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Sample records for finch carpodacus mexicanus

  1. Carotenoids in bird testes: links to body carotenoid supplies, plumage coloration, body mass and testes mass in house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Melissah; Tourville, Elizabeth A; McGraw, Kevin J

    2012-01-01

    Carotenoid pigments can be allocated to different parts of the body to serve specific functions. In contrast to other body tissues, studies of carotenoid resources in the testes of animals are relatively scarce. We used high-performance liquid chromatography to determine the types and concentrations of carotenoids in the testes of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus). Additionally, we examined the relationships between testes carotenoid concentrations and carotenoid pools in other body tissues, as well as body mass, testes mass and plumage coloration. We detected low concentrations of several carotenoids - lutein (the predominant carotenoid), zeaxanthin, anhydrolutein, β-cryptoxanthin, β-carotene and an unknown carotene - in the testes of wild house finches. We also found that testes lutein levels were significantly and positively associated with circulating lutein levels, while the concentration of zeaxanthin in testes was positively associated with zeaxanthin levels in liver, though in this instance the relationship was much weaker and only marginally significant. Furthermore, lutein levels in testes were significantly negatively associated with testes mass. Finally, plumage coloration was not associated with either the concentration of carotenoids in the testes or relative testes mass. These results suggest that testes carotenoids are reflective of the pool of circulating carotenoids in house finches, and that plumage coloration is unlikely to signal either the carotenoid content of testes tissue or a male's capacity for sperm production.

  2. Changes in corticosterone concentrations and behavior during Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Ashley C; Foltz, Sarah L; Adelman, James S; Moore, Ignacio T; Hawley, Dana M

    2016-09-01

    Glucocorticoid stress hormones are important for energy mobilization as well as regulation of the immune system, and thus these hormones are particularly likely to both influence and respond to pathogen infection in vertebrates. In this study, we examined how the glucocorticoid stress response in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus) interacts with experimental infection of the naturally-occurring bacterial pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG). We also investigated whether infection-induced concentrations of corticosterone (CORT), the primary glucocorticoid in birds, were associated with the expression of sickness behavior, the lethargy typically observed in vertebrates early in infection. We found that experimental infection with MG resulted in significantly higher CORT levels on day 5 post-infection, but this effect appeared to be limited to female house finches only. Regardless of sex, infected individuals with greater disease severity had the highest CORT concentrations on day 5 post-infection. House finches exposed to MG exhibited behavioral changes, with infected birds having significantly lower activity levels than sham-inoculated individuals. However, CORT concentrations and the extent of sickness behaviors exhibited among infected birds were not associated. Finally, pre-infection CORT concentrations were associated with reduced inflammation and pathogen load in inoculated males, but not females. Our results suggest that the house finch glucocorticoid stress response may both influence and respond to MG infection in sex-specific ways, but because we had a relatively low sample size of males, future work should confirm these patterns. Finally, manipulative experiments should be performed to test whether the glucocorticoid stress response acts as a brake on the inflammatory response associated with MG infection in house finches.

  3. House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) Conjunctivitis, and Mycoplasma spp. Isolated from North American Wild Birds, 1994-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ley, David H; Hawley, Dana M; Geary, Steven J; Dhondt, André A

    2016-07-01

    Sampling wild birds for mycoplasma culture has been key to the study of House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) conjunctivitis, yielding isolates of Mycoplasma gallisepticum spanning the temporal and geographic ranges of disease from emergence to endemicity. Faced with the challenges and costs of sample collection over time and from remote locations for submission to our laboratory for mycoplasma culture, protocols evolved to achieve a practical optimum. Herein we report making M. gallisepticum isolates from House Finches almost every year since the disease emerged in 1994, and we now have 227 isolates from 17 states. Our wild bird host range for M. gallisepticum isolates includes Blue Jay ( Cyanocitta cristata ), American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis), Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria), Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus), Evening Grosbeak ( Coccothraustes vespertinus ), and herein first reports for Western Scrub-jay ( Aphelocoma californica ), and American Crow ( Corvus brachyrhynchos ). By collecting and identifying isolates from birds with clinical signs similar to those of House Finch conjunctivitis, we also expanded the known host range of Mycoplasma sturni and obtained isolates from additional wild bird species. Accumulating evidence shows that a diverse range of wild bird species may carry or have been exposed to M. gallisepticum in the US, as in Europe and Asia. Therefore, the emergence of a pathogenic M. gallisepticum strain in House Finches may actually be the exception that has allowed us to identify the broader epidemiologic picture.

  4. The effects of sun exposure on carotenoid accumulation and oxidative stress in the retina of the House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Matthew B Toomey; Kevin J McGraw

    2016-01-01

    Background: Diet-derived carotenoid pigments are concentrated in the retinas of birds and serve a variety of func-tions, including photoprotection. In domesticated bird species (e.g., chickens and quail), retinal carotenoid pigmenta-tion has been shown to respond to large manipulations in light exposure and provide protection against photodam-age. However, it is not known if or how wild birds respond to ecologically relevant variation in sun exposure. Methods: We manipulated the duration of natural sunlight exposure and dietary carotenoid levels in wild-caught captive House Finches (Haemorhous mexicanus), then measured carotenoid accumulation and oxidative stress in the retina. Results: We found no signiifcant effects of sun exposure on retinal levels of carotenoids or lipid peroxidation, in rep-licate experiments, in winter (Jan–Mar) and spring/summer (May–June). Dietary carotenoid supplementation in the spring/summer experiment led to signiifcantly higher retinal carotenoid levels, but did not affect lipid peroxidation. Carotenoid levels differed signiifcantly between the winter and spring/summer experiments, with higher retinal and lower plasma carotenoid levels in birds from the later experiment. Conclusion: Our results suggest that variation in the duration of exposure to direct sunlight have limited inlfuence on intraspeciifc variation in retinal carotenoid accumulation, but that accumulation may track other seasonal–envi-ronmental cues and physiological processes.

  5. Parasites in the City: Degree of Urbanization Predicts Poxvirus and Coccidian Infections in House Finches (Haemorhous mexicanus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giraudeau, Mathieu; Mousel, Melanie; Earl, Stevan; McGraw, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Background 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. Methodology/Principal Findings 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. Conclusion/Significance 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). PMID:24503816

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Giraudeau

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: 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.

  7. The effects of sun exposure on carotenoid accumulation and oxidative stress in the retina of the House Finch(Haemorhous mexicanus)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Matthew B.Toomey; Kevin J.McGraw

    2016-01-01

    Background: Diet-derived carotenoid pigments are concentrated in the retinas of birds and serve a variety of functions, including photoprotection. In domesticated bird species(e.g., chickens and quail), retinal carotenoid pigmentation has been shown to respond to large manipulations in light exposure and provide protection against photodamage. However, it is not known if or how wild birds respond to ecologically relevant variation in sun exposure.Methods: We manipulated the duration of natural sunlight exposure and dietary carotenoid levels in wild-caught captive House Finches(Haemorhous mexicanus), then measured carotenoid accumulation and oxidative stress in the retina.Results: We found no significant effects of sun exposure on retinal levels of carotenoids or lipid peroxidation, in replicate experiments, in winter(Jan–Mar) and spring/summer(May–June). Dietary carotenoid supplementation in the spring/summer experiment led to significantly higher retinal carotenoid levels, but did not affect lipid peroxidation. Carotenoid levels differed significantly between the winter and spring/summer experiments, with higher retinal and lower plasma carotenoid levels in birds from the later experiment.Conclusion: Our results suggest that variation in the duration of exposure to direct sunlight have limited influence on intraspecific variation in retinal carotenoid accumulation, but that accumulation may track other seasonal–environmental cues and physiological processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. 燕雀亚科鸟类的贝叶斯系统发生:非洲鹂雀的分类地位及朱雀属的进化与异质起源%Bayesian phylogeny of Fringillinae birds: status of the singular African oriole finch Linurgus olivaceus and evolution and heterogeneity of the genus Carpodacus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Antonio ARNAIZ-VILLENA; Juan MOSCOSO; Valentin RUIZ.DEL.VALLE; Javier GONZAI,EZ; Raquel REGUERA; Michael WINK; Juan I.SERRANOVELA

    2007-01-01

    鹂雀(Linurgus olivaceus)是非洲热带森林中一种独特的鸣禽,为鹂雀属(Linurgus)的惟一物种.在已有的研究中,通过对鹂雀和雀形目现存鸟类中每个科及亚科至少一个物种的线粒体DNA序列测定,分析了鹂雀与其它现存雀形目鸟类的系统发生关系;在遗传上,对鹂雀与金丝雀、金翅雀及燕雀亚科其它鸟类亦有比较研究.本研究共使用了燕雀亚科83种鸟类,重点对该亚科的系统发生进行了修订.使用贝叶斯法构建了系统发生树,结果表明:鹂雀属于燕雀亚科,系统发生树中聚在金翅雀族(Carduelini),与金丝雀属(Serinus)、金翅雀属(Carduelis)及交嘴雀属(Loxia)的种类形成一组;在系统发生中,鹂雀可能是一个基部物种,它同金丝雀属和金翅雀属鸟类一同进化并分歧出来.在本研究中未能涉及的一些已灭绝种类,可能与鹂雀有着较近的遗传学关系.另一方面,研究也表明锡嘴雀(Coccotharustes coccothraustes)肯定包括在欧亚蜡嘴雀(蜡嘴雀属Eophona和拟蜡嘴雀属Mycerobas)中,美洲的朱雀(Carpodacus)可能是从亚洲种类分歧出来并经过进化辐射形成.%Oriole finch Linurgus olivaceus is a songbird thriving in African tropical forests. It has been classified as the only species within the genus Linurgus. The phylogenetic relationships of the oriole finch with at least one species of each extant Passerine families and subfamilies have been studied by mitochondrial DNA sequencing. L.olivaceus has also been genetically compared with most extant Canaries, Siskins and other members of the subfamily Fringillinae. In total, 83 Fringillinae species have been used for the present study, and a phylogenetic revision of this subfamily has been addressed. Phylogenetic trees have been constructed by using a Bayesian methodology. Our results show that Linurgus olivaceus belongs to the subfamily Fringillinae and clusters within the tribe Carduelini, grouping with canaries

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. The beak of the other finch: coevolution of genetic covariance structure and developmental modularity during adaptive evolution.

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    Badyaev, Alexander V

    2010-04-12

    The link between adaptation and evolutionary change remains the most central and least understood evolutionary problem. Rapid evolution and diversification of avian beaks is a textbook example of such a link, yet the mechanisms that enable beak's precise adaptation and extensive adaptability are poorly understood. Often observed rapid evolutionary change in beaks is particularly puzzling in light of the neo-Darwinian model that necessitates coordinated changes in developmentally distinct precursors and correspondence between functional and genetic modularity, which should preclude evolutionary diversification. I show that during first 19 generations after colonization of a novel environment, house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) express an array of distinct, but adaptively equivalent beak morphologies-a result of compensatory developmental interactions between beak length and width in accommodating microevolutionary change in beak depth. Directional selection was largely confined to the elimination of extremes formed by these developmental interactions, while long-term stabilizing selection along a single axis-beak depth-was mirrored in the structure of beak's additive genetic covariance. These results emphasize three principal points. First, additive genetic covariance structure may represent a historical record of the most recurrent developmental and functional interactions. Second, adaptive equivalence of beak configurations shields genetic and developmental variation in individual components from depletion by natural selection. Third, compensatory developmental interactions among beak components can generate rapid reorganization of beak morphology under novel conditions and thus greatly facilitate both the evolution of precise adaptation and extensive diversification, thereby linking adaptation and adaptability in this classic example of Darwinian evolution.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  13. Response of black-capped chickadees to house finch Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André A Dhondt

    Full Text Available Tests for the presence of pathogen DNA or antibodies are routinely used to survey for current or past infections. In diseases that emerge following a host jump estimates of infection rate might be under- or overestimated. We here examine whether observed rates of infection are biased for a non-focal host species in a model system. The bacterium Mycoplasma gallisepticum is a widespread pathogen in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus, a fringillid finch, but an unknown proportion of individuals of other songbird species are also infected. Our goal is to determine the extent to which detection of M. gallisepticum DNA or antibodies against the bacteria in a non-fringillid bird species is over- or underestimated using black-capped chickadees Poecile atricapillus, a species in which antibodies against M. gallisepticum are frequently detected in free-living individuals. After keeping black-capped chickadees in captivity for 12 weeks, during which period the birds remained negative for M. gallisepticum, four were inoculated with M. gallisepticum and four were sham inoculated in both eyes to serve as negative controls. Simultaneously we inoculated six house finches with the same isolate of M. gallisepticum as a positive control. All inoculated birds of both species developed infections detectable by qPCR in the conjunctiva. For the 6 weeks following inoculation we detected antibodies in all M. gallisepticum-inoculated house finches but in only three of the four M. gallisepticum-inoculated black-capped chickadees. All house finches developed severe eye lesions but none of the black-capped chickadees did. Modeling the Rapid Plate Agglutination test results of black-capped chickadees shows that the rate of false-positive tests would be not more than 3.2%, while the estimated rate of false negatives is 55%. We conclude that the proportion of wild-caught individuals in which we detect M. gallisepticum-specific antibodies using Rapid Plate Agglutination is, if

  14. Environmental Assessment for Routine and Recurring Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Flight Operations at Edwards Air Force Base, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-11-01

    Environmental Impact Report for the West Mojave Plan. U.S. Department of the Interior, 8 BLM California Desert District Office, Moreno Valley...Amphispiza belli), barn owl (Tyto alba ), house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), and western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta). Joshua tree woodlands...associated with aquatic habitats. Barn owls (Tyto alba ) are known to inhabit buildings on the flightline. During the evening, owls feed on small rodents

  15. Environmental Planning Technical Report. Biological Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    associations and prefer scarp/woodland areas as den sites (Chapman and Feldhamer 1982, NGPC 1972, SchIldman 1981). Coyote ( Canis latrans), badger (Taxidea...the house sparrow (Passer domesticus ), house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), starling (Sturnus vu ris), and rock dove (Columba livid). 2.6.2.7.2.3 Other...1983 A Guide to Field Identification : Birds of North America. (second ed.) Golden Press, New York. Sayre, Roxanna 1983 Creatures. Audubon: 85(6):49

  16. 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.

  17. Primary cutaneous mucormycosis produced by the new species Apophysomyces mexicanus.

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    Bonifaz, Alexandro; Stchigel, Alberto M; Guarro, Josep; Guevara, Esther; Pintos, Liliana; Sanchis, Marta; Cano-Lira, José F

    2014-12-01

    A case of fungal necrotizing fasciitis that appeared in an immunocompetent Mexican woman after a car accident is described. The patient did not respond to antifungal treatment and died 4 days later. The fungus was molecularly identified as a new species of Apophysomyces, namely, Apophysomyces mexicanus.

  18. Evolution of Space Dependent Growth in the Teleost Astyanax mexicanus

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    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 (surfac...

  19. Sisyphean evolution in Darwin's finches.

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    McKay, Bailey D; Zink, Robert M

    2015-08-01

    The trajectory of speciation involves geographic isolation of ancestral populations followed by divergence by natural selection, genetic drift or sexual selection. Once started, the process may experience fits and starts, as sometimes diverging populations intermittently reconnect. In theory populations might cycle between stages of differentiation and never attain species status, a process we refer to as Sisyphean evolution. We argue that the six putative ground finch species (genus Geospiza) of the Galápagos Islands represent a dramatic example of Sisyphean evolution that has been confused with the standard model of speciation. The dynamic environment of the Galápagos, closely spaced islands, and frequent dispersal and introgression have prevented the completion of the speciation process. We suggest that morphological clusters represent locally adapted ecomorphs, which might mimic, and have been confused with, species, but these ecomorphs do not form separate gene pools and are ephemeral in space and time. Thus the pattern of morphological, behavioural and genetic variation supports recognition of a single species of Geospiza, which we suggest should be recognized as Darwin's ground finch (Geospiza magnirostris). We argue that instead of providing an icon of insular speciation and adaptive radiation, which is featured in nearly every textbook on evolutionary biology, Darwin's ground finch represents a potentially more interesting phenomenon, one of transient morphs trapped in an unpredictable cycle of Sisyphean evolution. Instead of revealing details of the origin of species, the mechanisms underlying the transient occurrence of ecomorphs provide one of the best illustrations of the antagonistic effects of natural selection and introgression.

  20. Genome Editing in Astyanax mexicanus Using Transcription Activator-like Effector Nucleases (TALENs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowalko, Johanna E; Ma, Li; Jeffery, William R

    2016-06-20

    Identifying alleles of genes underlying evolutionary change is essential to understanding how and why evolution occurs. Towards this end, much recent work has focused on identifying candidate genes for the evolution of traits in a variety of species. However, until recently it has been challenging to functionally validate interesting candidate genes. Recently developed tools for genetic engineering make it possible to manipulate specific genes in a wide range of organisms. Application of this technology in evolutionarily relevant organisms will allow for unprecedented insight into the role of candidate genes in evolution. Astyanax mexicanus (A. mexicanus) is a species of fish with both surface-dwelling and cave-dwelling forms. Multiple independent lines of cave-dwelling forms have evolved from ancestral surface fish, which are interfertile with one another and with surface fish, allowing elucidation of the genetic basis of cave traits. A. mexicanus has been used for a number of evolutionary studies, including linkage analysis to identify candidate genes responsible for a number of traits. Thus, A. mexicanus is an ideal system for the application of genome editing to test the role of candidate genes. Here we report a method for using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) to mutate genes in surface A. mexicanus. Genome editing using TALENs in A. mexicanus has been utilized to generate mutations in pigmentation genes. This technique can also be utilized to evaluate the role of candidate genes for a number of other traits that have evolved in cave forms of A. mexicanus.

  1. Detection of Paragonimus mexicanus (Trematoda) metacercariae in crabs from Oaxaca, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas-Arzola, Jaime; Segura-Salvador, Aristeo; Reyes-Velasco, Leobardo; Díaz-Chiguer, Dylan L; Márquez-Navarro, Adrián; León-Avila, Gloria; Ibañez-Cervantes, Gabriela; Camacho, Alejandro D; Sánchez-Manzano, Rosa Ma; Nogueda-Torres, Benjamín

    2014-09-01

    Metacercariae of Paragonimus mexicanus were collected in crabs Tehuana guerreroensis (Rathbun, 1933) in the municipality of Putla, Oaxaca, Mexico. Metacercariae were found in 20.8% of the crabs collected, with an average of 1.9 metacercarie per crab. Stained metacercariae showed the specific characteristics of P. mexicanus by morphology and sequencing a fragment of the 28S ribosomal gene obtained by PCR. These findings reveal that T. guerreroensis is an intermediate host for P. mexicanus; this new report is relevant considering the potential risk of transmission in the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero, Mexico.

  2. Darwin's Galapagos finches in modern biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abzhanov, Arhat

    2010-04-12

    One of the classic examples of adaptive radiation under natural selection is the evolution of 15 closely related species of Darwin's finches (Passeriformes), whose primary diversity lies in the size and shape of their beaks. Since Charles Darwin and other members of the Beagle expedition collected these birds on the Galápagos Islands in 1835 and introduced them to science, they have been the subjects of intense research. Many biology textbooks use Darwin's finches to illustrate a variety of topics of evolutionary theory, such as speciation, natural selection and niche partitioning. Today, as this Theme Issue illustrates, Darwin's finches continue to be a very valuable source of biological discovery. Certain advantages of studying this group allow further breakthroughs in our understanding of changes in recent island biodiversity, mechanisms of speciation and hybridization, evolution of cognitive behaviours, principles of beak/jaw biomechanics as well as the underlying developmental genetic mechanisms in generating morphological diversity. Our objective was to bring together some of the key workers in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology who study Darwin's finches or whose studies were inspired by research on Darwin's finches. Insights provided by papers collected in this Theme Issue will be of interest to a wide audience.

  3. 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.

  4. Modularity and sense organs in the blind cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz-Odendaal, Tamara A; Hall, Brian K

    2006-01-01

    Mexican tetra (Astyanax mexicanus) exist as two morphs: a sighted (surface) form and a blind (cavefish) form. In the cavefish, some modules are lost, such as the eye and pigment modules, whereas others are expanded, such as the taste bud and cranial neuromast modules. We suggest that modularity can be viewed as being nested in a manner similar to Baupläne so that modules express unique sets of genes, cells, and processes. In terms of evolution, we conclude that natural selection can act on any of these hierarchical levels within modules or on all the sensory modules as a whole. We discuss interactions within and between modules with reference to the blind cavefish from both genetic and developmental perspectives. The cavefish represents an illuminating example of module interaction, uncoupling of modules, and module expansion.

  5. Dynamics of zebra finch and mockingbird vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimenser, Aylin

    Along with humans, whales, and bats, three groups of birds which include songbirds (oscines) such as the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) are the only creatures known to learn sounds by imitation. Numerous similarities between human and songbird vocalizations exist and, recently, it has been shown that Zebra Finch in particular possesses a gene, FoxP2, known to be involved in human language. This thesis investigates song development in Zebra Finches, as well as the temporal dynamics of song in Mockingbirds. Zebra Finches have long been the system of choice for studying vocal development, ontogeny, and complexity in birdsong. Physicists find them intriguing because the spectrally complex vocalizations of the Zebra Finch can exhibit sudden transitions to chaotic dynamics, period doubling & mode-locking phenomena. Mockingbirds, by contrast, provide an ideal system to examine the richness of an avian repertoire, since these musically versatile songbirds typically know upwards of 200 songs. To analyse birdsong data, we have developed a novel clustering algorithm that can be applied to the bird's syllables, tracing their dynamics back to the earliest stages of vocal development. To characterize birdsong we have used Fourier techniques, based upon multitaper spectral analysis, to optimally work around the constraints imposed by (Heisenberg's) time-frequency uncertainty principle. Furthermore, estimates that provide optimal compromise between frequency and temporal resolution have beautiful connections with solutions to the Helmholtz wave equation in prolate spheroidal coordinates. We have used this connection to provide firm foundation for certain heuristics used in the literature to compute associated spectral derivatives and supply a pedagogical account here in this thesis. They are of interest because spectral derivatives emphasize sudden changes in the dynamics of the underlying phenomenon, and often provide a nice way to visualize

  6. Epigenetics and the evolution of Darwin's Finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Michael K; Gurerrero-Bosagna, Carlos; Haque, M Muksitul; Nilsson, Eric E; Koop, Jennifer A H; Knutie, Sarah A; Clayton, Dale H

    2014-07-24

    The prevailing theory for the molecular basis of evolution involves genetic mutations that ultimately generate the heritable phenotypic variation on which natural selection acts. However, epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of phenotypic variation may also play an important role in evolutionary change. A growing number of studies have demonstrated the presence of epigenetic inheritance in a variety of different organisms that can persist for hundreds of generations. The possibility that epigenetic changes can accumulate over longer periods of evolutionary time has seldom been tested empirically. This study was designed to compare epigenetic changes among several closely related species of Darwin's finches, a well-known example of adaptive radiation. Erythrocyte DNA was obtained from five species of sympatric Darwin's finches that vary in phylogenetic relatedness. Genome-wide alterations in genetic mutations using copy number variation (CNV) were compared with epigenetic alterations associated with differential DNA methylation regions (epimutations). Epimutations were more common than genetic CNV mutations among the five species; furthermore, the number of epimutations increased monotonically with phylogenetic distance. Interestingly, the number of genetic CNV mutations did not consistently increase with phylogenetic distance. The number, chromosomal locations, regional clustering, and lack of overlap of epimutations and genetic mutations suggest that epigenetic changes are distinct and that they correlate with the evolutionary history of Darwin's finches. The potential functional significance of the epimutations was explored by comparing their locations on the genome to the location of evolutionarily important genes and cellular pathways in birds. Specific epimutations were associated with genes related to the bone morphogenic protein, toll receptor, and melanogenesis signaling pathways. Species-specific epimutations were significantly overrepresented in these

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, Sarah K; Owen, Jeb P; Koop, Jennifer A H; King, Marisa O; Grant, Peter R; Grant, B Rosemary; Clayton, Dale H

    2010-01-06

    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. 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. 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 of the fitness implications of parasite-specific immune responses in Darwin

  9. 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.

  10. Genome editing using TALENs in blind Mexican Cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus.

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    Li Ma

    Full Text Available Astyanax mexicanus, a teleost fish that exists in a river-dwelling surface form and multiple cave-dwelling forms, is an excellent system for studying the genetic basis of evolution. Cavefish populations, which independently evolved from surface fish ancestors multiple times, have evolved a number of morphological and behavioral traits. Quantitative trait loci (QTL analyses have been performed to identify the genetic basis of many of these traits. These studies, combined with recent sequencing of the genome, provide a unique opportunity to identify candidate genes for these cave-specific traits. However, tools to test the requirement of these genes must be established to evaluate the role of candidate genes in generating cave-specific traits. To address this need, we designed transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs to target two genes that contain coding changes in cavefish relative to surface fish and map to the same location as QTL for pigmentation, oculocutaneous albinism 2 (oca2 and melanocortin 1 receptor (mc1r. We found that surface fish genes can be mutated using this method. TALEN-induced mutations in oca2 result in mosaic loss of melanin pigmentation visible as albino patches in F0 founder fish, suggesting biallelic gene mutations in F0s and allowing us to evaluate the role of this gene in pigmentation. The pigment cells in the albino patches can produce melanin upon treatment with L-DOPA, behaving similarly to pigment cells in albino cavefish and providing additional evidence that oca2 is the gene within the QTL responsible for albinism in cavefish. This technology has the potential to introduce a powerful tool for studying the role of candidate genes responsible for the evolution of cavefish traits.

  11. Genome editing using TALENs in blind Mexican Cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Li; Jeffery, William R; Essner, Jeffrey J; Kowalko, Johanna E

    2015-01-01

    Astyanax mexicanus, a teleost fish that exists in a river-dwelling surface form and multiple cave-dwelling forms, is an excellent system for studying the genetic basis of evolution. Cavefish populations, which independently evolved from surface fish ancestors multiple times, have evolved a number of morphological and behavioral traits. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses have been performed to identify the genetic basis of many of these traits. These studies, combined with recent sequencing of the genome, provide a unique opportunity to identify candidate genes for these cave-specific traits. However, tools to test the requirement of these genes must be established to evaluate the role of candidate genes in generating cave-specific traits. To address this need, we designed transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) to target two genes that contain coding changes in cavefish relative to surface fish and map to the same location as QTL for pigmentation, oculocutaneous albinism 2 (oca2) and melanocortin 1 receptor (mc1r). We found that surface fish genes can be mutated using this method. TALEN-induced mutations in oca2 result in mosaic loss of melanin pigmentation visible as albino patches in F0 founder fish, suggesting biallelic gene mutations in F0s and allowing us to evaluate the role of this gene in pigmentation. The pigment cells in the albino patches can produce melanin upon treatment with L-DOPA, behaving similarly to pigment cells in albino cavefish and providing additional evidence that oca2 is the gene within the QTL responsible for albinism in cavefish. This technology has the potential to introduce a powerful tool for studying the role of candidate genes responsible for the evolution of cavefish traits.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, Natalya D; Jeffery, William R

    2012-01-01

    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.

  14. Infection with Mycoplasma gallisepticum buffers the effects of acute stress on innate immunity in house finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratto, Melanie; Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Davis, Andrew K

    2014-01-01

    When wild animals become infected, they still must cope with the rigors of daily life, and, thus, they still can be exposed to acute stressors. The suite of physiological responses to acute stress includes modifying the innate immune system, but infections can also cause similar changes. We examined the effects of an acute stressor (capture stress) on leukocyte abundance and bacteria-killing ability (BKA) in wild birds (house finches Haemorhous mexicanus) with and without a naturally occurring infection (Mycoplasma gallisepticum) to determine whether infection alters the typical immune response to stress. Birds were captured and bled within 3 min (baseline sample) and then held in paper bags for 2 h and bled again (stress sample). From blood smears made at both time points, we obtained estimates of total white blood cell (WBC) counts and relative numbers of each cell. We also measured BKA of plasma at both time points. In uninfected birds (n = 26), total WBC count decreased by 30% over time, while in infected birds (n = 9), it decreased by 6%. Relative numbers of heterophils did not change over time in uninfected birds but increased in infected birds. Combined with a reduction in lymphocyte numbers, this led to a threefold increase in heterophil-lymphocyte values in infected birds after the stressor, compared to a twofold increase in uninfected birds. There was a nonsignificant tendency for BKA to decline with stress in uninfected birds but not in diseased birds. Collectively, these results suggest that infections can buffer the negative effects of acute stress on innate immunity.

  15. Estrogen levels influence medullary bone quantity and density in female house finches and pine siskins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squire, Maria E; Veglia, Megan K; Drucker, Kevin A; Brazeal, Kathleen R; Hahn, Thomas P; Watts, Heather E

    2017-05-15

    Medullary bone, a non-structural osseous tissue, serves as a temporary storage site for calcium that is needed for eggshell production in a number of avian species. Previous research focusing primarily on domesticated species belonging to the Anseriformes, Galliformes, and Columbiformes has indicated that rising estrogen levels are a key signal stimulating medullary bone formation; Passeriformes (which constitute over half of extant bird species and are generally small) have received little attention. In the current study, we examined the influence of estrogen on medullary bone and cortical bone in two species of Passeriformes: the Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) and the House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus). Females of these species received either an estradiol implant or were untreated as a control. After 4.5-5months, reproductive condition was assessed and leg (femora) and wing (humeri) bones were collected for analysis using high-resolution (10μm) micro-computed tomography scanning. We found that in both species estradiol-treated females had significantly greater medullary bone quantity in comparison to untreated females, but we found no differences in cortical bone quantity or microarchitecture. We were also able to examine medullary bone density in the pine siskins and found that estradiol treatment significantly increased medullary bone density. Furthermore, beyond the effect of the estradiol treatment, we observed a relationship between medullary bone quantity and ovarian condition that suggests that the timing of medullary bone formation may be related to the onset of yolk deposition in these species. Further research is needed to better understand the precise timing and endocrine regulation of medullary bone formation in Passerines and to determine the extent to which female Passerines rely on medullary bone calcium during the formation of calcified eggshells. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. [Biology of Tetranychus mexicanus (McGregor) (Acari: Tetranychidae) on three species of Annonaceae].

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Sousa, Josilene M; Gondim, Manoel G C; Lofego, Antônio C

    2010-01-01

    The mite Tetranychus mexicanus (McGregor) is considered a pest of a variety of plant species in the Americas. Although this mite apparently causes economic damage to Annonaceae, little is known about its biology. Here we studied the biology of T. mexicanus on soursop (Annona muricata), sweetsop (Annona squamosa) and araticum (Annona coriaceae). The first two species are the most important economical Annonaceae species in northeast Brazil; araticum is commonly found in the region, but not commercially explored. The mites were collected in the field from leaves of A. muricata and maintained in the laboratory for six months on detached leaves of A. muricata, A. squamosa and A. coriaceae, respectively, before observations started. Tetranychus mexicanus developed more slowly on A. squamosa than on the two other hosts, but oviposition was considerably lower on A. coriaceae. As indicated by the calculated life table parameters, biotic potential was higher on A. muricata than on the other hosts. Despite the observed differences in the T. mexicanus biology on the different evaluated hosts, development and reproduction were satisfactory in all of the hosts used.

  17. Cave crawling in zebra Finch skulls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ole Næsbye; Salomon, Rasmus; Jensen, Kenneth Kragh

    2014-01-01

    by anatomical adaptations during evolution. A closer inspection of the zebra finch cranium using micro-CT scanning reveals that not only is IAC trabeculated and irregularly shaped but it also communicates with a set of highly complex, air-filled canals in the skull extending to the base of the beak. We tested...... the possible influence of these communicating cavities by measuring eardrum directionality and interaural transmission before and after filling the frontal cavities with dyed fat but found no dramatic effects. We will discuss what function the cavities serve and whether the ICA should be represented...

  18. 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.

  19. A Minimally-Invasive Procedure for Sexing Young Zebra Finches

    OpenAIRE

    Soderstrom, Ken; Qin, Weixi; Leggett, Matthew H.

    2007-01-01

    Zebra finches have been widely used to study neurobiology underlying vocal development. Because only male zebra finches learn song, efficient developmental use of these animals requires early determination of sex at ages that precede maturation of secondary sex characteristics. We have developed a sex determination method that combines a forensics method of genomic DNA isolation (from very small blood samples) with PCR amplification from Z and W sex chromosomes (males are ZZ, females ZW). Thi...

  20. Comparative stereology of the mouse and finch left ventricle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossen, E H; Sommer, J R; Waugh, R A

    1978-01-01

    The volume fractions and surface per unit cell volume of some subcellular components of the left ventricles of the finch and mouse were quantitated by stereologic techniques. These species were chosen for study because they have similar heart rates but differ morphologically in some respects: fiber diameter is larger in the mouse; the mouse has transverse tubules while the finch does not; and the finch has a form of junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (JSR), extended JSR (EJSR), located in the cell interior with no direct plasmalemmal contact, while the mouse interior JSR (IJSR) abuts on transverse tubules. Our data show that the volume fraction (Vv) and surface area per unit cell volume (Sv) of total SR, and free SR (FSR) are similar. The volume fractions of mitochondria, myofibrils, and total junctional SR were also similar. The Sv of the cell surface of the finch was similar to the Sv of the cell surface of the mouse (Sv-plasmalemma plus Sv of the transverse tubules). The principal difference was in the distribution of JSR; the mouse peripheral JSR (PJSR) represents only 9% of the total JSR, while the finch PJSR accounts for 24% of the bird's JSR. The similar volume fractions of total junctional SR (PJSR + EJSR in the finch; PJSR + IJSR in the mouse) suggest that the EJSR is not an embryologic remnant, and raises the possibility that some function of JSR is independent of plasmalemmal contact.

  1. Cave crawling in zebra finch skulls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ole Næsbye; Salomon, Rasmus; Jensen, Kenneth Kragh

    are acoustically coupled through an air-filled interaural canal (IAC) often illustrated and modelled as a simple tube, which allows sound to propagate through the skull from one ear to the other and considerably enhance the cues for directional hearing. Theoretically, different combinations of frequency dependent......Cave crawling in zebra finch skulls: what is the functional interaural canal? Ole Næsbye Larsen, Rasmus Salomon, Kenneth Kragh Jensen, and Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark The middle ears of birds...... is IAC trabeculated and irregularly shaped but it also communicates with a set of highly complex, air-filled canals in the skull extending to the base of the beak. We tested the possible influence of these communicating cavities by measuring eardrum directionality and interaural transmission before...

  2. The zebra finch neuropeptidome: prediction, detection and expression

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    Annangudi Suresh P

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Among songbirds, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata is an excellent model system for investigating the neural mechanisms underlying complex behaviours such as vocal communication, learning and social interactions. Neuropeptides and peptide hormones are cell-to-cell signalling molecules known to mediate similar behaviours in other animals. However, in the zebra finch, this information is limited. With the newly-released zebra finch genome as a foundation, we combined bioinformatics, mass-spectrometry (MS-enabled peptidomics and molecular techniques to identify the complete suite of neuropeptide prohormones and final peptide products and their distributions. Results Complementary bioinformatic resources were integrated to survey the zebra finch genome, identifying 70 putative prohormones. Ninety peptides derived from 24 predicted prohormones were characterized using several MS platforms; tandem MS confirmed a majority of the sequences. Most of the peptides described here were not known in the zebra finch or other avian species, although homologous prohormones exist in the chicken genome. Among the zebra finch peptides discovered were several unique vasoactive intestinal and adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide 1 peptides created by cleavage at sites previously unreported in mammalian prohormones. MS-based profiling of brain areas required for singing detected 13 peptides within one brain nucleus, HVC; in situ hybridization detected 13 of the 15 prohormone genes examined within at least one major song control nucleus. Expression mapping also identified prohormone messenger RNAs in areas associated with spatial learning and social behaviours. Based on the whole-genome analysis, 40 prohormone probes were found on a commonly used zebra finch brain microarray. Analysis of these newly annotated transcripts revealed that six prohormone probes showed altered expression after birds heard song playbacks in a paradigm of song

  3. Two new species of Aristocleidus (Monogenea from the gills of the Mexican mojarra Eugerres mexicanus (Perciformes, Gerreidae from southwestern Mexico

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    Mendoza-Franco Edgar F.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aristocleidus mexicanus n. sp. and Aristocleidus lacantuni n. sp. are described from the gills of the Mexican mojarra Eugerres mexicanus (Gerreidae, Perciformes from the Rio Lacantún basin, Chiapas State, Mexico. These new species differ from previously described congeneric species in the characteristics of several structures, including: (a ventral anchors, with differences in length (i.e. 46–50 µm in A. mexicanus vs. 38–43 µm, 34–37 µm, and 26–33 µm in Aristocleidus hastatus Mueller, 1936, Aristocleidus sp. of Mendoza-Franco, Violante-González & Roche 2009, and Aristocleidus lamothei Kritsky & Mendoza-Franco, 2008, respectively and shape (i.e. slightly angular union of elongate arcing shaft and point in A. mexicanus vs. point and shaft united at a conspicuous angular bend in A. hastatus and Aristocleidus sp., and evenly curved shaft and point in A. lamothei; (b male copulatory organ, i.e. a coiled tube with less than one ring in A. mexicanus and A. lacantuni (vs. a coiled tube of about 1½ in Aristocleidus sp.; (c distal end of the accessory piece (ornate in A. mexicanus vs. distally flattened and trifid in A. hastatus and A. lamothei, respectively; (d vaginal tube (moderately long in A. mexicanus vs. short in A. lamothei and looping in Aristocleidus sp.; and (e ventral bar (anteromedial process with terminal horn-like ornamentation in A. lacantuni vs. ornamentation absent in the other species. This study reports for the first time species of Aristocleidus from freshwater environments in Mexico.

  4. Song Recognition in Zebra Finches: Are There Sensitive Periods for Song Memorization?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braaten, Richard F.

    2010-01-01

    Male zebra finches learn to sing songs that they hear between 25 and 65 days of age, the sensitive period for song learning. In this experiment, male and female zebra finches were exposed to zebra finch songs either before (n = 9) or during (n = 4) the sensitive period. Following song exposure, recognition memory for the songs was assessed with an…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Vocal tract articulation in zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena R Ohms

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Birdsong and human vocal communication are both complex behaviours which show striking similarities mainly thought to be present in the area of development and learning. Recent studies, however, suggest that there are also parallels in vocal production mechanisms. While it has been long thought that vocal tract filtering, as it occurs in human speech, only plays a minor role in birdsong there is an increasing number of studies indicating the presence of sound filtering mechanisms in bird vocalizations as well. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Correlating high-speed X-ray cinematographic imaging of singing zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata to song structures we identified beak gape and the expansion of the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity (OEC as potential articulators. We subsequently manipulated both structures in an experiment in which we played sound through the vocal tract of dead birds. Comparing acoustic input with acoustic output showed that OEC expansion causes an energy shift towards lower frequencies and an amplitude increase whereas a wide beak gape emphasizes frequencies around 5 kilohertz and above. CONCLUSION: These findings confirm that birds can modulate their song by using vocal tract filtering and demonstrate how OEC and beak gape contribute to this modulation.

  7. Parvitermes (Isoptera, Termitidae, Nasutitermitinae) in Central America: Two new termite species and reassignment of Nasutitermes mexicanus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheffrahn, Rudolf H.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The termite genus Parvitermes is now recognized on the Central American mainland to include Parvitermes mexicanus, new combination (previously in Nasutitermes) and two new species, Parvitermes mesoamericanus sp. n. and Parvitermes yucatanus sp. n., herein described from soldiers and workers. These three species, nine West Indian Parvitermes, and Antillitermes subtilis all share characteristic enteric valve spines that orientate against intestinal flow. All species are subterranean nesters and cellulose feeders. Evidence is mounting that generic-level endemicity may be completely absent among the West Indian nasutitermitine fauna and that its origins stem from Central America. PMID:27667954

  8. 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.

  9. Affine transformations capture beak shape variation in Darwin's Finches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenner, Michael; Campas, Otger; Mallarino, Riccardo; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2009-11-01

    Evolution by natural selection has resulted in extraordinary morphological complexity of living organisms, whose description has thus far defied any precise mathematical characterization linked to the underlying developmental genetics. Here we demonstrate that the morphological diversity of the beaks of Darwin's finches, the classical example of adaptive morphological radiation, is quantitatively accounted for through the mathematical group of affine transformations. Specifically, we show that all beak shapes of Ground Finches (genus Geospiza) are related by scaling transformations (a subgroup of the affine group), and the same scheme occurs for all the beak shapes of Tree and Warbler finches. This analysis shows that the beak shapes within each of these groups differ only by their scales, such as length and depth, each of which is knownto be under genetic control.The complete morphological variability within the beaks of Darwin's finches can be explained by extending the scaling transformations to the entire affine group, by including shear transformations. Altogether our results suggest that the mathematical theory of groups can help decode morphological variability, and points to a potentially hierarchical structure of morphological diversity and the underlying developmental processes.

  10. SEX RECOGNITION IN ZEBRA FINCH MALES RESULTS FROM EARLY EXPERIENCE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VOS, DR

    1994-01-01

    This study investigated whether sexual imprinting plays a role in the recognition of the sex of conspecifics. Subjects were zebra finch males that had been raised with either normal pairs, white pairs or pairs of both morphs. They were tested for their preferences in six two-stimuli tests covering a

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhulst, S; Riedstra, B; Wiersma, P

    2005-01-01

    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 previou

  12. Evidence for multiple genetic forms with similar eyeless phenotypes in the blind cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowling, Thomas E; Martasian, David P; Jeffery, William R

    2002-04-01

    A diverse group of animals has adapted to caves and lost their eyes and pigmentation, but little is known about how these animals and their striking phenotypes have evolved. The teleost Astyanax mexicanus consists of an eyed epigean form (surface fish) and at least 29 different populations of eyeless hypogean forms (cavefish). Current alternative hypotheses suggest that adaptation to cave environments may have occurred either once or multiple times during the evolutionary history of this species. If the latter is true, the unique phenotypes of different cave-dwelling populations may result from convergence of form, and different genetic changes and developmental processes may have similar morphological consequences. Here we report an analysis of variation in the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase 2 (ND2) gene among different surface fish and cavefish populations. The results identify a minimum of two genetically distinctive cavefish lineages with similar eyeless phenotypes. The distinction between these divergent forms is supported by differences in the number of rib-bearing thoracic vertebrae in their axial skeletons. The geographic distribution of ND2 haplotypes is consistent with roles for multiple founder events and introgressive hybridization in the evolution of cave-related phenotypes. The existence of multiple genetic lineages makes A. mexicanus an excellent model to study convergence and the genes and developmental pathways involved in the evolution of the eye and pigment degeneration.

  13. Observations on cucullanid nematodes from freshwater fishes in Mexico, including Dichelyne mexicanus sp. n.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

    A new cucullanid nematode, Dichelyne mexicanus sp. n., is described from the intestine of three species of fishes, Agonostomus monticola (Bancroft) (Mugilidae, Perciformes) (type host), Ictalurus balsanus (Jordan et Snyder) (Ictaluridae, Siluriformes) and Cichlasoma beani (Jordan) (Cichlidae, Perciformes), from three rivers (La Maquina River, Veracruz; Chontalcoatlán River, Guerrero and Santiago River, Nayarit) in central Mexico. This species is characterised by the absence of a ventral sucker in the male (subgenus Dichelyne) and it differs from its congeners mainly in possessing very unequal and dissimilar spicules (left 0.465-0.768 mm and right 293-548 mm long), an asymmetrical gubernaculum, and two intestinal caeca. Another cucullanid nematode, Cucullanus caballeroi Petter, 1977, is reported from Dormitator maculatus (Bloch) (Eleotridae, Perciformes) from the La Palma and La Maquina Rivers and Balzapote stream, Veracruz, being briefly described and illustrated; this represents a new host record. Findings of D. mexicanus and C. caballeroi represent a new record of cucullanid nematodes from fishes in Mexican fresh waters.

  14. Comparative genetics of the central nervous system in epigean and hypogean Astyanax mexicanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickler, Allen G; Soares, Daphne

    2011-03-01

    The extreme environment of subterranean caves presents an adaptive challenge to troglobitic organisms. The mechanisms by which natural selection modify an ancestral surface neural circuit to produce a novel subterranean behavior remain a mystery. To address this question, we performed cross species microarray experiments to compare differences in gene expression levels in the adult brain of the teleost Astyanax mexicanus. This species provides a unique opportunity for comparative genetic studies as it consists of extant epigean (surface) and hypogean (cave) conspecifics. Microarray experiments herein revealed significant changes in transcription levels of seventeen genes, several of which are important for behaviors involved in metabolic management. We focused on genes central to three neurotransmission and neuromodulation networks: the endocannabinoid system (Cannabinoid receptor CB1), the dopaminergic system (Tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein) and the glutamatergic system (glutamate receptor AMPA 2a). All three genes were upregulated in the hypogean form of A. mexicanus compared to the epigean form, indicating that behavioral differences in the hypogean form of the species could be due to alterations in expression levels of several key genes. This information provides insights into the complex relationships among environmental factors, genetics, nervous systems and adaptive behavior, and can subsequently help us understand how these interactions affect behavior in other biological systems.

  15. Spatial variation in an avian host community: implications for disease dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    States, Sarah L; Hochachka, Wesley M; Dhondt, André A

    2009-12-01

    Because many pathogens can infect multiple host species within a community, disease dynamics in a focal host species can be affected by the composition of the host community. We examine the extent to which spatial variation in species' abundances in an avian host community may contribute to geographically varying prevalence of a recently emerged wildlife pathogen. Mycoplasma gallisepticum is a pathogen novel to songbirds that has caused substantial mortality in house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in eastern North America. Though the house finch is the primary host species for M. gallisepticum, the American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) and northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) are alternate hosts, and laboratory experiments have demonstrated M. gallisepticum transmission between house finches and goldfinches. Still unknown is the real world impact on disease dynamics of variation in abundances of the three hosts. We analyzed data from winter-long bird and disease surveys in the northeastern United States. We found that higher disease prevalence in house finches was associated with higher numbers of northern cardinals and American goldfinches, although only the effect of cardinal abundance was statistically significant. Nevertheless, our results indicate that spatial variation in bird communities has the potential to cause geographic variation in disease prevalence in house finches.

  16. Phylogenetic relationships and morphological diversity in Darwin's finches and their relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Kevin J; Hackett, Shannon J; Klein, Nedra K

    2002-06-01

    Despite the importance of Darwin's finches to the development of evolutionary theory, the origin of the group has only recently been examined using a rigorous, phylogenetic methodology that includes many potential outgroups. Knowing the evolutionary relationships of Darwin's finches to other birds is important for understanding the context from which this adaptive radiation arose. Here we show that analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the cytochrome b gene confirm that Darwin's finches are monophyletic. In addition, many taxa previously proposed as the sister taxon to Darwin's finches can be excluded as their closest living relative. Darwin's finches are part of a well-supported monophyletic group of species, all of which build a domed nest. All but two of the non-Darwin's finches included in this clade occur on Caribbean islands and most are Caribbean endemics. These close relatives of Darwin's finches show a diversity of bill types and feeding behaviors similar to that observed among Darwin's finches themselves. Recent studies have shown that adaptive evolution in Darwin's finches occurred relatively quickly. Our data show that among the relatives of Darwin's finches, the evolution of bill diversity was also rapid and extensive.

  17. The sensitivity of lateral line receptors and their role in the behavior of Mexican blind cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yoshizawa, Masato; Jeffery, William R; van Netten, Sietse M; McHenry, Matthew J

    2014-01-01

    The characid fish species Astyanax mexicanus offers a classic comparative model for the evolution of sensory systems. Populations of this species evolved in caves and became blind while others remained in streams (i.e. surface fish) and retained a functional visual system. The flow-sensitive lateral

  18. The sensitivity of lateral line receptors and their role in the behavior of Mexican blind cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yoshizawa, Masato; Jeffery, William R; van Netten, Sietse M; McHenry, Matthew J

    2014-01-01

    The characid fish species Astyanax mexicanus offers a classic comparative model for the evolution of sensory systems. Populations of this species evolved in caves and became blind while others remained in streams (i.e. surface fish) and retained a functional visual system. The flow-sensitive lateral

  19. A multimodal approach to management of suspected neuropathic pain in a prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, Stephanie L; Robinson, Narda G; Wright, Bonnie D; Kratz, Gail E; Johnston, Matthew S

    2009-09-01

    An adult male prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus) was presented for evaluation and treatment of self-inflicted wounds along the right proximal patagium. The bird had started self-traumatizing approximately 1 month after fracturing the right metacarpus, although the fracture had stabilized, surface wounds had healed completely, and treatment with a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug had been administered. The bird was treated with gabapentin (11 mg/kg p.o. q12h), ketamine (0.5 mg/kg i.m. q24h), and low level laser therapy (LLLT) (fracture site, then the original LLLT protocol was applied once daily. After 2.5 months, the wounds healed completely and no further mutilation took place. Once deemed ready for release, the falcon was returned to the wild after 181 days in captivity. This is the first reported application of successful multimodal analgesia in a raptor with uncontrolled neuropathic pain.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Pedigrees, assortative mating and speciation in Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Peter R; Grant, B Rosemary

    2008-03-22

    Pedigree analysis is a useful tool in the study of speciation. It can reveal trans-generational influences on the choice of mates. We examined mating patterns in a population of Darwin's medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) on Daphne Major Island to improve our understanding of how a barrier to the exchange of genes between populations arises in evolution. Body sizes of mates were weakly correlated. In one year, the smallest females were paired non-randomly with the males of similar size, and in another year the largest males were paired with the largest females. An influence of parental morphology on the choice of mates, as expected from sexual imprinting theory, was found; the body size of mates was predicted by the body sizes of both parents, and especially strongly by the father's. These associations imply that the seeds of reproductive isolation between species are present within a single variable population. The implication was subject to a natural test: two exceptionally large birds of the study species, apparently immigrants, bred with each other, as did their offspring, and not with the members of the resident population. The intense inbreeding represents incipient speciation. It parallels a similar phenomenon when another species, the large ground finch, immigrated to Daphne and established a new population without interbreeding with the resident medium ground finches.

