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Sample records for lemur lemur catta

  1. Implicit sequence learning in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drucker, Caroline B; Baghdoyan, Talia; Brannon, Elizabeth M

    2016-01-01

    Implicit learning involves picking up information from the environment without explicit instruction or conscious awareness of the learning process. In nonhuman animals, conscious awareness is impossible to assess, so we define implicit learning as occurring when animals acquire information beyond what is required for successful task performance. While implicit learning has been documented in some nonhuman species, it has not been explored in prosimian primates. Here we ask whether ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) learn sequential information implicitly. We tested lemurs in a modified version of the serial reaction time task on a touch screen computer. Lemurs were required to respond to any picture within a 2 × 2 grid of pictures immediately after its surrounding border flickered. Over 20 training sessions, both the locations and the identities of the images remained constant and response times gradually decreased. Subsequently, the locations and/or the identities of the images were disrupted. Response times indicated that the lemurs had learned the physical location sequence required in original training but did not learn the identity of the images. Our results reveal that ring-tailed lemurs can implicitly learn spatial sequences, and raise questions about which scenarios and evolutionary pressures give rise to perceptual versus motor-implicit sequence learning. © 2015 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

  2. Hepatic capillariasis in captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zordan, Martin; Tirado, Marcela; López, Claudia

    2012-06-01

    A female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and her two cubs held in a zoo in Chile exhibited signs of severe hepatic insufficiency. In spite of supportive treatment, the three animals died a few days after the onset of signs. Postmortem examination revealed ascites and fibrotic lesions in the liver of all the individuals. Histologically, the liver of two of them showed a severe parasitic ova infection and lipidosis, the morphologic characteristics of the parasitic ovas were consistent with Capillaria hepatica (syn. Calodium hepatica) eggs. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first clinical case report of hepatic capillariasis in prosimians, and its implications are discussed.

  3. Bifidobacterium lemurum sp. nov., from faeces of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Modesto, Monica; Michelini, Samanta; Stefanini, Ilaria; Sandri, Camillo; Spiezio, Caterina; Pisi, Annamaria; Filippini, Gianfranco; Biavati, Bruno; Mattarelli, Paola

    2015-01-01

    Four Gram-positive-staining, microaerophilic, non-spore-forming, fructose-6-phosphate phosphoketolase-positive bacterial strains were isolated from a faecal sample of a 5-year-old ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta...

  4. The vomeronasal organ of Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Timothy D; Muchlinski, Magdalena N; Bhatnagar, Kunwar P; Durham, Emily L; Bonar, Christopher J; Burrows, Anne M

    2015-02-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO), also known as the Jacobson's organ, is a bilateral chemosensory organ found at the base of the nasal cavity specialized for the detection of higher-molecular weight (non-volatile) chemostimuli. It has been linked to pheromone detection. The VNO has been well studied in nocturnal lemurs and lorises, but poorly studied in diurnal/cathemeral species despite the large repertoire of olfactory behaviors noted in species such as Lemur catta. Here, the VNO and associated structures were studied microanatomically in one adult female and one adult male L. catta. Traditional and immunohistochemical procedures demonstrate the VNO epithelium consists of multiple rows of sensory neurons. Immunoreactivity to Growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43) indicates the VNO is postnatally neurogenic. In volume, the VNO neuroepithelium scales similarly to palatal length compared to nocturnal strepsirrhines. Numerous taste buds present at the oral opening to the nasopalatine duct, with which the VNO communicates, provide an additional (or alternative) explanation for the flehmen behavior that has been observed in this species. The VNO of L. catta is shown to be microanatomically comparable to that of nocturnal strepsirrhines. Like nocturnal strepsirrhines, the VNO of L. catta may be functional in the reception of high-molecular weight secretions. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Planning of supply and habitat for ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) in Biopark Lipovec

    OpenAIRE

    Cirkulan, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Ring-tailed Lemur or Kata (Lemur catta) is a species of lemur, which naturally inhabits the gallery forests and spiny scrub of the African island Madagascar. With other lemur species it is one of the endemic species. And it is an extremely flexible and opportunistic species. According to the IUCN Red List from 2014 Ring-tailed Lemur is an endangered species, and is often bred in parks and zoos as part of breeding programs around the world in order to maintain diverse genetic bank and a health...

  6. Evidence for social learning in wild lemurs (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendal, Rachel L; Custance, Deborah M; Kendal, Jeremy R; Vale, Gillian; Stoinski, Tara S; Rakotomalala, Nirina Lalaina; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina

    2010-08-01

    Interest in social learning has been fueled by claims of culture in wild animals. These remain controversial because alternative explanations to social learning, such as asocial learning or ecological differences, remain difficult to refute. Compared with laboratory-based research, the study of social learning in natural contexts is in its infancy. Here, for the first time, we apply two new statistical methods, option-bias analysis and network-based diffusion analysis, to data from the wild, complemented by standard inferential statistics. Contrary to common thought regarding the cognitive abilities of prosimian primates, our evidence is consistent with social learning within subgroups in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), supporting the theory of directed social learning (Coussi-Korbel & Fragaszy, 1995). We also caution that, as the toolbox for capturing social learning in natural contexts grows, care is required in ensuring that the methods employed are appropriate-in particular, regarding social dynamics among study subjects. Supplemental materials for this article may be downloaded from http://lb.psychonomic-journals.org/content/supplemental.

  7. Solitary Osteochondroma in a Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, Katharine L; Boedeker, Nancy C; Gordon, Sebastian S; Walsh, Timothy F

    2015-08-01

    A 20-y-old, male, ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) presented with a large, firm mass on the proximal caudolateral left femur. The animal displayed no clinical signs associated with the mass. Radiographs revealed a mineralized mass protruding from the femur, with an intact femoral cortex. Histopathology diagnosed osteochondroma in view of the presence of a peripheral layer of cartilage with progressive endochondral ossification and typical remodeling of bony trabeculae. The mass grew quickly after the initial biopsy, and a second surgery to debulk 95% of the tumor was performed. Histopathologic features of the larger samples were similar to those of the initial biopsies, with the cartilage layer being discontinuous and development of bone from some borders progressing directly from a periost-like layer. Nineteen months after the second surgery, the mass had regrown and extended further proximally on the femur toward the epiphysis, but the animal remained asymptomatic, and additional debulking was not attempted. This report is the first description of an osteochondroma in a prosimian and describes unique behavior of the tumor compared with osteochondromas found in humans, dogs, and cats.

  8. Numerical Rule-Learning in Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur Catta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merritt, Dustin J.; MacLean, Evan L.; Crawford, Jeremy Chase; Brannon, Elizabeth M.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated numerical discrimination and numerical rule-learning in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Two ring-tailed lemurs were trained to respond to two visual arrays, each of which contained between one and four elements, in numerically ascending order. In Experiment 1, lemurs were trained with 36 exemplars of each of the numerosities 1–4 and then showed positive transfer to trial-unique novel exemplars of the values 1–4. In Experiments 2A and 2B, lemurs were tested on their ability to transfer an ascending numerical rule from the values 1–4 to novel values 5–9. Both lemurs successfully ordered the novel values with above chance accuracy. Accuracy was modulated by the ratio between the two numerical values suggesting that lemurs accessed the approximate number system when performing the task. PMID:21713071

  9. Numerical Rule-Learning in Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dustin eMerritt

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated numerical discrimination and numerical rule-learning in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta. Two ring-tailed lemurs were trained to respond to two visual arrays, each of which contained between one and four elements, in numerically ascending order. In Experiment 1, lemurs were trained with 36 exemplars of each of the numerosities 1-4 and then showed positive transfer to trial-unique novel exemplars of the values 1-4. In Experiments 2A and 2B, lemurs were tested on their ability to transfer an ascending numerical rule from the values 1-4 to novel values 5-9. Both lemurs successfully ordered the novel values with above chance accuracy. Accuracy was modulated by the ratio between the two numerical values suggesting that lemurs accessed the approximate number system when performing the task.

  10. Rapid Decrease in Populations of Wild Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta) in Madagascar.

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    LaFleur, Marni; Clarke, Tara A; Reuter, Kim; Schaeffer, Toby

    2016-01-01

    Lemurs are the most threatened group of mammals on earth. Lemur catta (ring-tailed lemur) represents one of the most iconic lemur species and faces numerous anthropogenic threats in the wild. In this study, we present population estimates from 32 sites across the range of L. catta, collected from primary and secondary data sources, to assess the number of ring-tailed lemurs left in the wild. We estimate that there are approximately 2,220 individual L. catta remaining in the 32 sites considered. We note local extinctions of populations of L. catta in at least 12 of the 32 sites examined, and that significantly more extinctions occurred in areas without some form of protection. This decrease in extant populations could represent a decrease of more than 95% of all ring-tailed lemurs in Madagascar since the year 2000. While these results should be considered preliminary, we stress the rapid decline of the species and note that habitat loss, bushmeat hunting and the illegal pet trade are driving populations to local extinction. Based on the data presented here, urgent and immediate funding and conservation action are crucial to ensure the viability of the remaining wild populations of ring-tailed lemurs. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  11. Genetic Diversity of the Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) in South-Central Madagascar.

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    Clarke, Tara A; Gray, Olivia; Gould, Lisa; Burrell, Andrew S

    2015-01-01

    Madagascar's lemurs, now deemed the most endangered group of mammals, represent the highest primate conservation priority in the world. Due to anthropogenic disturbances, an estimated 10% of Malagasy forest cover remains. The endangered Lemur catta is endemic to the southern regions of Madagascar and now occupies primarily fragmented forest habitats. We examined the influence of habitat fragmentation and isolation on the genetic diversity of L. catta across 3 different forest fragments in south-central Madagascar. Our analysis revealed moderate levels of genetic diversity. Genetic differentiation among the sites ranged from 0.05 to 0.11. These data suggest that the L. catta populations within south-central Madagascar have not yet lost significant genetic variation. However, due to ongoing anthropogenic threats faced by ring-tailed lemurs, continued conservation and research initiatives are imperative for long-term viability of the species. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. Minimum Alveolar Concentration and Cardiopulmonary Effects of Isoflurane in Ring-tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinnadurai, Sathya K; Balko, Julie A; Williams, Cathy V

    2017-07-01

    The goal of this study was to determine the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) and cardiopulmonary effects of isoflurane in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). The MAC of isoflurane was determined by using a tail-clamp stimulus in adult ring-tailed lemurs (6 male, 4 female). Once MAC was determined, another group of 10 adult ring-tailed lemurs (5 male, 5 female) were anesthetized and instrumented similarly as the previous group and maintained at 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 times MAC for 15 min each with no external stimulation. Five lemurs were exposed to increasing concentrations (that is, 0.5 times MAC increasing to 2 times MAC), and the other 5 animals were exposed to decreasing concentrations. MAC of isoflurane for ringtailed lemurs was 1.9%. The animals became hypotensive, but no significant differences were found in heart rate or systolic, mean, and diastolic blood pressures at the different multiples of MAC examined. At 1 MAC, all lemurs developed a moderate respiratory acidosis, which became more severe at 2 MAC. Given these findings, isoflurane at 0.5 to 2 times MAC in ringtailed lemurs does not result in predictable depression of blood pressure, but hypoventilation occurs at 1 MAC or greater.

  13. Evaluation of modified techniques for immobilization of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

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    Larsen, R Scott; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2011-12-01

    Wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) can be anesthetized with Telazol via blow dart, but improved techniques are needed so that each lemur is reliably induced with a single dart. Medetomidine-butorphanol (MB) is a good supplemental protocol to be administered once the lemurs are captured, but other protocols may provide longer periods of sedation and immobility. One possible way of increasing the efficacy of each dart is to increase the time it is retained in the leg. In this investigation, a "double-sleeve" technique was used to try to increase the time of dart retention. This technique used a standard silicone sleeve on the needle, along with a second sleeve at the needle hub. Induction values were compared between lemurs darted with double-sleeve needles and those induced with needles that each had a single silicone sleeve. Once the lemurs were induced, supplementation with MB (0.04 mg/kg and 0.2 mg/kg) was compared with supplementation with ketamine-medetomidine (KM) (10 mg/ kg and 0.04 mg/kg). Twenty-three lemurs were darted with Telazol by using single-sleeve needles, and 24 were darted with double-sleeve needles. The number of darts per lemur and number of escapes were not different between animals darted with a single sleeve compared with a double-sleeve; thus, there were no significant improvements in induction success with the double-sleeve technique. Adequate sedation and muscle relaxation were achieved with both MB and KM; however, lemurs that received MB were more relaxed and needed fewer additional supplements that those that received KM. Single-sleeve dart needles are recommended for Telazol induction of ring-tailed lemurs via blow dart and MB is preferable to KM for supplemental sedation and muscle relaxation.

  14. Adult play fighting and potential role of tail signals in ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

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    Palagi, Elisabetta

    2009-02-01

    Adult strepsirrhines have been completely neglected in the study of animal play. I focused on adult play fighting and the role of tail-play as a signal in ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Tail-play is performed during play fighting, when lemurs anoint or, more rarely, wave their tails toward the playmate. During the prereproductive period, male and female lemurs engaged in play fighting with comparable frequencies, as was expected to occur in monomorphic species such as L. catta. The dyads showing low aggression rates engaged most frequently in play fighting, and polyadic play was frequently performed. Signals seem to be important in avoiding escalation to real aggression, especially when the playfulness of performers can be misunderstood by recipients. Tail-play was most frequent (a) in the dyads with low grooming rates (low familiarity degree) and (b) during the most risky play sessions (polyadic ones). Thus, tail-play can be considered as a useful tool for play communication in ringtailed lemurs. Copyright 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

  15. Surgical correction of an arteriovenous fistula in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boedeker, Nancy C; Guzzetta, Philip; Rosenthal, Steven L; Padilla, Luis R; Murray, Suzan; Newman, Kurt

    2014-02-01

    A 10-y-old ovariohysterectomized ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was presented for exacerbation of respiratory signs. The lemur had a history of multiple examinations for various problems, including traumatic lacerations and recurrent perivulvar dermatitis. Examination revealed abnormal lung sounds and a femoral arteriovenous fistula with a palpable thrill and auscultable bruit in the right inguinal area. A diagnosis of congestive heart failure was made on the basis of exam findings, radiography, abdominal ultrasonography, and echocardiography. The lemur was maintained on furosemide until surgical ligation of the fistula was performed. Postoperative examination confirmed successful closure of the fistula and resolution of the signs of heart failure. Arteriovenous fistulas are abnormal connections between an artery and a vein that bypass the capillary bed. Large arteriovenous fistulas may result in decreased peripheral resistance and an increase in cardiac output with consequent cardiomegaly and high output heart failure. This lemur's high-flow arteriovenous fistula with secondary heart failure may have been iatrogenically induced during blood collection by prior femoral venipuncture. To our knowledge, this report is the first description of an arteriovenous fistula in a prosimian. Successful surgical correction of suspected iatrogenic femoral arteriovenous fistulas in a cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis) and a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) have been reported previously. Arteriovenous fistula formation should be considered as a rare potential complication of venipuncture and as a treatable cause of congestive heart failure in lemurs.

  16. Antipredator Vocalization Usage in the Male Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolt, Laura M; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a group-living strepsirrhine primate endemic to Madagascar that faces considerable predation pressure from aerial and terrestrial predators. This species engages in mobbing and vigilance behavior in response to predators, and has referential alarm vocalizations. Because L. catta is female dominant, less is known about the alarm calls of males. We tested 3 hypotheses for male antipredator vocalization behavior on L. catta at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve in Madagascar: the predator confusion, group maintenance, and predation risk allocation hypotheses. We found support for 2 hypotheses. When a male L. catta made an antipredator call, other group members vocalized in response. Dominant males did not make alarm calls at higher rates than subordinate males. Predators were more abundant on the western side of Parcel 1, but an even greater number of antipredator vocalizations occurred in this area than predator abundance warranted. We show that male L. catta consistently participated in group-level antipredator vocalization usage in high-risk locations. Although female L. catta are known to hold the primary role in group defense, male L. catta are also key participants in group-wide behaviors that may confuse or drive away predators. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  17. Field anesthesia of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) using tiletamine-zolazepam, medetomidine, and butorphanol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, R Scott; Moresco, Anneke; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2011-03-01

    Telazol has been commonly used for field anesthesia of wild lemurs, including ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Telazol alone provides good induction, but doesn't cause adequate muscle relaxation and sedation for collecting consistent somatic measurements and high-quality dental impressions that are sometimes needed. Variability in induction response has been seen between individuals that have received similar dosages, with young lemurs seeming to need more anesthetic than mature lemurs. This investigation evaluated Telazol induction in young (2.0-4.9 yr) and mature (> or = 5.0 yr) ring-tailed lemurs and compared postinduction supplementation with medetomidine or medetomidine-butorphanol. Forty-eight lemurs were anesthetized with Telazol administered via blow dart; then, 20 min after darting, they were supplemented via hand injection with either medetomidine (0.04 mg/ kg) or medetomidine-butorphanol (0.04 mg/kg and 0.2 mg/kg, respectively). The odds ratio for young lemurs to need more than one dart for induction, relative to mature lemurs, was 3.8, even though the initial dose of Telazol received by young lemurs (19 +/- 7 mg/kg) was significantly higher than the initial dose administered to mature lemurs (12 +/- 5 mg/kg). The total Telazol dosage was also significantly different between young lemurs (33 +/- 15 mg/kg) and mature lemurs (18 +/- 9 mg/kg). Both medetomidine and medetomidine-butorphanol provided good muscle relaxation and sedation for all procedures. Physiologic values were similar between the two protocols. Oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry was generally good, although there were a few SaO2 values lemurs. In young lemurs, time to standing was correlated with Telazol induction dosage and time of last Telazol administration. Lemurs that received hand injections of Telazol took longer to recover than those that did not. Further refinements are needed to increase induction reliability and to decrease recovery time, particularly in young lemurs.

  18. Primate breeding season: photoperiodic regulation in captive Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Horn, R N

    1975-01-01

    Under natural light in Portland, Oreg., captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) experience a breeding season that differs by nearly half a year from the season in Madagascar. A series of experimental day length changes from 1971 to 1974 demonstrated the ability of both temperate and tropical photoperiod cycles to induce estrous cycles in quiescent animals. After photoperiodic activation, most impregnated females failed to resume estrous cycles even after infant separations unless they received additional photoperiod changes. Unimpregnated females, on the other hand, showed no significant decline in the incidence of estrous cycles under prolonged exposure to a constant day length regimen (12.OL:12.OD) for over a year.

  19. The Gut Microbiome of Wild Lemurs: A Comparison of Sympatric Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, Andrew T

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian gut microbes are invaluable to the host's metabolism, but few researchers have examined gut microbial dynamics under natural conditions in wild mammals. This study aims to help fill this knowledge gap with a survey of the natural variation of the gut microbiome in 2 wild lemur species, Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi. The wild L. catta were also compared to a captive population to discern the effect of habitat within a species. Gut microbial DNA was extracted from fecal samples collected in Madagascar and the Vienna Zoo and sequenced. The wild and captive L. catta had distinct microbial communities, likely due to differences in diet and development between their populations. The wild L. catta and P. verreauxi also had distinct gut microbiomes, due to a change in microbial abundance, not composition. Within each lemur species, there was abundant variation between individuals and from the dry to the wet season. The intraspecific and temporal microbial variation requires more investigation, with changes in diet a likely contributor. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. Taenia crassiceps cysticercosis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luzón, Mónica; de la Fuente-López, Concepción; Martínez-Nevado, Eva; Fernández-Morán, Jesús; Ponce-Gordo, Francisco

    2010-06-01

    Subcutaneous and intraperitoneal cysticercosis due to Taenia crassiceps was diagnosed in a 5-yr-old male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) in the Madrid Zoo-Aquarium (Madrid, Spain). Under laparoscopic examination, several septated fibrous cystic structures and numerous masses of small transparent vesicles (ca. 3 mm in diameter) were observed subcutaneously and inside the peritoneal cavity. Most of the structures were extirpated but, after 2 days of postsurgical intensive care, the animal died. The loss of body weight of the animal after surgical extirpation (566 g) represented 22% of the total weight (body weight before mass removal, 2582 g). The vesicles were identified under light microscopic examination as cysticerci and by molecular diagnosis as Cysticercus longicollis, the larval form of T. crassiceps. The present report represents the first detection of T. crassiceps in the prosimian genus Lemur.

  1. Draft Genome Sequence of Bifidobacterium lemurum DSM 28807T Isolated from the Gastrointestinal Tracts of Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta)

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    Toh, Hidehiro; Matsubara, Takehiro; Tomida, Shuta; Mimura, Iyo; Arakawa, Kensuke; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bifidobacterium lemurum DSM 28807T was isolated from the gastrointestinal tracts of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Here, we report the first draft genome sequence of this organism. PMID:28232445

  2. Draft Genome Sequence of Bifidobacterium lemurum DSM 28807(T) Isolated from the Gastrointestinal Tracts of Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toh, Hidehiro; Matsubara, Takehiro; Tomida, Shuta; Mimura, Iyo; Arakawa, Kensuke; Kikusui, Takefumi; Morita, Hidetoshi

    2017-02-23

    Bifidobacterium lemurum DSM 28807(T) was isolated from the gastrointestinal tracts of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Here, we report the first draft genome sequence of this organism. Copyright © 2017 Toh et al.

  3. Male-specific use of the purr in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolt, Laura M

    2014-01-01

    In mammals, purring has been described in mostly affiliative contexts. In the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), both males and females purr, but only males were observed purring in agonistic contexts. In order to determine whether male ring-tailed lemurs purr as aggressive displays during intrasexual agonistic encounters, 480 h of focal data were collected on 25 adult males from Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, from March to July 2010. The male purring rate increased during periods of male-male agonism when compared to times without intrasexual agonism, and the purring rate was positively correlated with male dominance rank. However, the purring rate was not significantly higher during winning agonistic interactions when compared with losing encounters. My results indicate that the male ring-tailed lemur purr is used most frequently as an agonistic vocalization in male-male encounters, in addition to being used less frequently in other social contexts, including during tail-waving at females, resting, scent-marking, feeding and copulation. Dominant males have higher purring rates across social situations, suggesting that the purring rate may be driven by intrinsic male qualities rather than functioning as a meaningful signal in each disparate social context. Male purring in intrasexual agonistic encounters can be added to previously described social contexts for ring-tailed lemur purring.

  4. Nocturnal ranging by a diurnal primate: are ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) cathemeral?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parga, Joyce A

    2011-07-01

    Cathemerality, an activity pattern comprised of distinct periods of diurnal and nocturnal activity, is a trait found among several of the Malagasy strepsirhines and one species of Aotus. Because occasional anecdotal reports suggest that some diurnal primates can be active at night, I investigated the possibility of nocturnal ranging behavior in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) by using global positioning system (GPS) collars programmed to collect data across a 24-h period. Five individuals in a provisioned, free-ranging L. catta colony on St. Catherines Island, Georgia, USA, wore GPS collars across 1 week of the mating season. Results revealed that night ranging behavior occurred between the h of 1900 and 0530. An evaluation of the effect of moonlight on nocturnal activity showed that a greater rate of travel occurred during moonlit periods as opposed to periods when the moon had not yet risen. Distance travelled at night decreased across the deployment period, likely because of a decrease in available moonlight over time, as the lemurs were collared during a waning moon. Fewer mating opportunities over time may have also been responsible for the decrease in night ranging, because the number of females in estrus declined across the deployment period. Future research is needed to separate the effects of moonlight and mating activity on night ranging in this species, as well as to evaluate whether L. catta in Madagascar show night ranging similar to L. catta on SCI. These data raise the possibility that L. catta may be cathemeral, with an activity pattern fluctuating between diurnality and cathemerality in accordance with shifts in environmental conditions.

  5. Preliminary study to investigate the Delboeuf illusion in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta: Methodological Challenges.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Santacà

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Visual illusions are commonly used in animal cognition studies to compare visual perception among vertebrates. To date, researchers have focused their attention mainly on birds and mammals, especially apes and monkeys, but no study has investigated sensitivity to visual illusions in prosimians. Here we investigated whether lemurs (Lemur catta perceive the Delboeuf illusion, a well-known illusion that occurs when subjects misperceive the relative size of an item because of its surrounding context. In particular, we adopted the spontaneous preference paradigm used in chimpanzees and observed lemurs’ ability to select the larger amount of food. In control trials, we presented two different amounts of food on two identical plates. In test trials, we presented equal food portion sizes on two plates differing in size: If lemurs were sensitive to the illusion, they were expected to select the food portion presented on the smaller plate. In control trials, they exhibited poor performance compared to other mammals previously observed, being able to discriminate between the two quantities only in the presence of a 0.47 ratio. This result prevented us from drawing any conclusion regarding the subjects’ susceptibility to the Delboeuf illusion. In test trials with the illusory pattern, however, the subjects’ choices did not differ from chance. Our data suggest that the present paradigm is not optimal for testing the perception of the Delboeuf illusion in lemurs and highlight the importance of using different methodological approaches to assess the perceptual mechanisms underlying size discrimination among vertebrates.

  6. Radiographic thoracic anatomy of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

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    Makungu, Modesta; du Plessis, Wencke M; Barrows, Michelle; Groenewald, Hermanus B; Koeppel, Katja N

    2014-06-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a quadruped arboreal primate primarily distributed in south and south-western Madagascar. This study was carried out to describe the normal radiographic thoracic anatomy of the ring-tailed lemur as a reference for clinical use. Radiography of the thorax was performed in 15 captive ring-tailed lemurs during their annual health examinations. Normal radiographic reference ranges for thoracic structures were established and ratios were calculated, such as the vertebral heart score (VHS). The mean VHS on the right lateral and dorsoventral views was 8.92 ± 0.47 and 9.42 ± 0.52, respectively. Differences exist in the normal radiographic thoracic anatomy of primates. Knowledge of the normal radiographic thoracic anatomy of individual species is important and fundamental to assist in clinical cases and for accurate diagnosis of diseases. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Spontaneous social orienting and gaze following in ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

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    Shepherd, Stephen V; Platt, Michael L

    2008-01-01

    Both human and nonhuman primates preferentially orient toward other individuals and follow gaze in controlled environments. Precisely where any animal looks during natural behavior, however, remains unknown. We used a novel telemetric gaze-tracking system to record orienting behavior of ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) interacting with a naturalistic environment. We here provide the first evidence that ringtailed lemurs, group-living prosimian primates, preferentially gaze towards other individuals and, moreover, follow other lemurs' gaze while freely moving and interacting in naturalistic social and ecological environments. Our results support the hypothesis that stem primates were capable of orienting toward and following the attention of other individuals. Such abilities may have enabled the evolution of more complex social behavior and cognition, including theory of mind and language, which require spontaneous attention sharing. This is the first study to use telemetric eye-tracking to quantitatively monitor gaze in any nonhuman animal during locomotion, feeding, and social interaction. Moreover, this is the first demonstration of gaze following by a prosimian primate and the first to report gaze following during spontaneous interaction in naturalistic social environments.

  8. Activity patterns in seven captive lemur species: Evidence of cathemerality in Varecia and Lemur catta?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bray, Joel; Samson, David R; Nunn, Charles L

    2017-06-01

    Cathemerality, or activity throughout the 24-hr cycle, is rare in primates yet relatively common among lemurs. However, the diverse ecological conditions under which cathemerality is expressed complicates attempts to identify species-typical behavior. For example, Lemur catta and Varecia have historically been described as diurnal, yet recent studies suggest that they might exhibit cathemeral behavior under some conditions. To investigate this variation, we monitored activity patterns among lemurs that are exposed to similar captive environments. Using MotionWatch 8 ® actigraphy data loggers, we studied 88 lemurs across seven species at the Duke Lemur Center (DLC). Six species were members of the family Lemuridae (Eulemur coronatus, E. flavifrons, E. mongoz, L. catta, V. rubra, V. variegata), while a seventh was strictly diurnal and included as an out-group (Propithecus coquereli). For each 24-hr cycle (N = 503), we generated two estimates of cathemerality: mean night (MN) activity and day/night (DN) activity ratio (day and night cutoffs were based on astronomical twilights). As expected, P. coquereli engaged in the least amount of nocturnal activity according to both measures; their activity was also outside the 95% confidence intervals of all three cathemeral Eulemur species, which exhibited the greatest evidence of cathemerality. By these estimates, Varecia activity was most similar to Eulemur and exhibited substantial deviations from P. coquereli (β (MN) = 0.22 ± SE 0.12; β (DN) = -0.21 ± SE 0.12). L. catta activity patterns also deviated from P. coquereli (β (MN) = 0.12 ± SE 0.11; β (DN) = -0.15 ± SE 0.12) but to a lesser degree than either Varecia or Eulemur. Overall, L. catta displayed an intermediate activity pattern between Eulemur and P. coquereli, which is somewhat consistent with wild studies. Regarding Varecia, although additional observations in more diverse wild habitats are needed, our findings support

  9. High faecal glucocorticoid levels predict mortality in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ethan Pride, R

    2005-01-01

    Glucocorticoid levels are commonly used as measures of stress in wild animal populations, but their relevance to individual fitness in a wild population has not been demonstrated. In this study I followed 93 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Berenty Reserve in Madagascar, collecting 1089 faecal samples from individually recognized animals, and recording their survival over a 2 year period. I evaluated faecal glucocorticoid levels as predictors of individual survival to the end of the study. Animals with high glucocorticoid levels had a significantly higher mortality rate. This result suggests that glucocorticoid measures can be useful predictors of individual survival probabilities in wild populations. The ‘stress landscape’ indicated by glucocorticoid patterns may approximate the fitness landscape to which animals adapt. PMID:17148128

  10. Sex ratios provide evidence for monozygotic twinning in the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Clair, John; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin; Lathe, Richard

    2014-02-01

    Monozygotic (MZ) twinning is generally considered to be rare in species other than human. We inspected sex ratios in European zoo-bred ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), revealing a significant excess of same-sex twins. Of 94 pairs, 60 (64%) were either both males or both females (p = .004). Application of the Weinberg differential rule argues that 27% of all twins in this species are MZ pairs. In this protected species, where twinning is commonplace (~50% of newborns are twins), the probable existence of frequent MZ twinning has ramifications for breeding programs aimed to maximize genetic diversity, and suggests that twin studies in a species other than human could have potential as a medical research tool.

  11. Androgen levels and female social dominance in Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Engelhardt, N; Kappeler, P M; Heistermann, M

    2000-01-01

    Morphological and behavioural traits which improve agonistic power are subject to intrasexual selection and, at the proximate level, are influenced by circulating androgens. Because intrasexual selection in mammals is more intense among males, they typically dominate females. Female social dominance is therefore unexpected and, indeed, rare. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are sexually monomorphic primates in which all adult females dominate all males. The goal of our study was to test the prediction that female dominance in this species is associated with high androgen levels. Using two captive groups, we collected data on agonistic behaviour and non-invasively assessed their androgen concentrations in faeces and saliva by enzyme immunoassay. We found that adult female L. catta do not have higher androgen levels than males. However, during the mating season there was a twofold increase in both the androgen levels and conflict rates among females. This seasonal increase in their androgen levels was probably not due to a general increase in ovarian hormone production because those females showing the strongest signs of follicular development tended to have low androgen concentrations. At the individual level neither the individual aggression rates nor the proportion of same-sexed individuals dominated were correlated with their androgen levels. We conclude that female dominance in ring-tailed lemurs is neither based on physical superiority nor on high androgen levels and that it is equally important to study male subordination and prenatal brain priming effects for a complete understanding of this phenomenon. PMID:11007329

  12. Evaluating ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from southwestern Madagascar for a genetic population bottleneck.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parga, Joyce A; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Jacky, Ibrahim Antho Youssouf; Lawler, Richard R

    2012-01-01

    In light of historical and recent anthropogenic influences on Malagasy primate populations, in this study ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) samples from two sites in southwestern Madagascar, Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR) and Tsimanampetsotsa National Park (TNP), were evaluated for the genetic signature of a population bottleneck. A total of 45 individuals (20 from BMSR and 25 from TNP) were genotyped at seven microsatellite loci. Three methods were used to evaluate these populations for evidence of a historical bottleneck: M-ratio, mode-shift, and heterozygosity excess tests. Three mutation models were used for heterozygosity excess tests: the stepwise mutation model (SMM), two-phase model (TPM), and infinite allele model (IAM). M-ratio estimations indicated a potential bottleneck in both populations under some conditions. Although mode-shift tests did not strongly indicate a population bottleneck in the recent historical past when samples from all individuals were included, a female-only analysis indicated a potential bottleneck in TNP. Heterozygosity excess was indicated under two of the three mutation models (IAM and TPM), with TNP showing stronger evidence of heterozygosity excess than BMSR. Taken together, these results suggest that a bottleneck may have occurred among L. catta in southwestern Madagascar in the recent past. Given knowledge of how current major stochastic climatic events and human-induced change can negatively impact extant lemur populations, it is reasonable that comparable events in the historical past could have caused a population bottleneck. This evaluation additionally functions to highlight the continuing environmental and anthropogenic challenges faced by lemurs in southwestern Madagascar. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. RADIOGRAPHIC AND ULTRASONOGRAPHIC ABDOMINAL ANATOMY IN CAPTIVE RING-TAILED LEMURS (LEMUR CATTA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makungu, Modesta; du Plessis, Wencke M; Barrows, Michelle; Groenewald, Hermanus B; Koeppel, Katja N

    2016-06-01

    The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is primarily distributed in south and southwestern Madagascar. It is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Various abdominal diseases, such as hepatic lipidosis, intestinal ulcers, cystitis, urinary tract obstruction, and neoplasia (e.g., colonic adenocarcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma), have been reported in this species. The aim of this study was to describe the normal radiographic and ultrasonographic abdominal anatomy in captive ring-tailed lemurs to provide guidance for clinical use. Radiography of the abdomen and ultrasonography of the liver, spleen, kidneys, and urinary bladder were performed in 13 and 9 healthy captive ring-tailed lemurs, respectively, during their annual health examinations. Normal radiographic and ultrasonographic reference ranges for abdominal organs were established and ratios were calculated. The majority (12/13) of animals had seven lumbar vertebrae. The sacrum had mainly (12/13) three segments. Abdominal serosal detail was excellent in all animals, and hypaxial muscles were conspicuous in the majority (11/13) of animals. The spleen was frequently (12/13) seen on the ventrodorsal (VD) view and rarely (3/13) on the right lateral (RL) view. The liver was less prominent and well contained within the ribcage. The pylorus was mostly (11/13) located to the right of the midline. The right and left kidneys were visible on the RL and VD views, with the right kidney positioned more cranial and dorsal to the left kidney. On ultrasonography, the kidneys appeared ovoid on transverse and longitudinal views. The medulla was hypoechoic to the renal cortex. The renal cortex was frequently (8/9) isoechoic and rarely (1/9) hyperechoic to the splenic parenchyma. The liver parenchyma was hypoechoic (5/5) to the renal cortex. Knowledge of the normal radiographic and ultrasonographic abdominal anatomy of ring-tailed lemurs may be useful in the diagnosis of diseases and in

  14. Iron deficiency anemia in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) with concurrent chronic renal failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Kadie M; Wolf, Karen N

    2014-02-15

    A 16-year-old vasectomized male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) with a history of suspected chronic renal failure was evaluated because of extreme lethargy, hyperpnea, and abscess of the right pectoral scent gland. Examination of the anesthetized patient revealed an impacted right pectoral scent gland with serosanguineous exudate. A CBC and serum biochemical analysis revealed severe anemia, marked azotemia, hyperphosphatemia, and hypocalcemia. Supportive care (including fluid therapy and phosphorus binder administration) was initiated for renal failure; the affected gland was cleaned, and antimicrobials were administered. The patient received 1 blood transfusion, and darbepoetin alfa was administered weekly to stimulate RBC production. Anemia and azotemia persisted. Three months after treatment started, serum iron analysis revealed that iron deficiency was the probable cause for the lack of a consistent regenerative response to darbepoetin injections. Iron dextran injections resulted in a marked regenerative response; however, serum biochemical analysis results after the second injection were consistent with hepatic injury. Hepatic enzyme activities normalized following discontinuation of iron dextran treatment, but the lemur's Hct declined rapidly despite supplementary iron administration PO. The patient developed severe mandibular osteomyelitis and was euthanized because of poor prognosis. Postmortem evaluation of hepatic iron concentration confirmed iron deficiency. The family Lemuridae is considered prone to hemosiderosis and hemochromatosis, which delayed rapid diagnosis and treatment of the lemur's disease. Apparent hepatic injury following iron dextran injections further complicated treatment. Findings for this lemur support the use of species-specific total iron binding capacity and total serum iron and ferritin concentrations in evaluation of an animal with suspected iron deficiency.

  15. External genital morphology of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta): females are naturally "masculinized".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drea, Christine M; Weil, Anne

    2008-04-01

    The extravagance and diversity of external genitalia have been well characterized in male primates; however, much less is known about sex differences or variation in female form. Our study represents a departure from traditional investigations of primate reproductive anatomy because we 1) focus on external rather than internal genitalia, 2) measure both male and female structures, and 3) examine a strepsirrhine rather than an anthropoid primate. The subjects for morphological study were 21 reproductively intact, adult ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), including 10 females and 11 males, two of which (one per sex) subsequently died of natural causes and also served as specimens for gross anatomical dissection. Male external genitalia presented a typical masculine configuration, with a complex distal penile morphology. In contrast, females were unusual among mammals, presenting an enlarged, pendulous external clitoris, tunneled by the urethra. Females had a shorter anogenital distance and a larger urethral meatus than did males, but organ diameter and circumference showed no sex differences. Dissection confirmed these characterizations. Noteworthy in the male were the presence of a "levator penis" muscle and discontinuity in the corpus spongiosum along the penile shaft; noteworthy in the female were an elongated clitoral shaft and glans clitoridis. The female urethra, while incorporated within the clitoral body, was not surrounded by erectile tissue, as we detected no corpus spongiosum. The os clitoridis was 43% the length and 24% the height of the os penis. On the basis of these first detailed descriptions of strepsirrhine external genitalia (for either sex), we characterize those of the female ring-tailed lemur as moderately "masculinized." Our results highlight certain morphological similarities and differences between ring-tailed lemurs and the most male-like of female mammals, the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), and call attention to a potential hormonal

  16. Cuterebrid myiasis (Diptera: Oestridae) in captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at a South Carolina zoo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuten, Holly C; Miller, Heather C; Ellis, Angela E

    2011-09-01

    In September 2008, two ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), comprising a mother-daughter pair, at the Greenville Zoo, Greenville, South Carolina, USA, were diagnosed with cuterebrid myiasis (Diptera: Oestridae) subsequent to sudden death of the adult lemur. On necropsy, a single bot warble was discovered in the subcutis of the axillary region. Histopathology revealed a severe eosinophilic bronchopneumonia. The juvenile lemur was inspected and found to have warbles on three separate dates in late September. One representative bot fly larva was identified as a Cuterebra sp. that normally infests lagomorphs in the southeastern United States. Cuterebrid myiasis is rarely reported in lemurs and has not been previously associated with pneumonia or death in these animals.

  17. Localized toxoplasmosis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) causing placentitis, stillbirths, and disseminated fetal infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juan-Sallés, Carles; Mainez, Mireia; Marco, Alberto; Sanchís, Ana M Malabia

    2011-09-01

    Localized, myocardial toxoplasmosis contributed to the death of a female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) 1 week after the delivery of 4 stillborn offspring with disseminated toxoplasmosis; the diagnosis was obtained by histopathology and immunohistochemistry in all 5 lemurs. Varying degrees of placentitis and placental edema with intralesional Toxoplasma gondii immunolabeling were observed in the 3 available placentas. The dam had severe myocarditis, and T. gondii antigen was only detected in the myocardial lesions. Disseminated toxoplasmosis with mild encephalitis was noted in all 4 fetuses, and 2 of the fetuses had mild acute multifocal hepatic necrosis. Fetal death was attributed to placental insufficiency with subsequent hypoxia and amniotic fluid aspiration.

  18. Fatal pulmonary cysticercosis caused by Cysticercus longicollis in a captive ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alić, Amer; Hodžić, Adnan; Škapur, Vedad; Alić, Alma Šeho; Prašović, Senad; Duscher, Georg G

    2017-07-15

    Here we describe fatal pulmonary cysticercosis caused by Cysticercus longicollis, the larval stage of Taenia crassiceps in a 15-year-old female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) from Sarajevo Zoo. After sudden death, the lemur was subjected to necropsy and large multicystic structure, subdivided with fibrous septa and filled with numerous translucent, oval to ellipsoid bladder-like cysts (cysticerci), almost completely replacing right lung lobe was observed. In addition, numerous free and encysted cysticerci were found in the thoracic cavity. Histopathology revealed connective tissue outlined cavities that compress lung parenchyma. Each cavity contained several thin walled cysticerci with single inverted protoscolex, one or more suckers and rostelum with two rows of hooks. In many of the cysticerci one or several exogenous buds of daughter cysticerci were observed. Based on morphology and microscopic appearance the parasite was identified as C. longicollis. Subsequent molecular analysis and sequencing confirmed presumptive diagnosis. To our knowledge, this case represents the first report of T. crassiceps and cysticercosis caused by C. longicollis in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Relationships between steroid hormones in hair and social behaviour in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennenhouse, Erica M; Putman, Sarah; Boisseau, Nicole P; Brown, Janine L

    2017-01-01

    Relationships between the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal and hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axes and social behaviour in primates are complex. By using hair to quantify steroid hormones, one can obtain retrospective estimates of long-term free hormone levels from a single sample. In this study, hair was used to quantify long-term levels of cortisol, testosterone, and estradiol among members of a colony of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) to explore associations between intra- and intersexual levels of these hormones and social behaviour between the breeding and birthing seasons. Positive trends between hair cortisol and rates of receiving aggression approached significance for males and females after controlling for age. While there was no relationship between sex steroid concentrations and intrasexual social interactions, high rates of aggression in females over the study period coincided with females exhibiting the same average concentrations of testosterone as males. We, therefore, conclude that being the recipient of aggression might be more stressful than being aggressive in ring-tailed lemurs, and that testosterone potentially mediates female dominance in this species. We suggest that further investigation of hair hormones and behaviour in additional primate species could provide a useful comparative framework to guide interpretation of these novel findings.

  20. Well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemeth, N M; Blas-Machado, U; Cazzini, P; Oguni, J; Camus, M S; Dockery, K K; Butler, A M

    2013-02-01

    A 16-year-old male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was presented with severe cachexia and an abdominal mass. The encapsulated, multilobular mass replaced the right medial lobe of the liver and compressed the adjacent gall bladder. Multiple haemorrhages and necrotic foci were found within the mass. Microscopically, neoplastic cells formed cords of moderately pleomorphic, polygonal cells with mild to moderate anaplasia. Immunohistochemical markers used for diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinomas in man were used to characterize the neoplastic cells, which expressed hepatocyte-specific antigen, but not glypican-3 or polyclonal carcinoembryonic antigen. Gross, microscopical and immunohistochemical features of the tumour were most consistent with a well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma. Although this tumour is common among prosimians, to the authors' knowledge this is the first documented case in a ring-tailed lemur. Hepatocellular carcinomas have been associated with hepatitis virus infections and excessive hepatic iron in man; however, no association was established between this tumour and viral infection or hepatic iron storage disease in the present case. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. A scoring system for coat and tail condition in ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Wiebke; Jolly, Alison; Rambeloarivony, Hajarimanitra; Andrianome, Vonjy; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina

    2009-03-01

    Coat condition can be influenced by a wide variety of disorders and thus provides a useful tool for noninvasive health and welfare assessments in wild and captive animals. Using Lemur catta as an exemplar, we offer a 6-step scoring system for coat and tail condition, ranging from perfectly fluffy to half or more of body and tail being hairless. The categories are described in detail and illustrated with sample pictures from a wild population in Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. Furthermore, we elaborate on intermediate conditions and discoloration of fur. Coat condition scoring allows the comparison between years, seasons, and the effect of toxin, disease or stress. Although this system was developed for wild L. catta, we believe it can also be of value for other species. We recommend scoring coat condition in healthy wild mammal populations to give a baseline on yearly and seasonal variations vs. deteriorating health conditions or pathology. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Paternity in wild ring‐tailed lemurs (Lemur catta): Implications for male mating strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauther, Michelle L.; Cuozzo, Frank P.; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho; Lawler, Richard R.; Sussman, Robert W.; Gould, Lisa; Pastorini, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    1 In group‐living species with male dominance hierarchies where receptive periods of females do not overlap, high male reproductive skew would be predicted. However, the existence of female multiple mating and alternative male mating strategies can call into question single‐male monopolization of paternity in groups. Ring‐tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are seasonally breeding primates that live in multi‐male, multi‐female groups. Although established groups show male dominance hierarchies, male dominance relationships can break down during mating periods. In addition, females are the dominant sex and mate with multiple males during estrus, including group residents, and extra‐group males—posing the question of whether there is high or low male paternity skew in groups. In this study, we analyzed paternity in a population of wild L. catta from the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve in southwestern Madagascar. Paternity was determined with 80–95% confidence for 39 offspring born to nine different groups. We calculated male reproductive skew indices for six groups, and our results showed a range of values corresponding to both high and low reproductive skew. Between 21% and 33% of offspring (3 of 14 or three of nine, counting paternity assignments at the 80% or 95% confidence levels, respectively) were sired by extra‐troop males. Males siring offspring within the same group during the same year appear to be unrelated. Our study provides evidence of varying male reproductive skew in different L. catta groups. A single male may monopolize paternity across one or more years, while in other groups, >1 male can sire offspring within the same group, even within a single year. Extra‐group mating is a viable strategy that can result in extra‐group paternity for L. catta males. PMID:27391113

  3. Paternity in wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta): Implications for male mating strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parga, Joyce A; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho; Lawler, Richard R; Sussman, Robert W; Gould, Lisa; Pastorini, Jennifer

    2016-12-01

    In group-living species with male dominance hierarchies where receptive periods of females do not overlap, high male reproductive skew would be predicted. However, the existence of female multiple mating and alternative male mating strategies can call into question single-male monopolization of paternity in groups. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are seasonally breeding primates that live in multi-male, multi-female groups. Although established groups show male dominance hierarchies, male dominance relationships can break down during mating periods. In addition, females are the dominant sex and mate with multiple males during estrus, including group residents, and extra-group males-posing the question of whether there is high or low male paternity skew in groups. In this study, we analyzed paternity in a population of wild L. catta from the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve in southwestern Madagascar. Paternity was determined with 80-95% confidence for 39 offspring born to nine different groups. We calculated male reproductive skew indices for six groups, and our results showed a range of values corresponding to both high and low reproductive skew. Between 21% and 33% of offspring (3 of 14 or three of nine, counting paternity assignments at the 80% or 95% confidence levels, respectively) were sired by extra-troop males. Males siring offspring within the same group during the same year appear to be unrelated. Our study provides evidence of varying male reproductive skew in different L. catta groups. A single male may monopolize paternity across one or more years, while in other groups, >1 male can sire offspring within the same group, even within a single year. Extra-group mating is a viable strategy that can result in extra-group paternity for L. catta males. © 2016 The Authors. American Journal of Primatology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Systemic effects of Leucaena leucocephala ingestion on ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Graham; Puschner, Birgit; Affolter, Verena; Stalis, Ilse; Davidson, Autumn; Baker, Tomas; Tahara, John; Jolly, Alison; Ostapak, Susan

    2015-06-01

    Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) is a leguminous tree that is nutritious forage for domestic livestock when ingested in limited amounts. Unfortunately, leucaena contains mimosine, a plant amino acid, that can be toxic when ingested at higher concentrations. Reported toxic effects include alopecia (fur loss), poor body condition, infertility, low birth weight, thyroid gland dysfunction, and organ toxicity. Originally native to Mexico and Central America, leucaena has been introduced throughout the tropics, including Berenty Reserve, Madagascar where it was planted as supplemental browse for livestock. In Berenty, a seasonal syndrome of alopecia in ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) is associated with eating leucaena. Although much is known about the toxic effects of leucaena and mimosine on domestic animals and humans, the systemic effects on wildlife had not been studied. In a comparison of lemurs that include leucaena in their diet and those that do not, we found that animals that ingest leucaena absorb mimosine but that ingestion does not affect body condition, cause kidney or liver toxicity, or affect the intestinal tract. Alopecia is due to mimosine's interference of the hair follicle cycle. Leucaena ingestion is associated with higher serum albumin, α-tocopherol, and thyroxine concentrations, suggesting that leucaena may provide some nutritional benefit and that lemurs can detoxify and convert mimosine to a thyroid stimulating metabolite. The primary conservation consequence of leucaena ingestion at Berenty may be increased infant mortality due to the infants' inability cling to their alopecic mothers. The widespread introduction of leucaena throughout the tropics and its rapid spread in secondary forest conditions mean that many other leaf-eating mammals may be including this tree in their diet. Thus, exposure to leucaena should be considered when wildlife health is being evaluated, and the potential effects on wildlife health should be considered when

  5. Scent marking as resource defense by female Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertl-Millhollen, Anne S

    2006-06-01

    Because ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are a female-dominant, female-philopatric species in which the females provide the majority of parental care and troop defense, resource defense is a possible function of female lemur scent marking. To test this hypothesis, I conducted three studies. First, I presented captive, individually housed females with a series of samples of female scent, each from a different female, to determine whether they would respond to those samples and discriminate between them. Second, I reanalyzed data from a focal animal study of four females in two adjacent troops in Berenty Reserve, Madagascar, to determine female marking rates before, during, and after the mating season, and to clarify the relationship among positions of feeding, intertroop defense, and scent marking. The third study was based on ad libitum observations of the sniffing and marking behavior of a troop in Berenty Reserve during a year when they traveled far out of their home range. The females in study 1 investigated female scent samples but provided no evidence that they discriminated between them. In study 2 the wild females marked throughout the study and did not limit their marking to the mating season. They deposited significantly more of their marks in a zone of confrontation with adjacent troops, where they also did the majority of their feeding, and they increased their rate of marking during agonistic intertroop confrontations. The females determined the positions of their scent marks and deposited the first mark in the majority of countermarking sequences. When the females traveled out of their defended range in study 3, they significantly decreased their rate of marking and increased their rate of sniffing spots but not marking them. All evidence gathered so far supports the hypothesis that one function of female ring-tailed lemur scent marking is to provide intergroup information that is then used to reinforce the border of the defended resource. Copyright

  6. The Season for Peace: Reconciliation in a Despotic Species (Lemur catta)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    ...) can occur, even if conciliatory rates are considerably different. Lemur catta is defined as a despotic species because groups are characterized by a strict linear hierarchy maintained by the adult females (the dominant sex...

  7. Beyond odor discrimination: demonstrating individual recognition by scent in Lemur catta

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Dapporto, Leonardo

    2006-01-01

    ...), and 3) a functional response by the receiver (action component). On the basis of this framework, we analyzed by gas chromatography 35 brachial secretions collected from 10 males of Lemur catta...

  8. The Season for Peace: Reconciliation in a Despotic Species (Lemur catta): e0142150

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Elisabetta Palagi; Ivan Norscia

    2015-01-01

    ...) can occur, even if conciliatory rates are considerably different. Lemur catta is defined as a despotic species because groups are characterized by a strict linear hierarchy maintained by the adult females (the dominant sex...

  9. Squealing rate indicates dominance rank in the male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolt, Laura M

    2013-12-01

    Squeals are sharp and forceful short-range vocalizations used as aggressive and submissive agonistic signals by many mammalian species. The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), a female-dominant strepsirhine primate, has a male-specific squeal call with proposed male-male agonistic functions and male-female courtship functions that have never been empirically tested. The goal of my study is to clarify why ring-tailed lemur males squeal at other males and females by applying the handicap hypothesis to this male-specific vocalization. This hypothesis has rarely been tested in primates, and this study elucidates how the rate of a male-specific call relates to male-male and male-female behavior in a Malagasy strepsirhine. To test whether males squeal towards other males to assert dominance, I predict that male squealing rate is positively correlated with dominance rank. I further predict that male ring-tailed lemurs squeal at other males while engaged in agonistic interactions, and that squealing during an interaction is positively correlated with winning that encounter. To test whether males squeal towards females as a mate attraction signal, I predict that male squealing rate is higher on estrus days, and that estrous females indicate attraction by approaching squealing males. From March to July 2010, 480 hr of focal data were collected on 25 males aged three and older at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. I continuously observed each male for 30 min at a time and recorded all agonistic interactions and squeal vocalizations using 1-0 sampling at 2.5-min intervals. Squealing rate was higher during times of male-male agonism when compared to times without male-male agonism, and males with higher dominance ranks had higher squealing rates. In contrast, the mate attraction hypothesis was not supported. My results suggest that the male squeal is an agonistic signal when used in male-male interaction in ring-tailed lemurs, but does not specifically indicate aggression

  10. Dispersal among male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) on St. Catherines Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parga, J A; Lessnau, R G

    2008-07-01

    Male dispersal patterns were analyzed across a nine-year period in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) on St. Catherines Island (SCI), USA, to evaluate two ultimate explanations for male dispersal: inbreeding avoidance and intrasexual mating competition. As part of this analysis, we also compared patterns of dispersal at this site with data from wild populations. Overall, we found that patterns of male intertroop movement on SCI are similar to the wild with respect to the frequency and seasonality of male transfer. In Madagascar, males move between groups every 3.1-3.5 years [Sussman, International Journal of Primatol 13:395-413, 1992; Koyama et al., Primates 43:291-314, 2002] as compared with every 3.2 years on SCI. The majority of transfers on SCI occurred during the birth season, as occurs at one site in Madagascar, Berenty [Budnitz & Dainis, Lemur biology. New York: Plenum Press, p 219-235, 1975; Jones, Folia Primatologica 40:145-160, 1983]. One difference is that males perform natal transfers 1-2 years earlier on SCI than in the wild, which may be related to food provisioning on SCI. Males never transferred back into their natal troops, which is remarkable given the small number of groups on SCI. Although this pattern of movement can indicate inbreeding avoidance by males, the fact that male troop tenure was in many cases long enough to overlap with the sexual maturation of potential daughters did not support the inbreeding avoidance hypothesis for male secondary dispersal. Instead, the intrasexual competition hypothesis was strongly supported, because males were significantly more likely to transfer into groups having fewer adult males and a more favorable sex ratio than their pretransfer groups. Males therefore appear to be bypassing groups in which they would experience a greater degree of intrasexual mating competition during the breeding season.

  11. Bifidobacterium lemurum sp. nov., from faeces of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modesto, Monica; Michelini, Samanta; Stefanini, Ilaria; Sandri, Camillo; Spiezio, Caterina; Pisi, Annamaria; Filippini, Gianfranco; Biavati, Bruno; Mattarelli, Paola

    2015-06-01

    Four Gram-positive-staining, microaerophilic, non-spore-forming, fructose-6-phosphate phosphoketolase-positive bacterial strains were isolated from a faecal sample of a 5-year-old ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). The strains showed a peculiar morphology, resembling a small coiled snake, a ring shape, or forming a little 'Y' shape. The isolated strains appeared identical, and LMC 13T was chosen as a representative strain and characterized further. Strain LMC 13T showed an A3β peptidoglycan type, similar to that found in Bifidobacterium longum. The DNA base composition was 57.2 mol% G+C. Almost-complete 16S rRNA, hsp60, rpoB, dnaJ, dnaG, purF, clpC and rpoC gene sequences were obtained, and phylogenetic relationships were determined. Comparative analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain LMC 13T showed the highest similarity to B. longum subsp. suis ATCC 27533T (96.65 %) and Bifidobacterium saguini DSM 23967T (96.64 %). Strain LMC 13T was located in an actinobacterial cluster and was more closely related to the genus Bifidobacteriumthan to other genera in the Bifidobacteriaceae. On the basis of these results, strain LMC 13T represents a novel species within the genus Bifidobacterium, for which the name Bifidobacterium lemurum sp. nov. is proposed; the type strain is LMC 13T ( = DSM 28807T = JCM 30168T).

  12. Somatic variation in living, wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2008-01-01

    While understanding somatic variability among wild primates can provide insight into natural patterns of developmental plasticity, published data for living populations are rare. Here we provide such information for two distinct wild populations of Lemur catta. Variants observed include microtia, athelia, and female virilization. Dental variants observed include individuals with supernumerary teeth, rotated teeth, maxillary incisor agenesis, and severe malocclusion. There was a sex bias in incisor agenesis, with 5 of 7 examples (71%) found in males. The frequency of dental variants in our sample is lower than that seen in many other lemuriformes, as well as other primates. This may be a product of their less derived dental formula and/or their relatively fast dental development. Amassing such data is a critical first step to assess if wild primate populations are exhibiting normal variability or are being affected by potential inbreeding and/or environmental effects. (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

  13. Mebendazole in the treatment of Hymenolepis nana infections in the captive ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo; Zhao, Bo; Yang, Guang-You; Wang, Qiang; Niu, Li-Li; Deng, Jia-Bo; Gu, Xiao-Bin; Wang, Shu-Xian

    2012-08-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of mebendazole in the treatment of Hymenolepis nana infection in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Ten (L. catta) from the Chengdu Zoological Garden in China, which were naturally infected with H. nana, were treated with mebendazole (10 mg/kg for 5 days). A posttreatment fecal examination was conducted 10 and 20 days after the start of treatment. All treatments resulted in a decrease in the number of eggs per gram in the posttreatment sample compared with the pretreatment sample. Reduction of mean egg count was 97.6% and 100% on days 10 and 20, respectively. The results indicated that mebendazole has marked efficacy against H. nana infections in L. catta.

  14. Scratching around mating: factors affecting anxiety in wild Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sclafani, Valentina; Norscia, Ivan; Antonacci, Daniela; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2012-07-01

    Scratching has been successfully used to detect anxiety, a proxy for stress, in primates, from strepsirrhines to Homo sapiens. Here, we investigated the fluctuation of scratching in Lemur catta during the mating season. In particular we evaluated whether scratching (1) varied according to sex and rank differences, (2) increased in the period of maximum stress (around the mating days), and (3) was reduced by grooming. At Berenty (South Madagascar), we followed two lemur groups (23 adult/subadult individuals) and gathered data on self-scratching, aggression, and grooming. Based on perineal area features, we recognized two periods: low swelling (LS), with no estrus female, and high swelling (HS), when at least one female was in estrus. We predicted that aggressive behaviors and anxiety-related scratching would covary. Indeed, scratching peaked in HS, when aggression was also highest. In agreement with previous literature, this result suggests that conflicts around estrus days may raise anxiety levels in the social group. We expected scratching levels to be highest in males because they aggressively compete for females and are subject to mate choice and repeated attacks by dominant females. Instead, the scratching rates were similar in males and females, probably because the high competition, which involves both sexes, dampened intersexual differences. In contrast to our prediction, scratching was not rank dependent, probably because animal ranking positions changed from LS to HS. Finally, we showed that, in ring-tailed lemurs, as well as in other primates, scratching decreases after reciprocal grooming in both periods. This finding provides the first evidence that grooming could assist in reducing anxiety in strepsirrhines.

  15. Endocrine correlates of pregnancy in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta): implications for the masculinization of daughters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drea, Christine M

    2011-04-01

    Female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are Malagasy primates that are size monomorphic with males, socially dominate males, and exhibit a long, pendulous clitoris, channeled by the urethra. These masculine traits evoke certain attributes of female spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) and draw attention to the potential role of androgens in lemur sexual differentiation. Here, hormonal correlates of prenatal development were assessed to explore the possibility that maternal androgens may shape the masculine morphological and behavioral features of developing female lemurs. Maternal serum 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S), ∆⁴ androstenedione (androst-4-ene-3,17,dione), testosterone, and 17β-estradiol were charted throughout the 19 pregnancies of 11 ring-tailed lemurs. As in spotted hyenas, lemur pregnancies were associated with an immediate increase in androgen concentrations (implicating early maternal derivation), followed by continued increases across stages of gestation. Pregnancies that produced singleton males, twin males, or mixed-sex twins were marked by greater androgen and estrogen concentrations than were pregnancies that produced singleton or twin females, especially in the third trimester, implicating the fetal testes in late-term steroid profiles. Concentrations of DHEA-S were mostly below detectable limits, suggesting a minor role for the adrenals in androgen biosynthesis. Androgen concentrations of pregnant lemurs bearing female fetuses, although less than those of pregnant hyenas, exceeded preconception and postpartum values and peaked in the third trimester. Although a maternal (and, on occasion, fraternal) source of androgen may exist for fetal lemurs, further research is required to confirm that these steroids would reach the developing female and contribute to her masculinization. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Assessment of organochlorine pesticides and metals in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainwater, Thomas R; Sauther, Michelle L; Rainwater, Katherine A E; Mills, Rachel E; Cuozzo, Frank P; Zhang, Baohong; McDaniel, Les N; Abel, Michael T; Marsland, Eric J; Weber, Martha A; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho; Platt, Steven G; Cobb, George P; Anderson, Todd A

    2009-12-01

    Like most of Madagascar's endemic primates, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) face a number of threats to their survival. Although habitat loss is of greatest concern, other anthropogenic factors including environmental contamination may also affect lemur health and survival. In this study, we examined ring-tailed lemurs from the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), southern Madagascar for exposure to organochlorine (OC) pesticides and metals and examined differences in contaminant concentrations between sexes and among age groups, troops, and habitats. A total of 14 pesticides and 13 metals was detected in lemur blood (24 individuals) and hair (65 individuals) samples, respectively. p,p'-DDT, heptachlor, aldrin, heptachlor epoxide, endrin aldehyde, and endrin were among the most prevalent pesticides detected. Surprisingly, the persistent metabolite of p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, was not detected. The most commonly detected metals were aluminum, zinc, boron, phosphorus, silicon, and copper, whereas metals considered more hazardous to wildlife (e.g. arsenic, cadmium, lead, selenium, vanadium) were not found above detection limits. Overall, concentrations of OC pesticides and metals were low and similar to those considered to be background concentrations in other studies examining the ecotoxicology of wild mammals. Few inter-sex, -age, -troop, and -habitat differences in contaminant concentrations were observed, suggesting a uniform distribution of contaminants within the reserve. Several statistically significant relationships between lemur body size and contaminant concentrations were observed, but owing to the lack of supportive data regarding contaminant exposure in wild primates, the biological significance of these findings remains uncertain. Results of this study document exposure of ring-tailed lemurs at BMSR to multiple OC pesticides and metals and provide essential baseline data for future health and toxicological evaluations of lemurs and other wild primates

  17. Occurrence of Encephalitozoon intestinalis in the Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) and the Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) housed in the Poznan Zoological Garden, Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Słodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna; Majewska, Anna C; Trzesowska, Ewa; Skrzypczak, Łukasz

    2012-01-01

    Encephalitozoon intestinalis is one of the most common microsporidial species found in humans worldwide but it has rarely been identified in animals. The presence of this pathogen has been detected in a few species of domestic, captive and wild mammals as well as in three species of birds. The aim of the present study was to examine fecal samples obtained from mammals housed in the Poznan Zoological Garden, Poland, for the presence of potentially human-infectious microsporidia. A total of 339 fresh fecal samples collected from 75 species of mammals belonging to 27 families and 8 orders were examined for the presence of microsporidian spores. Microsporidian spores were identified in 3 out of 339 (0.9%) examined fecal samples. All samples identified as positive by chromotrope 2R and calcofluor white M2R were also positive by the FISH assay. Using multiplex FISH in all 3 fecal samples, only spores of E. intestinalis were identified in 2 out of 14 Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and in one out of 17 Red ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata rubra). To our knowledge this is the first diagnosis of E. intestinalis in Ring-tailed and Red ruffed lemurs. It should be mentioned that both lemur species are listed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Although the lemurs were asymptomatically infected, the possibility of widespread infection or death of these animals remains in the event of an elevated stress or a decrease in their immunological functions.

  18. Seasonality, sociality, and reproduction: Long-term stressors of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starling, Anne P; Charpentier, Marie J E; Fitzpatrick, Courtney; Scordato, Elizabeth S; Drea, Christine M

    2010-01-01

    Fecal glucocorticoid (fGC) concentrations are reliable, non-invasive indices of physiological stress that provide insight into an animal's energetic and social demands. To better characterize the long-term stressors in adult members of a female-dominant, seasonally breeding species - the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) - we first validated fecal samples against serum samples and then examined the relationship between fGC concentrations and seasonal, social, demographic, genetic, and reproductive variables. Between 1999 and 2006, we collected 1386 fecal samples from 32 adult, semi-free-ranging animals of both sexes. In males and non-pregnant, non-lactating females, fGC concentrations were significantly elevated during the breeding season, specifically during periods surrounding known conceptions. Moreover, group composition (e.g., multi-male versus one-male) significantly predicted the fGC concentrations of males and females in all reproductive states. In particular, the social instability introduced by intra-male competition likely created a stressor for all animals. We found no relationship, however, between fGC and the sex, age, or heterozygosity of animals. In reproducing females, fGC concentrations were significantly greater during lactation than during the pre-breeding period. During pregnancy, fGC concentrations were elevated in mid-ranking dams, relative to dominant or subordinate dams, and significantly greater during the third trimester than during the first or second trimesters. Thus, in the absence of nutritional stressors, social dominance was a relatively poor predictor of fGC in this female-dominant species. Instead, the animals were maximally challenged by their social circumstances and reproductive events-males by competition for mating opportunities and females by late-term gestation and lactation. 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. The minimum alveolar concentration of sevoflurane in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinnadurai, Sathya K; Williams, Cathy

    2016-01-01

    To determine the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of sevoflurane for ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis). Prospective experimental trial. Six adult ring-tailed lemurs, aged 1.3-11.2 years (median age: 8.26) and weighing a mean ± standard deviation (SD) of 2283 ± 254 g. Five adult aye-ayes, aged 4.4-19.3 years (median age: 8.0) and weighing 2712 ± 191 g. Minimum alveolar concentration of sevoflurane was determined using a tail-clamp stimulus. The end-tidal sevoflurane (Fe'Sevo) concentration was increased or decreased by approximately 10% after a positive or negative response to tail clamping, respectively. This procedure was repeated until a positive and negative result were seen on two consecutive trials (i.e. a negative result was achieved and a single 10% decrease in Fe'Sevo concentration resulted in a positive test). The MAC for that animal was determined to be the mean of the concentrations at the two consecutive trials. The mean ± SD MAC of sevoflurane for ring-tailed lemurs was 3.48 ± 0.55% and 1.84 ± 0.17 for aye-ayes. This represents a 47.1% higher MAC in ring-tailed lemurs compared to aye-ayes. The sevoflurane MAC was significantly higher in ring-tailed lemurs, compared to aye-ayes. The MAC of sevoflurane in aye-ayes is consistent with reported MAC values in other species. Extrapolation of sevoflurane anesthetic dose between different species of lemurs could lead to significant errors in anesthetic dosing. © 2015 Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists and the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia.

  20. Human eccrine hamartoma of the forearm-antebrachial organ of the ringtailed lemur (Lemur catta). A possible phylogenetic relationship?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopera, D; Soyer, H P; Kerl, H

    1994-06-01

    A 31-year-old woman presented with a clinically otherwise unsuspicious area of profuse sweating on her right forearm. Without triggering agents, sweating attacks producing a clear, serous fluid were observed daily. Histopathologic examination of a biopsy specimen showed hyperplastic eccrine glands with pale, stippled cytoplasm characteristic of eccrine hamartoma. No explanation, however, has been given for the fact that several authors observed eccrine hamartomas in the same anatomical location. Adolescent lemurs of the species catta (ringtailed lemur) are equipped with a pair of antebrachial cutaneous glands located on the volar surface of the wrist. They exude a clear secretion enabling them to "brachial branch mark" their territories. Histopathologic findings in the ringtailed lemur's antebrachial organ show characteristics of both apocrine and eccrine glands. In contrast to normal apocrine glands, however, the antebrachial organs of ringtailed lemurs reach the epidermis directly and are not connected to hair follicles. According to the "biogenetic law" of Ernst Haeckel, stating that ontogeny has to be seen as a short and incomplete repetition of phylogeny, a human fetus passes all evolutional stages from a single cell via amphibians and mammals to a human being. Thus, the antebrachial organ of the ringtailed lemur may be the "phylogenetic explanation" for eccrine hamartomas of the forearm in humans. The histopathologic findings of the antebrachial organ and of eccrine hamartomas are in accordance with this hypothesis.

  1. Echinococcus multilocularis infection of a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and a nutria (Myocastor coypus) in a French zoo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umhang, Gérald; Lahoreau, Jennifer; Nicolier, Alexandra; Boué, Franck

    2013-12-01

    Echinococcus multilocularis is a tapeworm responsible in its larval stage for alveolar echinococcosis, a disease which is lethal when left untreated. Multivesiculated parasitic lesions in the liver were diagnosed at necropsy in a captive-born nutria (Myocastor coypus) and in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) which had been in a French zoo for 16months. Molecular analyses confirmed the diagnosis of E. multilocularis obtained by histological analyses. These were the first cases of infection by E. multilocularis reported in lemurs in Europe, and the first case in nutria in European enclosures. Lemurs are confirmed to be particularly sensitive to E. multilocularis with a massive infection. In both cases, the infection appears to have been contracted in the zoo indirectly via environmental contamination by feces from roaming foxes. Due to the large endemic area for E. multilocularis, the increasing prevalence in foxes in France, and an increase in awareness of the disease, other cases of infection in captive animals will probably be recorded in France in the coming years.

  2. Thoracic Limb Morphology of the Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Evidenced by Gross Osteology and Radiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makungu, M; Groenewald, H B; du Plessis, W M; Barrows, M; Koeppel, K N

    2015-08-01

    There is limited information available on the morphology of the thoracic limb of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). This study describes the morphology of the thoracic limb of captive ring-tailed lemurs evidenced by gross osteology and radiography as a guide for clinical use. Radiographic findings of 12 captive ring-tailed lemurs are correlated with bone specimens of three adult animals. The clavicle is well developed. The scapula has a large area for the origin of the m. teres major. The coracoid and hamate processes are well developed. The lateral supracondylar crest and medial epicondyle are prominent. The metacarpal bones are widely spread, and the radial tuberosity is prominent. These features indicate the presence of strong flexor muscles and flexibility of thoracic limb joints, which are important in arboreal quadrupedal locomotion. Furthermore, an ovoid ossicle is always seen at the inter-phalangeal joint of the first digit. Areas of increased soft tissue opacity are superimposed over the proximal half of the humerus and distal half of the antebrachium in male animals as a result of the scent gland. Knowledge of the morphology of the thoracic limb of individual species is important for accurate interpretation and diagnosis of musculoskeletal diseases. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  3. Chemical composition of scent marks in the ringtailed lemur (Lemur catta): glandular differences, seasonal variation, and individual signatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scordato, Elizabeth S; Dubay, George; Drea, Christine M

    2007-06-01

    The apocrine and sebaceous scent glands of ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) appear to serve different social functions. In behavioral experiments, lemurs modulate their responses to scent marks based on the type of odorant, their own physiological state, the signaler's physiological state, and prior social experience. To examine variation in odorant chemistry relative to olfactory behavior, we used gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to analyze over 86 samples of glandular secretion collected over 2 years from 15 adult lemurs. Labial and scrotal secretions contained organic acids and esters, whereas male brachial secretions were composed almost entirely of squalene and cholesterol derivatives. Principal component and linear discriminant analyses revealed glandular, individual-specific, and seasonal variation in chemical profiles but no relationship to the signaler's social status. The chemical composition of the various secretions provides further clues about the function of the different glands: the higher molecular weight compounds in genital and brachial secretions may increase signal longevity and provide lasting information to conspecifics, consistent with a role in advertising resource ownership or reproductive state. Conversely, the lower molecular weight compounds of antebrachial secretions produce ephemeral signals used primarily in social dominance displays and require integration of multiple sensory modalities for effective signal transmission.

