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Sample records for leopard geckos eublepharis

  1. Cryptosporidium varanii infection in leopard geckos ( Eublepharis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cryptosporidiosis is observed in reptiles with high morbidity and considerable mortality. The objective of this study was to achieve the molecular identification of Cryptosporidium spp. in pet leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) from a breeder colony in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Oocysts comparable to those of ...

  2. Cryptosporidium varanii infection in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) in Argentina

    OpenAIRE

    A. Dellarupe; J.M. Unzaga; G. Moré; M. Kienast; A. Larsen; C. Stiebel; M. Rambeaud; M.C. Venturini

    2016-01-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is observed in reptiles with high morbidity and considerable mortality. The objective of this study was to achieve the molecular identification of Cryptosporidium spp. in pet leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) from a breeder colony in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Oocysts comparable to those of Cryptosporidium spp. were detected in three geckos with a history of diarrhea, anorexia and cachexia. Molecular identification methods confirmed the presence of Cryptosporidium varani...

  3. Cryptosporidium varanii infection in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius in Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Dellarupe

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Cryptosporidiosis is observed in reptiles with high morbidity and considerable mortality. The objective of this study was to achieve the molecular identification of Cryptosporidium spp. in pet leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius from a breeder colony in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Oocysts comparable to those of Cryptosporidium spp. were detected in three geckos with a history of diarrhea, anorexia and cachexia. Molecular identification methods confirmed the presence of Cryptosporidium varanii (syn. C. saurophilum. This agent was considered to be the primary cause of the observed clinical disease. This is the first description of C. varanii infection in pet reptiles in Argentina.

  4. Cryptosporidium varanii infection in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) in Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dellarupe, A; Unzaga, J M; Moré, G; Kienast, M; Larsen, A; Stiebel, C; Rambeaud, M; Venturini, M C

    2016-01-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is observed in reptiles with high morbidity and considerable mortality. The objective of this study was to achieve the molecular identification of Cryptosporidium spp. in pet leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) from a breeder colony in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Oocysts comparable to those of Cryptosporidium spp. were detected in three geckos with a history of diarrhea, anorexia and cachexia. Molecular identification methods confirmed the presence of Cryptosporidium varanii (syn. C. saurophilum). This agent was considered to be the primary cause of the observed clinical disease. This is the first description of C. varanii infection in pet reptiles in Argentina.

  5. Radiographic examinations of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bayer, S.M.

    2002-11-01

    The anatomy of the Leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, and the technique and the diagnostic possibilities of the radiologic and computed-tomographic examination of lizards are summarized in a bibliography. Some aspects of the topographic anatomy of this species are illustrated by one necropsy. The various parts of the gastrointestinal system were identified by histological examinations. 15 preparations of wild captured Leopard geckos were examined radiographically to describe the physiological appearance of the skeleton.15 patients received plain radiographs. 8 different boxes for the immobilization of geckos were tested for practical use. The skeleton and the respiratory tract were fully visible on all x-ray images. The differentiation of the gastrointestinal tract was increased when containing radioopaque material like sand. Eggs with calcified shells were the only detectable parts from the urogenital tract. 2 patients with anorexia and weight loss were administered 0,5 ml of a Gastrografin-water mixture in the ratio 1:3. The dosage was 2,9 or 4,9 ml Gastrografin/kg respectively. The gastrointestinal tract and the surface of the mucous membrane could be visualized very well. The first excretion of the contrast medium resulted 18 - 34 or 28 - 45 hours respectively after the administration. On one dead Leopard gecko a computed tomographic examination was done. This allowed the 3D-reconstruction of the skeleton. The advantages and disadvantages of the various fixation techniques are discussed. The possibilities of radiologic diagnostic imaging techniques for geckos are described. (author)

  6. Ultrasonographic anatomy of reproductive female leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cojean, Ophélie; Vergneau-Grosset, Claire; Masseau, Isabelle

    2018-02-19

    Captive leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) often present to the exotic clinic for gastrointestinal impactions, follicular stasis, or dystocia. To our knowledge, normal ultrasonographic anatomy of these lizards has not been described. The objectives of this prospective, anatomic, analytical study were to develop ultrasound techniques for this species and to describe the normal sonographic anatomy of the head, coelomic cavity, and tail. Eleven, healthy, female leopard geckos were included. A linear array 13-18 MHz transducer was used. Geckos were sedated and restrained in dorsal recumbency for coelomic structure examination and in ventral recumbency for head and tail examinations. Sagittal and transverse images were acquired and authors recorded qualitative and quantitative ultrasonographic characteristics of anatomic structures. The ventral surface of the lungs, liver, gallbladder, caudal vena cava, portal vein, ventral abdominal vein, aorta, ovarian follicles, fat bodies, tail, and brain were visualized in 10 of 11 individuals. In one individual, molt precluded ultrasonographic examination. The heart, kidneys, urinary bladder, spleen, and pancreas were not visualized. The digestive tract was observed in 10 individuals but was too small to be measured. Findings from the current study could be used as a reference for future studies of leopard geckos. © 2018 American College of Veterinary Radiology.

  7. Draft genome of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Zijun; Li, Fang; Li, Qiye; Zhou, Long; Gamble, Tony; Zheng, Jiao; Kui, Ling; Li, Cai; Li, Shengbin; Yang, Huanming; Zhang, Guojie

    2016-10-26

    Geckos are among the most species-rich reptile groups and the sister clade to all other lizards and snakes. Geckos possess a suite of distinctive characteristics, including adhesive digits, nocturnal activity, hard, calcareous eggshells, and a lack of eyelids. However, one gecko clade, the Eublepharidae, appears to be the exception to most of these 'rules' and lacks adhesive toe pads, has eyelids, and lays eggs with soft, leathery eggshells. These differences make eublepharids an important component of any investigation into the underlying genomic innovations contributing to the distinctive phenotypes in 'typical' geckos. We report high-depth genome sequencing, assembly, and annotation for a male leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius (Eublepharidae). Illumina sequence data were generated from seven insert libraries (ranging from 170 to 20 kb), representing a raw sequencing depth of 136X from 303 Gb of data, reduced to 84X and 187 Gb after filtering. The assembled genome of 2.02 Gb was close to the 2.23 Gb estimated by k-mer analysis. Scaffold and contig N50 sizes of 664 and 20 kb, respectively, were comparable to the previously published Gekko japonicus genome. Repetitive elements accounted for 42 % of the genome. Gene annotation yielded 24,755 protein-coding genes, of which 93 % were functionally annotated. CEGMA and BUSCO assessment showed that our assembly captured 91 % (225 of 248) of the core eukaryotic genes, and 76 % of vertebrate universal single-copy orthologs. Assembly of the leopard gecko genome provides a valuable resource for future comparative genomic studies of geckos and other squamate reptiles.

  8. Congenital ankyloblepharon in a leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rival, Franck

    2015-01-01

    A 6-month-old leopard gecko with unilateral partially fused eyelids since birth was presented for examination. A diagnosis of congenital ankyloblepharon was made and surgical correction was performed successfully. © 2014 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  9. Hyperimmune bovine colostrum treatment of moribund Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) infected with Cryptosporidium sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graczyk, T K; Cranfield, M R; Bostwick, E F

    1999-01-01

    Therapy based on the protective passive immunity of hyperimmune bovine colostrum (HBC) was applied to 12 moribund Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) infected with Cryptosporidium sp. The geckos were lethargic and moderately to severely emaciated, weighing on average 36% of the baseline body weight value. Seven gastric HBC treatments at 1-week intervals each decreased the relative output of Cryptosporidium sp. oocysts and the prevalence of oocyst-positive fecal specimens. Histologically, after 8 weeks of therapy, seven out of 12 geckos had only single developmental stages of Cryptosporidium sp. in the intestinal epithelium, and three, one and one geckos had low, moderate and high numbers, respectively, of the pathogen developmental stages. The HBC therapy was efficacious in decreasing the parasite load in moribund geckos. Morphometric and immunologic analysis of Cryptosporidium sp. oocyst isolates originating from Leopard geckos (E. macularius) demonstrated differences between gecko-derived oocyst isolates and isolates of C. serpentis recovered from snakes.

  10. Proliferative enteritis in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) associated with Cryptosporidium sp. infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrell, Scott P; Uhl, Elizabeth W; Funk, Richard S

    2003-03-01

    Twenty-three leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) with various clinical histories of weight loss, anorexia, lethargy, and diarrhea were submitted either intact or as biopsy specimens to the University of Florida Anatomic Pathology Service. Gross necropsy findings in the intact geckos included marked reduction of subcutaneous adipose tissue stores at the tail base and mild thickening and reddening of the small intestine. Histologic examination revealed Cryptosporidium sp. infection associated with hyperplasia and mononuclear inflammation of the small intestine in all geckos. Parasites and lesions were only rarely observed in the stomach and large intestine of geckos. The histologic and ultrastructural lesions in the small intestine of leopard geckos infected with Cryptosporidium sp. have not been well characterized previously. This report implicates Cryptosporidium sp. as the cause of disease in the geckos and describes the range of histologic lesions observed.

  11. Dermatitis and cellulitis in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) caused by the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toplon, D E; Terrell, S P; Sigler, L; Jacobson, E R

    2013-07-01

    An epizootic of ulcerative to nodular ventral dermatitis was observed in a large breeding colony of 8-month to 5-year-old leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) of both sexes. Two representative mature male geckos were euthanized for diagnostic necropsy. The Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV) was isolated from the skin lesions, and identification was confirmed by sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer region of the rRNA gene. Histopathology revealed multifocal to coalescing dermal and subcutaneous heterophilic granulomas that contained septate fungal hyphae. There was also multifocal epidermal hyperplasia with hyperkeratosis, and similar hyphae were present within the stratum corneum, occasionally with terminal chains of arthroconidia consistent with the CANV. In one case, there was focal extension of granulomatous inflammation into the underlying masseter muscle. This is the first report of dermatitis and cellulitis due to the CANV in leopard geckos.

  12. Differences induced by incubation temperature, versus androgen manipulation, in male leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Victoria; Crews, David

    2012-08-20

    A fundamental tenet of sexual selection is that in sexually dimorphic traits, there is variation within a sex. In leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination, embryonic temperature contributes both to sex determination and polymorphisms within each sex. In this study we report that males from different incubation temperatures, one hitherto untested, exhibit significant differences in behavior even when castrated. Further, treatment with dihydrotestosterone increases scent marking, a territorial behavior. This supports previous results indicating that temperature has a direct organizing action on brain and sociosexual behavior independent of gonadal hormones. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Draft genome of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius

    OpenAIRE

    Xiong, Zijun; Li, Fang; Li, Qiye; Zhou, Long; Gamble, Tony; Zheng, Jiao; Kui, Ling; Li, Cai; Li, Shengbin; Yang, Huanming; Zhang, Guojie

    2016-01-01

    Background Geckos are among the most species-rich reptile groups and the sister clade to all other lizards and snakes. Geckos possess a suite of distinctive characteristics, including adhesive digits, nocturnal activity, hard, calcareous eggshells, and a lack of eyelids. However, one gecko clade, the Eublepharidae, appears to be the exception to most of these ?rules? and lacks adhesive toe pads, has eyelids, and lays eggs with soft, leathery eggshells. These differences make eublepharids an i...

  14. UNSEDATED COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY FOR DIAGNOSIS OF PELVIC CANAL OBSTRUCTION IN A LEOPARD GECKO (EUBLEPHARIS MACULARIUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeCourcy, Kelly; Hostnik, Eric T; Lorbach, Josh; Knoblaugh, Sue

    2016-12-01

    An adult leopard gecko ( Eublepharis macularius ) presented for lethargy, hyporexia, weight loss, decreased passage of waste, and a palpable caudal coelomic mass. Computed tomography showed a heterogeneous hyperattenuating (∼143 Hounsfield units) structure within the right caudal coelom. The distal colon-coprodeum lumen or urinary bladder was hypothesized as the most likely location for the heterogeneous structure. Medical support consisted of warm water and lubricant enema, as well as a heated environment. Medical intervention aided the passage of a plug comprised centrally of cholesterol and urates with peripheral stratified layers of fibrin, macrophages, heterophils, and bacteria. Within 24 hr, a follow-up computed tomography scan showed resolution of the pelvic canal plug.

  15. Temperature-dependent sex determination in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viets, B E; Tousignant, A; Ewert, M A; Nelson, C E; Crews, D

    1993-05-01

    The leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, has temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Previous reports have shown that females are produced predominantly at cool incubation temperatures and males are produced predominantly at warm incubation temperatures (Pattern Ib). We report here that incubation at even higher temperatures (34 and 35 degrees C) produces mostly females (Pattern II). The lethal maximum constant incubation temperature for this species appears to be just above 35 degrees C. Although a previous study indicated that females from a warm incubation temperature (32 degrees C) failed to lay eggs, we found that 12 of 14 mature females incubated at 32.5 degrees C, and 5 of 6 mature females incubated at 34 degrees C produced fertile eggs and viable hatchlings.

  16. Effects of testosterone on sexual behavior and morphology in adult female leopard geckos, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhen, T; Ross, J; Crews, D

    1999-10-01

    The leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, is a species in which testosterone (T) is the primary circulating sex hormone in adults of both sexes. There are, however, sex differences in T physiology. Whereas males have prolonged periods with high T levels, T levels cycle in accord with follicular development in females. Specifically, T concentration increases during vitellogenesis, drops after ovulation, and then remains at previtellogenic levels until eggs are laid and the next follicular cycle begins. To determine the function of T in females, we manipulated both the level and the duration of T elevation using Silastic implants in intact, adult female leopard geckos. Females had low ( approximately 1 ng/ml), medium ( approximately 100 ng/ml), or high ( approximately 200 ng/ml) T levels for either a short (8 days) or a long (35 days) duration. Behavior tests with males were conducted on days 1-5 in the short-duration group or on days 29-33 in the long-duration group. For both short- and long-duration groups, T treatment decreased attractivity in females with medium and high T levels compared to females with low T levels. In contrast, females with a medium T level were more receptive than females with a low T level in the short-duration group. Females in the long-duration group were unreceptive regardless of T level. Females treated for a long duration also displayed more aggression toward and evoked more aggression from males than short duration females. Short-duration T treatment had no masculinizing effect on female morphology, whereas medium and high T levels for a long duration induced development of hemipenes. Overall, these results suggest that T can both increase and decrease sexual behaviors in the female leopard gecko.

  17. Scar-free cutaneous wound healing in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, Hanna M; Gilbert, Emily A B; Vickaryous, Matthew K

    2015-11-01

    Cutaneous wounds heal with two possible outcomes: scarification or near-perfect integumentary restoration. Whereas scar formation has been intensively investigated, less is known about the tissue-level events characterising wounds that spontaneously heal scar-free, particularly in non-foetal amniotes. Here, a spatiotemporal investigation of scar-free cutaneous wound healing following full-thickness excisional biopsies to the tail and body of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) is provided. All injuries healed without scarring. Cutaneous repair involves the development of a cell-rich aggregate within the wound bed, similar to scarring wounds. Unlike scar formation, scar-free healing involves a more rapid closure of the wound epithelium, and a delay in blood vessel development and collagen deposition within the wound bed. It was found that, while granulation tissue of scarring wounds is hypervascular, scar-free wound healing conspicuously does not involve a period of exuberant blood vessel formation. In addition, during scar-free wound healing the newly formed blood vessels are typically perivascular cell-supported. Immunohistochemistry revealed widespread expression of both the pro-angiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor A and the anti-angiogenic factor thrombospondin-1 within the healing wound. It was found that scar-free wound healing is an intrinsic property of leopard gecko integument, and involves a modulation of the cutaneous scar repair program. This proportional revascularisation is an important factor in scar-free wound healing. © 2015 Anatomical Society.

  18. Characterization of TGFβ signaling during tail regeneration in the leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Richard W D; Vickaryous, Matthew K; Viloria-Petit, Alicia M

    2013-07-01

    The transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)/activin signaling pathway has a number of documented roles during wound healing and is increasingly appreciated as an essential component of multi-tissue regeneration that occurs in amphibians and fish. Among amniotes (reptiles and mammals), less is known due in part to the lack of an appropriate model organism capable of multi-tissue regeneration. The leopard gecko Eublepharis macularius is able to spontaneously, and repeatedly, regenerate its tail following tail loss. We examined the expression and localization of several key components of the TGFβ/activin signaling pathway during tail regeneration of the leopard gecko. We observed a marked increase in phosphorylated Smad2 expression within the regenerate blastema indicating active TGFβ/activin signaling. Interestingly, during early regeneration, TGFβ1 expression is limited whereas activin-βA is strongly upregulated. We also observe the expression of EMT transcription factors Snail1 and Snail2 in the blastema. Combined, these observations provide strong support for the importance of different TGFβ ligands during multi-tissue regeneration and the potential role of TGFβ/activin-induced EMT programs during this process. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Comparison of subcutaneous dexmedetomidine-midazolam versus alfaxalone-midazolam sedation in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doss, Grayson A; Fink, Dustin M; Sladky, Kurt K; Mans, Christoph

    2017-09-01

    To compare dexmedetomidine-midazolam with alfaxalone-midazolam for sedation in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius). Prospective, randomized, blinded, complete crossover study. Nine healthy adult leopard geckos. Geckos were administered a combination of dexmedetomidine (0.1 mg kg -1 ) and midazolam (1.0 mg kg -1 ; treatment D-M) or alfaxalone (15 mg kg -1 ) and midazolam (1.0 mg kg -1 ; treatment A-M) subcutaneously craniodorsal to a thoracic limb. Heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (f R ), righting reflex, palpebral reflex, superficial and deep pain reflexes, jaw tone and escape response were assessed every 5 minutes until reversal. Conditions for intubation and response to needle prick were evaluated. Antagonist drugs [flumazenil (0.05 mg kg -1 ) ± atipamezole (1.0 mg kg -1 )] were administered subcutaneously, craniodorsal to the contralateral thoracic limb, 45 minutes after initial injection, and animals were monitored until recovery. HR, but not f R , decreased significantly over time in both treatments. HR was significantly lower than baseline at all time points in D-M and for all but the 5 and 10 minute time points in A-M. HR was significantly higher in A-M at all time points after drug administration when compared with D-M. Sedation scores between protocols were similar for most time points. All animals in A-M lost righting reflex compared with seven out of nine (78%) geckos in D-M. Geckos in A-M lost righting reflex for significantly longer time. Mean ± standard deviation time to recovery after antagonist administration was 6.1 ± 2.2 minutes for D-M and 56 ± 29 minutes for A-M, and these times were significantly different. Combination D-M or A-M provided sedation of a level expected to allow physical examinations and venipuncture in leopard geckos. A-M provided a faster onset of sedation compared with D-M. Recovery was significantly faster following antagonist reversal of D-M, compared with A-M. Copyright © 2017 Association of

  20. Prevalence of cryptosporidium infection and characteristics of oocyst shedding in a breeding colony of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Clare; Greiner, Ellis; Uhl, Elizabeth W

    2008-12-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is an emerging problem in reptile medicine and has been associated with a wasting syndrome in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius). This study determined the prevalence of infection in a breeding colony of leopard geckos to be 9.8%. Two groups of 20 geckos, one that was fecal positive for oocysts of Cryptosporidium sp., and one, whose individuals were fecal negative at the inception of the study, were followed for 2 mo. Fecal samples were tested for oocysts every 2 wk, body weights were measured, and a body condition score was assigned for each gecko. Selected geckos from these two groups were euthanized and necropsied. There were statistically significant differences (P geckos with a subclinical or carrier state of infection. These animals continued to be infected with Cryptosporidium sp. but gained weight and remained in good body condition. Only one gecko in the entire group of 40 was confirmed to be negative for oocysts or developmental stages by repeated fecal exams and histopathology. An additional 37 severely emaciated geckos from the breeding colony were euthanized, and all were positive for Cryptosporidium sp. on histopathologic examination of the gastrointestinal tract. The results of this study indicate that although some animals can recover from a clinical infection, if a gecko is severely wasted, it should be euthanized because of the poor prognosis and possible source of infection to other geckos.

  1. Organization and activation of sexual and agonistic behavior in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhen, T; Crews, D

    2000-04-01

    Gonadal sex is determined by the temperature experienced during incubation in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). Furthermore, both factors, incubation temperature and gonadal sex, influence adult sexual and agonistic behavior in this species. Yet it is unclear whether such differences in behavior are irreversibly organized during development or are mediated by differences in hormone levels in adulthood. To address this question, we gonadectomized adult females and males generated from a female-biased (30 degrees C) and a male-biased (32.5 degrees C) incubation temperature and treated them with equivalent levels of various sex steroids. We found that 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) activated sexual receptivity in females but not males, suggesting an organized sex difference in behavioral sensitivity to E(2). There were also organized and activated sex differences in attractivity to stimulus males. Although females were more attractive than males when treated with E(2), both sexes were equally unattractive when treated with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or testosterone (T). Likewise, sex differences in aggressive and submissive behavior were organized and activated. Attacks on stimulus males were activated by T in males but not in females. In contrast, hormones did not influence flight behavior in males but did affect female submissiveness. Overall, males also evoked more attacks by stimulus males than did females. Nevertheless, females and males treated with androgens evoked more attacks than animals of the same sex that were treated with cholesterol or E(2). Incubation temperature had some weak effects on certain behaviors and no effect on others. This suggests that temperature effects in gonadally intact geckos may be due primarily to differences in circulating levels of hormones in adulthood. We conclude that gonadal sex has both organizational and activational effects on various behaviors in the leopard gecko. Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

  2. Identification of the reptilian prolactin and its receptor cDNAs in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Keisuke; Ikemoto, Tadahiro; Park, Min Kyun

    2005-02-14

    In spite of their physiological significance, there is no available information about the nucleotide sequences of prolactin (PRL) and its receptor in reptilian species. In order to fill this gap, PRL and its receptor cDNAs were identified in a reptilian species, the leopard gecko Eublepharis macularius. The deduced leopard gecko PRL polypeptide showed high identities with the corresponding polypeptides of other reptiles. The leopard gecko PRL receptor (PRLR) was estimated to have tandem repeated regions in its extracellular domain, which had been originally found in avian PRLR. Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggests that these tandem repeated regions were generated by the duplication of the extracellular region in the latest common ancestor among reptiles and birds. In addition, tissue distributions of PRL and PRLR in the leopard gecko were examined by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). PRLR mRNA was detected in all tissues examined and highly expressed in the whole brain, pituitary, intestine, kidney, ovary, oviduct and testis. Whereas, PRL mRNA was expressed in the whole brain, pituitary, ovary and testis. The co-expressions of PRL and its receptor in some extrapituitary organs suggest that PRL acts as an autocrine/paracrine factor in such organs of the leopard gecko.

  3. Characterisation and expression of Sox9 in the Leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valleley, E M; Cartwright, E J; Croft, N J; Markham, A F; Coletta, P L

    2001-04-15

    Since the discovery of the sex-determining gene, Sry, a number of genes have been identified which are involved in sex determination and gonadogenesis in mammals. Although Sry is known to be the testis-determining factor in mammals, this is not the case in non-mammalian vertebrates. Sox9 is another gene that has been shown to have a male-specific role in sex determination, but, unlike Sry, Sox9 has been shown to be involved in sex determination in mammals, birds, and reptiles. This is the first gene to be described that has a conserved role in sex determination in species with either chromosomal or environmental sex-determining mechanisms. Many reptiles do not have sex chromosomes but exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Sox9 has been shown to be expressed in both turtle and alligator during gonadogenesis. To determine if Sox9 also has a role in a gecko species with TSD, we studied gonadal expression of Sox9 during embryonic development of the Leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). Gecko Sox9 was found to be highly conserved at the nucleotide level when compared to other vertebrate species including human, chick, alligator, and turtle. Sox9 was found to be expressed in embryos incubated at the male-producing temperature (32.5 degrees C) as well as in embryos incubated at the female-producing temperatures (26 and 34 degrees C), Northern blot analysis showed that Sox9 was expressed at both temperatures from morphological stages 31 to 37. mRNA in situ hybridisation on isolated urogenital systems showed expression at both female- and male-producing temperatures up to stage 36. After this stage, no expression was seen in the female gonads but expression remained in the male. These data provide further evidence that Sox9 is an essential component of a testis-determining pathway that is conserved in species with differing sex-determining mechanisms.

  4. Diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of and risk factors for ophthalmic disease in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) at a veterinary teaching hospital: 52 cases (1985-2013).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiggans, K Tomo; Sanchez-Migallon Guzman, David; Reilly, Christopher M; Vergneau-Grosset, Claire; Kass, Philip H; Hollingsworth, Steven R

    2018-02-01

    OBJECTIVE To describe diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of and risk factors for ophthalmic disease in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) evaluated at a veterinary teaching hospital. DESIGN Retrospective case series. ANIMALS 112 of 144 (78%) leopard geckos that were evaluated at a veterinary teaching hospital in January 1985 through October 2013 and for which sufficient medical record information was available. PROCEDURES Information from medical records was used to identify leopard geckos with ophthalmic disease, characterize cases, and determine risk factors for the presence of ophthalmic disease. RESULTS Of the 112 leopard geckos, 52 (46%) had ophthalmic disease (mainly corneal or conjunctival disease). Female geckos were less likely to have ophthalmic disease, and there was a positive association between increasing age and ophthalmic disease. Use of a paper towel substrate, absence of any heat source, and lack of vitamin A supplementation were positively associated with a diagnosis of ophthalmic disease. Head dysecdysis was the only concurrent disorder significantly associated with ophthalmic disease. At necropsy, 5 affected leopard geckos had squamous metaplasia of the conjunctivae. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that ophthalmic disease is a common finding in leopard geckos. The cause of ocular surface disease in leopard geckos may be multifactorial, and hypovitaminosis A may be an important risk factor. Although animals receiving supplemental vitamin A were less likely to have ophthalmic disease, further understanding is required regarding the metabolism of and nutritional requirements for vitamin A in leopard geckos.

  5. Neural substrates for sexual and thermoregulatory behavior in the male leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Nora; Kriegsfeld, Lance; Crews, David

    2004-12-10

    The preoptic area-anterior hypothalamus (POAH) continuum is critical for the integration of environmental, physiological, and behavioral cues associated with reproduction in vertebrates. In the present study, radiofrequency lesions in the POAH abolished sexual behavior in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). Furthermore, results suggest a differential effect of POAH lesions on those behaviors regarded as appetitive (tail vibration and grip) and those regarded as consummatory (mounting and copulation), with consummatory behaviors being affected to a greater extent. E. macularius is an ectothermic vertebrate that modulates body temperature behaviorally relative to ambient temperature. In vertebrates, the POAH is also an important integrator of thermoregulation. Thus, the present study investigated whether lesions that disrupt reproductive behavior also disrupt body temperature regulation. While virtually all males displayed diurnal rhythms in thermoregulatory behavior prior to surgery, this pattern was abolished in a small proportion of animals bearing POAH lesions. Lesions that abolished thermoregulatory rhythms involved the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), whereas lesions confined to the POAH, while dramatically influencing sexual behavior, did not affect thermoregulatory rhythms or temperature set point. Together, these findings identify the POAH as an important neural locus regulating sexual behavior but not thermoregulation and suggest that the SCN acts as a pacemaker controlling daily behavioral temperature regulation in this species.

  6. Intermediate filament immunohistochemistry of astroglial cells in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzari, Maurizio; Franceschini, Valeria

    2005-11-01

    The distribution of intermediate filament molecular markers, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin, has been studied in the central nervous system (CNS) of the adult leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. This immunohistochemical study points out the presence of different astroglial cell types. The main pattern is constituted by ependymal radial glia, which have their cell bodies located in the ependymal layer throughout the brain ventricular system. Radial glia proper or radial astrocytes show their cell bodies displaced from the ependymal layer into a periependymal zone and are observed only in the spinal cord. Star-shaped astrocytes are scarce. They are detected in the ventral and lateral regions of the diencephalon and mesencephalon, in the superficial layer of the optic tectum, in the ventral medulla oblongata, and in the ventral and lateral spinal cord. In the different regions of the CNS, the staining intensity appears not to be identical even in the same cellular type. The results reported in the present study show an heterogeneous feature of the astroglial pattern in E. macularius.

  7. An embryonic staging table for in ovo development of Eublepharis macularius, the leopard gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Patrick A D; Vickaryous, Matthew K; Russell, Anthony P

    2009-08-01

    Squamates constitute a major vertebrate radiation, representing almost one-third of all known amniotes. Although speciose and morphologically diverse, they remain poorly represented in developmental studies. Here, we present an embryonic staging table of in ovo development for the basal gekkotan Eublepharis macularius (the leopard gecko) and advocate this species as a laboratory-appropriate developmental model. E. macularius, is a hardy and tractable species of relatively large body size (with concomitantly relatively large eggs and embryos), that is widely available and easy to maintain and propagate. Additionally, E. macularius displays a body plan appropriate to the study of the plesiomorphic quadrupedal condition of early pentadactylous terrestrial amniotes. Although not unexpected, it is worth noting that the morphological events characterizing limb development in E. macularius are comparable with those described for the avian Gallus gallus. Therefore, E. macularius holds great promise as a model for developmental studies focusing on pentadactyly and the formation of digits. Furthermore, it is also attractive as a developmental model because it demonstrates temperature-dependent sex determination. The staging table presented herein is based on an all-female series and represents the entire 52 day in ovo period. Overall, embryogenesis of E. macularius is similar to that of other squamates in terms of developmental stage attained at the time of oviposition, patterns of limb and pharyngeal arch development, and features of the appearance of scalation and pigmentation, indicative of a conserved developmental program. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  8. Plasticity of thermoregulatory behavior in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius, Blyth 1954).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craioveanu, Octavian; Craioveanu, Cristina; Mireşan, Vioara

    2017-07-01

    Studies on thermoregulation in nocturnal lizards have shown that their thermal regimes are similar to those of diurnal lizards, even though they hide during the daytime and are active mostly at night, when heat sources are very scarce. As a result, nocturnal lizards display an active thermoregulatory behavior consisting of seeking warm shelters to hide during the daytime, using accumulated heat for the nocturnal activity. Based on this information, we hypothesize that when leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius, Blyth 1954) are presented with the choice of safety in cool shelters or vulnerability in heated open areas, suitable temperature will prevail in importance, i.e. they will trade the advantages provided by the shelter for an exposed, but physiologically necessary heat source. Data on the time juvenile E. macularius spent in shelters, and in open areas along a thermal gradient and under a 12/12 hr photoperiod, from eight individuals confirmed our hypothesis. We found that, not only did they select heat sources over shelters, but, along with the light/dark cycle, temperature may also represent a cue for activity. Additionally we found that substrate moisture plays an important role in shelter preference. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Neural stem/progenitor cells are activated during tail regeneration in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, E A B; Vickaryous, M K

    2018-02-01

    As for many lizards, the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) can self-detach its tail to avoid predation and then regenerate a replacement. The replacement tail includes a regenerated spinal cord with a simple morphology: an ependymal layer surrounded by nerve tracts. We hypothesized that cells within the ependymal layer of the original spinal cord include populations of neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) that contribute to the regenerated spinal cord. Prior to tail loss, we performed a bromodeoxyuridine pulse-chase experiment and found that a subset of ependymal layer cells (ELCs) were label-retaining after a 140-day chase period. Next, we conducted a detailed spatiotemporal characterization of these cells before, during, and after tail regeneration. Our findings show that SOX2, a hallmark protein of NSPCs, is constitutively expressed by virtually all ELCs before, during, and after regeneration. We also found that during regeneration, ELCs express an expanded panel of NSPC and lineage-restricted progenitor cell markers, including MSI-1, SOX9, and TUJ1. Using electron microscopy, we determined that multiciliated, uniciliated, and biciliated cells are present, although the latter was only observed in regenerated spinal cords. Our results demonstrate that cells within the ependymal layer of the original, regenerating and fully regenerate spinal cord represent a heterogeneous population. These include radial glia comparable to Type E and Type B cells, and a neuronal-like population of cerebrospinal fluid-contacting cells. We propose that spinal cord regeneration in geckos represents a truncation of the restorative trajectory observed in some urodeles and teleosts, resulting in the formation of a structurally distinct replacement. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Amount of prenatal visual stimulation alters incubation times and postnatal preferences in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleigh, M J; Birchard, G F

    2001-09-01

    The authors exposed gecko (Eublepharis macularius) embryos to patterned visual stimulation beginning at either 1 week or 2 weeks prior to hatching. Embryos exposed to the substantially augmented amount of prenatal visual stimulation hatched significantly earlier than the embryos either exposed to the moderately augmented prenatal visual stimulation or not exposed to any prenatal visual stimulation (p geckos in all conditions failed to exhibit a preference for either stimulus.

  11. Clinical and pathological observations on natural infections of cryptosporidiosis and flagellate protozoa in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, M A; Geach, M R; Cooley, W A

    1999-12-11

    A group of adult leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) which had been losing weight for several months were found to be infected with Cryptosporidium species. Histological and electron microscopical investigations on the intestines of five of the lizards revealed the presence of large numbers of the developmental stages of Cryptosporidium species attached to the mucosal surface of the lower intestine, and large numbers of flagellate protozoa, suspected to be predominantly Trichomonas species, in the gut lumen. The clinical signs were attributed to the presence of one or both types of parasites.

  12. A novel amniote model of epimorphic regeneration: the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Katherine E; Vickaryous, Matthew K

    2011-08-16

    Epimorphic regeneration results in the restoration of lost tissues and structures from an aggregation of proliferating cells known as a blastema. Among amniotes the most striking example of epimorphic regeneration comes from tail regenerating lizards. Although tail regeneration is often studied in the context of ecological costs and benefits, details of the sequence of tissue-level events are lacking. Here we investigate the anatomical and histological events that characterize tail regeneration in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. Tail structure and tissue composition were examined at multiple days following tail loss, revealing a conserved pattern of regeneration. Removal of the tail results in a consistent series of morphological and histological events. Tail loss is followed by a latent period of wound healing with no visible signs of regenerative outgrowth. During this latent period basal cells of the epidermis proliferate and gradually cover the wound. An additional aggregation of proliferating cells accumulates adjacent to the distal tip of the severed spinal cord marking the first appearance of the blastema. Continued growth of the blastema is matched by the initiation of angiogenesis, followed by the re-development of peripheral axons and the ependymal tube of the spinal cord. Skeletal tissue differentiation, corresponding with the expression of Sox9, and muscle re-development are delayed until tail outgrowth is well underway. We demonstrate that tail regeneration in lizards involves a highly conserved sequence of events permitting the establishment of a staging table. We show that tail loss is followed by a latent period of scar-free healing of the wound site, and that regeneration is blastema-mediated. We conclude that the major events of epimorphic regeneration are highly conserved across vertebrates and that a comparative approach is an invaluable biomedical tool for ongoing regenerative research.

  13. Brain Gene Expression is Influenced by Incubation Temperature During Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius) Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallotta, Maria Michela; Turano, Mimmo; Ronca, Raffaele; Mezzasalma, Marcello; Petraccioli, Agnese; Odierna, Gaetano; Capriglione, Teresa

    2017-06-01

    Sexual differentiation (SD) during development results in anatomical, metabolic, and physiological differences that involve not only the gonads, but also a variety of other biological structures, such as the brain, determining differences in morphology, behavior, and response in the breeding season. In many reptiles, whose sex is determined by egg incubation temperature, such as the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, embryos incubated at different temperatures clearly differ in the volume of brain nuclei that modulate behavior. Based on the premise that "the developmental decision of gender does not flow through a single gene", we performed an analysis on E. macularius using three approaches to gain insights into the genes that may be involved in brain SD during the thermosensitive period. Using quantitative RT-PCR, we studied the expression of genes known to be involved in gonadal SD such as WNT4, SOX9, DMRT1, Erα, Erβ, GnRH, P450 aromatase, PRL, and PRL-R. Then, further genes putatively involved in sex dimorphic brain differentiation were sought by differential display (DDRT-PCR) and PCR array. Our findings indicate that embryo exposure to different sex determining temperatures induces differential expression of several genes that are involved not only in gonadal differentiation (PRL-R, Wnt4, Erα, Erβ, p450 aromatase, and DMRT1), but also in neural differentiation (TN-R, Adora2A, and ASCL1) and metabolic pathways (GP1, RPS15, and NADH12). These data suggest that the brains of SDT reptiles might be dimorphic at birth, thus behavioral experiences in postnatal development would act on a structure already committed to male or female. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Scar-free wound healing and regeneration following tail loss in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delorme, Stephanie Lynn; Lungu, Ilinca Mihaela; Vickaryous, Matthew Kenneth

    2012-10-01

    Many lizards are able to undergo scar-free wound healing and regeneration following loss of the tail. In most instances, lizard tail loss is facilitated by autotomy, an evolved mechanism that permits the tail to be self-detached at pre-existing fracture planes. However, it has also been reported that the tail can regenerate following surgical amputation outside the fracture plane. In this study, we used the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, to investigate and compare wound healing and regeneration following autotomy at a fracture plane and amputation outside the fracture plane. Both forms of tail loss undergo a nearly identical sequence of events leading to scar-free wound healing and regeneration. Early wound healing is characterized by transient myofibroblasts and the formation of a highly proliferative wound epithelium immunoreactive for the wound keratin marker WE6. The new tail forms from what is commonly referred to as a blastema, a mass of proliferating mesenchymal-like cells. Blastema cells express the protease matrix metalloproteinase-9. Apoptosis (demonstrated by activated caspase 3 immunostaining) is largely restricted to isolated cells of the original and regenerating tail tissues, although cell death also occurs within dermal structures at the original-regenerated tissue interface and among clusters of newly formed myocytes. Furthermore, the autotomized tail is unique in demonstrating apoptosis among cells adjacent to the fracture planes. Unlike mammals, transforming growth factor-β3 is not involved in wound healing. We demonstrate that scar-free wound healing and regeneration are intrinsic properties of the tail, unrelated to the location or mode of tail detachment. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Sex steroid levels across the reproductive cycle of female leopard geckos, Eublepharis macularius, from different incubation temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhen, T; Sakata, J T; Zeller, M; Crews, D

    2000-05-01

    Incubation temperature during embryonic development determines gonadal sex in many reptiles, including the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). In this study, we examined the hormonal and behavioral changes that occur during the reproductive cycle of female leopard geckos from four (i.e., 26, 30, 32.5, and 34 degrees C) incubation temperatures. Controlling for reproductive status, plasma levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), testosterone (T), and progesterone (P) varied with incubation temperature but estradiol 17-beta (E2) levels did not. Controlling for the effects of incubation temperature, DHT and T levels were low when females were previtellogenic, increased slightly during early vitellogenesis, increased dramatically during late vitellogenesis (i.e., prior to ovulation), and then decreased to previtellogenic levels after ovulation. In contrast, E2 levels increased gradually from the previtellogenic stage to the early vitellogenic stage, peaked during late vitellogenesis, and decreased to previtellogenic levels after ovulation. Levels of P increased from the previtellogenic stage to the early vitellogenic stage, remained elevated during late vitellogenesis, and then decreased after ovulation. Moreover, we determined that females were not sexually receptive when previtellogenic, were somewhat receptive during early vitellogenesis (approximately 20% receptive), were most receptive during late vitellogenesis (approximately 80% receptive), and were again unreceptive after ovulation. Incubation temperature did not influence receptivity. Overall, these data show that hormone levels and behavior change coordinately during the reproductive cycle. Although incubation temperature has persistent effects on endocrine physiology in adult female leopard geckos, these effects are modest compared to hormonal changes across the reproductive cycle.

  16. Antipredatory reaction of the leopard gecko Eublepharis macularius to snake predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landová, Eva; Musilová, Veronika; Polák, Jakub; Sedláčková, Kristýna; Frynta, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    Ability to recognize a risk of predation and react with adaptive antipredatory behavior can enhance fitness, but has some costs as well. Animals can either specifically react on the most dangerous predators (threat-sensitive avoidance) or they have safe but costly general wariness avoiding all potential predators. The level of threat may depend on the predator's foraging ecology and distribution with the prey with sympatric and specialist species being the most dangerous. We used 2 choice trials to investigate antipredatory behavior of captive born and wild-caught leopard geckos confronted with different snake predators from 2 families (Colubridae, Boidae) varying in foraging ecology and sympatric/allopatric distribution with the geckos. Predator-naïve subadult individuals have general wariness, explore both chemically and visually, and perform antipredatory postures toward a majority of snake predators regardless of their sympatry/allopatry or food specialization. The most exaggerated antipredatory postures in both subadult and adult geckos were toward 2 sympatric snake species, the spotted whip snake Hemorrhois ravergieri , an active forager, and the red sand boa Eryx johnii , a subterranean snake with a sit-and-wait strategy. In contrast, also subterranean but allopatric the Kenyan sand boa Eryx colubrinus did not elicit any antipredatory reaction. We conclude that the leopard gecko possesses an innate general antipredatory reaction to different species of snake predators, while a specific reaction to 2 particular sympatric species can be observed. Moreover, adult wild caught geckos show lower reactivity compared with the captive born ones, presumably due to an experience of a real predation event that can hardly be simulated under laboratory conditions.

  17. Constraints on temperature-dependent sex determination in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius): response to Kratochvil et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Victoria; Sakata, Jon T; Rhen, Turk; Coomber, Patricia; Simmonds, Sarah; Crews, David

    2008-12-01

    Kratochvil et al. (Naturwissenschaften 95:209-215, 2008) reported recently that in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) of the family Eublepharidae with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), clutches in which eggs were incubated at the same temperature produce only same-sex siblings. Interpreting this result in light of studies of sex steroid hormone involvement in sex determination, they suggested that maternally derived yolk steroid hormones could constrain sex-determining mechanisms in TSD reptiles. We have worked extensively with this species and have routinely incubated clutches at constant temperatures. To test the consistency of high frequency same-sex clutches across different incubation temperatures, we examined our records of clutches at the University of Texas at Austin from 1992 to 2001. We observed that clutches in which eggs were incubated at the same incubation temperature produced mixed-sex clutches as well as same-sex clutches. Furthermore, cases in which eggs within a clutch were separated and incubated at different temperatures produced the expected number of mixed-sex clutches. These results suggest that maternal influences on sex determination are secondary relative to incubation temperature effects.

  18. Blood vessel formation during tail regeneration in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius): The blastema is not avascular.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Samantha L; Peacock, Hanna M; Vickaryous, Matthew K

    2017-03-01

    Unique among amniotes, many lizards are able to self-detach (autotomize) their tail and then regenerate a replacement. Tail regeneration involves the formation of a blastema, an accumulation of proliferating cells at the site of autotomy. Over time, cells of the blastema give rise to most of the tissues in the replacement tail. In non-amniotes capable of regenerating (such as urodeles and some teleost fish), the blastema is reported to be essentially avascular until tissue differentiation takes place. For tail regenerating lizards less is known. Here, we investigate neovascularization during tail regeneration in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). We demonstrate that the gecko tail blastema is not an avascular structure. Beginning with the onset of regenerative outgrowth, structurally mature (mural cell supported) blood vessels are found within the blastema. Although the pattern of blood vessel distribution in the regenerate tail differs from that of the original, a hierarchical network is established, with vessels of varying luminal diameters and wall thicknesses. Using immunostaining, we determine that blastema outgrowth and tissue differentiation is characterized by a dynamic interplay between the pro-angiogenic protein vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the anti-angiogenic protein thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1). VEGF-expression is initially widespread, but diminishes as tissues differentiate. In contrast, TSP-1 expression is initially restricted but becomes more abundant as VEGF-expression wanes. We predict that variation in the neovascular response observed between different regeneration-competent species likely relates to the volume of the blastema. J. Morphol. 278:380-389, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Effect of incubation temperature and androgens on dopaminergic activity in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Brian George; Ataya, Ramona Sousan; Rushworth, David; Zhao, Jun; Crews, David

    2007-04-01

    Male leopard geckos that hatch from eggs incubated at a female-biased temperature (Tf) behave differently when compared with males hatching at a temperature which produces a male-biased sex ratio (Tm). We investigated the effect of incubation temperature and androgen implantation on aspects of the dopaminergic system of Tf and Tm males. Our data suggest that more dopamine (DA) is stored in the nucleus accumbens of naive Tf males compared with naïve Tm males when they encounter a receptive female conspecific across a barrier. No difference was measured in the preoptic area and the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This difference in intracellular DA levels in a motivation-related brain nucleus might be correlated with differences in sociosexual behavior observed between the two morphs. There were no differences in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expressing cell numbers in the VTA of cholesterol (CH)-implanted naive castrated Tf and Tm males. Only Tf males implanted with testosterone had significantly higher TH immunopositive cell numbers in the VTA compared with CH- and dihydrotestosterone-implanted Tf males. These data indicate that both the embryonic environment as well as the circulating hormonal milieu can modulate neurochemistry, which might in turn be a basis for individual variation in behavior. Copyright (c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Incubation temperature affects the behavior of adult leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, D; Tousignant, A; Crews, D

    1994-06-01

    The leopard gecko has temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD); females are predominantly produced when incubated at 26 degrees C (100%), 30 degrees C (70%), and 34 degrees C (95%), whereas males are predominantly produced at 32.5 degrees C (75%). Exogenous estradiol can override the effect of temperature on sex determination. To compare temperature-determined females with hormone-determined females, eggs from the male-biased temperature were treated with estradiol benzoate during incubation. As adults, animals from a male-biased incubation temperature were more likely to exhibit aggression than animals from female-biased incubation temperatures. Furthermore, females from a male-biased incubation temperature tended to be less attractive than females from female-biased temperatures. Hormone-determined females were both attractive and aggressive. This suggests that incubation temperature is an important development determinant of adult aggressiveness and attractiveness. The 26 degrees C animals ovariectomized on the day of hatch exhibited more frequent aggression and were unreceptive to males, indicating that postnatal ovarian hormones also play a role in adult sociosexual behaviors. The parallel between incubation temperature and intrauterine position in laboratory mammals is discussed.