  6. 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

  7. Reproduction and survival under different water temperatures of Gyrodactylus mexicanus (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea), a parasite of Girardinichthys multiradiatus in Central Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sereno-Uribe, Ana L; Zambrano, Luis; García-Varela, Martín

    2012-12-01

    Gyrodactylid population growth may depend on abiotic variables such as temperature. We tested the survival and reproductive rate of Gyrodactylus mexicanus, a parasite infecting fins of Girardinichthys multiradiatus, at 3 different water temperatures, 10-13, 19-22, and 24 C. The temporal sequence of birth and age at death of each parasite isolated from the hosts was recorded through at least 8 generations. Our results showed that the average number of offspring per parasite was 2.0 when averaged across all temperatures. However, the generation time was negatively correlated with temperature. The innate capacity for increase (r(m)) was positively correlated with water temperature: from 0.29 parasite/day at 13 C to 0.48 parasite/day at 24 C. These data confirm that water temperature has a direct influence on parasite population dynamics. The current study represents the first contribution to understanding the population ecology of the monogenean G. mexicanus in central Mexico.

  8. A comparative neuroanatomic study of retinal projections in two fishes: Astyanax hubbsi (the blind cave fish), and Astyanax mexicanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voneida, T J; Sligar, C M

    1976-01-01

    Retinofugal projections in the blind cave fish A. hubbsi and in the highly visual A. mexicanus were studied with both reduced silver and autoradiographic methods. Contrary to what has been reported for other teleosts, ipsilateral, as well as the generally accepted contralateral, projections were found in A. mexicanus. Bilateral retinofugal projections were traced to the dorsolateral thalamic nucleus and area pretectalis. Contralateral projections were traced to the lateral geniculate nucleus, nucleus pretectalis, accessory optic nucleus, nucleus corticalis, nucleus opticus hypothalamicus and the superficial layers of the optic tectum (strata opticum, fibrosum and griseum superficiale, and the cellular zone of griseum centrale). Retinal efferents in the blindfish, A. hubbsi, are sparse and totally crossed. Areas receiving a retinal projection include nucleus opticus hypothalamicus, lateral geniculate and the superficial layers of the medial third of the optic tectum. Preliminary behavioral studies are described and discussed in relation to the possible visual potential of this teleost.

  9. CONSOLIDATION AND MODIFICATION OF SEXUAL PREFERENCES IN ADULT MALE ZEBRA FINCHES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    KRUIJT, JP; MEEUWISSEN, GB

    1993-01-01

    In a previous study (KRUIJT & MEEUWISSEN, 1991) we examined the sexual preference of cross-fostered zebra finch (= Z) males that were reared by Bengalese finch (= B) parents and then isolated until the adult stage. Males then given a choice between a Z and a B female, directed most courtship and son

  10. Differences in chemosensory response between eyed and eyeless Astyanax mexicanus of the Rio Subterráneo cave

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Background In blind cave-dwelling populations of Astyanax mexicanus, several morphological and behavioral shifts occurred during evolution in caves characterized by total and permanent darkness. Previous studies have shown that sensory systems such as the lateral line (mechanosensory) and taste buds (chemosensory) are modified in cavefish. It has long been hypothesized that another chemosensory modality, the olfactory system, might have evolved as well to provide an additional mechanism for f...

  11. Mesurol as a bird repellent on wine grapes in Oregon and California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hothem, R.L.; Mott, D.F.; DeHaven, R.W.; Guarino, J.L.

    1981-01-01

    Field tests were conducted in California and Oregon from July to October 1978 to evaluate the effectiveness of Mesurol as a repellent to reduce bird damage to ripening wine grapes. A block of vines composed of two similar, adjacent plots was delineated at each of 20 vineyards. One randomly chosen plot within each block was treated with up to three applications of Mesurol (75% wettable powder) at a mean rate of 3.1 kg/ha. Damage assessments at harvest showed that the treatment significantly reduced bird damage in both states, but the actual level of bird damage protection provided by the treatment could not be calculated. Based on bird censuses, the primary grape-depredating species in Oregon vineyards was the American robin (Turdus migratorius), whereas house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus), California quail (Lophortyx californicus), goldfinches (Spinus spp.), and robins were the primary species in California.

  12. Streptomyces mexicanus sp. nov., a xylanolytic micro-organism isolated from soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrosyan, Pavel; García-Varela, Martin; Luz-Madrigal, Agustín; Huitrón, Carlos; Flores, María Elena

    2003-01-01

    The taxonomic position of a thermophilic actinomycete strain isolated from soil was examined using a polyphasic approach. The strain, designated CH-M-1035T, was assigned to the genus Streptomyces on the basis of chemical and morphological criteria. It formed Rectiflexibiles aerial hyphae that carried long chains of rounded, smooth spores. The almost complete nucleotide sequence of the 16S rRNA gene of strain CH-M-1035T was determined and its comparison with the 16S rDNA sequences of previously studied streptomycetes confirmed the assignment of the novel strain to the genus Streptomyces. Strain CH-M-1035T clustered with species belonging to the Streptomyces thermodiastaticus clade in the 1 6S-rDNA-based phylogenetic tree. However, the phenotypic properties of strain CH-M-1035T differed from those of the recognized species within this clade. Therefore, it is proposed that strain CH-M-1035T be classified as a novel species within the genus Streptomyces, as Streptomyces mexicanus (type strain CH-M-1035T =DSM 41796T =BM-B-384T =NRRL B-24196T).

  13. A developmental staging table for Astyanax mexicanus surface fish and Pachón cavefish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinaux, Hélène; Pottin, Karen; Chalhoub, Houssein; Père, Stéphane; Elipot, Yannick; Legendre, Laurent; Rétaux, Sylvie

    2011-12-01

    Every model species requires its own developmental table. Astyanax mexicanus, a teleost fish comprising both sighted river and blind cave populations, is becoming more and more important in the field of developmental and evolutionary biology. As such, a developmental staging table is increasingly necessary, particularly since comparative analysis of early developmental events is widely employed by researchers. We collected freshly spawned embryos from surface fish and Pachón cavefish populations. Embryos were imaged every 10-12 min during the first day of development, and less frequently in the following days. The results provide an illustrated comparison of selected developmental stages from one cell to hatching of these two populations. The two morphs show an essentially synchronous development regarding major events such as epiboly, neurulation, somitogenesis, heart beating, or hatching. We also present data on particular morphological characters appearing during larval development, such as eye size, yolk regression, swim bladder, and fin development. Some details about the development of F1 Pachón cave×surface hybrids are also given. Comparisons are made with Danio rerio (zebrafish) development.

  14. Developmental origins of mosaic brain evolution: Morphometric analysis of the developing zebra finch brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charvet, Christine J; Striedter, Georg F

    2009-05-10

    In adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), the telencephalon occupies 64% of the entire brain. This fraction is similar to what is seen in parrots, but many other birds possess a significantly smaller telencephalon. The aim of the present study was to determine the developmental time course and cellular basis of telencephalic enlargement in zebra finches, and then to compare these findings with what is known about telencephalic enlargement in other birds. To this end we estimated the volumes of all major brain regions from serial sections in embryonic and post-hatching zebra finches. We also labeled proliferating cells with antibodies against proliferating cell nuclear antigen and phosphorylated histone H3. An important finding to emerge from this work is that the telencephalon of zebra finches at hatching contains a thick proliferative subventricular zone (SVZ) that extends from the subpallium into the dorsal pallium. The data also show that the onset and offset of telencephalic neurogenesis are both delayed in zebra finches relative to quail (Galliformes). This delay in neurogenesis, in conjunction with the expanded SVZ, probably accounts for most of the telencephalic enlargement in passerines such as the zebra finch. In addition, passerines enlarged their telencephalon by decreasing the proportional size of their midbrain tectum. Because the presumptive tectum is proportionally smaller in zebra finches than quail before neurogenesis begins, this difference in tectum size cannot be due to evolutionary alterations in neurogenesis timing. Collectively these findings indicate that several different developmental mechanisms underlie the evolution of a large telencephalon in passerines.

  15. Galápagos mockingbirds tolerate introduced parasites that affect Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutie, Sarah A; Owen, Jeb P; McNew, Sabrina M; Bartlow, Andrew W; Arriero, Elena; Herman, Jordan M; DiBlasi, Emily; Thompson, Michael; Koop, Jennifer A H; Clayton, Dale H

    2016-04-01

    Introduced parasites threaten native host species that lack effective defenses. Such parasites increase the risk of extinction, particularly in small host populations like those on islands. If some host species are tolerant to introduced parasites, this could amplify the risk of the parasite to vulnerable host species. Recently, the introduced parasitic nest fly Philornis downsi has been implicated in the decline of Darwin's finch populations in the Galápagos Islands. In some years, 100% of finch nests fail due to P. downsi; however, other common host species nesting near Darwin's finches, such as the endemic Galápagos mockingbird (Mimus parvulus), appear to be less affected by P. downsi. We compared effects of P. downsi on mockingbirds and medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) on Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos. We experimentally manipulated the abundance of P. downsi in nests of mockingbirds and finches to measure the direct effect of the parasite on the reproductive success of each species of host. We also compared immunological and behavioral responses by each species of host to the fly. Although nests of the two host species had similar parasite densities, flies decreased the fitness of finches but not mockingbirds. Neither host species had a significant antibody-mediated immune response to P. downsi. Moreover, finches showed no significant increase in begging, parental provisioning, or plasma glucose levels in response to the flies. In contrast, parasitized mockingbird nestlings begged more than nonparasitized mockingbird nestlings. Greater begging was correlated with increased parental provisioning behavior, which appeared to compensate for parasite damage. The results of our study suggest that finches are negatively affected by P. downsi because they do not have such behavioral mechanisms for energy compensation. In contrast, mockingbirds are capable of compensation, making them tolerant hosts, and a possible indirect threat to Darwin's finches.

  16. Condition index monitoring supports conservation priorities for the protection of threatened grass-finch populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maute, Kimberly; French, Kristine; Legge, Sarah; Astheimer, Lee; Garnett, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Conservation agencies are often faced with the difficult task of prioritizing what recovery actions receive support. With the number of species under threat of decline growing globally, research that informs conservation priorities is greatly needed. The relative vulnerability of cryptic or nomadic species is often uncertain, because populations are difficult to monitor and local populations often seem stable in the short term. This uncertainty can lead to inaction when populations are in need of protection. We tested the feasibility of using differences in condition indices as an indication of population vulnerability to decline for related threatened Australian finch sub-species. The Gouldian finch represents a relatively well-studied endangered species, which has a seasonal and site-specific pattern of condition index variation that differs from the closely related non-declining long-tailed finch. We used Gouldian and long-tailed finch condition variation as a model to compare with lesser studied, threatened star and black-throated finches. We compared body condition (fat and muscle scores), haematocrit and stress levels (corticosterone) among populations, seasons and years to determine whether lesser studied finch populations matched the model of an endangered species or a non-declining species. While vulnerable finch populations often had lower muscle and higher fat and corticosterone concentrations during moult (seasonal pattern similar to Gouldian finches), haematocrit values did not differ among populations in a predictable way. Star and black-throated finch populations, which were predicted to be vulnerable to decline, showed evidence of poor condition during moult, supporting their status as vulnerable. Our findings highlight how measures of condition can provide insight into the relative vulnerability of animal and plant populations to decline and will allow the prioritization of efforts towards the populations most likely to be in jeopardy of extinction.

  17. Extra-pair paternity in the long-tailed finch Poephila acuticauda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica P. van Rooij

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the majority of passerine birds are socially monogamous, true genetic monogamy is rare, with extra-pair paternity (EPP occurring in almost 90% of surveyed socially monogamous species. We present the first molecular data on the genetic breeding system of the long-tailed finch, Poephila acuticauda, a grass finch endemic to the tropical northern savannah of Australia. Although the species forms socially monogamous pair bonds during the breeding season, we found that extra-pair males sired 12.8% of 391 offspring, in 25.7% of 101 broods. Our findings provide only the second estimate of extra-pair paternity in the estrildid finch family.

  18. 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.

  19. Zebra finches are able to learn affixation-like patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jiani; Jansen, Naomi; ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

    Adding an affix to transform a word is common across the world languages, with the edges of words more likely to carry out such a function. However, detecting affixation patterns is also observed in learning tasks outside the domain of language, suggesting that the underlying mechanism from which affixation patterns have arisen may not be language or even human specific. We addressed whether a songbird, the zebra finch, is able to discriminate between, and generalize, affixation-like patterns. Zebra finches were trained and tested in a Go/Nogo paradigm to discriminate artificial song element sequences resembling prefixed and suffixed 'words.' The 'stems' of the 'words,' consisted of different combinations of a triplet of song elements, to which a fourth element was added as either a 'prefix' or a 'suffix.' After training, the birds were tested with novel stems, consisting of either rearranged familiar element types or novel element types. The birds were able to generalize the affixation patterns to novel stems with both familiar and novel element types. Hence, the discrimination resulting from the training was not based on memorization of individual stimuli, but on a shared property among Go or Nogo stimuli, i.e., affixation patterns. Remarkably, birds trained with suffixation as Go pattern showed clear evidence of using both prefix and suffix, while those trained with the prefix as the Go stimulus used primarily the prefix. This finding illustrates that an asymmetry in attending to different affixations is not restricted to human languages.

  20. n-dimensional isotropic Finch-Skea stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chilambwe, Brian; Hansraj, Sudan

    2015-02-01

    We study the impact of dimension on the physical properties of the Finch-Skea astrophysical model. It is shown that a positive definite, monotonically decreasing pressure and density are evident. A decrease in stellar radius emerges as the order of the dimension increases. This is accompanied by a corresponding increase in energy density. The model continues to display the necessary qualitative features inherent in the 4-dimensional Finch-Skea star and the conformity to the Walecka theory is preserved under dimensional increase. The causality condition is always satisfied for all dimensions considered resulting in the proposed models demonstrating a subluminal sound speed throughout the interior of the distribution. Moreover, the pressure and density decrease monotonically outwards from the centre and a pressure-free hypersurface exists demarcating the boundary of the perfect-fluid sphere. Since the study of the physical conditions is performed graphically, it is necessary to specify certain constants in the model. Reasonable values for such constants are arrived at on examining the behaviour of the model at the centre and demanding the satisfaction of all elementary conditions for physical plausibility. Finally two constants of integration are settled on matching of our solutions with the appropriate Schwarzschild-Tangherlini exterior metrics. Furthermore, the solution admits a barotropic equation of state despite the higher dimension. The compactification parameter as well as the density variation parameter are also computed. The models satisfy the weak, strong and dominant energy conditions in the interior of the stellar configuration.

  1. Comparación de tres pruebas serológicas para detectar infecciones por Paragonimus mexicanus en gatos infectados

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William R. Cornejo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Introducción: La paragonimiasis es una enfermedad pulmonar causada por tremátodes del género Paragonimus. Generalmente, el diagnóstico de laboratorio de la infección en humanos se realiza mediante la detección de huevos del parásito en esputo o heces; sin embargo, los resultados pueden ser negativos, necesitándose métodos diagnósticos alternativos. Objetivos: Comparar tres pruebas serológicas para la detección de anticuerpos contra el antígeno somático del estadio adulto de Paragonimus mexicanus (PmAS en muestras de suero de gatos infectados experimentalmente. Diseño: Estudio experimental. Lugar: Bioterio del Instituto de Medicina Tropical "Daniel A. Carrión" de la Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Material biológico: Gatos domésticos de 4 a 6 meses de edad y antígeno somático crudo de P. mexicanus (PmAS. Intervenciones: Se obtuvo muestras de sangre de 12 gatos domésticos infectados experimentalmente con P. mexicanus. Los sueros fueron evaluados por el inmunoensayo enzimático (ELISA, la doble difusión (DD y contrainmunoelectroforesis (CIEF. Principales medidas de resultados: Se determinó el porcentaje de gatos que revelaron resultados positivos de acuerdo a los criterios establecidos. Resultados: Se encontró una buena correlación entre los resultados obtenidos por ELISA y aquellos obtenidos por CIEF o DD. La CIEF y el ELISA fueron más sensibles que la doble difusión. Con la CIEF y el ELISA, 81,8% (9/11 y 75,0% (9/12 de los sueros evaluados dieron resultados positivos, respectivamente, mientras que 58,3% (7/12 de ellos fue positivo para la DD. Los sueros de 2 conejos con fasciolosis experimental dieron una reacción positiva con el antígeno PmAS por ELISA y CIEF. No se observó reacción cruzada cuando se usó sueros de gatos con dipilidiasis o de gatos sanos. Conclusiones: Estos resultados indican que la CIEF y el ELISA, que emplean antígeno somático crudo, son pruebas de similar

  2. 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.

  3. Astyanax mexicanus, the Blind Mexican Cave Fish: A Model for Studies in Development and Morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowsky, Richard

    2008-11-01

    INTRODUCTIONThe perpetual darkness of caves has two important consequences for permanent inhabitants. First, eyes and pigmentation lose their primary functions. Second, in the absence of photosynthesis, food is rare. For these reasons, cave-adapted species typically have reduced eyes and pigmentation and increased or more efficient metabolisms. Additionally, other senses are usually augmented to compensate for the loss of vision. Identifying the genetic bases underlying these phenotypic changes will enhance our understanding of the specific pathways involved in control of these phenotypes and, in general, the evolutionary process. Unfortunately, the genetics of most cave animals cannot be studied because they are not easily bred. Blind Mexican tetras, Astyanax mexicanus, are the valuable exception to this rule because fish from the various cave populations are fully interfertile with one another and with eyed sister forms still living in nearby surface streams. Hybrids between surface and cave forms permit genetic analysis of their differences, and study of the pure forms as well as of hybrids allows study of their developmental differences. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis has already identified some specific genes responsible for differences between cave and surface forms as well as other likely candidates; more will be added in the future. This system is a valuable addition to the array of existing models for the study of developmental and evolutionary genetics because cave populations are repositories of numerous naturally occurring mutations affecting development of the eyes and other senses, pigmentation, bone structure, metamerism, and metabolism. These alleles have been prescreened by natural selection for high viability, which simplifies their study. In contrast, new alleles obtained through mutagenesis in other model species are typically burdened with lower viability.

  4. Gene flow and population structure in the Mexican blind cavefish complex (Astyanax mexicanus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradic Martina

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cave animals converge evolutionarily on a suite of troglomorphic traits, the best known of which are eyelessness and depigmentation. We studied 11 cave and 10 surface populations of Astyanax mexicanus in order to better understand the evolutionary origins of the cave forms, the basic genetic structuring of both cave and surface populations, and the degree to which present day migration among them affects their genetic divergence. Results To assess the genetic structure within populations and the relationships among them we genotyped individuals at 26 microsatellite loci. We found that surface populations are similar to one another, despite their relatively large geographic separation, whereas the cave populations are better differentiated. The cave populations we studied span the full range of the cave forms in three separate geographic regions and have at least five separate evolutionary origins. Cave populations had lower genetic diversity than surface populations, correlated with their smaller effective population sizes, probably the result of food and space limitations. Some of the cave populations receive migrants from the surface and exchange migrants with one another, especially when geographically close. This admixture results in significant heterozygote deficiencies at numerous loci due to Wahlund effects. Cave populations receiving migrants from the surface contain small numbers of individuals that are intermediate in both phenotype and genotype, affirming at least limited gene flow from the surface. Conclusions Cave populations of this species are derived from two different surface stocks denoted "old" and "new." The old stock colonized caves at least three times independently while the new stock colonized caves at least twice independently. Thus, the similar cave phenotypes found in these caves are the result of repeated convergences. These phenotypic convergences have occurred in spite of gene flow from surface

  5. Methylmercury Exposure Reduces the Auditory Brainstem Response of Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata )

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wolf, Sarah E; Swaddle, John P; Cristol, Daniel A; Buchser, William J

    2017-01-01

    ...) by studying their auditory brainstem responses (ABRs). Zebra finches exposed to mercury exhibited elevated hearing thresholds, decreased amplitudes, and longer latencies in the ABR, the first evidence of mercury-induced hearing impairment in birds...

  6. Genomic and neural analysis of the estradiol-synthetic pathway in the zebra finch

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    London, Sarah E; Clayton, David F

    2010-01-01

    .... Here, we analyzed the zebra finch genome assembly to assess the content, conservation, and organization of genes that code for components of the estrogen-synthetic pathway and steroid nuclear receptors...

  7. Susceptibility and antibody response of the laboratory model zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to West Nile Virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Lund, Melissa; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.

    2017-01-01

    Since the introduction of West Nile virus (WNV) into North America in 1999 a number of passerine bird species have been found to play a role in the amplification of the virus. Arbovirus surveillance, observational studies and experimental studies have implicated passerine birds (songbirds, e.g., crows, American robins, house sparrows, and house finches) as significant reservoirs of WNV in North America, yet we lack a tractable passerine animal model for controlled studies of the virus. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) serves as a model system across a diversity of fields, and here we develop the zebra finch a songbird model for WNV. Like many natural hosts of WNV, we found that zebra finches developed sufficient viremia to serve as a competent host, yet in general resisted mortality from infection. In the Australian zebra finch (AZF) T. g. castanotis, we detected WNV in the majority of sampled tissues by 4 days post injection (dpi). However, WNV was not detected in tissues of sacrificed birds at 14 dpi, shortly after the development of detectable anti-WNV antibodies in the majority of birds indicating successful viral clearance. We compared susceptibility between the two zebra finch subspecies AZF and Timor zebra finch (TZF) T. g. guttata. Compared to AZF, WNV RNA was detected in a larger proportion of challenged TZF and molecular detection of virus in the serum of TZF was significantly higher than in AZF. Given the observed moderate host competence and disease susceptibility, we suggest that zebra finches are appropriate as models for the study of WNV and although underutilized in this respect, may be ideal models for the study of the many diseases carried and transmitted by songbirds.

  8. Anticuerpos circulantes contra Influenza Aviar y Newcastle en zanates (Quiscalus mexicanus de la ciudad de Guatemala (Avian flu and Newcastle Antibodies in Great-tailed Grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus in Guatemala city.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Escobar, Luis E.

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available ResumenAunque el zanate (Quiscalus mexicanus está distribuido en todaGuatemala y se encuentra estrechamente ligado a poblaciones humanas,se sabe muy poco acerca de su estado sanitario y su papel comoreservorio de enfermedades aviares de importancia. Esta investigacióngenera información sobre el papel del zanate en la epizootiología de la Influenza Aviar (IA; Orthomyxoviridae y de Newcastle (ENC;Paramixoviridae, midiendo los anticuerpos circulantes en zanates norelacionados a granjas avícolas. Se colectaron 71 muestras de suero dezanates urbanos asintomáticos del la ciudad de Guatemala entre abril yjulio de 2008 y se analizaron con la prueba de Inhibición de laHemoaglutinación.SummaryDespite the Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus is distributed in all Guatemala and it is so close to human populations, few is knownabout its sanitarian status and role as reservoir of important aviandiseases. This research provides information about the role of the Greattailed Grackle in the epizootiology of Avian Influenza (AI;Orthomyxoviridae and Newcastle Disease (NCD; Paramixoviridae,measuring the antibodies of Grackles non-related to avian farms. Wecollected 71 serum samples from urban Great-tailed Grackles without any symptoms in Guatemala City from April to June of 2008, and analyzed with hemagglutination Inhibition Test.

  9. Comparisons of different methods to train a young zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to learn a song.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derégnaucourt, Sébastien; Poirier, Colline; Kant, Anne Van der; Linden, Annemie Van der; Gahr, Manfred

    2013-06-01

    Like humans, oscine songbirds exhibit vocal learning. They learn their song by imitating conspecifics, mainly adults. Among them, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) has been widely used as a model species to study the behavioral, cellular and molecular substrates of vocal learning. Various methods using taped song playback have been used in the laboratory to train young male finches to learn a song. Since different protocols have been applied by different research groups, the efficiency of the studies cannot be directly compared. The purpose of our study was to address this problem. Young finches were raised by their mother alone from day post hatching (dph) 10 and singly isolated from dph 35. One week later, exposure to a song model began, either using a live tutor or taped playback (passive or self-elicited). At dph 100, the birds were transferred to a common aviary. We observed that one-to-one live tutoring is the best method to get a fairly complete imitation. Using self-elicited playback we observed high inter-individual variability; while some finches learned well (including good copying of the song model), others exhibited poor copying. Passive playback resulted in poor imitation of the model. We also observed that finches exhibited vocal changes after dph 100 and that the range of these changes was negatively related to their imitation of the song model. Taken together, these results suggest that social aspects are predominant in the success outcome of song learning in the zebra finch.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckmeier, Dennis; Geurten, Bart R H; Kress, Daniel; Mertes, Marcel; Kern, Roland; Egelhaaf, Martin; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2008-01-01

    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.

  12. Dos nuevos registros de alimentación de Quiscalus mexicanus y Cyanocorax sanblasianus en la costa de Chamela, Jalisco, México

    OpenAIRE

    Marco A. GURROLA HIDALGO; Cornelio SÁNCHEZ-HERNÁNDEZ; María de Lourdes ROMERO ALMARAZ

    2009-01-01

    Information over the feeding habits of neotropical birds have been relatively few documented, this is the first report in México over the depredation of the mole crabs (Emerita spp.) by the Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) and for Ruddy-ground Dove (Columbina talpacoti) by San Blas Jay (Cyanocorax sanblasianus), in the coast of Chamela, Jalisco, México.

  13. A new species of the "mexicanus" group of the genus Vaejovis C. L. Koch, 1836 from the Mexican state of Aguascalientes (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras-Félix, Gerardo A; Francke, Oscar F; Bryson, Robert W

    2015-03-18

    A new species of Vaejovis is described from the Mexican state of Aguascalientes. It is assigned to the "mexicanus" group and compared with similar species from Jalisco, Guanajuato, and San Luis Potosí. A map with their known distributions is provided.

  14. Two - three loci control scleral ossicle formation via epistasis in the cavefish Astyanax mexicanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Anastasia; Powers, Amanda K; Gross, Joshua B; O'Quin, Kelly E

    2017-01-01

    The sclera is the protective outer layer of the eye. In fishes, birds, and reptiles, the sclera may be reinforced with additional bony elements called scleral ossicles. Teleost fish vary in the number and size of scleral ossicles; however, the genetic mechanisms responsible for this variation remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine the inheritance of scleral ossicles in the Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus, which exhibits both a cave morph and a surface fish morph. As these morphs and their hybrids collectively exhibit zero, one, and two scleral ossicles, they represent a microcosm of teleost scleral ossicle diversity. Our previous research in F2 hybrids of cavefish from Pachón cave and surface fish from Texas suggested that three genes likely influence the formation of scleral ossicles in this group through an epistatic threshold model of inheritance, though our sample size was small. In this study, we expand our sample size using additional hybrids of Pachón cavefish and Mexican surface fish to (1) confirm the threshold model of inheritance, (2) refine the number of genes responsible for scleral ossicle formation, and (3) increase our power to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) for this trait. To answer these three questions, we scored surface fish and cavefish F2 hybrids for the presence of zero, one, or two scleral ossicles. We then analyzed their distribution among the F2 hybrids using a chi-square (χ2) test, and used a genetic linkage map of over 100 microsatellite markers to identify QTL responsible for scleral ossicle number. We found that inheritance of scleral ossicles follows an epistatic threshold model of inheritance controlled by two genes, which contrasts the three-locus model estimated from our previous study. Finally, the combined analysis of hybrids from both crosses identified two strong QTL for scleral ossicle number on linkage groups 4.2 and 21, and a weaker QTL on linkage group 4.1. Scleral ossification remains a complex

  15. Two – three loci control scleral ossicle formation via epistasis in the cavefish Astyanax mexicanus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Anastasia; Powers, Amanda K.; Gross, Joshua B.; O’Quin, Kelly E.

    2017-01-01

    The sclera is the protective outer layer of the eye. In fishes, birds, and reptiles, the sclera may be reinforced with additional bony elements called scleral ossicles. Teleost fish vary in the number and size of scleral ossicles; however, the genetic mechanisms responsible for this variation remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine the inheritance of scleral ossicles in the Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus, which exhibits both a cave morph and a surface fish morph. As these morphs and their hybrids collectively exhibit zero, one, and two scleral ossicles, they represent a microcosm of teleost scleral ossicle diversity. Our previous research in F2 hybrids of cavefish from Pachón cave and surface fish from Texas suggested that three genes likely influence the formation of scleral ossicles in this group through an epistatic threshold model of inheritance, though our sample size was small. In this study, we expand our sample size using additional hybrids of Pachón cavefish and Mexican surface fish to (1) confirm the threshold model of inheritance, (2) refine the number of genes responsible for scleral ossicle formation, and (3) increase our power to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) for this trait. To answer these three questions, we scored surface fish and cavefish F2 hybrids for the presence of zero, one, or two scleral ossicles. We then analyzed their distribution among the F2 hybrids using a chi-square (χ2) test, and used a genetic linkage map of over 100 microsatellite markers to identify QTL responsible for scleral ossicle number. We found that inheritance of scleral ossicles follows an epistatic threshold model of inheritance controlled by two genes, which contrasts the three-locus model estimated from our previous study. Finally, the combined analysis of hybrids from both crosses identified two strong QTL for scleral ossicle number on linkage groups 4.2 and 21, and a weaker QTL on linkage group 4.1. Scleral ossification remains a complex

  16. Infestation of research zebra finch colony with 2 novel mite species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddalls, Monica; Currier, Timothy A; Pang, Jassia; Lertpiriyapong, Kvin; Patterson, Mary M

    2015-02-01

    A zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) housed in a neuroscience laboratory was observed to have numerous feather mites. Subsequently, similar mites were found on other birds in the animal facility and research space. The most abundant mite was a novel, undescribed species in the genus Neocheyletiella. Whereas known Neocheyletiella mites have previously been characterized as skin parasites of various birds worldwide, the species on the zebra finches is unique because it lives and builds nests in the feathers. Infrequent specimens of a 'true' feather mite, a new species of Megninialges, were present also. Although multiple treatments using a pyrethrin spray were effective in eradicating the mites, topical ivermectin later was found to be more efficacious, better tolerated by the birds, and less labor intensive. This case highlights the general dearth of information regarding ectoparasites in zebra finches, even though these are the most frequently used songbirds in biomedical research. The mite epizootic also underscores the diverse pathogens possible in zebra finches that arrive from outside sources and why ongoing health monitoring of finch colonies is warranted.

  17. Experimental test of the effect of introduced hematophagous flies on corticosterone levels of breeding Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutie, Sarah A; Koop, Jennifer A H; French, Susannah S; Clayton, Dale H

    2013-11-01

    Parasites can negatively affect the evolutionary fitness of their hosts by eliciting physiological stress responses. Parasite-induced stress can be monitored by measuring changes in the adrenal steroid hormone corticosterone. We examined the effect of an invasive parasite on the corticosterone concentrations of a common species of Darwin's finch, the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis). Philornis downsi (Diptera: Muscidae) is a parasitic nest fly recently introduced to the Galapagos Islands, where it feeds on the blood of nestlings and breeding adult female finches. Previous work shows that P. downsi significantly reduces the reproductive success of several species of finches. We predicted that the effect of P. downsi on host reproductive success is mediated by stress responses in breeding female finches. High stress levels could reduce the ability of females to invest in offspring, thus decreasing their reproductive success. To test this hypothesis, we experimentally manipulated the abundance of P. downsi in nests, then measured baseline and acute stress-induced corticosterone levels, body condition, and hematocrit (red blood cell content). Acute stress-induced corticosterone levels increased over baseline levels, but this response did not differ significantly with parasite treatment. There was also no significant difference in the body condition or hematocrit of females from parasitized versus non-parasitized nests. Our results suggest that the lower reproductive success of females from parasitized nests is not mediated by a physiological stress response.

  18. A Social Relations Model for the Colonial Behavior of the Zebra Finch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurelio José Figueredo

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available A social relations model was developed for 5 years of behavioral recordings from a captive colony of Zebrafinches (Taeniopygia guttata. A quantitative ethogram was applied, using one-zero focal animal sampling on an ethologically comprehensive checklist of 52 behavioral items (Figueredo, Petrinovich, & Ross, 1992. Of the 9 ethological factors previously identified, only 4 of the 6 social factors (Social Proximity, Social Contact, Social Submission, and Social Aggression were used. Major results were as follows: (1 Individual finches showed systematically different response dispositions that were stable over a 5-year period as both subjects and objects of behavior; (2 Interactions between finches differed systematically by the sexes of both the subjects and the objects of behavior; (3 Behavioral interactions between finches and their mates differed systematically according to the subjects' sex, but also differed systematically from those with other members of the objects' sex; (4 Behavioral interactions between finches and their relatives differed systematically between different discrete categories of relatives, but did not vary as a systematic function of either graded genetic relatedness or familiarity due to common rearing; and (5 Behavioral interactions between finches and their relatives showed an overall bias towards preferential interactions with male relatives. DOI: 10.2458/azu_jmmss.v1i1.77

  19. Buffalo Metropolitan Area, New York Water Resources Management. Interim Report on Feasibility of Flood Management in Cazenovia Creek Watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-03-01

    Pheucticus ludovicianus rose-breasted grosbeak Passerina cyanea indigo bunting Carpodacus purpureus purple finch Spinus tristis American goldfish...Henslow’s sparrow Pooecetes graminius vesper sparrow Junko hyemalis slate-colored junko (2) Spizella Passerina chipping sparrow Spizella pusilla

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

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    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

  1. Construction of bacterial artificial chromosome libraries for the Lake Malawi cichlid (Metriaclima zebra), and the blind cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Palma, Federica; Kidd, Celeste; Borowsky, Richard; Kocher, Thomas D

    2007-01-01

    Teleost fishes have become important models for studying the evolution of the genetic mechanisms of development. A key resource for comparative genomics and positional cloning are large-insert libraries constructed in bacterial artificial chromosomes. We have constructed bacterial artificial chromosome libraries for two species of teleost fish that are important models for the study of developmental evolution. Metriaclima zebra is one of several hundred closely related, morphologically diverse, haplochromine cichlids which have evolved over the last one million years in Lake Malawi, East Africa. The Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus, is well known for adaptations related to the recent evolution of blind cave-dwelling forms. Clones and high-density filters for each library are available to the scientific community through the Hubbard Center for Genome Studies.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Food preference and copying behaviour in zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M; Morgan, Kate V; Hall, Zachary J; Bailey, Ida E; Healy, Susan D

    2014-11-01

    As a social species zebra finches might be expected to copy the food choices of more experienced conspecifics. This prediction has been tested previously by presenting observers with two demonstrator birds that differ in some way (e.g., sex, familiarity), each feeding on a different colour food source. However, if the observer subsequently exhibits a preference, it is unclear whether it has copied the choice of one demonstrator or avoided the choice of the other. Furthermore, this choice may actually be influenced by pre-existing preferences, a potential bias that is rarely tested. Here we examine whether apparent copying or avoidance can be explained by pre-existing preferences. In Experiment 1, observers had the opportunity to watch a conspecific forage from one of the two differently coloured food hoppers. In Experiment 2, the observers did not have this opportunity. In both experiments observers were subsequently tested for their food hopper preference and all but one preferred one colour over the other. In Experiment 1 some observers showed evidence for copying, while others seemed to avoid the colour preferred by the demonstrator. In Experiment 2 females generally preferred the white hopper. Pre-existing colour preferences could, therefore, explain the apparent copying/avoidance we observed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cognition in the wild. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Exploring possible human influences on the evolution of Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De León, Luis Fernando; Raeymaekers, Joost A M; Bermingham, Eldredge; Podos, Jeffrey; Herrel, Anthony; Hendry, Andrew P

    2011-08-01

    Humans are an increasingly common influence on the evolution of natural populations. Potential arenas of influence include altered evolutionary trajectories within populations and modifications of the process of divergence among populations. We consider this second arena in the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis) on Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos, Ecuador. Our study compared the G. fortis population at a relatively undisturbed site, El Garrapatero, to the population at a severely disturbed site, Academy Bay, which is immediately adjacent to the town of Puerto Ayora. The El Garrapatero population currently shows beak size bimodality that is tied to assortative mating and disruptive selection, whereas the Academy Bay population was historically bimodal but has lost this property in conjunction with a dramatic increase in local human population density. We here evaluate potential ecological-adaptive drivers of the differences in modality by quantifying relationships between morphology (beak and head dimensions), functional performance (bite force), and environmental characteristics (diet). Our main finding is that associations among these variables are generally weaker at Academy Bay than at El Garrapatero, possibly because novel foods are used at the former site irrespective of individual morphology and performance. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the rugged adaptive landscapes promoting and maintaining diversification in nature can be smoothed by human activities, thus hindering ongoing adaptive radiation.

  6. 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.

  7. Strange star admitting Chaplygin equation of state in Finch-Skea spacetime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhar, Piyali

    2015-10-01

    In the present paper we propose a new model of an anisotropic strange star which admits the Chaplygin equation of state. The exterior spacetime is described by a Schwarzschild line element. The model is developed by assuming the Finch-Skea ansatz (Finch and Skea in Class. Quantum Gravity 6:467, 1989. We obtain the model parameters in closed form. Our model is free from a central singularity. Choosing some particular values for the parameter we show that our model corroborates the observational data of the strange star PSR J1614-2230 (Gangopadhyay et al. in Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 431:3216, 2013.

  8. Telomere length correlations among somatic tissues in adult zebra finches.

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    Sophie Reichert

    Full Text Available Telomeres are repetitive non coding DNA sequences located at the end of eukaryotic chromosomes, which maintain the integrity of the genome by hiding the chromosome ends from being recognised as double stranded breaks. Telomeres are emerging as biomarkers for ageing and survival, and are susceptible to reflect different individual life history trajectories. In particular, the telomere length with which one starts in life has been shown to be linked with individual life-long survival, suggesting that telomere dynamics can be a proxy for individual fitness and thereby be implicated in evolutionary trade-offs. As a consequence, an increasing number of studies were conducted on telomeres in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, in which telomere length was almost exclusively measured from blood samples. However, not only do the number of repeats of the telomeric sequences vary among species, but also within species with great inter-individual telomere lengths variability with age, tissues, and chromosomes. This raises the issue of the exact biological meaning of telomere measurement in blood cells and stimulated the study of the correlation of telomere lengths among tissues over age. By measuring telomere length in adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata in different somatic tissues displaying variable cell turnovers (bone marrow, brain, spleen, pectoral muscle, heart, liver and in red blood cells, we checked that the measure of telomere length in red blood cells is related to telomere lengths in the other tissues. Here we show significant relationships between the telomere lengths of red blood cells and several somatic tissues at adulthood. As red blood cells are easily accessible and suitable for the longitudinal monitoring of the individual rate of telomere loss, our study confirms that telomere length measured in red blood cells could serve as a surrogate for telomere length in the whole avian organism.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tagirov, Makhsud; Rutkowska, Joanna

    2014-01-01

    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.

  11. Maternal effects in quail and zebra finches: Behavior and hormones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth; Banerjee, Sunayana B; Correa, Stephanie M; Schweitzer, Cécile

    2013-09-01

    Maternal effects are influences of parents on offspring phenotype occurring through pathways other than inherited DNA. In birds, two important routes for such transmission are parental behavior and non-DNA egg constituents such as yolk hormones. Offspring traits subject to parental effects include behavior and endocrine function. Research from the Adkins-Regan lab has used three avian species to investigate maternal effects related to hormones and behavior. Experiments with chickens and Japanese quail have shown that maternal sex steroids can influence sex determination to produce biased offspring sex ratios. Because all birds have a ZZ/ZW chromosomal sex determining system in which the female parent determines the sex of the offspring, these results raise the possibility that maternal steroids can influence the outcome of sex chromosome meiosis. Learning has been shown to influence egg investment by female quail in ways that are likely to alter offspring phenotype. In quail, embryonic and exogenous sex steroids have well established and long-lasting effects on sexual differentiation of behavior during a critical period in ovo, but elevated yolk testosterone has long-term effects on behavior that do not seem to be occurring through an alteration in sexual differentiation. In biparental zebra finches, removal of mothers alters not only later behavior, but also the adult response of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to an environmental stressor, as indicated by plasma corticosterone. Birds raised only by fathers have lower levels of mRNA for both glucocorticoid receptors in several brain regions as adults. These studies add to the evidence that one generation influences the behavioral or endocrine phenotype of the next through routes other than transmission of DNA. Additional research will be required to understand the adaptive significance of these effects.

  12. Apparent effect of chronic Plasmodium infections on disease severity caused by experimental infections with Mycoplasma gallisepticum in house finches

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    André A. Dhondt

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available An epidemic caused by a successful host jump of the bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum from poultry to house finches in the 1990s has by now spread across most of North America. M. gallisepticum causes severe conjunctivitis in house finches. We experimentally show that M. gallisepticum transmission to birds with or without chronic Plasmodium infection does not differ. However, once infected with M. gallisepticum house finches chronically infected with Plasmodium develop more severe clinical disease than birds without such infection. We speculate as to possible effects of coinfection.

  13. On the Hypothetico-Deductive Nature of Science--Darwin's Finches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Anton E.

    2009-01-01

    Allchin (2006) has misinterpreted a classic case of hypothetico-deductive (HD) science in terms of his preferred "let's-gather-some-data-and-see-what-emerges" view. The misrepresentation concerns the research program of Peter and Rosemary Grant on Darwin's finches. The present essay argues that the Grants' research is HD in nature and includes a…

  14. Early experience and plasticity of song in adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jones, AE; TenCate, C; Slater, PJB

    1996-01-01

    Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) learn song primarily at 35-65 days of age, but birds deprived of experience at that stage may modify their songs later. Experiments on 5 groups examined the effect of varying early social experience on the plasticity of adult song. Major changes of song in adultho

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gobes, S.M.H.

    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 lear

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Influenza A(H7N9) virus transmission between finches and poultry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jeremy C; Sonnberg, Stephanie; Webby, Richard J; Webster, Robert G

    2015-04-01

    Low pathogenicity avian influenza A(H7N9) virus has been detected in poultry since 2013, and the virus has caused >450 infections in humans. The mode of subtype H7N9 virus transmission between avian species remains largely unknown, but various wild birds have been implicated as a source of transmission. H7N9 virus was recently detected in a wild sparrow in Shanghai, China, and passerine birds, such as finches, which share space and resources with wild migratory birds, poultry, and humans, can be productively infected with the virus. We demonstrate that interspecies transmission of H7N9 virus occurs readily between society finches and bobwhite quail but only sporadically between finches and chickens. Inoculated finches are better able to infect naive poultry than the reverse. Transmission occurs through shared water but not through the airborne route. It is therefore conceivable that passerine birds may serve as vectors for dissemination of H7N9 virus to domestic poultry.

  19. On the Hypothetico-Deductive Nature of Science--Darwin's Finches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Anton E.

    2009-01-01

    Allchin (2006) has misinterpreted a classic case of hypothetico-deductive (HD) science in terms of his preferred "let's-gather-some-data-and-see-what-emerges" view. The misrepresentation concerns the research program of Peter and Rosemary Grant on Darwin's finches. The present essay argues that the Grants' research is HD in nature and includes a…

  20. 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.

  1. The Quantitative Ethology of the Zebra Finch: A Study in Comparative Psychometrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueredo, Aurelio Jose; And Others

    1992-01-01

    A quantitative ethogram was developed for the zebra finch, using one-zero focal animal sampling on an ethologically comprehensive checklist of 52 behavioral items, and it was assessed for interobserver reliability and construct validity. Applying the quantitative methods of psychometrics allows verification of ethological theory and testing of…

  2. Age effect of deafening on stereotyped song maintenance in adult male bengalese finches Lonchura striata domestica

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yingyu SUN; Rui WANG; Shuli SHAO; Shaoju ZENG; Mingxue ZUO

    2009-01-01

    Birdsong is a complex learned vocal behavior that relies on auditory experience for development. However, it appears that among different species of close-ended songbirds, there are some variations in the necessity of auditory feedback for maintaining stereotyped aduh song. In zebra finches, the deterioration of adult songs following deafness depends on the birds' age. It is unknown whether this age effect is a general ride in other avian species as well. Therefore, we chose Bengalese finches, whose songs show more complexity and have much heavier dependency on auditory feedback than that of zebra finches, to compare the degree of song degradation after heating loss in old (over 18 months old) and young adult birds (5-6 months old). We found that beth syllable sequence and syllable phonology were much leas severely affected by deafening in old adults than that in young ones. Moreover, young adults almost lost their capability to sing trills over 6 months following deafening, while old birds continued to sing plenty of trills and trilled syllables after the same period of deafening. Our results suggest that age plays an important role in affecting the dependency of adult song maintenance on auditory feedback in Bengalese finches. Furthermore, the age dependency may be a general phenomenon in different species of close-ended songbirds.

  3. Regulatory Differences in Natal Down Development between Altricial Zebra Finch and Precocial Chicken.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chih-Kuan; Ng, Chen Siang; Wu, Siao-Man; Chen, Jiun-Jie; Cheng, Po-Liang; Wu, Ping; Lu, Mei-Yeh Jade; Chen, Di-Rong; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Cheng, Hsu-Chen; Ting, Chau-Ti; Li, Wen-Hsiung

    2016-08-01

    Birds can be classified into altricial and precocial. The hatchlings of altricial birds are almost naked, whereas those of precocial birds are covered with natal down. This regulatory divergence is thought to reflect environmental adaptation, but the molecular basis of the divergence is unclear. To address this issue, we chose the altricial zebra finch and the precocial chicken as the model animals. We noted that zebra finch hatchlings show natal down growth suppressed anterior dorsal (AD) skin but partially down-covered posterior dorsal (PD) skin. Comparing the transcriptomes of AD and PD skins, we found that the feather growth promoter SHH (sonic hedgehog) was expressed higher in PD skin than in AD skin. Moreover, the data suggested that the FGF (fibroblast growth factor)/Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway is involved in natal down growth suppression and that FGF16 is a candidate upstream signaling suppressor. Ectopic expression of FGF16 on chicken leg skin showed downregulation of SHH, upregulation of the feather growth suppressor FGF10, and suppression of feather bud elongation, similar to the phenotype found in zebra finch embryonic AD skin. Therefore, we propose that FGF16-related signals suppress natal down elongation and cause the naked AD skin in zebra finch. Our study provides insights into the regulatory divergence in natal down formation between precocial and altricial birds.

  4. Do apprehended saffron finches know how to survive predators? A careful look at reintroduction candidates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutra, Luisa Mascarenhas Ladeia; Young, Robert John; Galdino, Conrado Aleksander Barbosa; Vasconcellos, Angélica da Silva

    2016-04-01

    Wildlife trafficking is a major factor contributing to the reduction of biological diversity. In Brazil, trafficked animals are apprehended by environmental agencies and released in the wild. The maintenance of wild animals in captivity may jeopardize their survival in the wild, for example, by reducing their ability to recognize a predator. Saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola) are among the most trafficked Brazilian birds. Twenty-eight apprehended saffron finches were submitted to Temperament and Predator-recognition tests, with presentation of predator and non-predator models: a live and a taxidermised hawk, a taxidermised armadillo and a Lego cube. The captive saffron finches have retained general anti-predator responses, such as increasing alertness, avoiding back-facing and keeping distance when presented with potential predators. The birds responded more strongly to the live hawk than to the cube. Although some responses to the other stimuli were not statistically different from each other, a decrease in intensity of response with the decrease in threat level was remarkable. We found no relationship between temperament traits and responses to predators: a possible consequence of husbandry practices in captivity. Our results indicate saffron finches may retain basic anti-predator responses in captivity, which favours release and reintroduction programmes: information relevant for conservation management.

  5. 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,

  6. Zebra Finch Song Phonology and Syntactical Structure across Populations and Continents—A Computational Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachlan, Robert F.; van Heijningen, Caroline A. A.; ter Haar, Sita M.; ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

    Learned bird songs are often characterized by a high degree of variation between individuals and sometimes between populations, while at the same time maintaining species specificity. The evolution of such songs depends on the balance between plasticity and constraints. Captive populations provide an opportunity to examine signal variation and differentiation in detail, so we analyzed adult male zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) songs recorded from 13 populations across the world, including one sample of songs from wild-caught males in their native Australia. Cluster analysis suggested some, albeit limited, evidence that zebra finch song units belonged to universal, species-wide categories, linked to restrictions in vocal production and non-song parts of the vocal repertoire. Across populations, songs also showed some syntactical structure, although any song unit could be placed anywhere within the song. On the other hand, there was a statistically significant differentiation between populations, but the effect size was very small, and its communicative significance dubious. Our results suggest that variation in zebra finch songs within a population is largely determined by species-wide constraints rather than population-specific features. Although captive zebra finch populations have been sufficiently isolated to allow them to genetically diverge, there does not appear to have been any divergence in the genetically determined constraints that underlie song learning. Perhaps more surprising is the lack of locally diverged cultural traditions. Zebra finches serve as an example of a system where frequent learning errors may rapidly create within-population diversity, within broad phonological and syntactical constraints, and prevent the formation of long-term cultural traditions that allow populations to diverge. PMID:27458396

  7. Molecular phylogenetic relationship of snow finch complex (genera Montifringilla, Pyrgilauda, and Onychostruthus) from the Tibetan plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Yanhua; Ericson, Per G P; Lei, Fumin; Gebauer, Axel; Kaiser, Martin; Helbig, Andreas J

    2006-07-01

    The snow finch complex (Montifringilla, Pyrgilauda, and Onychostruthus) has its center of distribution on the Tibetan plateau, with six out of seven species in the genera occurring there. Phylogenetic relationships among these six species of three genera have been studied based on DNA sequence data obtained from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and the nuclear myoglobin gene. The results support monophyly of the snow finch complex group and three major evolutionary lineages are recognized. The first clade consists of ruficollis, blanfordi, and davidiana. These three taxa are sometimes placed in their own genus, Pyrgilauda, and the DNA data supports this. The three taxa nivalis, henrici, and adamsi have traditionally been placed in the genus Montifringilla, and they group together strongly in the present analysis. The results further suggest that nivalis and adamsi are more closely related to each other than are nivalis and henrici, despite that the latter two are often regarded as conspecific. The third distinct lineage within the snow finch complex consists of taczanowskii, which has been placed its own genus, Onychostruthus. This taxon has a basal position in the phylogenetic tree and is sister to all other snow finches. We estimated that taczanowskii split from the other taxa between 2 and 2.5 mya, i.e., about the time for the most recent uplift of the Tibetan plateau, "the Tibet movement", 3.6-1.7 mya. Cladogenesis within the Montifringilla and Pyrgilauda clades seems to be contemporary with the second phase of "Tibet movement" at 2.5 mya and the third phase at 1.7 mya and "Kunhuang movement" in 1.5-0.6 mya. The dramatic climatic and ecological changes following from the uplift of the Tibetan plateau, together with the cyclic contraction and expansion of suitable habitats during the Pleistocene, are probably the most important factors for the cladogenesis in snow finch complex.