  4. Host age, social group, and habitat type influence the gut microbiota of wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Genevieve; Malone, Matthew; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; White, Bryan; Nelson, Karen E; Stumpf, Rebecca M; Knight, Rob; Leigh, Steven R; Amato, Katherine R

    2016-08-01

    The gut microbiota contributes to host health by maintaining homeostasis, increasing digestive efficiency, and facilitating the development of the immune system. The composition of the gut microbiota can change dramatically within and between individuals of a species as a result of diet, age, or habitat. Therefore, understanding the factors determining gut microbiota diversity and composition can contribute to our knowledge of host ecology as well as to conservation efforts. Here we use high-throughput sequencing to describe variation in the gut microbiota of the endangered ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR) in southwestern Madagascar. Specifically, we measured the diversity and composition of the gut microbiota in relation to social group, age, sex, tooth wear and loss, and habitat disturbance. While we found no significant variation in the diversity of the ring-tailed lemur gut microbiota in response to any variable tested, the taxonomic composition of the gut microbiota was influenced by social group, age, and habitat disturbance. However, effect sizes were small and appear to be driven by the presence or absence of relatively low abundance taxa. These results suggest that habitat disturbance may not impact the lemur gut microbiota as strongly as it impacts the gut microbiota of other primate species, highlighting the importance of distinct host ecological and physiological factors on host-gut microbe relationships. Am. J. Primatol. 78:883-892, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. A mixed epithelial and stromal tumor of the kidney in a ringtail lemur (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, S; Oevermann, A; Wenker, C; Altermatt, H J; Robert, N

    2007-03-01

    Primary renal tumors are rare neoplasms in nonhuman primates. This report describes a mixed epithelial and stromal tumor of the kidney (MESTK) in a 14.5-year-old female ringtail lemur. The well-demarcated, solid, and cystic mass was located in the pelvis of the left kidney and consisted histologically of both epithelial and mesenchymal components. The mesenchymal cells were arranged in fascicles around cysts lined by a well-differentiated epithelium. Neither the mesenchymal nor the epithelial parts showed significant nuclear atypia or mitotic figures. To our knowledge, only 1 similar case, classified as adenoleiomyofibromatous hamartoma, has been reported in a ringtail lemur. In humans this tumor affects predominantly perimenopausal women and can express estrogen and progesterone receptors. However, neither estrogen nor progesterone receptors could be identified by immunohistochemistry in the tumor of the present ringtail lemur. Therefore, a hormonal mechanism could not be demonstrated in this case.

  6. Limestone cliff - face and cave use by wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta in southwestern Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle L. Sauther

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Ring-tailed lemurs live in a range of habitats in southwestern Madagascar. To date, much of the knowledge of ring-tailed lemur ecology, biology and behavior come from riverine gallery forests sites. Recent years have seen an expansion of comprehensive research on this resilient species, including areas of limestone spiny forest along Madagascar’s southwestern coast. This work is documenting newly discovered behaviors by this species. The regular use of cliff-faces and embedded crevices and caves by ring-tailed lemurs in southwestern Madagascar are reported here. Cave use by several anthropoid primates has been explained as a thermoregulatory behavior. It is suggested that cliff-face and cave use by these ring-tailed lemurs serves several purposes, including resource acquisition, thermoregulation, and as an anti-predator avoidance strategy in the absence of suitable large sleeping trees. Observations indicate that the limestone boundaries of the Mahafaly Plateau and their associated xerophytic scrub forests warrant further conserva­tion attention, given the presence of behavioral variation and increasing threats to this endangered primate species. RÉSUMÉLemur catta occupe divers habitats dans le Sud-ouest de Madagascar. L’écologie, la biologie et le comportement de Lemur catta sont actuellement mieux connus des populations vivant dans les forêts riveraines et les zones environnantes. Pour mieux comprendre cette espèce de lémurien, les recherches ont été étendues à d’autres habitats dont les forêts épineuses du plateau calcaire qui est situé le long du littoral Sud-ouest de Madagascar. Dans cette étude nous rapportons les comportements récemment découverts de Lemur catta qui utilise les falaises et les grottes dans le Sud-ouest de Madagascar. L’utilisation des grottes par la plupart des primates hominoïdes est liée à un avantage thermorégulateur offert par ce milieu. Dans notre cas, l’exploitation de falaises et de

  7. Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Health Parameters across Two Habitats with Varied Levels of Human Disturbance at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singleton, Cora L; Norris, Aimee M; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    The health of 36 wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve was assessed across 2 habitats of varied human impact: a reserve riverine gallery forest, and a degraded mixed dry deciduous and Alluaudia-dominated spiny forest. While there were no statistically significant differences in leukocyte count or differential between habitats, female lemurs in the reserve gallery forest had significantly higher percentages of monocytes and eosinophils than male lemurs in the gallery forest. Lemurs from the degraded spiny habitat had significantly higher mean packed cell volume, hematocrit, hemoglobin, total protein, blood urea nitrogen, chloride, ionized calcium and urine specific gravity than lemurs from the reserve gallery forest. These findings may reflect lower hydration levels in lemurs living in degraded habitat, providing evidence that environmental degradation has identifiable impacts on the physiology and health of wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs living in nearby habitats. Given the greater evidence of human impact in the mixed dry deciduous/spiny forest habitat, a pattern seen throughout southern Madagascar, biomedical markers suggestive of decreased hydration can provide empirical data to inform new conservation policies facilitating the long-term survival of this lemur community. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  8. Behavioral thermoregulation in Lemur catta: The significance of sunning and huddling behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, Elizabeth A; Jablonski, Nina G; Chaplin, George; Sussman, Robert W; Kamilar, Jason M

    2016-07-01

    Regulation of body temperature poses significant problems for organisms that inhabit environments with extreme and seasonally fluctuating ambient temperatures. To help alleviate the energetic costs of autonomic responses, these organisms often thermoregulate through behavioral mechanisms. Among primates, lemurs in Madagascar experience uncharacteristically seasonal and unpredictable climates relative to other primate-rich regions. Malagasy primates are physiologically flexible, but different species use different mechanisms to influence their body temperatures. Lemur catta, the ring-tailed lemur, experiences particularly acute diurnal temperature fluctuations in its mostly open-canopy habitat in south and southwest Madagascar. Ring-tailed lemurs are also atypical among lemurs in that they appear to use both sun basking postures and huddling to maintain body temperature when ambient temperatures are cold. To our knowledge, however, no one has systematically tested whether these behaviors function in thermoregulation. We present evidence that ring-tailed lemurs use these postures as behavioral thermoregulation strategies, and that different environmental variables are associated with the use of each posture. Major predictors of sunning included ambient temperature, time of day, and season. Specifically, L. catta consistently assumed sunning postures early after daybreak when ambient temperatures were catta tend to sun, rather than huddle, under cold weather conditions when sunning is possible. However, both sunning and huddling are important behavioral adaptations of L. catta that augment chemical thermoregulation and the absence of a dynamic, insulating pelage. Sunning and huddling help to account for the great ecological flexibility of the species, but these adaptations may be insufficient in the face of future changes in protective vegetation and temperature. Am. J. Primatol. 78:745-754, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Hand preference on unimanual and bimanual tasks in strepsirrhines: The case of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regaiolli, Barbara; Spiezio, Caterina; Hopkins, William D

    2016-08-01

    Assessing manual lateralization in non-human primates could be an optimal way to understand the adaptive value of this asymmetry in humans. Though many studies have investigated hand preferences in Old and New World monkeys and apes, fewer studies have considered manual lateralization in strepsirrhines, especially in experimental tasks. This study investigated hand preferences for a unimanual and a bimanual task of 17 captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), housed at Parco Natura Viva (VR), Italy. The effect of age on handedness has been also investigated. The lemurs were tested on a unimanual task, in which subjects were restricted to using one hand to retrieve the food inside an apparatus, and on a bimanual task, in which lemurs had to use one hand to keep the apparatus door open while reaching with the other hand to retrieve the food inside it. At the population-level, our results revealed an asymmetrical hand use distribution, in particular a bias toward a right hand preference for food reaching in both the unimanual and the bimanual tasks. Furthermore, at the individual-level, the bimanual task seems to elicit a greater hand preference than the unimanual task. Results of this study underline the importance of experimental tasks in determining hand preference in strepsirrhines. Furthermore, as bimanual tasks elicited a stronger degree of lateralization, they appear to be more suited to investigate manual laterality. Finally, findings from this study highlight the presence of a right hand preference in ring-tailed lemurs, shedding new light on the evolution of human right handedness. Am. J. Primatol. 78:851-860, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Survival of a wild ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta with abdominal trauma in an anthropogenically disturbed habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank P. Cuozzo

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Soft tissue injuries are rarely reported in wild primates as these heal fast, are not obvious, and are rapidly scavenged or decompose after death. An adult female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta was found to have a chronic gastrointestinal fistula in Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. She was observed monthly for 13 months until her remains, which showed evidence of dog predation, were found. Until then, she was in good body condition, had gained weight from the previous year and was observed to exhibit normal behaviour and produce an infant. This report documents a wild strepsirrhine primate able to survive significant soft tissue injury in an anthropogenically disturbed habitat. RÉSUMÉIl est rare que des blessures dans les tissus mous soient signalés chez les primates vivant à l’état sauvage car ces blessures guérissent rapidement, sont moins visibles ou que les animaux eux-mêmes se décomposent ou sont rapidement mangés par d’autres animaux après leur mort. Une femelle adulte de lémur catta (Lemur catta a été trouvée avec une fistule gastro-intestinale chronique. Elle avait été observée vivante tous les mois pendant 13 mois avant que nous ne trouvions son cadavre, qui montrait des signes de prédation par des chiens. Jusque-là, elle était en bonne condition physique, avait pris du poids par rapport à l’année précédente, montrait un comportement normal et avait donné naissance à un petit. Ce rapport documente une lésion grave des tissus mous sur un Prosimien qui a été capable de survivre dans un habitat perturbé par l’homme.

  11. Intraspecific variation in hair delta(13)C and delta(15)N values of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) with known individual histories, behavior, and feeding ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loudon, James E; Sponheimer, Matt; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2007-07-01

    Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions were analyzed from hair samples of 30 sympatric ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) inhabiting the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. All lemurs were known individuals involved in a longitudinal study, which allowed us to explore the degree to which group membership, sex, health status, and migration influenced their stable isotope compositions. The differences in delta(13)C and delta(15)N values between groups were small (lemur conservation. There were few sex differences, but significant differences did occur between individuals of normal and suboptimal health, with those in poor health (especially those in the worst condition) being enriched in (15)N and to a lesser degree (13)C compared with healthy individuals. Moreover, lemurs that had emigrated between 2003 and 2004 had different delta(13)C and delta(15)N compositions than their original groups. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. Coprophagy by wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in human-disturbed locations adjacent to the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish, Krista D; Sauther, Michelle L; Loudon, James E; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2007-06-01

    Coprophagy occurs in a number of animal species, including nonhuman primates. During the 2003-2004 dry seasons at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, we observed wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) consuming dried fecal matter from three different species. Ring-tailed lemurs consumed human feces on 12 occasions, cattle feces twice, and feral dog feces once. Coprophagy in this population may be a behavioral adaptation that provides animals access to energy and nutrients and may be an important nutritional source for older, and/or dentally impaired individuals during the dry season. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. Osteology and radiographic anatomy of the pelvis and hind limb of healthy ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makungu, M; Groenewald, H B; du Plessis, W M; Barrows, M; Koeppel, K N

    2014-06-01

    In family Lemuridae, anatomical variations exist. Considering its conservation status (near threatened) and presence of similarities between strepsirrhines and primitive animals, it was thought to be beneficial to describe the gross osteology and radiographic anatomy of the pelvis and hind limb of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) as a reference for clinical use and species identification. Radiography was performed in 14 captive adult ring-tailed lemurs. The radiographic findings were correlated with bone specimens from two adult animals. Additionally, computed tomography of the hind limbs was performed in one animal. The pelvic bone has a well-developed caudal ventral iliac spine. The patella has a prominent tuberosity on the cranial surface. The first metatarsal bone and digit 1 are markedly stouter than the other metatarsal bones and digits with medial divergence from the rest of the metatarsal bones and digits. Ossicles were seen in the lateral meniscus, inter-phalangeal joint of digit 1 and in the infrapatellar fat pad. Areas of mineral opacity were seen within the external genitalia, which are believed to be the os penis and os clitoris. Variations exist in the normal osteology and radiographic appearance of the pelvis and hind limb of different animal species. The use of only atlases from domestic cats and dogs for interpretative purposes may be misleading. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  14. The gaits of primates: center of mass mechanics in walking, cantering and galloping ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta.

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    O'Neill, Matthew C; Schmitt, Daniel

    2012-05-15

    Most primates, including lemurs, have a broad range of locomotor capabilities, yet much of the time, they walk at slow speeds and amble, canter or gallop at intermediate and fast speeds. Although numerous studies have investigated limb function during primate quadrupedalism, how the center of mass (COM) moves is not well understood. Here, we examined COM energy, work and power during walking, cantering and galloping in ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta (N=5), over a broad speed range (0.43-2.91 m s(-1)). COM energy recoveries were substantial during walking (35-71%) but lower during canters and gallops (10-51%). COM work, power and collisional losses increased with speed. The positive COM works were 0.625 J kg(-1) m(-1) for walks and 1.661 J kg(-1) m(-1) for canters and gallops, which are in the middle range of published values for terrestrial animals. Although some discontinuities in COM mechanics were evident between walking and cantering, there was no apparent analog to the trot-gallop transition across the intermediate and fast speed range (dimensionless v>0.75, Fr>0.5). A phenomenological model of a lemur cantering and trotting at the same speed shows that canters ensure continuous contact of the body with the substrate while reducing peak vertical COM forces, COM stiffness and COM collisions. We suggest that cantering, rather than trotting, at intermediate speeds may be tied to the arboreal origins of the Order Primates. These data allow us to better understand the mechanics of primate gaits and shed new light on primate locomotor evolution.

  15. Naturally Occurring Ehrlichia chaffeensis Infection in Two Prosimian Primate Species: Ring-tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta) and Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia variegata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Steenhouse, Jan L.; Bradley, Julie M.; Hancock, Susan I.; Hegarty, Barbara C.; Breitschwerdt, Edward B.

    2002-01-01

    A naturally occurring infection of Ehrlichia chaffeensis in lemurs is described. DNA of Ehrlichia chaffeensis was identified by polymerase chain reaction in peripheral blood from six of eight clinically ill lemurs. Organisms were cultured from the blood of one lemur exhibiting clinical and hematologic abnormalities similar to those of humans infected with E. chaffeensis. PMID:12498671

  16. Biomedical evaluation of free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in three habitats at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, David S; Sauther, Michelle L; Hunter-Ishikawa, Mandala; Fish, Krista; Culbertson, Heather; Cuozzo, P Frank; Campbell, Terry W; Andrews, Gordon A; Chavey, Patricia Sue; Nachreiner, Raymond; Rumbeiha, Wilson; Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, Maria; Lappin, Michael R

    2007-06-01

    Complete physical examinations and biomedical sample collection were performed on 70 free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from three different habitats in the Beza Mahfaly Special Reserve (BMSR), in southern Madagascar, to assess the impact of humans and habitat on lemur health. Lemurs were chemically immobilized with ketamine and diazepam administered via blow darts for concurrent biomedical, morphometric, and behavioral studies. Subsets of the animals had blood analyzed for hematology, serum chemistry, micronutrients, fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, and E), measures of iron metabolism, and polymerase chain reaction assays (PCR) for Toxoplasma gondii, Hemoplasma spp., Bartonella spp., Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Neorickettsia risticii. Results were compared on the basis of gender and the habitats at the study site: reserve (intact gallery forest), degraded (human inhabited and altered), and marginal (dry didieracea forest with heavy grazing and tree cutting). Levels of vitamin D, triglycerides, and cholesterol, and measures of iron metabolism for BMSR lemurs were greater than those previously reported for a free-ranging lemur population (Tsimanampetsotsa Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar) with less access to foods of anthropogenic origin. BMSR ring-tailed lemurs from a habitat with less water (marginal) had higher sodium (P = 0.051), chloride (P = 0.045), osmolality (P = 0.010), and amylase (P = 0.05) levels than lemurs from other BMSR habitats, suggesting that these lemurs were less hydrated. Vitamin D levels of male lemurs were higher (P = 0.011) than those of females at BMSR, possibly because of differences in sunning behavior or differential selection of food items. The biological significance is uncertain for other parameters with statistically significant differences. All samples tested (n = 20) were negative for the pathogens tested using PCR assays. Continued concurrent biomedical and ecological research is needed at BMSR

  17. Variation in dental wear and tooth loss among known-aged, older ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta): a comparison between wild and captive individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Gould, Lisa; Sussman, Robert W; Villers, Lynne M; Lent, Cheryl

    2010-11-01

    Tooth wear is generally an age-related phenomenon, often assumed to occur at similar rates within populations of primates and other mammals, and has been suggested as a correlate of reduced offspring survival among wild lemurs. Few long-term wild studies have combined detailed study of primate behavior and ecology with dental analyses. Here, we present data on dental wear and tooth loss in older (>10 years old) wild and captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Among older ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar (n=6), the percentage of severe dental wear and tooth loss ranges from 6 to 50%. Among these six individuals, the oldest (19 years old) exhibits the second lowest frequency of tooth loss (14%). The majority of captive lemurs at the Indianapolis Zoo (n=7) are older than the oldest BMSR lemur, yet display significantly less overall tooth wear for 19 of 36 tooth positions, with only two individuals exhibiting antemortem tooth loss. Among the captive lemurs, only one lemur (a nearly 29 year old male) has lost more than one tooth. This individual is only missing anterior teeth, in contrast to lemurs at BMSR, where the majority of lost teeth are postcanine teeth associated with processing specific fallback foods. Postcanine teeth also show significantly more overall wear at BMSR than in the captive sample. At BMSR, degree of severe wear and tooth loss varies in same aged, older individuals, likely reflecting differences in microhabitat, and thus the availability and use of different foods. This pattern becomes apparent before "old age," as seen in individuals as young as 7 years. Among the four "older" female lemurs at BMSR, severe wear and/or tooth loss do not predict offspring survival. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Analysis of dentition of a living wild population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) from Beza Mahafaly, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauther, M L; Cuozzo, F P; Sussman, R W

    2001-03-01

    Detailed descriptions of the dentition of many strepsirhine primate taxa are rare, despite their importance in understanding primate evolutionary biology. While several researchers have provided detailed morphological descriptions of ring-tailed lemur dentition (e.g., Schwartz and Tattersall [1985] Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. Anthropol. Pap. 60:1-100; Tattersall and Schwartz [1991] Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. Anthropol. Pap. 69:2-18), there are few studies (e.g., Eaglen [1986] Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 71:185-201) that present quantitative data on the dentition of this species. Furthermore, prior analyses were based on museum specimens from various populations and locations. We present here quantitative and morphological data on the dentition of a population of wild Lemur catta from Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar. Measurements were made on dental casts (n = 39) taken from living members of this L. catta population. Our analysis indicates that no significant (P > 0.05) sexual dimorphism exists for the 30 dental measurements collected. These data support the generalizations (e.g., Plavcan and van Schaik [1994] Evol. Anthropol. 2:208-214; Kappeler [1996] J. Evol. Biol. 9:43-65) that little sexual dimorphism in dentition exists among Malagasy strepsirhines. In addition, the overall patterns of metric variation in this sample compare favorably with patterns seen among other primates, e.g., premolar measurements varying more than molars (e.g., Gingerich [1974] J. Paleontol. 48:895-903). However, there is a degree of intraspecific morphological variation indicated, with one of the morphological traits discussed in other studies as being species-specific for L. catta (absence of P(4) metaconids) observed to vary between specimens. Because the patterns of variation seen in this sample are from a known breeding population, the data presented here provide an important reference for interpreting and understanding the fossil record.

  19. Analysis of chromosome conservation in Lemur catta studied by chromosome paints and BAC/PAC probes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardone, Maria Francesca; Ventura, Mario; Tempesta, Sergio; Rocchi, Mariano; Archidiacono, Nicoletta

    2002-12-01

    A panel of human chromosome painting probes and bacterial and P1 artificial chromosome (BAC/PAC) clones were used in fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) experiments to investigate the chromosome conservation of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta, LCA) with respect to human. Whole chromosome paints specific for human chromosomes 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, and X were found to identify a single chromosome or an uninterrupted chromosomal region in LCA. A large set of partial chromosome paints and BAC/PAC probes were then used to refine the characterization of the rearrangements differentiating the two karyotypes. The results were also used to reconstruct the ancestral Lemuridae karyotype. Lemur catta, indeed, can be used as an outgroup, allowing symplesiomorphic (ancestral) rearrangements to be distinguished from apomorphic (derived) rearrangements in lemurs. Some LCA chromosomes are difficult to distinguish morphologically. The 'anchorage' of most LCA chromosomes to specific probes will contribute to the standardization of the karyotype of this species.

  20. Cathemerality in wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in the spiny forest of Tsimanampetsotsa National Park: camera trap data and preliminary behavioral observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaFleur, Marni; Sauther, Michelle; Cuozzo, Frank; Yamashita, Nayuta; Jacky Youssouf, Ibrahim Antho; Bender, Richard

    2014-04-01

    Cathemerality consists of discrete periods of activity during both the day and night. Though uncommon within Primates, cathemerality is prevalent in some lemur genera, such as Eulemur, Hapalemur, and Prolemur. Several researchers have also reported nighttime activity in Lemur catta, yet these lemurs are generally considered "strictly diurnal". We used behavioral observations and camera traps to examine cathemerality of L. catta at the Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, Madagascar. Nighttime activity occurred throughout the study period (September 2010-April 2011), and correlated with warm overnight temperatures but not daytime temperatures. Animals spent 25% of their daytime active behaviors on the ground, but appeared to avoid the ground at night, with only 5% of their time on the ground. Furthermore, at night, animals spent the majority of their active time feeding (53% nighttime, 43% daytime). These findings imply that both thermoregulation and diet play a role in the adaptive significance of cathemerality. Additionally, predator avoidance may have influenced cathemerality here, in that L. catta may limit nighttime activity as a result of predation threat by forest cats (Felis sp.) or fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox). Further data are needed on cathemeral lemurs generally, but particularly in L. catta if we are to fully understand the evolutionary mechanisms of cathemerality in the Lemuridae.

  1. Interpreting food processing through dietary mechanical properties: a Lemur catta case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Knowledge of dietary mechanical properties can be informative about physical consequences to consumers during ingestion and mastication. In this article, we examine how Tamarindus indica fruits can affect dental morphology in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly special reserve in southwestern Madagascar. Ring-tailed lemurs in tamarind dominated gallery forests exhibit extreme wear and tooth loss on their postcanine dentition that has been related to processing T. indica fruits. We measured and compared mechanical properties of individual food parts in the diet of ring-tailed lemurs in different seasons in 1999-2000, 2008, and 2010. Fracture toughness, hardness, and modulus of foods were measured with a portable mechanical tester. The ripe fruits of T. indica are indeed the toughest and hardest foods ingested by the lemurs. In addition, they are among the largest foods consumed, require high numbers of ingestive bites to process, and are the most frequently eaten by volume. During controlled cutting tests of the ripe fruit shell, multiple runaway side cracks form alongside the cut. Similarly, the lemurs repeatedly bite the ripe shell during feeding and thereby introduce multiple cracks that eventually fragment the shell. Studies of enamel microstructure (e.g., Lucas et al.: BioEssays 30 (2008) 374-385; Campbell et al., 2011) advance the idea that the thin enamel of ring-tailed lemur teeth is susceptible to substantial micro-cracking that rapidly erodes the teeth. We conclude that micro-cracking from repeated loads, in combination with the mechanical and physical properties of the fruit, is primarily responsible for the observed dental damage.

  2. A Comparative Analysis of Serial Ordering in Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merritt, Dustin; MacLean, Evan L.; Jaffe, Sarah; Brannon, Elizabeth M.

    2010-01-01

    Research over the last 25 years has demonstrated that animals are able to organize sequences in memory and retrieve ordered sequences without language. Qualitative differences have been found between the serial organization of behavior in pigeons and monkeys. Here the authors test serial ordering abilities in ring-tailed lemurs, a strepsirrhine primate whose ancestral lineage diverged from that of monkeys, apes, and humans approximately 63 million years ago. Lemurs’ accuracy and response times were similar to monkeys, thus suggesting that they may share mechanisms for serial organization that dates to a common primate ancestor. PMID:18085919

  3. Survey and comparison of major intestinal flora in captive and wild ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villers, Lynne M; Jang, Spencer S; Lent, Cheryl L; Lewin-Koh, Sock-Cheng; Norosoarinaivo, Jeanne Aimée

    2008-02-01

    A survey to identify the major intestinal species of aerobic bacteria, protozoa and helminths was conducted on captive and wild populations of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Samples were collected from 50 captive lemurs at 11 zoological institutions in the United States. In Madagascar, 98 aerobic bacteria samples and 99 parasite samples were collected from eight sites chosen to cover a variety of populations across the species range. Identical collection, preservation and lab techniques were used for captive and wild populations. The predominant types of aerobic bacteria flora were identified via five separate tests. The tests for parasites conducted included flotation, sedimentation and FA/GC. Twenty-seven bacteria unique to either the captive or wild populations were cultured with eight of these being statistically significantly different. Fourteen bacteria common to both populations were cultured, of which six differed significantly. Entamoeba coli was the only parasite common to both the captive and wild populations. Giardia spp., Isospora spp., strongyles-type ova, Entamoeba spp. and Entamoeba polecki were found only in captive samples. Cryptosporidium, Balantidium coli, pinworm-type ova, and two fluke-like ova were seen only in wild samples. In addition, samples were compared for both bacteria and parasites from three unique field sites in Madagascar. In this three-site comparison, six types of bacteria were statistically significantly different. No significant differences regarding parasites were seen. Significant differences were found between the captive and wild populations, whereas fewer differences were found between sites within Madagascar. Although we isolated Campylobacter and Giardia, all animals appeared clinically healthy. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  4. Sources of tooth wear variation early in life among known-aged wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Head, Brian R; Sauther, Michelle L; Ungar, Peter S; O'Mara, M Teague

    2014-11-01

    Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar display a high frequency of individuals with notable and sometimes extreme tooth wear. Adult lemurs display a range of tooth wear even among individuals of the same age, but we do not know at what age this variation first appears. This study's goal was to determine whether wear variation occurs in younger wild lemurs. Based on the decade-long study of ring-tailed lemur feeding and dental ecology at BMSR, we hypothesized that younger, natal lemurs (under 5 years of age), would display variation in their degree of tooth wear that would correspond to microhabitat differences, given differences in food availability in different troops' home ranges. We also hypothesized that wear would differ between sexes at this young age, given differences in feeding between males and females in this population. Hypotheses were tested using dental topographic analyses using dental impressions collected from known-aged lemurs across 10 years at BMSR. Results illustrate significant differences in wear-related tooth topography (i.e., relief and slope, presented here as "occlusal lift") for microhabitat, sex and troop affiliation among lemurs under 5 years of age in this population. Although, all lemurs in this population consume mechanically challenging tamarind fruit, those in more disturbed habitats eat additional introduced foods, some of which are also mechanically challenging. Thus, dietary variation is the likely cause of variation in tooth wear. The wear variation we show at a young age suggests caution when assigning age based on tooth wear in living and fossil primates. These wear-related tooth shape changes early in life, which reflects sex, habitat variation and levels of anthropogenic disturbance, may potentially impact reproductive fitness later in life. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Lifespan and Reproductive Senescence in a Free-Ranging Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) Population at Berenty, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ichino, Shinichiro; Soma, Takayo; Miyamoto, Naomi; Chatani, Kaoru; Sato, Hiroki; Koyama, Naoki; Takahata, Yukio

    2015-01-01

    The lifespan and age-specific fecundity of female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) were estimated from a 24-year longitudinal dataset based on individual identification at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. The mean lifespan of females in 10-year (1989-1998) birth cohorts was 4.9 ± 4.9 years (n = 77), and the longest recorded lifespan in the population was 20 years. The mortality rate of adult females increased to ≥20% at 10-11 years old and reached 33-50% at 12-15 years old. Although the birth rate of old females (12-17 years old) was 72.0%, slightly lower than that of prime adult females (4-11 years old), i.e. 80.2%, no significant difference was found between them. Half of the females who reached the age of 12 years gave birth in the last year of their life. The oldest mother to give birth was 17 years old. These results suggest that most females can maintain reproductive performance in their later life and that there is no evidence for a postreproductive lifespan in this species. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Fatal infection with Taenia martis metacestodes in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) living in an Italian zoological garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Liberato, Claudio; Berrilli, Federica; Meoli, Roberta; Friedrich, Klaus G; Di Cerbo, Pilar; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Eleni, Claudia

    2014-10-01

    A case of fatal infection caused by larval forms of Taenia martis in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) living in the Rome zoological garden is described. The animal, living in a semi-natural pen with other 15 conspecific individuals and being fed with fresh fruit and vegetables, yoghurt and eggs, was transported to the Istituto Zooprofilattico of Rome for post-mortem examination. The anamnesis included, ten days before the death, apathy, lack of appetite, abdominal distension and diarrhoea. A severe exudative fibrinous-purulent peritonitis with numerous adhesions between the abdominal wall and the bowel loops was detected. After intestine removal, two free and viable, 4 cm long, whitish, leaf-like parasitic forms were pinpointed. Macroscopic examination of the two parasites allowed their identification as larval stages of cestodes, identified via molecular analysis as T. martis metacestodes. This report represents the first record of T. martis infection in the host species and in a zoological garden and for the pathological relevance of the infection.

  7. Patterns of Behaviour, Group Structure and Reproductive Status Predict Levels of Glucocorticoid Metabolites in Zoo-Housed Ring-Tailed Lemurs, Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Tessa E; McCusker, Cara M; Stevens, Jeroen M G; Elwood, Robert W

    2015-01-01

    In ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta, the factors modulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity differ between wild and semi-free-ranging populations. Here we assess factors modulating HPA activity in ring-tailed lemurs housed in a third environment: the zoo. First we validate an enzyme immunoassay to quantify levels of glucocorticoid (GC) metabolites in the faeces of L. catta. We determine the nature of the female-female dominance hierarchies within each group by computing David's scores and examining these in relation to faecal GC (fGC). Relationships between female age and fGC are assessed to evaluate potential age-related confounds. The associations between fGC, numbers of males in a group and reproductive status are explored. Finally, we investigate the value of 7 behaviours in predicting levels of fGC. The study revealed stable linear dominance hierarchies in females within each group. The number of males in a social group together with reproductive status, but not age, influenced fGC. The 7 behavioural variables accounted for 68% of the variance in fGC. The amounts of time an animal spent locomoting and in the inside enclosure were both negative predictors of fGC. The study highlights the flexibility and adaptability of the HPA system in ring-tailed lemurs. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  8. Testing yawning hypotheses in wild populations of two strepsirrhine species: Propithecus verreauxi and Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zannella, Alessandra; Norscia, Ivan; Stanyon, Roscoe; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2015-11-01

    Yawning, although easily recognized, is difficult to explain. Traditional explanations stressed physiological mechanisms, but more recently, behavioral processes have received increasing attention. This is the first study to test a range of hypotheses on yawning in wild primate populations. We studied two sympatric strepsirrhine species, Lemur catta, and Propithecus verreauxi, of the Ankoba forest (24.99°S, 46.29°E, Berenty reserve) in southern Madagascar. Sexual dimorphism is lacking in both species. However, their differences in ecological and behavioral characteristics facilitate comparative tests of hypotheses on yawning. Our results show that within each species males and females yawned with similar frequencies supporting the Dimorphism Hypothesis, which predicts that low sexual dimorphism leads to little inter-sexual differences in yawning. In support of the State Changing Hypothesis yawning frequencies was linked to the sleep-wake cycle and punctuated transitions from one behavior to another. Accordingly, yawning frequencies were significantly higher in L. catta than in P. verreauxi, because L. catta has a higher basal level of activity and consequently a higher number of behavioral transitions. In agreement with the Anxiety Hypothesis, yawning increased significantly in the 10 min following predatory attacks or aggression. Our findings provide the first empirical evidence of a direct connection between anxiety and yawning in lemurs. Our results show that yawning in these two strepsirrhines occurs in different contexts, but more research will be necessary to determine if yawns are a single, unitary behavior. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. The effects of environmental and visitor variables on the behavior of free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in captivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Courtney; Corkery, Ilse; Haigh, Amy; McKeown, Sean; Quirke, Thomas; O'Riordan, Ruth

    2017-07-01

    The effect of the zoo environment on captive animals is an increasingly studied area of zoo research, with visitor effects and exhibit design recognized as two of the factors that can contribute to animal welfare in captivity. It is known that in some situations, visitors may be stressful to zoo-housed primates, and this may be compounded by environmental factors such as the weather, the time of day, and zoo husbandry routines. Exhibit design and proximity of the public are also known to influence behavioral response of primates to visitors; however, there is minimal research on free-ranging zoo animals, even though they are potentially subjected to intense interactions with visitors. The current study explores the effect of the zoo environment, several visitor variables and specific animal-visitor interactions on the behavior of free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Fota Wildlife Park, Ireland. Data were obtained through scan samples collected over 18 months (n = 12,263) and analyzed using a range of statistical tests, including general estimating equations (GEE). Results demonstrate that the free-ranging lemurs' behavior at Fota Wildlife Park is affected by season, weather and time of day. Similarities in feeding behavior exist between the free-ranging group and lemurs in the wild when resources are plentiful. Visitor variables had a limited effect on lemur behavior and behavioral diversity level. Lemurs rarely reacted to visitors when specific interactions were considered. Generally, the results indicate that the ring-tailed lemurs in this study have adapted well to the zoo environment and habituated to visitors. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Can zoo records help answer behavioral research questions? The case of the left-handed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosey, Geoff; Hill, Sonya P; Lherbier, Mary L

    2012-01-01

    Most zoos keep comprehensive records, which potentially form a database for use in answering some research questions, such as in veterinary and population management research. They have not, however, been widely used to answer questions about animal behavior and welfare. Here we try to assess the usefulness to behavioral research of two sorts of zoo records (ARKS, the Animal Records Keeping System, and student dissertations held on file) to test the hypothesis that ring-tailed lemurs with a left limb preference experience more negative social lives. We found that, as predicted, lemurs with a left limb preference (LH) received more aggression and were involved in less grooming than nonleft-preferent lemurs (NLH), though the differences were not statistically significant. Contrary to prediction, LH lemurs had fewer reported woundings than NLH lemurs, but again the difference was not statistically significant. We found that the ARKS reports did not contain sufficient quantified and systematic behavioral data for our purposes, although otherwise they provided an excellent context for interpreting results. The student dissertations were also of limited use, primarily because of the small time frame in which they were carried out. Because of these shortcomings we were unable to distinguish whether our inability to find significant effects was due to biological (perhaps hand preference had no consequences for the lemurs) or data reasons. We suggest that closer liaison between zoo research staff, zoo record keepers and academic supervisors could help to improve the usefulness of zoo records for behavioral research.

  11. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) exploit information about what others can see but not what they can hear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bray, Joel; Krupenye, Christopher; Hare, Brian

    2014-05-01

    Studies suggest that haplorhine primates are sensitive to what others can see and hear. Using two experimental designs, we tested the hypothesis that ring-tailed lemurs (N = 16) are also sensitive to the visual and auditory perception of others. In the first task, we used a go/no-go design that required lemurs to exploit only auditory information. In the second task, we used a forced-choice design where lemurs competed against a human who would prevent them from obtaining food if their approaches were detected. Subjects were given the choice of obtaining food silently or noisily when the competitor's back was turned. They were also given the choice to obtain food when the competitor could either see them or not. Here, we replicate the findings of previous studies indicating that ring-tailed lemurs are sensitive to whether they can be seen; however, we found no evidence that subjects are sensitive to whether others can hear them. Our findings suggest that ring-tailed lemurs converge with haplorhine primates only in their sensitivity to the visual information of others. The results emphasize the importance of investigating social cognition across sensory domains in order to elucidate the cognitive mechanisms that underlie apparently complex social behavior. These findings also suggest that the social dynamics of haplorhine groups impose greater cognitive demands than lemur groups, despite similarities in total group size.

  12. Genetic Evidence for Male and Female Dispersal in Wild Lemur catta.

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    Parga, Joyce A; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho; Gould, Lisa; Sussman, Robert W; Lawler, Richard R; Pastorini, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Lemur catta has traditionally been considered a species with male-biased dispersal; however, occasional female dispersal occurs. Using molecular data, we evaluated dispersal patterns in 2 L. catta populations in southwestern Madagascar: Tsimanampesotse National Park (TNP) and Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR). We also investigated the genetic differentiation between the populations and dispersal partner relatedness. Results showed minor genetic differentiation between the populations (ϴ(ST) = 0.039), which may indicate gene flow historically occurring in this region, made possible by the presence of L. catta groups between the sites. Different patterns of sex-biased dispersal were found between the sites using corrected assignment indices: male-biased dispersal in TNP, and a lack of sex-biased dispersal in BMSR. Observational evidence of female dispersal in BMSR supports these results and may imply intense female resource competition in and around BMSR, because small groups of 2-3 females have been observed dispersing within BMSR and entering the reserve from outside. These dispersing groups largely consisted of mothers transferring with daughters, although we have an aunt-niece pair transferring together. Genetic data suggest that males also transfer with relatives. Our data demonstrate that dispersal partners consist of same-sexed kin for L. catta males and females, highlighting the importance of kin selection. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. Coat condition of ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta, at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar: II. Coat and tail alopecia associated with Leucaena leucocepahala, 2001-2006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jolly, Alison

    2009-03-01

    Fur condition in wild ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta, was recorded during September-November birth seasons 2001-2006 at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. Body coat condition was scored on a scale from BS 0: full, smooth coat with guard hairs, to BS5: half or more of back and limbs hairless. Tail condition was scored from TS 0: full, to TS 5: half or more hairless. Where troop core areas included stands of Leucaena leucocephala, alopecia was dramatically more frequent than in similar areas without leucaena, including many animals with score BS5 or TS5, "bald lemur syndrome." Females' coats were worse than males', possibly related to female dominance and access to this preferred food. Tails in non-leucaena-feeding females tend to remain full, even if coats deteriorate, but with leucaena-feeding female tails are highly correlated with coat condition and equally bare. Coat and tail condition in L. catta reflected not only the dietary toxin but individual differences as well as differences between adjacent troops that may result from territorially mediated access to the environment. Leucaena contains the non-protein amino acid mimosine, a known cause of alopecia, wasting, and organ damage in livestock, although the effects are usually reversible. This is the first case of its effect in wildlife. Leucaena is an agroforestry tree introduced throughout the tropics. In high dietary concentrations leucaena might potentially affect any browsing mammal. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. Prevention of urethral blockage following semen collection in two species of lemur, Varecia variegata variegata and Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatfield, Jenifer; Penfold, Linda

    2007-06-01

    Lemurs are a diverse group of primates comprised of five families, all of which are found only on Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. Of the 60 known species, 17 are endangered and 5 of these are considered critically endangered. The effects of inbreeding on population health and viability have been well described; though negative inbreeding effects can be ameliorated through the introduction of new genetic material. Introduction of new individuals into a population can be extremely challenging because of the highly social nature of lemurs. Semen collection in lemur species is notoriously challenging, as the ejaculate forms a coagulum. During normal breeding, the coagulum forms a copulatory plug in the female. However, this coagulum can present a life-threatening situation when retained in the urethra abnormally following electroejaculation. This study investigates the use of ascorbic acid in preventing urethral blockage in two lemur species during semen collection, demonstrates successful collection of semen by electroejaculation from two species of lemur during the breeding season, and discusses removal of urethral plugs subsequent to semen collection. Semen was collected successfully from all animals. Urethral plugs formed during each collection and were abnormally retained in 2/11 collections. Both plugs were successfully and immediately removed with the use of retropulsion through a urethral catheter. Although the results of this study are encouraging, more investigation is required to establish whether or not this procedure can be safely performed in the field.

  15. Gait-specific metabolic costs and preferred speeds in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), with implications for the scaling of locomotor costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Matthew C

    2012-11-01

    Metabolic costs of resting and locomotion have been used to gain novel insights into the behavioral ecology and evolution of a wide range of primates; however, most previous studies have not considered gait-specific effects. Here, metabolic costs of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) walking, cantering and galloping are used to test for gait-specific effects and a potential correspondence between costs and preferred speeds. Metabolic costs, including the net cost of locomotion (COL) and net cost of transport (COT), change as a curvilinear function of walking speed and (at least provisionally) as a linear function of cantering and galloping speeds. The baseline quantity used to calculate net costs had a significant effect on the magnitude of speed-specific estimates of COL and COT, especially for walking. This is because non-locomotor metabolism constitutes a substantial fraction (41-61%, on average) of gross metabolic rate at slow speeds. The slope-based estimate of the COT was 5.26 J kg(-1) m(-1) for all gaits and speeds, while the gait-specific estimates differed between walking (0.5 m s(-1) : 6.69 J kg(-1) m(-1) ) and cantering/galloping (2.0 m s(-1) : 5.61 J kg(-1) m(-1) ). During laboratory-based overground locomotion, ring-tailed lemurs preferred to walk at ~0.5 m s(-1) and canter/gallop at ~2.0 m s(-1) , with the preferred walking speed corresponding well to the COT minima. Compared with birds and other mammals, ring-tailed lemurs are relatively economical in walking, cantering, and galloping. These results support the view that energetic optima are an important movement criterion for locomotion in ring-tailed lemurs, and other terrestrial animals. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. The ranging behavior of Lemur catta in the region of Cap Sainte-Marie, Madagascar.

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    Kelley, Elizabeth A

    2013-01-01

    Large home ranges and extreme flexibility in ranging behaviors characterize most subarid dwelling haplorhines. However, the most comparable extant strepsirhine, Lemur catta, is characterized as having small home ranges with consistent boundaries. Since ranging studies on this species have been limited to gallery forest habitat, the author's goal is to identify ecological factors that affect range use of L. catta in one of the most resource-limited environments of its distribution. To conduct this study, ranging and behavioral data were collected on two nonoverlapping groups through all-day follows in the semidesert scrub environment of Cap Sainte-Marie (CSM), Madagascar. Data were collected from August 2007 through July 2008. Home range areas and day range lengths were generated using ArcGIS(®) 9.3. Other variables measured were habitat composition, diet richness, daily activity, and microclimate. Home range areas of CSM L. catta were very large relative to those of gallery forest L. catta, and there was great monthly variation. In contrast, day range lengths at CSM were either smaller than or approximated the size of comparative gallery forest groups. Temperature, sunning, and diet richness were associated with day range length for one but not for both groups and appear to be related to energy management needs. Based on these findings, the author suggests that L. catta is capable of extensive behavioral and ranging flexibility in the extremes of its environment. However, physiological constraints impose limitations that can interfere with its ability to adapt to even seemingly minor variations in microclimate and habitat structure within the same site. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Multimodal signaling in wild Lemur catta: economic design and territorial function of urine marking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan

    2009-06-01

    Urine marking has been neglected in prosimian primates. Captive studies showed that the Malagasy prosimian Lemur catta scent marks with urine, as well as via specialized depositions. L. catta urine mark, a multimodal signal, differs from simple urination in terms of different design features, including tail configuration: the tail is held up during marking (UT-up) and down during urination (UT-down). We explore economy and function of UT-up in the female dominant L. catta. We collected 240 h of observations on one group at Berenty (south Madagascar) during the nonmating period via all occurrences sampling. We gathered behavioral bouts/contexts (marking, traveling, feeding, resting, and fights) and recorded 191 UT-ups and 79 UT-downs. Via Global Positioning System we established the location of the places frequented i) by extragroup individuals and ii) by group members, in this case recording also behavioral context and time spent in each place. We found that L. catta UT-up is not an artifact of captivity. Moreover, UT-up in the nonmating period plays a role in territorial defense, which is mostly performed by females in L. catta society. Female UT-ups were the most investigated and UT-ups were performed/investigated more by females. Finally, signal use is parsimonious, in that urine is economically placed where and when detection probability by competitors is higher. UT-ups were performed in places most frequented by extragroup individuals and in presence of extragroup competitors (nonrandom topography and timing). In conclusion, we suggest that UT-up is an economical signal with a primarily territorial function. Copyright 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Olfactory signals and the MHC: a review and a case study in Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Leslie A; Robson, Julie; Waterhouse, John S

    2006-06-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is the most polymorphic genetic system known in vertebrates. Decades of research demonstrate that it plays a critical role in immune response and disease resistance. It has also been suggested that MHC genes influence social behavior and reproductive phenomena. Studies in laboratory mice and rats report that kin recognition and mate choice are influenced by olfactory cues determined at least in part by an individual's MHC genes. This issue has stimulated intense but controversial research. However, work in this field has only been carried out in rodents and humans. Thus far, no study has directly investigated the relationship between olfactory cues and MHC genotype in nonhuman primates. Furthermore, other genetic loci, including those linked to the MHC, have not been ruled out as the primary influence on odor profiles. To explore the relationship between individual odor profiles and MHC alleles, we are studying ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). These animals are an ideal model species because they are extremely scent-oriented and their behaviors suggest that olfactory signals form an important part of their intra- and intergroup communication systems. Individual odor profiles from tail and scent gland samples were generated for six males using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). MHC genotypes were identified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The GC-MS analyses demonstrated a difference between profiles obtained from tail and scent gland samples. Although our sample size is relatively small and statistical significance could not be obtained, our analyses suggest a relationship between MHC and concentrations of volatile compounds. While these results are preliminary, they support the need for further studies of the MHC and olfactory signals in lemurs and other primates. Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. A complex sensory organ in the nose skin of the prosimian primate Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elofsson, Rolf; Tuminaite, Inga; Kröger, Ronald H H

    2015-06-01

    Most mammals have nose tips covered by glabrous skin, a labronasal area, or rhinarium. The surface of the rhinarium of Lemur catta has a dermatoglyphic pattern consisting of epidermal domes. Below the domes, epidermal pegs dip down into the dermis. In and below the tip of the epidermal peg, a complex sensory organ is found. It consists of an association of innervated Merkel cells, lamellate (Pacini-like) bodies with a central nerve, and a ring of unmyelinated nerve endings in the epidermis. The Merkel cells are situated basally in the epidermis and the lamellated bodies just below the epidermis. The unmyelinated nerve endings related to the organ ascend in a circle straight through the epidermis ending below the corneal layer. From these nerve terminals, horizontal spikes enter the keratinocytes. The three components occur together forming an organ and are innervated from a common nerve plexus. The morphology of the complex sensory organ of the lemur shares most crucial components with Eimer's organs in moles, echidna, and platypus, while some structures are lacking, for example, the specific central pillar of keratinocytes, the cuticular cap, and a central unmyelinated fiber. The presence of the essentials of an Eimer's organ in many mammals suggests that a wider definition is motivated. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Synthetic smooth muscle in the outer blood plexus of the rhinarium skin of Lemur catta L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elofsson, Rolf; Kröger, Ronald H H

    2017-01-01

    The skin of the lemur nose tip (rhinarium) has arterioles in the outer vascular plexus that are endowed with an unusual coat of smooth muscle cells. Comparison with the arterioles of the same area in a number of unrelated mammalians shows that the lemur pattern is unique. The vascular smooth muscle cells belong to the synthetic type. The function of synthetic smooth muscles around the terminal vessels in the lemur rhinarium is unclear but may have additional functions beyond regulation of vessel diameter.

  1. Coat condition of ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar: I. Differences by age, sex, density and tourism, 1996-2006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jolly, Alison

    2009-03-01

    An index of coat condition can be a non-invasive tool for tracking health and stress at population level. Coat condition in ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta, was recorded during September-November birth seasons of 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2001-2006 at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar. Condition was scored on a scale from 0: full, fluffy coat with guard hairs present, to 5: half or more of body hairless. Adult males did not differ overall from adult females. Coats were worse in adults than in 2-year-old subadults; 1-year-old juveniles were intermediate. Mothers and adult males lost coat condition as the season progressed: non-mother females maintained condition. Years 1999-2002 scored better coats than either 1996-1997 or 2003-2006. Lemurs in high population density areas had worse coats than in natural forest, but tourist presence had less effect than density. Monitoring coat condition in an apparently healthy population reveals differences between population segments, and in a forest fragment with limited immigration or emigration it can track progressive changes, correcting impressions of progressive improvement or degradation over time. Above all it gives a baseline for response to climate changes or eventual pathology. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. The Season for Peace: Reconciliation in a Despotic Species (Lemur catta.

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    Elisabetta Palagi

    Full Text Available However despotic a social group may be, managing conflicts of interest is crucial to preserve group living benefits, mainly based on cooperation. In despotic groups, post-conflict management via reconciliation (the first post-conflict reunion between former opponents can occur, even if conciliatory rates are considerably different. Lemur catta is defined as a despotic species because groups are characterized by a strict linear hierarchy maintained by the adult females (the dominant sex mainly via aggression. Reconciliation was reported in one out of four captive groups of L. catta. Here we investigate which variables influence the occurrence of reconciliation in these despotic groups. We analyzed 2339 Post Conflict (PC-Matched Control (MC observation pairs, collected on eight groups (five in the Berenty forest, Madagascar; three hosted at the Pistoia Zoo, Italy. Since L. catta is characterized by steep female dominance but shows female-female coalitionary support, we expected to confirm the presence of reconciliation in the study species. Consistently, we found reconciliation in one captive group and two wild groups, thus providing the first evidence of the presence of this phenomenon in wild L. catta. Moreover, because this species is a seasonal breeder (with mating occurring once a year, we expected seasonal fluctuations in reconciliation levels. Via a GLMM analysis using data from all wild groups and on a captive group followed for more than one year, we found that season (but not rank; individuals' identity, sex, and age; or group identity significantly affected individual reconciliation rates, and such rates were lowest during the mating period. Thus, reconciliation can be present in groups in which dominants strongly influence and limit social relationships (steep dominance hierarchy except when the advantages of intra-group cooperation are overcome by competition, as occurs in seasonal breeders when reproduction is at stake. We conclude

  3. The Season for Peace: Reconciliation in a Despotic Species (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    However despotic a social group may be, managing conflicts of interest is crucial to preserve group living benefits, mainly based on cooperation. In despotic groups, post-conflict management via reconciliation (the first post-conflict reunion between former opponents) can occur, even if conciliatory rates are considerably different. Lemur catta is defined as a despotic species because groups are characterized by a strict linear hierarchy maintained by the adult females (the dominant sex) mainly via aggression. Reconciliation was reported in one out of four captive groups of L. catta. Here we investigate which variables influence the occurrence of reconciliation in these despotic groups. We analyzed 2339 Post Conflict (PC)-Matched Control (MC) observation pairs, collected on eight groups (five in the Berenty forest, Madagascar; three hosted at the Pistoia Zoo, Italy). Since L. catta is characterized by steep female dominance but shows female-female coalitionary support, we expected to confirm the presence of reconciliation in the study species. Consistently, we found reconciliation in one captive group and two wild groups, thus providing the first evidence of the presence of this phenomenon in wild L. catta. Moreover, because this species is a seasonal breeder (with mating occurring once a year), we expected seasonal fluctuations in reconciliation levels. Via a GLMM analysis using data from all wild groups and on a captive group followed for more than one year, we found that season (but not rank; individuals' identity, sex, and age; or group identity) significantly affected individual reconciliation rates, and such rates were lowest during the mating period. Thus, reconciliation can be present in groups in which dominants strongly influence and limit social relationships (steep dominance hierarchy) except when the advantages of intra-group cooperation are overcome by competition, as occurs in seasonal breeders when reproduction is at stake. We conclude that in

  4. Patterns of Dental Macrowear in Subfossil Lemur catta from Ankilitelo Cave, Madagascar: Indications of Ecology and Habitat Use over Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

    The Ankilitelo cave site, Madagascar, contains a large collection of extant and recently extinct subfossil lemurs including the extant taxa Lemur catta and Eulemur rufifrons, which today are rarely found in sympatry. Dates for this assemblage range from 300 to 13,000 BP, though known dates for extinct primate specimens range between ∼500 and ∼600 BP. Data from Ankilitelo L. catta and E. rufifrons were compared to assess tooth wear in sympatric, related forms. Wear was scored using an ordinal scale from 0 to 5. For P4, M1 and M2, E. rufifrons displays significantly more wear than L. catta. Ankilitelo represents one of the most southerly samples of E. rufifrons, and wear data suggest that in the recent (i.e. Holocene) past, their diet near the edges of their geographic range included mechanically challenging foods. In contrast, sympatric L. catta was using foods in this transitional humid-dry forest with succulent woodlands that were not significantly impacted by recent human actions, and for which they were dentally adapted. Results also suggest that this non-gallery forest habitat may be the 'adaptive home' of L. catta, given the lack of notable tooth wear when compared to populations currently living in tamarind-dominated riverine gallery forests. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  5. Demographic and life-history patterns in a population of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar: a 15-year perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Lisa; Sussman, R W; Sauther, Michelle L

    2003-02-01

    Over 15 field seasons (1987-2001), we collected census and life-history data on a population of individually identified ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar. No significant difference was found in population size over the study period, though a marked decline in the population occurred following a 2-year drought. The population rebounded rapidly after the immediate postdrought period. There was nearly a complete replacement of individuals over the study period. Average group size is 11.5 animals, and adult male to female sex ratio is 0.92. Most females reproduce annually, and the average fecundity rate is 84.3%. The greatest variability in fecundity is found among old females. We suggest that ring-tailed lemur females follow an "income breeding" strategy, i.e., females use maximum resources during reproduction rather than relying on fat stores, as do "capital breeders." Infant mortality to 1 year of age in a nondrought year is 52%, higher than infant mortality in small to medium-sized anthropoids. The oldest known female was 18 years old in 2001. We suggest that 18-20 years may represent the maximum life-span for wild ring-tailed lemurs. Because males regularly emigrate from the population, we have no data regarding male life-span; however, there is some indication that males do not survive as long as females. Group fission has occurred three times: twice from one parent group living in the driest area of the reserve, with the most dispersed food resources. We suggest that the reproductive strategy that has evolved in this species, wherein females reproduce early in life and annually until old age, is a response to the unusual climate and environmental conditions under which Lemur catta has evolved.

  6. Sex and seasonal differences in aggression and steroid secretion in Lemur catta: are socially dominant females hormonally 'masculinized'?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drea, Christine M

    2007-04-01

    Female social dominance characterizes many strepsirrhine primates endemic to Madagascar, but currently there is no comprehensive explanation for how or why female lemurs routinely dominate males. Reconstructing the evolutionary pressures that may have shaped female dominance depends on better understanding the mechanism of inheritance, variation in trait expression, and correlating variables. Indeed, relative to males, many female lemurs also display delayed puberty, size monomorphism, and 'masculinized' external genitalia. As in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), a species characterized by extreme masculinization of the female, this array of traits focuses attention on the role of androgens in female development. Consequently, I examined endocrine profiles and social interaction in the ringtailed lemur (Lemur catta) to search for a potential source of circulating androgen in adult females and an endocrine correlate of female dominance or its proxy, aggression. I measured serum androstenedione (A(4)), testosterone (T), and estradiol (E(2)) in reproductively intact, adult lemurs (10 females; 12 males) over four annual cycles. Whereas T concentrations in males far exceeded those in females, A(4) concentrations were only slightly greater in males than in females. In both sexes, A(4) and T were positively correlated, implicating the Delta(4)-biosynthetic pathway. Moreover, seasonal changes in reproductive function in both sexes coincided with seasonal changes in behavior, with A(4) and T in males versus A(4) and E(2) in females increasing during periods marked by heightened aggression. Therefore, A(4) and/or E(2) may be potentially important steroidal sources in female lemurs that could modulate aggression and underlie a suite of masculinized features.

  7. Condensed tannin intake in spiny-forest-dwelling Lemur catta at Berenty reserve, Madagascar, during reproductive periods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, L; Constabel, P; Mellway, R; Rambeloarivony, H

    2009-01-01

    Primates vary in their choice or avoidance of plant foods high in condensed tannins (CT). Our study focused on CT intake in two groups of Lemur catta residing in spiny forest habitat during two reproductive periods. We examined whether L. catta in this habitat avoided plant foods high in CT, and whether reproductive females ingested lower concentrations of CT compared with males, since CT consumption compromises protein absorption. Feeding data and plant food samples were collected during reproductive periods in 2006 (early/mid-lactation) and 2007 (early gestation). Food samples were assayed for CT content, and average CT intake was determined for all focal animals. No significant difference was found in CT content of the most commonly consumed foods compared with other foods in each season or between seasons. No sex differences occurred in CT consumption in either reproductive period. These L. catta did not avoid plant foods high in CT, and three strategies - ingesting small amounts of CT regularly, high amounts only over short periods, and geophagy - may assist these lemurs in coping with CT content in their highly seasonal diet. L. catta may also be somewhat physiologically adapted to cope with CT concentrations in their plant foods. Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  8. Behavioral responses to tooth loss in wild ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millette, James B; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P

    2009-09-01

    Severe dental wear and tooth loss is often assumed to impede the processing, breakdown, and energetic conversion of food items, thereby negatively impacting individual health, reproduction, and survival. Ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve demonstrate exceptionally high frequencies of severe dental wear and antemortem tooth loss, yet often survive multiple years with these impairments. To test the hypothesis that these lemurs mitigate tooth loss through behavioral adjustments, we collected 191 h of observational data from 16 focal subjects, eight without tooth loss and eight with between 3% and 44% loss. These data indicate dentally-impaired ring-tailed lemurs show compensatory behaviors consistent with the demands of living in a social group. During early afternoon (12:00-14:30 h) individuals with loss showed trends towards higher frequencies of foraging and grooming, while individuals without loss rested significantly more often. Individuals with >10% loss (n = 7) showed higher frequencies of feeding, foraging, and grooming, and lower frequencies of resting during this period than individuals with <10% loss (n = 9). Individuals with tooth loss maintained relatively higher levels of feeding and foraging throughout the day. These individuals licked tamarind fruit at higher frequencies, likely spending more time softening it before ingestion. These individuals did not demonstrate longer feeding bouts overall, although bouts involving tamarinds were significantly longer. Individuals with marked toothcomb wear engaged in higher rates of certain types of allogrooming, demonstrating that social behaviors are used to compensate for reduced grooming efficiency. These data have implications for interpreting behavioral responses to dental impairment in the fossil record. Copyright 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Feeding behavior and nutrient intake in spiny forest-dwelling ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) during early gestation and early to mid-lactation periods: compensating in a harsh environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Lisa; Power, Michael L; Ellwanger, Nicholas; Rambeloarivony, Hajamanitra

    2011-07-01

    Strong resource seasonality in Madagascar has led to the evolution of female feeding priority and weaning synchrony in most lemur species. For these taxa, pregnancy/early lactation periods coincide with low food availability, and weaning of infants is timed with increased resources at the onset of the rainy season. Reproductive females experience high metabolic requirements, which they must accommodate, particularly when food resources are scarce. Female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) residing in spiny forest habitat must deal with resource scarcity, high temperatures (∼36-40°C) and little shade in early to mid-lactation periods. Considered "income breeders," these females must use resources obtained from the environment instead of relying on fat stores; thus, we expected they would differ from same-sized males in time spent on feeding and in the intake of food and nutrients. We investigated these variables in two groups (N = 11 and 12) of Lemur catta residing in spiny forest habitat during early gestation and early to mid-lactation periods. Focal animal data and food plant samples were collected, and plants were analyzed for protein, kcal, and fiber. We found no sex differences for any feeding or nutrient intake variable for the top five food species consumed. Females in early gestation spent more time feeding compared with early/mid-lactation. Physiological compensation for spiny forest-dwelling females may be tied to greater time spent resting compared with gallery forest conspecifics, consuming foods high in protein, calories, and water, reduced home range defense in a sparsely populated habitat, and for Lemur catta females in general, production of relatively dilute milk compared with many strepsirrhines. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. A comparison of salivary pH in sympatric wild lemurs (Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Yamashita, Nayuta; Lawler, Richard R; Brockman, Diane K; Godfrey, Laurie R; Gould, Lisa; Youssouf, Ibrahim Antho Jacky; Lent, Cheryl; Ratsirarson, Joelisoa; Richard, Alison F; Scott, Jessica R; Sussman, Robert W; Villers, Lynne M; Weber, Martha A; Willis, George

    2008-04-01

    Chemical deterioration of teeth is common among modern humans, and has been suggested for some extinct primates. Dental erosion caused by acidic foods may also obscure microwear signals of mechanical food properties. Ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar, display frequent severe tooth wear and subsequent tooth loss. In contrast, sympatric Verreaux's sifaka display far less tooth wear and infrequent tooth loss, despite both species regularly consuming acidic tamarind fruit. We investigated the potential impact of dietary acidity on tooth wear, collecting data on salivary pH from both species, as well as salivary pH from ring-tailed lemurs at Tsimanampesotse National Park, Madagascar. We also collected salivary pH data from ring-tailed lemurs at the Indianapolis Zoo, none of which had eaten for at least 12 hr before data collection. Mean salivary pH for the BMSR ring-tailed lemurs (8.098, n=41, SD=0.550) was significantly more alkaline than Verreaux's sifaka (7.481, n=26, SD=0.458). The mean salivary pH of BMSR (8.098) and Tsimanampesotse (8.080, n=25, SD=0.746) ring-tailed lemurs did not differ significantly. Salivary pH for the Indianapolis Zoo sample (8.125, n=16, SD=0.289) did not differ significantly from either the BMSR or Tsimanampesotse ring-tailed lemurs, but was significantly more alkaline than the BMSR Verreaux's sifaka sample. Regardless of the time between feeding and collection of pH data (from several minutes to nearly 1 hr), salivary pH for each wild lemur was above the "critical" pH of 5.5, below which enamel demineralization occurs. Thus, the high pH of lemur saliva suggests a strong buffering capacity, indicating the impact of acidic foods on dental wear is short-lived, likely having a limited effect. However, tannins in tamarind fruit may increase friction between teeth, thereby increasing attrition and wear in lemurs. These data also suggest that salivary pH varies between lemur species, corresponding to broad

  11. A comparison of auditory brainstem responses and behavioral estimates of hearing sensitivity in Lemur catta and Nycticebus coucang.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsier, Marissa A; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2010-03-01

    Primates depend on acoustic signals and cues to avoid predators, locate food, and share information. Accordingly, the structure and function of acoustic stimuli have long been emphasized in studies of primate behavioral and cognitive ecology. Yet, few studies have addressed how well primates hear such stimuli; indeed, the auditory thresholds of most primate species are unknown. This empirical void is due in part to the logistic and economic challenges attendant on traditional behavioral testing methods. Technological advances have produced a safe and cost-effective alternative-the auditory brainstem response (ABR) method, which can be utilized in field conditions, on virtually any animal species, and without subject training. Here we used the ABR and four methods of threshold determination to construct audiograms for two strepsirrhine primates: the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and slow loris (Nycticebus coucang). Next, to verify the general efficacy of the ABR method, we compared our results to published behaviorally-derived audiograms. We found that the four ABR threshold detection methods produced similar results, including relatively elevated thresholds but similarly shaped audiograms compared to those derived behaviorally. The ABR and behavioral absolute thresholds were significantly correlated, and the frequencies of best sensitivity and high-frequency limits were comparable. However, at frequencies Lemur, the ABR 10-dB range starting points were more than 2 octaves higher than the behavioral points. Finally, a comparison of ABR- and behaviorally-derived audiograms from various animal taxa demonstrates the widespread efficacy of the ABR for estimating frequency of best sensitivity, but otherwise suggests caution; factors such as stimulus properties and threshold definition affect results. We conclude that the ABR method is a promising technique for estimating primate hearing sensitivity, but that additional data are required to explore its efficacy for

  12. Mechanical food properties and dental topography differentiate three populations of Lemur catta in southwest Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L; Fitzgerald, Emily; Riemenschneider, Andrea; Ungar, Peter S

    2016-09-01

    Determining the proximate causes of tooth wear remains a major focus of dental study. Here we compare the diets of three ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) populations and examine how different dietary components may contribute to patterns of wear-related tooth shape. Casts were made from dental impressions collected between 2003 and 2010 from lemurs in the gallery and spiny/mixed forests of the Bezá Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR; Parcels 1 and 2) and the spiny/mixed forests of Tsimanampesotse National Park (TNP), Madagascar. Tooth shape variables (occlusal relief and slope, angularity) were analyzed using dental topographic analysis. Focal observations and food mechanical properties (FMPs: toughness, hardness, elastic modulus) were conducted and tested, respectively, during wet and dry seasons from 2008 to 2012. We found that FMPs correlate with patterns of dental topography in these three populations. Specifically, food toughness and elastic modulus correlate with the dental variables, but hardness does not. Average food toughness and elastic modulus, but not hardness, are highest in BMSR Parcel 2, followed by BMSR Parcel 1 and TNP. Occlusal relief and slope, which serve as proxies for tooth wear, show the greatest wear in Parcel 2 and the least in TNP. Angularity is also more pronounced in TNP. Further, dental topographic patterns correspond to reliance on Tamarindus indica (tamarind) fruit. Both BMSR populations consume tamarind at high frequencies in the dry season, but the fruits are rare at TNP and only occasionally consumed. Thus, high seasonal tamarind consumption and its mechanical values help explain the low dental relief and slope among BMSR lemurs. By investigating the ecology of a single widespread species across a variety of habitats, we have been able to link specific components of diet to patterns of dental topography in this species. This provides a context for interpreting wear-related tooth shape changes more generally, illustrating that

  13. Feeding and Breeding of Ring - tailed Lemurs ( Lemur catta ) in South China%环尾狐猴在华南地区的饲养与繁殖

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    成世清; 吴其锐; 陈足金; 陈武; 张伯明; 区顺棠

    2012-01-01

    以广州动物园人工饲养的10只环尾狐猴(雄性5只,雌性5只)为研究对象,根据广州地区多雨潮湿的气候条件,以400m。草地作为饲养场地,配置栖枝、凉亭和恒温保暖箱,采取逐只投喂的办法进行饲养。在广州地区的气候条件下,环尾狐猴2岁即可进行繁殖交配,发情期为8~9月,妊娠期为5个月,育幼主要由母猴来完成,雄猴可参与育幼,母猴有明显的护食行为。当气温低于15℃时,狐猴进入恒温保暖箱活动。在华南地区的气候条件下,环尾狐猴的饲养管理需做好防雨、防晒工作,冬季气温低于15℃时需开启恒温保暖设施。在繁殖育幼期,需添加面包虫等食物,并合理搭配成年雌雄性狐猴比例,防止动物打斗而出现伤亡。本文主要阐述环尾狐猴在广州地区的饲养繁殖、防寒保暖、环境丰容等方面的技术要点,为在华南地区环尾狐猴的保育及进一步研究奠定基础。%We studied ten ring - tailed lemurs ( five males and five females) that were reared in Guangzhou Zoological Park, Guangzhou. Because of the seasonally heavy rainfall in the Guangzhou area, the lemurs were raised in 400 m2 lawns with tree branches, pavilions and heated compartments ( for use in winter ) . Lemurs were feed individually by hand. Ring - tailed le- murs mated at 2 years of age and successfully reproduced in Guangzhou. The estrus period was in August and September and the gestation period was about 5 months. Young lemurs were cared for mainly by adult female lemurs but adult males were also in- volved in care of young. Adult female lemurs protected food. At temperatures below 15%, lemurs occupied the heated compart- ments. Ringtailed lemurs reared in captivity in south China should be protected from rain and sun. At temperatures below 15℃ in winter, heated compartments are needed. In the breeding and nursery season, ring- tailed lemurs should be provided

  14. Dominance rank reversals and rank instability among male Lemur catta: the effects of female behavior and ejaculation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parga, Joyce A

    2009-03-01

    In this study, dominance rank instability among male Lemur catta during mating was investigated. Also, data on agonism and sexual behavior across five consecutive mating seasons in a population of L. catta on St. Catherines Island, USA, were collected. Instances of male rank instability were categorized into three types. Type 1 consisted of a temporary switch in the dominance ranks of two males, which lasted for a period of minutes or hours. Type 2 dyadic male agonistic interactions showed highly variable outcomes for a period of time during which wins and losses were neither predictable nor consistent. Type 3 interactions consisted of a single agonistic win by a lower-ranked male over a more dominant male. More Type 2 interactions (indicating greater dominance instability) occurred when males had not spent the previous mating season in the same group, but this trend was not statistically significant. The majority of periods of male rank instability were preceded by female proceptivity or receptivity directed to a lower-ranked male. As such, exhibition of female mate choice for a lower-ranking male appeared to incite male-male competition. Following receipt of female proceptivity or receptivity, males who were lower-ranking took significantly longer to achieve their first agonistic win over a more dominant male than did males who were higher-ranked. Ejaculation frequently preceded loss of dominance. In conclusion, temporary rank reversals and overall dominance rank instability commonly occur among male L. catta in mating contexts, and these temporary increases in dominance status appear to positively affect male mating success. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. (Un-)expected nocturnal activity in "Diurnal" Lemur catta supports cathemerality as one of the key adaptations of the lemurid radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donati, Giuseppe; Santini, Luca; Razafindramanana, Josia; Boitani, Luigi; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana

    2013-01-01

    The ability to operate during the day and at night (i.e., cathemerality) is common among mammals but has rarely been identified in primates. Adaptive hypotheses assume that cathemerality represents a stable adaptation in primates, while nonadaptive hypotheses propose that it is the result of an evolutionary disequilibrium arising from human impacts on natural habitats. Madagascar offers a unique opportunity to study the evolution of activity patterns as there we find a monophyletic primate radiation that shows nocturnal, diurnal, and cathemeral patterns. However, when and why cathemeral activity evolved in lemurs is the subject of intense debate. Thus far, this activity pattern has been regularly observed in only three lemurid genera but the actual number of lemur species exhibiting this activity is as yet unknown. Here we show that the ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta, a species previously considered to be diurnal, can in fact be cathemeral in the wild. In neighboring but distinct forest areas these lemurs exhibited either mainly diurnal or cathemeral activity. We found that, as in other cathemeral lemurs, activity was entrained by photoperiod and masked by nocturnal luminosity. Our results confirm the relationship between transitional eye anatomy and physiology and 24-h activity, thus supporting the adaptive scenario. Also, on the basis of the most recent strepsirrhine phylogenetic reconstruction, using parsimony criterion, our findings suggest pushing back the emergence of cathemerality to stem lemurids. Flexible activity over 24-h could thus have been one of the key adaptations of the early lemurid radiation possibly driven by Madagascar's island ecology. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Beyond the Gallery Forest: Contrasting Habitat and Diet in Lemur catta Troops at Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Sauther, Michelle L; Cuozzo, Frank P; Youssouf Jacky, Ibrahim Antho

    2015-01-01

    Ring-tailed lemurs have been studied intensively in the Parcel 1 gallery forest of Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve. Here, we report on lemur groups in a mixture of deciduous dry forest and spiny forest just 5 km to the west. Compared to Parcel 1, Parcel 2 (P2) has a lower density of Tamarindus indica, a major dietary plant species for gallery forest lemurs. Recent studies in drier habitats have called into question the association of lemur density and tamarind presence. In order to address this question, we measured forest structure and composition of plant plots between parcels and conducted lemur feeding observations. The trees and shrubs within the parcels did not differ in height or diameter at breast height, but the frequencies of plant species that were common between parcels were significantly different. Numbers of feeding observations on foods common to both parcels did not differ, but their relative rankings within parcels did. Frequencies of food plants corresponded to earlier reports of lemur population densities. However, we found that the ring-tailed lemur diet is a mixture of plants that are eaten in abundance regardless of frequency and those that are locally available. In terms of their reliance on Tamarindus, P2 animals appear intermediate between those in gallery forests and nontamarind sites.

  17. Females do it better. Individual recognition experiments reveal sexual dimorphism in Lemur catta (Linnaeus 1758) olfactory motivation and territorial defence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Dapporto, Leonardo

    2007-08-01

    In this paper, we aim at demonstrating individual recognition of female genital marking in Lemur catta. By gas chromatography and behavioural trials we verified the occurrence of the three components of recognition systems. We showed that each female has a unique chemical signature (expression component), and males and females perceive female individuality (perception component). To verify the presence of the action component (the last component of recognition systems), we designed a bioassay based on territorial competition to verify the functional response to female odours. Only females identified other females on the basis of their scents. The lack of a territorial functional response by males to female secretions may not indicate a male inability to identify females by their scents. In fact, sexual dimorphism in motivation and territorial defence may explain the response by males in the functional experiment. Actually, game theory predicts that males defend their own territories more vigorously against males compared with females. Therefore, the result of individual recognition bioassays of female odours may open interesting scenarios in the evaluation of the territorial defence investment across the different sex combinations.