  1. Reproductive tradeoffs and yolk steroids in female leopard geckos, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhen, T; Crews, D; Fivizzani, A; Elf, P

    2006-11-01

    Life history theory predicts tradeoffs among reproductive traits, but the physiological mechanisms underlying such tradeoffs remain unclear. Here we examine reproductive tradeoffs and their association with yolk steroids in an oviparous lizard. Female leopard geckos lay two eggs in a clutch, produce multiple clutches in a breeding season, and reproduce for several years. We detected a significant tradeoff between egg size and the number of clutches laid by females during their first two breeding seasons. Total reproductive effort was strongly condition-dependent in the first season, but much less so in the second season. Although these and other tradeoffs were unmistakable, they were not associated with levels of androstenedione, oestradiol, or testosterone in egg yolk. Female condition and egg size, however, were inversely related to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in egg yolk. Finally, steroid levels in egg yolk were not directly related to steroid levels in the maternal circulation when follicles were developing, indicating that steroid transfer to eggs is regulated. These findings suggest that maternal allocation of DHT could mitigate tradeoffs that lead to poor offspring quality (i.e. poor female condition) and small offspring size (i.e. small egg size).

  2. Identification and expression analysis of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors cDNA in a reptile, the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Keisuke; Oka, Yoshitaka; Park, Min Kyun

    2008-05-01

    Despite the physiological and evolutionary significance of lipid metabolism in amniotes, the molecular mechanisms involved have been unclear in reptiles. To elucidate this, we investigated peroxisome proliferators-activated receptors (PPARs) in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). PPARs belong to a nuclear hormone-receptor family mainly involved in lipid metabolism. Although PPARs have been widely studied in mammals, little information about them is yet available from reptiles. We identified in the leopard gecko partial cDNA sequences of PPARalpha and beta, and full sequences of two isoforms of PPARgamma. This is the first report of reptilian PPARgamma mRNA isoforms. We also evaluated the organ distribution of expression of these genes by using RT-PCR and competitive PCR. The expression level of PPARalpha mRNA was highest in the large intestine, and moderate in the liver and kidney. The expression level of PPARbeta mRNA was highest in the kidney and large intestine, and moderate in the liver. Similarly to the expression of human PPARgamma isoforms, PPARgammaa was expressed ubiquitously, whereas the expression of PPARgammab was restricted. The highest levels of their expression, however, were observed in the large intestine, rather than in the adipose tissue as in mammals. Taken together, these results showed that the profile of PPARbeta mRNA expression in the leopard gecko is similar to that in mammals, and that those of PPAR alpha and gamma are species specific. This may reflect adaptation to annual changes in lipid storage due to seasonal food availability.

  3. Cytochrome oxidase activity in the preoptic area correlates with differences in sexual behavior of intact and castrated male leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakata, J T; Crews, D

    2004-08-01

    Although the utility of analyzing behavioral experience effects on neural cytochrome oxidase (CO) activity is well recognized, the behavioral correlates of endogenous differences in CO activity have rarely been explored. In male leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius), the incubation temperature experienced during embryogenesis (IncT) and age affect CO activity in the preoptic area (POA), an area that modulates copulatory behavior. In this study, the authors assessed whether differences in POA CO activity correlate with differences in sexual behavior in intact and castrated geckos. Males with IncT- and age-dependent increases in POA CO activity mounted females with shorter latencies while intact and after castration and ejaculated more frequently after castration. The authors discuss the predictive value of CO activity and propose similar parallels in other species.

  4. Effects of gonadal sex and incubation temperature on the ontogeny of gonadal steroid concentrations and secondary sex structures in leopard geckos, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhen, Turk; Sakata, Jon T; Crews, David

    2005-07-01

    Incubation temperature during embryonic development determines gonadal sex in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). Incubation temperature and gonadal sex jointly influence the display of sexual and agonistic behavior in adult leopard geckos. These differences in adult behavior are organized prior to sexual maturity, and it is plausible that post-natal hormones influence neural and behavioral differentiation. Here we assessed incubation temperature and sex effects on sex steroid levels in leopard geckos at 2, 10, and 25 weeks of age and monitored the development of male secondary sex structures. Males had significantly higher androgen concentrations at all time points, whereas females had significantly higher 17beta-estradiol (E2) concentrations only at 10 and 25 weeks. Within males, age but not incubation temperature affected steroid levels and morphological development. Male androgen levels increased modestly by 10 and dramatically by 25 weeks of age, whereas E2 levels remained unchanged over this period. Most males had signs of hemipenes at 10 weeks of age, and all males had hemipenes and open preanal pores by 25 weeks of age. In females, age and incubation temperature affected E2 and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) but not T concentrations. Controlling for age, females from 34 degrees C have higher DHT and lower E2 levels than females from 30 degrees C. Further, E2 concentrations increased significantly from 2 to 10 weeks, after which E2 levels remained steady. Together, these results indicate that sexually dimorphic levels of steroids play a major role in the development of leopard gecko behavior and morphology. Furthermore, these data suggest that the organizational effects of incubation temperature on adult female phenotype could be, in part, mediated by incubation temperature effects on steroid hormone levels during juvenile development.

  5. Changes in androgen receptor mRNA expression in the forebrain and oviduct during the reproductive cycle of female leopard geckos, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhen, Turk; Sakata, Jon T; Woolley, Sarah; Porter, Raymond; Crews, David

    2003-06-01

    Successful reproduction requires the coordination of reproductive physiology with behavior. The neural correlates of reproductive behavior have been elucidated in a variety of amphibians, mammals, and birds but relatively few studies have examined reptiles. Here we investigate differences in androgen receptor (AR) mRNA expression in the forebrain and oviduct between previtellogenic and late vitellogenic female leopard geckos, Eublepharis macularius. Plasma concentrations of testosterone (T) are low when females are previtellogenic and sexually unreceptive but increase dramatically during late vitellogenesis when females are receptive. In addition, receptivity can be induced by treatment with exogenous T. The relative abundance of AR-mRNA across various nuclei was greater in late vitellogenic than in previtellogenic females. This general pattern was observed in the medial preoptic area, anterior hypothalamus, external nucleus of the amygdala, dorsolateral aspect of the ventromedial hypothalamus, lateral septum, and periventricular hypothalamus. There were also clear differences in AR-mRNA expression among these nuclei. The pattern of gene expression observed in the brain was reversed within stromal cells of the oviduct where expression of AR-mRNA decreased from the previtellogenic stage to the late vitellogenic stage. Overall, these data demonstrate that T concentration in the plasma, abundance of AR-mRNA in the brain and oviduct, and sexual behavior change coordinately during the reproductive cycle of female leopard geckos. Although the function of AR in the female leopard gecko is not yet clear, our results are in accord with growing evidence that androgens regulate numerous aspects of female physiology and behavior in vertebrates.

  6. Identification and characterization of the reptilian GnRH-II gene in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, and its evolutionary considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikemoto, Tadahiro; Park, Min Kyun

    2003-10-16

    To elucidate the molecular phylogeny and evolution of a particular peptide, one must analyze not the limited primary amino acid sequences of the low molecular weight mature polypeptide, but rather the sequences of the corresponding precursors from various species. Of all the structural variants of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), GnRH-II (chicken GnRH-II, or cGnRH-II) is remarkably conserved without any sequence substitutions among vertebrates, but its precursor sequences vary considerably. We have identified and characterized the full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) encoding the GnRH-II precursor and determined its genomic structure, consisting of four exons and three introns, in a reptilian species, the leopard gecko Eublepharis macularius. This is the first report about the GnRH-II precursor cDNA/gene from reptiles. The deduced leopard gecko prepro-GnRH-II polypeptide had the highest identities with the corresponding polypeptides of amphibians. The GnRH-II precursor mRNA was detected in more than half of the tissues and organs examined. This widespread expression is consistent with the previous findings in several species, though the roles of GnRH outside the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis remain largely unknown. Molecular phylogenetic analysis combined with sequence comparison showed that the leopard gecko is more similar to fishes and amphibians than to eutherian mammals with respect to the GnRH-II precursor sequence. These results strongly suggest that the divergence of the GnRH-II precursor sequences seen in eutherian mammals may have occurred along with amniote evolution.

  7. Distribution of androgen and estrogen receptor mRNA in the brain and reproductive tissues of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhen, T; Crews, D

    2001-09-03

    Incubation temperature during embryonic development determines gonadal sex in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. In addition, both incubation temperature and gonadal sex influence behavioral responses to androgen and estrogen treatments in adulthood. Although these findings suggest that temperature and sex steroids act upon a common neural substrate to influence behavior, it is unclear where temperature and hormone effects are integrated. To begin to address this question, we identified areas of the leopard gecko brain that express androgen receptor (AR) and estrogen receptor (ER) mRNA. We gonadectomized adult female and male geckos from an incubation temperature that produces a female-biased sex ratio and another temperature that produces a male-biased sex ratio. Females and males from both temperatures were then treated with equivalent levels of various sex steroids. Region-specific patterns of AR mRNA expression and ER mRNA expression were observed upon hybridization of radiolabeled (35S) cRNA probes to thin sections of reproductive tissues (male hemipenes and female oviduct) and brain. Labeling for AR mRNA was very intense in the epithelium, but not within the body, of the male hemipenes. In contrast, expression of ER mRNA was prominent in most of the oviduct but not in the luminal epithelium. Within the brain, labeling for AR mRNA was conspicuous in the anterior olfactory nucleus, the lateral septum, the medial preoptic area, the periventricular preoptic area, the external nucleus of the amygdala, the anterior hypothalamus, the ventromedial hypothalamus, the premammillary nucleus, and the caudal portion of the periventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Expression of ER mRNA was sparse in the septum and was prominent in the ventromedial hypothalamus, the caudal portion of the periventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, and a group of cells near the torus semicircularis. Many of these brain regions have been implicated in the regulation of hormone

  8. The regenerated tail of juvenile leopard geckos (Gekkota: Eublepharidae: Eublepharis macularius) preferentially stores more fat than the original.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Anthony P; Lynn, Sabrina E; Powell, G Lawrence; Cottle, Andrew

    2015-06-01

    The tail of many species of lizard is used as a site of fat storage, and caudal autotomy is a widespread phenomenon among lizards. This means that caudal fat stores are at risk of being lost if the tail is autotomized. For fat-tailed species, such as the leopard gecko, this may be particularly costly. Previous work has shown that tail regeneration in juveniles of this species is rapid and that it receives priority for energy allocation, even when dietary resources are markedly reduced. We found that the regenerated tails of juvenile leopard geckos are more massive than their original counterparts, regardless of dietary intake, and that they exhibit greater amounts of skeleton, inner fat, muscle and subcutaneous fat than original tails (as assessed through cross-sectional area measurements of positionally equivalent stations along the tail). Autotomy and regeneration result in changes in tail shape, mass and the pattern of tissue distribution within the tail. The regenerated tail exhibits enhanced fat storage capacity, even in the face of a diet that results in significant slowing of body growth. Body growth is thus sacrificed at the expense of rapid tail growth. Fat stores laid down rapidly in the regenerating tail may later be used to fuel body growth or reproductive investment. The regenerated tail thus seems to have adaptive roles of its own, and provides a potential vehicle for studying trade-offs that relate to life history strategy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. Effect of hormonal manipulation on sociosexual behavior in adult female leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, D L; Crews, D

    1995-12-01

    Aggressive and sexual behavior in the adult leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), is influenced by the temperature experienced as an egg, as well as by prenatal and perinatal hormones. This study focused on the effects of hormonal manipulation of adult female leopard geckos from different incubation temperatures. Following ovariectomy, females from both all-female (26 degrees C) and male-biased (32.5 degrees C) incubation temperatures exhibited a significant decrease in high-posture (HP) aggression toward male and female stimulus animals. Testosterone treatment attenuated this decrease in HP aggression toward female but not toward male stimulus animals. Ovariectomy also resulted in a loss in attractiveness in both groups of females. Following treatment with testosterone, over 50% of the females were attacked by male stimulus animals, suggesting a change in the pheromonal cues normally secreted by females. Unmanipulated females never exhibit tail vibrations, a male-typical courtship behavior. However, following ovariectomy with testosterone treatment, half of the females from both incubation temperatures exhibited this behavior, indicating an activational effect of testosterone. An effect of incubation temperature on aggression was evident with females from the male-biased incubation temperature exhibiting a greater likelihood of aggression compared to females from the all-female incubation temperature. This effect continued to be detected after hormone manipulation. Ovariectomized females from the all-female incubation temperature were less aggressive even with testosterone treatment toward males, whereas females from the male-biased incubation temperature showed no significant decline in aggression following testosterone treatment, suggesting that individuals from different incubation temperatures may have different sensitivities to hormones.

  10. Effect of exogenous estradiol applied at different embryonic stages on sex determination, growth, and mortality in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tousignant, A; Crews, D

    1994-01-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) occurs in three orders of reptiles. Several studies have examined the ability of estradiol to produce female hatchlings incubated at a male-producing temperature. The results of these experiments support the idea that estradiol could be used as a powerful tool in the conservation of endangered species with TSD by manipulating hatchling sex ratios. However, these experiments have concentrated on the mechanism of determination. This experiment was designed to test the efficacy of various dosages of estradiol applied at two different stages to alter the hatchling sex ratio as well as determining the potential use of such manipulation for conservation efforts by monitoring egg mortality and hatchling growth. The leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) exhibits TSD and reaches reproductive maturity in less than one year, making it an excellent model for evaluating the long-term effects of estradiol. The results demonstrate that estradiol has a dose-dependent effect on the hatchling sex ratio while only high dosages applied at the later stage of development showed increased mortality. Estrogen-determined females grew at the same rate as temperature-determined females and have produced viable hatchlings. Estradiol treatment of eggs from endangered species may provide a method of insuring female offspring when the TSD pattern is unknown or equipment for controlled incubation is unavailable.

  11. Incubation temperature and gonadal sex affect growth and physiology in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tousignant, A; Crews, D

    1995-05-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), in which the temperature at which an egg incubates determines the sex of the individual, occurs in egg-laying reptiles of three separate orders. Previous studies have shown that the embryonic environment can have effects lasting beyond the period of sex determination. We investigated the relative roles of incubation temperature, exogenous estradiol, and gonadal sex (testis vs. ovary) in the differentiation of adult morphological and physiological traits of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. The results indicate that incubation temperature, steroid hormones, and gonads interact in the development of morphological and physiological characters with incubation temperature resulting in the greatest differences in adult phenotype. Incubation temperature did not affect reproductive success directly, but may influence offspring survival in natural situations through effects on adult female body size. Postnatal hormones seem to be more influential in the formation of adult phenotypes than prenatal hormones. These results demonstrate that TSD species can be used to investigate the effects of the physical environment on development in individuals without a predetermined genetic sex and thus provide further insight into the roles of gonadal sex and the embryonic environment in sexual differentiation.

  12. Density and distribution of cutaneous sensilla on tails of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) in relation to caudal autotomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Anthony P; Lai, Erica K; Lawrence Powell, G; Higham, Timothy E

    2014-09-01

    The lizard tail is well known for its ability to autotomize and regenerate. Physical contact of the tail by a predator may induce autotomy at the location at which the tail is grasped, and upon detachment the tail may undergo violent, rapid, and unpredictable movements that appear to be, to some degree, regulated by contact with the physical environment. Neither the mechanism by which tail breakage at a particular location is determined, nor that by which environmental feedback to the tail is received, are known. It has been suggested that mechanoreceptors (sensilla) are the means of mediation of such activities, and reports indicate that the density of sensilla on the tail is high. To determine the feasibility that mechanoreceptors are involved in such phenomena, we mapped scale form and the size, density, distribution, and spacing of sensilla on the head, body, limbs, and tail of the leopard gecko. This species has a full complement of autotomy planes along the length of the tail, and the postautotomic behavior of its tail has been documented. We found that the density of sensilla is highest on the tail relative to all other body regions examined; a dorsoventral gradient of caudal sensilla density is evident on the tail; sensilla are more closely spaced on the dorsal and lateral regions of the tail than elsewhere and are carried on relatively small scales; and that the whorls of scales on the tail bear a one to one relationship with the autotomy planes. Our results are consistent with the hypotheses of sensilla being involved in determining the site at which autotomy will occur, and with them being involved in the mediation of tail behavior following autotomy. These findings open the way for experimental neurological investigations of how autotomy is induced and how the detached tail responds to external environmental input. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Relative apportioning of resources to the body and regenerating tail in juvenile leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) maintained on different dietary rations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, Sabrina E; Borkovic, Benjamin P; Russell, Anthony P

    2013-01-01

    Caudal autotomy is a widespread phenomenon among lizards, and similar processes occur in other groups of vertebrates and invertebrates. Many costs have been associated with autotomy, including the regeneration of lost biomass. For lizards, it is not known whether resources are preferentially directed toward caudal regeneration or whether regeneration occurs only when resources are abundant. Conflicting information is present in the literature, and an absence of controlled experiments prevents determination of what pattern of regeneration may occur under a given set of circumstances. We employed the leopard gecko, a fat-tailed species, to examine whether tail regeneration is a priority and, if so, whether it remains so when resources become limiting. We explored this through caudal autotomy and dietary manipulation under conditions that ensured that differences in diet were sufficient to permit differential growth. We examined juvenile leopard geckos because these animals are rapidly growing and allocation of energy is not compromised by reproductive investment. The effects of dietary resource availability and the demands of caudal regeneration were compared in intact and regenerating animals. Our evidence indicates that caudal regeneration is a priority, even when resources are limiting. We conclude that tail regrowth is a priority that is associated with long-term survival and possibly reproductive success.

  14. Experimental Crossing of Two Distinct Species of Leopard Geckos, Eublepharis angramainyu and E. macularius: Viability, Fertility and Phenotypic Variation of the Hybrids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jančúchová-Lásková, Jitka; Landová, Eva; Frynta, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Hybridization between distinct species of animals and subsequent genetic introgression plays a considerable role in the speciation process and the emergence of adaptive characters. Fitness of between-species hybrids usually sharply decreases with the divergence time of the concerned species and the divergence depth, which still allows for a successful crossing differs among principal clades of vertebrates. Recently, a review of hybridization events among distinct lizard species revealed that lizards belong to vertebrates with a highly developed ability to hybridize. In spite of this, reliable reports of experimental hybridizations between genetically fairly divergent species are only exceptional. Here, we show the results of the crossing of two distinct allopatric species of eyelid geckos possessing temperature sex determination and lacking sex chromosomes: Eublepharis macularius distributed in Pakistan/Afghanistan area and E. angramainyu, which inhabits Mesopotamia and adjacent areas. We demonstrated that F1 hybrids were viable and fertile, and the introgression of E. angramainyu genes into the E. macularius genome can be enabled via a backcrossing. The examined hybrids (except those of the F2 generation) displayed neither malformations nor a reduced survival. Analyses of morphometric and coloration traits confirmed phenotypic distinctness of both parental species and their F1 hybrids. These findings contrast with long-term geographic and an evolutionary separation of the studied species. Thus, the occurrence of fertile hybrids of comparably divergent species, such as E. angramainyu and E. macularius, may also be expected in other taxa of squamates. This would violate the current estimates of species diversity in lizards.

  15. Experimental Crossing of Two Distinct Species of Leopard Geckos, Eublepharis angramainyu and E. macularius: Viability, Fertility and Phenotypic Variation of the Hybrids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jitka Jančúchová-Lásková

    Full Text Available Hybridization between distinct species of animals and subsequent genetic introgression plays a considerable role in the speciation process and the emergence of adaptive characters. Fitness of between-species hybrids usually sharply decreases with the divergence time of the concerned species and the divergence depth, which still allows for a successful crossing differs among principal clades of vertebrates. Recently, a review of hybridization events among distinct lizard species revealed that lizards belong to vertebrates with a highly developed ability to hybridize. In spite of this, reliable reports of experimental hybridizations between genetically fairly divergent species are only exceptional. Here, we show the results of the crossing of two distinct allopatric species of eyelid geckos possessing temperature sex determination and lacking sex chromosomes: Eublepharis macularius distributed in Pakistan/Afghanistan area and E. angramainyu, which inhabits Mesopotamia and adjacent areas. We demonstrated that F1 hybrids were viable and fertile, and the introgression of E. angramainyu genes into the E. macularius genome can be enabled via a backcrossing. The examined hybrids (except those of the F2 generation displayed neither malformations nor a reduced survival. Analyses of morphometric and coloration traits confirmed phenotypic distinctness of both parental species and their F1 hybrids. These findings contrast with long-term geographic and an evolutionary separation of the studied species. Thus, the occurrence of fertile hybrids of comparably divergent species, such as E. angramainyu and E. macularius, may also be expected in other taxa of squamates. This would violate the current estimates of species diversity in lizards.

  16. Development of the dorsal circumorbital bones in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) and its bearing on the homology of these elements in the gekkota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Patrick Arthur David; Russell, Anthony Patrick

    2010-12-01

    Five nominal elements comprise the circumorbital series of bones in gekkotans: prefrontal, postfrontal, postorbital, jugal, and lacrimal. Determination of the homology of two of these, the postfrontal and postorbital, has been particularly problematic. Two conflicting hypothesis exist relating to these: either the postorbital is lost and the postfrontal remains or they fuse during development to form a combined element, the postorbitofrontal. Such a combined element apparently occurs in at least some members of all lizard clades. There is, however, no direct developmental evidence that supports either theory. To overcome that, we investigate the sequence and pattern of ossification in the circumorbital region in a developmental series of the Leopard gecko. We posit that both the postfrontal and postorbital appear during development. Contrary to previous predictions they neither fuses to each other, nor do either degenerate. Instead, the postfrontal shifts anteriorly and fuses with the frontal to become indistinguishable from it by the time of hatching, and the postorbital persists as a robust independent element bounding the frontoparietal suture. These observations accord, in part, with both hypotheses of homology of these elements and result in the recognition of a new pattern, placing in doubt the existence of the composite postorbitofrontal. The phylogenetic implications of these findings may prove to be far reaching if similar and conserved patterns of development are encountered in other clades.

  17. Quantification of three steroid hormone receptors of the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination: their tissue distributions and the effect of environmental change on their expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, Daisuke; Park, Min Kyun

    2003-12-01

    Sex steroid hormones play a central role in the reproduction of all vertebrates. These hormones function through their specific receptors, so the expression levels of the receptors may reflect the responsibility of target organs. However, there was no effective method to quantify the expression levels of these receptors in reptilian species. In this study, we established the competitive-PCR assay systems for the quantification of the mRNA expression levels of three sex steroid hormone receptors in the leopard gecko. These assay systems were successfully able to detect the mRNA expression level of each receptor in various organs of male adult leopard geckoes. The expression levels of mRNA of these receptors were highly various depending on the organs assayed. This is the first report regarding the tissue distributions of sex steroid hormone receptor expressions in reptile. The effects of environmental conditions on these hormone receptor expressions were also examined. After the low temperature and short photoperiod treatment for 6 weeks, only the androgen receptor expression was significantly increased in the testes. The competitive-PCR assay systems established in this report should be applicable for various studies of the molecular mechanism underlying the reproductive activity of the leopard gecko.

  18. Effects of age and sociosexual experience on the morphology and metabolic capacity of brain nuclei in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crews, D; Coomber, P; Gonzalez-Lima, F

    1997-05-30

    In vertebrates having sex chromosomes, sexual behavior is influenced by steroid hormones throughout life as well as by the cumulative experiences of the individual. Because males and females differ genetically as well as hormonally, it would be valuable to distinguish the contribution of sex-specific genes from hormones. In addition, since animals age as they gain sociosexual experience, but do not necessarily gain sociosexual experience as they age, it is important to separate the effects of age from those attributable to experience. The leopard gecko is a lizard lacking sex chromosomes, depending instead upon the temperature during incubation to establish gonadal sex. This effectively removes sex-specific genetic influences from any study of sexual differentiation. Eggs were incubated at either 26 degrees C or 32.5 degrees C, temperatures that produce only female hatchlings or a male-biased sex ratio, respectively. By raising geckoes in isolation and then housing some animals together in breeding groups at different ages after they attained sexual maturity, it was possible to assess the relative effects of age and sociosexual experience on the volume and metabolic capacity of limbic and non-limbic brain areas. In general, males showed more changes compared to females. For example, there was a decrease with age in the volume of the preoptic area and the ventromedial hypothalamus in males, but not in females. Both age and sociosexual experience influenced cytochrome oxidase activity in these and other brain areas. Experienced animals had greater metabolic capacity in nuclei functionally associated with sociosexual behavior in lizards and other vertebrates. For example, cytochrome oxidase activity was higher in the anterior hypothalamus of males, in the ventromedial hypothalamus of both males and females from the male-biased incubation temperature, and in the preoptic area of females from both incubation temperatures. These differences were not paralleled by

  19. Normally occurring intersexuality and testosterone induced plasticity in the copulatory system of adult leopard geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Melissa M; Putz, Oliver; Crews, David; Wade, Juli

    2005-04-01

    The copulatory neuromuscular system of lizards is highly sexually dimorphic. Adult males possess bilateral penises called hemipenes, which are independently controlled by two muscles, the retractor penis magnus (RPM) and transversus penis (TPN). These structures are not obvious in adult females. However, in adult female leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius), testosterone induces hemipene growth. We investigated whether these structures develop de novo in adulthood or are histologically present as rudimentary structures in the female leopard gecko. We also investigated the extent of sexual dimorphisms and plasticity in the associated neuromuscular components. To do this, we compared copulatory morphology (sizes of hemipenes, RPM and TPN muscle fibers, and associated motoneurons, as well as motoneuron and RPM fiber number) in adult females treated with testosterone, control females, and control males. All of the geckos possessed hemipenes, RPMs and TPNs, but these structures were indeed vestigial in control females. Testosterone induced striking increases in hemipene and copulatory muscle fiber size in females, but not to levels equivalent to control males. In parallel, males with increased levels of androgenic activity had larger hemipenes, suggesting naturally occurring steroid-induced plasticity. Copulatory motoneurons were not sexually dimorphic in size or number, and these measures did not respond to testosterone. The data demonstrate that the copulatory system of leopard geckos, in which gonadal sex is determined by egg incubation temperature, differs from that of many species (both reptilian and mammalian) with genotypic sex determination. Indeed, the system is remarkable in that adult females have normally occurring intersex characteristics and they exhibit substantial steroid-induced morphological plasticity in adulthood.

  20. Female sexual attractiveness and sex recognition in leopard gecko: Males are indiscriminate courters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schořálková, Tereza; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Kubička, Lukáš

    2018-02-01

    The nature and hormonal control of cues used for recognition of sex and reproductive status of conspecifics remain largely unstudied in reptiles. It has been proposed that production of a female attractiveness pheromone controlled by female ovarian hormones (and which is suppressed by male gonadal androgens) is necessary to elicit courtship in males. In the case of leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), it has been suggested that an individual is recognized as a male and attacked unless it produces female-specific stimuli in its skin and that females are attacked, not courted, while shedding. We tested the reactions of males to control males and control shedding and non-shedding females, castrated males, females treated with exogenous androgens (testosterone and dihydrotestosterone), and prepubertal individuals. The individuals with high androgen levels (i.e., control males and hormone-treated females) were attacked while animals in all the other groups were courted. Our results indicate that in leopard gecko hormonally controlled pheromones advertising female attractiveness are not required and that sex discrimination is based on the presence or absence of cues dependent on masculinization by male gonadal steroids. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. Identification and characterization of a reptilian GnRH receptor from the leopard gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikemoto, T; Enomoto, M; Park, M K

    2004-02-12

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) plays a pivotal role in the regulation of reproductive functions through interactions with its specific receptor. We describe the first molecular cloning and characterization of a full-length GnRH receptor (GnRHR) from the leopard gecko Eublepharis macularius. It has a distinct genomic structure consisting of five exons and four introns, compared with all the other reported GnRHR genes. A native GnRH form, cGnRH-II, stimulated inositol phosphate (IP) production in COS-7 cells transiently transfected with the GnRHR, in a dose dependent manner. The mRNA was expressed in all the tissues and organs examined. Molecular phylogenetic analysis revealed that the cloned GnRHR belongs to the type 2/nonmammalian I GnRHR. Low-expression levels were observed from the pituitary glands of reproductively active leopard geckos, indicating the possibility that there is at least one more type of GnRHR highly expressed in the pituitary gland for the gonadotropin secretion in this reptile.

  2. Time-varying motor control of autotomized leopard gecko tails: multiple inputs and behavioral modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higham, Timothy E; Russell, Anthony P

    2012-02-01

    Autotomy (voluntary loss of an appendage) is common among diverse groups of vertebrates and invertebrates, and much attention has been given to ecological and developmental aspects of tail autotomy in lizards. Although most studies have focused on the ramifications for the lizard (behavior, biomechanics, energetics, etc.), the tail itself can exhibit interesting behaviors once segregated from the body. For example, recent work highlighted the ability of leopard gecko tails to jump and flip, in addition to being able to swing back and forth. Little is known, however, about the control mechanisms underlying these movements. Using electromyography, we examined the time-varying in vivo motor patterns at four sites (two proximal and two distal) in the tail of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, following autotomy. Using these data we tested the hypothesis that the disparity in movements results simply from overlapping pattern generators within the tail. We found that burst duration, but not cycle duration, of the rhythmic swings reached a plateau at approximately 150 s following autotomy. This is likely because of physiological changes related to muscle fatigue and ischemia. For flips and jumps, burst and cycle duration exhibited no regular pattern. The coefficient of variation in motor patterns was significantly greater for jumps and flips than for rhythmic swings. This supports the conclusion that the different tail behaviors do not stem from overlapping pattern generators, but that they rely upon independent neural circuits. The signal controlling jumps and flips may be modified by sensory information from the environment. Finally, we found that jumps and flips are initiated using relatively synchronous activity between the two sides of the tail. In contrast, alternating activation of the right and left sides of the tail result in rhythmic swings. The mechanism underlying this change in tail behavior is comparable to locomotor gait changes in vertebrates.

  3. Prolapso de hemipene y hemipenectomía en un gecko leopardo (Eublepharis macularius)

    OpenAIRE

    J Lescano; M Quevedo

    2016-01-01

    El prolapso del órgano copulatorio es una afección más frecuentemente observada en quelonios y ofidios que en saurios. Las causas más comunes son infecciones, separación forzada durante la cópula e inflamación asociada al uso de sondas para determinación del sexo. Además, se han descrito muchas otros factores asociados (hipocalcemia, urolitiasis), pero rara vez se logra llegar al diagnóstico etiológico. Un gecko leopardo (Eublepharis macularius) de cuatro años de edad fue recibido presentando...

  4. Molecular characterization of the leopard gecko POMC gene and expressional change in the testis by acclimation to low temperature and with a short photoperiod.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, Daisuke; Park, Min Kyun

    2004-08-01

    The gene for proopiomelanocortin (POMC), a common precursor of malanotropins, corticotropin, and beta-endorphin, was isolated and analyzed in the squamata species, the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. Leopard gecko POMC (lgPOMC) cDNA is composed of 1299bp, excluding the poly(A) tail, and encodes 270 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence showed the same structural organization as that of other species and displayed identity with those of other vertebrates: 68% with mud turtles, 57/57% with African clawed frog A/B, 53% with chickens, and 45% with mice. In a phylogenic tree, the lgPOMC clustered with the sequences of the mud turtle POMC and python POMC. The lgPOMC gene comprises three exons and two introns and this structure is consistent with humans, rats, mice, African clawed frog and zebrafish. RT-PCR analysis revealed that the lgPOMC mRNA was expressed only in the whole brain, pituitary, and gonads. To analyze in more detail, a competitive assay system to quantify the expression levels of POMC mRNA was established. We measured the POMC mRNA expression levels in the leopard gecko testes following transfer from a condition of 29 degrees C, 16L/8D to 18 degrees C, 10L/14D over 6 weeks. This 6-week acclimation increased the POMC mRNA expression levels significantly. This suggests that the leopard gecko POMC-derived peptides play a role in the mediation of the effect of environmental factors on reproduction.

  5. Reakce gekončíka nočního Eublepharis macularius na přítomnost hadího predátora

    OpenAIRE

    Musilová, Veronika

    2010-01-01

    4 ABSTRACT If there is an innate, specific idea of the natural animal predator, antipredatory reactions should occur even the subjects are kept in captivity for several generations. An ideal subject for this type of research is the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), an animal which is kept in captivity for several generations (there are also several wild subjects in our laboratory). Its primary enemy in rural Pakistan is the snake. The goal of this thesis was to explore the leopard gecko...

  6. Molecular characterization of thyroid hormone receptors from the leopard gecko, and their differential expression in the skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanaho, Yoh-Ichiro; Endo, Daisuke; Park, Min Kyun

    2006-06-01

    Thyroid hormones (THs) play crucial roles in various developmental and physiological processes in vertebrates, including squamate reptiles. The effect of THs on shedding frequency is interesting in Squamata, since the effects on lizards are quite the reverse of those in snakes: injection of thyroxine increases shedding frequency in lizards, but decreases it in snakes. However, the mechanism underlying this differential effect remains unclear. To facilitate the investigation of the molecular mechanism of the physiological functions of THs in Squamata, their two specific receptor (TRalpha and beta) cDNAs, which are members of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, were cloned from a lizard, the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. This is the first molecular cloning of thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) from reptiles. The deduced amino acid sequences showed high identity with those of other species, especially in the C and E/F domains, which are characteristic domains in nuclear hormone receptors. Expression analysis revealed that TRs were widely expressed in many tissues and organs, as in other animals. To analyze their role in the skin, temporal expression analysis was performed by RT-PCR, revealing that the two TRs had opposing expression patterns: TRalpha was expressed more strongly after than before skin shedding, whereas TRbeta was expressed more strongly before than after skin shedding. This provides good evidence that THs play important roles in the skin, and that the roles of their two receptor isoforms are distinct from each other.

  7. Molecular cloning of P450 aromatase from the leopard gecko and its expression in the ovary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, Daisuke; Park, Min Kyun

    2005-07-01

    In this study, we identified the cDNA of P450 aromatase in the leopard gecko, a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination. The cDNA encodes a putative protein of 505 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence of leopard gecko aromatase cDNA showed 80% identity with that of turtles, 70% with humans and 77% with chickens. This is the first report of the identification of P450 aromatase cDNA in squamata species. It has been reported that this gene is expressed in different layers of cells in the ovary of mammalian species and avian species. Thus, we also investigated cells expressing the mRNA of this gene in the ovary of the leopard gecko by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. The mRNA expression of leopard gecko P450 aromatase was localized in both the thecal and granulosa cell layers in the ovary. The expression in thecal and granulosa cell layers was examined in the largest follicle, second largest follicle and third largest follicle by RT-PCR. A higher level of mRNA expression was observed in the granulosa cell layer of the second largest follicle than in other cell layers. This result may reflect the characteristics of follicles in species with automonochronic ovulation.

  8. Sociosexual Investigation in Sexually Experienced, Hormonally Manipulated Male Leopard Geckos: Relation With Phosphorylated DARPP-32 in Dopaminergic Pathways

    OpenAIRE

    HUANG, VICTORIA; HEMMINGS, HUGH C.; CREWS, DAVID

    2014-01-01

    Dopaminergic activity is both associated with sociosexual exposure and modulated by sexual experience and hormonal state across vertebrate taxa. Mature leopard geckos, a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination, have dopaminoceptive nuclei that are influenced by their embryonic environment and sensitive to adult hormonal manipulation. In this study, we exposed hormonally manipulated male leopard geckos from different incubation temperatures to conspecifics and measured their socio...

  9. Prolapso de hemipene y hemipenectomía en un gecko leopardo (Eublepharis macularius

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Lescano

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available El prolapso del órgano copulatorio es una afección más frecuentemente observada en quelonios y ofidios que en saurios. Las causas más comunes son infecciones, separación forzada durante la cópula e inflamación asociada al uso de sondas para determinación del sexo. Además, se han descrito muchas otros factores asociados (hipocalcemia, urolitiasis, pero rara vez se logra llegar al diagnóstico etiológico. Un gecko leopardo (Eublepharis macularius de cuatro años de edad fue recibido presentando prolapso unilateral de hemipene. Se realizó tratamiento médico usando baños en dextrosa 50 % y prednisona (2 mg/kg durante 24 horas, pero éste no fue exitoso. Debido a que el hemipene prolapsado presentó signos de necrosis, se realizó la resección quirúrgica. El paciente fue anestesiado empleando la combinación ketamina (5 mg/kg, dexmedetomidina (0,1 mg/kg y midazolam (1 mg/kg. Además, se administró lidocaína (4 mg/kg como bloqueo local y se usó atipamezol para antagonizar la dexmedetomidina. El protocolo anestésico empleado permitió el manejo quirúrgico adecuado. La hemipenectomía resolvió el problema sin observarse complicación alguna.

  10. Breeding of a leopard gecko in a kindergarden and it's utilization for awakening and intensifying children's interest in nature

    OpenAIRE

    Kovalová, Marie

    2016-01-01

    This thesis is focused on the theme of the reciprocal action of animals and pre-school children. It introduces us to the breeding of leopard geckos in kindergartens (with its benefits and disadvantages). Based on case studies, it describes a leopard gecko's influence on preschool children's personalities in kindergarten. The main method of research involves observing individual children as well as a group of children in a one- room kindergarten, Lísteček. Kindergarten Lísteček enrolls childre...

  11. IgD in the reptile leopard gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gambón-Deza, Francisco; Espinel, Christian Sánchez

    2008-07-01

    Immunoglobulin D (IgD) has been a mysterious antibody ever since it was discovered in mammals 40 years ago. It shares with IgM the role of antigen-receptor in the membrane of mature B cells. The absence of IgD in birds and its description in bony fishes contributed to the confusion about its evolutionary origins. Recent studies have established the presence of IgD in the amphibian Xenopus tropicalis. It is essential to study IgD genes in reptiles in order to better understand the evolution of this immunoglobulin in vertebrates. We describe in this report the IgM and IgD genes of the reptile Eublepharis macularius. The IgM gene has characteristics that are similar to those described in other species whereas IgD gene departs from the normal structure described for this antibody class in other species. It is made up of 11 immunoglobulins domains without evidence of recent intragenic duplications of exons as described in IgD genes of fish and X.tropicalis. It is possible that the immunoglobulin is comprised of domains inherited from earlier species and that this form of IgD is close to that present in animals that left the sea to live on land. Furthermore, domains CH7 and CH8 of E. macularius IgD are orthologues to domains CH2 and CH3 of mammalian IgD. The present study also describes a second IgD (IgD2) which must have appeared recently by duplication of an older immunoglobulin gene and recombination with the IgA-like gene described in this specie. Tissue expression of IgD and IgD2 mRNA is similar to that of IgM mRNA, suggesting a functional role of reptilian IgD.

  12. Expression of sex steroid hormone-related genes in the embryo of the leopard gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, Daisuke; Kanaho, Yoh-Ichiro; Park, Min Kyun

    2008-01-01

    Sex steroid hormones are known to play a central role in vertebrate sex determination and differentiation. However, the tissues in which they are produced or received during development, especially around the period of sex determination of the gonads, have rarely been investigated. In this study, we identified the cDNA sequence, including the full-length of the coding region of cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc), from the leopard gecko; a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination. Embryonic expression analysis of two steroidogenic enzymes, P450scc and P450 aromatase (P450arom), and four sex steroid hormone receptors, androgen receptor, estrogen receptor alpha and beta, and progesterone receptor, was subsequently conducted. mRNA expression of both steroidogenic enzymes was observed in the brain and gonads prior to the temperature-sensitive period of sex determination. The mRNAs of the four sex steroid hormone receptors were also detected in the brain and gonads at all stages examined. These results suggest the existence of a gonad-independent sex steroid hormone signaling system in the developing leopard gecko brain.

  13. Testování prostorové orientace u gekončíka nočního (Eublepharis macularius)

    OpenAIRE

    Voňavková, Monika

    2013-01-01

    The ability of the spatial orientation of the reptiles is not fully researched yet. It is unknown if reptiles use only simple types of navigation, for example cue learning (one key mark), or more difficult types, for example allothetic navigation (combination of marks) or cognitive map (mental representation of the area). The main aim of this thesis was examine the possibility of the spatial orientation in lizard leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) in modificated Morris water maze (MWM). D...

  14. Lateral movements of a massive tail influence gecko locomotion: an integrative study comparing tail restriction and autotomy

    OpenAIRE

    Jagnandan, Kevin; Higham, Timothy E.

    2017-01-01

    Tails are an intricate component of the locomotor system for many vertebrates. Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) possess a large tail that is laterally undulated during steady locomotion. However, the tail is readily shed via autotomy, resulting in the loss of tail function, loss in body mass, and a cranial shift in the center of mass. To elucidate the function of tail undulations, we investigated changes in limb kinematics after manipulating the tail artificially by restricting tail un...

  15. Sociosexual investigation in sexually experienced, hormonally manipulated male leopard geckos: relation with phosphorylated DARPP-32 in dopaminergic pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Victoria; Hemmings, Hugh C; Crews, David

    2014-12-01

    Dopaminergic activity is both associated with sociosexual exposure and modulated by sexual experience and hormonal state across vertebrate taxa. Mature leopard geckos, a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination, have dopaminoceptive nuclei that are influenced by their embryonic environment and sensitive to adult hormonal manipulation. In this study, we exposed hormonally manipulated male leopard geckos from different incubation temperatures to conspecifics and measured their sociosexual investigation, as well as phosphorylated DARPP-32 at Threonine 34 (pDARPP-32) immunoreactivity as a marker for D1 dopamine receptor activity in the nucleus accumbens, striatum, and preoptic area. Social investigation time by males of different incubation temperatures was modulated in opposite directions by exogenous androgen treatment. Males exposed to novel stimuli spent a greater proportion of time investigating females of different incubation temperatures. The time spent investigating females was positively correlated to pDARPP-32 immunoreactivity in the preoptic area. This is the first study quantifying pDARPP-32 in a lizard species, and suggests the protein as a potential marker to measure differences in the dopaminergic pathway in a social setting with consideration of embryonic environment and hormonal state. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Comparative analysis of the pituitary and ovarian GnRH systems in the leopard gecko: signaling crosstalk between multiple receptor subtypes in ovarian follicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikemoto, Tadahiro; Park, Min Kyun

    2007-02-01

    GnRH regulates reproductive functions through interaction with its pituitary receptor in vertebrates. The present study demonstrated that the leopard gecko possessed two and three genes for GnRH ligands and receptors, respectively, though one of the three receptor subtypes had long been thought not to exist in reptiles. Each receptor subtype showed a distinct pharmacology. All types of ligands and receptors showed different expression patterns, and were widely expressed both inside and outside the brain. This report also shows a comparison of the pituitary and ovarian GnRH systems in the leopard gecko during and after the egg-laying season. All three receptor subtypes were expressed in both the whole pituitary and ovary; however, only one receptor subtype could be detected in the anterior pituitary gland. In situ hybridization showed spatial expression patterns of ovarian receptors, and suggested co-expression of multiple receptor subtypes in granulosa cells of larger follicles. Co-transfection of receptor subtypes showed a distinct pharmacology in COS-7 cells compared with those of single transfections. These results suggest that distinct signaling mechanisms are involved in the pituitary and ovarian GnRH systems. Seasonal and developmental variations in receptor expression in the anterior pituitary gland and ovarian follicles may contribute to the seasonal breeding of this animal.

  17. Flip, flop and fly: modulated motor control and highly variable movement patterns of autotomized gecko tails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higham, Timothy E; Russell, Anthony P

    2010-02-23

    Many animals lose and regenerate appendages, and tail autotomy in lizards is an extremely well-studied example of this. Whereas the energetic, ecological and functional ramifications of tail loss for many lizards have been extensively documented, little is known about the behaviour and neuromuscular control of the autotomized tail. We used electromyography and high-speed video to quantify the motor control and movement patterns of autotomized tails of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius). In addition to rhythmic swinging, we show that they exhibit extremely complex movement patterns for up to 30 min following autotomy, including acrobatic flips up to 3 cm in height. Unlike the output of most central pattern generators (CPGs), muscular control of the tail is variable and can be arrhythmic. We suggest that the gecko tail is well suited for studies involving CPGs, given that this spinal preparation is naturally occurring, requires no surgery and exhibits complex modulation.