  8. Vocal mechanics in Darwin's finches: correlation of beak gape and song frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podos, Jeffrey; Southall, Joel A; Rossi-Santos, Marcos R

    2004-02-01

    Recent studies of vocal mechanics in songbirds have identified a functional role for the beak in sound production. The vocal tract (trachea and beak) filters harmonic overtones from sounds produced by the syrinx, and birds can fine-tune vocal tract resonance properties through changes in beak gape. In this study, we examine patterns of beak gape during song production in seven species of Darwin's finches of the Galápagos Islands. Our principal goals were to characterize the relationship between beak gape and vocal frequency during song production and to explore the possible influence therein of diversity in beak morphology and body size. Birds were audio and video recorded (at 30 frames s(-1)) as they sang in the field, and 164 song sequences were analyzed. We found that song frequency regressed significantly and positively on beak gape for 38 of 56 individuals and for all seven species examined. This finding provides broad support for a resonance model of vocal tract function in Darwin's finches. Comparison among species revealed significant variation in regression y-intercept values. Body size correlated negatively with y-intercept values, although not at a statistically significant level. We failed to detect variation in regression slopes among finch species, although the regression slopes of Darwin's finch and two North American sparrow species were found to differ. Analysis within one species (Geospiza fortis) revealed significant inter-individual variation in regression parameters; these parameters did not correlate with song frequency features or plumage scores. Our results suggest that patterns of beak use during song production were conserved during the Darwin's finch adaptive radiation, despite the evolution of substantial variation in beak morphology and body size.

  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. There is no such a thing as a free cigarette; lining nests with discarded butts brings short-term benefits, but causes toxic damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez-Rodríguez, M; Macías Garcia, C

    2014-12-01

    Adaptation to human-modified environments such as cities is poised to be a major component of natural history in the foreseeable future. Birds have been shown to adapt their vocalizations, use of nesting places and activity rhythms to the urban environments, and we have previously reported that some species, including the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), use cellulose from smoked cigarette butts as lining material and thus reduce the number of ectoparasites in their nests, probably because the nicotine repels arthropods. Nicotine is only one of hundreds of potentially harmful substances found in cigarette butts. Here, we investigated whether the presence of such chemicals is harmful for house finches adding cigarette butts to their nests. We found that hatching and fledging success and chick immune response were all positively correlated to the proportion of the nest that was made up of butts. However, the signs of genotoxicity in the blood cells also increased with the proportion of butt cellulose in the nests. Although we have not measured the effect of genotoxicity on post-fledging survival and breeding success, it seems that bringing cigarette butts to the nest has negative consequences that may counterbalance the benefits of using them as ectoparasites repellents.

  11. Tracing the origin of a scientific legend by Reference Publication Year Spectroscopy (RPYS): the legend of the Darwin finches

    CERN Document Server

    Marx, Werner

    2013-01-01

    In a previews paper we introduced the quantitative method named Reference Publication Year Spectroscopy (RPYS). With this method one can determine the historical roots of research fields and quantify their impact on current research. RPYS is based on the analysis of the frequency with which references are cited in the publications of a specific research field in terms of the publication years of these cited references. In this study, we illustrate that RPYS can also be used to reveal the origin of scientific legends. We selected Darwin finches as an example for illustration. Charles Darwin, the originator of evolutionary theory, was given credit for finches he did not see and for observations and insights about the finches he never made. We have shown that a book published in 1947 is the most-highly cited early reference cited within the relevant literature. This book had already been revealed as the origin of the term Darwin finches by Sulloway through careful historical analysis.

  12. 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.

  13. The sensitivity of lateral line receptors and their role in the behavior of Mexican blind cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshizawa, Masato; Jeffery, William R.; van Netten, Sietse M.; McHenry, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    The characid fish species Astyanax mexicanus offers a classic comparative model for the evolution of sensory systems. Populations of this species evolved in caves and became blind while others remained in streams (i.e. surface fish) and retained a functional visual system. The flow-sensitive lateral line receptors, called superficial neuromasts, are more numerous in cavefish than in surface fish, but it is unclear whether individual neuromasts differ in sensitivity between these populations. The aims of this study were to determine whether the neuromasts in cavefish impart enhanced sensitivity relative to surface fish and to test whether this aids their ability to sense flow in the absence of visual input. Sensitivity was assessed by modeling the mechanics and hydrodynamics of a flow stimulus. This model required that we measure the dimensions of the transparent cupula of a neuromast, which was visualized with fluorescent microspheres. We found that neuromasts within the eye orbit and in the suborbital region were larger and consequently about twice as sensitive in small adult cavefish as in surface fish. Behavioral experiments found that these cavefish, but not surface fish, were attracted to a 35 Hz flow stimulus. These results support the hypothesis that the large superficial neuromasts of small cavefish aid in flow sensing. We conclude that the morphology of the lateral line could have evolved in cavefish to permit foraging in a cave environment. PMID:24265419

  14. Identifying nest predators of American avocets (Recurvirostra americana) and black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus) in San Francisco Bay, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herring, Garth; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Takekawa, John Y.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Eadie, John M.

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated predation on nests and methods to detect predators using a combination of infrared cameras and plasticine eggs at nests of American avocets (Recurvirostra americana) and black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus) in Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, California. Each technique indicated that predation was prevalent; 59% of monitored nests were depredated. Most identifiable predation (n = 49) was caused by mammals (71%) and rates of predation were similar on avocets and stilts. Raccoons (Procyon lotor) and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) each accounted for 16% of predations, whereas gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and avian predators each accounted for 14%. Mammalian predation was mainly nocturnal (mean time, 0051 h +/- 5 h 36 min), whereas most avian predation was in late afternoon (mean time, 1800 h +/- 1 h 26 min). Nests with cameras and plasticine eggs were 1.6 times more likely to be predated than nests where only cameras were used in monitoring. Cameras were associated with lower abandonment of nests and provided definitive identification of predators.

  15. The sensitivity of lateral line receptors and their role in the behavior of Mexican blind cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshizawa, Masato; Jeffery, William R; van Netten, Sietse M; McHenry, Matthew J

    2014-03-15

    The characid fish species Astyanax mexicanus offers a classic comparative model for the evolution of sensory systems. Populations of this species evolved in caves and became blind while others remained in streams (i.e. surface fish) and retained a functional visual system. The flow-sensitive lateral line receptors, called superficial neuromasts, are more numerous in cavefish than in surface fish, but it is unclear whether individual neuromasts differ in sensitivity between these populations. The aims of this study were to determine whether the neuromasts in cavefish impart enhanced sensitivity relative to surface fish and to test whether this aids their ability to sense flow in the absence of visual input. Sensitivity was assessed by modeling the mechanics and hydrodynamics of a flow stimulus. This model required that we measure the dimensions of the transparent cupula of a neuromast, which was visualized with fluorescent microspheres. We found that neuromasts within the eye orbit and in the suborbital region were larger and consequently about twice as sensitive in small adult cavefish as in surface fish. Behavioral experiments found that these cavefish, but not surface fish, were attracted to a 35 Hz flow stimulus. These results support the hypothesis that the large superficial neuromasts of small cavefish aid in flow sensing. We conclude that the morphology of the lateral line could have evolved in cavefish to permit foraging in a cave environment.

  16. Salmonella Surveillance Among Great-Tailed Grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus) and Other Urban Bird Species in Eastern Texas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grigar, Mary K; Cummings, Kevin J; Rodriguez-Rivera, Lorraine D; Rankin, Shelley C; Johns, Krista; Hamer, Gabriel L; Hamer, Sarah A

    2016-12-01

    Wild birds may play an important role in maintaining and transmitting Salmonella. Their ability to travel large distances and their proximity to human habitations could make them a vehicle for bridging Salmonella from wild and domestic animals to humans. To determine the potential public health risk presented by urban birds, we investigated the prevalence of Salmonella among great-tailed grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus) and other cohabiting urban bird species. Fecal samples were collected from 114 birds communally roosting in parking lots of retail locations in Brazos County, Texas, from February through July of 2015. Great-tailed grackles and European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were the predominant species sampled. Standard bacteriologic culture methods were used to isolate Salmonella from samples, and isolates were characterized by serotyping and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Overall, 1.8% (2/114) of samples were confirmed positive for Salmonella. Both positive birds were great-tailed grackles sampled in June, yielding a 2.6% (2/76) apparent prevalence among this species. Isolates were serotyped as Salmonella Typhimurium and found to be pan-susceptible based on the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) panel of antimicrobial agents. The occurrence of Salmonella in great-tailed grackles represents a potential threat to public health, particularly considering their population size and tendency to congregate near human establishments such as grocery stores.

  17. Breeding experience, alternative reproductive strategies and reproductive success in a captive colony of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baran, Nicole M; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Birds exhibit a remarkable diversity of different reproductive strategies both between and within species. Species such as the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) may evolve the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, as well as benefit from prior breeding experience, which allows them to adaptively respond to unpredictable environments. In birds, the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, such as extra-pair mating, has been reported to be associated with fast reproduction, high mortality and environmental variability. However, little is known about the role of previous breeding experience in the adaptive use of alternative reproductive strategies. Here we performed an in-depth study of reproductive outcomes in a population of domesticated zebra finches, testing the impact of prior breeding experience on the use of alternative reproductive strategies and reproductive success. We provide evidence that older females with prior breeding experience are quicker to initiate a clutch with a new partner and have increased success in chick rearing, even in a captive colony of zebra finches with minimal foraging demands. We also find evidence that the breeding experience of other females in the same social group influences reproductive investment by female zebra finches. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the use of alternative reproductive strategies in female zebra finches is associated with previous failed breeding attempts with the same pair partner. The results provide evidence that age and breeding experience play important roles in the flexible use of both facultative and adaptive reproductive strategies in female zebra finches.

  18. Genomic and neural analysis of the estradiol-synthetic pathway in the zebra finch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    London Sarah E

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Steroids are small molecule hormones derived from cholesterol. Steroids affect many tissues, including the brain. In the zebra finch, estrogenic steroids are particularly interesting because they masculinize the neural circuit that controls singing and their synthesis in the brain is modulated by experience. Here, we analyzed the zebra finch genome assembly to assess the content, conservation, and organization of genes that code for components of the estrogen-synthetic pathway and steroid nuclear receptors. Based on these analyses, we also investigated neural expression of a cholesterol transport protein gene in the context of song neurobiology. Results We present sequence-based analysis of twenty steroid-related genes using the genome assembly and other resources. Generally, zebra finch genes showed high homology to genes in other species. The diversity of steroidogenic enzymes and receptors may be lower in songbirds than in mammals; we were unable to identify all known mammalian isoforms of the 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase families in the zebra finch genome assembly, and not all splice sites described in mammals were identified in the corresponding zebra finch genes. We did identify two factors, Nobox and NR1H2-RXR, that may be important for coordinated transcription of multiple steroid-related genes. We found very little qualitative overlap in predicted transcription factor binding sites in the genes for two cholesterol transport proteins, the 18 kDa cholesterol transport protein (TSPO and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR. We therefore performed in situ hybridization for TSPO and found that its mRNA was not always detected in brain regions where StAR and steroidogenic enzymes were previously shown to be expressed. Also, transcription of TSPO, but not StAR, may be regulated by the experience of hearing song. Conclusions The genes required for estradiol synthesis and

  19. Effect of lesion of nucleus robustus archistriatalis on call in bramble finch (Fringilla montifringilla)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JlANG; Jinchang(

    2001-01-01

    [1]Li Dongfeng, Efferent projections of nucleus robustus archistriatalis in songbirds, Chinese Journal of Neuroanatomy (in Chinese), 1997, 13 (1): 71-74.[2]Wild, J. M., Descending projection of the songbird nucleus robustus archistriatalis, J.Comp. Neurol., 1997, 338: 225-241.[3]Nottebohm, F., Stokes, T. M., Leonard, C. M., Central control of song in the canary, Serinus canarius, J. Comp. Neurol.,1976, 207: 344-357.[4]Simpson, H. B., Vicario, D. S., Brain pathways for learned and unlearned vocalizations differ in zebra finch, J. Neurosci.,1990, 10 (5): 1541-1556.[5]Li Dongfeng, Jiang, .J.C., Li, J. et al., Effect of tracheosyrngeal denervation on call in greenfinch (Carduelis sinica), Science in China, Ser. C, 1999, 42 (6): 561-569.[6]Stokes. T. M., Leonard, C. M., Nottebohm, F., The telencephalon diencephalon and mesencephalon of the canary, Serinus canarius, in stereotaxic coordinates, J. Comp. Neurol., 1974, 156: 337-374.[7]Williams, H., Cynx, J., Nottebohm, F., Timbre control in zebra finch (Taenopygia guttata) song syllables, J. Comp. Psychol., 1990, 103: 366-380.[8]Vicario, D. S., Motor mechanisms relevant to auditory-vocal interactions in songbirds, Brain Behav. Evol., 1994, 44:265-278.[9]Vicario, D. S., Nottebohm, F., Organization of the zebra finch song control system: I. Representation of syringeal muscles in the hypoglossal nucleus, J. Comp. Neurol., 1988, 271: 346-354.[10]Vicario. D. S., Organization of the zebra finch song control system: Ⅱ. Functional organization of outputs from nucleus robustus archistriatalis, J. Comp. Neurol., 1991, 309: 456-494.[11]Vicario, D. S., A new brain-stem pathway for vocal control in the zebra finch song system, Neuroreport, 1993, 4: 983-986.[12]Seller, T. J., Midbrain vocalization centers in birds, Trends Neurosci., 1981, 4: 301-303.[13]Vicario, D. S., Contributions of syringeal muscles to respiration and vocalization in the zebra finch, J. Neurobiol.1991,22 (1): 63

  20. Spatial memory and hippocampal function in a non-foodstoring songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bischof, Hans-Joachim; Lieshoff, Carsten; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2006-01-01

    Spatial memory and hippocampal function have as yet been investigated mainly in pigeons and food storing songbirds. We show here that the zebra finch, a songbird not specialized in food storing and caching, is also able to learn a spatial memory task and uses a spatial map for finding food in a 'dry water maze'. Hippocampal lesions prevent learning and retention of this spatial task. The immediate early gene (IEG) products Zenk and Fos are expressed within the hippocampus when the bird is learning the task. Spatial learning cannot be assigned to any hippocampal subregion; IEG expression within the hippocampus is patchy and seems almost arbitrarily located. The IEG activation pattern in spatial memory experiments is compared with those in other learning experiments with zebra finches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  2. Altered Auditory BOLD Response to Conspecific Birdsong in Zebra Finches with Stuttered Syllables

    OpenAIRE

    Voss, Henning U.; Delanthi Salgado-Commissariat; Helekar, Santosh A.

    2010-01-01

    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 t...

  3. Characterization and comparison of activity profiles exhibited by the cave and surface morphotypes of the blind Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Brian M; Gross, Joshua B

    2017-08-17

    Departure from normal circadian rhythmicity and exposure to atypical lighting cues has been shown to adversely affect human health and wellness in a variety of ways. In contrast, adaptation to extreme environments has led many species to alter or even entirely abandon their reliance upon cyclic environmental inputs, principally daily cycles of light and darkness. The extreme darkness, stability and isolation of cave ecosystems has made cave-adapted species particularly attractive systems in which to study the consequences of life without light and the strategies that allow species to survive and even thrive in such environments. In order to further explore these questions, we have assessed the rhythmicity of locomotion in the blind Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus, under controlled laboratory conditions. Using high-resolution video tracking assays, we characterized patterns in locomotor activity and spatial tank usage for members of the surface and Pachón cave populations. Here we demonstrate that cavefish have a higher overall level of activity and use the space within the trial tank differently than surface fish. Further, Pachón cavefish show circadian rhythmicity in both activity and spatial tank usage under a 12:12 light/dark cycle. We provide further evidence that these cavefish retain a weakly light-entrainable, endogenous circadian oscillator with limited capability to sustain rhythms in activity, but not spatial tank usage, in the absence of photic cues. Finally, we demonstrate a putative behavioral "masking effect" contributing to behavioral rhythms and provide evidence that exposure to constant darkness during development may alter behavioral patterns later in life. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. Discovery of a new avian bornavirus genotype in estrildid finches (Estrildidae) in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubbenstroth, Dennis; Schmidt, Volker; Rinder, Monika; Legler, Marko; Corman, Victor Max; Staeheli, Peter

    2014-01-31

    Avian bornaviruses (ABV) are known to be the causative agent of proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) in parrots and their relatives (Psittaciformes). A broad range of ABV genotypes has been detected not only in psittacine birds, but also in other avian species including canary birds (Serinus canaria forma domestica) and Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata f. dom.), which are both members of the order songbirds (Passeriformes). During this study 286 samples collected from captive and wild birds of various passerine species in different parts of Germany were screened for the presence of ABV. Interestingly, only three ABV-positive samples were identified by RT-PCR. They originated from one yellow-winged pytilia (Pytilia hypogrammica) and two black-rumped waxbills (Estrilda troglodytes) from a flock of captive estrildid finches in Saxony. The ABV isolates detected here were only distantly related to ABV isolates found in passerine species in Germany and Japan and form a new genotype tentatively called ABV-EF (for "estrildid finches"). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Social facilitation of male song by male and female conspecifics in the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesse, Fabienne; Riebel, Katharina

    2012-11-01

    Zebra finches are a ubiquitous model system for the study of vocal learning in animal communication. Their song has been well described, but its possible function(s) in social communication are only partly understood. The so-called 'directed song' is a high-intensity, high-performance song given during courtship in close proximity to the female, which is known to mediate mate choice and mating. However, this singing mode constitutes only a fraction of zebra finch males' prolific song output. Potential communicative functions of their second, 'undirected' singing mode remain unresolved in the face of contradicting reports of both facilitating and inhibiting effects of social company on singing. We addressed this issue by experimentally manipulating social contexts in a within-subject design, comparing a solo versus male or female only company condition, each lasting for 24h. Males' total song output was significantly higher when a conspecific was in audible and visible distance than when they were alone. Male and female company had an equally facilitating effect on song output. Our findings thus indicate that singing motivation is facilitated rather than inhibited by social company, suggesting that singing in zebra finches might function both in inter- and intrasexual communication. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andries Ter Maat

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Acetylcholinesterase in central vocal control nuclei of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Monika Sadananda

    2004-06-01

    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 and neuropil of vocal control nuclei robust nucleus of arcopallium (RA), medial magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (MMAN) and lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN). The identified sites of cholinergic and/or cholinoceptive neurons are similar to the cholinergic presence in vocal control regions of other songbirds such as the song sparrow, starling and another genus of the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), and to a certain extent in parallel vocal control regions in vocalizing birds such as the budgerigar. AChE presence in the vocal control system suggests innervation by either afferent projecting cholinergic systems and/or local circuit cholinergic neurons. Co-occurrence with choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) indicates efferent cholinergic projections. The cholinergic presence in parts of the zebra finch vocal control system, such as the area X, that is also intricately wired with parts of the basal ganglia, the descending fibre tracts and brain stem nuclei could underlie this circuitry’s involvement in sensory processing and motor control of song.

  9. Maintenance of a captive flock of house finches free of infection by Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, P M; Duckworth, R A; Hill, G E; Roberts, S R

    2000-01-01

    Since the beginning of an epidemic of conjunctivitis in wild house finches caused by Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), all captive colonies established by capturing free-ranging house finches from the eastern population have also either been infected at the time of capture or developed infection shortly after capture. In an attempt to avoid this infection in captive flocks being maintained for studies of the finches' behavior and ecology, we compared two different flock management strategies and were able to prevent the development of mycoplasmal conjunctivitis with one of the strategies. Single-sex flocks were built by introducing only seronegative wild-caught birds showing no clinical signs of conjunctivitis and covering their outdoor flight cages with netting to prevent interaction with other wild birds although only the female flocks were initially treated with a 6-wk course of tylosin tartrate (0.3 mg/ml). The female flocks never developed conjunctivitis although the disease did develop in the male flocks. Furthermore, serologic assessments of the healthy flock by serum plate agglutination assays for MG indicated that the females remained free of MG infection in the final 7 wk of the study, during which they were unmedicated. We conclude that any low-level MG infection not diagnosed by the initial test for seroconversion was cleared by the prolonged drug treatment.

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

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    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.

  11. Comparative Cytogenetics between Two Important Songbird, Models: The Zebra Finch and the Canary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dos Santos, Michelly da Silva; Kretschmer, Rafael; Frankl-Vilches, Carolina; Bakker, Antje; Gahr, Manfred; O Brien, Patricia C M; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; de Oliveira, Edivaldo H C

    2017-01-01

    Songbird species (order Passeriformes, suborder Oscines) are important models in various experimental fields spanning behavioural genomics to neurobiology. Although the genomes of some songbird species were sequenced recently, the chromosomal organization of these species is mostly unknown. Here we focused on the two most studied songbird species in neuroscience, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and the canary (Serinus canaria). In order to clarify these issues and also to integrate chromosome data with their assembled genomes, we used classical and molecular cytogenetics in both zebra finch and canary to define their chromosomal homology, localization of heterochromatic blocks and distribution of rDNA clusters. We confirmed the same diploid number (2n = 80) in both species, as previously reported. FISH experiments confirmed the occurrence of multiple paracentric and pericentric inversions previously found in other species of Passeriformes, providing a cytogenetic signature for this order, and corroborating data from in silico analyses. Additionally, compared to other Passeriformes, we detected differences in the zebra finch karyotype concerning the morphology of some chromosomes, in the distribution of 5S rDNA clusters, and an inversion in chromosome 1.

  12. Comparative Cytogenetics between Two Important Songbird, Models: The Zebra Finch and the Canary

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Michelly da Silva; Kretschmer, Rafael; Frankl-Vilches, Carolina; Bakker, Antje; Gahr, Manfred; O´Brien, Patricia C. M.; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A.

    2017-01-01

    Songbird species (order Passeriformes, suborder Oscines) are important models in various experimental fields spanning behavioural genomics to neurobiology. Although the genomes of some songbird species were sequenced recently, the chromosomal organization of these species is mostly unknown. Here we focused on the two most studied songbird species in neuroscience, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and the canary (Serinus canaria). In order to clarify these issues and also to integrate chromosome data with their assembled genomes, we used classical and molecular cytogenetics in both zebra finch and canary to define their chromosomal homology, localization of heterochromatic blocks and distribution of rDNA clusters. We confirmed the same diploid number (2n = 80) in both species, as previously reported. FISH experiments confirmed the occurrence of multiple paracentric and pericentric inversions previously found in other species of Passeriformes, providing a cytogenetic signature for this order, and corroborating data from in silico analyses. Additionally, compared to other Passeriformes, we detected differences in the zebra finch karyotype concerning the morphology of some chromosomes, in the distribution of 5S rDNA clusters, and an inversion in chromosome 1. PMID:28129381

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. Complex Evolutionary and Genetic Patterns Characterize the Loss of Scleral Ossification in the Blind Cavefish Astyanax mexicanus.

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    Kelly E O'Quin

    Full Text Available The sclera is the tough outer covering of the eye that provides structural support and helps maintain intraocular pressure. In some fishes, reptiles, and birds, the sclera is reinforced with an additional ring of hyaline cartilage or bone that forms from scleral ossicles. Currently, the evolutionary and genetic basis of scleral ossification is poorly understood, especially in teleost fishes. We assessed scleral ossification among several groups of the Mexican tetra (Astyanax mexicanus, which exhibit both an eyed and eyeless morph. Although eyed Astyanax surface fish have bony sclera similar to other teleosts, the ossicles of blind Astyanax cavefish generally do not form. We first sampled cavefish from multiple independent populations and used ancestral character state reconstructions to determine how many times scleral ossification has been lost. We then confirmed these results by assessing complementation of scleral ossification among the F1 hybrid progeny of two cavefish populations. Finally, we quantified the number of scleral ossicles present among the F2 hybrid progeny of a cross between surface fish and cavefish, and used this information to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL responsible for this trait. Our results indicate that the loss of scleral ossification is common-but not ubiquitous-among Astyanax cavefish, and that this trait has been convergently lost at least three times. The presence of wild-type, ossified sclera among the F1 hybrid progeny of a cross between different cavefish populations confirms the convergent evolution of this trait. However, a strongly skewed distribution of scleral ossicles found among surface fish x cavefish F2 hybrids suggests that scleral ossification is a threshold trait with a complex genetic basis. Quantitative genetic mapping identified a single QTL for scleral ossification on Astyanax linkage group 1. We estimate that the threshold for this trait is likely determined by at least three genetic

  17. Zebra finches have a light-dependent magnetic compass similar to migratory birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinzon-Rodriguez, Atticus; Muheim, Rachel

    2017-04-01

    Birds have a light-dependent magnetic compass that provides information about the spatial alignment of the geomagnetic field. It is proposed to be located in the avian retina and mediated by a light-induced, radical-pair mechanism involving cryptochromes as sensory receptor molecules. To investigate how the behavioural responses of birds under different light spectra match with cryptochromes as the primary magnetoreceptor, we examined the spectral properties of the magnetic compass in zebra finches. We trained birds to relocate a food reward in a spatial orientation task using magnetic compass cues. The birds were well oriented along the trained magnetic compass axis when trained and tested under low-irradiance 521 nm green light. In the presence of a 1.4 MHz radio-frequency electromagnetic (RF)-field, the birds were disoriented, which supports the involvement of radical-pair reactions in the primary magnetoreception process. Birds trained and tested under 638 nm red light showed a weak tendency to orient ∼45 deg clockwise of the trained magnetic direction. Under low-irradiance 460 nm blue light, they tended to orient along the trained magnetic compass axis, but were disoriented under higher irradiance light. Zebra finches trained and tested under high-irradiance 430 nm indigo light were well oriented along the trained magnetic compass axis, but disoriented in the presence of a RF-field. We conclude that magnetic compass responses of zebra finches are similar to those observed in nocturnally migrating birds and agree with cryptochromes as the primary magnetoreceptor, suggesting that light-dependent, radical-pair-mediated magnetoreception is a common property for all birds, including non-migratory species. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

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    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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

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    Henning U Voss

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Female but not male zebra finches adjust heat output in response to increased incubation demand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Davina L; Lindström, Jan; McCafferty, Dominic J; Nager, Ruedi G

    2014-04-15

    In many incubating birds, heat transfer from parent to egg is facilitated by the brood patch, an area of ventral abdominal skin that becomes highly vascularised, swells and loses its down feathers around the time of laying. Only the female develops a brood patch in most passerine species, but males of some species can incubate and maintain the eggs at similar temperatures to females even without a brood patch. Here we used a novel application of infrared thermography to examine sex differences in parental care from a physiological perspective. Using incubating male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), a species in which the male lacks a brood patch, we measured the surface temperature of the ventral plumage overlying the abdomen and a reference area that does not contact the eggs (thorax) twice per pair. In half of the pairs, clutch size was experimentally enlarged between the two sets of measurements to increase incubation demand. We found that the temperature differential between abdomen and thorax plumage was greater in females than in males, and that abdomen plumage was warmer after clutch enlargement than before in females but not in males. These findings are consistent with morphological sex differences in brood patch development and suggest that male and female zebra finches differ in the way they regulate abdomen versus general body surface temperature in response to variation in incubation demand.

  7. Transcriptional response to West Nile virus infection in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newhouse, Daniel J.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.

    2017-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a widespread arbovirus that imposes a significant cost to both human and wildlife health. WNV exists in a bird-mosquito transmission cycle in which passerine birds act as the primary reservoir host. As a public health concern, the mammalian immune response to WNV has been studied in detail. Little, however, is known about the avian immune response to WNV. Avian taxa show variable susceptibility to WNV and what drives this variation is unknown. Thus, to study the immune response to WNV in birds, we experimentally infected captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Zebra finches provide a useful model, as like many natural avian hosts they are moderately susceptible to WNV and thus provide sufficient viremia to infect mosquitoes. We performed RNAseq in spleen tissue during peak viremia to provide an overview of the transcriptional response. In general, we find strong parallels with the mammalian immune response to WNV, including upregulation of five genes in the Rig-I-like receptor signalling pathway, and offer insights into avian-specific responses. Together with complementary immunological assays, we provide a model of the avian immune response to WNV and set the stage for future comparative studies among variably susceptible populations and species.

  8. Striped-tailed Yellow-finch nesting success in abandoned mining pits from central Brazilian cerrado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DT. Gressler

    Full Text Available Suitability of degraded areas as breeding habitats can be tested through assessment of nest predation rates. In this study we estimated nest success in relation to several potential predictors of nest survival in the Stripe-tailed Yellow-finch (Sicalis citrina breeding in abandoned mining pits at Brasília National Park. We monitored 73 nests during the 2007-breeding season. Predation was the main cause of nest failure (n = 48, 66%; while six nests were abandoned (8% and 19 nests produced young (26%. Mayfield’s daily survival rates and nest success were 0.94 and 23%, respectively. Our results from nest survival models on program MARK indicated that daily survival rates increase linearly towards the end of the breeding season and decrease as nests aged. None of the nest individual covariates we tested - nest height, nest size, nest substrate, and edge effect - were important predictors of nest survival; however, nests placed on the most common plant tended to have higher survival probabilities. Also, there was no observer effect on daily survival rates. Our study suggests that abandoned mining pits may be suitable alternative breeding habitats for Striped-tailed Yellow-finches since nest survival rates were similar to other studies in the central cerrado region.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1988-08-08

    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.

  10. Growing old with the immune system: a study of immunosenescence in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen, Elin; Bourgeon, Sophie; Bech, Claus

    2011-07-01

    Immunosenescence has not received much attention in birds and the few existing studies indicate that the occurrence of immunosenescence and/or its extent may differ between species. In addition, not much information is available on the immunosenescence patterns of different immune parameters assessed simultaneously in both sexes within a single species. The present study reports the results on immunosenescence in innate immunity and both cellular and humoral acquired immunity of both sexes in a captive population of zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) using three age groups (approximately 0.2, 2.5 and 5.1 years). Both male and female finches showed an inverse U-shaped pattern in cellular immune function with age, quantified by a PHA response. Males showed stronger responses than females at all ages. In contrast, an increase with age in humoral immunity, quantified through total plasma immunoglobulin Y levels, was found in both sexes. However, our measurements of innate immunity measured through the bacteria-killing ability against Escherichia coli gave inconclusive results. Still, we conclude that both cellular and humoral acquired immunity are susceptible to immunosenescence, and that the sexes differ in cellular immunity.

  11. Handling stress does not reflect personality in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Morgan; Auclair, Yannick; Dechaume-Moncharmont, François-Xavier; Cézilly, Frank

    2012-02-01

    Although increasing attention is given to both the causes and consequences of variation in animal personality, the measurement of personality in captive or free-ranging individuals remains an issue. In particular, one important question concerns whether personality should be established from the existence of complex behavioral syndromes (a suite of correlated behavioral traits) or could be more easily deduced from a single variable. In that context, it has recently been suggested that handling stress, measured through breathing rate during handling, could be a good descriptor of personality, at least in passerine birds. The authors experimentally investigated to what extent handling stress was correlated with personality in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), as assessed from a suite of repeatable behavioral traits, including activity, exploratory behavior, neophobia, and reaction to startle. Although breathing rate was repeatable across individuals, it was not related to any behavioral trait, suggesting that it cannot be used to quickly predict personality, at least in zebra finches. Breathing rate during handling, in addition, was related to morphology, questioning the fact that breathing rate during handling reflects personality irrespective of individual state. The authors suggest that inference on global personality from a reduced number of traits should be performed with caution.

  12. High-magnification super-resolution FINCH microscopy using birefringent crystal lens interferometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Nisan; Lupashin, Vladimir; Storrie, Brian; Brooker, Gary

    2016-12-01

    Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH) microscopy is a promising approach for high-resolution biological imaging but has so far been limited to use with low-magnification, low-numerical-aperture configurations. We report the use of in-line incoherent interferometers made from uniaxial birefringent α-barium borate (α-BBO) or calcite crystals that overcome the aberrations and distortions present with previous implementations that employed spatial light modulators or gradient refractive index lenses. FINCH microscopy incorporating these birefringent elements and high-numerical-aperture oil immersion objectives could outperform standard wide-field fluorescence microscopy, with, for example, a 149 nm lateral point spread function at a wavelength of 590 nm. Enhanced resolution was confirmed with sub-resolution fluorescent beads. Taking the Golgi apparatus as a biological example, three different proteins labelled with GFP and two other fluorescent dyes in HeLa cells were resolved with an image quality that is comparable to similar samples captured by structured illumination microscopy.

  13. Juvenile zebra finches learn the underlying structural regularities of their fathers’ song

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otilia eMenyhart

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Natural behaviors, such as foraging, tool use, social interaction, birdsong, and language, exhibit branching sequential structure. Such structure should be learnable if it can be inferred from the statistics of early experience. We report that juvenile zebra finches learn such sequential structure in song. Song learning in finches has been extensively studied, and it is generally believed that young males acquire song by imitating tutors (Zann, 1996. Variability in the order of elements in an individual’s mature song occurs, but the degree to which variation in a zebra finch’s song follows statistical regularities has not been quantified, as it has typically been dismissed as production error (Sturdy et al., 1999. Allowing for the possibility that such variation in song is non-random and learnable, we applied a novel analytical approach, based on graph-structured finite-state grammars, to each individual’s full corpus of renditions of songs. This method does not assume syllable-level correspondence between individuals. We find that song variation can be described by probabilistic finite-state graph grammars that are individually distinct, and that the graphs of juveniles are more similar to those of their fathers than to those of other adult males. This grammatical learning is a new parallel between birdsong and language. Our method can be applied across species and contexts to analyze complex variable learned behaviors, as distinct as foraging, tool use, and language.

  14. Brain activation pattern depends on the strategy chosen by zebra finches to solve an orientation task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Uwe; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2012-02-01

    Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) were trained to find food in one of four feeders on the floor of an aviary. This feeder was always in the same place during training and was additionally marked by a distinct pattern. In the test trial the distinctly patterned feeder was interchanged with one of the other feeders, so that the birds had to decide to use either the pattern or the original location for finding food. Half of the birds used one strategy and half used the other. According to the strategy applied, different brain areas were activated, as demonstrated by c-Fos immunohistochemistry. The hippocampus was activated when spatial cues were used, while in birds orienting using the pattern of the feeder, part of the collothalamic (tectofugal) visual system showed stronger activation. The visual wulst of the lemnothalamic (thalamofugal) visual system was activated with both strategies, indicating an involvement in both spatial and pattern-directed orientation. Because the experimental situation was the same for all zebra finches, the activation pattern was only dependent on the strategy that was voluntarily chosen by each of the birds.

  15. 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

    2016-12-30

    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.

  16. 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

    2016-07-05

    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.

  17. Cranial shape evolution in adaptive radiations of birds: comparative morphometrics of Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokita, Masayoshi; Yano, Wataru; James, Helen F.

    2017-01-01

    Adaptive radiation is the rapid evolution of morphologically and ecologically diverse species from a single ancestor. The two classic examples of adaptive radiation are Darwin's finches and the Hawaiian honeycreepers, which evolved remarkable levels of adaptive cranial morphological variation. To gain new insights into the nature of their diversification, we performed comparative three-dimensional geometric morphometric analyses based on X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) scanning of dried cranial skeletons. We show that cranial shapes in both Hawaiian honeycreepers and Coerebinae (Darwin's finches and their close relatives) are much more diverse than in their respective outgroups, but Hawaiian honeycreepers as a group display the highest diversity and disparity of all other bird groups studied. We also report a significant contribution of allometry to skull shape variation, and distinct patterns of evolutionary change in skull morphology in the two lineages of songbirds that underwent adaptive radiation on oceanic islands. These findings help to better understand the nature of adaptive radiations in general and provide a foundation for future investigations on the developmental and molecular mechanisms underlying diversification of these morphologically distinguished groups of birds. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological diversity’. PMID:27994122

  18. 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

    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...

  19. An eye for beauty: lateralized visual stimulation of courtship behavior and mate preferences in male zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Templeton, Jennifer J; McCracken, Brianna G; Sher, Melissa; Mountjoy, D James

    2014-02-01

    Research on intersexual selection focuses on traits that have evolved for attracting mates and the consequences of mate choice. However, little is known about the cognitive and neural mechanisms that allow choosers to discriminate among potential mates and express an attraction to specific traits. Preferential use of the right eye during lateral displays in zebra finches, and lateralized expression of intermediate early genes in the left hemisphere during courtship led us to hypothesize that: (1) visual information from each eye differentially mediates courtship responses to potential mates; and (2) the ability to discriminate among mates and prefer certain mates over others is lateralized in the right eye/left hemisphere system of zebra finch brains. First, we exposed male zebra finches to females when using left, right or both eyes. Males courted more when the right eye was available than when only the left eye was used. Secondly, male preference for females - using beak color to indicate female quality - was tested. Right-eyed and binocular males associated with and courted orange-beaked more than gray-beaked females; whereas left-eyed males showed no preference. Lateral displays and eye use in male zebra finches increase their attractiveness and ability to assess female quality, potentially enhancing reproductive success. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: CO3 2013.

  20. 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

  1. A dynamic, sex-specific expression pattern of genes regulating thyroid hormone action in the developing zebra finch song control system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raymaekers, Sander R; Verbeure, Wout; Ter Haar, Sita M; Cornil, Charlotte A; Balthazart, Jacques; Darras, Veerle M

    2017-01-01

    The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) song control system consists of several series of interconnected brain nuclei that undergo marked changes during ontogeny and sexual development, making it an excellent model to study developmental neuroplasticity. Despite the demonstrated influence of hormones

  2. Phylogenetic analysis of avian poxviruses among free-ranging birds of Virginia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Cary J; Feldman, Sanford H; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2005-12-01

    Polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify a portion of the avian poxvirus core 4b gene of infected free-ranging birds that presented at the Wildlife Center of Virginia during the 2003 and early 2004 years. The species of bird infected were a great blue heron (Ardea herodias), two American crows (Corvus brachyrhyncos), two American robins (Turdus migratorius), two mourning doves (Zenaida macroura), a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), a blue-gray gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea), a northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), a house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), and a northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). Phylogenetic analysis was performed using the consensus sequences determined for each avian case in Virginia in combination with avian poxvirus core 4b gene sequence from isolates previously described in Europe and that of vaccinia virus. Alignment of DNA sequences identified areas of point mutations and, in the case of a single mourning dove, the incorporation of a triplet of nucleotides. Maximum-likelihood analysis grouped the 2003-2004 Virginia avian poxviruses into a clade distinct from those reported in European free-ranging birds, with the exception of a single case in a mourning dove that clustered within one European clade. The cladogram that resulted from our analysis of the European isolates is in agreement with those previously published. This study identified a distinct clade of avian poxvirus unique from four clades previously described and associated with epornitics in free-ranging birds, where the core 4b gene DNA sequence has been the basis of comparison.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Problems in separating species with similar habits and vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, C.S.; Stallcup, R.W.; Ralph, C. John; Scott, J. Michael

    1981-01-01

    The possibilities for species misidentification based on vocalization or habitat association are high. However, the magnitude of the errors actually perpetrated is generally within an acceptable range in most types of bird survey work. Examples of problems discussed are: congeners that are similar in appearance or in song (such as Chimney and Vaux's Swifts, Chaetura pelagica, C. vauxi; Hammond's, Dusky and Gray Flycatchers, Empidonax hammondii, E. oberholseri, E. wrightii; Willow and Alder Flycatchers, E. traillii, E. alnorum; Common and Fish Crows, Corvus brachyrhynchos, C. ossifragus); birds that are misidentified because they are not expected by the observer (House Finches, Carpodacus mexicanus, invading new areas of eastern U.S.); birds that imitate other species (especially Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, and Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos); birds in mixed flocks; birds with geographic differences in vocalizations (Solitary Vireo, Vireo solitarius); woodpeckers that are only heard drumming; and nests or eggs that are misidentified. Equally serious problems are the errors resulting from undetected species and from careless recording or failure to check manuscripts against original data. The quality of published count work can be improved considerably by (1) recognizing the problems that exist, (2) standardizing techniques for dealing with situations where not all birds can be identified, and (3) routinely applying all appropriate safeguards such as verification by mist netting and measuring, photography, tape recording or playback, additional observations, and careful verification of all entries in the final manuscript.

  5. Enhanced fos expression in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain following first courtship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadananda, Monika; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2002-06-24

    Young zebra finch males that court a female for the first time develop a stable preference for the females of that species. On the neuronal level, consolidation of the imprinted information takes place. Here we demonstrate that first courtship or being chased around in the cage leads to enhanced fos expression in forebrain areas implicated in learning and imprinting in zebra finch males compared with birds reared in isolation or in the aviary. Two of the forebrain areas highly active during first courtship (as demonstrated by the 14C-2-deoxyglucose technique), the imprinting locus latral neo/hyperstriatum ventrale (LNH) and the secondary visual area hyperstriatum accessorium/dorsale (HAD), demonstrate enhanced fos expression. Two other imprinting-related areas, the medial neo/hyperstriatum ventrale (MNH) and archistriatum/neostriatum caudale (ANC), do show c-fos induction; however, the areas are not congruous with those demarcated by the 2-DG autoradiographic studies. Additional telencephalic areas include the olfactory lobe, the information storage site lobus parolfactorius (LPO), the memory site hippocampus, the auditory caudomedial neostriatum implicated in the strength of song learning, and the caudolateral neostriatum, which is comparable to the mammalian prefrontal cortex. In addition, c-fos is induced by first courtship and chasing in neurosecretory cell groups of the preoptic area and hypothalamus associated with the repertoire of sexual behavior and stress or enhanced arousal. Enhanced fos expression is also observed in brainstem sources of specific (noradrenergic, catecholaminergic) and nonspecific (reticular formation) activating pathways with inputs to higher brain areas implicated in the imprinting process. Birds reared in isolation or alternatively in the aviary with social and sexual contact to conspecifics showed attenuated or no fos expression in most of the above-mentioned areas. First courtship and chasing both lead to enhanced uptake of 2-DG in

  6. 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.

  7. A reliable and flexible gene manipulation strategy in posthatch zebra finch brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadiantehrani, Somayeh; London, Sarah E.

    2017-01-01

    Songbird models meaningfully contribute to many fields including learned vocal communication, the neurobiology of social interactions, brain development, and ecology. The value of investigating gene-brain-behavior relationships in songbirds is therefore high. Viral infections typically used in other lab animals to deliver gene editing constructs have been less effective in songbirds, likely due to immune system properties. We therefore leveraged the in vivo electroporation strategy used in utero in rodents and in ovo in poultry, and apply it to posthatch zebra finch songbird chicks. We present a series of experiments with a combination of promoters, fluorescent protein genes, and piggyBac transposase vectors to demonstrate that this can be a reliable, efficient, and flexible strategy for genome manipulation. We discuss options for gene delivery experiments to test circuit and behavioral hypotheses using a variety of manipulations, including gene overexpression, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, inducible technologies, optogenetic or DREADD cellular control, and cell type-specific expression. PMID:28233828

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Phylogeography of the Buarremon brush-finch complex (Aves, Emberizidae) in Mesoamerica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Sigüenza, Adolfo G; Townsend Peterson, A; Nyari, Arpad; García-Deras, Gabriela M; García-Moreno, Jaime

    2008-04-01

    The Buarremon brush-finches represent a complex suite of populations distributed in the montane New World Tropics from Mexico south to South America. Traditional taxonomic arrangements have separated populations of this genus into three species, based on plumage variation, although plumage patterns are well known to exhibit homoplasy. We present a first detailed phylogeographic and phylogenetic study, focused on Mesoamerican populations, and signal the existence of strong differentiation among populations with a clear geographic structure. We find well differentiated clades for (1) the Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre del Sur in Oaxaca, (2) western Mexican populations, including the B. brunneinucha populations in the Sierra Madre del Sur and B. virenticeps, (3) Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra de los Tuxtlas, (4) northern Central America, (5) southern Central America, (6) middle Central America, and (7) South America. We demonstrate a lack of concordance with plumage patterns, and argue for several additional species to be recognized in the complex.

  11. Evidence for the involvement of two areas of the zebra finch forebrain in sexual imprinting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollenhagen, A; Bischof, H J

    2000-03-01

    Sexual imprinting in male zebra finches is a two-step process, including an acquisition period early in life and a stabilization process normally occuring during the first courtship attempts of the male. During the acquisition period, a young male learns about its social environment. During stabilization, which can be delayed experimentally until day 100, it develops a preference for the appropriate object for courtship behavior on the basis of its previous and acute experience. Thereafter, this preference cannot be altered again. Exploring the physiological basis for imprinting, we have previously shown that the neurons of two forebrain areas (ANC and HAD) increase their spine density in the course of the stabilization process, while in two other areas (MNH and LNH) a decrease of spine density can be observed. With the present experiments, we tested the idea that the spine density decrease in MNH and LNH is the anatomical manifestation of the imprinting process. Previous behavioral experiments have shown that exposure to a nestbox after 100 days of age stabilizes the sexual preference of a zebra finch male as well as does exposure to a female. The present study shows that nestbox exposure also reduces the spine density in MNH and LNH, but has no effect on ANC and HAD. It has also been shown previously that treating males with an antiandrogen between days 40 and 100 affects the final preference of a male. The present experiment indicates that the same treatment affects spine growth during development in MNH and LNH and prevents the increase of spine density within HAD and ANC normally induced by exposure to a female. The results are interpreted as strong evidence for the involvement of MNH and LNH in sexual imprinting. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  12. State-space modeling of population sizes and trends in Nihoa Finch and Millerbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorresen, P. Marcos; Brinck, Kevin W.; Camp, Richard J.; Farmer, Chris; Plentovich, Sheldon M.; Banko, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    Both of the 2 passerines endemic to Nihoa Island, Hawai‘i, USA—the Nihoa Millerbird (Acrocephalus familiaris kingi) and Nihoa Finch (Telespiza ultima)—are listed as endangered by federal and state agencies. Their abundances have been estimated by irregularly implemented fixed-width strip-transect sampling from 1967 to 2012, from which area-based extrapolation of the raw counts produced highly variable abundance estimates for both species. To evaluate an alternative survey method and improve abundance estimates, we conducted variable-distance point-transect sampling between 2010 and 2014. We compared our results to those obtained from strip-transect samples. In addition, we applied state-space models to derive improved estimates of population size and trends from the legacy time series of strip-transect counts. Both species were fairly evenly distributed across Nihoa and occurred in all or nearly all available habitat. Population trends for Nihoa Millerbird were inconclusive because of high within-year variance. Trends for Nihoa Finch were positive, particularly since the early 1990s. Distance-based analysis of point-transect counts produced mean estimates of abundance similar to those from strip-transects but was generally more precise. However, both survey methods produced biologically unrealistic variability between years. State-space modeling of the long-term time series of abundances obtained from strip-transect counts effectively reduced uncertainty in both within- and between-year estimates of population size, and allowed short-term changes in abundance trajectories to be smoothed into a long-term trend.

  13. Sex-Specific Audience Effect in the Context of Mate Choice in Zebra Finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Kniel

    Full Text Available Animals observing conspecifics during mate choice can gain additional information about potential mates. However, the presence of an observer, if detected by the observed individuals, can influence the nature of the behavior of the observed individuals, called audience effect. In zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis, domesticated males show an audience effect during mate choice. However, whether male and female descendants of the wild form show an audience effect during mate choice is unknown. Therefore, we conducted an experiment where male and female focal birds could choose between two distinctive phenotypes of the opposite sex, an artificially adorned stimulus bird with a red feather on the forehead and an unadorned stimulus bird, two times consecutively, once without an audience and once with an audience bird (same sex as test bird. Males showed an audience effect when an audience male was present and spent more time with adorned and less time with unadorned females compared to when there was no audience present. The change in time spent with the respective stimulus females was positively correlated with the time that the audience male spent in front of its cage close to the focal male. Females showed no change in mate choice when an audience female was present, but their motivation to associate with both stimulus males decreased. In a control for mate-choice consistency there was no audience in either test. Here, both focal females and focal males chose consistently without a change in choosing motivation. Our results showed that there is an audience effect on mate choice in zebra finches and that the response to a same-sex audience was sex-specific.