  18. Feeding outside the forest: the importance of crop raiding and an invasive weed in the diet of gallery forest ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) following a cyclone at the Beza Mahafaly special reserve, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaFleur, M; Gould, L

    2009-01-01

    In January 2005, a cyclone hit southern Madagascar, including the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, disrupting the flowering/fruiting cycle of Tamarindus indica, leaving Lemur catta without its major food resource during reproductive periods. We studied two adjacent groups of L. catta during the late gestation period, and both groups ventured outside the reserve to feed. The Red group (RG) fed daily on cultivated sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaves in a nearby field, and both groups consumed leaves and stems of the invasive terrestrial flowering herb Mexican prickly poppy (Argemone mexicana), growing outside the reserve. The Green group (GG) spent significantly more time feeding than did RG, and more time feeding inside the forest compared to outside. The members of RG spent half of their time feeding in the crops, and nearly half of their diet consisted of easy-to-process sweet potato leaves. Additionally, RG defended and restricted GG's access to the crop territory. Of the two non-forest foods, A. mexicana leaves were higher in protein and most minerals (P, Mg, K and Na, but not Ca) and lower in fiber than sweet potato leaves, but sweet potato leaves were preferred by RG. L. catta is a markedly flexible primate with respect to diet, and switches to fallback foods from outside the forest during periods of low food availability. In the highly seasonal and unpredictable climate of southern Madagascar, such behavioral adaptations are important to the survival of this species.

  19. Reproductive Female Feeding Strategies in Spiny Forest-Dwelling Lemur catta in Southern and Southwestern Madagascar: How Do Females Meet the Challenges of Reproduction in this Harsh Habitat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Lisa; Kelley, Elizabeth A; LaFleur, Marni

    2015-01-01

    The spiny forest ecoregion of southern and southwestern Madagascar is characterized by low annual rainfall, high temperatures, short-stature xeric vegetation and lack of canopy. Lemur catta is often the only diurnal primate persisting in this habitat. For reproductive females living in spiny forests, gestation and early-to-mid lactation periods occur during the dry season when food resources are limited. We conducted a between-site comparison of variables important to the feeding ecology of reproductive female L. catta inhabiting spiny forest at 3 sites: Berenty spiny forest (BSF), Cap Sainte-Marie (CSM) and Tsimanampesotse National Park (TNP). We hypothesize that the ability for pregnant and lactating females to adequately obtain plant foods high in protein, low in fiber and with a high water content is crucial to their survival and successful reproduction in spiny habitat. We found favorable or relatively equal protein-to-fiber ratios in plant foods most frequently consumed by reproductive females, and preferred foods contained high water content. Some overlap in preferred plant species at the 3 sites suggests important plant foods for reproductive females inhabiting spiny forests. We suggest that choosing foods high in protein, relatively low in fiber and with high water content are behavioral adaptations allowing female L. catta to reproduce and survive in this habitat. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. The Lemur Conjecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanzagorta, Marco; Jitrik, Oliverio; Uhlmann, Jeffrey; Venegas-Andraca, Salvador E.

    2017-05-01

    In previous research we designed an interferometric quantum seismograph that uses entangled photon states to enhance sensitivity in an optomechanic device. However, a spatially-distributed array of such sensors, with each sensor measuring only nm-vibrations, may not provide sufficient sensitivity for the prediction of major earthquakes because it fails to exploit potentially critical phase information. We conjecture that relative phase information can explain the anecdotal observations that animals such as lemurs exhibit sensitivity to impending earthquakes earlier than can be done confidently with traditional seismic technology. More specifically, we propose that lemurs use their limbs as ground motion sensors and that relative phase differences are fused in the brain in a manner similar to a phased-array or synthetic-aperture radar. In this paper we will describe a lemur-inspired quantum sensor network for early warning of earthquakes. The system uses 4 interferometric quantum seismographs (e.g., analogous to a lemurs limbs) and then conducts phase and data fusion of the seismic information. Although we discuss a quantum-based technology, the principles described can also be applied to classical sensor arrays

  1. Effects of reproductive and social variables on fecal glucocorticoid levels in a sample of adult male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Lisa; Ziegler, Toni E; Wittwer, Daniel J

    2005-09-01

    Glucocorticoids, a group of adrenal hormones, are secreted in response to stress. In male primates, variables such as breeding seasonality, dominance hierarchy stability, and aggressive and affiliative interactions can affect glucocorticoid levels. In this study, we examined interindividual differences in mean fecal glucocorticoid (fGC) levels among males in three groups of wild ring-tailed lemurs to better understand the physiological costs of group living for males in a female-dominant species that exhibits strict reproductive seasonality. Fecal and behavioral data samples were collected during one mating and two postmating seasons (2001 and 2003). The mean fGC levels were examined in relation to reproductive season, male rank, number of resident males, intermale and female-male agonism, and affiliative behavior with females. The mean fGC levels were not significantly elevated during mating season compared to the postmating period. During the mating season, male dominance hierarchies broke down and rank effects could not be tested; however, there was no relationship between male rank and fGC levels in the postmating periods. In 2001, males that resided in the group with the fewest males exhibited lower fGC levels during the postmating period. They also affiliated more with females than did males in the other groups. During the mating season of 2003, males engaged in more affiliative behaviors with females compared to the postmating season, but female-male agonism did not differ by season. However, rates of intermale agonism were significantly higher during mating compared to postmating periods, but such heightened agonism did not translate to a higher stress response. Thus, neither male-male competition for mates nor heightened agonism between males during the breeding season affected male fGC levels. Fewer males residing in a group, however, did have some effect on male-female affiliation and male fGC levels outside of the mating period. Males that live in a

  2. Lemurs and macaques show similar numerical sensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Sarah M.; Pearson, John; DeWind, Nicholas K.; Paulsen, David; Tenekedjieva, Ana-Maria; Brannon, Elizabeth M.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the precision of the approximate number system (ANS) in three lemur species (Lemur catta, Eulemur mongoz, and Eulemur macaco flavifrons), one Old World monkey species (Macaca mulatta) and humans (Homo sapiens). In Experiment 1, four individuals of each nonhuman primate species were trained to select the numerically larger of two visual arrays on a touchscreen. We estimated numerical acuity by modeling Weber fractions (w) and found quantitatively equivalent performance among all four nonhuman primate species. In Experiment 2, we tested adult humans in a similar procedure, and they outperformed the four nonhuman species but showed qualitatively similar performance. These results indicate that the ANS is conserved over the primate order. PMID:24068469

  3. Species-Specific Transmission of Novel Picornaviruses in Lemurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Efrem S.; Deem, Sharon L.; Porton, Ingrid J.; Cao, Song

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The roles of host genetics versus exposure and contact frequency in driving cross-species transmission remain the subject of debate. Here, we used a multitaxon lemur collection at the Saint Louis Zoo in the United States as a model to gain insight into viral transmission in a setting of high interspecies contact. Lemurs are a diverse and understudied group of primates that are highly endangered. The speciation of lemurs, which are endemic to the island of Madagascar, occurred in geographic isolation apart from that of continental African primates. Although evidence of endogenized viruses in lemur genomes exists, no exogenous viruses of lemurs have been described to date. Here we identified two novel picornaviruses in fecal specimens of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata). We found that the viruses were transmitted in a species-specific manner (lesavirus 1 was detected only in ring-tailed lemurs, while lesavirus 2 was detected only in black-and-white ruffed lemurs). Longitudinal sampling over a 1-year interval demonstrated ongoing infection in the collection. This was supported by evidence of viral clearance in some animals and new infections in previously uninfected animals, including a set of newly born triplets that acquired the infection. While the two virus strains were found to be cocirculating in a mixed-species exhibit of ring-tailed lemurs, black-and-white ruffed lemurs, and black lemurs, there was no evidence of cross-species transmission. This suggests that despite high-intensity contact, host species barriers can prevent cross-species transmissions of these viruses. IMPORTANCE Up to 75% of emerging infectious diseases in humans today are the result of zoonotic transmission. However, a challenge in understanding transmission dynamics has been the limited models of cross-species transmission. Zoos provide a unique opportunity to explore parameters defining viral transmission. We demonstrated that

  4. Individual recognition through olfactory–auditory matching in lemurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulahci, Ipek G.; Drea, Christine M.; Rubenstein, Daniel I.; Ghazanfar, Asif A.

    2014-01-01

    Individual recognition can be facilitated by creating representations of familiar individuals, whereby information from signals in multiple sensory modalities become linked. Many vertebrate species use auditory–visual matching to recognize familiar conspecifics and heterospecifics, but we currently do not know whether representations of familiar individuals incorporate information from other modalities. Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are highly visual, but also communicate via scents and vocalizations. To investigate the role of olfactory signals in multisensory recognition, we tested whether lemurs can recognize familiar individuals through matching scents and vocalizations. We presented lemurs with female scents that were paired with the contact call either of the female whose scent was presented or of another familiar female from the same social group. When the scent and the vocalization came from the same individual versus from different individuals, females showed greater interest in the scents, and males showed greater interest in both the scents and the vocalizations, suggesting that lemurs can recognize familiar females via olfactory–auditory matching. Because identity signals in lemur scents and vocalizations are produced by different effectors and often encountered at different times (uncoupled in space and time), this matching suggests lemurs form multisensory representations through a newly recognized sensory integration underlying individual recognition. PMID:24741013

  5. Tamarind tree seed dispersal by ring-tailed lemurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertl-Millhollen, Anne S; Blumenfeld-Jones, Kathryn; Raharison, Sahoby Marin; Tsaramanana, Donald Raymond; Rasamimanana, Hantanirina

    2011-10-01

    In Madagascar, the gallery forests of the south are among the most endangered. Tamarind trees (Tamarindus indica) dominate these riverine forests and are a keystone food resource for ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). At Berenty Reserve, the presence of tamarind trees is declining, and there is little recruitment of young trees. Because mature tamarinds inhibit growth under their crowns, seeds must be dispersed away from adult trees if tree recruitment is to occur. Ring-tailed lemurs are likely seed dispersers; however, because they spend much of their feeding, siesta, and sleeping time in tamarinds, they may defecate a majority of the tamarind seeds under tamarind trees. To determine whether they disperse tamarind seeds away from overhanging tamarind tree crowns, we observed two troops for 10 days each, noted the locations of feeding and defecation, and collected seeds from feces and fruit for germination. We also collected additional data on tamarind seedling recruitment under natural conditions, in which seedling germination was abundant after extensive rain, including under the canopy. However, seedling survival to 1 year was lower when growing under mature tamarind tree crowns than when growing away from an overhanging crown. Despite low fruit abundance averaging two fruits/m(3) in tamarind crowns, lemurs fed on tamarind fruit for 32% of their feeding samples. Daily path lengths averaged 1,266 m, and lemurs deposited seeds throughout their ranges. Fifty-eight percent of the 417 recorded lemur defecations were on the ground away from overhanging tamarind tree crowns. Tamarind seeds collected from both fruit and feces germinated. Because lemurs deposited viable seeds on the ground away from overhanging mature tamarind tree crowns, we conclude that ring-tailed lemurs provide tamarind tree seed dispersal services.

  6. Ecology and conservation of the crowned lemur, Lemur coronatus, at Ankarana, n. Madagascar. With notes on Sanford's lemur, other sympatrics and subfossil lemurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, J M; Stewart, P D; Ramangason, G S; Denning, A M; Hutchings, M S

    1989-01-01

    Forests of Ankarana limestone massif in northern Madagascar support one of the largest and least disturbed populations of Crowned Lemurs, Lemur coronatus. This paper reports a preliminary study of the ecology of this species in the Ankarana Special Reserve conducted at the end of the dry season in 1986, with additional information collected a year later. Crowned Lemurs occur in very high densities in the semi-deciduous canopy forest and this probably represents a dry season refuge for the species. They also use more open habitats, including sparsely vegetated limestone and degraded forest. Sanford's Lemur, Lemur fulvus sanfordi, also inhabits the Ankarana forests but is most abundant in degraded habitats. Crowned and Sanford's Lemurs had similar patterns of activity, which included nocturnal travelling and feeding bouts. Crowned Lemurs proved to be unusual among Lemur species in displaying low spatial troop cohesion and a lack of obvious troop hierarchy. Stronglyoides-like enteric helminths infested about one third of Crowned Lemurs but were apparently not causing disease. Crowned Lemurs fall prey to the Fosa, Cryptoprocta ferox, and the young possibly also to the largest raptors. A total of seven living lemur species (including the very rare Propithecus diadema perrieri and Daubentonia madagascariensis) were confirmed at Ankarana by the authors, and three further species have been reported by other observers. In addition to these ten extant lemurs, four subfossil species have been discovered: three of them (Hapalemur simus, Palaeopropithecus and Mesopropithecus) by the authors. The possibility that all 14 lemurs were once sympatric is discussed. For the present, the lemurs of Ankarana are protected from hunting by local taboo. Nevertheless they are under severe threat from habitat destruction, despite Ankarana's Special Reserve status. Given the very restricted distributions of Crowned and Sanford's Lemurs, both must be considered as threatened with extinction.

  7. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis neurona, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi in three species of lemurs from St. Catherines Island, GA, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yabsley, Michael J; Jordan, Carly N; Mitchell, Sheila M; Norton, Terry M; Lindsay, David S

    2007-03-15

    In the current study, we determined the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis neurona, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi in three species of lemurs from St. Catherines Island, Georgia. Serum samples were tested from 52 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), six blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), and four black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) using an agglutination assay. Three ring-tailed lemurs (5.8%) were positive for T. gondii (titer of 1:50); one ring-tailed lemur (1.9%) and one black and white ruffed lemur (25%) were positive for S. neurona (titers of 1:1000); and one ring-tailed lemur (1.9%) was positive for E. cuniculi (titer of 1:400). All blue-eyed black lemurs were negative for antibodies to T. gondii, S. neurona, and E. cuniculi. This is the first detection of antibodies to T. gondii in ring-tailed lemurs and antibodies to S. neurona and E. cuniculi in any species of prosimian.

  8. Captive Conditions of Pet Lemurs in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, Kim E; Schaefer, Melissa S

    2016-01-01

    Live extraction of wildlife is a threat to biodiversity and can compromise animal welfare standards. Studies of the captive environments and welfare of pet primates are known, but none has focused on Madagascar. We aimed to expand knowledge about the captive conditions of pet lemurs in Madagascar. We hypothesized that captive lemurs would often be kept in restrictive settings, including small cages, would be fed foods inconsistent with their natural diets and, as a result, would be in bad physical or psychological health. Data were collected via a web-based survey (n = 253 reports) and from the websites and social media pages of 25 hotels. Most lemurs seen by respondents were either kept on a rope/leash/chain or in a cage (67%), though some lemurs were habituated and were not restrained (28%). Most of the time (72%) cages were considered small, and lemurs were rarely kept in captivity together with other lemurs (81% of lemurs were caged alone). Pet lemurs were often fed foods inconsistent with their natural diets, and most (53%) were described as being in bad health. These findings point to a need to undertake outreach to pet lemur owners in Madagascar about the captivity requirements of primates.

  9. Seasonal feeding ecology of ring-tailed lemurs: a comparison of spiny and gallery forest habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaFleur, Marni; Sauther, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

    Although Lemur catta persists in many habitat types in southern Madagascar, its ecology has been primarily studied within gallery forests. We compare plant food selection and properties for ring-tailed lemurs in the spiny and gallery forests over the synchronized lactation period (September to March) that includes both the dry and wet seasons. We found no significant habitat-specific differences in the type of plant part consumed per month (i.e. flower, fruit, leaf) or between the intake of soluble carbohydrates. However, the presence and use of Tamarindus indica plants appear to elevate protein and fiber intake in the gallery forest lemurs' diets. Protein is especially important for reproductive females who incur the added metabolic costs associated with lactation; however, fiber can disrupt protein digestion. Future work should continue to investigate how variations of protein and fiber affect ring-tailed lemur dietary choice and nutrient acquisition.

  10. Variation in fecal testosterone levels, inter-male aggression, dominance rank and age during mating and post-mating periods in wild adult male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, L; Ziegler, T E

    2007-12-01

    In primate species exhibiting seasonal reproduction, patterns of testosterone excretion in adult males are variable: in some species, peaks correlate with female receptivity periods and heightened male-male aggression over access to estrous females, in others, neither heightened aggression nor marked elevations in testosterone have been noted. In this study, we examined mean fecal testosterone ( f T) levels and intermale aggression in wild adult male ring-tailed lemurs residing in three groups at Beza Mahafaly Reserve, Madagascar. Results obtained from mating and post-mating season 2003 were compared to test Wingfield et al. [1990. Am Nat 136:829-846] "challenge hypothesis", which predicts a strong positive relationship between male testosterone levels and male-male competition for access to receptive females during breeding season. f T levels and rates of intermale aggression were significantly higher during mating season compared to the post-mating period. Mean f T levels and aggression rates were also higher in the first half of the mating season compared with the second half. Number of males in a group affected rates of intermale agonism, but not mean f T levels. The highest-ranking males in two of the groups exhibited higher mean f T levels than did lower-ranking males, and young males exhibited lower f T levels compared to prime-aged and old males. In the post-mating period, mean male f T levels did not differ between groups, nor were there rank or age effects. Thus, although male testosterone levels rose in relation to mating and heightened male-male aggression, f T levels fell to baseline breeding levels shortly after the early mating period, and to baseline non-breeding levels immediately after mating season had ended, offsetting the high cost of maintaining both high testosterone and high levels of male-male aggression in the early breeding period. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. Localization of a new highly repeated DNA sequence of Lemur cafta (Lemuridae, Strepsirhini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boniotto, Michele; Ventura, Mario; Cardone, Maria Francesca; Boaretto, Francesca; Archidiacono, Nicoletta; Rocchi, Mariano; Crovella, Sergio

    2002-10-01

    We have isolated and cloned an 800-bp highly repeated DNA (HRDNA) sequence from Lemur catta (LCA) and described its localization on LCA chromosomes. Lemur catta HRDNA sequences were localized by performing FISH experiments on standard and elongated metaphasic chromosomes using an LCA HRDNA probe (LCASAT). A complex hybridization pattern was detected. A strong pericentromeric hybridization signal was observed on most LCA chromosomes. Chromosomes 7 and 13 were lit in pericentromeric regions, as well as in the interspersed heterochromatin. Chromosomes 1, 3, 4, 17, 19, X, and microchromosomes (20, 25, 26, and 27) showed no signals in the pericentromeric region, but chromosomes 3 and 4 showed a positive hybridization in heterochromatic regions. The 800-bp L catta HRDNA was species specific. We performed FISH experiments with the LCASAT probe on Eulemur macaco macaco (EMA) and Eulemur fulvus fulvus (EFU) metaphases and no positive signal of hybridization was detected. These findings were also confirmed by Southern blot analysis and PCR.

  12. The anatomy and ontogeny of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of Lemur catta and Propithecus coquereli (primates): discussion on the parallelism between ontogeny and phylogeny and implications for evolutionary and developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, Rui; Molnar, Julia L; Smith, Timothy D

    2014-08-01

    Most anatomical studies of primates focus on skeletal tissues, but muscular anatomy can provide valuable information about phylogeny, functional specializations, and evolution. Herein, we present the first detailed description of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of the fetal lemuriforms Lemur catta (Lemuridae) and Propithecus coquereli (Indriidae). These two species belong to the suborder Strepsirrhini, which is often presumed to possess some plesiomorphic anatomical features within primates. We compare the muscular anatomy of the fetuses with that of infants and adults and discuss the evolutionary and developmental implications. The fetal anatomy reflects a phylogenetically more plesiomorphic condition in nine of the muscles we studied and a more derived condition in only two, supporting a parallel between ontogeny and phylogeny. The derived exceptions concern muscles with additional insertions in the fetus which are lost in adults of the same species, that is, flexor carpi radialis inserts on metacarpal III and levator claviculae inserts on the clavicle. Interestingly, these two muscles are involved in movements of the pectoral girdle and upper limb, which are mainly important for activities in later stages of life, such as locomotion and prey capture, rather than activities in fetal life. Accordingly, our findings suggest that some exceptions to the "ontogeny parallels phylogeny" rule are probably driven more by ontogenetic constraints than by adaptive plasticity. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Lemur Biorhythms and Life History Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogg, Russell T; Godfrey, Laurie R; Schwartz, Gary T; Dirks, Wendy; Bromage, Timothy G

    2015-01-01

    Skeletal histology supports the hypothesis that primate life histories are regulated by a neuroendocrine rhythm, the Havers-Halberg Oscillation (HHO). Interestingly, subfossil lemurs are outliers in HHO scaling relationships that have been discovered for haplorhine primates and other mammals. We present new data to determine whether these species represent the general lemur or strepsirrhine condition and to inform models about neuroendocrine-mediated life history evolution. We gathered the largest sample to date of HHO data from histological sections of primate teeth (including the subfossil lemurs) to assess the relationship of these chronobiological measures with life history-related variables including body mass, brain size, age at first female reproduction, and activity level. For anthropoids, these variables show strong correlations with HHO conforming to predictions, though body mass and endocranial volume are strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in this group. However, lemurs (possibly excepting Daubentonia) do not follow this pattern and show markedly less variability in HHO periodicity and lower correlation coefficients and slopes. Moreover, body mass is uncorrelated, and brain size and activity levels are more strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in these animals. We argue that lemurs evolved this pattern due to selection for risk-averse life histories driven by the unpredictability of the environment in Madagascar. These results reinforce the idea that HHO influences life history evolution differently in response to specific ecological selection regimes.

  14. Lemur Biorhythms and Life History Evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell T Hogg

    Full Text Available Skeletal histology supports the hypothesis that primate life histories are regulated by a neuroendocrine rhythm, the Havers-Halberg Oscillation (HHO. Interestingly, subfossil lemurs are outliers in HHO scaling relationships that have been discovered for haplorhine primates and other mammals. We present new data to determine whether these species represent the general lemur or strepsirrhine condition and to inform models about neuroendocrine-mediated life history evolution. We gathered the largest sample to date of HHO data from histological sections of primate teeth (including the subfossil lemurs to assess the relationship of these chronobiological measures with life history-related variables including body mass, brain size, age at first female reproduction, and activity level. For anthropoids, these variables show strong correlations with HHO conforming to predictions, though body mass and endocranial volume are strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in this group. However, lemurs (possibly excepting Daubentonia do not follow this pattern and show markedly less variability in HHO periodicity and lower correlation coefficients and slopes. Moreover, body mass is uncorrelated, and brain size and activity levels are more strongly correlated with HHO periodicity in these animals. We argue that lemurs evolved this pattern due to selection for risk-averse life histories driven by the unpredictability of the environment in Madagascar. These results reinforce the idea that HHO influences life history evolution differently in response to specific ecological selection regimes.

  15. Total Energy Expenditure and Body Composition in Two Free-Living Sympatric Lemurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmen, Bruno; Bayart, Françoise; Rasamimanana, Hanta; Zahariev, Alexandre; Blanc, Stéphane; Pasquet, Patrick

    2010-01-01

    Background Evolutionary theories that account for the unusual socio-ecological traits and life history features of group-living prosimians, compared with other primates, predict behavioral and physiological mechanisms to conserve energy. Low energy output and possible fattening mechanisms are expected, as either an adaptive response to drastic seasonal fluctuations of food supplies in Madagascar, or persisting traits from previously nocturnal hypometabolic ancestors. Free ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and brown lemurs (Eulemur sp.) of southern Madagascar have different socio-ecological characteristics which allow a test of these theories: Both gregarious primates have a phytophagous diet but different circadian activity rhythms, degree of arboreality, social systems, and slightly different body size. Methodology and Results Daily total energy expenditure and body composition were measured in the field with the doubly labeled water procedure. High body fat content was observed at the end of the rainy season, which supports the notion that individuals need to attain a sufficient physical condition prior to the long dry season. However, ring-tailed lemurs exhibited lower water flux rates and energy expenditure than brown lemurs after controlling for body mass differences. The difference was interpreted to reflect higher efficiency for coping with seasonally low quality foods and water scarcity. Daily energy expenditure of both species was much less than the field metabolic rates predicted by various scaling relationships found across mammals. Discussion We argue that low energy output in these species is mainly accounted for by low basal metabolic rate and reflects adaptation to harsh, unpredictable environments. The absence of observed sex differences in body weight, fat content, and daily energy expenditure converge with earlier investigations of physical activity levels in ring-tailed lemurs to suggest the absence of a relationship between energy

  16. Total energy expenditure and body composition in two free-living sympatric lemurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Simmen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Evolutionary theories that account for the unusual socio-ecological traits and life history features of group-living prosimians, compared with other primates, predict behavioral and physiological mechanisms to conserve energy. Low energy output and possible fattening mechanisms are expected, as either an adaptive response to drastic seasonal fluctuations of food supplies in Madagascar, or persisting traits from previously nocturnal hypometabolic ancestors. Free ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta and brown lemurs (Eulemur sp. of southern Madagascar have different socio-ecological characteristics which allow a test of these theories: Both gregarious primates have a phytophagous diet but different circadian activity rhythms, degree of arboreality, social systems, and slightly different body size. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: Daily total energy expenditure and body composition were measured in the field with the doubly labeled water procedure. High body fat content was observed at the end of the rainy season, which supports the notion that individuals need to attain a sufficient physical condition prior to the long dry season. However, ring-tailed lemurs exhibited lower water flux rates and energy expenditure than brown lemurs after controlling for body mass differences. The difference was interpreted to reflect higher efficiency for coping with seasonally low quality foods and water scarcity. Daily energy expenditure of both species was much less than the field metabolic rates predicted by various scaling relationships found across mammals. DISCUSSION: We argue that low energy output in these species is mainly accounted for by low basal metabolic rate and reflects adaptation to harsh, unpredictable environments. The absence of observed sex differences in body weight, fat content, and daily energy expenditure converge with earlier investigations of physical activity levels in ring-tailed lemurs to suggest the absence of a relationship

  17. Evaluation of iron status in lemurs by analysis of serum iron and ferritin concentrations, total iron-binding capacity, and transferrin saturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Cathy V; Junge, Randall E; Stalis, Ilse H

    2008-02-15

    To assess serum iron and ferritin concentrations, total iron-binding capacity, and transferrin saturation as indicators of iron metabolic status in 3 genera of lemurs and determine whether these variables are useful for screening for iron overload. Cross-sectional study. 11 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), 11 black lemurs (Eulemur macaco macaco), and 11 red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra). Blood samples were collected weekly for 3 weeks and assayed for serum iron and ferritin concentrations and total iron-binding capacity. Liver biopsy specimens were evaluated histologically and assayed for total iron, nonheme iron, and trace mineral concentrations. Deposition of iron was scored on Prussian blue-stained slides. Hepatic iron content ranged from 497 to 12,800 Pg/g dry weight (median, 2,165 Pg/g). Differences were seen in mean hepatic iron content across genera, with ruffed lemurs having the highest concentrations and ring-tailed lemurs having the lowest. Iron accumulation in the liver was mild, and cellular pathologic changes associated with iron storage disease were not detected in any lemur. Ferritin concentration was the only variable that correlated significantly with hepatic iron content in all 3 genera of lemurs; however, both transferrin saturation and serum iron concentration were correlated with hepatic iron concentration in ring-tailed and ruffed lemurs. Serum ferritin concentration was the only variable that was consistently correlated with hepatic iron content in all 3 genera. Mean hepatic iron content varied across genera, suggesting that the propensity for lemurs to develop iron overload in captivity may vary across taxa.

  18. Coevolution of Cyanogenic Bamboos and Bamboo Lemurs on Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballhorn, Daniel J; Rakotoarivelo, Fanny Patrika; Kautz, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    Feeding strategies of specialist herbivores often originate from the coevolutionary arms race of plant defenses and counter-adaptations of herbivores. The interaction between bamboo lemurs and cyanogenic bamboos on Madagascar represents a unique system to study diffuse coevolutionary processes between mammalian herbivores and plant defenses. Bamboo lemurs have different degrees of dietary specialization while bamboos show different levels of chemical defense. In this study, we found variation in cyanogenic potential (HCNp) and nutritive characteristics among five sympatric bamboo species in the Ranomafana area, southeastern Madagascar. The HCNp ranged from 209±72 μmol cyanide*g-1 dwt in Cathariostachys madagascariensis to no cyanide in Bambusa madagascariensis. Among three sympatric bamboo lemur species, the greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) has the narrowest food range as it almost exclusively feeds on the highly cyanogenic C. madagascariensis. Our data suggest that high HCNp is the derived state in bamboos. The ancestral state of lemurs is most likely "generalist" while the ancestral state of bamboo lemurs was determined as equivocal. Nevertheless, as recent bamboo lemurs comprise several "facultative specialists" and only one "obligate specialist" adaptive radiation due to increased flexibility is likely. We propose that escaping a strict food plant specialization enabled facultative specialist bamboo lemurs to inhabit diverse geographical areas.

  19. Habitat corridor utilization by the gray mouse lemur, Microcebus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    the gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus, in the littoral forest fragments of south eastern Madagascar. ... and vegetation structure represent suitable habitat for mouse le- ..... ment of tropical forest biodiversity in a human-modified world. Biological .... major histocompatibility complex in the Malagasy mouse lemur, Microce-.

  20. Testing the adaptive radiation hypothesis for the lemurs of Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, James P

    2017-01-01

    Lemurs, the diverse, endemic primates of Madagascar, are thought to represent a classic example of adaptive radiation. Based on the most complete phylogeny of living and extinct lemurs yet assembled, I tested predictions of adaptive radiation theory by estimating rates of speciation, extinction and adaptive phenotypic evolution. As predicted, lemur speciation rate exceeded that of their sister clade by nearly twofold, indicating the diversification dynamics of lemurs and mainland relatives may have been decoupled. Lemur diversification rates did not decline over time, however, as predicted by adaptive radiation theory. Optimal body masses diverged among dietary and activity pattern niches as lineages diversified into unique multidimensional ecospace. Based on these results, lemurs only partially fulfil the predictions of adaptive radiation theory, with phenotypic evolution corresponding to an 'early burst' of adaptive differentiation. The results must be interpreted with caution, however, because over the long evolutionary history of lemurs (approx. 50 million years), the 'early burst' signal of adaptive radiation may have been eroded by extinction.

  1. Sight or scent: lemur sensory reliance in detecting food quality varies with feeding ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Rushmore

    Full Text Available Visual and olfactory cues provide important information to foragers, yet we know little about species differences in sensory reliance during food selection. In a series of experimental foraging studies, we examined the relative reliance on vision versus olfaction in three diurnal, primate species with diverse feeding ecologies, including folivorous Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli, frugivorous ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata spp, and generalist ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta. We used animals with known color-vision status and foods for which different maturation stages (and hence quality produce distinct visual and olfactory cues (the latter determined chemically. We first showed that lemurs preferentially selected high-quality foods over low-quality foods when visual and olfactory cues were simultaneously available for both food types. Next, using a novel apparatus in a series of discrimination trials, we either manipulated food quality (while holding sensory cues constant or manipulated sensory cues (while holding food quality constant. Among our study subjects that showed relatively strong preferences for high-quality foods, folivores required both sensory cues combined to reliably identify their preferred foods, whereas generalists could identify their preferred foods using either cue alone, and frugivores could identify their preferred foods using olfactory, but not visual, cues alone. Moreover, when only high-quality foods were available, folivores and generalists used visual rather than olfactory cues to select food, whereas frugivores used both cue types equally. Lastly, individuals in all three of the study species predominantly relied on sight when choosing between low-quality foods, but species differed in the strength of their sensory biases. Our results generally emphasize visual over olfactory reliance in foraging lemurs, but we suggest that the relative sensory reliance of animals may vary with their feeding ecology.

  2. Sight or Scent: Lemur Sensory Reliance in Detecting Food Quality Varies with Feeding Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rushmore, Julie; Leonhardt, Sara D.; Drea, Christine M.

    2012-01-01

    Visual and olfactory cues provide important information to foragers, yet we know little about species differences in sensory reliance during food selection. In a series of experimental foraging studies, we examined the relative reliance on vision versus olfaction in three diurnal, primate species with diverse feeding ecologies, including folivorous Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli), frugivorous ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata spp), and generalist ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). We used animals with known color-vision status and foods for which different maturation stages (and hence quality) produce distinct visual and olfactory cues (the latter determined chemically). We first showed that lemurs preferentially selected high-quality foods over low-quality foods when visual and olfactory cues were simultaneously available for both food types. Next, using a novel apparatus in a series of discrimination trials, we either manipulated food quality (while holding sensory cues constant) or manipulated sensory cues (while holding food quality constant). Among our study subjects that showed relatively strong preferences for high-quality foods, folivores required both sensory cues combined to reliably identify their preferred foods, whereas generalists could identify their preferred foods using either cue alone, and frugivores could identify their preferred foods using olfactory, but not visual, cues alone. Moreover, when only high-quality foods were available, folivores and generalists used visual rather than olfactory cues to select food, whereas frugivores used both cue types equally. Lastly, individuals in all three of the study species predominantly relied on sight when choosing between low-quality foods, but species differed in the strength of their sensory biases. Our results generally emphasize visual over olfactory reliance in foraging lemurs, but we suggest that the relative sensory reliance of animals may vary with their feeding ecology. PMID:22870229

  3. Illegal captive lemurs in Madagascar: Comparing the use of online and in-person data collection methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, Kim E; Schaefer, Melissa S

    2016-02-29

    Although it is illegal to capture, sell, and trade lemurs, the live capture of lemurs in Madagascar is ongoing and may have impacted over 28,000 lemurs between 2010 and 2013. Only one study has examined this trade and did so using in-person interviews in northern Madagascar. The current study sought to expand this existing dataset and examine the comparability of online surveys to more traditional on-location data collection methods. In this study, we collected data through a web-based survey resulting in 302 sightings of 685 captive lemurs. We also collected data from 171 hotel and 43 restaurant websites and social media profiles. Survey submissions included sightings of 30 species from 10 genera, nearly twice as many species as identified via the in-person interviews. Lemur catta, Varecia variegata, and Eulemur fulvus were the most common species sighted in captivity. Captive lemurs were reported in 19 of Madagascar's 22 administrative regions and most were seen in urban areas near their habitat ranges. This represents a wider geographic distribution of captive lemurs than previously found through in-person interviews. The online survey results were broadly similar to those of the in-person surveys though greater in species and geographic diversity demonstrating advantages to the use of online surveys. The online research methods were low in cost (USD $100) compared to on-location data collection (USD $12,000). Identified disadvantages included sample bias; most of the respondents to the online survey were researchers and many captive sightings were near study sites. The results illustrate the benefits of incorporating a social science approach using online surveys as a complement to traditional fieldwork. Am. J. Primatol. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Lemur traits and Madagascar ecology: coping with an island environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, P C

    1999-01-01

    The last decade's lemur research includes successes in discovering new living and extinct species and learning about the distribution, biogeography, physiology, behavior, and ecology of previously little-studied species. In addition, in both the dry forest and rain forest, long-term studies of lemur demography, life history, and reproduction, have been completed in conjunction with data on tree productivity, phenology, and climate. Lemurs contrast with anthropoids in several behavioral features, including female dominance, targeted female-female aggression, lack of sexual dimorphism regardless of mating system, sperm competition coupled with male-male aggression, high infant mortality, cathemerality, and strict seasonal breeding. Hypotheses to explain these traits include the "energy conservation hypothesis" (ECH) suggesting that harsh and unpredictable climate factors on the island of Madagascar have affected the evolution of female dominance, and the "evolutionary disequilibrium hypotheses" (EVDH) suggesting that the recent megafauna extinctions have influenced lemurs to become diurnal. These hypotheses are compared and contrasted in light of recent empirical data on climate, subfossils, and lemur behavior. New data on life histories of the rain forest lemurs at Ranomafana National Park give further support to the ECH. Birth seasons are synchronized within each species, but there is a 6-month distribution of births among species. Gestation and lactation lengths vary among sympatric lemurs, but all lemur species in the rain forest wean in synchrony at the season most likely to have abundant resources. Across-species weaning synchrony seen in Ranomafana corroborates data from the dry forest that late lactation and weaning is the life history event that is the primary focus of the annual schedule. Lemur adaptations may assure maximum offspring survival in this environment with an unpredictable food supply and heavy predation. In conclusion, a more comprehensive

  5. Coevolution of Cyanogenic Bamboos and Bamboo Lemurs on Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Daniel J Ballhorn; Rakotoarivelo, Fanny Patrika; Kautz, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    Feeding strategies of specialist herbivores often originate from the coevolutionary arms race of plant defenses and counter-adaptations of herbivores. The interaction between bamboo lemurs and cyanogenic bamboos on Madagascar represents a unique system to study diffuse coevolutionary processes between mammalian herbivores and plant defenses. Bamboo lemurs have different degrees of dietary specialization while bamboos show different levels of chemical defense. In this study, we found variation...

  6. African Trees May Be Tied to Lemurs' Fate

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    John Roach; 李晟

    2004-01-01

    @@ On the African island nation of Madagascar①, only primates② called lemurs are big enough to move the seeds of many trees around and thus improve the chances of the trees'survival. There are 38 known species of lemurs, which are found on Madagascar only. They range in size from the 2.5-inch pygmy mouse lemur③(the world's smallest primate) to the indri④, which is the size of a small child.

  7. An Alu-Based Phylogeny of Lemurs (Infraorder: Lemuriformes)

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    LEMURS (INFRAORDER: Lemuriformes) are a radiation of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. As of 2012, 101 lemur species, divided among five families, have been described. Genetic and morphological evidence indicates all species are descended from a common ancestor that arrived in Madagascar ∼55-60 million years ago (mya). Phylogenetic relationships in this species-rich infraorder have been the subject of debate. Here we use Alu elements, a family of primate-specific Sho...

  8. Survey of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in lemurs from the Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa T; Gillespie, Thomas R; Wright, Patricia C; Arsenault, Julie; Villeneuve, Alain; Lair, Stéphane

    2013-07-01

    We detected Cryptosporidium sp. by direct immunofluorescence in fecal samples from greater bamboo lemurs (Prolemur simus) and eastern rufous mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus) inhabiting the Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. This is the first report of an occurrence of these potentially zoonotic parasites in free-ranging lemurs in the rain forest of Madagascar.

  9. The lemur diversity of the Fiherenana - Manombo Complex, southwest Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren Kidney

    2009-06-01

    n’avons pas pu identifier l’espèce du genre Lepilemur ni celle du genre Cheirogaleus à défaut de disposer de spécimens. Six espèces ne se trouvaient que dans les forêts riveraines et les forêts de transition des vallées des fleuves Fiherenana et Manombo. Le fourré épineux de Ranobe n’abrite que des Microcebus (deux espèces, toutes les espèces plus grandes ayant déjà été exterminées par la chasse au cours des dernières années. Nos estimations de densité indiquent que la population des Microcebus est deux fois plus importante dans le fourré épineux que dans la forêt riveraine (1,078 individus / km² vs. 546 individus / km². Nous avons estimé la densité d’Eulemur rufus à 40 groupes / km² dans la vallée du Fiherenana, mais nos transects ne nous ont pas permis d’obtenir des estimations fiables pour les densités de Lemur catta et de Propithecus verreauxi. Deux des espèces répertoriées (Mirza coquereli et Cheirogaleus sp. représentent de nouvelles observations pour la zone ou des extensions de leurs aires de répartition connues, mais nous n’avons pas pu trouver l’espèce Phaner pallescens qui devait être présente dans la zone et nous émettons des doutes portant sur les références publiées rapportant la présence de l’espèce au sud du fleuve Manombo. Nos résultats mettent en exergue l’importance du Complexe Fiherenana - Manombo pour la conservation des lémuriens dans le sud - ouest de Madagascar, mais ils indiquent que l’aire protégée de PK32 - Ranobe ne protège pas la diversité complète des lémuriens du Complexe. Les forêts riveraines des fleuves Fiherenana et Manombo ne sont pas incluses dans l’aire protégée de sorte qu’au moins trois espèces de lémuriens ne bénéficient alors d’aucune protection. Compte tenu des objectifs du SAPM et plus particulièrement de l’Objectif 1, à savoir ‘Conserver l’ensemble de la biodiversité unique de Madagascar’, nous estimons que la nouvelle aire

  10. Is wounding aggression in zoo-housed chimpanzees and ring-tailed lemurs related to zoo visitor numbers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosey, Geoff; Melfi, Vicky; Formella, Isabel; Ward, Samantha J; Tokarski, Marina; Brunger, Dave; Brice, Sara; Hill, Sonya P

    2016-05-01

    Chimpanzees in laboratory colonies experience more wounds on weekdays than on weekends, which has been attributed to the increased number of people present during the week; thus, the presence of more people was interpreted as stressful. If this were also true for primates in zoos, where high human presence is a regular feature, this would clearly be of concern. Here we examine wounding rates in two primate species (chimpanzees Pan troglodytes and ring-tailed lemurs Lemur catta) at three different zoos, to determine whether they correlate with mean number of visitors to the zoo. Wounding data were obtained from a zoo electronic record keeping system (ZIMS™). The pattern of wounds did not correlate with mean gate numbers for those days for either species in any group. We conclude that there is no evidence that high visitor numbers result in increased woundings in these two species when housed in zoos. Zoo Biol. 35:205-209, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Unusual sleeping site selection by southern bamboo lemurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eppley, Timothy M; Donati, Giuseppe; Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    2016-04-01

    Selection of sleeping sites has consequences for individual fitness. Non-human primates often bias their selection towards arboreal sites, and the lemurs of Madagascar typically rest/sleep in trees, tree holes, and/or constructed nests. Three non-mutually exclusive hypotheses to explain sleeping site selection include protection from predators, avoidance of parasitic vectors, and improved thermoregulation. Here, we examine these hypotheses for the unusual sleeping site selections by the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). Within the Mandena littoral forest of southeast Madagascar, the southern bamboo lemur is known for its ecological flexibility compared to other bamboo lemur species, including a dietary niche expansion to feeding on the ground. Between October 2012 and December 2013, we observed bamboo lemurs from three social groups for 1778.67 h, conducting full-day focal follows on 11 adult individuals (five males, six females). During this period, all three groups were observed to sleep on the ground, with one of these groups also using an abandoned nest of a Madagascar crested ibis (Lophotibis cristata). We collected habitat and temperature data to examine whether selection was influenced by environmental variables. Terrestrial sleeping (N = 17) was observed in all individuals but one adult female, with individuals burrowing under thick vegetation more often during the hot austral summer. While difficult to rigorously test, it is possible that terrestrial sleep sites and/or sleeping in a bird nest may impair visual detection by some aerial and terrestrial predators. Neither of these sites (i.e., terrestrial sleeping or use of a bird nest), however, is likely to minimize exposure to parasites/vectors. Terrestrial sleeping appears to support a thermoregulatory strategy, whereas the use of a bird nest could not be empirically tested. Our observations of unique sleeping site locations used by southern bamboo lemurs further the complexity of their

  12. Genetic analysis of hybridization and introgression between wild mongoose and brown lemurs

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    Nievergelt Caroline M

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hybrid zones generally represent areas of secondary contact after speciation. The nature of the interaction between genes of individuals in a hybrid zone is of interest in the study of evolutionary processes. In this study, data from nuclear microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA sequences were used to genetically characterize hybridization between wild mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz and brown lemurs (E. fulvus at Anjamena in west Madagascar. Results Two segments of mtDNA have been sequenced and 12 microsatellite loci screened in 162 brown lemurs and mongoose lemurs. Among the mongoose lemur population at Anjamena, we identified two F1 hybrids (one also having the mtDNA haplotype of E. fulvus and six other individuals with putative introgressed alleles in their genotype. Principal component analysis groups both hybrids as intermediate between E. mongoz and E. fulvus and admixture analyses revealed an admixed genotype for both animals. Paternity testing proved one F1 hybrid to be fertile. Of the eight brown lemurs genotyped, all have either putative introgressed microsatellite alleles and/or the mtDNA haplotype of E. mongoz. Conclusion Introgression is bidirectional for the two species, with an indication that it is more frequent in brown lemurs than in mongoose lemurs. We conclude that this hybridization occurs because mongoose lemurs have expanded their range relatively recently. Introgressive hybridization may play an important role in the unique lemur radiation, as has already been shown in other rapidly evolving animals.

  13. Social organization of the golden brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weidt, A.; Hagenah, N.; Randrianambinina, B.; Radespiel, U.

    2004-01-01

    Our study provides the first data on the social organization of the golden brown mouse lemur, a nocturnal primate discovered in northwestern Madagascar in 1994. The study was carried out in two 6-month field periods during the dry season, covering time before and during the mating season. The spatia

  14. Social organization of the golden brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weidt, A.; Hagenah, N.; Randrianambinina, B.; Radespiel, U.

    2004-01-01

    Our study provides the first data on the social organization of the golden brown mouse lemur, a nocturnal primate discovered in northwestern Madagascar in 1994. The study was carried out in two 6-month field periods during the dry season, covering time before and during the mating season. The spatia

  15. Social organization of the golden brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weidt, A.; Hagenah, N.; Randrianambinina, B.; Radespiel, U.

    2004-01-01

    Our study provides the first data on the social organization of the golden brown mouse lemur, a nocturnal primate discovered in northwestern Madagascar in 1994. The study was carried out in two 6-month field periods during the dry season, covering time before and during the mating season. The

  16. LEMUR: Large European Module for Solar Ultraviolet Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teriaca, Luca; Vincenzo, Andretta; Auchere, Frederic; Brown, Charles M.; Buchlin, Eric; Cauzzi, Gianna; Culhane, J. Len; Curdt, Werner; Davila, Joseph M.; Del Zanna, Giulio; Doschek, George A.; Fineschi, Silvano; Fludra, Andrzej; Gallagher, Peter T.; Green, Lucie; Harra, Louise K.; Imada, Shinsuke; Innes, Davina; Kliem, Bernhard; Korendyke, Clarence; Mariska, John T.; Martinez-Pillet, Valentin; Parenti, Susanna; Patsourakos, Spiros; Peter, Hardi; Poletto, Luca; Rutten, Robert J.; Schuhle, Udo; Siemer, Martin; Shimizu, Toshifumi; Socas-Navarro, Hector; Solanki, Sami K.; Spadaro, Daniele; Trujillo-Bueno, Javier; Tsuneta, Saku; Dominguez, Santiago Vargas; Vial, Jean-Claude; Walsh, Robert; Warren, Harry P.; Wiegelmann, Thomas; Winter, Berend; Young, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The solar outer atmosphere is an extremely dynamic environment characterized by the continuous interplay between the plasma and the magnetic field that generates and permeates it. Such interactions play a fundamental role in hugely diverse astrophysical systems, but occur at scales that cannot be studied outside the solar system. Understanding this complex system requires concerted, simultaneous solar observations from the visible to the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and soft X-rays, at high spatial resolution (between 0.1'' and 0.3''), at high temporal resolution (on the order of 10 s, i.e., the time scale of chromospheric dynamics), with a wide temperature coverage (0.01 MK to 20 MK, from the chromosphere to the flaring corona), and the capability of measuring magnetic fields through spectropolarimetry at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Simultaneous spectroscopic measurements sampling the entire temperature range are particularly important. These requirements are fulfilled by the Japanese Solar-C mission (Plan B), composed of a spacecraft in a geosynchronous orbit with a payload providing a significant improvement of imaging and spectropolarimetric capabilities in the UV, visible, and near-infrared with respect to what is available today and foreseen in the near future. The Large European Module for solar Ultraviolet Research (LEMUR), described in this paper, is a large VUV telescope feeding a scientific payload of high-resolution imaging spectrographs and cameras. LEMUR consists of two major components: a VUV solar telescope with a 30 cm diameter mirror and a focal length of 3.6 m, and a focal-plane package composed of VUV spectrometers covering six carefully chosen wavelength ranges between 170 Angstrom and 1270 Angstrom. The LEMUR slit covers 280'' on the Sun with 0.14'' per pixel sampling. In addition, LEMUR is capable of measuring mass flows velocities (line shifts) down to 2 km s - 1 or better. LEMUR has been proposed to ESA as the European contribution

  17. An Alu-Based Phylogeny of Lemurs (Infraorder: Lemuriformes)

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLain, Adam T.; Meyer, Thomas J.; Faulk, Christopher; Herke, Scott W.; Oldenburg, J. Michael; Bourgeois, Matthew G.; Abshire, Camille F.

    2012-01-01

    Lemurs (infraorder: Lemuriformes) are a radiation of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. As of 2012, 101 lemur species, divided among five families, have been described. Genetic and morphological evidence indicates all species are descended from a common ancestor that arrived in Madagascar ∼55–60 million years ago (mya). Phylogenetic relationships in this species-rich infraorder have been the subject of debate. Here we use Alu elements, a family of primate-specific Short INterspersed Elements (SINEs), to construct a phylogeny of infraorder Lemuriformes. Alu elements are particularly useful SINEs for the purpose of phylogeny reconstruction because they are identical by descent and confounding events between loci are easily resolved by sequencing. The genome of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) was computationally assayed for synapomorphic Alu elements. Those that were identified as Lemuriformes-specific were analyzed against other available primate genomes for orthologous sequence in which to design primers for PCR (polymerase chain reaction) verification. A primate phylogenetic panel of 24 species, including 22 lemur species from all five families, was examined for the presence/absence of 138 Alu elements via PCR to establish relationships among species. Of these, 111 were phylogenetically informative. A phylogenetic tree was generated based on the results of this analysis. We demonstrate strong support for the monophyly of Lemuriformes to the exclusion of other primates, with Daubentoniidae, the aye-aye, as the basal lineage within the infraorder. Our results also suggest Lepilemuridae as a sister lineage to Cheirogaleidae, and Indriidae as sister to Lemuridae. Among the Cheirogaleidae, we show strong support for Microcebus and Mirza as sister genera, with Cheirogaleus the sister lineage to both. Our results also support the monophyly of the Lemuridae. Within Lemuridae we place Lemur and Hapalemur together to the exclusion of

  18. An alu-based phylogeny of lemurs (infraorder: Lemuriformes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam T McLain

    Full Text Available LEMURS (INFRAORDER: Lemuriformes are a radiation of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. As of 2012, 101 lemur species, divided among five families, have been described. Genetic and morphological evidence indicates all species are descended from a common ancestor that arrived in Madagascar ∼55-60 million years ago (mya. Phylogenetic relationships in this species-rich infraorder have been the subject of debate. Here we use Alu elements, a family of primate-specific Short INterspersed Elements (SINEs, to construct a phylogeny of infraorder Lemuriformes. Alu elements are particularly useful SINEs for the purpose of phylogeny reconstruction because they are identical by descent and confounding events between loci are easily resolved by sequencing. The genome of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus was computationally assayed for synapomorphic Alu elements. Those that were identified as Lemuriformes-specific were analyzed against other available primate genomes for orthologous sequence in which to design primers for PCR (polymerase chain reaction verification. A primate phylogenetic panel of 24 species, including 22 lemur species from all five families, was examined for the presence/absence of 138 Alu elements via PCR to establish relationships among species. Of these, 111 were phylogenetically informative. A phylogenetic tree was generated based on the results of this analysis. We demonstrate strong support for the monophyly of Lemuriformes to the exclusion of other primates, with Daubentoniidae, the aye-aye, as the basal lineage within the infraorder. Our results also suggest Lepilemuridae as a sister lineage to Cheirogaleidae, and Indriidae as sister to Lemuridae. Among the Cheirogaleidae, we show strong support for Microcebus and Mirza as sister genera, with Cheirogaleus the sister lineage to both. Our results also support the monophyly of the Lemuridae. Within Lemuridae we place Lemur and Hapalemur together to the

  19. Smelling wrong: hormonal contraception in lemurs alters critical female odour cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Jeremy Chase; Boulet, Marylène; Drea, Christine M.

    2011-01-01

    Animals, including humans, use olfaction to assess potential social and sexual partners. Although hormones modulate olfactory cues, we know little about whether contraception affects semiochemical signals and, ultimately, mate choice. We examined the effects of a common contraceptive, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), on the olfactory cues of female ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), and the behavioural response these cues generated in male conspecifics. The genital odorants of contracepted females were dramatically altered, falling well outside the range of normal female variation: MPA decreased the richness and modified the relative abundances of volatile chemicals expressed in labial secretions. Comparisons between treatment groups revealed several indicator compounds that could reliably signal female reproductive status to conspecifics. MPA also changed a female's individual chemical ‘signature’, while minimizing her chemical distinctiveness relative to other contracepted females. Most remarkably, MPA degraded the chemical patterns that encode honest information about genetic constitution, including individual diversity (heterozygosity) and pairwise relatedness to conspecifics. Lastly, males preferentially investigated the odorants of intact over contracepted females, clearly distinguishing those with immediate reproductive potential. By altering the olfactory cues that signal fertility, individuality, genetic quality and relatedness, contraceptives may disrupt intraspecific interactions in primates, including those relevant to kin recognition and mate choice. PMID:20667870

  20. A 12-month survey of gastrointestinal helminth infections of lemurs kept in two zoos in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa T; Junge, Randall E

    2010-12-01

    Infections with gastrointestinal parasites may be a major threat to lemurs kept in captivity, as they are a common cause of diarrhea. In this study, fecal egg count patterns and clinical signs associated with gastrointestinal nematodes were assessed for 12 mo in 40 lemurs kept under different husbandry and climatic conditions at two sites in Madagascar. Involved species were black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata), eastern grey bamboo lemurs (Hapalemur griseus), greater bamboo lemurs (Prolemur simus), red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer), common brown lemurs (Eulemurfulvus), crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus), and Sclater's black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons). At site 1 (Tsimbazaza Zoological Park), lemurs were kept in small enclosures with daily cleaning of the cement soiling and without routine anthelmintic program, whereas at site 2 (Ivoloina Zoological Park), lemurs received routine anthelmintic prophylaxis and were housed in small enclosure with daily cleaning of sandy soil enclosures. A total of five genera of nematode eggs from the orders Strongylida, Oxyurida, and Enoplida were recovered and identified from 198 out of 240 samples (83%) at site 1 and 79% (189 out of 240) at site 2 with the use of a modified McMaster technique. Significant differences were found for parasites from the order Strongylida between the two sites. The differences may be due to climate conditions and the presumed life cycle of these parasites. No significant differences were found for parasites from the other orders. No significant differences were noted between sexes or between seasons. No clinical signs of parasitic gastroenteritis were seen in either lemur collection.

  1. The socio-matrix reloaded: from hierarchy to dominance profile in wild lemurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norscia, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Dominance hierarchy influences the life quality of social animals, and its definition should in principle be based on the outcome of agonistic interactions. However, defining and comparing the dominance profile of social groups is difficult due to the different dominance measures used and because no one measure explains it all. We applied different analytical methods to winner-loser sociomatrices to determine the dominance profile of five groups of wild lemurs (species: Lemur catta, Propithecus verreauxi, and Eulemur rufus x collaris) from the Berenty forest (Madagascar). They are an excellent study model because they share the same habitat and an apparently similar dominance profile: linear hierarchy and female dominance. Data were collected over more than 1200 h of observation. Our approach included four steps: (1) by applying the binary dyadic dominance relationship method (I&SI) on either aggressions or supplant sociomatrices we verified whether hierarchy was aggression or submission based; (2) by calculating normalized David’s scores and measuring steepness from aggression sociomatrices we evaluated whether hierarchy was shallow or steep; (3) by comparing the ranking orders obtained with methods 1 and 2 we assessed whether hierarchy was consistent or not; and (4) by assessing triangle transitivity and comparing it with the linearity index and the level of group cohesion we determined if hierarchy was more or less cohesive. Our results show that L. catta groups have got a steep, consistent, highly transitive and cohesive hierarchy. P. verreauxi groups are characterized by a moderately steep and consistent hierarchy, with variable levels of triangle transitivity and cohesion. E. rufus x collaris group possesses a shallow and inconsistent hierarchy, with lower (but not lowest) levels of transitivity and cohesion. A multiple analytical approach on winner-loser sociomatrices other than leading to an in-depth description of the dominance profile, allows intergroup

  2. The socio-matrix reloaded: from hierarchy to dominance profile in wild lemurs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Norscia

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Dominance hierarchy influences the life quality of social animals, and its definition should in principle be based on the outcome of agonistic interactions. However, defining and comparing the dominance profile of social groups is difficult due to the different dominance measures used and because no one measure explains it all. We applied different analytical methods to winner-loser sociomatrices to determine the dominance profile of five groups of wild lemurs (species: Lemur catta, Propithecus verreauxi, and Eulemur rufus x collaris from the Berenty forest (Madagascar. They are an excellent study model because they share the same habitat and an apparently similar dominance profile: linear hierarchy and female dominance. Data were collected over more than 1200 h of observation. Our approach included four steps: (1 by applying the binary dyadic dominance relationship method (I&SI on either aggressions or supplant sociomatrices we verified whether hierarchy was aggression or submission based; (2 by calculating normalized David’s scores and measuring steepness from aggression sociomatrices we evaluated whether hierarchy was shallow or steep; (3 by comparing the ranking orders obtained with methods 1 and 2 we assessed whether hierarchy was consistent or not; and (4 by assessing triangle transitivity and comparing it with the linearity index and the level of group cohesion we determined if hierarchy was more or less cohesive. Our results show that L. catta groups have got a steep, consistent, highly transitive and cohesive hierarchy. P. verreauxi groups are characterized by a moderately steep and consistent hierarchy, with variable levels of triangle transitivity and cohesion. E. rufus x collaris group possesses a shallow and inconsistent hierarchy, with lower (but not lowest levels of transitivity and cohesion. A multiple analytical approach on winner-loser sociomatrices other than leading to an in-depth description of the dominance profile

  3. The socio-matrix reloaded: from hierarchy to dominance profile in wild lemurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norscia, Ivan; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Dominance hierarchy influences the life quality of social animals, and its definition should in principle be based on the outcome of agonistic interactions. However, defining and comparing the dominance profile of social groups is difficult due to the different dominance measures used and because no one measure explains it all. We applied different analytical methods to winner-loser sociomatrices to determine the dominance profile of five groups of wild lemurs (species: Lemur catta, Propithecus verreauxi, and Eulemur rufus x collaris) from the Berenty forest (Madagascar). They are an excellent study model because they share the same habitat and an apparently similar dominance profile: linear hierarchy and female dominance. Data were collected over more than 1200 h of observation. Our approach included four steps: (1) by applying the binary dyadic dominance relationship method (I&SI) on either aggressions or supplant sociomatrices we verified whether hierarchy was aggression or submission based; (2) by calculating normalized David's scores and measuring steepness from aggression sociomatrices we evaluated whether hierarchy was shallow or steep; (3) by comparing the ranking orders obtained with methods 1 and 2 we assessed whether hierarchy was consistent or not; and (4) by assessing triangle transitivity and comparing it with the linearity index and the level of group cohesion we determined if hierarchy was more or less cohesive. Our results show that L. catta groups have got a steep, consistent, highly transitive and cohesive hierarchy. P. verreauxi groups are characterized by a moderately steep and consistent hierarchy, with variable levels of triangle transitivity and cohesion. E. rufus x collaris group possesses a shallow and inconsistent hierarchy, with lower (but not lowest) levels of transitivity and cohesion. A multiple analytical approach on winner-loser sociomatrices other than leading to an in-depth description of the dominance profile, allows intergroup

  4. Evidence of prolonged torpor in Goodman's mouse lemurs at Ankafobe forest, central Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Marina B; Andriantsalohimisantatra, Andon'ny A; Rivoharison, Tahiry V; Andriambeloson, Jean-Basile

    2017-01-01

    The small-bodied mouse lemurs of Madagascar (Microcebus) are capable of heterothermy (i.e., torpor or hibernation). The expression of these energy-saving strategies has been physiologically demonstrated in three species: M. berthae, the pygmy mouse lemur (daily torpor), M. murinus, the gray mouse lemur (daily torpor and hibernation), and M. griseorufus, the reddish-gray mouse lemur (daily, prolonged torpor and hibernation). Additional evidence, based on radiotracking and seasonal body mass changes, indicated that mouse lemur capabilities for heterothermy extended to M. lehilahytsara, the Goodman's mouse lemur. In this study, we confirm the use of hibernation in Goodman's mouse lemurs at a new location, a high-plateau forest fragment in Ankafobe, central Madagascar. Our evidence is based on sleeping site monitoring of radiocollared individuals and the retrieval of three mouse lemurs from inside a tree hole, all of which displayed a lethargic state. Though our data are preliminary and scant, we show that hibernation occurs in high-plateau mouse lemurs, and suggest that a buffered environment (i.e., tree holes instead of nests) may be crucial to avoiding potentially extreme ambient temperatures.

  5. Delimiting species without nuclear monophyly in Madagascar's mouse lemurs.

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    David W Weisrock

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Speciation begins when populations become genetically separated through a substantial reduction in gene flow, and it is at this point that a genetically cohesive set of populations attain the sole property of species: the independent evolution of a population-level lineage. The comprehensive delimitation of species within biodiversity hotspots, regardless of their level of divergence, is important for understanding the factors that drive the diversification of biota and for identifying them as targets for conservation. However, delimiting recently diverged species is challenging due to insufficient time for the differential evolution of characters--including morphological differences, reproductive isolation, and gene tree monophyly--that are typically used as evidence for separately evolving lineages. METHODOLOGY: In this study, we assembled multiple lines of evidence from the analysis of mtDNA and nDNA sequence data for the delimitation of a high diversity of cryptically diverged population-level mouse lemur lineages across the island of Madagascar. Our study uses a multi-faceted approach that applies phylogenetic, population genetic, and genealogical analysis for recognizing lineage diversity and presents the most thoroughly sampled species delimitation of mouse lemur ever performed. CONCLUSIONS: The resolution of a large number of geographically defined clades in the mtDNA gene tree provides strong initial evidence for recognizing a high diversity of population-level lineages in mouse lemurs. We find additional support for lineage recognition in the striking concordance between mtDNA clades and patterns of nuclear population structure. Lineages identified using these two sources of evidence also exhibit patterns of population divergence according to genealogical exclusivity estimates. Mouse lemur lineage diversity is reflected in both a geographically fine-scaled pattern of population divergence within established and

  6. DNA from extinct giant lemurs links archaeolemurids to extant indriids

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    Hänni Catherine

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although today 15% of living primates are endemic to Madagascar, their diversity was even greater in the recent past since dozens of extinct species have been recovered from Holocene excavation sites. Among them were the so-called "giant lemurs" some of which weighed up to 160 kg. Although extensively studied, the phylogenetic relationships between extinct and extant lemurs are still difficult to decipher, mainly due to morphological specializations that reflect ecology more than phylogeny, resulting in rampant homoplasy. Results Ancient DNA recovered from subfossils recently supported a sister relationship between giant "sloth" lemurs and extant indriids and helped to revise the phylogenetic position of Megaladapis edwardsi among lemuriformes, but several taxa – such as the Archaeolemuridae – still await analysis. We therefore used ancient DNA technology to address the phylogenetic status of the two archaeolemurid genera (Archaeolemur and Hadropithecus. Despite poor DNA preservation conditions in subtropical environments, we managed to recover 94- to 539-bp sequences for two mitochondrial genes among 5 subfossil samples. Conclusion This new sequence information provides evidence for the proximity of Archaeolemur and Hadropithecus to extant indriids, in agreement with earlier assessments of their taxonomic status (Primates, Indrioidea and in contrast to recent suggestions of a closer relationship to the Lemuridae made on the basis of analyses of dental developmental and postcranial characters. These data provide new insights into the evolution of the locomotor apparatus among lemurids and indriids.

  7. New wrist bones of the Malagasy giant subfossil lemurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamrick, M W; Simons, E L; Jungers, W L

    2000-05-01

    Recently discovered wrist bones of the Malagasy subfossil lemurs Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus ingens, Mesopropithecus dolichobrachion, and Megaladapis madagascariensis shed new light on the postcranial morphologies and positional behaviors that characterized these extinct primates. Wrist bones of P. ingens resemble those of certain modern hominoids in having a relatively enlarged ulnar head and dorsally extended articular surface on the hamate, features related to a large range of rotation at the inferior radioulnar and midcarpal joints. The scaphoid of P. ingens is also similar to that of the extant tree sloth Choloepus in having an elongate, palmarly directed tubercle forming a deep radial margin of the carpal tunnel for the passage of large digital flexors. In contrast, wrist remains of Megaladapis edwardsi and M. madagascariensis exhibit traits observed in the hands of extant pronograde, arboreal primates; these include a dorsopalmarly expanded pisiform and well-developed "spiral" facet on the hamate. Moreover, Megaladapis spp. and Mesopropithecus dolichobrachion possess bony tubercles (e.g., scaphoid tubercle and hamate hamulus) forming the carpal tunnel that are relatively similar in length to those of modern pronograde lemurs. Babakotia and Mesopropithecus differ from Megaladapis in exhibiting features of the midcarpal joint related to frequent supination and radioulnar deviation of the hand characteristic of animals that use vertical and quadrumanous climbing in their foraging behaviors. Comparative analysis of subfossil lemur wrist morphology complements and expands upon prior inferences based on other regions of the postcranial skeleton, and suggests a considerable degree of locomotor and postural heterogeneity among these recently extinct primates.

  8. GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF CAPTIVE AND FREE-LIVING LEMURS AND DOMESTIC CARNIVORES IN EASTERN MADAGASCAR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Amy B; Poirotte, Clémence; Porton, Ingrid J; Freeman, Karen L M; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa; Olson, Kimberly G; Iambana, Bernard; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-03-01

    Fecal samples from captive and free-living lemurs at Ivoloina Zoological Park (IZP) and domestic carnivores from six villages surrounding IZP were evaluated between July and August 2012. Free-living lemurs from Betampona Natural Reserve (BNR), a relatively pristine rainforest fragment 40 km away, were also evaluated in November 2013. All 33 dogs sampled (100%) and 16 of 22 cats sampled (72.7%) were parasitized, predominantly with nematodes (strongyles, ascarids, and spirurids) as well as cestodes and protozoans. Similar types of parasites were identified in the lemur populations. Identification of spirurid nematodes and protozoans in the lemur fecal samples were of concern due to previously documented morbidity and mortality in lemurs from these parasitic agents. Twelve of 13 free-living (93%) and 31 of 49 captive (63%) lemurs sampled at IZP had a higher parasite prevalence than lemurs at BNR, with 13 of 24 (54%) being parasitized. The lemurs in BNR are likely at risk of increased exposure to these parasites and, therefore, increased morbidity and mortality, as humans and their domestic animals are encroaching on this natural area.

  9. Chromosomal evolution in Malagasy lemurs. VII. Phylogenic relationships between Propithecus, Avahi (Indridae), Microcebus (Cheirogaleidae), and Lemur (Lemuridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumpler, Y; Couturier, J; Warter, S; Dutrillaux, B

    1983-01-01

    A chromosomal banding study was carried out on Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi, P. verreauxi deckeni, and Avahi laniger laniger. Comparison of their karyotypes with those of Microcebus murinus and Lemur fulvus led to reconstruction of the ancestral Lemuriform karyotype and a determination that the branch leading to the Indridae was isolated very early, before the separation of the Lemuridae from the Cheirogaleidae. The karyotype of Avahi remained highly ancestral, whereas that of P. verreauxi was considerably modified, chiefly by Robersonian translocations.

  10. Jumping Stand Apparatus Reveals Rapidly Specific Age-Related Cognitive Impairments in Mouse Lemur Primates.

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    Jean-Luc Picq

    Full Text Available The mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus is a promising primate model for investigating normal and pathological cerebral aging. The locomotor behavior of this arboreal primate is characterized by jumps to and from trunks and branches. Many reports indicate insufficient adaptation of the mouse lemur to experimental devices used to evaluate its cognition, which is an impediment to the efficient use of this animal in research. In order to develop cognitive testing methods appropriate to the behavioral and biological traits of this species, we adapted the Lashley jumping stand apparatus, initially designed for rats, to the mouse lemur. We used this jumping stand apparatus to compare performances of young (n = 12 and aged (n = 8 adults in acquisition and long-term retention of visual discriminations. All mouse lemurs completed the tasks and only 25 trials, on average, were needed to master the first discrimination problem with no age-related differences. A month later, all mouse lemurs made progress for acquiring the second discrimination problem but only the young group reached immediately the criterion in the retention test of the first discrimination problem. This study shows that the jumping stand apparatus allows rapid and efficient evaluation of cognition in mouse lemurs and demonstrates that about half of the old mouse lemurs display a specific deficit in long-term retention but not in acquisition of visual discrimination.

  11. Taxonomy Icon Data: Philippine flying lemur [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Philippine flying lemur Cynocephalus volans Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eutheria/etc. Cynocephalu...s_volans_L.png Cynocephalus_volans_NL.png Cynocephalus_volans_S.png Cynocephalus_volan...s_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Cynocephalus+volans&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/ta...xonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Cynocephalus+volans&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_...icon/icon.cgi?i=Cynocephalus+volans&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Cynocephalus+volans&t=NS ...

  12. Blue eyes in lemurs and humans: same phenotype, different genetic mechanism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bradley, Brenda J; Pedersen, Anja; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2009-01-01

    Almost all mammals have brown or darkly-pigmented eyes (irises), but among primates, there are some prominent blue-eyed exceptions. The blue eyes of some humans and lemurs are a striking example of convergent evolution of a rare phenotype on distant branches of the primate tree. Recent work...... on humans indicates that blue eye color is associated with, and likely caused by, a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs12913832) in an intron of the gene HERC2, which likely regulates expression of the neighboring pigmentation gene OCA2. This raises the immediate question of whether blue eyes in lemurs might...... have a similar genetic basis. We addressed this by sequencing the homologous genetic region in the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur macaco flavifrons; N = 4) and the closely-related black lemur (Eulemur macaco macaco; N = 4), which has brown eyes. We then compared a 166-bp segment corresponding...

  13. Anatomy, histology, and ultrasonography of the normal adrenal gland in brown lemur: Eulemur fulvus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raharison, Fidiniaina; Bourges Abella, Nathalie; Sautet, Jean; Deviers, Alexandra; Mogicato, Giovanni

    2017-04-01

    The medical care currently to brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus) is limited by a lack of knowledge of their anatomy. The aim of this study was to describe the anatomy and histology and obtain ultrasonographic measurements of normal adrenal glands in these animals. The adrenal glands of four lemurs cadavers were used for the anatomical and histological studies, and those of 15 anesthetized lemurs were examined by ultrasonography. Anatomically, the adrenal glands of brown lemurs are comparable to those of other species. The histological findings showed that the cortex is organized into three distinct layers, whereas most domestic mammals have an additional zone. The surface area of the adrenal glands increased with body weight, and the area of the right adrenal was slightly larger than the left. We suggest using ultrasonography to aid the etiological diagnosis of behavioral abnormalities that might be due to dysfunctions of the adrenal gland. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Better Few than Hungry: Flexible Feeding Ecology of Collared Lemurs Eulemur collaris in Littoral Forest Fragments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donati, Giuseppe; Kesch, Kristina; Ndremifidy, Kelard; Schmidt, Stacey L.; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana M.; Ganzhorn, Joerg U.