  18. Molecular characterization of two isoforms of ZFAND3 cDNA from the Japanese quail and the leopard gecko, and different expression patterns between testis and ovary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otake, Shigeo; Endo, Daisuke; Park, Min Kyun

    2011-11-15

    Zing finger AN1-type domain 3 (ZFAND3), also known as testis expressed sequence 27 (Tex27), is a gene found in the mouse testis, but its physiological function is unknown. We identified the full-length sequences of two isoforms (short and long) of ZFAND3 cDNA from Japanese quail and leopard gecko. This is the first cloning of avian and reptilian ZFAND3 cDNA. The two isoforms are generated by alternative polyadenylation in the 3'UTR and have the same ORF sequences encoding identical proteins. There were highly conserved regions in the 3'UTR of the long form near the polyadenylation sites from mammals to amphibians, suggesting that the features for determining the stability of mRNA or translation efficiency differ between isoforms. The deduced amino acid sequence of ZFAND3 has two putative zinc finger domains, an A20-like zinc finger domain at the N-terminal and an AN1-like zinc finger domain at the C-terminal. Sequence analysis revealed an additional exon in the genomic structures of the avian and reptilian ZFAND3 genes which is not present in mammals, amphibians, or fish, and this exon produces additional amino acid residues in the A20-like zinc finger domain. Expression analysis in Japanese quail revealed that the expression level of ZFAND3 mRNA was high in not only the testis but also the ovary, and ZFAND3 mRNA was expressed in both spermatides of the testis and oocytes of the ovary. While the short form mRNA was mainly expressed in the testis, the expression level of the long form mRNA was high in the ovary. These results suggest that ZFAND3 has physiological functions related to germ cell maturation and regulatory mechanisms that differ between the testis and ovary. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. A novel IgA-like immunoglobulin in the reptile Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deza, Francisco Gambón; Espinel, Christian Sánchez; Beneitez, Julio Valdueza

    2007-01-01

    The appearance of antibody genes over evolution coincided with the origin of the vertebrates. Reptiles are of great interest in evolution since they are the link between the amphibians, birds, and mammals. This work describes the presence of a gene in the reptile leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) where phylogenetic studies suggest that it is the gene orthologue of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin X (IgX) in Xenopus. Messenger RNA samples taken from different tissues showed expression of this antibody in intestinal tissue. Data on the structure deduced from the sequence of nucleotides showed an antibody with four domains in the constant region. There is a sequence of 20 amino acids in the C terminus similar to the secretory tail of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgA. A detailed analysis of the sequence of amino acids displayed a paradox, i.e., domains CH1 and CH2 showed a clear homology with domains CH1 and CH2 of immunoglobulin Y (IgY) while domains CH3 and CH4 were homologous with domains CH3 and CH4 of IgM. This homology pattern is also seen in Xenopus IgX and bird IgA. The most logical explanation for this phenomenon is that a recombination between the IgM and IgY gave rise to the IgA.

  20. Regeneration of dermal patterns from the remaining pigments after surgery in Eublepharis macularius (a case report).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakashima, Noriyuki

    2016-07-12

    Dermal injury of the Eublepharis macularius (leopard gecko) often results in a loss of the spotted patterns. The scar is usually well recovered, but the spots and the tubercles may be lost depending on the size and part of the lesion. This report presents a surgical attempting, in which the pigments in the edge of the remaining skin flap are partially preserved to maximally restore the natural pigmentation patterns during the course of dermal regeneration. A four-year-old female lizard E. macularius was evaluated due to a subcutaneous tumor in the occipito-pterional portion behind its right eye. A solid tumor beneath the skin was surgically enucleated under general anesthesia. Then, the ulcerated skin was dissected away together with the tumor. The necrotic edge of the remaining skin flap was carefully trimmed to leave as much of the pigmented portions as possible on the outskirt of the skin flap. The scar was covered with the remaining skin flap, and the uncovered lesion was protected with Vaseline containing gentamicin. The lesion was rapidly covered with regenerated dermis within a week, and the epidermis with round and well-oriented pigmented spots were almost completely restored in four months. The surgical suture of the skin flap after removal of the ulcerated margins resulted in the scar-free regeneration of the scales and the pigmented spots. And the pigmented spots of the remaining skin close to the lesion site might be a source of the regenerated spots.

  1. Lateral movements of a massive tail influence gecko locomotion: an integrative study comparing tail restriction and autotomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jagnandan, Kevin; Higham, Timothy E

    2017-09-07

    Tails are an intricate component of the locomotor system for many vertebrates. Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) possess a large tail that is laterally undulated during steady locomotion. However, the tail is readily shed via autotomy, resulting in the loss of tail function, loss in body mass, and a cranial shift in the center of mass. To elucidate the function of tail undulations, we investigated changes in limb kinematics after manipulating the tail artificially by restricting tail undulations and naturally by removing the tail via autotomy. Restricting tail undulations resulted in kinematic adjustments similar to those that occur following tail autotomy, characterized by more flexed hind limb joints. These data suggest that effects of autotomy on locomotion may be linked to the loss of tail movements rather than the loss of mass or a shift in center of mass. We also provide empirical support for the link between lateral tail undulations and step length through the rotation of the pelvic girdle and retraction of the femur. Restriction and autotomy of the tail limits pelvic rotation, which reduces femur retraction and decreases step length. Our findings demonstrate a functional role for tail undulations in geckos, which likely applies to other terrestrial vertebrates.

  2. VEGF, FGF-2 and TGFβ expression in the normal and regenerating epidermis of geckos: implications for epidermal homeostasis and wound healing in reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramaniam, Noeline; Petrik, James J; Vickaryous, Matthew K

    2018-05-01

    The skin is a bilayered organ that serves as a key barrier between an organism and its environment. In addition to protecting against microbial invasion, physical trauma and environmental damage, skin participates in maintaining homeostasis. Skin is also capable of spontaneous self-repair following injury. These functions are mediated by numerous pleiotrophic growth factors, including members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) families. Although growth factor expression has been well documented in mammals, particularly during wound healing, for groups such as reptiles less is known. Here, we investigate the spatio-temporal pattern of expression of multiple growth factors in normal skin and following a full-thickness cutaneous injury in the representative lizard Eublepharis macularius, the leopard gecko. Unlike mammals, leopard geckos can heal cutaneous wounds without scarring. We demonstrate that before, during and after injury, keratinocytes of the epidermis express a diverse panel of growth factor ligands and receptors, including: VEGF, VEGFR1, VEGFR2, and phosphorylated VEGFR2; FGF-2 and FGFR1; and phosphorylated SMAD2, TGFβ1, and activin βA. Unexpectedly, only the tyrosine kinase receptors VEGFR1 and FGFR1 were dynamically expressed, and only during the earliest phases of re-epithelization; otherwise all the proteins of interest were constitutively present. We propose that the ubiquitous pattern of growth factor expression by keratinocytes is associated with various roles during tissue homeostasis, including protection against ultraviolet photodamage and coordinated body-wide skin shedding. © 2018 Anatomical Society.

  3. Snow Leopard

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    the Central Asian mountains and the Indian Himalayan re- gion. Owing to their ... ographical range and associated ecological, social, and cultural ... Central Asia. Snow Leopard: Morphology. The ability of snow leopards to camouflage with the surrounding landscape of rocks, sparse low vegetation, and snow is crucial for.

  4. Snow Leopard

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 22; Issue 7. Snow Leopard: Ecology and Conservation Issues in India. Abhishek Ghoshal. General Article Volume 22 Issue 7 July 2017 pp 677- ... Keywords. Ecology, carnivore, conservation, Himalayas, mammal, snow leopard, Panthera uncia, wildlife.

  5. CANNIBALISM IN ADULT LEOPARD

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    the fight and dragged about 20 m through a deep gulley and thick undergrowth to a nearby kopje. Here the other leopard proceeded to eat the carcase, a large percentage of which was consumed by the time it was found. The remains of the duiker carcase had been left untouched. Smith (1977) in his study of leopard in the.

  6. LEOPARD-syndrom

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Lars Kjaersgård; Risby, Kirsten; Bygum, Anette

    2009-01-01

    We describe a 12-year-old boy with a typical phenotype of the LEOPARD syndrome (LS). The diagnosis was confirmed in the boy and his mother, who both had a mutation in the PTPN11 gene at Thr468Met (c.1403C > T). Several other members of the maternal family are suspected also to have the LEOPARD sy...... syndrome. We discuss the clinical characteristics of LS, the need for follow-up and genetic counselling, and the molecular-genetic background as well as the relationship to the allelic disease Noonan syndrome. Udgivelsesdato: 2009-Jan-26......We describe a 12-year-old boy with a typical phenotype of the LEOPARD syndrome (LS). The diagnosis was confirmed in the boy and his mother, who both had a mutation in the PTPN11 gene at Thr468Met (c.1403C > T). Several other members of the maternal family are suspected also to have the LEOPARD...

  7. How Do Geckos Stick?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Harold; Lundsgaard, Morten F. V.; Krajcik, Joseph S.

    2008-01-01

    Understanding how geckos--small lizards belonging to the family "Gekkonindae"--can "defy gravity" and walk across a ceiling provides a fascinating frame through which students can not only learn valuable content about electrostatic forces, but also engage in authentic scientific practice and explore new technologies based on gecko adhesion. In…

  8. Take control of customizing Leopard

    CERN Document Server

    Neuburg, Matt

    2009-01-01

    Come up to speed quickly on Leopard's new features! So, what's new in Leopard? What's all the fuss about? This book shows you, through a hands-on guided tour of the adjustments, tweaks, and customizations you can make in the System and the Finder. Apple boasts of 300 new features in Leopard, but to make the most of those features, turn to Matt Neuburg for a road map on how to customize Leopard so it's right for you. Matt shows you how to protect your data with Time Machine, including instructions for searching through previous files with Spotlight. You'll also learn how to peek at files with

  9. Differentiation of sex chromosomes and karyotypic evolution in the eye-lid geckos (Squamata: Gekkota: Eublepharidae), a group with different modes of sex determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokorná, Martina; Rábová, Marie; Ráb, Petr; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Rens, Willem; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2010-11-01

    The eyelid geckos (family Eublepharidae) include both species with temperature-dependent sex determination and species where genotypic sex determination (GSD) was suggested based on the observation of equal sex ratios at several incubation temperatures. In this study, we present data on karyotypes and chromosomal characteristics in 12 species (Aeluroscalabotes felinus, Coleonyx brevis, Coleonyx elegans, Coleonyx variegatus, Eublepharis angramainyu, Eublepharis macularius, Goniurosaurus araneus, Goniurosaurus lichtenfelderi, Goniurosaurus luii, Goniurosaurus splendens, Hemitheconyx caudicinctus, and Holodactylus africanus) covering all genera of the family, and search for the presence of heteromorphic sex chromosomes. Phylogenetic mapping of chromosomal changes showed a long evolutionary stasis of karyotypes with all acrocentric chromosomes followed by numerous chromosomal rearrangements in the ancestors of two lineages. We have found heteromorphic sex chromosomes in only one species, which suggests that sex chromosomes in most GSD species of the eyelid geckos are not morphologically differentiated. The sexual difference in karyotype was detected only in C. elegans which has a multiple sex chromosome system (X(1)X(2)Y). The metacentric Y chromosome evolved most likely via centric fusion of two acrocentric chromosomes involving loss of interstitial telomeric sequences. We conclude that the eyelid geckos exhibit diversity in sex determination ranging from the absence of any sexual differences to heteromorphic sex chromosomes, which makes them an interesting system for exploring the evolutionary origin of sexually dimorphic genomes.

  10. Posture, speed, and habitat structure: three-dimensional hindlimb kinematics of two species of padless geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Patrick O; Higham, Timothy E; Clark, Andrew J

    2011-04-01

    Differences in habitat use are often correlated with differences in morphology and behavior, while animals in similar habitats often exhibit similarities in form and function. However, this has not been tested extensively among lizards, especially geckos. Most studies of gecko locomotion have focused on the ability to adhere to surfaces. However, there are several species of geckos that have either secondarily lost adhesive capabilities or simply lack the capability. We quantified the three-dimensional locomotor kinematics for two desert-dwelling padless geckos, Teratoscincus scincus and Eublepharis macularius, on a level trackway over a range of speeds. Our results indicate that T. scincus landed with a high relative hip height of 48.7 ± 2.4% of total limb length at footfall, while E. macularius exhibited hip heights averaging only 36.0 ± 1.8% of total limb length for footfall. The three-dimensional knee angle of T. scincus averaged 120.6 ± 3.9° at footfall, while E. macularius averaged only 101.6 ± 1.8° at footfall. In addition, the femur of E. macularius was elevated to a much greater extent (i.e., was closer to being perpendicular to the long axis of the body) than that of T. scincus and every other lizard that has been studied, suggesting they move with a "hyper-sprawled" posture. Both of these gecko species live in deserts, but T. scincus is psammophilic while E. macularius inhabits a rocky, more densely vegetated environment. Benefits of the more upright posture of T. scincus on open sandy habitat may include a greater field of view and more efficient locomotion. The more sprawled posture of E. macularius may lower its center of gravity and aid in balance while climbing on rocks or shrubs. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  11. Open Veterinary Journal - Vol 6, No 2 (2016)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cryptosporidium varanii infection in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) in Argentina · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. A Dellarupe, JM Unzaga, G Moré, M Kienast, A Larsen, C Stiebel, M Rambeaud, MC Venturini, 98-101.

  12. Mechanisms of adhesion in geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Autumn, Kellar; Peattie, Anne M

    2002-12-01

    The extraordinary adhesive capabilities of geckos have challenged explanation for millennia, since Aristotle first recorded his observations. We have discovered many of the secrets of gecko adhesion, yet the millions of dry, adhesive setae on the toes of geckos continue to generate puzzling new questions and valuable answers. Each epidermally-derived, keratinous seta ends in hundreds of 200 nm spatular tips, permitting intimate contact with rough and smooth surfaces alike. Prior studies suggested that adhesive force in gecko setae was directly proportional to the water droplet contact angle (θ) , an indicator of the free surface energy of a substrate. In contrast, new theory suggests that adhesion energy between a gecko seta and a surface (W(GS)) is in fact proportional to (1 + cosθ), and only for θ > 60°. A reanalysis of prior data, in combination with our recent study, support the van der Waals hypothesis of gecko adhesion, and contradict surface hydrophobicity as a predictor of adhesion force. Previously, we and our collaborators measured the force production of a single seta. Initial efforts to attach a seta failed because of improper 3D orientation. However, by simulating the dynamics of gecko limbs during climbing (based on force plate data) we discovered that, in single setae, a small normal preload, combined with a 5 μm displacement yielded a very large adhesive force of 200 microNewton (μN), 10 times that predicted by whole-animal measurements. 6.5 million setae of a single tokay gecko attached maximally could generate 130 kg force. This raises the question of how geckos manage to detach their feet in just 15 ms. We discovered that simply increasing the angle that the setal shaft makes with the substrate to 30° causes detachment. Understanding how simultaneous attachment and release of millions of setae are controlled will require an approach that integrates levels ranging from molecules to lizards.

  13. A new angle on clinging in geckos: incline, not substrate, triggers the deployment of the adhesive system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Anthony P.; Higham, Timothy E.

    2009-01-01

    Lizards commonly climb in complex three-dimensional habitats, and gekkotans are particularly adept at doing this by using an intricate adhesive system involving setae on the ventral surface of their digits. However, it is not clear whether geckos always deploy their adhesive system, given that doing so may result in decreased (i.e. reduction in speed) locomotor performance. Here, we investigate circumstances under which the adhesive apparatus of clinging geckos becomes operative, and examine the potential trade-offs between speed and clinging. We quantify locomotor kinematics of a gecko with adhesive capabilities (Tarentola mauritanica) and one without (Eublepharis macularius). Whereas, somewhat unusually, E. macularius did not suffer a decrease in locomotor performance with an increase in incline, T. mauritanica exhibited a significant decrease in speed between the level and a 10° incline. We demonstrate that this results from the combined influence of slope and the deployment of the adhesive system. All individuals kept their digits hyperextended on the level, but three of the six individuals deployed their adhesive system on the 10° incline, and they exhibited the greatest decrease in velocity. The deployment of the adhesive system was dependent on incline, not surface texture (600 grit sandpaper and Plexiglas), despite slippage occurring on the level Plexiglas substrate. Our results highlight the type of sensory feedback (gravity) necessary for deployment of the adhesive system, and the trade-offs associated with adhesion. PMID:19656797

  14. Adhesional instabilities and gecko locomotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, John A.

    2015-01-01

    Geckos possess a remarkable ability to run rapidly on both walls and ceilings and in recent years the mechanisms that underlie this facility have come under close scrutiny. It is now generally agreed that one of the principal mechanisms of adhesion relies on the action of van der Waal forces acting between the final extremely fine structure of the gecko toe and the underlying substrate. High speed video analysis shows that adhesive contact is both made and broken in intervals of less than 20 ms and this suggests that the mechanism of detachment is one of adhesive instability rather than steady-state peeling. By considering the gecko seta/spatula as a Euler-Bernoulli cantilever it is possible to model this instability in non-dimensional terms and thus to test the analysis at a much larger scale with more conventional engineering materials. When applied to the scale and material combination appropriate to a gecko spatula, the predicted critical load, of around 10 nN, is close to values that have been observed using and AFM cantilever and a single detached spatula.

  15. Adhesional instabilities and gecko locomotion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, John A

    2015-01-01

    Geckos possess a remarkable ability to run rapidly on both walls and ceilings and in recent years the mechanisms that underlie this facility have come under close scrutiny. It is now generally agreed that one of the principal mechanisms of adhesion relies on the action of van der Waal forces acting between the final extremely fine structure of the gecko toe and the underlying substrate. High speed video analysis shows that adhesive contact is both made and broken in intervals of less than 20 ms and this suggests that the mechanism of detachment is one of adhesive instability rather than steady-state peeling. By considering the gecko seta/spatula as a Euler–Bernoulli cantilever it is possible to model this instability in non-dimensional terms and thus to test the analysis at a much larger scale with more conventional engineering materials. When applied to the scale and material combination appropriate to a gecko spatula, the predicted critical load, of around 10 nN, is close to values that have been observed using and AFM cantilever and a single detached spatula. (paper)

  16. Semi-automated identification of leopard frogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrovska-Delacrétaz, Dijana; Edwards, Aaron; Chiasson, John; Chollet, Gérard; Pilliod, David S.

    2014-01-01

    Principal component analysis is used to implement a semi-automatic recognition system to identify recaptured northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens). Results of both open set and closed set experiments are given. The presented algorithm is shown to provide accurate identification of 209 individual leopard frogs from a total set of 1386 images.

  17. Erythristic leopards Panthera pardus in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tara J. Pirie

    2016-05-01

    Objectives: To record the presence of erythristic leopards in our study site (Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve, Mpumalanga and to collate records from across South Africa. Method: A network of camera traps was used to record individual leopards at Thaba Tholo. We also surveyed local experts, searched the popular South African press, and used social media to request observations. Results: Two out of 28 individual leopards (7.1% recorded in our study site over 3 years were of this colour morph. We obtained records of five other erythristic leopards in the North West and Mpumalanga regions, with no reports outside of this population. Conclusions: Erythristic leopards are widely dispersed across north-east South Africa, predominantly in the Lydenburg region, Mpumalanga. The presence of this rare colour morph may reflect the consequences of population fragmentation.

  18. Industrial Electrostatic-Gecko Gripper, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Perception Robotics is developing an innovative product, the Electrostatic Gecko Gripper? (ESG Gripper), for the industrial automation market. This unique gripping...

  19. Industrial Electrostatic-Gecko Gripper, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Perception Robotics is developing an innovative product, the "Electrostatic Gecko Gripper" (ESG Gripper), for the industrial automation market. This unique gripping...

  20. Influence of substrate modulus on gecko adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klittich, Mena R.; Wilson, Michael C.; Bernard, Craig; Rodrigo, Rochelle M.; Keith, Austin J.; Niewiarowski, Peter H.; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2017-03-01

    The gecko adhesion system fascinates biologists and materials scientists alike for its strong, reversible, glue-free, dry adhesion. Understanding the adhesion system’s performance on various surfaces can give clues as to gecko behaviour, as well as towards designing synthetic adhesive mimics. Geckos encounter a variety of surfaces in their natural habitats; tropical geckos, such as Gekko gecko, encounter hard, rough tree trunks as well as soft, flexible leaves. While gecko adhesion on hard surfaces has been extensively studied, little work has been done on soft surfaces. Here, we investigate for the first time the influence of macroscale and nanoscale substrate modulus on whole animal adhesion on two different substrates (cellulose acetate and polydimethylsiloxane) in air and find that across 5 orders of magnitude in macroscale modulus, there is no change in adhesion. On the nanoscale, however, gecko adhesion is shown to depend on substrate modulus. This suggests that low surface-layer modulus may inhibit the gecko adhesion system, independent of other influencing factors such as macroscale composite modulus and surface energy. Understanding the limits of gecko adhesion is vital for clarifying adhesive mechanisms and in the design of synthetic adhesives for soft substrates (including for biomedical applications and wearable electronics).

  1. Mac OS X Snow Leopard pocket guide

    CERN Document Server

    Seiblod, Chris

    2009-01-01

    Whether you're new to the Mac or a longtime user, this handy book is the quickest way to get up to speed on Snow Leopard. Packed with concise information in an easy-to-read format, Mac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide covers what you need to know and is an ideal resource for problem-solving on the fly. This book goes right to the heart of Snow Leopard, with details on system preferences, built-in applications, and utilities. You'll also find configuration tips, keyboard shortcuts, guides for troubleshooting, lots of step-by-step instructions, and more. Learn about new features and changes s

  2. Histology and ultrastructure of the integumental chromatophores in tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) (Linnaeus, 1758) skin

    OpenAIRE

    Szyd?owski, Pawe?; Madej, Jan Pawe?; Mazurkiewicz-Kania, Marta

    2017-01-01

    This paper describes the relationship between the arrangement of dermal chromatophores in tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) skin and the formation of wild-type colouration, with emphasis on the ultrastructure of chromatophores. The samples of the tokay gecko skin were collected from wild-type colouration adult specimens. Morphology and distribution of chromatophores was determined by using light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The present study revealed that orange/red coloured skin ...

  3. Carbon Nanotube-Based Synthetic Gecko Tapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhinojwala, Ali

    2008-03-01

    Wall-climbing geckos have unique ability to attach to different surfaces without the use of any viscoelastic glues. On coming in contact with any surface, the micron-size gecko foot-hairs deform, enabling molecular contact over large areas, thus translating weak van der Waals (vdW) interactions into enormous shear forces. We will present our recent results on the development of synthetic gecko tape using aligned carbon nanotubes to mimic the keratin hairs found on gecko feet. The patterned carbon nanotube-based gecko tape can support a shear stress (36 N/cm^2) nearly four times higher than the gecko foot and sticks to a variety of surfaces, including Teflon. Both the micron-size setae (replicated by nanotube bundles) and nanometer-size spatulas (individual nanotubes) are necessary to achieve macroscopic shear adhesion and to translate the weak vdW interactions into high shear forces. The carbon nanotube based tape offers an excellent synthetic option as a dry conductive reversible adhesive in microelectronics, robotics and space applications. The mechanism behind these large shear forces and self-cleaning properties of these carbon nanotube based synthetic gecko tapes will be discussed. This work was performed in collaboration with graduate students Liehui Ge, and Sunny Sethi, and collaborators from RPI; Lijie Ci and Professor Pulickel Ajayan.

  4. Fragmented populations of leopards in West-Central Africa: Facing ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fragmented populations of leopards in West-Central Africa: Facing an uncertain future. ... Leopards are mainly present in two large populations: one in a forest habitat, the other in a savanna habitat. Leopard populations were found to be associated with lions and hyaenas but they avoided human disturbances. Regarding ...

  5. Complete mitochondrial genome of the red-spotted tokay gecko (Gekko gecko, Reptilia: Gekkonidae): comparison of red- and black-spotted tokay geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Xin-Min; Qian, Fang; Zeng, De-Long; Liu, Xiao-Can; Li, Hui-Min

    2011-10-01

    Here, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of the red-spotted tokay gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae). The genome is 16,590 bp in size. Its gene arrangement pattern was identical with that of black-spotted tokay gecko. We compared the mitochondrial genome of red-spotted tokay gecko with that of the black-spotted tokay gecko. Nucleotide sequence of the two whole mitochondrial genomes was 97.99% similar, and the relatively high similarity seems to indicate that they may be separated at the subspecies level. The information of mitochondrial genome comparison of the two morphological types of tokay gecko is discussed in detail.

  6. Reptile embryology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickaryous, Matthew K; McLean, Katherine E

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles (lizards, snakes, turtles and crocodylians) are becoming increasing popular as models for developmental investigations. In this review the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, is presented as a reptilian model for embryonic studies. We provide details of husbandry, breeding and modifications to two popular histological techniques (whole-mount histochemistry and immunohistochemistry). In addition, we provide a summary of basic reptilian husbandry requirements and discuss important details of embryonic nutrition, egg anatomy and sex determination.

  7. Evidence for van der Waals adhesion in gecko setae

    OpenAIRE

    Autumn, Kellar; Sitti, Metin; Liang, Yiching A.; Peattie, Anne M.; Hansen, Wendy R.; Sponberg, Simon; Kenny, Thomas W.; Fearing, Ronald; Israelachvili, Jacob N.; Full, Robert J.

    2002-01-01

    Geckos have evolved one of the most versatile and effective adhesives known. The mechanism of dry adhesion in the millions of setae on the toes of geckos has been the focus of scientific study for over a century. We provide the first direct experimental evidence for dry adhesion of gecko setae by van der Waals forces, and reject the use of mechanisms relying on high surface polarity, including capillary adhesion. The toes of live Tokay geckos were highly hydrophobic, and adhered equally well ...

  8. Take Control of Fonts in Leopard

    CERN Document Server

    Zardetto, Sharon

    2009-01-01

    Install, organize, and use fonts with ease in Leopard! In this essential ebook, long-time Mac author Sharon Zardetto reveals all the details about how fonts work in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. She explains what folders your fonts reside in, in what order they load, and how to deal with font duplication. You'll also learn the ins and outs of different font installation methods; how to use Font Book to manage, validate, and organize fonts; how to make the most of character-rich Unicode fonts; and more. Whether you work in a font-intensive profession, use Unicode fonts for non-Roman languages, or wa

  9. Take control of Apple Mail in Leopard

    CERN Document Server

    Kissell, Joe

    2009-01-01

    Go under the hood with new (and old) features in Apple Mail in Leopard! Are you using Apple Mail in Leopard effectively? In this book, completely updated from its previous Panther and Tiger editions, author Joe Kissell provides comprehensive guidance, with a focus on new and updated features. You'll learn how to use and customize the Mail window, control the size and styling of incoming messages, and make rules to move messages into different mailboxes automatically. The book covers outgoing mail, showing you smart ways to address messages, send attachments, and send HTML-based messages. Bu

  10. Take control of permissions in Leopard

    CERN Document Server

    Tanaka, Brian

    2009-01-01

    Permissions problems got you down? Turn to Unix expert Brian Tanaka's unique guide to the permissions in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard that control access to your files, folders, and disks. You'll learn how to keep files private, when to set Ignore Permissions, what happens when you repair permissions, how to delete stuck files, and the best ways to solve permissions-related problems. Advanced concepts include the sticky bit, Leopard's more-important access control lists, bit masks, and symbolic versus absolute ways to set permissions. The book covers how to take control of permissions via the Finder

  11. Take control of upgrading to Leopard

    CERN Document Server

    Kissell, Joe

    2009-01-01

    Start on the right foot with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard! Little is more exciting and unnerving than a major operating system upgrade for your Mac, but thousands of people have upgraded to Panther and Tiger calmly and successfully with the advice in Joe Kissell's previous hit Take Control of Upgrading... titles. Joe's expert guidance, developed over innumerable test installations, walks you through the six steps necessary before upgrading, which of Leopard's three installation options is right for you, how to perform the actual upgrade, and post-installation checking and cleanup.

  12. Food poisoning and house gecko: myth or reality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotangale, J P

    2011-04-01

    The reason behind the food-poisoning due to felling of house geckos in eatables is described in this paper. House geckos are known to carry various types of pathogens in their bodies which cause food-poisoning after consuming the contaminated foods. Since these geckos are non-poisonous, the food poisoning due to their presence in food is not possible.

  13. Role of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in snow leopard conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Juan; Wang, Dajun; Yin, Hang; Zhaxi, Duojie; Jiagong, Zhala; Schaller, George B; Mishra, Charudutt; McCarthy, Thomas M; Wang, Hao; Wu, Lan; Xiao, Lingyun; Basang, Lamao; Zhang, Yuguang; Zhou, Yunyun; Lu, Zhi

    2014-02-01

    The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) inhabits the rugged mountains in 12 countries of Central Asia, including the Tibetan Plateau. Due to poaching, decreased abundance of prey, and habitat degradation, it was listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1972. Current conservation strategies, including nature reserves and incentive programs, have limited capacities to protect snow leopards. We investigated the role of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in snow leopard conservation in the Sanjiangyuan region in China's Qinghai Province on the Tibetan Plateau. From 2009 to 2011, we systematically surveyed snow leopards in the Sanjiangyuan region. We used the MaxEnt model to determine the relation of their presence to environmental variables (e.g., elevation, ruggedness) and to predict snow leopard distribution. Model results showed 89,602 km(2) of snow leopard habitat in the Sanjiangyuan region, of which 7674 km(2) lay within Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve's core zones. We analyzed the spatial relation between snow leopard habitat and Buddhist monasteries and found that 46% of monasteries were located in snow leopard habitat and 90% were within 5 km of snow leopard habitat. The 336 monasteries in the Sanjiangyuan region could protect more snow leopard habitat (8342 km(2) ) through social norms and active patrols than the nature reserve's core zones. We conducted 144 household interviews to identify local herders' attitudes and behavior toward snow leopards and other wildlife. Most local herders claimed that they did not kill wildlife, and 42% said they did not kill wildlife because it was a sin in Buddhism. Our results indicate monasteries play an important role in snow leopard conservation. Monastery-based snow leopard conservation could be extended to other Tibetan Buddhist regions that in total would encompass about 80% of the global range of snow leopards. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. Peramorphic traits in the tokay gecko skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daza, Juan D; Mapps, Aurelia A; Lewis, Patrick J; Thies, Monte L; Bauer, Aaron M

    2015-08-01

    Traditionally, geckos have been conceived to exhibit paedomorphic features relative to other lizards (e.g., large eyes, less extensively ossified skulls, and amphicoelous and notochordal vertebrae). In contrast, peramorphosis has not been considered an important process in shaping their morphology. Here, we studied different sized specimens of Gekko gecko to document ontogenetic changes in cranial anatomy, especially near maturity. Comparison of this species with available descriptions of other geckos resulted in the identification of 14 cranial characteristics that are expressed more strongly with size increase. These characteristics become move evident in later stages of post-hatching development, especially near maturation, and are, therefore, attributed to peramorphosis (hyperossification). ACCTRAN and DELTRAN character optimizations were applied to these characters using a tree of 11 genera derived from a gekkotan molecular phylogeny. This analysis revealed that G. gecko expresses the majority of these putative peramorphic features near maturity, and that some of these features are also expressed in species closely related to G. gecko. The characters studied have the potential to be applied in future phylogenetic and taxonomic studies of this group of lizards. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Microfabricated adhesive mimicking gecko foot-hair

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geim, A. K.; Dubonos, S. V.; Grigorieva, I. V.; Novoselov, K. S.; Zhukov, A. A.; Shapoval, S. Yu.

    2003-07-01

    The amazing climbing ability of geckos has attracted the interest of philosophers and scientists alike for centuries. However, only in the past few years has progress been made in understanding the mechanism behind this ability, which relies on submicrometre keratin hairs covering the soles of geckos. Each hair produces a miniscule force ~10-7 N (due to van der Waals and/or capillary interactions) but millions of hairs acting together create a formidable adhesion of ~10 N cm-2: sufficient to keep geckos firmly on their feet, even when upside down on a glass ceiling. It is very tempting to create a new type of adhesive by mimicking the gecko mechanism. Here we report on a prototype of such 'gecko tape' made by microfabrication of dense arrays of flexible plastic pillars, the geometry of which is optimized to ensure their collective adhesion. Our approach shows a way to manufacture self-cleaning, re-attachable dry adhesives, although problems related to their durability and mass production are yet to be resolved.

  16. Binaural processing by the gecko auditory periphery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Tang, Ye Zhong; Carr, Catherine E

    2011-01-01

    in the Tokay gecko with neurophysiological recordings from the auditory nerve. Laser vibrometry shows that their ear is a two-input system with approximately unity interaural transmission gain at the peak frequency (around 1.6 kHz). Median interaural delays are 260 μs, almost three times larger than predicted...... from gecko head size, suggesting interaural transmission may be boosted by resonances in the large, open mouth cavity (Vossen et al., 2010). Auditory nerve recordings are sensitive to both interaural time differences (ITD) and interaural level differences (ILD), reflecting the acoustical interactions...

  17. Leopard in a tea-cup: A study of leopard habitat-use and human-leopard interactions in north-eastern India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aritra Kshettry

    Full Text Available There is increasing evidence of the importance of multi-use landscapes for the conservation of large carnivores. However, when carnivore ranges overlap with high density of humans, there are often serious conservation challenges. This is especially true in countries like India where loss of peoples' lives and property to large wildlife are not uncommon. The leopard (Panthera pardus is a large felid that is widespread in India, often sharing landscapes with high human densities. In order to understand the ecology of leopards in a human use landscape and the nature of human-leopard interactions, we studied (i the spatial and temporal distribution and the characteristics of leopard attacks on people, (ii the spatial variability in the pattern of habitat use by the leopard, and (iii the spatial relationship between attack locations and habitat use by leopards. The study site, located in northern West Bengal, India, is a densely populated mixed-use landscape of 630 km2, comprising of forests, tea plantations, agriculture fields, and human settlements. A total of 171 leopard attacks on humans were reported between January 2009 and March 2016, most of which occurred within the tea-gardens. None of the attacks was fatal. We found significant spatial clustering of locations of leopard attacks on humans. However, most of the attacks were restricted to certain tea estates and occurred mostly between January and May. Analysis of habitat use by leopards showed that the probability of use of areas with more ground vegetation cover was high while that of areas with high density of buildings was low. However, locations of leopard attacks on people did not coincide with areas that showed a higher probability of use by leopards. This indicates that an increased use of an area by leopards, by itself, does not necessarily imply an increase in attacks on people. The spatial and temporal clustering of attack locations allowed us to use this information to prioritize

  18. Gecko adhesion pad: a smart surface?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pesika, Noshir S.; Zeng, Hongbo; Kristiansen, Kai; Zhao, Boxin; Tian, Yu; Autumn, Kellar; Israelachvili, Jacob

    2009-11-01

    Recently, it has been shown that humidity can increase the adhesion of the spatula pads that form the outermost (adhesive) surface of the tokay gecko feet by 50% relative to the main adhesion mechanism (i.e. van der Waals adhesive forces), although the mechanism by which the enhancement is realized is still not well understood. A change in the surface hydrophobicity of a gecko setal array is observed when the array, which supports the spatulae, is exposed to a water drop for more than 20 min, suggesting a change in the hydrophilic-lyophilic balance (HLB), and therefore of the conformation of the surface proteins. A surface force apparatus (SFA) was used to quantify these changes, i.e. in the adhesion and friction forces, while shearing the setal array against a silica surface under (i) dry conditions, (ii) 100% humidity and (iii) when fully immersed in water. The adhesion increased in the humid environment but greatly diminished in water. Although the adhesion forces changed significantly, the friction forces remained unaffected, indicating that the friction between these highly textured surfaces is 'load-controlled' rather than 'adhesion-controlled'. These results demonstrate that the gecko adhesive pads have the ability to exploit environmental conditions to maximize their adhesion and stabilize their friction forces. Future designs of synthetic dry adhesives inspired by the gecko can potentially include similar 'smart' surfaces that adapt to their environment.

  19. Gecko adhesion pad: a smart surface?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pesika, Noshir S [Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 (United States); Zeng Hongbo [Chemical and Materials Engineering Department, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2V4 (Canada); Kristiansen, Kai; Israelachvili, Jacob [Chemical Engineering Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93117 (United States); Zhao, Boxin [Chemical Engineering Department and Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology, University of Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1 (Canada); Tian Yu [State Key Laboratory of Tribology, Department of Precision Instruments, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Autumn, Kellar, E-mail: npesika@tulane.ed [Department of Biology, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR 97219 (United States)

    2009-11-18

    Recently, it has been shown that humidity can increase the adhesion of the spatula pads that form the outermost (adhesive) surface of the tokay gecko feet by 50% relative to the main adhesion mechanism (i.e. van der Waals adhesive forces), although the mechanism by which the enhancement is realized is still not well understood. A change in the surface hydrophobicity of a gecko setal array is observed when the array, which supports the spatulae, is exposed to a water drop for more than 20 min, suggesting a change in the hydrophilic-lyophilic balance (HLB), and therefore of the conformation of the surface proteins. A surface force apparatus (SFA) was used to quantify these changes, i.e. in the adhesion and friction forces, while shearing the setal array against a silica surface under (i) dry conditions, (ii) 100% humidity and (iii) when fully immersed in water. The adhesion increased in the humid environment but greatly diminished in water. Although the adhesion forces changed significantly, the friction forces remained unaffected, indicating that the friction between these highly textured surfaces is 'load-controlled' rather than 'adhesion-controlled'. These results demonstrate that the gecko adhesive pads have the ability to exploit environmental conditions to maximize their adhesion and stabilize their friction forces. Future designs of synthetic dry adhesives inspired by the gecko can potentially include similar 'smart' surfaces that adapt to their environment.

  20. Gecko adhesion pad: a smart surface?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pesika, Noshir S; Zeng Hongbo; Kristiansen, Kai; Israelachvili, Jacob; Zhao, Boxin; Tian Yu; Autumn, Kellar

    2009-01-01

    Recently, it has been shown that humidity can increase the adhesion of the spatula pads that form the outermost (adhesive) surface of the tokay gecko feet by 50% relative to the main adhesion mechanism (i.e. van der Waals adhesive forces), although the mechanism by which the enhancement is realized is still not well understood. A change in the surface hydrophobicity of a gecko setal array is observed when the array, which supports the spatulae, is exposed to a water drop for more than 20 min, suggesting a change in the hydrophilic-lyophilic balance (HLB), and therefore of the conformation of the surface proteins. A surface force apparatus (SFA) was used to quantify these changes, i.e. in the adhesion and friction forces, while shearing the setal array against a silica surface under (i) dry conditions, (ii) 100% humidity and (iii) when fully immersed in water. The adhesion increased in the humid environment but greatly diminished in water. Although the adhesion forces changed significantly, the friction forces remained unaffected, indicating that the friction between these highly textured surfaces is 'load-controlled' rather than 'adhesion-controlled'. These results demonstrate that the gecko adhesive pads have the ability to exploit environmental conditions to maximize their adhesion and stabilize their friction forces. Future designs of synthetic dry adhesives inspired by the gecko can potentially include similar 'smart' surfaces that adapt to their environment.

  1. Human climbing with efficiently scaled gecko-inspired dry adhesives

    OpenAIRE

    Hawkes, Elliot W.; Eason, Eric V.; Christensen, David L.; Cutkosky, Mark R.

    2015-01-01

    Since the discovery of the mechanism of adhesion in geckos, many synthetic dry adhesives have been developed with desirable gecko-like properties such as reusability, directionality, self-cleaning ability, rough surface adhesion and high adhesive stress. However, fully exploiting these adhesives in practical applications at different length scales requires efficient scaling (i.e. with little loss in adhesion as area grows). Just as natural gecko adhesives have been used as a benchmark for syn...

  2. Is the Zanzibar leopard ( Panthera pardus adersi ) extinct ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Zanzibar leopard, Panthera pardus adersi (Pocock, 1932), is a little-known island endemic assumed by some authorities to be extinct. In 1996 a survey of local practices, beliefs and knowledge about the leopard was conducted on Unguja Island. Data were collected through interviews with Zanzibaris in villages across ...

  3. Seasonal and daily activity patterns of leopard tortoises ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Seasonal and daily activity patterns of leopard tortoises ( Stigmochelys pardalis Bell, 1828) on farmland in the Nama-Karoo, South Africa. ... that activity is also initiated by the time since sunrise. Key words: Stigmochelys pardalis, leopard tortoise, activity patterns, activity behaviour, Nama-Karoo Biome, time of day, season.

  4. Observation of optimal gecko's adhesion on nanorough surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugno, Nicola M; Lepore, Emiliano

    2008-12-01

    In this letter we report experimental observations on the times of adhesion of living Tokay geckos (Gekko geckos) on polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) inverted surfaces. Two different geckos (male and female) and three surfaces with different root mean square (RMS) roughness (RMS=42, 618 and 931 nm) have been considered, for a total of 72 observations. The measured data are proved to be statistically significant, following the Weibull Statistics with coefficients of correlation between 0.781 and 0.955. The unexpected result is the observation of a maximal gecko adhesion on the surface with intermediate roughness of RMS=618 nm, that we note has waviness comparable to the seta size.

  5. Histology and ultrastructure of the integumental chromatophores in tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) (Linnaeus, 1758) skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szydłowski, Paweł; Madej, Jan Paweł; Mazurkiewicz-Kania, Marta

    2017-01-01

    This paper describes the relationship between the arrangement of dermal chromatophores in tokay gecko ( Gekko gecko ) skin and the formation of wild-type colouration, with emphasis on the ultrastructure of chromatophores. The samples of the tokay gecko skin were collected from wild-type colouration adult specimens. Morphology and distribution of chromatophores was determined by using light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The present study revealed that orange/red coloured skin of G. gecko contained erythrophores, which were located under basement membrane, and usually comprised deeper situated iridophores and melanophores which were form single layer with iridophores or were occupying the deepest region of dermis. In orange/red coloured skin, erythrophores were the predominant chromatophores. However in blue areas these cells occurred in small numbers or were not noticed at all. In blue pigmented areas predominated iridophores and melanophores. Iridophores were found just under basement membrane, but this superficial location of iridophores occured only in areas without erythrophores. Distribution of erythrophores, melanophores, and iridophores determines the characteristic blue colour of the tokay gecko skin with orange/red dots on the whole body.

  6. The moderization of the Leopard library

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Claro, L.H.; Cunha Menezes Filho, A. da.

    1983-07-01

    The LEOPARD library is updated and tested for typical PWR unit cells with enrichment ranging from 1.0 to 4.%(W/o) and H 2 O:U ratio varying from 1.0 to 10.0. A reasonably good agreement with experimental values for some spectral indices is obtained if the fission cross section of U-235 is reduced by .6% in the thermal range and by 20% in the epithermal range; the epithermal capture cross section for U-238 is increased by about 20% and the number of neutrons per fission in the thermal range of U-235 is increased by .8%. (Author) [pt

  7. Mac OS X for Unix Geeks (Leopard)

    CERN Document Server

    Rothman, Ernest E; Rosen, Rich

    2009-01-01

    If you've been lured to Mac OS X because of its Unix roots, this invaluable book serves as a bridge between Apple's Darwin OS and the more traditional Unix systems. The new edition offers a complete tour of Mac OS X's Unix shell for Leopard and Tiger, and helps you find the facilities that replace or correspond to standard Unix utilities. Learn how to compile code, link to libraries, and port Unix software to Mac OS X and much more with this concise guide.

  8. Take control of font problems in Leopard

    CERN Document Server

    Zardetto, Sharon

    2009-01-01

    Are you suffering from mysterious font problems using Microsoft Office, the Adobe Creative Suite, or other programs in Mac OS X Leopard? Help is at hand, with troubleshooting steps and real-world advice that help you solve problems fast. If you've experienced seemingly inexplicable trouble with characters displaying incorrectly, being unable to type a particular character, fonts missing from Font menus, Font Book crashing, or Character Palette misbehaving, turn to font expert Sharon Zardetto for help. Read this ebook to find the answers to questions such as: Where do fonts belong on my hard

  9. Take control of upgrading to Snow Leopard

    CERN Document Server

    Kissell, Joe

    2009-01-01

    Installing a major new version of Mac OS X should be exciting and fun, but without proper guidance you may find it nerve-wracking or even risk losing valuable files. Fortunately, many thousands of people have upgraded Mac OS X calmly and successfully with Joe Kissell's previous best-selling Take Control of Upgrading... titles. Joe's friendly, expert steps-developed over innumerable test installations-help you to avoid trouble, understand what's going on when you install Snow Leopard, and easily recover from problem

  10. Suivi du Gecko Phelsuma serraticauda (Squamata : Gekkonidae ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cette étude a été effectuée sur le Gecko Phelsuma serraticauda durant les mois d'octobre et décembre 2008 dans 57 sites dans l'est et nord - est de Madagascar. Elle a pour objectifs de déterminer l'aire de distribution dans l'est de Madagascar et l'utilisation d'habitat de cette espèce pour sa conservation et son utilisation ...

