did respond to objects in the optic flow, however, show interesting properties.

  1. Sexually dimorphic expression of the genes encoding ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 in the song control nuclei of juvenile zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli

    2006-12-18

    Studies evaluating the role of steroid hormones in sexual differentiation of the zebra finch song system have produced complicated and at times paradoxical results, and indicate that additional factors may be critical. Therefore, in a previous study we initiated a screen for differential gene expression in the telencephalon of developing male and female zebra finches. The use of cDNA microarrays and real-time quantitative PCR revealed increased expression of the genes encoding ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 (RPL17 and RPL37) in the male forebrain as a whole. Preliminary in situ hybridization data then indicated enhanced expression of both these genes in song control regions. Two experiments in the present study quantified the mRNA expression. The first utilized 25-day-old male and female zebra finches. The second compared a separate set of juveniles to adults of both sexes to both re-confirm enhanced expression in juvenile males and to determine whether it is limited to developing animals. In Experiment 1, males exhibited increased expression of both RPL17 and RPL37 compared to females in Area X, the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), and the ventral ventricular zone (VVZ), which may provide neurons to Area X. Experiment 2 replicated the sexually dimorphic expression of these genes at post-hatching day 25, and documented that the sex differences are eliminated or greatly reduced in adults. The results are consistent with the idea that these ribosomal proteins may influence sexual differentiation of Area X and RA, potentially regulating the genesis and/or survival of neurons.

  2. Genoarchitecture of the extended amygdala in zebra finch, and expression of FoxP2 in cell corridors of different genetic profile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicario, Alba; Mendoza, Ezequiel; Abellán, Antonio; Scharff, Constance; Medina, Loreta

    2017-01-01

    We used a battery of genes encoding transcription factors (Pax6, Islet1, Nkx2.1, Lhx6, Lhx5, Lhx9, FoxP2) and neuropeptides to study the extended amygdala in developing zebra finches. We identified different components of the central extended amygdala comparable to those found in mice and chickens, including the intercalated amygdalar cells, the central amygdala, and the lateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Many cells likely originate in the dorsal striatal domain, ventral striatal domain, or the pallidal domain, as is the case in mice and chickens. Moreover, a cell subpopulation of the central extended amygdala appears to originate in the prethalamic eminence. As a general principle, these different cells with specific genetic profiles and embryonic origin form separate or partially intermingled cell corridors along the extended amygdala, which may be involved in different functional pathways. In addition, we identified the medial amygdala of the zebra finch. Like in the chickens and mice, it is located in the subpallium and is rich in cells of pallido-preoptic origin, containing minor subpopulations of immigrant cells from the ventral pallium, alar hypothalamus and prethalamic eminence. We also proposed that the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis is composed of several parallel cell corridors with different genetic profile and embryonic origin: preoptic, pallidal, hypothalamic, and prethalamic. Several of these cell corridors with distinct origin express FoxP2, a transcription factor implicated in synaptic plasticity. Our results pave the way for studies using zebra finches to understand the neural basis of social behavior, in which the extended amygdala is involved.

  3. The combined effect of lead exposure and high or low dietary calcium on health and immunocompetence in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snoeijs, Tinne; Dauwe, Tom; Pinxten, Rianne; Darras, Veerle M.; Arckens, Lutgarde; Eens, Marcel

    2005-01-01

    The widespread contamination by lead and the acidification of the environment ask for a better understanding of the effects of the interaction between lead and calcium on various aspects of health, including disease defense, in wildlife. Here, we investigated the effects of chronic exposure to sublethal levels of lead, combined with high or low dietary calcium, on health and several components of immunity in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Thirty individuals of each sex were randomly assigned to three groups: a control group, a group exposed to lead with an additional calcium source (i.e. grit) and a group exposed to lead without access to an extra calcium source. Lead was administered as lead acetate via the drinking water (20 ppm) for 38 consecutive days. Exposure to lead increased significantly the concentrations of lead in kidney and bone in individuals of the experimental groups. Furthermore, the lack of a calcium supplement significantly enhanced the uptake of lead. Lead did not affect health indices such as hematocrit, spleen mass and body mass, nor the adrenal stress response. Cell-mediated immune responsiveness, assessed by a delayed-type hypersensitivity response to phytohaemagglutinin, was also not affected by lead exposure. On the other hand, lead exposure did significantly suppress the secondary humoral immune response towards sheep red blood cells in females, but only when the additional calcium source was not available. This effect was not found in males, suggesting sexual differences in susceptibility of humoral immunity to lead treatment in zebra finches. - Male and female finches may respond to lead differently

  4. Food for Song: Expression of C-Fos and ZENK in the Zebra Finch Song Nuclei during Food Aversion Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokarev, Kirill; Tiunova, Anna

    2011-01-01

    Background Specialized neural pathways, the song system, are required for acquiring, producing, and perceiving learned avian vocalizations. Birds that do not learn to produce their vocalizations lack telencephalic song system components. It is not known whether the song system forebrain regions are exclusively evolved for song or whether they also process information not related to song that might reflect their ‘evolutionary history’. Methodology/Principal Findings To address this question we monitored the induction of two immediate-early genes (IEGs) c-Fos and ZENK in various regions of the song system in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in response to an aversive food learning paradigm; this involves the association of a food item with a noxious stimulus that affects the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity and tongue, causing subsequent avoidance of that food item. The motor response results in beak and head movements but not vocalizations. IEGs have been extensively used to map neuro-molecular correlates of song motor production and auditory processing. As previously reported, neurons in two pallial vocal motor regions, HVC and RA, expressed IEGs after singing. Surprisingly, c-Fos was induced equivalently also after food aversion learning in the absence of singing. The density of c-Fos positive neurons was significantly higher than that of birds in control conditions. This was not the case in two other pallial song nuclei important for vocal plasticity, LMAN and Area X, although singing did induce IEGs in these structures, as reported previously. Conclusions/Significance Our results are consistent with the possibility that some of the song nuclei may participate in non-vocal learning and the populations of neurons involved in the two tasks show partial overlap. These findings underscore the previously advanced notion that the specialized forebrain pre-motor nuclei controlling song evolved from circuits involved in behaviors related to feeding. PMID:21695176

  5. Male foraging efficiency, but not male problem-solving performance, influences female mating preferences in zebra finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Véronique Chantal

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Experimental evidence suggests that females would prefer males with better cognitive abilities as mates. However, little is known about the traits reflecting enhanced cognitive skills on which females might base their mate-choice decisions. In particular, it has been suggested that male foraging performance could be used as an indicator of cognitive capacity, but convincing evidence for this hypothesis is still lacking. In the present study, we investigated whether female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata modify their mating preferences after having observed the performance of males on a problem-solving task. Specifically, we measured the females’ preferences between two males once before and once after an observation period, during which their initially preferred male was incapable of solving the task contrary to their initially less-preferred male. We also conducted a control treatment to test whether the shift in female preferences was attributable to differences between the two stimulus males in their foraging efficiency. Finally, we assessed each bird’s performance in a color associative task to check whether females can discriminate among males based on their learning speed. We found that females significantly increased their preference toward the most efficient male in both treatments. Yet, there was no difference between the two treatments and we found no evidence that females assess male cognitive ability indirectly via morphological traits. Thus, our results suggest that females would not use the males’ problem-solving performance as an indicator of general cognitive ability to gain indirect fitness benefits (i.e., good genes but rather to assess their foraging efficiency and gain direct benefits.

  6. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata

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    Mariam Honarmand

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata in captivity to determine if conditions experienced during distinctly different early developmental phases contribute differently to male and female attractiveness and subsequent reproduction. We conducted a breeding experiment in which offspring were exposed to food regimes with (a low quality food provided only during the nestling period, (b low quality food provided only during the fledgling period, or (c high quality food throughout early development. We show that despite short-term effects on biometry and physiology, there were no effects on either male or female attractiveness, as tested in two-way mate choice free-flight aviary experiments. In a subsequent breeding experiment, the offspring from the initial experiment were allowed to breed themselves. The next generation offspring from mothers raised under lower quality nutrition as either nestling or fledging were lighter at hatching compared to offspring from mothers raised under higher quality nutrition whereas paternal early nutrition had no such effects. The lack of early developmental limitations on attractiveness suggests that attractiveness traits were not affected or that birds compensated for any such effects. Furthermore, maternal trans-generational effects of dietary restrictions emphasize the importance of role of limited periods of early developmental stress in the expression of environmentally determined fitness components.

  7. Mercury reduces avian reproductive success and imposes selection: an experimental study with adult- or lifetime-exposure in zebra finch.

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    Claire W Varian-Ramos

    Full Text Available Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata, at doses from 0.3 - 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive

  8. The songbird syrinx morphome: a three-dimensional, high-resolution, interactive morphological map of the zebra finch vocal organ

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    Düring Daniel N

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Like human infants, songbirds learn their species-specific vocalizations through imitation learning. The birdsong system has emerged as a widely used experimental animal model for understanding the underlying neural mechanisms responsible for vocal production learning. However, how neural impulses are translated into the precise motor behavior of the complex vocal organ (syrinx to create song is poorly understood. First and foremost, we lack a detailed understanding of syringeal morphology. Results To fill this gap we combined non-invasive (high-field magnetic resonance imaging and micro-computed tomography and invasive techniques (histology and micro-dissection to construct the annotated high-resolution three-dimensional dataset, or morphome, of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata syrinx. We identified and annotated syringeal cartilage, bone and musculature in situ in unprecedented detail. We provide interactive three-dimensional models that greatly improve the communication of complex morphological data and our understanding of syringeal function in general. Conclusions Our results show that the syringeal skeleton is optimized for low weight driven by physiological constraints on song production. The present refinement of muscle organization and identity elucidates how apposed muscles actuate different syringeal elements. Our dataset allows for more precise predictions about muscle co-activation and synergies and has important implications for muscle activity and stimulation experiments. We also demonstrate how the syrinx can be stabilized during song to reduce mechanical noise and, as such, enhance repetitive execution of stereotypic motor patterns. In addition, we identify a cartilaginous structure suited to play a crucial role in the uncoupling of sound frequency and amplitude control, which permits a novel explanation of the evolutionary success of songbirds.

  9. Activation changes in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain areas evoked by alterations of the earth magnetic field.

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    Keary, Nina; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2012-01-01

    Many animals are able to perceive the earth magnetic field and to use it for orientation and navigation within the environment. The mechanisms underlying the perception and processing of magnetic field information within the brain have been thoroughly studied, especially in birds, but are still obscure. Three hypotheses are currently discussed, dealing with ferromagnetic particles in the beak of birds, with the same sort of particles within the lagena organs, or describing magnetically influenced radical-pair processes within retinal photopigments. Each hypothesis is related to a well-known sensory organ and claims parallel processing of magnetic field information with somatosensory, vestibular and visual input, respectively. Changes in activation within nuclei of the respective sensory systems have been shown previously. Most of these previous experiments employed intensity enhanced magnetic stimuli or lesions. We here exposed unrestrained zebra finches to either a stationary or a rotating magnetic field of the local intensity and inclination. C-Fos was used as an activity marker to examine whether the two treatments led to differences in fourteen brain areas including nuclei of the somatosensory, vestibular and visual system. An ANOVA revealed an overall effect of treatment, indicating that the magnetic field change was perceived by the birds. While the differences were too small to be significant in most areas, a significant enhancement of activation by the rotating stimulus was found in a hippocampal subdivision. Part of the hyperpallium showed a strong, nearly significant, increase. Our results are compatible with previous studies demonstrating an involvement of at least three different sensory systems in earth magnetic field perception and suggest that these systems, probably less elaborated, may also be found in nonmigrating birds.

  10. Mercury Reduces Avian Reproductive Success and Imposes Selection: An Experimental Study with Adult- or Lifetime-Exposure in Zebra Finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), at doses from 0.3 – 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive success. PMID

  11. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honarmand, Mariam; Krause, E Tobias; Naguib, Marc

    2017-01-01

    The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) in captivity to determine if conditions experienced during distinctly different early developmental phases contribute differently to male and female attractiveness and subsequent reproduction. We conducted a breeding experiment in which offspring were exposed to food regimes with (a) low quality food provided only during the nestling period, (b) low quality food provided only during the fledgling period, or (c) high quality food throughout early development. We show that despite short-term effects on biometry and physiology, there were no effects on either male or female attractiveness, as tested in two-way mate choice free-flight aviary experiments. In a subsequent breeding experiment, the offspring from the initial experiment were allowed to breed themselves. The next generation offspring from mothers raised under lower quality nutrition as either nestling or fledging were lighter at hatching compared to offspring from mothers raised under higher quality nutrition whereas paternal early nutrition had no such effects. The lack of early developmental limitations on attractiveness suggests that attractiveness traits were not affected or that birds compensated for any such effects. Furthermore, maternal trans-generational effects of dietary restrictions emphasize the importance of role of limited periods of early developmental stress in the expression of environmentally determined fitness components.

  12. Early fasting is long lasting: differences in early nutritional conditions reappear under stressful conditions in adult female zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Tobias Krause

    Full Text Available Conditions experienced during early life can have profound effects on individual development and condition in adulthood. Differences in nutritional provisioning in birds during the first month of life can lead to differences in growth, reproductive success and survival. Yet, under natural conditions shorter periods of nutritional stress will be more prevalent. Individuals may respond differently, depending on the period of development during which nutritional stress was experienced. Such differences may surface specifically when poor environmental conditions challenge individuals again as adults. Here, we investigated long term consequences of differences in nutritional conditions experienced during different periods of early development by female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata on measures of management and acquisition of body reserves. As nestlings or fledglings, subjects were raised under different nutritional conditions, a low or high quality diet. After subjects reached sexual maturity, we measured their sensitivity to periods of food restriction, their exploration and foraging behaviour as well as adult resting metabolic rate (RMR. During a short period of food restriction, subjects from the poor nutritional conditions had a higher body mass loss than those raised under qualitatively superior nutritional conditions. Moreover, subjects that were raised under poor nutritional conditions were faster to engage in exploratory and foraging behaviour. But RMR did not differ among treatments. These results reveal that early nutritional conditions affect adult exploratory behaviour, a representative personality trait, foraging and adult's physiological condition. As early nutritional conditions are reflected in adult phenotypic plasticity specifically when stressful situations reappear, the results suggest that costs for poor developmental conditions are paid when environmental conditions deteriorate.

  13. Three IgH isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY are expressed in Gentoo penguin and zebra finch.

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    Binyue Han

    Full Text Available Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua, belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods.

  14. Three IgH isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY are expressed in Gentoo penguin and zebra finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Pan, Qingjie; Ren, Liming

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods. PMID:28403146

  15. Three IgH isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY are expressed in Gentoo penguin and zebra finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Binyue; Li, Yan; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Pan, Qingjie; Ren, Liming

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods.

  16. Comparison of learning ability and memory retention in altricial (Bengalese finch, Lonchura striata var. domestica) and precocial (blue-breasted quail, Coturnix chinensis) birds using a color discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueno, Aki; Suzuki, Kaoru

    2014-02-01

    The present study sought to assess the potential application of avian models with different developmental modes to studies on cognition and neuroscience. Six altricial Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica), and eight precocial blue-breasted quails (Coturnix chinensis) were presented with color discrimination tasks to compare their respective faculties for learning and memory retention within the context of the two developmental modes. Tasks consisted of presenting birds with discriminative cues in the form of colored feeder lids, and birds were considered to have learned a task when 80% of their attempts at selecting the correctly colored lid in two consecutive blocks of 10 trials were successful. All of the finches successfully performed the required experimental tasks, whereas only half of the quails were able to execute the same tasks. In the learning test, finches required significantly fewer trials than quails to learn the task (finches: 13.5 ± 9.14 trials, quails: 45.8 ± 4.35 trials, P memory retention tests, which were conducted 45 days after the learning test, finches retained the ability to discriminate between colors correctly (95.0 ± 4.47%), whereas quails did not retain any memory of the experimental procedure and so could not be tested. These results suggested that altricial and precocial birds both possess the faculty for learning and retaining discrimination-type tasks, but that altricial birds perform better than precocial birds in both faculties. The present findings imply that developmental mode is an important consideration for assessing the suitability of bird species for particular experiments. © 2013 Japanese Society of Animal Science.

  17. Carotenoid accumulation in the tissues of zebra finches: predictors of integumentary pigmentation and implications for carotenoid allocation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Kevin J; Toomey, Matthew B

    2010-01-01

    Carotenoid pigments produce the bright yellow to red ornamental colors of many animals, especially birds, and must ultimately be derived from the diet. However, they are also valuable for many physiological functions (e.g., antioxidants, immunostimulants, photoprotection, visual tuning, yolk nourishment to embryos), and as a result they are present in numerous internal body tissues (e.g., liver, adipose tissue, retina) whose carotenoid types and amounts are rarely studied in the context of color acquisition. Because male and female animals typically place different priorities on fitness-enhancing activities (e.g., gametic investment in females, sexual attraction in males), carotenoid allocation may track such investment patterns in the two sexes, and we can test for such sex-specific priorities of carotenoids by assessing body-tissue distributions of these pigments. We used high-performance liquid chromatography to identify and quantify carotenoid pigments from the plasma, liver, adipose tissue, and retina as well as the beak and legs of male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), a species in which males display sexually attractive, red, carotenoid-based beak coloration and females also display some (albeit a less rich orange) beak color. To our knowledge, this is the first study of the predictors of carotenoid-based leg coloration-another potentially important visual signal-in this species. The same suite of dietary (e.g., lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin) and metabolically derived (e.g., dehydrolutein, anhydrolutein) yellow and orange carotenoids was present in plasma, liver, and adipose tissue of both sexes. Retina contained two different metabolites (astaxanthin and galloxanthin) that serve specific functions in association with unique photoreceptor types in the eye. Beaks were enriched with four red ketocarotenoid derivatives in both sexes (alpha-doradexanthin, adonirubin, astaxanthin, and canthaxanthin), while the carotenoid profile of legs

  18. Social Memory Formation Rapidly and Differentially Affects the Motivation and Performance of Vocal Communication Signals in the Bengalese Finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toccalino, Danielle C; Sun, Herie; Sakata, Jon T

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive processes like the formation of social memories can shape the nature of social interactions between conspecifics. Male songbirds use vocal signals during courtship interactions with females, but the degree to which social memory and familiarity influences the likelihood and structure of male courtship song remains largely unknown. Using a habituation-dishabituation paradigm, we found that a single, brief (memory for that female: adult male Bengalese finches were significantly less likely to produce courtship song to an individual female when re-exposed to her 5 min later (i.e., habituation). Familiarity also rapidly decreased the duration of courtship songs but did not affect other measures of song performance (e.g., song tempo and the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing). Consistent with a contribution of social memory to the decrease in courtship song with repeated exposures to the same female, the likelihood that male Bengalese finches produced courtship song increased when they were exposed to a different female (i.e., dishabituation). Three consecutive exposures to individual females also led to the formation of a longer-term memory that persisted over days. Specifically, when courtship song production was assessed 2 days after initial exposures to females, males produced fewer and shorter courtship songs to familiar females than to unfamiliar females. Measures of song performance, however, were not different between courtship songs produced to familiar and unfamiliar females. The formation of a longer-term memory for individual females seemed to require at least three exposures because males did not differentially produce courtship song to unfamiliar females and females that they had been exposed to only once or twice. Taken together, these data indicate that brief exposures to individual females led to the rapid formation and persistence of social memories and support the existence of distinct mechanisms underlying the motivation to

  19. Effects of estradiol on incorporation of new cells in the developing zebra finch song system: potential relationship to expression of ribosomal proteins L17 and L37.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli

    2009-06-01

    Mechanisms regulating masculinization of the zebra finch song system are unclear; both estradiol and sex-specific genes may be important. This study was designed to investigate relationships between estrogen and ribosomal proteins (RPL17 and RPL37; sex-linked genes) that exhibit greater expression in song control nuclei in juvenile males than females. Four studies on zebra finches were conducted using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) injections on posthatching days 6-10 with immunohistochemistry for the ribosomal proteins and the neuronal marker HuC/D at day 25. Volumes of brain regions were also assessed in Nissl-stained tissue. Most BrdU+ cells expressed RPL17 and RPL37. The density and percentage of cells co-expressing BrdU and HuC/D was greatest in Area X. The density of BrdU+ cells in Area X (or its equivalent) and the percentage of these cells that were neurons were greater in males than females. In RA and HVC, total BrdU+ cells were increased in males. A variety of effects of estradiol were also detected, including inducing an Area X in females with a masculine total number of BrdU+ cells, and increasing the volume and percentage of new neurons in the HVC of females. The same manipulation in males decreased the density of BrdU+ cells in Area X, total number of BrdU+ cells in RA, and density of new neurons in HVC and RA. These data are consistent with the idea that RPL17, RPL37, and estradiol might all influence sexual differentiation, perhaps with the hormone and proteins interacting, such that an appropriate balance is required for normal development.

  20. Social Memory Formation Rapidly and Differentially Affects the Motivation and Performance of Vocal Communication Signals in the Bengalese Finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toccalino, Danielle C.; Sun, Herie; Sakata, Jon T.

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive processes like the formation of social memories can shape the nature of social interactions between conspecifics. Male songbirds use vocal signals during courtship interactions with females, but the degree to which social memory and familiarity influences the likelihood and structure of male courtship song remains largely unknown. Using a habituation-dishabituation paradigm, we found that a single, brief (female led to the formation of a short-term memory for that female: adult male Bengalese finches were significantly less likely to produce courtship song to an individual female when re-exposed to her 5 min later (i.e., habituation). Familiarity also rapidly decreased the duration of courtship songs but did not affect other measures of song performance (e.g., song tempo and the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing). Consistent with a contribution of social memory to the decrease in courtship song with repeated exposures to the same female, the likelihood that male Bengalese finches produced courtship song increased when they were exposed to a different female (i.e., dishabituation). Three consecutive exposures to individual females also led to the formation of a longer-term memory that persisted over days. Specifically, when courtship song production was assessed 2 days after initial exposures to females, males produced fewer and shorter courtship songs to familiar females than to unfamiliar females. Measures of song performance, however, were not different between courtship songs produced to familiar and unfamiliar females. The formation of a longer-term memory for individual females seemed to require at least three exposures because males did not differentially produce courtship song to unfamiliar females and females that they had been exposed to only once or twice. Taken together, these data indicate that brief exposures to individual females led to the rapid formation and persistence of social memories and support the existence of distinct

  1. Genomic organization and molecular phylogenies of the beta (β keratin multigene family in the chicken (Gallus gallus and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata: implications for feather evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sawyer Roger H

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The epidermal appendages of reptiles and birds are constructed of beta (β keratins. The molecular phylogeny of these keratins is important to understanding the evolutionary origin of these appendages, especially feathers. Knowing that the crocodilian β-keratin genes are closely related to those of birds, the published genomes of the chicken and zebra finch provide an opportunity not only to compare the genomic organization of their β-keratins, but to study their molecular evolution in archosaurians. Results The subfamilies (claw, feather, feather-like, and scale of β-keratin genes are clustered in the same 5' to 3' order on microchromosome 25 in chicken and zebra finch, although the number of claw and feather genes differs between the species. Molecular phylogenies show that the monophyletic scale genes are the basal group within birds and that the monophyletic avian claw genes form the basal group to all feather and feather-like genes. Both species have a number of feather clades on microchromosome 27 that form monophyletic groups. An additional monophyletic cluster of feather genes exist on macrochromosome 2 for each species. Expression sequence tag analysis for the chicken demonstrates that all feather β-keratin clades are expressed. Conclusions Similarity in the overall genomic organization of β-keratins in Galliformes and Passeriformes suggests similar organization in all Neognathae birds, and perhaps in the ancestral lineages leading to modern birds, such as the paravian Anchiornis huxleyi. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that evolution of archosaurian epidermal appendages in the lineage leading to birds was accompanied by duplication and divergence of an ancestral β-keratin gene cluster. As morphological diversification of epidermal appendages occurred and the β-keratin multigene family expanded, novel β-keratin genes were selected for novel functions within appendages such as feathers.

  2. Summer feeding ecology of Great Pampa-finches, Embernagra platensis at Laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura M. Ferman

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assemble data on the summer feeding ecology of the Great Pampa-finch, Embernagra platensis at the Laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and to explore the differences related to the dietary patterns for each sex between winter and summer when possible. The stomach contents of 43 birds were analyzed. The animal fraction was composed of Hymenoptera (45.1%, Coleoptera (32.4%, Lepidoptera (6.0%, Araneae (5% and Orthoptera (3.2%. The application of the index of relative importance (IRI resulted in 1490.4 for Coleoptera, 428.5 for Hymenoptera and 162.5 for Lepidoptera caterpillars. The vegetal fraction consisted of Triticum aestivum (26.9%, Cyperaceous (25%, Poaceae (Gramineae (19.3% and Panicum sp. (11.2%. The IRI values were 893.8 for Triticum aestivum, 174.5 for Gramineae, 126.5 for Panicum sp. and 112.8 for Scirpus sp. The food niche width was 0.33 for both sexes; the diversity index resulted in 1.06 for females and 1.33 for males and specific diversity ranged from 1.87 to 2.84. A canonical component analysis (CCA was performed on environmental and morphometric variables, and a Monte Carlo test confirmed the canonical correlations. A t-test showed that some birds harmonized with a logarithmic model and some with a geometric curve. During the summer, Embernagra platensis ingests Hymenoptera and Coleoptera more often than seeds, suggesting that two biological mechanisms could be taking place in this bird.O objetivo deste estudo foi reunir dados referentes à ecologia alimentar do Sabiá-do-banhado, Embernagra platensis, na laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina, e explorar as diferenças relacionadas aos padrões dietéticos para cada sexo entre inverno e verão, quando possível. O conteúdo estomacal de 43 pássaros foi analisado. A fração animal foi composta por Hymenoptera (45,1%, Coleoptera (32,4%, Lepidoptera(6,0%, Araneae (5% e Orthoptera (3,2%. A aplicação do índice de importância relativa (IRI

  3. Prolactin is related to individual differences in parental behavior and reproductive success in a biparental passerine, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-08-01

    Variation in parental care can lead to important fitness consequences. The endocrine system is known to regulate physiological and behavioral reproductive traits that are important contributors to lifetime reproductive success. However, the hormonal basis of variation in avian parental care is still not well understood. Plasma prolactin (PRL) concentrations are generally high during post-hatch parental care in birds, and may be a candidate mechanism that regulates variation in parental care and other reproductive success outcomes. Here we analyze the relationship between PRL, parental behavior (chick brooding and feeding) and reproductive success outcomes (clutch size, number of chicks hatched, and chick survival) for the first time in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Birds were given cabergoline, a dopamine agonist traditionally used to lower prolactin in mammals, or vehicle in their food. Cabergoline had no effect on prolactin concentrations, but across both groups we found that PRL is positively correlated with parental behavior, number of chicks hatched, and chick survival, but not clutch size. Results from this study will inform hypotheses and predictions for future manipulation studies which test for a causal role for PRL in parental traits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Evidence for cholinergic participation in the control of bird song; acetylcholinesterase distribution and muscarinic receptor autoradiography in the zebra finch brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryan, S.M.; Arnold, A.P.

    1981-01-01

    Brain regions thought to be involved in the control of song in the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), were examined histochemically using the Karnovsky and Roots direct-coloring method for the detection of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and the autoradiographic method for the localization of muscarinic cholinergic receptors following injection of tritiated quinuclidinyl benzilate (3H QNB). All presently identified vocal control nuclei in both males and females contain AChE. These nuclei include Area X, magnocellular nucleus of the anterior neostriatum (MAN), nucleus interface (NIF), caudal nucleus of the hyperstriatum ventrale (HVc), intercollicular nucleus (ICo), nucleus uva, robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA), and tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve nucleus (nXIIts). All nuclei except Area X contain mostly AChE-synthesizing cell bodies. All of these nuclei contain some AChE in the neuropil, with particularly intense staining in Area X, the surrounding LPO, and the dorsomedial portion of ICo. In agreement with this description are very high concentrations of 3H QNB in both Area X and the dorsomedial ICo. HVc also appears specifically labeled. Evidence from these two histological technique suggests that efferent projections of most vocal control area may utilize acetylcholine, and that several of the vocal control nuclei may themselves receive muscarinic cholinergic projection. In Area X, there are sex differences of AChE neuropil staining. This evidence suggesting that sexually dimorphic projections to or within Area X are cholinergic or cholinoceptive

  5. Immunohistochemical localization of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide (CARTp) in the brain of the pigeon (Columba livia) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez-Ibanez, Cristian; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Jensen, Megan; Graham, David J; Pogány, Ákos; Mongomery, Benjamin C; Stafford, James L; Luksch, Harald; Wylie, Douglas R

    2016-12-15

    Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptides (CARTp) are neuropeptides that act as neurotransmitters in the brain of vertebrates. The expression of CARTp has been characterized in teleosts, amphibians, and several mammalian species, but comparative data in reptiles and birds are nonexistent. In this study, we show the distribution of immunoreactivity against CART peptides (CARTp-ir) in the brains of two bird species: the pigeon (Columba livia) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). We found CARTp-ir cells and terminals in the brains of both, but no major differences between the two species. As in mammals, teleost fish, and amphibians, CARTp-ir terminals and cells were abundant in subpallial regions, particularly the striatum and nucleus accumbens. We also found CARTp-ir cells and terminals in the hypothalamus, and a large number of CARTp-ir terminals in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, periaqueductal gray, parabrachial nucleus, and dorsal vagal complex. However, in contrast to other vertebrates, CARTp-ir was not found in the olfactory bulb. In addition there was almost no CARTp-ir in the pallium or the hippocampal formation, and little CARTp-ir in the cerebellum. The conserved expression of CARTp in the subpallium, hypothalamus, and dorsal vagal complex of birds suggests that some of the functions of CARTp, such as regulation of food intake and interactions with the social control network and mesolimbic reward system, are conserved among vertebrates. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3747-3773, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. New insights on the rarity of the vulnerable Cinereous Warbling-finch (Aves, Emberizidae based on density, home range, and habitat selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Marques-Santos

    Full Text Available The Cinereous Warbling-finch Poospiza cinerea (Emberizidae is a Neotropical grassland bird considered rare, with population declining due to habitat loss and classified as vulnerable. However, the species conspicuously remains in several degraded areas, suggesting that it may be favored by these environments. Studies which focus on this species were inexistent until 2012, making questionable any statement about its threaten status. Here we analyzed population density, home range, and habitat selection of two groups of P. cinerea at independent sites that differ in human impact levels. Density was estimated by counting and mapping birds. Kernel density and minimum convex polygon were used to estimate home ranges. Habitat selection was inferred from use and availability of every habitat identified within the home range boundaries. One group positively selected urban tree vegetation, despite the availability of natural habitats in its home range. Based on a review on the literature and our findings, we assume that it is unlikely that P. cinerea is rare owing to habitat degradation, as previously thought. Nevertheless, this species was always recorded around native Cerrado vegetation and thus habitat modification may still threaten this species at some level. It is suggested that this species might be a woodland edge species, but future studies are necessary to confirm this assumption.

  7. Sex- and age-related differences in ribosomal proteins L17 and L37, as well as androgen receptor protein, in the song control system of zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Y P; Wade, J

    2010-12-29

    The zebra finch song system is sexually dimorphic--only males sing, and the morphology of forebrain regions controlling the learning and production of this song is greatly enhanced in males compared to females. Masculinization appears to involve effects of steroid hormones as well as other factors, perhaps including the expression of sex chromosome genes (males: ZZ, females: ZW). The present study investigated three proteins--two encoded by Z-linked genes, ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 (RPL17 and RPL37), including their co-localization with androgen receptor (AR), from post-hatching day 25 to adulthood. Extensive co-expression of AR with the ribosomal proteins was detected in the three song nuclei investigated (HVC, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), and Area X) across these ages. In general, more cells expressed each of these proteins in males compared to females, and the sex differences increased as animals matured. Specific patterns differed across regions and between RPL17 and RPL37, which suggest potential roles of one or both of these proteins in the incorporation and/or differentiation of song system cells. Copyright © 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Activity in a premotor cortical nucleus of zebra finches is locally organized and exhibits auditory selectivity in neurons but not in glia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael H Graber

    Full Text Available Motor functions are often guided by sensory experience, most convincingly illustrated by complex learned behaviors. Key to sensory guidance in motor areas may be the structural and functional organization of sensory inputs and their evoked responses. We study sensory responses in large populations of neurons and neuron-assistive cells in the songbird motor area HVC, an auditory-vocal brain area involved in sensory learning and in adult song production. HVC spike responses to auditory stimulation display remarkable preference for the bird's own song (BOS compared to other stimuli. Using two-photon calcium imaging in anesthetized zebra finches we measure the spatio-temporal structure of baseline activity and of auditory evoked responses in identified populations of HVC cells. We find strong correlations between calcium signal fluctuations in nearby cells of a given type, both in identified neurons and in astroglia. In identified HVC neurons only, auditory stimulation decorrelates ongoing calcium signals, less for BOS than for other sound stimuli. Overall, calcium transients show strong preference for BOS in identified HVC neurons but not in astroglia, showing diversity in local functional organization among identified neuron and astroglia populations.

  9. Sex-dependent foraging effort and vigilance in coal-crested finches, Charitospiza eucosma (Aves: Emberizidae during the breeding season: evidence of female-biased predation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Diniz

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Sexual dimorphism in birds is often attributed to sexual selection, but another interpretation suggests the evolution of this phenomenon by natural selection. Predation may be an important selective pressure, acting mainly on females. In this study, I tested the latter hypothesis on the coal-crested finch (Charitospiza eucosma Oberholser, 1905 in a neotropical savanna of the Central Brazil (Cerrado. I used capture methods for ascertaining the sex ratio in the population, and focal observations to gather behavioral data. My results show that the sex ratio is skewed toward males (1:1.39. Males were more vigilant, vocalized for longer periods of time, and used higher perches than females. Females foraged more, spent more time on parental care and remained on the ground for longer periods than males. These results support the 'foraging effort hypothesis, suggesting that females are more preyed upon because they spend more time foraging. Ultimately, this may reflect the fact that females invest more on parental care than males. The sex-dependent parental investment may favor the evolution of different antipredator strategies in males and females: the camouflage in females as a less efficient strategy than vigilance in males.

  10. Song tutoring in presinging zebra finch juveniles biases a small population of higher-order song-selective neurons toward the tutor song.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adret, Patrice; Meliza, C Daniel; Margoliash, Daniel

    2012-10-01

    We explored physiological changes correlated with song tutoring by recording the responses of caudal nidopallium neurons of zebra finches aged P21-P24 (days post hatching) to a broad spectrum of natural and synthetic stimuli. Those birds raised with their fathers tended to show behavioral evidence of song memorization but not of singing; thus auditory responses were not confounded by the birds' own vocalizations. In study 1, 37 of 158 neurons (23%) in 17 of 22 tutored and untutored birds were selective for only 1 of 10 stimuli comprising broadband signals, early juvenile songs and calls, female calls, and adult songs. Approximately 30% of the selective neurons (12/37 neurons in 9 birds) were selective for adult conspecific songs. All these were found in the song system nuclei HVC and paraHVC. Of 122 neurons (17 birds) in tutored birds, all of the conspecific song-selective neurons (8 neurons in 6 birds) were selective for the adult tutor song; none was selective for unfamiliar song. In study 2 with a different sampling strategy, we found that 11 of 12 song-selective neurons in 6 of 7 birds preferred the tutor song; none preferred unfamiliar or familiar conspecific songs. Most of these neurons were found in caudal lateral nidopallium (NCL) below HVC. Thus by the time a bird begins to sing, there are small numbers of tutor song-selective neurons distributed in several forebrain regions. We hypothesize that a small population of higher-order auditory neurons is innately selective for complex features of behaviorally relevant stimuli and these responses are modified by specific perceptual/social experience during development.

  11. Movement Patterns, Home Range Size and Habitat Selection of an Endangered Resource Tracking Species, the Black-Throated Finch (Poephila cincta cincta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rechetelo, Juliana; Grice, Anthony; Reside, April Elizabeth; Hardesty, Britta Denise; Moloney, James

    2016-01-01

    Understanding movement patterns and home range of species is paramount in ecology; it is particularly important for threatened taxa as it can provide valuable information for conservation management. To address this knowledge gap for a range-restricted endangered bird, we estimated home range size, daily movement patterns and habitat use of a granivorous subspecies in northeast Australia, the black-throated finch (Poephila cincta cincta; BTF) using radio-tracking and re-sighting of colour banded birds. Little is known about basic aspects of its ecology including movement patterns and home range sizes. From 2011-2014 we colour-banded 102 BTF and radio-tracked 15 birds. We generated home ranges (calculated using kernel and Minimum Convex Polygons techniques of the 15 tracked BTF). More than 50% of the re-sightings occurred within 200 m of the banding site (n = 51 out of 93 events) and within 100 days of capture. Mean home-range estimates with kernel (50%, 95% probability) and Minimum Convex Polygons were 10.59 ha, 50.79 ha and 46.27 ha, respectively. Home range size differed between two capture sites but no seasonal differences were observed. BTF home ranges overlapped four habitat types among eight available. Habitat selection was different from random at Site 1 (χ2 = 373.41, df = 42, pmovements may be related to resource bottleneck periods. Daily movement patterns differed between sites, which is likely linked to the fact that the sites differ in the spatial distribution of resources. The work provides information about home range sizes and local movement of BTF that will be valuable for targeting effective management and conservation strategies for this endangered granivore.

  12. Effects of the social environment during adolescence on the development of social behaviour, hormones and morphology in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bölting, Stefanie; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus

    2017-01-01

    Individual differences in behaviour are widespread in the animal kingdom and often influenced by the size or composition of the social group during early development. In many vertebrates the effects of social interactions early in life on adult behaviour are mediated by changes in maturation and physiology. Specifically, increases in androgens and glucocorticoids in response to social stimulation seem to play a prominent role in shaping behaviour during development. In addition to the prenatal and early postnatal phase, adolescence has more recently been identified as an important period during which adult behaviour and physiology are shaped by the social environment, which so far has been studied mostly in mammals. We raised zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) under three environmental conditions differing in social complexity during adolescence - juvenile pairs, juvenile groups, and mixed-age groups - and studied males' behavioural, endocrine, and morphological maturation, and later their adult behaviour. As expected, group-housed males exhibited higher frequencies of social interactions. Group housing also enhanced song during adolescence, plumage development, and the frequency and intensity of adult courtship and aggression. Some traits, however, were affected more in juvenile groups and others in mixed-age groups. Furthermore, a testosterone peak during late adolescence was suppressed in groups with adults. In contrast, corticosterone concentrations did not differ between rearing environments. Unexpectedly, adult courtship in a test situation was lowest in pair-reared males and aggression depended upon the treatment of the opponent with highest rates shown by group-reared males towards pair-reared males. This contrasts with previous findings, possibly due to differences in photoperiod and the acoustic environment. Our results support the idea that effects of the adolescent social environment on adult behaviour in vertebrates are mediated by changes in

  13. The Homeschooling of Scout Finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, James B.

    2012-01-01

    Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" is one of the most widely taught texts in language arts classrooms through the English-speaking world and is greatly valued by many readers today for its depiction of youth grappling with racism in the American South of the Depression Era. However, the novel's subtle and sustained critique of…

  14. Multimodal signalling in estrildid finches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gomes, A. C. R.; Funghi, C.; Soma, M.

    2017-01-01

    Sexual traits (e.g. visual ornaments, acoustic signals, courtship behaviour) are often displayed together as multimodal signals. Some hypotheses predict joint evolution of different sexual signals (e.g. to increase the efficiency of communication) or that different signals trade off with each other...... (e.g. due to limited resources). Alternatively, multiple signals may evolve independently for different functions, or to communicate different information (multiple message hypothesis). We evaluated these hypotheses with a comparative study in the family Estrildidae, one of the largest songbird...... compromise, but generally courtship dance also evolved independently from other signals. Instead of correlated evolution, we found that song, dance and colour are each related to different socio-ecological traits. Song complexity evolved together with ecological generalism, song performance with investment...

  15. Mexican-US cooperation on renewable energy programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddle, D. B.

    1991-04-01

    I traveled to Mexico on April 1 with Pete Smith and Chris Rovero of Oak Ridge Associated Universities on a mission sponsored by the Agency for International Development (AID) to initiate a technical support project with Mexican government and private institutions. We met with officials of AID; the Programa Nacional de Solidaridad; the Laboratorio de Energia Solar; Instituto Investigaciones de Electricidad; Comision Federal de Electricidad; Compania de Luz y Fuerza del Centro; and several private firms to discuss the terms of support. An AIDE Memoire was drafted outlining the scope of future assistance. I traveled to San Jose, Cost Rica on April 7, 1991. There I met with Carlos Rodriguez, manager of Cooperativa Electrica de San Carlos, and Federico Baltodano, the director of BEL Ingenieria to discuss the San Lorenzo hydroelectric project. Details of an engineering and financial analysis outlining the costs and benefits of adding daily pondage to the project were discussed, as was the project development schedule and other issues. I returned to Oak Ridge on April 9, 1991.