  14. Natural melatonin fluctuation and its minimally invasive simulation in the zebra finch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Seltmann

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Melatonin is a key hormone in the regulation of circadian rhythms of vertebrates, including songbirds. Understanding diurnal melatonin fluctuations and being able to reverse or simulate natural melatonin levels are critical to investigating the influence of melatonin on various behaviors such as singing in birds. Here we give a detailed overview of natural fluctuations in plasma melatonin concentration throughout the night in the zebra finch. As shown in previous studies, we confirm that “lights off” initiates melatonin production at night in a natural situation. Notably, we find that melatonin levels return to daytime levels as early as two hours prior to the end of the dark-phase in some individuals and 30 min before “lights on” in all animals, suggesting that the presence of light in the morning is not essential for cessation of melatonin production in zebra finches. Thus, the duration of melatonin production seems not to be specified by the length of night and might therefore be less likely to directly couple circadian and annual rhythms. Additionally, we show that natural melatonin levels can be successfully simulated through a combination of light-treatment (daytime levels during subjective night and the application of melatonin containing skin-cream (nighttime levels during subjective day. Moreover, natural levels and their fluctuation in the transition from day to night can be imitated, enabling the decoupling of the effects of melatonin, for example on neuronal activity, from sleep and circadian rhythmicity. Taken together, our high-resolution profile of natural melatonin levels and manipulation techniques open up new possibilities to answer various melatonin related questions in songbirds.

  15. Natural melatonin fluctuation and its minimally invasive simulation in the zebra finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin is a key hormone in the regulation of circadian rhythms of vertebrates, including songbirds. Understanding diurnal melatonin fluctuations and being able to reverse or simulate natural melatonin levels are critical to investigating the influence of melatonin on various behaviors such as singing in birds. Here we give a detailed overview of natural fluctuations in plasma melatonin concentration throughout the night in the zebra finch. As shown in previous studies, we confirm that "lights off" initiates melatonin production at night in a natural situation. Notably, we find that melatonin levels return to daytime levels as early as two hours prior to the end of the dark-phase in some individuals and 30 min before "lights on" in all animals, suggesting that the presence of light in the morning is not essential for cessation of melatonin production in zebra finches. Thus, the duration of melatonin production seems not to be specified by the length of night and might therefore be less likely to directly couple circadian and annual rhythms. Additionally, we show that natural melatonin levels can be successfully simulated through a combination of light-treatment (daytime levels during subjective night) and the application of melatonin containing skin-cream (nighttime levels during subjective day). Moreover, natural levels and their fluctuation in the transition from day to night can be imitated, enabling the decoupling of the effects of melatonin, for example on neuronal activity, from sleep and circadian rhythmicity. Taken together, our high-resolution profile of natural melatonin levels and manipulation techniques open up new possibilities to answer various melatonin related questions in songbirds.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Dynamic gene expression in the song system of zebra finches during the song learning period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Christopher R; Hodges, Lisa K; Mello, Claudio V

    2015-12-01

    The brain circuitry that controls song learning and production undergoes marked changes in morphology and connectivity during the song learning period in juvenile zebra finches, in parallel to the acquisition, practice and refinement of song. Yet, the genetic programs and timing of regulatory change that establish the neuronal connectivity and plasticity during this critical learning period remain largely undetermined. To address this question, we used in situ hybridization to compare the expression patterns of a set of 30 known robust molecular markers of HVC and/or area X, major telencephalic song nuclei, between adult and juvenile male zebra finches at different ages during development (20, 35, 50 days post-hatch, dph). We found that several of the genes examined undergo substantial changes in expression within HVC or its surrounds, and/or in other song nuclei. They fit into broad patterns of regulation, including those whose expression within HVC during this period increases (COL12A1, COL 21A1, MPZL1, PVALB, and CXCR7) or decreases (e.g., KCNT2, SAP30L), as well as some that show decreased expression in the surrounding tissue with little change within song nuclei (e.g. SV2B, TAC1). These results reveal a broad range of molecular changes that occur in the song system in concert with the song learning period. Some of the genes and pathways identified are potential modulators of the developmental changes associated with the emergence of the adult properties of the song control system, and/or the acquisition of learned vocalizations in songbirds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Secora, Kristen R; Peterson, Jennifer R; Urbano, Catherine M; Chung, Boah; Okanoya, Kazuo; Cooper, Brenton G

    2012-01-01

    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 complexity of song

  20. Variation with land use of immune function and prevalence of avian pox in Galapagos finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zylberberg, Maxine; Lee, Kelly A; Klasing, Kirk C; Wikelski, Martin

    2013-02-01

    Introduced disease has been implicated in recent wildlife extinctions and population declines worldwide. Both anthropogenic-induced change and natural environmental features can affect pathogen spread. Furthermore, environmental disturbance can result in changes in stress physiology, nutrition, and social structure, which in turn can suppress immune system function. However, it remains unknown whether landscape variation results in heterogeneity in host resistance to pathogens. Avian pox virus, a pathogen implicated in avian declines and extinctions in Hawaii, was introduced to the Galapagos in the 1890 s, and prevalence (total number of current infections) has increased recently in finches. We tested whether prevalence and recovery trends in 7 species of Galapagos finches varied by elevation or human land use. To do so, we used infection data obtained from 545 wild-caught birds. In addition, we determined whether annual changes in 4 aspects of innate immune function (complement protein activity, natural antibody activity, concentration of PIT54 protein, and heterophil:lymphocyte ratio) varied by elevation or land use. Prevalence and recovery rates did not vary by elevation from 2008 to 2009. Avian pox prevalence and proportion of recovered individuals in undeveloped and urban areas did not change from 2008 to 2009. In agricultural areas, avian pox prevalence increased 8-fold (from 2% to 17% of 234 individuals sampled) and proportion of recovered individuals increased (11% to 19%) from 2008 to 2009. These results suggest high disease-related mortality. Variation in immune function across human land-use types correlated with variation in both increased prevalence and susceptibility, which indicates changes in innate immune function may underlie changes in disease susceptibility. Our results suggest anthropogenic disturbance, in particular agricultural practices, may underlie immunological changes in host species that themselves contribute to pathogen emergence.

  1. Sex-Specific Audience Effect in the Context of Mate Choice in Zebra Finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kniel, Nina; Bender, Stefanie; Witte, Klaudia

    2016-01-01

    Animals observing conspecifics during mate choice can gain additional information about potential mates. However, the presence of an observer, if detected by the observed individuals, can influence the nature of the behavior of the observed individuals, called audience effect. In zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis), domesticated males show an audience effect during mate choice. However, whether male and female descendants of the wild form show an audience effect during mate choice is unknown. Therefore, we conducted an experiment where male and female focal birds could choose between two distinctive phenotypes of the opposite sex, an artificially adorned stimulus bird with a red feather on the forehead and an unadorned stimulus bird, two times consecutively, once without an audience and once with an audience bird (same sex as test bird). Males showed an audience effect when an audience male was present and spent more time with adorned and less time with unadorned females compared to when there was no audience present. The change in time spent with the respective stimulus females was positively correlated with the time that the audience male spent in front of its cage close to the focal male. Females showed no change in mate choice when an audience female was present, but their motivation to associate with both stimulus males decreased. In a control for mate-choice consistency there was no audience in either test. Here, both focal females and focal males chose consistently without a change in choosing motivation. Our results showed that there is an audience effect on mate choice in zebra finches and that the response to a same-sex audience was sex-specific.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen R Secora

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY: 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. SIGNIFICANCE: 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Physiological and behavioral responses to an acute-phase response in zebra finches: immediate and short-term effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sköld-Chiriac, Sandra; Nord, Andreas; Nilsson, Jan-Åke; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2014-01-01

    Activation of the immune system to clear pathogens and mitigate infection is a costly process that might incur fitness costs. When vertebrates are exposed to pathogens, their first line of defense is the acute-phase response (APR), which consists of a suite of physiological and behavioral changes. The dynamics of the APR are relatively well investigated in mammals and domesticated birds but still rather unexplored in passerine birds. In this study, we injected male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with a bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide [LPS]) to assess the potential physiological, immunological, and behavioral responses during the time course of an APR and also to record any potential short-term effects by measuring the birds during the days after the expected APR. We found that LPS-injected zebra finches decreased activity and gained less body mass during the APR, compared to control individuals. In addition, LPS-injected birds increased their production of LPS-reactive antibodies and reduced their metabolic rate during the days after the expected APR. Our results show that zebra finches demonstrate sickness behaviors during an APR but also that physiological effects persist after the expected time course of an APR. These delayed effects might be either a natural part of the progression of an APR, which is probably true for the antibody response, or a short-term carryover effect, which is probably true for the metabolic response.

  6. 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

  7. Developing accurate survey methods for estimating population sizes and trends of the critically endangered Nihoa Millerbird and Nihoa Finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorresen, P. Marcos; Camp, Richard J.; Brinck, Kevin W.; Farmer, Chris

    2012-01-01

    This report describes the results of a comparative study of bird survey methods undertaken for the purpose of improving assessments of the conservation status for the two endemic passerines on the Island of Nihoa—Nihoa Millerbird (Sylviidae: Acrocephalus familiaris kingi) and Nihoa Finch (Fringilidae: Telespiza ultima; also referred herein as millerbird and finch)—both listed as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Hawai`i Revised Statutes 195D. The current survey protocol, implemented since 1967, has produced a highly variable range of counts for both the millerbird and finch, making difficult assessments of population size and trend. This report details the analyses of bird survey data collected in 2010 and 2011 in which three survey methods were compared―strip-transect, line-transect, and point-transect sampling―and provides recommendations for improved survey methods and protocols. Funding for this research was provided through a Science Support Partnership grant sponsored jointly by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

  8. Parvalbumin-positive projection neurons characterise the vocal premotor pathway in male, but not female, zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, J M; Williams, M N; Suthers, R A

    2001-11-02

    Parvalbumin (PV) and calbindin (CB) immunoreactivities were assessed in nucleus robustus archistriatalis (RA) of male and female zebra finches, together with retrograde labelling of RA neurons. The results of double and triple labelling experiments suggested that, in males, moderately and faintly PV-positive neurons were projection neurons, but that all intensely PV-positive cells were not. The latter, which are presumably interneurons, were also intensely CB-positive, and may correspond to the GABAergic inhibitory interneurons identified by others. In addition, the complete RA pathway and its terminal fields in the respiratory-vocal nuclei of the brainstem were strongly PV-positive. In female zebra finches, which do not sing, no evidence was found that PV-positive RA cells were projection neurons, yet the pattern of projections of RA neurons, as determined by anterograde transport of biotinylated dextran amine, was very similar to that of RA in males. Moreover, in females, RA neurons retrogradely labelled from injections of cholera toxin B-chain into the tracheosyringeal nucleus (XIIts) were abundant and included, in the lateral part of the nucleus, a population of cells that were as large as those in the male RA. Parvalbumin immunoreactivity was also present in RA and its projections in males of several other songbird species (northern cardinal, brown headed cowbird, canary) and in the female cardinal, which sings to some extent, but the labelling was not as intense as that in male zebra finches.

  9. Calbindin-D28K expression increases in the dorsolateral hippocampus following corticosterone treatment in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ash, Ashley L; Saldanha, Colin J; Bailey, David J

    2012-03-01

    The hippocampus (HP) in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) is important in the consolidation of spatial memories. Chronic, elevated levels of steroid hormones, like the glucocorticoids, can decrease this type of memory function in birds and mammals; neuronal atrophy, loss, and a decrease in synaptic contacts in the mammalian HP are observed as the underlying cause. Calbindin-D28k is constitutively expressed in cells of the nervous system but increases in concentration following a neurotoxic insult, protecting neurons against apoptotic cell death. We hypothesized that treatment of female zebra finches with a glucocorticoid (corticosterone) would increase calbindin expression in the HP and the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a region important for perceptual (song) memories, relative to "blank" controls. Additionally, because the HP in zebra finches appears similar to that in mammals, based on a variety of structural and functional factors, and as particular regions of the HP in mammals are more vulnerable to glucocorticoid-induced damage, we also hypothesized that expression of calbindin would vary among the HP subdivisions. Overall levels of calbindin were higher in the HP of corticosterone-treated birds, due almost entirely to elevated calbindin expression in the dorsolateral subdivision of the HP only. In contrast, the dorsomedial HP, ventral HP, and NCM appear less affected by glucocorticoid exposure. These results suggest a role for glucocorticoids in the modulation of HP- but not NCM-dependent memories as well as a further functional differentiation among the HP subdivisions.

  10. Discovery of a novel functional leptin protein (LEP) in zebra finches: evidence for the existence of an authentic avian leptin gene predominantly expressed in the brain and pituitary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Guian; Li, Juan; Wang, Hongning; Lan, Xinyu; Wang, Yajun

    2014-09-01

    Leptin (LEP) is reported to play important roles in controlling energy balance in vertebrates, including birds. However, it remains an open question whether an authentic "LEP gene" exists and functions in birds. Here, we identified and characterized a LEP gene (zebra finch LEP [zbLEP]) encoding a 172-amino acid precursor in zebra finches. Despite zbLEP showing limited amino acid sequence identity (26%-29%) to human and mouse LEPs, synteny analysis proved that zbLEP is orthologous to mammalian LEP. Using a pAH32 luciferase reporter system and Western blot analysis, we demonstrated that the recombinant zbLEP protein could potently activate finch and chicken LEP receptors (zbLEPR; cLEPR) expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells and enhance signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 phosphorylation, further indicating that zbLEP is a functional ligand for avian LEPRs. Interestingly, quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed that zbLEP mRNA is expressed nearly exclusively in the pituitary and various brain regions but undetectable in adipose tissue and liver, whereas zbLEPR mRNA is widely expressed in adult finch tissues examined with abundant expression noted in pituitary, implying that unlike mammalian LEP, finch LEP may not act as an adipocyte-derived signal to control energy balance. As in finches, a LEP highly homologous to zbLEP was also identified in budgerigar genome. Strikingly, finch and budgerigar LEPs show little homology with chicken LEP (cLEP) previously reported, suggesting that the so-called cLEP is incorrect. Collectively, our data provide convincing evidence for the existence of an authentic functional LEP in avian species and suggest an important role of brain- and pituitary-derived LEP played in vertebrates.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Environmental induction and phenotypic retention of adaptive maternal effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oh Kevin P

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The origin of complex adaptations is one of the most controversial questions in biology. Environmental induction of novel phenotypes, where phenotypic retention of adaptive developmental variation is enabled by organismal complexity and homeostasis, can be a starting point in the evolution of some adaptations, but empirical examples are rare. Comparisons of populations that differ in historical recurrence of environmental induction can offer insight into its evolutionary significance, and recent colonization of North America by the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus provides such an opportunity. Results In both native (southern Arizona and newly established (northern Montana, 18 generations populations, breeding female finches exhibit the same complex adaptation – a sex-bias in ovulation sequence – in response to population-specific environmental stimulus of differing recurrence. We document that, in the new population, the adaptation is induced by a novel environment during females' first breeding and is subsequently retained across breeding attempts. In the native population, first-breeding females expressed a precise adaptive response to a recurrent environmental stimulus without environmental induction. We document strong selection on environmental cue recognition in both populations and find that rearrangement of the same proximate mechanism – clustering of oocytes that become males and females – can enable an adaptive response to distinct environmental stimuli. Conclusion The results show that developmental plasticity induced by novel environmental conditions confers significant fitness advantages to both maternal and offspring generations and might play an important role not only in the successful establishment of this invasive species across the widest ecological range of extant birds, but also can link environmental induction and genetic inheritance in the evolution of novel adaptations.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Ecological speciation in Darwin's finches: Parsing the effects of magic traits

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jeffrey PODOS; Rie DYBBOE; Mads Ole JENSEN

    2013-01-01

    Many recent studies of ecological speciation have focused on "magic trait" scenarios,in which divergent selection on viability traits leads inextricably to corresponding divergence in mechanisms,especially mate recognition systems,that facilitate assortative mating.Speciation however may also proceed via other scenarios,such as when populations experience directly selected or random divergence in mate recognition systems.The relative contributions of magic trait versus other scenarios for speciation remain virtually unexplored.The present study aims to test the relative contribution of the magic trait scenario in the divergence of populations of the medium ground finch Geospiza fortis of Santa Cruz Island,Galapagos.First,we assess differences in G.fortis song between a northern population (Borrero Bay) and a southeastern population (El Garrapatero),differences that we propose (along with other within-island geographic song variations) have arisen via scenarios that do not involve a magic trait scenario.Pairwise comparisons of raw and composite (PC) song parameters,as well as discriminant functions analyses,reveal significant patterns of song divergence between sites.Second,we test the ability of territorial males at Borrero Bay to discriminate songs from the two sites.We find that G fortis males can discriminate within-island song variants,responding more strongly to local than to "foreign" songs,along 3 raw and 1 composite response measures.Third,we compare these findings to prior data sets on song divergence and discrimination in Santa Cruz G.fortis.These comparisons suggest that song divergence and discrimination are shaped less strongly by geographic sources than by morphological (beak-related) sources.We thus argue that interpopulation song divergence and discrimination,fundamental elements of assortative mating in Darwin's finches,can be fostered in early stages of divergence under magic trait as well as alternative scenarios for speciation,but with more

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. HVC contributes toward conspecific contact call responding in male Bengalese finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbano, Catherine M; Aston, Avery E; Cooper, Brenton G

    2016-05-04

    The processes of producing and acquiring birdsong, like human speech, utilize interdependent neural systems for vocal learning and production. In addition to song, these brain areas are undoubtedly used for other affiliative behaviors. Oscine sound production is lateralized because their vocal organ contains two independently controlled sound sources. Therefore, songbirds offer a unique opportunity to study the biological relevance of lateralized behavioral control. Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata domestica) produce different types of sound with each sound source: the left sound generator produces tonal frequencies from 1 to 4 kHz and the right sound source produces the lower frequency (<2 kHz) tonal and broadband sounds. We sought to investigate whether the premotor nucleus HVC contributes toward lateralized auditory processing of conspecific vocalizations. We ablated either the left or the right HVC and tested birds with the callback paradigm using female contact calls that were filtered to accentuate particular frequency ranges. The results show that (a) the acoustic frequency of call stimuli drives different patterns of calling behavior and that (b) both HVC nuclei contribute toward contact call production, but HVC ablation does not alter the number of short calls produced upon hearing a female contact call. These data are consistent with the emerging view that the motor production and auditory processing are linked and suggest that HVC may contribute toward affiliative behaviors by promoting the production of contact call responses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Two developmental modules establish 3D beak-shape variation in Darwin's finches.

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    Mallarino, Ricardo; Grant, Peter R; Grant, B Rosemary; Herrel, Anthony; Kuo, Winston P; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2011-03-08

    Bird beaks display tremendous variation in shape and size, which is closely associated with the exploitation of multiple ecological niches and likely played a key role in the diversification of thousands of avian species. Previous studies have demonstrated some of the molecular mechanisms that regulate morphogenesis of the prenasal cartilage, which forms the initial beak skeleton. However, much of the beak diversity in birds depends on variation in the premaxillary bone. It forms later in development and becomes the most prominent functional and structural component of the adult upper beak/jaw, yet its regulation is unknown. Here, we studied a group of Darwin's finch species with different beak shapes. We found that TGFβIIr, β-catenin, and Dickkopf-3, the top candidate genes from a cDNA microarray screen, are differentially expressed in the developing premaxillary bone of embryos of species with different beak shapes. Furthermore, our functional experiments demonstrate that these molecules form a regulatory network governing the morphology of the premaxillary bone, which differs from the network controlling the prenasal cartilage, but has the same species-specific domains of expression. These results offer potential mechanisms that may explain how the tightly coupled depth and width dimensions can evolve independently. The two-module program of development involving independent regulating molecules offers unique insights into how different developmental pathways may be modified and combined to induce multidimensional shifts in beak morphology. Similar modularity in development may characterize complex traits in other organisms to a greater extent than is currently appreciated.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Choreography of song, dance and beak movements in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, H

    2001-10-01

    As do many songbirds, zebra finches sing their learned songs while performing a courtship display that includes movements of the body, head and beak. The coordination of these display components was assessed by analyzing video recordings of courting males. All birds changed beak aperture frequently within a single song, and each individual's pattern of beak movements was consistent from song to song. Birds that copied their father's songs reproduced many of the changes in beak aperture associated with particular syllables. The acoustic consequences of opening the beak were increases in amplitude and peak frequency, but not in fundamental frequency, of song syllables. The change in peak frequency is consistent with the hypothesis that an open beak results in a shortened vocal tract and thus a higher resonance frequency. Dance movements (hops and changes in body or head position) were less frequent, and the distribution of dance movements within the song was not as strongly patterned as were changes in beak aperture, nor were the peaks in the distribution as strongly marked. However, the correlation between the positioning of dance movements within fathers' and sons' songs was striking, suggesting that the choreography of dance patterns is transmitted from tutor to pupil together with the song.

  2. Female conspecifics restore rhythmic singing behaviour in arrhythmic male zebra finches

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    NEELU ANAND JHA; VINOD KUMAR

    2017-03-01

    The present study investigated whether pairing with a conspecific female would restore rhythmicity in the singingbehaviour of arrhythmic male songbirds. We recorded the singing and, as the circadian response indicator, monitoredthe activity–rest pattern in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) housed without or with a conspecific femaleunder 12 h light: 12 h darkness (12L:12D) or constant bright light (LLbright). Both unpaired and paired birds exhibiteda significant daily rhythm in the singing and activity behaviour, but paired birds, under 12L:12D, showed a ~2 hextension in the evening. Exposure to LLbright decayed rhythmicity, but the female presence restored rhythmic patternswithout affecting the 24 h song output. In the acoustic features, we found a significant difference in the motif durationbetween unpaired and paired male songs. Overall, these results demonstrated for the first time the role of the female inrestoring the circadian phenotype of singing behaviour in male songbirds with disrupted circadian functions, althoughhow interaction between sexes affects the circadian timing of male singing is not understood yet. It is suggested thatsocial cues rendered by a conspecific female could improve the circadian performance by restoring rhythmicity in thebiological functions of the cohabiting arrhythmic male partner.

  3. Genomic variation at the tips of the adaptive radiation of Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, Jaime A; Cooper, Elizabeth A; Hendry, Andrew P; Podos, Jeffrey; De León, Luis F; Raeymaekers, Joost A M; MacMillan, W Owen; Uy, J Albert C

    2016-11-01

    Adaptive radiation unfolds as selection acts on the genetic variation underlying functional traits. The nature of this variation can be revealed by studying the tips of an ongoing adaptive radiation. We studied genomic variation at the tips of the Darwin's finch radiation; specifically focusing on polymorphism within, and variation among, three sympatric species of the genus Geospiza. Using restriction site-associated DNA (RAD-seq), we characterized 32 569 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), from which 11 outlier SNPs for beak and body size were uncovered by a genomewide association study (GWAS). Principal component analysis revealed that these 11 SNPs formed four statistically linked groups. Stepwise regression then revealed that the first PC score, which included 6 of the 11 top SNPs, explained over 80% of the variation in beak size, suggesting that selection on these traits influences multiple correlated loci. The two SNPs most strongly associated with beak size were near genes associated with beak morphology across deeper branches of the radiation: delta-like 1 homologue (DLK1) and high-mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2). Our results suggest that (i) key adaptive traits are associated with a small fraction of the genome (11 of 32 569 SNPs), (ii) SNPs linked to the candidate genes are dispersed throughout the genome (on several chromosomes), and (iii) micro- and macro-evolutionary variation (roots and tips of the radiation) involve some shared and some unique genomic regions. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opatová, Pavlína; Ihle, Malika; Albrechtová, Jana; Tomášek, Oldřich; Kempenaers, Bart; Forstmeier, Wolfgang; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Inbreeding depression, or the reduction in fitness due to mating between close relatives, is a key issue in biology today. Inbreeding negatively affects many fitness-related traits, including survival and reproductive success. Despite this, very few studies have quantified the effects of inbreeding on vertebrate gamete traits under controlled breeding conditions using a full-sib mating approach. Here, we provide comprehensive evidence for the negative effect of inbreeding on sperm traits in a bird, the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata. We compared sperm characteristics of both inbred (pedigree F = 0.25) and outbred (pedigree F = 0) individuals from two captive populations, one domesticated and one recently wild-derived, raised under standardized conditions. As normal spermatozoa morphology did not differ consistently between inbred and outbred individuals, our study confirms the hypothesis that sperm morphology is not particularly susceptible to inbreeding depression. Inbreeding did, however, lead to significantly lower sperm motility and a substantially higher percentage of abnormal spermatozoa in ejaculate. These results were consistent across both study populations, confirming the generality and reliability of our findings.

  5. Neurotoxic effects of DSP-4 on the central noradrenergic system in male zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waterman, Susanna A; Harding, Cheryl F

    2008-04-09

    When administered systemically, the noradrenergic neurotoxin N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP-4) appears to target the noradrenergic innervation originating in the locus coeruleus causing long-term decrements in noradrenergic function. In songbirds, DSP-4-treatment decreased female-directed singing by males and copulation solicitation responses of females to male songs. However, DSP-4 treatment in songbirds did not lower measures of NE function in the brain to the same extent as it does in mammals. The current study had two goals: determining if two DSP-4 treatments 10 days apart would cause significant decrements in noradrenergic function in male zebra finches and determining if, as in other species, the noradrenergic innervation of midbrain and cortical areas would be profoundly affected while hypothalamic areas were spared. Dopamine-beta-hydroxylase immunoreactivity (DBH-ir) was quantified in thirteen brain regions (five vocal control nuclei, one auditory nucleus, two hypothalamic nuclei, and five additional areas that demonstrated high DBH labeling in controls). Within 20 days, DSP-4 treatment profoundly reduced the number of DBH-ir cells in both the locus coeruleus and ventral subcoeruleus. Unlike a previous study, DBH labeling delineated four out of five vocal control nuclei and an auditory nucleus. As expected, DSP-4 treatment significantly decreased DBH labeling in all areas examined in the mesencephalon and telencephalon without significantly affecting DBH-ir in hypothalamic areas. This double treatment regime appears to be much more effective in decreasing noradrenergic function in songbirds than the single treatment typically used.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Divorce in the socially monogamous zebra finch: Hormonal mechanisms and reproductive consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crino, Ondi L; Buchanan, Katherine L; Fanson, Benjamin G; Hurley, Laura L; Smiley, Kristina O; Griffith, Simon C

    2017-01-01

    Up to 80% of all bird species are socially monogamous. Divorce (switching partners) or pair disruption (due to the death of a partner) has been associated with decreased reproductive success, suggesting social monogamy is a strategy that may maximize fitness via coordination between partners. Previous studies have demonstrated the effects of divorce and pair disruption on immediate reproductive success. Here, we used a paired experimental design in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to examine the hormonal mechanisms that modulate parental behavior and reproductive success in response to a partnership change (hereafter divorce). Specifically, we examined the effects of divorce on the avian stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) in both parents and nestlings, parental behaviors (incubation and nestling provisioning), prolactin (PRL), and reproductive success. We found that divorce resulted in delayed clutch initiation, reduced clutch mass, and an increase in nestling CORT response to a standardized stressor. These effects on reproductive investment and chick CORT response were not clearly determined by parental endocrine responses. Divorce had no effect on the level of parental CORT. PRL levels were highly correlated within a pair regardless of treatment, were negatively related to the investment that males made in incubation, and increased in experimental males as a result of pair disruption. This study demonstrates the fundamental impact which divorce has not only on reproduction, but also the physiological stress responses of offspring and suggests that in socially monogamous animals the maintenance of a stable partnership over time could be advantageous for long term fitness.

  8. 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

  9. Timing of ossification in duck, quail, and zebra finch: intraspecific variation, heterochronies, and life history evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitgutsch, Christian; Wimmer, Corinne; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R; Hahnloser, Richard; Schneider, Richard A

    2011-07-01

    Skeletogenic heterochronies have gained much attention in comparative developmental biology. The temporal appearance of mineralized individual bones in a species - the species ossification sequence - is an excellent marker in this kind of study. Several publications describe interspecific variation, but only very few detail intraspecific variation. In this study, we describe and analyze the temporal order of ossification of skeletal elements in the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata, the Japanese quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica, and the White Pekin duck, a domestic race of the mallard Anas platyrhynchos, and explore patterns of intraspecific variation in these events. The overall sequences were found to be conserved. In the duck, variability is present in the relative timing of ossification in the occipital, the basisphenoid and the otic regions of the skull and the phalanges in the postcranium. This variation appears generally in close temporal proximity. Comparison with previously published data shows differences in ossification sequence in the skull, the feet, and the pelvis in the duck, and especially the pelvis in the quail. This clearly documents variability among different breeds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufton, Megan; Hall, Brian K; Franz-Odendaal, Tamara A

    2012-01-01

    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.

  11. Relationship between prolactin, reproductive experience, and parental care in a biparental songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-06-01

    Hormonal systems have long been thought to play an important role in stimulating the onset of parental behavior, a critical component of reproductive success in a variety of taxa. Elevations in the peptide hormone prolactin (PRL) have been repeatedly positively correlated with the onset and maintenance of parental care across vertebrate species. A causal role for PRL in parental care has been established in several mammalian species, but less evidence for a causal role of PRL and parental care exists in birds. The zebra finch, a socially monogamous, biparental songbird, is an exceptionally useful animal model to study parental care and other close social relationships. Both sexes share parental care equally, exhibit the same parental behaviors, and show a marked improvement in breeding success with experience. We hypothesize that PRL is critically involved in the expression of zebra finch parental care and predict that circulating PRL levels will increase with breeding experience. To begin testing this, we measured plasma PRL concentrations in 14 male-female zebra finch pairs (N=28) across two breeding cycles, using a repeated measures design. PRL was measured in the birds' first, reproductively inexperienced, breeding cycle beginning at courtship and extending through chick fledging. PRL was measured again during the birds' second, reproductively experienced, breeding cycle, beginning with egg laying until chick fledging. We found that plasma PRL is significantly elevated from non-breeding concentrations during late incubation and early post-hatch care and that this elevation is greater in the reproductively experienced cycle compared to the inexperienced cycle. Findings of this study will be used to inform hypotheses and predictions for future experimental manipulations of PRL during parental care.

  12. Mitochondrial uncoupling as a regulator of life-history trajectories in birds: an experimental study in the zebra finch.

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    Stier, Antoine; Bize, Pierre; Roussel, Damien; Schull, Quentin; Massemin, Sylvie; Criscuolo, François

    2014-10-01

    Mitochondria have a fundamental role in the transduction of energy from food into ATP. The coupling between food oxidation and ATP production is never perfect, but may nevertheless be of evolutionary significance. The 'uncoupling to survive' hypothesis suggests that 'mild' mitochondrial uncoupling evolved as a protective mechanism against the excessive production of damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS). Because resource allocation and ROS production are thought to shape animal life histories, alternative life-history trajectories might be driven by individual variation in the degree of mitochondrial uncoupling. We tested this hypothesis in a small bird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), by treating adults with the artificial mitochondrial uncoupler 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) over a 32-month period. In agreement with our expectations, the uncoupling treatment increased metabolic rate. However, we found no evidence that treated birds enjoyed lower oxidative stress levels or greater survival rates, in contrast to previous results in other taxa. In vitro experiments revealed lower sensitivity of ROS production to DNP in mitochondria isolated from skeletal muscles of zebra finch than mouse. In addition, we found significant reductions in the number of eggs laid and in the inflammatory immune response in treated birds. Altogether, our data suggest that the 'uncoupling to survive' hypothesis may not be applicable for zebra finches, presumably because of lower effects of mitochondrial uncoupling on mitochondrial ROS production in birds than in mammals. Nevertheless, mitochondrial uncoupling appeared to be a potential life-history regulator of traits such as fecundity and immunity at adulthood, even with food supplied ad libitum. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  13. CNTNAP2 is a direct FoxP2 target in vitro and in vivo in zebra finches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adam, I.; Mendoza, E.; Kobalz, U.

    2017-01-01

    Mutations of FOXP2 are associated with altered brain structure, including the striatal part of the basal ganglia, and cause a severe speech and language disorder. Songbirds serve as a tractable neurobiological model for speech and language research. Experimental downregulation of FoxP2 in zebra...... finch AreaX, a nucleus of the striatal song control circuitry, affects synaptic transmission and spine densities. It also renders song learning and production inaccurate and imprecise, similar to the speech impairment of patients carrying FOXP2 mutations. Here we show that experimental downregulation...

  14. Avian evolution: from Darwin's finches to a new way of thinking about avian forebrain organization and behavioural capabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiner, Anton

    2009-02-23

    The study of birds, especially the Galapagos finches, was important to Darwin in the development of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Birds have also been at the centre of a recent reformulation in understanding cerebral evolution and the substrates for higher cognition. While it was once thought that birds possess a simple cerebrum and were thus limited to instinctive behaviours, it is now clear that birds possess a well-developed cerebrum that looks very different from the mammalian cerebrum but can support a cognitive ability that for some avian species rivals that in primates.

  15. Transcriptional response to West Nile virus infection in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), a songbird model for immune function

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    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Newhouse, Daniel J.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.

    2017-01-01

    The data set contains paired-end, 100 nucleotide long RNA sequencing reads for each sample. Raw sequencing reads ranged from 18-30million reads per sample. Quality trimmed reads were mapped to the Zebra Finch reference genome with an average of 79.0-80.8% mapping rate, corresponding to 18,618 Ensembl gene IDs. Of these, 14,114 genes averaged at least 5 mapped reads across all samples and were utilized for differential expression (DE) analyses. DE analyzed two ways: as pairwise comparisons between treatments to identify specific genes with DEseq2 and as a time course grouping genes into expression paths with EBSeqHMM.

  16. Subspecific variation in sperm morphology and performance in the Long-tailed Finch (Poephila acuticauda)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Melissah Rowe; Simon C.Griffith; Antje Hofgaard; Jan T.Lifjeld

    2015-01-01

    Background: Evolutionary biology endeavours to explain biological diversity,and as such it is critical to develop an understanding of the adaptive and functional significance of trait variation.Spermatozoa exhibit remarkable levels of morphological diversification.However,our understanding of the evolutionary causes and functional significance of this variation is limited,especially at the intraspecific level.Methods: We quantified variation in sperm morphology and performance between two subspecies of Long-tailed Finch(Poephila acuticauda acuticauda and P.a.hecki),a small grassfinch found in tropical northern Australia.Despite a zone of secondary contact,these subspecies are maintained as two distinct forms: P.a.acuticauda occurs in the western part of the species’ range and has a yellow bill,while P.a.hecki exhibits a red bill and is found in the eastern part of the range.Results: We found small,but significant differences in sperm size between these subspecies(P.a.acuticauda had longer and narrower sperm than P.a.hecki),which was surprising given the recent evolutionary origins of these two taxa(i.e.0.3 million years ago).Additionally,both subspecies exhibited high values of between- and within-male variation in sperm morphology,though in the case of sperm midpiece length this variation was significantly lower in P.a.acuticauda relative to P.a.hecki.Conclusions: We suggest these observed differences in sperm morphology are the result of genetic drift and reflect historical processes associated with divergence between the eastern and western populations of these two subspecies.Finally,we discuss the potential implications of our findings for the process of population divergence and reproductive isolation.

  17. Meiotic silencing and fragmentation of the male germline restricted chromosome in zebra finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenmakers, Sam; Wassenaar, Evelyne; Laven, Joop S E; Grootegoed, J Anton; Baarends, Willy M

    2010-06-01

    During male meiotic prophase in mammals, X and Y are in a largely unsynapsed configuration, which is thought to trigger meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI). In avian species, females are ZW, and males ZZ. Although Z and W in chicken oocytes show complete, largely heterologous synapsis, they too undergo MSCI, albeit only transiently. The W chromosome is already inactive in early meiotic prophase, and inactive chromatin marks may spread on to the Z upon synapsis. Mammalian MSCI is considered as a specialised form of the general meiotic silencing mechanism, named meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin (MSUC). Herein, we studied the avian form of MSUC, by analysing the behaviour of the peculiar germline restricted chromosome (GRC) that is present as a single copy in zebra finch spermatocytes. In the female germline, this chromosome is present in two copies, which normally synapse and recombine. In contrast, during male meiosis, the single GRC is always eliminated. We found that the GRC in the male germline is silenced from early leptotene onwards, similar to the W chromosome in avian oocytes. The GRC remains largely unsynapsed throughout meiotic prophase I, although patches of SYCP1 staining indicate that part of the GRC may self-synapse. In addition, the GRC is largely devoid of meiotic double strand breaks. We observed a lack of the inner centromere protein INCENP on the GRC and elimination of the GRC following metaphase I. Subsequently, the GRC forms a micronucleus in which the DNA is fragmented. We conclude that in contrast to MSUC in mammals, meiotic silencing of this single chromosome in the avian germline occurs prior to, and independent of DNA double strand breaks and chromosome pairing, hence we have named this phenomenon meiotic silencing prior to synapsis (MSPS).

  18. De novo establishment of wild-type song culture in the zebra finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fehér, Olga; Wang, Haibin; Saar, Sigal; Mitra, Partha P; Tchernichovski, Ofer

    2009-05-28

    Culture is typically viewed as consisting of traits inherited epigenetically, through social learning. However, cultural diversity has species-typical constraints, presumably of genetic origin. A celebrated, if contentious, example is whether a universal grammar constrains syntactic diversity in human languages. Oscine songbirds exhibit song learning and provide biologically tractable models of culture: members of a species show individual variation in song and geographically separated groups have local song dialects. Different species exhibit distinct song cultures, suggestive of genetic constraints. Without such constraints, innovations and copying errors should cause unbounded variation over multiple generations or geographical distance, contrary to observations. Here we report an experiment designed to determine whether wild-type song culture might emerge over multiple generations in an isolated colony founded by isolates, and, if so, how this might happen and what type of social environment is required. Zebra finch isolates, unexposed to singing males during development, produce song with characteristics that differ from the wild-type song found in laboratory or natural colonies. In tutoring lineages starting from isolate founders, we quantified alterations in song across tutoring generations in two social environments: tutor-pupil pairs in sound-isolated chambers and an isolated semi-natural colony. In both settings, juveniles imitated the isolate tutors but changed certain characteristics of the songs. These alterations accumulated over learning generations. Consequently, songs evolved towards the wild-type in three to four generations. Thus, species-typical song culture can appear de novo. Our study has parallels with language change and evolution. In analogy to models in quantitative genetics, we model song culture as a multigenerational phenotype partly encoded genetically in an isolate founding population, influenced by environmental variables and taking

  19. Optical imaging of retinotopic maps in a small songbird, the zebra finch.

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    Nina Keary

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The primary visual cortex of mammals is characterised by a retinotopic representation of the visual field. It has therefore been speculated that the visual wulst, the avian homologue of the visual cortex, also contains such a retinotopic map. We examined this for the first time by optical imaging of intrinsic signals in zebra finches, a small songbird with laterally placed eyes. In addition to the visual wulst, we visualised the retinotopic map of the optic tectum which is homologue to the superior colliculus in mammals. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: For the optic tectum, our results confirmed previous accounts of topography based on anatomical studies and conventional electrophysiology. Within the visual wulst, the retinotopy revealed by our experiments has not been illustrated convincingly before. The frontal part of the visual field (0 degrees +/-30 degrees azimuth was not represented in the retinotopic map. The visual field from 30 degrees -60 degrees azimuth showed stronger magnification compared with more lateral regions. Only stimuli within elevations between about 20 degrees and 40 degrees above the horizon elicited neuronal activation. Activation from other elevations was masked by activation of the preferred region. Most interestingly, we observed more than one retinotopic representation of visual space within the visual wulst, which indicates that the avian wulst, like the visual cortex in mammals, may show some compartmentation parallel to the surface in addition to its layered structure. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show the applicability of the optical imaging method also for small songbirds. We obtained a more detailed picture of retinotopic maps in birds, especially on the functional neuronal organisation of the visual wulst. Our findings support the notion of homology of visual wulst and visual cortex by showing that there is a functional correspondence between the two areas but also raise questions based

  20. Molt-breeding overlap alters molt dynamics and behavior in zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata castanotis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echeverry-Galvis, Maria A; Hau, Michaela

    2012-06-01

    Costly events in the life history cycle of organisms such as reproduction, migration and pelage/plumage replacement are typically separated in time to maximize their outcome. Such temporal separation is thought to be necessitated by energetical trade-offs, and mediated through physiological processes. However, certain species, such as tropical birds, are able to overlap two costly life history stages: reproduction and feather replacement. It has remained unclear how both events progress when they co-occur over extended periods of time. Here we determined the consequences and potential costs of such overlap by comparing molt and behavioral patterns in both sexes of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis) that were solely molting or were overlapping breeding and molt. Individuals overlapping the early stages of breeding with molt showed a roughly 40% decrease in the growth rate of individual feathers compared with birds that were molting but not breeding. Further, individuals that overlapped breeding and molt tended to molt fewer feathers simultaneously and exhibited longer intervals between shedding consecutive feathers on the tail or the same wing as well as delays in shedding corresponding flight feathers on opposite sides. Overlapping individuals also altered their time budgets: they devoted more than twice the time to feeding while halving the time spent for feather care in comparison to molt-only individuals. These data provide experimental support for the previously untested hypothesis that when molt and reproduction overlap in time, feather replacement will occur at a slower and less intense rate. There were no sex differences in any of the variables assessed, except for a tendency in females to decline body condition more strongly over time during the overlap than males. Our data indicate the existence of major consequences of overlapping breeding and molt, manifested in changes in both molt dynamics and time budgets of both sexes. It is

  1. Audience effect alters male mating preferences in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubois, Frédérique; Belzile, Alexandra

    2012-01-01

    The social environment of animals strongly influences the mating preferences of both the choosing and the observing individuals. Notably, there is recent evidence that polygamous males decrease their selectivity when being observed by competitors in order to direct their rivals' attention away from their true interest and, consequently, reduce sperm competition risk. Yet, other mechanisms, whose importance remains unexplored, could induce similar effects. In monogamous species with mutual choice, particularly, if males adjust their selectivity according to the risk of being rejected by their preferred mate, they should as well become less selective when potential rivals are present. Here, we investigated whether the presence of bystanders modifies male mating preferences when the risk of sperm competition is low, by carrying out mate-choice experiments with male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) whose preferences for two females were measured twice: with and without an audience. We found that the presence of potential rivals had no effect on the males' choosiness. However, with an audience, they spent more time with the female that was considered as the less attractive one in the control condition. These findings support the hypothesis that monogamous males alter their mate choice decisions in the presence of a male audience to reduce the risk of remaining unpaired. Thus, our results indicate that several explanations can account for the changes in male preferences due to the presence of competitors and highlight the importance of assessing the relative role of each mechanism potentially involved, to be able to make conclusions about the effect of an audience on signal evolution.

  2. 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.

  3. Learning-related neuronal activation in the zebra finch song system nucleus HVC in response to the bird's own song.

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    Johan J Bolhuis

    Full Text Available Like many other songbird species, male zebra finches learn their song from a tutor early in life. Song learning in birds has strong parallels with speech acquisition in human infants at both the behavioral and neural levels. Forebrain nuclei in the 'song system' are important for the sensorimotor acquisition and production of song, while caudomedial pallial brain regions outside the song system are thought to contain the neural substrate of tutor song memory. Here, we exposed three groups of adult zebra finch males to either tutor song, to their own song, or to novel conspecific song. Expression of the immediate early gene protein product Zenk was measured in the song system nuclei HVC, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA and Area X. There were no significant differences in overall Zenk expression between the three groups. However, Zenk expression in the HVC was significantly positively correlated with the strength of song learning only in the group that was exposed to the bird's own song, not in the other two groups. These results suggest that the song system nucleus HVC may contain a neural representation of a memory of the bird's own song. Such a representation may be formed during juvenile song learning and guide the bird's vocal output.

  4. Smooth operator: avoidance of subharmonic bifurcations through mechanical mechanisms simplifies song motor control in adult zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elemans, Coen P H; Laje, Rodrigo; Mindlin, Gabriel B; Goller, Franz

    2010-10-06

    Like human infants, songbirds acquire their song by imitation and eventually generate sounds that result from complicated neural networks and intrinsically nonlinear physical processes. Signatures of low-dimensional chaos such as subharmonic bifurcations have been reported in adult and developing zebra finch song. Here, we use methods from nonlinear dynamics to test whether adult male zebra finches (Taenopygia guttata) use the intrinsic nonlinear properties of their vocal organ, the syrinx, to insert subharmonic transitions in their song. In contrast to previous data on the basis of spectrographic evidence, we show that subharmonic transitions do not occur in adult song. Subharmonic transitions also do not arise in artificially induced sound in the intact syrinx, but are commonly generated in the excised syrinx. These findings suggest that subharmonic transitions are not used to increase song complexity, and that the brain controls song in a surprisingly smooth control regimen. Fast, smooth changes in acoustic elements can be produced by direct motor control in a stereotyped fashion, which is a more reliable indicator of male fitness than abrupt acoustic changes that do not require similarly precise control. Consistent with this view is the presence of high fidelity at every level of motor control, from telencephalic premotor areas to superfast syringeal muscles.

  5. Subdivisions of the auditory midbrain (n. mesencephalicus lateralis, pars dorsalis in zebra finches using calcium-binding protein immunocytochemistry.

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    Priscilla Logerot

    Full Text Available The midbrain nucleus mesencephalicus lateralis pars dorsalis (MLd is thought to be the avian homologue of the central nucleus of the mammalian inferior colliculus. As such, it is a major relay in the ascending auditory pathway of all birds and in songbirds mediates the auditory feedback necessary for the learning and maintenance of song. To clarify the organization of MLd, we applied three calcium binding protein antibodies to tissue sections from the brains of adult male and female zebra finches. The staining patterns resulting from the application of parvalbumin, calbindin and calretinin antibodies differed from each other and in different parts of the nucleus. Parvalbumin-like immunoreactivity was distributed throughout the whole nucleus, as defined by the totality of the terminations of brainstem auditory afferents; in other words parvalbumin-like immunoreactivity defines the boundaries of MLd. Staining patterns of parvalbumin, calbindin and calretinin defined two regions of MLd: inner (MLd.I and outer (MLd.O. MLd.O largely surrounds MLd.I and is distinct from the surrounding intercollicular nucleus. Unlike the case in some non-songbirds, however, the two MLd regions do not correspond to the terminal zones of the projections of the brainstem auditory nuclei angularis and laminaris, which have been found to overlap substantially throughout the nucleus in zebra finches.

  6. Coping with uncertainty: woodpecker finches (Cactospiza pallida from an unpredictable habitat are more flexible than birds from a stable habitat.

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    Sabine Tebbich

    Full Text Available Behavioural flexibility is thought to be a major factor in evolution. It may facilitate the discovery and exploitation of new resources, which in turn may expose populations to novel selective forces and facilitate adaptive radiation. Darwin's finches are a textbook example of adaptive radiation. They are fast learners and show a range of unusual foraging techniques, probably as a result of their flexibility. In this study we aimed to test whether variability of the environment is correlated with flexibility. We compared woodpecker finches from a dry area (hereafter, Arid Zone, where food availability is variable, with individuals from a cloud forest (hereafter, Scalesia zone where food abundance is stable. As parameters for flexibility, we measured neophilia and neophobia, which are two aspects of reaction to novelty, reversal learning and problem-solving. We found no differences in performance on a problem-solving task but, in line with our prediction, individuals from the Arid Zone were significantly faster reversal learners and more neophilic than their conspecifics from the Scalesia zone. The latter result supports the notion that environmental variability drives flexibility. In contrast to our prediction, Arid Zone birds were even more neophobic than birds from the Scalesia Zone. The latter result could be the consequence of differences in predation pressure between the two vegetation zones.

  7. A new species of Auriculostoma (Digenea: Allocreadiidae) in the Mexican tetra Astyanax mexicanus (Actinopterygii: Characidae) from Central Veracruz, Mexico, described with the use of morphological and molecular data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razo-Mendivil, Ulises; Mendoza-Garfias, Berenit; de León, Gerardo Pérez-Ponce; Rubio-Godoy, Miguel

    2014-06-01

    Auriculostoma totonacapanensis n. sp. is described from the Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus (Actinopterygii, Characidae) collected in a tributary creek of the Bobos River in Filipinas, Veracruz, Mexico. The new species is set apart from all congeners by the combination of some morphological characters such as the testes position (oblique in most specimens), the ventral to oral sucker ratio (1:1.2 × 1:1.1), the cirrus sac originating at the ovarian region, and by having vitelline follicles not confluent in the posttesticular region. Auriculostoma totonacapanensis n. sp. closely resembles Auriculostoma platense (Szidat, 1954) Scholz, Aguirre-Macedo, and Choudhury, 2004 and Auriculostoma diagonale Curran, Tkach and Overstreet, 2011 by possessing oblique testes; however, it differs from both species by possessing a genital pore located at level of the cecal bifurcation and by having vitelline follicles extending anteriorly up to the cecal bifurcation level, instead of a genital pore located between the anterior margin of the ventral sucker and cecal bifurcation, and vitelline follicles extending anteriorly to the mid level of the esophagus as in A. platense or to the pharynx level as in A. diagonale. Additionally, the new species differs from A. diagonale by having vitelline follicles not confluent or scarcely confluent in the posttesticular region rather than extensively confluent. Scanning electron microscopy micrographs of the new species demonstrated the presence of a single pair of muscular lobes on either side of the oral sucker, with a broad base, stretching from the ventrolateral to the dorsolateral side. Maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference analyses of the 28S rRNA gene sequences placed A. totonacapanensis as sister species of Auriculostoma astyanace Scholz, Aguirre-Macedo, and Choudhury, 2004 . Nucleotide variation between A. totonacapanensis and A. astyanace was 2.0% and 3.6% for the 28S rRNA gene and ITS2 sequences, respectively. Sequence variation

  8. Colour Cues That Are Not Directly Attached to the Body of Males Do Not Influence the Mate Choice of Zebra Finches.

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    Krause, E Tobias

    2016-01-01

    Mate choice decisions of female zebra finches are generally thought to rely on the assessment of male quality, which includes the specific ornamentation of males. A commonly used paradigm to experimentally manipulate a male's attractiveness is to add a coloured leg ring to the bird. Some studies have shown that female zebra finches prefer or alter their investment in males that have an additional red leg ring compared with males with green leg rings. Whether the coloured artificial ornaments need to be attached to the male's body or whether environmental colouration could have a similar effect on male attractiveness remains unclear. Here, I investigated this novel context to determine whether female choice between males is affected by environmental colour cues that are not directly attached to the male's body in four experiments involving 220 zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). A first experiment revealed that females chose males with red colour cues in the environmental background over males with green cues in the background. Based on this finding, I conducted follow-up experiments to obtain a deeper understanding of how environmental colour cues affect mate choice. Therefore, I examined whether female choice behaviour or male behaviour was altered in two additional experiments. Both experiments failed to show any effects of environmental colour cues on female choice or on male behaviour. Therefore, I replicated the initial experiment in a fourth experiment. Again replication failed; thus, the initial results indicating that environmental colouration affects mate choice behaviour of female zebra finches were not supported by the three subsequent experiments; thus, the outcome of the first experiment seems to be a false positive. Taking my results together, I found no robust support for the idea that environmental colour cues that are not directly attached to the body of male zebra finches affect female mate choice decisions.