  11. Viscoelastic features of adhesive setae of the tokay gecko (Gekko gecko L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivlev, Yu F; Il'in, A I; Trofimov, O V

    2016-03-01

    Deformations of particular setae of adhesive toe pad of the tokay gecko were investigated by atomic-force microscopy. The effective elastic modulus of the investigated setae varying within 0.34-19 GPa, a pronounced hysteresis was observed during reversible bending of setae. The hysteresis-related energy losses may be as high as 98% of the total bending work. The pronounced viscous features of the setae contradict the hypothesis of dynamic self-cleaning of the gecko adhesive cover, according to which the setae are considered as absolutely elastic cantilever beams.

  12. Evidence for van der Waals adhesion in gecko setae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Autumn, Kellar; Sitti, Metin; Liang, Yiching A; Peattie, Anne M; Hansen, Wendy R; Sponberg, Simon; Kenny, Thomas W; Fearing, Ronald; Israelachvili, Jacob N; Full, Robert J

    2002-09-17

    Geckos have evolved one of the most versatile and effective adhesives known. The mechanism of dry adhesion in the millions of setae on the toes of geckos has been the focus of scientific study for over a century. We provide the first direct experimental evidence for dry adhesion of gecko setae by van der Waals forces, and reject the use of mechanisms relying on high surface polarity, including capillary adhesion. The toes of live Tokay geckos were highly hydrophobic, and adhered equally well to strongly hydrophobic and strongly hydrophilic, polarizable surfaces. Adhesion of a single isolated gecko seta was equally effective on the hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces of a microelectro-mechanical systems force sensor. A van der Waals mechanism implies that the remarkable adhesive properties of gecko setae are merely a result of the size and shape of the tips, and are not strongly affected by surface chemistry. Theory predicts greater adhesive forces simply from subdividing setae to increase surface density, and suggests a possible design principle underlying the repeated, convergent evolution of dry adhesive microstructures in gecko, anoles, skinks, and insects. Estimates using a standard adhesion model and our measured forces come remarkably close to predicting the tip size of Tokay gecko seta. We verified the dependence on size and not surface type by using physical models of setal tips nanofabricated from two different materials. Both artificial setal tips stuck as predicted and provide a path to manufacturing the first dry, adhesive microstructures.

  13. Human climbing with efficiently scaled gecko-inspired dry adhesives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkes, Elliot W; Eason, Eric V; Christensen, David L; Cutkosky, Mark R

    2015-01-06

    Since the discovery of the mechanism of adhesion in geckos, many synthetic dry adhesives have been developed with desirable gecko-like properties such as reusability, directionality, self-cleaning ability, rough surface adhesion and high adhesive stress. However, fully exploiting these adhesives in practical applications at different length scales requires efficient scaling (i.e. with little loss in adhesion as area grows). Just as natural gecko adhesives have been used as a benchmark for synthetic materials, so can gecko adhesion systems provide a baseline for scaling efficiency. In the tokay gecko (Gekko gecko), a scaling power law has been reported relating the maximum shear stress σmax to the area A: σmax ∝ A(-1/4). We present a mechanical concept which improves upon the gecko's non-uniform load-sharing and results in a nearly even load distribution over multiple patches of gecko-inspired adhesive. We created a synthetic adhesion system incorporating this concept which shows efficient scaling across four orders of magnitude of area, yielding an improved scaling power law: σmax ∝ A(-1/50). Furthermore, we found that the synthetic adhesion system does not fail catastrophically when a simulated failure is induced on a portion of the adhesive. In a practical demonstration, the synthetic adhesion system enabled a 70 kg human to climb vertical glass with 140 cm(2) of adhesive per hand. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Gecko-Inspired Carbon Nanotube-Based Adhesives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Liehui; Sethi, Sunny; Goyal, Anubha; Ci, Lijie; Ajayan, Pulickel; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2009-03-01

    Nature has developed hierarchical hairy structure on the wall-climbing gecko's foot, consisting of microscopic hairs called setae, which further split into hundreds of smaller structures called spatulas. In the last five years, numerous attempts to mimic gecko foot-hair using polymer soft molding and photolithography methods have been reported. However, most of these polymer-based synthetic gecko hairs fall short of the clinging ability of geckos. Vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNT) have shown strong adhesion at nanometer scale. Here, we present our work on developing CNT-based macroscopic flexible tape mimicking the hierarchical structure found on gecko's foot. The synthetic gecko tape is made by transferring aligned CNT array onto flexible polymer tape. The unpatterned CNT-gecko tape can support a shear force stress similar to gecko foot (10 N/cm^2). The supported shear stress increase by a factor of four, when we use micro-patterned CNT patches (50 to 500 μm). We find that both setae (replicated by CNT bundles) and spatulas (individual CNT) are necessary to achieve large macroscopic shear adhesion. The carbon nanotube-based tape offers an excellent synthetic option as a dry conductive reversible adhesive in microelectronics, robotics, and space applications.

  15. Applicability of age-based hunting regulations for African leopards.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guy Andrew Balme

    Full Text Available In species in which juvenile survival depends strongly on male tenure, excessive trophy hunting can artificially elevate male turnover and increase infanticide, potentially to unsustainable levels. Simulation models show that the likelihood of safe harvests can be improved by restricting offtakes to males old enough to have reared their first cohort of offspring to independence; in the case of African leopards, males were ≥7 years old. Here, we explore the applicability of an age-based approach for regulating trophy hunting of leopards. We conducted a structured survey comprising photographs of known-age leopards to assess the ability of wildlife practitioners to sex and age leopards. We also evaluated the utility of four phenotypic traits for use by trophy hunters to age male leopards in the field. Our logistic regression models showed that male leopard age affected the likelihood of survey respondents identifying the correct sex; notably, males <2 years were typically misidentified as females, while mature males (≥4 years were sexed correctly. Mature male leopards were also more likely to be aged correctly, as were portrait photographs. Aging proficiency was also influenced by the profession of respondents, with hunters recording the lowest scores. A discriminant model including dewlap size, the condition of the ears, and the extent of facial scarring accurately discriminated among male leopard age classes. Model classification rates were considerably higher than the respective scores attained by survey respondents, implying that the aging ability of hunters could theoretically improve with appropriate training. Dewlap size was a particularly reliable indicator of males ≥7 years and a review of online trophy galleries suggested its wider utility as an aging criterion. Our study demonstrated that an age-based hunting approach is practically applicable for leopards. However, implementation would require major reform within the regulatory

  16. Sliding Adhesion Dynamics of Isolated Gecko Setal Arrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sponberg, Simon; Autumn, Kellar

    2003-03-01

    The tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) can adhere to nearly any surface through van der Waals interactions of the specialized setae (b-keratin "hairs") of its toe pads. Our recent research has suggested that a gecko is substantially overbuilt for static adhesion requiring as little as 0.03of its theoretical adhesive capacity. We performed the first sliding adhesion experiments on this novel biological adhesive to determine its response to dynamic loading. We isolated arrays of setae and constructed a precision controlled Robo-toe to study sliding effects. Our results indicate that, unlike many typical adhesives, gecko setal arrays exhibit an increased frictional force upon sliding (mk > ms) which further increases with velocity, suggesting that perturbation rejection may be an evolutionary design principle underlying the evolution of the gecko adhesive. We compare these dynamic properties with those of other adhesives and explore the impacts of these results on the design of artificial adhesives.

  17. The Leopard Tortoise in the Mountain Zebra National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. H Grobler

    1982-12-01

    Full Text Available A total of 69 leopard tortoises Geochelone pardalis babcocki (Loveridge 1935 were captured, marked, sexed, weighed and released. The results of this exercise together with other field data are presented and discussed.

  18. LEOPARD syndrome: You could be the first one to diagnose!

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pallavi Urs

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Leopard syndrome is a rare genetic disease complex associated with multiple anomalies. The main anomalies are summarized in the acronym LEOPARD in which each letter corresponds to mnemonic for the major features of this disorder:multiple Lentigines, ECG conduction abnormalities, Ocular hypertelorism, Pulmonic stenosis, Abnormal genitalia, Retardation of growth, and sensory neural Deafness. A Four year old male patient reported with the chief complaint of decayed anterior tooth without any relevant past medical history. Based on the clinical features; the child was subjected to genetic and general physical appraisal which helped in identifying Leopard syndrome. A multidisciplinary approach by the pedodontist and medical consultants aided in the identification and management of this rare syndrome. LEOPARD syndrome has been rarely reported in the diseases associated with oro-dental or craniofacial anomalies. In this case report we describe these anomalies and discuss the relationship between them and the proposed etiology of the disease.

  19. Eesti tankivalikud: Abrams või Leopard 2 / Holger Roonemaa

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Roonemaa, Holger

    2010-01-01

    Ametlikku otsust kaitseväele tankide ostmiseks veel ei ole, kuid kui Eesti kaitsevägi asub tanke ostma, siis tõenäoliselt hakatakse valima Leopard 2 ja Abrams vahel. Tankidega seotud kuludest ja olukorrast Norras

  20. Pathological findings of a fatal leopard seal attack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutty, Guy N

    2007-03-01

    A unique case of a fatal leopard seal attack against an adult human female is presented. The death occurred in Rothera, Antarctica when the female was snorkeling while undertaking scientific research. The principle injuries occurred, during life, to the facial areas prior to the act of drowning. The method of attack of leopard seals against their natural prey is discussed and related to the findings on the deceased.

  1. Effect of Tokay Gecko (Gekko Gecko LINNAEUS, 1758) Saliva on Angiogenesis During Wound Healing Phase of Autotomized Tail in Common Sun Skink (Eutropis Multifasciata KUHL, 1820)

    OpenAIRE

    Inayah, Nurul; Soesilo, Nyoman Puniawati; Pratiwi, Rarastoeti

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Tokay gecko saliva on morphology and angiogenesis response on the healing process of skink tail wound and also to characterize the protein profile of Gecko saliva. Twelve skinks were autotomized and wound surface of tail smeared by young gecko saliva, adult gecko saliva, and human's saliva twice per day and control. The morphological changes of the wound surface were observed. The angiogenesis response was observed in vitro using Chor...

  2. Dynamic self-cleaning in gecko setae via digital hyperextension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Shihao; Lopez, Stephanie; Niewiarowski, Peter H.; Xia, Zhenhai

    2012-01-01

    Gecko toe pads show strong adhesion on various surfaces yet remain remarkably clean around everyday contaminants. An understanding of how geckos clean their toe pads while being in motion is essential for the elucidation of animal behaviours as well as the design of biomimetic devices with optimal performance. Here, we test the self-cleaning of geckos during locomotion. We provide, to our knowledge, the first evidence that geckos clean their feet through a unique dynamic self-cleaning mechanism via digital hyperextension. When walking naturally with hyperextension, geckos shed dirt from their toes twice as fast as they would if walking without hyperextension, returning their feet to nearly 80 per cent of their original stickiness in only four steps. Our dynamic model predicts that when setae suddenly release from the attached substrate, they generate enough inertial force to dislodge dirt particles from the attached spatulae. The predicted cleaning force on dirt particles significantly increases when the dynamic effect is included. The extraordinary design of gecko toe pads perfectly combines dynamic self-cleaning with repeated attachment/detachment, making gecko feet sticky yet clean. This work thus provides a new mechanism to be considered for biomimetic design of highly reuseable and reliable dry adhesives and devices. PMID:22696482

  3. Detection of Cryptosporidium species in feces or gastric contents from snakes and lizards as determined by polymerase chain reaction analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Barbara; Nedorost, Nora; Maderner, Anton; Weissenböck, Herbert

    2011-05-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is a well-known gastrointestinal disease of snakes and lizards. In the current study, 672 samples (feces and/or gastric contents or regurgitated food items) of various snakes and lizards were examined for the presence of cryptosporidia by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting a part of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene. A consecutive sequencing reaction was used to identify the cryptosporidian species present in PCR-positive samples. Cryptosporidium varanii (saurophilum) was detected in 17 out of 106 (16%) samples from corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) and in 32 out of 462 (7%) samples from leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius). Cryptosporidium serpentis was found in 8 out of 462 (2%) leopard gecko samples, but in no other reptile. The Cryptosporidium sp. "lizard genotype" was present in 1 leopard gecko sample, and 1 sample from a corn snake showed a single nucleotide mismatch to this genotype. Pseudoparasitic cryptosporidian species were identified in 5 out of 174 (3%) ophidian samples, but not in lizards. Other sequences did not show complete similarity to previously published Cryptosporidium sequences. The results stress the importance for diagnostic methods to be specific for Cryptosporidium species especially in snakes and show a relatively high prevalence of C. varanii in leopard geckos and corn snakes. © 2011 The Author(s)

  4. Ecological Effects of the Invasive Giant Madagascar Day Gecko on Endemic Mauritian Geckos: Applications of Binomial-Mixture and Species Distribution Models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buckland, S.; Cole, N.C.; Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J.; Gallagher, L.E.; Henshaw, S.M.; Besnard, A.; Tucker, R.M.; Bachraz, V.; Ruhomaun, K.; Harris, S.

    2014-01-01

    The invasion of the giant Madagascar day gecko Phelsuma grandis has increased the threats to the four endemic Mauritian day geckos (Phelsuma spp.) that have survived on mainland Mauritius. We had two main aims: (i) to predict the spatial distribution and overlap of P. grandis and the endemic geckos

  5. Atypical case of ocular hemosiderosis: leopard cataract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masket, Samuel; Ceran, Basak Bostanci

    2011-10-01

    We present an interventional case report of an 83-year-old woman who developed ocular hemosiderosis secondary to massive retinal and intravitreal bleeding associated with a choroidal neovascular membrane as a result of age-related macular degeneration. Anterior segment manifestations included low-grade inflammation, posterior synechiae, reversible hyperchromic heterochromia, and a mature cataract with "leopard spots." The longstanding vitreous hemorrhage was thought to be the etiology of these findings. At the request of the vitreoretinal surgeon, cataract surgery was performed to provide visualization of the posterior segment. However, the patient's visual potential was limited by her underlying retinal pathology. Neither author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned. Additional disclosure is found in the footnotes. Copyright © 2011 ASCRS and ESCRS. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The effect of water on the gecko adhesive system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Alyssa Yeager

    The gecko adhesive system is a dry, reversible adhesive that is virtually surface-insensitive due to the utilization of intermolecular van der Waals forces. Remarkably, although detailed models of the adhesive mechanism exist and hundreds of gecko-inspired synthetics have been fabricated, our ability to fully replicate the system still falls short. One reason for this is our limited understanding of how the system performs in natural environments. To begin to resolve this I focused on one particular environmental parameter, water. Although thin layers of water can disrupt van der Waals forces, I hypothesized that geckos are able to retain or regain adhesive function on wet surfaces. I was motivated to investigate this hypothesis because many species of gecko are native to the tropics, a climate where we expect surface water to be prevalent, thus it is likely geckos have some mechanism to overcome the challenges associated with surface water and wetting. Despite the challenge water should pose to adhesion, I found that when tested on hydrophobic substrates geckos cling equally well in air and water. Conversely, on wet hydrophilic substrates geckos cannot support their body weight. Investigating these results further, I found that the superhydrophobic nature of the adhesive toe pads allows geckos to form an air bubble around their foot, which when pressed into contact with a hydrophobic substrate likely removes water from the adhesive interface. When the toe pads are no longer superhydrophobic however, geckos cannot support their body weight and fall from substrates. In order to regain adhesion geckos only need to take about ten steps on a dry substrate to self-dry their toe pads. Finally, when measuring a dynamic component of adhesion, running, we found that geckos are able to maintain speed on misted hydrophobic and hydrophilic substrates, contrary to what we would predict based on static shear adhesion measurements. In conclusion, my research provides a detailed

  7. Passive Cushiony Biomechanics of Head Protection in Falling Geckos

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Hao; Wang, Wenbo; Song, Yi; Cai, Lei; Dai, Zhendong

    2018-01-01

    Gekko geckos are capable to crawl on the steep even on upside-down surfaces. Such movement, especially at great altitude, puts them at high risks of incidentally dropping down and inevitable body or head impactions, though they may trigger air-righting reaction (ARR) to attenuate the landing shocks. However, the air-righting ability (ARA) in Gekko geckos is not fully developed. The implementation of ARR in some geckos is quite slow; and for those without tails, the ARR is even unobservable. S...

  8. Resurrecting an Extinct Species: Archival DNA, Taxonomy, and Conservation of the Vegas Valley Leopard Frog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suggestions that the extinct Vegas Valley leopard frog (Rana fisheri = Lithobates fisheri) may have been synonymous with one of several declining species has complicated recovery planning for imperiled leopard frogs in southwestern North America. To address this concern, we recon...

  9. Mechanical analyses on the digital behaviour of the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) based on a multi-level directional adhesion model

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Xuan; Wang, Xiaojie; Mei, Tao; Sun, Shaoming

    2015-01-01

    This paper proposes a multi-level hierarchical model for the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) adhesive system and analyses the digital behaviour of the G. gecko under macro/meso-level scale. The model describes the structures of G. gecko's adhesive system from the nano-level spatulae to the sub-millimetre-level lamella. The G. gecko's seta is modelled using inextensible fibril based on Euler's elastica theorem. Considering the side contact of the spatular pads of the seta on the flat and rigid subst...

  10. Binaural processing by the gecko auditory periphery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Tang, Yezhong; Carr, Catherine E

    2011-05-01

    Lizards have highly directional ears, owing to strong acoustical coupling of the eardrums and almost perfect sound transmission from the contralateral ear. To investigate the neural processing of this remarkable tympanic directionality, we combined biophysical measurements of eardrum motion in the Tokay gecko with neurophysiological recordings from the auditory nerve. Laser vibrometry shows that their ear is a two-input system with approximately unity interaural transmission gain at the peak frequency (∼ 1.6 kHz). Median interaural delays are 260 μs, almost three times larger than predicted from gecko head size, suggesting interaural transmission may be boosted by resonances in the large, open mouth cavity (Vossen et al. 2010). Auditory nerve recordings are sensitive to both interaural time differences (ITD) and interaural level differences (ILD), reflecting the acoustical interactions of direct and indirect sound components at the eardrum. Best ITD and click delays match interaural transmission delays, with a range of 200-500 μs. Inserting a mold in the mouth cavity blocks ITD and ILD sensitivity. Thus the neural response accurately reflects tympanic directionality, and most neurons in the auditory pathway should be directional.

  11. Yolk-albumen testosterone in a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination: relation with development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Victoria; Bowden, Rachel M; Crews, David

    2013-06-01

    The leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) exhibits temperature-dependent sex determination as well as temperature-influenced polymorphisms. Research suggests that in oviparous reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination, steroid hormones in the yolk might influence sex determination and sexual differentiation. From captive leopard geckos that were all from the same incubation temperature regime, we gathered freshly laid eggs, incubated them at one of two female-biased incubation temperatures (26 or 34°C), and measured testosterone content in the yolk-albumen at early or late development. No differences in the concentration of testosterone were detected in eggs from different incubation temperatures. We report testosterone concentrations in the yolk-albumen were higher in eggs of late development than early development at 26°C incubation temperatures, a finding opposite that reported in other TSD reptiles studied to date. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. A Review of Sex Determining Mechanisms in Geckos (Gekkota: Squamata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamble, T.

    2010-01-01

    Geckos are a species-rich clade of reptiles possessing diverse sex determining mechanisms. Some species possess genetic sex determination, with both male and female heterogamety, while other species have temperature-dependent sex determination. I compiled information from the literature on the taxonomic distribution of these sex determining mechanisms in geckos. Using phylogenetic data from the literature, I reconstructed the minimum number of transitions among these sex determining mechanisms with parsimony-based ancestral state reconstruction. While only a small number of gecko species have been characterized, numerous changes among sex determining mechanisms were inferred. This diversity, coupled with the high frequency of transitions, makes geckos excellent candidates as a model clade for the study of vertebrate sex determination and evolution. PMID:20234154

  13. Preliminary In Vivo Experiments on Adhesion of Geckos

    OpenAIRE

    Lepore, E.; Brianza, S.; Antoniolli, F.; Buono, M.; Carpinteri, A.; Pugno, N.

    2008-01-01

    We performed preliminary experiments on the adhesion of a Tokay gecko on surfaces with different roughness, with or without particles with significant different granulometry, before/after or during the moult. The results were analyzed using the Weibull statistics.

  14. Observations on food remains in faeces of elephant, leopard and crabeater seals

    OpenAIRE

    Green, K.; Williams, R.

    1986-01-01

    Faecal material of leopard, crabeater and elephant seals was collected from the vicinity of Davis station, Antarctica. Very few identifiable remains were found in elephant seal droppings. Fish remains, mainly of Pleuragramma antarcticum, were found in both leopard and crabeater seal droppings. The mysid Antarctomysis maxima was also found in crabeater seal droppings and amphipods and decapod crustaceans in leopard seal droppings.

  15. GECKO: a complete large-scale gene expression analysis platform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heuer Michael

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gecko (Gene Expression: Computation and Knowledge Organization is a complete, high-capacity centralized gene expression analysis system, developed in response to the needs of a distributed user community. Results Based on a client-server architecture, with a centralized repository of typically many tens of thousands of Affymetrix scans, Gecko includes automatic processing pipelines for uploading data from remote sites, a data base, a computational engine implementing ~ 50 different analysis tools, and a client application. Among available analysis tools are clustering methods, principal component analysis, supervised classification including feature selection and cross-validation, multi-factorial ANOVA, statistical contrast calculations, and various post-processing tools for extracting data at given error rates or significance levels. On account of its open architecture, Gecko also allows for the integration of new algorithms. The Gecko framework is very general: non-Affymetrix and non-gene expression data can be analyzed as well. A unique feature of the Gecko architecture is the concept of the Analysis Tree (actually, a directed acyclic graph, in which all successive results in ongoing analyses are saved. This approach has proven invaluable in allowing a large (~ 100 users and distributed community to share results, and to repeatedly return over a span of years to older and potentially very complex analyses of gene expression data. Conclusions The Gecko system is being made publicly available as free software http://sourceforge.net/projects/geckoe. In totality or in parts, the Gecko framework should prove useful to users and system developers with a broad range of analysis needs.

  16. A Review of Sex Determining Mechanisms in Geckos (Gekkota: Squamata)

    OpenAIRE

    Gamble, T.

    2010-01-01

    Geckos are a species-rich clade of reptiles possessing diverse sex determining mechanisms. Some species possess genetic sex determination, with both male and female heterogamety, while other species have temperature-dependent sex determination. I compiled information from the literature on the taxonomic distribution of these sex determining mechanisms in geckos. Using phylogenetic data from the literature, I reconstructed the minimum number of transitions among these sex determining mechanism...

  17. Ekologie chování gekončíka nočního (Eublepharis macularius)

    OpenAIRE

    Jančúchová Lásková, Jitka

    2017-01-01

    During evolution, the natural selection favours individuals with the best survival strategy and the highest reproductive success. From the evolutionary point of view, hybridization plays an important role in the process of speciation. Avoiding predators by choosing the most appropriate antipredator strategy increases the animal's chances of survival as well. Studying fitness consequences of hybridization and predation in Eublepharis macularius (Eublepharidae) was the main objective of this th...

  18. Evidence for self-cleaning in gecko setae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, W. R.; Autumn, K.

    2005-01-01

    A tokay gecko can cling to virtually any surface and support its body mass with a single toe by using the millions of keratinous setae on its toe pads. Each seta branches into hundreds of 200-nm spatulae that make intimate contact with a variety of surface profiles. We showed previously that the combined surface area of billions of spatulae maximizes van der Waals interactions to generate large adhesive and shear forces. Geckos are not known to groom their feet yet retain their stickiness for months between molts. How geckos manage to keep their feet clean while walking about with sticky toes has remained a puzzle until now. Although self-cleaning by water droplets occurs in plant and animal surfaces, no adhesive has been shown to self-clean. In the present study, we demonstrate that gecko setae are a self-cleaning adhesive. Geckos with dirty feet recovered their ability to cling to vertical surfaces after only a few steps. Self-cleaning occurred in arrays of setae isolated from the gecko. Contact mechanical models suggest that self-cleaning occurs by an energetic disequilibrium between the adhesive forces attracting a dirt particle to the substrate and those attracting the same particle to one or more spatulae. We propose that the property of self-cleaning is intrinsic to the setal nanostructure and therefore should be replicable in synthetic adhesive materials in the future. adhesion | contact mechanics | locomotion | reptilia | nanotechnology

  19. Too Soft to Stick: Influence of Substrate Modulus on Gecko Adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Michael; Klittich, Mena; Bernard, Craig; Rodrigo, Rochelle; Keith, Austin; Niewiarowski, Peter; Dhinojwala, Ali

    The gecko adhesion system fascinates biologists and materials scientists alike for its strong, reversible, glue-free, dry adhesion. Geckos encounter a variety of surfaces in their natural habitats; tropical geckos, such as Gekko gecko, encounter hard rough tree trunks as well as soft flexible leaves. Gecko adhesion on a wide variety of hard surfaces has been extensively studied, however there has been no work focused on adhesion to soft surfaces. Here, we investigate for the first time the influence of substrate modulus on gecko adhesion using two different surfaces (cellulose acetate and polydimethylsiloxane). Understanding the limitations of the gecko system is critical for gecko experimental design as well as for the development of synthetic adhesives, particularly in the biomedical field. National Science Foundation.

  20. Evidence of leopard predation on bonobos (Pan paniscus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amour, Danielle E; Hohmann, Gottfried; Fruth, Barbara

    2006-01-01

    Current models of social organization assume that predation is one of the major forces that promotes group living in diurnal primates. As large body size renders some protection against predators, gregariousness of great apes and other large primate species is usually related to other parameters. The low frequency of observed cases of nonhuman predation on great apes seems to support this assumption. However, recent efforts to study potential predator species have increasingly accumulated direct and indirect evidence of predation by leopards (Panthera pardus) on chimpanzees and gorillas. The following report provides the first evidence of predation by a leopard on bonobos (Pan paniscus). Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  1. Passively stuck: death does not affect gecko adhesion strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, William J; Higham, Timothy E

    2014-12-01

    Many geckos use adhesive toe pads on the bottom of their digits to attach to surfaces with remarkable strength. Although gecko adhesion has been studied for hundreds of years, gaps exist in our understanding at the whole-animal level. It remains unclear whether the strength and maintenance of adhesion are determined by the animal or are passively intrinsic to the system. Here we show, for the first time, that strong adhesion is produced passively at the whole-animal level. Experiments on both live and recently euthanized tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) revealed that death does not affect the dynamic adhesive force or motion of a gecko foot when pulled along a vertical surface. Using a novel device that applied repeatable and steady-increasing pulling forces to the foot in shear, we found that the adhesive force was similarly high and variable when the animal was alive (mean ± s.d. = 5.4 ± 1.7 N) and within 30 min after death (5.4 ± 2.1 N). However, kinematic analyses showed that live geckos are able to control the degree of toe pad engagement and can rapidly stop strong adhesion by hyperextending the toes. This study offers the first assessment of whole-animal adhesive force under extremely controlled conditions. Our findings reveal that dead geckos maintain the ability to adhere with the same force as living animals, disproving that strong adhesion requires active control. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  2. Developmental sculpting of social phenotype and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakata, Jon T; Crews, David

    2004-04-01

    Early developmental variables engender behavioral and neural variation, especially in species in which embryonic environment determines gonadal sex. In the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, the incubation temperature of the egg (IncT) determines gonadal sex. Moreover, IncT affects the sexual differentiation of the individual and, consequently, within-sex variation. Individuals hatched from eggs incubated at an IncT that produces predominantly males are more masculinized than same-sex counterparts from IncTs that produce predominantly females. Here we review how gonadal sex and IncT interact to affect behavioral, endocrinological, and neural phenotype in the leopard gecko and influence phenotypic plasticity following hormone administration or social experience. We discuss the hormonal dependence of sex- and IncT-dependent behavioral and neural morphological and metabolic differences and highlight the parallels between IncT effects in geckos and intrauterine position effects in rodents. We argue that the leopard gecko is an important model of how the process of sex determination can affect sexual differentiation and of selection forces underlying the evolution of sex ratios. Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Mechanical work as a determinant of prey-handling behavior in the tokay gecko (Gekko gecko).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, C; Bertram, J E

    1997-01-01

    In this study an in vitro analysis of the force and mechanical work required to bite prey items of different size and physical character is combined with an in vivo analysis of prey-handling behavior in the tokay gecko (Gekko gecko). The force required to bite and the work of biting increase with prey size, but the rate of increase is prey specific, with crickets (Acheta domestica) requiring substantially more force and work per bite than larvae (Galleria mellonella and Manduca sexta) for all but the smallest prey. Prey-handling behavior is also prey specific. Geckos exert more bites per feeding event on small crickets than on small insect larvae, but the number of bites increases faster with prey mass for larvae than for crickets. Combination of the in vitro mechanical measurements with the in vivo behavior analysis allows the calculation of total mechanical work per feeding event and indicates that total work increases with prey size but that the difference between prey types is far less than predicted from the differences in structural properties of the prey. This occurs because the number of bites and work per bite relationships tend to cancel the differences in the total work necessary to process each prey type. Thus, when considering the effect of prey size, a 13-fold greater rate of increase in bite force and an 18-fold greater rate of increase of work per bit for crickets over larvae was partially compensated for by a threefold increase in the number of bites used on larvae relative to crickets. These results can be interpreted in two ways. The effect of mechanical work in feeding behavior suggests that the energetics of jaw adductor musculature could play a greater role in governing the feeding behavior of this lizard than has previously been expected. Alternatively, the scaling of work in feeding over a range of prey sizes suggests distinct differences in the geometric features of the prey that determine how they are processed.

  4. Sticky gecko feet: the role of temperature and humidity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter H Niewiarowski

    Full Text Available Gecko adhesion is expected to be temperature insensitive over the range of temperatures typically experienced by geckos. Previous work is limited and equivocal on whether this expectation holds. We tested the temperature dependence of adhesion in Tokay and Day geckos and found that clinging ability at 12 degrees C was nearly double the clinging ability at 32 degrees C. However, rather than confirming a simple temperature effect, our data reveal a complex interaction between temperature and humidity that can drive differences in adhesion by as much as two-fold. Our findings have important implications for inferences about the mechanisms underlying the exceptional clinging capabilities of geckos, including whether performance of free-ranging animals is based solely on a dry adhesive model. An understanding of the relative contributions of van der Waals interactions and how humidity and temperature variation affects clinging capacities will be required to test hypotheses about the evolution of gecko toepads and is relevant to the design and manufacture of synthetic mimics.

  5. Sticky gecko feet: the role of temperature and humidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niewiarowski, Peter H; Lopez, Stephanie; Ge, Liehui; Hagan, Emily; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2008-05-14

    Gecko adhesion is expected to be temperature insensitive over the range of temperatures typically experienced by geckos. Previous work is limited and equivocal on whether this expectation holds. We tested the temperature dependence of adhesion in Tokay and Day geckos and found that clinging ability at 12 degrees C was nearly double the clinging ability at 32 degrees C. However, rather than confirming a simple temperature effect, our data reveal a complex interaction between temperature and humidity that can drive differences in adhesion by as much as two-fold. Our findings have important implications for inferences about the mechanisms underlying the exceptional clinging capabilities of geckos, including whether performance of free-ranging animals is based solely on a dry adhesive model. An understanding of the relative contributions of van der Waals interactions and how humidity and temperature variation affects clinging capacities will be required to test hypotheses about the evolution of gecko toepads and is relevant to the design and manufacture of synthetic mimics.

  6. Coming to America: multiple origins of New World geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamble, T; Bauer, A M; Colli, G R; Greenbaum, E; Jackman, T R; Vitt, L J; Simons, A M

    2011-02-01

    Geckos in the Western Hemisphere provide an excellent model to study faunal assembly at a continental scale. We generated a time-calibrated phylogeny, including exemplars of all New World gecko genera, to produce a biogeographical scenario for the New World geckos. Patterns of New World gecko origins are consistent with almost every biogeographical scenario utilized by a terrestrial vertebrate with different New World lineages showing evidence of vicariance, dispersal via temporary land bridge, overseas dispersal or anthropogenic introductions. We also recovered a strong relationship between clade age and species diversity, with older New World lineages having more species than more recently arrived lineages. Our data provide the first phylogenetic hypothesis for all New World geckos and highlight the intricate origins and ongoing organization of continental faunas. The phylogenetic and biogeographical hypotheses presented here provide an historical framework to further pursue research on the diversification and assembly of the New World herpetofauna. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2010 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  7. Testing the phylogenetic affinities of Southeast Asia's rarest geckos: Flap-legged geckos (Luperosaurus), Flying geckos (Ptychozoon) and their relationship to the pan-Asian genus Gekko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Rafe M; Siler, Cameron D; Das, Indraneil; Min, Yong

    2012-06-01

    Some of Southeast Asia's most poorly known vertebrates include forest lizards that are rarely seen by field biologists. Arguably the most enigmatic of forest lizards from the Indo Australian archipelago are the Flap-legged geckos and the Flying geckos of the genera Luperosaurus and Ptychozoon. As new species have accumulated, several have been noted for their bizarre combination of morphological characteristics, seemingly intermediate between these genera and the pan-Asian gecko genus Gekko. We used the first multilocus phylogeny for these taxa to estimate their relationships, with particular attention to the phylogenetic placement of the morphologically intermediate taxa Ptychozoon rhacophorus, Luperosaurus iskandari, and L. gulat. Surprisingly, our results demonstrate that Luperosaurus is more closely related to Lepidodactylus and Pseudogekko than it is to Gekko but that some species currently classified as Luperosaurus are nested within Gekko. The Flying Gecko genus Ptychozoon is also nested within Gekko, suggesting that higher-level taxonomic revision of the generic boundaries within Southeast Asian gekkonines will be a priority for the immediate future. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. isiXhosa name for leopard | Feely | African Zoology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The confusion among some speakers of isiXhosa concerning the meaning of ingwe can probably be traced to John Ayliff's dictionary of the language published in 1846. There he gives 'tiger' as ingwe and 'leopard' as ihlozi. He clearly treats the two as distinct species. This is contrary to South African usage in English and ...

  9. A LEOPARD SEAL FROM HOUT BAY, SOUTH AFRICA Division of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    a female 8 feet (2,44 m) long that came ashore alive 14 miles north-east of East London in. September 1946 ... leopard seals arrive at Macquarie Island (5410S) in May and depart in December, numbers being highest in ... for which I have dates fell in the months August (2), September (3) and October (4), the exceptions ...

  10. Occurrence and activity budget of the leopard tortoise, Geochelone ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Occurrence and activity budget of the leopard tortoise, Geochelone pardalis were studied in northern Tanzania between October 1993 and June 1996. Tortoises occurred most frequently in short grass (51.5%) and along roads and track verges (33.9%), but only occasionally in the bush undergrowth (6.7%) and shambas ...

  11. Plants eaten and dispersed by adult leopard tortoises Geochelone ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Leopard tortoise Geochelone pardalis faeces collected in rocky habitats in the southern Karoo contained at least 75 species of grasses, succulents and forbs belonging to 26 plant families. Soft, green plants were broken down by digestion but twigs, thorns and fibrous naterials were not digested. Flowers, fruits and seeds ...

  12. Pollination and facultative ant-association in the African leopard ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The leopard orchid Ansellia africana (Orchidaceae) is an epiphytic species widely distributed across tropical Africa. The pollination ecology of A. africana was investigated by direct observation. Buds and stalks of A. africana exude droplets of extra-floral nectar, but mature flowers produce no nectar. The role of extra-floral ...

  13. Face Value: Towards Robust Estimates of Snow Leopard Densities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justine S Alexander

    Full Text Available When densities of large carnivores fall below certain thresholds, dramatic ecological effects can follow, leading to oversimplified ecosystems. Understanding the population status of such species remains a major challenge as they occur in low densities and their ranges are wide. This paper describes the use of non-invasive data collection techniques combined with recent spatial capture-recapture methods to estimate the density of snow leopards Panthera uncia. It also investigates the influence of environmental and human activity indicators on their spatial distribution. A total of 60 camera traps were systematically set up during a three-month period over a 480 km2 study area in Qilianshan National Nature Reserve, Gansu Province, China. We recorded 76 separate snow leopard captures over 2,906 trap-days, representing an average capture success of 2.62 captures/100 trap-days. We identified a total number of 20 unique individuals from photographs and estimated snow leopard density at 3.31 (SE = 1.01 individuals per 100 km2. Results of our simulation exercise indicate that our estimates from the Spatial Capture Recapture models were not optimal to respect to bias and precision (RMSEs for density parameters less or equal to 0.87. Our results underline the critical challenge in achieving sufficient sample sizes of snow leopard captures and recaptures. Possible performance improvements are discussed, principally by optimising effective camera capture and photographic data quality.

  14. Genetic diversity of the red-spotted tokay gecko (Gekko gecko Linnaeus, 1758) (Squamata: Gekkonidae) in Southeast Asia determined with multilocus enzyme electrophoresis

    OpenAIRE

    Watee Kongbuntad; Chairat Tantrawatpan; Warayutt Pilap; Kamonwan Jongsomchai; Tawin Chanaboon; Panida Laotongsan; Trevor N. Petney; Weerachai Saijuntha

    2016-01-01

    Red-spotted tokay geckos, Gekko gecko, are distributed mainly in Southeast Asia. They are a traditional Chinese medicine, with the massive hunting for exports dramatically decreasing their numbers. Information on the genetic diversity of these geckos in Southeast Asia is very limited. This study aims to explore intrapopulation and interpopulation genetic variation and the genetic structure of 16 populations collected from different localities in Thailand, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and...

  15. Ecological effects of the invasive giant madagascar day gecko on endemic mauritian geckos: applications of binomial-mixture and species distribution models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steeves Buckland

    Full Text Available The invasion of the giant Madagascar day gecko Phelsuma grandis has increased the threats to the four endemic Mauritian day geckos (Phelsuma spp. that have survived on mainland Mauritius. We had two main aims: (i to predict the spatial distribution and overlap of P. grandis and the endemic geckos at a landscape level; and (ii to investigate the effects of P. grandis on the abundance and risks of extinction of the endemic geckos at a local scale. An ensemble forecasting approach was used to predict the spatial distribution and overlap of P. grandis and the endemic geckos. We used hierarchical binomial mixture models and repeated visual estimate surveys to calculate the abundance of the endemic geckos in sites with and without P. grandis. The predicted range of each species varied from 85 km2 to 376 km2. Sixty percent of the predicted range of P. grandis overlapped with the combined predicted ranges of the four endemic geckos; 15% of the combined predicted ranges of the four endemic geckos overlapped with P. grandis. Levin's niche breadth varied from 0.140 to 0.652 between P. grandis and the four endemic geckos. The abundance of endemic geckos was 89% lower in sites with P. grandis compared to sites without P. grandis, and the endemic geckos had been extirpated at four of ten sites we surveyed with P. grandis. Species Distribution Modelling, together with the breadth metrics, predicted that P. grandis can partly share the equivalent niche with endemic species and survive in a range of environmental conditions. We provide strong evidence that smaller endemic geckos are unlikely to survive in sympatry with P. grandis. This is a cause of concern in both Mauritius and other countries with endemic species of Phelsuma.

  16. Ecological effects of the invasive giant madagascar day gecko on endemic mauritian geckos: applications of binomial-mixture and species distribution models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckland, Steeves; Cole, Nik C; Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús; Gallagher, Laura E; Henshaw, Sion M; Besnard, Aurélien; Tucker, Rachel M; Bachraz, Vishnu; Ruhomaun, Kevin; Harris, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    The invasion of the giant Madagascar day gecko Phelsuma grandis has increased the threats to the four endemic Mauritian day geckos (Phelsuma spp.) that have survived on mainland Mauritius. We had two main aims: (i) to predict the spatial distribution and overlap of P. grandis and the endemic geckos at a landscape level; and (ii) to investigate the effects of P. grandis on the abundance and risks of extinction of the endemic geckos at a local scale. An ensemble forecasting approach was used to predict the spatial distribution and overlap of P. grandis and the endemic geckos. We used hierarchical binomial mixture models and repeated visual estimate surveys to calculate the abundance of the endemic geckos in sites with and without P. grandis. The predicted range of each species varied from 85 km2 to 376 km2. Sixty percent of the predicted range of P. grandis overlapped with the combined predicted ranges of the four endemic geckos; 15% of the combined predicted ranges of the four endemic geckos overlapped with P. grandis. Levin's niche breadth varied from 0.140 to 0.652 between P. grandis and the four endemic geckos. The abundance of endemic geckos was 89% lower in sites with P. grandis compared to sites without P. grandis, and the endemic geckos had been extirpated at four of ten sites we surveyed with P. grandis. Species Distribution Modelling, together with the breadth metrics, predicted that P. grandis can partly share the equivalent niche with endemic species and survive in a range of environmental conditions. We provide strong evidence that smaller endemic geckos are unlikely to survive in sympatry with P. grandis. This is a cause of concern in both Mauritius and other countries with endemic species of Phelsuma.

  17. Impacts of people and tigers on leopard spatiotemporal activity patterns in a global biodiversity hotspot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Carter

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Leopard population declines largely occur in areas where leopards and people frequently interact. Research on how leopards respond to human presence and competitors, like other predators, can provide important insights on leopard ecology and conservation in human-dominated regions; however, such research is lacking. Here we used data from field cameras in 2010 and 2011 to examine how human presence, prey, and tigers influence leopard spatiotemporal activity patterns in and around Nepal’s Chitwan National Park, part of a global biodiversity hotspot. We found that leopards were adjusting their spatiotemporal activity patterns to both tigers and people, but by different mechanisms. Leopards spatially avoided tigers in 2010, but were generally active at the same times of day that tigers were. Despite pervasive human presence, people on foot and vehicles had no significant effect on leopard detection and space use, but leopard temporal activity was displaced from those periods of time with highest human activity. Temporal displacement from humans was especially pronounced outside the park, where there is a much greater prevalence of natural resource collection by local people. Continuing to evaluate the interconnections among leopards, tigers, prey, and people across different land management regimes is needed to develop robust landscape-scale conservation strategies.

  18. Aspects of the ecology and the behaviour of the Leopard Panthera pardus in the Kalahari desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J du P Bothma

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available Tracking in sand revealed data on hunting and kill rates, range, movements, activity, cover and water use, reproduction and interactions with other carnivores, by the leopard Panthera pardus in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. For leopards in the interior, 812,5 km of tracks were followed for 54 days, and 205,1 km for 15 days for females with cubs. In the Nossob riverbed 30,2 km of tracks were folowed in eight days. Medium-sized mammals featured prominently in the diet of all leopards, with prey used influenced by habitat type. Leopards in the interior moved greater distances than those in the Nossob riverbed. Leopards rested frequently at the onset and end of activity and used dense vegetation and aardvark Orycteropus afer and porcupine Hystrix africaeaustralis burrows as daytime cover. Leopards are independent of water, and females apparently have no definite breeding season. Lions Panthera leo dominate leopards, but the outcome of leopard/spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta encounters depend on the size of the leopard and the number of hyaenas in the pack. Leopards in the Kalahari Desert are opportunists which occupy this harsh envi- ronment successfully.

  19. Ecological Effects of the Invasive Giant Madagascar Day Gecko on Endemic Mauritian Geckos: Applications of Binomial-Mixture and Species Distribution Models

    OpenAIRE

    Buckland, S.; Cole, N.C.; Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J.; Gallagher, L.E.; Henshaw, S.M.; Besnard, A.; Tucker, R.M.; Bachraz, V.; Ruhomaun, K.; Harris, S.

    2014-01-01

    The invasion of the giant Madagascar day gecko Phelsuma grandis has increased the threats to the four endemic Mauritian day geckos (Phelsuma spp.) that have survived on mainland Mauritius. We had two main aims: (i) to predict the spatial distribution and overlap of P. grandis and the endemic geckos at a landscape level; and (ii) to investigate the effects of P. grandis on the abundance and risks of extinction of the endemic geckos at a local scale. An ensemble forecasting approach was used to...

  20. Modelling of gecko foot for future robot application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamaruddin, A.; Ong, N. R.; Aziz, M. H. A.; Alcain, J. B.; Haimi, W. M. W. N.; Sauli, Z.

    2017-09-01

    Every gecko has an approximately million microscale hairs called setae which made it easy for them to cling from different surfaces at any orientation with the aid of Van der Waals force as the primary mechanism used to adhere to any contact surfaces. In this paper, a strain simulation using Comsol Multiphysic Software was conducted on a 3D MEMS model of an actuated gecko foot with the aim of achieving optimal sticking with various polymetric materials for future robots application. Based on the stress and strain analyses done on the seven different polymers, it was found that polysilicon had the best result which was nearest to 0%, indicating the strongest elasticity among the others. PDMS on the hand, failed in the simulation due to its bulk-like nature. Thus, PDMS was not suitable to be used for further study on gecko foot robot.