  16. Mexican Perspectives on Mexican-U.S. Relations

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-04-01

    while serving in the United States military, working in the Bracero program and in American factories. By working with Americans, Mexicans learned that...Mexican government blames the problem on the United States. During the history of the Bracero Program (1942 -1964) 4.6 million Mexicans traveled to...and became familiar to Mexican migrants.ŕ The termination of the Bracero Program did not discourage Mexican agricultural workers from entering the

  17. A comparison of some Mexican/U.S. safety regulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bunner, W.R. [Training Associates, Columbus, OH (United States)

    1994-12-31

    In the US, safety and hygiene began to be enforced broadly with the formation of the US Department of Labor`s, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1970. In Mexico, the 1917 Constitution required companies to protect their workers against safety and hygiene hazards in the workplace. Additional requirements were added with the Federal Labor Law of 1931. General safety and hygiene regulations were added in 1934. Modern-day federal labor law in Mexico requires the creation of mixed safety and hygiene commissions in all industries. However, only about 114,000 workplaces have registered mixed commissions. In a similar vein, the most favored OSHA reform bill in the US proposes to require safety and health committees in all work places. At this time such committees are common in larger companies but not in smaller ones.

  18. Extremely high MHC class I variation in a population of a long-distance migrant, the Scarlet Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Promerová, Marta; Albrecht, Tomáš; Bryja, Josef

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 61, č. 6 (2009), s. 451-461 ISSN 0093-7711 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600930608; GA ČR GA206/06/0851; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : MHC class I * scarlet rosefinch * positive selection * recombination Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.988, year: 2009

  19. Male ornamentation and within-pair paternity are not associated with male provisioning rates in scarlet rosefinches Carpodacus erythrinus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Schnitzer, J.; Exnerová, A.; Poláková, Radka; Vinkler, Michal; Tomášek, Oldřich; Munclinger, P.; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 2 (2014), s. 89-97 ISSN 0873-9749 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Carotenoid-based ornamentation * Extra-pair paternity * Feeding effort * Parental care Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.000, year: 2014

  20. Effect of extra-pair paternity and parental quality on brood sex ratio in the scarlet rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Poláková, Radka; Schnitzer, J.; Vinkler, Michal; Bryja, Josef; Munclinger, P.; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 61, 3-4 (2012), s. 225-232 ISSN 0139-7893 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR GA206/06/0851 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : sex allocation * extra-pair mating * parental attractiveness Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.494, year: 2012

  1. Edge effect in wetland-arable land boundary determines nesting success of scarlet rosefinches (Carpodacus erythrinus) in the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Albrecht, Tomáš

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 121, č. 2 (2004), s. 361-371 ISSN 0004-8038 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6093917 Keywords : artificial nests * reproductive success * breeding birds Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.673, year: 2004 http://www.jstor.org/stable/4090400

  2. Measurements of IN and BIO-IN with the fast ice nucleus chamber FINCH at Mt. Zugspitze, Mt. Puy de Dôme and Jungfraujoch during fall and winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nillius, B.; Frank, F.; Bingemer, H.; Curtius, J.; Bundke, U.

    2013-05-01

    In this work we present IN measurements at Mt. Zugspitze, Germany, 2650 m.a.s.l., Mt. Puy de Dôme, France, 1464 m.a.s.l. and Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, 3580 m a.s.l during fall and winter 2012 with the instrument FINCH HALO (Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber for the High Altitude and LOng range research aircraft HALO). In this device the temperature and super saturation for activation of Ice Nuclei (IN) and the growth to ice crystals is obtained by mixing three gas flows of different temperatures and moisture. After the growth of IN and Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) to macroscopic ice crystals and super-cooled water droplets in the development chamber, they are counted using an optical detector. The discrimination between ice and water is made by measuring the circular depolarization ratio of the backscattered laser light of each individual particle. IN are classified as biological particles by measuring their individual intrinsic-fluorescence during the winter campaigns in average 30-40 % of the IN show an intrinsic fluorescence and are supposed to be of biological origin.

  3. Disease emergence in birds: Challenges for the twenty-first century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friend, Milton; McLean, R.G.; Dein, F.J.

    2001-01-01

    The paper by Hartup et al. (2001) on House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) conjunctivitis is an example of the rapid geographic spread that can result from disease emergence in naïve populations. That event was neither novel nor transient relative to its occurrence or effects. Disease emergence and reemergence are hallmarks of the latter part of the twentieth century (Center for Disease Control 1994, Levins et al. 1994, DaSilva and Laccarino 1999, Gratz 1999). Current examples involving domestic animals include the problems in Europe with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow disease”) (Brown 2001) and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) (Kitching 1999). Human health has been affected by diseases caused by an array of viruses (Morse 1993, Nichol et al. 1993, Murphy and Nathanson 1994), bacteria (Dennis 1998, DaSilva and Laccarino 1999), rickettsia (Walker and Dumier 1996, Azad et al. 1997), protozoans (Tuerrant 1997, Saini et al. 2000), and metazoan parasites (Hildreth et al. 1991, Gubler 1998), as well as other causes. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has received the most notoriety of those diseases (Hahn et al. 2000, Schwartlander et al. 2000). A similar pattern exists on a global scale for free-ranging wildlife populations (Table 1) (Friend 1994, 1995; Epstein et al. 1998, Daszak et al. 2000). However, in comparison to disease emergence affecting humans and domestic animals, response to emerging diseases of wildlife is generally superficial. We present concepts and data to support our contention that failure to adequately address disease emergence in free-ranging wildlife is resulting in a diminished capability to achieve and sustain desired geographic distributions and population abundance for species of wild birds, including some threatened and endangered avifauna.For clarity, we define disease and disease emergence in the context of our use of those terms because they are the focus of our comments. Disease is any departure from health

  4. Ambient and laboratory measurements of ice nuclei and their biological faction with the Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber FINCH-HALO using the new 405nm Version of the BIO-IN Sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundke, U.; Nillius, B.; Bingemer, H.; Curtius, J.

    2012-04-01

    We have designed the BIO-IN detector as part of the ice nucleus counter FINCH (Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber counter) to distinguish activated Ice Nuclei (IN) ice crystals from water droplets (CCN) (Bundke et al. 2008) and their fraction of biological origin (Bundke 2010). The modified BIO-IN sensor illuminates an aerosol stream with a 405 nm laser, replacing a 365nm LED of the original BIO IN design. Particles will scatter the light and those of biological origin will show intrinsic fluorescence emissions by excitation of mainly Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2. The incident laser light is circularly polarized by introducing a quarter-wave-plate. The circular depolarization ratio (p44/p11) of the scattering matrix is measured in the backward direction by two photomultipliers at 110° scattering angle using a combination of quarter-wave-plate and a beam splitting cube to analyze the two circular polarization components. The detection limit was lowered towards particle size of about 400nm diameter (non activated particles). It is now possible to calculate the activated fraction of IN of biological origin with respect to all biological particles measured with one detector. The performance of the sensor will be demonstrated showing the circular- depolarization properties of different test aerosol, dust samples, volcanic ashes as well as different biological particles. Measurements on the mountain Puy de Dôme of IN number concentration of ambient air, as well as measurements at the AIDA facility in Karlsruhe of the IN activation curves from different bacteria are shown. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the German Research Foundation, Grant: BU 1432/3-2 BU 1432/4-1

  5. Consumo e valor nutritivo de alimentos utilizados para Bicudo-verdadeiro (“Sporophila maximiliani” Consumption and nutritive value of feedstuffs used for great-billed seed finch (“Sporophila maximiliani”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elis Regina de Moraes Garcia

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Foi conduzido um estudo para determinar o consumo e o valor nutritivo do alpiste comum (Phalaris Canariensis L., arroz (Oryza Sativa L., painço verde (Panicum Miliaceum L. e capim-arroz (Echinochloa Spp para Bicudo-verdadeiro (Sporophila maximiliani. Foram utilizadas 24 fêmeas adultas com idade média de dois anos, distribuídas em um delineamento inteiramente ao acaso, com quatro tratamentos, três repetições e duas aves por unidade experimental. Foi utilizado o método de coleta total de excretas para determinar os coeficientes de metabolização aparente da matéria seca, proteína e energia, assim como os valores de energia metabolizável aparente e corrigida para o balanço de nitrogênio. Não houve diferença nos consumos, com média de 3,55±0,11 gramas de alimento/ave/dia. O arroz apresentou os melhores valores para os coeficientes de metabolização da matéria seca (90,57% e da energia (90,55%. Os coeficientes de metabolização da proteína não diferiram entre os alimentos. Os melhores valores de energia metabolizável foram obtidos para o alpiste (3.612kcal/EM kg e o capim-arroz (3.509kcal/EM kg.An experiment was carried out to determinate the nutritive value and consumption of canary grass (Phalaris canariensis L., rice (Oryza sativa L., proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L. and barnyard grass (Echinochloa spp for the Great-billed Seed Finch (Sporophila maximiliani. Twenty four adult females averaging two years of age were assigned to a completely randomized design with four treatments, three replicates and two birds per pen. Fecal output was used to determine dry matter, protein and energy metabolizable coefficients, and also the values of apparent metabolizable energy and corrected by nitrogen. No differences were observed in consumption, with 3.55±0.11g of feedstuff/birds/day. Rice provided the best values for metabolization coefficients of dry matter (90.57% and energy (90.55%. No differences were observed for protein

  6. Notes on the breeding biology of common resident birds in an urbanized area of Hidalgo, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iriana Zuria

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Presentamos información sobre la biología reproductiva y las características del sitio de anidación para seis especies de aves comunes en una pequeña reserva ecológica inmersa en la ciudad de Pachuca, Hidalgo, México: Columbina inca (tórtola cola larga, Pyrocephalus rubinus (mosquero cardenal, Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus (matraca del desierto, Toxostoma curvirostre (cuitlacoche pico curvo, Pipilo fuscus (toquí pardo y Carpodacus mexicanus (pinzón mexicano. Seguimos 65 nidos activos, principalmente de C. mexicanus y C. brunneicapillus. La densidad de nidos alcanzó 15 nidos por hectárea en algunas áreas del parque. Las principales causas de fracaso reproductivo en los nidos fracasados (74% fueron las fuertes lluvias y el disturbio humano. Los nidos se encontraron en siete sustratos diferentes, principalmente en Cylindropuntia imbricata y Cupressus spp. Presentamos, para cada especie, datos sobre las características del sitio de anidación, incluyendo las plantas utilizadas para anidar, el promedio de su altura y diámetro a la altura del pecho, altura promedio del nido, tamaño de nidada, extensión de la temporada de anidación y causas particulares de fracaso reproductivo. Al final, sugerimos algunas recomendaciones generales de manejo que pueden ayudar a la conservación de aves que anidan en parques del centro de México.

  7. Occurrence of extra-pair paternity is connected to social male’s MHC-variability in the scarlet rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Promerová, Marta; Vinkler, Michal; Bryja, Josef; Poláková, Radka; Schnitzer, J.; Munclinger, P.; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 42, č. 1 (2011), s. 5-10 ISSN 0908-8857 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600930608; GA ČR GA206/06/0851; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : scarlet rosefinch * Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) * mate choice decisions * good genes * sexual selection Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.280, year: 2011

  8. Maternal health among working women: A case study in the Mexican-U.S. border

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norma Ojeda de la Peña

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available This work is a description of the differences in maternal health among women of the wage-earning class along the Mexican/United States border in Tijuana, Baja California. The study analyzes the specific case of women using the services of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS, breaking up the sample according to their employment and level of physical labor on the job in industrial, business, and service sectors. The study is based on information from a survey titled, "Social Conditions of Women and Reproductive Health in Tijuana".This was a post-partum survey administered to a total of 2,596 obstetrical patients seen at the Gynecology-. Obstetrics hospital of the Tijuana IMSSoffice during the spring of 1993.The results indicate differing maternal health oonditions among workers, in relation to some of the factors considered risks for infant and maternal health.

  9. Quest for Integrity: The Mexican-U.S. Drug Issue in the 1980s

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    migrant workers, and drugs into the United States and have provided medical treatments (e.g., for cancer , AIDS) that Americans want but find prohibited in...with North Africa for the European cannabis market, which in any case prefers hashish to marijuana. - 53 - and that Mexican marijuana is of lower

  10. Caught on the Mexican-US Border: The Insecurity and Desire of Collaboration between Two Universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado-Maldonado, Alma; Cantwell, Brendan

    2008-01-01

    Understandings of cross-border university collaboration are often informed by a concept of internationalisation that privileges the rationales of university administrators. A case study of two asymmetric universities along the border of Mexico and the United States--one of the most active and problematic borders in the world--found that, rather…

  11. Análise da condição corpórea, biometria externa e das vísceras do trato gastrointestinal de canários-da-terra, Sicalis flaveola braziliensis Analysis of body condition and external and gastrointestinal biometry of saffron finch, Sicalis flaveola braziliensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raul A.S. Siqueira

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Analisaram-se em canários-da-terra, Sicalis flaveola brasiliensis, apreendidos pelo Cetas-IBAMA/PB e que morreram logo após sua chegada, as medidas biométricas externas, condições corpóreas e de plumagem, medidas biométricas das vísceras do trato gastrointestinal (TGI, assim como a topografia visceral, a fim de fornecer dados morfológicos e caracterizar as condições em esses pássaros chegaram a esse centro de triagem. A topografia visceral estava em consonância com a de periquitos e avestruz, a exceção que essa última espécie apresenta um ceco. Verificou-se que há relação entre as condições corpóreas desfavoráveis e a perda de plumagem. Conclui-se, que S. flaveola braziliensis possui medidas biométricas em consonância á de outros Passeriformes, contudo possui divergências para aves do mesmo gênero e poucas diferenças biométricas entre machos e fêmeas. Através do estudo, verifica-se que as condições corpóreas de animais traficados devem ser consideradas nos centros de triagem, a fim de se fazer um melhor manejo nutricional e/ou clínico, diminuindo a mortalidade.Forty-one saffron finch, Sicalis flaveola brasiliensis, were studied regarding the external biometry, corporeal and plumage conditions, gastrointestinal tract (GIT biometry, and the visceral topography, in order to provide morphological data and to characterize the condition in which these birds came to the wild animal screening Center. The visceral topography was similar to the found in parakeets and ostriches; however the last have a cecum. There was also relationship between the unfavorable body conditions and the loss of feathers. It was concluded that S. flaveola braziliensis has biometric measurements similar to other Passeriformes, however with differences to birds of the same gender, and few biometric differences among males and females. The results demonstrate that the corporal conditions of trafficked animals should be considered in wild

  12. Ancestrality and evolution of trait syndromes in finches (Fringillidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponge, Jean-François; Zuccon, Dario; Elias, Marianne; Pavoine, Sandrine; Henry, Pierre-Yves; Théry, Marc; Guilbert, Éric

    2017-12-01

    Species traits have been hypothesized by one of us (Ponge, 2013) to evolve in a correlated manner as species colonize stable, undisturbed habitats, shifting from "ancestral" to "derived" strategies. We predicted that generalism, r-selection, sexual monomorphism, and migration/gregariousness are the ancestral states (collectively called strategy A) and evolved correlatively toward specialism, K-selection, sexual dimorphism, and residence/territoriality as habitat stabilized (collectively called B strategy). We analyzed the correlated evolution of four syndromes, summarizing the covariation between 53 traits, respectively, involved in ecological specialization, r-K gradient, sexual selection, and dispersal/social behaviors in 81 species representative of Fringillidae, a bird family with available natural history information and that shows variability for all these traits. The ancestrality of strategy A was supported for three of the four syndromes, the ancestrality of generalism having a weaker support, except for the core group Carduelinae (69 species). It appeared that two different B-strategies evolved from the ancestral state A, both associated with highly predictable environments: one in poorly seasonal environments, called B1, with species living permanently in lowland tropics, with "slow pace of life" and weak sexual dimorphism, and one in highly seasonal environments, called B2, with species breeding out-of-the-tropics, migratory, with a "fast pace of life" and high sexual dimorphism.

  13. Ancestrality and evolution of trait syndromes in finches (Fringillidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Ponge, Jean‐François; Zuccon, Dario; Elias, Marianne; Pavoine, Sandrine; Henry, Pierre‐Yves; Théry, Marc; Guilbert, Éric

    2017-01-01

    International audience; Species traits have been hypothesized by one of us (Ponge, 2013) to evolve in a correlated manner as species colonize stable, undisturbed habitats, shifting from “ancestral” to “derived” strategies. We predicted that generalism, r-selection, sexual monomorphism, and migration/gregariousness are the ancestral states (collectively called strategy A) and evolved correlatively toward specialism, K-selection, sexual dimorphism, and residence/territoriality as habitat stabil...

  14. From electromyographic activity to frequency modulation in zebra finch song.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Döppler, Juan F; Bush, Alan; Goller, Franz; Mindlin, Gabriel B

    2018-02-01

    Behavior emerges from the interaction between the nervous system and peripheral devices. In the case of birdsong production, a delicate and fast control of several muscles is required to control the configuration of the syrinx (the avian vocal organ) and the respiratory system. In particular, the syringealis ventralis muscle is involved in the control of the tension of the vibrating labia and thus affects the frequency modulation of the sound. Nevertheless, the translation of the instructions (which are electrical in nature) into acoustical features is complex and involves nonlinear, dynamical processes. In this work, we present a model of the dynamics of the syringealis ventralis muscle and the labia, which allows calculating the frequency of the generated sound, using as input the electrical activity recorded in the muscle. In addition, the model provides a framework to interpret inter-syllabic activity and hints at the importance of the biomechanical dynamics in determining behavior.

  15. Palliative care in Salima district | Finch | Malawi Medical Journal

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Malawi Medical Journal. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 20, No 4 (2008) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. Username, Password, Remember me, or Register · Download this PDF file. The PDF file you selected should load ...

  16. Acetylcholinesterase in central vocal control nuclei of the zebra finch ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    paring the data to other singing birds and vocalizing birds. As acquisition ..... In Nissl-stained sec- tions, a small RA and area X can be distinguished from ..... Neurol. 356 345–354. Watson J T, Adkins-Regan E, Whiting P, Lindstrom J M and.

  17. Alfaxalone anesthesia in the bengalese finch (Lonchura domestica)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perrin, Kathryn L.; Nielsen, Jesper B.; Thomsen, Anders F.

    2017-01-01

    design. Subsequently, a similar protocol was used to compare 30 mg/kg alfaxalone alone or combined with either 0.7 mg/kg midazolam or 1 mg/kg butorphanol SC. Induction and recovery times were recorded and depth of anesthesia monitored at 5-min intervals throughout each procedure. Functional oxygen...... inductions, and the addition of both midazolam and butorphanol resulted in longer durations of anesthesia than alfaxalone alone. The addition of midazolam significantly decreased the pulse rate at 15 min compared with alfaxalone alone. Alfaxalone was found to be an effective agent for inducing anesthesia...... when administered subcutaneously, and no complications were observed. Increasing the dose, and combining with a benzodiazepine or opioid increased the duration of anesthesia with minimal or no effects on respiratory or pulse rates, within the dose range investigated....

  18. Neural mechanisms of song memory formation in juvenile zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moorman, S.

    2015-01-01

    There are many parallels between the acquisition of spoken language in human infants and song learning in songbirds, at the behavioural, neural, genetic and cognitive levels. Both human infants and juvenile songbirds are able to imitate sounds from adults of the same species (often their parents),

  19. Can endocranial volume be estimated accurately from external skull measurements in great-tailed grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corina J. Logan

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available There is an increasing need to validate and collect data approximating brain size on individuals in the field to understand what evolutionary factors drive brain size variation within and across species. We investigated whether we could accurately estimate endocranial volume (a proxy for brain size, as measured by computerized tomography (CT scans, using external skull measurements and/or by filling skulls with beads and pouring them out into a graduated cylinder for male and female great-tailed grackles. We found that while females had higher correlations than males, estimations of endocranial volume from external skull measurements or beads did not tightly correlate with CT volumes. We found no accuracy in the ability of external skull measures to predict CT volumes because the prediction intervals for most data points overlapped extensively. We conclude that we are unable to detect individual differences in endocranial volume using external skull measurements. These results emphasize the importance of validating and explicitly quantifying the predictive accuracy of brain size proxies for each species and each sex.

  20. Vulnerability of birds to climate change in California's Sierra Nevada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodney B. Siegel

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In a rapidly changing climate, effective bird conservation requires not only reliable information about the current vulnerability of species of conservation concern, but also credible projections of their future vulnerability. Such projections may enable managers to preempt or reduce emerging climate-related threats through appropriate habitat management. We used NatureServe's Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI to predict vulnerability to climate change of 168 bird species that breed in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, USA. The CCVI assesses species-specific exposure and sensitivity to climate change within a defined geographic area, through the integration of (a species' range maps, (b information about species' natural history traits and ecological relationships, (c historic and current climate data, and (d spatially explicit climate change projections. We conducted the assessment under two different downscaled climate models with divergent projections about future precipitation through the middle of the 21st century. Assessments differed relatively little under the two climate models. Of five CCVI vulnerability ranking categories, only one species, White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura, received the most vulnerable rank, Extremely Vulnerable. No species received the second-highest vulnerability ranking, Highly Vulnerable. Sixteen species scored as Moderately Vulnerable using one or both climate models: Common Merganser (Mergus merganser, Osprey (Pandion haliaetus, Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis, Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus, Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus, Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius, Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa, Black Swift (Cypseloides niger, Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana, American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus, Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus, American Pipit (Anthus rubescens, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (Leucosticte tephrocotis, Pine Grosbeak

  1. Strong association between corticosterone levels and temperature-dependent metabolic rate in individual zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jimeno Revilla, Blanca; Hau, Michaela; Verhulst, Simon

    2017-01-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) are often assumed to be indicators of stress. At the same time, one of their fundamental roles is to facilitate metabolic processes to accommodate changes in energetic demands. Although the metabolic function of GCs is thought to be ubiquitous across vertebrates, we are

  2. Sperm Precedence in Zebra Finches Does Not Require Special Mechanisms of Sperm Competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colegrave, N.; Birkhead, T.R.; Lessells, C.M.

    1995-01-01

    Competition between the spermatozoa of different males to fertilize the eggs of a single female acts as a selection pressure on the behaviour of males and females. However, quantitative predictions about behaviour fan only be made if the paternity consequences of different patterns of copulation are

  3. Diurnal and Reproductive Stage-Dependent Variation of Parental Behaviour in Captive Zebra Finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morvai, Boglarka; Nanuru, Sabine; Mul, Douwe; Kusche, Nina; Milne, Gregory; Szekely, Tamas; Komdeur, Jan; Miklosi, Adam; Pogany, Akos

    2016-01-01

    Parental care plays a key role in ontogeny, life-history trade-offs, sexual selection and intrafamilial conflict. Studies focusing on understanding causes and consequences of variation in parental effort need to quantify parental behaviour accurately. The applied methods are, however, diverse even

  4. First nesting record of White-naped Brush-Finch (Atlapetes albinucha

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Cisneros Palacios

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Primer registro de animación de Atlapetes albinucha Describo el primer nido localizado de Atlapetes albinucha, y los polluelos que contenía. Este nido lo localicé en un bosque de niebla del Estado de Oaxaca, México.

  5. Bill redness is positively associated with reproduction and survival in male and female zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Simons, Mirre J. P.; Briga, Michael; Koetsier, Egbert; Folkertsma, Remco; Wubs, Matthias D.; Dijkstra, Cor; Verhulst, Simon

    2012-01-01

    Sexual traits can serve as honest indicators of phenotypic quality when they are costly. Brightly coloured yellow to red traits, which are pigmented by carotenoids, are relatively common in birds, and feature in sexual selection. Carotenoids have been linked to immune and antioxidant function, and

  6. Neural, not gonadal, origin of brain sex differences in a gynandromorphic finch

    OpenAIRE

    Agate, Robert J.; Grisham, William; Wade, Juli; Mann, Suzanne; Wingfield, John; Schanen, Carolyn; Palotie, Aarno; Arnold, Arthur P.

    2003-01-01

    In mammals and birds, sex differences in brain function and disease are thought to derive exclusively from sex differences in gonadal hormone secretions. For example, testosterone in male mammals acts during fetal and neonatal life to cause masculine neural development. However, male and female brain cells also differ in genetic sex; thus, sex chromosome genes acting within cells could contribute to sex differences in cell function. We analyzed the sexual phenotype of the brain of a rare gyna...

  7. Inbreeding depression of sperm traits in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Opatová, Pavlína; Ihle, M.; Albrechtová, Jana; Tomášek, Oldřich; Kempenaers, B.; Forstmeier, W.; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 1 (2016), s. 295-304 ISSN 2045-7758 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : gamete performance * genetic quality * sperm abnormality * sperm morphology * sperm velocity Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.440, year: 2016

  8. A charged anisotropic well-behaved Adler-Finch-Skea solution satisfying Karmarkar condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhar, Piyali; Singh, Ksh. Newton; Rahaman, Farook; Pant, Neeraj; Banerjee, Sumita

    In the present paper, we discover a new well-behaved charged anisotropic solution of Einstein-Maxwell’s field equations. We ansatz the metric potential g00 of the form given by Maurya et al. (Eur. Phys. J. C 76(12) (2016) 693) with n = 2. In their paper, it is mentioned that for n = 2, the solution is not well-behaved for neutral configuration as the speed of sound is nondecreasing radially outward. However, the solution can represent a physically possible configuration with the inclusion of some net electric charge, i.e. the solution can become a well-behaved solution with decreasing sound speed radially outward for a charged configuration. Due to the inclusion of electric charge, the solution leads to a very stiff equation-of-state (EoS) with the velocity of sound at the center vr02 = 0.819, vt02 = 0.923 and the compactness parameter u = 0.823 is close to the Buchdahl limit 0.889. This stiff EoS support a compact star configuration of mass 5.418M⊙ and radius of 10.1km.

  9. Anatomically discrete sex differences in neuroplasticity in zebra finches as reflected by perineuronal nets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornez, Gilles; ter Haar, Sita M; Cornil, Charlotte A; Balthazart, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Large morphological sex differences in the vertebrate brain were initially identified in song control nuclei of oscines. Besides gross differences between volumes of nuclei in males and females, sex differences also concern the size and dendritic arborization of neurons and various neurochemical

  10. The music of language : exploring grammar, prosody and rhythm perception in zebra finches and budgerigars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spierings, M.J.

    2016-01-01

    Language is a uniquely human trait. All animals have ways to communicate, but these systems do not bear the same complexity as human language. However, this does not mean that all aspects of human language are specifically human. By studying the language perception abilities of other species, we can

  11. The effects of rearing conditions on sexual traits and preferences in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holveck, Marie-Jeanne

    2008-01-01

    Although theory predicts that females should prefer the highest quality male, female mating preferences within populations often show pronounced variation. What causes and maintains this variation remains poorly understood. This thesis addresses the influence of rearing conditions both on female

  12. Delayed behavioral effects of postnatal exposure to corticosterone in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spencer, K. A.; Verhulst, S.

    Early developmental conditions can significantly influence the growth and survival of many animal species. We studied the consequences of exposure to corticosterone (CORT), a stress hormone, during the nestling stage on two behavioral traits (neophobia, social dominance) measured when the birds had

  13. Proximate control of avian sex allocation : A study on zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    von Engelhardt, Nikolaus Benedikt

    2004-01-01

    Sex allocatie is de strategie van verschillende investering in mannelijke en vrouwelijke nakomelingen. Sex allocatie betreft zowel de investering in het relatieve aantal zoons en dochters, de geslachtsverhouding of sex ratio, als ook de relatieve investering in elke individuele zoon en dochter Zie:

  14. Behavioral and neural lateralization of vision in courtship singing of the zebra finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Isabelle; Hara, Erina; Hessler, Neal A

    2006-09-01

    Along with human speech and language processing, birdsong has been one of the best-characterized model systems for understanding the relationship of lateralization of brain function to behavior. Lateralization of song production has been extensively characterized, and lateralization of song perception has begun to be studied. Here we have begun to examine whether behavior and brain function are lateralized in relation to communicative aspects of singing, as well. In order to monitor central brain function, we assayed the levels of several activity dependent immediate early genes after directed courtship singing. Consistent with a lateralization of visual processing during communication, there were higher levels of expression of both egr-1 and c-fos in the left optic tectum after directed singing. Because input from the eyes to the brain is almost completely contralateral in birds, these results suggest that visual input from the right eye should be favored during normal singing to females. Consistent with this, we further found that males sang more when they could use only their right eye compared to when they could use only their left eye. Normal levels of singing, though, required free use of both eyes to view the female. These results suggest that there is a preference for visual processing by the right eye and left brain hemisphere during courtship singing. This may reflect a proposed specialization of the avian left hemisphere in sustaining attention on stimuli toward which a motor response is planned.

  15. Development of a bioaerosol single particle detector (BIO IN) for the fast ice nucleus chamber FINCH

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundke, U.; Reimann, B.; Nillius, B.; Jaenicke, R.; Bingemer, H.

    2009-10-01

    In this work we present the setup and first tests of our new BIO IN detector. This detector is designed to classify atmospheric ice nuclei (IN) for their biological content. Biological material is identified via its auto-fluorescence (intrinsic fluorescence) after irradiation with UV radiation. Ice nuclei are key substances for precipitation development via the Bergeron-Findeisen process. The level of scientific knowledge regarding origin and climatology (temporal and spatial distribution) of IN is very low. Some biological material is known to be active as IN even at relatively high temperatures of up to -2°C (e.g. pseudomonas syringae bacteria). These biological IN could have a strong influence on the formation of clouds and precipitation. We have designed the new BIO IN sensor to analyze the abundance of IN of biological origin. The instrument will be flown on one of the first missions of the new German research aircraft ''HALO'' (High Altitude and LOng Range).

  16. Carotenoid coloration is related to fat digestion efficiency in a wild bird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madonia, Christina; Hutton, Pierce; Giraudeau, Mathieu; Sepp, Tuul

    2017-12-01

    Some of the most spectacular visual signals found in the animal kingdom are based on dietarily derived carotenoid pigments (which cannot be produced de novo), with a general assumption that carotenoids are limited resources for wild organisms, causing trade-offs in allocation of carotenoids to different physiological functions and ornamentation. This resource trade-off view has been recently questioned, since the efficiency of carotenoid processing may relax the trade-off between allocation toward condition or ornamentation. This hypothesis has so far received little exploratory support, since studies of digestive efficiency of wild animals are limited due to methodological difficulties. Recently, a method for quantifying the percentage of fat in fecal samples to measure digestive efficiency has been developed in birds. Here, we use this method to test if the intensity of the carotenoid-based coloration predicts digestive efficiency in a wild bird, the house finch ( Haemorhous mexicanus). The redness of carotenoid feather coloration (hue) positively predicted digestion efficiency, with redder birds being more efficient at absorbing fats from seeds. We show for the first time in a wild species that digestive efficiency predicts ornamental coloration. Though not conclusive due to the correlative nature of our study, these results strongly suggest that fat extraction might be a crucial but overlooked process behind many ornamental traits.

  17. The birds-consumers of the fruits and disseminators of Phellodendron Rupr. seeds in the south of Russian Far East

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Nechaev

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Based on the results of the long-term investigation, carried out in the Russian Far East (Primorye and Khabarovsk Territories, Amur and Sakhalin regions, and published data about bird ecology, the actual material about the birds feeding seeds and berries of the Amur cork-tree, Phellodendron amurense Rupr. and Sakhalin cork-tree, Ph. sachalinensis (Fr. Schmidt Sarg., is given in the article. It has been found 43 carpophagous bird species from 15 families and 5 orders. The cork-tree berries, small roundish juicy fruits with little stones, are eaten by the birds of 40 species from 13 families; basically by Grey-headed Woodpecker – Picus canus, Azure-winged Magpies – Cyanopica cyanus, Bohemian and Japanaese Waxwings – Bombycilla garrulus and B. japonica, Thrushes: Pale Thrush – Turdus pallidus, Eyebrowed Thrush – Turdus obscurus, Grey-backed Thrush – T. hortulorum, Naumann’s Thrush – T. naumanni, and Dusky Thrush – T. eunomus, Eurasian Nuthatch – Sitta europaea, Pallas’s Rose FinchCarpodacus roseus. The secondary birds – 16 species. On the Sakhalin isl. the Sakhalin cork-tree, Ph. sachalinensis berries are eaten by the birds of 33 species from 12 families, on the South Kuriles (Kunashir isl. – by the birds of 28 species from 11 families. On Sakhalin the berries are eaten basically by the Waxwings (2 species, Dusky and Brown-headed – Turdus chrysolaus – Thrushes, Eurasian Nuthatch, Pallas’s Rose Finch; and secondary birds – 12 species. There are 5 species of the primary birds and 8 species of the secondary birds on the Kunashir isl. A participation of the birds in the dissemination of the cork-tree, Phellodendron Rupr., during seasonal migrations in winter and autumn has been considered. The active birds in the seed distribution are Grey-headed Woodpecker, Azure-winged Magpies, Waxwings, Thrushes and others; while they are eating the berries, the seeds are not damaged in the gastrointestinal tract and pushed

  18. Using David Lack's Observations of Finch Beak Size to Teach Natural Selection & the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierema, Andrea M.-K.; Rudge, David W.

    2014-01-01

    One of the key aspects of natural selection is competition, yet the concept of competition is not necessarily emphasized in explanations of natural selection. Because of this, we developed an activity for our class that focuses on competition and provides an example of the effects of competition on natural selection. This hands-on activity models…

  19. Diversity and social cohesion : the case of Jane-Finch, a highly diverse lower-income Toronto neighbourhood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ahmadi, D.

    2017-01-01

    Diversity has increasingly emerged as the core focus of many studies concerning factors impacting on social cohesion. Various scholars have concluded that diversity is detrimental to cohesion. Most of this research, however, draws generalisations based upon quantitative data and fails to account

  20. The songbird syrinx morphome: a three-dimensional, high-resolution, interactive morphological map of the zebra finch vocal organ

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    During, D. N.; Ziegler, A.; Thompson, C. K.

    2013-01-01

    in unprecedented detail. We provide interactive three-dimensional models that greatly improve the communication of complex morphological data and our understanding of syringeal function in general. Conclusions: Our results show that the syringeal skeleton is optimized for low weight driven by physiological...... and stimulation experiments. We also demonstrate how the syrinx can be stabilized during song to reduce mechanical noise and, as such, enhance repetitive execution of stereotypic motor patterns. In addition, we identify a cartilaginous structure suited to play a crucial role in the uncoupling of sound frequency...

  1. Singing-Related Activity in Anterior Forebrain of Male Zebra Finches Reflects Courtship Motivation for Target Females

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Mai; Poulsen, Thomas M.; Oka, Kotaro; Hessler, Neal A.

    2013-01-01

    A critical function of singing by male songbirds is to attract a female mate. Previous studies have suggested that the anterior forebrain system is involved in this courtship behavior. Neural activity in this system, including the striatal Area X, is strikingly dependent on the function of male singing. When males sing to attract a female bird rather than while alone, less variable neural activity results in less variable song spectral features, which may be attractive to the female. These characteristics of neural activity and singing thus may reflect a male's motivation for courtship. Here, we compared the variability of neural activity and song features between courtship singing directed to a female with whom a male had previously formed a pair-bond or to other females. Surprisingly, across all units, there was no clear tendency for a difference in variability of neural activity or song features between courtship of paired females, nonpaired females, or dummy females. However, across the population of recordings, there was a significant relationship between the relative variability of syllable frequency and neural activity: when syllable frequency was less variable to paired than nonpaired females, neural activity was also less variable (and vice-versa). These results show that the lower variability of neural activity and syllable frequency during directed singing is not a binary distinction from undirected singing, but can vary in intensity, possibly related to the relative preference of a male for his singing target. PMID:24312344

  2. Identification of the first toll-like receptor gene in passerine birds: TLR4 orthologue in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vinkler, Michal; Bryjová, Anna; Albrecht, Tomáš; Bryja, Josef

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 74, č. 1 (2009), s. 32-41 ISSN 0001-2815 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600930608; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : avian immunogenetics * comparative immunology * evolutionary immunology Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.330, year: 2009

  3. 75 FR 43853 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Rule to List the Medium Tree-Finch...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-27

    ... confirmation of the success of the goat eradication program, was provided by one peer reviewer and has been... habitat is unprotected. A large amount of the highlands has been cleared or altered for farming. Much of... animals include goats (Capra hircus), donkeys (Equus asinus), cattle (Bos taurus), and pigs (Sus scrofa...

  4. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Honarmand, Mariam; Krause, E.T.; Naguib, Marc

    2017-01-01

    The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional

  5. Multimodal signalling in estrildid finches: song, dance and colour are associated with different ecological and life-history traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, A C R; Funghi, C; Soma, M; Sorenson, M D; Cardoso, G C

    2017-07-01

    Sexual traits (e.g. visual ornaments, acoustic signals, courtship behaviour) are often displayed together as multimodal signals. Some hypotheses predict joint evolution of different sexual signals (e.g. to increase the efficiency of communication) or that different signals trade off with each other (e.g. due to limited resources). Alternatively, multiple signals may evolve independently for different functions, or to communicate different information (multiple message hypothesis). We evaluated these hypotheses with a comparative study in the family Estrildidae, one of the largest songbird radiations, and one that includes many model species for research in sexual selection and communication. We found little evidence for either joint evolution or trade-offs between song and colour ornamentation. Some negative correlations between dance repertoire and song traits may suggest a functional compromise, but generally courtship dance also evolved independently from other signals. Instead of correlated evolution, we found that song, dance and colour are each related to different socio-ecological traits. Song complexity evolved together with ecological generalism, song performance with investment in reproduction, dance with commonness and habitat type, whereas colour ornamentation was shown previously to correlate mostly with gregariousness. We conclude that multimodal signals evolve in response to various socio-ecological traits, suggesting the accumulation of distinct signalling functions. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  6. MC1R Genotype and Plumage Colouration in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata): Population Structure Generates Artefactual Associations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoffman, J.L.; Krause, E.T.; Lehmann, K.; Krüger, O.

    2014-01-01

    Polymorphisms at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene have been linked to coloration in many vertebrate species. However, the potentially confounding influence of population structure has rarely been controlled for. We explored the role of the MC1R in a model avian system by sequencing the coding

  7. Plasma reactive oxygen metabolites and non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity are not affected by an acute increase of metabolic rate in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beamonte Barrientos, Rene; Verhulst, Simon

    Understanding the sources of variation in oxidative stress level is a challenging issue due to the implications of oxidative stress for late age diseases, longevity and life-history trade-offs. Reactive oxygen species that cause oxidative stress are mostly a by-product of energy metabolism and it is

  8. Optical sectioning using a digital Fresnel incoherent-holography-based confocal imaging system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelner, Roy; Katz, Barak; Rosen, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    We propose a new type of confocal microscope using Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH). Presented here is a confocal configuration of FINCH using a phase pinhole and point illumination that is able to suppress out-of-focus information from the recorded hologram and hence combine the super-resolution capabilities of FINCH with the sectioning capabilities of confocal microscopy. PMID:26413560

  9. Optical sectioning using a digital Fresnel incoherent-holography-based confocal imaging system

    OpenAIRE

    Kelner, Roy; Katz, Barak; Rosen, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    We propose a new type of confocal microscope using Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH). Presented here is a confocal configuration of FINCH using a phase pinhole and point illumination that is able to suppress out-of-focus information from the recorded hologram and hence combine the super-resolution capabilities of FINCH with the sectioning capabilities of confocal microscopy.

  10. Host-Feeding Patterns of Culex stigmatosoma (Diptera: Culicidae) in Southern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPhatter, Lee P; Su, Tianyun; Williams, Greg; Cheng, Min-Lee; Dhillon, Major; Gerry, Alec C

    2017-11-07

    Knowledge of the blood-feeding patterns exhibited by arthropod vectors is essential for understanding the complex dynamics of vector-borne disease transmission. Some species of mosquitoes belonging to the genus Culex have been implicated as having major roles in the transmission of arboviruses such as West Nile virus, Saint Louis encephalitis virus, and Western equine encephalitis virus. Although the host-feeding patterns for many of these Culex species are well studied, the host-feeding patterns of Culex stigmatosoma Dyar are relatively poorly studied, even though this species is suspected to be an important maintenance vector for West Nile virus and other arboviruses. In the current study, bloodmeals from 976 blood-engorged Cx. stigmatosoma, collected from 30 sites in southern California from 2009-2012, were processed for vertebrate host identification by nucleotide sequencing following polymerase chain reaction to amplify portions of the cytochrome oxidase I and cytochrome b genes of vertebrate animals. Vertebrate DNA was amplified, sequenced, and identified from a total of 647 Cx. stigmatosoma bloodmeals, revealing that 98.6% of bloodmeals were from birds, 1.2% from three mammal species, and a single bloodmeal was from a reptile species. In total, 40 different host species were identified. The greatest number of bloodmeals identified was from domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus L.) (38% of bloodmeals), house sparrow (Passer domesticus L.) (23%), house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus Müller) (17%), American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos L.) (4%), and mourning dove (Zenaida macroura L.) (3%). However, chicken bloodmeals were identified almost entirely from a single site where mosquito collection devices were placed in the near vicinity of confined domestic chickens. The strongly ornithophilic feeding behavior shown in this study for Cx. stigmatosoma supports the hypothesis that this mosquito species may be an important maintenance (or endemic) vector for

  11. Evaluation of two approaches to genotyping major histocompatibility complex class I in a passerine—CE-SSCP and 454 pyrosequencing

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Promerová, Marta; Babik, W.; Bryja, Josef; Albrecht, Tomáš; Stuglik, M.; Radwan, J.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 2 (2012), s. 285-292 ISSN 1755-098X R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600930608; GA ČR GA206/06/0851; GA ČR GAP505/10/1871 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : avian * Carpodacus erythrinus * major histocompatibility complex * next-generation sequencing * scarlet rosefinch Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 7.432, year: 2012

  12. Two new species of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832 (Monogenea: Gyrodactylidae) parasitizing Girardinichthys multiradiatus (Cyprinodontiformes: Goodeidae), an endemic freshwater fish from central Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza-Palmero, Carlos A; Sereno-Uribe, Ana L; Salgado-Maldonado, Guillermo

    2009-04-01

    Gyrodactylus mexicanus n. sp. and Gyrodactylus lamothei n. sp. are described from the fins and skin of Girardinichthys multiradiatus, an endemic freshwater fish from central Mexico. Gyrodactylus mexicanus is compared to other Gyrodactylus species that parasitize Fundulus spp., the phylogenetically closest group to the Goodeidae from North America. Gyrodactylus mexicanus is distinguished by having large anchors with well-developed superficial roots, enlarged hooks with a proximally disrupted shank (ligament), and a ventral bar with 2 poorly developed anterolateral projections and a small medial process. Gyrodactylus lamothei is distinguished from G. mexicanus and from other species of Gyrodactylus on the North American continent by having anchors with a sclerite on the superficial root and robust hooks with a straight shaft and a recurved point.