  9. A comparison of spontaneous problem-solving abilities in three estrildid finch (Taeniopygia guttata, Lonchura striata var. domestica, Stagonopleura guttata) species.

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    Schmelz, Martin; Krüger, Oliver; Call, Josep; Krause, E Tobias

    2015-11-01

    Cognition has been extensively studied in primates while other, more distantly related taxa have been neglected for a long time. More recently, there has been an increased interest in avian cognition, with the focus mostly on big-brained species like parrots and corvids. However, the majority of bird species has never systematically been studied in diverse cognitive tasks other than memory and learning tasks, so not much can yet be concluded about the relevant factors for the evolution of cognition. Here we examined 3 species of the estrildid finch family in problem-solving tasks. These granivorous, non-tool-using birds are distributed across 3 continents and are not known for high levels of innovation or spontaneous problem solving in the wild. In this study, our aim was to find such abilities in these species, assess what role domestication might play with a comparison of 4 genetically separated zebra finch strains, and to look for between-species differences between zebra finches, Bengalese finches, and diamond firetails. Furthermore, we established a 3-step spontaneous problem-solving procedure with increasing levels of complexity. Results showed that some estrildid finches were generally capable of spontaneously solving problems of variable complexity to obtain food. We found striking differences in these abilities between species, but not between strains within species, and offer a discussion of potential reasons. Our established methodology can now be applied to a larger number of bird species for phylogenetic comparisons on the behavioral level to get a deeper understanding of the evolution of cognitive abilities.

  10. 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.

  11. Association mapping of morphological traits in wild and captive zebra finches: reliable within, but not between populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, Ulrich; Schielzeth, Holger; Backström, Niclas; Hemmrich-Stanisak, Georg; Wittig, Michael; Franke, Andre; Griffith, Simon C; Ellegren, Hans; Kempenaers, Bart; Forstmeier, Wolfgang

    2017-03-01

    Identifying causal genetic variants underlying heritable phenotypic variation is a long-standing goal in evolutionary genetics. We previously identified several quantitative trait loci (QTL) for five morphological traits in a captive population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) by whole-genome linkage mapping. We here follow up on these studies with the aim to narrow down on the quantitative trait variants (QTN) in one wild and three captive populations. First, we performed an association study using 672 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within candidate genes located in the previously identified QTL regions in a sample of 939 wild-caught zebra finches. Then, we validated the most promising SNP-phenotype associations (n = 25 SNPs) in 5228 birds from four populations. Genotype-phenotype associations were generally weak in the wild population, where linkage disequilibrium (LD) spans only short genomic distances. In contrast, in captive populations, where LD blocks are large, apparent SNP effects on morphological traits (i.e. associations) were highly repeatable with independent data from the same population. Most of those SNPs also showed significant associations with the same trait in other captive populations, but the direction and magnitude of these effects varied among populations. This suggests that the tested SNPs are not the causal QTN but rather physically linked to them, and that LD between SNPs and causal variants differs between populations due to founder effects. While the identification of QTN remains challenging in nonmodel organisms, we illustrate that it is indeed possible to confirm the location and magnitude of QTL in a population with stable linkage between markers and causal variants. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Features of the retinotopic representation in the visual wulst of a laterally eyed bird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

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    Neethu Michael

    Full Text Available The visual wulst of the zebra finch comprises at least two retinotopic maps of the contralateral eye. As yet, it is not known how much of the visual field is represented in the wulst neuronal maps, how the organization of the maps is related to the retinal architecture, and how information from the ipsilateral eye is involved in the activation of the wulst. Here, we have used autofluorescent flavoprotein imaging and classical anatomical methods to investigate such characteristics of the most posterior map of the multiple retinotopic representations. We found that the visual wulst can be activated by visual stimuli from a large part of the visual field of the contralateral eye. Horizontally, the visual field representation extended from -5° beyond the beak tip up to +125° laterally. Vertically, a small strip from -10° below to about +25° above the horizon activated the visual wulst. Although retinal ganglion cells had a much higher density around the fovea and along a strip extending from the fovea towards the beak tip, these areas were not overrepresented in the wulst map. The wulst area activated from the foveal region of the ipsilateral eye, overlapped substantially with the middle of the three contralaterally activated regions in the visual wulst, and partially with the other two. Visual wulst activity evoked by stimulation of the frontal visual field was stronger with contralateral than with binocular stimulation. This confirms earlier electrophysiological studies indicating an inhibitory influence of the activation of the ipsilateral eye on wulst activity elicited by stimulating the contralateral eye. The lack of a foveal overrepresentation suggests that identification of objects may not be the primary task of the zebra finch visual wulst. Instead, this brain area may be involved in the processing of visual information necessary for spatial orientation.

  13. C-fos induction in forebrain areas of two different visual pathways during consolidation of sexual imprinting in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

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    Sadananda, Monika; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2006-10-16

    Two forebrain areas in the hyperpallium apicale and in the lateral nidopallium of isolated male zebra finches are highly active (2-deoxyglucose technique) on exposure to females for the first time, that is first courtship. These areas also demonstrate enhanced neuronal plasticity when screened with c-fos immunocytochemistry. Both are areas involved in the processing of visual information conveyed by the two major visual pathways in birds, strengthening our hypothesis that courtship in the zebra finch is a visually guided behaviour. First courtship and chased birds show enhanced c-fos induction in the hyperpallial area, which could represent neuronal activity reflecting changes in the immediate environment. The enhanced expression of fos in first courtship birds in lateral nidopallial neurons indicates imminent long-lasting changes at the synaptic level that form the substrate for imprinting, a stable form of learning in birds.

  14. Comparative gene expression analysis among vocal learners (Bengalese finch and budgerigar and non-learners (quail and ring dove reveals variable cadherin expressions in the vocal system

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    Eiji eMatsunaga

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Birds use various vocalizations to communicate with one another, and some are acquired through learning. So far, three families of birds (songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds have been identified as having vocal learning ability. Previously, we found that cadherins, a large family of cell-adhesion molecules, show vocal control-area-related expression in a songbird, the Bengalese finch. To investigate the molecular basis of evolution in avian species, we conducted comparative analysis of cadherin expressions in the vocal and other neural systems among vocal learners (Bengalese finch and budgerigar and a non-learner (quail and ring dove. The gene expression analysis revealed that cadherin expressions were more variable in vocal and auditory areas compared to vocally unrelated areas such as the visual areas among these species. Thus, it appears that such diverse cadherin expressions might have been related to generating species diversity in vocal behavior during the evolution of avian vocal learning. 

  15. Distribution and abundance of forest birds in low-altitude habitat on Hawai'i Island: Evidence for range expansion of native species

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    Spiegel, C.S.; Hart, P.J.; Woodwort, B.L.; Tweed, E.J.; Leburn, J.J.

    2006-01-01

    The Hawaiian honeycreepers are thought to be limited primarily to middle- and high-altitude wet forests due to anthropogenic factors at lower altitudes, especially introduced mosquitotransmitted avian malaria. However, recent research has demonstrated that at least one native species, the Hawai'i 'Amakihi (Hemignathus virens virens), is common in areas of active malaria transmission. We examined the current distribution and abundance of native and exotic forest birds within approximately 640 km2 of low-altitude (0-326 m) habitat on south-eastern Hawai'i Island, using roadside variable circular plot (VCP) at 174 stations along eight survey transects. We also re-surveyed 90 stations near sea level that were last surveyed in 1994-1995. Overall, introduced species were more abundant than natives; 11 exotic species made up 87% of the total individuals detected. The most common exotic passerines were Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus), House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) and Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). Two native species, Hawai'i 'Amakihi and 'Apapane (Himatione sanguina), comprised 13% of the bird community at low altitudes. Hawai'i 'Amakihi were the most common and widespread native species, being found at 47% of stations at a density of 4.98 birds/ha (95% CI 3.52-7.03). Amakihi were significantly associated with 'ohi'a (Metrosideros polymorpha)-dominated forest. 'Apapane were more locally distributed, being found at only 10% of stations. Re-surveys of 1994-1995 transects demonstrated a significant increase in 'Amakihi abundance over the past decade. This work demonstrates a widespread recovery of Hawai'i 'Amakihi at low altitude in southeastern Hawai'i. The changing composition of the forest bird community at low-altitudes in Hawai'i has important implications for the dynamics of avian malaria in low-altitude Hawai'i, and for conservation of Hawai'i's lowland forests. ?? 2006 BirdLife International.

  16. Noradrenergic neurotoxin, N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine hydrochloride (DSP-4), treatment eliminates estrogenic effects on song responsiveness in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyas, Akshat; Harding, Cheryl; McGowan, Joseph; Snare, Randall; Bogdan, Diane

    2008-10-01

    Female songbirds use male songs as an important criterion for mate selection. Several studies have reported that female songbirds prefer complex songs to other song types. In a recent study, the authors found that song responsiveness in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) is strongly modulated by circulating estrogen levels. The behavioral effects of estrogen are often mediated via norepinephrine (NE). The current study administered the noradrenergic neurotoxin, N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine hydrochloride (DSP-4) to estradiol-treated female zebra finches to investigate if estrogenic effects on song responsiveness are mediated via NE. The authors tested song responsiveness of adult female zebra finches for three acoustically different song types--simple, long-bout, and complex--under three treatment conditions, untreated, estradiol-treated, and estradiol + DSP-4-treated. Females only showed differential song responsiveness when treated with estradiol alone, responding more to complex songs. DSP-4 treatment eliminated this differential responsiveness. The results are discussed in the light of evidence from functional, neurochemical, and neuroanatomical studies that suggest that estrogenic effects on song processing might be mediated by NE.

  17. Effects of nutritional stress during different developmental periods on song and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in zebra finches.

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    Kriengwatana, B; Wada, H; Schmidt, K L; Taves, M D; Soma, K K; MacDougall-Shackleton, S A

    2014-03-01

    In songbirds, developmental stress affects song learning and production. Altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function resulting in elevated corticosterone (CORT) may contribute to this effect. We examined whether developmental conditions affected the association between adult song and HPA axis function, and whether nutritional stress before and after nutritional independence has distinct effects on song learning and/or vocal performance. Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) were raised in consistently high (HH) or low (LL) food conditions until post-hatch day (PHD) 62, or were switched from high to low conditions (HL) or vice versa (LH) at PHD 34. Song was recorded in adulthood. We assessed the response of CORT to handling during development and to dexamethasone (DEX) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenges during adulthood. Song learning and vocal performance were not affected by nutritional stress at either developmental stage. Nutritional stress elevated baseline CORT during development. Nutritional stress also increased rate of CORT secretion in birds that experienced stress only in the juvenile phase (HL group). Birds in the LL group had lower CORT levels after injection of ACTH compared to the other groups, however there was no effect of nutritional stress on the response to DEX. Thus, our findings indicate that developmental stress can affect HPA function without concurrently affecting song.

  18. Multiple Visual Field Representations in the Visual Wulst of a Laterally Eyed Bird, the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    The visual wulst is the telencephalic target of the avian thalamofugal visual system. It contains several retinotopically organised representations of the contralateral visual field. We used optical imaging of intrinsic signals, electrophysiological recordings, and retrograde tracing with two fluorescent tracers to evaluate properties of these representations in the zebra finch, a songbird with laterally placed eyes. Our experiments revealed that there is some variability of the neuronal maps between individuals and also concerning the number of detectable maps. It was nonetheless possible to identify three different maps, a posterolateral, a posteromedial, and an anterior one, which were quite constant in their relation to each other. The posterolateral map was in contrast to the two others constantly visible in each successful experiment. The topography of the two other maps was mirrored against that map. Electrophysiological recordings in the anterior and the posterolateral map revealed that all units responded to flashes and to moving bars. Mean directional preferences as well as latencies were different between neurons of the two maps. Tracing experiments confirmed previous reports on the thalamo-wulst connections and showed that the anterior and the posterolateral map receive projections from separate clusters within the thalamic nuclei. Maps are connected to each other by wulst intrinsic projections. Our experiments confirm that the avian visual wulst contains several separate retinotopic maps with both different physiological properties and different thalamo-wulst afferents. This confirms that the functional organization of the visual wulst is very similar to its mammalian equivalent, the visual cortex. PMID:27139912

  19. Multiple Visual Field Representations in the Visual Wulst of a Laterally Eyed Bird, the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

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    Hans-Joachim Bischof

    Full Text Available The visual wulst is the telencephalic target of the avian thalamofugal visual system. It contains several retinotopically organised representations of the contralateral visual field. We used optical imaging of intrinsic signals, electrophysiological recordings, and retrograde tracing with two fluorescent tracers to evaluate properties of these representations in the zebra finch, a songbird with laterally placed eyes. Our experiments revealed that there is some variability of the neuronal maps between individuals and also concerning the number of detectable maps. It was nonetheless possible to identify three different maps, a posterolateral, a posteromedial, and an anterior one, which were quite constant in their relation to each other. The posterolateral map was in contrast to the two others constantly visible in each successful experiment. The topography of the two other maps was mirrored against that map. Electrophysiological recordings in the anterior and the posterolateral map revealed that all units responded to flashes and to moving bars. Mean directional preferences as well as latencies were different between neurons of the two maps. Tracing experiments confirmed previous reports on the thalamo-wulst connections and showed that the anterior and the posterolateral map receive projections from separate clusters within the thalamic nuclei. Maps are connected to each other by wulst intrinsic projections. Our experiments confirm that the avian visual wulst contains several separate retinotopic maps with both different physiological properties and different thalamo-wulst afferents. This confirms that the functional organization of the visual wulst is very similar to its mammalian equivalent, the visual cortex.

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

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    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. An examination of the effect of aerosolized permanone insecticide on zebra finch susceptibility to West Nile virus

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    Jankowski, Mark D.; Murray, E. Moore; Hofmeister, Erik K.

    2017-01-01

    West Nile virus is primarily maintained cryptically primarily in avian (Passerine) populations where it is transmitted by Culex spp. mosquitoes. Mosquito control measures currently include physical activities to reduce mosquito breeding sites, the application of mosquito larvicides, or aerosolized insecticides to kill adults (adulticides) when arboviral diseases such as West Nile virus (WNV) or Zika virus are detected in mosquito populations. Organochlorine, organohosphorus, carbamate and pyrethroid insecticides are often used. Previous work suggests an effect of pyrethroids on the immune system in a variety of vertebrates. We examined the effects of exposure to aerosolized Permanone® 30:30 insecticide (permethrin and piperonyl butoxide in soy oil vehicle) at ∼103−106x potential environmental concentrations on the response of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to experimental challenge with WNV. Compared to vehicle control birds, WNV outcome was unchanged (65% of birds produced a viremia) in the ‘low’ exposure (9.52 mg/m3±3.13 SD permethrin) group, but reduced in the ‘high’ exposure (mean 376.5 mg/m3±27.9 SD permethrin) group (30% were viremic) (p < 0.05). After clearing WNV infection, birds treated with Permanone regained less body mass than vehicle treated birds (p < 0.001). Our study suggests that exposure to aerosolized Permanone insecticide at levels exceeding typical application rates has the potential to not change or mildly enhance a bird's resistance to WNV.

  2. First description of the breeding biology and natural history of the ochre-breasted brush finch atlapetes semirufus in venezuela

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    Biancucci, L.; Martin, T.E.

    2008-01-01

    We provide the first description of the eggs, breeding biology, and natural history of the Ochre-breasted Brush Finch (Atlapetes semirufus). We found 37 nests over four breeding seasons (2004-2007) in Yacamb?? National Park, Venezuela. Nesting activity started in late April and continued until early June suggesting single-brooded behavior despite a typical tropical clutch size of two eggs (x?? = 1.89) that were laid on consecutive days. Egg mass averaged 3.38 g and 11.6% of adult female mass. The incubation and nestling periods averaged 14.9 and 10.5 days, respectively. Only females incubated and the percent time they spent incubating did not change between early and late incubation. Females brooded 42.7% of the time when nestlings were 2 days of age and 20.5% when 9 days of age. Both parents provisioned young at a low rate (3.9 trips/hr) and nestling growth rate (k = 0.45) was also slow. Nest predation rates were relatively high with daily mortality rates of 0.058 and 0.067 during incubation and nestling stages, respectively.

  3. Protein-Protein Interaction Among the FoxP Family Members and their Regulation of Two Target Genes, VLDLR and CNTNAP2 in the Zebra Finch Song System.

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    Mendoza, Ezequiel; Scharff, Constance

    2017-01-01

    The Forkhead transcription factor FOXP2 is implicated in speech perception and production. The avian homolog, FoxP2 contributes to song learning and production in birds. In human cell lines, transcriptional activity of FOXP2 requires homo-dimerization or dimerization with paralogs FOXP1 or FOXP4. Whether FoxP dimerization occurs in the brain is unknown. We recently showed that FoxP1, FoxP2 and FoxP4 (FoxP1/2/4) proteins are co-expressed in neurons of Area X, a song control region in zebra finches. We now report on dimer- and oligomerization of zebra finch FoxPs and how this affects transcription. In cell lines and in the brain we identify homo- and hetero-dimers, and an oligomer composed of FoxP1/2/4. We further show that FoxP1/2 but not FoxP4 bind to the regulatory region of the target gene Contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2). In addition, we demonstrate that FoxP1/4 bind to the regulatory region of very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR), as has been shown for FoxP2 previously. Interestingly, FoxP1/2/4 individually or in combinations regulate the promoters for SV40, zebra finch VLDLR and CNTNAP2 differentially. These data exemplify the potential for complex transcriptional regulation of FoxP1/2/4, highlighting the need for future functional studies dissecting their differential regulation in the brain.

  4. Protein-Protein Interaction Among the FoxP Family Members and their Regulation of Two Target Genes, VLDLR and CNTNAP2 in the Zebra Finch Song System

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    Ezequiel Mendoza

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The Forkhead transcription factor FOXP2 is implicated in speech perception and production. The avian homolog, FoxP21 contributes to song learning and production in birds. In human cell lines, transcriptional activity of FOXP2 requires homo-dimerization or dimerization with paralogs FOXP1 or FOXP4. Whether FoxP dimerization occurs in the brain is unknown. We recently showed that FoxP1, FoxP2 and FoxP4 (FoxP1/2/4 proteins are co-expressed in neurons of Area X, a song control region in zebra finches. We now report on dimer- and oligomerization of zebra finch FoxPs and how this affects transcription. In cell lines and in the brain we identify homo- and hetero-dimers, and an oligomer composed of FoxP1/2/4. We further show that FoxP1/2 but not FoxP4 bind to the regulatory region of the target gene Contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2. In addition, we demonstrate that FoxP1/4 bind to the regulatory region of very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR, as has been shown for FoxP2 previously. Interestingly, FoxP1/2/4 individually or in combinations regulate the promoters for SV40, zebra finch VLDLR and CNTNAP2 differentially. These data exemplify the potential for complex transcriptional regulation of FoxP1/2/4, highlighting the need for future functional studies dissecting their differential regulation in the brain.

  5. Distribution of aromatase-immunoreactive cells in the forebrain of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): implications for the neural action of steroids and nuclear definition in the avian hypothalamus.

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    Balthazart, J; Absil, P; Foidart, A; Houbart, M; Harada, N; Ball, G F

    1996-10-01

    Cells immunoreactive for the enzyme aromatase were localized in the forebrain of male zebra finches with the use of an immunocytochemistry procedure. Two polyclonal antibodies, one directed against human placental aromatase and the other directed against quail recombinant aromatase, revealed a heterogeneous distribution of the enzyme in the telencephalon, diencephalon, and mesencephalon. Staining was enhanced in some birds by the administration of the nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor, R76713 racemic Vorozole) prior to the perfusion of the birds as previously described in Japanese quail. Large numbers of cells immunoreactive for aromatase were found in nuclei in the preoptic region and in the tuberal hypothalamus. A nucleus was identified in the preoptic region based on the high density of aromatase immunoreactive cells within its boundaries that appears to be homologous to the preoptic medial nucleus (POM) described previously in Japanese quail. In several birds alternate sections were stained for immunoreactive vasotocin, a marker of the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). This information facilitated the clear separation of the POM in zebra finches from nuclei that are adjacent to the POM in the preoptic area-hypothalamus, such as the PVN and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. Positively staining cells were also detected widely throughout the telencephalon. Cells were discerned in the medial parts of the ventral hyperstriatum and neostriatum near the lateral ventricle and in dorsal and medial parts of the hippocampus. They were most abundant in the caudal neostriatum where they clustered in the dorsomedial neostriatum, and as a band of cells coursing along the dorsal edge of the lamina archistriatalis dorsalis. They were also present in high numbers in the ventrolateral aspect of the neostriatum and in the nucleus taeniae. None of the telencephalic vocal control nuclei had appreciable numbers of cells immunoreactive for aromatase within their boundaries

  6. Interactive effects of early and later nutritional conditions on the adult antioxidant defence system in zebra finches.

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    Noguera, José C; Monaghan, Pat; Metcalfe, Neil B

    2015-07-01

    In vertebrates, antioxidant defences comprise a mixture of endogenously produced components and exogenously obtained antioxidants that are derived mostly from the diet. It has been suggested that early-life micronutritional conditions might influence the way in which the antioxidant defence system operates, which could enable individuals to adjust the activity of the endogenous and exogenous components in line with their expected intake of dietary antioxidants if the future environment resembles the past. We investigated this possibility by experimentally manipulating the micronutrient content of the diet during different periods of postnatal development in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Birds that had a low micronutrient diet during the growth phase initially had a lower total antioxidant capacity (TAC) than those reared under a high micronutrient diet, but then showed a compensatory response, so that by the end of the growth phase, the TAC of the two groups was the same. Interestingly, we found an interactive effect of micronutrient intake early and late in development: only those birds that continued with the same dietary treatment (low or high) throughout development showed a significant increase in their TAC during the period of sexual maturation. A similar effect was also found in the level of enzymatic antioxidant defences (glutathione peroxidase; GPx). No significant effects were found in the level of oxidative damage in lipids [malondialdehyde (MDA) levels]. These findings demonstrate the importance of early and late developmental conditions in shaping multiple aspects of the antioxidant system. Furthermore, they suggest that young birds may adjust their antioxidant defences to enable them to 'thrive' on diets rich or poor in micronutrients later in life.

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

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    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

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

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    Nina Keary

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chantal, Véronique; Gibelli, Julie; Dubois, Frédérique

    2016-01-01

    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.

  14. Validation of an egg-injection method for embryotoxicity studies in a small, model songbird, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, V; Elliott, J E; Letcher, R J; Williams, T D

    2013-01-01

    Female birds deposit or 'excrete' lipophilic contaminants to their eggs during egg formation. Concentrations of xenobiotics in bird eggs can therefore accurately indicate levels of contamination in the environment and sampling of bird eggs is commonly used as a bio-monitoring tool. It is widely assumed that maternally transferred contaminants cause adverse effects on embryos but there has been relatively little experimental work confirming direct developmental effects (cf. behaviorally-mediated effects). We validated the use of egg injection for studies of in ovo exposure to xenobiotics for a small songbird model species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), where egg weight averages only 1 g. We investigated a) the effect of puncturing eggs with or without vehicle (DMSO) injection on egg fate (embryo development), chick hatching success and subsequent growth to 90 days (sexual maturity), and b) effects of two vehicle solutions (DMSO and safflower oil) on embryo and chick growth. PBDE-99 and -47 were measured in in ovo PBDE-treated eggs, chicks and adults to investigate relationships between putative injection amounts and the time course of metabolism (debromination) of PBDE-99 during early development. We successfully injected a small volume (5 μL) of vehicle into eggs, at incubation day 0, with no effects on egg or embryo fate and with hatchability similar to that for non-manipulated eggs in our captive-breeding colony (43% vs. 48%). We did find some evidence for an inhibitory effect of DMSO vehicle on post-hatching chick growth, in male chicks only. This method can be used to treat eggs in a dose-dependent, and ecologically-relevant, manner with PBDE-99, based on chemical analysis of eggs, hatchling and adults.

  15. A molecular phylogeny of the Sierra-Finches (Phrygilus, Passeriformes): extreme polyphyly in a group of Andean specialists.

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    Campagna, Leonardo; Geale, Kathryn; Handford, Paul; Lijtmaer, Darío A; Tubaro, Pablo L; Lougheed, Stephen C

    2011-11-01

    The unparalleled avian diversity of the Neotropics has long been argued to be in large part the evolutionary consequence of the incredible habitat diversity and rugged topography of the Andes mountains. Various scenarios have been proposed to explain how the Andean context could have generated lineage diversification (e.g. vicariant speciation or parapatric speciation across vertical ecological gradients), yet further study on Andean taxa is needed to reveal the relative importance of the different processes. Here we use mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences to derive the first phylogenetic hypothesis for Phrygilus (Sierra-Finches), one of the most species-rich genera of mainly Andean passerines. We find strong evidence that the genus is polyphyletic, comprising four distantly related clades with at least nine other genera interspersed between them (Acanthidops, Catamenia, Diglossa, Haplospiza, Idiopsar, Melanodera, Rowettia, Sicalis and Xenodacnis). These four Phrygilus clades coincide with groups previously established mainly on the basis of plumage characters, suggesting single evolutionary origins for each of these. We consider the history of diversification of each clade, analyzing the timing of splitting events, ancestral reconstruction of altitudinal ranges and current geographical distributions. Phrygilus species origins date mainly to the Pleistocene, with representatives diversifying within, out of, and into the Andes. Finally, we explored whether Phrygilus species, especially those with broad altitudinal and latitudinal Andean distributions, showed phylogeographic structure. Our best-sampled taxon (Phrygilus fruticeti) exhibited no clear pattern; however, we found deep genetic splits within other surveyed species, with Phrygilus unicolor being the most extreme case and deserving of further research. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Hallazgo de Cochlosoma sp. en Isabelitas del Japón (Lonchura domestica en Cuba - Reports of Cochlosoma sp. in Bengalese finches (Lonchura domestica in Cuba

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    Carlos Soto Piñeiro

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available ResumenFueron monitoreadas las heces de 20 Isabelitas del Japón adultas(Lonchura doméstica procedentes de un aviario con mortalidad en crías de Lady Gould donde las Isabelitas eran utilizadas como nodrizas. Las heces fueron diluidas en solución salina y observadas al microscopio, detectándose en el 70 % de las muestras protozoarios flagelados móviles semejantes a Cochlosoma sp. Al ser estos observados a 40x y 100x con contraste de luz donde se pudieron visualizar las características morfológicas descritas para el mismo. Encontrándose por primera vez este parasito en esta especie de ave ornamental en nuestro País.SummaryWe evaluate the faecal samples of 20 adult Bengalese finches (Lonchuradoméstica coming from an aviary with mortality in Gouldian finches crossfostered on Bengalese. Faecal samples were diluted in saline solution and observed to the microscope at 40x and 100x, being detected in 70% of the samples motile flagellate protozoa identified as Cochlosoma sp. This is the first report of this parasite in these ornamental birds in our country.

  17. Two-photon deep imaging through skin and skull of Zebra finches: preliminary studies for in-vivo brain metabolism monitoring

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    Abi-Haidar, D.; Olivier, T.; Mottin, S.; Vignal, C.; Mathevon, N.

    2007-02-01

    Zebra Finches are songbirds which constitute a model for neuro-ethologists to study the neuro-mechanisms of vocal recognition. For this purpose, in vivo and non invasive monitoring of brain activity is required during acoustical stimulation. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or NIRS (Near InfraRed Spectroscopy) are suitable methods for these measurements, even though MRI is difficult to link quantitatively with neural activity and NIRS suffers from a poor resolution. In the particular case of songbirds (whose skin is thin and quite transparent and whose skull structure is hollow), two-photon microscopy enables a quite deep penetration in tissues and could be an alternative. We present here preliminary studies on the feasability of two-photon microscopy in these conditions. To do so, we chose to image hollow fibers, filled with Rhodamine B, through the skin of Zebra finches in order to evaluate the spatial resolution we may expect in future in vivo experiments. Moreover, we used the reflectance-mode confocal configuration to evaluate the exponential decrease of backreflected light in skin and in skull samples. Following this procedure recently proposed by S.L. Jacques and co-workers, we planned to determine the scattering coefficient μ s and the anisotropy g of these tissues and make a comparison between fixed and fresh skin and skull samples for future Monte Carlo simulations of the scattering in our particular multi-layered structure.

  18. Learning to cope with degraded sounds: female zebra finches can improve their expertise in discriminating between male voices at long distances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouterde, Solveig C; Elie, Julie E; Theunissen, Frédéric E; Mathevon, Nicolas

    2014-09-01

    Reliable transmission of acoustic information about individual identity is of critical importance for pair bond maintenance in numerous monogamous songbirds. However, information transfer can be impaired by environmental constraints such as external noise or propagation-induced degradation. Birds have been shown to use several adaptive strategies to deal with difficult signal transmission contexts. Specifically, a number of studies have suggested that vocal plasticity at the emitter's level allows birds to counteract the deleterious effects of sound degradation. Although the communication process involves both the emitter and the receiver, perceptual plasticity at the receiver's level has received little attention. Here, we explored the reliability of individual recognition by female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), testing whether perceptual training can improve discrimination of degraded individual vocal signatures. We found that female zebra finches are proficient in discriminating between calls of individual males at long distances, and even more so when they can train themselves with increasingly degraded signals over time. In this latter context, females succeed in discriminating between males as far as 250 m. This result emphasizes that adaptation to adverse communication conditions may involve not only the emitter's vocal plasticity but also the receptor's decoding process through on-going learning. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. The energetic cost of variations in wing span and wing asymmetry in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hambly, C; Harper, E J; Speakman, J R

    2004-10-01

    Asymmetry is a difference in the sizes of bilaterally paired structures. Wing asymmetry may have an effect on the kinematics of flight, with knock-on effects for the energetic cost of flying. In this study the 13C-labelled bicarbonate technique was used to measure the energy expended during the flight of zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, prior to and after experimental manipulation to generate asymmetry and a change in wing span by trimming the primary feathers. In addition, simultaneous high-speed video footage enabled differences in flight kinematics such as flight speed, wing amplitude, up- and downstroke duration and wing beat frequency to be examined. In 10 individuals, the primary feathers on the right wing were trimmed first, by 0.5 cm, and then by an additional 0.5 cm in six of these individuals. In a separate 'control' group (N=7), approximately 0.25 cm was trimmed off the primary feathers of both wings, to produce the same reduction in wing span as 0.5 cm trimmed from one wing, while maintaining symmetry. When birds were manipulated to become asymmetric they maintained flight speed. They also increased the left wing amplitude and decreased the right up- and downstroke durations to counteract the changes in wing shape, which meant that they had an increase in wing beat frequency. When the wing area was reduced while maintaining symmetry, birds flew with slower flight speed. In this case wing amplitude did not change and wing upstroke slightly decreased, causing an increased wing beat frequency. The mean flight cost in the pre-manipulated birds was 1.90+/-0.1 W. There was a slight increase in flight cost with both of the asymmetry manipulations (0.5 cm, increase of 0.04 W; 1.0 cm, increase of 0.12 W), neither of which reached statistical significance. There was, however, a significantly increased flight cost when the wing span was reduced without causing asymmetry (increase of 0.45 W; paired t-test T=2.3, P=0.03).

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

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    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

  1. Final Environmental Assessment for the Integration and Developmental Testing of High Power Microwave Systems at Edwards Air Force Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-10-16

    turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), common raven (Corvus corax), sage sparrow 10 (Amphispiza belli), barn owl (Tyto alba ), house finch (Carpodacus...habitats. Barn owls (Tyto alba ) are known to inhabit 27 buildings on the flightline. During the evening, owls feed on small rodents adjacent to the runways...Environmental Impact Report for the West Mojave Plan. U.S. Department of Interior, 18 BLM California Desert District Office, Moreno Valley

  2. 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.

  3. Functional genomic analysis and neuroanatomical localization of miR-2954, a song-responsive sex-linked microRNA in the zebra finch

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    David F Clayton

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Natural experience can cause complex changes in gene expression in brain centers for cognition and perception, but the mechanisms that link perceptual experience and neurogenomic regulation are not understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs or miRs have the potential to regulate large gene expression networks, and a previous study showed that a natural perceptual stimulus (hearing the sound of birdsong in zebra finches triggers rapid changes in expression of several miRs in the auditory forebrain. Here we evaluate the functional potential of one of these, miR-2954, which has been found so far only in birds and is encoded on the Z sex chromosome. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, we show that miR-2954 is present in subsets of cells in the sexually dimorphic brain regions involved in song production and perception, with notable enrichment in cell nuclei. We then probe its regulatory function by inhibiting its expression in a zebra finch cell line (G266 and measuring effects on endogenous gene expression using Illumina RNA sequencing (RNA-seq. Approximately 1000 different mRNAs change in expression by 1.5-fold or more (adjusted p<0.01, with increases in some but not all of the targets that had been predicted by Targetscan. The population of RNAs that increase after miR-2954 inhibition is notably enriched for ones involved in the MAP Kinase (MAPK pathway, whereas the decreasing population is dominated by genes involved in ribosomes and mitochondrial function. Since song stimulation itself triggers a decrease in miR-2954 expression followed by a delayed decrease in genes encoding ribosomal and mitochondrial functions, we suggest that miR-2954 may mediate some of the neurogenomic effects of song habituation.

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

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    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

  5. Comparative analysis of mineralocorticoid receptor expression among vocal learners (Bengalese finch and budgerigar) and non-vocal learners (quail and ring dove) has implications for the evolution of avian vocal learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunaga, Eiji; Suzuki, Kenta; Kobayashi, Tetsuya; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2011-12-01

    Mineralocorticoid receptor is the receptor for corticosteroids such as corticosterone or aldosterone. Previously, we found that mineralocorticoid receptor was highly expressed in song nuclei of a songbird, Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica). Here, to examine the relationship between mineralocorticoid receptor expression and avian vocal learning, we analyzed mineralocorticoid receptor expression in the developing brain of another vocal learner, budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) and non-vocal learners, quail (Coturnix japonica) and ring dove (Streptopelia capicola). Mineralocorticoid receptor showed vocal control area-related expressions in budgerigars as Bengalese finches, whereas no such mineralocorticoid receptor expressions were seen in the telencephalon of non-vocal learners. Thus, these results suggest the possibility that mineralocorticoid receptor plays a role in vocal development of parrots as songbirds and that the acquisition of mineralocorticoid receptor expression is involved in the evolution of avian vocal learning.

  6. Interspecific effects of 4A-DNT (4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene) and RDX (1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine) in Japanese quail, Northern bobwhite, and Zebra finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Michael J; Hanna, Terry L; Shiflett, Alicia A; McFarland, Craig A; Cook, Michelle E; Johnson, Mark S; Gust, Kurt A; Perkins, Edward J

    2013-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the toxicological effects of two munition compounds, 4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene (4A-DNT) and 1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), on three different bird species: two common toxicological model species-the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and the Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica), and a representative passerine-the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Bobwhite were exposed to 4A-DNT at 0, 8, 15, 30, 60, or 150 mg/kg body weight (bw) d by oral gavage for seven days; because the high dose of 4A-DNT was lethal to bobwhite, the maximum dose was changed to 100 mg/kg bw d for Japanese quail and finches to ensure tissue could be used for future toxicogenomic work. RDX was similarly administered at 0, 0.5, 1.5, 3, 6, or 12 mg/kg bw d. Blood was drawn prior to euthanasia for blood cellularity and chemistry analyses. Finches were clearly least affected by 4A-DNT as evidenced by a lack of observable effects. Bobwhite appeared to be the most sensitive species to 4A-DNT as observed through changes in blood cellularity and plasma chemistry effects. Bobwhite appeared to be more sensitive to RDX than Japanese Quail due to increased effects on measures of plasma chemistries. Finches exhibited the greatest sensitivity to RDX through increased mortality and seizure activity. This study suggests that sensitivity among species is chemical-specific and provides data that could be used to refine current avian sensitivity models used in ecological risk assessments.

  7. Morphological and molecular characterization of Isospora neochmiae n. sp. in a captive-bred red-browed finch (Neochmia temporalis) (Latham, 1802).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Rongchang; Brice, Belinda; Ryan, Una

    2016-07-01

    A new Isospora (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) species is described from a single red-browed finch (Neochmia temporalis) (subspecies N. temporalis temporalis), that was part of a captive population in Western Australia. Sporulated oocysts of this isolate are spherical, 18.3 (18.2-18.9) × 18.2 (18.2-18.6) μm, with a shape index (length/width) of 1.0; and a smooth and bilayered oocyst wall, 1.2 μm thick (outer layer 0.9 μm, inner 0.3 μm). A polar granule is present, but the oocyst residuum and a micropyle are absent. The sporocysts are ovoid-shaped, 13.3 (9.5-16.4) × 8.6 (6.8-10.0) μm, with a shape index of 1.5. An indistinct Stieda body is present, but the substieda body is absent. A sporocyst residuum is present and composed of numerous granules of different size scattered among the sporozoites. Morphologically, the oocysts from this isolate are different from those of all known valid Isospora spp. Molecular analysis was conducted at 4 loci; the 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA (rRNA), the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase (COI) gene and the heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) gene. At the 18S locus, this new isolate exhibited 99.9%, 99.8%, 99.7%, and 99.5% similarity to I. sp. MAH-2013a from a superb starling (Lamprotornis superbus), I. MS-2003 from a Southern cape sparrow (Passer melanurus), I. sp. Tokyo from a domestic pigeon (Columba livia domestica) and I. MS-2003 from a Surinam crested oropendula (Psarocolius decumanus). At the 28S locus, this new isolate exhibited 99.7% similarity to both an Isospora sp (MS-2003) from a Northern house sparrow (Passer domesticus) and an Isospora sp. (MS-2003) from a Southern cape sparrow. At the COI locus, this new isolate exhibited 98.9% similarity to an Isospora sp. ex Apodemus flavicollis. At the hsp70 locus, this new isolate exhibited 99% similarity to isolate MS-2003 (AY283879) from a wattled starling (Creatophora cinerea). Based on morphological and molecular data, this isolate is a new species of Isospora, which is named

  8. Sexual imprinting leads to lateralized and non-lateralized expression of the immediate early gene zenk in the zebra finch brain.

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    Lieshoff, Carsten; Grosse-Ophoff, Jürgen; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2004-01-05

    Sexual imprinting is an early learning process by which young birds acquire the features of a potential sexual partner. The physiological basis of this learning process is an irreversible reduction of spine densities in two forebrain areas, the lateral neo- and hyperstriatum (LNH) and the medial neo- and hyperstriatum (MNH). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the immediate early gene zenk, which has been shown frequently to play a role in plastic processes in the song system of zebra finches, may also be involved in the structural changes observed in these areas. The first exposure to a female after an isolation period enhances zenk expression in a variety of brain areas including LNH, MNH, and optic tectum. In contrast to earlier results, it was only the neostriatal part of LNH which showed an enhancement on first courtship, while exposure to a nestbox enhanced the label within the entire LNH area. Unexpectedly, the IEG expression was clearly lateralized in some layers of the optic tectum. Because lateralization occurred independent of the experimental condition, our study adds to recent results which also support the idea of a lateralized organization of the avian visual system.

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

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    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.

  10. Hippocampal activation of immediate early genes Zenk and c-Fos in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) during learning and recall of a spatial memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Uwe; Watanabe, Shigeru; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2010-03-01

    Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) are able to learn the position of food by orienting on spatial cues in a 'dry water maze'. In the course of spatial learning, the hippocampus shows high expression of the immediate early genes (IEGs) Zenk and c-Fos, indicating high activation of this area during learning. In contrast, the IEG activity is nearly absent if the birds do not have to rely on spatial cues. In the present experiment it was investigated whether hippocampal activation can also be observed if the learned spatial task is recalled. For this purpose, the hippocampal Zenk and c-Fos activation of birds in an early learning stage was compared with that of others having well reached their maximal performance. The results show that the avian hippocampus is also active during recall of a learned spatial task, but the activation is significantly lower than in animals learning actually. As in previous experiments, hippocampal IEG expression showed strong variation not only in the position of the active patches of neurons, but also in size and cell density. The observed difference contributes to the view that immediate early genes may not be indicators of activation alone, but may be due to a combination of activation and plastic changes.

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

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    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.

  12. 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.

  13. SK channels modulate the excitability and firing precision of projection neurons in the robust nucleus of the arcopallium in adult male zebra finches

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guo-Qiang Hou; Xuan Pan; Cong-Shu Liao; Song-Hua Wang; Dong-Feng Li

    2012-01-01

    [Objective] Motor control is encoded by neuronal activity.Small conductance Ca2+-activated Kˉ channels (SK channels) maintain the regularity and precision of firing by contributing to the afterhyperpolarization (AHP) of the action potential in mammals.However,it is not clear how SK channels regulate the output of the vocal motor system in songbirds.The premotor robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) in the zebra finch is responsible for the output of song information.The temporal pattern of spike bursts in RA projection neurons is associated with the timing of the acoustic features of birdsong.[Methods] The firing properties of RA projection neurons were analyzed using patch clamp wholecell and cell-attached recording techniques.[Results] SK channel blockade by apamin decreased the AHP amplitude and increased the evoked firing rate in RA projection neurons.It also caused reductions in the regularity and precision of firing.RA projection neurons displayed regular spontaneous action potentials,while apamin caused irregular spontaneous firing but had no effect on the firing rate.In the absence of synaptic inputs,RA projection neurons still had spontaneous firing,and apamin had an evident effect on the firing rate,but caused no significant change in the firing regularity,compared with apamin application in the presence of synaptic inputs.[Conclusion]SK channels contribute to the maintenance of firing regularity in RA projection neurons whichrequires synaptic activity,and consequently ensures the precision of song encoding.

  14. Morphological analysis of the tongue and the digestive tube of saffron finch (Sicalis flaveola brasiliensis, LINNAUES 1766) apprehended by CETAS/IBAMA-PB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva Siqueira, R A; Luna, A C L; Cavalcanti, T A; Rici, R E G; Miglino, M A; Guerra, R R

    2014-02-01

    The saffron finch (Sicalis flaveola brasiliensis) is a Passeriforme of the Brazilian wildlife. There are scarcely any morphological studies on it, although it is frequently trafficked for its birdsong abilities. Its peculiarities, such as territorialism and developed syrinx that provides outstanding song, draw attention towards its domestication. Thus, this study aimed to morphologically describe the tongue and digestive tube organs of this species to furnish subsidies for nutritional, clinical and conservation studies. Forty-one birds from the Wild Animal Screening Center (CETAS)/Brazilian Institute of Environment (IBAMA)/city of Cabedelo, state of Paraíba (PB) were used. Samples were collected, identified and sent to standard light microscopy; samples of proventriculus and gizzard were sent to Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The samples showed stratification similar to that of other domestic and wild birds, confirmed in the scanning electron microscopy; however, they differed in the absence of dermal papillae in the tongue, lack of ingluvial glands and lack of muscular mucosa and sub-mucosa in the large intestine.

  15. The ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata): Afferent and efferent projections in relation to the control of reproductive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, J Martin

    2017-08-15

    Sex-specific mating behaviors occur in a variety of mammals, with the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) and the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH) mediating control of male and female sexual behavior, respectively. In birds, likewise, POM is predominantly involved in the control of male reproductive behavior, but the degree to which VMH is involved in female reproductive behavior is unclear. Here, in male and female zebra finches, a combination of aromatase immunohistochemistry and conventional tract tracing facilitated the definition of two separate but adjacent nuclei in the basal hypothalamus: an oblique band of aromatase-positive (AR+) neurons, and ventromedial to this, an ovoid, aromatase-negative (AR-) nucleus. The AR- nucleus, but not the AR+ nucleus, was here shown to receive a projection from rostral parts of the thalamic auditory nucleus ovoidalis and from the nucleus of the tractus ovoidalis. The AR- nucleus also receives an overlapping, major projection from previously uncharted regions of the medial arcopallium and a minor projection from the caudomedial nidopallium. Both the AR- and the AR+ nuclei project to the intercollicular nucleus of the midbrain. No obvious sex differences in either the pattern of AR immunoreactivity or of the afferent projections to the AR- nucleus were observed. The significance of these results in terms of the acoustic control of avian reproductive behavior is discussed, and a comparison with the organization of VMH afferents in lizards suggests a homologous similarity of the caudal telencephalon in sauropsids. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Bill Morphology Does Not Influence Vocal Performance in Darwin's Small Tree Finch on Floreana Island%澳大利亚Floreana岛达尔文小树雀喙型与其鸣唱的不相关性

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Rebekah Christensen; Sonia Kleindorfer

    2009-01-01

    Bird song is used for mate attraction and is important for establishing reproductive isolation. Current research highlights performance constraints on song production that may be influenced by variation in bill morphology. Darwin's finches are a model system for studying the relationship between morphology and song performance, with previous studies suggesting that lower vocal performance is correlated with larger bill size. Here, we tested for a relationship between bill morphology and vocal performance in Darwin's Small Tree Finch (Camarhynchus parvulus) on Floreana Island. We found no evidence of a correlation between bill morphology and vocal performance. This finding is in agreement with prior study of the Small Tree Finch, but contrasts a greater body of work addressing song in Darwin's Finches. We discussed our findings in the context of ecological divergence, and ecological variation across species.%鸟类鸣唱的功能通常是吸引配偶,对于建立繁殖隔离也是非常重要的.现有的研究认为鸟类鸣唱表演可能受到鸟类喙型变化的影响.达尔文鸣雀是一类用来验证喙型和鸣唱表演关系的模型物种,前人的研究认为较低的元音演奏与更大的喙相关.本文用在Floreana岛屿生活的达尔文小树雀(Camarhynchus parvulus)来验证喙型和元音演奏的关系.结果显示,喙型大小与元音演奏之间无相关性.这个发现与过去对小树雀中的研究结果相似,但却与达尔文鸣雀中更大体型的鸟类研究结果相反.讨论了研究结果在物种的生态分化和生态变异之间的前后关系.

