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Sample records for kakapo strigops habroptilus

  1. Anatomical specializations for nocturnality in a critically endangered parrot, the Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corfield, Jeremy R; Gsell, Anna C; Brunton, Dianne; Heesy, Christopher P; Hall, Margaret I; Acosta, Monica L; Iwaniuk, Andrew N

    2011-01-01

    The shift from a diurnal to nocturnal lifestyle in vertebrates is generally associated with either enhanced visual sensitivity or a decreased reliance on vision. Within birds, most studies have focused on differences in the visual system across all birds with respect to nocturnality-diurnality. The critically endangered Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus), a parrot endemic to New Zealand, is an example of a species that has evolved a nocturnal lifestyle in an otherwise diurnal lineage, but nothing is known about its' visual system. Here, we provide a detailed morphological analysis of the orbits, brain, eye, and retina of the Kakapo and comparisons with other birds. Morphometric analyses revealed that the Kakapo's orbits are significantly more convergent than other parrots, suggesting an increased binocular overlap in the visual field. The Kakapo exhibits an eye shape that is consistent with other nocturnal birds, including owls and nightjars, but is also within the range of the diurnal parrots. With respect to the brain, the Kakapo has a significantly smaller optic nerve and tectofugal visual pathway. Specifically, the optic tectum, nucleus rotundus and entopallium were significantly reduced in relative size compared to other parrots. There was no apparent reduction to the thalamofugal visual pathway. Finally, the retinal morphology of the Kakapo is similar to that of both diurnal and nocturnal birds, suggesting a retina that is specialised for a crepuscular niche. Overall, this suggests that the Kakapo has enhanced light sensitivity, poor visual acuity and a larger binocular field than other parrots. We conclude that the Kakapo possesses a visual system unlike that of either strictly nocturnal or diurnal birds and therefore does not adhere to the traditional view of the evolution of nocturnality in birds.

  2. Anatomical specializations for nocturnality in a critically endangered parrot, the Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy R Corfield

    Full Text Available The shift from a diurnal to nocturnal lifestyle in vertebrates is generally associated with either enhanced visual sensitivity or a decreased reliance on vision. Within birds, most studies have focused on differences in the visual system across all birds with respect to nocturnality-diurnality. The critically endangered Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus, a parrot endemic to New Zealand, is an example of a species that has evolved a nocturnal lifestyle in an otherwise diurnal lineage, but nothing is known about its' visual system. Here, we provide a detailed morphological analysis of the orbits, brain, eye, and retina of the Kakapo and comparisons with other birds. Morphometric analyses revealed that the Kakapo's orbits are significantly more convergent than other parrots, suggesting an increased binocular overlap in the visual field. The Kakapo exhibits an eye shape that is consistent with other nocturnal birds, including owls and nightjars, but is also within the range of the diurnal parrots. With respect to the brain, the Kakapo has a significantly smaller optic nerve and tectofugal visual pathway. Specifically, the optic tectum, nucleus rotundus and entopallium were significantly reduced in relative size compared to other parrots. There was no apparent reduction to the thalamofugal visual pathway. Finally, the retinal morphology of the Kakapo is similar to that of both diurnal and nocturnal birds, suggesting a retina that is specialised for a crepuscular niche. Overall, this suggests that the Kakapo has enhanced light sensitivity, poor visual acuity and a larger binocular field than other parrots. We conclude that the Kakapo possesses a visual system unlike that of either strictly nocturnal or diurnal birds and therefore does not adhere to the traditional view of the evolution of nocturnality in birds.

  3. Gut microbiome of the critically endangered New Zealand parrot, the kakapo (Strigops habroptilus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David W Waite

    Full Text Available The kakapo, a parrot endemic to New Zealand, is currently the focus of intense research and conservation efforts with the aim of boosting its population above the current 'critically endangered' status. While virtually nothing is known about the microbiology of the kakapo, given the acknowledged importance of gut-associated microbes in vertebrate nutrition and pathogen defense, it should be of great conservation value to analyze the microbes associated with kakapo. Here we describe the first study of the bacterial communities that reside within the gastrointestinal tract (GIT of both juvenile and adult kakapo. Samples from along the GIT, taken from the choana (≈ throat, crop and faeces, were subjected to 16 S rRNA gene library analysis. Phylogenetic analysis of >1000 16 S rRNA gene clones, derived from six birds, revealed low phylum-level diversity, consisting almost exclusively of Firmicutes (including lactic acid bacteria and Gammaproteobacteria. The relative proportions of Firmicutes and Gammaproteobacteria were highly consistent among individual juveniles, irrespective of sampling location, but differed markedly among adult birds. Diversity at a finer phylogenetic resolution (i.e. operational taxonomic units (OTUs of 99% sequence identity was also low in all samples, with only one or two OTUs dominating each sample. These data represent the first analysis of the bacterial communities associated with the kakapo GIT, providing a baseline for further microbiological study, and facilitating conservation efforts for this unique bird.