  13. Chewing lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) from estrildid finches (Aves: Passeriformes: Estrildidae) and louse-flies (Insecta: Diptera: Hippoboscidae) from birds in Senegal, with descriptions of three new species of the genus Brueelia

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sychra, O.; Literák, I.; Najer, T.; Čapek, Miroslav; Koubek, Petr; Procházka, Petr

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 2714, - (2010), s. 59-68 ISSN 1175-5326 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA6093404; GA AV ČR IAA601690901; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : chewing lice * louse-flies * Passeriformes * Senegal Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.853, year: 2010 http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2010/f/zt02714p068.pdf

  14. Multilocus phylogenetic analysis and morphological data reveal a new species composition of the genus Drepanocephalus Dietz, 1909 (Digenea: Echinostomatidae), parasites of fish-eating birds in the Americas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Cruz, E; Hernández-Orts, J S; Sereno-Uribe, A L; Pérez-Ponce de León, G; García-Varela, M

    2017-10-04

    Members of the genus Drepanocephalus are endoparasites of fish-eating birds of the families Phalacrocoracidae and Sulidae distributed across the Americas. Currently, Drepanocephalus contains three species, i.e. D. spathans (type species), D. olivaceus and D. auritus. Two additional species, D. parvicephalus and D. mexicanus were transferred to the genus Petasiger. In the current study, available DNA sequences of D. spathans, D. auritus and Drepanocephalus sp., were aligned with newly generated sequences of D. spathans and Petasiger mexicanus. Phylogenetic analyses inferred with three nuclear (LSU, SSU and ITS1, 5.8S, ITS2) and two mitochondrial (cox1, nad1) molecular markers showed that the sequences of D. spathans and D. auritus are nested together in a single clade with very low genetic divergence, with Petasiger mexicanus as its sister species. Additionally, P. mexicanus was not a close relative of other members of the genus Petasiger, showing that P. mexicanus actually belongs to the genus Drepanocephalus, suggesting the need to re-allocate Petasiger mexicanus back into the genus Drepanocephalus, as D. mexicanus. Morphological observations of the newly sampled individuals of D. spathans showed that the position of the testes is variable and testes might be contiguous or widely separated, which is one of the main diagnostic traits for D. auritus. Our results suggest that D. auritus might be considered a synonym of D. spathans and, as a result, the latter represents a species with a wide geographic range across the Americas, parasitizing both the Neotropical and the double-crested cormorant in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, USA and Canada.

  15. Compensation in resting metabolism for experimentally increased activity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deerenberg, C; Overkamp, GJF; Visser, GH; Daan, S; Heldmaier, G.

    1998-01-01

    To study zebra finch allocation of energy to day and night at two different workloads, we assessed the daily energy turnover from: (1) metabolizable energy of the food, and (2) doubly-labeled water. In both experiments we imposed two levels of activity on captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata),

  16. Risk and Resilience in Deployed Air Force Medical Personnel Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-15

    e.g., Linley, Andrews, & Joseph, 2007; Morris, Shakespeare - Finch, Rieck, & Newbery, 2005; Taku, Cann, Calhoun, & Tede- schi, 2008). These factors...providers. Military Psychology, 16, 99–114. doi:10.1207/ S15327876MP1602_2 Morris, B. A., Shakespeare -Finch, J., Rieck, M., & Newbery, J. (2005

  17. Research Article Special Issue

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2018-01-15

    Jan 15, 2018 ... Anti-predator behaviors that look very effective on. Finch-billed Myna ... boisterous voice, then suddenly there are eagles flying closed towards them. The Finch-billed .... population: lessons from birds and fish. In M. D. Hunter ...

  18. The genome of a songbird

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warren, Wesley C.; Clayton, David F.; Ellegren, Hans

    2010-01-01

    The zebra finch is an important model organism in several fields with unique relevance to human neuroscience. Like other songbirds, the zebra finch communicates through learned vocalizations, an ability otherwise documented only in humans and a few other animals and lacking in the chickenthe only...

  19. Soome disainiklassika Adamson-Ericus / Kersti Koll

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Koll, Kersti

    2000-01-01

    Adamson-Ericu muuseumis näitus "Soome disain 1900. Tehas "Iris", Louis Sparre ja Alfred William Finch". Näha saab ka Aito Mäkineni filmi "A. W. Finch - eurooppalainen". Koostajad ja kujundajad Marketta Tamminen, Heidi Gustafsson, Juha Jämbäck

  20. Phytohaemagglutinin skin-swelling test in scarlet rosefinch males: low-quality birds respond more strongly

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vinkler, Michal; Schnitzer, J.; Munclinger, P.; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 83, č. 1 (2012), s. 17-23 ISSN 0003-3472 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600930608; GA ČR GA206/06/0851; GA ČR GAP505/10/1871; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : Carpodacus erythrinus * condition * ecoimmunology * ecological immunology * health signalling * immunocompetence * ornamentation * phytohaemagglutinin * ptilochronology * scarlet rosefinch Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.068, year: 2012

  1. New taxa and combinations in neotropical Juncus (Juncaceae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balslev, Henrik

    1983-01-01

    Juncus arequipensis andJ. breviculmis are described as new species, andJ. ramboi subsp.colombianus as a new subspecies.Juncus arcticus Willd. var.mexicanus (Willd.), var.montanus (Engelm.), and var.andicola (Hook.) are proposed as new combinations.......Juncus arequipensis andJ. breviculmis are described as new species, andJ. ramboi subsp.colombianus as a new subspecies.Juncus arcticus Willd. var.mexicanus (Willd.), var.montanus (Engelm.), and var.andicola (Hook.) are proposed as new combinations....

  2. Feeding habits of four species of mesopelagic fishes from the Northern Chilean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva A, Eduardo; Ulloa H, Raúl; Bleck Z, Jorge

    2006-06-01

    The feeding habits of four species of mesopelagic fishes from northern Chile are described: Triphoturus mexicanus, Diogenichtys atlanticus, Vinciguerria lucetia and Cyclothone acclinidens. Samples were captured in September 1988 between 18 degrees 25' and 19 degrees 09'S in the South West Pacific. The quantitative and qualitative analyses of the stomach content showed that the species have a zooplanktophagous opportunistic behavior, mainly predating on Crustaceans, especially on Copepods. The evaluation of the trophic spectrum and diversity of T. mexicanus and C. acclinidens suggests that these are nictoepipelagic species, while D. atlanticus and V. lucetia would be typical mesopelagic.

  3. Review of Mexican species of Podogaster Brullé (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Anomaloninae) with description of two new species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Moreno, A; Bordera, S

    2013-02-01

    Two new species of Podogaster Brullé, Podogaster brunneus n. sp. and Podogaster lagartensis n. sp., are described. The material was collected with Malaise traps operated for a year in the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, a dry tropical area of Southeast Mexico. Podogaster rosteri Gauld & Bradshaw is synonymized with Podogaster mexicanus (Cresson). A key to the Mexican species is also provided.

  4. Acaricidal activity of Derris floribunda essential oil and its main constituent

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ana Claudia Fernandes Amaral; Aline de S.Ramos; Márcia Reis Pena; José Luiz Pinto Ferreira; Jean Michel S.Menezes; Geraldo J.N.Vasconcelos; Neliton Marques da Silva

    2017-01-01

    Objective:To evaluate the acaricidal activity of the essential oil obtained from roots of Derrisfloribunda (D.floribunda) (Miq.) Benth,and its main constituent nerolidol against the Mexican mite Tetranychus mexicanus (T.mexicanus) (McGregor).Methods:The essential oil from the roots of D.floribunda collected in the Amazon region (Brazil) was obtained by hydrodistillation.Its chemical composition was determined by GC-MS analysis.The acaricidal activities of this essential oil and nerolidol,were evaluated by recording the number of dead females (mortality) and eggs (fertility).Results:The essential oil showed sesquiterpenes as major volatile components.Nerolidol,the main component,represented 68.5% of the total composition of the essential oil.D.floribunda essential oil and nerolidol showed acaricidal activity,with LC50 of 9.61 μg/mL air and 9.2 μg/mL air,respectively,over a 72 h period.In addition,both the essential oil and nerolidol significantly reduced the fecundity of T.mexicanus.Contusions:Due to the economic importance of T.mexicanus and the lack of new pesticides,our data are very promising in the search for efficient and safer acaricidal products.Furthermore,this is the first report about the chemical composition and bioactivity of the essential oil of the Amazon plant species D.floribunda.

  5. Food habits of nesting prairie falcons in Campbell County

    Science.gov (United States)

    John R. Squires; Stanley H. Anderson; Robert Oakleaf

    1989-01-01

    Fifteen species of prey were utilized by nesting Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) as determined through pellet analysis. Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), the most common prey, were present in 91% of the pellets, followed by Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) which were present in 56% of pellets. Horned Larks (Eremophila...

  6. High-mountain lakes provide a seasonal niche for migrant American dippers

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. M. Garwood; K. L. Pope; R. M. Bourque; M. D. Larson

    2009-01-01

    We studied summer use of high elevation lakes by American Dippers (Cinclus mexicanus) in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, California by conducting repeated point-count surveys at 16 study lakes coupled with a 5-year detailed survey of all available aquatic habitats in a single basin. We observed American Dippers during 36% of the point-count surveys...

  7. The Rights of Undocumented Mexicans in the United States after "Plyler v. Doe": A Sketch of Moral and Legal Issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia y Griego, Manuel

    1986-01-01

    Analyzes moral and legal obligations the U.S. has toward undocumented Mexicans in the U.S. Reviews past cases and draws implications regarding the nature and extent of such obligations. Discusses several court decisions regarding the rights of undocumented migrants. Provides an overview of trends in Mexican-US migration. (MD)

  8. Plaadid / Brigitta Davidjants

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Davidjants, Brigitta, 1983-

    2005-01-01

    Uutest heliplaatidest Vincente Amigo "Un Momento En El Sonido", Faithless "Forever Faithless", Megadeth "Greatest Hits", Transplants "Haunted Cities", Finch "Say Hello To Sunshine", Alanis Morissetee "Jagged Little Pill Acoustic", Shelton San "Shelton San Ep"

  9. 76 FR 29274 - Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... country under the Andean Trade Preference Act, African Growth and Opportunity Act, or the Caribbean Basin... the petition be withdrawn. TA-W-80,045; Brookline Furniture LLC, formerly known as Brooks Finch LLC...

  10. Metabolic rate and body temperature of an African sun bird ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1997-02-19

    Feb 19, 1997 ... has a wide distribution in southern Africa. ... sample the voltage output of the oxygen analyser every 2 min ... Bailey Bat thermocouple thermometer, and the system was .... A similar 50% drop in metabolic rate in finches at.

  11. Disease: H01212 [KEGG MEDICUS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available iott PR, Finch JT, Carrell RW, Lomas DA ... TITLE ... Familial dementia caused by polymerization of mutant neuroserpin. ... JOURNAL ... Nat...ure 401:376-9 (1999) DOI:10.1038/43894 ... PMID:19164889 ... AUTHORS ... Belorgey D, Haggl

  12. the theological responses to the socio -economic activities that ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2010-06-02

    Jun 2, 2010 ... The RDP recognizes the economic value of water and the environment, and advocates an economically, environmentally .... other withdrawal uses combined' (Finch 1957:394). ... cause great disruptions in agricultural areas.

  13. Nonnative trout impact an alpine-nesting bird by altering aquatic-insect subsidies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epanchin, Peter N; Knapp, Roland A; Lawler, Sharon P

    2010-08-01

    Adjacent food webs may be linked by cross-boundary subsidies: more-productive donor systems can subsidize consumers in less-productive neighboring recipient systems. Introduced species are known to have direct effects on organisms within invaded communities. However, few studies have addressed the indirect effects of nonnative species in donor systems on organisms in recipient systems. We studied the direct role of introduced trout in altering a lake-derived resource subsidy and their indirect effects in altering a passerine bird's response to that subsidy. We compared the abundance of aquatic insects and foraging Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches (Leucosticte tephrocotis dawsoni, "Rosy-Finch") at fish-containing vs. fishless lakes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California (USA). Introduced trout outcompeted Rosy-Finches for emerging aquatic insects (i.e., mayflies). Fish-containing lakes had 98% fewer mayflies than did fishless lakes. In lakes without fish, Rosy-Finches showed an aggregative response to emerging aquatic insects with 5.9 times more Rosy-Finches at fishless lakes than at fish-containing lakes. Therefore, the introduction of nonnative fish into the donor system reduced both the magnitude of the resource subsidy and the strength of cross-boundary trophic interactions. Importantly, the timing of the subsidy occurs when Rosy-Finches feed their young. If Rosy-Finches rely on aquatic-insect subsidies to fledge their young, reductions in the subsidy by introduced trout may have decreased Rosy-Finch abundances from historic levels. We recommend that terrestrial recipients of aquatic subsidies be included in conservation and restoration plans for ecosystems with alpine lakes.

  14. A sex-chromosome inversion causes strong overdominance for sperm traits that affect siring success

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Knief, U.; Forstmeier, W.; Pei, Y.; Ihle, M.; Wang, D.; Martin, K.; Opatová, Pavlína; Albrechtová, Jana; Wittig, M.; Franke, A.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Kempenaers, B.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 8 (2017), s. 1177-1184 E-ISSN 2397-334X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Finch Taeniopygia guttata * mixed-effects models * zebra finch * pericentric inversions * fitness consequences * genetic parameters Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology

  15. Opposing effects of oxidative challenge and carotenoids on antioxidant status and condition-dependent sexual signalling

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tomášek, Oldřich; Gabrielová, B.; Kačer, P.; Maršík, Petr; Svobodová, J.; Syslová, K.; Vinkler, M.; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 23546 (2016), s. 23546 ISSN 2045-2322 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472; GA ČR GA15-11782S Institutional support: RVO:68081766 ; RVO:61389030 Keywords : finch Taenopygia guttata * plumage coloration * in-vivo * information content * immune activation * zebra finches * life span * stress * expression * capacity Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.259, year: 2016

  16. Expression analysis of the speech-related genes FoxP1 and FoxP2 and their relation to singing behavior in two songbird species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Qianqian; Heston, Jonathan B.; Burkett, Zachary D.; White, Stephanie A.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Humans and songbirds are among the rare animal groups that exhibit socially learned vocalizations: speech and song, respectively. These vocal-learning capacities share a reliance on audition and cortico-basal ganglia circuitry, as well as neurogenetic mechanisms. Notably, the transcription factors Forkhead box proteins 1 and 2 (FoxP1, FoxP2) exhibit similar expression patterns in the cortex and basal ganglia of humans and the zebra finch species of songbird, among other brain regions. Mutations in either gene are associated with language disorders in humans. Experimental knock-down of FoxP2 in the basal ganglia song control region Area X during song development leads to imprecise copying of tutor songs. Moreover, FoxP2 levels decrease naturally within Area X when zebra finches sing. Here, we examined neural expression patterns of FoxP1 and FoxP2 mRNA in adult Bengalese finches, a songbird species whose songs exhibit greater sequence complexity and increased reliance on audition for maintaining their quality. We found that FoxP1 and FoxP2 expression in Bengalese finches is similar to that in zebra finches, including strong mRNA signals for both factors in multiple song control nuclei and enhancement of FoxP1 in these regions relative to surrounding brain tissue. As with zebra finches, when Bengalese finches sing, FoxP2 is behaviorally downregulated within basal ganglia Area X over a similar time course, and expression negatively correlates with the amount of singing. This study confirms that in multiple songbird species, FoxP1 expression highlights song control regions, and regulation of FoxP2 is associated with motor control of song. PMID:24006346

  17. Ectoparasites associated to two species of Corynorhinus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from the Guanaceví mining region, Durango, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villegas-Guzman, Gabriel A; López-González, Celia; Vargas, Margarita

    2005-03-01

    As a part of an inventory of bats in abandoned mines at the municipality of Guanaceví, Durango, Mexico, a sample of long-eared bats (genus Corynorhinus) was collected and ectoparasites were taken. Twenty-three specimens of Corynorhinus mexicanus Allen, 1916, and 18 of Corynorhinus townsendii (Cooper, 1937) were collected in four sampling periods coincident with the seasons. In total, 98 ectoparasites of 10 species and seven families were examined. Five species are recorded for the first time on C. mexicanus and four on C. townsendii. Macronyssus cyclaspis and Trichobius corynorhini had the highest frequency of infestation in both bats. Differences in number of arthropods per bat among seasons were nonsignificant for both species.

  18. Oxidative stress in deep scattering layers: Heat shock response and antioxidant enzymes activities of myctophid fishes thriving in oxygen minimum zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Ana Rita; Trübenbach, Katja; Teixeira, Tatiana; Lopes, Vanessa M.; Pires, Vanessa; Baptista, Miguel; Repolho, Tiago; Calado, Ricardo; Diniz, Mário; Rosa, Rui

    2013-12-01

    Diel vertical migrators, such as myctophid fishes, are known to encounter oxygen minimum zones (OMZ) during daytime in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and, therefore, have to cope with temperature and oxidative stress that arise while ascending to warmer, normoxic surface waters at night-time. The aim of this study was to investigate the antioxidant defense strategies and heat shock response (HSR) in two myctophid species, namely Triphoturus mexicanus and Benthosema panamense, at shallow and warm surface waters (21 kPa, 20-25 °C) and at hypoxic, cold (≤1 kPa, 10 °C) mesopelagic depths. More specifically, we quantified (i) heat shock protein concentrations (HSP70/HSC70) (ii) antioxidant enzyme activities [including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST)], and (iii) lipid peroxidation [malondialdehyde (MDA) levels]. HSP70/HSC70 levels increased in both myctophid species at warmer, well-oxygenated surface waters probably to prevent cellular damage (oxidative stress) due to increased oxygen demand under elevated temperatures and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation. On the other hand, CAT and GST activities were augmented under hypoxic conditions, probably as preparatory response to a burst of oxyradicals during the reoxygenation phase (while ascending). SOD activity decreased under hypoxia in B. panamense, but was kept unchanged in T. mexicanus. MDA levels in B. panamense did not change between the surface and deep-sea conditions, whereas T. mexicanus showed elevated MDA and HSP70/HSC70 concentrations at warmer surface waters. This indicated that T. mexicanus seems to be not so well tuned to temperature and oxidative stress associated to diel vertical migrations. The understanding of such physiological strategies that are linked to oxygen deprivation and reoxygenation phases may provide valuable information about how different species might respond to the impacts of environmental stressors (e.g. expanding mesopelagic hypoxia

  19. Nest destruction elicits indiscriminate con- versus heterospecific brood parasitism in a captive bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Rachael C; Feeney, William E; Hauber, Mark E

    2014-12-01

    Following nest destruction, the laying of physiologically committed eggs (eggs that are ovulated, yolked, and making their way through the oviduct) in the nests of other birds is considered a viable pathway for the evolution of obligate interspecific brood parasitism. While intraspecific brood parasitism in response to nest predation has been experimentally demonstrated, this pathway has yet to be evaluated in an interspecific context. We studied patterns of egg laying following experimental nest destruction in captive zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, a frequent intraspecific brood parasite. We found that zebra finches laid physiologically committed eggs indiscriminately between nests containing conspecific eggs and nests containing heterospecific eggs (of Bengalese finches, Lonchura striata vars. domestica), despite the con- and heterospecific eggs differing in both size and coloration. This is the first experimental evidence that nest destruction may provide a pathway for the evolution of interspecific brood parasitism in birds.

  20. Mesotocin and nonapeptide receptors promote estrildid flocking behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodson, James L; Schrock, Sara E; Klatt, James D; Kabelik, David; Kingsbury, Marcy A

    2009-08-14

    Proximate neural mechanisms that influence preferences for groups of a given size are almost wholly unknown. In the highly gregarious zebra finch (Estrildidae: Taeniopygia guttata), blockade of nonapeptide receptors by an oxytocin (OT) antagonist significantly reduced time spent with large groups and familiar social partners independent of time spent in social contact. Opposing effects were produced by central infusions of mesotocin (MT, avian homolog of OT). Most drug effects appeared to be female-specific. Across five estrildid finch species, species-typical group size correlates with nonapeptide receptor distributions in the lateral septum, and sociality in female zebra finches was reduced by OT antagonist infusions into the septum but not a control area. We propose that titration of sociality by MT represents a phylogenetically deep framework for the evolution of OT's female-specific roles in pair bonding and maternal functions.

  1. Diversification in the Andes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sánchez-González, Luis A.; Navarro-Sigüenza, Adolfo G.; Krabbe, Niels Kaare

    2015-01-01

    With nearly 30 species, the Atlapetes brush-finches are one of the most species-rich genera in the New World sparrows (Passerellidae). Atlapetes is mainly distributed in highland forests from Mexico to north-western Argentina, with a few taxa in the foothills (......With nearly 30 species, the Atlapetes brush-finches are one of the most species-rich genera in the New World sparrows (Passerellidae). Atlapetes is mainly distributed in highland forests from Mexico to north-western Argentina, with a few taxa in the foothills (...

  2. Scopus: Journal of East African Ornithology - Vol 35, No 1 (2015)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    First recorded breeding of Clarke's Weaver Ploceus golandi · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. CHW Jackson, F Ng'weno, J Mwambire, J Mwachongo, A Baya, P Changawa, J Garama, S Kenga, S Katisho, S Barisa, K Thuva, P Wario, B Finch, S Ekesa, ...

  3. Book reviews | Lindsell | Scopus: Journal of East African Ornithology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Birds of the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Socotra. Nigel Redman, Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe with contributions from Nik Borrow and Brian Finch. Illustrated by John Gale and Brian Small. 2009. Birds of Ethiopia and Eritrea: an atlas of distribution. John Ash and John Atkins.

  4. Birds and babies : a comparison of the early development in vocal learners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haar, Sita Minke ter

    2013-01-01

    This thesis provides a comparison of mostly perceptual development during vocal learning in songbirds (zebra finches) and human infants. The aim is to disentangle experience dependent and independent processes during vocal learning. In both human infants and juvenile songbirds, a perceptual

  5. SWS2 visual pigment evolution as a test of historically contingent patterns of plumage color evolution in warblers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloch, Natasha I; Morrow, James M; Chang, Belinda S W; Price, Trevor D

    2015-02-01

    Distantly related clades that occupy similar environments may differ due to the lasting imprint of their ancestors-historical contingency. The New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae) are ecologically similar clades that differ strikingly in plumage coloration. We studied genetic and functional evolution of the short-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments (SWS2 and SWS1) to ask if altered color perception could contribute to the plumage color differences between clades. We show SWS2 is short-wavelength shifted in birds that occupy open environments, such as finches, compared to those in closed environments, including warblers. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate New World warblers were derived from a finch-like form that colonized from the Old World 15-20 Ma. During this process, the SWS2 gene accumulated six substitutions in branches leading to New World warblers, inviting the hypothesis that passage through a finch-like ancestor resulted in SWS2 evolution. In fact, we show spectral tuning remained similar across warblers as well as the finch ancestor. Results reject the hypothesis of historical contingency based on opsin spectral tuning, but point to evolution of other aspects of visual pigment function. Using the approach outlined here, historical contingency becomes a generally testable theory in systems where genotype and phenotype can be connected. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  6. Status of population, occupation and seasonal habitat displacement ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    indigenous, foreign or exotic) to a particular ecosystem. Commonly, they are intentionally or unintentionally introduced into an ecosystem. It is suspected that the discovery of a population of Finch-billed Myna in the forest of West Java resulted from the ...

  7. Large diurnal temperature range increases bird sensitivity to climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Briga, Michael; Verhulst, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Climate variability is changing on multiple temporal scales, and little is known of the consequences of increases in short-term variability, particularly in endotherms. Using mortality data with high temporal resolution of zebra finches living in large outdoor aviaries (5 years, 359.220 bird-days),

  8. Effect of Egg Size on Predation by White-Footed Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. M. DeGraaf; T. J. Maier

    1996-01-01

    We compared predation by wild-trapped, caged white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) on eggs of Japanese Quail (Coturnix coturnix) and Zebra Finches (Poephila guttata) to test the effect of egg size. Nine male and nine female mice were weighed, acclimated to cages for 24 h, and presented with two wicker nests,...

  9. to view fulltext PDF

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    2004-05-02

    May 2, 2004 ... number of survivors to the age a in suitable time units. (like years for ...... Finch C E 1990 Longevity, senescence, and the genome (Uni- versity of ... Joeng K S, Song E J, Lee K J and Lee J 2004 Long lifespan in worms with ...

  10. V. Terrestrial vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean Pearson; Deborah Finch

    2011-01-01

    Within the Interior West, terrestrial vertebrates do not represent a large number of invasive species relative to invasive weeds, aquatic vertebrates, and invertebrates. However, several invasive terrestrial vertebrate species do cause substantial economic and ecological damage in the U.S. and in this region (Pimental 2000, 2007; Bergman and others 2002; Finch and...

  11. A Study of the Correlation between Home Literacy Behaviors for Children Birth to Age 5 and Subsequent Kindergarten Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Robert E., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    This research study investigated the at-home literacy behaviors and experiences of young children before and during their kindergarten year. Research has shown that the frequency and quality of at-home literacy experiences can either hinder or hamper children as their formal schooling begins (Fletcher, Cross, Tanney, Schneider, & Finch, 2008;…

  12. Scopus: Journal of East African Ornithology - Vol 32 (2012)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Remarks concerning the East African coastal form of the Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus sublacteus (Cassin 1851), and its supposed black morph · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. DA Turner, BW Finch, ND Hunter, 47-49 ...

  13. Journal of Biosciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The distribution of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the central vocal control nuclei of the zebra finch was studied using enzyme histochemistry. AChE fibres and cells are intensely labelled in the forebrain nucleus area X, strongly labelled in high vocal centre (HVC) perikarya, and moderately to lightly labelled in the somata ...

  14. Remarks concerning two sympatric seedeaters Poliospiza spp. in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Turner, D.A., Finch, B.F, & Hunter, N.D. Remarks concerning the all-black coastal boubous. (Laniarius ... Currently, however, there is little evidence to support such a theory, and it is .... twigs with its beak in order to increase the size of the hole.

  15. Chapter 7: Migration and winter ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Jeffrey F. Kelly; Jean-Luc E. Cartron

    2000-01-01

    The willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii) is a Neotropical migrant that breeds in North America, but winters in Central and northern South America. Little specific information is known about migration and wintering ecology of the southwestern willow flycatcher (E. t. extimus) (Yong and Finch 1997). Our report applies principally...

  16. Landscape dynamics and considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin M. Rich; Patricia Mehlhop

    1997-01-01

    Many studies in Southwestern ponderosa pine forests have investigated the relationships between songbirds and habitat characteristics at the level of individual patches (Hall et al. and Finch et al., this volume). To date, though, no published studies from Southwestern ponderosa pine forests have examined the relationships between songbirds and spatial patterns at the...

  17. Meeting to discuss laser cavity design for photon linear collider ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    linear collider – Daresbury, UK, 10 January 2006. ALEXANDER JOHN FINCH ... On 10 January 2006, a meeting to discuss laser cavity design for the photon linear collider was held at the Daresbury .... important to continue making contact with people in fields outside the accelerator community. Few experts at this meeting ...

  18. Neoimpressionismi klassikud Kumus / Ragne Nukk

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Nukk, Ragne, 1984-

    2010-01-01

    Näitus "Neoimpressionismi jälgedes. Mägi ja Finch" Kumu Kunstimuuseumis 12. septembrini 2010. Kuraator Tiina Abel, kujundaja Inga Heamägi. Eksponeeritakse Soome muuseumide kogudesse kuuluvaid prantsuse maalikunstnike töid ja eesti kunstnike teoseid. Lühidalt neoimpressionismist

  19. Terve maailma arhitektuurifestival / Urmas Oja

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Oja, Urmas, 1981-2012

    2008-01-01

    Muljeid Barcelonas toimunud Maailma arhitektuurifestivalilt (World Architecture Festival) 22.-24. okt. 2008. a. Keskseks ürituseks oli rahvusvaheline arhitektuurikonkurss, esitati 722 tööd 63 riigist. Võidutöid kommenteerib Ene Läkk. Raivo Kotovi kommentaar "Eesti seekord ei osalenud". Küsimustele vastab arhitektuurifestivali programmidirektor Paul Finch. 17 fotot

  20. Halvad, halvemad ja äravalitud / Aare Ermel

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Ermel, Aare, 1957-2013

    2003-01-01

    Ameerika Filmiinstituudi küsitluse järgi on maailma kõigi aegade kõige meeldejäävamaks kurjuse kehastuseks kinolinal Hannibal Lecter mängufilmides "Voonakeste vaikimine", "Hannibal" ja "Punane draakon" Anthony Hopkinsi kehastuses. Kõige sümpaatsemaks positiivseks tegelaseks valiti Atticus Finch draamas "Tappa laulurästast" Gregory Pecki kehastuses

  1. A demonstration of mobile phone deployment to support the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A demonstration of mobile phone deployment to support the treatment of acutely ill children under five in Bushenyi district, Uganda. Jerome Kabakyenga, Celestine Barigye, Jennifer Brenner, Samuel Maling, Denise Buchner, Alberto Nettle-Aquirre, Nalini Singhal, Teddy Kyomuhangi, David Tumusiime, Janet Finch, Stuart ...

  2. Vocal Communication: Decoding Sexy Songs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gahr, Manfred

    2018-04-02

    Male birds communicate sexual motivation via song performance, and receiving females might eventually respond to such 'ornaments'. A new study now shows that female zebra finches have a specialized higher order sensory (forebrain) region that preferably responds to the males' mating songs. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Aspects of nestling growth in Abert's Towhee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    1984-01-01

    Among factors selecting for rapid growth rates in avian young are those that cause mortality of whole broods (e.g., predation, weather) (Ricklefs, Ecology 50:1031-1039, 1969). Abert's Towhee (Pipilo aberti) endures a high rate of nesting mortality caused by predation and brood parasitism (Finch, Condor 83:389, 1981; Condor 85:355-359, 1983). Predation is the...

  4. The role of stimulus-specific adaptation in songbird syntax generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittenbach, Jason D.

    Sequential behaviors are an important part of the behavioral repertoire of many animals and understanding how neural circuits encode and generate such sequences is a long-standing question in neuroscience. The Bengalese finch is a useful model system for studying variable action sequences. The songs of these birds consist of well-defined vocal elements (syllables) that are strung together to form sequences. The ordering of the syllables within the sequence is variable but not random - it shows complex statistical patterns (syntax). While often thought to be first-order, the syntax of the Bengalese finch song shows a distinct form of history dependence where the probability of repeating a syllable decreases as a function of the number of repetitions that have already occurred. Current models of the Bengalese finch song control circuitry offer no explanation for this repetition adaptation. The Bengalese finch also uses real-time auditory feedback to control the song syntax. Considering these facts, we hypothesize that repetition adaptation in the Bengalese finch syntax may be caused by stimulus-specific adaptation - a wide-spread phenomenon where neural responses to a specific stimulus become weaker with repeated presentations of the same stimulus. We begin by proposing a computational model for the song-control circuit where an auditory feedback signal that undergoes stimulus-specific adaptation helps drive repeated syllables. We show that this model does indeed capture the repetition adaptation observed in Bengalese finch syntax; along the way, we derive a new probabilistic model for repetition adaptation. Key predictions of our model are analyzed in light of experiments performed by collaborators. Next we extend the model in order to predict how the syntax will change as a function of brain temperature. These predictions are compared to experimental results from collaborators where portions of the Bengalese finch song circuit are cooled in awake and behaving birds

  5. Sex Attractant Pheromones of Virgin Queens of Sympatric Slave-Making Ant Species in the Genus Polyergus, and their Possible Roles in Reproductive Isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Les; Johnson, Christine A; Trager, James C; McElfresh, J Steven; Rodstein, Joshua; Millar, Jocelyn G

    2018-06-01

    Species of the ant genus Polyergus are social parasites that steal brood from colonies of their hosts in the closely related genus Formica. Upon emergence as adults in a mixed population, host Formica workers carry out all the normal worker functions within the Polyergus colony, including foraging, feeding, grooming, and rearing brood of the parasitic Polyergus ants. Some unmated Polyergus gynes (queens) run in the raiding columns of their colonies and attract males by releasing a pheromone from their mandibular glands. There are two Polyergus species groups in North America: an eastern P. lucidus group and a western P. breviceps group. One species of each of these groups, P. lucidus Mayr and P. mexicanus Emery, are sympatric in Missouri. In this study, we characterized the sex pheromones of virgin queens of two species of the P. lucidus group (P. lucidus sensu stricto and P. sanwaldi) and one species of the P. breviceps group (P. mexicanus), and compared these with the previously identified sex pheromone of P. topoffi of the P. breviceps group. We then used sex pheromone blends reconstructed from synthesized components of the two groups to test their efficacy at reproductively isolating these species. We found that methyl 6-methylsalicylate is conserved as the major component of the pheromone blends for both Polyergus species groups; however, methyl (R)-3-ethyl-4-methylpentanoate is the species-specific minor component produced by P. lucidus group queens, and (R)-3-ethyl-4-methylpentan-1-ol is the crucial minor component for P. breviceps group queens. The optimal ratio of the major and minor components for P. lucidus group queens was about 100:1 salicylate to ester. In concurrent field trials in Missouri, males of P. lucidus sensu stricto and P. mexicanus (a member of the P. breviceps group) were attracted almost exclusively to their particular blends of sex pheromone components. To our knowledge, this is the first example of a possible sex

  6. Revision of the Neotropical Xanthandrus Verral (Diptera, Syrphidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borges Zuleica M.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The Neotropical genus Xanthandrus Verral, 1901 is revised. Six species are redescribed: X. bucephalus (Wiedemann, 1830, X. cubanus Fluke, 1936, X. mellinoides (Macquart, 1846, X. mexicanus Curran, 1930, X. nitidulus Fluke, 1937, and X. plaumanni Fluke, 1937. Three species are included based on original descriptions: X. flavomaculatus Shannon, 1927, X. palliatus (Fluke, 1945, and X. simplex (Loew, 1861. New synonyms proposed: Argentinomyia longicornis (Walker, 1837 = Xanthandrus biguttatus Hull, 1945 syn. nov., and Xanthandrus bucephalus (Wiedemann, 1830 = Melanostoma quadrinotata Bigot, 1884 syn. nov. Description of terminalia, a key for Neotropical species, and illustrations are also presented.

  7. The whip spider collection (Arachnida, Amblypygi held in the Natural History Museum Vienna, Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seiter, Michael

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available We present data and remarks on the history and contents of the whip spider collection housed in the Natural History Museum of Vienna, Austria. The collection comprises a total of 167 specimens from 4 families, 10 genera and 27 species. It includes types of four species: Charinus ioanniticus (Kritscher, 1959, Damon brachialis Weygoldt, 1999, Phrynus parvulus (Pocock, 1902 and Paraphrynus mexicanus (Bilimek, 1867. Short notes on interesting objects and former curators are provided as well as an appendix with a list of species kept alive by Michael Seiter.

  8. Multilocus resolution of phylogeny and timescale in the extant adaptive radiation of Hawaiian honeycreepers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, Heather R L; Meyer, Matthias; James, Helen F; Hofreiter, Michael; Fleischer, Robert C

    2011-11-08

    Evolutionary theory has gained tremendous insight from studies of adaptive radiations. High rates of speciation, morphological divergence, and hybridization, combined with low sequence variability, however, have prevented phylogenetic reconstruction for many radiations. The Hawaiian honeycreepers are an exceptional adaptive radiation, with high phenotypic diversity and speciation that occurred within the geologically constrained setting of the Hawaiian Islands. Here we analyze a new data set of 13 nuclear loci and pyrosequencing of mitochondrial genomes that resolves the Hawaiian honeycreeper phylogeny. We show that they are a sister taxon to Eurasian rosefinches (Carpodacus) and probably came to Hawaii from Asia. We use island ages to calibrate DNA substitution rates, which vary substantially among gene regions, and calculate divergence times, showing that the radiation began roughly when the oldest of the current large Hawaiian Islands (Kauai and Niihau) formed, ~5.7 million years ago (mya). We show that most of the lineages that gave rise to distinctive morphologies diverged after Oahu emerged (4.0-3.7 mya) but before the formation of Maui and adjacent islands (2.4-1.9 mya). Thus, the formation of Oahu, and subsequent cycles of colonization and speciation between Kauai and Oahu, played key roles in generating the morphological diversity of the extant honeycreepers. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. A private ultraviolet channel in visual communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, Molly E; Rosenthal, Gil G; Ryan, Michael J

    2003-01-01

    Although private communication is considered an important diversifying force in evolution, there is little direct behavioural evidence to support this notion. Here, we show that ultraviolet (UV) signalling in northern swordtails (Xiphophorus) affords a channel for communication that is not accessible to their major predator, Astyanax mexicanus, the Mexican tetra. Laboratory and field behavioural experiments with swordtails (X. nigrensis) and predators (A. mexicanus) demonstrate that male UV ornamentation significantly increases their attractiveness to females but not to this predator, which is less sensitive to UV. UV reflectance among swordtail species correlates positively with tetra densities across habitats, and visual contrast estimates suggest that UV signals are highly conspicuous to swordtails in their natural environment. Cross-species comparisons also support the hypothesis that natural selection drives the use of UV communication. We compared two species, one with high (X. nigrensis) and one with low (X. malinche) Mexican tetra densities. Xiphophorus nigrensis males reflect significantly more UV than X. malinche, exhibit significant UV sexual dimorphism, and UV is a salient component of the sexual communication system. In X. malinche, however, males reflect minimally in the UV, there is no UV sexual dimorphism, and UV does not play a part in its communication system. PMID:12803903

  10. Chromosomal mapping of H3 histone and 5S rRNA genes in eight species of Astyanax (Pisces, Characiformes) with different diploid numbers: syntenic conservation of repetitive genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piscor, Diovani; Parise-Maltempi, Patricia Pasquali

    2016-03-01

    The genus Astyanax is widely distributed from the southern United States to northern Patagonia, Argentina. While cytogenetic studies have been performed for this genus, little is known about the histone gene families. The aim of this study was to examine the chromosomal relationships among the different species of Astyanax. The chromosomal locations of the 5S rRNA and H3 histone genes were determined in A. abramis, A. asuncionensis, A. altiparanae, A. bockmanni, A. eigenmanniorum, A. mexicanus (all 2n = 50), A. fasciatus (2n = 46), and A. schubarti (2n = 36). All eight species exhibited H3 histone clusters on two chromosome pairs. In six species (A. abramis, A. asuncionensis, A. altiparanae, A. bockmanni, A. eigenmanniorum, and A. fasciatus), syntenic clusters of H3 histone and 5S rDNA were observed on metacentric (m) or submetacentric (sm) chromosomes. In seven species, clusters of 5S rDNA sequences were located on one or two chromosome pairs. In A. mexicanus, 5S rDNA clusters were located on four chromosome pairs. This study demonstrates that H3 histone clusters are conserved on two chromosome pairs in the genus Astyanax, and specific chromosomal features may contribute to the genomic organization of the H3 histone and 5S rRNA genes.

  11. A private ultraviolet channel in visual communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, Molly E; Rosenthal, Gil G; Ryan, Michael J

    2003-05-07

    Although private communication is considered an important diversifying force in evolution, there is little direct behavioural evidence to support this notion. Here, we show that ultraviolet (UV) signalling in northern swordtails (Xiphophorus) affords a channel for communication that is not accessible to their major predator, Astyanax mexicanus, the Mexican tetra. Laboratory and field behavioural experiments with swordtails (X. nigrensis) and predators (A. mexicanus) demonstrate that male UV ornamentation significantly increases their attractiveness to females but not to this predator, which is less sensitive to UV. UV reflectance among swordtail species correlates positively with tetra densities across habitats, and visual contrast estimates suggest that UV signals are highly conspicuous to swordtails in their natural environment. Cross-species comparisons also support the hypothesis that natural selection drives the use of UV communication. We compared two species, one with high (X. nigrensis) and one with low (X. malinche) Mexican tetra densities. Xiphophorus nigrensis males reflect significantly more UV than X. malinche, exhibit significant UV sexual dimorphism, and UV is a salient component of the sexual communication system. In X. malinche, however, males reflect minimally in the UV, there is no UV sexual dimorphism, and UV does not play a part in its communication system.

  12. The parasitic wasp genus Hecabolus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Doryctinae, with the description of a new species from Mexico El género de avispas parasíticas Hecabolus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Doryctinae, con la descripción de una especie nueva de México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Zaldívar-Riverón

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available The doryctine wasp genus Hecabolus Curtis and its type species, H. sulcatus Curtis, are redescribed. A new species from Mexico, H. mexicanus sp. nov., is described and illustrated. The new species is distinguished from H. sulcatus and the other known species of the genus, H. costaricensis Marsh, in having a narrower pterostigma, longer discoidal (discal cell, basal (1M and recurrent (m-cu veins diverging posteriorly, first abscissa of mediocubital (M+CU vein of hind wing as long as the second abscissa (1M, and first metasomal tergite with a very small dorsope. A key for identification of the 3 known species of Hecabolus is provided.Se redescriben el género de avispas doryctinas Hecabolus Curtis y su especie tipo, H. sulcatus Curtis. Se describe e ilustra una especie nueva procedente de México, H. mexicanus sp. nov. La nueva especie se distingue de H. sulcatus y de la otra especie conocida del género, H. costaricensis Marsh, por presentar un pterostigma más angosto, una celda discoidal más larga, las venas basal y recurrente divergiendo posteriormente, la primer abscisa de la vena mediocubital del ala posterior tan larga como la segunda abscisa, y el primer tergo metasomal con un dorsopo muy pequeño. Se presenta una clave para identificar las 3 especies conocidas de Hecabolus.