  17. In vivo synaptic transmission in the zebra finch high vocal center and robust nucleus of the arcopallium after different stimulus patterns

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Suqun Liao; Wenxiao Liu; Peng Xiao; Dongfeng Li

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Electrophysiological studies using brain slices have revealed that the developmental regulation of synaptic plasticity in vocal learning pathway is essential for song learning in zebra finches. Publications reporting in vivo electrophysiological investigation are scarce. Many aspects of neural mechanisms underlying song learning and production still remain uncertain.OBJECTIVE: To observe the efficacy of paired pulses and the effect on synaptic transmission induced by low-frequency stimulations, high-frequency stimulations, and theta-burst stimulations.DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING: A comparative observation. The experiment was conducted from October 2006 to October 2007 in the Neurophysiology Laboratory of South-China Normal University.MATERIALS: Twenty-four adult male zebra finches were supplied by the Department of Animal Experiment of College of Life Sciences, South China Normal University. A SEN-7203 stimulator (NIHON KOHDEN), as well as a DSJ-731WF microelectrode amplifier and DSJ-F amplifier (provided by South-China Normal University), were used to stimulate and record, respectively.METHODS: Animals were randomly divided into low-frequency, high-frequency, and theta-burst frequency stimulation groups. After recording evoked potentials, an input-output curve was evaluated. Subsequently, the efficacy of paired pulses with different stimulus intensity (1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 3/4 of the value that induced the largest synaptic response), as well as interpulse intervals (50, 75, and 100ms), was measured in each group. The test stimulus intensity was set to a level that evoked 1/2 or 1/3 amplitude of the maximum response.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in amplitude, slope, and area of evoked potentials elicited by different stimulus patterns.RESULTS: (1) Efficacy of paired pulses: there was significant paired-pulse facilitation in the high vocal center and robust nucleus of the arcopallium (HVC-RA) synapse. Efficacy decreased when paired-pulse intervals or stimulus

  18. Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide (CART) in the brain of zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata: Organization, interaction with neuropeptide Y, and response to changes in energy status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Omprakash; Kumar, Santosh; Singh, Uday; Kumar, Vinod; Lechan, Ronald M; Singru, Praful S

    2016-10-15

    Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) has emerged as a potent anorectic agent. CART is widely distributed in the brain of mammals, amphibians, and teleosts, but the relevant information in avian brain is not available. In birds, CART inhibits food intake, whereas neuropeptide Y (NPY), a well-known orexigenic peptide, stimulates it. How these neuropeptides interact in the brain to regulate energy balance is not known. We studied the distribution of CART-immunoreactivity in the brain of zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata, its interaction with NPY, and their response to dynamic energy states. CART-immunoreactive fibers were found in the subpallium, hypothalamus, midbrain, and brainstem. Conspicuous CART-immunoreactive cells were observed in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, hypothalamic paraventricular, supraoptic, dorsomedial, infundibular (IN), lateral hypothalamic, Edinger-Westphal, and parabrachial nuclei. Hypothalamic sections of fed, fasted, and refed animals were immunostained with cFos, NPY, and CART antisera. Fasting dramatically increased cFos- and NPY-immunoreactivity in the IN, followed by rapid reduction by 2 hours and restoration to normal fed levels 6-10 hours after refeeding. CART-immunoreactive fibers in IN showed a significant reduction during fasting and upregulation with refeeding. Within the IN, double immunofluorescence revealed that 94 ± 2.1% of NPY-immunoreactive neurons were contacted by CART-immunoreactive fibers and 96 ± 2.8% NPY-immunoreactive neurons expressed cFos during fasting. Compared to controls, superfused hypothalamic slices of fasted birds treated with CART-peptide showed a significant reduction (P CART in the brain of T. guttata may perform several functions, and has a particularly important role in the hypothalamic regulation of energy homeostasis. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3014-3041, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Circulating breeding and pre-breeding prolactin and LH are not associated with clutch size in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Calen P; Dawson, Alistair; Sharp, Peter J; Meddle, Simone L; Williams, Tony D

    2014-06-01

    Clutch size is a fundamental predictor of avian fitness, widely-studied from evolutionary and ecological perspectives, but surprisingly little is known about the physiological mechanisms regulating clutch size variation. The only formal mechanistic hypothesis for avian clutch-size determination predicts an anti-gonadal effect of circulating prolactin (PRL) via the inhibition of luteinizing hormone (LH), and has become widely-accepted despite little experimental support. Here we investigated the relationship between pre-breeding and breeding plasma PRL and LH and clutch-size in captive-breeding female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Using a repeated-measures design, we followed individual females from pre-breeding, through multiple breeding attempts, and attempted to decrease PRL using the D2-receptor agonist, bromocriptine. Clutch size was independent of variation in pre-breeding PRL or LH, although pre-breeding LH was negatively correlated with the time between pairing and the onset of laying. Clutch size was independent of variation in plasma PRL on all days of egg-laying. Bromocriptine treatment had no effect on plasma PRL, but in this breeding attempt clutch size was also independent of plasma PRL. Finally, we found no evidence for an inverse relationship between plasma PRL and LH levels, as predicted if PRL had inhibitory effects via LH. Thus, our data fail to provide any support for the involvement of circulating PRL in clutch size determination. These findings suggest that alternative models for hormonal control of avian clutch size need to be considered, perhaps involving downstream regulation of plasma PRL at the level of the ovary, or other hormones that have not been considered to date.

  20. Mate choice in adult female Bengalese finches: females express consistent preferences for individual males and prefer female-directed song performances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunning, Jeffery L; Pant, Santosh; Bass, Aaron; Coburn, Zachary; Prather, Jonathan F

    2014-01-01

    In the process of mate selection by female songbirds, male suitors advertise their quality through reproductive displays in which song plays an important role. Females evaluate the quality of each signal and the associated male, and the results of that evaluation guide expression of selective courtship displays. Some studies reveal broad agreement among females in their preferences for specific signal characteristics, indicating that those features are especially salient in female mate choice. Other studies reveal that females differ in their preference for specific characteristics, indicating that in those cases female evaluation of signal quality is influenced by factors other than simply the physical properties of the signal. Thus, both the physical properties of male signals and specific traits of female signal evaluation can impact female mate choice. Here, we characterized the mate preferences of female Bengalese finches. We found that calls and copulation solicitation displays are equally reliable indicators of female preference. In response to songs from an array of males, each female expressed an individual-specific song preference, and those preferences were consistent across tests spanning many months. Across a population of females, songs of some males were more commonly preferred than others, and females preferred female-directed songs more than undirected songs, suggesting that some song features are broadly attractive. Preferences were indistinguishable for females that did or did not have social experience with the singers, indicating that female preference is strongly directed by song features rather than experiences associated with the singer. Analysis of song properties revealed several candidate parameters that may influence female evaluation. In an initial investigation of those parameters, females could be very selective for one song feature yet not selective for another. Therefore, multiple song parameters are evaluated independently

  1. Ontogeny and nutritional status influence oxidative kinetics of nutrients and whole-animal bioenergetics in zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata: new applications for (13)C breath testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCue, Marshall D; McWilliams, Scott R; Pinshow, Berry

    2011-01-01

    Rapidly growing animals or those that are recovering from nutritional stress may use exogenous nutrients differently from well fed adults. To test this possibility, we compared the rates of exogenous nutrient oxidation among fledgling, fasted adult, and refed adult zebra finches using a technique called breath testing, where animals are fed (13)C-labeled nutrients and (13)C in the exhaled breath is collected and quantified. In order to identify the possible mechanisms responsible for differences in oxidative kinetics of ingested nutrients, we also compared body mass (m(b)), organ mass, core body temperature (T(b)), and metabolic rate (MR). We found that fasted birds had lower T(b), relative liver and intestine masses, MR, and respiratory exchange ratios (RERs) than fed adults. Adult birds recovering from nutritional stress had much lower rates of exogenous nutrient oxidation than fed birds; this difference was particularly evident for fatty acids. Differences in oxidative kinetics were correlated with reduced RER, m(b), and liver mass, suggesting that previously fasted birds were using recently assimilated nutrients to replenish exhausted fuel stores. Rapidly growing fledglings oxidized exogenous nutrients as quickly as fed adults, despite their significantly lower m(b) and T(b). We suggest that fledglings had higher mass-specific rates of exogenous nutrient oxidation because they must compensate for the relatively low conversion efficiency of feather production and other lean tissue growth, which was not taking place in the adults. Although this study demonstrates that ontogeny and nutritional status influence the way that birds oxidize exogenous nutrients, it also underscores the likelihood that environmental and endogenous factors shape how other types of animals spend the nutrients they ingest.

  2. New species of parasitic quill mites of the genus Picobia (Acari: Syringophilidae: Picobiinae) from North American birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skoracki, Maciej; Hendricks, Sarah A; Spicer, Greg S

    2010-09-01

    Five new species of the genus Picobia are described and illustrated: (1) P. leucophaeus sp. nov. from the Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla L. (Charadriiformes: Laridae) from Texas; (2) P. troglodytes sp. nov. from the House Wren Troglodytes aedon Vieillot (Passeriformes: Troglodytidae) from California; (3) P. cardinalis sp. nov. from the Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis (L.) (Passeriformes: Cardinalidae) from Texas; (4) P. carpodacus sp. nov. from the Purple Finch Carpodacus purpureus (Gmelin) (Passeriformes: Fringillidae) from California; and (5) P. psaltriparus sp. nov. from the Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus (Townsend) (Passeriformes: Aegithalidae) from Texas. Two avian species from the family Picidae (Piciformes) are recorded as new hosts for P. dryobatis (Fritsch, 1958): the Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens (L.) from Texas and the Ladder-backed Woodpecker Picoides scalaris (Wagler) from California. Additionally, all named species of the genus Picobia with their host associations and distributions are summarized in tabular form.

  3. 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, p<0.001) and Site 2 (χ2 = 1896.1, df = 45, p<0.001); however, the preferred habitats differed between the two sites. BTF moved further than expected on the basis of current knowledge, with three individuals being resighted over 15 km from the banding location. However, BTF maintain small home ranges over short time-frames. Occasional long-distance movements 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

  4. 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…

  5. Multimodal signalling in estrildid finches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    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....

  6. The Interaction Between Plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) and White rumpped snow-finches(Pyrilauda taczanowskii)at Nian village , Rutog Township of Medrolgongkar County%西藏拉萨市墨竹工卡县日多镇念村高原鼠兔与白腰雪雀的生态关系探讨

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    米玛旺堆; 次旦吉美

    2015-01-01

    Study on the interaction between plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) and white rumpped snow-finches (Pyrilauda taczanowskii)was carried out from the 17th to 14th of Jan in 2014 at Nian village, Rutog Township of Medrolgongkar County. The results showed that there was a significant positive correlation between the numbers of burrow of plateau pikas and white rumpped snow-finches numbers. The mutualism or commensalism between plateau pikas and wite rummped snow finches was indicated. Yet this needs to be further fested based on both observational and experimental studies.%2014年1月7日至14日在西藏拉萨市墨竹工卡县日多镇念村,以牦牛白天取食和夜宿地作为采样点,对高原鼠兔(Ochotona curzoniae)和白腰雪雀(Pyrilauda taczanowskii)的生态关系进行分析.研究者分别对高原鼠兔、白腰雪雀的数目及高原鼠兔的洞穴数目进行统计,并分析了高原鼠兔与白腰雪雀之间的生态关系.研究结果表明,高原鼠兔与白腰雪雀在数量上存在正相关.

  7. The Effect of Castration on the Synaptic Plasticity of HVC-RA in Adult Male Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia Guttata)%去势对成年雄性斑胸草雀HVC-RA突触可塑性的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈小鑫; 王松华; 李东风

    2016-01-01

    应用在体电生理方法研究了去势前后成年雄性斑胸草雀发声运动通路中HVC-RA 突触的可塑性变化,进一步探讨雄激素在调节鸣唱行为中的作用和机制。结果表明:低频刺激可引起 HVC-RA突触群体峰电位幅度的短时程抑制( Short-term depression, STD),高频刺激可引起群体峰电位幅度的长时程抑制( Long-term depression, LTD)。而去势后30 d,鸣曲稳定时再给予同样的条件刺激,发现无论低频或高频刺激,HVC-RA 突触的短时程抑制和长时程抑制现象同时消失。研究结果显示:鸣曲稳定性可能依赖于HVC-RA通路的突触可塑性,雄激素在维持鸣曲稳定过程中发挥重要作用。%Songbirds are animal with the ability of vocal learning like human, and the neural basis of vocal learning is similar to the language learning of human. This study investigated the changes in synaptic plasticity of HVC-RA synapses in adult male zebra finches after castration with in vivo electrophysiology technique, analysed the potential functions and mechanisms of androgen in the process of modulating courtship song and song maintaining. The re-sults showed that low frequency stimulation induced short-term depression, high frequency stimulation induced long-term depression in HVC-RA synapses of adult male zebra finches. When the singing was stable after castration, we found that low or high frequency stimulation could not induce long-term or short-term synaptic depression. These re-sults suggested that the stability of singing may depend on HVC-RA synaptic plasticity, and androgens may play an important role in the song stability.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-04-01

    administration of Mexican President Porfirio Diaz (1876 - 1911). He was a dictator whose pervasive and ruthless administration is considered an...placing the agricultural system in the hands of a few wealthy landowners. Porfirio Diaz accomplished his objectives by establishing an oligarchy...violent coup staged by Generals Victoriano Huerta and Felix Diax that overthrew the government of Porfirio Diaz ’ successor, President Francisco Madero

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 损毁成年白腰文鸟前脑界面核对鸣曲复杂性的影响∗%NIf nucleus lesion effect on birdsong complexity in adult Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张一彤; 曾少举; 张信文; 张学博

    2016-01-01

    双侧电损毁成年雄性白腰文鸟(Lonchura striata)界面核 NIf(nucleus interfacialis nidopallii),比较损毁前后鸣曲声谱的结构变化以及对声谱参数进行分析,以了解 NIf损毁后对鸣唱行为的影响。结果显示:1)短语层面(phrase-level)上发生了长期的简化,音节出现变形并且趋向于同一种音节,音节有严重缺失;2)损毁30 d后非典型鸣曲出现大量缺失或缩短,其中部分非典型鸣曲的时长变短并且音节也出现变形;3)损毁后鸣曲音节噪音化,参数中平均频率升高,熵值降低。以上结果表明,损毁NIf显著降低了白腰文鸟鸣曲的复杂性,提示NIf在复杂鸣曲的维持中有重要的生理功能。%The spectrogram of recorded birdsongs was analyzed in the present study,birdsong features were compared in pre-and post-lesion adult male Bengalese finches.Birdsong complexity in phrase-level was found to decrease.One syllable was distorted and became similar to the other one.At 30th day post-lesion, non-typical songs lost largely and were generally shortened.After-lesion-songs showed more noise that their feature statistics;mean frequence increased,but entropy reduced.Bilateral lesion of NIf nuclei was found to reduce birdsong variations,suggesting that NIf is involved in song complexity,and plays an important role in song production.

  13. On the Ecological Concepts in Jonathan Weiner ’ s The Beak of the Finch%论乔纳森·韦纳《雀鸟之喙》的生态意蕴

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张建国

    2014-01-01

    Jonathan Weiner is a renowned American science writer , and his The Beak of the Finch, em-bodying abundant ecological consciousness , is an excellent work of green science writing .By representing the basic ideas of evolutionary ecology , the work defends Darwin ’ s theory of evolution , decomposing anthropocen-trism once more;it reveals the severe consequences of both the ignorance of and the abuse of the knowledge of evolutionary ecology , and criticizes the transgressions of nature by humans;it highlights the“evolution” of the ecological consciousness of evolutionary ecologists , leading the public to cherish the ecological environment and “the partners in the evolutionary process”.All those concepts have significant implications to China ’ s current efforts to promote ecological progress: on the one hand , we ought to affirm fully the positive roles of science and technology in humans ’ understanding of natural laws and protection of ecological environment;on the other hand , we ought to eradicate completely the abuses of the power of humans as well as of science and technology .%乔纳森·韦纳是美国当代著名的科学散文作家,其《雀鸟之喙》蕴含着丰富的生态意识,是一部优秀的绿色科学散文作品。它展演了进化生态学的基本理念,捍卫了达尔文的进化论,重新消解了人类中心主义;揭示了人类对进化生态知识的无知和滥用的严重后果,批判人类对大自然的僭越行为;彰显了进化生态学者生态意识的“进化”,引领大众呵护生态环境及人类“进化过程的伙伴”。这些生态意蕴对我国的生态文明建设具有重要启示意义:我们既要充分肯定科学技术对人类认识自然规律和保护生态环境的积极作用,又要坚决杜绝滥用科技和人类能力的行为。

  14. 成年雄性斑胸草雀高级发声中枢鸣声控制的右侧优势%Right Side Dominance of Song Control in High Vocal Center in Adult Male Zebra Finches

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张萌; 李东风

    2014-01-01

    鸣禽是研究语言功能的动物模型。鸣禽端脑的高级发声中枢(high vocal center, HVC)与人类布洛卡氏区具有功能同源性。利用电损毁与声谱分析相结合的方法,对成年雄性斑胸草雀两侧HVC分别进行电损毁,观察HVC控制鸣声的侧别差异。结果表明,损毁左侧HVC对长鸣和鸣曲的频域和声强特征均无显著性影响。损毁右侧HVC导致长鸣的振幅、调频、幅度调制显著减小(p To determine the lateral asymmetry in HVC control of song production, electrolytic lesions of HVC and acoustic analysis technology were used. In our experiments, all birds received unilateral HVC lesion prior to bilateral HVC lesion, and then sound were compared and analyzed before and after electrolytic lesion of HVC. Fifteen adult males (left lesion, n=8;right lesion, n=7) received lesion targeting HVC. Structure of syllables has the characteristics of fast frequency modulations in adult male zebra finches, motifs of songs consist of several sequentially arranged syllables. Songs and long calls were analyzed spectrographically using Sound Analysis Pro (SAP), we extracted the acoustic parameters including durations, amplitude, fundamental frequency, mean frequency, peak frequency, frequency modulation, amplitude modulation and similarity score. Nissl-counterstained sections of all brains were carefully examined to assess lesion damage. The results showed that the lesion of left HVC had no significant influence to frequency and intensity features in song and long call. Lesion of right HVC result in amplitude, frequency modulation, amplitude modulation decreased significantly (p < 0.05) in long call, and amplitude, mean frequency, peak frequency reduced significantly (p < 0.05) in song. The change of temporal feature after bilateral HVC lesions suggested that the coding of the temporal feature requires the both hemispheres integration of the song system. HVC has right dominance in the control frequency and

  15. Taxonomy Icon Data: zebra finch [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Taeniopygia_guttata_NL.png Taeniopygia_guttata_S.png Taeniopygia_guttata_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy..._icon/icon.cgi?i=Taeniopygia+guttata&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Taeniopygia+gu...ttata&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Taeniopygia+guttata&t...=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Taeniopygia+guttata&t=NS ...

  16. 速激肽1型受体(NK1 R)在斑胸草雀脑干鸣唱控制相关核团及部分听觉核团内的分布%DISTRIBUTION OF NEURONKININ-1 RECEPTOR (NK1 R) IN VOCAL CONTROL RELATED NUCLEUS AND SOME AUDITORY NUCLEUS IN THE BRAINSTEM OF MALE ZEBRA FINCHES

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄丽; 徐程; 张信文; 孙颖郁

    2014-01-01

    采用免疫组织化学的方法研究了速激肽1型受体(NK1R)在斑胸草雀脑干发声控制核团和部分听觉中枢内的分布及阳性标记特征。结果显示,NK1R广泛分布于斑胸草雀发声控制核团和部分听觉中枢内;1)发声控制相关核团:中脑丘间复合体背内侧核(DM)有大量的 NK1R免疫阳性胞体标记,极少出现纤维;中脑腹侧被盖区(VTA)、黑质致密部(SNc)及周围脑区有大量的 NK1R阳性胞体和 NK1R免疫阳性纤维分布;2)听觉中枢:中脑背外侧核(MLd)和耳蜗核前庭外侧核(NM)有密集的胞体标记;而耳蜗核层状核(NL)及角核(NA)有少量 NK1R 阳性胞体分散分布,且角核可见大量密集深染纤维。本实验结果提示 NK1R可能在鸣禽的发声控制及听觉中枢内具有重要的生理功能。%Immunohistochemistry was used to characterize neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R)distribution in vocal control-related nucleus and auditory nucleus in the brain stem of adult male zebra finch.It was found that NK1R was distributed widely in vocal control-related nucleus and in auditory pathway in the brain stem of adult male zebra finch.Abundant NK1R immunopositive soma but few fibers were identified in vocal control nuclei DM (dorsomedial nucleus of intercollicular complex).Numerous NK1R-positive soma and fibers were found in vocal control nuclei VTA (ventral tegmental area)and SNc (substantia nigra compacta)as well as encephalic regions around them in midbrain.Intensive NK1R-positive soma were found in auditory center nucleus MLd (mesencephalicus lateralis pars dorsalis)and cochlear nucleus NM (nucleus magnocellularis).A few labeled soma were dispersed in cochlear nucleus NL (nucleus laminaris)and in NA (nucleus angularis),abundant strongly labeled fibers were found in NA.These data suggest that NK1R plays an important physiological role in vocal production and auditory perception.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    Garden City, New York, 1974. Sistema Nacional de Encuestas de Salud, Encuesta Nacional de Addiciones, Mexico, 1989. Stuart, Michael, "Narcotics: The...Torres (ed.), Interdependencia: ý Un enfoque util para el analisis de las relaciones Mexico-Estados Unidos? El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico, D.F., 1990a, pp

  19. Long-distance retinoid signaling in the zebra finch brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tina C Roeske

    Full Text Available All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA, the main active metabolite of vitamin A, is a powerful signaling molecule that regulates large-scale morphogenetic processes during vertebrate embryonic development, but is also involved post-natally in regulating neural plasticity and cognition. In songbirds, it plays an important role in the maturation of learned song. The distribution of the ATRA-synthesizing enzyme, zRalDH, and of ATRA receptors (RARs have been described, but information on the distribution of other components of the retinoid signaling pathway is still lacking. To address this gap, we have determined the expression patterns of two obligatory RAR co-receptors, the retinoid X receptors (RXR α and γ, and of the three ATRA-degrading cytochromes CYP26A1, CYP26B1, and CYP26C1. We have also studied the distribution of zRalDH protein using immunohistochemistry, and generated a refined map of ATRA localization, using a modified reporter cell assay to examine entire brain sections. Our results show that (1 ATRA is more broadly distributed in the brain than previously predicted by the spatially restricted distribution of zRalDH transcripts. This could be due to long-range transport of zRalDH enzyme between different nuclei of the song system: Experimental lesions of putative zRalDH peptide source regions diminish ATRA-induced transcription in target regions. (2 Four telencephalic song nuclei express different and specific subsets of retinoid-related receptors and could be targets of retinoid regulation; in the case of the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (lMAN, receptor expression is dynamically regulated in a circadian and age-dependent manner. (3 High-order auditory areas exhibit a complex distribution of transcripts representing ATRA synthesizing and degrading enzymes and could also be a target of retinoid signaling. Together, our survey across multiple connected song nuclei and auditory brain regions underscores the prominent role of retinoid signaling in modulating the circuitry that underlies the acquisition and production of learned vocalizations.

  20. Heritability of telomere length in the Zebra Finch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Atema, Els; Mulder, Ellis; Dugdale, Hannah L.; Briga, Michael; van Noordwijk, Arie J.; Verhulst, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Telomere length predicts survival in birds, and many stressors that presumably reduce fitness have also been linked to telomere length. The response to selection of telomere length will be largely determined by the heritability of this trait; however, little is known about the genetic component of t

  1. Ketocarotenoid circulation, but not retinal carotenoid accumulation, is linked to eye disease status in a wild songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Kevin J; Giraudeau, Mathieu; Hill, Geoffrey E; Toomey, Matthew B; Staley, Molly

    2013-11-15

    Pathogenic or parasitic infections pose numerous physiological challenges to organisms. Carotenoid pigments have often been used as biomarkers of disease state and impact because they integrate multiple aspects of an individual's condition and nutritional and health state. Some diseases are known to influence carotenoid uptake from food (e.g. coccidiosis) and carotenoid use (e.g. as antioxidants/immunostimulants in the body, or for sexually attractive coloration), but there is relatively little information in animals about how different types of carotenoids from different tissue sources may be affected by disease. Here we tracked carotenoid accumulation in two body pools (retina and plasma) as a function of disease state in free-ranging house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). House finches in eastern North America can contract mycoplasmal conjunctivitis (Mycoplasma gallisepticum, or MG), which can progress from eye swelling to eye closure and death. Previous work showed that systemic immune challenges in house finches lower carotenoid levels in retina, where they act as photoprotectors and visual filters. We assessed carotenoid levels during the molt period, a time of year when finches uniquely metabolize ketocarotenoids (e.g. 3-hydroxy-echinenone) for acquisition of sexually selected red plumage coloration, and found that males infected with MG circulated significantly lower levels of 3-hydroxy-echinenone, but no other plasma carotenoid types, than birds exhibiting no MG symptoms. This result uncovers a key biochemical mechanism for the documented detrimental effect of MG on plumage redness in H. mexicanus. In contrast, we failed to find a relationship between MG infection status and retinal carotenoid concentrations. Thus, we reveal differential effects of an infectious eye disease on carotenoid types and tissue pools in a wild songbird. At least compared to retinal sources (which appear somewhat more temporally stable than other body carotenoid pools, even to

  2. 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.

  3. INJECTING DRUG USERS’ EXPERIENCES OF POLICING PRACTICES IN TWO MEXICAN-U.S. BORDER CITIES: PUBLIC HEALTH PERSPECTIVES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Cari L.; Firestone, Michelle; Ramos, Rebeca; Burris, Scott; Ramos, Maria Elena; Case, Patricia; Brouwer, Kimberly C.; Fraga, Miguel Angel; Strathdee, Steffanie A.

    2008-01-01

    Background Previous research has identified the impact of law enforcement practices on the behaviors and health of injection drug users (IDUs). We undertook a qualitative study of IDUs’ experiences of policing practices in two Mexican cities on the U.S. border. Methods In 2004, two teams of Mexican interviewers conducted in-depth interviews with IDUs residing in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez (Cd. Juarez), Mexico who had injected drugs at least once in the prior month. Topics included types of drug used, injection settings, access to sterile needles and experiences with police. Field notes and transcribed interviews were analyzed to identify emergent themes. Results Among the 43 participants, most reported that it is common for IDUs to be arrested and detained for 36 hours for carrying sterile or used syringes. Most reported that they or someone they knew had been beaten by police. Interviews suggested 5 key themes relating to police influence on the risk environment: 1) impact of policing practices on accessibility of sterile syringes, 2) influence of police on choice of places to inject drugs (e.g., shooting galleries), 3) police violence, 4) police corruption, and 5) perceived changes in policing practices. Conclusion Findings suggest that some behavior of police officers in Tijuana and Cd. Juarez is inconsistent with legal norms and may be negatively influencing the risk of acquiring blood-borne infections among IDUs. Implementing a comprehensive and successful HIV prevention program among IDUs requires interventions to influence the knowledge, attitudes and practices of law enforcement officers. PMID:17997089

  4. Understanding Mexicans and Americans: A Mexican-U.S. Communication Lexicon of Images, Meanings, and Cultural Frames of Reference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Guerrero, Rogelio; And Others

    This "communication lexicon," a new source of information in the field of language and area studies, describes how selected themes such as family, society, work, and entertainment are perceived and understood by members of the Mexican, Colombian, and United States cultures. It identifies broad trends of perceptions and evaluations…

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Logan, Corina J; Palmstrom, Christin R

    2015-01-01

    ...), 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...

  6. Accumulation of selenium and lack of severe effects on productivity of American dippers (Cinclus mexicanus) and spotted sandpipers (Actitis macularia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, Lee E; Graham, Mark; Paton, Dale

    2005-04-01

    Selenium has been found at elevated concentrations in water, sediments, and aquatic biota in the Elk River (British Columbia, Canada) and some of its tributaries downstream of several coal mines. Selenium water concentrations in those areas exceed Canadian and British Columbia guidelines and are above levels at which adverse effects to fish and waterfowl could occur. We compared selenium concentrations in the eggs of two riverine waterbirds, American dippers and spotted sandpipers, with measures of productivity: the number of eggs laid, egg hatchability, and nestling survival. In American dippers, the mean egg selenium concentration from the exposed areas, 1.10 +/- SE 0.059 microg/g wet weight, was indistinguishable from the reference areas, 0.96 +/- SE 0.059 microg/g wet weight. For spotted sandpipers, the mean egg selenium concentration in the exposed areas, 2.2 +/- 0.5 microg/g wet weight, was significantly higher than in the reference areas, 1.2 +/- 0.14 microg/g wet weight, but less than reported thresholds for waterfowl and other shorebirds. There were no significant differences in egg hatchability between dippers in reference and exposed areas, but reduced hatchability was apparent for sandpipers in exposed locations. Despite the slightly reduced hatchability in sandpipers, overall productivity was higher than regional norms for both species; thus, selenium did not affect the number of young recruited to local populations. We did not observe teratogenic effects in either species, although none was expected at these concentrations. Despite moderately high selenium concentrations in the water, mean egg selenium concentrations were less than predicted from uptake models. We hypothesise that the relatively low uptake of selenium into the eggs of the two waterbirds in this study is likely due to their lotic environment's low biological transformation and uptake rates.

  7. Accumulation of selenium and lack of severe effects on productivity of American dippers (Cinclus mexicanus) and spotted sandpipers (Actitis macularia)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harding, L.E.; Graham, M.; Paton, D. [SciWrite Environmental Science Ltd, Coquitlam, BC (Canada)

    2005-04-01

    Selenium has been found at elevated concentrations in water, sediments, and aquatic biota in the Elk River (British Columbia, Canada) and some of its tributaries downstream of several coal mines. Selenium water concentrations in those areas are above levels at which adverse effects to fish and waterfowl could occur. We compared selenium concentrations in the eggs of two riverine waterbirds, American dippers and spotted sandpipers, with measures of productivity: the number of eggs laid, egg hatchability, and nestling Survival. In American dippers, the mean egg selenium concentration from the exposed areas, 1.10 {+-} SE 0.059 {mu}g/g wet weight, was indistinguishable from the reference areas, 0.96 {+-} SE 0.059 {mu} g/g wet weight. For spotted sandpipers, the mean egg selenium concentration in the exposed areas, 2.2 {+-} 0.5 {mu} g/g wet weight, was significantly higher than in the reference areas, 1.2 {+-} 0.14 {mu} g/g wet weight, but less than reported thresholds for waterfowl and other shorebirds. There were no significant differences in egg hatchability between dippers in reference and exposed areas, but reduced hatchability was apparent for sandpipers in exposed locations. Despite the slightly reduced hatchability in sandpipers, overall productivity was higher than regional norms for both species; thus, selenium did not affect the number of young recruited to local populations. Despite moderately high selenium concentrations in the water, mean egg selenium concentrations were less than predicted from uptake models. We hypothesise that the relatively low uptake of selenium into the eggs of the two waterbirds in this study is likely due to their lotic environment's low biological transformation and uptake rates.

  8. Structural determinants of client perpetrated violence among female sex workers in two Mexican-U.S. border cities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conners, Erin E.; Silverman, Jay G.; Ulibarri, Monica; Magis-Rodriguez, Carlos; Strathdee, Steffanie A.; Staines-Orozco, Hugo; Patterson, Thomas L.; Brouwer, Kimberly C.

    2015-01-01

    Female sex workers (FSW) are disproportionately affected by both HIV and gender-based violence, such as that perpetrated by clients (CPV). We used a structural determinants framework to assess correlates of physical or sexual CPV in the past 6 months among FSW in the Mexico/U.S. border cities of Ciudad Juárez and Tijuana. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis identified individual, client, interpersonal, work environment and macrostructural factors associated with recent CPV. Among 496 FSW, 5% experienced recent CPV. Witnessing violence towards other FSW in one's neighborhood (aOR:5.6, 95% CI:1.8-17.2), having a majority of foreign (aOR:3.5, 95% CI:1.4-8.4) or substance using (aOR:4.0, 95% CI:1.5-10.4) clients, and being a street worker (aOR:3.0, 95% CI:1.1-7.7) were independently associated with recent CPV. Our findings underscore the vulnerability of FSWs and the need to design policies and interventions addressing macro-level influences on CPV rather than exclusively targeting individual behaviors. PMID:26111732

  9. Linguistic birds : exploring cognitive abilities in zebra finches by using artificial grammars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, Jiani

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this thesis is to shed light on whether some capacities that are considered linked to, or characteristic for, language are shared between humans and nonhuman animals, which can help to understand the basic cognitive abilities from which the evolution of human language may have arisen. The

  10. 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

  11. Developmental stress affects song learning but not song complexity and vocal amplitude in zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumm, Henrik; Zollinger, Sue Anne; Slater, Peter J B

    2009-07-01

    Several recent studies have tested the hypothesis that song quality in adult birds may reflect early developmental conditions, specifically nutritional stress during the nestling period. Whilst all of these earlier studies found apparent links between early nutritional stress and song quality, their results disagree as to which aspects of song learning or production were affected. In this study, we attempted to reconcile these apparently inconsistent results. Our study also provides the first assessment of song amplitude in relation to early developmental stress and as a potential cue to male quality. We used an experimental manipulation in which the seeds on which the birds were reared were mixed with husks, making them more difficult for the parents to obtain. Compared with controls, such chicks were lighter at fledging; they were thereafter placed on a normal diet and had caught up by 100 days. We show that nutritional stress during the first 30 days of life reduced the birds' accuracy of song syntax learning, resulting in poorer copies of tutor songs. Our experimental manipulations did not lead to significant changes in song amplitude, song duration or repertoire size. Thus, individual differences observed in song performance features probably reflect differences in current condition or motivation rather than past condition.

  12. Experimental manipulation of the rearing environment influences adult female zebra finch song preferences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riebel, K.; Naguib, M.; Gil, D.

    2009-01-01

    In songbirds, sensory and social learning processes in juveniles contribute to variation in male song and female preferences. The developmental stress hypothesis proposes that suboptimal early development affects the costly brain structures involved in male song learning and, as a consequence, song

  13. VizieR Online Data Catalog: 1103 parallaxes and proper motions from URAT (Finch+, 2016)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finch, C. T.; Zacharias, N.

    2016-07-01

    We present 1103 trigonometric parallaxes and proper motions from the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) Robotic Astrometric Telescope (URAT) observations taken at the Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station (NOFS). URAT observes through a single filter (part of the dewar window) to provide a fixed bandpass of about 680 to 760nm. The clear aperture of the USNO astrograph is 206mm with a focal length of only 2m. A single exposure covers 28 square degrees with a resolution of 0.9arcsec/pixel. Each of the four large CCDs in the focal plane covers a 2.65 by 2.65 deg area on the sky. Data of all three years of operations (2012 April to 2015 June) at the NOFS are used here for this parallax investigation. For more details about the project, instrument, and observing the reader is referred to the URAT1 paper (Zacharias et al. 2015, cat. I/329). (3 data files).

  14. Growing up and growing old : A longitudinal study on aging in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Briga, Michael

    2016-01-01

    De omgevingskwaliteit tijdens de groei kan een enorm effect hebben op volwassen levensduur. Er wordt vaak aangenomen dat opgroeien in slechte omstandigheden levensduur verkort, maar er is ook de alternatieve hypothese dat individuen die opgroeien in slechte omstandigheden als volwassene juist beter

  15. Context-dependent effects of carotenoid supplementation on reproduction in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Simons, Mirre J. P.; Briga, Michael; Leenknegt, Bas; Verhulst, Simon

    2014-01-01

    Carotenoid-dependent sexual coloration is one of the best-studied sexual signals, but how the honesty of such signals is maintained remains uncertain. The main hypotheses focus on acquisition limits and physiological use of carotenoids in immune function and regulating oxidative stress. A hypothesis

  16. Meiotic silencing and fragmentation of the male germline restricted chromosome in zebra finch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Schoenmakers (Sam); E. Wassenaar (Evelyne); J.S.E. Laven (Joop); J.A. Grootegoed (Anton); W.M. Baarends (Willy)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractDuring male meiotic prophase in mammals, X and Y are in a largely unsynapsed configuration, which is thought to trigger meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI). In avian species, females are ZW, and males ZZ. Although Z and W in chicken oocytes show complete, largely heterologous syna

  17. 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 mar

  18. Possible human impacts on adaptive radiation: beak size bimodality in Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Andrew P; Grant, Peter R; Rosemary Grant, B; Ford, Hugh A; Brewer, Mark J; Podos, Jeffrey

    2006-08-01

    Adaptive radiation is facilitated by a rugged adaptive landscape, where fitness peaks correspond to trait values that enhance the use of distinct resources. Different species are thought to occupy the different peaks, with hybrids falling into low-fitness valleys between them. We hypothesize that human activities can smooth adaptive landscapes, increase hybrid fitness and hamper evolutionary diversification. We investigated this possibility by analysing beak size data for 1755 Geospiza fortis measured between 1964 and 2005 on the island of Santa Cruz, Galápagos. Some populations of this species can display a resource-based bimodality in beak size, which mirrors the greater beak size differences among species. We first show that an historically bimodal population at one site, Academy Bay, has lost this property in concert with a marked increase in local human population density. We next show that a nearby site with lower human impacts, El Garrapatero, currently manifests strong bimodality. This comparison suggests that bimodality can persist when human densities are low (Academy Bay in the past, El Garrapatero in the present), but not when they are high (Academy Bay in the present). Human activities may negatively impact diversification in 'young' adaptive radiations, perhaps by altering adaptive landscapes.

  19. Vocal mechanics in Darwin's finches: correlation of beak gape and song frequency

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Podos, Jeffrey; Southall, Joel A; Rossi-Santos, Marcos R

    2004-01-01

    .... Our principal goals were to characterize the relationship between beak gape and vocal frequency during song production and to explore the possible influence therein of diversity in beak morphology and body size...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Bundke

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. Zebra Finch Song Phonology and Syntactical Structure across Populations and Continents-A Computational Comparison

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lachlan, Robert F; van Heijningen, Caroline A A; Ter Haar, Sita M; Ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

    Learned bird songs are often characterized by a high degree of variation between individuals and sometimes between populations, while at the same time maintaining species specificity. The evolution of such songs depends on the balance between plasticity and constraints. Captive populations provide

  2. Lifelong consequences of early nutritional conditions on learning performance in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brust, V.; Krüger, O.; Naguib, M.; Krause, E.T.

    2014-01-01

    Long-term effects of early developmental conditions on physiological and behavioural traits are commonin animals. Yet, such lifelong effects of early life conditions on learning skills received relatively lessattention, even though they are expected to have strong fitness effects. To test the lifelo

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spencer, K. A.; Verhulst, S.

    2007-01-01

    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

  4. Post-natal exposure to corticosterone affects standard metabolic rate in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spencer, K. A.; Verhulst, S.

    2008-01-01

    Post-natal stress has been shown to have important short and long term effects on many adult traits in birds. During stress, metabolic alterations often result in the mobilization of energy away from energy-sensitive functions such as growth, which could have significant implications for developing

  5. Plumage micro-organisms and preen gland size in an urbanizing context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giraudeau, Mathieu; Stikeleather, Ryan; McKenna, Jennifer; Hutton, Pierce; McGraw, Kevin J

    2017-02-15

    Urbanization of Earth's habitats has led to considerable loss of biodiversity, but the driving ecological mechanism(s) are not always clear. Vertebrates like birds typically experience urban alterations to diet, habitat availability, and levels of predation or competition, but may also be exposed to greater or more pathogenic communities of microbes. Birds have been popular subjects of urban ecological research but, to our knowledge, no study has assessed how urban conditions influence the microbial communities on bird plumage. Birds carry a large variety of microorganisms on their plumage and some of them have the capacity to degrade feather keratin and alter plumage integrity. To limit the negative effects of these feather-degrading bacteria, birds coat their feathers with preen gland secretions containing antibacterial substances. Here we examined urban-rural variation in feather microbial abundance and preen gland size in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). We found that, although urban and rural finches carry similar total-cultivable microbial loads on their plumage, the abundance of feather-degrading bacteria was on average three times higher on the plumage of urban birds. We also found an increase in preen gland size along the gradient of urbanization, suggesting that urban birds may coat their feathers with more preen oil to limit the growth or activity of feather-degrading microbes. Given that greater investment in preening is traded-off against other immunological defenses and that feather-degrading bacteria can alter key processes like thermoregulation, aerodynamics, and coloration, our findings highlight the importance of plumage microbes and microbial defenses on the ecology of urban birds.

  6. 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

  7. Clasificación de los pastizales halófilos del noreste de México asociados con perrito de las praderas (Cynomys mexicanus: diversidad y endemismo de especies Classification, diversity and plant endemism in the halophytic grasslands in northeastern Mexico associated to prairie dogs (Cynomys mexicanus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Estrada-Castillón

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Se clasifican 39 áreas de pastizal halófilo del noreste de México con el objetivo de cuantificar la diversidad, superficie e impacto debido al manejo antrópico al que están sometidas. La cobertura, densidad, frecuencia y diversidad de las especies se cuantificaron al menos en 200 cuadrantes de 1 m² en cada área de pastizal. La información se analizó mediante índices de similitud de Sörensen, coeficientes de correlación cofenético, análisis de conglomerados, índice de diversidad de Shannon-Wiener y pruebas de Kruskall-Wallis. Se registraron 53 familias, 174 géneros y 284 especies de plantas vasculares; 17 especies son endémicas en estos pastizales. Las áreas de pastizal con manejo pastoreo-agricultura poseen mayor diversidad de especies, mayor abundancia de malezas y menor abundancia de endémicas. Las áreas con manejo de pastoreo, poseen menor diversidad de especies, menor abundancia de malezas y mayor densidad de especies endémicas. La agricultura mecanizada es la principal causa de pérdida de pastizal halófilo y del hábitat del perro de las praderas. La pérdida total de pastizal halófilo en el noreste de México fue de 71.5% de su superficie hasta el año 2007.The objective of this study was to classify the vegetation, to quantify the plant diversity, currently occupied surface and the impact in vegetal diversity in the 39 halophytic grassland areas in northeastern Mexico due to management activities. Canopy cover, density, frequency, and species diversity was quantified in at least 200 1 m² quadrats in each of the 39 grassland areas. Information and field data were analyzed by means of Sörensen Similarity Index, cophenetic correlation coefficient, cluster analysis, Shannon-Wiener diversity index, product moment correlation coefficient, and Kruskall-Wallis test. Grazing-agriculture areas have the highest plant diversity, higher weeds density, lower endemic species abundance. Grazing areas have lower plant diversity, lower weed abundance and higher endemic plants abundance. Mechanized agriculture is the main cause of loss of halophytic grasslands and prairie dog habitat. In this study 53 families, 174 genera and 284 species of vascular plants were recorded. Total lost of halophytic grassland in northeastern Mexico is about 75% of its surface until the year 2007.

  8. c-fos is induced in the hippocampus during consolidation of sexual imprinting in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadananda, Monika; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2004-01-01

    c-fos was used to mark regions of enhanced neuronal activity during sexual imprinting, an early learning process by which information about the prospective sexual partner is acquired and consolidated. In the present study, we demonstrate that the hippocampus, already known for its specialized spatial memory capacities in navigating pigeons and in food-storing birds, depicts a selective differential c-fos induction in a situation shown to lead to sexual imprinting, that is, exposing previously isolated male birds to a female for 1 h. c-fos induction is lateralized, the left hippocampus showing more c-fos activity than the right. Our results would indicate a role for the hippocampus in the consolidation process of imprinting, probably in the transfer of information to the other telencephalic areas that show alterations in synaptic connectivity as a result of consolidation of sexual imprinting.

  9. SEXUAL IMPRINTING IN ZEBRA FINCH MALES - A DIFFERENTIAL EFFECT OF SUCCESSIVE AND SIMULTANEOUS EXPERIENCE WITH 2 COLOR MORPHS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VOS, DR; PRIJS, J; TENCATE, C

    Recent developments in theories of sexual imprinting have emphasized that sexual imprinting may lead to a preference for partners that are slightly different from the stimuli an animal has originally been exposed to. Two mechanisms have been proposed to account for this phenomenon. 1. Separate

  10. Managing Faecal INcontinence in people with advanced dementia resident in Care Homes (FINCH) study: a realist synthesis of the evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Claire; Norton, Christine; Buswell, Marina; Russell, Bridget; Harari, Danielle; Harwood, Rowan; Roe, Brenda; Rycroft-Malone, Jo; Drennan, Vari M; Fader, Mandy; Maden, Michelle; Cummings, Karen; Bunn, Frances

    2017-08-01

    Eighty per cent of care home residents in the UK are living with dementia. The prevalence of faecal incontinence (FI) in care homes is estimated to range from 30% to 50%. There is limited evidence of what is effective in the reduction and management of FI in care homes. To provide a theory-driven explanation of the effectiveness of programmes that aim to improve FI in people with advanced dementia in care homes. A realist synthesis. This was an iterative approach that involved scoping of the literature and consultation with five stakeholder groups, a systematic search and analysis of published and unpublished evidence, and a validation of programme theories with relevant stakeholders. The databases searched included PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, The Cochrane Library, Scopus, SocAbs, Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts, BiblioMap, Sirius, OpenGrey, Social Care Online and the National Research Register. The scoping identified six programme theories with related context-mechanism-outcome configurations for testing. These addressed (1) clinician-led support, assessment and review, (2) the contribution of teaching and support for care home staff on how to reduce and manage FI, (3) the causes and prevention of constipation, (4) how the cognitive and physical capacity of the resident affect outcomes, (5) how the potential for recovery, reduction and management of FI is understood by those involved and (6) how the care of people living with dementia and FI is integral to the work patterns of the care home and its staff. Data extraction was completed on 62 core papers with iterative searches of linked literature. Dementia was a known risk factor for FI, but its affect on the uptake of different interventions and the dementia-specific continence and toileting skills staff required was not addressed. Most care home residents with FI will be doubly incontinent and, therefore, there is limited value in focusing solely on FI or on single causes of FI such as constipation. Clinical assessment, knowledge of the causes of FI and strategies that recognise the individuals' preferences are necessary contextual factors. Valuing the intimate and personal care work that care home staff provide to people living with dementia and addressing the dementia-related challenges when providing continence care within the daily work routines are key to helping to reduce and manage FI in this population. The synthesis was constrained by limited evidence specific to FI and people with dementia in care homes and by the lack of dementia-specific evidence on continence aids. This realist synthesis provides a theory-driven understanding of the conditions under which improvement in care for care home residents living with dementia and FI is likely to be successful. Future multicomponent interventions need to take account of how the presence of dementia affects the behaviours and choices of those delivering and receiving continence care within a care home environment. This study is registered as PROSPERO CRD42014009902. The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.

  11. THE ROLE OF SEXUAL IMPRINTING FOR SEX RECOGNITION IN ZEBRA FINCHES - A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VOS, DR

    1995-01-01

    In sexually dimorphic birds, morphological characteristics are assumed to play an important role in conspecific sex recognition. In spite of the limited evidence, most studies done so far support this assumption. Less attention has been given to the question of how adult birds may have acquired the

  12. DSP-4, a noradrenergic neurotoxin, produces sex-specific effects on pairing and courtship behavior in zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vahaba, Daniel M; Lacey, William H; Tomaszycki, Michelle L

    2013-09-01

    Norepinephrine (NE) is involved in a variety of behaviors across vertebrate species. In songbirds, NE is involved in singing and auditory perception, fundamental components of pair formation. Mechanisms of pairing remain poorly understood in avian species. NE is likely involved given its role in vocal communication and perception. Here, we tested the hypothesis that DSP-4 treatments (a noradrenergic neurotoxin that decreases NE) decreases singing in males, song perception in females and pairing in both sexes using a naturalistic paradigm. Females were tested for preferences of either control or DSP-4 males in a two-choice paradigm using live males. Both sexes were then tested for courtship and pair formation in aviaries. In the two-choice paradigm, control females showed a significant preference for control males over DSP-4 males, whereas DSP-4 females showed no such preference. In the aviary tests, DSP-4 males engaged in less courtship behavior, showed decreased pairing behaviors and increased pair latencies compared to control males. In females, DSP-4 treatments did not alter courtship or pairing behavior. Lower neural densities of noradrenergic fibers in song, auditory, and affiliative regions were observed in DSP-4 animals of both sexes. Furthermore, DBH-ir densities in these regions explained variations in courtship and pairing behaviors, as well as pairing status. Our results extend previous findings to naturalistic contexts, provide evidence that DBH-ir densities in specific regions correlate with pairing-related behaviors, and inform us of sex differences in the role of NE in pairing.

  13. 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

  14. Outcomes of brood parasite-host interactions mediated by egg matching: common cuckoos Cuculus canorus versus Fringilla finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Reinert Vikan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Antagonistic species often interact via matching of phenotypes, and interactions between brood parasitic common cuckoos (Cuculus canorus and their hosts constitute classic examples. The outcome of a parasitic event is often determined by the match between host and cuckoo eggs, giving rise to potentially strong associations between fitness and egg phenotype. Yet, empirical efforts aiming to document and understand the resulting evolutionary outcomes are in short supply. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used avian color space models to analyze patterns of egg color variation within and between the cuckoo and two closely related hosts, the nomadic brambling (Fringilla montifringilla and the site fidelic chaffinch (F. coelebs. We found that there is pronounced opportunity for disruptive selection on brambling egg coloration. The corresponding cuckoo host race has evolved egg colors that maximize fitness in both sympatric and allopatric brambling populations. By contrast, the chaffinch has a more bimodal egg color distribution consistent with the evolutionary direction predicted for the brambling. Whereas the brambling and its cuckoo host race show little geographical variation in their egg color distributions, the chaffinch's distribution becomes increasingly dissimilar to the brambling's distribution towards the core area of the brambling cuckoo host race. CONCLUSION: High rates of brambling gene flow is likely to cool down coevolutionary hot spots by cancelling out the selection imposed by a patchily distributed cuckoo host race, thereby promoting a matching equilibrium. By contrast, the site fidelic chaffinch is more likely to respond to selection from adapting cuckoos, resulting in a markedly more bimodal egg color distribution. The geographic variation in the chaffinch's egg color distribution could reflect a historical gradient in parasitism pressure. Finally, marked cuckoo egg polymorphisms are unlikely to evolve in these systems unless the hosts evolve even more exquisite egg recognition capabilities than currently possessed.

  15. A newly discovered superoantero-orbital sinus connecting to the interaural canal may play a role in zebra finch hearing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kenneth Kragh; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Suthers, Roderick A.

    on the amplitude gain and time delay through IAC. Theoretically, different combinations of frequency dependent gains and delays produce very different directionalities of the ears but it is still uncertain how gain and delay can be shaped by evolution. We have discovered that a large forehead sinus superoanterior...... to the orbits (superoantero-orbital sinus, SAOS) connects to the IAC via a tube inferomedial to the orbits (IMT). SAOS has a very complex shape with connections through an arc over the eye to the bullae of each ear and also to two smaller lateral sinuses in front of each eye. The contribution of this structure...

  16. 75 FR 43853 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Rule to List the Medium Tree-Finch...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-27

    ... trample other vegetation, providing the open spaces and abundant light needed for the germination of guava... preventing their growth (Parque Nacional Galapagos n.d.(a); Perry 1974, p. 12). One obvious step to take...