    2011-01-01

    Background Frugivorous primates are known to encounter many problems to cope with habitat degradation, due to the fluctuating spatial and temporal distribution of their food resources. Since lemur communities evolved strategies to deal with periods of food scarcity, these primates are expected to be naturally adapted to fluctuating ecological conditions and to tolerate a certain degree of habitat changes. However, behavioral and ecological strategies adopted by frugivorous lemurs to survive in secondary habitats have been little investigated. Here, we compared the behavioral ecology of collared lemurs (Eulemur collaris) in a degraded fragment of littoral forest of south-east Madagascar, Mandena, with that of their conspecifics in a more intact habitat, Sainte Luce. Methodology/Principal Findings Lemur groups in Mandena and in Sainte Luce were censused in 2004/2007 and in 2000, respectively. Data were collected via instantaneous sampling on five lemur groups totaling 1,698 observation hours. The Shannon index was used to determine dietary diversity and nutritional analyses were conducted to assess food quality. All feeding trees were identified and measured, and ranging areas determined via the minimum convex polygon. In the degraded area lemurs were able to modify several aspects of their feeding strategies by decreasing group size and by increasing feeding time, ranging areas, and number of feeding trees. The above strategies were apparently able to counteract a clear reduction in both food quality and size of feeding trees. Conclusions/Significance Our findings indicate that collared lemurs in littoral forest fragments modified their behavior to cope with the pressures of fluctuating resource availability. The observed flexibility is likely to be an adaptation to Malagasy rainforests, which are known to undergo periods of fruit scarcity and low productivity. These results should be carefully considered when relocating lemurs or when selecting suitable areas for

  15. Hybridization of mouse lemurs: different patterns under different ecological conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosenkranz David

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several mechanistic models aim to explain the diversification of the multitude of endemic species on Madagascar. The island's biogeographic history probably offered numerous opportunities for secondary contact and subsequent hybridization. Existing diversification models do not consider a possible role of these processes. One key question for a better understanding of their potential importance is how they are influenced by different environmental settings. Here, we characterized a contact zone between two species of mouse lemurs, Microcebus griseorufus and M. murinus, in dry spiny bush and mesic gallery forest that border each other sharply without intermediate habitats between them. We performed population genetic analyses based on mtDNA sequences and nine nuclear microsatellites and compared the results to a known hybrid zone of the same species in a nearby wide gradient from dry spiny bush over transitional forest to humid littoral forest. Results In the spiny-gallery system, Microcebus griseorufus is restricted to the spiny bush; Microcebus murinus occurs in gallery forest and locally invades the dryer habitat of its congener. We found evidence for bidirectional introgressive hybridization, which is closely linked to increased spatial overlap within the spiny bush. Within 159 individuals, we observed 18 hybrids with mitochondrial haplotypes of both species. Analyses of simulated microsatellite data indicate that we identified hybrids with great accuracy and that we probably underestimated their true number. We discuss short-term climatic fluctuations as potential trigger for the dynamic of invasion and subsequent hybridization. In the gradient hybrid zone in turn, long-term aridification could have favored unidirectional nuclear introgression from Microcebus griseorufus into M. murinus in transitional forest. Conclusions Madagascar's southeastern transitional zone harbors two very different hybrid zones of mouse lemurs

  16. Exceptional diversity of mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) in the Makira region with the description of one new species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radespiel, Ute; Olivieri, Gillian; Rasolofoson, David W; Rakotondratsimba, Gilbert; Rakotonirainy, Odon; Rasoloharijaona, Solofonirina; Randrianambinina, Blanchard; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah H; Ratelolahy, Felix; Randriamboavonjy, Tahirihasina; Rasolofoharivelo, Tovonanahary; Craul, Mathias; Rakotozafy, Lucien; Randrianarison, Rose M

    2008-11-01

    Although the number of described lemur species has increased considerably over the last 20 years, detailed biogeographic data are still lacking from many geographic regions, in particular in the eastern part of Madagascar. This study investigated mouse lemur species diversity in a previously unstudied Inter-River-System in the eastern Makira region. Three sites were visited and 26 individuals were sampled and characterized with 13 external morphometric measurements. Standard phylogenetic analyses were performed on the basis of sequences of three mitochondrial loci by including representatives of all other published mouse lemur species for comparison. The analyses revealed the presence of three mouse lemur species in one study site, two of which were previously undescribed. The two new species are genetically distinct and belong to the larger-bodied mouse lemur species on the island, whereas the third species, Microcebus mittermeieri, belongs to the smaller-bodied mouse lemur species. The study fully describes one of the new species. This study and other lemur inventories suggest that the Makira region is particularly rich in lemur species and the lack of any protected zone in this area should now attract the urgent attention of conservation stakeholders.

  17. Development and application of a phylogenomic toolkit: resolving the evolutionary history of Madagascar's lemurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvath, Julie E; Weisrock, David W; Embry, Stephanie L; Fiorentino, Isabella; Balhoff, James P; Kappeler, Peter; Wray, Gregory A; Willard, Huntington F; Yoder, Anne D

    2008-03-01

    Lemurs and the other strepsirrhine primates are of great interest to the primate genomics community due to their phylogenetic placement as the sister lineage to all other primates. Previous attempts to resolve the phylogeny of lemurs employed limited mitochondrial or small nuclear data sets, with many relationships poorly supported or entirely unresolved. We used genomic resources to develop 11 novel markers from nine chromosomes, representing approximately 9 kb of nuclear sequence data. In combination with previously published nuclear and mitochondrial loci, this yields a data set of more than 16 kb and adds approximately 275 kb of DNA sequence to current databases. Our phylogenetic analyses confirm hypotheses of lemuriform monophyly and provide robust resolution of the phylogenetic relationships among the five lemuriform families. We verify that the genus Daubentonia is the sister lineage to all other lemurs. The Cheirogaleidae and Lepilemuridae are sister taxa and together form the sister lineage to the Indriidae; this clade is the sister lineage to the Lemuridae. Divergence time estimates indicate that lemurs are an ancient group, with their initial diversification occurring around the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Given the power of this data set to resolve branches in a notoriously problematic area of primate phylogeny, we anticipate that our phylogenomic toolkit will be of value to other studies of primate phylogeny and diversification. Moreover, the methods applied will be broadly applicable to other taxonomic groups where phylogenetic relationships have been notoriously difficult to resolve.

  18. Parallel germline infiltration of a lentivirus in two Malagasy lemurs.

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    Clément Gilbert

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Retroviruses normally infect the somatic cells of their host and are transmitted horizontally, i.e., in an exogenous way. Occasionally, however, some retroviruses can also infect and integrate into the genome of germ cells, which may allow for their vertical inheritance and fixation in a given species; a process known as endogenization. Lentiviruses, a group of mammalian retroviruses that includes HIV, are known to infect primates, ruminants, horses, and cats. Unlike many other retroviruses, these viruses have not been demonstrably successful at germline infiltration. Here, we report on the discovery of endogenous lentiviral insertions in seven species of Malagasy lemurs from two different genera -- Cheirogaleus and Microcebus. Combining molecular clock analyses and cross-species screening of orthologous insertions, we show that the presence of this endogenous lentivirus in six species of Microcebus is the result of one endogenization event that occurred about 4.2 million years ago. In addition, we demonstrate that this lentivirus independently infiltrated the germline of Cheirogaleus and that the two endogenization events occurred quasi-simultaneously. Using multiple proviral copies, we derive and characterize an apparently full length and intact consensus for this lentivirus. These results provide evidence that lentiviruses have repeatedly infiltrated the germline of prosimian species and that primates have been exposed to lentiviruses for a much longer time than what can be inferred based on sequence comparison of circulating lentiviruses. The study sets the stage for an unprecedented opportunity to reconstruct an ancestral primate lentivirus and thereby advance our knowledge of host-virus interactions.

  19. Diurnal resting in brown lemurs in a dry deciduous forest, northwestern Madagascar: implications for seasonal thermoregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Hiroki

    2012-07-01

    Decreased activity has been reported in both nocturnal and diurnal primates during the prolonged dry season in western Madagascar, and this has been interpreted as a reaction to the severe environment, with its food scarcity and/or thermal stress. Several day-active lemurs rest more as trees defoliate, although the reason for this is unclear. To understand the mechanism underpinning the diurnal resting of lemurs in seasonal deciduous forests, I observed common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) for one year in Ankarafantsika National Park, northwestern Madagascar. In Ankarafantsika, despite high fruit availability during the dry season, brown lemurs are known to engage in diurnal resting. To examine the effects of thermal factors and defoliation on lemur inactivity, I recorded the activity of a troop at 1 min intervals, hourly ambient temperature, daily rainfall, and weather during observations (06:00-18:00). I quantified the amount of leaves biweekly for 680 trees. I tested correlations between percentages of resting time and each factor across hours during the day and across seasons. During the rainy season, resting time did not differ between sunny and cloudy days, and lemurs were active throughout the daytime. At the hourly level during the dry season, lemurs rested exclusively at midday, apparently at peak sunlight intensity rather than at peak ambient temperature. At seasonal level, percentages of total resting time from 08:00 to 16:00 were greater during dry season (81.9%) than during rainy season (62.6%), and percentages increased as ambient temperatures increased. Defoliation was related to seasonal decrease in weekly rainfall, which served as an index of water retained in the forest. Defoliation probably reflected aridification as well as the penetration of sunlight into the forest. Diurnal resting increased as both the amount of leaves and weekly rainfall decreased seasonally. These results suggest that heat stress under dry conditions may promote

  20. Habitat shifting by the common brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus fulvus): a response to food scarcity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Hiroki

    2013-07-01

    During periods of food scarcity, most primates display behavioral responses, such as dietary switching or adjustment of traveling and foraging efforts, within home ranges. In rare cases, several primate species leave their home ranges for other remote habitats to seek alternative resources; this migration-like behavior is termed "habitat shifting." Reports of habitat shifting have concentrated on platyrrhines, but this behavior has rarely been observed among prosimians. During 1 year of observation of a troop of common brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) in Ankarafantsika National Park, northwestern Madagascar, habitat shifting occurred twice. To understand the causes of this behavior, I examined the seasonal availability of fruit resources in the range continuously used by the troop during the year (defined as the annual range) and compared feeding activities and vegetation types between the annual range and new areas. The troop usually stayed within a 38.7-ha annual range, defined by a 95 % fixed kernel analysis based on GPS location data collected at 5-min intervals. In April 2007, the lemurs suddenly moved to a habitat 1.0-1.5 km south of their annual range and concentrated on the consumption of Grewia triflora fruits for 2 weeks. In November 2007, they visited a habitat 0.8-1.7 km southeast of the annual range and exploited fruits of Landolphia myrtifolia. These new areas were open habitats with high densities of the respective fruit species. The density of fruiting trees was low in the annual range during these periods; thus, habitat shifting to areas with different phenological productivity appeared to be an effective response to fruit scarcity. Brown lemurs are generally categorized as a nonterritorial species, and the lemurs observed here showed no agonistic behavior in intergroup encounters during range shifting. Such nonterritoriality may allow brown lemurs to shift habitats, a behavior resulting in long-term absence from their annual range.

  1. Central males instead of multiple pairs in redfronted lemurs, Eulemur fulvus rufus (Primates, Lemuridae)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostner; Kappeler

    1999-11-01

    In group-living Malagasy primates (Lemuriformes), certain demographic and morphological traits deviate both from theoretical expectations derived from sexual selection theory and from patterns in better-known anthropoid primates. Lemurs lack sexual dimorphism in body and canine size and live in relatively small multimale-multifemale groups with, on average, even adult sex ratios, despite a polygynous mating system. In addition, the majority of gregarious lemurs are cathemeral, that is, they are regularly active both day and night. The social system of cathemeral lemurs has been considered an adaptation to their activity pattern. If so, groups should consist of multiple pairs that aggregate during diurnal activity and range separately at night in response to predation and infanticide risk, respectively. Moreover, mating privileges should exist between pair partners. We tested this hypothesis with data collected on two groups of wild redfronted lemurs in western Madagascar during 1023 focal animal hours spanning 4 months including the mating season. In addition, data on spatial relations were collected on 12 nights. We found no differences in group cohesion between day and night and no behavioural evidence for multiple male-female pairs. Instead, one male in each group monopolized social interactions with all females. However, females copulated with all resident males, although most often with the central male. Thus, basic predictions of the cathemerality hypothesis are unsupported. Multiple matings and indications of oestrous synchrony can be viewed as female counterstrategies against infanticide, whereas reproductive strategies of redfronted lemur males remain obscure. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  2. Evolutionary history inferred from the de novo assembly of a nonmodel organism, the blue-eyed black lemur.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Wynn K; Venkat, Aarti; Kermany, Amir R; van de Geijn, Bryce; Zhang, Sidi; Przeworski, Molly

    2015-09-01

    Lemurs, the living primates most distantly related to humans, demonstrate incredible diversity in behaviour, life history patterns and adaptive traits. Although many lemur species are endangered within their native Madagascar, there is no high-quality genome assembly from this taxon, limiting population and conservation genetic studies. One critically endangered lemur is the blue-eyed black lemur Eulemur flavifrons. This species is fixed for blue irises, a convergent trait that evolved at least four times in primates and was subject to positive selection in humans, where 5' regulatory variation of OCA2 explains most of the brown/blue eye colour differences. We built a de novo genome assembly for E. flavifrons, providing the most complete lemur genome to date, and a high confidence consensus sequence for close sister species E. macaco, the (brown-eyed) black lemur. From diversity and divergence patterns across the genomes, we estimated a recent split time of the two species (160 Kya) and temporal fluctuations in effective population sizes that accord with known environmental changes. By looking for regions of unusually low diversity, we identified potential signals of directional selection in E. flavifrons at MITF, a melanocyte development gene that regulates OCA2 and has previously been associated with variation in human iris colour, as well as at several other genes involved in melanin biosynthesis in mammals. Our study thus illustrates how whole-genome sequencing of a few individuals can illuminate the demographic and selection history of nonmodel species.

  3. Reproductive activity of ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) in a Madagascar rain forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morland, H S

    1993-05-01

    Mating activity was observed during four breeding seasons in two groups of black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) living in lowland rain forest on Nosy Mangabe island, Madagascar. The onset of the May-July breeding season was signalled by behavioral changes in adult males. Males made forays outside their usual home ranges, were more aggressive to other males, and performed appetitive and other sex-specific behaviors more frequently. Females showed receptive and proceptive behaviors during a 1-2 day behavioral estrus. Ruffed lemurs mated monogamously, polyandrously, and polygynously. These observations do not support previous assertions that they live only in monogamous families. Limited evidence suggests females exercised mate choice and may have preferred familiar males.

  4. Fear reactions to snakes in naïve mouse lemurs and pig-tailed macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Lucie; Brandl, Pavel; Frynta, Daniel

    2015-07-01

    Primates have been predated on by snakes throughout their evolution and as a result, antipredator responses accompanied by signs of fear are often witnessed in the wild. In captivity, however, the fear of snakes is less clear, as experiments with naïve nonhuman primates have given inconsistent results. In this study, we present evidence that naïve mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) and putatively naïve pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) do exhibit fear of snakes, even though the apparent reactions are mild. In an experiment with control- or snake-odoured boxes, mouse lemurs clearly avoided feeding in the latter. When the latency of touching rubber models was measured, pig-tailed macaques took longer to touch a toy snake compared with a toy lizard. Our findings that fear of snakes is shown by naïve individuals support the hypothesis that it is innate in primates.

  5. Voxel-based morphometry analyses of in-vivo MRI in the aging mouse lemur primate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen John Sawiak

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Cerebral atrophy is one of the most widely brain alterations associated to aging. A clear relationship has been established between age-associated cognitive impairments and cerebral atrophy. The mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus is a small primate used as a model of age-related neurodegenerative processes. It is the first nonhuman primate in which cerebral atrophy has been correlated with cognitive deficits. Previous studies of cerebral atrophy in this model were based on time consuming manual delineation or measurement of selected brain regions from magnetic resonance images (MRI. These measures could not be used to analyse regions that cannot be easily outlined such as the nucleus basalis of Meynert or the subiculum. In humans, morphometric assessment of structural changes with age is generally performed with automated procedures such as voxel-based morphometry (VBM. The objective of our work was to perform user-independent assessment of age-related morphological changes in the whole brain of large mouse lemur populations thanks to VBM. The study was based on the SPMMouse toolbox of SPM 8 and involved thirty mouse lemurs aged from 1.9 to 11.3 years. The automatic method revealed for the first time atrophy in regions where manual delineation is prohibitive (nucleus basalis of Meynert, subiculum, prepiriform cortex, Brodmann areas 13-16, hypothalamus, putamen, thalamus, corpus callosum. Some of these regions are described as particularly sensitive to age-associated alterations in humans. The method revealed also age-associated atrophy in cortical regions (cingulate, occipital, parietal, nucleus septalis, and the caudate. Manual measures performed in some of these regions were in good agreement with results from automatic measures. The templates generated in this study as well as the toolbox for SPM8 can be downloaded. These tools will be valuable for future evaluation of various treatments that are tested to modulate cerebral aging in lemurs.

  6. True lemurs…true species - species delimitation using multiple data sources in the brown lemur complex

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Background Species are the fundamental units in evolutionary biology. However, defining them as evolutionary independent lineages requires integration of several independent sources of information in order to develop robust hypotheses for taxonomic classification. Here, we exemplarily propose an integrative framework for species delimitation in the “brown lemur complex” (BLC) of Madagascar, which consists of seven allopatric populations of the genus Eulemur (Primates: Lemuridae), which were s...

  7. Cytokine and Antioxidant Regulation in the Intestine of the Gray Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus During Torpor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shannon N. Tessier

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available During food shortages, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus of Madagascar experiences daily torpor thereby reducing energy expenditures. The present study aimed to understand the impacts of torpor on the immune system and antioxidant response in the gut of these animals. This interaction may be of critical importance given the trade-off between the energetically costly immune response and the need to defend against pathogen entry during hypometabolism. The protein levels of cytokines and antioxidants were measured in the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum and large intestine of aroused and torpid lemurs. While there was a significant decrease of some pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α in the duodenum and jejunum during torpor as compared to aroused animals, there was no change in anti-inflammatory cytokines. We observed decreased levels of cytokines (IL-12p70 and M-CSF, and several chemokines (MCP-1 and MIP-2 but an increase in MIP-1α in the jejunum of the torpid animals. In addition, we evaluated antioxidant response by examining the protein levels of antioxidant enzymes and total antioxidant capacity provided by metabolites such as glutathione (and others. Our results indicated that levels of antioxidant enzymes did not change between torpor and aroused states, although antioxidant capacity was significantly higher in the ileum during torpor. These data suggest a suppression of the immune response, likely as an energy conservation measure, and a limited role of antioxidant defenses in supporting torpor in lemur intestine.

  8. Cathemerality in the Mayotte brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus): seasonality and food quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarnaud, Laurent

    2006-01-01

    In past decades, cathemerality--as defined by Tattersall [1987]--has been documented in two primate families: Cebidae and Lemuridae. In the Lemuridae, in particular the genus Eulemur, cathemeral activity seems to be a regular behavioural trait. Nevertheless, ultimate and proximate determinants responsible for this behaviour remain unclear. In this study, in a dry and deciduous forest on Mayotte (Comoro Archipelago), activities of 4 female brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus fulvus) were recorded by focal animal sampling during the daylight period and by scan sampling on their respective groups during the night. Horizontal distances travelled by females and groups were measured using GPS. During the daylight period, food intakes were estimated in grams by extrapolation of counting of mouthfuls after weighing a large sample of plant parts eaten. Crude protein, crude lipid, soluble sugar and crude fibre were analyzed for each seasonal reconstituted diet. Records of temperature and rainfall were supplied by a local meteorological station. Observations confirmed cathemerality in the Mayotte brown lemur as reported by Tattersall in 1977. During the dry season, the animals increased their nocturnal activity--substantially increasing the time devoted to feeding and moving overall, but especially at night--and were less active during the daylight period. The quality of their diet in the dry season was poorer than that in the wet season, with soluble sugar content and protein content decreasing and fibre content increasing slightly. As a result, Mayotte brown lemurs may need to extend their foraging activity over the 24-hour cycle to balance nutritional requirements.

  9. Telomere regulation during ageing and tumorigenesis of the grey mouse lemur.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trochet, Delphine; Mergui, Xénia; Ivkovic, Ivana; Porreca, Rosa Maria; Gerbault-Seureau, Michèle; Sidibe, Assitan; Richard, Florence; Londono-Vallejo, Arturo; Perret, Martine; Aujard, Fabienne; Riou, Jean-François

    2015-06-01

    Telomere erosion leading to replicative senescence has been well documented in human and anthropoid primates, and provides a clue against tumorigenesis. In contrast, other mammals, such as laboratory mice, with short lifespan and low body weight mass have different telomere biology without replicative senescence. We analyzed telomere biology in the grey mouse lemur, a small prosimian model with a relative long lifespan currently used in ageing research. We report an average telomere length by telomere restriction fragment (TRF) among the longest reported so far for a primate species (25-30 kb), but without detectable overall telomere shortening with ageing on blood samples. However, we demonstrate using universal STELA (Single Telomere Length Amplification) the existence of short telomeres, the increase of which, while correlating with ageing might be related to another mechanism than replicative senescence. We also found a low stringency of telomerase restriction in tissues and an ease to immortalize fibroblasts in vitro upon spontaneous telomerase activation. Finally, we describe the first grey mouse lemur cancer cell line showing a dramatic telomere shortening and high telomerase activity associated with polyploidy. Our overall results suggest that telomere biology in grey mouse lemur is an exception among primates, with at best a physiologically limited replicative telomere ageing and closest to that observed in small rodents.

  10. Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the sportive lemurs (Lepilemur, Primates

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    Langer Christoph

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The number of species within the Malagasy genus Lepilemur and their phylogenetic relationships is disputed and controversial. In order to establish their evolutionary relationships, a comparative cytogenetic and molecular study was performed. We sequenced the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (1140 bp from 68 individuals representing all eight sportive lemur species and most major populations, and compared the results with those obtained from cytogenetic studies derived from 99 specimens. Results Interspecific genetic variation, diagnostic characters and significantly supported phylogenetic relationships were obtained from the mitochondrial sequence data and are in agreement with cytogenetic information. The results confirm the distinctiveness of Lepilemur ankaranensis, L. dorsalis, L. edwardsi, L. leucopus, L. microdon, L. mustelinus, L. ruficaudatus and L. septentrionalis on species level. Additionally, within L. ruficaudatus large genetic differences were observed among different geographic populations. L. dorsalis from Sahamalaza Peninsula and from the Ambanja/Nosy Be region are paraphyletic, with the latter forming a sister group to L. ankaranensis. Conclusion Our results support the classification of the eight major sportive lemur taxa as independent species. Moreover, our data indicate further cryptic speciation events within L. ruficaudatus and L. dorsalis. Based on molecular data we propose to recognize the sportive lemur populations from north of the Tsiribihina River, south of the Betsiboka River, and from the Sahamalaza Peninsula, as distinct species.

  11. Modulation of Gene Expression in Key Survival Pathways During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

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    Kyle K. Biggar

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available A variety of mammals employ torpor as an energy-saving strategy in environments of marginal or severe stress either on a daily basis during their inactive period or on a seasonal basis during prolonged multi-day hibernation. Recently, a few Madagascar lemur species have been identified as the only primates that exhibit torpor; one of these is the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus. To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie daily torpor in a primate, we analyzed the expression of 28 selected genes that represent crucial survival pathways known to be involved in squirrel and bat hibernation. Array-based real-time PCR was used to compare gene expression in control (aroused versus torpid lemurs in five tissues including the liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, heart, and brown adipose tissue. Significant differences in gene expression during torpor were revealed among genes involved in glycolysis, fatty acid metabolism, antioxidant defense, apoptosis, hypoxia signaling, and protein protection. The results showed upregulation of select genes primarily in liver and brown adipose tissue. For instance, both tissues showed elevated gene expression of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (ppargc, ferritin (fth1, and protein chaperones during torpor. Overall, the data show that the expression of only a few genes changed during lemur daily torpor, as compared with the broader expression changes reported for hibernation in ground squirrels. These results provide an indication that the alterations in gene expression required for torpor in lemurs are not as extensive as those needed for winter hibernation in squirrel models. However, identification of crucial genes with altered expression that support lemur torpor provides key targets to be explored and manipulated toward a goal of translational applications of inducible torpor as a treatment option in human biomedicine.

  12. Modulation of Gene Expression in Key Survival Pathways During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kyle K Biggar; Cheng-Wei Wu; Shannon N Tessier; Jing Zhang; Fabien Pifferi; Martine Perret; Kenneth B Storey

    2015-01-01

    A variety of mammals employ torpor as an energy-saving strategy in environments of marginal or severe stress either on a daily basis during their inactive period or on a seasonal basis during prolonged multi-day hibernation. Recently, a few Madagascar lemur species have been iden-tified as the only primates that exhibit torpor; one of these is the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie daily torpor in a primate, we ana-lyzed the expression of 28 selected genes that represent crucial survival pathways known to be involved in squirrel and bat hibernation. Array-based real-time PCR was used to compare gene expression in control (aroused) versus torpid lemurs in five tissues including the liver, kidney,skeletal muscle, heart, and brown adipose tissue. Significant differences in gene expression during torpor were revealed among genes involved in glycolysis, fatty acid metabolism, antioxidant defense, apoptosis, hypoxia signaling, and protein protection. The results showed upregulation of select genes primarily in liver and brown adipose tissue. For instance, both tissues showed elevated gene expression of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (ppargc), ferritin (fth1), and protein chaperones during torpor. Overall, the data show that the expression of only a few genes changed during lemur daily torpor, as compared with the broader expression changes reported for hibernation in ground squirrels. These results provide an indication that the alterations in gene expression required for torpor in lemurs are not as extensive as those needed for winter hibernation in squirrel models. However, identification of crucial genes with altered expression that support lemur torpor provides key targets to be explored and manipulated toward a goal of translational applications of inducible torpor as a treatment option in human biomedicine.

  13. Cytokine and Antioxidant Regulation in the Intestine of the Gray Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus) During Torpor

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shannon N Tessier; Barbara A Katzenback; Fabien Pifferi; Martine Perret; Kenneth B Storey

    2015-01-01

    During food shortages, the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) of Madagascar expe-riences daily torpor thereby reducing energy expenditures. The present study aimed to understand the impacts of torpor on the immune system and antioxidant response in the gut of these animals. This interaction may be of critical importance given the trade-off between the energetically costly immune response and the need to defend against pathogen entry during hypometabolism. The pro-tein levels of cytokines and antioxidants were measured in the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum) and large intestine of aroused and torpid lemurs. While there was a significant decrease of some pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-a) in the duodenum and jejunum during tor-por as compared to aroused animals, there was no change in anti-inflammatory cytokines. We observed decreased levels of cytokines (IL-12p70 and M-CSF), and several chemokines (MCP-1 and MIP-2) but an increase in MIP-1a in the jejunum of the torpid animals. In addition, we evaluated antioxidant response by examining the protein levels of antioxidant enzymes and total antioxidant capacity provided by metabolites such as glutathione (and others). Our results indicated that levels of antioxidant enzymes did not change between torpor and aroused states, although antioxidant capacity was significantly higher in the ileum during torpor. These data suggest a sup-pression of the immune response, likely as an energy conservation measure, and a limited role of antioxidant defenses in supporting torpor in lemur intestine.

  14. Complete mitochondrial genome of the gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus (Primates, Cheirogaleidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecompte, Emilie; Crouau-Roy, Brigitte; Aujard, Fabienne; Holota, Hélène; Murienne, Jérôme

    2016-09-01

    We report the high-coverage complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the gray mouse lemur Microcebus murinus. The sequencing has been performed on an Illumina Hiseq 2500 platform, with a genome skimming strategy. The total length of this mitogenome is 16 963 bp, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 1 non-coding region (D-loop region). The genome organization, nucleotide composition and codon usage are similar to those reported from other primate's mitochondrial genomes. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence reported here will be useful for comparative genomics studies in primates.

  15. The breeding system of wild red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra): a preliminary report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasey, Natalie

    2007-01-01

    Captive studies have shown that ruffed lemurs (Varecia) have an unusual suite of reproductive traits combined with extremely high maternal reproductive costs. These traits include the bearing of litters, nesting of altricial young, and absentee parenting. To characterize the breeding system of this enigmatic lemur, reproductive traits must be contextualized in the wild. Here, I provide a preliminary report of mating and infant care in one community of wild red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra). Observations span a 15-month period covering two birth seasons and one mating season on the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. Factors that are not possible to replicate in captivity are reported, such as mating pattern, natality and mortality rates, the location of nests within the home range, and the structuring of infant care within a natural community. V. rubra at Andranobe have a fission-fusion, multifemale-multimale grouping pattern and a polygamous mating system. They do not mate monogamously or live strictly in family-based groups as suggested by previous workers. During the first 2 months of life, nests and infant stashing localities are situated within each mother's respective core area, and inhabitants of each core area within the communal home range provide care for young. As part of their absentee parenting system, infants are left in concealed, protected, and supportive spots high in the canopy, while mothers travel distantly. This practice is termed 'infant stashing'. Alloparenting appears to be an integral part of V. rubra's overall reproductive strategy in the wild, as it was performed by all age-sex classes. Among the alloparental behaviors observed were infant guarding, co-stashing, infant transport, and allonursing. Alloparenting and absentee parenting may mitigate high maternal reproductive costs. Furthermore, V. rubra may have a breeding system in which genetic partners (i.e., mating partners) do not always correspond to infant care-providers. Combined with

  16. Regulation of Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur:Transcriptional and Translational Controls and Role of AMPK Signaling

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jing Zhang; Shannon N Tessier; Kyle K Biggar; Cheng-Wei Wu; Fabien Pifferi; Martine Perret; Kenneth B Storey

    2015-01-01

    The gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is one of few primate species that is able to enter daily torpor or prolonged hibernation in response to environmental stresses. With an emerg-ing significance to human health research, lemurs present an optimal model for exploring molecular adaptations that regulate primate hypometabolism. A fundamental challenge is how to effectively regulate energy expensive cellular processes (e.g., transcription and translation) during transitions to/from torpor without disrupting cellular homeostasis. One such regulatory mechanism is reversi-ble posttranslational modification of selected protein targets that offers fine cellular control without the energetic burden. This study investigates the role of phosphorylation and/or acetylation in reg-ulating key factors involved in energy homeostasis (AMP-activated protein kinase, or AMPK, sig-naling pathway), mRNA translation (eukaryotic initiation factor 2a or eIF2a, eukaryotic initiation factor 4E or eIF4E, and initiation factor 4E binding protein or 4EBP), and gene transcription (his-tone H3) in six tissues of torpid and aroused gray mouse lemurs. Our results indicated selective tissue-specific changes of these regulatory proteins. The relative level of Thr172-phosphorylated AMPKa was significantly elevated in the heart but reduced in brown adipose tissue during daily torpor, as compared to the aroused lemurs, implicating the regulation of AMPK activity during daily torpor in these tissues. Interestingly, the levels of the phosphorylated eIFs were largely unal-tered between aroused and torpid animals. Phosphorylation and acetylation of histone H3 were examined as a marker for transcriptional regulation. Compared to the aroused lemurs, level of Ser10-phosphorylated histone H3 decreased significantly in white adipose tissue during torpor, sug-gesting global suppression of gene transcription. However, a significant increase in acetyl-histone H3 in the heart of torpid lemurs indicated a

  17. Morphological characterization of a brown lemur hybrid zone (Eulemur rufifrons × E. cinereiceps).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delmore, Kira E; Louis, Edward E; Johnson, Steig E

    2011-05-01

    Hybridization has recently been identified as a pervasive force in the evolution of primates. In this study, we characterized a hybrid zone between two species of brown lemur (Eulemur rufifrons and E. cinereiceps) in the Andringitra region of southeastern Madagascar using morphological traits. We immobilized animals along a north-south transect (∼80 km), scored them for their degree of hybridity using pelage traits and measured standard morphometric variables. Results from our study suggest that hybridization between E. rufifrons and E. cinereiceps is extensive, with the hybrid zone extending over 42.6 km and being composed mostly of later generation hybrids. We also identified significant variation between ancestral groups in our study: hybrid males exhibited longer tails than both parental species and sexual dimorphism in upper canine height favoring males was documented in E. rufifrons. These patterns could suggest that gene flow between parental and hybrid populations is relatively limited. Finally, significant differences between ancestral groups in relative body mass and skin-fold thickness were absent in our study, indicating that, as measured by these proxies, hybrids are equally as fit as parental forms. Based on these preliminary findings, the Andringitra hybrid zone could conform to the bounded superiority model of hybrid zone stability (i.e., it could be being maintained by selection favoring hybrids within transitional habitats). Accordingly, hybrids in Andringitra may be an unusual case among primates, representing a stable recombinant but distinct lineage. This conclusion has important implications for evolutionary processes within the brown lemur species complex.

  18. Monitoring and conservation of the Critically Endangered Alaotran gentle lemur Hapalemur alaotrensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard P. Young

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The Alaotran gentle lemur Hapalemur alaotrensis is a Critically Endangered lemur, which exclusively inhabits the marshes around Lac Alaotra in northeast Madagascar. In the past decades the population of H. alaotrensis has experienced a dramatic decline due to poaching, habitat destruction and degradation. Surveys have been carried out periodically to follow the status of the population. Here we present the results of a survey carried out between May and June 2008 in the southwestern part of the marshes around Alaotra and discuss the key findings derived from the analysis of the data collected. Our study indicates that the probability of detecting the species in an area where it is present is very low and depends on factors that vary in space and time. These results stress the need to account for imperfect detection when monitoring this species, an issue especially relevant when reporting population trends. Our analyses also show that habitat fragmentation is a key determinant of habitat suitability for H. alaotrensis, with fragmented areas of marsh showing low suitability. Finally, our observations and analysis suggest that the protection provided by the local community to H. alaotrensis in Andreba is contributing to the conservation of this Critically Endangered species. This highlights the need to continue working on engaging the local communities in the conservation of the marshes at Lac Alaotra as a critical element to secure the future of H. alaotrensis.

  19. Microsatellite analyses reveal fine-scale genetic structure in grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredsted, T; Pertoldi, C; Schierup, M H; Kappeler, P M

    2005-07-01

    Information on genetic structure can be used to complement direct inferences on social systems and behaviour. We studied the genetic structure of the solitary grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a small, nocturnal primate endemic to western Madagascar, with the aim of getting further insight on its breeding structure. Tissue samples from 167 grey mouse lemurs in an area covering 12.3 km2 in Kirindy Forest were obtained from trapping. The capture data indicated a noncontinuous distribution of individuals in the study area. Using 10 microsatellite markers, significant genetic differentiation in the study area was demonstrated and dispersal was found to be significantly male biased. Furthermore, we observed an overall excess of homozygotes in the total population (F(IT) = 0.131), which we interpret as caused by fine-scale structure with breeding occurring in small units. Evidence for a clumped distribution of identical homozygotes was found, supporting the notion that dispersal distance for breeding was shorter than that for foraging, i.e. the breeding neighbourhood size is smaller than the foraging neighbourhood size. In conclusion, we found a more complex population structure than what has been previously reported in studies performed on smaller spatial scales. The noncontinuous distribution of individuals and the effects of social variables on the genetic structure have implications for the interpretation of social organization and the planning of conservation activities that may apply to other solitary and endangered mammals as well.

  20. Cycles of activity, group composition, and diet of Lemur mongoz mongoz Linnaeus 1766 in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sussman, R W; Tattersall, I

    1976-01-01

    A preliminary study of the ecology and behavior of Lemur mongoz mongoz was carried out in the northwest of Madagascar. The animals were observed for approximately 250 h in July till August, 1973, and for 50 h in June, 1974. L.m.mongoz has been reported to be diurnal and to live in groups of 6-8 individuals. However, we found the animals to be nocturnal and that groups contained an adult male, an adult female and their offspring (groups numbering from 2 to 4 individuals). L.m.mongoz is thus the only species of the genus Lemur studied to date that is active exclusively at night and that lives in family groups. L.m.mongoz was also found to have a very specialized diet. During our study, it was observed to feed on only five species of plant and mainly on the nectar-producing parts (flowers and nectaries) of four of these species. It spent most of its feeding time licking nectar from the flowers of the kapok tree, Ceiba pentandra, and is probably a major pollinator of this tree in Madagascar. In Africa and South and Central America, the kapok tree is usually bat-pollinated. A dietary preference for nectar, although common among bats, has not previously been observed in primates.

  1. Resveratrol Metabolism in a Non-Human Primate, the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus), Using Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography–Quadrupole Time of Flight

    OpenAIRE

    Marie-Claude Menet; Julia Marchal; Alexandre Dal-Pan; Méryam Taghi; Valérie Nivet-Antoine; Delphine Dargère; Olivier Laprévote; Jean-Louis Beaudeux; Fabienne Aujard; Jacques Epelbaum; Charles-Henry Cottart

    2014-01-01

    The grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a non-human primate used to study the ageing process. Resveratrol is a polyphenol that may increase lifespan by delaying age-associated pathologies. However, no information about resveratrol absorption and metabolism is available for this primate. Resveratrol and its metabolites were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed in male mouse-lemur plasma (after 200 mg.kg-1 of oral resveratrol) by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC), c...

  2. A case of adult cannibalism in the gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hämäläinen, Anni

    2012-09-01

    Cannibalism, defined as the eating of conspecific flesh, has been observed in a number of primate species, although it is still a relatively rare phenomenon. In cases where primates were seen feeding on an individual of the same species, the victims have exclusively been infants or juveniles. Here, I report an event of a free-living, adult male gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus, cannibalizing an adult conspecific female that died of an unknown cause. This observation has implications for the basic ecology of the species and highlights the potential for great flexibility in diet and behavior by a primate. This is, to my knowledge, the first communication of cannibalistic behavior in this species, as well as the first reported case of a nonhuman primate cannibalizing an adult conspecific.

  3. New distributional records and conservation implications for the critically endangered greater bamboo lemur Prolemur simus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakotonirina, Laingoniaina; Rajaonson, Andry; Ratolojanahary, Tianasoa; Rafalimandimby, Jean; Fanomezantsoa, Prosper; Ramahefasoa, Bellarmin; Rasolofoharivelo, Tovonanahary; Ravaloharimanitra, Maholy; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah; Dolch, Rainer; King, Tony

    2011-01-01

    To improve our knowledge of the distribution of the critically endangered greater bamboo lemur Prolemur simus, we surveyed 6 sites in eastern Madagascar. We found its characteristic feeding signs at 5 sites and made a direct sighting at one of these. One site represents a northern extension of 45 km of the known extant range of the species. Two sites are located in a forest corridor approximately halfway between the previously known southern and northern populations, therefore suggesting a broadly continuous distribution of the species within its range rather than the previously suspected distribution of two distinct populations separated by a distance of over 200 km. Our results illustrate the benefit of species-focussed surveys in determining the true distribution of endangered species, a realistic measure which is necessary in order to assess their current status and to prioritise long-term conservation interventions.

  4. Demography, range use, and behavior in black lemurs (Eulemur macaco macaco) at Ampasikely, northwest Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayart, Françoise; Simmen, Bruno

    2005-11-01

    We studied a black lemur population over a 2-year period (1992-1993) and 8 years later (2000) in a 50-ha secondary forest in northwest Madagascar. All of the animals were marked to investigate population dynamics and seasonal variation in ranging and behavior, and new data on black lemurs were obtained. Our data on demographic characteristics were expanded to include other forest sites and contrasted with those collected in other Eulemur macaco macaco field studies, in relation to human activity and the presence of introduced and cultivated plant species. Density is affected by deforestation and hunting. Group size and home range depend on the composition of the forest and probably food patches. Sex ratio at birth varies according to the number of females per group, a result that fits the local resource competition model. Groups are multimale-multifemale, and adult females form the core of the groups. Reproductive parameters indicate sharply defined seasonal breeding, a high female reproductive rate, and birth synchrony. Changes in group composition reveal male and female juvenile dispersal, male transfer between groups at the time of mating, and adult female transfer and group fission when groups exceed a critical size. At mating and birth, intergroup agonistic encounters occurred at home-range boundaries, and larger groups were dominant over smaller groups. Patterns of intragroup interactions suggest that males compete for access to groups of females during the mating season, and that females may compete for food resources during the birth season. Our study also reports female social dominance and lack of sexual weight dimorphism in this species.

  5. Morphometrics of wild black-and-white ruffed lemurs [Varecia variegata; Kerr, 1792].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baden, Andrea L; Brenneman, Rick A; Louis, Edward E

    2008-10-01

    This study presents the first detailed morphometric measurements of wild caught black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata) from the eastern rainforests of Madagascar and aims to quantify the morphological variation present throughout their recognized range. One hundred and forty-four adult and juvenile individuals from 15 sites were sampled for 20 cranial, dental and postcranial morphometric and body mass measurements. Data were collected from an equal number of male and female individuals sampled across seasons over a 7-year period (1999-2002, 2004-2006). Results indicate that adult body mass and morphometric measurements varied between sexes across sites; however, the only significant intersexual difference found was that females possessed, on average, longer tails than males. Contrary to previous studies, significant seasonal variation could not be detected in either male or female body mass or testicular volume (i.e., breeding vs. nonbreeding, food-scarce vs. food-abundant seasons). Measurements did, however, vary significantly by site and subspecies, though clinal variation could not explain these differences. The introduced population from Nosy Mangabe exhibited significantly lower body mass and overall body length than all other populations; however, this distinction may not have been attributable to natural variation, and may have instead resulted from the ecologically restrictive habitat (e.g., unusually high lemur population densities, limited food resources, ecological isolation) of this introduced population. Finally, although fore-to-hindlimb, brachium-to-thigh and hindlimb indices were comparable to previous values, forelimb indices calculated here deviate significantly from previous reports, placing V. variegata within the upper range of lemurid taxa. It is currently unknown whether this is an artifact of sampling methods (i.e., live vs. skeletal specimens) or whether this is an avenue that warrants further investigation.

  6. A genome sequence resource for the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a nocturnal lemur from Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, George H; Reeves, Darryl; Melsted, Páll; Ratan, Aakrosh; Miller, Webb; Michelini, Katelyn; Louis, Edward E; Pritchard, Jonathan K; Mason, Christopher E; Gilad, Yoav

    2012-01-01

    We present a high-coverage draft genome assembly of the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a highly unusual nocturnal primate from Madagascar. Our assembly totals ~3.0 billion bp (3.0 Gb), roughly the size of the human genome, comprised of ~2.6 million scaffolds (N50 scaffold size = 13,597 bp) based on short paired-end sequencing reads. We compared the aye-aye genome sequence data with four other published primate genomes (human, chimpanzee, orangutan, and rhesus macaque) as well as with the mouse and dog genomes as nonprimate outgroups. Unexpectedly, we observed strong evidence for a relatively slow substitution rate in the aye-aye lineage compared with these and other primates. In fact, the aye-aye branch length is estimated to be ~10% shorter than that of the human lineage, which is known for its low substitution rate. This finding may be explained, in part, by the protracted aye-aye life-history pattern, including late weaning and age of first reproduction relative to other lemurs. Additionally, the availability of this draft lemur genome sequence allowed us to polarize nucleotide and protein sequence changes to the ancestral primate lineage-a critical period in primate evolution, for which the relevant fossil record is sparse. Finally, we identified 293,800 high-confidence single nucleotide polymorphisms in the donor individual for our aye-aye genome sequence, a captive-born individual from two wild-born parents. The resulting heterozygosity estimate of 0.051% is the lowest of any primate studied to date, which is understandable considering the aye-aye's extensive home-range size and relatively low population densities. Yet this level of genetic diversity also suggests that conservation efforts benefiting this unusual species should be prioritized, especially in the face of the accelerating degradation and fragmentation of Madagascar's forests.

  7. Molar morphology and variation in two malagasy lemur families (Lemuridae and Indriidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, N

    1998-08-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar represent a radiation of primates exhibiting considerable ecological and morphological diversity. Dentally, all lemurs possess the characteristic strepsirhine anterior tooth comb, but exhibit variation in their postcanine teeth that may be related to dietary differences. In this study, I examine two factors that could complicate a strictly functional interpretation of tooth form variation in two families of Malagasy primates, the Lemuridae and Indriidae. (1) Allometry may be responsible for observed variation. Body size, not specific tooth features, may be the object of selection; tooth features may vary among taxa as a consequence of differences in body size. (2) Taxonomic affiliation may "explain" variation without recourse to functional explanations. Tooth morphology among closely-related taxa may be constrained developmentally or as a result of stabilizing selection. Morphological variation between families, therefore, may not be the result of current functional differences related to physical dietary properties, but may result from past events that are lineage-specific. Morphological features from the upper and lower second molars of seven lemurid and four indriid taxa are compared. The results of this study indicate that the majority of second molar features scale isometrically. Initial separation by families is warranted by the homogeneous slopes but different elevations in analyses of covariance between families. Intrafamilial variation is considerable for lemurids, but more discrete among indriids. Functional explanations for tooth form variability should take into consideration the degree of variation within taxa. For this particular dataset, the two families should be analyzed separately, and, because of the considerable overlap of subspecies with full species among lemurids, the lowest taxonomic unit recognized should be used.

  8. Cineradiographic study of forelimb movements during quadrupedal walking in the brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus, Primates: Lemuridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, M; Fischer, M S

    2000-02-01

    Movements of forelimb joints and segments during walking in the brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus) were analyzed using cineradiography (150 frames/sec). Metric gait parameters, forelimb kinematics, and intralimb coordination are described. Calculation of contribution of segment displacements to stance propulsion shows that scapular retroversion in a fulcrum near the vertebral border causes more than 60% of propulsion. The contribution by the shoulder joint is 30%, elbow joint 5%, and wrist joint 1%. Correlation analysis was applied to reveal the interdependency between metric and kinematic parameters. Only the effective angular movement of the elbow joint during stance is speed-dependent. Movements of all other forelimb joints and segments are independent of speed and influence, mainly, linear gait parameters (stride length, stance length). Perhaps the most important result is the hitherto unknown and unexpected degree of scapular mobility. Scapular movements consist of ante-/retroversion, adduction/abduction, and scapular rotation about the longitudinal axis. Inside rotation of the scapula (60 degrees -70 degrees ), together with flexion in the shoulder joint, mediates abduction of the humerus, which is not achieved in the shoulder joint, and is therefore strikingly different from humeral abduction in man. Movements of the shoulder joint are restricted to flexion and extension. At touch down, the shoulder joint of the brown lemur is more extended compared to that of other small mammals. The relatively long humerus and forearm, characteristic for primates, are thus effectively converted into stride length. Observed asymmetries in metric and kinematic behavior of the left and right forelimb are caused by an unequal lateral bending of the spinal column.

  9. Signals of recent spatial expansions in the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chikhi Lounès

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pleistocene events have shaped the phylogeography of many taxa worldwide. Their genetic signatures in tropical species have been much less explored than in those living in temperate regions. We analysed the genetic structure of a Malagasy primate species, a mouse lemur with a wide distribution (M. murinus, in order to investigate such phylogeographic processes on a large tropical island. We also evaluated the effects of anthropogenic pressures (fragmentation/deforestation and natural features (geographic distance, rivers on genetic structure in order to complement our understanding of past and present processes of genetic differentiation. Results The analysis of the mitochondrial D-loop sequences of 195 samples from 15 study sites (10 from a continuous forest and five from isolated forest fragments from two adjacent Inter-River-Systems (IRSs revealed that forest fragmentation and the river restrict gene flow, thereby leading to an increased genetic differentiation between populations beyond the effect of isolation-by-distance. Demographic simulations detected signals of two successive spatial expansions that could be preliminarily dated to the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. The haplotype network revealed geographic structure and showed deep molecular divergences within and between the IRSs that would be congruent with a two-step colonization scenario. Conclusions This study supports the hypothesis of a relatively recent spatial expansion of the grey mouse lemur in northwestern Madagascar, which may also explain why this taxon, in contrast to its congeners, has not yet undergone allopatric speciation in the studied area and possibly across its presently wide range.

  10. Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis in a Captive Black and White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) Caused by Acanthamoeba T4 Genotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaide, N; Pelandakis, M; Robveille, C; Albaric, O; Jouvion, G; Souchon, M; Risler, A; Abadie, J

    2015-11-01

    A mature male, black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) died in a zoological garden after a 4-day history of lethargy and non-responsive convulsions. Necropsy and histopathological examinations revealed acute necrotizing and haemorrhagic meningoencephalitis with intralesional amoebas confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Acanthamoeba T4 genotype was identified as the causative agent of the brain lesion, based on amplification and sequencing of 18S ribosomal RNA genes. The presence of free-living amoebas in water and mud from the lemur's environment was investigated by morphological and molecular analyses. The two predominant genera, representing 80% of isolated amoebas, were Naegleria spp. and Acanthamoeba spp. All Acanthamoeba isolates belonged to the T4 genotype. To the author's knowledge, this is the first report of a meningoencephalitis due to Acanthamoeba T4 genotype in Lemuridae with concurrent analysis of pathological tissues and environment.

  11. Characterization of blood biochemical markers during aging in the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus: impact of gender and season

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marchal Julia

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hematologic and biochemical data are needed to characterize the health status of animal populations over time to determine the habitat quality and captivity conditions. Blood components and the chemical entities that they transport change predominantly with sex and age. The aim of this study was to utilize blood chemistry monitoring to establish the reference levels in a small prosimian primate, the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus. Method In the captive colony, mouse lemurs may live 10–12 years, and three age groups for both males and females were studied: young (1–3 years, middle-aged (4–5 years and old (6–10 years. Blood biochemical markers were measured using the VetScan Comprehensive Diagnostic Profile. Because many life history traits of this primate are highly dependent on the photoperiod (body mass and reproduction, the effect of season was also assessed. Results The main effect of age was observed in blood markers of renal functions such as creatinine, which was higher among females. Additionally, blood urea nitrogen significantly increased with age and is potentially linked to chronic renal insufficiency, which has been described in captive mouse lemurs. The results demonstrated significant effects related to season, especially in blood protein levels and glucose rates; these effects were observed regardless of gender or age and were likely due to seasonal variations in food intake, which is very marked in this species. Conclusion These results were highly similar with those obtained in other primate species and can serve as references for future research of the Grey Mouse Lemur.

  12. Resource seasonality and reproduction predict fission-fusion dynamics in black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baden, Andrea L; Webster, Timothy H; Kamilar, Jason M

    2016-02-01

    Ruffed lemurs (genus Varecia) are often described as having a flexible social organization, such that both cohesive (low fission-fusion dynamics) and fluid (high fission-fusion dynamics) grouping patterns have been observed. In ruffed lemur communities with high fission-fusion dynamics, group members vary in their temporal and spatial dispersion throughout a communally defended territory. These patterns have been likened to those observed in several haplorrhine species that exhibit the most fluid types of fission-fusion social organization (e.g., Pan and Ateles). To substantiate and further refine these claims, we describe the fission-fusion dynamics of a black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) community at Mangevo, an undisturbed primary rainforest site in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We collected instantaneous group scan samples from August 2007-December 2008 (4,044 observation hours) to study and characterize patterns of subgroup size, composition, cohesion, and social association. In 16 consecutive months, we never found all members of the community together. In fact, individuals spent nearly half of their time alone. Subgroups were small, cohesive, and typically of mixed-sex composition. Mixed-sex subgroups were significantly larger, less cohesive, and more common than either male-only or female-only subgroups. Subgroup dynamics were related to shifts in climate, phenology of preferred fruit species, and female reproductive state. On average, association indices were low. Males and females were equally gregarious; however, adult male-male associations were significantly weaker than any other association type. Results presented herein document striking differences in fission-fusion dynamics between black-and-white ruffed lemurs and haplorrhines, while also demonstrating many broad-scale similarities to haplorrhine taxa that possess the most fluid fission-fusion societies.

  13. Evaluation of non-invasive biological samples to monitor Staphylococcus aureus colonization in great apes and lemurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frieder Schaumburg

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Reintroduction of endangered animals as part of conservational programs bears the risk of importing human pathogens from the sanctuary to the natural habitat. One bacterial pathogen that serves as a model organism to analyze this transmission is Staphylococcus aureus as it can colonize and infect both humans and animals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of various biological samples to monitor S. aureus colonization in great apes and lemurs. METHODS: Mucosal swabs from wild lemurs (n=25, Kirindy, Madagascar, feces, oral and genital swabs from captive chimpanzees (n=58, Ngamba and Entebbe, Uganda and fruit wadges and feces from wild chimpanzees (n=21, Taï National Parc, Côte d'Ivoire were screened for S. aureus. Antimicrobial resistance and selected virulence factors were tested for each isolate. Sequence based genotyping (spa typing, multilocus sequence typing was applied to assess the population structure of S. aureus. RESULTS: Oro-pharyngeal carriage of S. aureus was high in lemurs (72%, n=18 and captive chimpanzees (69.2%, n=27 and 100%, n=6, respectively. Wild chimpanzees shed S. aureus through feces (43.8, n=7 and fruit wadges (54.5, n=12. Analysis of multiple sampling revealed that two samples are sufficient to detect those animals which shed S. aureus through feces or fruit wadges. Genotyping showed that captive animals are more frequently colonized with human-associated S. aureus lineages. CONCLUSION: Oro-pharyngeal swabs are useful to screen for S. aureus colonization in apes and lemurs before reintroduction. Duplicates of stool and fruit wadges reliably detect S. aureus shedding in wild chimpanzees. We propose to apply these sampling strategies in future reintroduction programs to screen for S. aureus colonization. They may also be useful to monitor S. aureus in wild populations.

  14. Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Contamination of Breeding Pools Utilized by the Puerto Rican Crested Toad, Peltophryne lemur

    OpenAIRE

    Jenessa Gjeltema; Michael Stoskopf; Damian Shea; Ryan De Voe

    2012-01-01

    Habitat preservation and management may play an important role in the conservation of the Puerto Rican crested toad, Peltophryne lemur, due to this species’ small geographic range and declining native wild population. Bioavailable water concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminants within breeding pools at 3 sites were established using Passive Sampling Devices (PSDs) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). A more diverse population of PAH analytes were found ...

  15. The Use of an Invasive Species Habitat by a Small Folivorous Primate: Implications for Lemur Conservation in Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eppley, Timothy M.; Donati, Giuseppe; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriatafika, Faly; Andriamandimbiarisoa, Laza N.; Rabehevitra, David; Ravelomanantsoa, Robertin; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.

    2015-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar are among the most threatened mammalian taxa in the world, with habitat loss due to shifting cultivation and timber harvest heavily contributing to their precarious state. Deforestation often leads to fragmentation, resulting in mixed-habitat matrices throughout a landscape where disturbed areas are prone to invasion by exotic plants. Our study site, the Mandena littoral forest (southeast Madagascar), is a matrix of littoral forest, littoral swamp, and Melaleuca swamp habitats. Here, Melaleuca quinquenervia has invaded the wetland ecosystem, creating a mono-dominant habitat that currently provides the only potential habitat corridor between forest fragments. We sought to understand the role of this invasive Melaleuca swamp on the behavioral ecology of a threatened, small-bodied folivore, the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). We collected botanical and behavioral data on four groups of H. meridionalis between January and December 2013. Our results confirm Melaleuca swamp as an important part of their home range: while lemurs seasonally limited activities to certain habitats, all groups were capable of utilizing this invasive habitat for feeding and resting. Furthermore, the fact that Hapalemur use an invasive plant species as a dispersal corridor increases our knowledge of their ecological flexibility, and may be useful in the conservation management of remaining threatened populations. PMID:26536667

  16. The Use of an Invasive Species Habitat by a Small Folivorous Primate: Implications for Lemur Conservation in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eppley, Timothy M; Donati, Giuseppe; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriatafika, Faly; Andriamandimbiarisoa, Laza N; Rabehevitra, David; Ravelomanantsoa, Robertin; Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    2015-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar are among the most threatened mammalian taxa in the world, with habitat loss due to shifting cultivation and timber harvest heavily contributing to their precarious state. Deforestation often leads to fragmentation, resulting in mixed-habitat matrices throughout a landscape where disturbed areas are prone to invasion by exotic plants. Our study site, the Mandena littoral forest (southeast Madagascar), is a matrix of littoral forest, littoral swamp, and Melaleuca swamp habitats. Here, Melaleuca quinquenervia has invaded the wetland ecosystem, creating a mono-dominant habitat that currently provides the only potential habitat corridor between forest fragments. We sought to understand the role of this invasive Melaleuca swamp on the behavioral ecology of a threatened, small-bodied folivore, the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). We collected botanical and behavioral data on four groups of H. meridionalis between January and December 2013. Our results confirm Melaleuca swamp as an important part of their home range: while lemurs seasonally limited activities to certain habitats, all groups were capable of utilizing this invasive habitat for feeding and resting. Furthermore, the fact that Hapalemur use an invasive plant species as a dispersal corridor increases our knowledge of their ecological flexibility, and may be useful in the conservation management of remaining threatened populations.

  17. The Use of an Invasive Species Habitat by a Small Folivorous Primate: Implications for Lemur Conservation in Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy M Eppley

    Full Text Available The lemurs of Madagascar are among the most threatened mammalian taxa in the world, with habitat loss due to shifting cultivation and timber harvest heavily contributing to their precarious state. Deforestation often leads to fragmentation, resulting in mixed-habitat matrices throughout a landscape where disturbed areas are prone to invasion by exotic plants. Our study site, the Mandena littoral forest (southeast Madagascar, is a matrix of littoral forest, littoral swamp, and Melaleuca swamp habitats. Here, Melaleuca quinquenervia has invaded the wetland ecosystem, creating a mono-dominant habitat that currently provides the only potential habitat corridor between forest fragments. We sought to understand the role of this invasive Melaleuca swamp on the behavioral ecology of a threatened, small-bodied folivore, the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis. We collected botanical and behavioral data on four groups of H. meridionalis between January and December 2013. Our results confirm Melaleuca swamp as an important part of their home range: while lemurs seasonally limited activities to certain habitats, all groups were capable of utilizing this invasive habitat for feeding and resting. Furthermore, the fact that Hapalemur use an invasive plant species as a dispersal corridor increases our knowledge of their ecological flexibility, and may be useful in the conservation management of remaining threatened populations.

  18. Sleeping site ecology in a rain-forest dwelling nocturnal lemur (Lepilemur mustelinus): implications for sociality and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasoloharijaona, Solofonirina; Randrianambinina, Blanchard; Zimmermann, Elke

    2008-03-01

    Suitable sleeping sites as potentially restricted resources are suggested to shape sociality in primates. We investigated sleeping site ecology of a rain-forest dwelling sportive lemur in eastern Madagascar for the first time. Using radiotelemetry, we characterized the type, quality and usage of sleeping sites as well as social sleeping habits of 11 focal individuals of the weasel sportive lemur (Lepilemur mustelinus) during the dry and the onset of the rainy season. Morphometric measurements provided additional information. The sexes showed an unusual sexual dimorphism for primates. Males and females did not differ in body length, but females surpassed males in body mass suggesting female dominance. Both sexes used dense vegetation and holes in hollow trees high above the ground as shelters for sleeping during the day. No sex difference in the quality of tree holes was found, but focal individuals used tree holes more often than open sleeping sites in dense vegetation. Both sexes showed high sleeping site fidelity limited to two to six different sites that they used primarily solitarily. The results imply that suitable sleeping sites are limited and survival of this species will strongly depend on the availability of mature rain forests with suitable hollow trees. Furthermore, these findings provide evidence of a solitary sleeping and ranging system in this rain-forest dwelling sportive lemur with suitable sleeping sites as defendable resources.

  19. Touchscreen-based cognitive tasks reveal age-related impairment in a primate aging model, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marine Joly

    Full Text Available Mouse lemurs are suggested to represent promising novel non-human primate models for aging research. However, standardized and cross-taxa cognitive testing methods are still lacking. Touchscreen-based testing procedures have proven high stimulus control and reliability in humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to adapt these procedures to mouse lemurs, thereby exploring the effect of age. We measured appetitive learning and cognitive flexibility of two age groups by applying pairwise visual discrimination (PD and reversal learning (PDR tasks. On average, mouse lemurs needed 24 days of training before starting with the PD task. Individual performances in PD and PDR tasks correlate significantly, suggesting that individual learning performance is unrelated to the respective task. Compared to the young, aged mouse lemurs showed impairments in both PD and PDR tasks. They needed significantly more trials to reach the task criteria. A much higher inter-individual variation in old than in young adults was revealed. Furthermore, in the PDR task, we found a significantly higher perseverance in aged compared to young adults, indicating an age-related deficit in cognitive flexibility. This study presents the first touchscreen-based data on the cognitive skills and age-related dysfunction in mouse lemurs and provides a unique basis to study mechanisms of inter-individual variation. It furthermore opens exciting perspectives for comparative approaches in aging, personality, and evolutionary research.

  20. Touchscreen-based cognitive tasks reveal age-related impairment in a primate aging model, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joly, Marine; Ammersdörfer, Sandra; Schmidtke, Daniel; Zimmermann, Elke

    2014-01-01

    Mouse lemurs are suggested to represent promising novel non-human primate models for aging research. However, standardized and cross-taxa cognitive testing methods are still lacking. Touchscreen-based testing procedures have proven high stimulus control and reliability in humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to adapt these procedures to mouse lemurs, thereby exploring the effect of age. We measured appetitive learning and cognitive flexibility of two age groups by applying pairwise visual discrimination (PD) and reversal learning (PDR) tasks. On average, mouse lemurs needed 24 days of training before starting with the PD task. Individual performances in PD and PDR tasks correlate significantly, suggesting that individual learning performance is unrelated to the respective task. Compared to the young, aged mouse lemurs showed impairments in both PD and PDR tasks. They needed significantly more trials to reach the task criteria. A much higher inter-individual variation in old than in young adults was revealed. Furthermore, in the PDR task, we found a significantly higher perseverance in aged compared to young adults, indicating an age-related deficit in cognitive flexibility. This study presents the first touchscreen-based data on the cognitive skills and age-related dysfunction in mouse lemurs and provides a unique basis to study mechanisms of inter-individual variation. It furthermore opens exciting perspectives for comparative approaches in aging, personality, and evolutionary research.

  1. Le mythe du microcèbe primitif The myth of the primitive mouse lemur

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien Génin

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Les microcèbes (genre Microcebus, famille Cheirogaleidés sont de très petits lémuriens nocturnes endémiques de Madagascar, souvent vus comme les plus archaïques de tous les primates. Dans cette contribution, nous critiquons cette vue, véritable mythe des origines, qui n’est supportée ni par le registre fossile ni par les phylogénies les plus récentes. Nous proposons l’alternative d’une réduction de taille corporelle ou nanisme, un phénomène particulièrement fréquent sur les îles et dans les régions géographiquement isolées et soumises à des sécheresses imprévisibles provoquées par le phénomène El Niño. Nous confirmons le modèle de progénèse de Gould, qui explique le nanisme par des conditions hypervariables entrainant une accélération de l’histoire de vie. Les Cheirogaleidés apparaissent comme des nains paedomorphes comparés à leur groupe frère les Lépilémuridés (Lepilemur. Ils ont probablement subi au moins 3 évènements indépendants de nanisme, qui ont conduit à des changements parallèles des proportions de la tête et des membres (allométrie. Le premier (nanisme a conduit à une diminution de la taille du corps et des membres, sans changement significatif de la forme du crâne (à l’exception des dents chez les plus grandes formes de Cheirogaleidés (Phaner, Mirza, et les grandes formes du genre Cheirogaleus. Le second (hyper-nanisme a conduit à des changements parallèles de la forme du crâne chez les plus petites formes (Allocebus, Microcebus et les petites formes du genre Cheirogaleus, associés à des traits paedomorphiques typiques (grands yeux et petit museau pointu. Cette nouvelle hypothèse explique de nombreuses caractéristiques uniques de ce groupe de lémuriens, en particulier leurs histoires de vie rapides.Mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus, family Cheirogaleidae are small, nocturnal lemurs endemic to Madagascar, often viewed as the most archaic primates. In this contribution, we

  2. What Is It Going to Be? Pattern and Potential Function of Natal Coat Change in Sexually Dichromatic Redfronted Lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barthold, Julia A; Fichtel, Claudia; Kappeler, Peter M

    2009-01-01

    their mothers, but an accepted functional explanation for natal coats is not available. Here we describe pelage coloration change in sexually dichromatic redfronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus) in Kirindy Forest, and propose a new functional hypothesis for this phenomenon. In this species, infants are born...... and female infants were found. Hypotheses about the ultimate function of natal coats focusing on enhanced infant care or reduced infanticide risk did not explain the pelage change in redfronted lemurs. The natal pelage pattern in this species may instead serve as sexual mimicry. Accordingly, female infants...

  3. Daily rhythms of core temperature and locomotor activity indicate different adaptive strategies to cold exposure in adult and aged mouse lemurs acclimated to a summer-like photoperiod.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrien, Jeremy; Zizzari, Philippe; Epelbaum, Jacques; Perret, Martine; Aujard, Fabienne

    2009-07-01

    Daily variations in core temperature (Tc) within the normothermic range imply thermoregulatory processes that are essential for optimal function and survival. Higher susceptibility towards cold exposure in older animals suggests that these processes are disturbed with age. In the mouse lemur, a long-day breeder, we tested whether aging affected circadian rhythmicity of Tc, locomotor activity (LA), and energy balance under long-day conditions when exposed to cold. Adult (N = 7) and aged (N = 5) mouse lemurs acclimated to LD14/10 were exposed to 10-day periods at 25 and 12 degrees C. Tc and LA rhythms were recorded by telemetry, and caloric intake (CI), body mass changes, and plasma IGF-1 were measured. During exposure to 25 degrees C, both adult and aged mouse lemurs exhibited strong daily variations in Tc. Aged animals exhibited lower levels of nocturnal LA and nocturnal and diurnal Tc levels in comparison to adults. Body mass and IGF-1 levels remained unchanged with aging. Under cold exposure, torpor bout occurrence was never observed whatever the age category. Adult and aged mouse lemurs maintained their Tc in the normothermic range and a positive energy balance. All animals exhibited increase in CI and decrease in IGF-1 in response to cold. The decrease in IGF-1 was delayed in aged mouse lemurs compared to adults. Moreover, both adult and aged animals responded to cold exposure by increasing their diurnal LA compared to those under Ta = 25 degrees C. However, aged animals exhibited a strong decrease in nocturnal LA and Tc, whereas cold effects were only slight in adults. The temporal organization and amplitude of the daily phase of low Tc were particularly well preserved under cold exposure in both age groups. Sexually active mouse lemurs exposed to cold thus seemed to prevent torpor exhibition and temporal disorganization of daily rhythms of Tc, even during aging. However, although energy balance was not impaired with age in mouse lemurs after cold exposure

  4. Captive breeding, reintroduction, and the conservation genetics of black and white ruffed lemurs, Varecia variegata variegata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyner, Y M; Amato, G; Desalle, R

    1999-12-01

    A character-based phylogenetic species concept approach was used to examine conservation unit status for three wild populations of black and white ruffed lemurs, Varecia vareigata variegata, from Betampona (N = 3), Manombo (N = 6), and Ranomafana (N = 14), Madagascar. Population aggregation analysis was performed on 548 bp from the control region (D-loop) of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Twenty-one diagnostic sites were found to differentiate the Betampona (northern) population from the Manombo/Ranomafana (southern) populations. Additionally, individuals from the North American captive population (N = 11) and from Parc Ivoloina, Madagascar (N = 6) were examined for the same mtDNA fragment. The captive animals more closely resembled the southern populations and the Parc Ivoloina animals were more similar to the northern population. However, the inclusion of these ex situ animals reduced the number of diagnostic sites differentiating the northern and southern populations. Our genetic data were used to assess the ongoing management strategy for reintroducing individuals into the Betampona population and for introducing new founders into the ex situ population. This study demonstrates the utility of combining genetic information with a consideration of conservation priorities in evaluating the implementation of management strategies.

  5. Ecological divergence and speciation between lemur (Eulemur) sister species in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, M E; Sterling, E J; Dusch, M; Raxworthy, C J; Pearson, R G

    2013-08-01

    Understanding ecological niche evolution over evolutionary timescales is crucial to elucidating the biogeographic history of organisms. Here, we used, for the first time, climate-based ecological niche models (ENMs) to test hypotheses about ecological divergence and speciation processes between sister species pairs of lemurs (genus Eulemur) in Madagascar. We produced ENMs for eight species, all of which had significant validation support. Among the four sister species pairs, we found nonequivalent niches between sisters, varying degrees of niche overlap in ecological and geographic space, and support for multiple divergence processes. Specifically, three sister-pair comparisons supported the null model that niches are no more divergent than the available background region. These findings are consistent with an allopatric speciation model, and for two sister pairs (E. collaris-E. cinereiceps and E. rufus-E. rufifrons), a riverine barrier has been previously proposed for driving allopatric speciation. However, for the fourth sister pair E. flavifrons-E. macaco, we found support for significant niche divergence, and consistent with their parapatric distribution on an ecotone and the lack of obvious geographic barriers, these findings most strongly support a parapatric model of speciation. These analyses thus suggest that various speciation processes have led to diversification among closely related Eulemur species.

  6. Species delimitation in lemurs: multiple genetic loci reveal low levels of species diversity in the genus Cheirogaleus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rasoloarison Rodin M

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Species are viewed as the fundamental unit in most subdisciplines of biology. To conservationists this unit represents the currency for global biodiversity assessments. Even though Madagascar belongs to one of the top eight biodiversity hotspots of the world, the taxonomy of its charismatic lemuriform primates is not stable. Within the last 25 years, the number of described lemur species has more than doubled, with many newly described species identified among the nocturnal and small-bodied cheirogaleids. Here, we characterize the diversity of the dwarf lemurs (genus Cheirogaleus and assess the status of the seven described species, based on phylogenetic and population genetic analysis of mtDNA (cytb + cox2 and three nuclear markers (adora3, fiba and vWF. Results This study identified three distinct evolutionary lineages within the genus Cheirogaleus. Population genetic cluster analyses revealed a further layer of population divergence with six distinct genotypic clusters. Conclusion Based on the general metapopulation lineage concept and multiple concordant data sets, we identify three exclusive groups of dwarf lemur populations that correspond to three of the seven named species: C. major, C. medius and C. crossleyi. These three species were found to be genealogically exclusive in both mtDNA and nDNA loci and are morphologically distinguishable. The molecular and morphometric data indicate that C. adipicaudatus and C. ravus are synonymous with C. medius and C. major, respectively. Cheirogaleus sibreei falls into the C. medius mtDNA clade, but in morphological analyses the membership is not clearly resolved. We do not have sufficient data to assess the status of C. minusculus. Although additional patterns of population differentiation are evident, there are no clear subdivisions that would warrant additional specific status. We propose that ecological and more geographic data should be collected to confirm these results.

  7. Sleep deprivation impairs spatial retrieval but not spatial learning in the non-human primate grey mouse lemur.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anisur Rahman

    Full Text Available A bulk of studies in rodents and humans suggest that sleep facilitates different phases of learning and memory process, while sleep deprivation (SD impairs these processes. Here we tested the hypothesis that SD could alter spatial learning and memory processing in a non-human primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus, which is an interesting model of aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD. Two sets of experiments were performed. In a first set of experiments, we investigated the effects of SD on spatial learning and memory retrieval after one day of training in a circular platform task. Eleven male mouse lemurs aged between 2 to 3 years were tested in three different conditions: without SD as a baseline reference, 8 h of SD before the training and 8 h of SD before the testing. The SD was confirmed by electroencephalographic recordings. Results showed no effect of SD on learning when SD was applied before the training. When the SD was applied before the testing, it induced an increase of the amount of errors and of the latency prior to reach the target. In a second set of experiments, we tested the effect of 8 h of SD on spatial memory retrieval after 3 days of training. Twenty male mouse lemurs aged between 2 to 3 years were tested in this set of experiments. In this condition, the SD did not affect memory retrieval. This is the first study that documents the disruptive effects of the SD on spatial memory retrieval in this primate which may serve as a new validated challenge to investigate the effects of new compounds along physiological and pathological aging.

  8. Effects of Resveratrol on Daily Rhythms of Locomotor Activity and Body Temperature in Young and Aged Grey Mouse Lemurs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien Pifferi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In several species, resveratrol, a polyphenolic compound, activates sirtuin proteins implicated in the regulation of energy balance and biological clock processes. To demonstrate the effect of resveratrol on clock function in an aged primate, young and aged mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus were studied over a 4-week dietary supplementation with resveratrol. Spontaneous locomotor activity and daily variations in body temperature were continuously recorded. Reduction in locomotor activity onset and changes in body temperature rhythm in resveratrol-supplemented aged animals suggest an improved synchronisation on the light-dark cycle. Resveratrol could be a good candidate to restore the circadian rhythms in the elderly.