  13. Current status of Paragonimus and paragonimiasis in Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Calvopiña

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available A review of national and international publications on paragonimiasis in Ecuador, epidemiological records from the Ministry of Public Health and unpublished research data was conducted to summarise the current status of the parasite/disease. The purpose of the review is to educate physicians, policy-makers and health providers on the status of the disease and to stimulate scientific investigators to conduct further research. Paragonimiasis was first diagnosed in Ecuador 94 years ago and it is endemic to both tropical and subtropical regions in 19 of 24 provinces in the Pacific Coast and Amazon regions. Paragonimus mexicanus is the only known species in the country, with the mollusc Aroapyrgus colombiensis and the crabs Moreirocarcinus emarginatus, Hypolobocera chilensis and Hypolobocera aequatorialis being the primary and secondary intermediate hosts, respectively. Recent studies found P. mexicanus metacercariae in Trichodactylus faxoni crabs of the northern Amazon. Chronic pulmonary paragonimiasis is commonly misdiagnosed and treated as tuberculosis and although studies have demonstrated the efficacy of praziquantel and triclabendazole for the treatment of human infections, neither drug is available in Ecuador. Official data recorded from 1978-2007 indicate an annual incidence of 85.5 cases throughout the 19 provinces, with an estimated 17.2% of the population at risk of infection. There are no current data on the incidence/prevalence of infection, nor is there a national control programme.

  14. Antibody isotypes, including IgG subclasses, in Ecuadorian patients with pulmonary Paragonimiasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angel Guevara E.

    1995-08-01

    Full Text Available An ELISA test was developed to detect Paragonimus-specific antibodies, including IgG subclasses, using P. mexicanus crude water-soluble antigens. The test was standardized to detect antibodies in sera of Ecuadorian patients with pulmonary paragonimiasis and negative controls from the endemic area. The detected mean levels of IgG (0.753, SEM: 0.074 and IgM (0.303, SEM: 0.033 were significantly elevated (P<0.05. Within the IgG subclasses, IgG4 showed the highest detected mean level (0.365, SEM: 0.116 and the other three subclasses showed considerably lower mean levels (IgG1, 0.186 SEM: 0.06; IgG2, 0.046 SEM: 0.01; IgG3, 0.123 SEM: 0.047. The number of P. mexicanus eggs found in sputum of infected individuals showed a positive correlation with the level of antibodies detected for IgM, IgG and its subclasses (P<0.001. The relevance of these findings in Ecuadorian patients suffering from pulmonary paragonimiasis is discussed.

  15. Diet shifts during egg laying: Implications for measuring contaminants in bird eggs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morrissey, Christy A. [Catchment Research Group, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AX (United Kingdom); Elliott, John E. [Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, Environment Canada, 5421 Robertson Road, Delta, British Columbia V4K 3N2 (Canada); Ormerod, Stephen J., E-mail: ormerod@cf.ac.u [Catchment Research Group, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AX (United Kingdom)

    2010-02-15

    We combined stable isotope tracers of blood plasma, blood cells and egg contents with faecal analysis during pre-breeding and egg laying phases in two dipper species Cinclus cinclus and Cinclus mexicanus to determine the occurrence of dietary shifts during egg production and to assess consequences for egg contaminant loads. In both species, changes in delta{sup 13}C (C. cinclus) or delta{sup 15}N (C. mexicanus) in female plasma relative to red blood cells indicated a dietary shift during laying that was not observed in males. Eurasian dippers increased prey consumption as breeding approached, shifting from primarily trichopteran insect larvae to ephemeropterans and plecopterans. In American dippers, egg-laying females switched to feeding at a higher trophic level by consuming more fish. Eggs derived from higher trophic level diets contained more mercury (American dipper), polychlorinated biphenyls and some organochlorines, especially DDT metabolites. The results demonstrate how dietary changes during egg laying accompany the demands for egg production with consequences for contaminant deposition in avian eggs. - Changes in laying diet influences contaminant deposition in bird eggs.

  16. Diet shifts during egg laying: Implications for measuring contaminants in bird eggs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrissey, Christy A.; Elliott, John E.; Ormerod, Stephen J.

    2010-01-01

    We combined stable isotope tracers of blood plasma, blood cells and egg contents with faecal analysis during pre-breeding and egg laying phases in two dipper species Cinclus cinclus and Cinclus mexicanus to determine the occurrence of dietary shifts during egg production and to assess consequences for egg contaminant loads. In both species, changes in δ 13 C (C. cinclus) or δ 15 N (C. mexicanus) in female plasma relative to red blood cells indicated a dietary shift during laying that was not observed in males. Eurasian dippers increased prey consumption as breeding approached, shifting from primarily trichopteran insect larvae to ephemeropterans and plecopterans. In American dippers, egg-laying females switched to feeding at a higher trophic level by consuming more fish. Eggs derived from higher trophic level diets contained more mercury (American dipper), polychlorinated biphenyls and some organochlorines, especially DDT metabolites. The results demonstrate how dietary changes during egg laying accompany the demands for egg production with consequences for contaminant deposition in avian eggs. - Changes in laying diet influences contaminant deposition in bird eggs.

  17. Sexual dimorphism in striatal dopaminergic responses promotes monogamy in social songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokarev, Kirill; Hyland Bruno, Julia; Ljubičić, Iva; Kothari, Paresh J; Helekar, Santosh A; Tchernichovski, Ofer; Voss, Henning U

    2017-08-11

    In many songbird species, males sing to attract females and repel rivals. How can gregarious, non-territorial songbirds such as zebra finches, where females have access to numerous males, sustain monogamy? We found that the dopaminergic reward circuitry of zebra finches can simultaneously promote social cohesion and breeding boundaries. Surprisingly, in unmated males but not in females, striatal dopamine neurotransmission was elevated after hearing songs. Behaviorally too, unmated males but not females persistently exchanged mild punishments in return for songs. Song reinforcement diminished when dopamine receptors were blocked. In females, we observed song reinforcement exclusively to the mate's song, although their striatal dopamine neurotransmission was only slightly elevated. These findings suggest that song-triggered dopaminergic activation serves a dual function in social songbirds: as low-threshold social reinforcement in males and as ultra-selective sexual reinforcement in females. Co-evolution of sexually dimorphic reinforcement systems can explain the coexistence of gregariousness and monogamy.

  18. Workers of the world unite (or not?) The effect of ethnic diversity on the participation in trade unions

    OpenAIRE

    Benos, Nikos; Kammas, Pantelis

    2018-01-01

    This paper advances the hypothesis that workers participate less in trade unions in more ethnically fragmented societies. This hypothesis dates back at least to Marx and Engels who first suggested that increased ethnic and racial antipathies among workers undermine class consciousness and weaken the unity of the working class in the United States. Building on a set of innovative instruments derived from biogeography and more precisely the parasite-stress theory of values and sociality (Finche...

  19. Androgens regulate gene expression in avian skeletal muscles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Fuxjager

    Full Text Available Circulating androgens in adult reproductively active male vertebrates influence a diversity of organ systems and thus are considered costly. Recently, we obtained evidence that androgen receptors (AR are expressed in several skeletal muscles of three passeriform birds, the golden-collared manakin (Manacus vitellinus, zebra finch (Taenopygia guttata, and ochre-bellied flycatcher (Mionectes oleagieus. Because skeletal muscles that control wing movement make up the bulk of a bird's body mass, evidence for widespread effects of androgen action on these muscles would greatly expand the functional impact of androgens beyond their well-characterized effects on relatively discrete targets throughout the avian body. To investigate this issue, we use quantitative PCR (qPCR to determine if androgens alter gene mRNA expression patterns in wing musculature of wild golden-collared manakins and captive zebra finches. In manakins, the androgen testosterone (T up-regulated expression of parvalbumin (PV and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I, two genes whose products enhance cellular Ca(2+ cycling and hypertrophy of skeletal muscle fibers. In T-treated zebra finches, the anti-androgen flutamide blunted PV and IGF-I expression. These results suggest that certain transcriptional effects of androgen action via AR are conserved in passerine skeletal muscle tissue. When we examined wing muscles of manakins, zebra finches and ochre-bellied flycatchers, we found that expression of PV and IGF-I varied across species and in a manner consistent with a function for AR-dependent gene regulation. Together, these findings imply that androgens have the potential to act on avian muscle in a way that may enhance the physicality required for successful reproduction.

  20. Dirty Pop: Contemporary British Painting, Group Exhibition

    OpenAIRE

    Stubbs, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Phil Allen, Peter Ashton Jones, Jake Clark, Richard Clegg, Dan Coombs, Nelson Diplexcito, Nadine Feinson, Mick Finch, Richard Hamilton, Dan Hays, Gavin Lockheart, Andrea Medjesi Jones, David Leeson, Duncan Newton, Sarah Pickstone, Colin Smith, John Stark, Michael Stubbs, James White, Mark Wright.\\ud \\ud Dirty Pop, curated for &Model by Mark Wright, presents twenty contemporary painters whose work connects with Pop Art of the 1960’s, and particularly the legacy of the important British artist ...

  1. Hemispheric dominance underlying the neural substrate for learned vocalizations develops with experience

    OpenAIRE

    Chirathivat, Napim; Raja, Sahitya C.; Gobes, Sharon M. H.

    2015-01-01

    Many aspects of song learning in songbirds resemble characteristics of speech acquisition in humans. Genetic, anatomical and behavioural parallels have most recently been extended with demonstrated similarities in hemispheric dominance between humans and songbirds: the avian higher order auditory cortex is left-lateralized for processing song memories in juvenile zebra finches that already have formed a memory of their fathers? song, just like Wernicke?s area in the left hemisphere of the hum...

  2. A hitchhikers guide to the Galapagos: co-phylogeography of Galapagos mockingbirds and their parasites

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Štefka, Jan; Hoeck, P.E.A.; Keller, L. F.; Smith, V. S.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 11, - (2011), e284 ISSN 1471-2148 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA206/08/1019 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : MULTILOCUS GENOTYPE DATA * DNA POLYMORPHISM DATA * POPULATION-STRUCTURE * MITOCHONDRIAL-DNA * LICE INSECTA * PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSIS * MAXIMUM-LIKELIHOOD * HOST-SPECIFICITY * DARWINS FINCHES * SPECIES TREES Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.521, year: 2011

  3. Body Condition Indices Predict Reproductive Success but Not Survival in a Sedentary, Tropical Bird

    OpenAIRE

    Milenkaya, Olga; Catlin, Daniel H.; Legge, Sarah; Walters, Jeffrey R.

    2015-01-01

    Body condition may predict individual fitness because those in better condition have more resources to allocate towards improving their fitness. However, the hypothesis that condition indices are meaningful proxies for fitness has been questioned. Here, we ask if intraspecific variation in condition indices predicts annual reproductive success and survival. We monitored a population of Neochmia phaeton (crimson finch), a sedentary, tropical passerine, for reproductive success and survival ove...

  4. Light scattering measurements supporting helical structures for chromatin in solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, A M; Cotter, R I; Pardon, J F

    1978-05-01

    Laser light scattering measurements have been made on a series of polynucleosomes containing from 50 to 150 nucleosomes. Radii of gyration have been determined as a function of polynucleosome length for different ionic strength solutions. The results suggest that at low ionic strength the chromatin adopts a loosely helical structure rather than a random coil. The helix becomes more regular on increasing the ionic strength, the dimension resembling those proposed by Finch and Klug for their solenoid model.

  5. Genomic analysis of $\\textit{Salmonella enterica}$ serovar Typhimurium from wild passerines in England and Wales

    OpenAIRE

    Mather, Alison E; Lawson, Becki; de, Pinna Elizabeth; Wigley, Paul; Parkhill, Julian; Thomson, Nicholas R; Page, Andrew J; Holmes, Mark Adrian; Paterson, Gavin K

    2016-01-01

    Passerine salmonellosis is a well-recognised disease of birds in the order Passeriformes, including common songbirds such as finches and sparrows, caused by infection with $\\textit{Salmonella enterica}$ serovar Typhimurium. Previous research has suggested that some subtypes of S. Typhimurium – definitive phage types (DT) 40, 56 variant, and 160 – are host-adapted to passerines, and that these birds may represent a reservoir of infection for humans and other animals. Here, we have used whole g...

  6. The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-06-01

    Ambush 23 Vignette 7 - Two Convoys in the Kill Zone 27 Vignette 8 - Ambush Near Abdullah-e Burj 31 Vignette 9 - Deh-Khwaja Ambush 35 Vignette 10...Although Arab leaders and the West supplied arms and material to the Mujahideen, they did so with the hope of creat- ing a permanent, bleeding ulcer on...and Major Ray Finch. Robert Love helped with translation support and Linda Pride and Al Lindman provided computer assistance. The Combined Arms

  7. Open Access von A bis Z

    OpenAIRE

    Stieg, Kerstin; Pavlovic, Karlo

    2012-01-01

    The glossary „Open Access from A to Z“ comprises essential key terms on Open Access such as arXiv, The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), Creative Commons (CC), the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR), the EU project Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research (DRIVER), the Finch Report,...

  8. Evidence for an edge effect on avian nest predation in fragmented afromontane forests in the Bamenda-Banso Highlands, NW Cameroon

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sedláček, O.; Mikeš, M.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Reif, J.; Hořák, D.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 4 (2014), s. 720-732 ISSN 1940-0829 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/11/1617 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Artificial nest s * Zebra finch eggs * Montane forest * Endemic species * Cameroon Mountains Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.125, year: 2014 http://tropicalconservationscience.mongabay.com/content/v7/TCS-2014-Vol7(4)_720-732_%20Ondrej.pdf

  9. Final Environmental Assessment Realignment of Jenkins Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC), Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, BRAC 2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-05-01

    cryptoleucus Northern mockingbird Mimus polyglottos Black-throated sparrow Amphispiza bilineata Eastern meadowlark Sturnella magna House finch...Americans- and ealii~ kills 5,000 each year. :ses1 The network combines nub lie e sJ\\ awareness with an Internet- based information service and -qnd...scientists agree that p;roper cooking · will kill HEAL:: s most kinds of harmful bacteria, nobody is convinced that the bulk of consumers know what

  10. Belda et al., Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. (2013) 10(2):299 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    AJTCAM

    Análisis de la biodiversidad de fauna vertebrada en el Parque Natural de la Serra de Mariola mediante fototrampeo. Mediter., 20: 7-34. 7. Belda, A., Martínez, J.E., Martín, C., Peiró, V. and Seva, E. (2010). Plants used to capture and sustain wild finches. (Fringillidae) in Southeast Spain. Econ. Bot., 64(4): 367–373. 8.

  11. An Epidemiological Investigation of Hart Park and Turlock Viruses in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    A closely related virus, Umbra, infects man in Malaysia (Wallace et al, 1977). .4 Umbra virus is also thought to be maintained in a Culex app...Tempelis et al, 1965). Isolations of FLA virus were made only after sampling emphasis was shifted to nestling birds (Kokernot et al, 1969) * -,and this...may parallel the nestling season in birds. House sparrows and house finches neat in Kern County during the months of March to August and the bulk of

  12. Repeatability of host female and male aggression towards a brood parasite

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Trnka, A.; Požgayová, Milica; Samaš, P.; Honza, Marcel

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 119, č. 10 (2013), s. 907-917 ISSN 0179-1613 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2404 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Cuckoo Cuculus canorus * Great reed warblers * Nest defense * Behavioral syndromes * Plumage polymorphism * Enemy recognition * Potential hosts * Practical guide * Zebra finches Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.556, year: 2013

  13. Värvi triumf / Mai Levin

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Levin, Mai, 1942-

    2010-01-01

    Näitus "Neoimpressionismi jälgedes. Mägi ja Finch" Kumu Kunstimuuseumis 12. septembrini 2010. Kuraator Tiina Abel, kuraatori abi Liisa Kaljula, kujundaja Inga Heamägi. Puäntillismi mõjust, Konrad Mäe pöördumisest täppiva laadi poole. Inglise päritolu belgia-soome kunstniku Alfred William Finchi avastamisest. Prantsuse ja eesti kunstnike töödest näitusel

  14. Measures of Effectiveness for Non-Lethal Weapons: Aligning Behavioral Experiments with Operational Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    the task effectiveness of the NLW, so that the value of the NLW to the warfighter can be extrapolated to other missions with similar tasks. At first...Kenny, J. M., Scholl, D., Murray, B., Farrer, D., Sokolowski, J., Dolan, D., Peters, D., McShea, L., & Finch , K. (2007). Establishing a framework to...3), 452–477. doi:10.1080/14702436.2012.703847 Rahimi, R., Borve, S., & Arnesen, O. H. (2013). Disrupting verbal communication with high-intensity

  15. Equipment Health Monitoring with Non-Parametric Statistics for Online Early Detection and Scoring of Degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-02

    defined by Eqs. (3)–(4) (Greenwell & Finch , 2004) (Kar & Mohanty, 2006). The p value provides the metric for novelty scoring. p = QKS(z) = 2 ∞∑ j=1 (−1...provides early detection of degradation and ability to score its significance in order to inform maintenance planning and consequently reduce disruption ...actionable information, sig- nals are typically processed from raw measurements into a reduced dimension novelty summary value that may be more easily

  16. Of blood, bones, and ribosomes: is Swachman-Diamond syndrome a ribosomopathy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Arlen W; Ellis, Steve R

    2011-05-01

    Mutations in the human SBDS (Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond syndrome) gene are the most common cause of Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome. In this issue of Genes & Development, Finch and colleagues (pp. 917-929) establish that SBDS functions in ribosome synthesis by promoting the recycling of eukaryotic initiation factor 6 (eIF6) in a GTP-dependent manner. This work supports the idea that a ribosomopathy may underlie this syndrome.

  17. Of blood, bones, and ribosomes: is Swachman-Diamond syndrome a ribosomopathy?

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Arlen W.; Ellis, Steve R.

    2011-01-01

    Mutations in the human SBDS (Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond syndrome) gene are the most common cause of Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome. In this issue of Genes & Development, Finch and colleagues (pp. 917–929) establish that SBDS functions in ribosome synthesis by promoting the recycling of eukaryotic initiation factor 6 (eIF6) in a GTP-dependent manner. This work supports the idea that a ribosomopathy may underlie this syndrome.

  18. A sensorimotor area in the songbird brain is required for production of vocalizations in the song learning period of development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piristine, Hande C; Choetso, Tenzin; Gobes, Sharon M H

    2016-11-01

    Sensory feedback is essential for acquiring and maintaining complex motor behaviors, including birdsong. In zebra finches, auditory feedback reaches the song control circuits primarily through the nucleus interfacialis nidopalii (Nif), which provides excitatory input to HVC (proper name)-a premotor region essential for the production of learned vocalizations. Despite being one of the major inputs to the song control pathway, the role of Nif in generating vocalizations is not well understood. To address this, we transiently inactivated Nif in late juvenile zebra finches. Upon Nif inactivation (in both hemispheres or on one side only), birds went from singing stereotyped zebra finch song to uttering highly variable and unstructured vocalizations resembling sub-song, an early juvenile song form driven by a basal ganglia circuit. Simultaneously inactivating Nif and LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium), the output nucleus of a basal ganglia circuit, inhibited song production altogether. These results suggest that Nif is required for generating the premotor drive for song. Permanent Nif lesions, in contrast, have only transient effects on vocal production, with song recovering within a day. The sensorimotor nucleus Nif thus produces a premotor drive to the motor pathway that is acutely required for generating learned vocalizations, but once permanently removed, the song system can compensate for its absence. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1213-1225, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. In vivo detection of fluctuating brain steroid levels SHORT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Maaya; Rensel, Michelle A.; Schlinger, Barney A.; Remage-Healey, Luke

    2015-01-01

    This protocol describes a method for in vivo measurement of steroid hormones in brain circuits of the zebra finch. In vivo microdialysis has been used successfully to detect fluctuating neurosteroids in the auditory forebrain (Remage-Healey et al., 2008; 2012; Ikeda et al., 2012) and in the hippocampus (Rensel et al., 2012; 2013) of behaving adult zebra finches. In some cases, the steroids measured are derived locally (e.g., ‘neurosteroids’ like estrogens in males) whereas in other cases the steroids measured reflect systemic circulating levels and/or central conversion (e.g., the primary androgen testosterone and the primary glucocorticoid corticosterone). We also describe the method of reverse-microdialysis (‘retrodialysis’) of compounds that can influence local steroid neurochemistry as well as behavior. In vivo microdialysis can now be used to study steroid signaling in the brain for a variety of experimental purposes. Furthermore, similar methods have been developed to examine changing levels of catecholamines in behaving zebra finches (e.g., Sasaki et al., 2006). Thus, the combined study of neurochemistry and behavior in a vocal learning species now has a new set of powerful tools. PMID:25342066

  20. Gold or green: the debate on open access policies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abadal, Ernest

    2013-09-01

    The movement for open access to science seeks to achieve unrestricted and free access to academic publications on the Internet. To this end, two mechanisms have been established: the gold road, in which scientific journals are openly accessible, and the green road, in which publications are self-archived in repositories. The publication of the Finch Report in 2012, advocating exclusively the adoption of the gold road, generated a debate as to whether either of the two options should be prioritized. The recommendations of the Finch Report stirred controversy among academicians specialized in open access issues, who felt that the role played by repositories was not adequately considered and because the green road places the burden of publishing costs basically on authors. The Finch Report's conclusions are compatible with the characteristics of science communication in the UK and they could surely also be applied to the (few) countries with a powerful publishing industry and substantial research funding. In Spain, both the current national legislation and the existing rules at universities largely advocate the green road. This is directly related to the structure of scientific communication in Spain, where many journals have little commercial significance, the system of charging a fee to authors has not been adopted, and there is a good repository infrastructure. As for open access policies, the performance of the scientific communication system in each country should be carefully analyzed to determine the most suitable open access strategy.

  1. Distinction of neurochemistry between the cores and their shells of auditory nuclei in tetrapod species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, ShaoJu; Li, Jia; Zhang, XinWen; Zuo, MingXue

    2007-01-01

    The distribution of Met-enkephalin (ENK), substance P (SP) and serotonin (5-HT) differs between the core and shell regions of the mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei of the turtle [Belekhova et al., 2002]. These neurochemical distinctions are also found in other tetrapods (mammals, birds and amphibians). The distribution of ENK, SP and 5-HT was examined in the core and shell regions of both mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei, and in the telencephalic auditory areas of Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata) and mice (Mus musculus), as well as in corresponding auditory areas in toads (Bufo bufo). ENK, SP and 5-HT immunoreactive fibers and perikarya were largely absent from the core regions of both mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei, in comparison with the shell regions of mice and Bengalese finches. In the toad, however, this pattern was observed in the mesencephalic auditory nucleus, but not in the diencephalic auditory areas. ENK and SP immunoreactive perikarya were detected in the telencephalic auditory area of mice, whereas no ENK, SP or 5-HT immunolabeling was observed in the telencephalic auditory area (Field L) of Bengalese finches. These findings are discussed in terms of the evolution of the core-and-shell organization of auditory nuclei of tetrapods. Copyright 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  2. Breeding avifauna of Niemodlin countryside (SW Poland during the years 2002-2007, and its changes over the last 56 years (1962-2007

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kopij Grzegorz

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Niemodlin countryside (c. 300 km2 is situated in the south-western part of Opole Silesia, SW Poland. Forests occupy c. 40%, arable grounds – 1/3, and meadows and pastures – 7%. There are 31 fish-ponds with a total diked surface of 663 ha. The paper presents results of field investigations carried out during the years 2002-2007 and an analysis of changes in the breeding avifauna over the last 56 years. During the years 2002-2007, 123 breeding and 11 probably breeding bird species were recorded in this area. During the years 1962-2007 151 species were recorded as breeding residents; and additional five species – as probably breeding resident. The following species were recorded as breeding for the first time in 1962-2007: Haliaeetus albicilla, Larus canus, Motacilla cinerea, Saxicola torquata, Locustella luscinioides, Ficedula albicollis, Corvus corax and Carpodacus erythrinus. In the same period the following species became extinct: Podiceps nigricollis, Anas clypeata, Milvus milvus, and Tringa glareola. The following species increaed in numbers in 1962-2007: Coturnix coturnix, Grus grus, Columba oenas, Apus apus, Dryocopus martius, Dendrocopos medius, Motacilla cinerea, Saxicola torquata and Corvus corax. In the same period, Tachybaptus ruficollis, Podiceps cristatus, Podiceps grisegena, Ciconia ciconia, Aythya nyroca, Perdix perdix, Gallinago gallinago, Larus ridibundus, Tyto alba, Alcedo atthis, Picus viridis, Riparia riparia and Corvus cornix decreased in numbers. The areas with the highest concentration of rare and endangered species are postulated to be protected as nature reserves, landscape parks and other spatial forms of nature conservation.

  3. Mercury in birds of San Francisco Bay-Delta, California: trophic pathways, bioaccumulation, and ecotoxicological risk to avian reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Heinz, Gary; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Takekawa, John Y.; Miles, A. Keith; Adelsbach, Terrence L.; Herzog, Mark P.; Bluso-Demers, Jill D.; Demers, Scott A.; Herring, Garth; Hoffman, David J.; Hartman, Christopher A.; Willacker, James J.; Suchanek, Thomas H.; Schwarzbach, Steven E.; Maurer, Thomas C.

    2014-01-01

    San Francisco Bay Estuary in northern California has a legacy of mercury contamination, which could reduce the health and reproductive success of waterbirds in the estuary. The goal of this study was to use an integrated field and laboratory approach to evaluate the risks of mercury exposure to birds in the estuary. We examined mercury bioaccumulation, and other contaminants of concern, in five waterbird species that depend heavily on San Francisco Bay Estuary for foraging and breeding habitat: American avocets (Recurvirostra americana), black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), Forster’s terns (Sterna forsteri), Caspian terns (Hydroprogne caspia), and surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata). These species have different foraging habitats and diets that represent three distinct foraging guilds within the estuary’s food web. In this report, we provide an integrated synthesis of the primary findings from this study and results are synthesized from 54 peer-reviewed publications generated to date with other unpublished results.

  4. Baseline blood Pb levels of black-necked stilts on the upper Texas coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riecke, Thomas V.; Conway, Warren C.; Haukos, David A.; Moon, Jena A.; Comer, Christopher E.

    2015-01-01

    There are no known biological requirements for lead (Pb), and elevated Pb levels in birds can cause a variety of sub-lethal effects and mortality. Historic and current levels of Pb in mottled ducks (Anas fulvigula) suggest that environmental sources of Pb remain available on the upper Texas coast. Because of potential risks of Pb exposure among coexisting marsh birds, black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) blood Pb concentrations were measured during the breeding season. Almost 80 % (n = 120) of 152 sampled stilts exceeded the background threshold (>20 μg/dL) for Pb exposure. However, blood Pb concentrations did not vary by age or gender, and toxic or potentially lethal concentrations were rare (study suggest the presence of readily bioavailable sources of Pb, although potential impacts on local stilt populations remain unclear.

  5. Presence of exotic birds in San Luis Potosi city, Mexican Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramírez-Albores, J.E.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We recorded 12 exotic bird species in San Luis Potosi, Mexico and adjacent areas. Obtained data were collected during the period August 2012 to August 2013. From the total of recorded species, eight are confirmations (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus, Cairina moschata, Bubulcus ibis, Columba livia, Sturnus vulgaris, Turdus rufopalliatus, Quiscalus mexicanus and Passer domesticus and four are new records (Aratinga canicularis, Amazona oratrix, A. autumnalis and Cyanocorax yncas. Although not all exotic species represent a risk because of the lack of the necessary resources for the establishment of abundant viable populations, it is important to publicize their status in the region. Therefore, knowing the presence of exotic species in a new distribution area is important for monitoring its establishment and colonization, and defining management, control and eradication programs of these species, along with environmental education programs that would lead to a better understanding of impacts that these species can cause.

  6. Adiciones al inventario avifaunístico del estado de Querétaro, México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Belem Hernández-Díaz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Reportamos por primera vez nueve especies de aves para el estado de Querétaro, México, cinco de ellas nativas (Cyrtonyx montezumae, Buteo lineatus, Phalaropus fulicarius, Falco mexicanus e Icterus spurius y cuatro introducidas (Streptopelia roseogrisea, Cyanoliseus patagonus, Amazona finschi yCalocitta colliei. El inventario avifaunístico del estado incluye ahora 430 especies, de las cuales 418 son nativas y 12 introducidas. Consideramos que el estudio de la avifauna en la zona oeste de Querétaro, que corresponde a la Faja Volcánica Transmexicana, se ha venido completando en los últimos años con un importante esfuerzo de muestreo, por lo que con los presentes registros se conocen 271 especies de aves en ella.

  7. Cryptic variation in morphological evolution: HSP90 as a capacitor for loss of eyes in cavefish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohner, Nicolas; Jarosz, Dan F; Kowalko, Johanna E; Yoshizawa, Masato; Jeffery, William R; Borowsky, Richard L; Lindquist, Susan; Tabin, Clifford J

    2013-12-13

    In the process of morphological evolution, the extent to which cryptic, preexisting variation provides a substrate for natural selection has been controversial. We provide evidence that heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) phenotypically masks standing eye-size variation in surface populations of the cavefish Astyanax mexicanus. This variation is exposed by HSP90 inhibition and can be selected for, ultimately yielding a reduced-eye phenotype even in the presence of full HSP90 activity. Raising surface fish under conditions found in caves taxes the HSP90 system, unmasking the same phenotypic variation as does direct inhibition of HSP90. These results suggest that cryptic variation played a role in the evolution of eye loss in cavefish and provide the first evidence for HSP90 as a capacitor for morphological evolution in a natural setting.

  8. Aislamiento de consorcios de hongos micorrícicos arbusculares de plantas medicinales y su efecto en el crecimiento de vinca (Catharanthus roseus Isolation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi consortia from medicinal plants and their effectiveness on growth of vinca (Catharanthus roseus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CLAUDIA DE LA ROSA-MERA

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Este trabajo consistió en propagar e identificar hongos micorrícicos arbusculares (HMA recolectados de plantas medicinales (PM de áreas naturales de bosques mixtos, y seleccionar consorcios micorrícicos con base en la promoción del crecimiento de vinca Catharanthus roseus (L G. Don, planta medicinal cuyos alcaloides tienen propiedades antineoplásicas. En la primera fase experimental se recolectaron raíces y suelo rizosférico de 13 PM establecidas en campo para evaluar el porcentaje de colonización total (PCT y cuantificar el número de esporas; además, se tomó una parte del suelo para establecer plantas trampa en invernadero durante 10 meses, y posteriormente evaluar el PCT e identificar los principales géneros de HMA. Todas las PM en su condición natural presentaron colonización micorrícica, observándose cuatro géneros de HMA (Glomus, Acaulospora, Gigaspora y Scutellospora, de los cuales Acaulospora y Glomus fueron los predominantes. En la segunda fase experimental se seleccionaron ocho consorcios con base en el PCT (> 40 % obtenido en las plantas trampa, que correspondieron a las muestras recolectadas de Adiantum capillus-veneris L., Castilleja tenuiflora Benth., Erigeron karvinskianus DC., Pimpinella anisum L., Plantago major L., Ricinus communis L., Rubus fruticosus L. y Rumex mexicanus Meisn. Estos consorcios fueron inoculados en plántulas de C. roseus para evaluar su capacidad de estimular el crecimiento de esta especie en condiciones de invernadero. Después de 70 días, a pesar de presentar un solo género predominante (Glomus, el consorcio aislado de R. mexicanus promovió de manera más consistente el crecimiento de C. roseus (número de hojas, área foliar y peso seco foliar en comparación con el resto de los consorcios micorrícicos.This study consisted on propagating and identifying arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF collected from medicinal plants (MP of natural areas of mixed forest (Estado de Mexico, and

  9. As furadoras e a pretendida: emigração brasileira não documentada para os Estados Unidos da América

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emerson César De Campos

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with transnational migrations at the Present Time. The author has employed analytically the category of “border” in his field research undertaken, from 2000 to 2004, in Brazil, USA and Mexico. As a result, a historical narrative with dramatic overtones unfolds against the background of Mexican-US border crossing. However, the undocumented immigration of Brazilians through the Mexican border into the USA has declined sharply due latter country economic crisis in 2008. Yet in this article, we seek to study thoroughly the period prior to the US economic downturn aiming to understand the current trends of Brazilian migration in the US through the Mexican border. Lastly, the results for the period selected were achieved through interviews, writing sources and a carefully selected bibliography.

  10. Ophioninae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae wasp community in the cloudy forest Monteseco, Cajamarca, Peru

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    Evelyn Sánchez

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We describe the species composition of the subfamily Ophioninae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae along an altitudinal gradient in the cloudy forest Monteseco, Cajamarca, Peru collected in 2009 and 2010. Eighteen species were recorded in three genera of Ophioninae: Alophophion, Enicospilus y Ophion. Five species are recorded for the first time in Peru: Ophion polyhymniae Gauld, 1988; Enicospilus cubensis (Norton, 1863; E. guatemalensis (Cameron, 1886; E. cressoni Hooker, 1912 y E. mexicanus (Cresson, 1874. Subfamily composition varies with the elevation. The highest species richness (S=11 was found at 2150 m and the lowest (S=3 at 3116 m. Enicospilus is more diverse from low to mid elevation, Ophion from mid to high elevation and Alophophion occurs predominantly at high elevation.

  11. West Nile virus ecology in a tropical ecosystem in Guatemala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales-Betoulle, Maria E; Komar, Nicholas; Panella, Nicholas A; Alvarez, Danilo; López, María R; Betoulle, Jean-Luc; Sosa, Silvia M; Müller, María L; Kilpatrick, A Marm; Lanciotti, Robert S; Johnson, Barbara W; Powers, Ann M; Cordón-Rosales, Celia

    2013-01-01

    West Nile virus ecology has yet to be rigorously investigated in the Caribbean Basin. We identified a transmission focus in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, and established systematic monitoring of avian abundance and infection, seroconversions in domestic poultry, and viral infections in mosquitoes. West Nile virus transmission was detected annually between May and October from 2005 to 2008. High temperature and low rainfall enhanced the probability of chicken seroconversions, which occurred in both urban and rural sites. West Nile virus was isolated from Culex quinquefasciatus and to a lesser extent, from Culex mollis/Culex inflictus, but not from the most abundant Culex mosquito, Culex nigripalpus. A calculation that combined avian abundance, seroprevalence, and vertebrate reservoir competence suggested that great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) is the major amplifying host in this ecosystem. West Nile virus transmission reached moderate levels in sentinel chickens during 2007, but less than that observed during outbreaks of human disease attributed to West Nile virus in the United States.

  12. A Comparative Genomic Survey Provides Novel Insights into Molecular Evolution of l-Aromatic Amino Acid Decarboxylase in Vertebrates

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    Yanping Li

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Melatonin is a pleiotropic molecule with various important physiological roles in vertebrates. l-aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AAAD is the second enzyme for melatonin synthesis. By far, a clear-cut gene function of AAAD in the biosynthesis of melatonin has been unclear in vertebrates. Here, we provide novel insights into the evolution of AAAD based on 77 vertebrate genomes. According to our genome-wide alignments, we extracted a total of 151 aaad nucleotide sequences. A phylogenetic tree was constructed on the basis of these sequences and corresponding protein alignments, indicating that tetrapods and diploid bony fish genomes contained one aaad gene and a new aaad-like gene, which formed a novel AAAD family. However, in tetraploid teleosts, there were two copies of the aaad gene due to whole genome duplication. A subsequent synteny analysis investigated 81 aaad sequences and revealed their collinearity and systematic evolution. Interestingly, we discovered that platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus, Atlantic cod (Guadus morhua, Mexican tetra (Astyanax mexicanus, and a Sinocyclocheilus cavefish (S. anshuiensis have long evolutionary branches in the phylogenetic topology. We also performed pseudogene identification and selection pressure analysis; however, the results revealed a deletion of 37 amino acids in Atlantic cod and premature stop codons in the cave-restricted S. anshuiensis and A. mexicanus, suggesting weakening or disappearing rhythms in these cavefishes. Selective pressure analysis of aaad between platypus and other tetrapods showed that rates of nonsynonymous (Ka and synonymous (Ks substitutions were higher when comparing the platypus to other representative tetrapods, indicating that, in this semiaquatic mammal, the aaad gene experienced selection during the process of evolution. In summary, our current work provides novel insights into aaad genes in vertebrates from a genome-wide view.

  13. Cenozoic biogeography and evolution in direct-developing frogs of Central America (Leptodactylidae: Eleutherodactylus) as inferred from a phylogenetic analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Andrew J; Smith, Eric N

    2005-06-01

    We report the first phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence data for the Central American component of the genus Eleutherodactylus (Anura: Leptodactylidae: Eleutherodactylinae), one of the most ubiquitous, diverse, and abundant components of the Neotropical amphibian fauna. We obtained DNA sequence data from 55 specimens representing 45 species. Sampling was focused on Central America, but also included Bolivia, Brazil, Jamaica, and the USA. We sequenced 1460 contiguous base pairs (bp) of the mitochondrial genome containing ND2 and five neighboring tRNA genes, plus 1300 bp of the c-myc nuclear gene. The resulting phylogenetic inferences were broadly concordant between data sets and among analytical methods. The subgenus Craugastor is monophyletic and its initial radiation was potentially rapid and adaptive. Within Craugastor, the earliest splits separate three northern Central American species groups, milesi, augusti, and alfredi, from a clade comprising the rest of Craugastor. Within the latter clade, the rhodopis group as formerly recognized comprises three deeply divergent clades that do not form a monophyletic group; we therefore restrict the content of the rhodopis group to one of two northern clades, and use new names for the other northern (mexicanus group) and one southern clade (bransfordii group). The new rhodopis and bransfordii groups together form the sister taxon to a clade comprising the biporcatus, fitzingeri, mexicanus, and rugulosus groups. We used a Bayesian MCMC approach together with geological and biogeographic assumptions to estimate divergence times from the combined DNA sequence data. Our results corroborated three independent dispersal events for the origins of Central American Eleutherodactylus: (1) an ancestor of Craugastor entered northern Central America from South American in the early Paleocene, (2) an ancestor of the subgenus Syrrhophus entered northern Central America from the Caribbean at the end of the Eocene, and (3) a wave of

  14. Separation and sampling of ice nucleation chamber generated ice particles by means of the counterflow virtual impactor technique for the characterization of ambient ice nuclei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenk, Ludwig; Mertes, Stephan; Kästner, Udo; Schmidt, Susan; Schneider, Johannes; Frank, Fabian; Nillius, Björn; Worringen, Annette; Kandler, Konrad; Ebert, Martin; Stratmann, Frank

    2014-05-01

    In 2011, the German research foundation (DFG) research group called Ice Nuclei Research Unit (INUIT (FOR 1525, project STR 453/7-1) was established with the objective to achieve a better understanding concerning heterogeneous ice formation. The presented work is part of INUIT and aims for a better microphysical and chemical characterization of atmospheric aerosol particles that have the potential to act as ice nuclei (IN). For this purpose a counterflow virtual impactor (Kulkarni et al., 2011) system (IN-PCVI) was developed and characterized in order to separate and collect ice particles generated in the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH; Bundke et al., 2008) and to release their IN for further analysis. Here the IN-PCVI was used for the inertial separation of the IN counter produced ice particles from smaller drops and interstitial particles. This is realized by a counterflow that matches the FINCH output flow inside the IN-PCVI. The choice of these flows determines the aerodynamic cut-off diameter. The collected ice particles are transferred into the IN-PCVI sample flow where they are completely evaporated in a particle-free and dry carrier air. In this way, the aerosol particles detected as IN by the IN counter can be extracted and distributed to several particle sensors. This coupled setup FINCH, IN-PCVI and aerosol instrumentation was deployed during the INUIT-JFJ joint measurement field campaign at the research station Jungfraujoch (3580m asl). Downstream of the IN-PCVI, the Aircraft-based Laser Ablation Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (ALABAMA; Brands et al., 2011) was attached for the chemical analysis of the atmospheric IN. Also, number concentration and size distribution of IN were measured online (TROPOS) and IN impactor samples for electron microscopy (TU Darmstadt) were taken. Therefore the IN-PCVI was operated with different flow settings than known from literature (Kulkarni et al., 2011), which required a further characterisation of its cut

  15. Learning to breathe and sing: development of respiratory-vocal coordination in young songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veit, Lena; Aronov, Dmitriy; Fee, Michale S

    2011-10-01

    How do animals with learned vocalizations coordinate vocal production with respiration? Songbirds such as the zebra finch learn their songs, beginning with highly variable babbling vocalizations known as subsong. After several weeks of practice, zebra finches are able to produce a precisely timed pattern of syllables and silences, precisely coordinated with expiratory and inspiratory pulses (Franz M, Goller F. J Neurobiol 51: 129-141, 2002). While respiration in adult song is well described, relatively little is known about respiratory patterns in subsong or about the processes by which respiratory and vocal patterns become coordinated. To address these questions, we recorded thoracic air sac pressure in juvenile zebra finches prior to the appearance of any consistent temporal or acoustic structure in their songs. We found that subsong contains brief inspiratory pulses (50 ms) alternating with longer pulses of sustained expiratory pressure (50-500 ms). In striking contrast to adult song, expiratory pulses often contained multiple (0-8) variably timed syllables separated by expiratory gaps and were only partially vocalized. During development, expiratory pulses became shorter and more stereotyped in duration with shorter and fewer nonvocalized parts. These developmental changes eventually resulted in the production of a single syllable per expiratory pulse and a single inspiratory pulse filling each gap, forming a coordinated sequence similar to that of adult song. To examine the role of forebrain song-control nuclei in the development of respiratory patterns, we performed pressure recordings before and after lesions of nucleus HVC (proper name) and found that this manipulation reverses the developmental trends in measures of the respiratory pattern.