  1. A panel of microsatellites to individually identify leopards and its application to leopard monitoring in human dominated landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selvaraj Velu

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leopards are the most widely distributed of the large cats, ranging from Africa to the Russian Far East. Because of habitat fragmentation, high human population densities and the inherent adaptability of this species, they now occupy landscapes close to human settlements. As a result, they are the most common species involved in human wildlife conflict in India, necessitating their monitoring. However, their elusive nature makes such monitoring difficult. Recent advances in DNA methods along with non-invasive sampling techniques can be used to monitor populations and individuals across large landscapes including human dominated ones. In this paper, we describe a DNA-based method for leopard individual identification where we used fecal DNA samples to obtain genetic material. Further, we apply our methods to non-invasive samples collected in a human-dominated landscape to estimate the minimum number of leopards in this human-leopard conflict area in Western India. Results In this study, 25 of the 29 tested cross-specific microsatellite markers showed positive amplification in 37 wild-caught leopards. These loci revealed varied levels of polymorphism (four-12 alleles and heterozygosity (0.05-0.79. Combining data on amplification success (including non-invasive samples and locus specific polymorphisms, we showed that eight loci provide a sibling probability of identity of 0.0005, suggesting that this panel can be used to discriminate individuals in the wild. When this microsatellite panel was applied to fecal samples collected from a human-dominated landscape, we identified 7 individuals, with a sibling probability of identity of 0.001. Amplification success of field collected scats was up to 72%, and genotype error ranged from 0-7.4%. Conclusion Our results demonstrated that the selected panel of eight microsatellite loci can conclusively identify leopards from various kinds of biological samples. Our methods can be used to

  2. A model of frequency tuning in the basilar papilla of the Tokay gecko, Gekko gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Authier, S; Manley, G A

    1995-01-01

    This paper uses the quantitative details of the anatomy of the auditory papilla in the Tokay gecko Gekko gecko (as described in the companion paper) to make a quantitative model predicting the tonotopic organization of two of the three papillar areas. Assuming that hair-cell bundle stiffness is similar to that of other species, a model of resonance frequencies for the apical areas of the papilla was constructed, taking into account factors such as the number of hair cells per resonant unit, their bundle dimensions, the volume of the tectorial mass, etc. The model predicts that the apical pre- and postaxial areas, although anatomically adjacent, respond to different frequency ranges, a phenomenon not yet reported from any vertebrate. The model predicts that together, these areas respond best to frequencies between 1.1 and 5.3 kHz, close to the range found physiologically [Eatock et al. (1981) J. Comp. Physiol. 142, 203-218] (0.8 to 5 kHz) for the high-frequency range for this species. Only physiological experiments tracing responses to specific papillar nerve fibres can confirm or refute these interesting predictions of the model. The model also indicates that, compared to free-standing hair-cell bundles, the semi-isolated tectorial structures called sallets not only lower the range of characteristic frequencies but also increase the frequency selectivity of the attached hair cells.

  3. Fabrication and Characterization of Gecko-inspired Fibrillar Adhesive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yongkwan

    Over the last decade, geckos' remarkable ability to stick to and climb surfaces found in nature has motivated a wide range of scientific interest in engineering gecko-mimetic surface for various adhesive and high friction applications. The high adhesion and friction of its pads have been attributed to a complex array of hairy structures, which maximize surface area for van der Waals interaction between the toes and the counter-surface. While advances in micro- and nanolithography technique have allowed fabrication of increasingly sophisticated gecko mimetic surfaces, it remains a challenge to produce an adhesive as robust as that of the natural gecko pads. In order to rationally design gecko adhesives, understanding the contact behavior of fibrillar interface is critical. The first chapter of the dissertation introduces gecko adhesion and its potential applications, followed by a brief survey of gecko-inspired adhesives. Challenges that limit the performance of the current adhesives are presented. In particular, it is pointed out that almost all testing of gecko adhesives have been on clean, smooth glass, which is ideal for adhesion due to high surface energy and low roughness. Surfaces in application are more difficult to stick to, so the understanding of failure modes in low energy and rough surfaces is important. The second chapter presents a fabrication method for thermoplastic gecko adhesive to be used for a detailed study of fibrillar interfaces. Low-density polyethylene nanofibers are replicated from a silicon nanowire array fabricated by colloidal lithography and metal-catalyzed chemical etching. This process yields a highly ordered array of nanofibers over a large area with control over fiber diameter, length, and number density. The high yield and consistency of the process make it ideal for a systematic study on factors that affect adhesion and friction of gecko adhesives. The following three chapters examine parameters that affect macroscale friction of

  4. Purification and low temperature spectroscopy of gecko visual pigments green and blue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojima, D; Imai, H; Okano, T; Fukada, Y; Crescitelli, F; Yoshizawa, T; Shichida, Y

    1995-01-24

    We purified two kinds of visual pigments, gecko green and gecko blue, from retinas of Tokay geckos (Gekko gekko) by two steps of column chromatography, and investigated their photobleaching processes by means of low temperature spectroscopy. Absorption maxima of gecko green and blue solubilized in a mixture of 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio]-1- propanesulfonate (CHAPS) and phosphatidylcholine were 522 and 465 nm, respectively, which are close to those observed in the photoreceptor cells. Low temperature spectroscopy identified six intermediates in the photobleaching process of gecko green; batho (lambda max = 569 nm), BL (lambda max = 519 nm), lumi (507 nm), meta I (approximately 486 nm), meta II (approximately 384 nm), and meta III intermediates (approximately 500 nm). In contrast to the high similarity in amino acid sequence between gecko green and iodopsin [Kojima, D., et al. (1992) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 89, 6841-6845], the batho-green did not revert thermally to original gecko green but converts to the next intermediate. The photobleaching process of gecko blue was investigated by low temperature spectroscopy, and three intermediates, meta I (lambda max = approximately 470 nm), meta II (lambda max = approximately 370 nm) and meta III (lambda max = approximately 475 nm), were identified. A comparative study on the thermal behavior of meta intermediates revealed that the thermal stability of meta II intermediate of both of the gecko visual pigments is lower than that of metarhodopsin II. The result supports the idea that both the gecko visual pigments are cone-type ones.

  5. Proliferative thyroid lesions in three diplodactylid geckos: Nephrurus amyae, Nephrurus levis, and Oedura marmorata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadfield, Catherine A; Clayton, Leigh A; Clancy, Meredith M; Beck, Sarah E; Mangus, Lisa M; Montali, Richard J

    2012-03-01

    Over a 5-mo period, three diplodactylid geckos housed at the National Aquarium were diagnosed with proliferative thyroid lesions: a rough knob-tail gecko (Nephrurus amyae), a smooth knob-tail gecko (Nephrurus levis), and a marbled velvet gecko (Oedura marmorata). Clinical signs included an intraoral mass or ventral throat swelling (or both), oral bleeding, and weight loss. Both of the knob-tail geckos died. The histologic diagnosis for the rough knob-tail gecko was thyroid carcinoma with metastases to the liver and lungs, and thyroid carcinoma with no metastases was reported in the smooth knob-tail gecko. A thyroidectomy was performed on the marbled velvet gecko with a histologic diagnosis of adenomatous hyperplasia. Postoperative weight loss and bradycardia resolved following oral supplementation with levothyroxine. The animal is in normal health 10 mo post-surgery. Five other diplodactylid geckos in the collection remain unaffected, giving a 38% prevalence of proliferative thyroid lesions (3/8). The etiology remains undetermined. This is the first report of a cluster of proliferative thyroid lesions in geckos.

  6. New Sarcocystis species with a snake-gecko life cycle

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šlapeta, J.; Modrý, D.; Koudela, Břetislav

    1998-01-01

    Roč. 45, č. 1 (1998), s. 7 ISSN 1066-5234. [New Sarcocystis species with a snake -gecko life cycle. 01.01.1998-02.01.1998, Praha] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA508/95/0273 Subject RIV: fp - Other Medical Disciplines

  7. Frictional and elastic energy in gecko adhesive detachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravish, Nick; Wilkinson, Matt; Autumn, Kellar

    2008-03-06

    Geckos use millions of adhesive setae on their toes to climb vertical surfaces at speeds of over 1 m s(-1). Climbing presents a significant challenge for an adhesive since it requires both strong attachment and easy, rapid removal. Conventional pressure-sensitive adhesives are either strong and difficult to remove (e.g. duct tape) or weak and easy to remove (e.g. sticky notes). We discovered that the energy required to detach adhering tokay gecko setae (W(d)) is modulated by the angle (theta) of a linear path of detachment. Gecko setae resist detachment when dragged towards the animal during detachment (theta = 30 degrees ) requiring W(d) = 5.0+/-0.86(s.e.) J m(-2) to detach, largely due to frictional losses. This external frictional loss is analogous to viscous internal frictional losses during detachment of pressure-sensitive adhesives. We found that, remarkably, setae possess a built-in release mechanism. Setae acted as springs when loaded in tension during attachment and returned elastic energy when detached along the optimal path (theta=130 degrees ), resulting in W(d) = -0.8+/-0.12 J m(-2). The release of elastic energy from the setal shaft probably causes spontaneous release, suggesting that curved shafts may enable easy detachment in natural, and synthetic, gecko adhesives.

  8. Preliminary In Vivo Experiments on Adhesion of Geckos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Lepore

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available We performed preliminary experiments on the adhesion of a Tokay gecko on surfaces with different roughness, with or without particles with significant different granulometry, before/after or during the moult. The results were analyzed using the Weibull statistics.

  9. Passive Cushiony Biomechanics of Head Protection in Falling Geckos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Gekko geckos are capable to crawl on the steep even on upside-down surfaces. Such movement, especially at great altitude, puts them at high risks of incidentally dropping down and inevitable body or head impactions, though they may trigger air-righting reaction (ARR to attenuate the landing shocks. However, the air-righting ability (ARA in Gekko geckos is not fully developed. The implementation of ARR in some geckos is quite slow; and for those without tails, the ARR is even unobservable. Since ARA is compromised in Gekko geckos, there must be some other mechanisms responsible for protecting them from head injuries during falls. In this study, we looked into a Gekko gecko’s brain to study its internal environment and structure, using the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI technique. The results showed that the brain parenchyma was fully surrounded by the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF in the skull. A succulent characteristic was presented, which meant the intracalvarium was significantly occupied by the CSF, up to 45% in volume. Then a simplified three-dimensional finite element model was built, and a dynamic simulation was conducted to evaluate the mechanical property of this succulent characteristic during the head impactions. These implied the succulent characteristic may play certain roles on the self-protection in case of head impaction, which is adaptable to the Gekko gecko’s locomotion and behavior.

  10. Spectral transmittance of the spectacle scale of snakes and geckos

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Doorn, van K.; Sivak, J.G.

    2015-01-01

    The spectral transmittance of the optical media of the eye plays a substantial role in tuning the spectrum of light available for capture by the retina. Certain squamate reptiles, including snakes and most geckos, shield their eyes beneath a layer of transparent, cornified skin called the

  11. A review of the Namaqua gecko, Pachydactylus namaquensis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    An analysis of morphological and allozyme variation in the Namaqua gecko, Pachydactylus namaquensis from southern Africa is presented. Three separately evolving lineages, well defined by morphology and allozyme variation, are identified. The isolated southern population, occurring on the southern escarpment and ...

  12. Reproductive cycle of the Namib giant ground gecko ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The reproductive cycle of the Namib giant ground gecko, Chondrodactylus angulifer, from southern Africa was described from a histological examination of gonadal material from museum specimens. Males followed a seasonal testicular cycle in which (based on available specimens) the major period of spermiogenesis ...

  13. Design and fabrication of gecko-inspired adhesives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Kejia; Tian, Yu; Erickson, Jeffrey S; Puthoff, Jonathan; Autumn, Kellar; Pesika, Noshir S

    2012-04-03

    Recently, there has been significant interest in developing dry adhesives mimicking the gecko adhesive system, which offers several advantages compared to conventional pressure-sensitive adhesives. Specifically, gecko adhesive pads have anisotropic adhesion properties; the adhesive pads (spatulae) stick strongly when sheared in one direction but are non-adherent when sheared in the opposite direction. This anisotropy property is attributed to the complex topography of the array of fine tilted and curved columnar structures (setae) that bear the spatulae. In this study, we present an easy, scalable method, relying on conventional and unconventional techniques, to incorporate tilt in the fabrication of synthetic polymer-based dry adhesives mimicking the gecko adhesive system, which provides anisotropic adhesion properties. We measured the anisotropic adhesion and friction properties of samples with various tilt angles to test the validity of a nanoscale tape-peeling model of spatular function. Consistent with the peel zone model, samples with lower tilt angles yielded larger adhesion forces. The tribological properties of the synthetic arrays were highly anisotropic, reminiscent of the frictional adhesion behavior of gecko setal arrays. When a 60° tilt sample was actuated in the gripping direction, a static adhesion strength of ~1.4 N/cm(2) and a static friction strength of ~5.4 N/cm(2) were obtained. In contrast, when the dry adhesive was actuated in the releasing direction, we measured an initial repulsive normal force and negligible friction.

  14. Comparison of dietary overlap between allopatric and sympatric geckos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul D. Klawinski; R. Kathryn Vaughan; Daniel Saenz; William Godwin

    1994-01-01

    Two gecko species, Hemidactylus turcicus and Cyrtopodion scabrum, have been introduced into the Port of Galveston, Texas. While H. turcicus has been established for a longer period of time, the relatively recent introduction of C. scabrum near the entrance of the Port has apparently led to the...

  15. A microfabricated gecko-inspired controllable and reusable dry adhesive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chary, Sathya; Tamelier, John; Turner, Kimberly

    2013-02-01

    Geckos utilize a robust reversible adhesive to repeatedly attach and detach from a variety of vertical and inverted surfaces, using structurally anisotropic micro- and nano-scale fibrillar structures. These fibers, when suitably articulated, are able to control the real area of contact and thereby generate high-to-low van der Waals forces. Key characteristics of the natural system include highly anisotropic adhesion and shear forces for controllable attachment, a high adhesion to initial preload force ratio (μ‧) of 8-16, lack of inter-fiber self-adhesion, and operation over more than 30 000 cycles without loss of adhesion performance. A highly reusable synthetic adhesive has been developed using tilted polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) half-cylinder micron-scale fibers, retaining up to 77% of the initial value over 10 000 repeated test cycles against a flat glass puck. In comparison with other gecko-inspired adhesives tested over 10 000 cycles or more thus far, this paper reports the highest value of μ‧, along with a large shear force of ˜78 kPa, approaching the 88-226 kPa range of gecko toes. The anisotropic adhesion forces are close to theoretical estimates from the Kendall peel model, quantitatively showing how lateral shearing articulation in a manner similar to the gecko may be used to obtain adhesion anisotropy with synthetic fibers using a combination of tilt angle and anisotropic fiber geometry.

  16. A microfabricated gecko-inspired controllable and reusable dry adhesive

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chary, Sathya; Tamelier, John; Turner, Kimberly

    2013-01-01

    Geckos utilize a robust reversible adhesive to repeatedly attach and detach from a variety of vertical and inverted surfaces, using structurally anisotropic micro- and nano-scale fibrillar structures. These fibers, when suitably articulated, are able to control the real area of contact and thereby generate high-to-low van der Waals forces. Key characteristics of the natural system include highly anisotropic adhesion and shear forces for controllable attachment, a high adhesion to initial preload force ratio (μ′) of 8–16, lack of inter-fiber self-adhesion, and operation over more than 30 000 cycles without loss of adhesion performance. A highly reusable synthetic adhesive has been developed using tilted polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) half-cylinder micron-scale fibers, retaining up to 77% of the initial value over 10 000 repeated test cycles against a flat glass puck. In comparison with other gecko-inspired adhesives tested over 10 000 cycles or more thus far, this paper reports the highest value of μ′, along with a large shear force of ∼78 kPa, approaching the 88–226 kPa range of gecko toes. The anisotropic adhesion forces are close to theoretical estimates from the Kendall peel model, quantitatively showing how lateral shearing articulation in a manner similar to the gecko may be used to obtain adhesion anisotropy with synthetic fibers using a combination of tilt angle and anisotropic fiber geometry. (paper)

  17. CANINE DISTEMPER IN A VACCINATED SNOW LEOPARD ( PANTHERA UNCIA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinnadurai, Sathya K; Kinsel, Michael J; Adkesson, Michael J; Terio, Karen

    2017-12-01

    A 6-yr-old male snow leopard ( Panthera uncia) presented with acute seizures, hyperthermia, and tachypnea. Because of a diagnosis of anuric renal failure, the animal was euthanized. On histopathologic examination, numerous intralesional intracytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusions were found in the lungs, lymph nodes, and stomach. Positive immunohistochemical staining for canine distemper virus (CDV) was found in the lungs and, to a lesser extent, in the lymph nodes and brain. Molecular testing yielded a CDV H gene sequence that was closely related to CDV isolates concurrently found in wild raccoons from adjacent forested areas. The leopard had been vaccinated once against CDV with the use of a recombinant canarypox-vectored live vaccine during a routine wellness examination 12 wk prior to death. Serial serum neutralization titers performed on banked serum collected between vaccination and death showed poor serologic response to the vaccine. This case demonstrates a probable failure of protection against naturally occurring CDV.

  18. Quantitative anatomical basis for a model of micromechanical frequency tuning in the Tokay gecko, Gekko gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köppl, C; Authier, S

    1995-01-01

    The basilar papilla of the Tokay gecko was studied with standard light- and scanning electron microscopy methods. Several parameters thought to be of particular importance for the mechanical response properties of the system were quantitatively measured, separately for the three different hair-cell areas that are typical for this lizard family. In the basal third, papillar structure was very uniform. The apical two-thirds are subdivided into two hair-cell areas running parallel to each other along the papilla and covered by very different types of tectorial material. Both of those areas showed prominent gradients in hair-cell bundle morphology, i.e., in the height of the stereovillar bundles and the number of stereovilli per bundle, as well as in hair cell density and the size of their respective tectorial covering. Based on the direction of the observed anatomical gradients, a 'reverse' tonotopic organization is suggested, with the highest frequencies represented at the apical end.

  19. Multiscale factors affecting human attitudes toward snow leopards and wolves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suryawanshi, Kulbhushansingh R; Bhatia, Saloni; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Redpath, Stephen; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-12-01

    The threat posed by large carnivores to livestock and humans makes peaceful coexistence between them difficult. Effective implementation of conservation laws and policies depends on the attitudes of local residents toward the target species. There are many known correlates of human attitudes toward carnivores, but they have only been assessed at the scale of the individual. Because human societies are organized hierarchically, attitudes are presumably influenced by different factors at different scales of social organization, but this scale dependence has not been examined. We used structured interview surveys to quantitatively assess the attitudes of a Buddhist pastoral community toward snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis lupus). We interviewed 381 individuals from 24 villages within 6 study sites across the high-elevation Spiti Valley in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. We gathered information on key explanatory variables that together captured variation in individual and village-level socioeconomic factors. We used hierarchical linear models to examine how the effect of these factors on human attitudes changed with the scale of analysis from the individual to the community. Factors significant at the individual level were gender, education, and age of the respondent (for wolves and snow leopards), number of income sources in the family (wolves), agricultural production, and large-bodied livestock holdings (snow leopards). At the community level, the significant factors included the number of smaller-bodied herded livestock killed by wolves and mean agricultural production (wolves) and village size and large livestock holdings (snow leopards). Our results show that scaling up from the individual to higher levels of social organization can highlight important factors that influence attitudes of people toward wildlife and toward formal conservation efforts in general. Such scale-specific information can help managers apply conservation measures at

  20. Adhesive interactions of geckos with wet and dry fluoropolymer substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Alyssa Y; Dryden, Daniel M; Olderman, Jeffrey; Peterson, Kelly A; Niewiarowski, Peter H; French, Roger H; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-07-06

    Fluorinated substrates like Teflon® (poly(tetrafluoroethylene); PTFE) are well known for their role in creating non-stick surfaces. We showed previously that even geckos, which can stick to most surfaces under a wide variety of conditions, slip on PTFE. Surprisingly, however, geckos can stick reasonably well to PTFE if it is wet. In an effort to explain this effect, we have turned our attention to the role of substrate surface energy and roughness when shear adhesion occurs in media other than air. In this study, we removed the roughness component inherent to commercially available PTFE and tested geckos on relatively smooth wet and dry fluoropolymer substrates. We found that roughness had very little effect on shear adhesion in air or in water and that the level of fluorination was most important for shear adhesion, particularly in air. Surface energy calculations of the two fluorinated substrates and one control substrate using the Tabor-Winterton approximation and the Young-Dupré equation were used to determine the interfacial energy of the substrates. Using these interfacial energies we estimated the ratio of wet and dry normal adhesion for geckos clinging to the three substrates. Consistent with the results for rough PTFE, our predictions show a qualitative trend in shear adhesion based on fluorination, and the quantitative experimental differences highlight the unusually low shear adhesion of geckos on dry smooth fluorinated substrates, which is not captured by surface energy calculations. Our work has implications for bioinspired design of synthetics that can preferentially stick in water but not in air.

  1. Biomechanics of gecko locomotion: the patterns of reaction forces on inverted, vertical and horizontal substrates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Zhouyi; Dai, Zhendong; Ji, Aihong; Xing, Qiang; Ren, Lei; Dai, Liming

    2015-01-01

    The excellent locomotion ability of geckos on various rough and/or inclined substrates has attracted scientists’ attention for centuries. However, the moving ability of gecko-mimicking robots on various inclined surfaces still lags far behind that of geckos, mainly because our understanding of how geckos govern their locomotion is still very poor. To reveal the fundamental mechanism of gecko locomotion and also to facilitate the design of gecko-mimicking robots, we have measured the reaction forces (RFs) acting on each individual foot of moving geckos on inverted, vertical and horizontal substrates (i.e. ceiling, wall and floor), have associated the RFs with locomotion behaviors by using high-speed camera, and have presented the relationships of the force components with patterns of reaction forces (PRFs). Geckos generate different PRF on ceiling, wall and floor, that is, the PRF is determined by the angles between the direction of gravity and the substrate on which geckos move. On the ceiling, geckos produce reversed shear forces acting on the front and hind feet, which pull away from the body in both lateral and fore-aft directions. They use a very large supporting angle from 21° to 24° to reduce the forces acting on their legs and feet. On the floor, geckos lift their bodies using a supporting angle from 76° to 78°, which not only decreases the RFs but also improves their locomotion ability. On the wall, geckos generate a reliable self-locking attachment by using a supporting angle of 14.8°, which is only about half of the critical angle of detachment. (paper)

  2. Biomechanics of gecko locomotion: the patterns of reaction forces on inverted, vertical and horizontal substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhouyi; Dai, Zhendong; Ji, Aihong; Ren, Lei; Xing, Qiang; Dai, Liming

    2015-02-04

    The excellent locomotion ability of geckos on various rough and/or inclined substrates has attracted scientists' attention for centuries. However, the moving ability of gecko-mimicking robots on various inclined surfaces still lags far behind that of geckos, mainly because our understanding of how geckos govern their locomotion is still very poor. To reveal the fundamental mechanism of gecko locomotion and also to facilitate the design of gecko-mimicking robots, we have measured the reaction forces (RFs) acting on each individual foot of moving geckos on inverted, vertical and horizontal substrates (i.e. ceiling, wall and floor), have associated the RFs with locomotion behaviors by using high-speed camera, and have presented the relationships of the force components with patterns of reaction forces (PRFs). Geckos generate different PRF on ceiling, wall and floor, that is, the PRF is determined by the angles between the direction of gravity and the substrate on which geckos move. On the ceiling, geckos produce reversed shear forces acting on the front and hind feet, which pull away from the body in both lateral and fore-aft directions. They use a very large supporting angle from 21° to 24° to reduce the forces acting on their legs and feet. On the floor, geckos lift their bodies using a supporting angle from 76° to 78°, which not only decreases the RFs but also improves their locomotion ability. On the wall, geckos generate a reliable self-locking attachment by using a supporting angle of 14.8°, which is only about half of the critical angle of detachment.

  3. The carriage of antibiotic resistance by enteric bacteria from imported tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) destined for the pet trade

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Casey, Christine L. [Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (United States); Hernandez, Sonia M., E-mail: shernz@uga.edu [Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (United States); Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (United States); Yabsley, Michael J. [Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (United States); Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (United States); Smith, Katherine F. [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912 (United States); Sanchez, Susan [The Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Athens, GA 30602 (United States); The Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (United States)

    2015-02-01

    The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a growing public health concern and has serious implications for both human and veterinary medicine. The nature of the global economy encourages the movement of humans, livestock, produce, and wildlife, as well as their potentially antibiotic-resistant bacteria, across international borders. Humans and livestock can be reservoirs for antibiotic-resistant bacteria; however, little is known about the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria harbored by wildlife and, to our knowledge, limited data has been reported for wild-caught reptiles that were specifically collected for the pet trade. In the current study, we examined the antibiotic resistance of lactose-positive Enterobacteriaceae isolates from wild-caught Tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) imported from Indonesia for use in the pet trade. In addition, we proposed that the conditions under which wild animals are captured, transported, and handled might affect the shedding or fecal prevalence of antibiotic resistance. In particular we were interested in the effects of density; to address this, we experimentally modified densities of geckos after import and documented changes in antibiotic resistance patterns. The commensal enteric bacteria from Tokay geckos (G. gecko) imported for the pet trade displayed resistance against some antibiotics including: ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, cefoxitin, chloramphenicol, kanamycin and tetracycline. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria after experimentally mimicking potentially stressful transportation conditions reptiles experience prior to purchase. There were, however, some interesting trends observed when comparing Tokay geckos housed individually and those housed in groups. Understanding the prevalence of antibiotic resistant commensal enteric flora from common pet reptiles is paramount because of the potential for humans exposed to these animals to acquire antibiotic

  4. The carriage of antibiotic resistance by enteric bacteria from imported tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) destined for the pet trade

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Casey, Christine L.; Hernandez, Sonia M.; Yabsley, Michael J.; Smith, Katherine F.; Sanchez, Susan

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a growing public health concern and has serious implications for both human and veterinary medicine. The nature of the global economy encourages the movement of humans, livestock, produce, and wildlife, as well as their potentially antibiotic-resistant bacteria, across international borders. Humans and livestock can be reservoirs for antibiotic-resistant bacteria; however, little is known about the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria harbored by wildlife and, to our knowledge, limited data has been reported for wild-caught reptiles that were specifically collected for the pet trade. In the current study, we examined the antibiotic resistance of lactose-positive Enterobacteriaceae isolates from wild-caught Tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) imported from Indonesia for use in the pet trade. In addition, we proposed that the conditions under which wild animals are captured, transported, and handled might affect the shedding or fecal prevalence of antibiotic resistance. In particular we were interested in the effects of density; to address this, we experimentally modified densities of geckos after import and documented changes in antibiotic resistance patterns. The commensal enteric bacteria from Tokay geckos (G. gecko) imported for the pet trade displayed resistance against some antibiotics including: ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, cefoxitin, chloramphenicol, kanamycin and tetracycline. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria after experimentally mimicking potentially stressful transportation conditions reptiles experience prior to purchase. There were, however, some interesting trends observed when comparing Tokay geckos housed individually and those housed in groups. Understanding the prevalence of antibiotic resistant commensal enteric flora from common pet reptiles is paramount because of the potential for humans exposed to these animals to acquire antibiotic

  5. Salmonella isolates from wild-caught Tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) imported to the U.S. from Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Katherine F; Yabsley, Michael J; Sanchez, Susan; Casey, Christine L; Behrens, Michael D; Hernandez, Sonia M

    2012-07-01

    Reptiles account for ∼10% of live animal shipments imported to the United States (U.S.), the majority of which are sold in the pet trade. Characterizing Salmonella shedding by imported reptiles is of value to public health, the pet industry, and veterinary medicine. Here we report results of a pilot survey of Salmonella serotypes isolated from wild-caught Indonesian Tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) imported to the U.S. Upon arrival, the geckos were individually housed until a fecal sample was acquired for Salmonella culture. The geckos were divided into three groups with variable numbers to investigate density effects. A second group was imported after 3 months and combined with the previous groups. A total of 88 Salmonella isolates were obtained from 110 geckos surveyed, representing 14 serogroups and 17 unique serotypes. Group prevalence ranged from 31-73%. A significant increase in prevalence and a change in serotype richness were detected between the time of import and 6 months later at necropsy. Six isolates (6.8%) expressed resistance to more than one antibiotic. All S. enterica subsp. enterica Adelaide isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid and sulfisoxazole, one S. enterica subsp. arizonae 61:k:z35 isolate was resistant to ampicillin and sulfisoxazole, and another 61:k:z35 isolate was resistant to streptomycin and sulfisoxazole. Forty-three additional isolates expressed resistance only to sulfisoxazole. The mechanisms for increased prevalence and apparent change in serotype richness are unknown, but could be due to stress associated with trade, transport, and captivity, increased transmission from unnaturally high densities, or contact with other species shedding Salmonella along the trade route. Future studies to differentiate the physical, social, and physiological effects of trade-related conditions on Salmonella shedding and transmission among reptiles will benefit the industry by identifying ways to reduce mortality, and safeguard the individuals

  6. LEOPARD syndrome in an infant with severe hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and PTPN11 mutation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ganigara Madhusudan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In LEOPARD syndrome, mutations affecting exon 13 of the PTPN11 gene have been correlated with a rapidly progressive severe biventricular obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM. This is a report of early onset severe HCM in an infant with LEOPARD syndrome and an unusual mutation in exon 13, showing genotype-phenotype correlation.

  7. Phylogeography of Declining Relict and Lowland Leopard Frogs in the Desert Southwest of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated the phylogeography of the closely related relict leopard frog (Rana onca) and lowland leopard frog (R. yavapaiensis) – two declining anurans from the warm-desert regions of southwestern North America. We used sequence data from two mitochondrial DNA genes to asses...

  8. Leopard-men of the Congo in literature and popular imagination ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Anyoto leopard-men, a society from eastern Congo, operated between approximately 1890 and 1935. Until now the history of the leopard-men has inspired representations of Central Africa as a barbaric and disorderly place, and the idea that a secret association of men attacked innocent people and ate their limbs ...

  9. Soil ingestion may be an important route for the uptake of contaminants by some reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rich, C Nelson; Talent, Larry G

    2009-02-01

    Some species of reptiles regularly ingest soil in the wild. Therefore, we evaluated the importance of soil ingestion as a route for the uptake of contaminants in lizards. We used sand as a substitute for soil during the present study. Different groups of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) were provided with a control and five sodium selenite-spiked sand mixtures during a 28-d study. Twenty lizards were assigned to a control group and to each of five selenium-spiked sand mixtures that consisted of nominal selenium (Se) concentrations of 0.05, 0.46, 4.57, 11.41, and 22.83 mg Se/kg dry sand. Leopard geckos readily ingested the Se-spiked sand. We observed concentration-related effects in several endpoints. Overall growth in body mass was the most sensitive endpoint and was significantly (p leopard geckos appear to be as sensitive to sodium selenite as birds and mammals. The present study suggests that ingestion of soil could be an important potential route for the uptake of soil contaminants in some reptiles and should be evaluated in ecotoxicological studies and risk analyses of reptiles.

  10. LEOPARD syndrome is not linked to the Marfan syndrome and the Watson syndrome loci

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rass-Rothchild, A.: Abeliovitch, D.; Kornstein, A. [Tel Aviv Univ. (Israel)]|[Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem (Israel)

    1994-09-01

    The acronym LEOPARD stands for a syndromic association of Lentigines, Eletrocardiographic changes, Ocular hypertelorism, Pulmonic stenosis, Abnormal genitalia, Retardation of growth and sensorineural Deafness. Inheritance is autosomal dominant with high penetrance and variable expressivity. In 1990 Torok et al. reported on the association of LEOPARD and Marfan syndrome. In addition a clinical similarity (cardiac and cutaneous involvement) exists with the Watson syndrome (neurofibromatosis and pulmonic stenosis) which is linked to the marker D17S33 on chromosome 17. We studied possible linkage of LEOPARD syndrome to the Marfan syndrome locus on chromosome 15 (D15S1, MF13, and (TAAAA)n repeats) and to the NF-1 locus on chromosome 17 in a family with 9 cases of LEOPARD syndrome. Close linkage between LEOPARD syndrome and both the Marfan locus on chromosome 15 and the NF-1 locus on chromosome 17 was excluded (lod score <-2.0 through {theta} = 0.1).

  11. Immobilisation of southern elephant seals and leopard seals with cyclohexamine anaesthetics and xylazine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, P J; Burton, H R

    1991-10-12

    Ketamine and xylazine were given to 55 southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) for stomach lavaging, and to three leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx). The elephant seals showed prolonged apnoea and two of them died owing to aspiration of stomach contents. Two of the leopard seals died from unknown causes. Tiletamine and zolazepam were given to five elephant seals and one leopard seal. Two of the elephant seals and the leopard seal died from unknown causes. Xylazine alone was administered to 34 leopard seals. Sedation was poor at low dose rates (less than 1.7 mg/kg) but four of the seals given higher dose rates died owing to the aspiration of stomach contents.

  12. Effective elastic modulus of isolated gecko setal arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Autumn, K; Majidi, C; Groff, R E; Dittmore, A; Fearing, R

    2006-09-01

    Conventional pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) are fabricated from soft viscoelastic materials that satisfy Dahlquist's criterion for tack with a Young's modulus (E) of 100 kPa or less at room temperature and 1 Hz. In contrast, the adhesive on the toes of geckos is made of beta-keratin, a stiff material with E at least four orders of magnitude greater than the upper limit of Dahlquist's criterion. Therefore, one would not expect a beta-keratin structure to function as a PSA by deforming readily to make intimate molecular contact with a variety of surface profiles. However, since the gecko adhesive is a microstructure in the form of an array of millions of high aspect ratio shafts (setae), the effective elastic modulus (E(eff)) is much lower than E of bulk beta-keratin. In the first test of the E(eff) of a gecko setal adhesive, we measured the forces resulting from deformation of isolated arrays of tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) setae during vertical compression, and during tangential compression at angles of +45 degrees and -45 degrees . We tested the hypothesis that E(eff) of gecko setae falls within Dahlquist's criterion for tack, and evaluated the validity of a model of setae as cantilever beams. Highly linear forces of deformation under all compression conditions support the cantilever model. E(eff) of setal arrays during vertical and +45 degrees compression (along the natural path of drag of the setae) were 83+/-4.0 kPa and 86+/-4.4 kPa (means +/- s.e.m.), respectively. Consistent with the predictions of the cantilever model, setae became significantly stiffer when compressed against the natural path of drag: E(eff) during -45 degrees compression was 110+/-4.7 kPa. Unlike synthetic PSAs, setal arrays act as Hookean elastic solids; setal arrays function as a bed of springs with a directional stiffness, assisting alignment of the adhesive spatular tips with the contact surface during shear loading.

  13. A forebrain atlas of the lizard Gekko gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smeets, W J; Hoogland, P V; Lohman, A H

    1986-12-01

    An atlas of the forebrain of the lizard Gekko gecko has been provided, which will serve as the basis for subsequent experimental tracing and immunohistochemical studies. Apart from a strongly developed medial cortex and septal area, the Tokay gecko shows all the main features of the forebrain of the lacertid-type lizards. When its convenience as an experimental animal is also taken into account, this species seems to be very suitable for studying the limbic system in reptiles. The atlas comprises topographical reconstructions of the telencephalon and diencephalon and a series of transverse sections of which the levels have been indicated in the reconstructions. The results obtained in the Gekko are briefly compared with those found in other lizards studied.

  14. Effects of humidity on the mechanical properties of gecko setae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prowse, Michael S; Wilkinson, Matt; Puthoff, Jonathan B; Mayer, George; Autumn, Kellar

    2011-02-01

    We tested the hypothesis that an increase in relative humidity (RH) causes changes in the mechanical properties of the keratin of adhesive gecko foot hairs (setae). We measured the effect of RH on the tensile deformation properties, fracture, and dynamic mechanical response of single isolated tokay gecko setae and strips of the smooth lamellar epidermal layer. The mechanical properties of gecko setae were strongly affected by RH. The complex elastic modulus (measured at 5 Hz) of a single seta at 80% RH was 1.2 GPa, only 39% of the value when dry. An increase in RH reduced the stiffness and increased the strain to failure. The loss tangent increased significantly with humidity, suggesting that water absorption produces a transition to a more viscous type of deformation. The influence of RH on the properties of the smooth epidermal layer was comparable with that of isolated seta, with the exception of stress at rupture. These values were two to four times greater for the setae than for the smooth layer. The changes in mechanical properties of setal keratin were consistent with previously reported increases in contact forces, supporting the hypothesis that an increase in RH softens setal keratin, which increases adhesion and friction. Copyright © 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Gecko Adhesion on Wet and Dry Patterned Substrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alyssa Y Stark

    Full Text Available Perhaps one of the most astounding characteristics of the gecko adhesive system is its versatility. Geckos can locomote across complex substrates in a variety of conditions with apparent ease. In contrast, many of our synthetic pressure sensitive adhesives fail on substrates that are dirty, wet or rough. Although many studies have investigated the effect of environmental challenges on performance, the interaction of multiple, potentially compromising variables is studied less often. Here we focus on substrate structure and surface water, both of which are highly relevant to the biological system and to synthetic design. To do this we utilized a highly controlled, patterned substrate (Sharklet®, by Sharklet® Technologies Inc.. This allowed us to test independently and jointly the effects of reduced surface area substrates, with a defined pattern, on adhesion in both air and water. Our results show that adhesion is not significantly impaired in air, whereas surface area and pattern significantly affect adhesion in water. These findings highlight the need to study multiple parameters that are relevant to the gecko adhesive system to further improve our understanding of the biological system and to design better, more versatile synthetics.

  16. Repeated origin and loss of adhesive toepads in geckos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tony Gamble

    Full Text Available Geckos are well known for their extraordinary clinging abilities and many species easily scale vertical or even inverted surfaces. This ability is enabled by a complex digital adhesive mechanism (adhesive toepads that employs van der Waals based adhesion, augmented by frictional forces. Numerous morphological traits and behaviors have evolved to facilitate deployment of the adhesive mechanism, maximize adhesive force and enable release from the substrate. The complex digital morphologies that result allow geckos to interact with their environment in a novel fashion quite differently from most other lizards. Details of toepad morphology suggest multiple gains and losses of the adhesive mechanism, but lack of a comprehensive phylogeny has hindered efforts to determine how frequently adhesive toepads have been gained and lost. Here we present a multigene phylogeny of geckos, including 107 of 118 recognized genera, and determine that adhesive toepads have been gained and lost multiple times, and remarkably, with approximately equal frequency. The most likely hypothesis suggests that adhesive toepads evolved 11 times and were lost nine times. The overall external morphology of the toepad is strikingly similar in many lineages in which it is independently derived, but lineage-specific differences are evident, particularly regarding internal anatomy, with unique morphological patterns defining each independent derivation.

  17. Gecko-Inspired, Controlled Adhesion and Its Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menguc, Yigit

    This thesis work is primarily concerned with taking inspiration from the principles of gecko-adhesion in order to control the attachment of synthetic structured adhesives. We present gecko-inspired angled elastomer micropillars with flat or round tip endings as compliant pick-and-place micromanipulators. The pillars are 35 mum in diameter, 90 mum tall, and angled at an inclination of 20°. By gently pressing the tip of a pillar to a part, the pillar adheres to it through intermolecular forces. Next, by retracting quickly, the part is picked from a given donor substrate. During transferring, the adhesion between the pillar and the part is high enough to withstand disturbances due to external forces or the weight of the part. During release of the part onto a receiver substrate, the contact area of the pillar to the part is drastically reduced by controlled vertical or shear displacement, which results in reduced adhesive forces. The maximum repeatable ratio of pick-to-release adhesive forces was measured as 39 to 1. We find that a flat tip shape and shear displacement control provide a higher pick-to-release adhesion ratio than a round tip and vertical displacement control, respectively. We present a model of forces to serve as a framework for the operation of this micromanipulator. Finally, demonstrations of pick-and-place manipulation of mum-scale silicon microplatelets and a cm-scale glass cover slip serve as proofs of concept. The compliant polymer micropillars are safe for use with fragile parts, and, due to exploiting intermolecular forces, could be effective on most materials and in air, vacuum, and liquid environments. We present a study of the self-cleaning and contamination resistance phenomena of synthetic gecko-inspired adhesives made from elastomeric polyurethane. The phenomenon of self-cleaning makes the adhesive foot of the gecko robust against dirt, and makes it effectively sticky throughout the lifetime of the material (within the molting cycles

  18. Carbon nanotube based gecko inspired self-cleaning adhesives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sethi, Sunny; Ge, Liehui; Ajayan, Pulickel; Ali, Dhinojwala

    2008-03-01

    Wall climbing organisms like geckos have unique ability to attach to different surfaces without use of any viscoelastic material. The hairy structure found in gecko feet allows them to obtain intimate contact over a large area thus allowing then to adhere using van der Waals interactions. Not only high adhesion, the geometry of the hairs makes gecko feet self cleaning, thus allowing them to walk continuously without worrying about loosing adhesive strength. Such properties if mimicked synthetically could form basis of a new class of materials, which, unlike conventional adhesives would show two contradictory properties, self cleaning and high adhesion. Such materials would form essential component of applications like wall climbing robot. We tried to synthesize such material using micropatterened vertically aligned carbon nanotubes. When dealing with large areas, probability of defects in the structure increase, forming patterns instead of using uniform film of carbon nanotubes helps to inhibit crack propagation, thus gives much higher adhesive strength than a uniform film. When carbon nanotube patterns with optimized aspect ratio are used, both high adhesion and self cleaning properties are observed.

  19. Repeated origin and loss of adhesive toepads in geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamble, Tony; Greenbaum, Eli; Jackman, Todd R; Russell, Anthony P; Bauer, Aaron M

    2012-01-01

    Geckos are well known for their extraordinary clinging abilities and many species easily scale vertical or even inverted surfaces. This ability is enabled by a complex digital adhesive mechanism (adhesive toepads) that employs van der Waals based adhesion, augmented by frictional forces. Numerous morphological traits and behaviors have evolved to facilitate deployment of the adhesive mechanism, maximize adhesive force and enable release from the substrate. The complex digital morphologies that result allow geckos to interact with their environment in a novel fashion quite differently from most other lizards. Details of toepad morphology suggest multiple gains and losses of the adhesive mechanism, but lack of a comprehensive phylogeny has hindered efforts to determine how frequently adhesive toepads have been gained and lost. Here we present a multigene phylogeny of geckos, including 107 of 118 recognized genera, and determine that adhesive toepads have been gained and lost multiple times, and remarkably, with approximately equal frequency. The most likely hypothesis suggests that adhesive toepads evolved 11 times and were lost nine times. The overall external morphology of the toepad is strikingly similar in many lineages in which it is independently derived, but lineage-specific differences are evident, particularly regarding internal anatomy, with unique morphological patterns defining each independent derivation.

  20. Adhesive force of a single gecko foot-hair

    Science.gov (United States)

    Autumn, Kellar; Liang, Yiching A.; Hsieh, S. Tonia; Zesch, Wolfgang; Chan, Wai Pang; Kenny, Thomas W.; Fearing, Ronald; Full, Robert J.

    2000-06-01

    Geckos are exceptional in their ability to climb rapidly up smooth vertical surfaces. Microscopy has shown that a gecko's foot has nearly five hundred thousand keratinous hairs or setae. Each 30-130µm long seta is only one-tenth the diameter of a human hair and contains hundreds of projections terminating in 0.2-0.5µm spatula-shaped structures. After nearly a century of anatomical description, here we report the first direct measurements of single setal force by using a two-dimensional micro-electro-mechanical systems force sensor and a wire as a force gauge. Measurements revealed that a seta is ten times more effective at adhesion than predicted from maximal estimates on whole animals. Adhesive force values support the hypothesis that individual seta operate by van der Waals forces. The gecko's peculiar behaviour of toe uncurling and peeling led us to discover two aspects of setal function which increase their effectiveness. A unique macroscopic orientation and preloading of the seta increased attachment force 600-fold above that of frictional measurements of the material. Suitably orientated setae reduced the forces necessary to peel the toe by simply detaching above a critical angle with the substratum.

  1. From the Cover: Evidence for van der Waals adhesion in gecko setae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Autumn, Kellar; Sitti, Metin; Liang, Yiching A.; Peattie, Anne M.; Hansen, Wendy R.; Sponberg, Simon; Kenny, Thomas W.; Fearing, Ronald; Israelachvili, Jacob N.; Full, Robert J.