  9. Micro-MRI study of cerebral aging: ex vivo detection of hippocampal subfield reorganization, microhemorrhages and amyloid plaques in mouse lemur primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Bertrand

    Full Text Available Mouse lemurs are non-human primate models of cerebral aging and neurodegeneration. Much smaller than other primates, they recapitulate numerous features of human brain aging, including progressive cerebral atrophy and correlation between regional atrophy and cognitive impairments. Characterization of brain atrophy in mouse lemurs has been done by MRI measures of regional CSF volume and by MRI measures of regional atrophy. Here, we further characterize mouse lemur brain aging using ex vivo MR microscopy (31 µm in-plane resolution. First, we performed a non-biased, direct volumetric quantification of dentate gyrus and extended Ammon's horn. We show that both dentate gyrus and Ammon's horn undergo an age-related reorganization leading to a growth of the dentate gyrus and an atrophy of the Ammon's horn, even in the absence of global hippocampal atrophy. Second, on these first MR microscopic images of the mouse lemur brain, we depicted cortical and hippocampal hypointense spots. We demonstrated that their incidence increases with aging and that they correspond either to amyloid deposits or to cerebral microhemorrhages.

  10. 77 FR 51819 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-27

    ...) Salmon-crested cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) Ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) Black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) Cottontop tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) Asian wild ass (Equus hemionus) Dama... lemur (Lemur catta), brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus), black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata), red...

  11. Rôles des populations captives dans la conservation des lémuriens Roles of the captive populations in the conservation of lemurs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delphine Roullet

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Les parcs zoologiques Européens abritent de nombreuses espèces de lémuriens. Certains parcs français, très impliqués dans la conservation de ces espèces, sont à l’origine de plusieurs programmes d’élevage. Si les exemples de réintroductions de lémuriens nés en captivité sont rares, les populations captives restent un réservoir potentiel d’individus pour les populations sauvages, en particulier dans les projets de conservation incluant une gestion en métapopulation de populations isolées, conséquence de la fragmentation de leur habitat. Les populations captives de lémuriens constituent de puissants "ambassadeurs" des populations sauvages : elles permettent de sensibiliser un large public à leur disparition et à la situation de Madagascar et de favoriser la récolte de fonds pour les actions in-situ en faveur de la conservation de ces espèces. En effet aujourd’hui, la présence de ces lémuriens en captivité est la seule source de financement pour certains projets de conservation. De plus, la recherche sur les populations captives contribue, de façon complémentaire aux études réalisées sur les populations sauvages, à une meilleure connaissance des espèces, indispensable à la mise en place de stratégies de conservation adaptées.Many species of lemurs can be found in European Zoos. Some French zoos, which are very implicated in the conservation of the lemurs, are the founders of several captive populations of lemurs. If the examples of reintroductions of captive-born lemurs are rare, the captive populations are nevertheless a potential reservoir of individuals for wild populations, particularly in conservation projects including a metapopulation management of isolated populations due to fragmentation of their habitat. The captive populations of lemurs are powerful "ambassadors" of wild populations that allow to alert the public on their disappearance and to the situation of Madagascar and to promote

  12. Acoustically dimorphic advertisement calls separate morphologically and genetically homogenous populations of the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafen, T; Neveu, H; Rumpler, Y; Wilden, I; Zimmermann, E

    1998-01-01

    Sexual advertisement calls of male mouse lemurs from two neighbouring demes in a dry deciduous forest of western Madagascar were recorded during the breeding season. Demes were located about 1.5 km apart with no geographic barrier between them. They were characterised morphometrically and genotyped by RAPD fingerprinting. According to univariate and multivariate statistical analysis, demes differed neither in body measurements, nor in the banding patterns produced by RAPD fingerprinting. The acoustic pattern of the advertisement call, however, showed significant differences: Six variables of the frequency and time domain differed between the demes. Discriminant function analysis revealed that one variable, total call duration, was sufficient to classify more than 89% of the calls correctly to the corresponding deme. We postulate that these differences are comparable to dialects in birds, because demes were morphologically and genetically indistinguishable and no barrier prevented genetic exchange between them. Possible explanations for the emergence of dialects in a prosimian species are outlined.

  13. Quantitative variability of cyanogenesis in Cathariostachys madagascariensis-the main food plant of bamboo lemurs in Southeastern Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballhorn, Daniel J; Kautz, Stefanie; Rakotoarivelo, Fanny P

    2009-04-01

    Giant bamboo (Cathariostachys madagascariensis) is a major food plant for three sympatric species of bamboo-eating lemurs (Hapalemur aureus, H. griseus, and Prolemur simus) in the rain forests of southeastern Madagascar. This plant species is strongly cyanogenic. However, quantitative data on cyanide concentration in C. madagascariensis are scarce. Previous studies reported 15 mg cyanide per 100 g fresh shoot material (corresponding to approx. 57 micromol cyanide per gram dry weight). However, we found mean concentrations (+/-SE) ranging from 139.3+/-19.32 in ground shoots to 217.7+/-16.80 micromol cyanide per gram dry weight in branch shoots. Thus, cyanogenesis of C. madagascariensis was up to four times higher than reported before. In contrast to the strongly cyanogenic shoots no cyanide could be detected in differently aged leaves of C. madagascariensis confirming earlier studies. Within individual shoots fine-scaled analysis revealed a characteristic ontogenetic pattern of cyanide accumulation. Highest concentrations were found in youngest parts near the apical meristem, whereas concentrations decreased in older shoot parts. Beyond the general intra-individual variability of cyanogenic features analyses indicated site-specific variability of both, the ontogenetic pattern of cyanide concentration as well as the total amount of cyanide accumulated in shoots. Additionally, analyses of soluble proteins-one important nutritive measure affecting food plant quality-demonstrated a converse quantitative relation of protein concentrations in leaves to cyanide concentration in shoots at the site-specific level. We, thus, suggest integrative analyses on quantitative variation of cyanogenesis together with nutritive plant parameters in future studies. This approach would allow obtaining more detailed insights into spatial variability of giant bamboo's overall browse quality and its impact on lemur herbivores.

  14. Induction of Antioxidant and Heat Shock Protein Responses During Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Cheng-Wei Wu; Kyle K Biggar; Jing Zhang; Shannon N Tessier; Fabien Pifferi; Martine Perret; Kenneth B Storey

    2015-01-01

    A natural tolerance of various environmental stresses is typically supported by various cytoprotective mechanisms that protect macromolecules and promote extended viability. Among these are antioxidant defenses that help to limit damage from reactive oxygen species and chaper-ones that help to minimize protein misfolding or unfolding under stress conditions. To understand the molecular mechanisms that act to protect cells during primate torpor, the present study charac-terizes antioxidant and heat shock protein (HSP) responses in various organs of control (aroused)and torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. Protein expression of HSP70 and HSP90a was elevated to 1.26 and 1.49 fold, respectively, in brown adipose tissue during torpor as compared with control animals, whereas HSP60 in liver of torpid animals was 1.15 fold of that in control (P<0.05). Among antioxidant enzymes, protein levels of thioredoxin 1 were elevated to 2.19 fold in white adipose tissue during torpor, whereas Cu–Zn superoxide dismutase 1 levels rose to 1.1 fold in skeletal muscle (P<0.05). Additionally, total antioxidant capacity was increased to 1.6 fold in liver during torpor (P<0.05), while remaining unchanged in the five other tissues. Overall, our data suggest that antioxidant and HSP responses are modified in a tissue-specific manner during daily torpor in gray mouse lemurs. Furthermore, our data also show that cytoprotective strategies employed during primate torpor are distinct from the strategies in rodent hibernation as reported in previous studies.

  15. Primate genotyping via high resolution melt analysis: rapid and reliable identification of color vision status in wild lemurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Rachel L; Spriggs, Amanda N; MacFie, Tammie S; Baden, Andrea L; Irwin, Mitchell T; Wright, Patricia C; Louis, Edward E; Lawler, Richard R; Mundy, Nicholas I; Bradley, Brenda J

    2016-10-01

    Analyses of genetic polymorphisms can aid our understanding of intra- and interspecific variation in primate sociality, ecology, and behavior. Studies of primate opsin genes are prime examples of this, as single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in the X-linked opsin gene underlie variation in color vision. For primate species with polymorphic trichromacy, genotyping opsin SNVs can generally indicate whether individual primates are red-green color-blind (denoted homozygous M or homozygous L) or have full trichromatic color vision (heterozygous ML). Given the potential influence of color vision on behavior and fitness, characterizing the color vision status of study subjects is becoming commonplace for many primate field projects. Such studies traditionally involve a multi-step sequencing-based method that can be costly and time-consuming. Here we present a new reliable, rapid, and relatively inexpensive method for characterizing color vision in primate populations using high resolution melt analysis (HRMA). Using lemurs as a case study, we characterized variation at exons 3 and/or 5 of the X-linked opsin gene for 87 individuals representing nine species. We scored opsin genotypes and color vision status using both traditional sequencing-based methods as well as our novel melting-curve based HRMA protocol. For each species, the melting curves of varying genotypes (homozygous M, homozygous L, heterozygous ML) differed in melting temperature and/or shape. Melting curves for each sample were consistent across replicates, and genotype-specific melting curves were consistent across DNA sources (blood vs. feces). We show that opsin genotypes can be quickly and reliably scored using HRMA once lab-specific reference curves have been developed based on known genotypes. Although the protocol presented here focuses on genotyping lemur opsin loci, we also consider the larger potential for applying this approach to various types of genetic studies of primate populations.

  16. Flying lemurs – The 'flying tree shrews'? Molecular cytogenetic evidence for a Scandentia-Dermoptera sister clade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volobouev Vitaly

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Flying lemurs or Colugos (order Dermoptera represent an ancient mammalian lineage that contains only two extant species. Although molecular evidence strongly supports that the orders Dermoptera, Scandentia, Lagomorpha, Rodentia and Primates form a superordinal clade called Supraprimates (or Euarchontoglires, the phylogenetic placement of Dermoptera within Supraprimates remains ambiguous. Results To search for cytogenetic signatures that could help to clarify the evolutionary affinities within this superordinal group, we have established a genome-wide comparative map between human and the Malayan flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus by reciprocal chromosome painting using both human and G. variegatus chromosome-specific probes. The 22 human autosomal paints and the X chromosome paint defined 44 homologous segments in the G. variegatus genome. A putative inversion on GVA 11 was revealed by the hybridization patterns of human chromosome probes 16 and 19. Fifteen associations of human chromosome segments (HSA were detected in the G. variegatus genome: HSA1/3, 1/10, 2/21, 3/21, 4/8, 4/18, 7/15, 7/16, 7/19, 10/16, 12/22 (twice, 14/15, 16/19 (twice. Reverse painting of G. variegatus chromosome-specific paints onto human chromosomes confirmed the above results, and defined the origin of the homologous human chromosomal segments in these associations. In total, G. variegatus paints revealed 49 homologous chromosomal segments in the HSA genome. Conclusion Comparative analysis of our map with published maps from representative species of other placental orders, including Scandentia, Primates, Lagomorpha and Rodentia, suggests a signature rearrangement (HSA2q/21 association that links Scandentia and Dermoptera to one sister clade. Our results thus provide new evidence for the hypothesis that Scandentia and Dermoptera have a closer phylogenetic relationship to each other than either of them has to Primates.

  17. Resveratrol metabolism in a non-human primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus, using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time of flight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Claude Menet

    Full Text Available The grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus is a non-human primate used to study the ageing process. Resveratrol is a polyphenol that may increase lifespan by delaying age-associated pathologies. However, no information about resveratrol absorption and metabolism is available for this primate. Resveratrol and its metabolites were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed in male mouse-lemur plasma (after 200 mg.kg-1 of oral resveratrol by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC, coupled to a quadrupole-time-of-flight (Q-TOF mass spectrometer used in full-scan mode. Data analyses showed, in MSE mode, an ion common to resveratrol and all its metabolites: m/z 227.072, and an ion common to dihydro-resveratrol metabolites: m/z 229.08. A semi-targeted study enabled us to identify six hydrophilic resveratrol metabolites (one diglucurono-conjugated, two monoglucurono-conjugated, one monosulfo-conjugated and two both sulfo- and glucurono-conjugated derivatives and three hydrophilic metabolites of dihydro-resveratrol (one monoglucurono-conjugated, one monosulfo-conjugated, and one both sulfo- and glucurono-conjugated derivatives. The presence of such metabolites has been already detected in the mouse, rat, pig, and humans. Free resveratrol was measurable for several hours in mouse-lemur plasma, and its two main metabolites were trans-resveratrol-3-O-glucuronide and trans-resveratrol-3-sulfate. Free dihydro-resveratrol was not measurable whatever the time of plasma collection, while its hydrophilic metabolites were present at 24 h after intake. These data will help us interpret the effect of resveratrol in mouse lemurs and provide further information on the inter-species characteristics of resveratrol metabolism.

  18. On-Going Frontal Alpha Rhythms Are Dominant in Passive State and Desynchronize in Active State in Adult Gray Mouse Lemurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Anisur; Lamberty, Yves; Bordet, Regis; Richardson, Jill C.; Forloni, Gianluigi; Drinkenburg, Wilhelmus; Lopez, Susanna; Aujard, Fabienne; Babiloni, Claudio; Pifferi, Fabien

    2015-01-01

    The gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is considered a useful primate model for translational research. In the framework of IMI PharmaCog project (Grant Agreement n°115009, www.pharmacog.org), we tested the hypothesis that spectral electroencephalographic (EEG) markers of motor and locomotor activity in gray mouse lemurs reflect typical movement-related desynchronization of alpha rhythms (about 8–12 Hz) in humans. To this aim, EEG (bipolar electrodes in frontal cortex) and electromyographic (EMG; bipolar electrodes sutured in neck muscles) data were recorded in 13 male adult (about 3 years) lemurs. Artifact-free EEG segments during active state (gross movements, exploratory movements or locomotor activity) and awake passive state (no sleep) were selected on the basis of instrumental measures of animal behavior, and were used as an input for EEG power density analysis. Results showed a clear peak of EEG power density at alpha range (7–9 Hz) during passive state. During active state, there was a reduction in alpha power density (8–12 Hz) and an increase of power density at slow frequencies (1–4 Hz). Relative EMG activity was related to EEG power density at 2–4 Hz (positive correlation) and at 8–12 Hz (negative correlation). These results suggest for the first time that the primate gray mouse lemurs and humans may share basic neurophysiologic mechanisms of synchronization of frontal alpha rhythms in awake passive state and their desynchronization during motor and locomotor activity. These EEG markers may be an ideal experimental model for translational basic (motor science) and applied (pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions) research in Neurophysiology. PMID:26618512

  19. Resveratrol Metabolism in a Non-Human Primate, the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus), Using Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography–Quadrupole Time of Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menet, Marie-Claude; Marchal, Julia; Dal-Pan, Alexandre; Taghi, Méryam; Nivet-Antoine, Valérie; Dargère, Delphine; Laprévote, Olivier; Beaudeux, Jean-Louis; Aujard, Fabienne; Epelbaum, Jacques; Cottart, Charles-Henry

    2014-01-01

    The grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is a non-human primate used to study the ageing process. Resveratrol is a polyphenol that may increase lifespan by delaying age-associated pathologies. However, no information about resveratrol absorption and metabolism is available for this primate. Resveratrol and its metabolites were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed in male mouse-lemur plasma (after 200 mg.kg−1 of oral resveratrol) by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC), coupled to a quadrupole-time-of-flight (Q-TOF) mass spectrometer used in full-scan mode. Data analyses showed, in MSE mode, an ion common to resveratrol and all its metabolites: m/z 227.072, and an ion common to dihydro-resveratrol metabolites: m/z 229.08. A semi-targeted study enabled us to identify six hydrophilic resveratrol metabolites (one diglucurono-conjugated, two monoglucurono-conjugated, one monosulfo-conjugated and two both sulfo- and glucurono-conjugated derivatives) and three hydrophilic metabolites of dihydro-resveratrol (one monoglucurono-conjugated, one monosulfo-conjugated, and one both sulfo- and glucurono-conjugated derivatives). The presence of such metabolites has been already detected in the mouse, rat, pig, and humans. Free resveratrol was measurable for several hours in mouse-lemur plasma, and its two main metabolites were trans-resveratrol-3-O-glucuronide and trans-resveratrol-3-sulfate. Free dihydro-resveratrol was not measurable whatever the time of plasma collection, while its hydrophilic metabolites were present at 24 h after intake. These data will help us interpret the effect of resveratrol in mouse lemurs and provide further information on the inter-species characteristics of resveratrol metabolism. PMID:24663435

  20. What is it going to be? Pattern and potential function of natal coat change in sexually dichromatic redfronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barthold, Julia; Fichtel, Claudia; Kappeler, Peter

    2009-01-01

    In some primate species, pelage colorations at birth contrast with adult colorations. The intensity of natal coats and their phylogenetic distribution is highly variable within primates. Natal coat coloration seems to change to adult coloration in most species when infants become independent from their mothers, but an accepted functional explanation for natal coats is not available. Here we describe pelage coloration change in sexually dichromatic redfronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus) in Kirindy Forest, and propose a new functional hypothesis for this phenomenon. In this species, infants are born with adult male coloration and female infants subsequently undergo a change in coloration. Using digital pictures and behavioral data collected on eight mother-offspring dyads from birth until the end of the coloration change, we 1) described timing and pattern of pelage developmentin redfronted lemur infants and 2) examined behavioral developmental correlates of the coloration change. The color change took place between 7 and 17 weeks of age and coincided with advanced physical independence; a pattern also found in monochromatic primate species with natal coats. No behavioral differences between male and female infants were found. Hypotheses about the ultimate function of natal coats focusing on enhanced infant care or reduced infanticide risk did not explain the pelage change in redfronted lemurs. The natal pelage pattern in this species may instead serve as sexual mimicry. Accordingly, female infants may mimic males during the most vulnerable developmental phase to avoid sex-specific aggression by adult females in a species with intense female-female aggression and competition.

  1. Lemur tyrosine kinase-2 signalling regulates kinesin-1 light chain-2 phosphorylation and binding of Smad2 cargo.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Manser, C

    2012-05-31

    A recent genome-wide association study identified the gene encoding lemur tyrosine kinase-2 (LMTK2) as a susceptibility gene for prostate cancer. The identified genetic alteration is within intron 9, but the mechanisms by which LMTK2 may impact upon prostate cancer are not clear because the functions of LMTK2 are poorly understood. Here, we show that LMTK2 regulates a known pathway that controls phosphorylation of kinesin-1 light chain-2 (KLC2) by glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β). KLC2 phosphorylation by GSK3β induces the release of cargo from KLC2. LMTK2 signals via protein phosphatase-1C (PP1C) to increase inhibitory phosphorylation of GSK3β on serine-9 that reduces KLC2 phosphorylation and promotes binding of the known KLC2 cargo Smad2. Smad2 signals to the nucleus in response to transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) receptor stimulation and transport of Smad2 by kinesin-1 is required for this signalling. We show that small interfering RNA loss of LMTK2 not only reduces binding of Smad2 to KLC2, but also inhibits TGFβ-induced Smad2 signalling. Thus, LMTK2 may regulate the activity of kinesin-1 motor function and Smad2 signalling.

  2. Prognostic role of lemur tyrosine kinase-3 germline polymorphisms in adjuvant gastric cancer in Japan and the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakatsuki, Takeru; LaBonte, Melissa J; Bohanes, Pierre O; Zhang, Wu; Yang, Dongyun; Azuma, Mizutomo; Barzi, Afsaneh; Ning, Yan; Loupakis, Fotios; Saadat, Siamak; Volz, Nico; Stintzing, Sebastian; El-Khoueiry, Rita; Koizumi, Wasaburo; Watanabe, Masahiko; Shah, Manish; Stebbing, Justin; Giamas, Georgios; Lenz, Heinz-Josef

    2013-10-01

    Lemur tyrosine kinase-3 (LMTK3) was recently identified as an estrogen receptor (ER)-α modulator related to endocrine therapy resistance, and its polymorphisms rs9989661 (T>C) T/T genotype and rs8108419 (G>A) G/G or A/G genotype predicted improved outcomes in breast cancer. Because different predominant ER distributions link to breast and gastric cancer and little is known of the prognostic role of LMTK3 in gastric cancer, this study was carried out to clarify the prognostic role of these polymorphisms in gastric cancer. One-hundred and sixty-nine Japanese and 137 U.S. patients with localized gastric adenocarcinoma were enrolled. Genomic DNA was extracted from blood or tissue, and all samples were analyzed by PCR-based direct DNA sequencing. Overall, these polymorphisms were not associated with survival in both cohorts. When gender was considered, in multivariate analysis, harboring rs9989661 T/T genotype was associated with disease-free survival [HR, 4.37; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.08-9.18; P role of these polymorphisms may be negative in gastric cancer. These findings suggest that the estrogen pathway may play a prognostic role in patients with gastric cancer but this may be dependent on the regional differences both in physiology and genetic alterations of gastric cancer.

  3. Clinal variation in a brown lemur (Eulemur spp.) hybrid zone: combining morphological, genetic and climatic data to examine stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delmore, K E; Brenneman, R A; Lei, R; Bailey, C A; Brelsford, A; Louis, E E; Johnson, S E

    2013-08-01

    Studies of hybrid zones can inform our understanding of reproductive isolation and speciation. Two species of brown lemur (Eulemur rufifrons and E. cinereiceps) form an apparently stable hybrid zone in the Andringitra region of southeastern Madagascar. The aim of this study was to identify factors that contribute to this stability. We sampled animals at 11 sites along a 90-km transect through the hybrid zone and examined variation in 26 microsatellites, the D-loop region of mitochondrial DNA, six pelage and nine morphological traits; we also included samples collected in more distant allopatric sites. Clines in these traits were noncoincident, and there was no increase in either inbreeding coefficients or linkage disequilibrium at the centre of the zone. These results could suggest that the hybrid zone is maintained by weak selection against hybrids, conforming to either the tension zone or geographical selection-gradient model. However, a closer examination of clines in pelage and microsatellites indicates that these clines are not sigmoid or stepped in shape but instead plateau at their centre. Sites within the hybrid zone also occur in a distinct habitat, characterized by greater seasonality in precipitation and lower seasonality in temperature. Together, these findings suggest that the hybrid zone may follow the bounded superiority model, with exogenous selection favouring hybrids within the transitional zone. These findings are noteworthy, as examples supporting the bounded superiority model are rare and may indicate a process of ecologically driven speciation without geographical isolation.

  4. The effect of habitat disturbance on the abundance of nocturnal lemur species on the Masoala Peninsula, northeastern Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawyer, Rachel Mary; Fenosoa, Zo Samuel Ella; Andrianarimisa, Aristide; Donati, Giuseppe

    2017-01-01

    Madagascar is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. The island's past and current rates of deforestation and habitat disturbance threaten its plethora of endemic biodiversity. On Madagascar, tavy (slash and burn agriculture), land conversion for rice cultivation, illegal hardwood logging and bushmeat hunting are the major contributors to habitat disturbance. Understanding species-specific responses to habitat disturbance across different habitat types is crucial when designing conservation strategies. We surveyed three nocturnal lemur species in four forest types of varying habitat disturbance on the Masoala Peninsula, northeastern Madagascar. We present here updated abundance and density estimates for the Endangered Avahi mooreorum and Lepilemur scottorum, and Microcebus sp. Distance sampling surveys were conducted on 11 transects, covering a total of 33 km after repeated transect walks. We collected data on tree height, bole height, diameter at breast height, canopy cover and tree density using point-quarter sampling to characterise the four forest types (primary lowland, primary littoral, selectively logged and agricultural mosaic). Median encounter rates by forest type ranged from 1 to 1.5 individuals (ind.)/km (Microcebus sp.), 0-1 ind./km (A. mooreorum) and 0-1 ind./km (L. scottorum). Species density estimates were calculated at 232.31 ind./km(2) (Microcebus sp.) and 121.21 ind./km(2) (A. mooreorum), while no density estimate is provided for L. scottorum due to a small sample size. Microcebus sp. was most tolerant to habitat disturbance, exhibiting no significant effect of forest type on abundance. Its small body size, omnivorous diet and generalised locomotion appear to allow it to tolerate a variety of habitat disturbance. Both A. mooreorum and L. scottorum showed significant effects of forest type on their respective abundance. This study suggests that the specialist locomotion and diet of A. mooreorum and L. scottorum make them susceptible to the

  5. Primate Torpor: Regulation of Stress-activated Protein Kinases During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle K. Biggar

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Very few selected species of primates are known to be capable of entering torpor. This exciting discovery means that the ability to enter a natural state of dormancy is an ancestral trait among primates and, in phylogenetic terms, is very close to the human lineage. To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie primate torpor, we analyzed signal transduction cascades to discover those involved in coordinating tissue responses during torpor. The responses of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK family members to primate torpor were compared in six organs of control (aroused versus torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. The proteins examined include extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs, c-jun NH2-terminal kinases (JNKs, MAPK kinase (MEK, and p38, in addition to stress-related proteins p53 and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27. The activation of specific MAPK signal transduction pathways may provide a mechanism to regulate the expression of torpor-responsive genes or the regulation of selected downstream cellular processes. In response to torpor, each MAPK subfamily responded differently during torpor and each showed organ-specific patterns of response. For example, skeletal muscle displayed elevated relative phosphorylation of ERK1/2 during torpor. Interestingly, adipose tissues showed the highest degree of MAPK activation. Brown adipose tissue displayed an activation of ERK1/2 and p38, whereas white adipose tissue showed activation of ERK1/2, p38, MEK, and JNK during torpor. Importantly, both adipose tissues possess specialized functions that are critical for torpor, with brown adipose required for non-shivering thermogenesis and white adipose utilized as the primary source of lipid fuel for torpor. Overall, these data indicate crucial roles of MAPKs in the regulation of primate organs during torpor.

  6. Primate Torpor:Regulation of Stress-activated Protein Kinases During Daily Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kyle K Biggar; Cheng-Wei Wu; Shannon N Tessier; Jing Zhang; Fabien Pifferi; Martine Perret; Kenneth B Storey

    2015-01-01

    Very few selected species of primates are known to be capable of entering torpor. This exciting discovery means that the ability to enter a natural state of dormancy is an ancestral trait among primates and, in phylogenetic terms, is very close to the human lineage. To explore the regulatory mechanisms that underlie primate torpor, we analyzed signal transduction cascades to discover those involved in coordinating tissue responses during torpor. The responses of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family members to primate torpor were compared in six organs of control (aroused) versus torpid gray mouse lemurs, Microcebus murinus. The proteins examined include extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), c-jun NH2-terminal kinases (JNKs), MAPK kinase (MEK), and p38, in addition to stress-related proteins p53 and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27). The activation of specific MAPK signal transduction pathways may provide a mechanism to regulate the expression of torpor-responsive genes or the regulation of selected down-stream cellular processes. In response to torpor, each MAPK subfamily responded differently dur-ing torpor and each showed organ-specific patterns of response. For example, skeletal muscle displayed elevated relative phosphorylation of ERK1/2 during torpor. Interestingly, adipose tissues showed the highest degree of MAPK activation. Brown adipose tissue displayed an activation of ERK1/2 and p38, whereas white adipose tissue showed activation of ERK1/2, p38, MEK, and JNK during torpor. Importantly, both adipose tissues possess specialized functions that are critical for torpor, with brown adipose required for non-shivering thermogenesis and white adipose utilized as the primary source of lipid fuel for torpor. Overall, these data indicate crucial roles of MAPKs in the regulation of primate organs during torpor.

  7. The grey mouse lemur uses season-dependent fat or protein sparing strategies to face chronic food restriction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvain Giroud

    Full Text Available During moderate calorie restriction (CR the heterotherm Microcebus murinus is able to maintain a stable energy balance whatever the season, even if only wintering animals enter into torpor. To understand its energy saving strategies to respond to food shortages, we assessed protein and energy metabolisms associated with wintering torpor expression or summering torpor avoidance. We investigated body composition, whole body protein turnover, and daily energy expenditure (DEE, during a graded (40 and 80% 35-day CR in short-days (winter; SD40 and SD80, respectively and long-days (summer; LD40 and LD80, respectively acclimated animals. LD40 animals showed no change in fat mass (FM but a 12% fat free mass (FFM reduction. Protein balance being positive after CR, the FFM loss was early and rapid. The 25% DEE reduction, in LD40 group was mainly explained by FFM changes. LD80 animals showed a steady body mass loss and were excluded from the CR trial at day 22, reaching a survival-threatened body mass. No data were available for this group. SD40 animals significantly decreased their FM level by 21%, but maintained FFM. Protein sparing was achieved through a 35 and 39% decrease in protein synthesis and catabolism (protein turnover, respectively, overall maintaining nitrogen balance. The 21% reduction in energy requirement was explained by the 30% nitrogen flux drop but also by torpor as DEE FFM-adjusted remained 13% lower compared to ad-libitum. SD80 animals were unable to maintain energy and nitrogen balances, losing both FM and FFM. Thus summering mouse lemurs equilibrate energy balance by a rapid loss of active metabolic mass without using torpor, whereas wintering animals spare protein and energy through increased torpor expression. Both strategies have direct fitness implication: 1 to maintain activities at a lower body size during the mating season and 2 to preserve an optimal wintering muscle mass and function.

  8. Phylogeographic analysis of the true lemurs (genus Eulemur) underlines the role of river catchments for the evolution of micro-endemism in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markolf, Matthias; Kappeler, Peter M

    2013-11-14

    Due to its remarkable species diversity and micro-endemism, Madagascar has recently been suggested to serve as a biogeographic model region. However, hypothesis-based tests of various diversification mechanisms that have been proposed for the evolution of the island's micro-endemic lineages are still limited. Here, we test the fit of several diversification hypotheses with new data on the broadly distributed genus Eulemur using coalescent-based phylogeographic analyses. Time-calibrated species tree analyses and population genetic clustering resolved the previously polytomic species relationships among eulemurs. The most recent common ancestor of eulemurs was estimated to have lived about 4.45 million years ago (mya). Divergence date estimates furthermore suggested a very recent diversification among the members of the "brown lemur complex", i.e. former subspecies of E. fulvus, during the Pleistocene (0.33-1.43 mya). Phylogeographic model comparisons of past migration rates showed significant levels of gene flow between lineages of neighboring river catchments as well as between eastern and western populations of the redfronted lemur (E. rufifrons). Together, our results are concordant with the centers of endemism hypothesis (Wilmé et al. 2006, Science 312:1063-1065), highlight the importance of river catchments for the evolution of Madagascar's micro-endemic biota, and they underline the usefulness of testing diversification mechanisms using coalescent-based phylogeographic methods.

  9. Organization of cholinergic, catecholaminergic, serotonergic and orexinergic nuclei in three strepsirrhine primates: Galago demidoff, Perodicticus potto and Lemur catta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvey, Tanya; Patzke, Nina; Kaswera-Kyamakya, Consolate; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Bertelsen, Mads F; Pettigrew, John D; Manger, Paul R

    2015-12-01

    The nuclear organization of the cholinergic, catecholaminergic, serotonergic and orexinergic systems in the brains of three species of strepsirrhine primates is presented. We aimed to investigate the nuclear complement of these neural systems in comparison to those of simian primates, megachiropterans and other mammalian species. The brains were coronally sectioned and immunohistochemically stained with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase, serotonin and orexin-A. The nuclei identified were identical among the strepsirrhine species investigated and identical to previous reports in simian primates. Moreover, a general similarity to other mammals was found, but specific differences in the nuclear complement highlighted potential phylogenetic interrelationships. The central feature of interest was the structure of the locus coeruleus complex in the primates, where a central compactly packed core (A6c) of tyrosine hydroxylase immunopositive neurons was surrounded by a shell of less densely packed (A6d) tyrosine hydroxylase immunopositive neurons. This combination of compact and diffuse divisions of the locus coeruleus complex is only found in primates and megachiropterans of all the mammalian species studied to date. This neural character, along with variances in a range of other neural characters, supports the phylogenetic grouping of primates with megachiropterans as a sister group. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Structural characterization of neutral and acidic oligosaccharides in the milks of strepsirrhine primates: greater galago, aye-aye, Coquerel's sifaka and mongoose lemur.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taufik, Epi; Fukuda, Kenji; Senda, Akitsugu; Saito, Tadao; Williams, Cathy; Tilden, Chris; Eisert, Regina; Oftedal, Olav; Urashima, Tadasu

    2012-04-01

    The structures of milk oligosaccharides were characterized for four strepsirrhine primates to examine the extent to which they resemble milk oligosaccharides in other primates. Neutral and acidic oligosaccharides were isolated from milk of the greater galago (Galagidae: Otolemur crassicaudatus), aye-aye (Daubentoniidae: Daubentonia madagascariensis), Coquerel's sifaka (Indriidae: Propithecus coquereli) and mongoose lemur (Lemuridae: Eulemur mongoz), and their chemical structures were characterized by (1)H-NMR spectroscopy. The oligosaccharide patterns observed among strepsirrhines did not appear to correlate to phylogeny, sociality or pattern of infant care. Both type I and type II neutral oligosaccharides were found in the milk of the aye-aye, but type II predominate over type I. Only type II oligosaccharides were identified in other strepsirrhine milks. α3'-GL (isoglobotriose, Gal(α1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc) was found in the milks of Coquerel's sifaka and mongoose lemur, which is the first report of this oligosaccharide in the milk of any primate species. 2'-FL (Fuc(α1-2)Gal(β1-4)Glc) was found in the milk of an aye-aye with an ill infant. Oligosaccharides containing the Lewis x epitope were found in aye-aye and mongoose lemur milk. Among acidic oligosaccharides, 3'-N-acetylneuraminyllactose (3'-SL-NAc, Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc) was found in all studied species, whereas 6'-N-acetylneuraminyllactose (6'-SL-NAc, Neu5Ac(α2-6)Gal(β1-4)Glc) was found in all species except greater galago. Greater galago milk also contained 3'-N-glycolylneuraminyllactose (3'-SL-NGc, Neu5Gc(α2-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc). The finding of a variety of neutral and acidic oligosaccharides in the milks of strepsirrhines, as previously reported for haplorhines, suggests that such constituents are ancient rather than derived features, and are as characteristic of primate lactation is the classic disaccharide, lactose.

  11. 76 FR 54480 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-01

    ... gorilla), white- cheeked gibbon (Hylobates leucogenys), Siamang (Hylobates syndactylus), ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), bonobo (Pan paniscus), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), and Sumatran orangutan (Pongo...

  12. Regulation of the PI3K/AKT Pathway and Fuel Utilization During Primate Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shannon N. Tessier

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus from Madagascar present an excellent model for studies of torpor regulation in a primate species. In the present study, we analyzed the response of the insulin signaling pathway as well as controls on carbohydrate sparing in six different tissues of torpid versus aroused gray mouse lemurs. We found that the relative level of phospho-insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1 was significantly increased in muscle, whereas the level of phospho-insulin receptor (IR was decreased in white adipose tissue (WAT of torpid animals, both suggesting an inhibition of insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1 signaling during torpor in these tissues. By contrast, the level of phospho-IR was increased in the liver. Interestingly, muscle, WAT, and liver occupy central roles in whole body homeostasis and each displays regulatory controls operating at the plasma membrane. Changes in other tissues included an increase in phospho-glycogen synthase kinase 3α (GSK3α and decrease in phospho-ribosomal protein S6 (RPS6 in the heart, and a decrease in phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR in the kidney. Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH that gates carbohydrate entry into mitochondria is inhibited via phosphorylation by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (e.g., PDK4. In the skeletal muscle, the protein expression of PDK4 and phosphorylated PDH at Ser 300 was increased, suggesting inhibition during torpor. In contrast, there were no changes in levels of PDH expression and phosphorylation in other tissues comparing torpid and aroused animals. Information gained from these studies highlight the molecular controls that help to regulate metabolic rate depression and balance energetics during primate torpor.

  13. Regulation of the PI3K/AKT Pathway and Fuel Utilization During Primate Torpor in the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shannon N Tessier; Jing Zhang; Kyle K Biggar; Cheng-Wei Wu; Fabien Pifferi; Martine Perret; f Kenneth B Storey

    2015-01-01

    Gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) from Madagascar present an excellent model for studies of torpor regulation in a primate species. In the present study, we analyzed the response of the insulin signaling pathway as well as controls on carbohydrate sparing in six different tissues of torpid versus aroused gray mouse lemurs. We found that the relative level of phospho-insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1) was significantly increased in muscle, whereas the level of phospho-insulin receptor (IR) was decreased in white adipose tissue (WAT) of torpid animals, both suggesting an inhibition of insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling during torpor in these tissues. By contrast, the level of phospho-IR was increased in the liver. Interestingly, muscle,WAT, and liver occupy central roles in whole body homeostasis and each displays regulatory con-trols operating at the plasma membrane. Changes in other tissues included an increase in phospho-glycogen synthase kinase 3a (GSK3a) and decrease in phospho-ribosomal protein S6 (RPS6) in the heart, and a decrease in phospho-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in the kidney. Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) that gates carbohydrate entry into mitochondria is inhibited via phosphory-lation by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (e.g., PDK4). In the skeletal muscle, the protein expres-sion of PDK4 and phosphorylated PDH at Ser 300 was increased, suggesting inhibition during torpor. In contrast, there were no changes in levels of PDH expression and phosphorylation in other tissues comparing torpid and aroused animals. Information gained from these studies high-light the molecular controls that help to regulate metabolic rate depression and balance energetics during primate torpor.

  14. Anatomy is important, but need not be destiny: novel uses of the thumb in aye-ayes compared to other lemurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellis, Sergio M; Pellis, Vivien C

    2012-06-01

    Aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascerensis) have highly specialized hands with long digits, especially the thin middle one (D3), which is used for extracting food, such as beetle larvae, under bark. Due to the elongation of their fingers, including the thumb, it is presumed that aye-ayes have a rather limited capacity for delicate manipulation of objects. However, studies have reported independent movement of digits D3 and D4, and one report noted a seemingly independent thumb (D1) movement in holding food. Sixteen captive adult aye-ayes were videotaped feeding on a diverse range of foods so as to document how the thumb is used during food holding. To determine if the patterns observed were unique to aye-ayes, 24 individuals from 9 other species of lemurs were also videotaped. Two patterns of thumb use idiosyncratic to aye-ayes and one other lemur, the sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi), were identified: (1) when holding a food item in one hand, the thumb was used to secure the food, with the other digits playing a secondary role; (2) when holding a food item with both hands, the thumbs once again took a predominant role in securing the food. In the majority of these cases, whether held by one or two thumbs, the thumbs curled around the item, but some descriptive evidence is provided that suggests that aye-ayes exaggerate the role of the thumbs by shifting the hold to the outer edge. The novel uses of the thumbs in aye-ayes demonstrate that brain mechanisms can sometimes override the behavioral (or motor) limitations imposed by the morphology of the body.

  15. Leaf chemistry as a predictor of primate biomass and the mediating role of food selection: a case study in a folivorous lemur (Propithecus verreauxi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmen, Bruno; Tarnaud, Laurent; Marez, André; Hladik, Annette

    2014-06-01

    Folivorous primate biomass has been shown to positively correlate with the average protein-to-fiber ratio in mature leaves of tropical forests. However, studies have failed to explain the mismatch between dietary selection and the role of the protein-to-fiber ratio on primate biomass; why do not folivores always favor mature leaves or leaves with the highest protein-to-fiber ratio? We examined the effect of leaf chemical characteristics and plant abundance (using transect censuses; 0.37 ha, 233 trees) on food choices and nutrient/toxin consumption in a folivorous lemur (Propithecus verreauxi) in a gallery forest in southern Madagascar. To assess the nutritional quality of the habitat, we calculated an abundance-weighted chemical index for each chemical variable. Food intake was quantified using a continuous count of mouthfuls during individual full-day follows across three seasons. We found a significant positive correlation between food ranking in the diet and plant abundance. The protein-to-fiber ratio and most other chemical variables tested had no statistical effect on dietary selection. Numerous chemical characteristics of the sifaka's diet were essentially by-products of generalist feeding and "low energy input/low energy crop" strategy. The examination of feeding behavior and plant chemistry in Old World colobines and folivorous prosimians in Madagascar suggests that relative lack of feeding selectivity and high primate biomass occur when the average protein-to-fiber ratio of mature leaves in the habitat exceeds a threshold at 0.4.

  16. Des lémuriens et des hommes : mythes, représentations et pratiques à Madagascar Lemurs and humans: myths, representations and social practices in Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Harpet

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Les mythes et les pratiques associées témoignent de la richesse des relations que les populations humaines ont entretenu avec les lémuriens, animaux endémiques de l’île, depuis l’arrivée des hommes à Madagascar. Les représentations à l’égard des lémuriens diffèrent en tout point du territoire : Ancêtres fondateurs, bienfaiteurs, interdits (à la chasse, à la consommation, au toucher, sacrés, apprivoisés, redoutés ou portes malheur, les lémuriens occupent de nombreux statuts au cœur du bestiaire malgache. Certaines traditions fragilisent leur existence, d’autres au contraire participent à leur préservation. Ce présent article propose une lecture anthropologique des relations des hommes et des lémuriens à Madagascar, à l’épreuve du temps et à l’heure de la mondialisation.Myths and related practices reflect the richness of relationships that people have had since the beginning with lemurs, animals endemic to the island of Madagascar. Depending on the species and the ethnic group involved, the representations of lemurs differ throughout the territory: founder ancestors, benefactors, taboo, sacred, feared or evil omen, lemurs occupy many status in the heart of Madagascan bestiary.  Some traditionsare underminingtheir existence;others on the contrarycontribute totheir preservation.Thepresent article proposesreading anthropological relationshipsof men andlemursin Madagascar tothe test of timeand theglobalizing world.

  17. The stress of growing old: sex- and season-specific effects of age on allostatic load in wild grey mouse lemurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hämäläinen, Anni; Heistermann, Michael; Kraus, Cornelia

    2015-08-01

    Chronic stress [i.e. long-term elevation of glucocorticoid (GC) levels] and aging have similar, negative effects on the functioning of an organism. Aged individuals' declining ability to regulate GC levels may therefore impair their ability to cope with stress, as found in humans. The coping of aged animals with long-term natural stressors is virtually unstudied, even though the ability to respond appropriately to stressors is likely integral to the reproduction and survival of wild animals. To assess the effect of age on coping with naturally fluctuating energetic demands, we measured stress hormone output via GC metabolites in faecal samples (fGCM) of wild grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) in different ecological seasons. Aged individuals were expected to exhibit elevated fGCM levels under energetically demanding conditions. In line with this prediction, we found a positive age effect in the dry season, when food and water availability are low and mating takes place, suggesting impaired coping of aged wild animals. The age effect was significantly stronger in females, the longer-lived sex. Body mass of males but not females correlated positively with fGCM in the dry season. Age or body mass did not influence fGCM significantly in the rainy season. The sex- and season-specific predictors of fGCM may reflect the differential investment of males and females into reproduction and longevity. A review of prior research indicates contradictory aging patterns in GC regulation across and even within species. The context of sampling may influence the likelihood of detecting senescent declines in GC functioning.

  18. The effect of supplementation with vitamin A on serum and liver concentrations in Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur) and its lack of impact on brown skin disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutton, Christopher; Lentini, Andrew; Berkvens, Charlene; Crawshaw, Graham

    2014-01-01

    "Brown skin disease" (BSD) is a clinical syndrome of dysecdysis, chronic weight loss and death, previously reported in Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophryne lemur). Although vitamin A deficiency has been suggested, its cause remains unknown and multiple treatments have failed to prevent or reverse the condition. This study compared the efficacy of vitamin A supplementation, administered in different forms and by different routes, in 48 captive born Puerto Rican crested toads fed from metamorphosis on gut-loaded, dusted, commercially raised crickets. Forty-five toads started to show clinical signs of BSD at 9 months of age; all toads were treated orally with an oil-based vitamin A formulation twice weekly for 2 months but continued to deteriorate. Two treatment groups were then compared: Animals in one group (n=19) received 2 IU injectable vitamin A (Aquasol-A) per gram bodyweight subcutaneously twice weekly for 3 months with no change in diet. Toads in the other group (n=22) received a single oral dose of vitamins A, D3 , and E, and were fed on earthworms and crickets gut-loaded with produce and a finely-ground alfalfa-based pellet, dusted with the same vitamin/mineral supplement. All affected animals developed severe BSD equally and died during, or were euthanized at the end of, the treatment regimen, with no clinical improvement. Animals supplemented with Aquasol-A had significantly higher liver vitamin A concentrations compared with the other treatment group, whereas serum retinol concentrations showed no significant difference. Vitamin A supplementation does not appear a successful treatment once BSD symptoms have developed.

  19. Of lemurs and louse flies: The biogeochemical and biotic effects of forest disturbance on Propithecus edwardsi and its obligate ectoparasite Allobosca crassipes in Ranomafana National Park, southeastern Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGee, Elizabeth; Vaughn, Stanley

    2017-08-01

    From alleles to ecosystems and landscapes, anthropogenic activity continues to affect the environment, with particularly adverse effects on biodiversity hotspots such as Madagascar. Selective logging has been proposed as a "win-win" conservation strategy, yet its effects on different components of biodiversity are still not fully understood. Here we examine biotic factors (i.e., dietary differences) that may be driving differences in biogeochemical stocks between disturbed and undisturbed forests. We present the stable nitrogen (δ(15) N) and carbon (δ(13) C) isotope composition of hair from the lemur Propithecus edwardsi and of whole bodies of its obligate ectoparasite, the louse-fly Allobosca crassipes, from sites in Ranomafana National Park (RNP) that are comparable except for the history of logging and subsequent forest regeneration. P. edwardsi and A. crassipes from the disturbed (i.e., heavily selectively logged) site are lower in (15) N and (13) C relative to P. edwardsi and A. crassipes from sites that were minimally selectively logged or not commercially logged at all. There is a ∼3‰ decrease in (15) N between disturbed and undisturbed sites that corresponds to a difference of nearly a full trophic level. Flowers from Bakerella clavata, a staple food source for P. edwardsi in disturbed habitats and a fallback food for P. edwardsi in primary forests, were also analyzed isotopically. B. clavata is δ(15) N-depleted in both disturbed and undisturbed sites. Data from longitudinal behavioral surveys of P. edwardsi in RNP and other forests in eastern Madagascar point to significant differences in consumption patterns of B. clavata, with P. edwardsi in disturbed forests consuming almost twice as much of this plant. Depletion of (15) N in animal tissues is a complex issue, but likely the result of the interaction of physiological and ecological factors. Anthropogenic disturbance in RNP from selective logging has had both biotic and biogeochemical effects that

  20. 77 FR 34059 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-08

    ... tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) salmon-crested cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) cottontop tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) Japanese macaque... samples from wild-caught diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema) and gray bamboo lemur (Hapalemur griseus...

  1. 76 FR 34095 - Endangered Species Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-10

    ... permit to import biological samples from ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), collected in the wild in... the applicant over a 5-year period. Applicant: Duke Lemur Center, Duke University, Durham, NC; PRT-43685A The applicant requests a permit to import biological samples from mouse lemur species (Microcebus...

  2. Tsidy, Repahaka sy Fotsife: 15 years research on nocturnal lemurs in the Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar Tsidy, Repahaka sy Fotsife :15 ans de recherche sur les lémuriens nocturnes dans le Parc National d´Ankarafantsika, Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marine Joly

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Tsidy, Repahaka sy Fotsife from the Malagasy: Mouse lemur, sportive lemur and woolly lemur. "The Ankarafantsika Lemur Project", is based at the field station of Ampijoroa in the National Park of Ankarafantsika in the North-West of Madagascar and is conducted by the Institute of Zoology from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover (Germany in close collaboration with the local universities of Antananarivo, of Mahajanga and Madagascar National Parks (authorities for the management of protected areas in Madagascar. The project started in 1996. The goal is to enhance our knowledge on the adaptation and evolution of a previously neglected group of primates, the nocturnal lemurs, and to contribute to their conservation. Thus, researchers study the diversity, ecology, communication and socio-biology of the nocturnal lemurs. They discovered one new mouse lemur species (Microcebus ravelobensis in this area. They characterised aspects of the morphometry, genetics, communication, ecology, social traits and recently, cognitive abilities of sympatrically living mouse-sized (Microcebus murinus and M. ravelobensis and cat-sized lemur species (Lepilemur edwardsi and Avahi occidentalis. Some major results are presented in this article showing the importance of exchanging experience, educating Malagasy students and field guides and joint work with Malagasy partners in order to deepen our knowledge on the biology of endemic species. This knowledge is crucial to establish efficient management plans and thus contribute to the conservation of threatened species.Tsidy, Repahaka sy Fotsife en langue Malgache : Microcèbe, Lépilémur et Avahi. Le projet de recherche sur les lémuriens nocturnes d´Ankarafantsika est basé à la station d´Ampijoroa dans le Parc National d´Ankarafantsika dans le nord-ouest de Madagascar. Il est mené par l´Institut de Zoologie de l´Ecole Vétérinaire de Hanovre (Allemagne en collaboration étroite avec les universit

  3. Programme Sahamalaza-Iles Radama de l’AEECL : étude et conservation des espèces menacées d’extinction de lémuriens dans le nord-ouest de Madagascar AEECL’s Sahamalaza-Iles Radama Program: study and conservation of threatened species of lemurs in north-west of Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice Dumoulin

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available L’AEECL, Association Européenne pour l’Etude et la Conservation des Lémuriens, est un consortium de parcs zoologiques et d’universités européennes mettant en commun leurs connaissances et leurs efforts en faveur de projets de recherche et de protection des lémuriens menacés d’extinction de Madagascar depuis plus de trente ans. Pour ce faire, l’AEECL mène ou finance des études afin d’améliorer les connaissances scientifiques concernant les lémuriens. Ces informations sont indispensables pour mettre en place les mesures concrètes adaptées pour protéger ces animaux. Ses travaux ont notamment aidé à la reconnaissance de la péninsule de Sahamalaza en tant que réserve de biosphère de l’UNESCO, en 2001 et à la création du parc national Sahamalaza-Iles Radama, en 2007, principal site de recherches menées par l’association. De plus l’AEECL met un point d’honneur à impliquer la population locale. Des associations communautaires locales ont été créées dans les villages de quatre communes. Elles ont le pouvoir de gérer les ressources naturelles de leur juridiction de façon durable.The European Association for the Study and Conservation of Lemurs (Association Européenne pour l’Etude et la Conservation des Lémuriens, AEECL is a consortium of European zoological gardens and universities who have joined forces to carry out conservation and research projects for Madagascar’s highly endangered lemurs since more than 30 years. AEECL implements or finances various different research projects to improve the scientific knowledge of lemurs. Information is essential to be able to develop comprehensive conservation and management plans to protect these animals. The work of AEECL has led to the implementation of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Sahamalaza in 2001 and to the creation of the Sahamalaza-Iles Radama National Park in 2007. In addition to the research, AEECL is carrying out a community-based natural resource

  4. Les activités de conservation des lémuriens par le Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche sur les Primates de Madagascar (GERP Conservation activities of lemurs by the Madagascar Primate Research Group (GERP- Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche sur les Primates de Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rose Marie Randrianarison

    2011-10-01

    prosimian primates of Madagascar, the development of action plans for their conservation, the discovery of new species, the translocation of lemurs living in deforested or threatened habitats, the abundance estimates and the revision of area distributions and the publication of results research in national and international scientific journals. In fact, capacity building of local community associations and primary and higher education systems concerning lemur conservation linked to aiding the sustainable development of local communities, it seems necessary, so that the lemur conservation will be lasting.

  5. Les lémuriens subfossiles dans le Nord-Ouest de Madagascar, du terrain à la diffusion des connaissances ou 15 ans de recherches franco-malgaches The subfossils lemurs from the North-West of Madagascar, from the fieldwork to the access of knowledge: 15 years of French-Malagasy research.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beby Ramanivosoa

    2011-10-01

    a été mise en place.Madagascar is one of the most important hotspot of the world biodiversity. Among the numerous endemic animals living in the island, the lemurs are the more emblematic. Within the primate order, this group is one of the most diversified. If their origin is still not clear, numerous extinct subfossils species have been recorded for at least 26 000 years, the more recent ones being only a few hundred years old. The lemurs are mentioned in ancient texts or legends because of their size which made an impression on people. The causes of their extinction remain poorly known. Historically, the majority of the subfossil sites were known in two geographical areas: the South-West and the Center of Madagascar, which shared a few species. More recently, some subfossils have been discovered in the North of the island, but almost nothing was known in the North-West of Madagascar until 1997 when explorations were undertaken in the framework of a collaboration between malagasy and french researchers.Currently, 19 sites are known and many subfossils were discovered. A new species of extinct lemur was described, Palaeopropithecus kelyus. Numerous non-lemur taxa are recorded (micro-and macrofauna and contribute to understand the history of the past biodiversity and palaeoenvironments.This fair collaboration is also a human adventure. The different participants of the two countries take an equal part in the fieldwork, the studies, the technical and academic training of the students at the University of Mahajanga, and the popularization of the results. Through exhibitions the new Malagasy generations are sensitized to the preservation of their geological and natural heritage.

  6. Utilisation des sécrétions de myriapodes chez les lémurs et les sapajous : fonction curative ou signalisation sociale ? Fur-rubbing with millipedes in lemurs and capuchin monkeys: social function or zoopharmacognosy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Simmen

    2011-10-01

    stimulation have been proposed to explain this behaviour based on the distinctive typology and context in which it occurs. We present here qualitative observations of non-feeding use of millipedes in a comparative perspective in two primate species. Opportunistic data were collected in a prosimian species (a hybrid form of Eulemur sp. in a gallery forest South of Madagascar (occurrences in January 2005 and in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella in a tropical rainforest in French Guyana (occurrences in March-April 1996. Whereas capuchin monkeys anoint large parts of their fur with millipede secretions, lemurs only rub the circum-genital area, usually after smelling the millipedes, which appears to trigger a stereotyped response analogous to flehmen. Handling the millipedes in itself does not automatically result in millipedes secreting benzoquinones so that when lemurs and capuchin monkeys bite the arthropods (eventually blowing the legs off, they increase the probability of repulsive liquid being oozed. Associative learning of the handling conditions required to trigger millipedes’ secretions appears very efficient given the rare and opportunistic use of these arthropods by both primate species. We suggest that millipede use in our study is either a marginal form of social communication by which the individual odour is reinforced by anointment with strong smelling odours (Eulemur in which olfaction and scent marking are of paramount importance to social relationships or, in agreement with self-protection hypotheses, a behaviour that contribute to eliminate or protect from external parasites (Cebus.

  7. Magnetic resonance imaging in primates. The example of the mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus: From detection of pathological aging to therapeutic evaluations Imagerie par résonance magnétique chez les primates. L’exemple du microcèbe murin (Microcebus murinus : De la détection du vieillissement cérébral pathologique à l'évaluation thérapeutique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadine El Tannir El Tayara

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Cerebral aging is a major public health issue in our societies as the aged population increases dramatically. It leads in many cases to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease (AD. Rodents and particularly transgenic mice are widely used as models for research on physiopathology of cerebral aging, neurodegenerative diseases and for the evaluation of therapies. However these models do not mimic all the pathophysiological aspects of human diseases. Complementary models such as non-human primates are phylogenetically close to humans and thus more predictive of drug efficiency in humans. Mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus is a small primate (about 12cm, 100g described as a useful model of cerebral aging and as a potential model of AD. Indeed several animals develop age-associated cerebral alterations like amyloidosis and other cerebral changes. Non invasive medical imaging methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI can be used to follow-up brain changes in these animals. In this review, we present how mouse lemurs can be followed-up by MRI and how MRI can be used during therapeutic evaluations and other applications in this model. MR images can be used to follow-up cerebral anatomy in mouse lemurs. It allows for the description of age-associated atrophic processes, age-associated iron accumulation, and vascular anatomy (thanks to MR angiography. Cerebral glucose uptake can be studied in mouse lemurs with other in vivo imaging modalities such as positron emission tomography (PET. In this case, MRI can be used as a support for quantification of radioligand uptake in specific structures. Ex vivo MR imaging is another MR protocol that can be used to describe cerebral aging in lemurs. It provides high resolution 3D histological brain images and allows for studying exquisite anatomical details or microhemorrhages. Finally, MRI can be used to practice cerebral surgery in lemurs and determine coordinates for stereotactic injections. It can

  8. Group Size Predicts Social but Not Nonsocial Cognition in Lemurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evan L Maclean

    Full Text Available The social intelligence hypothesis suggests that living in large social networks was the primary selective pressure for the evolution of complex cognition in primates. This hypothesis is supported by comparative studies demonstrating a positive relationship between social group size and relative brain size across primates. However, the relationship between brain size and cognition remains equivocal. Moreover, there have been no experimental studies directly testing the association between group size and cognition across primates. We tested the social intelligence hypothesis by comparing 6 primate species (total N = 96 characterized by different group sizes on two cognitive tasks. Here, we show that a species' typical social group size predicts performance on cognitive measures of social cognition, but not a nonsocial measure of inhibitory control. We also show that a species' mean brain size (in absolute or relative terms does not predict performance on either task in these species. These data provide evidence for a relationship between group size and social cognition in primates, and reveal the potential for cognitive evolution without concomitant changes in brain size. Furthermore our results underscore the need for more empirical studies of animal cognition, which have the power to reveal species differences in cognition not detectable by proxy variables, such as brain size.

  9. Enumeration of Objects and Substances in Non-Human Primates: Experiments with Brown Lemurs ("Eulemur Fulvus")

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahajan, Neha; Barnes, Jennifer L.; Blanco, Marissa; Santos, Laurie R.

    2009-01-01

    Both human infants and adult non-human primates share the capacity to track small numbers of objects across time and occlusion. The question now facing developmental and comparative psychologists is whether similar mechanisms give rise to this capacity across the two populations. Here, we explore whether non-human primates' object tracking…

  10. Scratching around stress: hierarchy and reconciliation make the difference in wild brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Norscia, Ivan

    2011-01-01

    The scratching-stress linkage has been demonstrated in monkeys and apes but never in strepsirrhines, either in the wild or in captivity. We analysed data collected on a 14-animal group of Eulemur fulvus in the Berenty forest (South Madagascar, March-July 2008). We applied a protocol (same weather conditions, time slot, social/activity context, forest quadrat, and subgroup formation) involving four conditions, under which we recorded the scratching response: predation attempt, reconciled conflict, non-reconciled conflict, and control. We found that the scratching-stress linkage remains valid in strepsirrhines. Scratching increased after predatory attacks by the hawk Polyboroides radiatus and intra-group aggressions and decreased after reconciliation, probably buffering post-conflict stress. Scratching negatively correlated with the linear hierarchy, but only in the absence of stressful events. Compared to aggressions, predation attempts induced a greater increase in scratching, with dominants showing the highest differential increase. Thus, scratching is sensitive to different kinds of homeostasis perturbation (predation/aggression) and does not simply provide all-or-nothing information. Following a theoretical framework based on previous cortisol analyses, we showed that scratching and hormonal data converge in indicating that the stress profile of a species is shaped by its social network features.

  11. Dynamic vs. static social networks in models of parasite transmission: predicting Cryptosporidium spread in wild lemurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Andrea; Kappeler, Peter M; Nunn, Charles L

    2016-12-14

    Social networks provide an established tool to implement heterogeneous contact structures in epidemiological models. Dynamic temporal changes in contact structure and ranging behaviour of wildlife may impact disease dynamics. A consensus has yet to emerge, however, concerning the conditions in which network dynamics impact model outcomes, as compared to static approximations that average contact rates over longer time periods. Furthermore, as many pathogens can be transmitted both environmentally and via close contact, it is important to investigate the relative influence of both transmission routes in real-world populations. Here, we use empirically derived networks from a population of wild primates, Verreaux's sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi), and simulated networks to investigate pathogen spread in dynamic vs. static social networks. First, we constructed a susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered model of Cryptosporidium spread in wild Verreaux's sifakas. We incorporated social and environmental transmission routes and parameterized the model for two different climatic seasons. Second, we used simulated networks and greater variation in epidemiological parameters to investigate the conditions in which dynamic networks produce larger outbreak sizes than static networks. We found that average outbreak size of Cryptosporidium infections in sifakas was larger when the disease was introduced in the dry season than in the wet season, driven by an increase in home range overlap towards the end of the dry season. Regardless of season, dynamic networks always produced larger average outbreak sizes than static networks. Larger outbreaks in dynamic models based on simulated networks occurred especially when the probability of transmission and recovery were low. Variation in tie strength in the dynamic networks also had a major impact on outbreak size, while network modularity had a weaker influence than epidemiological parameters that determine transmission and recovery. Our study adds to emerging evidence that dynamic networks can change predictions of disease dynamics, especially if the disease shows low transmissibility and a long infectious period, and when environmental conditions lead to enhanced between-group contact after an infectious agent has been introduced.

  12. LEMUR: Large European Module for solar Ultraviolet Research. European contribution to JAXA's Solar-C mission

    CERN Document Server

    Teriaca, Luca; Auchère, Frédéric; Brown, Charles M; Buchlin, Eric; Cauzzi, Gianna; Culhane, J Len; Curdt, Werner; Davila, Joseph M; Del Zanna, Giulio; Doschek, George A; Fineschi, Silvano; Fludra, Andrzej; Gallagher, Peter T; Green, Lucie; Harra, Louise K; Imada, Shinsuke; Innes, Davina; Kliem, Bernhard; Korendyke, Clarence; Mariska, John T; Martínez-Pillet, Valentin; Parenti, Susanna; Patsourakos, Spiros; Peter, Hardi; Poletto, Luca; Rutten, Rob; Schühle, Udo; Siemer, Martin; Shimizu, Toshifumi; Socas-Navarro, Hector; Solanki, Sami K; Spadaro, Daniele; Trujillo-Bueno, Javier; Tsuneta, Saku; Dominguez, Santiago Vargas; Vial, Jean-Claude; Walsh, Robert; Warren, Harry P; Wiegelmann, Thomas; Winter, Berend; Young, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the solar outer atmosphere requires concerted, simultaneous solar observations from the visible to the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and soft X-rays, at high spatial resolution (between 0.1" and 0.3"), at high temporal resolution (on the order of 10 s, i.e., the time scale of chromospheric dynamics), with a wide temperature coverage (0.01 MK to 20 MK, from the chromosphere to the flaring corona), and the capability of measuring magnetic fields through spectropolarimetry at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Simultaneous spectroscopic measurements sampling the entire temperature range are particularly important. These requirements are fulfilled by the Japanese Solar-C mission (Plan B), composed of a spacecraft in a geosynchronous orbit with a payload providing a significant improvement of imaging and spectropolarimetric capabilities in the UV, visible, and near-infrared with respect to what is available today and foreseen in the near future. The Large European Module for solar Ultraviolet Research...

  13. Comparison of highly repeated DNA sequences in some Lemuridae and taxonomic implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montagnon, D; Crovella, S; Rumpler, Y

    1993-01-01

    Highly repeated DNA sequences of Eulemur fulvus mayottensis, E. coronatus, Lemur catta, and Hapalemur griseus griseus have been identified and compared. Sequence analysis of highly repeated DNA fragments isolated from L. catta and Hapalemur showed a high percentage of similarity (nearly 95%), as did fragments isolated from the two very close Eulemur species, whereas comparison of the DNA fragments isolated from the two Eulemur species and the L. catta/Hapalemur group showed a very low percentage (approximately 40%) of identity, as might be expected for distant species. These results confirm our previous data, obtained by Southern blot hybridization techniques on the same species, and strongly support the existence of a common trunk between L. catta and Hapalemur, but different from the leading to the Eulemur species.

  14. Enamel microstructure in Lemuridae (Mammalia, Primates): assessment of variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maas, M C

    1994-10-01

    This study describes the molar enamel microstructure of seven lemurid primates: Hapalemur griseus, Varecia variegata, Lemur catta, Lemur macaco, Lemur fulvus rufus, Lemur fulvus fulvus, and Lemur fulvus albifrons. Contrary to earlier accounts, which reported little or no prism decussation in lemurid enamel, both Lemur and Varecia molars contain a prominent inner layer of decussating prisms (Hunter-Schreger bands), in addition to an outer radial prism layer, and a thin, nonprismatic enamel surface layer. In contrast, Hapalemur enamel consists entirely of radial and, near the surface, nonprismatic enamel. In addition, for all species, prism packing patterns differ according to depth from the tooth surface, and for all species but Varecia (which also has the thinnest enamel of any lemurid), average prism area increases from the enamel-dentine junction to the surface; this may be a developmental solution to the problem of accommodating a larger outer surface area with enamel deposited from a fixed number of cells. Finally, contradicting some previous reports, Pattern 1 prisms predominate only in the most superficial prismatic enamel. In the deeper enamel, prism cross-sections include both closed (Pattern 1) and arc-shaped (Pattern 2 or, most commonly, Pattern 3). This sequence of depth-related pattern change is repeated in all taxa. It should also be emphasized that all taxa can exhibit all three prism patterns in their mature enamel. The high degree of quantitative and qualitative variation in prism size, shape, and packing suggests that these features should be used cautiously in phylogenetic studies. Hapalemur is distinguished from the other lemurids by unique, medially constricted or rectangular prism cross-sections at an intermediate depth and the absence of prism decussation, but, without further assessment of character polarity, these differences do not clarify lemurid phylogenetic relations. Some characters of enamel microstructure may represent synapomorphies

  15. Patterns of Gut Bacterial Colonization in Three Primate Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenney, Erin A.; Rodrigo, Allen; Yoder, Anne D.

    2015-01-01

    Host fitness is impacted by trillions of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract that facilitate development and are inextricably tied to life history. During development, microbial colonization primes the gut metabolism and physiology, thereby setting the stage for adult nutrition and health. However, the ecological rules governing microbial succession are poorly understood. In this study, we examined the relationship between host lineage, captive diet, and life stage and gut microbiota characteristics in three primate species (infraorder, Lemuriformes). Fecal samples were collected from captive lemur mothers and their infants, from birth to weaning. Microbial DNA was extracted and the v4 region of 16S rDNA was sequenced on the Illumina platform using protocols from the Earth Microbiome Project. Here, we show that colonization proceeds along different successional trajectories in developing infants from species with differing dietary regimes and ecological profiles: frugivorous (fruit-eating) Varecia variegata, generalist Lemur catta, and folivorous (leaf-eating) Propithecus coquereli. Our analyses reveal community membership and succession patterns consistent with previous studies of human infants, suggesting that lemurs may serve as a useful model of microbial ecology in the primate gut. Each lemur species exhibits distinct species-specific bacterial diversity signatures correlating to life stages and life history traits, implying that gut microbial community assembly primes developing infants at species-specific rates for their respective adult feeding strategies. PMID:25970595

  16. Patterns of gut bacterial colonization in three primate species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin A McKenney

    Full Text Available Host fitness is impacted by trillions of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract that facilitate development and are inextricably tied to life history. During development, microbial colonization primes the gut metabolism and physiology, thereby setting the stage for adult nutrition and health. However, the ecological rules governing microbial succession are poorly understood. In this study, we examined the relationship between host lineage, captive diet, and life stage and gut microbiota characteristics in three primate species (infraorder, Lemuriformes. Fecal samples were collected from captive lemur mothers and their infants, from birth to weaning. Microbial DNA was extracted and the v4 region of 16S rDNA was sequenced on the Illumina platform using protocols from the Earth Microbiome Project. Here, we show that colonization proceeds along different successional trajectories in developing infants from species with differing dietary regimes and ecological profiles: frugivorous (fruit-eating Varecia variegata, generalist Lemur catta, and folivorous (leaf-eating Propithecus coquereli. Our analyses reveal community membership and succession patterns consistent with previous studies of human infants, suggesting that lemurs may serve as a useful model of microbial ecology in the primate gut. Each lemur species exhibits distinct species-specific bacterial diversity signatures correlating to life stages and life history traits, implying that gut microbial community assembly primes developing infants at species-specific rates for their respective adult feeding strategies.

  17. Hemoparasites in a wild primate: Infection patterns suggest interaction of Plasmodium and Babesia in a lemur species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Springer

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Hemoparasites can cause serious morbidity in humans and animals and often involve wildlife reservoirs. Understanding patterns of hemoparasite infections in natural populations can therefore inform about emerging disease risks, especially in the light of climate change and human disruption of natural ecosystems. We investigated the effects of host age, sex, host group size and season on infection patterns of Plasmodium sp., Babesia sp. and filarial nematodes in a population of wild Malagasy primates, Verreaux's sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi, as well as the effects of these infections on hematological variables. We tested 45 blood samples from 36 individuals and identified two species of Plasmodium, one species of Babesia and two species of filarial nematodes. Plasmodium spp. and Babesia sp. infections showed opposite patterns of age-dependency, with babesiosis being prevalent among young animals, while older animals were infected with Plasmodium sp. In addition, Babesia sp. infection was a statistically significant negative predictor of Plasmodium sp. infection. These results suggest that Plasmodium and Babesia parasites may interact within the host, either through cross-immunity or via resource competition, so that Plasmodium infections can only establish after babesiosis has resolved. We found no effects of host sex, host group size and season on hemoparasite infections. Infections showed high prevalences and did not influence hematological variables. This preliminary evidence supports the impression that the hosts and parasites considered in this study appear to be well-adapted to each other, resulting in persistent infections with low pathogenic and probably low zoonotic potential. Our results illustrate the crucial role of biodiversity in host-parasite relationships, specifically how within-host pathogen diversity may regulate the abundance of parasites.

  18. Propithecus verreauxi population and ranging at Berenty, Madagascar, 1975 and 1980.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jolly, A; Gustafson, H; Oliver, W L; O'Connor, S M

    1982-01-01

    Propithecus verreauxi have been repeatedly censused in parts of the 200-ha reserve at Berenty between 1963 and 1975. Troop rearrangements in 1963 and 1975 showed that both males and females can change troop outside the breeding season. Group sex ratio varies from 0.3 female/male to 5.0 female/male. Usually, at Berenty, groups defend highly exclusive territories, in contrast to ranging patterns elsewhere. In 1980 troops were censused during 2 weeks in November at a different season from earlier studies. They had larger troop feeding dispersion than before, and pairs and triplets of males who travelled apart from bisexual troops. This may be a season of mass male migration, as in Lemur catta, or else a long-term population change. This small reserve should be carefully monitored as its lemurs have so far maintained relative population stability.

  19. Noninvasive telemetric gaze tracking in freely-moving socially-housed prosimian primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Stephen V.; Platt, Michael L.

    2006-01-01

    Behavioral and neurophysiological studies strongly suggest that visual orienting reflects the integration of sensory, motor, and motivational variables with behavioral goals. Relatively little is known, however, regarding the goals that govern visual orienting of animals in their natural environments. Field observations suggest that most nonhuman primates orient to features of their natural environments whose salience is dictated by the visual demands of foraging, locomotion and social interaction. This hypothesis is difficult to test quantitatively, however, in part because accurate gaze-tracking technology has not been employed in field studies. We here report the implementation of a new, telemetric, infrared-video gaze-tracker (ISCAN) to measure visual orienting in freely-moving, socially-housed prosimian primates (Lemur catta). Two male lemurs tolerated the system at approximately ¼ body weight, permitting successful measurements of gaze behavior during spontaneous locomotion through both terrestrial and arboreal landscapes, and in both social and asocial environments. PMID:16431130

  20. A New World Monkey microsatellite (AP74 higly conserved in Primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oklander Luciana Inés

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Given their great variability, microsatellites or STRPs became the most commonly used genetic markers over the last 15 years. The analysis of these markers requires minimum quantities of DNA, allowing the use of non invasive samples, such as feces or hair. We amplified the microsatellite Ap74 in blood and hair samples in order to analyze the levels of genomic conservation among a wide range of primates including: Lemur catta, Alouatta caraya, Ateles belzebuth, Ateles chamek, Pan troglodytes, Papio sp., and Homo sapiens. In all cases we obtained amplification products that exhibited similar size both in monkeys and human (oscillating between 126 and 176 bp, except in the lemur where the detected fragment presented a size of approximately 1000 bp. The analysis of the nucleotide sequences permitted the evaluation of the molecular modifications experienced during the evolutionary process in primates.