  16. Differences in number and distribution of striatal calbindin medium spiny neurons between a vocal-learner (Melopsittacus undulatus and a non-vocal learner bird (Colinus virginianus

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    Elena eGarcia-Calero

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Striatal projecting neurons, known as medium spiny neurons (MSNs, segregate into two compartments called matrix and striosome in the mammalian striatum. The matrix domain is characterized by the presence of calbindin immunopositive (CB+ MSNs, not observed in the striosome subdivision. The existence of a similar CB+ MSN population has recently been described in two striatal structures in male zebra finch (a vocal learner bird: the striatal capsule and the Area X, a nucleus implicated in song learning. Female zebra finches show a similar pattern of CB+ MSNs than males in the developing striatum but loose these cells in juveniles and adult stages. In the present work we analyzed the existence and allocation of CB+MSNs in the striatal domain of the vocal learner bird budgerigar (representative of psittaciformes order and the non-vocal learner bird quail (representative of galliformes order. We studied the co-localization of CB protein with FoxP1, a transcription factor expressed in vertebrate striatal MSNs. We observed CB+ MSNs in the medial striatal domain of adult male and female budgerigars, although this cell type was missing in the potentially homologous nucleus for Area X in budgerigar. In quail, we observed CB+ cells in the striatal domain at developmental and adult stages but they did not co-localize with the MSN marker FoxP1. We also described the existence of the CB+ striatal capsule in budgerigar and quail and compared these results with the CB+ striatal capsule observed in juvenile zebra finches. Together, these results point out important differences in CB+MSN distribution between two representative species of vocal learner and non-vocal learner avian orders (respectively the budgerigar and the quail, but also between close vocal learner bird families.

  17. Nonapeptides and the Evolution of Social Group Sizes in Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James L. Goodson

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Species-typical patterns of grouping have profound impacts on many aspects of physiology and behavior. However, prior to our recent studies in estrildid finches, neural mechanisms that titrate species-typical group size preferences, independent of other aspects of social organization (e.g., mating system and parental care, have been wholly unexplored, likely because species-typical group size is typically confounded with other aspects of behavior and biology. An additional complication is that components of social organization are evolutionarily labile and prone to repeated divergence and convergence. Hence, we cannot assume that convergence in social structure has been produced by convergent modifications to the same neural characters, and thus any comparative approach to grouping must include not only species that differ in their species-typical group sizes, but also species that exhibit convergent evolution in this aspect of social organization. Using five estrildid finch species that differ selectively in grouping (all biparental and monogamous we have demonstrated that neural motivational systems evolve in predictable ways in relation to species-typical group sizes, including convergence in two highly gregarious species and convergence in two relatively asocial, territorial species. These systems include nonapeptide (vasotocin and mesotocin circuits that encode the valence of social stimuli (positive-negative, titrate group-size preferences, and modulate anxiety-like behaviors. Nonapeptide systems exhibit functional and anatomical properties that are biased towards gregarious species, and experimental reductions of nonapeptide signaling by receptor antagonism and antisense oligonucleotides significantly decrease preferred group sizes in the gregarious zebra finch. Combined, these findings suggest that selection on species-typical group size may reliably target the same neural motivation systems when a given social structure evolves

  18. Neural expression and post-transcriptional dosage compensation of the steroid metabolic enzyme 17β-HSD type 4

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wise Petra M

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Steroids affect many tissues, including the brain. In the zebra finch, the estrogenic steroid estradiol (E2 is especially effective at promoting growth of the neural circuit specialized for song. In this species, only the males sing and they have a much larger and more interconnected song circuit than females. Thus, it was surprising that the gene for 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 4 (HSD17B4, an enzyme that converts E2 to a less potent estrogen, had been mapped to the Z sex chromosome. As a consequence, it was likely that HSD17B4 was differentially expressed in males (ZZ and females (ZW because dosage compensation of Z chromosome genes is incomplete in birds. If a higher abundance of HSD17B4 mRNA in males than females was translated into functional enzyme in the brain, then contrary to expectation, males could produce less E2 in their brains than females. Results Here, we used molecular and biochemical techniques to confirm the HSD17B4 Z chromosome location in the zebra finch and to determine that HSD17B4 mRNA and activity were detectable in the early developing and adult brain. As expected, HSD17B4 mRNA expression levels were higher in males compared to females. This provides further evidence of the incomplete Z chromosome inactivation mechanisms in birds. We detected HSD17B4 mRNA in regions that suggested a role for this enzyme in the early organization and adult function of song nuclei. We did not, however, detect significant sex differences in HSD17B4 activity levels in the adult brain. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that the HSD17B4 gene is expressed and active in the zebra finch brain as an E2 metabolizing enzyme, but that dosage compensation of this Z-linked gene may occur via post-transcriptional mechanisms.

  19. Low diversity, activity, and density of transposable elements in five avian genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Bo; Wang, Saisai; Wang, Yali; Shen, Dan; Xue, Songlei; Chen, Cai; Cui, Hengmi; Song, Chengyi

    2017-07-01

    In this study, we conducted the activity, diversity, and density analysis of transposable elements (TEs) across five avian genomes (budgerigar, chicken, turkey, medium ground finch, and zebra finch) to explore the potential reason of small genome sizes of birds. We found that these avian genomes exhibited low density of TEs by about 10% of genome coverages and low diversity of TEs with the TE landscapes dominated by CR1 and ERV elements, and contrasting proliferation dynamics both between TE types and between species were observed across the five avian genomes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that CR1 clade was more diverse in the family structure compared with R2 clade in birds; avian ERVs were classified into four clades (alpha, beta, gamma, and ERV-L) and belonged to three classes of ERV with an uneven distributed in these lineages. The activities of DNA and SINE TEs were very low in the evolution history of avian genomes; most LINEs and LTRs were ancient copies with a substantial decrease of activity in recent, with only LTRs and LINEs in chicken and zebra finch exhibiting weak activity in very recent, and very few TEs were intact; however, the recent activity may be underestimated due to the sequencing/assembly technologies in some species. Overall, this study demonstrates low diversity, activity, and density of TEs in the five avian species; highlights the differences of TEs in these lineages; and suggests that the current and recent activity of TEs in avian genomes is very limited, which may be one of the reasons of small genome sizes in birds.

  20. Sex Reversal and Comparative Data Undermine the W Chromosome and Support Z-linked DMRT1 as the Regulator of Gonadal Sex Differentiation in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirst, Claire E; Major, Andrew T; Ayers, Katie L; Brown, Rosie J; Mariette, Mylene; Sackton, Timothy B; Smith, Craig A

    2017-09-01

    The exact genetic mechanism regulating avian gonadal sex differentiation has not been completely resolved. The most likely scenario involves a dosage mechanism, whereby the Z-linked DMRT1 gene triggers testis development. However, the possibility still exists that the female-specific W chromosome may harbor an ovarian determining factor. In this study, we provide evidence that the universal gene regulating gonadal sex differentiation in birds is Z-linked DMRT1 and not a W-linked (ovarian) factor. Three candidate W-linked ovarian determinants are HINTW, female-expressed transcript 1 (FET1), and female-associated factor (FAF). To test the association of these genes with ovarian differentiation in the chicken, we examined their expression following experimentally induced female-to-male sex reversal using the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole (FAD). Administration of FAD on day 3 of embryogenesis induced a significant loss of aromatase enzyme activity in female gonads and masculinization. However, expression levels of HINTW, FAF, and FET1 were unaltered after experimental masculinization. Furthermore, comparative analysis showed that FAF and FET1 expression could not be detected in zebra finch gonads. Additionally, an antibody raised against the predicted HINTW protein failed to detect it endogenously. These data do not support a universal role for these genes or for the W sex chromosome in ovarian development in birds. We found that DMRT1 (but not the recently identified Z-linked HEMGN gene) is male upregulated in embryonic zebra finch and emu gonads, as in the chicken. As chicken, zebra finch, and emu exemplify the major evolutionary clades of birds, we propose that Z-linked DMRT1, and not the W sex chromosome, regulates gonadal sex differentiation in birds. Copyright © 2017 Endocrine Society.

  1. Neuroinflammation induces glial aromatase expression in the uninjured songbird brain

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    Saldanha Colin J

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Estrogens from peripheral sources as well as central aromatization are neuroprotective in the vertebrate brain. Under normal conditions, aromatase is only expressed in neurons, however following anoxic/ischemic or mechanical brain injury; aromatase is also found in astroglia. This increased glial aromatization and the consequent estrogen synthesis is neuroprotective and may promote neuronal survival and repair. While the effects of estradiol on neuroprotection are well studied, what induces glial aromatase expression remains unknown. Methods Adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata were given a penetrating injury to the entopallium. At several timepoints later, expression of aromatase, IL-1β-like, and IL-6-like were examined using immunohisotchemistry. A second set of zebra birds were exposed to phytohemagglutinin (PHA, an inflammatory agent, directly on the dorsal surface of the telencephalon without creating a penetrating injury. Expression of aromatase, IL-1β-like, and IL-6-like were examined using both quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to examine mRNA expression and immunohistochemistry to determine cellular expression. Statistical significance was determined using t-test or one-way analysis of variance followed by the Tukey Kramers post hoc test. Results Following injury in the zebra finch brain, cytokine expression occurs prior to aromatase expression. This temporal pattern suggests that cytokines may induce aromatase expression in the damaged zebra finch brain. Furthermore, evoking a neuroinflammatory response characterized by an increase in cytokine expression in the uninjured brain is sufficient to induce glial aromatase expression. Conclusions These studies are among the first to examine a neuroinflammatory response in the songbird brain following mechanical brain injury and to describe a novel neuroimmune signal to initiate aromatase expression in glia.

  2. Distribution of language-related Cntnap2 protein in neural circuits critical for vocal learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condro, Michael C; White, Stephanie A

    2014-01-01

    Variants of the contactin associated protein-like 2 (Cntnap2) gene are risk factors for language-related disorders including autism spectrum disorder, specific language impairment, and stuttering. Songbirds are useful models for study of human speech disorders due to their shared capacity for vocal learning, which relies on similar cortico-basal ganglia circuitry and genetic factors. Here we investigate Cntnap2 protein expression in the brain of the zebra finch, a songbird species in which males, but not females, learn their courtship songs. We hypothesize that Cntnap2 has overlapping functions in vocal learning species, and expect to find protein expression in song-related areas of the zebra finch brain. We further expect that the distribution of this membrane-bound protein may not completely mirror its mRNA distribution due to the distinct subcellular localization of the two molecular species. We find that Cntnap2 protein is enriched in several song control regions relative to surrounding tissues, particularly within the adult male, but not female, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), a cortical song control region analogous to human layer 5 primary motor cortex. The onset of this sexually dimorphic expression coincides with the onset of sensorimotor learning in developing males. Enrichment in male RA appears due to expression in projection neurons within the nucleus, as well as to additional expression in nerve terminals of cortical projections to RA from the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the nidopallium. Cntnap2 protein expression in zebra finch brain supports the hypothesis that this molecule affects neural connectivity critical for vocal learning across taxonomic classes. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. The Enigma of Progressively Partial Endoreplication: New Insights Provided by Flow Cytometry and Next-Generation Sequencing

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hřibová, Eva; Holušová, Kateřina; Trávníček, Pavel; Petrovská, Beáta; Ponert, J.; Šimková, Hana; Kubátová, B.; Jersáková, J.; Čurn, V.; Suda, Jan; Doležel, Jaroslav; Vrána, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 6 (2016), s. 1996-2005 ISSN 1759-6653 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP506/12/1320; GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : nuclear-dna content * genome size * repetitive dna * zebra finch * chromosome * elimination * endoreduplication * replication * evolution * orchids * cell cycle * DNA replication * EdU * endoreduplication * Ludisia discolor * orchids Subject RIV: EF - Botanics; EF - Botanics (BU-J) Impact factor: 3.979, year: 2016

  4. Birth of projection neurons in adult avian brain may be related to perceptual or motor learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvarez-Buylla, A.; Kirn, J.R.; Nottebohm, F.

    1990-01-01

    Projection neurons that form part of the motor pathway for song control continue to be produced and to replace older projection neurons in adult canaries and zebra finches. This is shown by combining [3H]thymidine, a cell birth marker, and fluorogold, a retrogradely transported tracer of neuronal connectivity. Species and seasonal comparisons suggest that this process is related to the acquisition of perceptual or motor memories. The ability of an adult brain to produce and replace projection neurons should influence our thinking on brain repair

  5. Juvenile i`iwi detected in lower elevations of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudioso, Jacqueline M.; Beck, Angela T.

    2013-01-01

    The Hawaiian islands are home to a diverse array of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. Among the most famous of these are the spectacular Hawaiian honeycreepers, a group that evolved from a single flock of ancestral finches into at least 54 unique species. Unfortunately, the same isolation that fostered such dramatic adaptive radiation left Hawaiian species vulnerable. Under the onslaught of alien species predation and competition, habitat degradation, and introduced infectious diseases and parasites, most of the surviving honeycreepers have become largely confined to higher elevations. Intact habitat exists above the warm-weather range of deadly introduced avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum), and its mosquito vector (Culex quinquefasciatus).

  6. Songbirds use pulse tone register in two voices to generate low-frequency sound

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kenneth Kragh; Cooper, Brenton G.; Larsen, Ole Næsbye

    2007-01-01

    , the syrinx, is unknown. We present the first high-speed video records of the intact syrinx during induced phonation. The syrinx of anaesthetized crows shows a vibration pattern of the labia similar to that of the human vocal fry register. Acoustic pulses result from short opening of the labia, and pulse...... generation alternates between the left and right sound sources. Spontaneously calling crows can also generate similar pulse characteristics with only one sound generator. Airflow recordings in zebra finches and starlings show that pulse tone sounds can be generated unilaterally, synchronously...

  7. Occurrence of Ornithonyssus sylviarum in pet birds from the district of Setúbal, Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waap, Helga; Paulino, Diana; Cardoso, Rita

    2017-07-01

    Ornithonyssus sylviarum is a blood-feeding ectoparasite of birds and the most serious pest in poultry farms in North America. Although the mites are typically adapted to temperate climates, information on this mite in Europe is sparse, and Dermanyssus gallinae is considered to be the only mite impacting the poultry industry. The present study reports the occurrence of O. sylviarum in pet birds in Portugal. Mites were collected directly from birds and with traps placed in cages and nests at 20 different sampling places belonging to 6 municipalities in the district of Setúbal. In a total of 217 birds, O. sylviarum was identified in 47 out of 147 (32.0%) canaries (Serinus canaria), 14 out of 21 (14.3%) estrildid finches, 1 out of 24 (4.2%) budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and 1 out of 15 (6.7%) lovebirds (Agapornis spp.). Mites of the genus Dermanyssus were identified in 8 canaries (5.4%), 8 estrildid finches (38.1%) and 1 lovebird (6.7%). No mites were found in 6 cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), 2 African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), 1 Bourke's parrot (Neophema bourkii) and 1 rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri). Considering the zoonotic potential and the risk of dissemination to poultry, the present findings underline the need for further monitoring of O. sylviarum in the wild and domestic avifauna in Portugal.

  8. Variation in the structure of bird nests between northern Manitoba and southeastern Ontario.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla A Crossman

    Full Text Available Traits that converge in appearance under similar environmental conditions among phylogenetically independent lineages are thought to represent adaptations to local environments. We tested for convergence in nest morphology and composition of birds breeding in two ecologically different locations in Canada: Churchill in northern Manitoba and Elgin in southeastern Ontario. We examined nests from four families of passerine birds (Turdidae: Turdus, Parulidae: Dendroica, Emberizidae: Passerculus and Fringillidae: Carduelis where closely related populations or species breed in both locations. Nests of American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches had heavier nest masses, and tended to have thicker nest-walls, in northern Manitoba compared with conspecifics or congenerics breeding in southeastern Ontario. Together, all species showed evidence for wider internal and external nest-cup diameters in northern Manitoba, while individual species showed varying patterns for internal nest-cup and external nest depths. American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches in northern Manitoba achieved heavier nest masses in different ways. American Robins increased all materials in similar proportions, and Yellow Warblers and Common Redpolls used greater amounts of select materials. While changes in nest composition vary uniquely for each species, the pattern of larger nests in northern Manitoba compared to southeastern Ontario in three of our four phylogenetically-independent comparisons suggests that birds are adapting to similar selective pressures between locations.

  9. Hemispheric dominance underlying the neural substrate for learned vocalizations develops with experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chirathivat, Napim; Raja, Sahitya C; Gobes, Sharon M H

    2015-06-22

    Many aspects of song learning in songbirds resemble characteristics of speech acquisition in humans. Genetic, anatomical and behavioural parallels have most recently been extended with demonstrated similarities in hemispheric dominance between humans and songbirds: the avian higher order auditory cortex is left-lateralized for processing song memories in juvenile zebra finches that already have formed a memory of their fathers' song, just like Wernicke's area in the left hemisphere of the human brain is dominant for speech perception. However, it is unclear if hemispheric specialization is due to pre-existing functional asymmetry or the result of learning itself. Here we show that in juvenile male and female zebra finches that had never heard an adult song before, neuronal activation after initial exposure to a conspecific song is bilateral. Thus, like in humans, hemispheric dominance develops with vocal proficiency. A left-lateralized functional system that develops through auditory-vocal learning may be an evolutionary adaptation that could increase the efficiency of transferring information within one hemisphere, benefiting the production and perception of learned communication signals.

  10. Early life manipulations of vasopressin-family peptides alter vocal learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baran, Nicole M; Peck, Samantha C; Kim, Tabitha H; Goldstein, Michael H; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2017-07-26

    Vocal learning from social partners is crucial for the successful development of communication in a wide range of species. Social interactions organize attention and enhance motivation to learn species-typical behaviour. However, the neurobiological mechanisms connecting social motivation and vocal learning are unknown. Using zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ), a ubiquitous model for vocal learning, we show that manipulations of nonapeptide hormones in the vasopressin family (arginine vasotocin, AVT) early in development can promote or disrupt both song and social motivation. Young male zebra finches, like human infants, are socially gregarious and require interactive feedback from adult tutors to learn mature vocal forms. To investigate the role of social motivational mechanisms in song learning, in two studies, we injected hatchling males with AVT or Manning compound (MC, a nonapeptide receptor antagonist) on days 2-8 post-hatching and recorded song at maturity. In both studies, MC males produced a worse match to tutor song than controls. In study 2, which experimentally controlled for tutor and genetic factors, AVT males also learned song significantly better compared with controls. Furthermore, song similarity correlated with several measures of social motivation throughout development. These findings provide the first evidence that nonapeptides are critical to the development of vocal learning. © 2017 The Author(s).

  11. 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.

  12. Exact reconstruction formula for the spherical mean Radon transform on ellipsoids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haltmeier, Markus

    2014-01-01

    Many modern imaging and remote sensing applications require reconstructing a function from spherical averages (mean values). Examples include photoacoustic tomography, ultrasound imaging or SONAR. Several formulas of the back-projection type for recovering a function in n spatial dimensions from mean values over spheres centered on a sphere have been derived by D Finch, S K Patch and Rakesh (2004 SIAM J. Math. Anal. 35 1213–1240) for odd spatial dimension and by D Finch, M Haltmeier and Rakesh (2007 SIAM J. Appl. Math. 68 392–412) for even spatial dimension. In this paper we generalize some of these formulas to the case where the centers of integration lie on the boundary of an arbitrary ellipsoid. For the special cases n = 2 and n = 3 our results have recently been established by Y Salman (2014 J. Math. Anal. Appl. 420 612–20). For the higher dimensional case n>3 we establish proof techniques extending the ones in the above references. Back-projection type inversion formulas for recovering a function from spherical means with centers on an ellipsoid have first been derived by F Natterer (2012 Inverse Problems Imaging 6 315–20) for n = 3 and by V Palamodov (2012 Inverse Problems 28 065014) for arbitrary dimension. The results of Natterer have later been generalized to arbitrary dimension by M Haltmeier (2014 SIAM J. Math. Anal. 46 214–32). Note that these formulas are different from the ones derived in the present paper. (paper)

  13. Mammal-like organization of the avian midbrain central gray and a reappraisal of the intercollicular nucleus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcy A Kingsbury

    Full Text Available In mammals, rostrocaudal columns of the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG regulate diverse behavioral and physiological functions, including sexual and fight-or-flight behavior, but homologous columns have not been identified in non-mammalian species. In contrast to mammals, in which the PAG lies ventral to the superior colliculus and surrounds the cerebral aqueduct, birds exhibit a hypertrophied tectum that is displaced laterally, and thus the midbrain central gray (CG extends mediolaterally rather than dorsoventrally as in mammals. We therefore hypothesized that the avian CG is organized much like a folded open PAG. To address this hypothesis, we conducted immunohistochemical comparisons of the midbrains of mice and finches, as well as Fos studies of aggressive dominance, subordinance, non-social defense and sexual behavior in territorial and gregarious finch species. We obtained excellent support for our predictions based on the folded open model of the PAG and further showed that birds possess functional and anatomical zones that form longitudinal columns similar to those in mammals. However, distinguishing characteristics of the dorsal/dorsolateral PAG, such as a dense peptidergic innervation, a longitudinal column of neuronal nitric oxide synthase neurons, and aggression-induced Fos responses, do not lie within the classical avian CG, but in the laterally adjacent intercollicular nucleus (ICo, suggesting that much of the ICo is homologous to the dorsal PAG.

  14. Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. from fecal samples of birds kept in captivity in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Alex Akira; Simões, Daniel Castendo; Antunes, Rômulo Godik; da Silva, Deuvânia Carvalho; Meireles, Marcelo Vasconcelos

    2009-12-03

    The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium species and genotypes in birds kept in captivity in Brazil. A total of 966 samples from 18 families of birds was collected and stored in 5% potassium dichromate solution at 4 degrees C until processing. Oocysts were purified in Sheather sugar solution following extraction of genomic DNA. Molecular analyses were performed using nested-PCR for amplification of fragments of the 18S subunit of rRNA gene and of the actin gene. Amplification of Cryptosporidium DNA fragments was obtained in 47 (4.86%) samples. Sequencing of amplified fragments and phylogenetic analyses allowed the identification of Cryptosporidium baileyi in a black vulture (Coragyps atratus), a domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) and a saffron finch (Sicalis flaveola); Cryptosporidium galli in canaries (Serinus canaria), a cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) and lesser seed-finches (Oryzoborus angolensis); Cryptosporidium meleagridis in a domestic chicken (G. g. domesticus); Cryptosporidium parvum in a cockatiel (N. hollandicus); Cryptosporidium avian genotype I in a canary (S. canaria) and an Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus); Cryptosporidium avian genotype II in ostriches (Struthio camelus) and Cryptosporidium avian genotype III in a cockatiel (N. hollandicus) and a peach-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicolis).

  15. Eimeria atlapetesi nom. nov., a replacement name for Eimeria pileata Soriano-Vargas et al., 2015 (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae), preoccupied by Eimeria pileata Straneva and Kelley, 1979 (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae), with observations on histopathology and phylogenetic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano-Vargas, Edgardo; Salgado-Miranda, Celene; Zepeda-Velázquez, Andrea Paloma; Medina, Juan Pablo; Janczur, Mariusz Krzysztof; González-Gómez, Maricruz; Flores-Valle, Izanami Tereira; Berto, Bruno Pereira; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes

    2017-01-31

    Eimeria pileata Soriano-Vargas, Medina, Salgado-Miranda, García-Conejo, Galindo-Sánchez, Janczur, Berto and Lopes, 2015 is a junior homonym of Eimeria pileata Straneva and Kelley, 1979 and needs to be replaced. This coccidium was described from a rufous-capped brush finch Atlapetes pileatus Wagler in the Nevado de Toluca Natural Protected Area, Mexico. Thus, to maintain the original intent of the specific epithet derived from the scientific name of the type-host, the name Eimeria atlapetesi nom. nov. is proposed as a replacement name. Additionally, the current work reports another rufous-capped brush finch A. pileatus parasitized by E. atlapetesi in co-infection with an Isospora sp., providing observations of histopathology and phylogenetic analysis of 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene from E. atlapetesi. Endogenous forms of E. atlapetesi and Isospora sp. were observed in intestinal sections. Few oocysts of Isospora sp. were observed; therefore they were not morphologically or molecularly identified. In return, E. atlapetesi was identified and it was phylogenetically close to Eimeria dispersa Tyzzer, 1929 from the domestic turkey Meleagris gallopavo Linnaeus.

  16. Basal metabolic rate can evolve independently of morphological and behavioural traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathot, K J; Martin, K; Kempenaers, B; Forstmeier, W

    2013-09-01

    Quantitative genetic analyses of basal metabolic rate (BMR) can inform us about the evolvability of the trait by providing estimates of heritability, and also of genetic correlations with other traits that may constrain the ability of BMR to respond to selection. Here, we studied a captive population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in which selection lines for male courtship rate have been established. We measure BMR in these lines to see whether selection on male sexual activity would change BMR as a potentially correlated trait. We find that the genetic correlation between courtship rate and BMR is practically zero, indicating that the two traits can evolve independently of each other. Interestingly, we find that the heritability of BMR in our population (h(2)=0.45) is markedly higher than was previously reported for a captive zebra finch population from Norway. A comparison of the two studies shows that additive genetic variance in BMR has been largely depleted in the Norwegian population, especially the genetic variance in BMR that is independent of body mass. In our population, the slope of BMR increase with body mass differs not only between the sexes but also between the six selection lines, which we tentatively attribute to genetic drift and/or founder effects being strong in small populations. Our study therefore highlights two things. First, the evolvability of BMR may be less constrained by genetic correlations and lack of independent genetic variation than previously described. Second, genetic drift in small populations can rapidly lead to different evolvabilities across populations.

  17. Stress Responses to Heat Exposure in Three Species of Australian Desert Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Shangzhe; Romero, L Michael; Htut, Zaw Win; McWhorter, Todd J

    Birds need to respond to weather changes quickly and appropriately for their own well-being and survival. The inability to respond appropriately to heat waves can be fatal to individual birds and can translate into large-scale mortality events. We investigated corticosterone (CORT) and heterophil∶lymphocyte (H∶L) ratio responses of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), and diamond doves (Geopelia cuneata) to heat exposures. The birds were exposed to a temperature similar to what they experience during a typical summer day (35°C) and a higher temperature (45°C) similar to that experienced during a heat wave. There were no significant increases between the CORT concentrations before and after heat exposure in zebra finches and budgerigars at 35° and 45°C, but there was a significant increase in CORT concentrations in diamond doves after exposure to 45°C. The H∶L ratios increased significantly after heat exposure in budgerigars at 35° and 45°C and in diamond doves at 35°C. No significant correlation was found between the changes in CORT and H∶L ratios. The data suggest that there are species differences in birds' stress responses to heat exposure that may reflect their ability to detect and adapt to high temperatures. There appear to be differences between the two types of stress measurements, which may reflect differences in the timescales of these responses.

  18. Variation in the Structure of Bird Nests between Northern Manitoba and Southeastern Ontario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossman, Carla A.; Rohwer, Vanya G.; Martin, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    Traits that converge in appearance under similar environmental conditions among phylogenetically independent lineages are thought to represent adaptations to local environments. We tested for convergence in nest morphology and composition of birds breeding in two ecologically different locations in Canada: Churchill in northern Manitoba and Elgin in southeastern Ontario. We examined nests from four families of passerine birds (Turdidae: Turdus, Parulidae: Dendroica, Emberizidae: Passerculus and Fringillidae: Carduelis) where closely related populations or species breed in both locations. Nests of American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches had heavier nest masses, and tended to have thicker nest-walls, in northern Manitoba compared with conspecifics or congenerics breeding in southeastern Ontario. Together, all species showed evidence for wider internal and external nest-cup diameters in northern Manitoba, while individual species showed varying patterns for internal nest-cup and external nest depths. American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches in northern Manitoba achieved heavier nest masses in different ways. American Robins increased all materials in similar proportions, and Yellow Warblers and Common Redpolls used greater amounts of select materials. While changes in nest composition vary uniquely for each species, the pattern of larger nests in northern Manitoba compared to southeastern Ontario in three of our four phylogenetically-independent comparisons suggests that birds are adapting to similar selective pressures between locations. PMID:21552515

  19. Inhibition of hippocampal aromatization impairs spatial memory performance in a male songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, David J; Ma, Chunqi; Soma, Kiran K; Saldanha, Colin J

    2013-12-01

    Recent studies have revealed the presence and regulation of aromatase at the vertebrate synapse, and identified a critical role played by presynaptic estradiol synthesis in the electrophysiological response to auditory and other social cues. However, if and how synaptic aromatization affects behavior remains to be directly tested. We have exploited 3 characteristics of the zebra finch hippocampus (HP) to test the role of synaptocrine estradiol provision on spatial memory function. Although the zebra finch HP contains abundant aromatase transcripts and enzyme activity, immunocytochemical studies reveal widespread pre- and postsynaptic, but sparse to undetectable somal, localization of this enzyme. Further, the superficial location of the avian HP makes possible the more exclusive manipulation of its neurochemical characteristics without perturbation of the neuropil and the resultant induction of astroglial aromatase. Last, as in other vertebrates, the HP is critical for spatial memory performance in this species. Here we report that local inhibition of hippocampal aromatization impairs spatial memory performance in an ecologically valid food-finding task. Local aromatase inhibition also resulted in lower levels of estradiol in the HP, but not in adjacent brain areas, and was achieved without the induction of astroglial aromatase. The observed decrement in acquisition and subsequent memory performance as a consequence of lowered aromatization was similar to that achieved by lesioning this locus. Thus, hippocampal aromatization, much of which is achieved at the synapse in this species, is critical for spatial memory performance.

  20. Social learning in nest-building birds: a role for familiarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M; Scott, Alice C Y; Healy, Susan D

    2016-03-30

    It is becoming apparent that birds learn from their own experiences of nest building. What is not clear is whether birds can learn from watching conspecifics build. As social learning allows an animal to gain information without engaging in costly trial-and-error learning, first-time builders should exploit the successful habits of experienced builders. We presented first-time nest-building male zebra finches with either a familiar or an unfamiliar conspecific male building with material of a colour the observer did not like. When given the opportunity to build, males that had watched a familiar male build switched their material preference to that used by the familiar male. Males that observed unfamiliar birds did not. Thus, first-time nest builders use social information and copy the nest material choices when demonstrators are familiar but not when they are strangers. The relationships between individuals therefore influence how nest-building expertise is socially transmitted in zebra finches. © 2016 The Author(s).

  1. Variation in the structure of bird nests between northern Manitoba and southeastern Ontario.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossman, Carla A; Rohwer, Vanya G; Martin, Paul R

    2011-04-28

    Traits that converge in appearance under similar environmental conditions among phylogenetically independent lineages are thought to represent adaptations to local environments. We tested for convergence in nest morphology and composition of birds breeding in two ecologically different locations in Canada: Churchill in northern Manitoba and Elgin in southeastern Ontario. We examined nests from four families of passerine birds (Turdidae: Turdus, Parulidae: Dendroica, Emberizidae: Passerculus and Fringillidae: Carduelis) where closely related populations or species breed in both locations. Nests of American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches had heavier nest masses, and tended to have thicker nest-walls, in northern Manitoba compared with conspecifics or congenerics breeding in southeastern Ontario. Together, all species showed evidence for wider internal and external nest-cup diameters in northern Manitoba, while individual species showed varying patterns for internal nest-cup and external nest depths. American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches in northern Manitoba achieved heavier nest masses in different ways. American Robins increased all materials in similar proportions, and Yellow Warblers and Common Redpolls used greater amounts of select materials. While changes in nest composition vary uniquely for each species, the pattern of larger nests in northern Manitoba compared to southeastern Ontario in three of our four phylogenetically-independent comparisons suggests that birds are adapting to similar selective pressures between locations.

  2. Impact of nest sanitation on the immune system of parents and nestlings in a passerine bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Jessica K; Griffith, Simon C; Klasing, Kirk C; Buchanan, Katherine L

    2016-07-01

    Bacterial communities are thought to have fundamental effects on the growth and development of nestling birds. The antigen exposure hypothesis suggests that, for both nestlings and adult birds, exposure to a diverse range of bacteria would select for stronger immune defences. However, there are relatively few studies that have tested the immune/bacterial relationships outside of domestic poultry. We therefore sought to examine indices of immunity (microbial killing ability in naive birds, which is a measure of innate immunity, and the antibody response to sheep red blood cells, which measures adaptive immunity) in both adult and nestling zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We did this throughout breeding and between reproductive attempts in nests that were experimentally manipulated to change the intensity of bacterial exposure. Our results suggest that nest sanitation and bacterial load affected measures of the adaptive immune system, but not the innate immune parameters tested. Adult finches breeding in clean nests had a lower primary antibody response to sheep red blood cells, particularly males, and a greater difference between primary and secondary responses. Adult microbial killing of Escherichia coli decreased as parents moved from incubation to nestling rearing for both nest treatments; however, killing of Candida albicans remained consistent throughout. In nestlings, both innate microbial killing and the adaptive antibody response did not differ between nest environments. Together, these results suggest that exposure to microorganisms in the environment affects the adaptive immune system in nesting birds, with exposure upregulating the antibody response in adult birds. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  3. Synchronised provisioning at the nest: parental coordination over care in a socially monogamous species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Rooij, Erica P; Griffith, Simon C

    2013-12-19

    Bi-parental care is very common in birds, occurring in over 90% of species, and is expected to evolve whenever the benefits of enhanced offspring survival exceed the costs to both parents of providing care. In altricial species, where the nestlings are entirely dependent on the parents for providing food until fledging, reproductive success is related to the capacity of the parents to provision the offspring at the nest. The degree to which parents synchronise their visits to the nest is rarely considered by studies of bi-parental care, and yet may be an important component of parental care, affecting the outcome of the reproductive attempt, and the dynamics of sexual conflict between the parents. Here we studied this aspect of parental care in the long-tailed finch (Poephila acuticauda), a socially monogamous estrildid finch. We monitored parental nest visit rates and the degree of parental visit synchrony, and assessed their effects on reproductive success (e.g., brood size, number of offspring fledged and nestling growth). The frequency of nest visits in a day was low in this species (nest visit synchrony may primarily be driven by the benefit of parents being together whilst foraging away from the nest, or may reduce nest predation by reducing the level of activity around the nest throughout the day.

  4. Vasotocin neurons and septal V1a-like receptors potently modulate songbird flocking and responses to novelty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Aubrey M; Kingsbury, Marcy A; Hoffbuhr, Kristin; Schrock, Sara E; Waxman, Brandon; Kabelik, David; Thompson, Richmond R; Goodson, James L

    2011-06-01

    Previous comparisons of territorial and gregarious finches (family Estrildidae) suggest the hypothesis that arginine vasotocin (VT) neurons in the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm) and V(1a)-like receptors in the lateral septum (LS) promote flocking behavior. Consistent with this hypothesis, we now show that intraseptal infusions of a V(1a) antagonist in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) reduce gregariousness (preference for a group of 10 versus 2 conspecific males), but have no effect on the amount of time that subjects spend in close proximity to other birds ("contact time"). The antagonist also produces a profound increase in anxiety-like behavior, as exhibited by an increased latency to feed in a novelty-suppressed feeding test. Bilateral knockdown of VT production in the BSTm using LNA-modified antisense oligonucleotides likewise produces increases in anxiety-like behavior and a potent reduction in gregariousness, relative to subjects receiving scrambled oligonucleotides. The antisense oligonucleotides also produced a modest increase in contact time, irrespective of group size. Together, these combined experiments provide clear evidence that endogenous VT promotes preferences for larger flock sizes, and does so in a manner that is coupled to general anxiolysis. Given that homologous peptide circuitry of the BSTm-LS is found across all tetrapod vertebrate classes, these findings may be predictive for other highly gregarious species. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Pronounced within-individual plasticity in sperm morphometry across social environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Immler, Simone; Pryke, Sarah R; Birkhead, Tim R; Griffith, Simon C

    2010-06-01

    Sperm morphometry (i.e., size and shape) and function are important determinants of male reproductive success and are thought to be under stabilizing selection. However, recent studies suggest that sperm morphometry can be a phenotypically plastic trait, which can be adjusted to varying conditions. We tested whether different behavioral strategies in aggression between aggressive red and nonaggressive black males of the color polymorphic Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae) can influence sperm morphometry. We show pronounced within-individual phenotypic plasticity in sperm morphometry of male Gouldian finches in three different social environments. Both red and black males placed in intermediate to high competitive environments (high frequency of red males) increased the relative length of their sperm midpiece. By contrast, red males placed in low to intermediate competitive environments (higher frequency of black males) increased the length of the sperm flagellum. Significant changes in stress and sex steroid hormone levels (in response to the competitive environment) appear to influence sperm traits in red but not in black males, suggesting that changes in hormonal levels are not solely responsible for the observed changes in sperm morphometry. These findings imply that males can adjust sperm morphometry across social environments.

  6. Developmental song learning as a model to understand neural mechanisms that limit and promote the ability to learn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    London, Sarah E

    2017-11-20

    Songbirds famously learn their vocalizations. Some species can learn continuously, others seasonally, and still others just once. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) learns to sing during a single developmental "Critical Period," a restricted phase during which a specific experience has profound and permanent effects on brain function and behavioral patterns. The zebra finch can therefore provide fundamental insight into features that promote and limit the ability to acquire complex learned behaviors. For example, what properties permit the brain to come "on-line" for learning? How does experience become encoded to prevent future learning? What features define the brain in receptive compared to closed learning states? This piece will focus on epigenomic, genomic, and molecular levels of analysis that operate on the timescales of development and complex behavioral learning. Existing data will be discussed as they relate to Critical Period learning, and strategies for future studies to more directly address these questions will be considered. Birdsong learning is a powerful model for advancing knowledge of the biological intersections of maturation and experience. Lessons from its study not only have implications for understanding developmental song learning, but also broader questions of learning potential and the enduring effects of early life experience on neural systems and behavior. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. A draft de novo genome assembly for the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus reveals evidence for a rapid decline in effective population size beginning in the Late Pleistocene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvette A Halley

    Full Text Available Wild populations of northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite have declined across nearly all of their U.S. range, and despite their importance as an experimental wildlife model for ecotoxicology studies, no bobwhite draft genome assembly currently exists. Herein, we present a bobwhite draft de novo genome assembly with annotation, comparative analyses including genome-wide analyses of divergence with the chicken (Gallus gallus and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata genomes, and coalescent modeling to reconstruct the demographic history of the bobwhite for comparison to other birds currently in decline (i.e., scarlet macaw; Ara macao. More than 90% of the assembled bobwhite genome was captured within 14,000 unique genes and proteins. Bobwhite analyses of divergence with the chicken and zebra finch genomes revealed many extremely conserved gene sequences, and evidence for lineage-specific divergence of noncoding regions. Coalescent models for reconstructing the demographic history of the bobwhite and the scarlet macaw provided evidence for population bottlenecks which were temporally coincident with human colonization of the New World, the late Pleistocene collapse of the megafauna, and the last glacial maximum. Demographic trends predicted for the bobwhite and the scarlet macaw also were concordant with how opposing natural selection strategies (i.e., skewness in the r-/K-selection continuum would be expected to shape genome diversity and the effective population sizes in these species, which is directly relevant to future conservation efforts.