    2002-09-01

    Geckos have evolved one of the most versatile and effective adhesives known. The mechanism of dry adhesion in the millions of setae on the toes of geckos has been the focus of scientific study for over a century. We provide the first direct experimental evidence for dry adhesion of gecko setae by van der Waals forces, and reject the use of mechanisms relying on high surface polarity, including capillary adhesion. The toes of live Tokay geckos were highly hydrophobic, and adhered equally well to strongly hydrophobic and strongly hydrophilic, polarizable surfaces. Adhesion of a single isolated gecko seta was equally effective on the hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces of a microelectro-mechanical systems force sensor. A van der Waals mechanism implies that the remarkable adhesive properties of gecko setae are merely a result of the size and shape of the tips, and are not strongly affected by surface chemistry. Theory predicts greater adhesive forces simply from subdividing setae to increase surface density, and suggests a possible design principle underlying the repeated, convergent evolution of dry adhesive microstructures in gecko, anoles, skinks, and insects. Estimates using a standard adhesion model and our measured forces come remarkably close to predicting the tip size of Tokay gecko seta. We verified the dependence on size and not surface type by using physical models of setal tips nanofabricated from two different materials. Both artificial setal tips stuck as predicted and provide a path to manufacturing the first dry, adhesive microstructures.

  2. Enterprise Mac Security Mac OS X Snow Leopard Security

    CERN Document Server

    Edge, Stephen Charles; Hunter, Beau; Sullivan, Gene; LeBlanc, Dee-Ann

    2010-01-01

    A common misconception in the Mac community is that Mac's operating system is more secure than others. While this might be true in certain cases, security on the Mac is still a crucial issue. When sharing is enabled or remote control applications are installed, Mac OS X faces a variety of security threats. Enterprise Mac Security: Mac OS X Snow Leopard is a definitive, expert-driven update of the popular, slash-dotted first edition and was written in part as a companion to the SANS Institute course for Mac OS X. It contains detailed Mac OS X security information, and walkthroughs on securing s

  3. On the status of Snow Leopard Panthera uncial (Schreber, 1775 in Annapurna, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.B. Ale

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a status-survey on Snow Leopard Panthera uncia and its main prey, the Blue Sheep Pseudois nayaur, in the Mustang District of Nepal’s Annapurna Conservation Area, in 2010 and 2011. Sign transects, covering a total linear distance of 19.4km, revealed an average density of 5.8 signs per kilometer, which compares with those from other Snow Leopard range countries. This also roughly corresponded with the minimum number of three adult Snow Leopards we obtained from nine remote cameras, deployed to monitor areas of c. 75km2 in extent. We obtained 42 pictures of Snow Leopards during nine capture events. We conclude that Mustang harbors at least three adult Snow Leopards, and probably more, along with a healthy Blue Sheep population (a total of 528 individuals, along 37.6km of Snow Leopard transect lines. We suggest that people-wildlife conflicts exist but that the local people tolerate Snow Leopards based on their Buddhist socio-religious values.

  4. Self-Cleaning Synthetic Adhesive Surfaces Mimicking Tokay Geckos.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Branson, Eric D.; Singh, Seema; Burckel, David Bruce; Fan, Hongyou; Houston, Jack E.; Brinker, C. Jeffrey; Johnson, Patrick

    2006-11-01

    A gecko's extraordinary ability to suspend itself from walls and ceilings of varied surface roughness has interested humans for hundreds of years. Many theories and possible explanations describing this phenomenon have been proposed including sticky secretions, microsuckers, and electrostatic forces; however, today it is widely accepted that van der Waals forces play the most important role in this type of dry adhesion. Inarguably, the vital feature that allows a gecko's suspension is the presence of billions 3 of tiny hairs on the pad of its foot called spatula. These features are small enough to reach within van der Waals distances of any surface (spatula radius %7E100 nm); thus, the combined effect of billions of van der Waals interactions is more than sufficient to hold a gecko's weight to surfaces such as smooth ceilings or wet glass. Two lithographic approaches were used to make hierarchal structures with dimensions similar to the gecko foot dimensions noted above. One approach combined photo-lithography with soft lithography (micro-molding). In this fabrication scheme the fiber feature size, defined by the alumina micromold was 0.2 um in diameter and 60 um in height. The second approach followed more conventional photolithography-based patterning. Patterned features with dimensions %7E0.3 mm in diameter by 0.5 mm tall were produced. We used interfacial force microscopy employing a parabolic diamond tip with a diameter of 200 nm to measure the surface adhesion of these structures. The measured adhesive forces ranged from 0.3 uN - 0.6 uN, yielding an average bonding stress between 50 N/cm2 to 100 N/cm2. By comparison the reported literature value for the average stress of a Tokay gecko foot is 10 N/cm2. Acknowledgements This work was funded by Sandia National Laboratory's Laboratory Directed Research & Development program (LDRD). All coating processes were conducted in the cleanroom facility located at the University of New Mexico

  5. Conflict to Coexistence: Human – Leopard Interactions in a Plantation Landscape in Anamalai Hills, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swati Sidhu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available When leopards are found in human-dominated landscapes, conflicts may arise due to attacks on people or livestock loss or when people retaliate following real and perceived threats. In the plantation landscape of the Valparai plateau, we studied incidents of injury and loss of life of people and livestock over time (15 – 25 y and carried out questionnaire surveys in 29 plantation colonies and eight tribal villages to study correlates of livestock depredation, people's perception of leopards, and preferred management options for human – leopard interactions. Leopards were implicated in an average of 1.3 (± 0.4 SE incidents/year (1990 – 2014 involving humans and 3.6 (± 0.8 SE incidents/year (1999 – 2014 involving livestock, with no statistically significant increasing trend over time. Most incidents of injury or loss of life involved young children or unattended livestock, and occurred between afternoon and night. At the colony level, livestock depredation was positively related to the number of livestock, but decreased with the distance from protected area and number of residents. Half the respondents reported seeing a leopard in a neutral situation, under conditions that resulted in no harm. All tribal and 52% of estate respondents had neutral perceptions of leopards and most (81.9%, n = 161 respondents indicated changing their own behaviour as a preferred option to manage negative interactions with leopards, rather than capture or removal of leopards. Perception was unrelated to livestock depredation, but tended to be more negative when human attacks had occurred in a colony. A combination of measures including safety precautions for adults and children at night, better livestock herding and cattle-sheds, and building on people's neutral perception and tolerance can mitigate negative interactions and support continued human – leopard coexistence.

  6. Snow Leopard and Himalayan Wolf: Food Habits and Prey Selection in the Central Himalayas, Nepal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madhu Chetri

    Full Text Available Top carnivores play an important role in maintaining energy flow and functioning of the ecosystem, and a clear understanding of their diets and foraging strategies is essential for developing effective conservation strategies. In this paper, we compared diets and prey selection of snow leopards and wolves based on analyses of genotyped scats (snow leopards n = 182, wolves n = 57, collected within 26 sampling grid cells (5×5 km that were distributed across a vast landscape of ca 5000 km2 in the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Within the grid cells, we sampled prey abundances using the double observer method. We found that interspecific differences in diet composition and prey selection reflected their respective habitat preferences, i.e. snow leopards significantly preferred cliff-dwelling wild ungulates (mainly bharal, 57% of identified material in scat samples, whereas wolves preferred typically plain-dwellers (Tibetan gazelle, kiang and argali, 31%. Livestock was consumed less frequently than their proportional availability by both predators (snow leopard = 27%; wolf = 24%, but significant avoidance was only detected among snow leopards. Among livestock species, snow leopards significantly preferred horses and goats, avoided yaks, and used sheep as available. We identified factors influencing diet composition using Generalized Linear Mixed Models. Wolves showed seasonal differences in the occurrence of small mammals/birds, probably due to the winter hibernation of an important prey, marmots. For snow leopard, occurrence of both wild ungulates and livestock in scats depended on sex and latitude. Wild ungulates occurrence increased while livestock decreased from south to north, probably due to a latitudinal gradient in prey availability. Livestock occurred more frequently in scats from male snow leopards (males: 47%, females: 21%, and wild ungulates more frequently in scats from females (males: 48%, females: 70%. The sexual difference agrees with

  7. Gecko toe and lamellar shear adhesion on macroscopic, engineered rough surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillies, Andrew G; Henry, Amy; Lin, Hauwen; Ren, Angela; Shiuan, Kevin; Fearing, Ronald S; Full, Robert J

    2014-01-15

    The role in adhesion of the toes and lamellae - intermediate-sized structures - found on the gecko foot remains unclear. Insight into the function of these structures can lead to a more general understanding of the hierarchical nature of the gecko adhesive system, but in particular how environmental topology may relate to gecko foot morphology. We sought to discern the mechanics of the toes and lamellae by examining gecko adhesion on controlled, macroscopically rough surfaces. We used live Tokay geckos, Gekko gecko, to observe the maximum shear force a gecko foot can attain on an engineered substrate constructed with sinusoidal patterns of varying amplitudes and wavelengths in sizes similar to the dimensions of the toes and lamellae structures (0.5 to 6 mm). We found shear adhesion was significantly decreased on surfaces that had amplitudes and wavelengths approaching the lamella length and inter-lamella spacing, losing 95% of shear adhesion over the range tested. We discovered that the toes are capable of adhering to surfaces with amplitudes much larger than their dimensions even without engaging claws, maintaining 60% of shear adhesion on surfaces with amplitudes of 3 mm. Gecko adhesion can be predicted by the ratio of the lamella dimensions to surface feature dimensions. In addition to setae, remarkable macroscopic-scale features of gecko toes and lamellae that include compliance and passive conformation are necessary to maintain contact, and consequently, generate shear adhesion on macroscopically rough surfaces. Findings on the larger scale structures in the hierarchy of gecko foot function could provide the biological inspiration to drive the design of more effective and versatile synthetic fibrillar adhesives.

  8. Information entropy analysis of leopard seal vocalization bouts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, John R.; Rogers, Tracey L.; Cato, Douglas H.

    2004-05-01

    Leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) are solitary pinnipeds who are vocally active during their brief breeding season. The seals produce vocal bouts consisting of a sequence of distinct sounds, with an average length of roughly ten sounds. The sequential structure of the bouts is thought to be individually distinctive. Bouts recorded from five leopard seals during 1992-1994 were analyzed using information theory. The first-order Markov model entropy estimates were substantially smaller than the independent, identically distributed model entropy estimates for all five seals, indicative of constraints on the sequential structure of each seal's bouts. Each bout in the data set was classified using maximum-likelihood estimates from the first-order Markov model for each seal. This technique correctly classified 85% of the bouts, comparable to results in Rogers and Cato [Behaviour (2002)]. The relative entropies between the Markov models were found to be infinite in 18/20 possible cross-comparisons, indicating there is no probability of misclassifying the bouts in these 18 comparisons in the limit of long data sequences. One seal has sufficient data to compare a nonparametric entropy estimate with the Markov entropy estimate, finding only a small difference. This suggests that the first-order Markov model captures almost all the sequential structure in this seal's bouts.

  9. Seasonal and diurnal calling patterns of Ross and leopards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Tracey L.; Rowney, Gayle A.; Ciaglia, Michaela B.; Cato, Douglas H.

    2005-09-01

    The temporal calling patterns of two Antarctic pack ice seals, the leopard and Ross seal, were examined. This included seasonal onset and decline of calling (coinciding with their breeding season) as well as diurnal changes. Understanding of calling behavior has important implications for acoustic surveying, since this allows the number of calls to be related to an index of the number of animals present and to estimate abundance. The monthly changes in diurnal calling and haul-out patterns (measured via satellite telemetry) were compared. Underwater acoustic recordings were made between 14 October 2003 and 10 January 2004 off Mawson, Eastern Antarctica (660 44.243S and 690 48.748E). Recordings were made using an Acoustics Recording Package (ARP by Dr. John Hildebrand, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA) which is designed to sit on the seafloor and passively record acoustic signals. The package was deployed at a depth of 1320.7 m. The sampling rate was 500 Hz and the effective bandwidth from 10 to 250 Hz, covering the bandwidth of only the low-frequency calls of the Ross and leopard seal.

  10. Mechanical analyses on the digital behaviour of the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) based on a multi-level directional adhesion model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xuan; Wang, Xiaojie; Mei, Tao; Sun, Shaoming

    2015-07-08

    This paper proposes a multi-level hierarchical model for the Tokay gecko ( Gekko gecko ) adhesive system and analyses the digital behaviour of the G. gecko under macro/meso-level scale. The model describes the structures of G. gecko 's adhesive system from the nano-level spatulae to the sub-millimetre-level lamella. The G. gecko 's seta is modelled using inextensible fibril based on Euler's elastica theorem. Considering the side contact of the spatular pads of the seta on the flat and rigid substrate, the directional adhesion behaviour of the seta has been investigated. The lamella-induced attachment and detachment have been modelled to simulate the active digital hyperextension (DH) and the digital gripping (DG) phenomena. The results suggest that a tiny angular displacement within 0.25° of the lamellar proximal end is necessary in which a fast transition from attachment to detachment or vice versa is induced. The active DH helps release the torque to induce setal non-sliding detachment, while the DG helps apply torque to make the setal adhesion stable. The lamella plays a key role in saving energy during detachment to adapt to its habitat and provides another adhesive function which differs from the friction-dependent setal adhesion system controlled by the dynamic of G. gecko 's body.

  11. Evidence of a high density population of harvested leopards in a montane environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chase Grey, Julia N; Kent, Vivien T; Hill, Russell A

    2013-01-01

    Populations of large carnivores can persist in mountainous environments following extensive land use change and the conversion of suitable habitat for agriculture and human habitation in lower lying areas of their range. The significance of these populations is poorly understood, however, and little attention has focussed on why certain mountainous areas can hold high densities of large carnivores and what the conservation implications of such populations might be. Here we use the leopard (Panthera pardus) population in the western Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa, as a model system and show that montane habitats can support high numbers of leopards. Spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) analysis recorded the highest density of leopards reported outside of state-protected areas in sub-Saharan Africa. This density represents a temporally high local abundance of leopards and we explore the explanations for this alongside some of the potential conservation implications.

  12. Evidence of a high density population of harvested leopards in a montane environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia N Chase Grey

    Full Text Available Populations of large carnivores can persist in mountainous environments following extensive land use change and the conversion of suitable habitat for agriculture and human habitation in lower lying areas of their range. The significance of these populations is poorly understood, however, and little attention has focussed on why certain mountainous areas can hold high densities of large carnivores and what the conservation implications of such populations might be. Here we use the leopard (Panthera pardus population in the western Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa, as a model system and show that montane habitats can support high numbers of leopards. Spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR analysis recorded the highest density of leopards reported outside of state-protected areas in sub-Saharan Africa. This density represents a temporally high local abundance of leopards and we explore the explanations for this alongside some of the potential conservation implications.

  13. The inheritance of the leopard complex of spotting patterns in horses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sponenberg, D P; Carr, G; Simak, E; Schwink, K

    1990-01-01

    The leopard complex of white spotting patterns in horses consists of the leopard, few-spot leopard, blanket, blanket with spots, varnish roan (or marble), snowflake, frosted, speckled, and mottled patterns. Horses with any of these patterns can produce the other patterns when mated to nonpatterned horses. Twenty-two horses of the Welsh Pony, Noriker, Appaloosa, and Pony of the Americas breeds produced 270 foals in a distribution consistent with a single dominant allele being responsible for the patterns. The symbol for this dominant allele, Lp, is retained from previous work on the leopard pattern. Heterozygotes are less extensively marked than are homozygotes, but the two classes overlap. The differences in the patterns are related to varying degrees of expression of this allele.

  14. EVIDENCE FOR PHYLOGENETICALLY DISTINCT LEOPARD FROGS (RANA ONCA) FROM THE BORDER REGION OF NEVADA, UTAH, ARIZONA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remnant populations of leopard frogs exist within the Virgin River drainage and adjacent portions of the Colorado River (Black Canyon) in northwestern Arizona and southern Nevada. These populations either represent the reportedly extinct taxa Rana onca or northern, disjunct R...

  15. LEOPARD syndrome without hearing loss or pulmonary stenosis: a report of 2 cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos-Geldres, T T; Dávila-Seijo, P; Duat-Rodríguez, A; Noguera-Morel, L; Ezquieta-Zubicaray, B; Rosón-López, E; Hernández-Martín, A; Torrelo-Fernández, A

    2015-05-01

    LEOPARD syndrome is an autosomal dominant disease caused by germline mutations in the RAS-MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) pathway. LEOPARD is an acronym for the main manifestations of the syndrome, namely, multiple Lentigines, Electrocardiographic conduction abnormalities, Ocular hypertelorism, Pulmonary stenosis, Abnormalities of genitalia, Retardation of growth, and sensorineural Deafness. None of these characteristic features, however, are pathognomonic of LEOPARD syndrome, and since they are highly variable, they are often not present at the time of diagnosis. We describe 2 cases of LEOPARD syndrome without hearing loss or pulmonary stenosis in which diagnosis was confirmed by identification of a mutation in the PTPN11 gene. Regular monitoring is important for the early detection of complications, as these can occur at any time during the course of disease. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier España, S.L.U. y AEDV. All rights reserved.

  16. Living with large carnivores: predation on livestock by the snow leopard (Uncia uncia)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bagchi, S.; Mishra, C.

    2006-01-01

    Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory persecution by pastoralists are worldwide conservation concerns. Poor understanding of the ecological and social underpinnings of this human¿wildlife conflict hampers effective conflict management programs. The endangered snow leopard

  17. The Developmental Effects Of A Municipal Wastewater Effluent On The Northern Leopard Frog, Rana pipiens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wastewater effluents are complex mixtures containing a variety of anthropogenic compounds, many of which are known endocrine disruptors. In order to characterize the development and behavorial effects of such a complex mixture, northern leopard frogs, Rana pipiens, were e...

  18. Genetic variability of the tokay gecko based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gaochao; Gong, Shu; Jiang, Lichun; Peng, Rui; Shan, Xiang; Zou, Dandan; Yang, Chengzhong; Zou, Fangdong

    2013-10-01

    With largely allopatric distribution, the black tokay and the red tokay are two distinct morphs of the subspecies Gekko gecko gecko. In consideration of their different morphological characteristics, the taxonomic status of G. g. gecko is disputed. Through detailed morphological comparison, it has been proposed that the black tokay should be elevated to species ranking, but without strong genetic evidence. In order to further investigate the taxonomic status of the tokay gecko (G. gecko), we used one mitochondrial marker (ND2) and three nuclear markers (RAG1, c-mos, and ITS2) to explore the phylogenetic and taxonomic relationship of the tokay gecko. Our results revealed a deep phylogeographical divergence in tokay gecko and at the same time provided us with the evidence of possible introgressive hybridization or/and incomplete lineage sorting between the black tokay and the red tokay. The elevation of the black tokay to species level is also supported by our results. However, due to limited sampling and genetic data, this elevation should be further corroborated by more genetic evidence.

  19. Ultrahydrophobicity indicates a non-adhesive default state in gecko setae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Autumn, Kellar; Hansen, Wendy

    2006-11-01

    Geckos may represent the world's most demanding adhesives application. The adhesive setae on the toes of climbing geckos must adhere strongly yet avoid fouling or attachment at inappropriate times. We tested the hypothesis that gecko setae are non-adhesive in their unloaded default state by comparing the water droplet contact angle (theta) of isolated setal arrays to the smooth surface of eye spectacle scales of tokay geckos (Gekko gecko). At equilibrium, theta was 98.3 +/- 3.4 degrees in spectacle scales of live geckos and 93.3 +/- 3.5 degrees in isolated spectacles. Isolated setal arrays were ultrahydrophobic, with theta of 160.6 +/- 1.3 degrees (means +/- SD). The difference in theta of setal arrays and smooth spectacles indicates a very low contact fraction. Using Cassie's law of surface wettability, we infer that less than 6.6% of the surface of unloaded setae is solid and at least 93.4% is air space. We calculated that the contact fraction must increase from 6.6% in the unloaded state to 46% in the loaded state to account for previously measured values of adhesion. Thus gecko setae may be non-sticky by default because only a very small contact fraction is possible without mechanically deforming the setal array.

  20. Geckos as Springs: Mechanics Explain Across-Species Scaling of Adhesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilman, Casey A; Imburgia, Michael J; Bartlett, Michael D; King, Daniel R; Crosby, Alfred J; Irschick, Duncan J

    2015-01-01

    One of the central controversies regarding the evolution of adhesion concerns how adhesive force scales as animals change in size, either among or within species. A widely held view is that as animals become larger, the primary mechanism that enables them to climb is increasing pad area. However, prior studies show that much of the variation in maximum adhesive force remains unexplained, even when area is accounted for. We tested the hypothesis that maximum adhesive force among pad-bearing gecko species is not solely dictated by toepad area, but also depends on the ratio of toepad area to gecko adhesive system compliance in the loading direction, where compliance (C) is the change in extension (Δ) relative to a change in force (F) while loading a gecko's adhesive system (C = dΔ/dF). Geckos are well-known for their ability to climb on a range of vertical and overhanging surfaces, and range in mass from several grams to over 300 grams, yet little is understood of the factors that enable adhesion to scale with body size. We examined the maximum adhesive force of six gecko species that vary in body size (~2-100 g). We also examined changes between juveniles and adults within a single species (Phelsuma grandis). We found that maximum adhesive force and toepad area increased with increasing gecko size, and that as gecko species become larger, their adhesive systems become significantly less compliant. Additionally, our hypothesis was supported, as the best predictor of maximum adhesive force was not toepad area or compliance alone, but the ratio of toepad area to compliance. We verified this result using a synthetic "model gecko" system comprised of synthetic adhesive pads attached to a glass substrate and a synthetic tendon (mechanical spring) of finite stiffness. Our data indicate that increases in toepad area as geckos become larger cannot fully account for increased adhesive abilities, and decreased compliance must be included to explain the scaling of adhesion in

  1. Distribution and postbreeding environmental relationships of Northern leopard frogs (Rana [Lithobates] pipiens) in Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germaine, S.S.; Hays, D.W.

    2009-01-01

    Northern leopard frogs (Rana [Lithobates] pipiens) are considered sensitive, threatened, or endangered in all western states and western Canadian provinces. Historically present in eastern Washington in 6 major river drainages, leopard frogs are now only known to occur at 2 localized areas in the Crab Creek drainage in Grant County. During the summers of 2002-2005, we surveyed both areas to document extent of leopard frog distributions and to describe habitat and vertebrate community characteristics associated with leopard frog site occupancy. At Gloyd Seeps, 2 juvenile leopard frogs were observed in a total of 8.2 person-days of searching along a 5-km stream reach. At Potholes Reservoir, we surveyed 243 wetland sites in 7 management units known to have been occupied by leopard frogs during the 1980s. We confirmed leopard frog presence at only 87 sites (36%) in 4 management units. Site occupancy models for individual ponds indicated that, compared to unoccupied sites, occupied sites had slightly greater pond depths, less tall emergent vegetation, more herbaceous vegetative cover, and fewer neighboring ponds containing nonnative predatory fish. Models developed at the 1-km2 scale indicated that occupied areas had greater average midsummer pond depths, fewer ponds occupied by bullfrogs (Rana [Lithobates] catesbeiana) and carp (Cyprinus carpio), and more herbaceous vegetation surrounding ponds. The Gloyd Seeps population now appears defunct, and the Potholes Reservoir population is in sharp decline. Unless management actions are taken to reduce nonnative fish and bullfrogs and to enhance wetland vegetation, leopard frogs may soon be extirpated from both sites and possibly, therefore, from Washington.

  2. Early photolysis intermediates of gecko and bovine artificial visual pigments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, J W; Liang, J; Ebrey, T G; Sheves, M; Livnah, N; Kuwata, O; Jäger, S; Kliger, D S

    1997-11-25

    Nanosecond laser photolysis measurements were conducted on digitonin extracts of artificial pigments prepared from the cone-type visual pigment, P521, of the Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko) retina. Artificial pigments were prepared by regeneration of bleached gecko photoreceptor membranes with 9-cis-retinal, 9-cis-14-methylretinal, or 9-cis-alpha-retinal. Absorbance difference spectra were recorded at a sequence of time delays from 30 ns to 60 microseconds following excitation with a pulse of 477-nm actinic light. Global analysis showed the kinetic data for all three artificial gecko pigments to be best fit by two-exponential processes. These two-exponential decays correspond to similar decays observed after photolysis of P521 itself, with the first process being the decay of the equilibrated P521 BathoP521 BSI mixture to P521 Lumi and the second process being the decay of P521 Lumi to P521 Meta I. In spite of its large blue shift relative to P521, iso-P521 displays a normal chloride depletion induced blue shift. Iso-P521's early intermediates up to Lumi were also blue-shifted, with the P521 BathoP521 BSI equilibrated mixture being 15 nm blue-shifted and P521 Lumi being 8 nm blue-shifted relative to the intermediates formed after P521 photolysis. The blue shift associated with the iso-pigment is reduced or disappears entirely by P521 Meta I. Similar blue shifts were observed for the early intermediates observed after photolysis of bovine isorhodopsin, with the Lumi intermediate blue-shifted 5 nm compared to the Lumi intermediate formed after photolysis of bovine rhodopsin. These shifts indicate that a difference exists between the binding sites of 9- and 11-cis pigments which persists for microseconds at 20 degrees C.

  3. Reversed tonotopic map of the basilar papilla in Gekko gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manley, G A; Köppl, C; Sneary, M

    1999-05-01

    A published model of the frequency responses of different locations on the basilar papilla of the Tokay gecko Gekko gecko (Authier and Manley, 1995. Hear. Res. 82, 1-13) had implied that (a) unlike all other amniotes studied so far, the frequency map is reversed, with the low frequencies at the base and the high frequencies at the apex, and (b) the high-frequency area is split into two parallel-lying hair cell areas covering different frequency ranges. To test these hypotheses, the frequency representation along the basilar papilla of Gekko gecko was studied by recording from single auditory afferent nerve fibers and labelling them iontophoretically with horseradish peroxidase. Successfully labelled fibers covered a range of characteristic frequencies from 0.42 to 4.9 kHz, which extended from 78% to 9% of the total papillar length, as measured from the apex. The termination sites of labelled fibers within the basilar papilla correlated with their characteristic frequency, the lowest frequencies being represented basally, and the highest apically. This confirms the first prediction of the model. The map indicates, however, that one of the two high-frequency papillar regions (the postaxial segment) represents the full high-frequency range, from about 1 to 5 kHz. No functionally identified labelling was achieved in the preaxial segment. Thus the assumptions underlying the proposed model need revision. A good mathematical description of the frequency distribution was given by an exponential regression with a mapping constant in the living state of approximately 0.4 mm/octave.

  4. The gecko visual pigment: the chromophore dark exchange reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crescitelli, F

    1988-02-01

    This study confirms the occurrence of a dark-exchange reaction in the extracted 521-pigment of the Tokay gecko (G. gekko). The present study involved the exchange, in the dark, of the natural 11-cis-chromophore by the 9-cis-10-F-retinal analog. This analog is able to combine with the 521-opsin to regenerate a photopigment at 492 nm. In addition to this shift in absorbance from 521 to 492 nm, the analog photopigment has a photosensitivity some 2.4% that of the native 521-system in the chloride-sufficient state. These two properties of the regenerated analog pigment have simplified the demonstration of a dark exchange of chromophores. At 15 degrees C the 9-cis-10-F-analog replaces the 11-cis-chromophore by at least 30% (density-wise) in about 15 hr. This exchange occurs with the system in the chloride-deficient state. The presence of chloride during the period in the dark significantly reduces the magnitude of the exchange. Apparently, the protein has a more open structure at the chromophoric binding site, allowing this interchange of chromophores. The addition of chloride induces a conformational change at this site, 'burying' the Schiff base and reducing the exchange reaction. The biological implication of this mobile property of the gecko opsin is that it is similar to the behavior of the cone pigment iodopsin but is unlike that of rhodopsins. This supports the idea that the gecko visual cells, despite their appearance as rods, are phylogenetically related to ancestral photopic receptors.

  5. Genetic variation and differentiation of Gekko gecko from different populations based on mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences and karyotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Xin-Min; Li, Hui-Min; Zeng, Zhen-Hua; Zeng, De-Long; Guan, Qing-Xin

    2012-06-01

    Black-spotted and red-spotted tokay geckos are distributed in different regions and have significant differences in morphological appearance, but have been regarded as the same species, Gekko gecko, in taxonomy. To determine whether black-spotted and red-spotted tokay geckos are genetically differentiated, we sequenced the entire mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (1147 bp) from 110 individuals of Gekko gecko collected in 11 areas including Guangxi China, Yunnan China, Vietnam, and Laos. In addition, we performed karyotypic analyses of black-spotted tokay geckos from Guangxi China and red-spotted tokay geckos from Laos. These phylogenetic analyses showed that black-spotted and red-spotted tokay geckos are divided into two branches in molecular phylogenetic trees. The average genetic distances are as follows: 0.12-0.47% among six haplotypes in the black-spotted tokay gecko group, 0.12-1.66% among five haplotypes in the red-spotted tokay gecko group, and 8.76-9.18% between the black-spotted and red-spotted tokay geckos, respectively. The karyotypic analyses showed that the karyotype formula is 2n = 38 = 8m + 2sm + 2st + 26t in red-spotted tokay geckos from Laos compared with 2n = 38 = 8m + 2sm + 28t in black-spotted tokay geckos from Guangxi China. The differences in these two kinds of karyotypes were detected on the 15th chromosome. The clear differences in genetic levels between black-spotted and red-spotted tokay geckos suggest a significant level of genetic differentiation between the two.

  6. Fecal pellets from a commensal shrew (Suncus murinus) and a house gecko (Gekkonidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, A R

    1984-01-01

    Examination of excreta pellets from commensal shrew (Suncus murinus) and tropical house geckos (Gekkonidae) showed several characteristics that were useful in distinguishing these pellets from those of commensal rodents. Commensal shrew pellets contained a large number of embedded insect fragments but no embedded hairs. Each shrew pellet was associated with a distinctive circular stain on the floor or container surface where it was found. Gecko pellets were composed entirely of tightly packed insect fragments with no intervening matrix. In contrast to both shrew and rodent pellets, there was no surface mucous coating. A small white body containing uric acid adhered to one end of each gecko pellet.

  7. Salmonella serotypes isolated in geckos kept in seven collections in southern Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, T P; Varriale, L; Borrelli, L; Pace, A; Latronico, M; Menna, L F; Fioretti, A; Dipineto, L

    2018-01-09

    Reptiles are considered an important reservoir of Salmonella species. This study evaluated the prevalence of Salmonella species in different species of gecko kept as pets in Italy. Faecal swab samples were collected from 70 clinically healthy geckos and examined for Salmonella species by culture that were then serotyped. Salmonella species were isolated from 24 of 70 (34·3%) samples. Eighteen isolates expressed resistance to ceftazidime and four isolates to ampicillin. Salmonella spp. can be isolated from apparently healthy captive gecko which should be considered as a potential source of infection for humans and other companion animals. © 2018 British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

  8. Schrodinger's scat: a critical review of the currently available tiger (Panthera Tigris) and leopard (Panthera pardus) specific primers in India, and a novel leopard specific primer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maroju, Pranay Amruth; Yadav, Sonu; Kolipakam, Vishnupriya; Singh, Shweta; Qureshi, Qamar; Jhala, Yadvendradev

    2016-02-09

    Non-invasive sampling has opened avenues for the genetic study of elusive species, which has contributed significantly to their conservation. Where field based identity of non-invasive sample is ambiguous (e.g. carnivore scats), it is essential to establish identity of the species through molecular approaches. A cost effective procedure to ascertain species identity is to use species specific primers (SSP) for PCR amplification and subsequent resolution through agarose gel electrophoresis. However, SSPs if ill designed can often cross amplify non-target sympatric species. Herein we report the problem of cross amplification with currently published SSPs, which have been used in several recent scientific articles on tigers (Panthera tigris) and leopards (Panthera pardus) in India. Since these papers form pioneering research on which future work will be based, an early rectification is required so as to not propagate this error further. We conclusively show cross amplification of three of the four SSPs, in sympatric non-target species like tiger SSP amplifying leopard and striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), and leopard SSP amplifying tiger, lion (Panthera leo persica) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), with the same product size. We develop and test a non-cross-amplifying leopard specific primer pair within the mitochondrial cytochrome b region. We also standardize a duplex PCR method to screen tiger and leopard samples simultaneously in one PCR reaction to reduce cost and time. These findings suggest the importance of an often overlooked preliminary protocol of conclusive identification of species from non-invasive samples. The cross amplification of published primers in conspecifics suggests the need to revisit inferences drawn by earlier work.

  9. Stress distribution and contact area measurements of a gecko toe using a high-resolution tactile sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eason, Eric V; Hawkes, Elliot W; Windheim, Marc; Christensen, David L; Libby, Thomas; Cutkosky, Mark R

    2015-02-02

    The adhesive systems of geckos have been widely studied and have been a great source of bioinspiration. Load-sharing (i.e. preventing stress concentrations through equal distribution of loads) is necessary to maximize the performance of an adhesive system, but it is not known to what extent load-sharing occurs in gecko toes. In this paper, we present in vivo measurements of the stress distribution and contact area on the toes of a tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) using a custom tactile sensor with 100 μm spatial resolution. We found that the stress distributions were nonuniform, with large variations in stress between and within lamellae, suggesting that load-sharing in the tokay gecko is uneven. These results may be relevant to the understanding of gecko morphology and the design of improved synthetic adhesive systems.

  10. Stress distribution and contact area measurements of a gecko toe using a high-resolution tactile sensor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eason, Eric V; Hawkes, Elliot W; Christensen, David L; Cutkosky, Mark R; Windheim, Marc; Libby, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The adhesive systems of geckos have been widely studied and have been a great source of bioinspiration. Load-sharing (i.e. preventing stress concentrations through equal distribution of loads) is necessary to maximize the performance of an adhesive system, but it is not known to what extent load-sharing occurs in gecko toes. In this paper, we present in vivo measurements of the stress distribution and contact area on the toes of a tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) using a custom tactile sensor with 100 μm spatial resolution. We found that the stress distributions were nonuniform, with large variations in stress between and within lamellae, suggesting that load-sharing in the tokay gecko is uneven. These results may be relevant to the understanding of gecko morphology and the design of improved synthetic adhesive systems. (paper)

  11. Ecological associations of autopodial osteology in Neotropical geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothier, Priscila S; Brandt, Renata; Kohlsdorf, Tiana

    2017-03-01

    Coevolution of form and function inspires investigation of associations between morphological variation and the exploitation of specific ecological settings. Such relationships, based mostly on traits of external morphology, have been extensively described for vertebrates, and especially so for squamates. External features are, however, composed by both soft tissues and bones, and these likely play different biomechanical roles during locomotion, such as in the autopodia. Therefore, ecological trends identified on the basis of external morphological measurements may not be directly correlated with equivalent variation in osteology. Here, we investigate how refined parameters of autopodial osteology relate to ecology, by contrasting climbing and nonclimbing geckos. Our first step consisted of inferring how external and osteological morphometric traits coevolved in the group. Our results corroborate the hypothesis of coevolution between external and osteological elements in the autopodia of geckos, and provides evidence for associations between specific osteological traits and preferred locomotor habit. Specifically, nonclimbers exhibit longer ultimate and penultimate phalanges of Digit V in the manus and pes and also a longer fifth metatarsal in comparison with climbers, a pattern discussed here in the context of the differential demands made upon locomotion in specific ecological contexts. Our study highlights the relevance of osteological information for discussing the evolution of ecological associations of the tetrapod autopodium. J. Morphol. 278:290-299, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Is the Kotschy’s Gecko Mediodactylus kotschyi (Steindachner, 1870 (Reptilia: Gekkonidae active during the winter?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    IVELIN MOLLOV

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The current communication reports few cases of unusual winter activity of the Kotschy’s Gecko – Mediodactylus kotschyi rumelicus from the city of Plovdiv and Mediodactylus kotschyi daniliewskii from Hrishteni Village (Stara Zagora District in Bulgaria.

  13. Is the Kotschy’s Gecko Mediodactylus kotschyi (Steindachner, 1870) (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) active during the winter?

    OpenAIRE

    IVELIN MOLLOV; DILIAN GEORGIEV; SESIL BASHEVA

    2015-01-01

    The current communication reports few cases of unusual winter activity of the Kotschy’s Gecko – Mediodactylus kotschyi rumelicus from the city of Plovdiv and Mediodactylus kotschyi daniliewskii from Hrishteni Village (Stara Zagora District) in Bulgaria.

  14. Preliminary results on tail energetics in the Moorish gecko, Tarentola mauritanica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tommaso Cencetti

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The amount of lipids, proteins, ashes and water in original versus regenerated tails in Tarentola mauritanica shows differences, especially on the lipid fraction, supporting adaptive function hypotheses during reproduction of regenerated tails in geckos.

  15. GeckoFTL: Scalable Flash Translation Techniques For Very Large Flash Devices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dayan, Niv; Bonnet, Philippe; Idreos, Stratos

    2016-01-01

    thereby harming performance and device lifetime. In this paper, we identify a key component of the metadata called the Page Validity Bitmap (PVB) as the bottleneck. PVB is used by the garbage-collectors of state-of-the-art FTLs to keep track of which physical pages in the device are invalid. PVB...... Gecko. Logarithmic Gecko is similar to an LSM-tree in that it first logs updates and later reorganizes them to ensure fast and scalable access time. Relative to the baseline of storing PVB in flash, Logarithmic Gecko enables cheaper updates at the cost of slightly more expensive garbage......-collection queries. We show that this is a good trade-off because (1) updates are intrinsically more frequent than garbage-collection queries to page validity metadata, and (2) flash writes are more expensive than flash reads. We demonstrate analytically and empirically through simulation that GeckoFTL achieves a 95...

  16. Assistive Free-Flyers with Gecko-Inspired Adhesive Appendages for Automated Logistics in Space

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Gecko-inspired adhesives provide a new capability for assistive free fliers (AFF) in space. In comparison with conventional grippers, they make it possible to attach...

  17. Engineering Gecko-Inspired Adhesives for Robotic Mobility and Manipulation in Microgravity

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The goal of the proposed research is to customize gecko-inspired adhesive technologies for space applications in manipulation and mobility, primarily addressing...

  18. The mitochondrial genomes of Atlas Geckos (Quedenfeldtia): mitogenome assembly from transcriptomes and anchored hybrid enrichment datasets

    OpenAIRE

    Lyra, Mariana L.; Joger, Ulrich; Schulte, Ulrich; Slimani, Tahar; El Mouden, El Hassan; Bouazza, Abdellah; Künzel, Sven; Lemmon, Alan R.; Moriarty Lemmon, Emily; Vences, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    The nearly complete mitogenomes of the two species of North African Atlas geckos, Quedenfeldtia moerens and Q. trachyblepharus were assembled from anchored hybrid enrichment data and RNAseq data. Congruent assemblies were obtained for four samples included in both datasets. We recovered the 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, and two rRNA genes for both species, including partial control region. The order of genes agrees with that of other geckos.

  19. Prey Preference of Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) in South Gobi, Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shehzad, Wasim; McCarthy, Thomas Michael; Pompanon, Francois; Purevjav, Lkhagvajav; Coissac, Eric; Riaz, Tiayyba; Taberlet, Pierre

    2012-01-01

    Accurate information about the diet of large carnivores that are elusive and inhabit inaccessible terrain, is required to properly design conservation strategies. Predation on livestock and retaliatory killing of predators have become serious issues throughout the range of the snow leopard. Several feeding ecology studies of snow leopards have been conducted using classical approaches. These techniques have inherent limitations in their ability to properly identify both snow leopard feces and prey taxa. To examine the frequency of livestock prey and nearly-threatened argali in the diet of the snow leopard, we employed the recently developed DNA-based diet approach to study a snow leopard population located in the Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. After DNA was extracted from the feces, a region of ∼100 bp long from mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene was amplified, making use of universal primers for vertebrates and a blocking oligonucleotide specific to snow leopard DNA. The amplicons were then sequenced using a next-generation sequencing platform. We observed a total of five different prey items from 81 fecal samples. Siberian ibex predominated the diet (in 70.4% of the feces), followed by domestic goat (17.3%) and argali sheep (8.6%). The major part of the diet was comprised of large ungulates (in 98.8% of the feces) including wild ungulates (79%) and domestic livestock (19.7%). The findings of the present study will help to understand the feeding ecology of the snow leopard, as well as to address the conservation and management issues pertaining to this wild cat. PMID:22393381

  20. Baseline hematology and serum biochemistry results for Indian leopards (Panthera pardus fusca

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arun Attur Shanmugam

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The aim of the study was to establish the baseline hematology and serum biochemistry values for Indian leopards (Panthera pardus fusca, and to assess the possible variations in these parameters based on age and gender. Materials and Methods: Hemato-biochemical test reports from a total of 83 healthy leopards, carried out as part of routine health evaluation in Bannerghatta Biological Park and Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center, were used to establish baseline hematology and serum biochemistry parameters for the subspecies. The hematological parameters considered for the analysis included hemoglobin (Hb, packed cell volume, total erythrocyte count (TEC, total leukocyte count (TLC, mean corpuscular volume (MCV, mean corpuscular Hb (MCH, and MCH concentration. The serum biochemistry parameters considered included total protein (TP, albumin, globulin, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase (ALT, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, triglycerides, calcium, and phosphorus. Results: Even though few differences were observed in hematologic and biochemistry values between male and female Indian leopards, the differences were statistically not significant. Effects of age, however, were evident in relation to many hematologic and biochemical parameters. Sub-adults had significantly greater values for Hb, TEC, and TLC compared to adults and geriatric group, whereas they had significantly lower MCV and MCH compared to adults and geriatric group. Among, serum biochemistry parameters the sub-adult age group was observed to have significantly lower values for TP and ALT than adult and geriatric leopards. Conclusion: The study provides a comprehensive analysis of hematologic and biochemical parameters for Indian leopards. Baselines established here will permit better captive management of the subspecies, serve as a guide to assess the health and physiological status of the free ranging leopards, and may contribute valuable information for making

  1. Molecular evolution of the cone visual pigments in the pure rod-retina of the nocturnal gecko, Gekko gekko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokoyama, S; Blow, N S

    2001-10-03

    We have isolated a full-length cDNA encoding a putative ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive visual pigment of the Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko). This clone has 57 and 59% sequence similarities to the gecko RH2 and MWS pigment genes, respectively, but it shows 87% similarity to the UV pigment gene of the American chameleon (Anolis carolinensis). The evolutionary rates of amino acid replacement are significantly higher in the three gecko pigments than in the corresponding chameleon pigments. The accelerated evolutionary rates reflect not only the transition from cones to rods in the retina but also the blue-shift in the absorption spectra of the gecko pigments.

  2. Changes in materials properties explain the effects of humidity on gecko adhesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puthoff, Jonathan B; Prowse, Michael S; Wilkinson, Matt; Autumn, Kellar

    2010-11-01

    Geckos owe their remarkable stickiness to millions of dry setae on their toes, and the mechanism of adhesion in gecko setae has been the topic of scientific scrutiny for over two centuries. Previously, we demonstrated that van der Waals forces are sufficient for strong adhesion and friction in gecko setae, and that water-based capillary adhesion is not required. However, recent studies demonstrated that adhesion increases with relative humidity (RH) and proposed that surface hydration and capillary water bridge formation is important or even necessary. In this study, we confirmed a significant effect of RH on gecko adhesion, but rejected the capillary adhesion hypothesis. While contact forces of isolated tokay gecko setal arrays increased with humidity, the increase was similar on hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces, inconsistent with a capillary mechanism. Contact forces increased with RH even at high shear rates, where capillary bridge formation is too slow to affect adhesion. How then can a humidity-related increase in adhesion and friction be explained? The effect of RH on the mechanical properties of setal β-keratin has escaped consideration until now. We discovered that an increase in RH softens setae and increases viscoelastic damping, which increases adhesion. Changes in setal materials properties, not capillary forces, fully explain humidity-enhanced adhesion, and van der Waals forces remain the only empirically supported mechanism of adhesion in geckos.

  3. Three Species of Ectoparasite Mites (Acari: Pterygosomatidae Infested Geckos in Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TARUNI SRI PRAWASTI

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Limited data is hitherto available on the diversity and dispersal of parasitic mites of geckos in Indonesia. Here, we collected three species of geckos, namely Cosymbotus platyurus, Hemidactylus frenatus, and H. garnotii throughout Indonesia to study the distribution and diversity of its parasitic mites. We conducted detail morphological analysis of the mites using whole mount polyvinyl lactophenol and scanning electron microscope preparation. Three species of ectoparasite mites from genus Geckobia were identified in a total of 221 individuals out of 448 geckos collected from 25 sites in Indonesia. Two species were G. glebosum and G. bataviensis, and the other one was designated as Geckobia sp 1. Based on our result, the three mites species were spread randomly and live sympatrically. The G. bataviensis mite showed the widest distribution, because it was found in almost all gecko collection sites, hence the most cosmopolitan mites. We also found that C. platyurus gecko had the lowest mite prevalence which might due to the fact that it has the least number of skin folds, an important site for mite protection. This result implies that further research on the relationship of anatomy of gecko skin with chelicera and claw structure of mites is necessary in the future.