  1. Structural analysis of a repetitive protein sequence motif in strepsirrhine primate amelogenin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo S Lacruz

    Full Text Available Strepsirrhines are members of a primate suborder that has a distinctive set of features associated with the development of the dentition. Amelogenin (AMEL, the better known of the enamel matrix proteins, forms 90% of the secreted organic matrix during amelogenesis. Although AMEL has been sequenced in numerous mammalian lineages, the only reported strepsirrhine AMEL sequences are those of the ring-tailed lemur and galago, which contain a set of additional proline-rich tandem repeats absent in all other primates species analyzed to date, but present in some non-primate mammals. Here, we first determined that these repeats are present in AMEL from three additional lemur species and thus are likely to be widespread throughout this group. To evaluate the functional relevance of these repeats in strepsirrhines, we engineered a mutated murine amelogenin sequence containing a similar proline-rich sequence to that of Lemur catta. In the monomeric form, the MQP insertions had no influence on the secondary structure or refolding properties, whereas in the assembled form, the insertions increased the hydrodynamic radii. We speculate that increased AMEL nanosphere size may influence enamel formation in strepsirrhine primates.

  2. Structural Analysis of a Repetitive Protein Sequence Motif in Strepsirrhine Primate Amelogenin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromley, Keith M.; Hacia, Joseph G.; Bromage, Timothy G.; Snead, Malcolm L.; Moradian-Oldak, Janet; Paine, Michael L.

    2011-01-01

    Strepsirrhines are members of a primate suborder that has a distinctive set of features associated with the development of the dentition. Amelogenin (AMEL), the better known of the enamel matrix proteins, forms 90% of the secreted organic matrix during amelogenesis. Although AMEL has been sequenced in numerous mammalian lineages, the only reported strepsirrhine AMEL sequences are those of the ring-tailed lemur and galago, which contain a set of additional proline-rich tandem repeats absent in all other primates species analyzed to date, but present in some non-primate mammals. Here, we first determined that these repeats are present in AMEL from three additional lemur species and thus are likely to be widespread throughout this group. To evaluate the functional relevance of these repeats in strepsirrhines, we engineered a mutated murine amelogenin sequence containing a similar proline-rich sequence to that of Lemur catta. In the monomeric form, the MQP insertions had no influence on the secondary structure or refolding properties, whereas in the assembled form, the insertions increased the hydrodynamic radii. We speculate that increased AMEL nanosphere size may influence enamel formation in strepsirrhine primates. PMID:21437261

  3. Baby on board: olfactory cues indicate pregnancy and fetal sex in a non-human primate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Jeremy Chase; Drea, Christine M.

    2015-01-01

    Olfactory cues play an integral, albeit underappreciated, role in mediating vertebrate social and reproductive behaviour. These cues fluctuate with the signaller's hormonal condition, coincident with and informative about relevant aspects of its reproductive state, such as pubertal onset, change in season and, in females, timing of ovulation. Although pregnancy dramatically alters a female's endocrine profiles, which can be further influenced by fetal sex, the relationship between gestation and olfactory cues is poorly understood. We therefore examined the effects of pregnancy and fetal sex on volatile genital secretions in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), a strepsirrhine primate possessing complex olfactory mechanisms of reproductive signalling. While pregnant, dams altered and dampened their expression of volatile chemicals, with compound richness being particularly reduced in dams bearing sons. These changes were comparable in magnitude with other, published chemical differences among lemurs that are salient to conspecifics. Such olfactory ‘signatures’ of pregnancy may help guide social interactions, potentially promoting mother–infant recognition, reducing intragroup conflict or counteracting behavioural mechanisms of paternity confusion; cues that also advertise fetal sex may additionally facilitate differential sex allocation. PMID:25716086

  4. Phylogeny of the lemuridae revisited: evidence from communication signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macedonia, J M; Stanger, K F

    1994-01-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among the extant lemurid prosimians were assessed cladistically using stereotyped vocal, olfactory, and visual communication characters. Among our results are 3 findings of particular importance. First, our data are consistent with those from several recent studies of highly repeated DNA fragments in supporting a close phyletic affinity between Lemur catta and the genus Hapalemur. Moreover, our results indicate that L. catta is nested within the Hapalemur clade as the sister taxon to Hapalemur griseus/Hapalemur aureus. We interpret character states shared between Hapalemur simus and L. catta as primitive retentions by L. catta. Second, our findings agree with the DNA data in proposing a sister group relationship for Eulemur coronatus and Eulemur rubriventer. Third, our results question the validity of assigning Varecia variegata to the Lemuridae. For the characters we examined, Varecia more resembled indrids than lemurids, and the position of Varecia could be swapped with any of our outgroups (Indri, Propithecus, Daubentonia) without affecting tree topology. Previous workers sometimes have linked Varecia with various lemurids on grounds of ambiguously defined characters or on incorrect data gleaned from the literature. In those studies, the placement of Varecia in the Lemuridae usually has depended more on the minimization of character state conflicts (i.e. parsimony), than on demonstrable synapomorphies. In addition, data from DNA research have failed to demonstrate any pattern that links Varecia with Lemur, Hapalemur, or Eulemur. Results of the present study suggest that shared Varecia-indrid character states may be symplesiomorphic retentions in the Indridae, and that Varecia could be phyletically more primitive than either the indrids or lemurids.

  5. Phylogenetic relationships among Lemuridae (Primates): evidence from mtDNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastorini, Jennifer; Forstner, Michael R J; Martin, Robert D

    2002-10-01

    The family Lemuridae includes four genera: Eulemur, Hapalemur, Lemur,Varecia. Taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships between L. catta, Eulemur and Hapalemur, and of Varecia to these other lemurids, continue to be hotly debated. Nodal relationships among the five Eulemur species also remain contentious. A mitochondrial DNA sequence dataset from the ND 3, ND 4 L, ND 4 genes and five tRNAs (Gly, Arg, His, Ser, Leu) was generated to try to clarify phylogenetic relationships w ithin the Lemuridae. Samples (n=39) from all ten lemurid species were collected and analysed. Three Daubentonia madagascariensis were included as outgroup taxa. The approximately 2400 bp sequences were analysed using maximum parsimony, neighbor-joining and maximum likelihood methods. The results support monophyly of Eulemur, a basal divergence of Varecia, and a sister-group relationship for Lemur/Hapalemur. Based on tree topology, bootstrap values, and pairwise distance comparisons, we conclude thatVarecia and Eulemur both represent distinct genera separate from L. catta. H. griseus andH. aureus form a clade with strong support, but the sequence data do not permit robust resolution of the trichotomy involving H. simus, H. aureus/H. griseus and L. catta. Within Eulemur there is strong support for a clade containing E. fulvus, E. mongoz and E. rubriventer. However, analyses failed to clearly resolve relationships among those three species or with the more distantly related E. coronatus and E. macaco. Our sequencing data support the current subspecific status of E.m. macaco and E.m. flavifrons, and that of V.v. variegata and V.v. rubra. However, tree topology and relatively large genetic distances among individual V.v. variegata indicate that there may be more phylogenetic structure within this taxon than is indicated by current taxonomy.

  6. Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii in zoo animals in selected zoos in the midwestern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Camps, Silvia; Dubey, J P; Saville, W J A

    2008-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infections in zoo animals are of interest because many captive animals die of clinical toxoplasmosis and because of the potential risk of exposure of children and elderly to T. gondii oocysts excreted by cats in the zoos. Seroprevalence of T. gondii antibodies in wild zoo felids, highly susceptible zoo species, and feral cats from 8 zoos of the midwestern United States was determined by using the modified agglutination test (MAT). A titer of 1:25 was considered indicative of T. gondii exposure. Among wild felids, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 6 (27.3%) of 22 cheetahs (Acynonyx jubatus jubatus), 2 of 4 African lynx (Caracal caracal), 1 of 7 clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa), 1 of 5 Pallas cats (Otocolobus manul), 12 (54.5%) of 22 African lions (Panthera leo), 1 of 1 jaguar (Panthera onca), 1 of 1 Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), 1 of 1 Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor), 5 (27.8%) of 18 Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica), 1 of 4 fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus), 3 of 6 pumas (Puma concolor), 2 of 2 Texas pumas (Puma concolor stanleyana), and 5 (35.7%) of 14 snow leopards (Uncia uncia). Antibodies were found in 10 of 34 feral domestic cats (Felis domesticus) trapped in 3 zoos. Toxoplasma gondii oocysts were not found in any of the 78 fecal samples from wild and domestic cats. Among the macropods, antibodies were detected in 1 of 3 Dama wallabies (Macropus eugenii), 1 of 1 western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus), 1 of 2 wallaroos (Macropus robustus), 6 of 8 Bennett's wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus), 21 (61.8%) of 34 red kangaroos (Macropus rufus), and 1 of 1 dusky pademelon (Thylogale brunii). Among prosimians, antibodies were detected in 1 of 3 blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons), 1 of 21 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), 2 of 9 red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata rubra), and 2 of 4 black- and white-ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata). Among the avian species tested, 2 of 3 bald

  7. Victims of infanticide and conspecific bite wounding in a female-dominant primate: a long-term study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, Marie J E; Drea, Christine M

    2013-01-01

    The aggression animals receive from conspecifics varies between individuals across their lifetime. As poignantly evidenced by infanticide, for example, aggression can have dramatic fitness consequences. Nevertheless, we understand little about the sources of variation in received aggression, particularly in females. Using a female-dominant species renowned for aggressivity in both sexes, we tested for potential social, demographic, and genetic patterns in the frequency with which animals were wounded by conspecifics. Our study included 243 captive, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), followed from infancy to adulthood over a 35-year time span. We extracted injury, social, and life-history information from colony records and calculated neutral heterozygosity for a subset of animals, as an estimate of genetic diversity. Focusing on victims rather than aggressors, we used General Linear Models to explain bite-wound patterns at different life stages. In infancy, maternal age best predicted wounds received, as infants born to young mothers were the most frequent infanticide victims. In adulthood, sex best predicted wounds received, as males were three times more likely than females to be seriously injured. No relation emerged between wounds received and the other variables studied. Beyond the generally expected costs of adult male intrasexual aggression, we suggest possible additive costs associated with female-dominant societies - those suffered by young mothers engaged in aggressive disputes and those suffered by adult males aggressively targeted by both sexes. We propose that infanticide in lemurs may be a costly by-product of aggressively mediated, female social dominance. Accordingly, the benefits of female behavioral 'masculinization' accrued to females through priority of access to resources, may be partially offset by early costs in reproductive success. Understanding the factors that influence lifetime patterns of conspecific wounding is critical to evaluating

  8. Victims of infanticide and conspecific bite wounding in a female-dominant primate: a long-term study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie J E Charpentier

    Full Text Available The aggression animals receive from conspecifics varies between individuals across their lifetime. As poignantly evidenced by infanticide, for example, aggression can have dramatic fitness consequences. Nevertheless, we understand little about the sources of variation in received aggression, particularly in females. Using a female-dominant species renowned for aggressivity in both sexes, we tested for potential social, demographic, and genetic patterns in the frequency with which animals were wounded by conspecifics. Our study included 243 captive, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta, followed from infancy to adulthood over a 35-year time span. We extracted injury, social, and life-history information from colony records and calculated neutral heterozygosity for a subset of animals, as an estimate of genetic diversity. Focusing on victims rather than aggressors, we used General Linear Models to explain bite-wound patterns at different life stages. In infancy, maternal age best predicted wounds received, as infants born to young mothers were the most frequent infanticide victims. In adulthood, sex best predicted wounds received, as males were three times more likely than females to be seriously injured. No relation emerged between wounds received and the other variables studied. Beyond the generally expected costs of adult male intrasexual aggression, we suggest possible additive costs associated with female-dominant societies - those suffered by young mothers engaged in aggressive disputes and those suffered by adult males aggressively targeted by both sexes. We propose that infanticide in lemurs may be a costly by-product of aggressively mediated, female social dominance. Accordingly, the benefits of female behavioral 'masculinization' accrued to females through priority of access to resources, may be partially offset by early costs in reproductive success. Understanding the factors that influence lifetime patterns of conspecific wounding is

  9. Victims of Infanticide and Conspecific Bite Wounding in a Female-Dominant Primate: A Long-Term Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, Marie J. E.; Drea, Christine M.

    2013-01-01

    The aggression animals receive from conspecifics varies between individuals across their lifetime. As poignantly evidenced by infanticide, for example, aggression can have dramatic fitness consequences. Nevertheless, we understand little about the sources of variation in received aggression, particularly in females. Using a female-dominant species renowned for aggressivity in both sexes, we tested for potential social, demographic, and genetic patterns in the frequency with which animals were wounded by conspecifics. Our study included 243 captive, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), followed from infancy to adulthood over a 35-year time span. We extracted injury, social, and life-history information from colony records and calculated neutral heterozygosity for a subset of animals, as an estimate of genetic diversity. Focusing on victims rather than aggressors, we used General Linear Models to explain bite-wound patterns at different life stages. In infancy, maternal age best predicted wounds received, as infants born to young mothers were the most frequent infanticide victims. In adulthood, sex best predicted wounds received, as males were three times more likely than females to be seriously injured. No relation emerged between wounds received and the other variables studied. Beyond the generally expected costs of adult male intrasexual aggression, we suggest possible additive costs associated with female-dominant societies – those suffered by young mothers engaged in aggressive disputes and those suffered by adult males aggressively targeted by both sexes. We propose that infanticide in lemurs may be a costly by-product of aggressively mediated, female social dominance. Accordingly, the benefits of female behavioral ‘masculinization’ accrued to females through priority of access to resources, may be partially offset by early costs in reproductive success. Understanding the factors that influence lifetime patterns of conspecific wounding is critical to

  10. A NEW WORLD MONKEY MICROSATELLITE (AP74 HIGHLY CONSERVED IN PRIMATES AP74, un microsatélite de Monos del Nuevo Mundo altamente conservado en Primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LUCIANA INÉS OKLANDER

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Given their great variability, microsatellites or STRs became the most commonly used genetic markers over the last 15 years. The analysis of these markers requires minimum quantities of DNA, allowing the use of non invasive samples, such as feces or hair. We amplified the microsatellite Ap74 in blood and hair samples in order to analyze the levels of genomic conservation among a wide range of primates including: Lemur catta, Alouatta caraya, Ateles belzebuth, Ateles chamek, Pan troglodytes, Papio sp., and Homo sapiens. In all cases we obtained amplification products that exhibited similar size both in monkeys and human (oscillating between 126 and 176 bp, except in the lemur where the detected fragment presented a size of approximately 1000 bp. The analysis of the nucleotide sequences permitted the evaluation of the molecular modifications experienced during the evolutionary process in primates.Dado su alta variabilidad, los microsatélites o STR se convirtieron en los marcadores genéticos más ampliamente utilizados en los últimos 15 años. El análisis de estos marcadores requiere una mínima cantidad de ADN, permitiendo el uso de muestras no invasivas, tales como pelos o heces. Con el objetivo de analizar niveles de conservación genómica, amplificamos el microsatélite Ap74 en muestras de pelo y sangre de un amplio rango de primates incluyendo: Lemur catta, Alouatta caraya, Ateles belzebuth, Ateles chamek, Pan troglodytes, Papio sp., y Homo sapiens. En todos los casos obtuvimos productos de amplificación que exhibieron un tamaño similar (oscilando entre 126 y 176 pb, con excepción del lémur, donde el fragmento detectado presentó un tamaño de aproximadamente 1000 pb. El análisis de las secuencias nucleotídicas nos permitió evaluar las modificaciones moleculares ocurridas durante el proceso evolutivo en primates.

  11. Diet overlap of Propithecus verreauxi and Eulemur rufifrons during the late dry season in Kirindy Forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Winter, de I.I.; Gollner, A.; Akom, E.

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this short research project was to investigate whether two lemur species, Verreaux’s sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi) and the red-fronted brown lemur (Eulemur rufifrons), showed significant dietary overlap during the late dry season in Kirindy Forest in Madagascar. We hypothesised that the

  12. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-OCUN-01-0754 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-OCUN-01-0754 ref|NP_001073903.1| lemur tyrosine kinase 3 [Homo sapiens] ref|XP..._941465.1| PREDICTED: similar to lemur tyrosine kinase 3 [Homo sapiens] NP_001073903.1 0.078 30% ...

  13. 50 CFR 14.151 - Primary enclosures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Wild Mammals and Birds to the United States Specifications for Sloths, Bats, and Flying Lemurs... located on the upper one-half of the primary enclosure. (b) No more than one sloth, bat, or flying lemur... together may be shipped in the same primary enclosure. (c) A primary enclosure used to transport...

  14. Giardia duodenalis assemblages and Entamoeba species infecting non-human primates in an Italian zoological garden: zoonotic potential and management traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Di Cave David

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Giardia duodenalis and Entamoeba spp. are among the most common intestinal human protozoan parasites worldwide and they are frequently reported in captive non-human primates (NHP. From a public health point of view, infected animals in zoos constitute a risk for animal caretakers and visitors. In this study we carried out the molecular identification of G. duodenalis and Entamoeba spp. from nine species of primates housed in the zoological garden of Rome, to better ascertain their occurrence and zoonotic potential. Results G. duodenalis was found only in Lemur catta (47.0%. Entamoeba spp. were detected in all species studied, with the exception of Eulemur macaco and Varecia rubra. The number of positive pools ranged from 5.9% in L. catta to 81.2% in Mandrillus sphinx; in Pan troglodytes the observed prevalence was 53.6%. A mixed Entamoeba-Giardia infection was recorded only in one sample of L. catta. All G. duodenalis isolates belonged to the zoonotic assemblage B, sub assemblage BIV. Three Entamoeba species were identified: E. hartmanni, E. coli and E. dispar. Conclusions Our results highlight the importance of regularly testing animals kept in zoos for the diagnosis of zoonotic parasites, in order to evaluate their pathogenic role in the housed animals and the zoonotic risk linked to their presence. A quick detection of the arrival of pathogens into the enclosures could also be a prerequisite to limit their spread into the structure via the introduction of specific control strategies. The need for molecular identification of some parasite species/genotype in order to better define the zoonotic risk is also highlighted.

  15. Giardia duodenalis assemblages and Entamoeba species infecting non-human primates in an Italian zoological garden: zoonotic potential and management traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Giardia duodenalis and Entamoeba spp. are among the most common intestinal human protozoan parasites worldwide and they are frequently reported in captive non-human primates (NHP). From a public health point of view, infected animals in zoos constitute a risk for animal caretakers and visitors. In this study we carried out the molecular identification of G. duodenalis and Entamoeba spp. from nine species of primates housed in the zoological garden of Rome, to better ascertain their occurrence and zoonotic potential. Results G. duodenalis was found only in Lemur catta (47.0%). Entamoeba spp. were detected in all species studied, with the exception of Eulemur macaco and Varecia rubra. The number of positive pools ranged from 5.9% in L. catta to 81.2% in Mandrillus sphinx; in Pan troglodytes the observed prevalence was 53.6%. A mixed Entamoeba-Giardia infection was recorded only in one sample of L. catta. All G. duodenalis isolates belonged to the zoonotic assemblage B, sub assemblage BIV. Three Entamoeba species were identified: E. hartmanni, E. coli and E. dispar. Conclusions Our results highlight the importance of regularly testing animals kept in zoos for the diagnosis of zoonotic parasites, in order to evaluate their pathogenic role in the housed animals and the zoonotic risk linked to their presence. A quick detection of the arrival of pathogens into the enclosures could also be a prerequisite to limit their spread into the structure via the introduction of specific control strategies. The need for molecular identification of some parasite species/genotype in order to better define the zoonotic risk is also highlighted. PMID:21988762

  16. Mapping the social network: tracking lice in a wild primate (Microcebus rufus population to infer social contacts and vector potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zohdy Sarah

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Studies of host-parasite interactions have the potential to provide insights into the ecology of both organisms involved. We monitored the movement of sucking lice (Lemurpediculus verruculosus, parasites that require direct host-host contact to be transferred, in their host population of wild mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus. These lemurs live in the rainforests of Madagascar, are small (40 g, arboreal, nocturnal, solitary foraging primates for which data on population-wide interactions are difficult to obtain. We developed a simple, cost effective method exploiting the intimate relationship between louse and lemur, whereby individual lice were marked, without removal from their host, with an individualized code, and tracked throughout the lemur population. We then tested the hypotheses that 1 the frequency of louse transfers, and thus interactions, would decrease with increasing distance between paired individual lemurs; 2 due to host polygynandry, social interactions and hence louse transfers would increase during the onset of the breeding season; and 3 individual mouse lemurs would vary in their contributions to the spread of lice. Results We show that louse transfers involved 43.75% of the studied lemur population, exclusively males. Louse transfers peaked during the breeding season, perhaps due to increased social interactions between lemurs. Although trap-based individual lemur ranging patterns are restricted, louse transfer rate does not correlate with the distance between lemur trapping locales, indicating wider host ranging behavior and a greater risk of rapid population-wide pathogen transmission than predicted by standard trapping data alone. Furthermore, relatively few lemur individuals contributed disproportionately to the rapid spread of lice throughout the population. Conclusions Using a simple method, we were able to visualize exchanges of lice in a population of cryptic wild primates. This method not only

  17. Decoding an olfactory mechanism of kin recognition and inbreeding avoidance in a primate

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Background Like other vertebrates, primates recognize their relatives, primarily to minimize inbreeding, but also to facilitate nepotism. Although associative, social learning is typically credited for discrimination of familiar kin, discrimination of unfamiliar kin remains unexplained. As sex-biased dispersal in long-lived species cannot consistently prevent encounters between unfamiliar kin, inbreeding remains a threat and mechanisms to avoid it beg explanation. Using a molecular approach that combined analyses of biochemical and microsatellite markers in 17 female and 19 male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), we describe odor-gene covariance to establish the feasibility of olfactory-mediated kin recognition. Results Despite derivation from different genital glands, labial and scrotal secretions shared about 170 of their respective 338 and 203 semiochemicals. In addition, these semiochemicals encoded information about genetic relatedness within and between the sexes. Although the sexes showed opposite seasonal patterns in signal complexity, the odor profiles of related individuals (whether same-sex or mixed-sex dyads) converged most strongly in the competitive breeding season. Thus, a strong, mutual olfactory signal of genetic relatedness appeared specifically when such information would be crucial for preventing inbreeding. That weaker signals of genetic relatedness might exist year round could provide a mechanism to explain nepotism between unfamiliar kin. Conclusion We suggest that signal convergence between the sexes may reflect strong selective pressures on kin recognition, whereas signal convergence within the sexes may arise as its by-product or function independently to prevent competition between unfamiliar relatives. The link between an individual's genome and its olfactory signals could be mediated by biosynthetic pathways producing polymorphic semiochemicals or by carrier proteins modifying the individual bouquet of olfactory cues. In conclusion, we

  18. Comparison of bacterial culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica in wild animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sting, Reinhard; Runge, Martin; Eisenberg, Tobias; Braune, Silke; Müller, Wolfgang; Otto, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Detection of the zoonotic pathogen Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica (EF tularensis) in wild animals with culture techniques as well as polymerase chain reaction were compared and discussed on the basis of the investigation of 60 animals. The samples originated from 55 European brown hares (Lepus europaeus), two red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and one each from a wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), a European beaver (Castor fiber), and a lemur (Lemur catta). When comparing the growth of 28 F. tularensis isolates on the cysteine blood agar and the modified Martin-Lewis-agar used in this study, cultivation was successful for 26 isolates on both media, but for two isolates only on the cysteine blood agar. Out of 43 carcasses 19 tested positive in bacteriological culture and PCR. Two culture positive samples of tonsils originating from foxes could not be confirmed by PCR, although PCR was positive in 22 samples that missed growth of F. tularensis. Comparative studies on cultural detection of E. tularensis were performed on samples of 16 hares from lung, spleen, liver and gut and in one case with a peritoneal swab. In at least one of these localizations cultivation of the pathogen was successful. Detection rate was reduced to 94% (15 of 16 hares) considering only the results of the cultures of the lungs and spleens. For a sensitive and rapid detection of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica, the PCR is a suitable method thereby avoiding hazardous multiplying of the pathogen. However, cultivation of F. tularensis is often a prerequisite for further studies on antibiotic resistance patterns of the pathogen, molecular epidemiological and pathological analyses of tularaemia.

  19. Decoding an olfactory mechanism of kin recognition and inbreeding avoidance in a primate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charpentier Marie JE

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Like other vertebrates, primates recognize their relatives, primarily to minimize inbreeding, but also to facilitate nepotism. Although associative, social learning is typically credited for discrimination of familiar kin, discrimination of unfamiliar kin remains unexplained. As sex-biased dispersal in long-lived species cannot consistently prevent encounters between unfamiliar kin, inbreeding remains a threat and mechanisms to avoid it beg explanation. Using a molecular approach that combined analyses of biochemical and microsatellite markers in 17 female and 19 male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta, we describe odor-gene covariance to establish the feasibility of olfactory-mediated kin recognition. Results Despite derivation from different genital glands, labial and scrotal secretions shared about 170 of their respective 338 and 203 semiochemicals. In addition, these semiochemicals encoded information about genetic relatedness within and between the sexes. Although the sexes showed opposite seasonal patterns in signal complexity, the odor profiles of related individuals (whether same-sex or mixed-sex dyads converged most strongly in the competitive breeding season. Thus, a strong, mutual olfactory signal of genetic relatedness appeared specifically when such information would be crucial for preventing inbreeding. That weaker signals of genetic relatedness might exist year round could provide a mechanism to explain nepotism between unfamiliar kin. Conclusion We suggest that signal convergence between the sexes may reflect strong selective pressures on kin recognition, whereas signal convergence within the sexes may arise as its by-product or function independently to prevent competition between unfamiliar relatives. The link between an individual's genome and its olfactory signals could be mediated by biosynthetic pathways producing polymorphic semiochemicals or by carrier proteins modifying the individual bouquet of

  20. UniProt search blastx result: AK287970 [KOME

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available C 2.7.10.1) (HGF receptor) (Scatter factor receptor) (SF receptor) (HGF/SF receptor) (Met proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase) (c-Met) - Eulemur macaco macaco (Black lemur) 3.00E-20 ...

  1. UniProt search blastx result: AK287484 [KOME

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available C 2.7.10.1) (HGF receptor) (Scatter factor receptor) (SF receptor) (HGF/SF receptor) (Met proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase) (c-Met) - Eulemur macaco macaco (Black lemur) 3.00E-16 ...

  2. UniProt search blastx result: AK288291 [KOME

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available C 2.7.10.1) (HGF receptor) (Scatter factor receptor) (SF receptor) (HGF/SF receptor) (Met proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase) (c-Met) - Eulemur macaco macaco (Black lemur) 1.00E-13 ...

  3. UniProt search blastx result: AK287692 [KOME

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available C 2.7.10.1) (HGF receptor) (Scatter factor receptor) (SF receptor) (HGF/SF receptor) (Met proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase) (c-Met) - Eulemur macaco macaco (Black lemur) 1.00E-15 ...

  4. UniProt search blastx result: AK288206 [KOME

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available C 2.7.10.1) (HGF receptor) (Scatter factor receptor) (SF receptor) (HGF/SF receptor) (Met proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase) (c-Met) - Eulemur macaco macaco (Black lemur) 3.00E-21 ...

  5. UniProt search blastx result: AK288287 [KOME

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available C 2.7.10.1) (HGF receptor) (Scatter factor receptor) (SF receptor) (HGF/SF receptor) (Met proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase) (c-Met) - Eulemur macaco macaco (Black lemur) 7.00E-18 ...

  6. UniProt search blastx result: AK289170 [KOME

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available C 2.7.10.1) (HGF receptor) (Scatter factor receptor) (SF receptor) (HGF/SF receptor) (Met proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase) (c-Met) - Eulemur macaco macaco (Black lemur) 8.00E-19 ...

  7. Madagascar Conservation & Development

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    www.journalmcd.com

    geographical features highlighting their biological and socio- ..... It is expected that people have often to sleep along the banks of the Mandrare until the water level is ...... Activity budgets and activity rhythms in red ruffed lemurs. (Varecia rubra) ...

  8. Socio-ecological analysis of natural resource use in Betampona ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    for environmental managers to see the social aspects of the socio-ecological system so ... In Madagascar, lemurs and other mammalian wildlife are hotly contested .... ing behavior and taste preferences of animal-source foods. In general, the ...

  9. Browse Title Index

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Items 1 - 50 of 152 ... Vol 3, No 1 (2008), Behavior and diet of the Critically Endangered ... infections and body condition in rufous mouse lemurs (Microcebus ... in improving social justice within Madagascar's conservation sector, Abstract PDF.

  10. Roles of a forest corridor between Marojejy, Anjana- haribe-Sud and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    southwestern part of the provisionally protected rainforest corri- dor between .... The climate in COMATSA is tropical and humid with about ..... Lemurs in a complex landscape: mapping spe- ... Are corridors, fragment size and forest structure.

  11. Les lémuriens du site Ramsar de Torotorofotsy

    OpenAIRE

    Jonah H. Ratsimbazafy; Gilbert Rakotondratsimba; Rosette Ralisoamalala

    2013-01-01

    The Torotorofotsy wetlands Ramsar site is rich in natural resources and has great economic potential. Several threatened species, including amphibians (Mantella aurantiaca and M. crocea), birds (Anas melleri, Sarothrura watersi and Tyto soumagnei), carnivores (Cryptoprocta ferox) and lemurs distinguish the site. This study documents the presence of thirteen species of lemur, of which six are considered threatened (Prolemur simus, Hapalemur griseus, Eulemur rubriventer, Propithecus diadema, I...

  12. Extinction and ecological retreat in a community of primates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crowley, B. E.; Godfrey, L. R.; Guilderson, T. P.; Zermeno, P.; Koch, P. L.; Dominy, N. J.

    2012-05-23

    The lemurs of Madagascar represent a prodigious adaptive radiation. At least 17 species ranging from 11 to 160 kg have become extinct during the past 2000 years. The effect of this loss on contemporary lemurs is unknown. The concept of competitive release favours the expansion of living species into vacant niches. Alternatively, factors that triggered the extinction of some species could have also reduced community-wide niche breadth. Here, we use radiocarbon and stable isotope data to examine temporal shifts in the niches of extant lemur species following the extinction of eight large-bodied species. We focus on southwestern Madagascar and report profound isotopic shifts, both from the time when now-extinct lemurs abounded and from the time immediately following their decline to the present. Unexpectedly, the past environments exploited by lemurs were drier than the protected (albeit often degraded) riparian habitats assumed to be ideal for lemurs today. Neither competitive release nor niche contraction can explain these observed trends. We develop an alternative hypothesis: ecological retreat, which suggests that factors surrounding extinction may force surviving species into marginal or previously unfilled niches.

  13. A NEW WORLD MONKEY MICROSATELLITE (AP74 HIGLY CONSERVED IN PRIMATES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LUCIANA INÉS OKLANDER

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Dado su alta variabilidad, los microsatélites o STR se convirtieron en los marcadores genéticos más ampliamente utilizados en los últimos 15 años. El análisis de estos marcadores requiere una mínima cantidad de ADN, permitiendo el uso de muestras no invasivas, tales como pelos o heces. Con el objetivo de analizar niveles de conservación genómica, amplificamos el microsatélite Ap74 en muestras de pelo y sangre de un amplio rango de primates incluyendo: Lemur catta, Alouatta caraya, Ateles belzebuth, Ateles chamek, Pan troglodytes, Papio sp., y Homo sapiens. En todos los casos obtuvimos productos de amplificación que exhibieron un tamaño similar (oscilando entre 126 y 176 pb, con excepción del lémur, donde el fragmento detectado presentó un tamaño de aproxi- madamente 1000 pb. El análisis de las secuencias nucleotídicas nos permitió evaluar las modificaciones moleculares ocurridas durante el proceso evolutivo en primates.

  14. Phylogeny and character behavior in the family Lemuridae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyner, Y; DeSalle, R; Absher, R

    2000-04-01

    A phylogenetic analysis of the family Lemuridae was accomplished using multiple gene partitions and morphological characters. The results of the study suggest that several nodes in the lemurid phylogeny can be robustly resolved; however, the relationships of the species within the genus Eulemur are problematically nonrobust. The genus Varecia is strongly supported as the basal genus in the family. Hapalemur and Lemur catta are strongly supported as sister taxa and together are the sister group to the genus Eulemur. E. mongoz is the most basal species in the genus Eulemur. E. fulvus subspecies form a monophyletic group with three distinct lineages. E. coronatus is strongly supported as the sister taxon to E. macaco. The relationships of E. rubriventer, E. fulvus, and the E. macaco-E. coronatus pair are unresolved. Our combined molecular and morphological analysis demonstrates the lack of influence that morphology has on the simultaneous analysis tree when these two kinds of data are given equal weight. The effects of several extreme weighting schemes (removal of transitions and of third positions in protein-coding regions) and maximum-likelihood analysis were also explored. We suggest that these other forms of inference add little to resolving the problematic relationships of the species in the genus Eulemur.

  15. Brief communication: Effect of size biases in the coefficient of variation on assessing intraspecific variability in the prosimian skeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulwood, Ethan L; Kramer, Andrew

    2013-09-01

    This study examines the effect of a measurement size bias in coefficients of variation on the evaluation of intraspecific skeletal variability in a sample of eight prosimian species (Eulemur fulvus, Hapalemur griseus, Lemur catta, Varecia variegata, Galago senegalensis, Otolemur crassicaudatus, Nycticebus coucang, and Tarsius syrichta). Measurements with smaller means were expected to have higher coefficients of variation (CVs) due to the impact of instrumental precision on the ability to assess variability. This was evaluated by testing for a negative correlation between CVs and means in the total sample, within each species, and within each measurement, and by testing for the leveraging impact of small measurements on the significance of comparisons of variability between regions of the prosimian skeleton. Three comparisons were made: cranial versus postcranial variability, epiphysis versus diaphysis variability, and forelimb versus hindlimb variability. CVs were significantly negatively correlated with means within the total sample (r(2) = 0.208, P < 0.0001) and within each species. CVs and means were significantly correlated within only three of the measurements, which may reflect the relatively low body size range of the species studied. As predicted by the higher variability of smaller measurements, removing the smallest measurements from comparisons of variable classes containing measurements of different mean magnitudes pushed the comparisons below significance. These results indicate caution should be exercised when using CVs to assess variability across sets of measurements with different means.

  16. Food mechanical properties in three sympatric species of Hapalemur in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Vinyard, Christopher J; Tan, Chia L

    2009-07-01

    We investigated mechanical dietary properties of sympatric bamboo lemurs, Hapalemur g. griseus, H. aureus, and H. (Prolemur) simus, in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Each lemur species relies on bamboo, though previous behavioral observations found that they specialize on different parts of a common resource (Tan: Int J Primatol 20 1999 547-566; Tan: PhD dissertation 2000 State University of New York, Stony Brook). On the basis of these earlier behavioral ecology studies, we hypothesized that specialization on bamboo is related to differences in mechanical properties of specific parts. We quantified mechanical properties of individual plant parts from the diets of the bamboo lemur species using a portable tester. The diets of the Hapalemur spp. exhibited high levels of mechanical heterogeneity. The lemurs, however, could be segregated based on the most challenging (i.e., mechanically demanding) foods. Giant bamboo culm pith was the toughest and stiffest food eaten, and its sole lemur consumer, H. simus, had the most challenging diet. However, the mechanical dietary properties of H. simus and H. aureus overlapped considerably. In the cases where lemur species converged on the same bamboo part, the size of the part eaten increased with body size. Plant parts that were harvested orally but not necessarily masticated were the most demanding, indicating that food preparation may place significant loads on the masticatory apparatus. Finally, we describe how mechanical properties can influence feeding behavior. The elaborate procurement processes of H. simus feeding on culm pith and H. griseus and H. aureus feeding on young leaf bases are related to the toughnesses of protective coverings and the lemurs' exploitation of mechanical vulnerabilities in these plants.

  17. Seasonal variation in the abundance and distribution of ticks that parasitize Microcebus griseorufus at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Idalia A. Rodriguez

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available At Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR, Madagascar, mouse lemurs (Microcebus griseorufus are parasitized by multiple species of haemaphysaline ticks. At present we know little about the role ticks play in wild lemur populations and how they can alter interspecies relationships within communities or impact host fitness. In order to better understand these dynamics at BMSR, we examined parasite-host interactions as well as the ecology of mouse lemurs and their infesting ticks, Haemaphysalis lemuris and H. sp. cf. simplex. We show that season, host sex, and habitat influence the relative abundance of ticks on mouse lemurs. Specifically, infestations occur only during the dry season (May–October, are higher in males, and are higher at the study site with the most ground cover and with greater density of large-bodied hosts. Microcebus likely experience decreased susceptibility to tick infestations during the wet season because at that time they rarely if ever descend to the ground. Similarly, male mouse lemurs have higher infestation rates than females because of the greater time they spend traveling and foraging on the ground. During the dry season, Microcebus likely serve as hosts for the tenrec tick, H. sp. cf. simplex, when tenrecs hibernate. In turn, during the wet season when mouse lemurs rarely descend to the ground, other small mammals at the reserve may serve as maintenance hosts for populations of immature ticks. The synchronous development of larvae and nymphs could present high risk for vector-borne disease in Microcebus. This study also provides a preliminary description of the ecology and life cycle of the most common lemur tick, H. lemuris.

  18. Second-Generation Six-Limbed Experimental Robot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Brett; Okon, Avi; Aghazarian, Hrand; Robinson, Matthew; Garrett, Michael; Magnone, Lee

    2004-01-01

    The figure shows the LEMUR II - the second generation of the Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot (LEMUR), which was described in "Six-Legged Experimental Robot" (NPO-20897), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 25, No. 12 (December 2001), page 58. The LEMUR II incorporates a number of improvements, including new features, that extend its capabilities beyond those of its predecessor, which is now denoted the LEMUR I. To recapitulate: the LEMUR I was a six-limbed robot for demonstrating robotic capabilities for assembly, maintenance, and inspection. The LEMUR I was designed to be capable of walking autonomously along a truss structure toward a mechanical assembly at a prescribed location and to perform other operations. The LEMUR I was equipped with stereoscopic video cameras and image-data-processing circuitry for navigation and mechanical operations. It was also equipped with a wireless modem, through which it could be commanded remotely. Upon arrival at a mechanical assembly, the LEMUR I would perform simple mechanical operations with one or both of its front limbs. It could also transmit images to a host computer. Each of the six limbs of the LEMUR I was operated independently. Each of the four rear limbs had three degrees of freedom (DOFs), while each of the front two limbs had four DOFs. The front two limbs were designed to hold, operate, and/or be integrated with tools. The LEMUR I included an onboard computer equipped with an assortment of digital control circuits, digital input/output circuits, analog-to-digital converters for input, and digital-to-analog (D/A) converters for output. Feedback from optical encoders in the limb actuators was utilized for closed-loop microcomputer control of the positions and velocities of the actuators. The LEMUR II incorporates the following improvements over the LEMUR I: a) The drive trains for the joints of the LEMUR II are more sophisticated, providing greater torque and accuracy. b) The six limbs are arranged symmetrically about

  19. Acoustic divergence in the communication of cryptic species of nocturnal primates (Microcebus ssp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zimmermann Elke

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A central question in evolutionary biology is how cryptic species maintain species cohesiveness in an area of sympatry. The coexistence of sympatrically living cryptic species requires the evolution of species-specific signalling and recognition systems. In nocturnal, dispersed living species, specific vocalisations have been suggested to act as an ideal premating isolation mechanism. We studied the structure and perception of male advertisement calls of three nocturnal, dispersed living mouse lemur species, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus, the golden brown mouse lemur (M. ravelobensis and the Goodman's mouse lemur (M. lehilahytsara. The first two species occur sympatrically, the latter lives allopatrically to them. Results A multi-parameter sound analysis revealed prominent differences in the frequency contour and in the duration of advertisement calls. To test whether mouse lemurs respond specifically to calls of the different species, we conducted a playback experiment with M. murinus from the field using advertisement calls and alarm whistle calls of all three species. Individuals responded significantly stronger to conspecific than to heterospecific advertisement calls but there were no differences in response behaviour towards statistically similar whistle calls of the three species. Furthermore, sympatric calls evoked weaker interest than allopatric advertisement calls. Conclusion Our results provide the first evidence for a specific relevance of social calls for speciation in cryptic primates. They furthermore support that specific differences in signalling and recognition systems represent an efficient premating isolation mechanism contributing to species cohesiveness in sympatrically living species.

  20. Encephalomyocarditis virus infection in an Italian zoo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascotto Ernesto

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A fatal Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV infection epidemic involving fifteen primates occurred between October 2006 and February 2007 at the Natura Viva Zoo. This large open-field zoo park located near Lake Garda in Northern Italy hosts one thousand animals belonging to one hundred and fifty different species, including various lemur species. This lemur collection is the most relevant and rich in Italy. A second outbreak between September and November 2008 involved three lemurs. In all cases, the clinical signs were sudden deaths generally without any evident symptoms or only with mild unspecific clinical signs. Gross pathologic changes were characterized by myocarditis (diffuse or focal pallor of the myocardium, pulmonary congestion, emphysema, oedema and thoracic fluid. The EMCV was isolated and recognized as the causative agent of both outbreaks. The first outbreak in particular was associated with a rodent plague, confirming that rats are an important risk factor for the occurrence of the EMCV infection.

  1. The pluripotency factor LIN28 in monkey and human testes: a marker for spermatogonial stem cells?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aeckerle, N; Eildermann, K; Drummer, C; Ehmcke, J; Schweyer, S; Lerchl, A; Bergmann, M; Kliesch, S; Gromoll, J; Schlatt, S; Behr, R

    2012-10-01

    Mammalian spermatogenesis is maintained by spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). However, since evidentiary assays and unequivocal markers are still missing in non-human primates (NHPs) and man, the identity of primate SSCs is unknown. In contrast, in mice, germ cell transplantation studies have functionally demonstrated the presence of SSCs. LIN28 is an RNA-binding pluripotent stem cell factor, which is also strongly expressed in undifferentiated mouse spermatogonia. By contrast, two recent reports indicated that LIN28 is completely absent from adult human testes. Here, we analyzed LIN28 expression in marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) and human testes during development and adulthood and compared it with that in mice. In the marmoset, LIN28 was strongly expressed in migratory primordial germ cells and gonocytes. Strikingly, we found a rare LIN28-positive subpopulation of spermatogonia also in adult marmoset testis. This was corroborated by western blotting and quantitative RT-PCR. Importantly, in contrast to previous publications, we found LIN28-positive spermatogonia also in normal adult human and additional adult NHP testes. Some seasonal breeders exhibit a degenerated (involuted) germinal epithelium consisting only of Sertoli cells and SSCs during their non-breeding season. The latter re-initiate spermatogenesis prior to the next breeding-season. Fully involuted testes from a seasonal hamster and NHP (Lemur catta) exhibited numerous LIN28-positive spermatogonia, indicating an SSC identity of the labeled cells. We conclude that LIN28 is differentially expressed in mouse and NHP spermatogonia and might be a marker for a rare SSC population in NHPs and man. Further characterization of the LIN28-positive population is required.

  2. What is dental ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Teeth have long been used as indicators of primate ecology. Early work focused on the links between dental morphology, diet, and behavior, with more recent years emphasizing dental wear, microstructure, development, and biogeochemistry, to understand primate ecology. Our study of Lemur catta at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, has revealed an unusual pattern of severe tooth wear and frequent tooth loss, primarily the result of consuming a fallback food for which these primates are not dentally adapted. Interpreting these data was only possible by combining our areas of expertise (dental anatomy [FC] and primate ecology [MS]). By integrating theoretical, methodological, and applied aspects of both areas of research, we adopted the term "dental ecology"-defined as the broad study of how teeth respond to the environment. Specifically, we view dental ecology as an interpretive framework using teeth as a vehicle for understanding an organism's ecology, which builds upon earlier work, but creates a new synthesis of anatomy and ecology that is only possible with detailed knowledge of living primates. This framework includes (1) identifying patterns of dental pathology and tooth use-wear, within the context of feeding ecology, behavior, habitat variation, and anthropogenic change, (2) assessing ways in which dental development and biogeochemical signals can reflect habitat, environmental change and/or stress, and (3) how dental microstructure and macro-morphology are adapted to, and reflect feeding ecology. Here we define dental ecology, provide a short summary of the development of this perspective, and place our new work into this context. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. “BEHAVIOURAL STUDY OF PRIMATES IN A ZOO SETTING IN MONTEVIDEO (URUGUAY”.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Lucia Ilardia Elhordoy

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available En una búsqueda permanente de innovación educativa, surge el presente proyecto de trabajo interinstitucional, que contó con apoyo de la Facultad de Ciencias (UDELAR. El objetivo principal del mismo es que los estudiantes conozcan y se familiaricen con una investigación científica de comportamiento animal y de esa forma intentar responder a la pregunta: “Todos somos primates, pero ¿qué tan primates somos?” El proyecto se basa en el estudio del comportamiento en cautiverio de dos especies de primates, Papio hamadryas  y Lemur catta, en el Zoológico “Villa Dolores”, Montevideo, Uruguay. Se realizó una valoración de aspectos positivos y negativos (tipo de recinto, ambientación y cuidados, estructura de grupo, habilitando una nueva dimensión de análisis: el “Enriquecimiento ambiental”. A partir de la construcción conjunta de un Etograma (entre estudiantes de los diferentes Centros Educativos de Secundaria se realizó un análisis de los comportamientos más frecuentes registrados, en una comparación con el comportamiento humano. La Evaluación, considerada un aspecto fundamental, ha sido continua y coordinada durante el proceso. El trabajo deja abierto el debate sobre los objetivos y los roles que deberían cumplir los Parques Zoológicos, las Reservas. ¿Podríamos hablar de “Centros de Recuperación de Fauna”? ¿Quiénes deberían participar en la toma de decisiones al respecto?

  4. Photoperiodic regime influences onset of lens opacities in a non-human primate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marko Dubicanac

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Background Opacities of the lens are typical age-related phenomena which have a high influence on photoreception and consequently circadian rhythm. In mouse lemurs, a small bodied non-human primate, a high incidence (more than 50% when >seven years of cataracts has been previously described during aging. Previous studies showed that photoperiodically induced accelerated annual rhythms alter some of mouse lemurs’ life history traits. Whether a modification of photoperiod also affects the onset of age dependent lens opacities has not been investigated so far. The aim of this study was therefore to characterise the type of opacity and the mouse lemurs’ age at its onset in two colonies with different photoperiodic regimen. Methods Two of the largest mouse lemur colonies in Europe were investigated: Colony 1 having a natural annual photoperiodic regime and Colony 2 with an induced accelerated annual cycle. A slit-lamp was used to determine opacities in the lens. Furthermore, a subset of all animals which showed no opacities in the lens nucleus in the first examination but developed first changes in the following examination were further examined to estimate the age at onset of opacities. In total, 387 animals were examined and 57 represented the subset for age at onset estimation. Results The first and most commonly observable opacity in the lens was nuclear sclerosis. Mouse lemurs from Colony 1 showed a delayed onset of nuclear sclerosis compared to mouse lemurs from Colony 2 (4.35 ± 1.50 years vs. 2.75 ± 0.99 years. For colony 1, the chronological age was equivalent to the number of seasonal cycles experienced by the mouse lemurs. For colony 2, in which seasonal cycles were accelerated by a factor of 1.5, mouse lemurs had experienced 4.13 ± 1.50 seasonal cycles in 2.75 ± 0.99 chronological years. Discussion Our study showed clear differences in age at the onset of nuclear sclerosis formation between lemurs kept under different

  5. Grooming patterns in Verreaux's sifaka.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Rebecca J

    2010-03-01

    Lemur grooming has received very little attention in the literature. Nevertheless, allogrooming in lemurs has been suggested to be fundamentally different from the grooming of anthropoids. One reason is that lemurs generally rely on oral rather than manual grooming. Lemur allogrooming has also been suggested to serve less of a social function than has been attributed to anthropoid grooming. I analyzed the allogrooming behaviors of 29 Verreaux's sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi) living in five social groups in the Kirindy Forest of Madagascar. Based upon 1,586 observation hours, I found that sifaka, like anthropoids, spend very little time mutual grooming (2+/-3%). Half of all allogrooming involved parts of the body that could have been easily groomed by the recipient, such as the limbs. Even though ectoparasite loads are expected to be greater during the rainy season, allogrooming did not increase during the rainy season. Allogrooming rates were influenced by both rank and sex, and increased by 50-100% during the mating season. The results of this study suggest that allogrooming in Verreaux's sifaka plays an important social function, even though it is performed with a toothcomb.

  6. The early specimens of the potto Perodicticus potto (Statius Müller, 1776) in the National Museum of Natural History, Leiden, with the selection of a neotype

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smeenk, C.; Godfrey, L.R.; Williams, F.L.

    2006-01-01

    The potto was first recorded and figured by Willem Bosman in 1704. The name Lemur potto Statius Müller, 1776 is exclusively based upon Bosman’s account and figure, which are reproduced in full. The type locality is Elmina on the Gold Coast, the present Ghana. No type specimen was collected. The earl

  7. Mutual mate choice in a female-dominant and sexually monomorphic primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Doris; Huchard, Elise; Henry, Pierre-Yves; Perret, Martine

    2012-03-01

    Sexual dimorphism is common in polygynous species, where intrasexual competition is often thought to drive the evolution of large male body size, and in turn, male behavioral dominance over females. In Madagascar, the entire lemur radiation, which embraces diverse mating systems, lacks sexual dimorphism and exhibits frequent female dominance over males. The evolution of such morphological and behavioral peculiarities, often referred to as "the lemur syndrome," has proven difficult to understand. Among other hypotheses, a potential role of intersexual selection has been repeatedly proposed but hardly ever tested. Here, we investigate whether female choice favors small and compliant males, and whether male choice favors large females in captive gray mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Detailed analysis of a combination of behavioral observations and hormonal data available for both sexes shows that (1) females accept more matings from males with higher fighting abilities, (2) males adjust their investment in intrasexual competition to female fertility, and (3) both male and female strategies are weakly influenced by the body mass of potential partners, in directions contradicting our predictions. These results do not suggest a prominent role of intersexual selection in the evolution and maintenance of the lemur syndrome but rather point to alternative mechanisms relating to male-male competition, specifically highlighting an absence of relationship between male body mass and fighting ability. Finally, our findings add to the growing body of evidence suggesting flexible sex roles, by showing the expression of mutual mate choice in a female-dominant, sexually monomorphic and promiscuous primate.

  8. Monkeys, Apes and Other Primates. Young Discovery Library Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Andre

    This book is written for children 5 through 10. Part of a series designed to develop their curiosity, fascinate them and educate them, this volume introduces the primate family, their physiology, and habits. Topics described include: (1) kinds of monkeys, including lemur, chimpanzee, gorilla, squirrel monkey, and marmoset; (2) behaviors when…

  9. The role of invasive trophoblast in implantation and placentation of primates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Anthony Michael; Enders, Allen C; Pijnenborg, Robert

    2015-01-01

    We here review the evolution of invasive placentation in primates towards the deep penetration of the endometrium and its arteries in hominoids. The strepsirrhine primates (lemurs and lorises) have non-invasive, epitheliochorial placentation, although this is thought to be derived from a more inv...

  10. Implications of lemuriform extinctions for the Malagasy flora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Federman, Sarah; Dornburg, Alex; Daly, Douglas C; Downie, Alexander; Perry, George H; Yoder, Anne D; Sargis, Eric J; Richard, Alison F; Donoghue, Michael J; Baden, Andrea L

    2016-05-01

    Madagascar's lemurs display a diverse array of feeding strategies with complex relationships to seed dispersal mechanisms in Malagasy plants. Although these relationships have been explored previously on a case-by-case basis, we present here the first comprehensive analysis of lemuriform feeding, to our knowledge, and its hypothesized effects on seed dispersal and the long-term survival of Malagasy plant lineages. We used a molecular phylogenetic framework to examine the mode and tempo of diet evolution, and to quantify the associated morphological space occupied by Madagascar's lemurs, both extinct and extant. Using statistical models and morphometric analyses, we demonstrate that the extinction of large-bodied lemurs resulted in a significant reduction in functional morphological space associated with seed dispersal ability. These reductions carry potentially far-reaching consequences for Malagasy ecosystems, and we highlight large-seeded Malagasy plants that appear to be without extant animal dispersers. We also identify living lemurs that are endangered yet occupy unique and essential dispersal niches defined by our morphometric analyses.

  11. Image collection: 164 [Togo Picture Gallery[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 164 Cynocephalus_volans_NL.png フィリピンヒヨケザル Philippine flying lemur Cynocephalus volans 110931 生物アイコン,脊索動物門,脊椎動物亜門,哺乳綱,獣亜綱,真獣下綱

  12. Shape of the lateral mandibular outline in Lemuridae: a quantitative analysis of variability using elliptical Fourier analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raveloson, Herimalala; Le Minor, Jean-Marie; Rumpler, Yves; Schmittbuhl, Matthieu

    2005-01-01

    While several morphometric analyses in lemurids have focused on the craniofacial complex, the characterization of their mandibular morphology has received less attention. The mandibular outline, in lateral perspective, was quantified using elliptical Fourier analysis, in an osteological sample encompassing 189 lemurid mandibles (66 Eulemur, 51 Hapalemur, 22 Lemur and 50 Varecia), and compared using multivariate statistical techniques. The taxonomic value of this outline in Lemuridae was demonstrated by the existence of significant separations between the four genera studied. In particular, the mandibular morphology of Hapalemur was markedly different from that in the group Eulemur-Lemur-Varecia. Excluding Hapalemur from analysis, the distinctions between Eulemur, Lemur and Varecia were enhanced suggesting the existence of more subtle intergeneric differences in mandibular morphology. Variation in mandibular form was greatest in Hapalemur and smallest in Eulemur and Varecia (as demonstrated by the mean values of interindividual distances); variation was higher in Lemur than in Eulemur and Varecia, but not higher than in Hapalemur. This morphological diversity may be related to functional adaptation in response to particular dietary habits. The patterns of intergeneric and intrageneric shape variations of the mandible in Lemuridae presented here provide a valuable resource for the analysis of variation among living and fossil lemurids.

  13. Habitat degradation and seasonality affect physiological stress levels of Eulemur collaris in littoral forest fragments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michela Balestri

    Full Text Available The littoral forest on sandy soil is among the most threatened habitats in Madagascar and, as such, it represents a hot-spot within a conservation hot-spot. Assessing the health of the resident lemur fauna is not only critical for the long-term viability of these populations, but also necessary for the future re-habilitation of this unique habitat. Since the Endangered collared brown lemur, Eulemur collaris, is the largest seed disperser of the Malagasy south-eastern littoral forest its survival in this habitat is crucial. In this study we compared fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM levels, a measure of physiological stress and potential early indicator of population health, between groups of collared brown lemurs living in a degraded forest fragment and groups occurring in a more preserved area. For this, we analysed 279 fecal samples collected year-round from 4 groups of collared brown lemurs using a validated 11-oxoetiocholanolone enzyme immunoassay and tested if fGCM levels were influenced by reproductive stages, phenological seasons, sex, and habitat degradation. The lemurs living in the degraded forest had significantly higher fGCM levels than those living in the more preserved area. In particular, the highest fGCM levels were found during the mating season in all animals and in females during gestation in the degraded forest. Since mating and gestation are both occurring during the lean season in the littoral forest, these results likely reflect a combination of ecological and reproductive pressures. Our findings provide a clear indication that habitat degradation has additive effects to the challenges found in the natural habitat. Since increased stress hormone output may have long-term negative effects on population health and reproduction, our data emphasize the need for and may add to the development of effective conservation plans for the species.

  14. Asymptomatic Enterocytozoon bieneusi microsporidiosis in captive mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna; Graczyk, Thaddeus K; Tamang, Leena; Girouard, Autumn S; Majewska, Anna C

    2007-02-01

    Human microsporidiosis, a serious disease of immunocompetent and immunosuppressed people, can be due to zoonotic transmission of microsporidian spores. A survey utilizing chromotrope 2R stain and fluorescent in situ hybridization techniques for testing feces from 193 captive mammals demonstrated that 3 animals (1.6%) shed Encephalitozoon bieneusi spores. These include two critically endangered species (i.e., black lemurs, Eulemur macaco flavifrons; and Visayan warty pig, Sus cebifrons negrinus) and a threatened species (mongoose lemur, Eulemur mongoz). The concentration of spores varied from 2.7 x 10(5) to 5.7 x 10(5)/g of feces, and all infections were asymptomatic. The study demonstrates that E. bieneusi spores can originate from captive animals, which is of particular epidemiologic importance because the close containment of zoological gardens can facilitate pathogen spread to other animals and also to people such as zoo personnel and visitors.

  15. Moderate evidence for a Lombard effect in a phylogenetically basal primate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Schopf

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available When exposed to enhanced background noise, humans avoid signal masking by increasing the amplitude of the voice, a phenomenon termed the Lombard effect. This auditory feedback-mediated voice control has also been found in monkeys, bats, cetaceans, fish and some frogs and birds. We studied the Lombard effect for the first time in a phylogenetically basal primate, the grey mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus. When background noise was increased, mouse lemurs were able to raise the amplitude of the voice, comparable to monkeys, but they did not show this effect consistently across context/individuals. The Lombard effect, even if representing a generic vocal communication system property of mammals, may thus be affected by more complex mechanisms. The present findings emphasize an effect of context, and individual, and the need for further standardized approaches to disentangle the multiple system properties of mammalian vocal communication, important for understanding the evolution of the unique human faculty of speech and language.

  16. Considering the Influence of Nonadaptive Evolution on Primate Color Vision.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel L Jacobs

    Full Text Available Color vision in primates is variable across species, and it represents a rare trait in which the genetic mechanisms underlying phenotypic variation are fairly well-understood. Research on primate color vision has largely focused on adaptive explanations for observed variation, but it remains unclear why some species have trichromatic or polymorphic color vision while others are red-green color blind. Lemurs, in particular, are highly variable. While some species are polymorphic, many closely-related species are strictly dichromatic. We provide the first characterization of color vision in a wild population of red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar with a sample size (87 individuals; NX chromosomes = 134 large enough to detect even rare variants (0.95 probability of detection at ≥ 3% frequency. By sequencing exon 5 of the X-linked opsin gene we identified opsin spectral sensitivity based on known diagnostic sites and found this population to be dichromatic and monomorphic for a long wavelength allele. Apparent fixation of this long allele is in contrast to previously published accounts of Eulemur species, which exhibit either polymorphic color vision or only the medium wavelength opsin. This unexpected result may represent loss of color vision variation, which could occur through selective processes and/or genetic drift (e.g., genetic bottleneck. To indirectly assess the latter scenario, we genotyped 55 adult red-bellied lemurs at seven variable microsatellite loci and used heterozygosity excess and M-ratio tests to assess if this population may have experienced a recent genetic bottleneck. Results of heterozygosity excess but not M-ratio tests suggest a bottleneck might have occurred in this red-bellied lemur population. Therefore, while selection may also play a role, the unique color vision observed in this population might have been influenced by a recent genetic bottleneck. These results emphasize the

  17. Considering the Influence of Nonadaptive Evolution on Primate Color Vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Rachel L; Bradley, Brenda J

    2016-01-01

    Color vision in primates is variable across species, and it represents a rare trait in which the genetic mechanisms underlying phenotypic variation are fairly well-understood. Research on primate color vision has largely focused on adaptive explanations for observed variation, but it remains unclear why some species have trichromatic or polymorphic color vision while others are red-green color blind. Lemurs, in particular, are highly variable. While some species are polymorphic, many closely-related species are strictly dichromatic. We provide the first characterization of color vision in a wild population of red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar) with a sample size (87 individuals; NX chromosomes = 134) large enough to detect even rare variants (0.95 probability of detection at ≥ 3% frequency). By sequencing exon 5 of the X-linked opsin gene we identified opsin spectral sensitivity based on known diagnostic sites and found this population to be dichromatic and monomorphic for a long wavelength allele. Apparent fixation of this long allele is in contrast to previously published accounts of Eulemur species, which exhibit either polymorphic color vision or only the medium wavelength opsin. This unexpected result may represent loss of color vision variation, which could occur through selective processes and/or genetic drift (e.g., genetic bottleneck). To indirectly assess the latter scenario, we genotyped 55 adult red-bellied lemurs at seven variable microsatellite loci and used heterozygosity excess and M-ratio tests to assess if this population may have experienced a recent genetic bottleneck. Results of heterozygosity excess but not M-ratio tests suggest a bottleneck might have occurred in this red-bellied lemur population. Therefore, while selection may also play a role, the unique color vision observed in this population might have been influenced by a recent genetic bottleneck. These results emphasize the need to

  18. Atigeo at TREC 2014 Clinical Decision Support Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-11-01

    configurable suite of natural language processing ( NLP ) compo- nents, to compute a relevance score for each article and topic. We describe our ensemble...approach, the strategies and tools we use to create labeled data to support this approach, the components in our IR / NLP pipeline, and our results on...Indri/Lemur5 – and includes several text processing and natural lan- guage processing ( NLP ) modules, such as negation tagging, age grouping, and

  19. ENCEFALOPATÍA ESPONGIFORME BOVINA Y SU DIAGNÓSTICO: REVISIÓN

    OpenAIRE

    Aponte García, Pedro Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) is a group of neurological degenerative diseases for which there is no cure and whose outcome is always fatal. Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) can affect both humans and animals, either livestock (cows, sheep and goats), domestic (cats) and wildlife animals (deer, mink and moose), including various animals living in zoos (antelopes, cats, lemurs and rhesus monkey). While Scrapie in sheep is a disease ...

  20. Calorie restriction and resveratrol supplementation prevent age-related DNA and RNA oxidative damage in a non-human primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchal, J; Dal-Pan, A; Epelbaum, J; Blanc, S; Mueller, S; Wittig Kieffer, M; Metzger, F; Aujard, F

    2013-09-01

    Oxidative stress is a key factor in the aging process and in the development of age-related diseases. Because nutritional interventions such as caloric restriction (CR) delay the onset of age-related diseases and increase the lifespan of many species, the impact of a moderate CR was tested on male grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), which have a median survival time of 5.7 years in captivity. The effects of CR on these lemurs were compared with a potential mimetic, resveratrol (RSV), a polyphenol naturally found in grapes. We hypothesized that both CR and RSV impact oxidative DNA and RNA damage compared to standard-fed control (CTL) animals. Adult (3-4 years old) male mouse lemurs were assigned to three dietary groups: a CTL group, a CR group receiving 30% fewer calories than the CTL and a RSV group receiving the CTL diet supplemented with RSV (200 mg·day(-1)·kg(-1)). Oxidative stress was estimated after 3, 9, 15 and 21 months of treatment using the measurement of oxidized nucleosides in urine samples by mass spectrometry. The resting metabolic rate, adjusted for changes in body composition, was also measured to assess the potential relationship between oxygen consumption and oxidative damage markers. This study provides evidence for oxidative stress accumulation with age in grey mouse lemur. Dietary interventions resulted in a short-term increase in oxidative stress levels followed by reduced levels with increasing age. Moreover, in this photoperiod-dependent heterotherm primate, seasonal variations in oxidative stress were observed, which was likely due to a season-dependent, cost-benefit trade-off between torpor use and oxidative stress.

  1. Caloric restriction or resveratrol supplementation and ageing in a non-human primate: first-year outcome of the RESTRIKAL study in Microcebus murinus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dal-Pan, Alexandre; Terrien, Jérémy; Pifferi, Fabien; Botalla, Roger; Hardy, Isabelle; Marchal, Julia; Zahariev, Alexandre; Chery, Isabelle; Zizzari, Philippe; Perret, Martine; Picq, Jean Luc; Epelbaum, Jacques; Blanc, Stéphane; Aujard, Fabienne

    2011-03-01

    A life-long follow-up of physiological and behavioural functions was initiated in 38-month-old mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) to test whether caloric restriction (CR) or a potential mimetic compound, resveratrol (RSV), can delay the ageing process and the onset of age-related diseases. Based on their potential survival of 12 years, mouse lemurs were assigned to three different groups: a control (CTL) group fed ad libitum, a CR group fed 70% of the CTL caloric intake and a RSV group (200 mg/kg.day(-1)) fed ad libitum. Since this prosimian primate exhibits a marked annual rhythm in body mass gain during winter, animals were tested throughout the year to assess body composition, daily energy expenditure (DEE), resting metabolic rate (RMR), physical activity and hormonal levels. After 1 year, all mouse lemurs seemed in good health. CR animals showed a significantly decreased body mass compared with the other groups during long day period only. CR or RSV treatments did not affect body composition. CR induced a decrease in DEE without changes in RMR, whereas RSV induced a concomitant increase in DEE and RMR without any obvious modification of locomotor activity in both groups. Hormonal levels remained similar in each group. In summary, after 1 year of treatment CR and RSV induced differential metabolic responses but animals successfully acclimated to their imposed diets. The RESTRIKAL study can now be safely undertaken on a long-term basis to determine whether age-associated alterations in mouse lemurs are delayed with CR and if RSV can mimic these effects.

  2. Cerebral complexity preceded enlarged brain size and reduced olfactory bulbs in Old World monkeys

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzales, L.; Benefit, B.; McCrossin, M.; Spoor, F.

    2015-01-01

    Analysis of the only complete early cercopithecoid (Old World monkey) endocast currently known, that of 15-million-year (Myr)-old Victoriapithecus, reveals an unexpectedly small endocranial volume (ECV) relative to body size and a large olfactory bulb volume relative to ECV, similar to extant lemurs and Oligocene anthropoids. However, the Victoriapithecus brain has principal and arcuate sulci of the frontal lobe not seen in the stem catarrhine Aegyptopithecus, as well as a distinctive cercopi...

  3. Primates as Predictors of Mammal Community Diversity in the Forest Ecosystems of Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muldoon, Kathleen M.; Goodman, Steven M.

    2015-01-01

    The geographic distribution of species is the typical metric for identifying priority areas for conservation. Since most biodiversity remains poorly studied, a subset of charismatic species, such as primates, often stand as surrogates for total biodiversity. A central question is therefore, how effectively do primates predict the pooled species richness of other mammalian taxa? We used lemurs as indicator species to predict total non-primate mammal community richness in the forest ecosystems of Madagascar. We combine environmental and species occurrence data to ascertain the extent to which primate diversity can predict (1) non-primate mammal α-diversity (species richness), (2) non-primate complementarity, and (3) non-primate β-diversity (species turnover). Our results indicate that primates are effective predictors of non-primate mammal community diversity in the forest ecosystems of Madagascar after controlling for habitat. When individual orders of mammals are considered, lemurs effectively predict the species richness of carnivorans and rodents (but not afrosoricids), complementarity of rodents (but not carnivorans or afrosoricids), and all individual components of β-diversity. We conclude that lemurs effectively predict total non-primate community richness. However, surrogate species alone cannot achieve complete representation of biodiversity. PMID:26334525

  4. Large rivers do not always act as species barriers for Lepilemur sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craul, Mathias; Radespiel, Ute; Rasolofoson, David W; Rakotondratsimba, Gilbert; Rakotonirainy, Odon; Rasoloharijaona, Solofonirina; Randrianambinina, Blanchard; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah; Ratelolahy, Felix; Randrianamboavaonjy, Tahirihasina; Rakotozafy, Lucien

    2008-07-01

    Sportive lemurs constitute a highly diverse endemic lemur family (24 species) for which many biogeographic boundaries are not yet clarified. Based on recent phylogeographic models, this study aims to determine the importance of two large rivers (the Antainambalana and Rantanabe) in northeastern Madagascar as species barriers for Lepilemur seali. The Antainambalana River was previously assumed to act as the southern border of its distribution. A total of 1,038 bp of the mtDNA of four individuals stemming from two adjacent inter-river systems south of the Antainambalana River was sequenced and compared to sequences of 22 described Lepilemur species. The phylogenetic reconstruction did not find support for either of the two rivers as species barrier for Lepilemur, as all captured individuals clustered closely with and therefore belonged to L. seali. However, a previously published sequence of an individual from a site south of our study sites belongs to a separate species. The southern boundary of L. seali must therefore be one of two large rivers further south of our study sites. The results suggest that L. seali may possess a relatively large altitudinal range that enabled this species to migrate around the headwaters of the Antainambalana and Rantanabe Rivers. Previous phylogeographic models need to be refined in order to incorporate these findings, and more species-specific altitudinal range data are urgently needed in order to fully understand the biogeographic patterns of lemurs on Madagascar.

  5. A novel system of polymorphic and diverse NK cell receptors in primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Averdam

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available There are two main classes of natural killer (NK cell receptors in mammals, the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR and the structurally unrelated killer cell lectin-like receptors (KLR. While KIR represent the most diverse group of NK receptors in all primates studied to date, including humans, apes, and Old and New World monkeys, KLR represent the functional equivalent in rodents. Here, we report a first digression from this rule in lemurs, where the KLR (CD94/NKG2 rather than KIR constitute the most diverse group of NK cell receptors. We demonstrate that natural selection contributed to such diversification in lemurs and particularly targeted KLR residues interacting with the peptide presented by MHC class I ligands. We further show that lemurs lack a strict ortholog or functional equivalent of MHC-E, the ligands of non-polymorphic KLR in "higher" primates. Our data support the existence of a hitherto unknown system of polymorphic and diverse NK cell receptors in primates and of combinatorial diversity as a novel mechanism to increase NK cell receptor repertoire.

  6. Primates as Predictors of Mammal Community Diversity in the Forest Ecosystems of Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muldoon, Kathleen M; Goodman, Steven M

    2015-01-01

    The geographic distribution of species is the typical metric for identifying priority areas for conservation. Since most biodiversity remains poorly studied, a subset of charismatic species, such as primates, often stand as surrogates for total biodiversity. A central question is therefore, how effectively do primates predict the pooled species richness of other mammalian taxa? We used lemurs as indicator species to predict total non-primate mammal community richness in the forest ecosystems of Madagascar. We combine environmental and species occurrence data to ascertain the extent to which primate diversity can predict (1) non-primate mammal α-diversity (species richness), (2) non-primate complementarity, and (3) non-primate β-diversity (species turnover). Our results indicate that primates are effective predictors of non-primate mammal community diversity in the forest ecosystems of Madagascar after controlling for habitat. When individual orders of mammals are considered, lemurs effectively predict the species richness of carnivorans and rodents (but not afrosoricids), complementarity of rodents (but not carnivorans or afrosoricids), and all individual components of β-diversity. We conclude that lemurs effectively predict total non-primate community richness. However, surrogate species alone cannot achieve complete representation of biodiversity.