  8. A revision of the spider genus Selenops Latreille, 1819 (Arachnida, Araneae, Selenopidae) in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crews, Sarah C

    2011-01-01

    The spider genus Selenops Latreille, 1819 occurs in both the Old World and New World tropics and subtropics and contains nearly half of the species in the family Selenopidae Simon, 1897. In this paper the members of the genus Selenops found in North America, Central America, and on islands of the Caribbean are revised, excluding Cuban endemics. No taxonomic changes are currently made to the species from the southwestern United States. In total, 21 new species are described, including Selenops arikoksp. n., Selenops chamelasp. n., Selenops amonasp. n., Selenops bawekasp. n., Selenops bocacanadensissp. n., Selenops enriquillosp. n, Selenops ixchelsp. n., Selenops huetocatlsp. n., Selenops kalinagosp. n., Selenops oviedosp. n., Selenops morrosp. n., Selenops deniasp. n., Selenops duansp. n., Selenops malinalxochitlsp. n., Selenops oricuajosp. n., Selenops petenajtoysp. n., Selenops guerrerosp. n., Selenops makimakisp. n., Selenops souligasp. n., Selenops wilmotorumsp. n., and Selenops wilsonisp. n. Six species names were synonymized: Selenops lunatus Muma, 1953 syn. n. =Selenops candidus Muma, 1953; Selenops tehuacanus Muma 1953 syn. n., Selenops galapagoensis Banks, 1902 syn. n. and Selenops vagabundus Kraus, 1955 syn. n. = Selenops mexicanus Keyserling, 1880; Selenops santibanezi Valdez-Mondragón, 2010 syn. n. = Selenops nigromaculatus Keyserling, 1880; and Selenops salvadoranus Chamberlin, 1925 syn. n. = Selenops bifurcatus Banks, 1909. Lectotypes are designated for the following three species: Selenops marginalis F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1900 (♂), Selenops morosus Banks, 1898 (♂), and Selenops mexicanus Keyserling, 1880 (♀). The female neotype is designated for Selenops aissus Walckenaer, 1837. The males of Selenops bani Alayón-García, 1992 and Selenops marcanoi Alayón-García, 1992 are described for the first time, and the females of Selenops phaselus Muma, 1953 and Selenops geraldinae Corronca, 1996 are described for the first time. Almost all species

  9. Waterbirds (other than Laridae nesting in the middle section of Laguna Cuyutlán, Colima, México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Mellink

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Laguna de Cuyutlán, in the state of Colima, Mexico, is the only large coastal wetland in a span of roughly 1150 km. Despite this, the study of its birds has been largely neglected. Between 2003 and 2006 we assessed the waterbirds nesting in the middle portion of Laguna Cuyutlán, a large tropical coastal lagoon, through field visits. We documented the nesting of 15 species of non-Laridae waterbirds: Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus, Tricolored Egret (Egretta tricolor, Snowy Egret (Egretta thula, Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea, Great Egret (Ardea alba, Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis, Black-crowned Nightheron (Nycticorax nycticorax, Yellow-crowned Night-heron (Nyctanassa violacea, Green Heron (Butorides virescens, Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja, White Ibis (Eudocimus albus, Black-bellied Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis, Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris, Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus, and Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus. These add to six species of Laridae known to nest in that area: Laughing Gulls (Larus atricilla, Royal Terns (Thalasseus maximus, Gull-billed Terns (Gelochelidon nilotica, Forster’s Terns (S. forsteri, Least Terns (Sternula antillarum, and Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger, and to at least 57 species using it during the non-breeding season. With such bird assemblages, Laguna Cuyutlán is an important site for waterbirds, which should be given conservation status. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56 (1: 391-397. Epub 2008 March 31.Durante la prospección de la parte media de la Laguna Cuyutlán, una gran laguna costera en Colima, México, entre 2003 y 2006, documentamos la anidación de 15 especies de aves acuáticas que no pertenecer a la familia Laridae: Phalacrocorax brasilianus, Egretta tricolor, Egretta thula, Egretta caerulea, Ardea alba, Bubulcus ibis, Nycticorax nycticorax, Nyctanassa violacea, Butorides virescens, Platalea ajaja, Eudocimus albus, Dendrocygna autumnalis, Rallus longirostris

  10. Profiling the venom gland transcriptomes of Costa Rican snakes by 454 pyrosequencing

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    Sanz Libia

    2011-05-01

    divergence between A. mexicanus and A. picadoi, and a closer kinship between A. mexicanus and C. godmani. Conclusions Our comparative next-generation sequencing (NGS analysis reveals taxon-specific trends governing the formulation of the venom arsenal. Knowledge of the venom proteome provides hints on the translation efficiency of toxin-coding transcripts, contributing thereby to a more accurate interpretation of the transcriptome. The application of NGS to the analysis of snake venom transcriptomes, may represent the tool for opening the door to systems venomics.

  11. Evolution of the developmental plasticity and a coupling between left mechanosensory neuromasts and an adaptive foraging behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Vânia Filipa Lima; Macaspac, Christian; Lu, Louise; Yoshizawa, Masato

    2018-05-18

    Many animal species exhibit laterality in sensation and behavioral responses, namely, the preference for using either the left or right side of the sensory system. For example, some fish use their left eye when observing social stimuli, whereas they use their right eye to observe novel objects. However, it is largely unknown whether such laterality in sensory-behavior coupling evolves during rapid adaptation processes. Here, in the Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus, we investigate the laterality in the relationship between an evolved adaptive behavior, vibration attraction behavior (VAB), and its main sensors, mechanosensory neuromasts. A. mexicanus has a surface-dwelling form and cave-dwelling forms (cavefish), whereby a surface fish ancestor colonized the new environment of a cave, eventually evolving cave-type morphologies such as increased numbers of neuromasts at the cranium. These neuromasts are known to regulate VAB, and it is known that, in teleosts, the budding (increasing) process of neuromasts is accompanied with dermal bone formation. This bone formation is largely regulated by endothelin signaling. To assess the evolutionary relationship between bone formation, neuromast budding, and VAB, we treated 1-3 month old juvenile fish with endothelin receptor antagonists. This treatment significantly increased cranial neuromasts in both surface and cavefish, and the effect was significantly more pronounced in cavefish. Antagonist treatment also increased the size of dermal bones in cavefish, but neuromast enhancement was observed earlier than dermal bone formation, suggesting that endothelin signaling may independently regulate neuromast development and bone formation. In addition, although we did not detect a major change in VAB level under this antagonist treatment, cavefish did show a positive correlation of VAB with the number of neuromasts on their left side but not their right. This laterality in correlation was observed when VAB emerged during cavefish

  12. Single-particle characterization of ice-nucleating particles and ice particles residuals sampled by three different techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandler, Konrad; Worringen, Annette; Benker, Nathalie; Dirsch, Thomas; Mertes, Stephan; Schenk, Ludwig; Kästner, Udo; Frank, Fabian; Nillius, Björn; Bundke, Ulrich; Rose, Diana; Curtius, Joachim; Kupiszewski, Piotr; Weingartner, Ernest; Vochezer, Paul; Schneider, Johannes; Schmidt, Susan; Weinbruch, Stephan; Ebert, Martin

    2015-04-01

    During January/February 2013, at the High Alpine Research Station Jungfraujoch a measurement campaign was carried out, which was centered on atmospheric ice-nucleating particles (INP) and ice particle residuals (IPR). Three different techniques for separation of INP and IPR from the non-ice-active particles are compared. The Ice Selective Inlet (ISI) and the Ice Counterflow Virtual Impactor (Ice-CVI) sample ice particles from mixed phase clouds and allow for the analysis of the residuals. The combination of the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH) and the Ice Nuclei Pumped Counterflow Virtual Impactor (IN-PCVI) provides ice-activating conditions to aerosol particles and extracts the activated INP for analysis. Collected particles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis to determine size, chemical composition and mixing state. All INP/IPR-separating techniques had considerable abundances (median 20 - 70 %) of instrumental contamination artifacts (ISI: Si-O spheres, probably calibration aerosol; Ice-CVI: Al-O particles; FINCH+IN-PCVI: steel particles). Also, potential sampling artifacts (e.g., pure soluble material) occurred with a median abundance of separated by all three techniques. Soot was a minor contributor. Lead was detected in less than 10 % of the particles, of which the majority were internal mixtures with other particle types. Sea-salt and sulfates were identified by all three methods as INP/IPR. Most samples showed a maximum of the INP/IPR size distribution at 400 nm geometric diameter. In a few cases, a second super-micron maximum was identified. Soot/carbonaceous material and metal oxides were present mainly in the submicron range. ISI and FINCH yielded silicates and Ca-rich particles mainly with diameters above 1 µm, while the Ice-CVI also separated many submicron IPR. As strictly parallel sampling could not be performed, a part of the discrepancies between the different techniques may result from

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

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    Lewin Harris A

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Songbirds hold great promise for biomedical, environmental and evolutionary research. A complete draft sequence of the zebra finch genome is imminent, yet a need remains for application of genomic resources within a research community traditionally focused on ethology and neurobiological methods. In response, we developed a core set of genomic tools and a novel collaborative strategy to probe gene expression in diverse songbird species and natural contexts. Results We end-sequenced cDNAs from zebra finch brain and incorporated additional sequences from community sources into a database of 86,784 high quality reads. These assembled into 31,658 non-redundant contigs and singletons, which we annotated via BLAST search of chicken and human databases. The results are publicly available in the ESTIMA:Songbird database. We produced a spotted cDNA microarray with 20,160 addresses representing 17,214 non-redundant products of an estimated 11,500–15,000 genes, validating it by analysis of immediate-early gene (zenk gene activation following song exposure and by demonstrating effective cross hybridization to genomic DNAs of other songbird species in the Passerida Parvorder. Our assembly was also used in the design of the "Lund-zfa" Affymetrix array representing ~22,000 non-redundant sequences. When the two arrays were hybridized to cDNAs from the same set of male and female zebra finch brain samples, both arrays detected a common set of regulated transcripts with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.895. To stimulate use of these resources by the songbird research community and to maintain consistent technical standards, we devised a "Community Collaboration" mechanism whereby individual birdsong researchers develop experiments and provide tissues, but a single individual in the community is responsible for all RNA extractions, labelling and microarray hybridizations. Conclusion Immediately, these results set the foundation for a

  14. Comparative genomic data of the Avian Phylogenomics Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guojie; Li, Bo; Li, Cai; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Jarvis, Erich D; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary relationships of modern birds are among the most challenging to understand in systematic biology and have been debated for centuries. To address this challenge, we assembled or collected the genomes of 48 avian species spanning most orders of birds, including all Neognathae and two of the five Palaeognathae orders, and used the genomes to construct a genome-scale avian phylogenetic tree and perform comparative genomics analyses (Jarvis et al. in press; Zhang et al. in press). Here we release assemblies and datasets associated with the comparative genome analyses, which include 38 newly sequenced avian genomes plus previously released or simultaneously released genomes of Chicken, Zebra finch, Turkey, Pigeon, Peregrine falcon, Duck, Budgerigar, Adelie penguin, Emperor penguin and the Medium Ground Finch. We hope that this resource will serve future efforts in phylogenomics and comparative genomics. The 38 bird genomes were sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform and assembled using a whole genome shotgun strategy. The 48 genomes were categorized into two groups according to the N50 scaffold size of the assemblies: a high depth group comprising 23 species sequenced at high coverage (>50X) with multiple insert size libraries resulting in N50 scaffold sizes greater than 1 Mb (except the White-throated Tinamou and Bald Eagle); and a low depth group comprising 25 species sequenced at a low coverage (~30X) with two insert size libraries resulting in an average N50 scaffold size of about 50 kb. Repetitive elements comprised 4%-22% of the bird genomes. The assembled scaffolds allowed the homology-based annotation of 13,000 ~ 17000 protein coding genes in each avian genome relative to chicken, zebra finch and human, as well as comparative and sequence conservation analyses. Here we release full genome assemblies of 38 newly sequenced avian species, link genome assembly downloads for the 7 of the remaining 10 species, and provide a guideline of

  15. Two new species of Brueelia Kéler, 1936 (Ischnocera, Philopteridae parasitic on Neotropical trogons (Aves, Trogoniformes

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    Michel Valim

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Two new species of Brueelia are described and illustrated. These new species and their type hosts are: Brueelia sueta ex Pharomachrus pavoninus (Spix, 1824, the Pavonine Quetzal and Brueelia cicchinoi ex Trogon viridis Linnaeus, the White-tailed Trogon. Both new species differ from the only Brueelia described on Trogon mexicanus by many morphological features, including those present in the male genitalia and female vulvar margin. Partial sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI gene for these two new species differ from one another by 13.6% uncorrected p-distance. Whereas B. cicchinoi is only 0.3% divergent from previously published COI sequences identified as Brueelia sp. from the Mexican T. melanocephalus Gould, 1936 and T. massena Gould, 1938. We also found B. cicchinoi on T. melanurus, T. collaris and Pharomachrus pavoninus. Thus B. cicchinoi is found on multiple trogoniform hosts across an extremely large geographic distribution and has one of the largest number of host associations among Brueelia species.

  16. Two new species of Brueelia Kéler, 1936 (Ischnocera, Philopteridae) parasitic on Neotropical trogons (Aves, Trogoniformes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valim, Michel P; Weckstein, Jason D

    2011-01-01

    Two new species of Brueelia are described and illustrated. These new species and their type hosts are: Brueelia sueta ex Pharomachrus pavoninus (Spix, 1824), the Pavonine Quetzal and Brueelia cicchinoi ex Trogon viridis Linnaeus, the White-tailed Trogon. Both new species differ from the only Brueelia described on Trogon mexicanus by many morphological features, including those present in the male genitalia and female vulvar margin. Partial sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene for these two new species differ from one another by 13.6% uncorrected p-distance. Whereas Brueelia cicchinoi is only 0.3% divergent from previously published COI sequences identified as Brueelia sp. from the Mexican Trogon melanocephalus Gould, 1936 and Trogon massena Gould, 1938. We also found Brueelia cicchinoi on Trogon melanurus, Trogon collaris and Pharomachrus pavoninus. Thus Brueelia cicchinoi is found on multiple trogoniform hosts across an extremely large geographic distribution and has one of the largest number of host associations among Brueelia species.

  17. Mercury exposure may influence fluctuating asymmetry in waterbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herring, Garth; Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Ackerman, Joshua T

    2017-06-01

    Variation in avian bilateral symmetry can be an indicator of developmental instability in response to a variety of stressors, including environmental contaminants. The authors used composite measures of fluctuating asymmetry to examine the influence of mercury concentrations in 2 tissues on fluctuating asymmetry within 4 waterbird species. Fluctuating asymmetry increased with mercury concentrations in whole blood and breast feathers of Forster's terns (Sterna forsteri), a species with elevated mercury concentrations. Specifically, fluctuating asymmetry in rectrix feather 1 was the most strongly correlated structural variable of those tested (wing chord, tarsus, primary feather 10, rectrix feather 6) with mercury concentrations in Forster's terns. However, for American avocets (Recurvirostra americana), black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), and Caspian terns (Hydroprogne caspia), the authors found no relationship between fluctuating asymmetry and either whole-blood or breast feather mercury concentrations, even though these species had moderate to elevated mercury exposure. The results indicate that mercury contamination may act as an environmental stressor during development and feather growth and contribute to fluctuating asymmetry of some species of highly contaminated waterbirds. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1599-1605. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

  18. Mercury exposure may influence fluctuating asymmetry in waterbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herring, Garth; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Ackerman, Joshua T.

    2017-01-01

    Variation in avian bilateral symmetry can be an indicator of developmental instability in response to a variety of stressors, including environmental contaminants. The authors used composite measures of fluctuating asymmetry to examine the influence of mercury concentrations in 2 tissues on fluctuating asymmetry within 4 waterbird species. Fluctuating asymmetry increased with mercury concentrations in whole blood and breast feathers of Forster's terns (Sterna forsteri), a species with elevated mercury concentrations. Specifically, fluctuating asymmetry in rectrix feather 1 was the most strongly correlated structural variable of those tested (wing chord, tarsus, primary feather 10, rectrix feather 6) with mercury concentrations in Forster's terns. However, for American avocets (Recurvirostra americana), black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), and Caspian terns (Hydroprogne caspia), the authors found no relationship between fluctuating asymmetry and either whole-blood or breast feather mercury concentrations, even though these species had moderate to elevated mercury exposure. The results indicate that mercury contamination may act as an environmental stressor during development and feather growth and contribute to fluctuating asymmetry of some species of highly contaminated waterbirds.

  19. DNA sequences of troglobitic nicoletiid insects support Sierra de El Abra and the Sierra de Guatemala as a single biogeographical area: Implications for Astyanax

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    Luis Espinasa

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The blind Mexican tetra fish, Astyanax mexicanus, has become the most influential model for research of cave adapted organisms. Many authors assume that the Sierra de Guatemala populations and the Sierra de El Abra populations are derived from two independent colonizations. This assumption arises in part from biogeography. The 100 m high, 100 m wide Servilleta Canyon of the Boquillas River separates both mountain ranges and is an apparent barrier for troglobite dispersion. Anelpistina quinterensis (Nicoletiidae, Zygentoma, Insecta is one of the most troglomorphic nicoletiid silverfish insects ever described. 16S rRNA sequences support that this species migrated underground to reach both mountain ranges within less than 12,000 years. Furthermore, literature shows a plethora of aquatic and terrestrial cave restricted species that inhabit both mountain ranges. Thus, the Servilleta canyon has not been an effective biological barrier that prevented underground migration of troglobites between the Sierra de Guatemala and the Sierra de El Abra. The Boquillas River has changed its course throughout time. Caves that in the past connected the two Sierras were only recently geologically truncated by the erosion of the new river course. It is likely that, with the geological changes of the area and throughout the 2-8 million years of evolutionary history of cave Astyanax, there have been opportunities to migrate across the Servilleta canyon.

  20. Fish larvae from the Gulf of California

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    Gerardo Aceves-Medina

    2003-03-01

    Full Text Available Taxonomic composition of fish larvae was analysed from 464 plankton samples obtained during 10 oceanographic surveys in the Gulf of California between 1984 and 1988. We identified 283 taxa: 173 species, 57 genera, and 53 families. Tropical and subtropical species predominated except during the winter, when temperate-subarctic species were dominant. The most abundant species were the mesopelagic Benthosema panamense, Triphoturus mexicanus and Vinciguerria lucetia, but the coastal pelagic species Engraulis mordax, Opisthonema spp., Sardinops caeruleus and Scomber japonicus were also prominent. The taxonomic composition of the ichthyoplankton shows the seasonality of the Gulf as well as environmental changes that occurred between the 1984-1987 warm period and the 1956-1957 cool period previously reported. The presence of E. mordax larvae as one of the most abundant species in the Gulf provides evidence of the reproduction of this species two years before the development of the northern anchovy fishery and the decline of the sardine fishery in the Gulf of California.

  1. Mercury and selenium contamination in waterbird eggs and risk to avian reproduction at Great Salt Lake, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Hartman, Christopher A.; Isanhart, John P.; Herring, Garth; Vaughn, Sharon; Cavitt, John F.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Browers, Howard; Cline, Chris; Vest, Josh

    2015-01-01

    The wetlands of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem are recognized regionally, nationally, and hemispherically for their importance as breeding, wintering, and migratory habitat for diverse groups of waterbirds. Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is the largest freshwater component of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem and provides critical breeding habitat for more than 60 bird species. However, the Great Salt Lake ecosystem also has a history of both mercury and selenium contamination, and this pollution could reduce the health and reproductive success of waterbirds. The overall objective of this study was to evaluate the risk of mercury and selenium contamination to birds breeding within Great Salt Lake, especially at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, and to identify the waterbird species and areas at greatest risk to contamination. We sampled eggs from 33 species of birds breeding within wetlands of Great Salt Lake during 2010 ̶ 2012 and focused on American avocets (Recurvirostra americana), black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), Forster’s terns (Sterna forsteri), white-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi), and marsh wrens (Cistothorus palustris) for additional studies of the effects of contaminants on reproduction.

  2. Embryo malposition as a potential mechanism for mercury-induced hatching failure in bird eggs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herring, G.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.

    2010-01-01

    We examined the prevalence of embryo malpositions and deformities in relation to total mercury (THg) and selenium (Se) concentrations in American avocet (Recurvirostra americana), black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus), and Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) eggs in San Francisco Bay (CA, USA) during 2005 to 2007. Overall, 11% of embryos were malpositioned in eggs ???18 d of age (n=282) and 2% of embryos were deformed in eggs ???13 d of age (n=470). Considering only those eggs that failed to hatch (n=62), malpositions occurred in 24% of eggs ???18 d of age and deformities occurred in 7% of eggs ???13 d of age. The probability of an embryo being malpositioned increased with egg THg concentrations in Forster's terns, but not in avocets or stilts. The probability of embryo deformity was not related to egg THg concentrations in any species. Using a reduced dataset with both Se and THg concentrations measured in eggs (n=87), we found no interaction between Se and THg on the probability of an embryo being malpositioned or deformed. Results of the present study indicate that embryo malpositions were prevalent in waterbird eggs that failed to hatch and the likelihood of an embryo being malpositioned increased with egg THg concentrations in Forster's terns. We hypothesize that malpositioning of avian embryos may be one reason for mercury-related hatching failure that occurs late in incubation, but further research is needed to elucidate this potential mechanism. ?? 2010 SETAC.

  3. Isolation and structural elucidation of secondary metabolites of plants of the families asteraceae and urticaceae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Villagra Quesada, E.

    2002-01-01

    A phytochemistry study of plant's species of the Asteraceae and Urticaceae family is proposed in order to isolate and to elucidate the structure of active principles; due to the fact that several studies have found that some of these families have compounds with anti-inflammatory activity, mainly lactonas sesquiterpenicas . The phytochemistry study was carried out through the application of chromatography techniques, for the separation and purification of the compounds. Includes chromatography of column, fine and liquid layer of high resolution. On the other hand, spectroscopic techniques were used for the elucidation, mainly of nuclear magnetic resonance (RMN) as much of one as of two dimensions. In this way, it was possible to isolate 14 compounds in Decachaeta thieleana and 10 in Phenax mexicanus, from which 6 correspond compounds of innovative structure. The comparison of the results obtained in Decachaeta thieleana (with previous studies) evidences that specimens, orphologically identical (the same species, but different locations), possess totally different compounds. This suggests that the studied specimens do not correspond to the same species. However, the determination of such a cause not only evade the objectives of this work but also the area of study of Chemistry [es

  4. Response of brown anoles Anolis sagrei to multimodal signals from a native and novel predator

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    Omar L. ELMASRI, Marcus S. MORENO, Courtney A. NEUMANN, Daniel T. BLUMSTEIN

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Multiple studies have focused on the importance of single modalities (visual, auditory, olfactory in eliciting anti-predator behavior, however multiple channels are often engaged simultaneously. While examining responses to multiple cues can potentially reveal more complex behavioral responses, little is known about how multimodal processing evolves. By contrasting response to familiar and novel predators, insights can be gained into the evolution of multimodal responses. We studied brown anoles’ (Anolis sagrei response to acoustic and visual predatory cues of a common potential predator, the great-tailed grackle Quiscalus mexicanus and to the American kestrel Falco sparverius, a species found in other populations but not present in our study population. We observed anole behavior before and after a stimulus and quantified rates of looking, display, and locomotion. Anoles increased their rate of locomotion in response to grackle models, an effect modulated by grackle vocalizations. No such response or modulation was seen when anoles were presented with kestrel stimuli. This suggests that the degree of sophistication of anole response to predators is experience dependent and that relaxed selection can result in reduced anti-predator response following loss of predators [Current Zoology 58 (6: 791–796, 2012].

  5. Small mammals from the Chelemhá Cloud Forest Reserve, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matson, Jason O.; Ordóñez-Garza, Nicté; Woodman, Neal; Bulmer, Walter; Eckerlin, Ralph P.; Hanson, J. Delton

    2014-01-01

    We surveyed the small mammals of remnant mixed hardwood-coniferous cloud forest at elevations ranging from 2,100–2,300 m in the Chelemhá Cloud Forest Reserve, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Removal-trapping using a combination of live traps, snap traps, and pitfall traps for 6 days in January 2007 resulted in 175 captures of 15 species of marsupials, shrews, and rodents. This diversity of small mammals is the highest that we have recorded from a single locality of the 10 visited during eight field seasons in the highlands of Guatemala. Based on captures, the most abundant species in the community of small mammals is Peromyscus grandis (n = 50), followed by Handleyomys rhabdops (n = 27), Heteromys desmarestianus(n = 18), Reithrodontomys mexicanus (n = 17), Handleyomys saturatior (n = 16), Sorex veraepacis (n = 15), and Scotinomys teguina (n = 13). The remaining eight species were represented by one to five individuals.

  6. Estimating raptor nesting success: old and new approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Jessi L.; Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; Bond, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Studies of nesting success can be valuable in assessing the status of raptor populations, but differing monitoring protocols can present unique challenges when comparing populations of different species across time or geographic areas. We used large datasets from long-term studies of 3 raptor species to compare estimates of apparent nest success (ANS, the ratio of successful to total number of nesting attempts), Mayfield nesting success, and the logistic-exposure model of nest survival. Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus), and American kestrels (F. sparverius) differ in their breeding biology and the methods often used to monitor their reproduction. Mayfield and logistic-exposure models generated similar estimates of nesting success with similar levels of precision. Apparent nest success overestimated nesting success and was particularly sensitive to inclusion of nesting attempts discovered late in the nesting season. Thus, the ANS estimator is inappropriate when exact point estimates are required, especially when most raptor pairs cannot be located before or soon after laying eggs. However, ANS may be sufficient to assess long-term trends of species in which nesting attempts are highly detectable.

  7. A Genomic Survey of SCPP Family Genes in Fishes Provides Novel Insights into the Evolution of Fish Scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Yunyun; Kawasaki, Kazuhiko; Li, Jia; Li, Yanping; Bian, Chao; Huang, Yu; You, Xinxin; Shi, Qiong

    2017-11-16

    The family of secretory calcium-binding phosphoproteins (SCPPs) have been considered vital to skeletal tissue mineralization. However, most previous SCPP studies focused on phylogenetically distant animals but not on those closely related species. Here we provide novel insights into the coevolution of SCPP genes and fish scales in 10 species from Otophysi . According to their scale phenotypes, these fishes can be divided into three groups, i.e., scaled, sparsely scaled, and scaleless. We identified homologous SCPP genes in the genomes of these species and revealed an absence of some SCPP members in some genomes, suggesting an uneven evolutionary history of SCPP genes in fishes. In addition, most of these SCPP genes, with the exception of SPP1 , individually form one or two gene cluster(s) on each corresponding genome. Furthermore, we constructed phylogenetic trees using maximum likelihood method to estimate their evolution. The phylogenetic topology mostly supports two subclasses in some species, such as Cyprinus carpio , Sinocyclocheilus anshuiensis , S. grahamin , and S. rhinocerous , but not in the other examined fishes. By comparing the gene structures of recently reported candidate genes, SCPP1 and SCPP5 , for determining scale phenotypes, we found that the hypothesis is suitable for Astyanax mexicanus , but denied by S. anshuiensis , even though they are both sparsely scaled for cave adaptation. Thus, we conclude that, although different fish species display similar scale phenotypes, the underlying genetic changes however might be diverse. In summary, this paper accelerates the recognition of the SCPP family in teleosts for potential scale evolution.

  8. Manipulation of Fgf and Bmp signaling in teleost fishes suggests potential pathways for the evolutionary origin of multicuspid teeth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackman, William R; Davies, Shelby H; Lyons, David B; Stauder, Caitlin K; Denton-Schneider, Benjamin R; Jowdry, Andrea; Aigler, Sharon R; Vogel, Scott A; Stock, David W

    2013-01-01

    Teeth with two or more cusps have arisen independently from an ancestral unicuspid condition in a variety of vertebrate lineages, including sharks, teleost fishes, amphibians, lizards, and mammals. One potential explanation for the repeated origins of multicuspid teeth is the existence of multiple adaptive pathways leading to them, as suggested by their different uses in these lineages. Another is that the addition of cusps required only minor changes in genetic pathways regulating tooth development. Here we provide support for the latter hypothesis by demonstrating that manipulation of the levels of Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) or Bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) signaling produces bicuspid teeth in the zebrafish (Danio rerio), a species lacking multicuspid teeth in its ancestry. The generality of these results for teleosts is suggested by the conversion of unicuspid pharyngeal teeth into bicuspid teeth by similar manipulations of the Mexican Tetra (Astyanax mexicanus). That these manipulations also produced supernumerary teeth in both species supports previous suggestions of similarities in the molecular control of tooth and cusp number. We conclude that despite their apparent complexity, the evolutionary origin of multicuspid teeth is positively constrained, likely requiring only slight modifications of a pre-existing mechanism for patterning the number and spacing of individual teeth. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Foliicolous fungi from Arctostaphylos pungens in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Rico, Onésimo; Groenewald, Johannes Z; Crous, Pedro W

    2014-06-01

    Arctostaphylos pungens "Manzanita" is an important shrub in the southwestern USA, and northern and central Mexico. Manzanita bears apple-like fruit that is utilised for a range of edible products. Over the past two years, several foliar disease problems were noted on this host in the San José de Gracia region of Mexico. The aim of the present study was to elucidate their identity through the analysis of morphological characters and DNA phylogeny (based on the large subunit nuclear ribosomal RNA gene and the ITS spacers and the intervening 5.8S rRNA gene of the nrDNA operon) of the fungi associated with these disease symptoms. Three species are newly described: Phaeococcomyces mexicanus sp. nov., a presumed epiphyte, and two species associated with leaf spots and defoliation, namely Coccomyces arctostaphyloides sp. nov. and Passalora arctostaphyli sp. nov. A fourth species is also associated with leaf spots and tip dieback is Harknessia arctostaphyli, for which an epitype is designated. All species can co-occur on the same shrub, which adds to the stress experienced by the plant, leading to further defoliation and dieback.

  10. Long-term prairie falcon population changes in relation to prey abundance, weather, land uses, and habitat conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; Carpenter, L.B.; Lehman, Robert N.

    1999-01-01

    We studied a nesting population of Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) from 1974-1997 to identify factors that influence abundance and reproduction. Our sampling period included two major droughts and associated crashes in Townsend's ground squirrel (Spermophilus townsendii) populations. The number of Prairie Falcon pairs found on long-term survey segments declined significantly from 1976-1997. Early declines were most severe at the eastern end of the NCA, where fires and agriculture have changed native shrubsteppe habitat. More recent declines occurred in the portion of canyon near the Orchard Training Area (OTA), where the Idaho Army National Guard conducts artillery firing and tank maneuvers. Overall Prairie Falcon reproductive rates were tied closely to annual indexes of ground squirrel abundance, but precipitation before and during the breeding season was related inversely to some measures of reproduction. Most reproductive parameters showed no significant trends over time, but during the 1990s, nesting success and productivity were lower in the stretch of canyon near the OTA than in adjacent areas. Extensive shrub loss, by itself, did not explain the pattern of declines in abundance and reproduction that we observed. Recent military training activities likely have interacted with fire and livestock grazing to create less than favorable foraging opportunities for Prairie Falcons in a large part of the NCA. To maintain Prairie Falcon populations in the NCA, managers should suppress wildfires, restore native plant communities, and regulate potentially incompatible land uses.

  11. Maternal transfer of contaminants in birds: Mercury and selenium concentrations in parents and their eggs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark P.; Hartman, C. Alex

    2016-01-01

    We conducted a detailed assessment of the maternal transfer of mercury and selenium to eggs in three bird species (n = 107 parents and n = 339 eggs), and developed predictive equations linking contaminant concentrations in eggs to those in six tissues of the mother (blood, muscle, liver, kidney, breast feathers, and head feathers). Mercury concentrations in eggs were positively correlated with mercury concentrations in each of the mother's internal tissues (R2 ≥ 0.95), but generally not with feathers. For each species, the proportion of mercury transferred to eggs decreased as mercury concentrations in the mother increased. At the same maternal mercury concentration, the proportion of mercury transferred to eggs differed among species, such that Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) and black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) females transferred more methylmercury to their eggs than American avocet (Recurvirostra americana) females. Selenium concentrations in eggs also were correlated with selenium concentrations in the mother's liver (R2 = 0.87). Furthermore, mercury and selenium concentrations in tern eggs were positively correlated with those in the father (R2 = 0.84). Incubating male terns had 21% higher mercury concentrations in blood compared to incubating females at the same egg mercury concentration. We provide equations to predict contaminant concentrations in eggs from each of the commonly sampled bird tissues.

  12. Winter habitat associations of diurnal raptors in Californias Central Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandolrno, E.R.; Herzog, M.P.; Hooper, S.L.; Smith, Z.

    2011-01-01

    The wintering raptors of California's Central Valley are abundant and diverse. Despite this, little information exists on the habitats used by these birds in winter. We recorded diurnal raptors along 19 roadside survey routes throughout the Central Valley for three consecutive winters between 2007 and 2010. We obtained data sufficient to determine significant positive and negative habitat associations for the White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus), Bald Eagle {Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus), Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus), American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), and Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus). The Prairie Falcon and Ferruginous and Rough-legged hawks showed expected strong positive associations with grasslands. The Bald Eagle and Northern Harrier were positively associated not only with wetlands but also with rice. The strongest positive association for the White-tailed Kite was with wetlands. The Red-tailed Hawk was positively associated with a variety of habitat types but most strongly with wetlands and rice. The American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, and White-tailed Kite were positively associated with alfalfa. Nearly all species were negatively associated with urbanized landscapes, orchards, and other intensive forms of agriculture. The White-tailed Kite, Northern Harrier, Redtailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, and American Kestrel showed significant negative associations with oak savanna. Given the rapid conversion of the Central Valley to urban and intensive agricultural uses over the past few decades, these results have important implications for conservation of these wintering raptors in this region.

  13. Mercury contamination and effects on survival of American avocet and black-necked stilt chicks in San Francisco Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T; Takekawa, John Y; Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Iverson, Samuel A

    2008-02-01

    We evaluated whether mercury influenced survival of free-ranging American avocet (Recurvirostra americana) and black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) chicks in San Francisco Bay, California. Using radio telemetry, we radio-marked 158 avocet and 79 stilt chicks at hatching and tracked them daily until their fate was determined. We did not find strong support for an influence of in ovo mercury exposure on chick survival, despite observing a wide range of mercury concentrations in chick down feathers at hatching (0.40-44.31 microg g(-1) fw). We estimated that chick survival rates were reduced by nest monitoring. In contrast to the telemetry results, we found that mercury concentrations in down feathers of dead chicks were higher than those in randomly-sampled live chicks of similar age. However, capture site was the most important variable influencing mercury concentrations, followed by year, species, and hatching date. Although laboratory studies have demonstrated negative effects of environmentally relevant mercury concentrations on chick survival, our results concur with the small number of previous field studies that have not been able to detect reduced survival in the wild.

  14. Anatomy and histochemistry of hindlimb flight posture in birds. I. The extended hindlimb posture of shorebirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, Joshua C; Meyers, Ron A

    2008-08-01

    Birds utilize one of two hindlimb postures during flight: an extended posture (with the hip and knee joints flexed, while the ankle joint is extended caudally) or a flexed posture (with the hip, knee, and ankle joints flexed beneath the body). American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana) and Black-necked Stilts (Himantopus mexicanus) extend their legs caudally during flight and support them for extended periods. Slow tonic and slow twitch muscle fibers are typically found in muscles functioning in postural support due to the fatigue resistance of these fibers. We hypothesized that a set of small muscles composed of high percentages of slow fibers and thus dedicated to postural support would function in securing the legs in the extended posture during flight. This study examined the anatomy and histochemical profile of eleven hindlimb muscles to gain insight into their functional roles during flight. Contrary to our hypothesis, all muscles possessed both fast twitch and slow twitch or slow tonic fibers. We believe this finding is due to the versatility of dynamic and postural functions the leg muscles must facilitate, including standing, walking, running, swimming, and hindlimb support during flight. Whether birds use an extended or flexed hindlimb flight posture may be related to the aerodynamic effect of leg position or may reflect evolutionary history. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. Monocrotophos and dicrotophos residues in birds as a result of misuse of organophosphates in Matagorda county Texas USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flickinger, Edward L.; White, D.H.; Mitchell, C.A.; Lamont, T.G.

    1984-01-01

    About 1100 birds of 12 spp. [Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus), brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), mourning dove (Zenaida macrours), Eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna), vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus), common snipe (Gallinago gallinago), blue-winged teal (Anas discors), mottled duck (Anas fulvigula), common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), redhead (Aythya americana) and ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres)] died from organophosphate poisoning in Matagorda County on the Texas Gulf Coast in March and May 1982. Birds died from feeding on rice seed that was illegally treated with dicrotophos or monocrotophos and placed near rice fields as bait to attract and kill birds. Brain acetylcholinesterase inhibition of affected birds averaged 87% (range 82-89%), and contents of gastrointestinal tracts contained residues of dicrotophos (5.6-14 ppm) or monocrotophos (2.1-13 ppm). Rice seed collected at mortality sites contained 210 ppm dicrotophos or 950 ppm monocrotophos. Mortality from dicrotophos poisoning continued for almost 3 wk. The practice of illegally treating rice seed with either of the 2 organophosphates appears to be infrequent but widespread at present.

  16. Azodrin® poisoning of waterfowl in rice fields in Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, D.H.; Mitchell, C.A.; Kolbe, E.J.; Ferguson, W.H.

    1983-01-01

    During the period 2-4 April 1981 about 100 birds, mostly ducks and geese, were found dead and dying in a rice field near Sweet Lake, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Fresh specimens were collected to determine the cause of mortality. Birds were placed individually in polyethylene freezer bags, tagged, and frozen soon after collection. Four snow geese (Chen caerulescens), two blue-winged teal (Anas discors), one green-winged teal (Anas crecca), and one mottled duck (Anas fulvigula) were shipped to the National Wildlife Health Laboratory (NWHL), Madison, Wisconsin, for necropsy and pathological examination. Ten snow geese, 10 blue-winged teal, three green-winged teal, three great-tailed grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus), and eight red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) were transported to the Gulf Coast Field Station, Victoria, Texas, for brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity determinations and preparation for chemical residue analysis. Additionally, apparently healthy specimens of the affected species were collected near Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Victoria, Texas, to serve as controls in the analyses.

  17. Catarrhal proventriculitis associated with a filamentous organism in pet birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, S S; Park, J H; Hirai, K; Itakura, C

    1992-12-01

    Catarrhal proventriculitis due to infection by an unidentified organism was diagnosed in 79 of 534 pet birds examined histologically. It was more prevalent in domestic birds (70 cases) than in imported ones (9 cases). A high incidence of the disease was encountered in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and it was occasionally found in finches (Poephila gouldiae gouldiae), parakeets (Psittacula Krameri manillensis), Amazona parrots (Amazona aestiva aestiva) and cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus). The agent was a large filamentous rod, and was stained positively with Gram, GMS and PAS methods. Histologically, it induced a mild to moderate exudative or proliferative inflammation in the proventriculus. All the cases had an erosion in the gizzard. Ultrastructurally, the organism had a eukaryotic nucleus and three cell-wall layers. Concurrent infections were very common, including adenoviruses (37 cases), giardiasis (31 cases), candidiasis (13 cases), papovaviruses (11 cases) and knemidocoptic mites (11 cases).

  18. Quantitative densitometry of neurotransmitter receptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rainbow, T.C.; Bleisch, W.V.; Biegon, A.; McEwen, B.S.

    1982-01-01

    An autoradiographic procedure is described that allows the quantitative measurement of neurotransmitter receptors by optical density readings. Frozen brain sections are labeled in vitro with [ 3 H]ligands under conditions that maximize specific binding to neurotransmitter receptors. The labeled sections are then placed against the 3 H-sensitive LKB Ultrofilm to produce the autoradiograms. These autoradiograms resemble those produced by [ 14 C]deoxyglucose autoradiography and are suitable for quantitative analysis with a densitometer. Muscarinic cholinergic receptors in rat and zebra finch brain and 5-HT receptors in rat brain were visualized by this method. When the proper combination of ligand concentration and exposure time are used, the method provides quantitative information about the amount and affinity of neurotransmitter receptors in brain sections. This was established by comparisons of densitometric readings with parallel measurements made by scintillation counting of sections. (Auth.)

  19. Single-particle characterization of ice-nucleating particles and ice particle residuals sampled by three different techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worringen, A.; Kandler, K.; Benker, N.; Dirsch, T.; Mertes, S.; Schenk, L.; Kästner, U.; Frank, F.; Nillius, B.; Bundke, U.; Rose, D.; Curtius, J.; Kupiszewski, P.; Weingartner, E.; Vochezer, P.; Schneider, J.; Schmidt, S.; Weinbruch, S.; Ebert, M.

    2015-04-01

    In the present work, three different techniques to separate ice-nucleating particles (INPs) as well as ice particle residuals (IPRs) from non-ice-active particles are compared. The Ice Selective Inlet (ISI) and the Ice Counterflow Virtual Impactor (Ice-CVI) sample ice particles from mixed-phase clouds and allow after evaporation in the instrument for the analysis of the residuals. The Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH) coupled with the Ice Nuclei Pumped Counterflow Virtual Impactor (IN-PCVI) provides ice-activating conditions to aerosol particles and extracts the activated particles for analysis. The instruments were run during a joint field campaign which took place in January and February 2013 at the High Alpine Research Station Jungfraujoch (Switzerland). INPs and IPRs were analyzed offline by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis to determine their size, chemical composition and mixing state. Online analysis of the size and chemical composition of INP activated in FINCH was performed by laser ablation mass spectrometry. With all three INP/IPR separation techniques high abundances (median 20-70%) of instrumental contamination artifacts were observed (ISI: Si-O spheres, probably calibration aerosol; Ice-CVI: Al-O particles; FINCH + IN-PCVI: steel particles). After removal of the instrumental contamination particles, silicates, Ca-rich particles, carbonaceous material and metal oxides were the major INP/IPR particle types obtained by all three techniques. In addition, considerable amounts (median abundance mostly a few percent) of soluble material (e.g., sea salt, sulfates) were observed. As these soluble particles are often not expected to act as INP/IPR, we consider them as potential measurement artifacts. Minor types of INP/IPR include soot and Pb-bearing particles. The Pb-bearing particles are mainly present as an internal mixture with other particle types. Most samples showed a maximum of the INP/IPR size distribution at 200

  20. Do Hypervolumes Have Holes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blonder, Benjamin

    2016-04-01

    Hypervolumes are used widely to conceptualize niches and trait distributions for both species and communities. Some hypervolumes are expected to be convex, with boundaries defined by only upper and lower limits (e.g., fundamental niches), while others are expected to be maximal, with boundaries defined by the limits of available space (e.g., potential niches). However, observed hypervolumes (e.g., realized niches) could also have holes, defined as unoccupied hyperspace representing deviations from these expectations that may indicate unconsidered ecological or evolutionary processes. Detecting holes in more than two dimensions has to date not been possible. I develop a mathematical approach, implemented in the hypervolume R package, to infer holes in large and high-dimensional data sets. As a demonstration analysis, I assess evidence for vacant niches in a Galapagos finch community on Isabela Island. These mathematical concepts and software tools for detecting holes provide approaches for addressing contemporary research questions across ecology and evolutionary biology.