  4. Living on the Edge: Parasite Prevalence Changes Dramatically across a Range Edge in an Invasive Gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Andrew; Barnett, Louise K; Hoskin, Conrad; Phillips, Ben L

    2017-02-01

    Species interactions can determine range limits, and parasitism is the most intimate of such interactions. Intriguingly, the very conditions on range edges likely change host-parasite dynamics in nontrivial ways. Range edges are often associated with clines in host density and with environmental transitions, both of which may affect parasite transmission. On advancing range edges, founder events and fitness/dispersal costs of parasitism may also cause parasites to be lost on range edges. Here we examine the prevalence of three species of parasite across the range edge of an invasive gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus, in northeastern Australia. The gecko's range edge spans the urban-woodland interface at the edge of urban areas. Across this edge, gecko abundance shows a steep decline, being lower in the woodland. Two parasite species (a mite and a pentastome) are coevolved with H. frenatus, and these species become less prevalent as the geckos become less abundant. A third species of parasite (another pentastome) is native to Australia and has no coevolutionary history with H. frenatus. This species became more prevalent as the geckos become less abundant. These dramatic shifts in parasitism (occurring over 3.5 km) confirm that host-parasite dynamics can vary substantially across the range edge of this gecko host.

  5. Robust self-cleaning and micromanipulation capabilities of gecko spatulae and their bio-mimics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Quan; Wan, Yiyang; Hu, Travis Shihao; Liu, Tony X.; Tao, Dashuai; Niewiarowski, Peter H.; Tian, Yu; Liu, Yue; Dai, Liming; Yang, Yanqing; Xia, Zhenhai

    2015-11-01

    Geckos have the extraordinary ability to prevent their sticky feet from fouling while running on dusty walls and ceilings. Understanding gecko adhesion and self-cleaning mechanisms is essential for elucidating animal behaviours and rationally designing gecko-inspired devices. Here we report a unique self-cleaning mechanism possessed by the nano-pads of gecko spatulae. The difference between the velocity-dependent particle-wall adhesion and the velocity-independent spatula-particle dynamic response leads to a robust self-cleaning capability, allowing geckos to efficiently dislodge dirt during their locomotion. Emulating this natural design, we fabricate artificial spatulae and micromanipulators that show similar effects, and that provide a new way to manipulate micro-objects. By simply tuning the pull-off velocity, our gecko-inspired micromanipulators, made of synthetic microfibers with graphene-decorated micro-pads, can easily pick up, transport, and drop-off microparticles for precise assembling. This work should open the door to the development of novel self-cleaning adhesives, smart surfaces, microelectromechanical systems, biomedical devices, and more.

  6. Superhydrophobic gecko feet with high adhesive forces towards water and their bio-inspired materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kesong; Du, Jiexing; Wu, Juntao; Jiang, Lei

    2012-01-01

    Functional integration is an inherent characteristic for multiscale structures of biological materials. In this contribution, we first investigate the liquid-solid adhesive forces between water droplets and superhydrophobic gecko feet using a high-sensitivity micro-electromechanical balance system. It was found, in addition to the well-known solid-solid adhesion, the gecko foot, with a multiscale structure, possesses both superhydrophobic functionality and a high adhesive force towards water. The origin of the high adhesive forces of gecko feet to water could be attributed to the high density nanopillars that contact the water. Inspired by this, polyimide films with gecko-like multiscale structures were constructed by using anodic aluminum oxide templates, exhibiting superhydrophobicity and a strong adhesive force towards water. The static water contact angle is larger than 150° and the adhesive force to water is about 66 μN. The resultant gecko-inspired polyimide film can be used as a ``mechanical hand'' to snatch micro-liter liquids. We expect this work will provide the inspiration to reveal the mechanism of the high-adhesive superhydrophobic of geckos and extend the practical applications of polyimide materials.

  7. Gecko-Inspired Electrospun Flexible Fiber Arrays for Adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najem, Johnny F.

    The ability of geckos to adhere to vertical solid surfaces comes from their remarkable feet with millions of projections terminating in nanometer spatulae. We present a simple yet robust method for fabricating directionally sensitive dry adhesives. By using electrospun nylon 6 nanofiber arrays, we create gecko-inspired dry adhesives, that are electrically insulating, and that show shear adhesion strength of 27 N/cm2 on a glass slide. This measured value is 270% that reported of gecko feet and 97-fold above normal adhesion strength of the same arrays. The data indicate a strong shear binding-on and easy normal lifting-off. This anisotropic strength distribution is attributed to an enhanced shear adhesion strength with decreasing fiber diameter (d) and an optimum performance of nanofiber arrays in the shear direction over a specific range of thicknesses. With use of electrospinning, we report the fabrication of nylon 6 nanofiber arrays that show a friction coefficient (mu) of 11.5. These arrays possess significant shear adhesion strength and low normal adhesion strength. Increasing the applied normal load considerably enhances the shear adhesion strength and mu, irrespective of d and fiber arrays thickness (T). Fiber bending stiffness and fiber surface roughness are considerably decreased with diminishing d while fiber packing density is noticeably increased. These enhancements are proposed to considerably upsurge the shear adhesion strength between nanofiber arrays and a glass slide. The latter upsurge is mainly attributed to a sizeable proliferation in van der Waals (vdW) forces. These nanofiber arrays can be alternatively bound-on and lifted-off over a glass slide with a trivial decrease in the initial mu and adhesion strength. By using selective coating technique, we have also created hierarchical structures having closely packed nanofibers with d of 50 nm. We determine the effects of applied normal load, fiber surface roughness, loading angle, d, T, and repeated

  8. CANINE DISTEMPER VIRUS IN A WILD FAR EASTERN LEOPARD ( PANTHERA PARDUS ORIENTALIS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulikhan, Nadezhda S; Gilbert, Martin; Blidchenko, Ekaterina Yu; Naidenko, Sergei V; Ivanchuk, Galina V; Gorpenchenko, Tatiana Yu; Alshinetskiy, Mikhail V; Shevtsova, Elena I; Goodrich, John M; Lewis, John C M; Goncharuk, Mikhail S; Uphyrkina, Olga V; Rozhnov, Vyatcheslav V; Shedko, Sergey V; McAloose, Denise; Miquelle, Dale G

    2018-01-01

    The critically endangered population of Far Eastern leopards ( Panthera pardus orientalis) may number as few as 60 individuals and is at risk from stochastic processes such as infectious disease. During May 2015, a case of canine distemper virus (CDV) was diagnosed in a wild leopard exhibiting severe neurologic disease in the Russian territory of Primorskii Krai. Amplified sequences of the CDV hemagglutinin gene and phosphoprotein gene aligned within the Arctic-like clade of CDV, which includes viruses from elsewhere in Russia, China, Europe, and North America. Histologic examination of cerebral tissue revealed perivascular lymphoid cuffing and demyelination of the white matter consistent with CDV infection. Neutralizing antibodies against CDV were detected in archived serum from two wild Far Eastern leopards sampled during 1993-94, confirming previous exposure in the population. This leopard population is likely too small to maintain circulation of CDV, suggesting that infections arise from spillover from more-abundant domestic or wild carnivore reservoirs. Increasing the population size and establishment of additional populations of leopards would be important steps toward securing the future of this subspecies and reducing the risk posed by future outbreaks of CDV or other infectious diseases.

  9. Laryngotracheal morphology of Afro-Madagascan geckos: a comparative survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, A P; Rittenhouse, D R; Bauer, A M

    2000-09-01

    The structural variation of the gekkonid larynx and trachea is examined within a representative subset of 17 species of Afro-Madagascan gekkonines to determine if there are underlying morphological correlates of vocalization. The documented morphology is compared to that of the tokay (Gekko gecko), which has previously been described. Data were obtained from gross anatomical observations, scanning electron microscopy, histological examinations and computer-generated, three-dimensional, skeletal reconstructions. Although there is limited variation among most Afro-Malagasy gekkonids, the larynges of Ptenopus garrulus and Uroplatus fimbriatus exhibit marked degrees of differentiation, suggesting that laryngeal and tracheal morphology may account for the documented vocal variability of gekkonid lizards. Cladistic analyses indicated that parallel adaptive trends characterize the laryngeal morphology of the examined taxa. Alternate designs and refinements to a model of gekkonid phonation are presented, and the evolution of acoustic communication in the Gekkonidae is considered. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. Visual cycle and its metabolic support in gecko photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolesnikov, A V; Ala-Laurila, P; Shukolyukov, S A; Crouch, R K; Wiggert, B; Estevez, M E; Govardovskii, V I; Cornwall, M C

    2007-02-01

    Photoreceptors of nocturnal geckos are transmuted cones that acquired rod morphological and physiological properties but retained cone-type phototransduction proteins. We have used microspectrophotometry and microfluorometry of solitary isolated green-sensitive photoreceptors of Tokay gecko to study the initial stages of the visual cycle within these cells. These stages are the photolysis of the visual pigment, the reduction of all-trans retinal to all-trans retinol, and the clearance of all-trans retinol from the outer segment (OS) into the interphotoreceptor space. We show that the rates of decay of metaproducts (all-trans retinal release) and retinal-to-retinol reduction are intermediate between those of typical rods and cones. Clearance of retinol from the OS proceeds at a rate that is typical of rods and is greatly accelerated by exposure to interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein, IRBP. The rate of retinal release from metaproducts is independent of the position within the OS, while its conversion to retinol is strongly spatially non-uniform, being the fastest at the OS base and slowest at the tip. This spatial gradient of retinol production is abolished by dialysis of saponin-permeabilized OSs with exogenous NADPH or substrates for its production by the hexose monophosphate pathway (NADP+glucose-6-phosphate or 6-phosphogluconate, glucose-6-phosphate alone). Following dialysis by these agents, retinol production is accelerated by several-fold compared to the fastest rates observed in intact cells in standard Ringer solution. We propose that the speed of retinol production is set by the availability of NADPH which in turn depends on ATP supply within the outer segment. We also suggest that principal source of this ATP is from mitochondria located within the ellipsoid region of the inner segment.

  11. Phylogeny and cryptic diversification in Southeast Asian flying geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Rafe M; Siler, Cameron D; Lee Grismer, L; Das, Indraneil; McGuire, Jimmy A

    2012-11-01

    The closed-canopy forests of Southeast Asia are home to an impressive number of vertebrates that have independently evolved morphologies that enhance directed aerial descent (gliding, parachuting). These assemblages include numerous mammal, frog, snake, and lizard clades. Several genera of gekkonid lizards, in particular, have evolved specialized structures such as cutaneous expansions, flaps, and midbody patagia, that enhance lift generation in the context of unique gliding and parachuting locomotion. The genus Ptychozoon represents arguably the most morphologically extreme, highly specialized clade of gliding geckos. Despite their notoriety and celebrated locomotor ability, members of the genus Ptychozoon have never been the subject of a species-level molecular phylogenetic analysis. In this paper, we utilize molecular sequence data from mitochondrial and nuclear gene fragments to estimate the evolutionary relationships of this unique group of flying geckos. Capitalizing on the recent availability of genetic samples for even the rarest of known species, we include the majority of known taxa and use model-based phylogenetic methods to reconstruct their evolutionary history. Because one species, P. kuhli, exhibits an unusually wide distribution coupled with an impressive range of morphological variation, we additionally use intensive phylogeographic/population genetic sampling, phylogenetic network analyses, and Bayesian species delimitation procedures to evaluate this taxon for the possible presence of cryptic evolutionary lineages. Our results suggest that P. kuhli may consist of between five and nine unrecognized, distinct species. Although we do not elevate these lineages to species status here, our findings suggest that lineage diversity in Ptychozoon is likely dramatically underestimated. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Tokay gecko photoreceptors achieve rod-like physiology with cone-like proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xue; Wensel, Theodore G; Yuan, Ching

    2006-01-01

    The retinal photoreceptors of the nocturnal Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko) consist exclusively of rods by the criteria of morphology and key features of their light responses. Unlike cones, they display robust photoresponses and have relatively slow recovery times. Nonetheless, the major and minor visual pigments identified in gecko rods are of the cone type by sequence and spectroscopic behavior. In the ongoing search for the molecular bases for the physiological differences between cones and rods, we have characterized the molecular biology and biochemistry of the gecko rod phototransduction cascade. We have cloned cDNAs encoding all or part of major protein components of the phototransduction cascade by RT-PCR with degenerate oligonucleotides designed to amplify cone- or rod-like sequences. For all proteins examined we obtained only cone-like and never rod-like sequences. The proteins identified include transducin alpha (Galphat), phosphodiesterase (PDE6) catalytic and inhibitory subunits, cyclic nucleotide-gated channel (CNGalpha) and arrestin. We also cloned cDNA encoding gecko RGS9-1 (Regulator of G Protein Signaling 9, splice variant 1), which is expressed in both rods and cones of all species studied but is typically found at 10-fold higher concentrations in cones, and found that gecko rods contain slightly lower RGS9-1 levels than mammalian rods. Furthermore, we found that the levels of GTPase accelerating protein (GAP) activity and cyclic GMP (cGMP) phosphodiesterase activity were similar in gecko and mammalian rods. These results place substantial constraints on the critical changes needed to convert a cone into a rod in the course of evolution: The many features of phototransduction molecules conserved between those expressed in gecko rods and those expressed in cones cannot explain the physiological differences, whereas the higher levels of RGS9-1 and GAP activity in cones are likely among the essential requirements for the rapid photoresponses of cones.

  13. Physiological Status Drives Metabolic Rate in Mediterranean Geckos Infected with Pentastomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel C Caballero

    Full Text Available Negative effects of parasites on their hosts are well documented, but the proximate mechanisms by which parasites reduce their host's fitness are poorly understood. For example, it has been suggested that parasites might be energetically demanding. However, a recent meta-analysis suggests that they have statistically insignificant effects on host resting metabolic rate (RMR. It is possible, though, that energetic costs associated with parasites are only manifested during and/or following periods of activity. Here, we measured CO2 production (a surrogate for metabolism in Mediterranean geckos (Hemidactylus turcicus infected with a lung parasite, the pentastome Raillietiella indica, under two physiological conditions: rested and recently active. In rested geckos, there was a negative, but non-significant association between the number of pentastomes (i.e., infection intensity and CO2 production. In recently active geckos (chased for 3 minutes, we recorded CO2 production from its maximum value until it declined to a stationary phase. We analyzed this decline as a 3 phase function (initial decline, secondary decline, stationary. Geckos that were recently active showed, in the secondary phase, a significant decrease in CO2 production as pentastome intensity increased. Moreover, duration of the secondary phase showed a significant positive association with the number of pentastomes. These results suggest that the intensity of pentastome load exerts a weak effect on the metabolism of resting geckos, but a strong physiological effect on geckos that have recently been active; we speculate this occurs via mechanical constraints on breathing. Our results provide a potential mechanism by which pentastomes can reduce gecko fitness.

  14. Self-drying: a gecko's innate ability to remove water from wet toe pads.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alyssa Y Stark

    Full Text Available When the adhesive toe pads of geckos become wet, they become ineffective in enabling geckos to stick to substrates. This result is puzzling given that many species of gecko are endemic to tropical environments where water covered surfaces are ubiquitous. We hypothesized that geckos can recover adhesive capabilities following exposure of their toe pads to water by walking on a dry surface, similar to the active self-cleaning of dirt particles. We measured the time it took to recover maximum shear adhesion after toe pads had become wet in two groups, those that were allowed to actively walk and those that were not. Keeping in mind the importance of substrate wettability to adhesion on wet surfaces, we also tested geckos on hydrophilic glass and an intermediately wetting substrate (polymethylmethacrylate; PMMA. We found that time to maximum shear adhesion recovery did not differ in the walking groups based on substrate wettability (22.7±5.1 min on glass and 15.4±0.3 min on PMMA but did have a significant effect in the non-walking groups (54.3±3.9 min on glass and 27.8±2.5 min on PMMA. Overall, we found that by actively walking, geckos were able to self-dry their wet toe pads and regain maximum shear adhesion significantly faster than those that did not walk. Our results highlight a unexpected property of the gecko adhesive system, the ability to actively self-dry and recover adhesive performance after being rendered dysfunctional by water.

  15. Physiological Status Drives Metabolic Rate in Mediterranean Geckos Infected with Pentastomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballero, Isabel C; Sakla, Andrew J; Detwiler, Jillian T; Le Gall, Marion; Behmer, Spencer T; Criscione, Charles D

    2015-01-01

    Negative effects of parasites on their hosts are well documented, but the proximate mechanisms by which parasites reduce their host's fitness are poorly understood. For example, it has been suggested that parasites might be energetically demanding. However, a recent meta-analysis suggests that they have statistically insignificant effects on host resting metabolic rate (RMR). It is possible, though, that energetic costs associated with parasites are only manifested during and/or following periods of activity. Here, we measured CO2 production (a surrogate for metabolism) in Mediterranean geckos (Hemidactylus turcicus) infected with a lung parasite, the pentastome Raillietiella indica, under two physiological conditions: rested and recently active. In rested geckos, there was a negative, but non-significant association between the number of pentastomes (i.e., infection intensity) and CO2 production. In recently active geckos (chased for 3 minutes), we recorded CO2 production from its maximum value until it declined to a stationary phase. We analyzed this decline as a 3 phase function (initial decline, secondary decline, stationary). Geckos that were recently active showed, in the secondary phase, a significant decrease in CO2 production as pentastome intensity increased. Moreover, duration of the secondary phase showed a significant positive association with the number of pentastomes. These results suggest that the intensity of pentastome load exerts a weak effect on the metabolism of resting geckos, but a strong physiological effect on geckos that have recently been active; we speculate this occurs via mechanical constraints on breathing. Our results provide a potential mechanism by which pentastomes can reduce gecko fitness.

  16. Identifying ecological corridors for Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) and Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miquelle, Dale G; Rozhnov, Vyachaslav V; Ermoshin, Victor; Murzin, Andre A; Nikolaev, Igor G; Hernandez-Blanco, Jose A; Naidenko, Sergie V

    2015-07-01

    The rapid explosion of human populations and the associated development of human-dominated landscapes have drastically reduced and fragmented habitat for tigers (Panthera tigris) and leopards (Panthera pardus) across Asia, resulting in multiple small populations. However, Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) habitat in Russia has remained largely interconnected, except for a break between tigers in southwest Primorye and the southern Sikhote-Alin Mountains. This habitat patch in southwest Primorye also retains the last population of Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis). Genetic differentiation of tigers in southwest Primorye and the Sikhote-Alin Mountains along with survey data suggest that habitat fragmentation is limiting movement of tigers and leopards across the Razdolnaya River basin. We looked at historical and recent survey data on tigers and leopards and mapped existing cover types to examine land-use patterns of both large felids and humans in the development strip along the Razdolnaya River. We then used least-cost distance analyses to identify the most effective potential corridor to retain connectivity for large felids between Land of the Leopard National Park and Ussuriskii Zapovednik (Reserve). We identified a single potential corridor that still exists with a total distance of 62.5 km from Land of the Leopard National Park to Ussuriskii Zapovednik, mostly (93%) through forested habitat. We recommend formal recognition of a Razdolnaya ecological corridor and provide specific recommendations for each of 3 proposed management sections. © 2015 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  17. Effects of trophy hunting on lion and leopard populations in Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Packer, C; Brink, H; Kissui, B M; Maliti, H; Kushnir, H; Caro, T

    2011-02-01

    Tanzania holds most of the remaining large populations of African lions (Panthera leo) and has extensive areas of leopard habitat (Panthera pardus), and both species are subjected to sizable harvests by sport hunters. As a first step toward establishing sustainable management strategies, we analyzed harvest trends for lions and leopards across Tanzania's 300,000 km(2) of hunting blocks. We summarize lion population trends in protected areas where lion abundance has been directly measured and data on the frequency of lion attacks on humans in high-conflict agricultural areas. We place these findings in context of the rapidly growing human population in rural Tanzania and the concomitant effects of habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and cultural practices. Lion harvests declined by 50% across Tanzania between 1996 and 2008, and hunting areas with the highest initial harvests suffered the steepest declines. Although each part of the country is subject to some form of anthropogenic impact from local people, the intensity of trophy hunting was the only significant factor in a statistical analysis of lion harvest trends. Although leopard harvests were more stable, regions outside the Selous Game Reserve with the highest initial leopard harvests again showed the steepest declines. Our quantitative analyses suggest that annual hunting quotas be limited to 0.5 lions and 1.0 leopard/1000 km(2) of hunting area, except hunting blocks in the Selous Game Reserve, where harvests should be limited to 1.0 lion and 3.0 leopards/1000 km(2) . ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  18. Patterns of Snow Leopard Site Use in an Increasingly Human-Dominated Landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justine Shanti Alexander

    Full Text Available Human population growth and concomitant increases in demand for natural resources pose threats to many wildlife populations. The landscapes used by the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia and their prey is increasingly subject to major changes in land use. We aimed to assess the influence of 1 key human activities, as indicated by the presence of mining and livestock herding, and 2 the presence of a key prey species, the blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur, on probability of snow leopard site use across the landscape. In Gansu Province, China, we conducted sign surveys in 49 grid cells, each of 16 km2 in size, within a larger area of 3392 km2. We analysed the data using likelihood-based habitat occupancy models that explicitly account for imperfect detection and spatial auto-correlation between survey transect segments. The model-averaged estimate of snow leopard occupancy was high [0.75 (SE 0.10], but only marginally higher than the naïve estimate (0.67. Snow leopard segment-level probability of detection, given occupancy on a 500 m spatial replicate, was also high [0.68 (SE 0.08]. Prey presence was the main determinant of snow leopard site use, while human disturbances, in the form of mining and herding, had low predictive power. These findings suggest that snow leopards continue to use areas very close to such disturbances, as long as there is sufficient prey. Improved knowledge about the effect of human activity on large carnivores, which require large areas and intact prey populations, is urgently needed for conservation planning at the local and global levels. We highlight a number of methodological considerations that should guide the design of such research.

  19. Organization of the auditory brainstem in a lizard, Gekko gecko. I. Auditory nerve, cochlear nuclei, and superior olivary nuclei

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tang, Y. Z.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Carr, C. E.

    2012-01-01

    We used tract tracing to reveal the connections of the auditory brainstem in the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko). The auditory nerve has two divisions, a rostroventrally directed projection of mid- to high best-frequency fibers to the nucleus angularis (NA) and a more dorsal and caudal projection of low...

  20. Identification of putative dental epithelial stem cells in a lizard with life-long tooth replacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handrigan, Gregory R; Leung, Kelvin J; Richman, Joy M

    2010-11-01

    Most dentate vertebrates, including humans, replace their teeth and yet the process is poorly understood. Here, we investigate whether dental epithelial stem cells exist in a polyphyodont species, the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). Since the gecko dental epithelium lacks a histologically distinct site for stem cells analogous to the mammalian hair follicle bulge, we performed a pulse-chase experiment on juvenile geckos to identify label-retaining cells (LRCs). We detected LRCs exclusively on the lingual side of the dental lamina, which exhibits low proliferation rates and is not involved in tooth morphogenesis. Lingual LRCs were organized into pockets of high density close to the successional lamina. A subset of the LRCs expresses Lgr5 and other genes that are markers of adult stem cells in mammals. Also similar to mammalian stem cells, the LRCs appear to proliferate in response to gain of function of the canonical Wnt pathway. We suggest that the LRCs in the lingual dental lamina represent a population of stem cells, the immediate descendents of which form the successional lamina and, ultimately, the replacement teeth in the gecko. Furthermore, their location on the non-tooth-forming side of the dental lamina implies that dental stem cells are sequestered from signals that might otherwise induce them to differentiate.

  1. Genetic diversity of the red-spotted tokay gecko (Gekko gecko Linnaeus, 1758 (Squamata: Gekkonidae in Southeast Asia determined with multilocus enzyme electrophoresis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Watee Kongbuntad

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Red-spotted tokay geckos, Gekko gecko, are distributed mainly in Southeast Asia. They are a traditional Chinese medicine, with the massive hunting for exports dramatically decreasing their numbers. Information on the genetic diversity of these geckos in Southeast Asia is very limited. This study aims to explore intrapopulation and interpopulation genetic variation and the genetic structure of 16 populations collected from different localities in Thailand, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and Cambodia using multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Relatively high genetic diversity occurred at both the intrapopulation and interpopulation levels. Genetic differentiation with FST values ranging between 0.006–0.892 was found. Five distinct genetic groups of the red-spotted tokay populations could be classified. A group of populations from northern Thailand showed the highest genetic differentiation from the other groups. Moreover, there was a substantial genetic subdivision depending on the genetic groups with FCT=0.664 and FSC=0.185. This genetic structure is related to geographical distribution and distance between populations, R2=0.5614, p<0.001. Our findings of pronounced genetic structuring and the concomitant conservation genetic consequences if further population loss occurs mean that management actions should therefore focus on the conservation of all of the main sites where tokay geckos still occur.

  2. Molecular phylogeny of Hemidactylus geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae) of the Indian subcontinent reveals a unique Indian radiation and an Indian origin of Asian house geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Rohini; Karanth, K Praveen

    2010-10-01

    Represented by approximately 85 species, Hemidactylus is one of the most diverse and widely distributed genera of reptiles in the world. In the Indian subcontinent, this genus is represented by 28 species out of which at least 13 are endemic to this region. Here, we report the phylogeny of the Indian Hemidactylus geckos based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers sequenced from multiple individuals of widely distributed as well as endemic congeners of India. Results indicate that a majority of the species distributed in India form a distinct clade whose members are largely confined to the Indian subcontinent thus representing a unique Indian radiation. The remaining Hemidactylus geckos of India belong to two other geographical clades representing the Southeast Asian and West-Asian arid zone species. Additionally, the three widely distributed, commensal species (H. brookii, H. frenatus and H. flaviviridis) are nested within the Indian radiation suggesting their Indian origin. Dispersal-vicariance analysis also supports their Indian origin and subsequent dispersal out-of-India into West-Asian arid zone and Southeast Asia. Thus, Indian subcontinent has served as an important arena for diversification amongst the Hemidactylus geckos and in the evolution and spread of its commensal geckos. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Geckos as Springs: Mechanics Explain Across-Species Scaling of Adhesion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casey A Gilman

    Full Text Available One of the central controversies regarding the evolution of adhesion concerns how adhesive force scales as animals change in size, either among or within species. A widely held view is that as animals become larger, the primary mechanism that enables them to climb is increasing pad area. However, prior studies show that much of the variation in maximum adhesive force remains unexplained, even when area is accounted for. We tested the hypothesis that maximum adhesive force among pad-bearing gecko species is not solely dictated by toepad area, but also depends on the ratio of toepad area to gecko adhesive system compliance in the loading direction, where compliance (C is the change in extension (Δ relative to a change in force (F while loading a gecko's adhesive system (C = dΔ/dF. Geckos are well-known for their ability to climb on a range of vertical and overhanging surfaces, and range in mass from several grams to over 300 grams, yet little is understood of the factors that enable adhesion to scale with body size. We examined the maximum adhesive force of six gecko species that vary in body size (~2-100 g. We also examined changes between juveniles and adults within a single species (Phelsuma grandis. We found that maximum adhesive force and toepad area increased with increasing gecko size, and that as gecko species become larger, their adhesive systems become significantly less compliant. Additionally, our hypothesis was supported, as the best predictor of maximum adhesive force was not toepad area or compliance alone, but the ratio of toepad area to compliance. We verified this result using a synthetic "model gecko" system comprised of synthetic adhesive pads attached to a glass substrate and a synthetic tendon (mechanical spring of finite stiffness. Our data indicate that increases in toepad area as geckos become larger cannot fully account for increased adhesive abilities, and decreased compliance must be included to explain the scaling of

  4. Fabrication and properties of dual-level hierarchical structures mimicking gecko foot hairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Peng; Liu, Shiyuan; Lv, Hao

    2013-02-01

    In nature, geckos have extraordinary adhesive capabilities. The multi-scale hierarchical structure of the gecko foot hairs, especially the high-aspect-ratio structure of its micro-scale seta and nano-scale spatulae is the critical factor of the gecko's ability to adopt and stick to any different surface with powerful adhesion force. In this paper, we present a simple and effective approach to fabricate dual-level hierarchical structures mimicking gecko foot hairs. Polydimethyl-siloxane (PDMS) hierarchical arrays were fabricated by demolding from a double stack mold that was composed of an SU-8 mold by thick film photolithography and a silicon mold by inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etching. Top pillars of the fabricated structures have 3 micom diameter and 18 microm in height, while base pillars have 25 microm diameter and 40 microm in height. The water droplet contact angle tests indicate that the hierarchical structures increase the hydrophobic property significantly compared with the single-level arrays and the unstructured polymers, exhibiting superhydrophobicity (154.2 degrees) like the Tokay gecko's (160.9 degrees). The shear force tests show that the top pillars make attachment through side contact with a value of about 0.25 N/cm2, and moreover, the hierarchical structures are demonstrated to be more suitable for contacting with rough surfaces.

  5. Subdigital setae of narrow-toed geckos, including a Eublepharid (Aeluroscalabotes felinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peattie, Anne M

    2008-07-01

    Subdigital adhesive setae have previously been documented in all legged gecko families except the Eublepharidae. I present evidence that members of Aeluroscalabotes felinus, the only arboreal eublepharids, possess subdigital setae up to 9 mum in length. This discovery suggests that the conditions leading to adhesive setae were probably present in the ancestors of all geckos, rather than arising multiple times within Gekkota. The digits and setae of Aeluroscalabotes resemble those of other climbing, bent-toed geckos. I describe the setal morphology of the following bent-toed species: Cyrtodactylus peguensis, Gonatodes albogularis, and Pristurus rupestris. The presence of subdigital setae is highly correlated with an arboreal lifestyle across geckos and other lizards such as anoles and skinks. Although relatively simple in form, these setae likely confer additional traction that significantly benefits climbing species. Further developmental and biomechanical studies comparing these species with more agile climbers like the Tokay will improve our understanding of the evolutionary processes leading to adhesive setae, and consequently inform engineers attempting to fabricate effective artificial gecko setae. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Folklore and traditional ecological knowledge of geckos in Southern Portugal: implications for conservation and science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vila-Viçosa Carlos M

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK and folklore are repositories of large amounts of information about the natural world. Ideas, perceptions and empirical data held by human communities regarding local species are important sources which enable new scientific discoveries to be made, as well as offering the potential to solve a number of conservation problems. We documented the gecko-related folklore and TEK of the people of southern Portugal, with the particular aim of understanding the main ideas relating to gecko biology and ecology. Our results suggest that local knowledge of gecko ecology and biology is both accurate and relevant. As a result of information provided by local inhabitants, knowledge of the current geographic distribution of Hemidactylus turcicus was expanded, with its presence reported in nine new locations. It was also discovered that locals still have some misconceptions of geckos as poisonous and carriers of dermatological diseases. The presence of these ideas has led the population to a fear of and aversion to geckos, resulting in direct persecution being one of the major conservation problems facing these animals. It is essential, from both a scientific and conservationist perspective, to understand the knowledge and perceptions that people have towards the animals, since, only then, may hitherto unrecognized pertinent information and conservation problems be detected and resolved.

  7. Folklore and traditional ecological knowledge of geckos in Southern Portugal: implications for conservation and science

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and folklore are repositories of large amounts of information about the natural world. Ideas, perceptions and empirical data held by human communities regarding local species are important sources which enable new scientific discoveries to be made, as well as offering the potential to solve a number of conservation problems. We documented the gecko-related folklore and TEK of the people of southern Portugal, with the particular aim of understanding the main ideas relating to gecko biology and ecology. Our results suggest that local knowledge of gecko ecology and biology is both accurate and relevant. As a result of information provided by local inhabitants, knowledge of the current geographic distribution of Hemidactylus turcicus was expanded, with its presence reported in nine new locations. It was also discovered that locals still have some misconceptions of geckos as poisonous and carriers of dermatological diseases. The presence of these ideas has led the population to a fear of and aversion to geckos, resulting in direct persecution being one of the major conservation problems facing these animals. It is essential, from both a scientific and conservationist perspective, to understand the knowledge and perceptions that people have towards the animals, since, only then, may hitherto unrecognized pertinent information and conservation problems be detected and resolved. PMID:21892925

  8. Detection rates of geckos in visual surveys: Turning confounding variables into useful knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lardner, Bjorn; Rodda, Gordon H.; Yackel Adams, Amy A.; Savidge, Julie A.; Reed, Robert N.

    2016-01-01

    Transect surveys without some means of estimating detection probabilities generate population size indices prone to bias because survey conditions differ in time and space. Knowing what causes such bias can help guide the collection of relevant survey covariates, correct the survey data, anticipate situations where bias might be unacceptably large, and elucidate the ecology of target species. We used negative binomial regression to evaluate confounding variables for gecko (primarily Hemidactylus frenatus and Lepidodactylus lugubris) counts on 220-m-long transects surveyed at night, primarily for snakes, on 9,475 occasions. Searchers differed in gecko detection rates by up to a factor of six. The worst and best headlamps differed by a factor of at least two. Strong winds had a negative effect potentially as large as those of searchers or headlamps. More geckos were seen during wet weather conditions, but the effect size was small. Compared with a detection nadir during waxing gibbous (nearly full) moons above the horizon, we saw 28% more geckos during waning crescent moons below the horizon. A sine function suggested that we saw 24% more geckos at the end of the wet season than at the end of the dry season. Fluctuations on a longer timescale also were verified. Disturbingly, corrected data exhibited strong short-term fluctuations that covariates apparently failed to capture. Although some biases can be addressed with measured covariates, others will be difficult to eliminate as a significant source of error in longterm monitoring programs.

  9. Geckos significantly alter foot orientation to facilitate adhesion during downhill locomotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birn-Jeffery, Aleksandra V; Higham, Timothy E

    2014-10-01

    Geckos employ their adhesive system when moving up an incline, but the directionality of the system may limit function on downhill surfaces. Here, we use a generalist gecko to test whether limb modulation occurs on downhill slopes to allow geckos to take advantage of their adhesive system. We examined three-dimensional limb kinematics for geckos moving up and down a 45° slope. Remarkably, the hind limbs were rotated posteriorly on declines, resulting in digit III of the pes facing a more posterior direction (opposite to the direction of travel). No significant changes in limb orientation were found in any other condition. This pes rotation leads to a dramatic shift in foot function that facilitates the use of the adhesive system as a brake/stabilizer during downhill locomotion and, although this rotation is not unique to geckos, it is significant for the deployment of adhesion. Adhesion is not just advantageous for uphill locomotion but can be employed to help deal with the effects of gravity during downhill locomotion, highlighting the incredible multi-functionality of this key innovation. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. A Study of lymphangiogenesis in a gecko model of tail autotomy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsopelas, C.; Munns, S.L.; Lewis, B.; Daniels, C.B.; Cooter, R.D.; Chatterton, B.E.

    2002-01-01

    Full text: Lymphoedema is a debilitating problem for which there is no effective cure. Lymphatic vessels do not regenerate after injuries such as infection, trauma, radiotherapy or tumour invasion. One approach is to determine whether lymph vessels can be regenerated in tissues where these structures have been damaged or removed. This study examined lymphangiogenesis in a gecko model of tail autotomy. Christinus marmoratus can regenerate its tail which is non-oedematous. The lymphatics of gecko tails were visualised using 99m Tc-Sb 2 S 3 colloid, image analyses provided lymph speed and % activity migrated from the injection site. Histological images yielded density and diameter of lymphatic vessels. Measurements were obtained for geckos with non-regenerate tails, 3,6, 9,12, 15, 18 and >24 week (fully) old regenerated tails post autotomy (pa). Fully regenerated tails had significantly slower lymph speed, slower radiocolloid migration from injection site, lower lymphatic density and higher diameter of lymphatic vessels, than similar sized geckos with non-regenerate tails. Their comparison to 6-18 week old tails, confirmed no significant difference in lymph speed, radiocolloid migration or diameter of lymphatic vessels. No measurable lymphatic flow was seen at 3 weeks pa. A functional lymphatic network was established in regenerating gecko tails, where a combination of data elude to a critical lymphangiogenesis period during 3-6 weeks post autotomy. Copyright (2002) The Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine Inc

  11. Tracing the geographic origin of traded leopard body parts in the indian subcontinent with DNA-based assignment tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondol, Samrat; Sridhar, Vanjulavalli; Yadav, Prasanjeet; Gubbi, Sanjay; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2015-04-01

    Illicit trade in wildlife products is rapidly decimating many species across the globe. Such trade is often underestimated for wide-ranging species until it is too late for the survival of their remaining populations. Policing this trade could be vastly improved if one could reliably determine geographic origins of illegal wildlife products and identify areas where greater enforcement is needed. Using DNA-based assignment tests (i.e., samples are assigned to geographic locations), we addressed these factors for leopards (Panthera pardus) on the Indian subcontinent. We created geography-specific allele frequencies from a genetic reference database of 173 leopards across India to infer geographic origins of DNA samples from 40 seized leopard skins. Sensitivity analyses of samples of known geographic origins and assignments of seized skins demonstrated robust assignments for Indian leopards. We found that confiscated pelts seized in small numbers were not necessarily from local leopards. The geographic footprint of large seizures appeared to be bigger than the cumulative footprint of several smaller seizures, indicating widespread leopard poaching across the subcontinent. Our seized samples had male-biased sex ratios, especially the large seizures. From multiple seized sample assignments, we identified central India as a poaching hotspot for leopards. The techniques we applied can be used to identify origins of seized illegal wildlife products and trade routes at the subcontinent scale and beyond. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Nanohairs and nanotubes: Efficient structural elements for gecko-inspired artificial dry adhesives

    KAUST Repository

    Jeong, Hoon Eui

    2009-08-01

    An overview of the recent progress in the development of gecko-inspired synthetic dry adhesives is presented, with particular emphasis on two major structural elements of nanohairs and nanotubes. With the advance of nanofabrication techniques, recently developed dry adhesives made of nanohairs and nanotubes show excellent adhesion strength, smart directional adhesion as well as rough surface adaptability by better mimicking gecko foot hairs. After a brief description of the requirements for high-performance artificial dry adhesives, a variety of synthetic adhesives are described based on materials and structural features of the gecko-inspired nanostructures. In addition, current challenges and future directions towards an optimized synthetic dry adhesive are presented. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Role of seta angle and flexibility in the gecko adhesion mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Congcong; Alex Greaney, P.

    2014-08-01

    A model is developed to describe the reversible nature of gecko dry adhesion. The central aspect of this model is that the seta can be easily peeled away from the contacting surface by a small moment at the contact tip. It is shown that this contact condition is very sensitive, but can result in robust adhesion if individual setae are canted and highly flexible. In analogy to the "cone of friction," we consider the "adhesion region"—the domain of normal and tangential forces that maintain adhesion. Results demonstrate that this adhesion region is highly asymmetric enabling the gecko to adhere under a variety of loading conditions associated with scuttling horizontally, vertically, and inverted. Moreover, under each of these conditions, there is a low energy path to de-adhesion. In this model, obliquely canted seta (as possessed by geckos) rather than vertically aligned fibers (common in synthetic dry adhesive) provides the most robust adhesion.

  14. Highly durable and unidirectionally stooped polymeric nanohairs for gecko-like dry adhesive

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Im, Hyeon Seong; Kwon, Ki Yoon; Kim, Jong Uk; Kim, Tae-il; Kim, Kwang Su; Yi, Hoon; Jeong, Hoon Eui; Yoo, Pil J; Pang, Changhyun

    2015-01-01

    Gecko-like dry adhesive using high aspect ratio polymeric nanohairs has insuperable limitations, although it has huge potential in many applications. Repeated harsh contacts on a target substrate lead to physical collapse of nanohairs and significant degradation of the adhesion property, because the polymeric nanohairs are quite fragile due to poor mechanical robustness. Herein, we demonstrate a highly robust gecko-like dry adhesive with unidirectionally stooped polymeric nanohairs (diameter 100 nm) with a high aspect ratio (∼9) using an ultrathin metal coating. 100 cycles of repeated adhesion tests with 1 N preloading force did not significantly degrade adhesion or cause collapse of nanohairs. We believe that this approach allows gecko-like dry adhesive to be utilized in many related applications and diverse industry interests. (paper)

  15. Abundance and Ecology of Leopards (Panthera pardus) in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Havmøller, Rasmus Gren

    habitats such as rainforests. The Udzungwa Mountains in South Central Tanzania are covered in both rainforest and more familiar African habitats, holds an incredible number of mammal species and a completely unknown population of leopards. In this study I used automatic camera traps that took photos of all...

  16. Wild Asian elephants distinguish aggressive tiger and leopard growls according to perceived danger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thuppil, Vivek; Coss, Richard G

    2013-10-23

    Prey species exhibit antipredator behaviours such as alertness, aggression and flight, among others, in response to predators. The nature of this response is variable, with animals reacting more strongly in situations of increased vulnerability. Our research described here is the first formal study to investigate night-time antipredator behaviour in any species of elephants, Asian or African. We examined the provocative effects of elephant-triggered tiger and leopard growls while elephants attempted to crop-raid. Tigers opportunistically prey on elephant calves, whereas leopards pose no threat; therefore, we predicted that the elephant response would be reflective of this difference. Elephants reacted similarly cautiously to the simulated presence of felids of both species by eventually moving away, but differed markedly in their more immediate behavioural responses. Elephants retreated silently to tiger-growl playbacks, whereas they responded with aggressive vocalizations, such as trumpets and grunts, to leopard-growl playbacks. Elephants also lingered in the area and displayed alert or investigative behaviours in response to leopard growls when compared with tiger growls. We anticipate that the methods outlined here will promote further study of elephant antipredator behaviour in a naturalistic context, with applications for conservation efforts as well.

  17. Habitat Mapping of the Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis in South Korea Using GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moung-Jin Lee

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to create maps of potentially sustainable leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis habitats for all of South Korea. The leopard cat, which is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List, is the only member of the Felidae family in Korea. To create habitat potential maps, we selected various environmental factors potentially affecting the species’ distribution from a spatial database derived from geographic information system (GIS data: elevation, slope, distance from a forest stand, road, or drainage, timber type, age, and land cover. We analyzed the spatial relationships between the distribution of the leopard cat and the environmental factors using a frequency ratio model and a logistic regression model. We then overlaid these relationships to produce a habitat potential map with a species potential index (SPI value. Of the total number of known leopard cat locations, we used 50% for mapping and the remaining 50% for model validation. Our models were relatively successful and showed a high level of accuracy during model validation with existing locations (frequency ratio model 82.15%; logistic regression model 81.48%. The maps can be used to manage and monitor the habitat of mammal species and top predators.

  18. Endoscopy-guided ectopic egg removal from the urinary bladder in a leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mans, Christoph; Foster, Jonathan D

    2014-06-01

    Egg retention in the urinary bladder of a leopard tortoise was diagnosed by radiography and confirmed by cystoscopy. The egg was removed with a modified polypectomy snare, aided by a flexible endoscope and insufflation. No complications occurred during the procedures and the tortoise made a complete recovery.

  19. Anterior segment dysgenesis (Peters' anomaly) in two snow leopard (Panthera uncia) cubs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamoudi, Hassan; Rudnick, Jens-Christian; Prause, Jan Ulrik

    2013-01-01

    remnant of the hyaloid artery. The male had hydrocephalus and thus some of the features of Peters' plus syndrome (Peters' anomaly in addition to systemic malformations). The histological findings in the eyes of these snow leopard siblings are identical with those described in humans with Peters' anomaly....

  20. Clinal patterns in genetic variation for northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens): Conservation status and population histories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockwell, Craig A.; Fisher, Justin D.L.; McLean, Kyle I.

    2016-01-01

    The security of the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) varies spatially with populations east and west of North Dakota considered as secure and at risk, respectively. We used genetic markers to characterize the conservation status of northern leopard frog populations across North Dakota. We used multiple regression analyses and model selection to evaluate correlations of expected heterozygosity (HE) with the direct and additive effects of: i) geographic location,ii) wetland density and iii) average annual precipitation. There was lower genetic diversity in the western portion of the state due to lower levels of diversity for populations southwest of the Missouri River. This may reflect a refugial/colonization signature for the only non-glaciated area of North Dakota. Genetic diversity was also positively associated with wetland densities which is consistent with the reliance of this species on a mosaic of wetlands. Our findings suggest that populations in the southwestern part of North Dakota are of higher conservation concern, a finding consistent with the higher risk noted for northern leopard frog populations in most states west of North Dakota. Our findings also pose the hypothesis that climate change induced changes in wetland densities will reduce genetic diversity of northern leopard frog populations.

  1. Predicting global population connectivity and targeting conservation action for snow leopard across its range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip Riordan; Samuel A. Cushman; David Mallon; Kun Shi; Joelene Hughes

    2016-01-01

    Movements of individuals within and among populations help to maintain genetic variability and population viability. Therefore, understanding landscape connectivity is vital for effective species conservation. The snow leopard is endemic to mountainous areas of central Asia and occurs within 12 countries. We assess potential connectivity across the species’...