  7. Impaired fasting blood glucose is associated to cognitive impairment and cerebral atrophy in middle-aged non-human primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djelti, Fathia; Dhenain, Marc; Terrien, Jérémy; Picq, Jean-Luc; Hardy, Isabelle; Champeval, Delphine; Perret, Martine; Schenker, Esther; Epelbaum, Jacques; Aujard, Fabienne

    2017-01-01

    Age-associated cognitive impairment is a major health and social issue because of increasing aged population. Cognitive decline is not homogeneous in humans and the determinants leading to differences between subjects are not fully understood. In middle-aged healthy humans, fasting blood glucose levels in the upper normal range are associated with memory impairment and cerebral atrophy. Due to a close evolutional similarity to Man, non-human primates may be useful to investigate the relationships between glucose homeostasis, cognitive deficits and structural brain alterations. In the grey mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus, spatial memory deficits have been associated with age and cerebral atrophy but the origin of these alterations have not been clearly identified. Herein, we showed that, on 28 female grey mouse lemurs (age range 2.4-6.1 years-old), age correlated with impaired fasting blood glucose (rs=0.37) but not with impaired glucose tolerance or insulin resistance. In middle-aged animals (4.1-6.1 years-old), fasting blood glucose was inversely and closely linked with spatial memory performance (rs=0.56) and hippocampus (rs=−0.62) or septum (rs=−0.55) volumes. These findings corroborate observations in humans and further support the grey mouse lemur as a natural model to unravel mechanisms which link impaired glucose homeostasis, brain atrophy and cognitive processes. PMID:28039490

  8. Genetic regulation of parasite infection: empirical evidence of the functional significance of an IL4 gene SNP on nematode infections in wild primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kappeler Peter M

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Susceptibility to parasite infection affects fitness-related processes, such as mate choice and survival, yet its genetic regulation remains poorly understood. Interleukin-4 (IL4 plays a central role in the humoral immune defence against nematode parasite infections, inducing IgE switch and regulation of worm expulsion from the intestines. The evolutionary and functional significance of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in IL4-genes is known, yet empirical information on the effect of IL4 SNPs on gastro-intestinal infections is lacking. Using samples from a population of wild red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus, Primates: Lemuridae, from western Madagascar, we explored the association of IL4-gene promoter polymorphisms with nematode infections and investigated a possible functional role of the IL4 polymorphism on male reproductive success. Results Using sequence analyses of lemur DNA we detected a new SNP in the IL4 gene promoter area. Carriers of the genotype T/T showed higher nematode infection intensities than individuals of genotypes C/T and C/C. Genetic population analyses using data from more than 10 years, suggested higher reproductive success of T/T males than expected. Conclusions Our results suggest a regulatory effect of an IL4 gene promoter polymorphism on the intensity of parasite infections in a natural population of red-fronted lemurs, with a seemingly disadvantageous genotype represented in low frequencies. Long-term population analyses, however, point in the direction of a negative frequency-dependent association, giving a fitness advantage to the rare genotype. Due to low frequencies of the genotype in question conclusive evidence of a functional role of IL4 polymorphism cannot be drawn here; still, we suggest the use of IL4 polymorphism as a new molecular tool for quick assessment of individual genetic constitution with regard to nematode infection intensities, contributing to a better

  9. Semi-quantitative tests of cyanide in foods and excreta of Three Hapalemur species in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Nayuta; Tan, Chia L; Vinyard, Christopher J; Williams, Cathy

    2010-01-01

    Three sympatric Hapalemur species (H. g. griseus, H. aureus, and H. (Prolemur) simus) in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar are known to eat bamboo food parts that contain cyanide. How these lemurs avoid cyanide poisoning remains unknown. In this study, we tested for the presence/absence of cyanide in bamboo lemur foods and excreta to (1) document patterns of cyanide consumption among species with respect to diet, (2) identify routes of elimination of cyanide from the gastrointestinal tract, and (3) determine whether cyanide is absorbed from the diet. We tested 102 food, urine, and fecal samples for hydrogen cyanide (HCN) during two "pre-dry" seasons (April 2006, May 2007) using commercially available Cyantesmo test strips. The test strips changed color in the presence of HCN, and we recorded color change on a scale of 0 (no change) to 5 (cobalt) at preset intervals with a final score taken at 24 hr. We detected cyanide in bamboo food parts and urine of all three Hapalemur species. Time to color change of the test strips ranged from almost instantaneous to >12 hr incubation. Of the foods tested, only bamboo contained cyanide, but results differed among bamboo species and plant parts of the same species. Specifically, branch shoot and culm pith of the giant bamboo produced strong, immediate reactions to the test paper, whereas parts of liana bamboos produced either weak or no color change. Cyanide was present in almost all urine samples but rarely in fecal samples. This suggests that dietary cyanide is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract of the Hapalemur species and excreted, at least in part, by the kidneys. Samples from H. griseus exhibited lower, though still detectable, cyanide levels compared with H. simus and H. aureus. Differences among lemur species appear to be related to the specific bamboo parts consumed.

  10. Comparative aspects of trophoblast development and placentation

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    Enders Allen C

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Based on the number of tissues separating maternal from fetal blood, placentas are classified as epitheliochorial, endotheliochorial or hemochorial. We review the occurrence of these placental types in the various orders of eutherian mammals within the framework of the four superorders identified by the techniques of molecular phylogenetics. The superorder Afrotheria diversified in ancient Africa and its living representatives include elephants, sea cows, hyraxes, aardvark, elephant shrews and tenrecs. Xenarthra, comprising armadillos, anteaters and sloths, diversified in South America. All placentas examined from members of these two oldest superorders are either endotheliochorial or hemochorial. The superorder Euarchontoglires includes two sister groups, Glires and Euarchonta. The former comprises rodents and lagomorphs, which typically have hemochorial placentas. The most primitive members of Euarchonta, the tree shrews, have endotheliochorial placentation. Flying lemurs and all higher primates have hemochorial placentas. However, the lemurs and lorises are exceptional among primates in having epitheliochorial placentation. Laurasiatheria, the last superorder to arise, includes several orders with epitheliochorial placentation. These comprise whales, camels, pigs, ruminants, horses and pangolins. In contrast, nearly all carnivores have endotheliochorial placentation, whilst bats have endotheliochorial or hemochorial placentas. Also included in Laurasiatheria are a number of insectivores that have many conserved morphological characters; none of these has epitheliochorial placentation. Consideration of placental type in relation to the findings of molecular phylogenetics suggests that the likely path of evolution in Afrotheria was from endotheliochorial to hemochorial placentation. This is also a likely scenario for Xenarthra and the bats. We argue that a definitive epitheliochorial placenta is a secondary specialization and that it

  11. Reproductive resilience to food shortage in a small heterothermic primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canale, Cindy I; Huchard, Elise; Perret, Martine; Henry, Pierre-Yves

    2012-01-01

    The massive energetic costs entailed by reproduction in most mammalian females may increase the vulnerability of reproductive success to food shortage. Unexpected events of unfavorable climatic conditions are expected to rise in frequency and intensity as climate changes. The extent to which physiological flexibility allows organisms to maintain reproductive output constant despite energetic bottlenecks has been poorly investigated. In mammals, reproductive resilience is predicted to be maximal during early stages of reproduction, due to the moderate energetic costs of ovulation and gestation relative to lactation. We experimentally tested the consequences of chronic-moderate and short-acute food shortages on the reproductive output of a small seasonally breeding primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) under thermo-neutral conditions. These two food treatments were respectively designed to simulate the energetic constraints imposed by a lean year (40% caloric restriction over eight months) or by a sudden, severe climatic event occurring shortly before reproduction (80% caloric restriction over a month). Grey mouse lemurs evolved under the harsh, unpredictable climate of the dry forest of Madagascar and should thus display great potential for physiological adjustments to energetic bottlenecks. We assessed the resilience of the early stages of reproduction (mating success, fertility, and gestation) to these contrasted food treatments, and on the later stages (lactation and offspring growth) in response to the chronic food shortage only. Food deprived mouse lemurs managed to maintain constant most reproductive parameters, including oestrus timing, estrogenization level at oestrus, mating success, litter size, and litter mass as well as their overall number of surviving offspring at weaning. However, offspring growth was delayed in food restricted mothers. These results suggest that heterothermic, fattening-prone mammals display important reproductive

  12. Does body posture influence hand preference in an ancestral primate model?

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    Leliveld Lisette

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The origin of human handedness and its evolution in primates is presently under debate. Current hypotheses suggest that body posture (postural origin hypothesis and bipedalism hypothesis have an important impact on the evolution of handedness in primates. To gain insight into the origin of manual lateralization in primates, we studied gray mouse lemurs, suggested to represent the most ancestral primate condition. First, we investigated hand preference in a simple food grasping task to explore the importance of hand usage in a natural foraging situation. Second, we explored the influence of body posture by applying a forced food grasping task with varying postural demands (sit, biped, cling, triped. Results The tested mouse lemur population did not prefer to use their hands alone to grasp for food items. Instead, they preferred to pick them up using a mouth-hand combination or the mouth alone. If mouth usage was inhibited, they showed an individual but no population level handedness for all four postural forced food grasping tasks. Additionally, we found no influence of body posture on hand preference in gray mouse lemurs. Conclusion Our results do not support the current theories of primate handedness. Rather, they propose that ecological adaptation indicated by postural habit and body size of a given species has an important impact on hand preference in primates. Our findings suggest that small-bodied, quadrupedal primates, adapted to the fine branch niche of dense forests, prefer mouth retrieval of food and are less manually lateralized than large-bodied species which consume food in a more upright, and less stable body posture.

  13. Testing Convergent Evolution in Auditory Processing Genes between Echolocating Mammals and the Aye-Aye, a Percussive-Foraging Primate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerjos, Michael; Hohman, Baily; Lauterbur, M. Elise; Kistler, Logan

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Several taxonomically distinct mammalian groups—certain microbats and cetaceans (e.g., dolphins)—share both morphological adaptations related to echolocation behavior and strong signatures of convergent evolution at the amino acid level across seven genes related to auditory processing. Aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis) are nocturnal lemurs with a specialized auditory processing system. Aye-ayes tap rapidly along the surfaces of trees, listening to reverberations to identify the mines of wood-boring insect larvae; this behavior has been hypothesized to functionally mimic echolocation. Here we investigated whether there are signals of convergence in auditory processing genes between aye-ayes and known mammalian echolocators. We developed a computational pipeline (Basic Exon Assembly Tool) that produces consensus sequences for regions of interest from shotgun genomic sequencing data for nonmodel organisms without requiring de novo genome assembly. We reconstructed complete coding region sequences for the seven convergent echolocating bat–dolphin genes for aye-ayes and another lemur. We compared sequences from these two lemurs in a phylogenetic framework with those of bat and dolphin echolocators and appropriate nonecholocating outgroups. Our analysis reaffirms the existence of amino acid convergence at these loci among echolocating bats and dolphins; some methods also detected signals of convergence between echolocating bats and both mice and elephants. However, we observed no significant signal of amino acid convergence between aye-ayes and echolocating bats and dolphins, suggesting that aye-aye tap-foraging auditory adaptations represent distinct evolutionary innovations. These results are also consistent with a developing consensus that convergent behavioral ecology does not reliably predict convergent molecular evolution. PMID:28810710

  14. Reproductive resilience to food shortage in a small heterothermic primate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cindy I Canale

    Full Text Available The massive energetic costs entailed by reproduction in most mammalian females may increase the vulnerability of reproductive success to food shortage. Unexpected events of unfavorable climatic conditions are expected to rise in frequency and intensity as climate changes. The extent to which physiological flexibility allows organisms to maintain reproductive output constant despite energetic bottlenecks has been poorly investigated. In mammals, reproductive resilience is predicted to be maximal during early stages of reproduction, due to the moderate energetic costs of ovulation and gestation relative to lactation. We experimentally tested the consequences of chronic-moderate and short-acute food shortages on the reproductive output of a small seasonally breeding primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus under thermo-neutral conditions. These two food treatments were respectively designed to simulate the energetic constraints imposed by a lean year (40% caloric restriction over eight months or by a sudden, severe climatic event occurring shortly before reproduction (80% caloric restriction over a month. Grey mouse lemurs evolved under the harsh, unpredictable climate of the dry forest of Madagascar and should thus display great potential for physiological adjustments to energetic bottlenecks. We assessed the resilience of the early stages of reproduction (mating success, fertility, and gestation to these contrasted food treatments, and on the later stages (lactation and offspring growth in response to the chronic food shortage only. Food deprived mouse lemurs managed to maintain constant most reproductive parameters, including oestrus timing, estrogenization level at oestrus, mating success, litter size, and litter mass as well as their overall number of surviving offspring at weaning. However, offspring growth was delayed in food restricted mothers. These results suggest that heterothermic, fattening-prone mammals display important

  15. Effects of isometric scaling on vertical jumping performance.

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    Maarten F Bobbert

    Full Text Available Jump height, defined as vertical displacement in the airborne phase, depends on vertical takeoff velocity. For centuries, researchers have speculated on how jump height is affected by body size and many have adhered to what has come to be known as Borelli's law, which states that jump height does not depend on body size per se. The underlying assumption is that the amount of work produced per kg body mass during the push-off is independent of size. However, if a big body is isometrically downscaled to a small body, the latter requires higher joint angular velocities to achieve a given takeoff velocity and work production will be more impaired by the force-velocity relationship of muscle. In the present study, the effects of pure isometric scaling on vertical jumping performance were investigated using a biologically realistic model of the human musculoskeletal system. The input of the model, muscle stimulation over time, was optimized using jump height as criterion. It was found that when the human model was miniaturized to the size of a mouse lemur, with a mass of about one-thousandth that of a human, jump height dropped from 40 cm to only 6 cm, mainly because of the force-velocity relationship. In reality, mouse lemurs achieve jump heights of about 33 cm. By implication, the unfavourable effects of the small body size of mouse lemurs on jumping performance must be counteracted by favourable effects of morphological and physiological adaptations. The same holds true for other small jumping animals. The simulations for the first time expose and explain the sheer magnitude of the isolated effects of isometric downscaling on jumping performance, to be counteracted by morphological and physiological adaptations.

  16. Effects of isometric scaling on vertical jumping performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobbert, Maarten F

    2013-01-01

    Jump height, defined as vertical displacement in the airborne phase, depends on vertical takeoff velocity. For centuries, researchers have speculated on how jump height is affected by body size and many have adhered to what has come to be known as Borelli's law, which states that jump height does not depend on body size per se. The underlying assumption is that the amount of work produced per kg body mass during the push-off is independent of size. However, if a big body is isometrically downscaled to a small body, the latter requires higher joint angular velocities to achieve a given takeoff velocity and work production will be more impaired by the force-velocity relationship of muscle. In the present study, the effects of pure isometric scaling on vertical jumping performance were investigated using a biologically realistic model of the human musculoskeletal system. The input of the model, muscle stimulation over time, was optimized using jump height as criterion. It was found that when the human model was miniaturized to the size of a mouse lemur, with a mass of about one-thousandth that of a human, jump height dropped from 40 cm to only 6 cm, mainly because of the force-velocity relationship. In reality, mouse lemurs achieve jump heights of about 33 cm. By implication, the unfavourable effects of the small body size of mouse lemurs on jumping performance must be counteracted by favourable effects of morphological and physiological adaptations. The same holds true for other small jumping animals. The simulations for the first time expose and explain the sheer magnitude of the isolated effects of isometric downscaling on jumping performance, to be counteracted by morphological and physiological adaptations.

  17. The locomotion of Babakotia radofilai inferred from epiphyseal and diaphyseal morphology of the humerus and femur.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchi, Damiano; Ruff, Christopher B; Capobianco, Alessio; Rafferty, Katherine L; Habib, Michael B; Patel, Biren A

    2016-09-01

    Palaeopropithecids, or "sloth lemurs," are a diverse clade of large-bodied Malagasy subfossil primates characterized by their inferred suspensory positional behavior. The most recently discovered genus of the palaeopropithecids is Babakotia, and it has been described as more arboreal than Mesopropithecus, but less than Palaeopropithecus. In this article, the within-bone and between-bones articular and cross-sectional diaphyseal proportions of the humerus and femur of Babakotia were compared to extant lemurs, Mesopropithecus and Palaeopropithecus in order to further understand its arboreal adaptations. Additionally, a sample of apes and sloths (Choloepus and Bradypus) are included as functional outgroups composed of suspensory adapted primates and non-primates. Results show that Babakotia and Mesopropithecus both have high humeral/femoral shaft strength proportions, similar to extant great apes and sloths and indicative of forelimb suspensory behavior, with Babakotia more extreme in this regard. All three subfossil taxa have relatively large femoral heads, also associated with suspension in modern taxa. However, Babakotia and Mesopropithecus (but not Palaeopropithecus) have relatively small femoral head surface area to shaft strength proportions suggesting that hind-limb positioning in these taxa during climbing and other behaviors was different than in extant great apes, involving less mobility. Knee and humeral articular dimensions relative to shaft strengths are small in Babakotia and Mesopropithecus, similar to those found in modern sloths and divergent from those in extant great apes and lemurs, suggesting more sloth-like use of these joints during locomotion. Mesopropithecus and Babakotia are more similar to Choloepus in humerofemoral head and length proportions while Palaeopropithecus is more similar to Bradypus. These results provide further evidence of the suspensory adaptations of Babakotia and further highlight similarities to both extant suspensory

  18. Study of supracondylar process of humerus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravi Vandana

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The supra condylar process is occasional beak like projection from anteromedial surface of distal 1/3 rd of humerus. It appears to be phylogenetic remnant of complete osseous bridge found in reptiles, marsupials, cats, lemurs and new world monkeys. Among 133 dried humeri studied only one right humerus showed SCP (incidence 0.75% whose dimensions were recorded and photographed. SCP is usually clinically silent but can be the cause for median or ulnar nerve and brachial artery compression syndrome especially when associated with Struthers ligament. Therefore the knowledge of presence of SCP is important for clinicians and radiologists along with anatomists and anthropologists.

  19. Primates, computation, and the path to language. Reply to comments on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbib, Michael A.

    2016-03-01

    The target article [6], henceforth TA, had as its main title Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology. This unpacks into three claims: Comparative Primatology: If one wishes to understand the behavior of any one primate species (whether monkey, ape or human - TA did not discuss, e.g., lemurs but that study could well be of interest), one will gain new insight by comparing behaviors across species, sharpening one's analysis of one class of behaviors by analyzing similarities and differences between two or more species.

  20. Hans Strahl's pioneering studies in comparative placentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Anthony Michael; Mess, A

    2010-01-01

    and relationship to maternal tissues. This greatly influenced the work of Otto Grosser, who became better known in part because his work was more accessible to other scientists and clinicians. Strahl described the development of the fetal membranes across a broad range of mammalian orders extending his...... observations beyond parturition to the post partum involution of the uterus. He paid close attention to structures designed for histotrophic nutrition including the areolae of moles, haemophagous organs of carnivores and tenrecs and chorionic vesicles of lemurs and lorises. We here provide a summary of some...... of the most important findings made by Strahl including work on placentation in carnivores and higher primates that remains unsurpassed....

  1. Assessing the impacts of nonrandom seed dispersal by multiple frugivore partners on plant recruitment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razafindratsima, Onja H; Dunham, Amy E

    2015-01-01

    Directed dispersal is defined as enhanced dispersal of seeds into suitable microhabitats, resulting in higher recruitment than if seeds were dispersed randomly. While this constitutes one of the main explanations for the adaptive value of frugivore-mediated seed dispersal, the generality of this advantage has received little study, particularly when multiple dispersers are involved. We used probability recruitment models of a long-lived rainforest tree in Madagascar to compare recruitment success under dispersal by multiple frugivores, no dispersal, and random dispersal. Models were parameterized using a three-year recruitment experiment and observational data of dispersal events by three frugivorous lemur species that commonly disperse its seeds. Frugivore-mediated seed dispersal was nonrandom with respect to canopy cover and increased modeled per-seed sapling recruitment fourfold compared to no dispersal. Seeds dispersed by one frugivore, Eulemur rubriventer, had higher modeled recruitment probability than seeds dispersed randomly. However, as a group, our models suggest that seeds dispersed by lemurs would have lower recruitment than if dispersal were random. Results demonstrate the importance of evaluating the contribution of multiple frugivores to plant recruitment for understanding plant population dynamics and the ecological and evolutionary significance of seed dispersal.

  2. Evidence for nonseasonal reproduction in wild aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterling, E J

    1994-01-01

    The lemurs of Madagascar typically exhibit a strictly seasonal pattern of breeding, with a limited number of successive estrous cycles occurring at a particular time of the year, which varies from species to species. Previous reports indicated that aye-ayes also exhibit such a strictly seasonal polyestrous pattern. Data from the author's 2-year field study of aye-ayes on the island of Nosy Mangabe, combined with information from recently initiated captive breeding programs, now indicate that this species in fact shows an extended breeding season or even year-round breeding. Actual mating or signs of estrus were observed in the field throughout a 5-month period (October-February). Further, data from captured pregnant females and young offspring indicate that births take place during the period from February to September. Apart from aye-ayes, extended breeding periods have been reported for wild Eulemur coronatus and for captive Eulemur fulvus and Mirza coquereli. Analysis of information on seasonal variation in food availability for aye-ayes and other lemurs provides no clear evidence that the degree of seasonality of breeding is directly dependent on ecological factors.

  3. Echinococcus and Taenia spp. from captive mammals in the United Kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boufana, B; Stidworthy, M F; Bell, S; Chantrey, J; Masters, N; Unwin, S; Wood, R; Lawrence, R P; Potter, A; McGarry, J; Redrobe, S; Killick, R; Foster, A P; Mitchell, S; Greenwood, A G; Sako, Y; Nakao, M; Ito, A; Wyatt, K; Lord, B; Craig, P S

    2012-11-23

    Taeniid tapeworms which include Echinococcus and Taenia spp. are obligatory parasites of mammals with pathogenicity usually related to the larval stages of the life cycle. Two species (or genotypes) of Echinococcus, E. granulosus sensu stricto and E. equinus, as well as several Taenia spp. are endemic in the UK. Here we report on the occurrence of larval cystic stages of Echinococcus and Taenia spp. in captive mammals in the UK. Using molecular techniques we have identified E. granulosus (G1 genotype) in a guenon monkey and a Philippine spotted deer; E. equinus in a zebra and a lemur; E. ortleppi in a Philippine spotted deer; E. multilocularis in a macaque monkey and Taenia polyacantha in jumping rats. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of E. multilocularis in a captive primate translocated to the UK. As far as we know these are the first reports of E. equinus in a primate (lemur) and in a zebra; as well as E. granulosus (G1 genotype) and E. ortleppi in a cervid translocated to the UK. These infections and implications of the potential establishment of exotic species of cestodes are discussed.

  4. Convenience polyandry or convenience polygyny? Costly sex under female control in a promiscuous primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huchard, Elise; Canale, Cindy I; Le Gros, Chloé; Perret, Martine; Henry, Pierre-Yves; Kappeler, Peter M

    2012-04-07

    Classic sex roles depict females as choosy, but polyandry is widespread. Empirical attempts to understand the evolution of polyandry have often focused on its adaptive value to females, whereas 'convenience polyandry' might simply decrease the costs of sexual harassment. We tested whether constraint-free female strategies favour promiscuity over mating selectivity through an original experimental design. We investigated variation in mating behaviour in response to a reversible alteration of sexual dimorphism in body mass in the grey mouse lemur, a small primate where female brief sexual receptivity allows quantifying polyandry. We manipulated body condition in captive females, predicting that convenience polyandry would increase when females are weaker than males, thus less likely to resist their solicitations. Our results rather support the alternative hypothesis of 'adaptive polyandry': females in better condition are more polyandrous. Furthermore, we reveal that multiple mating incurs significant energetic costs, which are strikingly symmetrical between the sexes. Our study shows that mouse lemur females exert tight control over mating and actively seek multiple mates. The benefits of remating are nevertheless not offset by its costs in low-condition females, suggesting that polyandry is a flexible strategy yielding moderate fitness benefits in this small mammal.

  5. Genetic data suggest a natural prehuman origin of open habitats in northern Madagascar and question the deforestation narrative in this region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quéméré, Erwan; Amelot, Xavier; Pierson, Julie; Crouau-Roy, Brigitte; Chikhi, Lounès

    2012-08-07

    The impact of climate change and anthropogenic deforestation on biodiversity is of growing concern worldwide. Disentangling how past anthropogenic and natural factors contributed to current biome distribution is thus a crucial issue to understand their complex interactions on wider time scales and to improve predictions and conservation strategies. This is particularly important in biodiversity hotspots, such as Madagascar, dominated by large open habitats whose origins are increasingly debated. Although a dominant narrative argues that Madagascar was originally entirely covered by woodlands, which were destroyed by humans, a number of recent studies have suggested that past climatic fluctuations played a major role in shaping current biome distributions well before humans arrived. Here, we address the question of the origin of open habitats in the Daraina region in northern Madagascar, using a multiproxy approach combining population genetics modeling and remote-sensing analyses. We show that (i) contrary to most regions of Madagascar, the forest cover in Daraina remained remarkably stable over the past 60 y, and (ii) the golden-crowned sifaka (Propithecus tattersalli), a forest-dwelling lemur, underwent a strong population contraction before the arrival of the first humans, hence excluding an anthropogenic cause. Prehuman Holocene droughts may have led to a significant increase of grasslands and a reduction in the species' habitat. This contradicts the prevailing narrative that land cover changes are necessarily anthropogenic in Madagascar but does not preclude the later role played by humans in other regions in which recent lemur bottlenecks have been observed.

  6. Aye-aye population genomic analyses highlight an important center of endemism in northern Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, George H; Louis, Edward E; Ratan, Aakrosh; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C; Burhans, Richard C; Lei, Runhua; Johnson, Steig E; Schuster, Stephan C; Miller, Webb

    2013-04-09

    We performed a population genomics study of the aye-aye, a highly specialized nocturnal lemur from Madagascar. Aye-ayes have low population densities and extensive range requirements that could make this flagship species particularly susceptible to extinction. Therefore, knowledge of genetic diversity and differentiation among aye-aye populations is critical for conservation planning. Such information may also advance our general understanding of Malagasy biogeography, as aye-ayes have the largest species distribution of any lemur. We generated and analyzed whole-genome sequence data for 12 aye-ayes from three regions of Madagascar (North, West, and East). We found that the North population is genetically distinct, with strong differentiation from other aye-ayes over relatively short geographic distances. For comparison, the average FST value between the North and East aye-aye populations--separated by only 248 km--is over 2.1-times greater than that observed between human Africans and Europeans. This finding is consistent with prior watershed- and climate-based hypotheses of a center of endemism in northern Madagascar. Taken together, these results suggest a strong and long-term biogeographical barrier to gene flow. Thus, the specific attention that should be directed toward preserving large, contiguous aye-aye habitats in northern Madagascar may also benefit the conservation of other distinct taxonomic units. To help facilitate future ecological- and conservation-motivated population genomic analyses by noncomputational biologists, the analytical toolkit used in this study is available on the Galaxy Web site.

  7. Light pollution modifies the expression of daily rhythms and behavior patterns in a nocturnal primate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Le Tallec

    Full Text Available Among anthropogenic pressures, light pollution altering light/dark cycles and changing the nocturnal component of the environment constitutes a threat for biodiversity. Light pollution is widely spread across the world and continuously growing. However, despite the efforts realized to describe and understand the effects of artificial lighting on fauna, few studies have documented its consequences on biological rhythms, behavioral and physiological functions in nocturnal mammals. To determine the impacts of light pollution on nocturnal mammals an experimental study was conducted on a nocturnal primate, the grey mouse lemur Microcebus murinus. Male mouse lemurs (N = 8 were exposed 14 nights to moonlight treatment and then exposed 14 nights to light pollution treatment. For both treatments, chronobiological parameters related to locomotor activity and core temperature were recorded using telemetric transmitters. In addition, at the end of each treatment, the 14(th night, nocturnal and feeding behaviors were explored using an infrared camera. Finally, throughout the study, body mass and daily caloric food intake were recorded. For the first time in a nocturnal primate, light pollution was demonstrated to modify daily rhythms of locomotor activity and core temperature especially through phase delays and increases in core temperature. Moreover, nocturnal activity and feeding behaviors patterns were modified negatively. This study suggests that light pollution induces daily desynchronization of biological rhythms and could lead to seasonal desynchronization with potential deleterious consequences for animals in terms of adaptation and anticipation of environmental changes.

  8. Teeth, sex, and testosterone: aging in the world's smallest primate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Zohdy

    Full Text Available Mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp. are an exciting new primate model for understanding human aging and disease. In captivity, Microcebus murinus develops human-like ailments of old age after five years (e.g., neurodegeneration analogous to Alzheimer's disease but can live beyond 12 years. It is believed that wild Microcebus follow a similar pattern of senescence observed in captive animals, but that predation limits their lifespan to four years, thus preventing observance of these diseases in the wild. Testing whether this assumption is true is informative about both Microcebus natural history and environmental influences on senescence, leading to interpretation of findings for models of human aging. Additionally, the study of Microcebus longevity provides an opportunity to better understand mechanisms of sex-biased longevity. Longevity is often shorter in males of species with high male-male competition, such as Microcebus, but mouse lemurs are sexually monomorphic, suggesting similar lifespans. We collected individual-based observations of wild brown mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus from 2003-2010 to investigate sex-differences in survival and longevity. Fecal testosterone was measured as a potential mechanism of sex-based differences in survival. We used a combination of high-resolution tooth wear techniques, mark-recapture, and hormone enzyme immunoassays. We found no dental or physical signs of senescence in M. rufus as old as eight years (N = 189, ages 1-8, mean = 2.59 ± 1.63 SE, three years older than captive, senescent congeners (M. murinus. Unlike other polygynandrous vertebrates, we found no sex difference in age-dependent survival, nor sex or age differences in testosterone levels. While elevated male testosterone levels have been implicated in shorter lifespans in several species, this is one of the first studies to show equivalent testosterone levels accompanying equivalent lifespans. Future research on captive aged individuals can

  9. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil lower anxiety, improve cognitive functions and reduce spontaneous locomotor activity in a non-human primate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Vinot

    Full Text Available Omega-3 (ω3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA are major components of brain cells membranes. ω3 PUFA-deficient rodents exhibit severe cognitive impairments (learning, memory that have been linked to alteration of brain glucose utilization or to changes in neurotransmission processes. ω3 PUFA supplementation has been shown to lower anxiety and to improve several cognitive parameters in rodents, while very few data are available in primates. In humans, little is known about the association between anxiety and ω3 fatty acids supplementation and data are divergent about their impact on cognitive functions. Therefore, the development of nutritional studies in non-human primates is needed to disclose whether a long-term supplementation with long-chain ω3 PUFA has an impact on behavioural and cognitive parameters, differently or not from rodents. We address the hypothesis that ω3 PUFA supplementation could lower anxiety and improve cognitive performances of the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus, a nocturnal Malagasy prosimian primate. Adult male mouse lemurs were fed for 5 months on a control diet or on a diet supplemented with long-chain ω3 PUFA (n = 6 per group. Behavioural, cognitive and motor performances were measured using an open field test to evaluate anxiety, a circular platform test to evaluate reference spatial memory, a spontaneous locomotor activity monitoring and a sensory-motor test. ω3-supplemented animals exhibited lower anxiety level compared to control animals, what was accompanied by better performances in a reference spatial memory task (80% of successful trials vs 35% in controls, p<0.05, while the spontaneous locomotor activity was reduced by 31% in ω3-supplemented animals (p<0.001, a parameter that can be linked with lowered anxiety. The long-term dietary ω3 PUFA supplementation positively impacts on anxiety and cognitive performances in the adult mouse lemur. The supplementation of human food with ω3 fatty

  10. Primate phylogeny studied by comparative determinant analysis. A preliminary report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, K

    1993-01-01

    In this preliminary report the divergence times for the major primate groups are given, calculated from a study by comparative determinant analysis of 69 proteins (equaling 0.1% of the whole genetic information). With an origin of the primate order set at 80 million years before present, the ages of the last common ancestors (LCAs) of man and the major primate groups obtained this way are as follows: Pan troglodytes 5.2; Gorilla gorilla 7.4; Pongo pygmaeus 19.2; Hylobates lar 20.3; Old World monkeys 31.4; Lagothrix lagotricha 46.0; Cebus albifrons 59.5; three lemur species 67.0, and Galago crassicaudatus 73.3 million years. The LCA results and the approach are shortly discussed. A full account of this extended investigation including results on nonprimate mammals and on the determinant structures and the immunologically derived evolutionary rates of the proteins analyzed will be published elsewhere.

  11. Local Perspectives on Environmental Insecurity and Its Influence on Illegal Biodiversity Exploitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gore, Meredith L; Lute, Michelle L; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah H; Rajaonson, Andry

    2016-01-01

    Environmental insecurity is a source and outcome of biodiversity declines and social conflict. One challenge to scaling insecurity reduction policies is that empirical evidence about local attitudes is overwhelmingly missing. We set three objectives: determine how local people rank risk associated with different sources of environmental insecurity; assess perceptions of environmental insecurity, biodiversity exploitation, myths of nature and risk management preferences; and explore relationships between perceptions and biodiversity exploitation. We conducted interviews (N = 88) with residents of Madagascar's Torotorofotsy Protected Area, 2014. Risk perceptions had a moderate effect on perceptions of environmental insecurity. We found no effects of environmental insecurity on biodiversity exploitation. Results offer one if not the first exploration of local perceptions of illegal biodiversity exploitation and environmental security. Local people's perception of risk seriousness associated with illegal biodiversity exploitation such as lemur hunting (low overall) may not reflect perceptions of policy-makers (considered to be high). Discord is a key entry point for attention.

  12. Raptors and primate evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, W Scott; Berger, Lee R

    2013-01-01

    Most scholars agree that avoiding predators is a central concern of lemurs, monkeys, and apes. However, given uncertainties about the frequency with which primates actually become prey, the selective importance of predation in primate evolution continues to be debated. Some argue that primates are often killed by predators, while others maintain that such events are relatively rare. Some authors have contended that predation's influence on primate sociality has been trivial; others counter that predation need not occur often to be a powerful selective force. Given the challenges of documenting events that can be ephemeral and irregular, we are unlikely ever to amass the volume of systematic, comparative data we have on such topics as feeding, social dynamics, or locomotor behavior. Nevertheless, a steady accumulation of field observations, insight gained from natural experiments, and novel taphonomic analyses have enhanced understanding of how primates interact with several predators, especially raptors, the subject of this review. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. 六杆机构在假肢膝关节设计中的应用%Application of six-bar mechanism in the design of knee joint prosthesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张更林; 丁海娟; 王冬; 吴雅杰

    2008-01-01

    验证了六杆机构的瞬心线与股骨骼不同的弯曲半释圆心线轨迹相似,阐述了机械六杆机构膝关节在正常运动中的步态分析,为研制新型膝关节提供了一定的理论设计基础.%This paper validated the centrode of six-bar mechanism was similar to circle center curve for different bending radius of the lemur, and introduced the gait analysis of knee joint of six-bar mechanism in normal movement t oprovide theoretical design foundation for developing a new knee joint.

  14. Mammalian mitogenomic relationships and the root of the eutherian tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnason, Ulfur; Adegoke, Joseph A; Bodin, Kristina; Born, Erik W; Esa, Yuzine B; Gullberg, Anette; Nilsson, Maria; Short, Roger V; Xu, Xiufeng; Janke, Axel

    2002-06-11

    The strict orthology of mitochondrial (mt) coding sequences has promoted their use in phylogenetic analyses at different levels. Here we present the results of a mitogenomic study (i.e., analysis based on the set of protein-coding genes from complete mt genomes) of 60 mammalian species. This number includes 11 new mt genomes. The sampling comprises all but one of the traditional eutherian orders. The previously unrepresented order Dermoptera (flying lemurs) fell within Primates as the sister group of Anthropoidea, making Primates paraphyletic. This relationship was strongly supported. Lipotyphla ("insectivores") split into three distinct lineages: Erinaceomorpha, Tenrecomorpha, and Soricomorpha. Erinaceomorpha was the basal eutherian lineage. Sirenia (dugong) and Macroscelidea (elephant shrew) fell within the African clade. Pholidota (pangolin) joined the Cetferungulata as the sister group of Carnivora. The analyses identified monophyletic Pinnipedia with Otariidae (sea lions, fur seals) and Odobenidae (walruses) as sister groups to the exclusion of Phocidae (true seals).

  15. Brief Communication: Seasonality of diet composition is related to brain size in New World Monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Woerden, Janneke T; van Schaik, Carel P; Isler, Karin

    2014-08-01

    New World monkeys exhibit a more pronounced variability in encephalization than other primate taxa. In this comparative study, we tested two current hypotheses on brain size evolution, the Expensive Brain hypothesis and the Cognitive Buffer hypothesis, in a sample of 21 platyrrhine species. A high degree of habitat seasonality may impose an energetic constraint on brain size evolution if it leads to a high variation in caloric intake over time, as predicted by the Expensive Brain Hypothesis. However, simultaneously it may also provide the opportunity to reap the fitness benefits of increased cognitive abilities, which enable the exploitation of high-quality food resources even during periods of scarcity, as predicted by the Cognitive Buffer hypothesis. By examining the effects of both habitat seasonality and the variation in monthly diet composition across species, we found support for both hypotheses, confirming previous results for catarrhine primates and lemurs. These findings are in accordance with an energetic and ecological view of brain size evolution.

  16. Cerebral complexity preceded enlarged brain size and reduced olfactory bulbs in Old World monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales, Lauren A; Benefit, Brenda R; McCrossin, Monte L; Spoor, Fred

    2015-07-03

    Analysis of the only complete early cercopithecoid (Old World monkey) endocast currently known, that of 15-million-year (Myr)-old Victoriapithecus, reveals an unexpectedly small endocranial volume (ECV) relative to body size and a large olfactory bulb volume relative to ECV, similar to extant lemurs and Oligocene anthropoids. However, the Victoriapithecus brain has principal and arcuate sulci of the frontal lobe not seen in the stem catarrhine Aegyptopithecus, as well as a distinctive cercopithecoid pattern of gyrification, indicating that cerebral complexity preceded encephalization in cercopithecoids. Since larger ECVs, expanded frontal lobes, and reduced olfactory bulbs are already present in the 17- to 18-Myr-old ape Proconsul these features evolved independently in hominoids (apes) and cercopithecoids and much earlier in the former. Moreover, the order of encephalization and brain reorganization was apparently different in hominoids and cercopithecoids, showing that brain size and cerebral organization evolve independently.

  17. Movement in a gravitational field: The question of limb interarticular coordination in terrestrial vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legreneur, Pierre; Bels, Vincent; Monteil, Karine; Laurin, Michel

    2013-05-01

    In this paper, we demonstrated that interarticular coordination of terrestrial tetrapods emerges from an environment highly constrained by friction and the gravitational field. We briefly review recent works on the jumping behavior in squamates, lemurs and amphibians. We then explore previously published work as well as some unpublished experimental data on human jumping. Finally, we end by inferring locomotion in some of the first limbed vertebrates using a simulation procedure. All these data show that despite changes in shape, structure, and motor controls of taxa, the same spatio-temporal sequence of joint displacements always occurs when the movement is executed in a terrestrial environment. Comparison with aquatic locomotion argues for the hypothesis that this pattern emerged in early terrestrial tetrapods as a response to the gravitational constraint and the terrestrial frictional environment.

  18. Characterization and evolution of major histocompatibility complex class II genes in the aye-aye, Daubentonia madagascariensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Go, Yasuhiro; Rakotoarisoa, Gilbert; Kawamoto, Yoshi; Shima, Taizo; Koyama, Naoki; Randrianjafy, Albert; Mora, Roger; Hirai, Hirohisa

    2005-04-01

    Major histocompatibility complex genes (Mhc-DQB and Mhc-DRB) were sequenced in seven aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariecsis), which is an endemic and endangered species in Madagascar. An aye-aye from a north-eastern population showed genetic relatedness to individuals of a north-western population and had a somewhat different repertoire from another north-eastern individual. These observations suggest that the extent of genetic variation in Mhc genes is not excessively small in the aye-aye in spite of recent rapid destruction of their habitat by human activities. In light of Mhc gene evolution, trans-species and allelic polymorphisms can be estimated to have been retained for more than 50 Ma (million years) based on the time scale of lemur evolution.

  19. Receiver bias and the acoustic ecology of aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsier, Marissa A; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2012-11-01

    The aye-aye is a rare lemur from Madagascar that uses its highly specialized middle digit for percussive foraging. This acoustic behavior, also termed tap-scanning, produces dominant frequencies between 6 and 15 kHz. An enhanced auditory sensitivity to these frequencies raises the possibility that the acoustic and auditory specializations of aye-ayes have imposed constraints on the evolution of their vocal signals, especially their primary long-distance vocalization, the screech. Here we explore this concept, termed receiver bias, and suggest that the dominant frequency of the screech call (~2.7 kHz) represents an evolutionary compromise between the opposing adaptive advantages of long-distance sound propagation and enhanced detection by conspecific receivers.

  20. Comparing aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) presence and distribution between degraded and non-degraded forest within Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farris, Zach J; Morelli, Toni Lyn; Sefczek, Timothy; Wright, Patricia C

    2011-01-01

    The aye-aye is considered the most widely distributed lemur in Madagascar; however, the effect of forest quality on aye-aye abundance is unknown. We compared aye-aye presence across degraded and non-degraded forest at Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We used secondary signs (feeding sites, high activity sites) as indirect cues of aye-aye presence and Canarium trees as an indicator of resource availability. All 3 measured variables indicated higher aye-aye abundance within non-degraded forest; however, the differences across forest type were not significant. Both degraded and non-degraded forests showed a positive correlation between feeding sites and high activity sites. We found that Canarium, an important aye-aye food source, was rare and had limited dispersal, particularly across degraded forest. This preliminary study provides baseline data for aye-aye activity and resource utilization across degraded and non-degraded forests.

  1. Ida and Ardi: The Fossil Cover Girls of 2009

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2011-01-01

    By the autumn of 2009, contestants for the ultimate prize in the Greatest Show on Earth had narrowed down to two: from Germany, a flat, squirrel-sized lemur-looking creature in artificial resin and glass fibers; and from Ethiopia, a partial, small-brained hominin skeleton. Both had been locked away......-million-year-old Ida was promoted as the Eighth Wonder of the World, a Rosetta Stone of palaeontology, the Holy Grail of human evolution. Her 4.4-million-year-old contender was advanced as the Real Thing and won the title as scientific breakthrough of the year. One was supposedly “our earliest ancestor...

  2. Are tropical small mammals physiologically vulnerable to Arrhenius effects and climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovegrove, Barry G; Canale, Cindy; Levesque, Danielle; Fluch, Gerhard; Reháková-Petrů, Milada; Ruf, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    There is some urgency in the necessity to incorporate physiological data into mechanistic, trait-based, demographic climate change models. Physiological responses at the individual level provide the mechanistic link between environmental changes and individual performances and hence population dynamics. Here we consider the causal relationship between ambient temperature (Ta) and metabolic rate (MR), namely, the Arrhenius effect, which is directly affected by global warming through increases in average global air temperatures and the increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events. We measured and collated data for several small, free-ranging tropical arboreal mammals and evaluated their vulnerability to Arrhenius effects and putative heat stress associated with climate change. Skin temperatures (Tskin) were obtained from free-ranging tarsiers (Tarsius syrichta) on Bohol Island, Philippines. Core body temperature (Tb) was obtained from the greater hedgehog tenrec (Setifer setosus) and the gray brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis) from Ankarafantsika, Madagascar. Tskin for another mouse lemur, Microcebus griseorufus, was obtained from the literature. All four species showed evidence of hyperthermia during the daytime rest phase in the form of either Tskin or Tb that was higher than the normothermic Tb during the nighttime active phase. Potentially, tropical arboreal mammals with the lowest MRs and Tb, such as tarsiers, are the most vulnerable to sustained heat stress because their Tb is already close to Ta. Climate change may involve increases in MRs due to Arrhenius effects, especially during the rest phase or during torpor and hibernation. The most likely outcome of increased Arrhenius effects with climate change will be an increase in energy expenditure at the expense of other critical functions such as reproduction or growth and will thus affect fitness. However, we propose that these hypothetical Arrhenius costs can be, and in some

  3. Cognitive Performances Are Selectively Enhanced during Chronic Caloric Restriction or Resveratrol Supplementation in a Primate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchal, Julia; Picq, Jean-Luc; Aujard, Fabienne

    2011-01-01

    Effects of an 18-month treatment with a moderate, chronic caloric restriction (CR) or an oral supplementation with resveratrol (RSV), a potential CR mimetic, on cognitive and motor performances were studied in non-human primates, grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Thirty-three adult male mouse lemurs were assigned to three different groups: a control (CTL) group fed ad libitum, a CR group fed 70% of the CTL caloric intake, and an RSV group (RSV supplementation of 200 mg.kg−1.day−1) fed ad libitum. Three different cognitive tests, two motor tests, one emotional test and an analysis of cortisol level were performed in each group. Compared to CTL animals, CR or RSV animals did not show any change in motor performances evaluated by rotarod and jump tests, but an increase in spontaneous locomotor activity was observed in both groups. Working memory was improved by both treatments in the spontaneous alternation task. Despite a trend for CR group, only RSV supplementation increased spatial memory performances in the circular platform task. Finally, none of these treatments induced additional stress to the animals as reflected by similar results in the open field test and cortisol analyses compared to CTL animals. The present data provided the earliest evidence for a beneficial effect of CR or RSV supplementation on specific cognitive functions in a primate. Taken together, these results suggest that RSV could be a good candidate to mimic long-term CR effects and support the growing evidences that nutritional interventions can have beneficial effects on brain functions even in adults. PMID:21304942

  4. Why "monogamy" isn't good enough.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tecot, Stacey R; Singletary, Britt; Eadie, Elizabeth

    2016-03-01

    Rare in mammals but more common in primates, there remains a considerable controversy concerning whether primate species traditionally described as monogamous actually express this highly specialized breeding pattern. Unfortunately the definition of "monogamy" varies greatly, inhibiting our understanding of this trait and two related traits with which monogamy is often conflated: pair-living and pair-bonding. Strepsirrhine primates are useful models to study factors that select for pair-living, pair-bonding, and monogamy because this taxon exhibits high incidences of each trait, in addition to species that exhibit behaviors that reflect combinations of these traits. Several hypotheses have been articulated to help explain the evolution of "monogamy," but again, these hypotheses often conflate pair-living, pair-bonding, and/or monogamy. In this review, we (1) propose clear, discrete, and logical definitions for each trait; (2) review variation in strepsirrhines with respect to these three traits; (3) clarify which of these traits can be explained by existing hypotheses; and (4) provide an example of the applicability of the Resource Defense Hypothesis (RDH) to understand two of these traits, pair-living and pair-bonding, in the red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer). Available data support the RDH for pair-living in red-bellied lemurs. They live in stable family groups with one adult pair. Both sexes actively codefend territories that overlap little with other pairs' territories. Agonism is extremely rare within groups and intergroup and interspecific agonism varies with food availability. Available data also support the RDH for pair-bonding. Pair-bonds are cohesive year-round. Pairs coordinate behaviors to defend territories with auditory and olfactory signals. Cohesion increases with food abundance and both sexes reinforce bonds. We indicate where additional data will help to more rigorously test the RDH for each trait and encourage others to test alternative

  5. Next-generation approaches to advancing eco-immunogenomic research in critically endangered primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, P A; Campbell, C R; Yoder, A D

    2014-11-01

    High-throughput sequencing platforms are generating massive amounts of genomic data from nonmodel species, and these data sets are valuable resources that can be mined to advance a number of research areas. An example is the growing amount of transcriptome data that allow for examination of gene expression in nonmodel species. Here, we show how publicly available transcriptome data from nonmodel primates can be used to design novel research focused on immunogenomics. We mined transcriptome data from the world's most endangered group of primates, the lemurs of Madagascar, for sequences corresponding to immunoglobulins. Our results confirmed homology between strepsirrhine and haplorrhine primate immunoglobulins and allowed for high-throughput sequencing of expressed antibodies (Ig-seq) in Coquerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli). Using both Pacific Biosciences RS and Ion Torrent PGM sequencing, we performed Ig-seq on two individuals of Coquerel's sifaka. We generated over 150 000 sequences of expressed antibodies, allowing for molecular characterization of the antigen-binding region. Our analyses suggest that similar VDJ expression patterns exist across all primates, with sequences closely related to the human VH 3 immunoglobulin family being heavily represented in sifaka antibodies. Moreover, the antigen-binding region of sifaka antibodies exhibited similar amino acid variation with respect to haplorrhine primates. Our study represents the first attempt to characterize sequence diversity of the expressed antibody repertoire in a species of lemur. We anticipate that methods similar to ours will provide the framework for investigating the adaptive immune response in wild populations of other nonmodel organisms and can be used to advance the burgeoning field of eco-immunology.

  6. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil lower anxiety, improve cognitive functions and reduce spontaneous locomotor activity in a non-human primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinot, Nina; Jouin, Mélanie; Lhomme-Duchadeuil, Adrien; Guesnet, Philippe; Alessandri, Jean-Marc; Aujard, Fabienne; Pifferi, Fabien

    2011-01-01

    Omega-3 (ω3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are major components of brain cells membranes. ω3 PUFA-deficient rodents exhibit severe cognitive impairments (learning, memory) that have been linked to alteration of brain glucose utilization or to changes in neurotransmission processes. ω3 PUFA supplementation has been shown to lower anxiety and to improve several cognitive parameters in rodents, while very few data are available in primates. In humans, little is known about the association between anxiety and ω3 fatty acids supplementation and data are divergent about their impact on cognitive functions. Therefore, the development of nutritional studies in non-human primates is needed to disclose whether a long-term supplementation with long-chain ω3 PUFA has an impact on behavioural and cognitive parameters, differently or not from rodents. We address the hypothesis that ω3 PUFA supplementation could lower anxiety and improve cognitive performances of the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus), a nocturnal Malagasy prosimian primate. Adult male mouse lemurs were fed for 5 months on a control diet or on a diet supplemented with long-chain ω3 PUFA (n = 6 per group). Behavioural, cognitive and motor performances were measured using an open field test to evaluate anxiety, a circular platform test to evaluate reference spatial memory, a spontaneous locomotor activity monitoring and a sensory-motor test. ω3-supplemented animals exhibited lower anxiety level compared to control animals, what was accompanied by better performances in a reference spatial memory task (80% of successful trials vs 35% in controls, pfatty acids may represent a valuable dietary strategy to improve behavioural and cognitive functions.

  7. Tree dispersal strategies in the littoral forest of Sainte Luce (SE-Madagascar).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bollen, An; Van Elsacker, Linda; Ganzhorn, Jorg U

    2004-05-01

    Zoochory is the most common mode of seed dispersal for the majority of plant species in the tropics. Based on the assumption of tight plant-animal interactions several hypotheses have been developed to investigate the origin of life history traits of plant diaspores and their dispersers, such as species-specific co-evolution, the low/high investment model (low investment in single fruits but massive fruiting to attract many different frugivores versus high investment in single fruits and fruit production for extended periods to provide food for few frugivores), and the evolution of syndromes which represent plant adaptations to disperser groups (e.g. birds, mammals, mixed). To test these hypotheses the dispersal strategies of 34 tree species were determined in the littoral forest of Sainte Luce (SE-Madagascar) with the help of fruit traps and tree watches. The impact of fruit consumers on the seeds was determined based on detailed behavioral observations. Phenological, morphological and biochemical fruit traits from tree species were measured to look for co-variation with different types of dispersal. No indication for species-specific co-evolution could be found nor any support for the low/high investment model. However dispersal syndromes could be distinguished as diaspores dispersed by birds, mammals or both groups (mixed) differ in the size of their fruits and seeds, fruit shape, and seed number, but not in biochemical traits. Five large-seeded tree species seem to depend critically on the largest lemur, Eulemur fulvus collaris, for seed dispersal. However, this does not represent a case of tight species-specific co-evolution. Rather it seems to be the consequence of the extinction of the larger frugivorous birds and lemurs which might also have fed on these large fruits. Nevertheless these interactions are of crucial importance to conserve the integrity of the forest.

  8. Hind limb proportions and kinematics: are small primates different from other small mammals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Manuela

    2005-09-01

    Similar in body size, locomotor behaviour and morphology to the last common ancestor of Primates, living small quadrupedal primates provide a convenient model for investigating the evolution of primate locomotion. In this study, the hind limb kinematics of quadrupedal walking in mouse lemurs, brown lemurs, cotton-top tamarins and squirrel monkeys are analysed using cineradiography. The scaling of hind limb length to body size and the intralimb proportions of the three-segmented hind limb are taken into consideration when kinematic similarities and differences are discussed. Hind limb kinematics of arboreal quadrupedal primates, ranging in size between 100 g and 3000 g, are size independent and resemble the hind limb kinematics of small non-cursorial mammals. A common feature seen in smaller mammals, in general, is the horizontal position of the thigh at touchdown and of the lower leg at lift-off. Thus, the maximum bone length is immediately transferred into the step length. The vertical position of the leg at the beginning of a step cycle and of the thigh at lift-off contributes the same distance to pivot height. Step length and pivot height increase proportionally with hind limb length, because intralimb proportions of the hind limb remain fairly constant. Therefore, the strong positive allometric scaling of the hind limb in arboreal quadrupedal primates affects neither the kinematics of hind limb segments nor the total angular excursion of the limb. The angular excursion of the hind limb in quadrupedal primates is equal to that of other non-cursorial mammals. Hence, hind limb excursion in larger cercopithecine primates differs from that of other large mammals due to the decreasing angular excursion as part of convergent cursorial adaptations in several phylogenetic lineages of mammals. Typical members of those phylogenetic groups are traditionally used in comparison with typical primates, and therefore the ;uniqueness' of primate locomotor characteristics is

  9. Evaluating the Phylogenetic Position of Chinese Tree Shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) Based on Complete Mitochondrial Genome:Implication for Using Tree Shrew as an Alternative Experimental Animal to Primates in Biomedical Research

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ling Xu; Shi-Yi Chen; Wen-Hui Nie; Xue-Long Jiang; Yong-Gang Yao

    2012-01-01

    Tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) is currently placed in Order Scandentia and has a wide distribution in Southeast Asia and Southwest China.Due to its unique characteristics,such as small body size,high brain-to-body mass ratio,short reproductive cycle and life span,and low-cost of maintenance,tree shrew has been proposed to be an alternative experimental animal to primates in biomedical research.However,there are some debates regarding the exact phylogenetic affinity of tree shrew to primates.In this study,we determined the mtDNA entire genomes of three Chinese tree shrews (T.belangeri chinensis) and one Malayan flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus).Combined with the published data for species in Euarchonta,we intended to discern the phylogenetic relationship among representative species of Dermoptera,Scandentia and Primates.The mtDNA genomes of Chinese tree shrews and Malayan flying lemur shared similar gene organization and structure with those of other mammals.Phylogenetic analysis based on 12 concatenated mitochondrial proteinencoding genes revealed a closer relationship between species of Scandentia and Glires,whereas species of Dermoptera were clustered with Primates.This pattern was consistent with previously reported phylogeny based on mtDNA data,but differed from the one reconstructed on the basis of nuclear genes.Our result suggested that the matrilineal affinity of tree shrew to primates may not be as close as we had thought.The ongoing project for sequencing the entire genome of Chinese tree shrew will provide more information to clarify this important issue.

  10. Behavior and diet of the Critically Endangered Eulemur cinereiceps in Manombo forest, southeast Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nancy J. Stevens

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Manombo Special Reserve is a parcel of rainforest along the southeastern coast of Madagascar, containing eight lemur species, including the White-collared brown lemur (Eulemur cinereiceps [Eulemur albocollaris]. Following a drastic cyclone in the region in January of 1997, the population of E. cinereiceps at Manombo was reduced by half. Results indicate that individuals of this critically endangered species at Manombo consume a total of 54 plant species belonging to 24 families, with over two - thirds of the diet comprised of ripe and unripe fruits. White - collared brown lemurs also opportunistically feed on novel food items and invasive plants in their recovering habitat. We report the first record of E. cinereiceps consuming a shelf fungus species growing on invasive trees. During feeding, lemurs tore pieces of the fungus from the trees with their hands and mouth (chewing cycle duration mean 0.28 s; SD 0.01. White - collared brown lemurs also consumed spicy fruits of a non - native plant species (Aframomum angustifolium growing in highly disturbed open areas. Feeding bouts typically began by stripping away the outer covering with the anterior dentition, with pulp and seeds then consumed (chewing cycle duration mean 0.22 s; SD 0.005. This is the first record of consumption of either of these resources for any lemur species at Manombo. Ability to feed on items like A. angustifolium may permit E. cinereiceps to avoid competition with other species in this highly degraded forest environment. RÉSUMÉ. La Réserve Spéciale de Manombo est un fragment de forêt dense humide de basse altitude et située le long de la côte Sud - est de Madagascar. Cette partie de forêt abrite au total huit espèces de lémuriens, y compris le Lémur à collier blanc (Eulemur cinereiceps [Eulemur albocollaris]. Le passage dramatique du cyclone Gretelle dans la région en janvier 1997 a réduit de moitié la taille de la population d’E. cinereiceps dans sa zone de

  11. Understanding species-level primate diversity in Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian Tattersall

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Over the past couple of decades Madagascar has witnessed an explosion in the number of primate species generally recognized. Much of this proliferation can be traced less to increasing knowledge of the lemur fauna than to the complete replacement of biological notions of the species by the Phylogenetic Species Concept (PSC, which views species as irreducible diagnosable units. The consequent focus on autapomorphy (unique possession of morphological and molecular derived features as ‘the’ criterion for species recognition has led to the almost complete disappearance of lemur subspecies from Madagascar faunal lists; yet subspecies are an expected result of the evolutionary forces that gave rise to the island’s current pattern of biodiversity. Thanks in part to the perspective introduced by the PSC, it has become clear both that there is much more species-level diversity among Madagascar’s lemurs than was evident only a couple of decades ago, and that this diversity is much more complexly structured than we had thought. But it does not appear to be aptly reflected in the hard-line procedural adoption of the PSC across the board, a move that typically results in fifty-percent inflation in species numbers relative to those yielded by biological concepts. I argue here that the reflexive wholesale application of the PSC to Madagascar’s lemurs is inappropriate from both systematic and conservation standpoints, and that a return to biological species concepts, and to the corresponding criteria for species recognition, will allow us to attain a much fuller and more nuanced appreciation of lemur diversity at low taxonomic levels. RésuméDepuis la fin du siècle dernier, nous avons été les témoins d’une explosion du nombre d’espèces de primates à Madagascar. Cette profusion découle cependant bien moins de l’évolution de nos connaissances sur les lémuriens que de la substitution des concepts biologiques de l’espèce par le Concept

  12. The dynamics of transmission and the dynamics of networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farine, Damien

    2017-05-01

    A toy example depicted here highlighting the results of a study in this issue of the Journal of Animal Ecology that investigates the impact of network dynamics on potential disease outbreaks. Infections (stars) that spread by contact only (left) reduce the predicted outbreak size compared to situations where individuals can become infected by moving through areas that previously contained infected individuals (right). This is potentially important in species where individuals, or in this case groups, have overlapping ranges (as depicted on the top right). Incorporating network dynamics that maintain information about the ordering of contacts (central blocks; including the ordering of spatial overlap as noted by the arrows that highlight the blue group arriving after the red group in top-right of the figure) is important for capturing how a disease might not have the opportunity to spread to all individuals. By contrast, a static or 'average' network (lower blocks) does not capture any of these dynamics. Interestingly, although static networks generally predict larger outbreak sizes, the authors find that in cases when transmission probability is low, this prediction can switch as a result of changes in the estimated intensity of contacts among individuals. [Colour figure can be viewed at wileyonlinelibrary.com]. Springer, A., Kappeler, P.M. & Nunn, C.L. (2017) Dynamic vs. static social networks in models of parasite transmission: Predicting Cryptosporidium spread in wild lemurs. Journal of Animal Ecology, 86, 419-433. The spread of disease or information through networks can be affected by several factors. Whether and how these factors are accounted for can fundamentally change the predicted impact of a spreading epidemic. Springer, Kappeler & Nunn () investigate the role of different modes of transmission and network dynamics on the predicted size of a disease outbreak across several groups of Verreaux's sifakas, a group-living species of lemur. While some factors

  13. Multi-step motion planning: Application to free-climbing robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretl, Timothy Wolfe

    distribution. Validation with real hardware was done with a four-limbed, free-climbing robot called LEMUR (developed by the Mechanical and Robotic Technologies Group at NASA-JPL). Using the multi-step planner presented in this dissertation, LEMUR free-climbed an indoor, near-vertical surface with artificial rock features. It did so with limited control and sensing, demonstrating that planning is absolutely critical.

  14. Nouvelle approche métrique de l'épaule du genre Archaeolemur : caractéristiques morphologiques et myologiques New metric approach of the genus Archaeolemur’s shoulder: morphological and myological characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beby Ramanivosoa

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available L’insularité de Madagascar a permis à une faune endémique importante de se développer. Il existe notamment des lémuriens subfossiles, moins bien minéralisés que les fossiles. Ils sont beaucoup plus grands que les actuels et ont été retrouvés dans des sites du Quaternaire récent datés de 26 000 ans à 500 ans BP. Parmi ces lémuriens, il existe un genre particulier : Archaeolemur. La présente étude montre que sa position se rapproche plus des Indriidae que des Lemuridae actuels, notamment par des caractères morphologiques et myologiques. Elle a été établie sur la base de comparaisons d'histogrammes obtenus pour des indices moyens des variables mesurées sur la scapula et l’humérus. Pour la scapula, Archaeolemur se rapproche des Indriidae pour les valeurs de 8 indices et seulement un seul avec les Lemuridae. L’humérus présente des valeurs assez proches des Indriidae pour 7 indices contre 3 pour les Lemuridae. Ces résultats montrent qu'Archaeolemur était beaucoup plus arboricole que ce que l’on considérait jusque-là, probablement plus grimpeur.The insularity of Madagascar allowed an important endemic fauna to develop. We can recognize subfossil lemurs, less mineralized than the fossils. They are much larger than the extant ones. They are found in sites dated to the Late Quaternary 26 000 years and 500 years BP. Within these subfossil lemurs, there is one particular genus: Archaeolemur. The morphological and myocological features studied here show that its position is closer to the extant Indriidae than to the extant Lemuridae. Its position was established using the comparison of histograms obtained for average indices of the variables measured on the scapula and the humerus. For the scapula, Archaeolemur is closer to the Indriidae for the values of 8 indices against only one for the Lemuridae. For the humerus, 7 indices are closer to the Indriidae and only 3 are close to the Lemuridae. The results show that it is

  15. Phosphorylation of Rab-coupling protein by LMTK3 controls Rab14-dependent EphA2 trafficking to promote cell:cell repulsion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gundry, Christine; Marco, Sergi; Rainero, Elena; Miller, Bryan; Dornier, Emmanuel; Mitchell, Louise; Caswell, Patrick T; Campbell, Andrew D; Hogeweg, Anna; Sansom, Owen J; Morton, Jennifer P; Norman, Jim C

    2017-03-15

    The Rab GTPase effector, Rab-coupling protein (RCP) is known to promote invasive behaviour in vitro by controlling integrin and receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) trafficking, but how RCP influences metastasis in vivo is unclear. Here we identify an RTK of the Eph family, EphA2, to be a cargo of an RCP-regulated endocytic pathway which controls cell:cell repulsion and metastasis in vivo. Phosphorylation of RCP at Ser(435) by Lemur tyrosine kinase-3 (LMTK3) and of EphA2 at Ser(897) by Akt are both necessary to promote Rab14-dependent (and Rab11-independent) trafficking of EphA2 which generates cell:cell repulsion events that drive tumour cells apart. Genetic disruption of RCP or EphA2 opposes cell:cell repulsion and metastasis in an autochthonous mouse model of pancreatic adenocarcinoma-whereas conditional knockout of another RCP cargo, α5 integrin, does not suppress pancreatic cancer metastasis-indicating a role for RCP-dependent trafficking of an Eph receptor to drive tumour dissemination in vivo.

  16. The UCSC Genome Browser database: 2017 update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyner, Cath; Barber, Galt P; Casper, Jonathan; Clawson, Hiram; Diekhans, Mark; Eisenhart, Christopher; Fischer, Clayton M; Gibson, David; Gonzalez, Jairo Navarro; Guruvadoo, Luvina; Haeussler, Maximilian; Heitner, Steve; Hinrichs, Angie S; Karolchik, Donna; Lee, Brian T; Lee, Christopher M; Nejad, Parisa; Raney, Brian J; Rosenbloom, Kate R; Speir, Matthew L; Villarreal, Chris; Vivian, John; Zweig, Ann S; Haussler, David; Kuhn, Robert M; Kent, W James

    2017-01-04

    Since its 2001 debut, the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu/) team has provided continuous support to the international genomics and biomedical communities through a web-based, open source platform designed for the fast, scalable display of sequence alignments and annotations landscaped against a vast collection of quality reference genome assemblies. The browser's publicly accessible databases are the backbone of a rich, integrated bioinformatics tool suite that includes a graphical interface for data queries and downloads, alignment programs, command-line utilities and more. This year's highlights include newly designed home and gateway pages; a new 'multi-region' track display configuration for exon-only, gene-only and custom regions visualization; new genome browsers for three species (brown kiwi, crab-eating macaque and Malayan flying lemur); eight updated genome assemblies; extended support for new data types such as CRAM, RNA-seq expression data and long-range chromatin interaction pairs; and the unveiling of a new supported mirror site in Japan.

  17. THE subfossil occurrence and paleoecological significance of small mammals at ankilitelo cave, southwestern Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muldoon, K.M.; De Blieux, D. D.; Simons, E.L.; Chatrath, P.S.

    2009-01-01

    Small mammals are rarely reported from subfossil sites in Madagascar despite their importance for paleoenvironmental reconstruction, especially as it relates to recent ecological changes on the island. We describe the uniquely rich subfossil small mammal fauna from Ankilitelo Cave, southwestern Madagascar. The Ankilitelo fauna is dated to the late Holocene (???500 years ago), documenting the youngest appearances of the extinct giant lemur taxa Palaeopropithecus, Megaladapis, and Archaeolemur, in association with abundant remains of small vertebrates, including bats, tenrecs, carnivorans, rodents, and primates. The Ankilitelo fauna is composed of 34 mammalian species, making it one of the most diverse Holocene assemblages in Madagascar. The fauna comprises the 1 st report of the short-tailed shrew tenrec (Microgale brevicaudata) and the ring-tailed mongoose (Galidia elegans) in southwestern Madagascar. Further, Ankilitelo documents the presence of southwestern species that are rare or that have greatly restricted ranges today, such as Nasolo's shrew tenrec (M. nasoloi), Grandidier's mongoose (Galidictis grandidieri), the narrow-striped mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata), and the giant jumping rat (Hypogeomys antimena). A simple cause for the unusual small mammal occurrences at Ankilitelo is not obvious. Synergistic interactions between climate change, recent fragmentation and human-initiated degradation of forested habitats, and community-level processes, such as predation, most likely explain the disjunct distributions of the small mammals documented at Ankilitelo. ?? 2009 American Society of Mammalogists.

  18. Day-time feeding ecology of Eulemur cinereiceps in the Agnalazaha Forest, Mahabo-Mananivo, Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ludovic Reza

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The Agnalazaha Forest, a degraded fragment of littoral forest in southeast Madagascar, contains a small population of the endangered Eulemur cinereiceps. To better conserve this species its feeding ecology was described by habituating two groups and recording their activities, the food types and species exploited, and the location of food trees by focal animal sampling. The lemurs’ environment was also described by measuring forest structure, and monitoring climate and phenology. In total, the groups were observed for 498 hours over 11 months. Monthly time spent feeding averaged 9.6 % of total observation time. The species was highly frugivorous (93 % of total time spent feeding. 55 different plant species were exploited for food. Time spent feeding and diet were not simply related to rainfall and temperature nor to food type availability. The two groups’ homeranges were 54.9 ha and 58.4 ha and showed a 40 % overlap. The overlap occurred in the swamp forest, which is rich in food plants. To improve the conservation of E. cinereiceps at the Agnalazaha Forest, it is recommended that: The swamp forest be included within the zone of strict conservation; important lemur food plants used for restoration; and alternative sources of timber and fuel wood provided for the local population, thereby allowing greater forest regeneration.

  19. When play is a family business: adult play, hierarchy, and possible stress reduction in common marmosets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norscia, Ivan; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2011-04-01

    Easy to recognize but not easy to define, animal play is a baffling behavior because it has no obvious immediate benefits for the performers. However, the absence of immediate advantages, if true, would leave adult play (costly but maintained by evolution, spanning lemurs to Homo sapiens) unexplained. Although a commonly held view maintains that play is limited by stress, an emergent hypothesis states that play can regulate stress in the short term. Here we explored this hypothesis in a captive family group of New World monkeys, Callithrix jacchus (common marmoset). We observed six subjects and gathered data on aggressive, play, and scratching behavior via focal (6 h/individual) and all occurrences sampling (115 h). We found that play levels were highest during pre-feeding, the period of maximum anxiety due to the forthcoming competition over food. Scratching (the most reliable indicator of stress in primates) and play showed opposite trends along hierarchy, with dominants scratching more and playing less than subordinates. Finally, scratching decreased after play, whereas play appeared to be unrelated to previous scratching events, symptoms of a potential stressful state. In conclusion, both play timing and hierarchical distribution indicate that play limits stress, more than vice versa, at least in the short term.

  20. Synaptosomal lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme composition is shifted toward aerobic forms in primate brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duka, Tetyana; Anderson, Sarah M; Collins, Zachary; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Ely, John J; Hof, Patrick R; Wildman, Derek E; Goodman, Morris; Grossman, Lawrence I; Sherwood, Chet C

    2014-01-01

    With the evolution of a relatively large brain size in haplorhine primates (i.e. tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans), there have been associated changes in the molecular machinery that delivers energy to the neocortex. Here we investigated variation in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) expression and isoenzyme composition of the neocortex and striatum in primates using quantitative Western blotting and isoenzyme analysis of total homogenates and synaptosomal fractions. Analysis of isoform expression revealed that LDH in synaptosomal fractions from both forebrain regions shifted towards a predominance of the heart-type, aerobic isoform LDH-B among haplorhines as compared to strepsirrhines (i.e. lorises and lemurs), while in the total homogenate of the neocortex and striatum there was no significant difference in LDH isoenzyme composition between the primate suborders. The largest increase occurred in synapse-associated LDH-B expression in the neocortex, with an especially remarkable elevation in the ratio of LDH-B/LDH-A in humans. The phylogenetic variation in the ratio of LDH-B/LDH-A was correlated with species-typical brain mass but not the encephalization quotient. A significant LDH-B increase in the subneuronal fraction from haplorhine neocortex and striatum suggests a relatively higher rate of aerobic glycolysis that is linked to synaptosomal mitochondrial metabolism. Our results indicate that there is a differential composition of LDH isoenzymes and metabolism in synaptic terminals that evolved in primates to meet increased energy requirements in association with brain enlargement.

  1. Dental senescence in a long-lived primate links infant survival to rainfall

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Stephen J.; Arrigo-Nelson, Summer J.; Pochron, Sharon T.; Semprebon, Gina M.; Godfrey, Laurie R.; Wright, Patricia C.; Jernvall, Jukka

    2005-01-01

    Primates tend to be long-lived, and, except for humans, most primate females are able to reproduce into old age. Although aging in most mammals is accompanied by dental senescence due to advanced wear, primates have low-crowned teeth that wear down before old age. Because tooth wear alters crown features gradually, testing whether early dental senescence causes reproductive senescence has been difficult. To identify whether and when low-crowned teeth compromise reproductive success, we used a 20-year field study of Propithecus edwardsi, a rainforest lemur from Madagascar with a maximum lifespan of >27 years. We analyzed tooth wear in three dimensions with dental topographic analysis by using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology. We report that tooth wear exposes compensatory shearing blades that maintain dental function for 18 years. Beyond this age, female fertility remains high; however infants survive only if lactation seasons have elevated rainfall. Therefore, low-crowned teeth accommodate wear to a point, after which reproductive success closely tracks environmental fluctuations. These results suggest a tooth wear-determined, but rainfall-mediated, onset of reproductive senescence. Additionally, our study indicates that even subtle changes in climate may affect reproductive success of rainforest species. PMID:16260727

  2. Phylogenetic correlates of extinction risk in mammals: species in older lineages are not at greater risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verde Arregoitia, Luis Darcy; Blomberg, Simon P; Fisher, Diana O

    2013-08-22

    Phylogenetic information is becoming a recognized basis for evaluating conservation priorities, but associations between extinction risk and properties of a phylogeny such as diversification rates and phylogenetic lineage ages remain unclear. Limited taxon-specific analyses suggest that species in older lineages are at greater risk. We calculate quantitative properties of the mammalian phylogeny and model extinction risk as an ordinal index based on International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List categories. We test for associations between lineage age, clade size, evolutionary distinctiveness and extinction risk for 3308 species of terrestrial mammals. We show no significant global or regional associations, and three significant relationships within taxonomic groups. Extinction risk increases for evolutionarily distinctive primates and decreases with lineage age when lemurs are excluded. Lagomorph species (rabbits, hares and pikas) that have more close relatives are less threatened. We examine the relationship between net diversification rates and extinction risk for 173 genera and find no pattern. We conclude that despite being under-represented in the frequency distribution of lineage ages, species in older, slower evolving and distinct lineages are not more threatened or extinction-prone. Their extinction, however, would represent a disproportionate loss of unique evolutionary history.

  3. Design of a Robotic Ankle Joint for a Microspine-Based Robot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thatte, Nitish

    2011-01-01

    Successful robotic exploration of near-Earth asteroids necessitates a method of securely anchoring to the surface of these bodies without gravitational assistance. Microspine grip- per arrays that can grasp rock faces are a potential solution to this problem. A key component of a future microspine-based rover will be the ankle used to attach each microspine gripper to the robot. The ankle's purpose is twofold: 1) to allow the gripper to conform to the rock so a higher percentage of microspines attach to the surface, and 2) to neutralize torques that may dislodge the grippers from the wall. Parts were developed using computer aided design and manufactured using a variety of methods including selective laser sintering, CNC milling, and traditional manual machining techniques. Upon completion of the final prototype, the gripper and ankle system was tested to demonstrate robotic engagement and disengagement of the gripper and to determine load bearing ability. The immediate application of this project is to out t the Lemur IIb robot so it can climb and hang from rock walls.