  1. Reviews of recent publications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Paul Kong. The Raiders and Writers of Cervantes’ Archive: Borges, Puig, and García Márquez by José Fernando Olascoaga J. J. Long. W. G. Sebald: Image, Archive, Modernity by Helen Finch Andrew Baruch Wachtel. Plays of Expectations: Intertextual Relations in Russian Twentieth-Century Drama by Volha Isakava David Jenemann. Adorno in America by Ruth Starkman Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. Heidegger and the Politics of Poetry by Derek Hillard Horacio Legras. Literature and Subjection: the Economy of Writing and Marginality in Latin America by Abraham Acosta Hélène Cixous. Love Itself in the Letterbox by Natalie Edwards Zulema Moret. Esas niñas cuando crecen, ¿Dónde van a parar? by Julia A. Kushigian Terry Eagleton. Trouble with Strangers: A Study of Ethics by Melanie Collado Dominic Moran. Pablo Neruda by Donald Shaw

  2. [Leukosis in captive wild birds].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loupal, G

    1984-10-01

    Among 2589 captive wild birds, examined between 1974 and 1983, we found leukosis in 26 birds belonging to 13 different species and five orders. We diagnosed lymphoid leukosis in 11 birds (two Melopsittacus undulatus, two Psittacus erithacus one Platycerus eximius, one Columba livia, one Streptopelia decaocto, one Polyplectron bicalcaratum, one Pavo cristatus, one Aptenodytes patachonia and one finch, species unknown), myeloid leukosis in 14 (nine Melopsittacus undulatus, two Agapomis personata fischeri, two Urgeainthus bengalus and one Neophemia pulchella) and stem cell leukosis in one bird (Serinus canaria). Among the cases with lymphoid leukosis we distinguished between lymphoblastic (four cases) and prolymphocytic forms (seven). Myeloid leukosis was subdivided into poorly differentiated (12 cases) and well differentiated myeloblastosis (two).

  3. A Neural Code That Is Isometric to Vocal Output and Correlates with Its Sensory Consequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexei L Vyssotski

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available What cortical inputs are provided to motor control areas while they drive complex learned behaviors? We study this question in the nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf, which is required for normal birdsong production and provides the main source of auditory input to HVC, the driver of adult song. In juvenile and adult zebra finches, we find that spikes in NIf projection neurons precede vocalizations by several tens of milliseconds and are insensitive to distortions of auditory feedback. We identify a local isometry between NIf output and vocalizations: quasi-identical notes produced in different syllables are preceded by highly similar NIf spike patterns. NIf multiunit firing during song precedes responses in auditory cortical neurons by about 50 ms, revealing delayed congruence between NIf spiking and a neural representation of auditory feedback. Our findings suggest that NIf codes for imminent acoustic events within vocal performance.

  4. Dynamics of faunistic complexes of parasitic organisms in the Chernobyl' NPP zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Labetskaya, A.G.; Balashina, N.S.; Kireenko, K.M.; Bychkova, E.I.; Efremova, G.A.; Tereshkina, N.V.

    1990-01-01

    The results of studies made in the Chernobyl' NPP 30-km zone, which deal with estimation of species composition and number of parasites, mammals, birds, their nest inhabitants and blood-suching insects, are discussed. It is shown that parasite species variaty is higher on the contaminated territory as compared with the control one. Number of arthropoda is greater, and those of helmines and winged blood-suching insects are smaller on the contaminated territories. The main carriers of parasites among birds are starlings, larks and tomtits in contaminated regions and those are chiff-chaff and finches in the control areas. The level of nest contaminations for rodents and birds correlates with environment contamination level

  5. A sex-chromosome inversion causes strong overdominance for sperm traits that affect siring success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, Ulrich; Forstmeier, Wolfgang; Pei, Yifan; Ihle, Malika; Wang, Daiping; Martin, Katrin; Opatová, Pavlína; Albrechtová, Jana; Wittig, Michael; Franke, Andre; Albrecht, Tomáš; Kempenaers, Bart

    2017-08-01

    Male reproductive success depends on the competitive ability of sperm to fertilize the ova, which should lead to strong selection on sperm characteristics. This raises the question of how heritable variation in sperm traits is maintained. Here we show that in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) nearly half of the variance in sperm morphology is explained by an inversion on the Z chromosome with a 40% allele frequency in the wild. The sperm of males that are heterozygous for the inversion had the longest midpieces and the highest velocity. Furthermore, such males achieved the highest fertility and the highest siring success, both within-pair and extra-pair. Males homozygous for the derived allele show detrimental sperm characteristics and the lowest siring success. Our results suggest heterozygote advantage as the mechanism that maintains the inversion polymorphism and hence variance in sperm design and in fitness.

  6. A canonical neural mechanism for behavioral variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darshan, Ran; Wood, William E.; Peters, Susan; Leblois, Arthur; Hansel, David

    2017-05-01

    The ability to generate variable movements is essential for learning and adjusting complex behaviours. This variability has been linked to the temporal irregularity of neuronal activity in the central nervous system. However, how neuronal irregularity actually translates into behavioural variability is unclear. Here we combine modelling, electrophysiological and behavioural studies to address this issue. We demonstrate that a model circuit comprising topographically organized and strongly recurrent neural networks can autonomously generate irregular motor behaviours. Simultaneous recordings of neurons in singing finches reveal that neural correlations increase across the circuit driving song variability, in agreement with the model predictions. Analysing behavioural data, we find remarkable similarities in the babbling statistics of 5-6-month-old human infants and juveniles from three songbird species and show that our model naturally accounts for these `universal' statistics.

  7. Supervised learning in spiking neural networks with FORCE training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicola, Wilten; Clopath, Claudia

    2017-12-20

    Populations of neurons display an extraordinary diversity in the behaviors they affect and display. Machine learning techniques have recently emerged that allow us to create networks of model neurons that display behaviors of similar complexity. Here we demonstrate the direct applicability of one such technique, the FORCE method, to spiking neural networks. We train these networks to mimic dynamical systems, classify inputs, and store discrete sequences that correspond to the notes of a song. Finally, we use FORCE training to create two biologically motivated model circuits. One is inspired by the zebra finch and successfully reproduces songbird singing. The second network is motivated by the hippocampus and is trained to store and replay a movie scene. FORCE trained networks reproduce behaviors comparable in complexity to their inspired circuits and yield information not easily obtainable with other techniques, such as behavioral responses to pharmacological manipulations and spike timing statistics.

  8. Breeding of the plain-mantled tit-spintail (Leptasthenura aegithaloides in a variable hawk (Geranoaetus polyosoma nest in the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrich Cerpa

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available A strategy to avoid nest predation by various bird species is the selection of inaccessible sites or sites of actual danger for potential predators. In this sense nesting near a top predator may be an effective strategy to avoid nest predation, if this predator does not have a preference for eggs or nestlings of the first species. This note reports the first record of nesting by Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetail (Leptasthenura aegithaloides Kittlitz, 1830 in an active nest of the variable Hawk (Geranoaetus polyosoma Quoy & Gaimard, 1824 and the nesting of the common diuca-finch (Diuca diuca Molina, 1782 nearby, during two consecutive years, in the Atacama Desert, Chile. This occurred during the “flowering desert” phenomenon in October of 2014 and September of 2015. We discuss hypotheses that may explain this biological association and its possible ecological implications.

  9. From neurons to nests: nest-building behaviour as a model in behavioural and comparative neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Zachary J; Meddle, Simone L; Healy, Susan D

    Despite centuries of observing the nest building of most extant bird species, we know surprisingly little about how birds build nests and, specifically, how the avian brain controls nest building. Here, we argue that nest building in birds may be a useful model behaviour in which to study how the brain controls behaviour. Specifically, we argue that nest building as a behavioural model provides a unique opportunity to study not only the mechanisms through which the brain controls behaviour within individuals of a single species but also how evolution may have shaped the brain to produce interspecific variation in nest-building behaviour. In this review, we outline the questions in both behavioural and comparative neuroscience that nest building could be used to address, summarize recent findings regarding the neurobiology of nest building in lab-reared zebra finches and across species building different nest structures, and suggest some future directions for the neurobiology of nest building.

  10. Higher-dimensional relativistic-fluid spheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patel, L. K.; Ahmedabad, Gujarat Univ.

    1997-01-01

    They consider the hydrostatic equilibrium of relativistic-fluid spheres for a D-dimensional space-time. Three physically viable interior solutions of the Einstein field equations corresponding to perfect-fluid spheres in a D-dimensional space-time are obtained. When D = 4 they reduce to the Tolman IV solution, the Mehra solution and the Finch-Skea solution. The solutions are smoothly matched with the D-dimensional Schwarzschild exterior solution at the boundary r = a of the fluid sphere. Some physical features and other related details of the solutions are briefly discussed. A brief description of two other new solutions for higher-dimensional perfect-fluid spheres is also given

  11. Sensorimotor nucleus NIf is necessary for auditory processing but not vocal motor output in the avian song system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardin, Jessica A; Raksin, Jonathan N; Schmidt, Marc F

    2005-04-01

    Sensorimotor integration in the avian song system is crucial for both learning and maintenance of song, a vocal motor behavior. Although a number of song system areas demonstrate both sensory and motor characteristics, their exact roles in auditory and premotor processing are unclear. In particular, it is unknown whether input from the forebrain nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf), which exhibits both sensory and premotor activity, is necessary for both auditory and premotor processing in its target, HVC. Here we show that bilateral NIf lesions result in long-term loss of HVC auditory activity but do not impair song production. NIf is thus a major source of auditory input to HVC, but an intact NIf is not necessary for motor output in adult zebra finches.

  12. Seed dispersal networks in the Galápagos and the consequences of alien plant invasions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heleno, R. H.; Olesen, Jens Mogens; Nogales, M.

    2013-01-01

    Alien plants are a growing threat to the Gala´pagos unique biota. We evaluated the impact of alien plants on eight seed dispersal networks from two islands of the archipelago. Nearly 10 000 intact seeds from 58 species were recovered from the droppings of 18 bird and reptile dispersers. The most......, followed by small ground finch, two mockingbirds, the giant tortoise and two insectivorous birds. Most animals dispersed alien seeds, but these formed a relatively small proportion of the interactions. Nevertheless, the integration of aliens was higher in the island that has been invaded for longest......, suggesting a time-lag between alien plant introductions and their impacts on seed dispersal networks. Alien plants become more specialized with advancing invasion, favouring more simplified plant and disperser communities. However, only habitat type significantly affected the overall network structure. Alien...

  13. Twenty-first century vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rappuoli, Rino

    2011-01-01

    In the twentieth century, vaccination has been possibly the greatest revolution in health. Together with hygiene and antibiotics, vaccination led to the elimination of many childhood infectious diseases and contributed to the increase in disability-free life expectancy that in Western societies rose from 50 to 78–85 years (Crimmins, E. M. & Finch, C. E. 2006 Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 103, 498–503; Kirkwood, T. B. 2008 Nat. Med 10, 1177–1185). In the twenty-first century, vaccination will be expected to eliminate the remaining childhood infectious diseases, such as meningococcal meningitis, respiratory syncytial virus, group A streptococcus, and will address the health challenges of this century such as those associated with ageing, antibiotic resistance, emerging infectious diseases and poverty. However, for this to happen, we need to increase the public trust in vaccination so that vaccines can be perceived as the best insurance against most diseases across all ages. PMID:21893537

  14. The effect of mercury on baseline corticosterone in a breeding songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddux, Sarah L; Cristol, Daniel A; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Bradley, Eric L

    2015-02-01

    Although songbirds accumulate mercury at rates equivalent to better-studied aquatic avian species, effects of mercury bioaccumulation in songbirds remain understudied. Little is known about the effects of mercury on endocrine physiology, but recent evidence indicates that mercury may disrupt the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Both field-based correlational studies and a recent dosing experiment suggest that mercury exposure alters levels of the primary avian stress hormone, CORT. We sampled zebra finches that had been dosed with 0, 0.5, or 1.0 ppm dietary methylmercury for baseline CORT twice; once during pairing and once after successfully fledging young. Circulating levels of CORT were not significantly affected by mercury exposure. However, our findings indicate potentially important differences in CORT responses between the sexes when exposed to environmentally relevant doses of mercury across the nesting cycle.

  15. Compact objects in pure Lovelock theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dadhich, Naresh; Hansraj, Sudan; Chilambwe, Brian

    For static fluid interiors of compact objects in pure Lovelock gravity (involving only one Nth order term in the equation), we establish similarity in solutions for the critical odd and even d = 2N + 1, 2N + 2 dimensions. It turns out that in critical odd d = 2N + 1 dimensions, there cannot exist any bound distribution with a finite radius, while in critical even d = 2N + 2 dimensions, all solutions have similar behavior. For exhibition of similarity, we would compare star solutions for N = 1, 2 in d = 4 Einstein and d = 6 in Gauss-Bonnet theory, respectively. We also obtain the pure Lovelock analogue of the Finch-Skea model.

  16. Cryptosporidium spp. in pet birds: genetic diversity and potential public health significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Meng; Wang, Rongjun; Ning, Changshen; Li, Xiaoyu; Zhang, Longxian; Jian, Fuchun; Sun, Yanru; Xiao, Lihua

    2011-08-01

    To characterize the prevalence and assess the zoonotic transmission burden of Cryptosporidium species/genotypes in pet birds in Henan, China, 434 fecal samples were acquired from 14 families of birds in pet shops. The overall prevalence of Cryptopsoridium was 8.1% (35/434) by the Sheather's sugar flotation technique. The Cryptosporidium-positive samples were analyzed by DNA sequence analysis of the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene. Three Cryptosporidium species and two genotypes were identified, including C. baileyi (18/35 or 51.4%) in five red-billed leiothrixes (Leiothrix lutea), four white Java sparrows (Padda oryzivora), four common mynas (Acridotheres tristis), two zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), a crested Lark (Galerida cristata), a Gouldian finch (Chloebia gouldiae), and a black-billed magpie (Pica pica); Cryptosporidium meleagridis (3/35 or 8.6%) in a Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus), a Rufous turtle dove (Streptopelia orientalis), and a fan-tailed pigeon (Columba livia); Cryptosporidium galli (5/35 or 14.3%) in four Bohemian waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) and a silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris); Cryptosporidium avian genotype III (3/35 or 8.6%) in two cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) and a red-billed blue magpie (Urocissa erythrorhyncha); and Cryptosporidium avian genotype V (6/35 or 17.1%) in six cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus). Among the pet birds, 12 species represented new hosts for Cryptosporidum infections. The presence of C. meleagridis raises questions on potential zoonotic transmission of cryptosporidiosis from pet birds to humans. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Human-like brain hemispheric dominance in birdsong learning.

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    Moorman, Sanne; Gobes, Sharon M H; Kuijpers, Maaike; Kerkhofs, Amber; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2012-07-31

    Unlike nonhuman primates, songbirds learn to vocalize very much like human infants acquire spoken language. In humans, Broca's area in the frontal lobe and Wernicke's area in the temporal lobe are crucially involved in speech production and perception, respectively. Songbirds have analogous brain regions that show a similar neural dissociation between vocal production and auditory perception and memory. In both humans and songbirds, there is evidence for lateralization of neural responsiveness in these brain regions. Human infants already show left-sided dominance in their brain activation when exposed to speech. Moreover, a memory-specific left-sided dominance in Wernicke's area for speech perception has been demonstrated in 2.5-mo-old babies. It is possible that auditory-vocal learning is associated with hemispheric dominance and that this association arose in songbirds and humans through convergent evolution. Therefore, we investigated whether there is similar song memory-related lateralization in the songbird brain. We exposed male zebra finches to tutor or unfamiliar song. We found left-sided dominance of neuronal activation in a Broca-like brain region (HVC, a letter-based name) of juvenile and adult zebra finch males, independent of the song stimulus presented. In addition, juvenile males showed left-sided dominance for tutor song but not for unfamiliar song in a Wernicke-like brain region (the caudomedial nidopallium). Thus, left-sided dominance in the caudomedial nidopallium was specific for the song-learning phase and was memory-related. These findings demonstrate a remarkable neural parallel between birdsong and human spoken language, and they have important consequences for our understanding of the evolution of auditory-vocal learning and its neural mechanisms.

  18. Phylogenetics and diversification of tanagers (Passeriformes: Thraupidae), the largest radiation of Neotropical songbirds.

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    Burns, Kevin J; Shultz, Allison J; Title, Pascal O; Mason, Nicholas A; Barker, F Keith; Klicka, John; Lanyon, Scott M; Lovette, Irby J

    2014-06-01

    Thraupidae is the second largest family of birds and represents about 4% of all avian species and 12% of the Neotropical avifauna. Species in this family display a wide range of plumage colors and patterns, foraging behaviors, vocalizations, ecotypes, and habitat preferences. The lack of a complete phylogeny for tanagers has hindered the study of this evolutionary diversity. Here, we present a comprehensive, species-level phylogeny for tanagers using six molecular markers. Our analyses identified 13 major clades of tanagers that we designate as subfamilies. In addition, two species are recognized as distinct branches on the tanager tree. Our topologies disagree in many places with previous estimates of relationships within tanagers, and many long-recognized genera are not monophyletic in our analyses. Our trees identify several cases of convergent evolution in plumage ornaments and bill morphology, and two cases of social mimicry. The phylogeny produced by this study provides a robust framework for studying macroevolutionary patterns and character evolution. We use our new phylogeny to study diversification processes, and find that tanagers show a background model of exponentially declining diversification rates. Thus, the evolution of tanagers began with an initial burst of diversification followed by a rate slowdown. In addition to this background model, two later, clade-specific rate shifts are supported, one increase for Darwin's finches and another increase for some species of Sporophila. The rate of diversification within these two groups is exceptional, even when compared to the overall rapid rate of diversification found within tanagers. This study provides the first robust assessment of diversification rates for the Darwin's finches in the context of the larger group within which they evolved. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Singing modulates parvalbumin interneurons throughout songbird forebrain vocal control circuitry

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    Zengin-Toktas, Yildiz

    2017-01-01

    Across species, the performance of vocal signals can be modulated by the social environment. Zebra finches, for example, adjust their song performance when singing to females (‘female-directed’ or FD song) compared to when singing in isolation (‘undirected’ or UD song). These changes are salient, as females prefer the FD song over the UD song. Despite the importance of these performance changes, the neural mechanisms underlying this social modulation remain poorly understood. Previous work in finches has established that expression of the immediate early gene EGR1 is increased during singing and modulated by social context within the vocal control circuitry. Here, we examined whether particular neural subpopulations within those vocal control regions exhibit similar modulations of EGR1 expression. We compared EGR1 expression in neurons expressing parvalbumin (PV), a calcium buffer that modulates network plasticity and homeostasis, among males that performed FD song, males that produced UD song, or males that did not sing. We found that, overall, singing but not social context significantly affected EGR1 expression in PV neurons throughout the vocal control nuclei. We observed differences in EGR1 expression between two classes of PV interneurons in the basal ganglia nucleus Area X. Additionally, we found that singing altered the amount of PV expression in neurons in HVC and Area X and that distinct PV interneuron types in Area X exhibited different patterns of modulation by singing. These data indicate that throughout the vocal control circuitry the singing-related regulation of EGR1 expression in PV neurons may be less influenced by social context than in other neuron types and raise the possibility of cell-type specific differences in plasticity and calcium buffering. PMID:28235074

  20. Sex differences in the representation of call stimuli in a songbird secondary auditory area.

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    Giret, Nicolas; Menardy, Fabien; Del Negro, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how communication sounds are encoded in the central auditory system is critical to deciphering the neural bases of acoustic communication. Songbirds use learned or unlearned vocalizations in a variety of social interactions. They have telencephalic auditory areas specialized for processing natural sounds and considered as playing a critical role in the discrimination of behaviorally relevant vocal sounds. The zebra finch, a highly social songbird species, forms lifelong pair bonds. Only male zebra finches sing. However, both sexes produce the distance call when placed in visual isolation. This call is sexually dimorphic, is learned only in males and provides support for individual recognition in both sexes. Here, we assessed whether auditory processing of distance calls differs between paired males and females by recording spiking activity in a secondary auditory area, the caudolateral mesopallium (CLM), while presenting the distance calls of a variety of individuals, including the bird itself, the mate, familiar and unfamiliar males and females. In males, the CLM is potentially involved in auditory feedback processing important for vocal learning. Based on both the analyses of spike rates and temporal aspects of discharges, our results clearly indicate that call-evoked responses of CLM neurons are sexually dimorphic, being stronger, lasting longer, and conveying more information about calls in males than in females. In addition, how auditory responses vary among call types differ between sexes. In females, response strength differs between familiar male and female calls. In males, temporal features of responses reveal a sensitivity to the bird's own call. These findings provide evidence that sexual dimorphism occurs in higher-order processing areas within the auditory system. They suggest a sexual dimorphism in the function of the CLM, contributing to transmit information about the self-generated calls in males and to storage of information about the

  1. Sex differences in the representation of call stimuli in a songbird secondary auditory area

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    Nicolas eGiret

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Understanding how communication sounds are encoded in the central auditory system is critical to deciphering the neural bases of acoustic communication. Songbirds use learned or unlearned vocalizations in a variety of social interactions. They have telencephalic auditory areas specialized for processing natural sounds and considered as playing a critical role in the discrimination of behaviorally relevant vocal sounds. The zebra finch, a highly social songbird species, forms lifelong pair bonds. Only male zebra finches sing. However, both sexes produce the distance call when placed in visual isolation. This call is sexually dimorphic, is learned only in males and provides support for individual recognition in both sexes. Here, we assessed whether auditory processing of distance calls differs between paired males and females by recording spiking activity in a secondary auditory area, the caudolateral mesopallium (CLM, while presenting the distance calls of a variety of individuals, including the bird itself, the mate, familiar and unfamiliar males and females. In males, the CLM is potentially involved in auditory feedback processing important for vocal learning. Based on both the analyses of spike rates and temporal aspects of discharges, our results clearly indicate that call-evoked responses of CLM neurons are sexually dimorphic, being stronger, lasting longer and conveying more information about calls in males than in females. In addition, how auditory responses vary among call types differ between sexes. In females, response strength differs between familiar male and female calls. In males, temporal features of responses reveal a sensitivity to the bird’s own call. These findings provide evidence that sexual dimorphism occurs in higher-order processing areas within the auditory system. They suggest a sexual dimorphism in the function of the CLM, contributing to transmit information about the self-generated calls in males and to storage of

  2. A general auditory bias for handling speaker variability in speech? Evidence in humans and songbirds

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    Buddhamas eKriengwatana

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Different speakers produce the same speech sound differently, yet listeners are still able to reliably identify the speech sound. How listeners can adjust their perception to compensate for speaker differences in speech, and whether these compensatory processes are unique only to humans, is still not fully understood. In this study we compare the ability of humans and zebra finches to categorize vowels despite speaker variation in speech in order to test the hypothesis that accommodating speaker and gender differences in isolated vowels can be achieved without prior experience with speaker-related variability. Using a behavioural Go/No-go task and identical stimuli, we compared Australian English adults’ (naïve to Dutch and zebra finches’ (naïve to human speech ability to categorize /ɪ/ and /ɛ/ vowels of an novel Dutch speaker after learning to discriminate those vowels from only one other speaker. Experiment 1 and 2 presented vowels of two speakers interspersed or blocked, respectively. Results demonstrate that categorization of vowels is possible without prior exposure to speaker-related variability in speech for zebra finches, and in non-native vowel categories for humans. Therefore, this study is the first to provide evidence for what might be a species-shared auditory bias that may supersede speaker-related information during vowel categorization. It additionally provides behavioural evidence contradicting a prior hypothesis that accommodation of speaker differences is achieved via the use of formant ratios. Therefore, investigations of alternative accounts of vowel normalization that incorporate the possibility of an auditory bias for disregarding inter-speaker variability are warranted.

  3. Undirected (solitary birdsong in female and male blue-capped cordon-bleus (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus and its endocrine correlates.

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    Nicole Geberzahn

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Birdsong is a popular model system in research areas such as vocal communication, neuroethology or neuroendocrinology of behaviour. As most research has been conducted on species with male-only song production, the hormone-dependency of male song is well established. However, female singing and its mechanisms are poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We characterised the song and its endocrine correlates of blue-capped cordon-bleus (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus, a species in which both sexes sing. Like other estrildids, they produce directed song during courtship and undirected (or solitary song in isolation, i.e. when the mate is not visible or absent. We compare solitary song of blue-capped cordon-bleus to published descriptions of the song of its relative, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata. Solitary song of cordon-bleus shared some overall song features with that of zebra finches but differed in spectro-temporal song features, sequential stereotypy and sequential organisation. The song of cordon-bleus was dimorphic with respect to the larger size of syllable repertoires, the higher song duration and the lower variability of pitch goodness (measuring the pureness of harmonic sounds in males. However, in both sexes the overall plasma testosterone concentrations were low (ca. 300 pg/ml and did not correlate with the sexually dimorphic song motor pattern. Despite such low concentrations, the increase in the rate of solitary song coincided with an increase in the level of testosterone. Furthermore, the latency to start singing after the separation from the mate was related to hormone levels. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that the occurrence of solitary song but not its motor pattern might be under the control of testosterone in female and male cordon-bleus.

  4. Going to extremes: contrasting rates of diversification in a recent radiation of new world passerine birds.

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    Barker, F Keith; Burns, Kevin J; Klicka, John; Lanyon, Scott M; Lovette, Irby J

    2013-03-01

    Recent analyses suggest that a few major shifts in diversification rate may be enough to explain most of the disparity in diversity among vertebrate lineages. At least one significant increase in diversification rate appears to have occurred within the birds; however, several nested lineages within birds have been identified as hyperdiverse by different studies. A clade containing the finches and relatives (within the avian order Passeriformes), including a large radiation endemic to the New World that comprises ~8% of all bird species, may be the true driver of this rate increase. Understanding the patterns and processes of diversification of this diverse lineage may go a long way toward explaining the apparently rapid diversification rates of both passerines and of birds as a whole. We present the first multilocus phylogenetic analyses of this endemic New World radiation of finch relatives that include sampling of all recognized genera, a relaxed molecular clock analysis of its divergence history, and an analysis of its broad-scale diversification patterns. These analyses recovered 5 major lineages traditionally recognized as avian families, but identified an additional 10 relatively ancient lineages worthy of recognition at the family level. Time-calibrated diversification analyses suggested that at least 3 of the 15 family-level lineages were significantly species poor given the entire group's background diversification rate, whereas at least one-the tanagers of family Thraupidae-appeared significantly more diverse. Lack of an age-diversity relationship within this clade suggests that, due to rapid initial speciation, it may have experienced density-dependent ecological limits on its overall diversity.

  5. Songbirds and humans apply different strategies in a sound sequence discrimination task

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    Yoshimasa eSeki

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The abilities of animals and humans to extract rules from sound sequences have previously been compared using observation of spontaneous responses and conditioning techniques. However, the results were inconsistently interpreted across studies possibly due to methodological and/or species differences. Therefore, we examined the strategies for discrimination of sound sequences in Bengalese finches and humans using the same protocol. Birds were trained on a GO/NOGO task to discriminate between two categories of sound stimulus generated based on an AAB or ABB rule. The sound elements used were taken from a variety of male (M and female (F calls, such that the sequences could be represented as MMF and MFF. In test sessions, FFM and FMM sequences, which were never presented in the training sessions but conformed to the rule, were presented as probe stimuli. The results suggested two discriminative strategies were being applied: 1 memorizing sound patterns of either GO or NOGO stimuli and generating the appropriate responses for only those sounds; and 2 using the repeated element as a cue. There was no evidence that the birds successfully extracted the abstract rule (i.e. AAB and ABB; MMF-GO subjects did not produce a GO response for FFM and vice versa. Next we examined whether those strategies were also applicable for human participants on the same task. The results and questionnaires revealed that participants extracted the abstract rule, and most of them employed it to discriminate the sequences. This strategy was never observed in bird subjects, although some participants used strategies similar to the birds when responding to the probe stimuli. Our results showed that the human participants applied the abstract rule in the task even without instruction but Bengalese finches did not, thereby reconfirming that humans have to extract abstract rules from sound sequences that is distinct from non-human animals.

  6. At the interface of the auditory and vocal motor systems: NIf and its role in vocal processing, production and learning.

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    Lewandowski, Brian; Vyssotski, Alexei; Hahnloser, Richard H R; Schmidt, Marc

    2013-06-01

    Communication between auditory and vocal motor nuclei is essential for vocal learning. In songbirds, the nucleus interfacialis of the nidopallium (NIf) is part of a sensorimotor loop, along with auditory nucleus avalanche (Av) and song system nucleus HVC, that links the auditory and song systems. Most of the auditory information comes through this sensorimotor loop, with the projection from NIf to HVC representing the largest single source of auditory information to the song system. In addition to providing the majority of HVC's auditory input, NIf is also the primary driver of spontaneous activity and premotor-like bursting during sleep in HVC. Like HVC and RA, two nuclei critical for song learning and production, NIf exhibits behavioral-state dependent auditory responses and strong motor bursts that precede song output. NIf also exhibits extended periods of fast gamma oscillations following vocal production. Based on the converging evidence from studies of physiology and functional connectivity it would be reasonable to expect NIf to play an important role in the learning, maintenance, and production of song. Surprisingly, however, lesions of NIf in adult zebra finches have no effect on song production or maintenance. Only the plastic song produced by juvenile zebra finches during the sensorimotor phase of song learning is affected by NIf lesions. In this review, we carefully examine what is known about NIf at the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral levels. We reexamine conclusions drawn from previous studies in the light of our current understanding of the song system, and establish what can be said with certainty about NIf's involvement in song learning, maintenance, and production. Finally, we review recent theories of song learning integrating possible roles for NIf within these frameworks and suggest possible parallels between NIf and sensorimotor areas that form part of the neural circuitry for speech processing in humans. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier

  7. Songbirds and humans apply different strategies in a sound sequence discrimination task.

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    Seki, Yoshimasa; Suzuki, Kenta; Osawa, Ayumi M; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2013-01-01

    The abilities of animals and humans to extract rules from sound sequences have previously been compared using observation of spontaneous responses and conditioning techniques. However, the results were inconsistently interpreted across studies possibly due to methodological and/or species differences. Therefore, we examined the strategies for discrimination of sound sequences in Bengalese finches and humans using the same protocol. Birds were trained on a GO/NOGO task to discriminate between two categories of sound stimulus generated based on an "AAB" or "ABB" rule. The sound elements used were taken from a variety of male (M) and female (F) calls, such that the sequences could be represented as MMF and MFF. In test sessions, FFM and FMM sequences, which were never presented in the training sessions but conformed to the rule, were presented as probe stimuli. The results suggested two discriminative strategies were being applied: (1) memorizing sound patterns of either GO or NOGO stimuli and generating the appropriate responses for only those sounds; and (2) using the repeated element as a cue. There was no evidence that the birds successfully extracted the abstract rule (i.e., AAB and ABB); MMF-GO subjects did not produce a GO response for FFM and vice versa. Next we examined whether those strategies were also applicable for human participants on the same task. The results and questionnaires revealed that participants extracted the abstract rule, and most of them employed it to discriminate the sequences. This strategy was never observed in bird subjects, although some participants used strategies similar to the birds when responding to the probe stimuli. Our results showed that the human participants applied the abstract rule in the task even without instruction but Bengalese finches did not, thereby reconfirming that humans have to extract abstract rules from sound sequences that is distinct from non-human animals.

  8. The proper time for antioxidant consumption.

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    Beaulieu, Michaël; Schaefer, H Martin

    2014-04-10

    Consuming food rich in antioxidants may help organisms to increase their antioxidant defences and avoid oxidative damage. Under the hypothesis that organisms actively consume food for its antioxidant properties, they would need to do so in view of other physiological requirements, such as energy requirements. Here, we observed that Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) consumed most seeds rich in antioxidants in the middle of the day, while their consumption of staple seeds more profitable in energy intake (and poor in antioxidants) was maximal in the morning and the evening. This consumption of seeds rich in antioxidants in the middle of the day may be explicable (1) because birds took advantage of a time window associated with relaxed energy requirements to ingest antioxidant resources, or (2) because birds consumed antioxidant resources as a response to the highest antioxidant requirements in the middle of the day. If the latter hypothesis holds true, having the possibility to ingest antioxidants should be most beneficial in terms of oxidative balance in the middle of the day. Even though feeding on seeds rich in antioxidants improved Gouldian finches' overall antioxidant capacity, we did not detect any diurnal effect of antioxidant intake on plasma oxidative markers (as measured by the d-ROM and the OXY-adsorbent tests). This indicates that the diurnal pattern of antioxidant intake that we observed was most likely constrained by the high consumption of staple food to replenish or build up body reserves in the morning and in the evening, and not primarily determined by elevated antioxidant requirements in the middle of the day. Consequently, animals appear to have the possibility to increase antioxidant defences by selecting food rich in antioxidants, only when energetic constraints are relaxed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Reward and vocal production: song-associated place preference in songbirds.

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    Riters, Lauren V; Stevenson, Sharon A

    2012-05-15

    Vocal production is crucial for successful social interactions in multiple species. Reward can strongly influence behavior; however, the extent to which reward systems influence vocal behavior is unknown. In songbirds, singing occurs in different contexts. It can be spontaneous and undirected (e.g., song produced alone or as part of a large flock) or directed towards a conspecific (e.g., song used to attract a mate or influence a competitor). In this study, we developed a conditioned place preference paradigm to measure reward associated with different types of singing behavior in two songbird species. Both male zebra finches and European starlings developed a preference for a chamber associated with production of undirected song, suggesting that the production of undirected song is tightly coupled to intrinsic reward. In contrast, neither starlings nor zebra finches developed a place preference in association with directed song; however, male starlings singing directed song that failed to attract a female developed a place aversion. Unsuccessful contact calling behavior was also associated with a place aversion. These findings suggest that directed vocal behavior is not tightly linked to intrinsic reward but may be externally reinforced by social interactions. Data across two species thus support the hypothesis that the production of undirected but not directed song is tightly coupled to intrinsic reward. This study is the first to identify song-associated reward and suggests that reward associated with vocal production differs depending upon the context in which communication occurs. The findings have implications for understanding what motivates animals to engage in social behaviors and ways in which distinct reward mechanisms function to direct socially appropriate behaviors. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Amplification Biases and Consistent Recovery of Loci in a Double-Digest RAD-seq Protocol

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    DaCosta, Jeffrey M.; Sorenson, Michael D.

    2014-01-01

    A growing variety of “genotype-by-sequencing” (GBS) methods use restriction enzymes and high throughput DNA sequencing to generate data for a subset of genomic loci, allowing the simultaneous discovery and genotyping of thousands of polymorphisms in a set of multiplexed samples. We evaluated a “double-digest” restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (ddRAD-seq) protocol by 1) comparing results for a zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) sample with in silico predictions from the zebra finch reference genome; 2) assessing data quality for a population sample of indigobirds (Vidua spp.); and 3) testing for consistent recovery of loci across multiple samples and sequencing runs. Comparison with in silico predictions revealed that 1) over 90% of predicted, single-copy loci in our targeted size range (178–328 bp) were recovered; 2) short restriction fragments (38–178 bp) were carried through the size selection step and sequenced at appreciable depth, generating unexpected but nonetheless useful data; 3) amplification bias favored shorter, GC-rich fragments, contributing to among locus variation in sequencing depth that was strongly correlated across samples; 4) our use of restriction enzymes with a GC-rich recognition sequence resulted in an up to four-fold overrepresentation of GC-rich portions of the genome; and 5) star activity (i.e., non-specific cutting) resulted in thousands of “extra” loci sequenced at low depth. Results for three species of indigobirds show that a common set of thousands of loci can be consistently recovered across both individual samples and sequencing runs. In a run with 46 samples, we genotyped 5,996 loci in all individuals and 9,833 loci in 42 or more individuals, resulting in <1% missing data for the larger data set. We compare our approach to similar methods and discuss the range of factors (fragment library preparation, natural genetic variation, bioinformatics) influencing the recovery of a consistent set of loci among

  11. Synchronised provisioning at the nest: parental coordination over care in a socially monogamous species

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    Erica P. van Rooij

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Bi-parental care is very common in birds, occurring in over 90% of species, and is expected to evolve whenever the benefits of enhanced offspring survival exceed the costs to both parents of providing care. In altricial species, where the nestlings are entirely dependent on the parents for providing food until fledging, reproductive success is related to the capacity of the parents to provision the offspring at the nest. The degree to which parents synchronise their visits to the nest is rarely considered by studies of bi-parental care, and yet may be an important component of parental care, affecting the outcome of the reproductive attempt, and the dynamics of sexual conflict between the parents. Here we studied this aspect of parental care in the long-tailed finch (Poephila acuticauda, a socially monogamous estrildid finch. We monitored parental nest visit rates and the degree of parental visit synchrony, and assessed their effects on reproductive success (e.g., brood size, number of offspring fledged and nestling growth.The frequency of nest visits in a day was low in this species (<1 visit/h, but there was a high level of synchrony by the two partners with 73% of visits made together. There was a correlation between the proportion of visits that were made by the pair together and the size of the brood at hatching, although it was not related to the number of fledglings a pair produced, or the quality of those offspring. We suggest that nest visit synchrony may primarily be driven by the benefit of parents being together whilst foraging away from the nest, or may reduce nest predation by reducing the level of activity around the nest throughout the day.

  12. Neurons Responsive to Global Visual Motion Have Unique Tuning Properties in Hummingbirds.

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    Gaede, Andrea H; Goller, Benjamin; Lam, Jessica P M; Wylie, Douglas R; Altshuler, Douglas L

    2017-01-23

    Neurons in animal visual systems that respond to global optic flow exhibit selectivity for motion direction and/or velocity. The avian lentiformis mesencephali (LM), known in mammals as the nucleus of the optic tract (NOT), is a key nucleus for global motion processing [1-4]. In all animals tested, it has been found that the majority of LM and NOT neurons are tuned to temporo-nasal (back-to-front) motion [4-11]. Moreover, the monocular gain of the optokinetic response is higher in this direction, compared to naso-temporal (front-to-back) motion [12, 13]. Hummingbirds are sensitive to small visual perturbations while hovering, and they drift to compensate for optic flow in all directions [14]. Interestingly, the LM, but not other visual nuclei, is hypertrophied in hummingbirds relative to other birds [15], which suggests enhanced perception of global visual motion. Using extracellular recording techniques, we found that there is a uniform distribution of preferred directions in the LM in Anna's hummingbirds, whereas zebra finch and pigeon LM populations, as in other tetrapods, show a strong bias toward temporo-nasal motion. Furthermore, LM and NOT neurons are generally classified as tuned to "fast" or "slow" motion [10, 16, 17], and we predicted that most neurons would be tuned to slow visual motion as an adaptation for slow hovering. However, we found the opposite result: most hummingbird LM neurons are tuned to fast pattern velocities, compared to zebra finches and pigeons. Collectively, these results suggest a role in rapid responses during hovering, as well as in velocity control and collision avoidance during forward flight of hummingbirds. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. LA VIDA SILVESTRE MANEJADA COMO RECURSOS DE USO COMÚN: ESTUDIO DE CASO EN MÉXICO

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    Alejandra Juárez Mondragón

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Desde 1997, el ejido Ajuchitlán Santiopan implementó reglas de aprovechamiento del venado cola blanca (Odocoileus virginianus mexicanus. Paralelamente registró una Unidad de Manejo para la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre (UMA, pretendiendo una caza sustentable. Esto implicó un co-manejo entre regulación local y federal. En México existe insuficiente conocimiento de estos procesos y de las repercusiones que generan en los ejidos. El objetivo del estudio fue comprender (desde la percepción de los pobladores la relación entre la creación de la institución local y el establecimiento de la UMA, utilizando la perspectiva teórica de recursos de uso común (RUC. Se realizaron entrevistas, listados libres, observación participante y consulta documental. De los entrevistados, el 46 % consideró que algunas leyes federales afectan tradiciones, y mencionaron que el 20 % dejó de respetar reglas ejidales. Sin embargo, 78 % reconoció importante mantener la UMA, porque: genera empleos temporales, incrementó la abundancia de venados y suscitó la reintroducción natural de especies ya extintas en el ejido. El 100 % coincidió en que la UMA es el factor principal de conservación de especies silvestres. Para continuar con este proceso es esencial replantear colectivamente objetivos de aprovechamiento y estrategias de vigilancia, ante las condiciones actuales.   White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus mexicanus use regulations were implemented by the ejido Ajuchitlán Santiopan, since 1997. In parallel, the ejidatarios registered a Management Unit for the Conservation of Wildlife (UMA, seeking its sustainable hunting. This involved a co-management between local and federal regulation. The knowledge on these types of processes is sparse in Mexico, and of the impact that they generate in the ejidos. The aim of this study was to understand (from the perception of the inhabitants the relationship

  14. Phylogenetic Relationships of Cucullanidae (Nematoda), with Observations on Seuratoidea and the Monophyly of Cucullanus, Dichelyne and Truttaedacnitis.