  17. Calidad del Agua para Actividades Recreativas del Río Hardy en la Región Fronteriza México-Estados Unidos Water Quality for Recreational Activities of the Hardy River in the Mexican-U.S. Border Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Socorro Romero

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Se evaluó la aptitud del agua del Río Hardy para actividades recreativas de acuerdo a normas de calidad de agua vigentes. Se fijaron quince sitios de muestreo donde mensualmente durante un año se colectaron muestras de agua, se determinó la concentración de Escherichia coli como indicador de calidad bacteriológica y se midieron in situ el pH, oxígeno disuelto, temperatura y conductividad eléctrica. De los quince sitios muestreados, cinco están designados para actividad recreativa con contacto primario. Los resultados muestran que en el periodo de actividad recreativa, sólo cinco sitios cumplieron con el límite máximo permisible de 126 NMP/100 mL, de los cuales tres están designados para uso recreativo. La concentración de Escherichia coli se detectó en un intervalo entre 8 y 7100 NMP/100mL. En el periodo de agosto a noviembre el agua del río estuvo contaminada en todos los sitios.This study was focused on the determination of the water quality in the Hardy River. The aptitude of the water for recreational uses was assessed according to the current standards. Fifteen sampling sites were established, of which five of these are designated for recreational primary activities. Water samples were collected and analyzed using the concentration of Escherichia coli as bacteriological quality indicator, and determining pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature and electrical conductivity. Results show that only five sites meet the maximum allowable value of of 126 NMP/100 mL, three of them designated as recreational. The concentration of Escherichia coli was observed in a range of 8 to 7100 NMP/100mL. From augustto novemberthe water was polluted in all sites along the river.

  18. 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

    2013-01-01

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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

    2013-01-01

    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

  1. Hallazgo de Cochlosoma sp. en Isabelitas del Japón (Lonchura domestica) en Cuba - Reports of Cochlosoma sp. in Bengalese finches (Lonchura domestica) in Cuba

    OpenAIRE

    Carlos Soto Piñeiro; Isis Acosta Guevara; Yariana Rubio Galbán

    2010-01-01

    ResumenFueron monitoreadas las heces de 20 Isabelitas del Japón adultas(Lonchura doméstica) procedentes de un aviario con mortalidad en crías de Lady Gould donde las Isabelitas eran utilizadas como nodrizas. Las heces fueron diluidas en solución salina y observadas al microscopio, detectándose en el 70 % de las muestras protozoarios flagelados móviles semejantes a Cochlosoma sp. Al ser estos observados a 40x y 100x con contraste de luz donde se pudieron visualizar las características morfoló...

  2. Auditory experience refines cortico-basal ganglia inputs to motor cortex via remapping of single axons during vocal learning in zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller-Sims, Vanessa C; Bottjer, Sarah W

    2012-02-01

    Experience-dependent changes in neural connectivity underlie developmental learning and result in life-long changes in behavior. In songbirds axons from the cortical region LMAN(core) (core region of lateral magnocellular nucleus of anterior nidopallium) convey the output of a basal ganglia circuit necessary for song learning to vocal motor cortex [robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA)]. This axonal projection undergoes remodeling during the sensitive period for learning to achieve topographic organization. To examine how auditory experience instructs the development of connectivity in this pathway, we compared the morphology of individual LMAN(core)→RA axon arbors in normal juvenile songbirds to those raised in white noise. The spatial extent of axon arbors decreased during the first week of vocal learning, even in the absence of normal auditory experience. During the second week of vocal learning axon arbors of normal birds showed a loss of branches and varicosities; in contrast, experience-deprived birds showed no reduction in branches or varicosities and maintained some arbors in the wrong topographic location. Thus both experience-independent and experience-dependent processes are necessary to establish topographic organization in juvenile birds, which may allow birds to modify their vocal output in a directed manner and match their vocalizations to a tutor song. Many LMAN(core) axons of juvenile birds, but not adults, extended branches into dorsal arcopallium (Ad), a region adjacent to RA that is part of a parallel basal ganglia pathway also necessary for vocal learning. This transient projection provides a point of integration between the two basal ganglia pathways, suggesting that these branches convey corollary discharge signals as birds are actively engaged in learning.

  3. Young and intense: FoxP2 immunoreactivity in Area X varies with age, song stereotypy, and singing in male zebra finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Kirk Thompson

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available FOXP2 is a transcription factor functionally relevant for learned vocalizations in humans and songbirds. In songbirds, FoxP2 mRNA expression in the medium spiny neurons of the basal ganglia song nucleus Area X is developmentally regulated and varies with singing conditions in different social contexts. How individual neurons in Area X change FoxP2 expression across development and in social contexts is not known, however. Here we address this critical gap in our understanding of FoxP2 as a link between neuronal networks and behavior. We used a statistically unbiased analysis of FoxP2-immunoreactivity (IR on a neuron-by-neuron basis and found a bimodal distribution of FoxP2-IR neurons in Area X: weakly-stained and intensely-stained. The density of intensely-stained FoxP2-IR neurons was 10 times higher in juveniles than in adults, exponentially decreased with age, and was negatively correlated with adult song stability. Three-week old neurons labeled with BrdU were more than five times as likely to be intensely-stained than weakly-stained. The density of FoxP2-IR putative migratory neurons with fusiform-shaped nuclei substantially decreased as birds aged. The density of intensely-stained FoxP2-IR neurons was not affected by singing whereas the density of weakly-stained FoxP2-IR neurons was. Together, these data indicate that young Area X medium spiny neurons express FoxP2 at high levels and decrease expression as they become integrated into existing neural circuits. Once integrated, levels of FoxP2 expression correlate with singing behavior. Together, these findings raise the possibility that FoxP2 levels may orchestrate song learning and song stereotypy in adults by a common mechanism.

  4. 50 CFR 15.33 - Species included in the approved list.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Species included in the approved list. 15.33 Section 15.33 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE.... Poephila cincta Parson finch. Poephila guttata Zebra finch. Poephila personata Masked finch....

  5. Environmental Assessment: Construction and Operation of New Security Forces Facility at Hill Air Force Base, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-10-01

    mexicanus Black-headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus Killdeer Charadrius vociferus Lazuli Bunting Passerina amoena California Gull Larus...californicus Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina Rock Dove Columba livia Brewer’s Sparrow Spizella breweri Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura Lark

  6. Molecular evidence of the taxonomic status of western Mexican populations of Pliaethornis longirostris (Aves: Trochilidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbeláez-Cortés, Enrique; Navarro-Sigüenza, Adolfo G

    2013-01-01

    Species diversity is largely underestimated by current taxonomy, precluding a precise understanding of evolutionary processes. Genetic data have increased our understanding of that cryptic diversity, and multilocus studies are now desirable. In this study, we used mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences to evaluate the taxonomic status of the western Mexico's populations of Phaethornis longirostris. We found differences of 4.2 % in mtDNA and different alleles for one nDNA locus between western and eastern Mexican populations. Molecular and morphological evidence support the separation of these populations (P. 1. mexicanus and P. 1. griseoventer) as the species Phaethornis mexicanus Hartert 1897. Phaethornis mexicanus is endemic to western Mexico and sister to the remaining populations of P. longirostris. The speciation of P mexicanus probably occurred around 880,000 years ago by a vicariant event involving climatic-vegetational changes.

  7. Evolution of an adaptive behavior and its sensory receptors promotes eye regression in blind cavefish

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yoshizawa, Masato; Yamamoto, Yoshiyuki; O'Quin, Kelly E; Jeffery, William R

    2012-01-01

    .... More recently, several different adaptive hypotheses have been proposed to explain eye degeneration based on studies in the teleost Astyanax mexicanus, which consists of blind cave-dwelling (cavefish...

  8. Review of the Geographical Distribution of Dendroctonus vitei (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) Based on Geometric Morphometrics of the Seminal Rod

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Francisco Armendáriz-Toledano; Alicia Niño; Jorge E. Macías Sámano; Gerardo Zúñiga

    2014-01-01

    .... There are also reports of the species in Veracruz, Oaxaca, and Nuevo Leon, Mexico. This bark beetle cannot be confidently distinguished from its sibling species Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann, Dendroctonus mexicanus Hopkins, and Dendroctonus sp. nov...

  9. 75 FR 67765 - Endangered and Threatened Species Permit Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-03

    ..., Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico: Kanab ambersnail (Oxyloma haydeni kanabensis), Mexican long-nosed bat... texanus), Gila topminnow (Poeciliopsis occidentalis), and Hualapai Mexican vole (Microtus mexicanus..., salvage, and collect seeds of the following rare plants: Star cactus (Astrophytum asterius),...

  10. A new species of Neotraginops Prado (Diptera: Odiniidae) from Mexico and Belize, with additional records for Odinia coronata Sabrosky in Mesoamerica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Ortiz, Vicente; Dzul-Cauich, José F

    2014-04-14

    Neotraginops mexicanus n. sp. is described and illustrated based on specimens from Mexico and Belize, representing the second known species for the genus. Additional records for Odinia coronata Sabrosky from Mexico and Nicaragua are provided.

  11. ZENK expression in a restricted forebrain area correlates negatively with preference for an imprinted stimulus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huchzermeyer, Christine; Husemann, Pamela; Lieshoff, Carsten; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2006-07-15

    Sexual imprinting is an early learning process by which young birds acquire the characteristics of a potential sexual partner. The physiological basis of this learning process is an irreversible reduction of dendritic spines in two forebrain areas, the LNM (lateral nido-mesopallium) and the MNM (medial nido-mesopallium). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether these two brain areas are activated if the imprinted stimulus is presented to the adult bird after the end of the sensitive period. One group of zebra finch males was reared by their own parents. These birds, as adults, showed an exclusive preference for their own species in choice tests between a zebra finch and a Bengalese finch female. If exposed as adults to a zebra finch female, LNM and MNM showed lower activation, as measured by ZENK expression, compared to males exposed to a Bengalese finch female. A second group was reared by Bengalese finches and was exposed at day 100 to a zebra finch female for 1 week. As shown earlier, this regime leads to mixed choices, the birds are courting Bengalese and zebra finch females with a fixed ratio (preference score). If these birds were exposed to a zebra finch female as adults, the ZENK expression within LNM was much higher compared to group 1, and it showed a strong tendency to correlate negatively with the preference score: Birds with higher zebra finch preference showed lower activation compared to those with a low zebra finch and a high Bengalese finch preference. We propose that higher ZENK activation in group 2 is due to the rearing by a foster species which may result in a more complex neuronal network. The negative relation between activation and preference score may be explained by special properties of the LNM and MNM networks.

  12. Interspecies avian brain chimeras reveal that large brain size differences are influenced by cell-interdependent processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chun-Chun; Balaban, Evan; Jarvis, Erich D

    2012-01-01

    Like humans, birds that exhibit vocal learning have relatively delayed telencephalon maturation, resulting in a disproportionately smaller brain prenatally but enlarged telencephalon in adulthood relative to vocal non-learning birds. To determine if this size difference results from evolutionary changes in cell-autonomous or cell-interdependent developmental processes, we transplanted telencephala from zebra finch donors (a vocal-learning species) into Japanese quail hosts (a vocal non-learning species) during the early neural tube stage (day 2 of incubation), and harvested the chimeras at later embryonic stages (between 9-12 days of incubation). The donor and host tissues fused well with each other, with known major fiber pathways connecting the zebra finch and quail parts of the brain. However, the overall sizes of chimeric finch telencephala were larger than non-transplanted finch telencephala at the same developmental stages, even though the proportional sizes of telencephalic subregions and fiber tracts were similar to normal finches. There were no significant changes in the size of chimeric quail host midbrains, even though they were innervated by the physically smaller zebra finch brain, including the smaller retinae of the finch eyes. Chimeric zebra finch telencephala had a decreased cell density relative to normal finches. However, cell nucleus size differences between each species were maintained as in normal birds. These results suggest that telencephalic size development is partially cell-interdependent, and that the mechanisms controlling the size of different brain regions may be functionally independent.

  13. Interspecies avian brain chimeras reveal that large brain size differences are influenced by cell-interdependent processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Chun Chen

    Full Text Available Like humans, birds that exhibit vocal learning have relatively delayed telencephalon maturation, resulting in a disproportionately smaller brain prenatally but enlarged telencephalon in adulthood relative to vocal non-learning birds. To determine if this size difference results from evolutionary changes in cell-autonomous or cell-interdependent developmental processes, we transplanted telencephala from zebra finch donors (a vocal-learning species into Japanese quail hosts (a vocal non-learning species during the early neural tube stage (day 2 of incubation, and harvested the chimeras at later embryonic stages (between 9-12 days of incubation. The donor and host tissues fused well with each other, with known major fiber pathways connecting the zebra finch and quail parts of the brain. However, the overall sizes of chimeric finch telencephala were larger than non-transplanted finch telencephala at the same developmental stages, even though the proportional sizes of telencephalic subregions and fiber tracts were similar to normal finches. There were no significant changes in the size of chimeric quail host midbrains, even though they were innervated by the physically smaller zebra finch brain, including the smaller retinae of the finch eyes. Chimeric zebra finch telencephala had a decreased cell density relative to normal finches. However, cell nucleus size differences between each species were maintained as in normal birds. These results suggest that telencephalic size development is partially cell-interdependent, and that the mechanisms controlling the size of different brain regions may be functionally independent.

  14. 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),

  15. An Experimental Analysis of an Observing-Response in Rats Exposed to 1. 28 and 5.62 GHz Microwave Irradiation,

    Science.gov (United States)

    1979-11-05

    Waves. Helsinki, Finland: International Union of Radio Science, 1978. P 6. 16. Thomas, J. R., Finch, E. D., Fulk , D. W., and Burch, L. S., Effects of low...Electromag- netic Waves. Helsinki, Finland: International Union of Radio Science, 1978. P 6. 16. Thomas, J. R., Finch, E. D., Fulk , D. W., and Burch

  16. Dosimetric and Behavioral Analysis of Microwave-Drug Synergistic Effects on Operant Behavior in the Rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-12-18

    baselines occur as a consequence of microwave exposure (Thomas, Finch, Fulk and Burch, 1975). Quite recently schedule controlled behavioral baselines that...interval behavior. Science 203: 1357-1358. Thomas, J. R., E. D. Finch, D. W. Fulk , and L. S. Burch. 1975. Effects of low-level microwave radiation on

  17. The cavefish genome reveals candidate genes for eye loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGaugh, Suzanne E.; Gross, Joshua B.; Aken, Bronwen; Blin, Maryline; Borowsky, Richard; Chalopin, Domitille; Hinaux, Hélène; Jeffery, William R.; Keene, Alex; Ma, Li; Minx, Patrick; Murphy, Daniel; O’Quin, Kelly E.; Rétaux, Sylvie; Rohner, Nicolas; Searle, Steve M. J.; Stahl, Bethany A.; Tabin, Cliff; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Yoshizawa, Masato; Warren, Wesley C.

    2014-01-01

    Natural populations subjected to strong environmental selection pressures offer a window into the genetic underpinnings of evolutionary change. Cavefish populations, Astyanax mexicanus (Teleostei: Characiphysi), exhibit repeated, independent evolution for a variety of traits including eye degeneration, pigment loss, increased size and number of taste buds and mechanosensory organs, and shifts in many behavioural traits. Surface and cave forms are interfertile making this system amenable to genetic interrogation; however, lack of a reference genome has hampered efforts to identify genes responsible for changes in cave forms of A. mexicanus. Here we present the first de novo genome assembly for Astyanax mexicanus cavefish, contrast repeat elements to other teleost genomes, identify candidate genes underlying quantitative trait loci (QTL), and assay these candidate genes for potential functional and expression differences. We expect the cavefish genome to advance understanding of the evolutionary process, as well as, analogous human disease including retinal dysfunction. PMID:25329095

  18. Detection of multiple species of human Paragonimus from Mexico using morphological data and molecular barcodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Caballero, J; Oceguera-Figueroa, A; León-Règagnon, V

    2013-11-01

    Paragonimus mexicanus is the causal agent of human paragonimiasis in several countries of the Americas. It is considered to be the only species of the genus present in Mexico, where it is responsible for human infection. Through the investigation of P. mexicanus specimens from several places throughout Mexico, we provide morphological, molecular and geographical evidence that strongly suggests the presence of at least three species from this genus in Mexico. These results raise questions regarding the diagnosis, treatment, prophylaxis and control of human paragonimiasis in Mexico. We also provide a brief discussion regarding biodiversity inventories and the convenience of providing molecular and morphological information in biodiversity studies.

  19. Cyclitols, galactosyl cyclitols and raffinose family oligosaccharides in Mexican wild lupin seeds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka I. Piotrowicz-Cieślak

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Ten to 16 ethanol-soluble carbohydrate components were identified in the seeds of six Mexican wild lupins. The analysed carbohydrates included: monosaccharides, disaccharides, cyclitols, galactosyl cyclitols and raffinose family oligosaccharides. Stachyose and sucrose were the main carbohydrate component in the Lupinus montanus, L. rotundiflorus, L. exaltatus, L. mexicanus and L. elegans seeds. Only trace quantities of verbascose were detected in Lupinus mexicanus seeds. The analysed seeds accumulated 38 to 78 mg/g d.m. carbohydrates. The raffinose family oligosaccharides constituted 41 to 85.2% of the identified carbohydrate component pool. The analysed Lupinus seeds contained 3 to 8 unidentified carbohydrate components.

  20. Comparative genomic data of the Avian Phylogenomics Project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Guojie; Li, Bo; Li, Cai;

    2014-01-01

    , 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 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...

  1. Effect of heat stress on six beef breeds in the Zastron district: the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    LA Foster

    assumptions and philosophies without concrete evidence (Mentz, 2002). A contributing ... (Finch, 1986). The effects of heat on body temperature are determined not only by climate but also by the .... in selecting tropical beef cattle. However ...

  2. 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

    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...

  3. 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"

  4. 77 FR 25353 - Disqualification of a Clinical Investigator

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-30

    ... Weinberger v. Hynson, Westcott & Dunning, Inc., 412 U.S. 609 (1973); National Nutritional Foods Association v... Supreme Court (Weinberger v. Hynson, Westcott & Dunning, Inc.); see also Upjohn Co. v. Finch, 422 F.2d 944...

  5. 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"

  6. The genus Spathius Nees (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Doryctinae in Mexico: occurrence of a highly diverse Old World taxon in the Neotropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey Belokobylskij

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Two new species of the parasitoid wasp genus Spathius Nees (Braconidae: Doryctinae from Mexico, S.mexicanus sp. n. and S. chamelae sp. n., are described and illustrated. These represent the second and third described species of this highly diverse Old World genus in the Neotropics, and the first described species recorded for the Mexican territory.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Oliva A

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available 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°25’ and 19°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. Rev. Biol. Trop. 54(2: 613-622. Epub 2006 Jun 01.Se describen los hábitos alimenticios de cuatro especies de peces mesopelágicos del norte de Chile: Triphoturus mexicanus, Diogenichtys atlanticus, Vinciguerria lucetia and Cyclothone acclinidens. Las muestras fueron capturadas en setiembre de 1988 entre 18°25’ y 19°09’ S en el Pacífico suroeste. El análisis cualitativo y cuantitativo del contenido estomacal mostró que las especies tienen un comportamiento zooplantofago oportunista, depredando principalmente crustáceos, especialmente copépodos. La evaluación del espectro trófico y diversidad de T. mexicanus y C. acclinidens sugiere que estas son especies nictoepipelágicas, mientras que D. alanticus y V. lucetia serían mesopelágicas típicas.

  8. Abundance and distribution of lantern fishes (Myctophiformes: Myctophidae around San Pedro Martir Island, Gulf of California, during 2008

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Díaz Santana-Iturríos

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Myctophids (Myctophidae are a group of abundant mesopelagic fishes in the world's oceans and are known as the main feeding resource for several high trophic level predators. Changes in abundance may be related to population size of some commercially important species that feed on them. Only two of the myctophid species reported for the Gulf of California were found in the present study: Benthosema panamense and Triphoturus mexicanus. The highest abundance and biomass of myctophids were found during the warm season (June and September, with B. panamense being the most abundant species (20,954 ind 1000 m-3, as well as the one with highest biomass (17,165.8 g 1000 m-3. B. panamese had a size mode interval of 35-40 mm, while T. mexicanus presented a size mode interval of 40-45 mm; both species had negative allometric growth. During the temperate season (February and April B. panamense was distributed in the northwest, west, and southern regions around the island, while T. mexicanus was found in the north, west, and southern regions. During the warm season B. panamense was found distributed around the entire island and T. mexicanus was found in the west, south, and east regions of the island. These species are common around San Pedro Martir Island, with the highest values of abundance and biomass occurring during summer upwelling's.

  9. Tarawa to Okinawa: The Evolution of Amphibious Operations in the Pacific during World War II

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-06

    craft developed by Andrew Jackson Higgins, and a tracked landing craft developed by Donald Roebling. Both of these craft would ultimately be...from Tarawa. Smith, Holland M. and Percy Finch. Coral and Brass. Washington: Zenger Publishing, 19 79. Personal memoirs of Major General Holland M...and Percy Finch, Coral and Brass (Washington: Zenger P ublishing, 1979), 120. 64 73 Smith, 120-121. 74 Smith, 133. 75 Shaw, 109. 76 Isley, 575

  10. Bringing Space Crisis Stability Down to Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    JFQ 76, 1st Quarter 2015 Finch 15 Bringing Space Crisis Stability Down to Earth By James P. Finch T ensions in the South and East China seas have...0704-0188 Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing...2015 to 00-00-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Bringing Space Crisis Stability Down to Earth 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT

  11. Sexual Dimorphism of the Electrophysiological Properties of Projection Neurons in the Robust Nucleus of the Arcopallium in Adult Zebra Finches ( Taeniopygia guttata)%成年斑胸草雀弓状皮质栎核投射神经元电生理特性的性别差异

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    范博强; 侯国强; 潘璇; 李东风

    2012-01-01

    The frequent occurrence of rat (Microtus forth ) disaster in Dongting Lake Area induced great loss on agriculture. Based on the ecological theory, the software STELLA for systematic dynamical analysis was used to simulate the rat population change in Dongting Lake area. An age - structured dynamic model for rat population change was constructed. By imitation analysis, the characteristics of rat population change was studied, and the general rules and the catastrophe process of its population dynamics were discussed. The research indicated that the influence of the birth rate and death rate on population growth was significant, but the initial population was not the key factor. Some control strategies of rat disaster in Dongting Lake Area were proposed. We suggested to use biological methods, such as restoring the natural enemies of the rat in the Lake area, to increase the biodiversity, so as to control the rat disaster.%利用离体脑片膜片钳技术检测RA投射神经元电生理活动的主动和被动特性,对其性别差异进行探讨,发现鸣禽RA投射神经元电生理特性在发放频率和诱发动作电位幅值方面存在明显的性别差异.

  12. 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

    OpenAIRE

    Raul A.S. Siqueira; Arthur C.L. Lima; Tarsila Cavalcanti; Wagner,Paulo G.C.; Ricardo R. Guerra

    2013-01-01

    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...

  13. Evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult brood parasitic bird, and generalized defences in its host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feeney, W. E.; Troscianko, J.; Langmore, N. E.; Spottiswoode, C. N.

    2015-01-01

    Mimicry of a harmless model (aggressive mimicry) is used by egg, chick and fledgling brood parasites that resemble the host's own eggs, chicks and fledglings. However, aggressive mimicry may also evolve in adult brood parasites, to avoid attack from hosts and/or manipulate their perception of parasitism risk. We tested the hypothesis that female cuckoo finches (Anomalospiza imberbis) are aggressive mimics of female Euplectes weavers, such as the harmless, abundant and sympatric southern red bishop (Euplectes orix). We show that female cuckoo finch plumage colour and pattern more closely resembled those of Euplectes weavers (putative models) than Vidua finches (closest relatives); that their tawny-flanked prinia (Prinia subflava) hosts were equally aggressive towards female cuckoo finches and southern red bishops, and more aggressive to both than to their male counterparts; and that prinias were equally likely to reject an egg after seeing a female cuckoo finch or bishop, and more likely to do so than after seeing a male bishop near their nest. This is, to our knowledge, the first quantitative evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult bird, and suggests that host–parasite coevolution can select for aggressive mimicry by avian brood parasites, and counter-defences by hosts, at all stages of the reproductive cycle. PMID:26063850

  14. An avifaunal survey of the Istranca mountains, turkish thrace: novel breeding bird records including the first breeding record of Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix in Turkey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Özkan, Korhan

    2011-01-01

    A breeding bird survey in the Istranca (Yıldız) mountains of Turkish Thrace seawards to the Black sea was conducted May–August 2009. Eighty-eight days of field work in 697 locations generated novel breeding evidence for several species. The survey provided the first certain evidence of Wood Warbler...... in the study area. Moreover, breeding evidence was gathered for Garden Warbler Sylvia borin, Baillon’s Crake Porzana pusilla, Stock Dove Columba oenas, Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina and Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus for the first time in Turkish Thrace. Furthermore, the survey provided some...... cinclus, Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala, Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria and Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva, which require further research on their breeding distributions in the study area....

  15. 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.

  16. Disease: H01093 [KEGG MEDICUS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available emoptysis Paragonimiasis is a zoonotic disease caused by a parasite belonging to Paragonimus genus. Humans m...n, and dyspnea. Infectious disease Paragonimus westermani Paragonimus kellicotti Paragonimus miyazakii Paragonimus skrjabini Paragoni...mus heterotremus Paragonimus hueitungensis Paragonimus uterobilateralis Paragonimus africanus Paragonimus...env_factor, marker) Procop GW North American paragonimiasis (Caused by Paragonimus... sequences from individual metacercariae of Paragonimus mexicanus from Guatemala and Ecuador. J Helminthol 77:33-8 (2003) ...

  17. 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

    OpenAIRE

    Alejandro Zaldívar-Riverón; Belokobylskij, Sergey A.

    2009-01-01

    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 se...

  18. Evolutionary tuning of an adaptive behavior requires enhancement of the neuromast sensory system

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Cave animals are faced with the challenge of carrying out fundamental life processes in a completely dark environment. Evolution of behavioral changes could be one of the key steps that adapt these animals to the absence of light. Astyanax mexicanus is a teleost with sighted surface dwelling (surface fish) and blind cave dwelling (cavefish) forms. Cavefish, a descendant of surface fish ancestors, have evolved a suite of constructive traits including an increase in the number and diameter of s...

  19. Evolution of a behavioral shift mediated by superficial neuromasts helps cavefish find food in darkness

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    How cave animals adapt to life in darkness is a poorly understood aspect of evolutionary biology [1]. Here we identify a behavioral shift and its morphological basis in Astyanax mexicanus, a teleost with a sighted surface dwelling form (surface fish) and various blind cave dwelling forms (cavefish) [2–4]. Vibration attraction behavior (VAB) is the ability of fish to swim toward the source of a water disturbance in darkness. VAB was typically seen in cavefish, rarely in surface fish, and advan...

  20. The lens controls cell survival in the retina: evidence from the blind cavefish Astyanax

    OpenAIRE

    2007-01-01

    The lens influences retinal growth and differentiation during vertebrate eye development but the mechanisms are not understood. The role of the lens in retinal growth and development was studied in the teleost Astyanax mexicanus, which has eyed surface-dwelling (surface fish) and blind cave-dwelling (cavefish) forms. A lens and laminated retina initially develop in cavefish embryos, but the lens dies by apoptosis. The cavefish retina is subsequently disorganized, apoptotic cells appear, the p...

  1. Parental genetic effects in a cavefish adaptive behavior explain disparity between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetic parental genetic effects are important in many biological processes but their roles in the evolution of adaptive traits and their consequences in naturally evolving populations remain to be addressed. By comparing two divergent blind cave-dwelling cavefish populations with a sighted surface-dwelling population (surface fish) of the teleost Astyanax mexicanus, we report here that convergences in vibration attraction behavior (VAB), the lateral line sensory receptors underlying this ...

  2. Differentially expressed genes identified by cross-species microarray in the blind cavefish Astyanax

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Changes in gene expression were examined by microarray analysis during development of the eyed surface dwelling (surface fish) and blind cave-dwelling (cavefish) forms of the teleost Astyanax mexicanus De Filippi, 1853. The cross-species microarray used surface and cavefish RNA hybridized to a DNA chip prepared from a closely related species, the zebrafish Danio rerio Hamilton, 1822. We identified a total of 67 differentially expressed probe sets at three days post-fertilization: six upregula...

  3. Evolution of an adaptive behavior and its sensory receptors promotes eye regression in blind cavefish

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background How and why animals lose eyesight during adaptation to the dark and food-limited cave environment has puzzled biologists since the time of Darwin. More recently, several different adaptive hypotheses have been proposed to explain eye degeneration based on studies in the teleost Astyanax mexicanus, which consists of blind cave-dwelling (cavefish) and sighted surface-dwelling (surface fish) forms. One of these hypotheses is that eye regression is the result of indirect selec...

  4. Evolution and development in the cavefish Astyanax

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    The teleost Astyanax mexicanus is a single species consisting of two radically different forms: a sighted pigmented surface-dwelling form (surface fish) and a blind depigmented cave dwelling form (cavefish). The two forms of Astyanax have favorable attributes, including descent from a common ancestor, ease of laboratory culture, and the ability to perform genetic analysis, permitting their use as a model system to explore questions in evolution and development. Here we review current research...

  5. Shadow response in the blind cavefish Astyanax reveals conservation of a functional pineal eye

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    The blind cavefish Astyanax mexicanus undergoes bilateral eye degeneration during embryonic development. Despite the absence of light in the cave environment, cavefish have retained a structurally intact pineal eye. We show here that contrary to visual degeneration in the bilateral eyes, the cavefish pineal eye has conserved the ability to detect light. Larvae of two different Astyanax cavefish populations and the con-specific sighted surface-dwelling form (surface fish) respond similarly to ...

  6. 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

  7. Contrasting feeding habits of post-larval and adult Astyanax cavefish

    OpenAIRE

    2017-01-01

    The subterranean environment is often described as "extreme" and food poor. Laboratory experiments have shown that blind Mexican tetra Astyanax mexicanus (De Filippi, 1853) cavefish are better at finding food in the dark than surface fish. Several morphological and behavioural attributes that could foster this obvious adaptive response to cave environments have been described. Nonetheless, it is currently unknown what young cavefish actually eat in their natural cave environment. Our results ...

  8. Paragonimiasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Jong-Yil

    2013-01-01

    Human paragonimiasis is caused by nine species of Paragonimus, namely, P. westermani, P. africanus, P. heterotremus, P. kellicotti, P. mexicanus, P. siamensis, P. skrjabini, P. skrjabini miyazakii, and P. uterobilateralis. Cerebral or spinal involvements are most common in P. westermani, and can also occur in P. skrjabini, P. skrjabini miyazakii, and P. mexicanus. In P. westermani, cerebral paragonimiasis comprises about 45% of all extrapulmonary paragonimiasis cases, and accounts for about 1% of all paragonimiasis patients. In cerebral paragonimiasis, seizure, headache, visual disturbance, and motor and sensory disturbances are the five major clinical symptoms. The most commonly performed diagnostic procedures for cerebral infections are serological tests to detect circulating antibodies or antigens using ELISA or immunoblotting, and radiological examinations, including plain skull x-rays, brain CT, and MR scans. The drug of choice is praziquantel at the dose of 25mg/kg three times daily for 2-3 days. In severe infections, a second set of treatment may be needed. Triclabendazole can be used in P. uterobilateralis, P. mexicanus, and P. skrjabini infections with the dose of 10mg/kg twice a day; however, its efficacy in P. westermani infection, in particular cerebral infections, remains to be elucidated.

  9. Redescription of Spinitectus tabascoensis (Nematoda: Cystidicolidae) from fishes of the Lacandon rain forest in Chiapas, southern Mexico, with remarks on Spinitectus macrospinosus and S. osorioi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moravec, Frantisek; Salgado-Maldonado, Guillermo; Caspeta-Mandujano, Juan M; González-Solís, David

    2009-12-01

    Two little-known species of Spinitectus (Nematoda: Cystidicolidae) were, for the first time, recorded from fishes of the Lacantún River (Usumacinta River basin) in the Lacandon rain forest, Chiapas, southern Mexico: S. tabascoensis Moravec, Garcia-Magaña et Salgado-Maldonado, 2002 in intestines of Ictalurus furcatus (Valenciennes) (Ictaluridae) (adults and juveniles), Cathorops aguadulce (Meek) and Potamarius nelsoni (Evermann et Goldsborough) (both Ariidae) (in both only juveniles), and S. osorioi Choudhury et Pérez-Ponce de León, 2001 in Atherinella alvarezi (Díaz-Pardo) (Atherinopsidae) (adults in intestine) and Eugerres mexicanus (Steindachner) (Gerreidae) (adults and juveniles in stomach). Eugerres mexicanus, C. aguadulce and P. nelsoni represent new host records. Detailed light and electron microscopical studies of S. tabascoensis revealed some taxonomically important, previously not observed features, such as cuticular spines arranged in four sectors, the cephalic structure, the number (2) of ventral precloacal ridges or the structure of the male caudal end. Therefore, Spinitectus tabascoensis is redescribed. Spinitectus macrospinosus Choudhury et Perryman, 2003, described from ictalurids in Canada and the USA, is considered its junior synonym. Spinitectus tabascoensis seems to be a specific parasite of Ictalurus spp., whereas C. aguadulce and P. nelsoni, as well as some other fishes, serve only as its paratenic hosts. The definitive hosts of S. osorioi are atherinopsid fish (A. alvarezi, Chirostoma spp.), whereas the gerreid E. mexicanus probably serves only as its postcyclic host.

  10. Citrus rootstocks influence the population densities of pest mites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Rocha da Silva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Citrus are attacked by pest mites such as the citrus rust mite Phyllocoptruta oleivora (Ashmead (Acari: Eriophyidae and the spider mite Tetranychus mexicanus (McGregor (Acari: Tetranychidae. However, little is known on citrus rootstocks influencing pest mites. We aimed to evaluate the influence of rootstocks on population densities of pest mites on the sweet oranges 'Pera CNPMF D-6' and 'Valencia Tuxpan' throughout time. Adults of both mite species were monthly counted during 19 months from June 2011 to February 2013. Rootstocks influenced the populations of pest mites, since lower densities of P. oleivora were found on 'Pera CNPMF D-6' sweet orange grafted on the hybrid TSKC × CTTR - 002 and on 'Swingle' citrumelo in comparison with the hybrid LVK × LCR - 010, 'Red' rough lime and 'Santa Cruz' rangpur lime as rootstocks. Similarly, lower densities of T. mexicanus were found on 'Valencia Tuxpan' sweet orange grafted on the hybrid HTR-051 in comparison to 'Indio' citrandarin, 'Sunki Tropical' mandarin and LVK × LCR - 010 as rootstocks. We concluded that densities of the mites P. oleivora and T. mexicanus on the sweet oranges 'Pera CNPMF D-6' and 'Valencia Tuxpan' were affected in some periods of the year by some rootstocks, suggesting influence of some genotypes on these pests.

  11. Highly Similar Morphologies Between Chromosomes Bearing U2 snRNA Gene Clusters in the Group Astyanax Baird and Girard, 1854 (Characiformes, Characidae): An Evolutionary Approach in Species with 2n = 36, 46, 48, and 50.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piscor, Diovani; Centofante, Liano; Parise-Maltempi, Patricia Pasquali

    2016-12-01

    Repetitive sequences and their chromosomal locations have been widely studied in species of the Astyanax genus. However, the chromosomal organization of U2 snDNA remains largely unknown. The aims of this study were to examine the chromosomal contexts of U2 snRNA and 5S rRNA genes in Astyanax species and determine the degree of chromosome morphological similarity between species with different diploid numbers. Clusters of U2 snDNA and 5S rDNA were determined in nine species of Astyanax, including two karyomorphs of Astyanax fasciatus Cuvier, 1819. All species exhibited U2 snDNA clusters on two chromosome pairs, except Astyanax mexicanus De Filippi, 1853 (one pair). The 5S rDNA clusters were located on one chromosome pair in Astyanax altiparanae Garutti and Britski, 2000, and Astyanax marionae Eigenmann, 1911, two pairs in Astyanax abramis Jenyns, 1842, Astyanax asuncionensis Géry, 1972, Astyanax bockmanni Vari and Castro, 2007, Astyanax eigenmanniorum Cope, 1894, A. fasciatus (karyomorphs I and II), and Astyanax schubarti Britski, 1964, and four pairs in A. mexicanus. The relationships between the repetitive sequences in different species suggest that A. schubarti and A. mexicanus exhibit an unusual U2 snDNA chromosomal format as a result of events occurring in the evolutionary history of the Astyanax group.

  12. Reelin signaling in the basal ganglia: comparative neuroanatomy and implications for vocal behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Fraley, Elizabeth Ross

    2017-01-01

    Vocal learning is a complex motor activity that relies on the coordination of different brain regions including the basal ganglia. By studying the vocal learning zebra finch, this work has uncovered a novel pathway that is regulated by singing behavior. The Reelin-signaling pathway like the human language transcription factor, FoxP2, is regulated in a basal ganglia region, Area X. The pathway was found to be regulated during the sensorimotor phase of song learning in finches as well as in adu...

  13. Les metapoblacions de llucareta (Serinus citrinella) del Prepirineus orientals : valoració ecològica i bases per a la seva gestió

    OpenAIRE

    Borràs, Antoni

    2016-01-01

    Tesi per compendi de publicacions. La consulta íntegra de la tesi, inclosos els articles no comunicats públicament per drets d'autor, es pot realitzar prèvia petició a l'Arxiu UPC The Citril finch has been considered for a long time as a species linked to forested high mountainous areas. It was considered as non-migratory and with short-range movements, just to avoid bad weather conditions. For a long time it was considered that the more important citril finch nucleus were on alpine centre...

  14. 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 preferen

  15. 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

  16. 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 (...

  17. The genome of a songbird

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    in the zebra finch brain, altering the expression of long non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, transcription factors and their targets. We also show evidence for rapid molecular evolution in the songbird lineage of genes that are regulated during song experience. These results indicate an active involvement...

  18. "Coming Out/Going Home": Australian Girls and Young Women Interrogating Racism and Heterosexism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallotta-Chiarolli, Maria

    The call for submissions from girls for a book, "Girls Talk," (Finch Publishing, Sydney, 1998) was based on the premise that girls have much to teach about the realities of negotiating ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Using the published written and visual contributions, and drawing from postcolonial, "mestizaje," and feminist…

  19. Environmental Impact Assessment Sandia Laboratories, New Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-05-01

    Indigo Bunting ( Passerina cyanea) 102. Lazuli Bunting ( Passerina amoena) 103. Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) 104. Cassin’s Finch...Junco caniceps) 119. Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco-(Junco hyemalis)----.. 120. Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina ) 121. Brewer’s Sparrow (Spizella

  20. Variability in seed oil content and fatty acid composition, phenotypic traits and self-incompatibility among selected niger germplasm accessions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niger (Guizotia abyssinica, L.) is a desirable oilseed crop for birdseed, especially for finches (Spinus spp.) because of its high ratio of unsaturated to saturated fatty acids and relatively high oil content. In 2012, phenotypic traits, seed oil and fatty acid content measurements were made on 14 p...

  1. 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.

  2. Recovery High Schools: Students and Responsive Academic and Therapeutic Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moberg, D. Paul; Finch, Andrew J.; Lindsley, Stephanie M.

    2014-01-01

    This article reviews findings from the authors' studies of recovery high schools (RHS), including a 1995 program evaluation of a school in New Mexico (Moberg & Thaler, 1995), a 2006-09 descriptive study of 17 recovery high schools (Moberg & Finch, 2008), and presents early findings from a current study of the effectiveness of recovery high…

  3. 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),

  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 preferen

  5. Evidence for suppression of immunity as a driver for genomic introgressions and host range expansion in races of Albugo candida, a generalist parasite

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McMullan, Mark; Gardiner, Anastasia; Bailey, Kate;

    2015-01-01

    How generalist parasites with wide host ranges can evolve is a central question in parasite evolution. Albugo candida is an obligate biotrophic parasite that consists of many physiological races that each specialize on distinct Brassicaceae host species. By analyzing genome sequence assemblies of......, Darwin's finches, sunflowers and cichlid fishes, and the implications of introgression for pathogen evolution in an agro-ecological environment....

  6. Genetic evidence for the origin and relationships of Hawaiian honeycreepers (Aves: Fringillidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ned K. Johnson; Jill A. Marten; C. John Ralph

    1989-01-01

    Using starch gel electrophoresis of proteins, we examined variation at 36 genetic loci in nine species (eight genera) of Hawaiian honeycreepers (Class Aves; Family Fringillidae; Subfamily Drepanidinae). Two species of cardueline finches and two emberizids served as outgroup taxa. Twenty-three loci (64%) were either polymorphic within taxa and/or were fixed at...

  7. Space Weather Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-31

    2007, L203-L206. [34] Rouillard, A. P., Lockwood, M., and Finch, I., “ Centennial changes in the solar wind speed and in the open solar flux,” J...Field 1835-2009,” J. Geophys. Res., 115, Sep 2010, A09111. [37] Lockwood, M. and Owens, M. J., “ Centennial changes in the heliospheric magnetic field

  8. The Solar Neighborhood. XXV. Discovery of New Proper Motion Stars with 0.40 sec/yr > mu > or = 0.18 sec/yr Between Declinations -47 deg and 00 deg

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-01

    USA; finch@usno.navy.mil 4 Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, La Serena, Chile; jsubasavage@ctio.noao.edu 5 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance...the SCR systems as part of our Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory Parallax Investigation (CTIOPI), an astrometry program carried out at the CTIO

  9. Reference values for the production of the aqueous fraction of the tear film measured by the standardized endodontic absorbent paper point test in different exotic and laboratory animal species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Rogério R; Lima, Leandro; Przydzimirski, Andreise C; Montiani-Ferreira, Fabiano

    2014-01-01

    The aqueous fraction of the tear film and the horizontal palpebral fissure length (HPFL) were measured in exotic and laboratory animals, specifically saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola), chestnut-bellied seed-finches (Sporophila angolensis), red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans), rats (Rattus norvegicus) and mice (Mus musculus). These species possess small eyes making it difficult to perform the typical Schirmer tear test. Measurement of the aqueous fraction of the tear was performed using the standardized endodontic absorbent paper point tear test (PPTT), accomplished with manual restraint by a single operator. The following results were obtained: saffron finches (n = 42)-HPFL (4.46 ± 0.09 mm) and PPTT (5.10 ± 0.26 mm); chestnut-bellied seed-finches (n = 38)-HPFL (4.77 ± 0.05 mm) and PPTT (4.11 ± 0.34 mm); red-eared sliders (n = 56)-HPFL (8.59 ± 0.08 mm) and PPTT (8.79 ± 0.38 mm); rats (n = 60)-HPFL (6.45 ± 0.09 mm) and PTT (6.18 ± 2.06 mm); and mice (n = 22)-HPFL (3.59 ± 0.27 mm) and PPTT (4.39 ± 1.45 mm).

  10. A possible account of synaesthesia dating from the seventeenth century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larner, A J

    2006-09-01

    An account of a blind man able to detect colors by touch, dating from the mid-seventeenth century, is presented. The details come to us through the physician John Finch, the scientist Robert Boyle, and the author Jonathan Swift. The details in the account suggest the possibility that this may be an early report of colored-touch synaesthesia.

  11. Photoacoustic Imaging of Epilepsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-04-01

    formulae for the spherical mean radon transform,” Inverse Probl. 23(1), 373–383 (2007). 5. D. Finch, S. Patch, and Rakesh, “Determining a Function from...Vickrey, B.G., 2007. Stopping antiepileptic drugs after epilepsy surgery: a survey of U.S. epilepsy center neurologists. Epilepsy Behav. 10, 219– 222

  12. Neural expression and post-transcriptional dosage compensation of the steroid metabolic enzyme 17 beta-HSD type 4

    OpenAIRE

    London, Sarah E.; Itoh, Yuichiro; Lance, Valentin A; Wise, Petra M; Ekanayake, Preethika S; Oyama, Randi K.; Arnold, Arthur P.; Schlinger, Barney A.

    2010-01-01

    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-hydr...

  13. 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...

  14. Pseudoscorpionida (Arachnida em galerias de colônias de Passalidae (Coleoptera, Insecta em troncos caídos em floresta de terra firme da Amazônia, Brasil Pseudoscorpionida (Arachnida found in the galleries made by Passalidae (Coleoptera, Insecta colonies inside fallen wood of the Amazonian terra firme forest, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nair Otaviano Aguiar

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Em sete municípios do Amazonas, um de Rondônia e um de Roraima, foram examinadas 71 colônias de 24 espécies de Passalidae (Coleoptera, pertencentes aos gêneros: Passalus Fabricius, 1792 (14 espécies; Paxillus Mac Leay, 1819 (três; Popilius Kaup, 1871 (três; Spasalus Kaup, 1869 (uma; Verres Kaup, 1871 (uma; Veturius Kaup, 1871 (duas. Foram registradas doze espécies de pseudoscorpiões, incluindo nove gêneros e cinco famílias, listadas a seguir: Chernetidae - Americhernes aff. incertus Mahnert, 1979, Cordylochernes scorpioides (Linnaeus 1758, Lustrochenes similis (Balzan 1892, L. aff. reimoseri Beier, 1932, L. intermedius (Balzan 1892, Phymatochernes crassimanus Mahnert 1979; Chthoniidae - Pseudochthonius homodentatus Chamberlin, 1929; Lechytiidae - Lechytia chthoniiformis (Balzan 1887; Tridenchthoniidae - Tridenchthonius mexicanus Chamberlin & Chamberlin 1945; Withiidae - Cacodemonius sp., Dolichowithius (D. emigrans (Tullgren 1907, D. (D. mediofasciatus Mahnert, 1979. Dentre as espécies mais freqüentes (T. mexicanus, L. intermedius e L. aff. reimoseri, ocorreram todos os estágios de desenvolvimento. Foram coletadas de uma a três espécies de pseudoscorpiões em cada colônia individual de besouros passalídeos. T. mexicanus foi a única espécie encontrada em todos os municípios, ocorrendo em 45 colônias de dezenove espécies de passalídeos, sendo a maioria dos exemplares encontrado no subcórtex. L. intermedius foi a segunda espécie mais abundante, ocorrendo em colônias de 11 espécies de Passalidae, a maioria também no subcórtex. L. aff reimoseri ocorreu em 13 colônias de Passalidae, sob a casca, alburno e cerne. L. aff. reimoseri foi a única espécie coletada somente no cerne.Seventy-one colonies from 24 species of Coleoptera, Passalidae, belonging respectively to the genera Passalus Fabricius, 1792 (14 species, Paxillus Mac Leay, 1819 (three species, Popilius Kaup, 1871 (three species, Spasalus Kaup, 1869 (one species

  15. The Mexican Drug War and the Consequent Population Exodus: Transnational Movement at the U.S.-Mexican Border

    OpenAIRE

    Adam Sebastian; Angelica C. Menchaca; Oscar Morales; Maria Cristina Morales

    2013-01-01

    At the frontline of México’s “war on drugs” is the Mexican-U.S. border city of Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, which has become internationally known as the “murder capital of the world.” In Juárez, which neighbors El Paso, Texas, United States, estimates of the murders in Juárez are as high as 7,643 between 2006 and 2011, leaving approximately 10,000 orphans. Juárez has also experienced an exodus of approximately 124,000 people seeking safety, some migrating to the Mexican interior and others to the ...

  16. 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.

  17. Triatoma mexicana Herrich-Schaeffer (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) Descripción de la Genitalia Externa del Macho y Morfología Externa de la Hembra.

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Triatoma mexicana fue descrita originalmente en 1848 por Herrich-Schaeffer nombrándola Conorhinus mexicanus Herrich-Schaeffer. Actualmente se registra su hallazgo en los estados de Guanajuato, Hidalgo Querétaro y San Luis Potosí. Los estudios sobre su distribución espacial, índices entomológicos, presencia en el intradomicilio y peridomicilio, biología y riesgo de transmisión de Trypanosoma cruzi Chagas demuestran que es una especie impo...

  18. Evaluación poblacional del venado cola blanca en un bosque tropical seco de la mixteca poblana

    OpenAIRE

    M. Concepción López Téllez; Salvador Mandujano; Gonzalo Yánes

    2007-01-01

    Con el objetivo de diagnosticar el potencial de aprovechamiento y prioridades de manejo en UMAs extensivas, se estimó la densidad poblacional del venado cola blanca (Odocoileus virginianus mexicanus) y se caracterizó el hábitat de bosque tropical seco en cuatro localidades de la Mixteca Poblana, México. En cada localidad se establecieron cinco transectos para el conteo de grupos fecales de marzo del 2000 a marzo de 2001. Se aplicó un análisis de componentes principales para describir el hábit...

  19. El amor, la decepción y como aprovechar la realidad: La relación México - Estados Unidos. 200 - 2003.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Fernández de Castro.

    2002-09-01

    Full Text Available In this article the authors sustain that president Vicente Fox's ambiguous response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, in combination with Mexico's decisión not to support the U.S. led coalition in Iraq, marked the transition from honeymoon to mutual deception between the presidents of México and the United States. Nevertheless, the importance of the bilateral relationship for the two countries has facilitated the preservation of pragmatic cooperation. The text concludes with a series of recommendations for improving the state of Mexican-U.S. relations during the final years of the Fox govemment.

  20. The Dissolution of the Mexican-American Border and Redefinition of Chicano/a /Mexican Identity in Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harding, David

    2006-01-01

    In Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead, notions of Mexican identity are deconstructed. This article analyzes how Silko, through a variety of characters and sub-plotlines, brings to the surface hidden tensions in the contsruction of Mexican identity through the melding of the sangre limpia o...... of the conquering Spanish and the subjugated indigenous peoples of Mexico. It explores the implications of apocolyptic consequences of a reawakening of indigenous identity among Mexicans living on both sides of the Mexican-US border....

  1. The role of a lens survival pathway including sox2 and αA-crystallin in the evolution of cavefish eye degeneration

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Background The teleost Astyanax mexicanus is a single species consisting of eyed surface-dwelling (surface fish) and blind cave-dwelling (cavefish) morphs. Cavefish eyes are lost through apoptosis of the lens, which in turn promotes the degeneration of other optic tissues. The αA-crystallin (αA-crys) gene is strongly downregulated in the cavefish lens and is located in a genomic region (QTL) responsible for eye loss. Therefore, αA-crys has been proposed as a candidate for regulating cavefish ...