  4. An early Oligocene fossil demonstrates treeshrews are slowly evolving "living fossils".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiang; Ni, Xijun

    2016-01-14

    Treeshrews are widely considered a "living model" of an ancestral primate, and have long been called "living fossils". Actual fossils of treeshrews, however, are extremely rare. We report a new fossil species of Ptilocercus treeshrew recovered from the early Oligocene (~34 Ma) of China that represents the oldest definitive fossil record of the crown group of treeshrews and nearly doubles the temporal length of their fossil record. The fossil species is strikingly similar to the living Ptilocercus lowii, a species generally recognized as the most plesiomorphic extant treeshrew. It demonstrates that Ptilocercus treeshrews have undergone little evolutionary change in their morphology since the early Oligocene. Morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analysis support the long-standing idea that Ptilocercus treeshrews are morphologically conservative and have probably retained many characters present in the common stock that gave rise to archontans, which include primates, flying lemurs, plesiadapiforms and treeshrews. This discovery provides an exceptional example of slow morphological evolution in a mammalian group over a period of 34 million years. The persistent and stable tropical environment in Southeast Asia through the Cenozoic likely played a critical role in the survival of such a morphologically conservative lineage.

  5. Ida and Ardi: The Fossil Cover Girls of 2009

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2011-01-01

    -million-year-old Ida was promoted as the Eighth Wonder of the World, a Rosetta Stone of palaeontology, the Holy Grail of human evolution. Her 4.4-million-year-old contender was advanced as the Real Thing and won the title as scientific breakthrough of the year. One was supposedly “our earliest ancestor......By the autumn of 2009, contestants for the ultimate prize in the Greatest Show on Earth had narrowed down to two: from Germany, a flat, squirrel-sized lemur-looking creature in artificial resin and glass fibers; and from Ethiopia, a partial, small-brained hominin skeleton. Both had been locked away...... for years, guarded by their sentinels from the curious eyes of the public and from competitors supposedly lurking everywhere. On center stage were Darwinius massilae and Ardipithecus ramidus, or, as they were soon known to palaeontology geeks and breakfast television hosts alike, Ida and Ardi. The 47...

  6. Compatibility counts: MHC-associated mate choice in a wild promiscuous primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwensow, Nina; Eberle, Manfred; Sommer, Simone

    2008-03-07

    The mechanisms and temporal aspects of mate choice according to genetic constitution are still puzzling. Recent studies indicate that fitness is positively related to diversity in immune genes (MHC). Both sexes should therefore choose mates of high genetic quality and/or compatibility. However, studies addressing the role of MHC diversity in pre- and post-copulatory mate choice decisions in wild-living animals are few. We investigated the impact of MHC constitution and of neutral microsatellite variability on pre- and post-copulatory mate choice in both sexes in a wild population of a promiscuous primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). There was no support for pre-copulatory male or female mate choice, but our data indicate post-copulatory mate choice that is associated with genetic constitution. Fathers had a higher number of MHC supertypes different from those of the mother than randomly assigned males. Fathers also had a higher amino acid distance to the females' MHC as well as a higher total number of MHC supertypes and a higher degree of microsatellite heterozygosity than randomly assigned males. Female cryptic choice may be the underlying mechanism that operates towards an optimization of the genetic constitution of offspring. This is the first study that provides support for the importance of the MHC constitution in post-copulatory mate choice in non-human primates.

  7. LMTK2-mediated phosphorylation regulates CFTR endocytosis in human airway epithelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luz, Simão; Cihil, Kristine M; Brautigan, David L; Amaral, Margarida D; Farinha, Carlos M; Swiatecka-Urban, Agnieszka

    2014-05-23

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a Cl(-)-selective ion channel expressed in fluid-transporting epithelia. Lemur tyrosine kinase 2 (LMTK2) is a transmembrane protein with serine and threonine but not tyrosine kinase activity. Previous work identified CFTR as an in vitro substrate of LMTK2, suggesting a functional link. Here we demonstrate that LMTK2 co-immunoprecipitates with CFTR and phosphorylates CFTR-Ser(737) in human airway epithelial cells. LMTK2 knockdown or expression of inactive LMTK2 kinase domain increases cell surface density of CFTR by attenuating its endocytosis in human airway epithelial cells. Moreover, LMTK2 knockdown increases Cl(-) secretion mediated by the wild-type and rescued ΔF508-CFTR. Compared with the wild-type CFTR, the phosphorylation-deficient mutant CFTR-S737A shows increased cell surface density and decreased endocytosis. These results demonstrate a novel mechanism of the phospho-dependent inhibitory effect of CFTR-Ser(737) mediated by LMTK2 via endocytosis and inhibition of the cell surface density of CFTR Cl(-) channels. These data indicate that targeting LMTK2 may increase the cell surface density of CFTR Cl(-) channels and improve stability of pharmacologically rescued ΔF508-CFTR in patients with cystic fibrosis.

  8. Molecular estimates of primate divergences and new hypotheses for primate dispersal and the origin of modern humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnason, U; Gullberg, A; Burguete, A S; Janke, A

    2000-01-01

    The concept of recent hominoid divergences has been a mainstay in molecular primatology since the 1970's. However, the ages allocated to the calibration points used to establish these divergence times and the estimates resulting from their application, notably the commonly accepted divergence between Pan (chimpanzees) and Homo 5 million years before present (MYBP), are now palaeontologically refutable. Here we estimate the ages of various primate divergences using three references with a more detailed fossil record than any of the traditional primate calibration points. Our findings suggest that the latter yield datings that are too recent by a factor of about two. For example, our estimates place the divergence between Pan and Homo 10.5-13 MYBP. The revised estimates of primate divergence times suggest a new hypothesis for primate evolution and dispersal: that the divergence between strepsirhines (lorises, lemurs) and anthropoids was contemporary with the break-up of Southern continents about 90 MYBP, with strepsirhines becoming isolated on Madagascar and later dispersing to Africa (and Asia) and anthropoids evolving in South America and subsequently colonizing Africa (and Asia), or possibly North America. In addition we present a new hypothesis, which accommodates the strikingly similar coalescence times for human mitochondrial DNA and the Y-chromosome. This hypothesis posits a common mitochondrial and Y-chromosome bottleneck about 400,000 years ago, associated with the origination of the human 2n = 46 karyotype, obstructing genetic exchange with the 2n = 48 Homo contemporaries.

  9. EFFECT OF CONCENTRATION AND FREQUENCY CROCOBER PLUS AS ORGANIC LIQUID FERTILIZER GIVING ON THE ONION CROPS (Allium ascalonicum L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamilah Munir Munir

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Research on the effect of liquid organic fertilizer (POC Crocober plus and frequency of application to the crop of onion (Allium ascalonicum L. had been conducted in Sub Kajai, District lemur, Solok regency for 3 months starting from May to July 2015. The goal was to get the POC concentration and Crocober plus frequency to increase growth and yield of onion. Experiments using a randomized block design in a factorial form that consists of 2 factors. Factor 1 was 5 degree of concentration POC was 0% (P0, 2.5% (P1, 5% (P3, 7.5% (P4 and 10% (P5 while Factor 2, was the frequency of POC consists of two levels ie ; The data obtained and analyzed variance. If the F count larger than F table 5% followed by a test of Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMRT. The experimental results indicated that application of 5% POC Crocober plus concentration given weekly was the exact interaction to improve the growth and yield of onion with the result reached 13.83 tons/ha.Doi: 10.22216/jit.2014.v8i2.340

  10. Loss of olfactory receptor genes coincides with the acquisition of full trichromatic vision in primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoav Gilad

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Olfactory receptor (OR genes constitute the molecular basis for the sense of smell and are encoded by the largest gene family in mammalian genomes. Previous studies suggested that the proportion of pseudogenes in the OR gene family is significantly larger in humans than in other apes and significantly larger in apes than in the mouse. To investigate the process of degeneration of the olfactory repertoire in primates, we estimated the proportion of OR pseudogenes in 19 primate species by surveying randomly chosen subsets of 100 OR genes from each species. We find that apes, Old World monkeys and one New World monkey, the howler monkey, have a significantly higher proportion of OR pseudogenes than do other New World monkeys or the lemur (a prosimian. Strikingly, the howler monkey is also the only New World monkey to possess full trichromatic vision, along with Old World monkeys and apes. Our findings suggest that the deterioration of the olfactory repertoire occurred concomitant with the acquisition of full trichromatic color vision in primates.

  11. Reproduction in free-ranging Propithecus verreauxi: estrus and the relationship between multiple partner matings and fertilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brockman, D K; Whitten, P L

    1996-05-01

    Female sifaka mate selectively with one or more resident and/or non-resident males during the breeding season. Various adaptive explanations have been advanced to explain why female primates mate with multiple males including that 1) females seek to confuse paternity and thereby forestall male infanticide and/or ensure male infant care or 2) females seek to ensure fertilization. Assessing the power of fertilization insurance to explain mating patterns in females requires information on the temporal relationship between mating and ovarian hormones. The hormonal correlates of reproduction and mating in free-ranging Propithecus verreauxi were investigated using excreted steroids as indices of reproductive state. Solid-phase extraction and radioimmunoassay techniques were used to measure unconjugated estradiol (E(2)) and progesterone (P(4)) in 485 desiccated fecal samples collected from five female sifaka before and during the breeding season at Beza Mahafaly, Madagascar. Results suggest that behavioral estrus was characterized by 10 to 15-day elevations in E(2); hormonal activity was observed to be similar to pseudo-estrus reported for other lemur species; apparent conception was associated with sustained P4 elevations beginning 1 to 3 days post-estrus with gestational phase elevations of E2 beginning 42 to 45 days post-conception; and mating with multiple partners appeared not to be a prerequisite to fertilization, as conception resulted from both monoandrous and polyandrous matings. These preliminary data suggest that fertilization insurance is not adequate to explain polyandrous mating in sifaka at Beza Mahafaly.

  12. The role of invasive trophoblast in implantation and placentation of primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Anthony M; Enders, Allen C; Pijnenborg, Robert

    2015-03-05

    We here review the evolution of invasive placentation in primates towards the deep penetration of the endometrium and its arteries in hominoids. The strepsirrhine primates (lemurs and lorises) have non-invasive, epitheliochorial placentation, although this is thought to be derived from a more invasive type. In haplorhine primates, there is differentiation of trophoblast at the blastocyst stage into syncytial and cellular trophoblast. Implantation involves syncytiotrophoblast that first removes the uterine epithelium then consolidates at the basal lamina before continuing into the stroma. In later stages of pregnancy, especially in Old World monkeys and apes, cytotrophoblast plays a greater role in the invasive process. Columns of trophoblast cells advance to the base of the implantation site where they spread out to form a cytotrophoblastic shell. In addition, cytotrophoblasts advance into the lumen of the spiral arteries. They are responsible for remodelling these vessels to form wide, low-resistance conduits. In human and great apes, there is additional invasion of the endometrium and its vessels by trophoblasts originating from the base of the anchoring villi. Deep trophoblast invasion that extends remodelling of the spiral arteries to segments in the inner myometrium evolved in the common ancestor of gorilla, chimp and human.

  13. A reconstruction of the Vienna skull of Hadropithecus stenognathus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, T. M.; Burney, D. A.; Godfrey, L. R.; Göhlich, U. B.; Jungers, W. L.; Vasey, N.; Ramilisonina; Walker, A.; Weber, G. W.

    2008-01-01

    Franz Sikora found the first specimen and type of the recently extinct Hadropithecus stenognathus in Madagascar in 1899 and sent it to Ludwig Lorenz von Liburnau of the Austrian Imperial Academy of Sciences. Later, he sent several more specimens including a subadult skull that was described by Lorenz von Liburnau in 1902. In 2003, some of us excavated at the locality and found more specimens belonging to this species, including much of a subadult skeleton. Two frontal fragments were found, and these, together with most of the postcranial bones, belong to the skull. CT scans of the skull and other jaw fragments were made in Vienna and those of the frontal fragments at Penn State University. The two fragments have been reunited with the skull in silico, and broken parts from one side of the skull have been replaced virtually by mirror-imaged complete parts from the other side. The parts of the jaw of another individual of a slightly younger dental age have also been reconstructed virtually from CT scans with mirror imaging and by using the maxillary teeth and temporomandibular joints as a guide to finish the reconstruction. Apart from forming a virtual skull for biomechanical and systematic analysis, we were also able to make a virtual endocast. Missing anterior pieces were reconstructed by using part of an endocast of the related Archaeolemur majori. The volume is 115 ml. Hadropithecus and Archaeolemur seem to have had relatively large brains compared with the other large-bodied subfossil lemurs. PMID:18663217

  14. Mitogenomic analyses of eutherian relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnason, U; Janke, A

    2002-01-01

    Reasonably correct phylogenies are fundamental to the testing of evolutionary hypotheses. Here, we present phylogenetic findings based on analyses of 67 complete mammalian mitochondrial (mt) genomes. The analyses, irrespective of whether they were performed at the amino acid (aa) level or on nucleotides (nt) of first and second codon positions, placed Erinaceomorpha (hedgehogs and their kin) as the sister group of remaining eutherians. Thus, the analyses separated Erinaceomorpha from other traditional lipotyphlans (e.g., tenrecs, moles, and shrews), making traditional Lipotyphla polyphyletic. Both the aa and nt data sets identified the two order-rich eutherian clades, the Cetferungulata (comprising Pholidota, Carnivora, Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, and Cetacea) and the African clade (Tenrecomorpha, Macroscelidea, Tubulidentata, Hyracoidea, Proboscidea, and Sirenia). The study corroborated recent findings that have identified a sister-group relationship between Anthropoidea and Dermoptera (flying lemurs), thereby making our own order, Primates, a paraphyletic assembly. Molecular estimates using paleontologically well-established calibration points, placed the origin of most eutherian orders in Cretaceous times, 70-100 million years before present (MYBP). The same estimates place all primate divergences much earlier than traditionally believed. For example, the divergence between Homo and Pan is estimated to have taken place approximately 10 MYBP, a dating consistent with recent findings in primate paleontology.

  15. Análisis comparativo de herramientas de recuperación y análisis de información de acceso libredesde una concepción docente

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Plasencia-Salgueiro

    Full Text Available En el Instituto de Cibernética, Matemática y Física de la República de Cuba se imparte el curso"Bases de datos y biblioteca digital" dentro de la Maestría de Cibernética Aplicada. Parte esencial del curso la constituye la creación de bases de datos documentales a partir de la recuperación de información en Internet. Para poder realizar los laboratorios requeridos para un mejor aprendizaje se requiere seleccionar las herramientas de recuperación de información más idóneas, tanto desde el punto de vista docente como desde las facilidades para su adquisición. Se definieron entonces las características para evaluar esas herramientas y la metodología para realizar la selección. Como resultado, de trece herramientas de recuperación y análisis de la información de software libre analizadas que pudieron ser descargadas se seleccionaron ocho herramientas, Lemur Toolkit con Indri, Sphinx, WebSphinx con Rapid Miner, Solr/Lucene/Hadoop/Mahout, Terrier, Dragon lo cual permitió garantizar la calidad del curso impartido y su concatenación con otros cursos de la misma maestría.

  16. Ecological Restoration and Reforestation of Fragmented Forests in Kianjavato, Madagascar

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    Christophe Manjaribe

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A reforestation effort in Kianjavato Commune in southeast Madagascar is presented that combines native diversity with rapidly growing introduced and native pioneer trees. This work utilizes a three-tiered corridor design that capitalizes on the region’s mountainous terrain. The process of seed selection, transplantation, and survival rate of seedlings over a 16 month period is reported. The uppermost 50% of each mountain is planted with 38 woody species and most closely approximates native forest. This tier was divided into two categories, pioneer and secondary species. Most of the pioneer species were not native; however, results showed that four fast-growing, environmentally-tolerant native species could be suitable alternatives: Streblus mauritianus, Syzygium bernieri, Treculia madagascariensis and Uapaca thouarsii. More than 70,000 seeds of secondary species were extracted from fecal samples from wild, free-ranging black and white ruffed lemurs; the majority of which germinated significantly better after gut passage. The most effective pretreatment that enhanced germination was to scarify unwashed seeds. Commercially valuable trees, belonging to the community members, were grown on the lower half of each mountain. Lastly, the various contributions of the community are described along with agroforestry development plans designed to reduce pressure on forest resources and generate supplemental income.

  17. [Caloric restriction in primates: how efficient as an anti-aging approach?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchal, Julia; Perret, Martine; Aujard, Fabienne

    2012-12-01

    Caloric restriction (CR) is the only non-genetic intervention known to date to slow the onset of age-related diseases and increase average and maximum lifespan in several species. Its interest is continually growing, particularly for the identification of mechanisms involved in increasing longevity. Unlike studies in invertebrate and rodent models have provided some indication about the mechanisms of the CR, the efficacy of CR as an anti-aging protocol in primates has not yet been fully established. In this review we present the advantages of using non human primates as relevant models to the study of human aging in general and specifically in the context of therapeutic interventions applicable to humans, such as CR. Through the longitudinal findings in the Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus), we stress the importance of primate studies in the context of research on aging and their potential to advance the development of molecules which can mimic the beneficial effects of CR, already observed in some species, without imposing a reduced calorie diet.

  18. Information Need Plane and Its Information Retrieval Model%信息需求面及其信息检索模型

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王彪; 高光来

    2011-01-01

    For an information retrieval system, how to understand accurately and express user's information need is the key to improve information retrieval results. By analysing the natural language's connotation and denotation,the upper bound and lower bound of information need are calculated,the information need domain and information need plane are determined. In information retrieval,the similarity between document and the information need plane is defined. Experiments with Lemur tools show that the model has good retrieval results.%信息检索中,如何较好地理解和表达用户的信息需求是提高信息检索效果的关键.从语言的内涵和外延出发,挖掘、计算信息需求的上边界、下边界,确定信息需求的需求域,进而确定信息需求面.引入文档与信息需求面间的相似度定义,建立基于信息需求面的信息检索模型.对比分析实验表明,该模型具有较理想的检索效果.

  19. Introduced mammals on Western Indian Ocean islands

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    James C. Russell

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The diversity of introduced mammals and their introduction history varies greatly across the Western Indian Ocean (WIO islands, from ancient introductions in the past millennia on islands off the East coast of Africa where extant terrestrial native mammal communities exist, to very recent invasions in the past decades on islands in the Mascarene archipelago. We compile the distribution of 16 introduced mammal taxa on 28 island groups comprising almost 2000 islands. Through an exhaustive literature review and expert consultation process we recorded all mammal eradications, and species recoveries which could be attributed to introduced mammal eradication or control. All island groups have been invaded by mammals, and invasive cats and rats in particular are ubiquitous, but cultural contingency has also led to regional invasions by other mammals such as lemurs, civets and tenrecs. Mammal eradications have been attempted on 45 islands in the WIO, the majority in the Seychelles and Mauritius, and where successful have resulted in spectacular recovery of species and ecosystems. Invasive mammalian predator eradication or control in association with habitat management has led to improved conservation prospects for at least 24 species, and IUCN red-list down-listing of eight species, in the Mascarene Islands. Future island conservation prioritisation in the region will need to take account of global climate change and predicted sea-level rises and coastal inundation. Greater investment and prioritisation in island conservation in the region is warranted, given its high biodiversity values and the extent of invasions.

  20. Peptide microarray analysis of substrate specificity of the transmembrane Ser/Thr kinase KPI-2 reveals reactivity with cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator and phosphorylase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hong; Brautigan, David L

    2006-11-01

    Human lemur (Lmr) kinases are predicted to be Tyr kinases based on sequences and are related to neurotrophin receptor Trk kinases. This study used homogeneous recombinant KPI-2 (Lmr2, LMTK2, Cprk, brain-enriched protein kinase) kinase domain and a library of 1,154 peptides on a microarray to analyze substrate specificity. We found that KPI-2 is strictly a Ser/Thr kinase that reacts with Ser either preceded by or followed by Pro residues but unlike other Pro-directed kinases does not strictly require an adjacent Pro residue. The most reactive peptide in the library corresponds to Ser-737 of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, and the recombinant R domain of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator was a preferred substrate. Furthermore the KPI-2 kinase phosphorylated peptides corresponding to the single site in phosphorylase and purified phosphorylase b, making this only the second known phosphorylase b kinase. Phosphorylase was used as a specific substrate to show that KPI-2 is inhibited in living cells by addition of nerve growth factor or serum. The results demonstrate the utility of the peptide library to probe specificity and discover kinase substrates and offer a specific assay that reveals hormonal regulation of the activity of this unusual transmembrane kinase.

  1. The influence of body posture on the kinematics of prehension in humans and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reghem, E; Chèze, L; Coppens, Y; Pouydebat, E

    2014-03-01

    Much of our current understanding of human prehension in a comparative context is based on macaque models in a sitting, constrained body posture. In a previous study, we clearly showed differences in the amplitude of the forelimb joints between five primate species (lemur, capuchin, chimpanzee, gorilla and human) during unconstrained grasping where the animals were free to choose their body posture. One of our interrogations was to know if these differences could be due to the body posture. To address this question, this study compares humans with new data for gorillas during an unconstrained food prehension task in two body postures, a sitting and a quadrupedal one. The objective is to determine the behavioral and kinematic strategies (amplitudes and patterns of evolution of the articular angles) as well as differences and invariants of trunk and forelimb motions between species. The subjects were recorded by five cameras, and landmarks were digitized frame by frame to reconstruct 3D movement. Our results show that (1) despite significant influences of body postures on ranges of motion in gorillas and humans, species preserve their specific forelimb joint and trunk contribution; (2) body posture has a limited effect on the basic pattern of wrist velocity. Our study indicates that different primate species have specific kinematic features of limb coordination during prehension, which dose not alter with changes in posture. Therefore, across varying species, it is possible to compare limb kinematics irrespective of postural constraints and unconstrained condition need to be explored in other primates to understand the evolution of primate prehension.

  2. Matching based on biological categories in Orangutans (Pongo abelii) and a Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Following a series of experiments in which six orangutans and one gorilla discriminated photographs of different animal species in a two-choice touch screen procedure, Vonk & MacDonald (2002) and Vonk & MacDonald (2004) concluded that orangutans, but not the gorilla, seemed to learn intermediate level category discriminations, such as primates versus non-primates, more rapidly than they learned concrete level discriminations, such as orangutans versus humans. In the current experiments, four of the same orangutans and the gorilla were presented with delayed matching-to-sample tasks in which they were rewarded for matching photos of different members of the same primate species; golden lion tamarins, Japanese macaques, and proboscis monkeys, or family; gibbons, lemurs (Experiment 1), and subsequently for matching photos of different species within the following classes: birds, reptiles, insects, mammals, and fish (Experiment 2). Members of both Great Ape species were rapidly able to match the photos at levels above chance. Orangutans matched images from both category levels spontaneously whereas the gorilla showed effects of learning to match intermediate level categories. The results show that biological knowledge is not necessary to form natural categories at both concrete and intermediate levels.

  3. Stability in skipping gaits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrada, Emanuel; Müller, Roy; Blickhan, Reinhard

    2016-11-01

    As an alternative to walking and running, humans are able to skip. However, adult humans avoid it. This fact seems to be related to the higher energetic costs associated with skipping. Still, children, some birds, lemurs and lizards use skipping gaits during daily locomotion. We combined experimental data on humans with numerical simulations to test whether stability and robustness motivate this choice. Parameters for modelling were obtained from 10 male subjects. They locomoted using unilateral skipping along a 12 m runway. We used a bipedal spring loaded inverted pendulum to model and to describe the dynamics of skipping. The subjects displayed higher peak ground reaction forces and leg stiffness in the first landing leg (trailing leg) compared to the second landing leg (leading leg). In numerical simulations, we found that skipping is stable across an amazing speed range from skipping on the spot to fast running speeds. Higher leg stiffness in the trailing leg permits longer strides at same system energy. However, this strategy is at the same time less robust to sudden drop perturbations than skipping with a stiffer leading leg. A slightly higher stiffness in the leading leg is most robust, but might be costlier.

  4. Incorporating evolutionary history into conservation planning in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buerki, Sven; Callmander, Martin W; Bachman, Steven; Moat, Justin; Labat, Jean-Noël; Forest, Félix

    2015-02-19

    There is increased evidence that incorporating evolutionary history directly in conservation actions is beneficial, particularly given the likelihood that extinction is not random and that phylogenetic diversity (PD) is lost at higher rates than species diversity. This evidence is even more compelling in biodiversity hotspots, such as Madagascar, where less than 10% of the original vegetation remains. Here, we use the Leguminosae, an ecologically and economically important plant family, and a combination of phylogenetics and species distribution modelling, to assess biodiversity patterns and identify regions, coevolutionary processes and ecological factors that are important in shaping this diversity, especially during the Quaternary. We show evidence that species distribution and community PD are predicted by watershed boundaries, which enable the identification of a network of refugia and dispersal corridors that were perhaps important for maintaining community integrity during past climate change. Phylogenetically clustered communities are found in the southwest of the island at low elevation and share a suite of morphological characters (especially fruit morphology) indicative of coevolution with their main dispersers, the extinct and extant lemurs. Phylogenetically over-dispersed communities are found along the eastern coast at sea level and may have resulted from many independent dispersal events from the drier and more seasonal regions of Madagascar.

  5. Torpor during reproduction in mammals and birds: dealing with an energetic conundrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAllan, B M; Geiser, Fritz

    2014-09-01

    Torpor and reproduction in mammals and birds are widely viewed as mutually exclusive processes because of opposing energetic and hormonal demands. However, the reported number of heterothermic species that express torpor during reproduction is ever increasing, to some extent because of recent work on free-ranging animals. We summarize current knowledge about those heterothermic mammals that do not express torpor during reproduction and, in contrast, examine those heterothermic birds and mammals that do use torpor during reproduction. Incompatibility between torpor and reproduction occurs mainly in high-latitude sciurid and cricetid rodents, which live in strongly seasonal, but predictably productive habitats in summer. In contrast, torpor during incubation, brooding, pregnancy, or lactation occurs in nightjars, hummingbirds, echidnas, several marsupials, tenrecs, hedgehogs, bats, carnivores, mouse lemurs, and dormice. Animals that enter torpor during reproduction often are found in unpredictable habitats, in which seasonal availability of food can be cut short by changes in weather, or are species that reproduce fully or partially during winter. Moreover, animals that use torpor during the reproductive period have relatively low reproductive costs, are largely insectivorous, carnivorous, or nectarivorous, and thus rely on food that can be unpredictable or strongly seasonal. These species with relatively unpredictable food supplies must gain an advantage by using torpor during reproduction because the main cost is an extension of the reproductive period; the benefit is increased survival of parent and offspring, and thus fitness.

  6. Stable carbon isotope values document how a Late Holocene expansion in grasslands impacted vertebrates in northwestern Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowley, B. E.; Samonds, K.

    2012-12-01

    Madagascar is home to some of the world's most distinctive plants and animals. Unfortunately, forest loss and habitat degradation has had a dramatic impact on both floral and faunal communities. Here we use carbon isotope values in radiocarbon-dated bones to examine how the vertebrate community at Anjohibe Cave, northwestern Madagascar, responded to a Late Holocene increase in C4 grass abundance. Our data demonstrate that major changes in the vegetation and animal community are recent phenomena at Anjohibe. Extinct lemurs and hippopotamuses were present until ca. 1500 years ago. These taxa relied exclusively on C3 resources. Locally extirpated fauna were present until 300 years ago. The majority of these species also relied on C3 resources. Their presence strongly suggests that the region surrounding the cave was more wooded than it is now, possibly as recently as 300 years ago. All introduced individuals are modern. Rats (Rattus sp.), shrews (Suncus murinus), and the giant frog Hoplobatrachus cf. tigrinus, have remarkably high carbon isotope values, implicating substantial ingestion of C4 foods. It is possible that grass abundance has increased dramatically in the past 100 years. Alternatively, opportunistically granivorous rats and shrews may selectively consume seeds from C4 grasses. In agreement with previous studies, stable isotope data reveal details of vegetation and faunal turnover in Northwestern Madagascar. Grasses have increased, forest dwelling species have vanished, and introduced taxa are exploiting a novel niche.

  7. Were Malagasy Uncarina fruits dispersed by the extinct elephant bird?

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    N. Illing

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available We hypothesise that the spiny fruits of the endemic Madagascar
    genus Uncarina (Pedaliaceae are trample burrs that evolved to be
    dispersed on the feet of the extinct elephant bird (Aepyornis. Our
    evidence is: i the morphology of the fruit with its large grapple
    hooks is more likely to attach to a foot than to adhere to fur and
    ii the presentation of mature fruits on the ground rather than in the
    canopy. These differences to adhesive burrs make lemurs unlikely
    dispersers. We argue, given the absence of other large terrestrial
    mammals in Madagascar, that the most likely dispersers of
    Uncarina fruits were the extinct large birds. If correct, our hypothesis
    has implications for conservation of Uncarina, the biogeography
    of the elephant birds and dispersal biology. For
    example, we predict that the demography of Uncarina will be
    skewed towards adult plants, and that the dispersal mutualism
    could possibly be rescued by domestic animals.

  8. The Nutritional Geometry of Resource Scarcity: Effects of Lean Seasons and Habitat Disturbance on Nutrient Intakes and Balancing in Wild Sifakas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitchell T Irwin

    Full Text Available Animals experience spatial and temporal variation in food and nutrient supply, which may cause deviations from optimal nutrient intakes in both absolute amounts (meeting nutrient requirements and proportions (nutrient balancing. Recent research has used the geometric framework for nutrition to obtain an improved understanding of how animals respond to these nutritional constraints, among them free-ranging primates including spider monkeys and gorillas. We used this framework to examine macronutrient intakes and nutrient balancing in sifakas (Propithecus diadema at Tsinjoarivo, Madagascar, in order to quantify how these vary across seasons and across habitats with varying degrees of anthropogenic disturbance. Groups in intact habitat experience lean season decreases in frugivory, amounts of food ingested, and nutrient intakes, yet preserve remarkably constant proportions of dietary macronutrients, with the proportional contribution of protein to the diet being highly consistent. Sifakas in disturbed habitat resemble intact forest groups in the relative contribution of dietary macronutrients, but experience less seasonality: all groups' diets converge in the lean season, but disturbed forest groups largely fail to experience abundant season improvements in food intake or nutritional outcomes. These results suggest that: (1 lemurs experience seasonality by maintaining nutrient balance at the expense of calories ingested, which contrasts with earlier studies of spider monkeys and gorillas, (2 abundant season foods should be the target of habitat management, even though mortality might be concentrated in the lean season, and (3 primates' within-group competitive landscapes, which contribute to variation in social organization, may vary in complex ways across habitats and seasons.

  9. Torpor use during gestation and lactation in a primate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canale, Cindy I.; Perret, Martine; Henry, Pierre-Yves

    2012-02-01

    Torpor is an energy-saving mechanism that allows endotherms to overcome energetic challenges. Torpor should be avoided during reproduction because of potential incompatibility with offspring growth. To test if torpor can be used during gestation and lactation to compensate for food shortage, we exposed reproductive female grey mouse lemurs ( Microcebus murinus), a heterothermic primate, to different levels of food availability. Torpor use was characterised by daily skin temperature profiles, and its energetic outcome was assessed from changes in body mass. Food shortage triggered torpor during the end of the gestation period ( n = 1), ranging from shallow in response to 40% food restriction to deep daily torpor in response to 80% restriction. During the early period of lactation, females fed ad libitum ( n = 2) or exposed to a 40% restriction ( n = 4) remained normothermic; but 80% food restricted females ( n = 5) gave priority to energy saving, increasing the frequency and depth of torpor bouts. The use of torpor was insufficient to compensate for 80% energetic shortage during lactation resulting in loss of mass from the mother and delayed growth in the pups. This study provides the first evidence that a heterothermic primate can use torpor to compensate for food shortages even during reproduction. This physiological flexibility likely evolved as a response to climate-driven fluctuations in food availability in Madagascar.

  10. Anthropoid versus strepsirhine status of the African Eocene primates Algeripithecus and Azibius: craniodental evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabuce, Rodolphe; Marivaux, Laurent; Lebrun, Renaud; Adaci, Mohammed; Bensalah, Mustapha; Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Fara, Emmanuel; Gomes Rodrigues, Helder; Hautier, Lionel; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques; Lazzari, Vincent; Mebrouk, Fateh; Peigné, Stéphane; Sudre, Jean; Tafforeau, Paul; Valentin, Xavier; Mahboubi, Mahammed

    2009-01-01

    Recent fossil discoveries have demonstrated that Africa and Asia were epicentres for the origin and/or early diversification of the major living primate lineages, including both anthropoids (monkeys, apes and humans) and crown strepsirhine primates (lemurs, lorises and galagos). Competing hypotheses favouring either an African or Asian origin for anthropoids rank among the most hotly contested issues in paleoprimatology. The Afrocentric model for anthropoid origins rests heavily on the >45 Myr old fossil Algeripithecus minutus from Algeria, which is widely acknowledged to be one of the oldest known anthropoids. However, the phylogenetic position of Algeripithecus with respect to other primates has been tenuous because of the highly fragmentary fossils that have documented this primate until now. Recently recovered and more nearly complete fossils of Algeripithecus and contemporaneous relatives reveal that they are not anthropoids. New data support the idea that Algeripithecus and its sister genus Azibius are the earliest offshoots of an Afro–Arabian strepsirhine clade that embraces extant toothcombed primates and their fossil relatives. Azibius exhibits anatomical evidence for nocturnality. Algeripithecus has a long, thin and forwardly inclined lower canine alveolus, a feature that is entirely compatible with the long and procumbent lower canine included in the toothcomb of crown strepsirhines. These results strengthen an ancient African origin for crown strepsirhines and, in turn, strongly challenge the role of Africa as the ancestral homeland for anthropoids. PMID:19740889

  11. The UCSC Genome Browser database: 2017 update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyner, Cath; Barber, Galt P.; Casper, Jonathan; Clawson, Hiram; Diekhans, Mark; Eisenhart, Christopher; Fischer, Clayton M.; Gibson, David; Gonzalez, Jairo Navarro; Guruvadoo, Luvina; Haeussler, Maximilian; Heitner, Steve; Hinrichs, Angie S.; Karolchik, Donna; Lee, Brian T.; Lee, Christopher M.; Nejad, Parisa; Raney, Brian J.; Rosenbloom, Kate R.; Speir, Matthew L.; Villarreal, Chris; Vivian, John; Zweig, Ann S.; Haussler, David; Kuhn, Robert M.; Kent, W. James

    2017-01-01

    Since its 2001 debut, the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu/) team has provided continuous support to the international genomics and biomedical communities through a web-based, open source platform designed for the fast, scalable display of sequence alignments and annotations landscaped against a vast collection of quality reference genome assemblies. The browser's publicly accessible databases are the backbone of a rich, integrated bioinformatics tool suite that includes a graphical interface for data queries and downloads, alignment programs, command-line utilities and more. This year's highlights include newly designed home and gateway pages; a new ‘multi-region’ track display configuration for exon-only, gene-only and custom regions visualization; new genome browsers for three species (brown kiwi, crab-eating macaque and Malayan flying lemur); eight updated genome assemblies; extended support for new data types such as CRAM, RNA-seq expression data and long-range chromatin interaction pairs; and the unveiling of a new supported mirror site in Japan. PMID:27899642

  12. Incorporating ecology and social system into formal hypotheses to guide field studies of color vision in primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunce, John A

    2015-05-01

    The X-linked gene polymorphism responsible for the variable color vision of most Neotropical monkeys and some lemurs is thought to be maintained by balancing selection, such that trichromats have an advantage over dichromats for some ecologically important task(s). However, evidence for such an advantage in wild primate populations is equivocal. The purpose of this study is to refine a hypothesis for a trichromat advantage by tailoring it to the ecology of territorial primates with female natal dispersal, such that dispersing trichromatic females have a foraging and, by extension, survival advantage over dichromats. I then examine the most practical way to test this hypothesis using field data. Indirect evidence in support of the hypothesis may take the form of differences in genotype frequencies among life stages and differences in disperser food item encounter rates. A deterministic evolutionary matrix population model and a stochastic model of food patch encounter rates are constructed to investigate the magnitude of such differences and the likelihood of statistical detection using field data. Results suggest that, although the sampling effort required to detect the hypothesized genotype frequency differences is impractical, a field study of reasonable scope may be able to detect differences in disperser foraging rates. This study demonstrates the utility of incorporating socioecological details into formal hypotheses during the planning stages of field studies of primate color vision. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Pollical oblique ligament in humans and non-human primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrewsbury, Marvin

    2003-04-01

    A morphological study of the oblique ligament in the thumb is presented. The ligament was consistently described in human specimens and compared with dissections of non-human primates from different species. The oblique ligament was found in some, but not all, specimens in each of the following species examined: chimpanzee, orangutan, gibbon, anubis baboon, hamadryas baboon, squirrel monkey, lemur and marmoset. A revised identity of the oblique ligament is proposed as a reinforced distal border of a fibro-osseous annular pollical flexor sheath and whose function is not independent of the flexor sheath. The constant presence and tendinous trait of the pollical oblique ligament in humans, when compared with non-human primates, supports the notion that the oblique ligament strengthens the pollical flexor sheath in humans for restraint of the flexor pollicis longus tendon during forceful precision pinching. A derivation of the pollical oblique ligament is considered as representing a vestigial radial limb of a flexor pollicis superficialis tendon in the thumb.

  14. [Molecular evidence on the phylogenetic position of tree shrews].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ling; Fan, Yu; Jiang, Xue-Long; Yao, Yong-Gang

    2013-04-01

    The tree shrew is currently located in the Order Scandentia and is widely distributed in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and South China. Due to its unique characteristics, such as small body size, high brain-to-body mass ratio, short reproductive cycle and life span, and low-cost of maintenance, the tree shrew has been proposed as an alternative experimental animal to primates in biomedical research. However, there is unresolved debate regarding the phylogenetic affinity of tree shrews to primates and their phylogenetic position in Euarchontoglires. To help settle this debate, we summarized the available molecular evidence on the phylogenetic position of the tree shrew. Most nuclear DNA data, including recent genome data, suggested that the tree shrew belongs to the Euarchonta clade harboring primates and flying lemurs (colugos). However, analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) data suggested a close relationship to lagomorphs and rodents. These different clustering patterns could be explained by nuclear gene data and mtDNA data discrepancies, as well as the different phylogenetic approaches used in previous studies. Taking all available conclusions together, the robust data from whole genome of this species supports tree shrews being genetically closely related to primates.

  15. The position of tree shrews in the mammalian tree: Comparing multi-gene analyses with phylogenomic results leaves monophyly of Euarchonta doubtful.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xuming; Sun, Fengming; Xu, Shixia; Yang, Guang; Li, Ming

    2015-03-01

    The well-accepted Euarchonta grandorder is a pruned version of Archonta nested within the Euarchontoglires (or Supraprimates) clade. At present, it includes tree shrews (Scandentia), flying lemurs (Dermoptera) and primates (Primates). Here, a phylogenomic dataset containing 1912 exons from 22 representative mammals was compiled to investigate the phylogenetic relationships within this group. Phylogenetic analyses and hypothesis testing suggested that tree shrews can be classified as a sister group to Primates or to Glires or even as a basal clade within Euarchontoglires. Further analyses of both modified and original previously published datasets found that the phylogenetic position of tree shrews is unstable. We also found that two of three exonic indels reported as synapomorphies of Euarchonta in a previous study do not unambiguously support the monophyly of such a clade. Therefore, the monophyly of both Euarchonta and Sundatheria (Dermoptera + Scandentia) are suspect. Molecular dating and divergence rate analyses suggested that the ancestor of Euarchontoglires experienced a rapid divergence, which may cause the unresolved position of tree shrews even using the whole genomic data.

  16. Beware of primate life history data: a plea for data standards and a repository.

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    Carola Borries

    Full Text Available Life history variables such as the age at first reproduction and the interval between consecutive births are measures of investment in growth and reproduction in a particular population or species. As such they allow for meaningful comparisons of the speed of growth and reproduction between species and between larger taxa. Especially in primates such life history research has far reaching implications and has led for instance to the "grandmother hypothesis". Other links have been proposed with respect to dietary adaptations: Because protein is essential for growth and one of the primary sources of protein, leaves, occurs much less seasonally than fruits, it has been predicted that folivorous primates should grow faster compared to frugivorous ones. However, when comparing folivorous Asian colobines with frugivorous Asian macaques we recently documented a longer, instead of a shorter gestation length in folivores while age at first reproduction and interbirth interval did not differ. This supports earlier findings for Malagasy lemurs in which all life history variables tested were significantly longer in folivores compared to frugivores. Wondering why these trends were not apparent sooner, we tried to reconstruct our results for Asian primates with data from four popular life history compilations. However, this attempt failed; even the basic, allometric relationship with adult female body mass that is typical for life history variables could not be recovered. This negative result hints at severe problems with data quality. Here we show that data quality can be improved significantly by standardizing the variables and by controlling for factors such as nutritional conditions or infant mortality. Ideally, in the future, revised primate life history data should be collated in a central database accessible to everybody. In the long run such an initiative should be expanded to include all mammalian species.

  17. Genetic population structure of the white sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, southwest Madagascar (1992-2001).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawler, Richard R; Richard, Alison F; Riley, Margaret A

    2003-09-01

    Gene flow within and between social groups is contingent on behaviourally mediated patterns of mating and dispersal. To understand how these patterns affect the genetic structure of primate populations, long-term data are required. In this study, we analyse 10 years of demographic and genetic data from a wild lemur population (Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, southwest Madagascar. Our goal is to specify how patterns of mating and dispersal determine kinship and genetic diversity among animals in the population. Specifically, we use microsatellite, parentage, and census data to obtain estimates of genetic subdivision (FST), within group homozygosity (FIS), and relatedness (r) within and among social groups in the population. We analyse different classes of individuals (i.e. adults, offspring, males, females) separately in order to discern which classes most strongly influence aspects of population structure. Microsatellite data reveal that, across years, offspring are consistently more heterozygous than expected within social groups (FIS mean = -0.068) while adults show both positive and negative deviations from expected genotypic frequencies within groups (FIS mean = 0.003). Offspring cohorts are more genetically subdivided than adults (FST mean = 0.108 vs. 0.052) and adult females are more genetically subdivided than adult males (FST mean = 0.098 vs. 0.046). As the proportion of females in social groups increases, the proportion of offspring sired by resident males decreases. Offspring are characterized by a heterozygote excess as resident males (vs. nonresident males) sire the majority of offspring within groups. We link these genetic data to patterns of female philopatry, male dispersal, exogamy, and offspring sex-ratio. Overall, these data reveal how mating and dispersal tactics influence the genetic population structure in this species.

  18. Djebelemur, a Tiny Pre-Tooth-Combed Primate from the Eocene of Tunisia: A Glimpse into the Origin of Crown Strepsirhines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marivaux, Laurent; Ramdarshan, Anusha; Essid, El Mabrouk; Marzougui, Wissem; Ammar, Hayet Khayati; Lebrun, Renaud; Marandat, Bernard; Merzeraud, Gilles; Tabuce, Rodolphe; Vianey-Liaud, Monique

    2013-01-01

    Background Molecular clock estimates of crown strepsirhine origins generally advocate an ancient antiquity for Malagasy lemuriforms and Afro-Asian lorisiforms, near the onset of the Tertiary but most often extending back to the Late Cretaceous. Despite their inferred early origin, the subsequent evolutionary histories of both groups (except for the Malagasy aye-aye lineage) exhibit a vacuum of lineage diversification during most part of the Eocene, followed by a relative acceleration in diversification from the late Middle Eocene. This early evolutionary stasis was tentatively explained by the possibility of unrecorded lineage extinctions during the early Tertiary. However, this prevailing molecular view regarding the ancient origin and early diversification of crown strepsirhines must be viewed with skepticism due to the new but still scarce paleontological evidence gathered in recent years. Methodological/Principal Findings Here, we describe new fossils attributable to Djebelemur martinezi, a≈50 Ma primate from Tunisia (Djebel Chambi). This taxon was originally interpreted as a cercamoniine adapiform based on limited information from its lower dentition. The new fossils provide anatomical evidence demonstrating that Djebelemur was not an adapiform but clearly a distant relative of lemurs, lorises and galagos. Cranial, dental and postcranial remains indicate that this diminutive primate was likely nocturnal, predatory (primarily insectivorous), and engaged in a form of generalized arboreal quadrupedalism with frequent horizontal leaping. Djebelemur did not have an anterior lower dentition as specialized as that characterizing most crown strepsirhines (i.e., tooth-comb), but it clearly exhibited a transformed antemolar pattern representing an early stage of a crown strepsirhine-like adaptation (“pre-tooth-comb”). Conclusions/Significance These new fossil data suggest that the differentiation of the tooth-comb must postdate the djebelemurid divergence, a view

  19. Djebelemur, a tiny pre-tooth-combed primate from the Eocene of Tunisia: a glimpse into the origin of crown strepsirhines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Marivaux

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Molecular clock estimates of crown strepsirhine origins generally advocate an ancient antiquity for Malagasy lemuriforms and Afro-Asian lorisiforms, near the onset of the Tertiary but most often extending back to the Late Cretaceous. Despite their inferred early origin, the subsequent evolutionary histories of both groups (except for the Malagasy aye-aye lineage exhibit a vacuum of lineage diversification during most part of the Eocene, followed by a relative acceleration in diversification from the late Middle Eocene. This early evolutionary stasis was tentatively explained by the possibility of unrecorded lineage extinctions during the early Tertiary. However, this prevailing molecular view regarding the ancient origin and early diversification of crown strepsirhines must be viewed with skepticism due to the new but still scarce paleontological evidence gathered in recent years. METHODOLOGICAL/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we describe new fossils attributable to Djebelemur martinezi, a≈50 Ma primate from Tunisia (Djebel Chambi. This taxon was originally interpreted as a cercamoniine adapiform based on limited information from its lower dentition. The new fossils provide anatomical evidence demonstrating that Djebelemur was not an adapiform but clearly a distant relative of lemurs, lorises and galagos. Cranial, dental and postcranial remains indicate that this diminutive primate was likely nocturnal, predatory (primarily insectivorous, and engaged in a form of generalized arboreal quadrupedalism with frequent horizontal leaping. Djebelemur did not have an anterior lower dentition as specialized as that characterizing most crown strepsirhines (i.e., tooth-comb, but it clearly exhibited a transformed antemolar pattern representing an early stage of a crown strepsirhine-like adaptation ("pre-tooth-comb". CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These new fossil data suggest that the differentiation of the tooth-comb must postdate the djebelemurid

  20. Multi-locus analysis of Giardia duodenalis from nonhuman primates kept in zoos in China: geographical segregation and host-adaptation of assemblage B isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karim, Md Robiul; Wang, Rongjun; Yu, Fuchang; Li, Tongyi; Dong, Haiju; Li, Dezhong; Zhang, Longxian; Li, Junqiang; Jian, Fuchun; Zhang, Sumei; Rume, Farzana Islam; Ning, Changshen; Xiao, Lihua

    2015-03-01

    Only a few studies based on single locus characterization have been conducted on the molecular epidemiology of Giardia duodenalis in nonhuman primates (NHPs). The present study was conducted to examine the occurrence and genotype identity of G. duodenalis in NHPs based on multi-locus analysis of the small-subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA), triose phosphate isomerase (tpi), glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh), and beta-giardin (bg) genes. Fecal specimens were collected from 496 animals of 36 NHP species kept in seven zoos in China and screened for G. duodenalis by tpi-based PCR. G. duodenalis was detected in 92 (18.6%) specimens from 18 NHP species, belonging to assemblage A (n=4) and B (n=88). In positive NHP species, the infection rates ranged from 4.8% to 100%. In tpi sequence analysis, the assemblage A included subtypes A1, A2 and one novel subtype. Multi-locus analysis of the tpi, gdh, and bg genes detected 11 (8 known and 3 new), 6 (3 known and 3 new) and 9 (2 known and 7 new) subtypes in 88, 47 and 35 isolates in assemblage B, respectively. Thirty-two assemblage B isolates with data at all three loci yielded 15 multi-locus genotypes (MLGs), including 2 known and 13 new MLGs. Phylogenetic analysis of concatenated sequences of assemblage B showed that MLGs found here were genetically different from those of humans, NHPs, rabbit and guinea pig in Italy and Sweden. It further indicated that assemblage B isolates in ring-tailed lemurs and squirrel monkeys might be genetically different from those in other NHPs. These data suggest that NHPs are mainly infected with G. duodenalis assemblage B and there might be geographical segregation and host-adaptation in assemblage B in NHPs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Competition for food in a solitarily foraging folivorous primate (Lepilemur leucopus)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dröscher, Iris; Kappeler, Peter M

    2014-09-01

    Group-living folivorous primates can experience competition for food, and feeding competition has also been documented for solitarily foraging gummivorous and omnivorous primates. However, little is known about the types and consequences of feeding competition in solitary folivorous foragers. We conducted this study in the spiny forest of Berenty Reserve, southern Madagascar, to characterize the competitive regime of the nocturnal solitarily foraging white-footed sportive lemur (Lepilemur leucopus), a species that lives in dispersed pairs. We analyzed 1,213 hr of behavioral observations recorded simultaneously for the male and female of each of seven social units and recorded seasonal changes in food availability over a complete annual cycle. Lepilemur leucopus exhibited low selectivity in its dietary choice and mainly included the most abundant plant species in its diet. Contrary to our predictions, we did not find evidence for increased rates of contest (i.e., displacement from food trees) or scramble competition (i.e., shared use of food patches) during the lean season, neither within nor between social units. Instead, conflict rates were low throughout the year, and, during these observations, any feeding stress may have been more related to food quality than quantity. The resource defense hypotheses may not explain pair-living in this species as there was no indication that males defend food resources for their female pair-partners. The observed lack of feeding competition may indicate that a cryptic anti-predator strategy is a better predictor of spatial avoidance of pair-partners than conflict over food. While anti-predator benefits of crypsis may explain, at least partly, female-female avoidance, studies on the relationship between territory size/quality and reproductive success are required to understand whether feeding competition reduces the potential for female association in L. leucopus.

  2. Mating first, mating more: biological market fluctuation in a wild prosimian.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Norscia

    Full Text Available In biology, economics, and politics, distributive power is the key for understanding asymmetrical relationships and it can be obtained by force (dominance or trading (leverage. Whenever males cannot use force, they largely depend on females for breeding opportunities and the balance of power tilts in favour of females. Thus, males are expected not only to compete within their sex-class but also to exchange services with the opposite sex. Does this mating market, described for humans and apes, apply also to prosimians, the most ancestral primate group? To answer the question, we studied a scent-oriented and gregarious lemur, Propithecus verreauxi (sifaka, showing female dominance, promiscuous mating, and seasonal breeding. We collected 57 copulations involving 8 males and 4 females in the wild (Berenty Reserve, South Madagascar, and data (all occurrences on grooming, aggressions, and marking behaviour. We performed the analyses via exact Spearman and matrix correlations. Male mating priority rank correlated with the frequency of male countermarking over female scents but not with the proportion of fights won by males over females. Thus, males competed in an olfactory tournament more than in an arena of aggressive encounters. The copulation frequency correlated neither with the proportion of fights won by males nor with the frequency of male countermarking on female scents. Male-to-female grooming correlated with female-to-male grooming only during premating. Instead, in the mating period male-to-female grooming correlated with the copulation frequency. In short, the biological market underwent seasonal fluctuations, since males bargained grooming for sex in the mating days and grooming for itself in the premating period. Top scent-releasers gained mating priority (they mated first and top groomers ensured a higher number of renewed copulations (they mated more. In conclusion, males maximize their reproduction probability by adopting a double

  3. Female reproductive competition in Eulemur rufifrons: eviction and reproductive restraint in a plurally breeding Malagasy primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kappeler, Peter M; Fichtel, Claudia

    2012-02-01

    In mammals with female philopatry, co-resident females inevitably compete with each other for resources or reproductive opportunities, thereby reducing the kin-selected benefits of altruism towards relatives. These counteracting forces of cooperation and competition among kin should be particularly pronounced in plurally breeding species with limited alternative breeding opportunities outside the natal group. However, little is still known about the costs of reproductive competition on females' fitness and the victims' potential counter-strategies. Here we summarize long-term behavioural, demographic and genetic data collected on a plurally breeding primate from Madagascar to illuminate mechanisms and effects of female reproductive competition, focusing on forcible eviction and potential reproductive restraint. The main results of our study indicate that females in groups of redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) above a critical size suffer from competition from their close relatives: females in larger groups face an increased probability of not giving birth as well as a higher probability of being evicted, especially during the annual mating and birth seasons. Eviction is not predicted by the number of adult females, the number of close female relatives, female age or inter-annual variation in rainfall but only by total group size. Thus, eviction in this species is clearly linked with reproductive competition, it cannot be forestalled by reproductive restraint or having many relatives in the group, and it occurs in the absence of a clear dominance hierarchy. Our study therefore also underscores the notion that potential inclusive fitness benefits from living with relatives may have been generally over-rated and should not be taken for granted.

  4. A DNA metabarcoding study of a primate dietary diversity and plasticity across its entire fragmented range.

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    Erwan Quéméré

    Full Text Available In tropical regions, most primary ecosystems have been replaced by mosaic landscapes in which species must cope with a large shift in the distribution of their habitat and associated food resources. Primates are particularly vulnerable to habitat modifications. Most species persist in small fragments surrounded by complex human-mediated matrices whose structure and connectivity may strongly influence their dispersal and feeding behavior. Behavioral plasticity appears to be a crucial parameter governing the ability of organisms to exploit the resources offered by new matrix habitats and thus to persist in fragmented habitats. In this study, we were interested in the dietary plasticity of the golden-crowned sifaka (Propithecus tattersalli, an endangered species of lemur, found only in the Daraina region in north-eastern Madagascar. We used a DNA-based approach combining the barcoding concept and Illumina next-generation sequencing to (i describe the species diet across its entire range and (ii evaluate the influence of landscape heterogeneity on diet diversity and composition. Faeces from 96 individuals were sampled across the entire species range and their contents were analyzed using the trnL metabarcoding approach. In parallel, we built a large DNA reference database based on a checklist of the plant species of the Daraina region. Our results suggest that golden-crowned sifakas exhibit remarkable dietary diversity with at least 130 plant species belonging to 80 genera and 49 different families. We highlighted an influence of both habitat type and openness on diet composition suggesting a high flexibility of foraging strategies. Moreover, we observed the presence of numerous cultivated and naturalized plants in the faeces of groups living in forest edge areas. Overall, our findings support our initial expectation that P. tattersalli is able to cope with the current level of alteration of the landscape and confirm our previous results on the

  5. The importance of taboos and social norms to conservation in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Julia P G; Andriamarovololona, Mijasoa M; Hockley, Neal

    2008-08-01

    Informal institutions governing the use of wild species are present in many societies. A system of prohibitions known as fady is central to Malagasy culture. We examined whether fady that relate to the use of natural resources in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar play an important conservation role. Prohibitions ranged from strict taboos in which a species or area was forbidden by the ancestors to social norms that concerned acceptable behavior when harvesting wild species. Strict taboos offered real protection to threatened species, such as the lemur Propithecus edwardsi and the carnivore Cryptoprocta ferox. Taboos also reduced pressure on some economically important endemic species by preventing their sale or limiting the harvest season. Despite their value for conservation, the taboos did not appear to originate from attempts to sustainably manage resources. Nevertheless, social norms, in which the sanction was social disapproval rather than supernatural retribution, encouraged sustainable harvesting practices for tenrecs (Tenrec ecudatus) and pandans (Pandanus spp.). Unfortunately, the social norms concerning methods of harvesting pandans appeared to be breaking down in villages surrounding Ranomafana National Park, and we suggest that the imposition of external conservation rules is weakening traditional management. Informal institutions are important to conservation because they suggest ways of improving cultural understanding and conservation communication. Food taboos influence societal preferences, which affect the wider demand for a species. Most important, where capacity to enforce external conservation rules is limited, informal institutions may provide the only effective regulations. Informal institutions should receive greater attention from conservation biologists so that local people's conservation roles can be acknowledged fairly and so that potential synergies with conservation objectives can be realized.

  6. Applying Behavioral Ecology and Behavioral Economics to Conservation and Development Planning: An Example from the Mikea Forest, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Bram

    2007-09-01

    Governments and non-govermental organizations (NGOs) that plan projects to conserve the environment and alleviate poverty often attempt to modify rural livelihoods by halting activities they judge to be destructive or inefficient and encouraging alternatives. Project planners typically do so without understanding how rural people themselves judge the value of their activities. When the alternatives planners recommend do not replace the value of banned activities, alternatives are unlikely to be adopted, and local people will refuse to participate. Human behavioral ecology and behavioral economics may provide useful tools for generating and evaluating hypotheses for how people value economic activities in their portfolios and potential alternatives. This is demonstrated with a case example from southwestern Madagascar, where plans to create a Mikea Forest National Park began with the elimination of slash-and-burn maize agriculture and the encouragement to plant labor-intensive manioc instead. Future park plans could restrict access to wild tuber patches, hunting small game, and fishing. The value of these activities is considered using observational data informed by optimal foraging theory, and experimental data describing people's time preference and covariation perception. Analyses suggest that manioc is not a suitable replacement for maize for many Mikea because the two crops differ in terms of labor requirements, delay-to-reward, and covariation with rainfall. Park planners should promote wild tuber foraging and stewardship of tuber patches and the anthropogenic landscapes in which they are found. To conserve small game, planners must provide alternative sources of protein and cash. Little effort should be spent protecting lemurs, as they are rarely eaten and never sold.

  7. Bound model of information retrieval and its parameter optimization%界模型信息检索及其参数优化

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王彪; 高光来

    2012-01-01

    信息检索中,如何较好地理解和表达用户的信息需求是提高信息检索效果的关键.从语言的内涵和外延出发,挖掘、计算信息需求的上边界、下边界,确定信息需求的需求域,建立了一种表达用户信息需求的界模型.引入文档与信息需求域的相似度,在信息检索时计算各文档的相似度,并根据相似度对文档进行排序.使用Lemur工具进行的对比分析实验表明,界模型具有较理想的检索效果.进一步对相似度中的参数进行了优化,得到了更优的检索效果.%For information retrieval system, how to understand accurately and express user's information need is the key to improve information retrieval results. This paper analyzes natural language' s connotation and denotation, calculates the upper bound, lower bound of information need, determines the information need domain and introduces an expression of user information need called Bound model. In information retrieval, similarity between document and the information need domain is defined and calculated, and documents are sorted according to the similarity. Experiments done using Lemur tools show that the Bound model has good retrieval results. This paper optimizes parameter of the similarity in Bound model further and gets better retrieval results.

  8. Towards a unified scheme of cortical lamination for primary visual cortex of primates: insights from NeuN and VGLUT2 immunoreactivity

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    Pooja eBalaram

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Primary visual cortex (V1 is clearly distinguishable from other cortical areas by its distinctive pattern of neocortical lamination across mammalian species. In some mammals, primates in particular, the layers of V1 are further divided into a number of sublayers based on their anatomical and functional characteristics. While these sublayers are easily recognizable across a range of primates, the exact number of divisions in each layer and their relative position within the depth of V1 has been inconsistently reported, largely due to conflicting schemes of nomenclature for the V1 layers. This conflict centers on the definition of layer 4 in primate V1, and the subdivisions of layer 4 that can be consistently identified across primate species. Brodmann’s (1909 laminar scheme for V1 delineates three subdivisions of layer 4 in primates, based on cellular morphology and geniculate inputs in anthropoid monkeys. In contrast, Hässler’s (1967 laminar scheme delineates a single layer 4 and multiple subdivisions of layer 3, based on comparisons of V1 lamination across the primate lineage. In order to clarify laminar divisions in primate visual cortex, we performed NeuN and VGLUT2 immunohistochemistry in V1 of chimpanzees, Old World macaque monkeys, New World squirrel, owl, and marmoset monkeys, prosimian galagos and mouse lemurs, and nonprimate, but highly visual, tree shrews. By comparing the laminar divisions identified by each method across species, we find that Hässler’s (1967 laminar scheme for V1 provides a more consistent representation of neocortical layers across all primates, including humans, and facilitates comparisons of V1 lamination with nonprimate species. These findings, along with many others, support the consistent use of Hässler’s laminar scheme in V1 research.

  9. Impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on the activity budget, ranging ecology and habitat use of Bale monkeys (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) in the southern Ethiopian Highlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mekonnen, Addisu; Fashing, Peter J; Bekele, Afework; Hernandez-Aguilar, R Adriana; Rueness, Eli K; Nguyen, Nga; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2017-02-09

    Understanding the extent to which primates in forest fragments can adjust behaviorally and ecologically to changes caused by deforestation is essential to designing conservation management plans. During a 12-month period, we studied the effects of habitat loss and degradation on the Ethiopian endemic, bamboo specialist, Bale monkey (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) by comparing its habitat quality, activity budget, ranging ecology and habitat use in continuous forest and two fragments. We found that habitat loss and fragmentation resulted in major differences in vegetation composition and structure between forest types. We also found that Bale monkeys in continuous forest spent more time feeding and traveling and less time resting and socializing than monkeys in fragments. Bale monkeys in continuous forest also had higher movement rates (m/hr) than monkeys in fragments. Bale monkeys in continuous forest used exclusively bamboo and mixed bamboo forest habitats while conspecifics in fragments used a greater variety of habitats including human use areas (i.e., matrix). Our findings suggest that Bale monkeys in fragments use an energy minimization strategy to cope with the lower availability of the species' primary food species, bamboo (Arundinaria alpina). We contend that Bale monkeys may retain some of the ancestral ecological flexibility assumed to be characteristic of the genus Chlorocebus, within which all extant species except Bale monkeys are regarded as ecological generalists. Our results suggest that, like other bamboo eating primates (e.g., the bamboo lemurs of Madagascar), Bale monkeys can cope with a certain threshold of habitat destruction. However, the long-term conservation prospects for Bale monkeys in fragments remain unclear and will require further monitoring to be properly evaluated.

  10. Species specificity in major urinary proteins by parallel evolution.

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    Darren W Logan

    Full Text Available Species-specific chemosignals, pheromones, regulate social behaviors such as aggression, mating, pup-suckling, territory establishment, and dominance. The identity of these cues remains mostly undetermined and few mammalian pheromones have been identified. Genetically-encoded pheromones are expected to exhibit several different mechanisms for coding 1 diversity, to enable the signaling of multiple behaviors, 2 dynamic regulation, to indicate age and dominance, and 3 species-specificity. Recently, the major urinary proteins (Mups have been shown to function themselves as genetically-encoded pheromones to regulate species-specific behavior. Mups are multiple highly related proteins expressed in combinatorial patterns that differ between individuals, gender, and age; which are sufficient to fulfill the first two criteria. We have now characterized and fully annotated the mouse Mup gene content in detail. This has enabled us to further analyze the extent of Mup coding diversity and determine their potential to encode species-specific cues.Our results show that the mouse Mup gene cluster is composed of two subgroups: an older, more divergent class of genes and pseudogenes, and a second class with high sequence identity formed by recent sequential duplications of a single gene/pseudogene pair. Previous work suggests that truncated Mup pseudogenes may encode a family of functional hexapeptides with the potential for pheromone activity. Sequence comparison, however, reveals that they have limited coding potential. Similar analyses of nine other completed genomes find Mup gene expansions in divergent lineages, including those of rat, horse and grey mouse lemur, occurring independently from a single ancestral Mup present in other placental mammals. Our findings illustrate that increasing genomic complexity of the Mup gene family is not evolutionarily isolated, but is instead a recurring mechanism of generating coding diversity consistent with a species

  11. [Does Alzheimer's disease exist in all primates? Alzheimer pathology in non-human primates and its pathophysiological implications (II)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toledano, A; Álvarez, M I; López-Rodríguez, A B; Toledano-Díaz, A; Fernández-Verdecia, C I

    2014-01-01

    In the ageing process there are some species of non-human primates which can show some of the defining characteristics of the Alzheimer's disease (AD) of man, both in neuropathological changes and cognitive-behavioural symptoms. The study of these species is of prime importance to understand AD and develop therapies to combat this neurodegenerative disease. In this second part of the study, these AD features are discussed in the most important non-experimental AD models (Mouse Lemur -Microcebus murinus, Caribbean vervet -Chlorocebus aethiops, and the Rhesus and stump-tailed macaque -Macaca mulatta and M. arctoides) and experimental models (lesional, neurotoxic, pharmacological, immunological, etc.) non-human primates. In all these models cerebral amyloid neuropathology can occur in senility, although with different levels of incidence (100% in vervets;Alzheimer's) senility in these species are difficult to establish due to the lack of cognitive-behavioural studies in the many groups analysed, as well as the controversy in the results of these studies when they were carried out. However, in some macaques, a correlation between a high degree of functional brain impairment and a large number of neuropathological changes ("possible AD") has been found. In some non-human primates, such as the macaque, the existence of a possible continuum between "normal" ageing process, "normal" ageing with no deep neuropathological and cognitive-behavioural changes, and "pathological ageing" (or "Alzheimer type ageing"), may be considered. In other cases, such as the Caribbean vervet, neuropathological changes are constant and quite marked, but its impact on cognition and behaviour does not seem to be very important. This does assume the possible existence in the human senile physiological regression of a stable phase without dementia even if neuropathological changes appeared. Copyright © 2011 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  12. Les baobabs de Madagascar : quel cadre réglementaire pour leur conservation ?

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    Cynthia Onjanantenaina Raveloson

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available With lemurs, baobabs are the most emblematic species of Madagascar internationally. Seven species of the nine existing in the world are Madagascan endemic. This fact testifies the high rate of the biodiversity of the island. Having signed a number of international conventions, Madagascar intends to underline its commitment to the management and conservation of its natural resources. The international system of conservation framing is used for the implementation of national strategy. Thus, in addition to the international system of conservation systems such as the CBD, IUCN or CITES, baobabs of Madagascar are considered as non - timber forest products according to Decree N. 2915/87 of 7 September 1987 related to products accessories forest even if no term is clearly stipulated in this text. Moreover, there is no regulatory framework or specific text about conservation or exploitation of baobabs in Madagascar. Protected areas are then the only protection structures for baobabs. All species of Malagasy baobabs are represented in protected areas but their representation differs depending on the distribution of each species. Except for two protected areas, the baobab is not yet among the specific targets of conservation of protected areas in Madagascar. Adansonia grandidieri is an exception. It benefits indeed from two regional frameworks that specify measures to protect the species and priority activities to be undertaken for the species with the Dinan'ny Menabe and the regional conservation strategy for the species validated in 2013. At the local level, tools and instruments governing the management transfer could constitute framing elements for the management of baobabs. Some species have in fact non-negligible economic values without forgetting the cultural and religious values of some baobab trees. The implementation of the strategy for the conservation of each species is necessary at all levels especially in protected areas as three species are

  13. Mating first, mating more: biological market fluctuation in a wild prosimian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norscia, Ivan; Antonacci, Daniela; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2009-01-01

    In biology, economics, and politics, distributive power is the key for understanding asymmetrical relationships and it can be obtained by force (dominance) or trading (leverage). Whenever males cannot use force, they largely depend on females for breeding opportunities and the balance of power tilts in favour of females. Thus, males are expected not only to compete within their sex-class but also to exchange services with the opposite sex. Does this mating market, described for humans and apes, apply also to prosimians, the most ancestral primate group? To answer the question, we studied a scent-oriented and gregarious lemur, Propithecus verreauxi (sifaka), showing female dominance, promiscuous mating, and seasonal breeding. We collected 57 copulations involving 8 males and 4 females in the wild (Berenty Reserve, South Madagascar), and data (all occurrences) on grooming, aggressions, and marking behaviour. We performed the analyses via exact Spearman and matrix correlations. Male mating priority rank correlated with the frequency of male countermarking over female scents but not with the proportion of fights won by males over females. Thus, males competed in an olfactory tournament more than in an arena of aggressive encounters. The copulation frequency correlated neither with the proportion of fights won by males nor with the frequency of male countermarking on female scents. Male-to-female grooming correlated with female-to-male grooming only during premating. Instead, in the mating period male-to-female grooming correlated with the copulation frequency. In short, the biological market underwent seasonal fluctuations, since males bargained grooming for sex in the mating days and grooming for itself in the premating period. Top scent-releasers gained mating priority (they mated first) and top groomers ensured a higher number of renewed copulations (they mated more). In conclusion, males maximize their reproduction probability by adopting a double tactic and by

  14. Effects of chronic calorie restriction or dietary resveratrol supplementation on insulin sensitivity markers in a primate, Microcebus murinus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Marchal

    Full Text Available The prevalence of diabetes and hyperinsulinemia increases with age, inducing metabolic failure and limiting lifespan. Calorie restriction (CR without malnutrition delays the aging process, but its long-term application to humans seems difficult. Resveratrol (RSV, a dietary polyphenol, appears to be a promising CR mimetic that can be easily administered in humans. In this work, we hypothesized that both CR and RSV impact insulin sensitivity in a non-human primate compared to standard-fed control (CTL animals. Four- to five-year-old male grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus were assigned to three dietary groups: a CTL group, a CR group receiving 30% fewer calories than the CTL and a RSV group receiving the CTL diet supplemented with RSV (200 mg·day(-1·kg(-1. Insulin sensitivity and glycemia were assessed using an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR index evaluation after 21 or 33 months of chronic treatment. Resting metabolic rate was also measured to assess the potential relationships between this energy expenditure parameter and insulin sensitivity markers. No differences were found after a 21-month period of treatment, except for lower glucose levels 30 min after glucose loading in CR animals. After 33 months, CR and RSV decreased glycemia after the oral glucose loading without decreasing fasting blood insulin. A general effect of treatment was observed on the HOMA-IR index, with an 81% reduction in CR animals and 53% in RSV animals after 33 months of treatment compared to CTL. Chronic CR and dietary supplementation with RSV affected insulin sensitivity by improving the glucose tolerance of animals without disturbing their baseline insulin secretion. These results suggest that both CR and RSV have beneficial effects on metabolic alterations, although these effects are different in amplitude between the two anti-aging treatments and potentially rely on different metabolic

  15. The evolution of the natural killer complex; a comparison between mammals using new high-quality genome assemblies and targeted annotation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, John C; Gibson, Mark S; Heimeier, Dorothea; Koren, Sergey; Phillippy, Adam M; Bickhart, Derek M; Smith, Timothy P L; Medrano, Juan F; Hammond, John A

    2017-04-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells are a diverse population of lymphocytes with a range of biological roles including essential immune functions. NK cell diversity is in part created by the differential expression of cell surface receptors which modulate activation and function, including multiple subfamilies of C-type lectin receptors encoded within the NK complex (NKC). Little is known about the gene content of the NKC beyond rodent and primate lineages, other than it appears to be extremely variable between mammalian groups. We compared the NKC structure between mammalian species using new high-quality draft genome assemblies for cattle and goat; re-annotated sheep, pig, and horse genome assemblies; and the published human, rat, and mouse lemur NKC. The major NKC genes are largely in the equivalent positions in all eight species, with significant independent expansions and deletions between species, allowing us to propose a model for NKC evolution during mammalian radiation. The ruminant species, cattle and goats, have independently evolved a second KLRC locus flanked by KLRA and KLRJ, and a novel KLRH-like gene has acquired an activating tail. This novel gene has duplicated several times within cattle, while other activating receptor genes have been selectively disrupted. Targeted genome enrichment in cattle identified varying levels of allelic polymorphism between the NKC genes concentrated in the predicted extracellular ligand-binding domains. This novel recombination and allelic polymorphism is consistent with NKC evolution under balancing selection, suggesting that this diversity influences individual immune responses and may impact on differential outcomes of pathogen infection and vaccination.

  16. The evolutionary history of the SAL1 gene family in eutherian mammals

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    Callebaut Isabelle

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background SAL1 (salivary lipocalin is a member of the OBP (Odorant Binding Protein family and is involved in chemical sexual communication in pig. SAL1