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    Choudhury, Anindo; Nadler, Steven A

    2016-02-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of Cucullanidae were explored using near-complete sequences of the 18S rDNA (rRNA gene). Sequences (1,750-1,760 bp) were obtained from 7 species of Cucullanidae belonging to 3 genera, Cucullanus (2 spp.), Dichelyne (2 spp.), Truttaedacnitis (3 spp.), and 1 species of Quimperiidae ( Paraseuratum sp.). These sequences were aligned with those of 128 other nematode species available in GenBank, including 3 other cucullanids (Dichelyne mexicanus, Cucullanus robustus, and Cucullanus baylisi) and 2 non-cucullanid seuratoids (Paraquimperia africana, and Linstowinema sp.). Bayesian (BPP) and maximum likelihood (ML) analyses of 2 different datasets strongly supported a monophyletic Cucullanidae. Bayesian analysis placed this family as the sister group to a clade containing species of Diplogasterida, Strongylida, Rhabditida, and Tylenchida with very strong support. Neither BPP nor ML analyses recovered a close relationship of Cucullanidae to Ascaridida. None of the 3 non-cucullanid seuratoid species were sister to Cucullanidae, nor did they form a monophyletic group of their own, which questions the monophyly of Seuratoidea and the relationships among species within this superfamily. The 3 genera of cucullanids were also not monophyletic, although morphologically similar species such as the 2 species of Cucullanus from Neotropical catfishes and 2 species of Dichelyne from Nearctic ictalurid catfishes were sister taxa with strong support. The results were ambiguous with respect to the relationship of 2 Truttaedacnitis spp. in Nearctic freshwater fishes but do not support Truttaedacnitis heterodonti, a parasite of heterodontid sharks, as belonging to this genus. The study shows that all aspects of the conventional classification of Seuratoidea and its taxa should be scrutinized by even more extensive sampling across hosts and habitats.

  15. Vulnerabilities faced by the children of sex workers in two Mexico-US border cities: a retrospective study on sexual violence, substance use and HIV risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Servin, Argentina E; Strathdee, Steffanie; Muñoz, Fatima A; Vera, Alicia; Rangel, Gudelia; Silverman, Jay G

    2015-01-01

    Most studies of female sex workers (FSWs) conducted in the Mexico-US border region have focused on individual HIV risk, centered on sexual behaviors and substance abuse patterns. Little attention has been drawn to the reality that sex workers are often parents whose children potentially face vulnerabilities unique to their family situation. The objective of the present study was to identify the vulnerabilities faced by the children of FSWs in two Mexican-US border cities. From 2008 to 2010, 628 FSW-injection drug users underwent interviewer-administered surveys and HIV/STI testing. Approximately one in five participants (20%) reported having a parent involved in sex work and majority referred it was their mother (88%). Close to one-third of participants (31%) reported first injecting drugs prostitute <18 years of age. First drinking alcohol <18 years old (AOR = 1.87, 95%CI: 1.13-3.08), lifetime cocaine use (AOR = 1.76, 95%CI: 1.09-2.84), ever being forced or coerced into non-consensual sex as a minor (<18 years of age; AOR = 1.54, 95%CI: 1.01-2.35), and injecting drugs with used syringes in the prior month (AOR = 1.63, 95%CI: 1.07-2.49) were the factors associated with having had a parent involved in sex work. These findings begin to lay the groundwork for understanding the potential vulnerabilities faced by the children of sex workers. Understanding these potential needs is necessary for creating relevant, evidence-based interventions focused on supporting these women.

  16. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild birds in Durango, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado-Esquivel, C; Rajendran, C; Ferreira, L R; Kwok, O C H; Choudhary, S; Alvarado-Esquivel, D; Rodríguez-Peña, S; Villena, I; Dubey, J P

    2011-10-01

    There is a lack of information concerning the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild birds in Mexico. In the present study, serum samples and tissues from 653 birds from Durango State, Mexico, were evaluated for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii (modified agglutination test, titer 1∶25 or higher) were found in 17 (2.6%) of the 653 birds, including 1 of 2 curve-billed thrashers (Toxostoma curvirostre), 2 (1 Anas platyrhynchos, 1 Anas diazi) of 4 ducks, 1 of 2 eagles (Aquila sp.), 5 (27.8%) of 18 great-tailed grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus), 7 (1.3%) of 521 rock pigeons (Columba livia), and 1 (14.3%) of 7 quail (Coturnix coturnix). The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in birds captured in a park outside the city zoo (11.6%, 8/69) was significantly higher than that found in birds from other regions (1.5%, 9/584, OR  =  8.38; 95% CI: 2.82-24.77; P  =  0.0001). Brains and hearts of 23 birds (17 seropositive, 6 seronegative) were bioassayed in mice for the isolation of T. gondii . Viable T. gondii was isolated from 1 of 7 seropositive pigeons. The DNA obtained from the T. gondii isolate from the pigeon was genotyped using the PCR-RFLP typing using 11 markers (B1, SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico) and revealed an atypical genotype. This is the first report of T. gondii infection in great-tailed grackles, the Mexican duck, and curved-billed thrashers and the first survey of wild birds in Mexico.

  17. A potential benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish: downregulation of the oca2 gene increases tyrosine and catecholamine levels as an alternative to melanin synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilandžija, Helena; Ma, Li; Parkhurst, Amy; Jeffery, William R

    2013-01-01

    Albinism, the loss of melanin pigmentation, has evolved in a diverse variety of cave animals but the responsible evolutionary mechanisms are unknown. In Astyanax mexicanus, which has a pigmented surface dwelling form (surface fish) and several albino cave-dwelling forms (cavefish), albinism is caused by loss of function mutations in the oca2 gene, which operates during the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway. In addition to albinism, cavefish have evolved differences in behavior, including feeding and sleep, which are under the control of the catecholamine system. The catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways diverge after beginning with the same substrate, L-tyrosine. Here we describe a novel relationship between the catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways in Astyanax. Our results show significant increases in L-tyrosine, dopamine, and norepinephrine in pre-feeding larvae and adult brains of Pachón cavefish relative to surface fish. In addition, norepinephrine is elevated in cavefish adult kidneys, which contain the teleost homologs of catecholamine synthesizing adrenal cells. We further show that the oca2 gene is expressed during surface fish development but is downregulated in cavefish embryos. A key finding is that knockdown of oca2 expression in surface fish embryos delays the development of pigmented melanophores and simultaneously increases L-tyrosine and dopamine. We conclude that a potential evolutionary benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish may be to provide surplus L-tyrosine as a precursor for the elevated catecholamine synthesis pathway, which could be important for adaptation to the challenging cave environment.

  18. Albinism in phylogenetically and geographically distinct populations of Astyanax cavefish arises through the same loss-of-function Oca2 allele

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, J B; Wilkens, H

    2013-01-01

    The Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus, comprises 29 populations of cave-adapted fish distributed across a vast karst region in northeastern Mexico. These populations have a complex evolutionary history, having descended from ‘old' and ‘young' ancestral surface-dwelling stocks that invaded the region ∼6.7 and ∼2.8 MYa, respectively. This study investigates a set of captive, pigmented Astyanax cavefish collected from the Micos cave locality in 1970, in which albinism appeared over the past two decades. We combined novel coloration analyses, coding sequence comparisons and mRNA expression level studies to investigate the origin of albinism in captive-bred Micos cavefish. We discovered that albino Micos cavefish harbor two copies of a loss-of-function ocular and cutaneous albinism type II (Oca2) allele previously identified in the geographically distant Pachón cave population. This result suggests that phylogenetically young Micos cavefish and phylogenetically old Pachón cave fish inherited this Oca2 allele from the ancestral surface-dwelling taxon. This likely resulted from the presence of the loss-of-function Oca2 haplotype in the ‘young' ancestral surface-dwelling stock that colonized the Micos cave and also introgressed into the ancient Pachón cave population. The appearance of albinism in captive Micos cavefish, caused by the same loss-of-function allele present in Pachón cavefish, implies that geographically and phylogenetically distinct cave populations can evolve the same troglomorphic phenotype from standing genetic variation present in the ancestral taxon. PMID:23572122

  19. A potential benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish: downregulation of the oca2 gene increases tyrosine and catecholamine levels as an alternative to melanin synthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena Bilandžija

    Full Text Available Albinism, the loss of melanin pigmentation, has evolved in a diverse variety of cave animals but the responsible evolutionary mechanisms are unknown. In Astyanax mexicanus, which has a pigmented surface dwelling form (surface fish and several albino cave-dwelling forms (cavefish, albinism is caused by loss of function mutations in the oca2 gene, which operates during the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway. In addition to albinism, cavefish have evolved differences in behavior, including feeding and sleep, which are under the control of the catecholamine system. The catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways diverge after beginning with the same substrate, L-tyrosine. Here we describe a novel relationship between the catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways in Astyanax. Our results show significant increases in L-tyrosine, dopamine, and norepinephrine in pre-feeding larvae and adult brains of Pachón cavefish relative to surface fish. In addition, norepinephrine is elevated in cavefish adult kidneys, which contain the teleost homologs of catecholamine synthesizing adrenal cells. We further show that the oca2 gene is expressed during surface fish development but is downregulated in cavefish embryos. A key finding is that knockdown of oca2 expression in surface fish embryos delays the development of pigmented melanophores and simultaneously increases L-tyrosine and dopamine. We conclude that a potential evolutionary benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish may be to provide surplus L-tyrosine as a precursor for the elevated catecholamine synthesis pathway, which could be important for adaptation to the challenging cave environment.

  20. Accuracy of egg flotation throughout incubation to determine embryo age and incubation day in waterbird nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.

    2010-01-01

    Floating bird eggs to estimate their age is a widely used technique, but few studies have examined its accuracy throughout incubation. We assessed egg flotation for estimating hatch date, day of incubation, and the embryo's developmental age in eggs of the American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana), Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus), and Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri). Predicted hatch dates based on egg flotation during our first visit to a nest were highly correlated with actual hatch dates (r = 0.99) and accurate within 2.3 ± 1.7 (SD) days. Age estimates based on flotation were correlated with both day of incubation (r = 0.96) and the embryo's developmental age (r = 0.86) and accurate within 1.3 ± 1.6 days and 1.9 ± 1.6 days, respectively. However, the technique's accuracy varied substantially throughout incubation. Flotation overestimated the embryo's developmental age between 3 and 9 days, underestimated age between 12 and 21 days, and was most accurate between 0 and 3 days and 9 and 12 days. Age estimates based on egg flotation were generally accurate within 3 days until day 15 but later in incubation were biased progressively lower. Egg flotation was inaccurate and overestimated embryo age in abandoned nests (mean error: 7.5 ± 6.0 days). The embryo's developmental age and day of incubation were highly correlated (r = 0.94), differed by 2.1 ± 1.6 days, and resulted in similar assessments of the egg-flotation technique. Floating every egg in the clutch and refloating eggs at subsequent visits to a nest can refine age estimates.

  1. Factors associated with pathways toward concurrent sex work and injection drug use among female sex workers who inject drugs in northern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Meghan D; Lemus, Hector; Wagner, Karla D; Martinez, Gustavo; Lozada, Remedios; Gómez, Rangel María Gudelia; Strathdee, Steffanie A

    2013-01-01

    To identify factors associated with time to initiation of (i) sex work prior to injecting drugs initiation; (ii) injection drug use prior to sex work initiation; and (iii) concurrent sex work and injection drug use (i.e. initiated at the same age) among female sex workers who currently inject drugs (FSW-IDU). Parametric survival analysis of baseline data for time to initiation event. Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez situated on the Mexico-US border. A total of 557 FSW-IDUs aged ≥18 years. Interview-administered surveys assessing context of sex work and injection drug use initiation. Nearly half (n = 258) initiated sex work prior to beginning to inject, a third (n = 163) initiated injection first and a quarter (n = 136) initiated both sex work and injection drug use concurrently. Low education and living in Ciudad Juarez accelerated time to sex work initiation. Being from a southern Mexican state and initiating drug use with inhalants delayed the time to first injection drug use. Having an intimate partner encourage entry into sex work and first injecting drugs to deal with depression accelerated time to initiating sex work and injection concurrently. Early physical abuse accelerated time to initiating sex work and injection, and substantially accelerated time to initiation of both behaviors concurrently. Among female sex workers who currently inject drugs in two Mexican-US border cities, nearly half appear to initiate sex work prior to beginning to inject, nearly one-third initiate injection drug use before beginning sex work and one-quarter initiate both behaviors concurrently. Predictors of these three trajectories differ, and this provides possible modifiable targets for prevention. © 2012 The Authors, Addiction © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  2. Avian communities in tidal salt marshes of San Francisco Bay: a review of functional groups by foraging guild and habitat association

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takekawa, John Y.; Woo, Isa; Gardiner, Rachel J.; Casazza, Michael L.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Nur, Nadav; Liu, Leonard; Spautz, Hildie; Palaima, Arnas

    2011-01-01

    The San Francisco Bay estuary is highly urbanized, but it supports the largest remaining extent of tidal salt marshes on the west coast of North America as well as a diverse native bird community. San Francisco Bay tidal marshes are occupied by more than 113 bird species that represent 31 families, including five subspecies from three families that we denote as tidal-marsh obligates. To better identify the niche of bird species in tidal marshes, we present a review of functional groups based on foraging guilds and habitat associations. Foraging guilds describe the method by which species obtain food from tidal marshes, while habitat associations describe broad areas within the marsh that have similar environmental conditions. For example, the ubiquitous song sparrows (Alameda Melospiza melodia pusillula, Suisun M. m. maxillaris, and San Pablo M. m. samuelis) are surface-feeding generalists that consume prey from vegetation and the ground, and they are found across the entire marsh plain into the upland–marsh transition. In contrast, surface-feeding California black rails (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus) are cryptic, and generally restricted in their distribution to the mid- and high-marsh plain. Although in the same family, the endangered California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) has become highly specialized, foraging primarily on benthic fauna within marsh channels when they are exposed at low tide. Shorebirds such as the black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) typically probe in mud flats to consume macroinvertebrate prey, and are generally restricted to foraging on salt pans within the marsh plain, in ponds, or on mud flats during transitional stages of marsh evolution. The abundance and distribution of birds varies widely with changing water depths and vegetation colonization during different stages of restoration. Thus, tidal-marsh birds represent a rich and diverse community in bay marshes, with niches that may be distinguished by the

  3. Floral Visitors of Three Asteraceae Species in a Xeric Environment in Central Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa-Castro, Dulce María; González-Tochihuitl, Guadalupe; Rivas-Arancibia, Sombra Patricia; Castaño-Meneses, Gabriela

    2016-12-01

    We describe the spatial variation in the structure and composition of the communities of insects visiting the inflorescences of Flaveria ramosissima Klatt, Florestina pedata (Cav.) Cass., and Parthenium bipinnatifidum (Ort.) Rollins (Asteraceae) in a xeric environment in Central Mexico. Inflorescences of the three Asteraceae were visited by a total of 96 species of Hymenoptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, and Hemiptera. Total species richness of floral visitors to the three Asteraceae and total abundance of insects of Fl. pedata and P. bipinnatifidum did not differ between low and high vegetation cover sites. Total abundance of insects visiting the inflorescences of F. ramosissima and abundance of Hymenoptera in all three Asteraceae were higher at the low vegetation coverage (LVC) site than at the high vegetation coverage (HVC) one. Diversity of insects of Fl. pedata and P. bipinnatifidum was higher at the HVC site. However, in F. ramosissima diversity was higher at the LVC site. The communities of insects of each Asteraceae were dissimilar between sites. These differences can be attributed to variation in the abundance of Lepidophora (Diptera: Bombyliidae), Miridae (Hemiptera), Melyridae (Coleoptera), Tiphiidae (Hymenoptera), Myrmecocystus mexicanus Wesmael, and Dorymyrmex grandulus (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The first three insect groups were sensitive to LVC, high temperature, and low humidity, whereas the last three tolerated those same environmental conditions. Changes in temperature, humidity, and resources associated with vegetation coverage seem to differentially affect each species of floral visitors of the three Asteraceae species studied. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Sylvatic focus of American Trypanosomiasis in the State of Morelos, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Carlos Villegas-García

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Wild vectors and reservoir hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi were surveyed from February 1993 to June 1994 in Ticumán (18°46’N, 99°07’W, Mexico (Deciduous Tropical Forest. Direct faeces examination showed that 87% of Triatoma pallidipennis hosted the parasite; T. cruzi forms were present in cultures inoculated with faeces of fifty 67% triatomine bugs and thirty CD-1 strain mice (10 d old inoculated (peritoneum with faeces of positive insects T. cruzi amastigotes were found in heart 67%, kidneys 47%, liver 80%, lungs 50%, oesophagus 60%, skin 23%, spleen 73% and stomach 60%. T. cruzi was isolated by direct blood examination from seven 21% chiropterans and five 38% rodents and T. cruzi forms were present in cultures inoculated with blood of twenty-three 68% chiropterans and seven 54% rodents and T. cruzi amastigotes were seen in the kidneys of one 3% chiropterans and four 31% rodents and only in one Pteronotus parnellii mexicanus, organisms were seen in skin 2%. There was no association between organs and T. cruzi infection (p 0.05.Se determinó la infección por Trypanosoma cruzi en chinches triatóminas y mamíferos silvestres capturados de febrero de 1993 a junio de 1994 en Ticumán (18°46’N, 99°07’W, Tlaltizapán, Morelos, México. El 87% de los ejemplares de Triatoma pallidipennis tenía el parásito; T. cruzi fue aislado de la sangre de siete quirópteros y cinco roedores. No hubo dependencia significativa entre los órganos examinados de los mamíferos y la infección por T. cruzi.

  5. Cobalt Chloride Treatment Used to Ablate the Lateral Line System Also Impairs the Olfactory System in Three Freshwater Fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie M Butler

    Full Text Available Fishes use multimodal signals during both inter- and intra-sexual displays to convey information about their sex, reproductive state, and social status. These complex behavioral displays can include visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, and hydrodynamic signals, and the relative role of each sensory channel in these complex multi-sensory interactions is a common focus of neuroethology. The mechanosensory lateral line system of fishes detects near-body water movements and is implicated in a variety of behaviors including schooling, rheotaxis, social communication, and prey detection. Cobalt chloride is commonly used to chemically ablate lateral line neuromasts, thereby eliminating water-movement cues to test for mechanosensory-mediated behavioral functions. However, cobalt acts as a nonspecific calcium channel antagonist and could potentially disrupt function of all superficially located sensory receptor cells, including those for chemosensing. Here, we examined whether CoCl2 treatment used to ablate the lateral line system also impairs olfaction in three freshwater fishes, the African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni, goldfish Carassius auratus, and the Mexican blind cavefish Astyanax mexicanus. To examine the impact of CoCl2 on the activity of peripheral receptors, we quantified DASPEI fluorescence intensity of the olfactory epithelium from fish exposed to control and CoCl2 solutions. In addition, we examined brain activation in olfactory processing regions of A. burtoni immersed in either control or cobalt solutions. All three species exposed to CoCl2 had decreased DASPEI staining of the olfactory epithelium, and in A. burtoni, cobalt treatment caused reduced neural activation in olfactory processing regions of the brain. To our knowledge this is the first empirical evidence demonstrating that the same CoCl2 treatment used to ablate the lateral line system also impairs olfactory function. These data have important implications for the use of

  6. Accuracy of egg flotation throughout incubation to determine embryo age and incubation day in water bird nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.

    2010-01-01

    Floating bird eggs to estimate their age is a widely used technique, but few studies have examined its accuracy throughout incubation. We assessed egg flotation for estimating hatch date, day of incubation, and the embryo's developmental age in eggs of the American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana), Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus), and Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri). Predicted hatch dates based on egg flotation during our first visit to a nest were highly correlated with actual hatch dates (r = 0.99) and accurate within 2.3 ?? 1.7 (SD) days. Age estimates based on flotation were correlated with both day of incubation (r = 0.96) and the embryo's developmental age (r = 0.86) and accurate within 1.3 ?? 1.6 days and 1.9 ?? 1.6 days, respectively. However, the technique's accuracy varied substantially throughout incubation. Flotation overestimated the embryo's developmental age between 3 and 9 days, underestimated age between 12 and 21 days, and was most accurate between 0 and 3 days and 9 and 12 days. Age estimates based on egg flotation were generally accurate within 3 days until day 15 but later in incubation were biased progressively lower. Egg flotation was inaccurate and overestimated embryo age in abandoned nests (mean error: 7.5 ?? 6.0 days). The embryo's developmental age and day of incubation were highly correlated (r = 0.94), differed by 2.1 ?? 1.6 days, and resulted in similar assessments of the egg-flotation technique. Floating every egg in the clutch and refloating eggs at subsequent visits to a nest can refine age estimates. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2010.

  7. Size dimorphism, molt status, and body mass variation of Prairie Falcons nesting in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenhof, Karen; McKinley, James O.

    2006-01-01

    Birds face challenges in how they allocate energy during the reproductive season. Most temperate zone species do not breed and molt at the same time, presumably because of the high energy demands of these two activities (Espie et al. 1996 and citations therein). However, representatives of at least four raptor genera are known to molt during the nesting season (Schmutz and Schmutz 1975, Newton and Marquiss 1982, Schmutz 1992, Espie et al. 1996). Molt strategies vary among raptor species depending on prey abundance, migration strategies, and the relative costs of reproduction. Sexually-dimorphic raptors typically have different roles in parenting, which result in different strategies for energy allocation. Male and female Eurasian Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus), for example, exhibit different molt patterns and mass changes during the breeding season (Village 1990). Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) are similar to Eurasian Kestrels in that males provide most of the prey to females and young during the first part of the nesting season (Holthuijzen 1990), but no published data exist on molt patterns or mass changes in Prairie Falcons. Reliable information about raptor molt and morphometrics has important implications for modeling energetics and for understanding the role of sexes in raising young. Such knowledge also has practical application for distinguishing sexes of raptors and for determining appropriate size limits of transmitters used for telemetry studies. In this paper, we report on morphometric characteristics useful in distinguishing sexes of Prairie Falcons captured during several breeding seasons in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA), and we assess changes in mass and molt status through the nesting season.

  8. Pleiotropic functions of embryonic sonic hedgehog expression link jaw and taste bud amplification with eye loss during cavefish evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Yoshiyuki; Byerly, Mardi S; Jackman, William R; Jeffery, William R

    2009-06-01

    This study addresses the role of sonic hedgehog (shh) in increasing oral-pharyngeal constructive traits (jaws and taste buds) at the expense of eyes in the blind cavefish Astyanax mexicanus. In cavefish embryos, eye primordia degenerate under the influence of hyperactive Shh signaling. In concert, cavefish show amplified jaw size and taste bud numbers as part of a change in feeding behavior. To determine whether pleiotropic effects of hyperactive Shh signaling link these regressive and constructive traits, shh expression was compared during late development of the surface-dwelling (surface fish) and cave-dwelling (cavefish) forms of Astyanax. After an initial expansion along the midline of early embryos, shh was elevated in the oral-pharyngeal region in cavefish and later was confined to taste buds. The results of shh inhibition and overexpression experiments indicate that Shh signaling has an important role in oral and taste bud development. Conditional overexpression of an injected shh transgene at specific times in development showed that taste bud amplification and eye degeneration are sensitive to shh overexpression during the same early developmental period, although taste buds are not formed until much later. Genetic crosses between cavefish and surface fish revealed an inverse relationship between eye size and jaw size/taste bud number, supporting a link between oral-pharyngeal constructive traits and eye degeneration. The results suggest that hyperactive Shh signaling increases oral and taste bud amplification in cavefish at the expense of eyes. Therefore, selection for constructive oral-pharyngeal traits may be responsible for eye loss during cavefish evolution via pleiotropic function of the Shh signaling pathway.

  9. Comparative reproductive biology of sympatric species: Nest and chick survival of American avocets and black-necked stilts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Takekawa, John Y.; Hartman, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    Identifying differences in reproductive success rates of closely related and sympatrically breeding species can be useful for understanding limitations to population growth. We simultaneously examined the reproductive ecology of American avocets Recurvirostra americana and black-necked stilts Himantopus mexicanus using 1274 monitored nests and 240 radio-marked chicks in San Francisco Bay, California. Although there were 1.8 times more avocet nests than stilt nests, stilts nonetheless fledged 3.3 times more chicks. Greater production by stilts than avocets was the result of greater chick survival from hatching to fledging (avocet: 6%; stilt: 40%), and not because of differences in clutch size (avocet: 3.84; stilt: 3.77), nest survival (avocet: 44%; stilt: 35%), or egg hatching success (avocet: 90%; stilt: 92%). We reviewed the literature and confirmed that nest survival and hatching success are generally similar when avocets and stilts breed sympatrically. In addition to species, chick survival was strongly influenced by age, site, and year. In particular, daily survival rates increased rapidly with chick age, with 70% of mortalities occurring ≤ 1 week after hatch. California gulls Larus californicus caused 55% of avocet, but only 15% of stilt, chick deaths. Differential use of micro-habitats likely reduced stilt chick’s vulnerability to gull predation, particularly during the first week after hatch, because stilts nested in vegetation 2.7 times more often than avocets and vegetation height was 65% taller at stilt nests compared with avocet nests. Our results demonstrate that two co-occurring and closely related species with similar life history strategies can differ markedly in reproductive success, and simultaneous studies of such species can identify differences that limit productivity.

  10. Maternal transfer of contaminants in birds: Mercury and selenium concentrations in parents and their eggs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark P.; Hartman, C. Alex

    2016-01-01

    We conducted a detailed assessment of the maternal transfer of mercury and selenium to eggs in three bird species (n = 107 parents and n = 339 eggs), and developed predictive equations linking contaminant concentrations in eggs to those in six tissues of the mother (blood, muscle, liver, kidney, breast feathers, and head feathers). Mercury concentrations in eggs were positively correlated with mercury concentrations in each of the mother's internal tissues (R"2 ≥ 0.95), but generally not with feathers. For each species, the proportion of mercury transferred to eggs decreased as mercury concentrations in the mother increased. At the same maternal mercury concentration, the proportion of mercury transferred to eggs differed among species, such that Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) and black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) females transferred more methylmercury to their eggs than American avocet (Recurvirostra americana) females. Selenium concentrations in eggs also were correlated with selenium concentrations in the mother's liver (R"2 = 0.87). Furthermore, mercury and selenium concentrations in tern eggs were positively correlated with those in the father (R"2 = 0.84). Incubating male terns had 21% higher mercury concentrations in blood compared to incubating females at the same egg mercury concentration. We provide equations to predict contaminant concentrations in eggs from each of the commonly sampled bird tissues. - Highlights: • We developed predictive equations linking contaminant concentrations in eggs to those in the mother. • Mercury concentrations in eggs were positively correlated with those in the mother. • The proportion of mercury transferred to eggs decreased as mercury in the mother increased. • The proportion of mercury transferred to eggs differed among species. • Selenium concentrations in eggs also were correlated with those in the mother's liver. - We examined the maternal transfer of mercury and selenium to eggs in

  11. Diet of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba in Ocoyoacac, Estado de Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro González-Calderón

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available I studied the feeding habits of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba Strigiformes in Ocoyoacac, State of Mexico (Mexico in 2012. On such occasion, its diet was analyzed based on the description of the mass of undigested parts of preys in 732 pellets collected. For such description I resorted to Margalef, Simpson, Shannon-Wiener and Pielou diversity index showing the diversity of preys on which the Barn Owls fed. Based on Levin’s standardized trophic niche index the food niche breadth was estimated as well as the correlation between pellet dimensions and the number of eaten preys. Small mammals were the most frequent source of food, followed by arthropods and birds. The dominance of small mammals was relatively low (λ = 0.20. Rattus rattus was the species most frequently consumed, followed by four other rodent species associated with an abundant frequency of consumption (Microtus mexicanus, Reithrodontomys microdon, R. megalotis and Peromyscus maniculatus. Shannon-Wiener index value (H’ = 1.85 and Levin’s standardized trophic breadth index (Bst = 0.42 showed a relatively low uniformity and a selective tendency in the consumption of small mammals. The diet of the Barn Owl showed that the consumption of arthropods was relevant, including arachnids. A selective tendency was observed in the consumption of birds. The significant correlations between the dimensions of the pellets with the number of preys consumed were discussed. The results show that the Barn Owl plays an important role in the biological control of native and non-native rodents of the region.

  12. Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve's 90-anniversary

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    Anatoliy F. Kovshar

    2016-05-01

    whistling thrush (Myophonus caeruleus turcestanicus, paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi leucogaster and several species of highland finches, including Eurasian crimson-winged finch (Rhodopechys sanguinea, white-winged snowfinch (Montifringilla nivalis alpicola and Brandt's mountain finch (Leucosticte brandti; reptiles – Ophisaurus apodus, Elape dione and Coluber rhodorhachis. 18 Vertebrate and 26 invertebrate species are listed in the Red Data Book of Kazakhstan. In the 90 years of its existence a huge research was carried out and the scientific staff of field biologists, botanists and zoologists were prepared (N.K. Karmysheva, V.V. Shevchenko, F.D. Shaposhnikov, V.D. Utekhin, A.F. Kovshar, A.A. Ivaschenko, B.M. Gubin, Yu.A. Grachyov, etc.. At the same time dozens of expeditions were working on this territory from several scientific institutions – institutes of botany and zoology (Alma-Ata, Tashkent, Leningrad, Kiev, botanical gardens (Moscow, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, All-Union Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (Moscow, All-Union Institute of Pharmacology (Moscow, Institute of Plant Protection (Alma-Ata, Zoological Museum of Moscow State University (Moscow, Palaeontological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of USSR and many others. As a result from the material collected on the territory of the nature reserve, more than 900 scientific works were published, including 11 issues of Proceedings of the nature reserve, published since 1948 till 2016.

  13. Social context-induced song variation affects female behavior and gene expression.

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    Sarah C Woolley

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Social cues modulate the performance of communicative behaviors in a range of species, including humans, and such changes can make the communication signal more salient. In songbirds, males use song to attract females, and song organization can differ depending on the audience to which a male sings. For example, male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata change their songs in subtle ways when singing to a female (directed song compared with when they sing in isolation (undirected song, and some of these changes depend on altered neural activity from a specialized forebrain-basal ganglia circuit, the anterior forebrain pathway (AFP. In particular, variable activity in the AFP during undirected song is thought to actively enable syllable variability, whereas the lower and less-variable AFP firing during directed singing is associated with more stereotyped song. Consequently, directed song has been suggested to reflect a "performance" state, and undirected song a form of vocal motor "exploration." However, this hypothesis predicts that directed-undirected song differences, despite their subtlety, should matter to female zebra finches, which is a question that has not been investigated. We tested female preferences for this natural variation in song in a behavioral approach assay, and we found that both mated and socially naive females could discriminate between directed and undirected song-and strongly preferred directed song. These preferences, which appeared to reflect attention especially to aspects of song variability controlled by the AFP, were enhanced by experience, as they were strongest for mated females responding to their mate's directed songs. We then measured neural activity using expression of the immediate early gene product ZENK, and found that social context and song familiarity differentially modulated the number of ZENK-expressing cells in telencephalic auditory areas. Specifically, the number of ZENK-expressing cells in the

  14. Single Neurons in the Avian Auditory Cortex Encode Individual Identity and Propagation Distance in Naturally Degraded Communication Calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouterde, Solveig C; Elie, Julie E; Mathevon, Nicolas; Theunissen, Frédéric E

    2017-03-29

    One of the most complex tasks performed by sensory systems is "scene analysis": the interpretation of complex signals as behaviorally relevant objects. The study of this problem, universal to species and sensory modalities, is particularly challenging in audition, where sounds from various sources and localizations, degraded by propagation through the environment, sum to form a single acoustical signal. Here we investigated in a songbird model, the zebra finch, the neural substrate for ranging and identifying a single source. We relied on ecologically and behaviorally relevant stimuli, contact calls, to investigate the neural discrimination of individual vocal signature as well as sound source distance when calls have been degraded through propagation in a natural environment. Performing electrophysiological recordings in anesthetized birds, we found neurons in the auditory forebrain that discriminate individual vocal signatures despite long-range degradation, as well as neurons discriminating propagation distance, with varying degrees of multiplexing between both information types. Moreover, the neural discrimination performance of individual identity was not affected by propagation-induced degradation beyond what was induced by the decreased intensity. For the first time, neurons with distance-invariant identity discrimination properties as well as distance-discriminant neurons are revealed in the avian auditory cortex. Because these neurons were recorded in animals that had prior experience neither with the vocalizers of the stimuli nor with long-range propagation of calls, we suggest that this neural population is part of a general-purpose system for vocalizer discrimination and ranging. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding how the brain makes sense of the multitude of stimuli that it continually receives in natural conditions is a challenge for scientists. Here we provide a new understanding of how the auditory system extracts behaviorally relevant information

  15. Characterization of Plasmodium relictum, a cosmopolitan agent of avian malaria

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    Valkiunas, Gediminas; Ilgūnas, Mikas; Bukauskaitė, Dovilė; Fragner, Karin; Weissenböck, Herbert; Atkinson, Carter T.; Iezhova, Tatjana

    2018-01-01

    BackgroundMicroscopic research has shown that Plasmodium relictum is the most common agent of avian malaria. Recent molecular studies confirmed this conclusion and identified several mtDNA lineages, suggesting the existence of significant intra-species genetic variation or cryptic speciation. Most identified lineages have a broad range of hosts and geographical distribution. Here, a rare new lineage of P. relictum was reported and information about biological characters of different lineages of this pathogen was reviewed, suggesting issues for future research.MethodsThe new lineage pPHCOL01 was detected in Common chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita,and the parasite was passaged in domestic canaries Serinus canaria. Organs of infected birds were examined using histology and chromogenic in situ hybridization methods. Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes, Zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata, Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus and European goldfinch Carduelis carduelis were exposed experimentally. Both Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood analyses identified the same phylogenetic relationships among different, closely-related lineages pSGS1, pGRW4, pGRW11, pLZFUS01, pPHCOL01 of P. relictum. Morphology of their blood stages was compared using fixed and stained blood smears, and biological properties of these parasites were reviewed.ResultsCommon canary and European goldfinch were susceptible to the parasite pPHCOL01, and had markedly variable individual prepatent periods and light transient parasitaemia. Exo-erythrocytic and sporogonic stages were not seen. The Zebra finch and Budgerigar were resistant. Neither blood stages nor vector stages of all examined P. relictum lineages can be distinguished morphologically.ConclusionWithin the huge spectrum of vertebrate hosts, mosquito vectors, and ecological conditions, different lineages of P. relictum exhibit indistinguishable, markedly variable morphological forms. Parasites of same lineages often develop differently

  16. Perineuronal satellite neuroglia in the telencephalon of New Caledonian crows and other Passeriformes: evidence of satellite glial cells in the central nervous system of healthy birds?

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    Felipe S. Medina

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Glia have been implicated in a variety of functions in the central nervous system, including the control of the neuronal extracellular space, synaptic plasticity and transmission, development and adult neurogenesis. Perineuronal glia forming groups around neurons are associated with both normal and pathological nervous tissue. Recent studies have linked reduction in the number of perineuronal oligodendrocytes in the prefrontal cortex with human schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Therefore, perineuronal glia may play a decisive role in homeostasis and normal activity of the human nervous system.Here we report on the discovery of novel cell clusters in the telencephala of five healthy Passeriforme, one Psittaciform and one Charadriiforme bird species, which we refer to as Perineuronal Glial Clusters (PGCs. The aim of this study is to describe the structure and distribution of the PGCs in a number of avian species.PGCs were identified with the use of standard histological procedures. Heterochromatin masses visible inside the nuclei of these satellite glia suggest that they may correspond to oligodendrocytes. PGCs were found in the brains of nine New Caledonian crows, two Japanese jungle crows, two Australian magpies, two Indian mynah, three zebra finches (all Passeriformes, one Southern lapwing (Charadriiformes and one monk parakeet (Psittaciformes. Microscopic survey of the brain tissue suggests that the largest PGCs are located in the hyperpallium densocellulare and mesopallium. No clusters were found in brain sections from one Gruiform (purple swamphen, one Strigiform (barn owl, one Trochiliform (green-backed firecrown, one Falconiform (chimango caracara, one Columbiform (pigeon and one Galliform (chick.Our observations suggest that PGCs in Aves are brain region- and taxon-specific and that the presence of perineuronal glia in healthy human brains and the similar PGCs in avian gray matter is the result of convergent evolution. The

  17. HDAC3 Inhibitor RGFP966 Modulates Neuronal Memory for Vocal Communication Signals in a Songbird Model

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    Mimi L. Phan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms that modify chromatin conformation have recently been under investigation for their contributions to learning and the formation of memory. For example, the role of enzymes involved in histone acetylation are studied in the formation of long-lasting memories because memory consolidation requires gene expression events that are facilitated by an open state of chromatin. We recently proposed that epigenetic events may control the entry of specific sensory features into long-term memory by enabling transcription-mediated neuronal plasticity in sensory brain areas. Histone deacetylases, like HDAC3, may thereby regulate the specific sensory information that is captured for entry into long-term memory stores (Phan and Bieszczad, 2016. To test this hypothesis, we used an HDAC3-selective inhibitor (RGFP966 to determine whether its application after an experience with a sound stimulus with unique acoustic features could contribute to the formation of a memory that would assist in mediating its later recognition. We gave adult male zebra finches limited exposure to unique conspecific songs (20 repetitions each, well below the normal threshold to form long-term memory, followed by treatment with RGFP966 or vehicle. In different groups, we either made multi-electrode recordings in the higher auditory area NCM (caudal medial nidopallidum, or determined expression of an immediate early gene, zenk (also identified as zif268, egr-1, ngfi-a and krox24, known to participate in neuronal memory in this system. We found that birds treated with RGFP966 showed neuronal memory after only limited exposure, while birds treated with vehicle did not. Strikingly, evidence of neuronal memory in NCM induced by HDAC3-inhibition was lateralized to the left-hemisphere, consistent with our finding that RGFP966-treatment also elevated zenk expression only in the left hemisphere. The present findings show feasibility for epigenetic mechanisms to control neural

  18. HDAC3 Inhibitor RGFP966 Modulates Neuronal Memory for Vocal Communication Signals in a Songbird Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phan, Mimi L; Gergues, Mark M; Mahidadia, Shafali; Jimenez-Castillo, Jorge; Vicario, David S; Bieszczad, Kasia M

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms that modify chromatin conformation have recently been under investigation for their contributions to learning and the formation of memory. For example, the role of enzymes involved in histone acetylation are studied in the formation of long-lasting memories because memory consolidation requires gene expression events that are facilitated by an open state of chromatin. We recently proposed that epigenetic events may control the entry of specific sensory features into long-term memory by enabling transcription-mediated neuronal plasticity in sensory brain areas. Histone deacetylases, like HDAC3, may thereby regulate the specific sensory information that is captured for entry into long-term memory stores (Phan and Bieszczad, 2016). To test this hypothesis, we used an HDAC3-selective inhibitor (RGFP966) to determine whether its application after an experience with a sound stimulus with unique acoustic features could contribute to the formation of a memory that would assist in mediating its later recognition. We gave adult male zebra finches limited exposure to unique conspecific songs (20 repetitions each, well below the normal threshold to form long-term memory), followed by treatment with RGFP966 or vehicle. In different groups, we either made multi-electrode recordings in the higher auditory area NCM (caudal medial nidopallidum), or determined expression of an immediate early gene, zenk (also identified as zif268 , egr-1 , ngfi-a and krox24 ), known to participate in neuronal memory in this system. We found that birds treated with RGFP966 showed neuronal memory after only limited exposure, while birds treated with vehicle did not. Strikingly, evidence of neuronal memory in NCM induced by HDAC3-inhibition was lateralized to the left-hemisphere, consistent with our finding that RGFP966-treatment also elevated zenk expression only in the left hemisphere. The present findings show feasibility for epigenetic mechanisms to control neural plasticity

  19. Behavioral and physiological flexibility are used by birds to manage energy and support investment in the early stages of reproduction

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    François VÉzina, Katrina G. SALVANTE

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Interest in phenotypic flexibility has increased dramatically over the last decade, but flexibility during reproduction has received relatively little attention from avian scientists, despite its possible impact on fitness. Because most avian species maintain atrophied reproductive organs when not active, reproduction in birds requires major tissue remodeling in preparation for breeding. Females undergo rapid (days recrudescence and regression of their reproductive organs at each breeding attempt, while males grow their organs ahead of time at a much slower rate (weeks and may maintain them at maximal size throughout the breeding season. Reproduction is associated with significant metabolic costs. Egg production leads to a 22–27% increase in resting metabolic rate (RMR over non-reproductive values. This is partly due to the activity of the oviduct, an organ that may allow females to adjust reproductive investment by modulating egg size and quality. In males, gonadal recrudescence may lead to a 30% increase in RMR, but the data are inconsistent and general conclusions regarding energetic costs of reproduction in males will require more research. Recent studies on captive female zebra finches describe the impacts of these costs on daily energy budgets and highlight the strategies used by birds to maintain their investment in reproduction when energy is limited. Whenever possible, birds use behavioral flexibility as a first means of saving energy. Decreasing locomotor activity saves energy during challenges such as egg production or exposure to cold temperatures and is an efficient way to buffer variation in individual daily energy budgets. However, when behavioral flexibility is not possible, birds must rely on flexibility at the physiological level to meet energy demands. In zebra finches breeding in the cold, this results in a reduced pace of laying, likely due to down-regulation of both reproductive and non-reproductive function, allowing

  20. Article Processing Charges and OpenAPC

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2017-01-01

    The publication landscape is about to change. While being largely operated by subscription based journals in the past, recent political decisions force the publishing industry towards OpenAccess. Especially, the publication of the Finch report in 2012 put APC based Gold OpenAccess models almost everywhere on the agenda. These models also require quite some adoptions for library work flows to handle payments, bills and centralized funds for publication fees. Sometimes handled in specialized systems (e.g. first setups in Jülich) pretty early on discussions started to handle APCs in local repositories which would also hold the OpenAccess content resulting from these fees, e.g. the University of Regenburg uses ePrints for this purpose. Backed up by the OpenData movmement, libraries also saw opportunity to exchange data about fees payed. Thus, OpenAPC.de was born in 2014 on github to facilitate this exchange and aggregate large amounts of data for evaluation and comparison. Using the repository to hold payment d...