  2. Revisión de los géneros Eurygerris y Tachygerris (Hemiptera: Tachygerrini para la región neotropical Revision of the genera Eurygerris and Tachygerris (Hemiptera: Tachygerrini from the neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina T. Morales-Castaño

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Se estudió la taxonomía de la tribu Tachygerrini (Hemiptera: Gerridae: Gerrinae con 2 géneros reconocidos, Eurygerris Hungerford y Matsuda (10 especies y Tachygerris Drake (7 especies, a partir de la revisión de 19 colecciones entomológicas del Neotrópico. El material tipo de las siguientes especies fue revisado: T. opacus, T. quadrilineatus, T. adamsoni, T. dentiferus, E. fuscinervis, E. flavolineatus, E. mexicanus y E. atrekes. Se reconocieron y redescribieron 11 especies de la tribu representadas en el Neotrópico: Tachygerris opacus, T. quadrilineatus, T. celocis, T. adamsoni, T. dentiferus, Eurygerris fuscinervis, E.flavolineatus, E. mexicanus, E. beieri, E. summatis y E. atrekes. Eurygerris kahli (Drake y Harris, 1934 es sinonimizada con Eurygerris fuscinervis (Berg, 1898. Se proporcionan redescripciones, ilustraciones, información nomenclatural y datos sobre la distribución y el hábitat para cada una de las especies. Se amplían los rangos de distribución para T. adamsoni (Venezuela, E. fuscinervis (Guatemala, México y Venezuela y E. atrekes (Venezuela.The taxonomy of the tribe Tachygerrini (Hemiptera: Gerridae: Gerrinae was studied. The tribe comprises 2 genera: Eurygerris Hungerford and Matsuda (with 10 species and Tachygerris Drake (with 7 species. The revision was based on the examination of 19 entomological collections in the neotropics. The type materials of T. opacus, T. quadrilineatus, T. adamsoni, T. dentiferus, E. fuscinervis, E. flavolineatus, E. mexicanus and E. atrekes were reviewed. Eleven species from the tribe were re-described for the Neotropics, Tachygerris opacus, T. quadrilineatus, T. celocis, T. adamsoni, T. dentiferus, Eurygerris fuscinervis, E. flavolineatus, E. mexicanus, E. beieri, E. summatis, and E. atrekes. Eurygerris kahli (Drake y Harris, 1934 is synonymized with Eurygerris fuscinervis (Berg, 1898. Re-descriptions, illustrations, nomenclatural information and distribution and ecological data for

  3. The genus Ontherus Erichson 1847 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae): description of a new species, and notes on the genus in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Fabio Arturo; Medina U, Claudia Alejandra

    2015-04-23

    The state of knowledge of the genus Ontherus Erichson 1847 in Colombia is reviewed and updated since the revision of the genus by Génier (1996), and the species list for Colombia of Medina et al. (2001). Two new distributional records for Colombia are confirmed; Ontherus politus Génier 1996 and Ontherus gilli Génier 1996. An updated species list of Ontherus for Colombia is presented with comments on the species with doubtful distribution in Colombia. O. felicitae n. sp., a new species from the mexicanus species group, is described from Western Andes of Colombia.

  4. A new species of Spauligodon (Nematoda: Pharyngodonidae) parasite of Cnemidophorus spp. (Lacertilia: Teiidae) from southern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Ruiz, F Agustín; León-Règagnon, Virginia; Campbell, Jonathan A

    2003-04-01

    A new species of Spauligodon collected from Cnemidophorus mexicanus and C. deppii is described in this study. The species is placed in Spauligodon because the caudal alae start at the level of the precloacal papillae and embed the adcloacal papillae. The new species is most similar to S. goldbergi, but diagnostic traits of the former are the presence of 2 ridges in lateral alae, flaplike expansions in the caudal end of lateral alae, and a smooth tail for males. This species is the eighth recorded in the neotropics.

  5. Song learning in brood-parasitic indigobirds Vidua chalybeata: song mimicry of the host species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne; Payne; Woods

    1998-06-01

    Brood-parasitic village indigobirds, Vidua chalybeata, were bred in captivity and foster-reared by their normal host, red-billed firefinch, Lagonosticta senegala, or by an experimental foster species, Bengalese finch, Lonchura striata. Male indigobirds reared by Bengalese finches developed the songs of Bengalese finches, and males reared by firefinches developed songs of firefinches. Males copied their foster father only when they had lived with him long after independence (45 days post-fledging), while males separated normally at independence (22-24 days post-fledging) copied songs of other individuals and not songs of their foster father. Males reared by Bengalese finches showed no preference to learn firefinch song over songs of the experimental foster species or other control finch species even when they had lived with firefinches as companions from the time of fledging to independence. Males copied several song themes, acquired the same number of mimicry songs, and acquired their songs at the same age, whether reared by Bengalese finches or by firefinches. When they lived with other indigobirds, the male indigobirds copied mimicry songs of male indigobirds that mimicked the same foster species. We predicted mimicry-song specificity and repertoire size in experimental indigobirds from a hypothesis of an early developmental period when young indigobirds focus their attention on their foster parents, and a later period when they direct their attention to other birds with similar songs. The predictions, based on field observations of wild birds, were that (1) males reared by a novel foster species other than the normal host would learn the song of that foster species, and (2) males that left their foster parents at the normal time of independence would copy the songs of other individuals, including other adult indigobirds that mimicked the same foster species. Begging calls of young indigobirds did not mimic the calls of young firefinches. Indigobirds reared alone

  6. Inferring the geographic mode of speciation by contrasting autosomal and sex-linked genetic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Jui-Hua; Wegmann, Daniel; Yeh, Chia-Fen; Lin, Rong-Chien; Yang, Xiao-Jun; Lei, Fu-Min; Yao, Cheng-Te; Zou, Fa-Sheng; Li, Shou-Hsien

    2013-11-01

    When geographic isolation drives speciation, concurrent termination of gene flow among genomic regions will occur immediately after the formation of the barrier between diverging populations. Alternatively, if speciation is driven by ecologically divergent selection, gene flow of selectively neutral genomic regions may go on between diverging populations until the completion of reproductive isolation. It may also lead to an unsynchronized termination of gene flow between genomic regions with different roles in the speciation process. Here, we developed a novel Approximate Bayesian Computation pipeline to infer the geographic mode of speciation by testing for a lack of postdivergence gene flow and a concurrent termination of gene flow in autosomal and sex-linked markers jointly. We applied this approach to infer the geographic mode of speciation for two allopatric highland rosefinches, the vinaceous rosefinch Carpodacus vinaceus and the Taiwan rosefinch C. formosanus from DNA polymorphisms of both autosomal and Z-linked loci. Our results suggest that the two rosefinch species diverged allopatrically approximately 0.5 Ma. Our approach allowed us further to infer that female effective population sizes are about five times larger than those of males, an estimate potentially useful when comparing the intensity of sexual selection across species.

  7. Spike timing and the coding of naturalistic sounds in a central auditory area of songbirds

    CERN Document Server

    Wright, B D; Bialek, W; Doupe, A J; Wright, Brian D.; Sen, Kamal; Bialek, William; Doupe, Allison J.

    2002-01-01

    In nature, animals encounter high dimensional sensory stimuli that have complex statistical and dynamical structure. Attempts to study the neural coding of these natural signals face challenges both in the selection of the signal ensemble and in the analysis of the resulting neural responses. For zebra finches, naturalistic stimuli can be defined as sounds that they encounter in a colony of conspecific birds. We assembled an ensemble of these sounds by recording groups of 10-40 zebra finches, and then analyzed the response of single neurons in the songbird central auditory area (field L) to continuous playback of long segments from this ensemble. Following methods developed in the fly visual system, we measured the information that spike trains provide about the acoustic stimulus without any assumptions about which features of the stimulus are relevant. Preliminary results indicate that large amounts of information are carried by spike timing, with roughly half of the information accessible only at time resol...

  8. Possible role of songbirds and parakeets in transmission of influenza A(H7N9) virus to humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jeremy C; Sonnberg, Stephanie; Koçer, Zeynep A; Shanmuganatham, Karthik; Seiler, Patrick; Shu, Yuelong; Zhu, Huachen; Guan, Yi; Peiris, Malik; Webby, Richard J; Webster, Robert G

    2014-03-01

    Avian-origin influenza A(H7N9) recently emerged in China, causing severe human disease. Several subtype H7N9 isolates contain influenza genes previously identified in viruses from finch-like birds. Because wild and domestic songbirds interact with humans and poultry, we investigated the susceptibility and transmissibility of subtype H7N9 in these species. Finches, sparrows, and parakeets supported replication of a human subtype H7N9 isolate, shed high titers through the oropharyngeal route, and showed few disease signs. Virus was shed into water troughs, and several contact animals seroconverted, although they shed little virus. Our study demonstrates that a human isolate can replicate in and be shed by such songbirds and parakeets into their environment. This finding has implications for these birds' potential as intermediate hosts with the ability to facilitate transmission and dissemination of A(H7N9) virus.

  9. Mismatch in sexual dimorphism of developing song and song control system in blue-capped cordon-bleus, a songbird species with singing females and males

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lobato, M; Vellema, Michiel; Gahr, C;

    2015-01-01

    Brain song control regions of adult passerine birds are sexually dimorphic in species such as the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) in which males sing whereas females do not. In many tropical bird species, however, females sing as well. Here we study for the first time the ontogeny of the song...... control system and the song in a species in which both male and female sing regularly. In blue-capped cordon-bleus (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus), a distant relative of the zebra finch, both males and females start singing at around 30–40 day post-hatching (dph). First we quantified that sex......-specific differences in song features emerged only in adulthood, after 250 dph of age: Adult females sang complex songs, which were slightly shorter and contained fewer syllables as compared to the males. Second, the development of forebrain song control regions HVC (proper name) and RA (nucleus robustus arcopallii...

  10. Paragonimosis in the Cajabamba and Condebamba districts, Cajamarca, Peru Paragonimíase nos distritos de Cajabamba e Condebamba, Cajamarca, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William CORNEJO

    2000-10-01

    Full Text Available Stool samples from 409 pre-school and school students, living in six villages of the Cajabamba and Condebamba districts, Cajamarca, Perú, were examined using wet preparations and Lumbreras' method, looking for Paragonimus eggs. Fecal and sputum samples from two children (0.5% of 6 and 8 year-old showed eggs of Paragonimus. One hundred and twenty freshwater crabs, Hypolobocera chilensis eigenmanni, were collected from the Condebamba valley and 21 (17.5% of them were infected with P. mexicanus (syn. P. peruvianus metacercariae. Our results show the persistence of Paragonimus in human beings and in the main source of infection, the crabs.As amostras de fezes de 409 pré-escolares e escolares de 6 localidades dos distritos de Cajabamba e de Condebamba, departamento de Cajamarca, Peru, foram avaliados pelo método de Lumbreras na busca de ovos de Paragonimus sp. Dois meninos (0,5%, de 6 a 8 anos de idade, revelaram ovos de Paragonimus sp. nas suas fezes, bem como nas amostras de escarro. O exame radiográfico de tórax mostrou lesões pulmonares. Foram coletados 120 caranguejos de rio, Hypolobocera chilensis eigenmanni, no vale de Condebamba , encontrando-se 21 (17,5% infectados com metacercárias de P. mexicanus (sin. P. peruvianus. Nossos resultados revelam a persistencia de Paragonimus sp. na população na sua principal fonte de infecção, os caranguejos.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. To see or not to see: evolution of eye degeneration in mexican blind cavefish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery, William R; Strickler, Allen G; Yamamoto, Yoshiyuki

    2003-08-01

    The evolutionary mechanisms responsible for the loss of eyes in cave animals are still unresolved. Hypotheses invoking natural selection or neutral mutation have been advanced to explain eye regression. Here we describe comparative molecular and developmental studies in the teleost Astyanax mexicanus that shed new light on this problem. A. mexicanus is a single species consisting of a sighted surface-dwelling form (surface fish) and many blind cave-dwelling forms (cavefish) from different caves. We first review the evolutionary relationships of Astyanax cavefish populations and conclude that eye degeneration may have evolved multiple times. We then compare the mechanisms of eye degeneration in different cavefish populations. We describe the results of experiments showing that programmed cell death of the lens plays a key role in controlling eye degeneration in these cavefish populations. We also show that Pax6 gene expression and fate determination in the optic primordia are modified similarly in different cavefish populations, probably due to hyperactive midline signaling. We discuss the contributions of the comparative developmental approach toward resolving the evolutionary mechanisms of eye degeneration. A new hypothesis is presented in which both natural selection and neutral mutation are proposed to have roles in cavefish eye degeneration.

  17. Microsatellite Organization in the B Chromosome and A Chromosome Complement in Astyanax (Characiformes, Characidae) Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piscor, Diovani; Parise-Maltempi, Patricia P

    2016-01-01

    The organization of microsatellites in B and sex chromosomes has been linked to chromosomal evolution in a number of animal groups. Here, the chromosomal organizations of (CA)15, (GA)15, (CG)15, (GACA)4, and (GATA)8 microsatellites were examined in several Astyanax species with different diploid numbers: Astyanax mexicanus (2n = 50 + 1 B chromosome), A. altiparanae (2n = 50), A. marionae (2n = 48), A. fasciatus (2n = 46), and A. schubarti (2n = 36). The (CA)15 and (GA)15 microsatellites were dispersed across the chromosomes of A. altiparanae and A. fasciatus but were also observed as clusters (CA and GA for A. altiparanae, and CA for A. fasciatus). In A. marionae and A. schubarti, the (CA)15 and (GA)15 microsatellites were dispersed but were also observed as clustered signals and coincident with heterochromatic regions. In all 4 of these species, the (CG)15 and (GACA)4 microsatellites were dispersed across chromosomes, and the (GATA)8 microsatellite was co-localized with 5S rDNA. In A. mexicanus, the (CA)15, (GA)15, (CG)15, (GATA)8, and (GACA)4 microsatellites were weakly detected and dispersed across the chromosomes of the A complement. On the B chromosome, signals for the different microsatellites were weak, strong, absent, weak, and absent, respectively. The distribution of microsatellites and the locational relationship between microsatellites and 5S rDNA are discussed, and a possible evolutionary pathway is proposed for microsatellites in Astyanax. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Revision of the Ambrysus guttatipennis Stål species complex (Heteroptera: Naucoridae: Cryphocricinae) with the descriptions of six new species from Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynoso-Velasco, Daniel; Sites, Robert W

    2016-08-22

    The Ambrysus guttatipennis Stål species complex is revised and includes A. arizonus La Rivers, A. bispinus La Rivers, A. drakei La Rivers, A. guttatipennis Stål, A. mexicanus Montandon, and A. mormon Montandon. Six new species that belong to this complex are described from Mexico: A. ayoyolin n. sp., A. bowlesi n. sp., A. contrerasi n. sp., A. itsipatsari n. sp., A. noveloi n. sp., and A. veracruzanus n. sp. The subspecies A. mormon australis La Rivers, A. m. heidemanni Montandon, and A. m. minor La Rivers are proposed as junior synonyms of A. m. mormon Montandon. A supplemental redescription of A. guttatipennis Stål based on the holotype is provided and a lectotype of A. mexicanus Montandon is designated. Ambrysus arizonus is newly recorded from Mexico and A. bispinus from Guatemala. Most of the species in this complex occur only in Mexico, although A. arizonus and A. mormon are distributed in Mexico and the United States, and A. bispinus is distributed in Mexico and Guatemala. Ambrysus mormon has the widest distribution of any species in this complex. Features uniting these species are related to male genitalia and structures associated with male and female genitalia.

  19. New records and description of two new species of carideans shrimps from Bahía Santa María-La Reforma lagoon, Gulf of California, Mexico (Crustacea, Caridea, Alpheidae and Processidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado-Barragán, José; Ayón-Parente, Manuel; Zamora-Tavares, Pilar

    2017-01-01

    Two new species of the family Alpheidae: Alpheus margaritaesp. n. and Leptalpheus melendezensissp. n. are described from Santa María-La Reforma, coastal lagoon, SE Gulf of California. Alpheus margaritaesp. n. is closely related to A. antepaenultimus and A. mazatlanicus from the Eastern Pacific and to A. chacei from the Western Atlantic, but can be differentiated from these by a combination of characters, especially the morphology of the scaphocerite and the first pereopods. Leptalpheus melendezensissp. n. resembles L. mexicanus but can be easily differentiated because L. melendezensissp. n. has the anterior margin of the carapace broadly rounded and has only one spine on the mesial margin of ischium in the major cheliped, versus an acute rostrum and an unarmed major cheliped. Additionally, a phylogenetic analysis was used to explore the relationships of these two new taxa. These results show that Alpheus margaritaesp. n. and Leptalpheus melendezensissp. n. are indeed related to the species against which we are comparing them, and demonstrate that they can be considered as different species. Additional specimens of Leptalpheus cf. mexicanus, Ambidexter panamensis and A. swifti are recorded for the first time in the Santa María-La Reforma coastal lagoon.

  20. Immobilizing and lethal effects of spider venoms on the cockroach and the common mealbeetle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedel, T; Nentwig, W

    1989-01-01

    Immobilizing and lethal effects of the venoms obtained from six spider species (Brachypelma albopilosum, Atrax robustus, Cupiennius salei, Selenops mexicanus, Tegenaria atrica, Argiope bruennichi) were tested on Blatta orientalis (cockroach) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). The immobilizing effects were quantified by measuring insect locomotor activity in circle arenas observed over 72 hr after venom injection. Both insect species showed cramps, quivering and jerking of the limbs as well as flaccid paralysis after venom injection. Through relative toxicity of the venoms tested is the same in T. molitor and B. orientalis, T. molitor is absolutely less sensitive to spider venoms. The effects on locomotor activity show time characteristics specific for each venom. A dependence of the venom paralyzing effects on insect locomotor activity, low intensity of the initial excitatory phase of the venom effects and partial recovery of the insects was found with A. bruennichi and T. atrica venom. The maximal venom yields of A. bruennichi and S. mexicanus are not lethal to B. orientalis, indicating that the mere immobilizing effects of spider venoms are far more crucial to prey capture than their lethal effects. The contribution of a variety of differently acting neurotoxic components in spider venoms to the observed venom effects on insects and the significance of the venoms in spider nutrition, hunting behaviour and ecology are discussed.

  1. Oviposição dos ácaros predadores Agistemus floridanus Gonzalez, Euseius concordis (Chant e Neoseiulus anonymus (Chant & Baker (Acari em resposta a diferentes tipos de alimento Oviposition of the predators Agistemus floridanus Gonzalez, Euseius concordis (Chant and Neoseiulus anonymus (Chant & Baker (Acari in response the different kinds of food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noeli Juarez Ferla

    2003-03-01

    Full Text Available Phytoseiidae and Sigmaeidae are the most common predatory mites on rubber tree leaves in the State of Mato Grosso, associated with phytophagous mites of the families Eriophyidae, Tenuipalpidae and Tetranychidae. The aim of this work was to compare the effect of different kinds of food, including different species of mites commonly found on the rubber tree in Mato Grosso, and one kind of pollen, on the oviposition of the predators Agistemus floridanus Gonzalez, 1965 (Stigmaeidae, Euseius concordis (Chant, 1959 and Neoseiulus anonymus (Chant & Baker, 1965, both Phytoseiidae. Those predators are common on rubber tree leaves in Mato Grosso. For the tests with A. floridanus, discs of 2 cm in diameter of rubber tree leaves were used as substrate. Food provided to the predators were the mites Calacarus heveae Feres, 1992, Oligonychus gossypii (Zacher, 1921, Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Banks, 1904, Tenuipalpus heveae Baker, 1945 and Tetranychus mexicanus (McGregor, 1950, and pollen of Typha angustifolia L. Agistemus floridanus accepted a larger variety of foodthan other predators. This was the only predator with high oviposition rate when fed C. heveae and T. heveae, the phytophagous mites considered most important on rubber trees. Euseius concordis and A. floridanus had nearly the same oviposition rates when fed pollen of T. angustifolia (ca. one egg per female per day. Neoseiulus anonymus had the highest oviposition rate than other predators when fed O. gossypii and T. mexicanus. Polyphagotarsonemus latus was the least suitable food for the predators studied.

  2. Current status of Paragonimus and paragonimiasis in Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvopiña, Manuel; Romero, Daniel; Castañeda, Byron; Hashiguchi, Yoshihisa; Sugiyama, Hiromu

    2014-11-01

    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.

  3. Acquisition Research: Creating Synergy for Informed Change. Proceedings of the Annual Acquisition Research Symposium (5th) Held in Monterey, California on 14-15 May 2008. Volume 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-04-23

    2006). The study of reform agendas and recommendations is an exercise in organizational evolution. Just as Darwin noted the beaks of the finches...maintenance) are carried out in South Australia. Minor war vessels are mostly home-ported and supported in Darwin and Cairns. The home-porting of...UNCLASSIFIED Acquisition Logistics Robotic Systems Joint Project Office PM UA MG Cartwright Funding Direction And Oversight OSD JGRE Mr. Melita Col Braden

  4. 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...... plants were dispersed via two pathways: dryfruited plants were preferentially dispersed by finches, while fleshy fruited species were mostly dispersed by other birds and reptiles....

  5. Lack of premating isolation at the base of a phylogenetic tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, B Rosemary; Grant, Peter R

    2002-07-01

    Darwin's finches in the Galápagos archipelago are an unusual example of adaptive radiation in that the basal split separates two lineages of warbler finches (Certhidea olivacea and Certhidea fusca) believed until recently to be only one species. The large genetic difference between them contrasts with their similarity in plumage, size, shape, and courtship behavior. They differ in song, which is a key factor in premating isolation of other sympatric Darwin's finches. We conducted playback experiments to see whether members of the population of C. olivacea on Santa Cruz Island would respond to songs of C. fusca from two islands, Genovesa and Pinta, and songs of C. olivacea from another island (Isabela). Another set of experiments was performed, using the same playback tapes, with C. fusca on Genovesa. Some members of both populations responded to all playbacks; therefore, the hypothesis of complete premating isolation on the basis of song is rejected. Discrimination between songs of the two lineages was inconsistent. We conclude that premating barriers to interbreeding among the tested populations have not arisen in the 1.5-2.0 m.yr. of their geographical isolation on different islands. This contrasts with strong premating barriers between more recently derived sympatric species. Early learning of song associated with morphology is later used in mate recognition. This explains why sympatric species that are vocally and morphologically distinct yet genetically less differentiated than Certhidea do not interbreed, whereas the Certhidea lineages that are genetically well differentiated but vocally and morphologically similar have no apparent premating barrier. We discuss this unusual situation in terms of the forces that have produced similarities and differences in song, morphology, and ecology and their relevance to phylogenetic and biological species concepts. Neither principles nor details are unique to Darwin's finches, and we conclude by pointing out strong

  6. 关公战秦琼

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    这场比赛是一个编辑的梦,让因"病态"出名的两人对抗。说服伊恩·柯蒂斯(Ian Curtis)去高尔夫球场是不现实的,让伊恩·贝克芬奇(Ian Baker-Finch)重回球场,坦白讲,也让人难以置信。

  7. Evolutionary Computation in Polymorphous Computing Architectures: Metaoptimization of the Scale In-Lining Priority Function for Trips

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-07-01

    functions for the TRIPS compiler. The experiments were executed on the Rose- Hulman Institute of Technology Beowulf cluster. The primary metric...parameter for this benchmark • Implemented a parallel version of Finch on a Beowulf cluster using the Message Passing Interface (MPI) • Completed a 17... Beowulf ” Linux cluster (brain.rose-hulman.edu). However, the Beowulf cluster does not provide NFS and PBS, so it was also necessary to modify

  8. The hawk–dove game in a sexually reproducing species explains a colourful polymorphism of an endangered bird

    OpenAIRE

    Kokko, Hanna; Simon C. Griffith; Pryke, Sarah R.

    2014-01-01

    The hawk–dove game famously introduced strategic game theory thinking into biology and forms the basis of arguments for limited aggression in animal populations. However, aggressive ‘hawks’ and peaceful ‘doves’, with strategies inherited in a discrete manner, have never been documented in a real animal population. Thus, the applicability of game-theoretic arguments to real populations might be contested. Here, we show that the head-colour polymorphism of red and black Gouldian finches (Erythr...

  9. [Natural helminth infection in Sicalis flaveola (Linnaeus, 1766), by Acuaria mayori Lent, Freitas and Proença, 1945 (Nematoda: Acuarioidea) in Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Maria L de A; Muniz-Pereira, Luís C; Pinto, Roberto M; Lins, Fernanda P; Riehl Vaz, Mônica G; de Abreu, Ana Paula M; de Souza, Paulo César A

    2005-01-01

    This is the first report of a natural infection in the saffron finch Sicalis flaveola (Linnaeus, 1766) captured in Brazil, with the establishment of a new host record for the acuarioid nematode Acuaria mayori Lent, Freitas and Proença, 1945, previously referred in Cyanocorax chrysops (Vieillot, 1818) from Paraguay and Sporophila caerulescens caerulescens (Vieillot, 1823) and C. cyanomelas (Wied, 1821) from Brazil and Myarchus nuttingi (Ridgway, 1883) from Costa Rica.

  10. 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.

  11. Ultraviolet pigments in birds evolved from violet pigments by a single amino acid change

    OpenAIRE

    Yokoyama, Shozo; Radlwimmer, F. Bernhard; Blow, Nathan S.

    2000-01-01

    UV vision has profound effects on the evolution of organisms by affecting such behaviors as mating preference and foraging strategies. Despite its importance, the molecular basis of UV vision is not known. Here, we have transformed the zebra finch UV pigment into a violet pigment by incorporating one amino acid change, C84S. By incorporating the reverse mutations, we have also constructed UV pigments from the orthologous violet pigments of the pigeon and chicken. These results and comparative...

  12. Internal incubation and early hatching in brood parasitic birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birkhead, T R; Hemmings, N; Spottiswoode, C N; Mikulica, O; Moskát, C; Bán, M; Schulze-Hagen, K

    2011-04-07

    The offspring of brood parasitic birds benefit from hatching earlier than host young. A proposed but little-known strategy to achieve this is 'internal incubation', by retaining the egg in the oviduct for an additional 24 h. To test this, we quantified the stage of embryo development at laying in four brood parasitic birds (European cuckoo, Cuculus canorus; African cuckoo, Cuculus gularis; greater honeyguide, Indicator indicator; and the cuckoo finch, Anomalospiza imberbis). For the two cuckoos and the honeyguide, all of which lay at 48 h intervals, embryos were at a relatively advanced stage at laying; but for the cuckoo finch (laying interval: 24 h) embryo stage was similar to all other passerines laying at 24 h intervals. The stage of embryo development in the two cuckoos and honeyguide was similar to that of a non-parasitic species that lay at an interval of 44-46 h, but also to the eggs of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata incubated artificially at body temperature immediately after laying, for a further 24 h. Comparison with the zebra finch shows that internal incubation in the two cuckoos and honeyguide advances hatching by 31 h, a figure consistent with the difference between the expected and the observed duration of incubation in the European cuckoo predicted from egg mass. Rather than being a specific adaptation to brood parasitism, internal incubation is a direct consequence of a protracted interval between ovulation (and fertilization) and laying, but because it results in early hatching may have predisposed certain species to become brood parasitic.

  13. Birds in Human Modified Environments and Bird Damage Control: Social, Economic, and Health Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-12-01

    Methiocarb has also been successfully used to reduce bird damage to fruit: sweet cherries (Guarino et al. 1973, 1974); sour cherries (Guarino et al...during the milk and dough stages of kernel development (Kelly and Dolbeer 1984, Avitrol label). Upon ingestion of 4-AP, blackbirds elicit strong distress...English sparrows Sweet Cherries Finches Sour Cherries Jays Grapes Orioles Robins Methiocarb birds Taste repellent (Registration Corn questionable

  14. Part-time employment in high school years: educational, social, and psychological effects.

    OpenAIRE

    Ransome, Myrna M.

    2006-01-01

    ABSTRACT This study focuses on the effects of part-time employment of high school students during the school year. While there are many benefits to be derived from part-time employment, many researchers have concluded that working intensely (over 20 hours per week) during the school year has deleterious academic, social, and psychological effects on high school studentsâ achievement (Bachman & Schulenberg, 1983; Mortimer & Finch, 1986; Steinberg & Dornbusch, 1991; Wright, Cullen, & Will...

  15. 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.

  16. Melatonin affects the temporal pattern of vocal signatures in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derégnaucourt, Sébastien; Saar, Sigal; Gahr, Manfred

    2012-10-01

    In humans and other animals, melatonin is involved in the control of circadian biological rhythms. Here, we show that melatonin affects the temporal pattern of behavioral sequences in a noncircadian manner. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) song and the crow of the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) are courtship vocalizations composed of a stereotyped sequence of syllables. The zebra finch song is learned from conspecifics during infancy, whereas the Japanese quail crow develops normally without auditory input. We recorded and analyzed the complete vocal activity of adult birds of both species kept in social isolation for several weeks. In both species, we observed a shortening of signal duration following the transfer from a light-dark (LD) cycle to constant light (LL), a condition known to abolish melatonin production and to disrupt circadian rhythmicity. This effect was reversible because signal duration increased when the photoperiod was returned to the previous LD schedule. We then tested whether this effect was directly related to melatonin by removal of the pineal gland, which is the main production site of circulating melatonin. A shortening of the song duration was observed following pinealectomy in LD. Likewise, melatonin treatment induced changes in the temporal structure of the song. In a song learning experiment, young pinealectomized finches and young finches raised in LL failed to copy the temporal pattern of their tutor's song. Taken together, these results suggest that melatonin is involved in the control of motor timing of noncircadian behavioral sequences through an evolutionary conserved neuroendocrine pathway. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  17. Transition from leg to wing forces during take-off in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provini, Pauline; Tobalske, Bret W; Crandell, Kristen E; Abourachid, Anick

    2012-12-01

    Take-off mechanics are fundamental to the ecology and evolution of flying animals. Recent research has revealed that initial take-off velocity in birds is driven mostly by hindlimb forces. However, the contribution of the wings during the transition to air is unknown. To investigate this transition, we integrated measurements of both leg and wing forces during take-off and the first three wingbeats in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata, body mass 15 g, N=7) and diamond dove (Geopelia cuneata, body mass 50 g, N=3). We measured ground reaction forces produced by the hindlimbs using a perch mounted on a force plate, whole-body and wing kinematics using high-speed video, and aerodynamic forces using particle image velocimetry (PIV). Take-off performance was generally similar between species. When birds were perched, an acceleration peak produced by the legs contributed to 85±1% of the whole-body resultant acceleration in finch and 77±6% in dove. At lift-off, coincident with the start of the first downstroke, the percentage of hindlimb contribution to initial flight velocity was 93.6±0.6% in finch and 95.2±0.4% in dove. In finch, the first wingbeat produced 57.9±3.4% of the lift created during subsequent wingbeats compared with 62.5±2.2% in dove. Advance ratios were aerodynamics during wingbeats 2 and 3. These results underscore the relatively low contribution of the wings to initial take-off, and reveal a novel transitional role for the first wingbeat in terms of force production.

  18. Refugia, colonization and diversification of an arid-adapted bird: coincident patterns between genetic data and ecological niche modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrientos, Rafael; Kvist, Laura; Barbosa, Andrés; Valera, Francisco; Khoury, Fares; Varela, Sara; Moreno, Eulalia

    2014-02-01

    Phylogeographical studies are common in boreal and temperate species from the Palaearctic, but scarce in arid-adapted species. We used nuclear and mitochondrial markers to investigate phylogeography and to estimate chronology of colonization events of the trumpeter finch Bucanetes githagineus, an arid-adapted bird. We used 271 samples from 16 populations, most of which were fresh samples but including some museum specimens. Microsatellite data showed no clear grouping according to the sampling locations. Microsatellite and mitochondrial data showed the clearest differentiation between Maghreb and Canary Islands and between Maghreb and Western Sahara. Mitochondrial data suggest differentiation between different Maghreb populations and among Maghreb and Near East populations, between Iberian Peninsula and Canary Islands, as well as between Western Sahara and Maghreb. Our coalescence analyses indicate that the trumpeter finch colonized North Africa during the humid Marine Isotope Stage 5 (MIS5) period of the Sahara region 125 000 years ago. We constructed an ecological niche model (ENM) to estimate the geographical distribution of climatically suitable habitats for the trumpeter finch. We tested whether changes in the species range in relation to glacial-interglacial cycles could be responsible for observed patterns of genetic diversity and structure. Modelling results matched with those from genetic data as the species' potential range increases in interglacial scenarios (in the present climatic scenario and during MIS5) and decreases in glacial climates (during the last glacial maximum, LGM, 21 000 years ago). Our results suggest that the trumpeter finch responded to Pleistocene climatic changes by expanding and contracting its range.

  19. Spot Rare Occurrences More Frequently by Lessening Inattentional Blindness

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-29

    FINCH, U. and LAVIE , N. 2007. The role of perceptual load in inattentional blindness. Cognition 102 (2007), 321–340. DOI 10.1016/j.cognition... LAVIE , N. 2008. Load induced blindness. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 34 (5), 1078-1091. DOI: 10.1037/0096...2011.09.013 RODA, C. and THOMAS, J. 2006. Attention Aware Systems: Theory , Application, and Research Agenda. Computers in Human Behavior," Computers in Human

  20. Energetic costs and implications of the intake of plant secondary metabolites on digestive and renal morphology in two austral passerines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barceló, Gonzalo; Ríos, Juan Manuel; Maldonado, Karin; Sabat, Pablo

    2016-07-01

    Seed-eating birds have a diet of high nutritional value; however, they must cope with plant secondary metabolites (PSM). We postulated that the detoxification capacity of birds is associated with a metabolic cost, given that the organs responsible for detoxification significantly contribute to energetic metabolism. We used an experimental approach to assess the effects of phenol-enriched diets on two passerines with different feeding habits: the omnivorous rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) and the granivorous common diuca-finch (Diuca diuca). The birds were fed with one of three diets: control diet, supplemented with tannic acid, or supplemented with Opuntia ficus-indica phenolic extract (a common food of the sparrow but not the finch). After 5 weeks of exposure to the diets, we measured basal metabolic rates (BMR), energy intake, glucuronic acid output and digestive and kidney structure. In both species, detoxification capacity expressed as glucuronic acid output was higher in individuals consuming phenol-enriched diets compared to the control diet. However, whereas sparrows increase energy intake and intestinal mass when feeding on phenol-enriched diets, finches had lower intestinal mass and energy intake remains stable. Furthermore, sparrows had higher BMR on phenol-enriched diets compared to the control group, whereas in the finches BMR remains unchanged. Interspecific differences in response to phenols intake may be determined by the dietary habits of these species. While both species can feed on moderate phenolic diets for 5 weeks, energy costs may differ due to different responses in food intake and organ structure to counteract the effects of PSM intake.

  1. Recovery of motor and cognitive function after cerebellar lesions in a songbird - Role of estrogens

    OpenAIRE

    Spence, RD; Zhen, Y.; White, S; Schlinger, BA; Day, LB

    2009-01-01

    In addition to its key role in complex motor function, the cerebellum is increasingly recognized to have a role in cognition. Songbirds are particularly good models for the investigation of motor and cognitive processes but little is known about the role of the songbird cerebellum in these processes. To explore cerebellar function in a songbird, we lesioned the cerebellum of adult female zebra finches and examined the effects on a spatial working memory task and on motor function during this ...

  2. Effects of vasoactive intestinal peptide on prolactin secretion in three species of passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vleck, C M; Patrick, D J

    1999-01-01

    Previous work on domesticated species has indicated that vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is an important prolactin-releasing factor in these birds, but no comparative work in passerine birds has been reported. This study showed that iv injections of VIP (50-100 microg/kg body mass) result in a dramatic, but transitory, rise in plasma prolactin in Mexican jays (Aphelocoma ultramarina). Significant increases in prolactin were also observed following VIP injection in blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) and zebra finches (Poephilla guttata). At the dosage we used, maximum levels of prolactin attained were slightly lower (Mexican jays) or very similar (blue jay and zebra finch) to the maximum prolactin levels observed in other, breeding birds of the same species. In zebra finches that initially had low prolactin, VIP injection resulted in a greater than 10-fold increase in prolactin within 10 min, but those individuals that already had elevated prolactin showed no further increase in response to VIP. Slow-release pellets of VIP implanted subcutaneously in Mexican jays and releasing 10 or 15 microg VIP/day (two or three pellets) produced a significant increase in plasma prolactin (78 and 92% rise, respectively) compared to birds with placebo pellets or with with one pellet releasing only 5 microg/day.

  3. Shared neural substrates for song discrimination in parental and parasitic songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louder, Matthew I M; Voss, Henning U; Manna, Thomas J; Carryl, Sophia S; London, Sarah E; Balakrishnan, Christopher N; Hauber, Mark E

    2016-05-27

    In many social animals, early exposure to conspecific stimuli is critical for the development of accurate species recognition. Obligate brood parasitic songbirds, however, forego parental care and young are raised by heterospecific hosts in the absence of conspecific stimuli. Having evolved from non-parasitic, parental ancestors, how brood parasites recognize their own species remains unclear. In parental songbirds (e.g. zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata), the primary and secondary auditory forebrain areas are known to be critical in the differential processing of conspecific vs. heterospecific songs. Here we demonstrate that the same auditory brain regions underlie song discrimination in adult brood parasitic pin-tailed whydahs (Vidua macroura), a close relative of the zebra finch lineage. Similar to zebra finches, whydahs showed stronger behavioral responses during conspecific vs. heterospecific song and tone pips as well as increased neural responses within the auditory forebrain, as measured by both functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and immediate early gene (IEG) expression. Given parallel behavioral and neuroanatomical patterns of song discrimination, our results suggest that the evolutionary transition to brood parasitism from parental songbirds likely involved an "evolutionary tinkering" of existing proximate mechanisms, rather than the wholesale reworking of the neural substrates of species recognition.

  4. 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.

  5. Fresnel incoherent correlation holography and its imaging properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhipeng; Ma, Haotong; Ren, Ge; Xie, Zongliang; Yu, Huan

    2016-09-01

    The incoherent digital holography makes it possible to record holograms under incoherent illumination, which lowers requirement for the coherence of light sources and results in expanding its application to white-light and fluorescence illuminating circumstances. The Fresnel Incoherent Correlation Holography (FINCH) technology achieves diverging the incident beam and shifting phase by mounting phase masks on the phase modulator. Then it obtains holograms with phase difference and reconstructs the image. In this paper, we explain the principles of the FINCH technology, and introduce the n-step phase-shifting method which is utilized to eliminate the twin image and bias term in holograms. During the research, we studied what impact the term n may have on imaging performance, compared imaging performances when different phase masks are mounted on SLM, and established simulation system on imaging with which imaging performances are deeply inspected. At last, it is shown in the research that the FINCH technology could record holograms of objects, from which clear images could be reconstructed digitally.

  6. 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.

  7. Meiotic recombination shapes precision of pedigree- and marker-based estimates of inbreeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, U; Kempenaers, B; Forstmeier, W

    2017-03-01

    The proportion of an individual's genome that is identical by descent (GWIBD) can be estimated from pedigrees (inbreeding coefficient 'Pedigree F') or molecular markers ('Marker F'), but both estimators come with error. Assuming unrelated pedigree founders, Pedigree F is the expected proportion of GWIBD given a specific inbreeding constellation. Meiotic recombination introduces variation around that expectation (Mendelian noise) and related pedigree founders systematically bias Pedigree F downward. Marker F is an estimate of the actual proportion of GWIBD but it suffers from the sampling error of markers plus the error that occurs when a marker is homozygous without reflecting common ancestry (identical by state). We here show via simulation of a zebra finch and a human linkage map that three aspects of meiotic recombination (independent assortment of chromosomes, number of crossovers and their distribution along chromosomes) contribute to variation in GWIBD and thus the precision of Pedigree and Marker F. In zebra finches, where the genome contains large blocks that are rarely broken up by recombination, the Mendelian noise was large (nearly twofold larger s.d. values compared with humans) and Pedigree F thus less precise than in humans, where crossovers are distributed more uniformly along chromosomes. Effects of meiotic recombination on Marker F were reversed, such that the same number of molecular markers yielded more precise estimates of GWIBD in zebra finches than in humans. As a consequence, in species inheriting large blocks that rarely recombine, even small numbers of microsatellite markers will often be more informative about inbreeding and fitness than large pedigrees.

  8. A survey of selected parasitic and viral pathogens in four species of Mexican parrots, Amazona autumnalis, Amazona oratrix, Amazona viridigenalis, and Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Elizabeth Gordon; Montiel-Parra, Griselda; Pérez, Tila Maria

    2005-06-01

    Isolated populations of four species of Mexican parrots were sampled for evidence of selected pathogens of concern in birds originating in Latin America. Data were collected between June and September 1997, and ectoparasite collection was repeated with Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha in September 2000. Serum samples from nine Amazona oratrix, 10 Amazona viridigenalis, 6 Amazona autumnalis, and 25 R. pachyrhyncha chicks were screened for neutralizing antibodies to psittacid herpesvirus and avian influenza and for antibodies to paramyxovirus serotypes 1 and 3. Chicks were also examined visually for fecal parasites and ectoparasites. All serologic and fecal parasite tests were negative. Ectoparasites included ticks, Ixodidae; mites, Ornithonyssus sylviarum; fleas, Psyttopsylla mexicana; lice, Paragoniocotes mexicanus, Heteromenopon sp., and Psittacobrosus sp.; and bugs, Ornithocoris sp. This study provides baseline information to guide future health studies.

  9. Global revision of the dulotic ant genus Polyergus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Formicinae, Formicini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trager, James C

    2013-01-01

    The genus Polyergus is characterized, and all valid species reinstated and re-described, and five new species described, based on morphometric, ecological, host-association, and biogeographic characteristics. Polyergus contains 14 species: 3 Palaearctic, 11 Nearctic. The rufescens group comprises western Eurasian rufescens Latreille 1804 including its former eastern subspecies tianschanicus Kuznetsov-Ugamsky 1927 new synonymy, and the following American species, informally called the breviceps complex: breviceps Emery 1893 sensu stricto, revised status, bicolor Wasmann 1901 new status, mexicanus Forel 1899 new status, topoffi new species, and vinosus new species. The lucidus group comprises longicornis M. R. Smith 1947 new status, lucidus Mayr 1870 sensu stricto, revised status, montivagus Wheeler 1915 new status, oligergus new species, ruber new species, and sanwaldi new species. The samurai group comprises two blackish forms: the western Asian P. nigerrimus Marikovsky 1963 and eastern Asian P. samurai Yano 1911. Polyergus texana Buckley 1866 is excluded from Polyergus.

  10. Ciénega de Chapala, Jalisco, México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. L. Martínez

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available En la Ciénega de Chapala se llevaron a cabo una serie de experimentos de laboratorio y campo para determinar la interacción biológica entre la alimentación de la chinche apestosa y la severidad de tizón de la panoja del sorgo, causado por el hongo Fusarium moniliforme. La chinche Oebalus mexicanus es el insecto que predomina sobre las panojas de sorgo en esa región. F. moniliforme fue aislado del interior del insecto. Las pruebas de transmisión del patógeno resultaron positivas. Pruebas de regresión realizadas para los datos de 1996 y 1997 indican que del 70% al 85% del daño por tizón de la panoja se explica por la abundancia de la chinche apestosa.

  11. 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 (blood Pb concentrations of black-necked stilts in this study suggest the presence of readily bioavailable sources of Pb, although potential impacts on local stilt populations remain unclear.

  12. Astyanax transgenesis and husbandry: how cavefish enters the laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elipot, Yannick; Legendre, Laurent; Père, Stéphane; Sohm, Frédéric; Rétaux, Sylvie

    2014-08-01

    Astyanax mexicanus, a teleost fish comprising both sighted river-dwelling and blind cave-dwelling morphs, is becoming increasingly used in the field of developmental and evolutionary biology. Thus, new experimental and technological tools are needed on this emerging fish model by the expanding scientific community. Here, we describe Astyanax husbandry and egg spawning habits, a prerequisite to the successful establishment of Astyanax transgenic lines. We then compare two different transgenesis methods on both surface and cave Astyanax. Both meganuclease (I-SceI)- and transposase (Tol2)-mediated transgenesis are equivalently efficient, resulting in ∼40% mosaic transgenic fish in F0. Furthermore, the transmission rate was analyzed in F1 in the case of the I-SceI method and was found to be 16%. Finally, the transgene was found stable up the F3 generation, demonstrating the feasibility of generating stable transgenic lines in Astyanax and opening a wide range of possibilities for this fish model.

  13. 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

  14. Evolutionary tuning of an adaptive behavior requires enhancement of the neuromast sensory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshizawa, Masato; Jeffery, William R

    2011-01-01

    Cave animals are faced with the challenge of carrying out fundamental life processes in a completely dark environment. Evolution of behavioral changes could be one of the key steps that adapt these animals to the absence of light. Astyanax mexicanus is a teleost with sighted surface dwelling (surface fish) and blind cave dwelling (cavefish) forms. Cavefish, a descendant of surface fish ancestors, have evolved a suite of constructive traits including an increase in the number and diameter of superficial neuromasts (SN). Prior to our study, no clear relationships had been established between constructive traits and the evolution of behavior. The current results link SN enhancement to vibration attraction behavior (VAB), a behavioral shift that is beneficial for feeding in a dark environment. We discuss a possible scenario in which the evolution of VAB may be a key factor in the establishment and survival of cavefish ancestors in the dark cave environment.

  15. Parental genetic effects in a cavefish adaptive behavior explain disparity between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshizawa, Masato; Ashida, Go; Jeffery, William R

    2012-09-01

    Epigenetic parental genetic effects are important in many biological processes but their roles in the evolution of adaptive traits and their consequences in naturally evolving populations remain to be addressed. By comparing two divergent blind cave-dwelling cavefish populations with a sighted surface-dwelling population (surface fish) of the teleost Astyanax mexicanus, we report here that convergences in vibration attraction behavior (VAB), the lateral line sensory receptors underlying this behavior, and the feeding benefits of this behavior are controlled by parental genetic effects, either maternal or paternal inheritance. From behavioral studies and mathematical evolutionary simulations, we further demonstrate that disparity in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA in one of these cavefish populations that has hybridized with surface fish can be explained by paternal inheritance of VAB. The results suggest that parental genetic effects in adaptive behaviors may be important factors in biasing mitochondrial DNA inheritance in natural populations that are subject to introgression.

  16. Gene cloning and functional characterization of four novel antimicrobial-like peptides from scorpions of the family Vaejovidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-Carreto, Santos; Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; Jiménez-Vargas, Juana María; Corzo, Gerardo; Possani, Lourival D; Becerril, Baltazar; Ortiz, Ernesto

    2012-04-01

    From the cDNA libraries made from the venom glands of two scorpions belonging to the Vaejovidae family, four different putative non disulfide-bridged antimicrobial peptides were identified: VmCT1 and VmCT2 from Vaejovis mexicanus smithi plus VsCT1 and VsCT2 from Vaejovis subcristatus. These short peptides (with only 13 amino acid residues each) share important amino acid sequence similarities among themselves and with other reported antimicrobial peptides, but their biological activities vary dramatically. This communication reports the cloning, chemical synthesis and characterization of these peptides. Two peptides, VmCT1 and VmCT2 showed broad-spectrum antibacterial activity with minimum inhibitory concentrations MICs in the range of 5-25 μM and 10-20 μM respectively, whereas their hemolytic activity at these concentrations was low. Structure-function relationships that might determine the differences in activities are discussed.

  17. Characterisation of Ophiostoma species associated with pine bark beetles from Mexico, including O. pulvinisporum sp. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xudong; de Beer, Z Wilhelm; Cibrian, David; Wingfield, Brenda D; Wingfield, Michael J

    2004-06-01

    Bark beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) are common vectors of Ophiostoma species. These fungi include primary tree pathogens and important sapstain agents. In Mexico, Ips calligraphus and Dendroctonus mexicanus occur on many species of pine. Pinus maximinoi and P. pseudostrobus are the hosts of both species of insects. Little research has been done on ophiostomatoid fungi associated with pine bark beetles in Mexico. We recently obtained specimens of these bark beetles and their galleries from Mexico. The aim of the study was to isolate and identify Ophiostoma species associated with the two beetle species. In total, six ophiostomatoid species were found to be associated with them. These included Ceratocystiopsis minuta, Ophiostoma pluriannulatum, an O. galeiformis-like species, two unidentified Sporothrix spp., as well as a new species similar to O. adjuncti, O. ips, and O. montium, that we name as O. pulvinisporum sp. nov.

  18. Ophioninae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae wasp community in the cloudy forest Monteseco, Cajamarca, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. The rapid return of marine-derived nutrients to a freshwater food web following dam removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonra, Christopher M; Sager-Fradkin, Kimberly A.; Morley, Sarah A; Duda, Jeff; Marra, Peter P.

    2015-01-01

    Dam removal is increasingly being recognized as a viable river restoration action. Although the main beneficiaries of restored connectivity are often migratory fish populations, little is known regarding recovery of other parts of the freshwater food web, particularly terrestrial components. We measured stable isotopes in key components to the freshwater food web: salmon, freshwater macroinvertebrates and a river specialist bird, American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus), before and after removal of the Elwha Dam, WA, USA. Less than a year after dam removal, salmon returned to the system and released marine-derived nutrients (MDN). In that same year we documented an increase in stable-nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios in American dippers. These results indicate that MDN from anadromous fish, an important nutrient subsidy that crosses the aquatic–terrestrial boundary, can return rapidly to food webs after dams are removed which is an important component of ecosystem recovery.

  20. 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.