  4. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-MDOM-05-0629 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-MDOM-05-0629 ref|YP_025950.1| NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 [Strigops habroptil...us] gb|AAP47794.1| NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 [Strigops habroptilus] YP_025950.1 0.28 24% ...

  5. Ultraviolet visual sensitivity in three avian lineages: paleognaths, parrots, and passerines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aidala, Zachary; Huynen, Leon; Brennan, Patricia L R; Musser, Jacob; Fidler, Andrew; Chong, Nicola; Machovsky Capuska, Gabriel E; Anderson, Michael G; Talaba, Amanda; Lambert, David; Hauber, Mark E

    2012-07-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) light-transmitted signals play a major role in avian foraging and communication, subserving functional roles in feeding, mate choice, egg recognition, and nestling discrimination. Sequencing functionally relevant regions of the short wavelength sensitive type 1 (SWS1) opsin gene that is responsible for modulating the extent of SWS1 UV sensitivity in birds allows predictions to be made about the visual system's UV sensitivity in species where direct physiological or behavioral measures would be impractical or unethical. Here, we present SWS1 segment sequence data from representative species of three avian lineages for which visually based cues for foraging and communication have been investigated to varying extents. We also present a preliminary phylogenetic analysis and ancestral character state reconstructions of key spectral tuning sites along the SWS1 opsin based on our sequence data. The results suggest ubiquitous ultraviolet SWS1 sensitivity (UVS) in both paleognaths, including extinct moa (Emeidae), and parrots, including the nocturnal and flightless kakapo (Strigops habroptilus), and in most, but not all, songbird (oscine) lineages, and confirmed violet sensitivity (VS) in two suboscine families. Passerine hosts of avian brood parasites were included both UVS and VS taxa, but sensitivity did not co-vary with egg rejection behaviors. The results should stimulate future research into the functional parallels between the roles of visual signals and the genetic basis of visual sensitivity in birds and other taxa.

  6. Inheritance of telomere length in a bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thorsten Horn

    Full Text Available Telomere dynamics are intensively studied in human ageing research and epidemiology, with many correlations reported between telomere length and age-related diseases, cancer and death. While telomere length is influenced by environmental factors there is also good evidence for a strong heritable component. In human, the mode of telomere length inheritance appears to be paternal and telomere length differs between sexes, with females having longer telomeres than males. Genetic factors, e.g. sex chromosomal inactivation, and non-genetic factors, e.g. antioxidant properties of oestrogen, have been suggested as possible explanations for these sex-specific telomere inheritance and telomere length differences. To test the influence of sex chromosomes on telomere length, we investigated inheritance and sex-specificity of telomere length in a bird species, the kakapo (Strigops habroptilus, in which females are the heterogametic sex (ZW and males are the homogametic (ZZ sex. We found that, contrary to findings in humans, telomere length was maternally inherited and also longer in males. These results argue against an effect of sex hormones on telomere length and suggest that factors associated with heterogamy may play a role in telomere inheritance and sex-specific differences in telomere length.

  7. A lost link between a flightless parrot and a parasitic plant and the potential role of coprolites in conservation paleobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Jamie R; Wilmshurst, Janet M; Worthy, Trevor H; Holzapfel, Avi S; Cooper, Alan

    2012-12-01

    Late Quaternary extinctions and population fragmentations have severely disrupted animal-plant interactions globally. Detection of disrupted interactions often relies on anachronistic plant characteristics, such as spines in the absence of large herbivores or large fruit without dispersers. However, obvious anachronisms are relatively uncommon, and it can be difficult to prove a direct link between the anachronism and a particular faunal taxon. Analysis of coprolites (fossil feces) provides a novel way of exposing lost interactions between animals (depositors) and consumed organisms. We analyzed ancient DNA to show that a coprolite from the South Island of New Zealand was deposited by the rare and threatened kakapo (Strigops habroptilus), a large, nocturnal, flightless parrot. When we analyzed the pollen and spore content of the coprolite, we found pollen from the cryptic root-parasite Dactylanthus taylorii. The relatively high abundance (8.9% of total pollen and spores) of this zoophilous pollen type in the coprolite supports the hypothesis of a former direct feeding interaction between kakapo and D. taylorii. The ranges of both species have contracted substantially since human settlement, and their present distributions no longer overlap. Currently, the lesser short-tailed bat (Mystacina tuberculata) is the only known native pollinator of D. taylorii, but our finding raises the possibility that birds, and other small fauna, could have once fed on and pollinated the plant. If confirmed, through experimental work and observations, this finding may inform conservation of the plant. For example, it may be possible to translocate D. taylorii to predator-free offshore islands that lack bats but have thriving populations of endemic nectar-feeding birds. The study of coprolites of rare or extinct taxonomic groups provides a unique way forward to expand existing knowledge of lost plant and animal interactions and to identify pollination and dispersal syndromes. This

  8. Hindlimb myology of the monk parakeet (Aves, Psittaciformes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carril, Julieta; Mosto, María C; Picasso, Mariana B J; Tambussi, Claudia P

    2014-07-01

    We studied the hindlimb myology of the monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus). Like all parrots, it has zygodactyl feet enabling perching, climbing, hanging, moving easily among trees, and handling food. Muscles were described and weighed, and physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) of four flexors and one extensor was calculated. In comparison to other muscles, the M. tibialis cranialis and the M. fibularis brevis show increased development and high PCSA values, and therefore, large potential force production. Also, a large proportion of muscle mass was involved in flexing the digits. We hypothesize that these muscle traits are associated with the arboreal locomotion and food manipulation habits. In the monk parakeet, the M. extensor digitorum longus sends a branch to the hallux, and the connection between the M. flexor digitorum longus and the M. flexor hallucis longus is type I (Gadow's classification). We reaffirm the presence of the M. ambiens as a plesiomorphic condition that disappears in most members of the order. Among Psittaciformes, the M. fibularis brevis is stronger and the M. fibularis weaker in arboreal species than in basal terrestrial ones (e.g., Strigops). © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Effect of Ure B Subunit Vaccine Immunization on Serum Proteins in Dairy Cows%脲酶B亚单位疫苗免疫对奶牛血清蛋白质组分的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    袁廷杰; 王加启; 杨永新; 卜登攀; 章玉涛; 赵圣国; 周凌云; 李发弟

    2012-01-01

    This study was to investigate the changes of serum proteins in dairy cows immunized with Ure B sub-unit vaccine. Eight healthy cows were divided into 2 groups and immunized with 0. 2 mg antigen protein or saline by intramuscular injection on both sides of the hip, once every two weeks, and total 4 times for immunization. Serum samples were collected on 56 d after immunization with Ure B subunit vaccine. Specific antibody in blood samples were determined by ELISA methods. Serum proteomic analysis were performed using two-dimensional gel electro-phoresis (2-DE) coupled with MALDI-TOF-TOF mass spectrometer. Specific IgG were significantly higher after the cows immunized with Ure B subunit vaccine than control groups(P 0.05). Proteomic analysis revealed 6 protein spots were differentially expressed, and 3 spots were successfully identified. Haptoglobin precursor and 3 unknown spots were up-regulated in cows immunized with Ure B subunit vaccine, while Kakapo was down-regulated. The current study showed that cows injection with Ure B subunit vaccine can result in the change of haptoglobin, Kakapo and other proteins, which provide the basis for further research of the physiology effects of Ure B subunit vaccine on dairy cows.%为探讨脲酶B(Ure B)亚单位疫苗免疫后奶牛血清蛋白质组分的表达变化.选用8头健康的泌乳荷斯坦奶牛,分为免疫处理组和空白对照组,分别于胯部两侧肌肉注射Ure B亚单位疫苗(含抗原蛋白0.2 mg)和生理盐水,每隔2周进行加强免疫,并于免疫后第56天采集奶牛血样,用间接ELISA法测定血清中特异性IgG 、IgM和IgA效价,用二维凝胶电泳(2-DE)结合MALDI-TOF-TOF质谱技术研究血清蛋白质组表达变化.免疫处理组奶牛血清中特异性IgG效价显著高于对照组(P<0.05),但Ure B免疫对奶牛血清中特异性IgM和IgA效价无显著影响(P>0.05).血清蛋白质组分析发现6个差异表达蛋白点,其中3个蛋白点得到有效鉴定.