  2. Flexibility in the duration of parental care: Female leopards prioritise cub survival over reproductive output.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balme, Guy A; Robinson, Hugh S; Pitman, Ross T; Hunter, Luke T B

    2017-09-01

    Deciding when to terminate care of offspring is a key consideration for parents. Prolonging care may increase fitness of current offspring, but it can also reduce opportunities for future reproduction. Despite its evolutionary importance, few studies have explored the optimal duration of parental care, particularly among large carnivores. We used a 40-year dataset to assess the trade-offs associated with the length of maternal care in leopards in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa. We compared the costs imposed by care on the survival and residual reproductive value of leopard mothers against the benefits derived from maternal care in terms of increased offspring survival, recruitment and reproduction. We also examined the demographic and ecological factors affecting the duration of care in the light of five explanatory hypotheses: litter size, sex allocation, resource limitation, timing of independence and terminal investment. Duration of care exhibited by female leopards varied markedly, from 9 to 35 months. Mothers did not appear to suffer any short- or long-term survival costs from caring for cubs, but extending care reduced the number of litters that mothers could produce during their lifetimes. Interestingly, the duration of care did not appear to affect the post-independence survival or reproductive success of offspring (although it may have indirectly affected offspring survival by influencing dispersal distance). However, results from generalised linear mixed models showed that mothers prolonged care during periods of prey scarcity, supporting the resource limitation hypothesis. Female leopards also cared for sons longer than daughters, in line with the sex-allocation hypothesis. Cub survival is an important determinant of the lifetime reproductive success in leopards. By buffering offspring against environmental perturbation without jeopardising their own survivorship, female leopards apparently "hedge their bets" with current offspring rather than

  3. Variations in leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis skull morphology and body size: sexual and geographic influences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando L. Sicuro

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The leopard cat, Prionailurus bengalensis (Kerr, 1792, is one of the most widespread Asian cats, occurring in continental eastern and southeastern Asia. Since 1929, several studies have focused on the morphology, ecology, and taxonomy of leopard cats. Nevertheless, hitherto there has been no agreement on basic aspects of leopard cat biology, such as the presence or absence of sexual dimorphism, morphological skull and body differences between the eleven recognized subspecies, and the biogeography of the different morphotypes. Twenty measurements on 25 adult leopard cat skulls from different Asian localities were analyzed through univariate and multivariate statistical approaches. Skull and external body measurements from studies over the last 77 years were assembled and organized in two categories: full data and summary data. Most of this database comprises small samples, which have never been statistically tested and compared with each other. Full data sets were tested with univariate and multivariate statistical analyses; summary data sets (i.e., means, SDs, and ranges were analyzed through suitable univariate approaches. The independent analyses of the data from these works confirmed our original results and improved the overview of sexual dimorphism and geographical morphological variation among subspecies. Continental leopard cats have larger skulls and body dimensions. Skulls of Indochinese morphotypes have broader and higher features than those of continental morphotypes, while individuals from the Sunda Islands have skulls with comparatively narrow and low profiles. Cranial sexual dimorphism is present in different degrees among subspecies. Most display subtle sex-related variations in a few skull features. However, in some cases, sexual dimorphism in skull morphology is absent, such as in P. b. sumatranus and P. b. borneoensis. External body measurement comparisons also indicate the low degree of sexual dimorphism. Apart from the gonads

  4. Modelling predation by transient leopard seals for an ecosystem-based management of Southern Ocean fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forcada, J.; Royle, J. Andrew; Staniland, I.J.

    2009-01-01

    Correctly quantifying the impacts of rare apex marine predators is essential to ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management, where harvesting must be sustainable for targeted species and their dependent predators. This requires modelling the uncertainty in such processes as predator life history, seasonal abundance and movement, size-based predation, energetic requirements, and prey vulnerability. We combined these uncertainties to evaluate the predatory impact of transient leopard seals on a community of mesopredators (seals and penguins) and their prey at South Georgia, and assess the implications for an ecosystem-based management. The mesopredators are highly dependent on Antarctic krill and icefish, which are targeted by regional fisheries. We used a state-space formulation to combine (1) a mark-recapture open-population model and individual identification data to assess seasonally variable leopard seal arrival and departure dates, numbers, and residency times; (2) a size-based bioenergetic model; and (3) a size-based prey choice model from a diet analysis. Our models indicated that prey choice and consumption reflected seasonal changes in leopard seal population size and structure, size-selective predation and prey vulnerability. A population of 104 (90?125) leopard seals, of which 64% were juveniles, consumed less than 2% of the Antarctic fur seal pup production of the area (50% of total ingested energy, IE), but ca. 12?16% of the local gentoo penguin population (20% IE). Antarctic krill (28% IE) were the only observed food of leopard seal pups and supplemented the diet of older individuals. Direct impacts on krill and fish were negligible, but the ?escapement? due to leopard seal predation on fur seal pups and penguins could be significant for the mackerel icefish fishery at South Georgia. These results suggest that: (1) rare apex predators like leopard seals may control, and may depend on, populations of mesopredators dependent on prey species

  5. Run don't walk: locomotor performance of geckos on wet substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Alyssa Y; Ohlemacher, Jocelyn; Knight, Ashley; Niewiarowski, Peter H

    2015-08-01

    The gecko adhesive system has been under particular scrutiny for over a decade, as the field has recently attracted attention for its application to bio-inspired design. However, little is known about how the adhesive system behaves in ecologically relevant conditions. Geckos inhabit a variety of environments, many of which are characterized by high temperature, humidity and rain. The van der Waals-based gecko adhesive system should be particularly challenged by wet substrates because water can disrupt the intimate contact necessary for adhesion. While a few previous studies have focused on the clinging ability of geckos on wet substrates, we tested a dynamic performance characteristic, sprint velocity. To better understand how substrate wettability and running orientation affect locomotor performance of multiple species on wet substrates, we measured average sprint velocity of five species of gecko on substrates that were either hydrophilic or intermediately wetting and oriented either vertically or horizontally. Surprisingly, we found no indication that wet substrates impact average sprint velocity over 1 m, and rather, in some species, sprint velocity was increased on wet substrates rather than reduced. When investigating physical characteristics and behavior that may be associated with running on wet substrates, such as total number of stops, slips and wet toes at the completion of a race, we found that there may be habitat-related differences between some species. Our results show that in general, unlike clinging and walking, geckos running along wet substrates suffer no significant loss in locomotor performance over short distances. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Effects of CFT Legumine (5% Rotenone) on tadpole survival and metamorphosis of Chiricahua leopard frogs Lithobates chiricahuensis, Northern leopard frogs L. pipiens, and American bullfrogs L. catesbeianus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, Guillermo; Caldwell, Colleen A.; Kruse, Carter G.

    2017-01-01

    Amphibians may experience collateral effects if exposed to CFT Legumine (5% rotenone), a piscicide that is used to remove invasive fish. A series of 48-h static toxicity tests assessed the acute effects of CFT Legumine on multi-aged tadpoles of the federally listed Chiricahua leopard frog Lithobates chiricahuensis, the widespread northern leopard frog L. pipiens, and the increasingly invasive American bullfrog L. catesbeianus. At the earliest Gosner stages (GS 21–25), Chiricahua leopard frogs were more sensitive to CFT Legumine (median lethal concentration [LC50] = 0.41–0.58 mg/L) than American bullfrogs (LC50 = 0.63–0.69 mg/L) and northern leopard frogs (LC50 = 0.91 and 1.17 mg/L). As tadpoles developed (i.e., increase in GS), their sensitivity to rotenone decreased. In a separate series of 48-h static nonrenewal toxicity tests, tadpoles (GS 21–25 and GS 31–36) of all three species were exposed to piscicidal concentrations of CFT Legumine (0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mg/L) to assess postexposure effects on metamorphosis. In survivors of all three species at both life stages, the time to tail resorption was nearly doubled in comparison with that of controls. For example, mid-age (GS 31–36) Chiricahua leopard frog tadpoles required 210.7 h to complete tail resorption, whereas controls required 108.5 h. However, because tail resorption is a relatively short period in metamorphosis, the total duration of development (days from posthatch to complete metamorphosis) and the final weight did not differ in either age-group surviving nominal concentrations of 0.5-, 1.0-, and 2.0-mg/L CFT Legumine relative to controls. This research demonstrates that the CFT Legumine concentrations commonly used in field applications to remove unwanted fish could result in considerable mortality of the earliest stages of Lithobates species. In addition to acute lethality, piscicide treatments may result in delayed tail resorption, which places the tadpoles at risk by increasing

  7. Mechanisms of spectral tuning in the RH2 pigments of Tokay gecko and American chameleon

    OpenAIRE

    Takenaka, Naomi; Yokoyama, Shozo

    2007-01-01

    At present, molecular bases of spectral tuning in rhodopsin-like (RH2) pigments are not well understood. Here, we have constructed the RH2 pigments of nocturnal Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko) and diurnal American chameleon (Anolis carolinensis) as well as chimeras between them. The RH2 pigments of the gecko and chameleon reconstituted with 11-cis-retinal had the wavelengths of maximal absorption (λmax’s) of 467 and 496 nm, respectively. Chimeric pigment analyses indicated that 76–86%, 14–24%, and ...

  8. Primer caso de canibalismo registrado para el gecko de Lima, Phyllodactylus sentosus (Reptilia, Phyllodactylidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Valdez, Fernando; Cossios, E. Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Se reporta un caso de canibalismo en el gecko de Lima, Phyllodactylus sentosus Dixon & Huey, 1970 donde un macho adulto devoró a un juvenil. Tras una búsqueda de literatura, no se encontró casos reportados en otras especies del mismo género, por lo que se considera que este es el primer reporte de canibalismo en Phyllodactylus. We report a case of cannibalism for the Lima leaf-toed gecko, Phyllodactylus sentosus, in which an adult male devoured a juvenile. No reported cases were found in o...

  9. Design and fabrication of polymer based dry adhesives inspired by the gecko adhesive system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Kejia

    There has been significant interest in developing dry adhesives mimicking the gecko adhesive system, which offers several advantages compared to conventional pressure sensitive adhesives. Specifically, gecko adhesive pads have anisotropic adhesion properties: the adhesive pads (spatulae) stick strongly when sheared in one direction but are non-adherent when sheared in the opposite direction. This anisotropy property is attributed to the complex topography of the array of fine tilted and curved columnar structures (setae) that bear the spatulae. In this thesis, easy, scalable methods, relying on conventional and unconventional techniques are presented to incorporate tilt in the fabrication of synthetic polymer-based dry adhesives mimicking the gecko adhesive system, which provide anisotropic adhesion properties. In the first part of the study, the anisotropic adhesion and friction properties of samples with various tilt angles to test the validity of a nanoscale tape-peeling model of spatular function are measured. Consistent with the Peel Zone model, samples with lower tilt angles yielded larger adhesion forces. Contact mechanics of the synthetic array were highly anisotropic, consistent with the frictional adhesion model and gecko-like. Based on the original design, a new design of gecko-like dry adhesives was developed which showed superior tribological properties and furthermore showed anisotropic adhesive properties without the need for tilt in the structures. These adhesives can be used to reversibly suspend weights from vertical surfaces (e.g., walls) and, for the first time to our knowledge, horizontal surfaces (e.g., ceilings) by simultaneously and judiciously activating anisotropic friction and adhesion forces. Furthermore, adhesion properties between artificial gecko-inspired dry adhesives and rough substrates with varying roughness are studied. The results suggest that both adhesion and friction forces on a rough substrate depends significantly on the

  10. Multiple origin of diurnality in geckos: evidence from eye lens crystallins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röll, Beate

    2001-05-01

    The large lizard family Gekkonidae comprises about 90 genera (1000 species). While most geckos are nocturnal, the members of about 15 genera are diurnal. All of these species are 'tertiarily' diurnal, i.e. they are descended from 'secondarily' nocturnal ancestors. They have adapted to a diurnal lifestyle in quite different ways, as can be deduced by the crystallin proteins in their lenses. Evaluation of the heterogeneous lens crystallin compositions of diurnal geckos reveals that there are at least three lineages that regained diurnality independently.

  11. The gecko visual pigment: the anion hypsochromic effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crescitelli, F; Karvaly, B

    1991-01-01

    The 521-pigment in the retina of the Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko) readily responds to particular physical and chemical changes in its environment. When solubilized in chloride deficient state the addition of Class I anions (Cl-, Br-) induces a bathochromic shift of the absorption spectrum. Class II anions (NO3-, IO3-, N3-, OCN-, SCN-, SeCN-, N(CN)2-), which exhibit ambidental properties, cause an hypsochromic shift. Class III anions (F-, I-, NO2-, CN-, AsO3-, SO2(4-), S2O2(3-) have no spectral effect on the 521-pigment. Cations appear to have no influence on the pigment absorption and Class I anions prevent or reverse the hypsochromic shift caused by Class II anions. It is suggested that the spectral displacements reflect specific changes in the opsin conformation, which alter the immediate (dipolar) environment of the retinal chromophore. The protein conformation seems to promote excited-state processes most in the native 521-pigment state and least in the presence of Class II anions. This in turn suggests that the photosensitivity of the 521-pigment is controlled by the excited rather than by the ground-state properties of the pigment.

  12. Cone visual pigments are present in gecko rod cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojima, D; Okano, T; Fukada, Y; Shichida, Y; Yoshizawa, T; Ebrey, T G

    1992-08-01

    The Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko), a nocturnal lizard, has two kinds of visual pigments, P467 and P521. In spite of the pure-rod morphology of the photoreceptor cells, the biochemical properties of P521 and P467 resemble those of iodopsin (the chicken red-sensitive cone visual pigment) and rhodopsin, respectively. We have found that the amino acid sequence of P521 deduced from the cDNA was very similar to that of iodopsin. In addition, P467 has the highest homology with the chicken green-sensitive cone visual pigment, although it also has a relatively high homology with rhodopsins. These results give additional strength to the transmutation theory of Walls [Walls, G. L. (1934) Am. J. Ophthalmol. 17, 892-915], who proposed that the rod-shaped photoreceptor cells of lizards have been derived from ancestral cone-like photoreceptors. Apparently amino acid sequences of visual pigments are less changeable than the morphology of the photoreceptor cells in the course of evolution.

  13. Diversity of functional microornamentation in slithering geckos Lialis (Pygopodidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinner, M; Gorb, S N; Westhoff, G

    2013-12-07

    The skin of geckos is covered with countless microscopic protuberances (spines). This surface structure causes low wettability to water. During evolution, representatives of the recent gekkotan clade Pygopodidae started slithering on the ground. This manner of locomotion affected limb reduction resulting in a snake-like body. Regarding abrasion and frictional properties, a surface covered with gekkotan spines is a topography that hampers the snake-like locomotion mode. Using scanning electron microscopy, we investigated the shed skins of two pygopodid lizards, Lialis jicari (Papua snake lizard) and Lialis burtonis (Burton's legless lizard), in order to show epidermal adaptations to limbless locomotion. Our data showed that Pygopodidae differ from their relatives not only anatomically, but also in their epidermal microstructure. Scales of L. jicari have five different structural patterns on various body regions. Ventral scales have nanoridges, similar to those found on the ventralia of snakes. Surfaces of scales covering the jaw bones, have flattened spine-like microstructures that might be an adaptation to reduce abrasion. Dorsal scales have oblong microscopic bulges covered with nanoridges. Spines cover the undersides and the interstices of scales over the entire body of both species and in L. jicari also the top of dorsal head scales. Our measurements of surface wettability (surface free energy) show superhydrophobic properties of the spiny surfaces in comparison with the other microstructural patterns of other body parts.

  14. Scale dependence of felid predation risk: Identifying predictors of livestock kills by tiger and leopard in Bhutan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susana Rostro-Garcia; Lhendup Tharchen; Leandro Abade; Christos Astaras; Samuel A. Cushman; David W. Macdonald

    2016-01-01

    Livestock predation by tiger and leopard in Bhutan is a major threat to the conservation of these felids. Conflict mitigation planning would benefit from an improved understanding of the spatial pattern of livestock kills by the two predators.

  15. EVIDENCE OF PHYLOGENETICALLY DISTINCT LEOPARD FROGS (RANA ONCA) FROM THE BORDER REGION OF NEVADA, UTAH, AND ARIZONA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remnant populations of leopard frogs within the Virgin River drainage and adjacent portions of the Colorado River (Black Canyon) in northwestern Arizona and southern Nevada either represent the reportedly extinct taxon Rana onca or northern, disjunct Rana yavapaiensis. To determi...

  16. Thermally switchable adhesions of polystyrene-block-poly(n-isopropylacrylamide) copolymer pillar array mimicking climb attitude of geckos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jem-Kun; Wang, Jing-Hong; Chang, Jia-Yaw; Fan, Shih-Kang

    2012-09-01

    Inspired by the gecko foot pad, we fabricated polystyrene-block-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PS-b-PNIPAAm) copolymer pillar array to mimic climbing attitude of a gecko, alternately attach to and detach from a surface. The pillar array structure of the PS segment significantly enhances both of the hydrophilic and hydrophobic property of PNIPAAm segment tips at 25 and 50 °C, respectively, which could generate alternating adhesive forces of approximately 120 and 11 nN. The dramatic change in adhesive and friction force difference at 25 and 50 °C may guide the design of bio-inspired artificial analogues, which could approach gecko's climbing behavior.

  17. Selection of egg attachment sites by the Indian Golden Gecko Calodactylodes aureus (Beddome, 1870 (Reptilia: Gekkonidae in Andhra Pradesh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Sreekar

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Some geckos lay eggs at communal egg deposition sites with as many as 300 eggs per site. Selection of egg deposition sites is important to avoid egg damage and predation. We investigated survival rates of communal egg clutches of the Indian Golden Gecko Calodactylodes aureus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae. Our results show that communal clutches have a higher survival rate in sites with water bodies and without anthropogenic activities, in comparison to sites having the opposite combination. These findings are discussed in the context of the status of this gecko.

  18. Prevalence and determinants of stereotypic behaviours and physiological stress among tigers and leopards in Indian zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaz, Janice; Narayan, Edward J; Dileep Kumar, R; Thenmozhi, K; Thiyagesan, Krishnamoorthy; Baskaran, Nagarajan

    2017-01-01

    India's charismatic wildlife species are facing immense pressure from anthropogenic-induced environmental perturbations. Zoos play a major role in the conservation of threatened species, but their adaptation in captivity is posing a major challenge globally. Stress from inadequate adaptation could lead to suppression of cognitive functioning and increased display of stereotypic behaviour. It is thus necessary to measure biological traits like behaviour, stress physiology, and contextual factors driving the animals maintained at zoos. In this study, we assessed stereotypic behaviour and stress physiology employing standard behaviour scoring, non-invasive stress monitoring, and their contextual drivers in a sub-population of two large felid species managed in six Indian zoos. The prevalence and intensity of stereotypic behaviours and levels of faecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM) were ascertained among 41 Royal Bengal tigers Panthera tigris tigris and 21 Indian leopards Panthera pardus fusca between April 2014 and March 2015. Behavioural observations showed that tigers spent more time stereotyping (12%) than leopards (7%) during daylight hours. Stress levels assessed using FCM revealed that tigers (23.6 ± 1.62 ng/g) had marginally lower level of corticosterone metabolites than leopards (27.2 ±1.36 ng/g). Stereotypic behaviour increased significantly with FCM level when the effect of heath status was controlled in tigers, and the effects tree cover, stone, den and keeper attitude controlled in leopards. Comparison of stereotypes of tigers with various biological and environmental factors using binary logistic regression revealed that stereotypic prevalence decreased with increased enclosure size, and enclosure enrichments like presence of pools and stones, when managed socially with conspecifics, and with positive keeper attitude, these factors accounting for 43% of variations in stereotypic prevalence among tigers. Stereotype among leopards was significantly

  19. Prevalence and determinants of stereotypic behaviours and physiological stress among tigers and leopards in Indian zoos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janice Vaz

    Full Text Available India's charismatic wildlife species are facing immense pressure from anthropogenic-induced environmental perturbations. Zoos play a major role in the conservation of threatened species, but their adaptation in captivity is posing a major challenge globally. Stress from inadequate adaptation could lead to suppression of cognitive functioning and increased display of stereotypic behaviour. It is thus necessary to measure biological traits like behaviour, stress physiology, and contextual factors driving the animals maintained at zoos. In this study, we assessed stereotypic behaviour and stress physiology employing standard behaviour scoring, non-invasive stress monitoring, and their contextual drivers in a sub-population of two large felid species managed in six Indian zoos. The prevalence and intensity of stereotypic behaviours and levels of faecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM were ascertained among 41 Royal Bengal tigers Panthera tigris tigris and 21 Indian leopards Panthera pardus fusca between April 2014 and March 2015. Behavioural observations showed that tigers spent more time stereotyping (12% than leopards (7% during daylight hours. Stress levels assessed using FCM revealed that tigers (23.6 ± 1.62 ng/g had marginally lower level of corticosterone metabolites than leopards (27.2 ±1.36 ng/g. Stereotypic behaviour increased significantly with FCM level when the effect of heath status was controlled in tigers, and the effects tree cover, stone, den and keeper attitude controlled in leopards. Comparison of stereotypes of tigers with various biological and environmental factors using binary logistic regression revealed that stereotypic prevalence decreased with increased enclosure size, and enclosure enrichments like presence of pools and stones, when managed socially with conspecifics, and with positive keeper attitude, these factors accounting for 43% of variations in stereotypic prevalence among tigers. Stereotype among leopards was

  20. Prevalence and determinants of stereotypic behaviours and physiological stress among tigers and leopards in Indian zoos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaz, Janice; Narayan, Edward J.; Dileep Kumar, R.; Thenmozhi, K.; Thiyagesan, Krishnamoorthy

    2017-01-01

    India’s charismatic wildlife species are facing immense pressure from anthropogenic-induced environmental perturbations. Zoos play a major role in the conservation of threatened species, but their adaptation in captivity is posing a major challenge globally. Stress from inadequate adaptation could lead to suppression of cognitive functioning and increased display of stereotypic behaviour. It is thus necessary to measure biological traits like behaviour, stress physiology, and contextual factors driving the animals maintained at zoos. In this study, we assessed stereotypic behaviour and stress physiology employing standard behaviour scoring, non-invasive stress monitoring, and their contextual drivers in a sub-population of two large felid species managed in six Indian zoos. The prevalence and intensity of stereotypic behaviours and levels of faecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM) were ascertained among 41 Royal Bengal tigers Panthera tigris tigris and 21 Indian leopards Panthera pardus fusca between April 2014 and March 2015. Behavioural observations showed that tigers spent more time stereotyping (12%) than leopards (7%) during daylight hours. Stress levels assessed using FCM revealed that tigers (23.6 ± 1.62 ng/g) had marginally lower level of corticosterone metabolites than leopards (27.2 ±1.36 ng/g). Stereotypic behaviour increased significantly with FCM level when the effect of heath status was controlled in tigers, and the effects tree cover, stone, den and keeper attitude controlled in leopards. Comparison of stereotypes of tigers with various biological and environmental factors using binary logistic regression revealed that stereotypic prevalence decreased with increased enclosure size, and enclosure enrichments like presence of pools and stones, when managed socially with conspecifics, and with positive keeper attitude, these factors accounting for 43% of variations in stereotypic prevalence among tigers. Stereotype among leopards was significantly

  1. Reproduction in a gecko assemblage (Squamata: Phyllodactylidae in the Marañon Region (Peru and comments on the largest gecko in the New World

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janina Aurich

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Reproduction is described for four phyllodactylid geckos, Phyllopezus maranjonensis, Phyllodactylus delsolari, P. thompsoni and P. reissii from the upper Marañon Valley, Peru. Observations were made between March and May 2010 and voucher specimens, already housed in the Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK, were X-rayed to check for gravid females. Gravid female P. maranjonensis, P. delsolari and P. reissii contain two eggs, whereas P. thompsoni produces a single egg that is deposited in leaf litter or crevices of stone walls. It is likely that females of all of these species produce multiple clutches in one year; the reproductive period seems to be extended in at least two species. Furthermore, measurements of numerous specimens of all four species are presented herein, revealing that Phyllopezus maranjonensis is the largest species of New World geckos.

  2. Embryonic origin of mate choice in a lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putz, Oliver; Crews, David

    2006-01-01

    Individual differences in the adult sexual behavior of vertebrates are rooted in the fetal environment. In the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), hatchling sex ratios differ between incubation temperatures, as does sexuality in same-sex animals. This variation can primarily be ascribed to the temperature having direct organizing actions on the brain. Here we demonstrate that embryonic temperature can affect adult mate choice in the leopard gecko. Given the simultaneous choice between two females from different incubation temperatures (30.0 and 34.0 degrees C), males from one incubation temperature (30.0 degrees C) preferred the female from 34.0 degrees C, while males from another incubation temperature (32.5 degrees C) preferred the female from 30.0 degrees C. We suggest that this difference in mate choice is due to an environmental influence on brain development leading to differential perception of opposite-sex individuals. This previously unrecognized modulator of adult mate choice lends further support to the view that mate choice is best understood in the context of an individual's entire life-history. Thus, sexual selection results from a combination of the female's as well as the male's life history. Female attractiveness and male choice therefore are complementary. Copyright 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Coupled effects of the temperature and the relative humidity on gecko adhesion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peng, Zhilong; Yang, Yazheng; Chen, Shaohua

    2017-01-01

    To explain the inconsistent results of experiments on temperature-dependent gecko adhesion, a theoretical peeling model is established wherein a nano-thin film is adopted to simulate a gecko spatula. The model considers not only the respective effects of temperature and environmental humidity on the peel-off force but also the coupled effect of both factors. Increasing temperature is found to lead to a decreasing peel-off force if the environmental humidity is uncontrolled. However, if the environmental humidity is constant, the peel-off force is insensitive to the temperature and remains almost constant. The synthetic theoretical analysis demonstrates that the seemingly contradictory results of temperature-dependent gecko adhesion experiments are actually consistent under their respective experimental conditions. This inconsistency is mainly due to the environmental humidity, which varies with the changing temperature if it is not artificially controlled. The results cannot only reasonably explain the different experimental results for the effect of temperature on gecko adhesion but can also facilitate the design of temperature-controlled or humidity-controlled adhesion sensors by tuning the environmental humidity or temperature. (paper)

  4. How do the substrate reaction forces acting on a gecko's limbs respond to inclines?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhouyi; Dai, Zhendong; Li, Wei; Ji, Aihong; Wang, Wenbao

    2015-02-01

    Locomotion is an essential character of animals, and excellent moving ability results from the delicate sensing of the substrate reaction forces (SRF) acting on body and modulating the behavior to adapt the motion requirement. The inclined substrates present in habitats pose a number of functional challenges to locomotion. In order to effectively overcome these challenges, climbing geckos execute complex and accurate movements that involve both the front and hind limbs. Few studies have examined gecko's SRF on steeper inclines of greater than 90°. To reveal how the SRFs acting on the front and hind limbs respond to angle incline changes, we obtained detailed measurements of the three-dimensional SRFs acting on the individual limbs of the tokay gecko while it climbed on an inclined angle of 0-180°. The fore-aft forces acting on the front and hind limbs show opposite trends on inverted inclines of greater than 120°, indicating propulsion mechanism changes in response to inclines. When the incline angles change, the forces exerted in the normal and fore-aft directions by gecko's front and hind limbs are reassigned to take full advantage of limbs' different roles in overcoming resistance and in propelling locomotion. This also ensures that weight acts in the angle range between the forces generated by the front and hind limbs. The change in the distribution of SRF with a change in the incline angle is directly linked to the favorable trade-off between locomotive maneuverability and stability.

  5. A third, ultraviolet-sensitive, visual pigment in the Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loew, E R

    1994-06-01

    Numerous extraction and microspectrophotometric studies have shown that the nocturnal Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko), has two visual pigments: a "green" with lambda max at 521 nm and a "blue" at 467 nm. In addition, similar studies on other nocturnal gecko species have found only the same two classes of visual pigment. With the finding that some diurnal species of gecko have a third visual pigment class with lambda max peaking in the UV, doubts were raised concerning the presence of only two visual pigment classes in nocturnal forms. Therefore, a microspectrophotometric re-examination of the Tokay gecko was undertaken to look specifically for a UV visual pigment. A UV-absorbing pigment (364 nm lambda max) was found in approx. 20% of the thin outer segments of type C double rods, thought previously to contain only the 467 nm pigment. That this UV-absorbing pigment was truly a visual pigment was confirmed by its dichroism, behaviour following exposure to UV radiation and "nomogram" fit. It is suggested that this visual pigment had been seen in previous microspectrophotometric studies, but its similarity to known photoproducts peaking in the same spectral region resulted in a case of mistaken identity.

  6. Friction and adhesion of gecko-inspired PDMS flaps on rough surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jing; Chary, Sathya; Das, Saurabh; Tamelier, John; Turner, Kimberly L; Israelachvili, Jacob N

    2012-08-07

    Geckos have developed a unique hierarchical structure to maintain climbing ability on surfaces with different roughness, one of the extremely important parameters that affect the friction and adhesion forces between two surfaces. Although much attention has been paid on fabricating various structures that mimic the hierarchical structure of a gecko foot, yet no systematic effort, in experiment or theory, has been made to quantify the effect of surface roughness on the performance of the fabricated structures that mimic the hierarchical structure of geckos. Using a modified surface forces apparatus (SFA), we measured the adhesion and friction forces between microfabricated tilted PDMS flaps and optically smooth SiO(2) and rough SiO(2) surfaces created by plasma etching. Anisotropic adhesion and friction forces were measured when sliding the top glass surface along (+y) and against (-y) the tilted direction of the flaps. Increasing the surface roughness first increased the adhesion and friction forces measured between the flaps and the rough surface due to topological matching of the two surfaces but then led to a rapid decrease in both of these forces. Our results demonstrate that the surface roughness significantly affects the performance of gecko mimetic adhesives and that different surface textures can either increase or decrease the adhesion and friction forces of the fabricated adhesives.

  7. Stick-slip friction of gecko-mimetic flaps on smooth and rough surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Saurabh; Cadirov, Nicholas; Chary, Sathya; Kaufman, Yair; Hogan, Jack; Turner, Kimberly L; Israelachvili, Jacob N

    2015-03-06

    The discovery and understanding of gecko 'frictional-adhesion' adhering and climbing mechanism has allowed researchers to mimic and create gecko-inspired adhesives. A few experimental and theoretical approaches have been taken to understand the effect of surface roughness on synthetic adhesive performance, and the implications of stick-slip friction during shearing. This work extends previous studies by using a modified surface forces apparatus to quantitatively measure and model frictional forces between arrays of polydimethylsiloxane gecko footpad-mimetic tilted microflaps against smooth and rough glass surfaces. Constant attachments and detachments occur between the surfaces during shearing, as described by an avalanche model. These detachments ultimately result in failure of the adhesion interface and have been characterized in this study. Stick-slip friction disappears with increasing velocity when the flaps are sheared against a smooth silica surface; however, stick-slip was always present at all velocities and loads tested when shearing the flaps against rough glass surfaces. These results demonstrate the significance of pre-load, shearing velocity, shearing distances, commensurability and shearing direction of gecko-mimetic adhesives and provide us a simple model for analysing and/or designing such systems. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  8. Stick–slip friction of gecko-mimetic flaps on smooth and rough surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Saurabh; Cadirov, Nicholas; Chary, Sathya; Kaufman, Yair; Hogan, Jack; Turner, Kimberly L.; Israelachvili, Jacob N.

    2015-01-01

    The discovery and understanding of gecko ‘frictional-adhesion’ adhering and climbing mechanism has allowed researchers to mimic and create gecko-inspired adhesives. A few experimental and theoretical approaches have been taken to understand the effect of surface roughness on synthetic adhesive performance, and the implications of stick–slip friction during shearing. This work extends previous studies by using a modified surface forces apparatus to quantitatively measure and model frictional forces between arrays of polydimethylsiloxane gecko footpad-mimetic tilted microflaps against smooth and rough glass surfaces. Constant attachments and detachments occur between the surfaces during shearing, as described by an avalanche model. These detachments ultimately result in failure of the adhesion interface and have been characterized in this study. Stick–slip friction disappears with increasing velocity when the flaps are sheared against a smooth silica surface; however, stick–slip was always present at all velocities and loads tested when shearing the flaps against rough glass surfaces. These results demonstrate the significance of pre-load, shearing velocity, shearing distances, commensurability and shearing direction of gecko-mimetic adhesives and provide us a simple model for analysing and/or designing such systems. PMID:25589569

  9. Effects of metal coatings on adhesive characteristics of Gecko-like microstructures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim Kyu Hye; An, Tea Chang; Hwang, Hui Yun [Dept. of Mechanical Design Engineering, Andong National University, Andong (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-11-15

    Recently, there have been several studies on the inspiration and application of optimized natural structures. One study introduced a new adhesion method that was inspired by the feet of geckos because of their superior features such as high adhesion strength, ease-of-removal, and they are environmentally friendly. Various micro- or nano-structures were fabricated and tested for gecko-like dry adhesives, but gecko-like dry adhesives that were developed became easily worn from frequent use. In this study, we propose a metal-coating method to improve the durability of gecko-like dry adhesives. We evaluate the initial adhesion strength and durability by performing repeated adhesion tests on a glass plate. The initial adhesive strength of gold-coated micro-structures was 60% of that for non-coated ones. However, the adhesive strength of gold-coated micro-structures was kept as 58% of their initial adhesion strength, while that of non-coated ones was only 40%.

  10. Morphometric and molecular characterization of Parapharyngodon echinatus (Nematoda, Pharyngodonidae) from the Senegal gecko ( Tarentola parvicarinata )

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mašová, Š.; Baruš, Vlastimil; Hodová, I.; Matějusová, I.; Koubek, Petr; Koubková, B.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 53, č. 3 (2008), s. 274-283 ISSN 1230-2821 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA6093404 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : Nematoda * Senegal gecko * West Africa Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.748, year: 2008

  11. The effect of contaminants on the adhesion of the spatulae of a gecko

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Many researchers have reported that the robust adhesion that enables geckos to move quickly and securely across a range of vertical and horizontal surfaces is provided by the hierarchical structure of their feet (i.e. lamellae, setae, spatulae, etc.). Maintaining this robust adhesion requires an intimate contact between the ...

  12. Advanced gecko-foot-mimetic dry adhesives based on carbon nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Shihao; Xia, Zhenhai; Dai, Liming

    2012-12-01

    Geckos can run freely on vertical walls and even ceilings. Recent studies have discovered that gecko's extraordinary climbing ability comes from a remarkable design of nature with nanoscale beta-keratin elastic hairs on their feet and toes, which collectively generate sufficiently strong van der Waals force to hold the animal onto an opposing surface while at the same time disengaging at will. Vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VA-CNT) arrays, resembling gecko's adhesive foot hairs with additional superior mechanical, chemical and electrical properties, have been demonstrated to be a promising candidate for advanced fibrillar dry adhesives. The VA-CNT arrays with tailor-made hierarchical structures can be patterned and/or transferred onto various flexible substrates, including responsive polymers. This, together with recent advances in nanofabrication techniques, could offer `smart' dry adhesives for various potential applications, even where traditional adhesives cannot be used. A detailed understanding of the underlying mechanisms governing the material properties and adhesion performances is critical to the design and fabrication of gecko inspired CNT dry adhesives of practical significance. In this feature article, we present an overview of recent progress in both fundamental and applied frontiers for the development of CNT-based adhesives by summarizing important studies in this exciting field, including our own work.

  13. Footprints in the sand: independent reduction of subdigital lamellae in the Namib–Kalahari burrowing geckos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, Trip; Bauer, Aaron M

    2005-01-01

    Many desert organisms exhibit convergence, and certain physical factors such as windblown sands have generated remarkably similar ecomorphs across divergent lineages. The burrowing geckos Colopus, Chondrodactylus and Palmatogecko occupy dune ecosystems in the Namib and Kalahari deserts of southwest Africa. Considered closely related, they share several putative synapomorphies, including reduced subdigital pads (toe pads) and spinose digital scales. Though recognized as part of Africa's ecologically diverse Pachydactylus Group, the burrowing geckos' precise phylogenetic affinities remain elusive. Convergent pedal modification provides a tenable alternative explaining the geckos' derived terrestriality and adaptation to Namib and Kalahari sands. We generated a molecular phylogeny for the Pachydactylus Group to examine evolutionary relationships among the burrowing geckos and infer historical patterns of pedal character change. Bayesian and parsimony analyses revealed all three burrowing genera to be deeply nested within Pachydactylus, each genus belonging to a separate clade. Strong support for these distinct clades indicates ecomorphological adaptations for burrowing have evolved independently three times in the southern Pachydactylus Group. We argue that the physical properties of Namib and Kalahari sands played a principal role in selecting for pedal similarity. PMID:16618680

  14. Effects of metal coatings on adhesive characteristics of Gecko-like microstructures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim Kyu Hye; An, Tea Chang; Hwang, Hui Yun

    2015-01-01

    Recently, there have been several studies on the inspiration and application of optimized natural structures. One study introduced a new adhesion method that was inspired by the feet of geckos because of their superior features such as high adhesion strength, ease-of-removal, and they are environmentally friendly. Various micro- or nano-structures were fabricated and tested for gecko-like dry adhesives, but gecko-like dry adhesives that were developed became easily worn from frequent use. In this study, we propose a metal-coating method to improve the durability of gecko-like dry adhesives. We evaluate the initial adhesion strength and durability by performing repeated adhesion tests on a glass plate. The initial adhesive strength of gold-coated micro-structures was 60% of that for non-coated ones. However, the adhesive strength of gold-coated micro-structures was kept as 58% of their initial adhesion strength, while that of non-coated ones was only 40%

  15. NMR spectroscopy reveals the presence and association of lipids and keratin in adhesive gecko setae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Dharamdeep; Stark, Alyssa Y.; Niewiarowski, Peter H.; Miyoshi, Toshikazu; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Lipid and protein aggregates are one of the fundamental materials of biological systems. Examples include cell membranes, insect cuticle, vertebrate epidermis, feathers, hair and adhesive structures known as ‘setae’ on gecko toes. Until recently gecko setae were assumed to be composed entirely of keratin, but analysis of footprints left behind by geckos walking on surfaces revealed that setae include various kinds of lipids. However, the arrangement and molecular-level behavior of lipids and keratin in the setae is still not known. In the present study we demonstrate, for the first time, the use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy techniques to confirm the presence of lipids and investigate their association with keratin in ‘pristine' sheds, or natural molts of the adhesive toe pad and non-adhesive regions of the skin. Analysis was also carried on the sheds after they were ‘delipidized’ to remove surface lipids. Our results show a distribution of similar lipids in both the skin and toe shed but with different dynamics at a molecular level. The present study can help us understand the gecko system both biologically and for design of synthetic adhesives, but the findings may be relevant to the characteristics of lipid-protein interactions in other biological systems. PMID:25902194

  16. Increased capacity for sustained locomotion at low temperature in parthenogenetic geckos of hybrid origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearney, Michael; Wahl, Rebecca; Autumn, Kellar

    2005-01-01

    The evolution of parthenogenesis is typically associated with hybridization and polyploidy. These correlates of parthenogenesis may have important physiological consequences that need be taken into account in understanding the relative merits of sexual and parthenogenetic reproduction. We compared the thermal sensitivity of aerobically sustained locomotion in hybrid/triploid parthenogenetic races of the gecko Heteronotia binoei and their diploid sexual progenitors. Endurance times at low temperature (10 degrees , 12.5 degrees , and 15 degrees C, 0.05 km h(-1)) were significantly greater in parthenogenetic females than in sexual females. Comparison of oxygen consumption rates during sustained locomotion at increasing speeds (0.05, 0.10, 0.15, 0.20, 0.25, and 0.30 km h(-1), 25 degrees C) indicated that parthenogenetic lizards have higher maximum oxygen consumption rates and maximum aerobic speeds than do female sexual geckos. In addition, parthenogenetic geckos showed greater levels of voluntary activity at 15 degrees C than did sexual geckos, although this pattern appears strongest in comparison to male sexual forms. Parthenogenetic lineages of Heteronotia thus have an advantage over sexual lineages in being capable of greater aerobic activity. This result is opposite of that found in prior studies of parthenogenetic teiid lizards (genus Cnemidophorus) and highlights the idiosyncratic nature of phenotypic evolution in parthenogens of hybrid origin.

  17. The gecko visual pigments. The behavior of opsin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crescitelli, F

    1979-05-01

    The 521-pigment extracted out of the retina of the Tokay gecko has the typical stereospecificity of the vertebrate visual pigments. This is true for the pigment in the chloride-depleted, "blue-shifted" state as well as for the normal pigment with added chloride. While in the chloride-deficient state, pigment regeneration occurred with both 11-cis- and 9-cis-retinals and the regenerated photopigments were also in the blue-shifted, chloride-depleted state. As with the native pigment, these regenerated pigments were bathochromically shifted to their normal positions by the addition of chloride. Chloride-deficient opsin by itself also responded to chloride for the pigment regenerated with 11-cis-retinal from such chloride-treated opsin was in the normal 521-position. Regeneration was always rapid, reaching completion in less than 5 min, and was significantly faster than for cow rhodopsin regenerating under the same conditions. This rapid rate was found with or without chloride, with both 11-cis- and 9-cis-retinals and in the presence of the sulfhydryl poison, p-hydroxymercuribenzoate (PMB). Like the native chloride-deficient pigment, the regenerated chloride-depleted photopigments responded to PMB by a blue shift beyond the position of the chloride-deficient state. The addition of chloride to these "poisoned" regenerated pigments caused a bathochromic shift of such magnitude as to indicate a repair of both the PMB and chloride-deficient blue shift. In this discussion the possible implications of these results to phylogenetic considerations are considered as well as to some molecular properties of the 521-pigment.

  18. Representation of acoustic signals in the eighth nerve of the Tokay gecko: I. Pure tones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sams-Dodd, F; Capranica, R R

    1994-06-01

    A systematic study of the encoding properties of 146 auditory nerve fibers in the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko, L) was conducted with respect to pure tones and two-tone rate suppression. Our aim was a comprehensive understanding of the peripheral encoding of simple tonal stimuli and their representation by temporal synchronization and spike rate codes as a prelude to subsequent studies of more complex signals. Auditory nerve fibers in the Tokay gecko have asymmetrical, V-shaped excitatory tuning curves with best excitatory frequencies that range from 200-5100 Hz and thresholds between 4-35 dB SPL. A low-frequency excitatory 'tail' extends far into the low-frequency range and two-tone suppression is present only on the high frequency side of the tuning curve. The response properties to pure tones at different loci within a tuning curve can differ greatly, due to evident interactions between the representations of temporal, spectral and intensity stimulus features. For frequencies below 1250 Hz, pure tones are encoded by both temporal synchronization and spike rate codes, whereas above this frequency a fiber's ability to encode the waveform periodicity is lost and only a rate code predominates. These complimentary representations within a tuning curve raise fundamental issues which need to be addressed in interpreting how more complex, bioacoustic communication signals are represented in the peripheral and central auditory system. And since auditory nerve fibers in the Tokay gecko exhibit tonal sensitivity, selective frequency tuning, and iso-intensity and iso-frequency contours that seem comparable to similar measures in birds and mammals, these issues likely apply to most higher vertebrates in general. The simpler wiring diagram of the reptilian auditory system, coupled with the Tokay gecko's remarkable vocalizations, make this animal a good evolutionary model in which to experimentally explore the encoding of more complex sounds of communicative significance.

  19. The impact of parasites during range expansion of an invasive gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Louise K; Phillips, Ben L; Heath, Allen C G; Coates, Andrew; Hoskin, Conrad J

    2018-02-14

    Host-parasite dynamics can play a fundamental role in both the establishment success of invasive species and their impact on native wildlife. The net impact of parasites depends on their capacity to switch effectively between native and invasive hosts. Here we explore host-switching, spatial patterns and simple fitness measures in a slow-expanding invasion: the invasion of Asian house geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus) from urban areas into bushland in Northeast Australia. In bushland close to urban edges, H. frenatus co-occurs with, and at many sites now greatly out-numbers, native geckos. We measured prevalence and intensity of Geckobia mites (introduced with H. frenatus), and Waddycephalus (a native pentastome). We recorded a new invasive mite species, and several new host associations for native mites and geckos, but we found no evidence of mite transmission between native and invasive geckos. In contrast, native Waddycephalus nymphs were commonly present in H. frenatus, demonstrating this parasite's capacity to utilize H. frenatus as a novel host. Prevalence of mites on H. frenatus decreased with distance from the urban edge, suggesting parasite release towards the invasion front; however, we found no evidence that mites affect H. frenatus body condition or lifespan. Waddycephalus was present at low prevalence in bushland sites and, although its presence did not affect host body condition, our data suggest that it may reduce host survival. The high relative density of H. frenatus at our sites, and their capacity to harbour Waddycephalus, suggests that there may be impacts on native geckos and snakes through parasite spillback.

  20. Earliest "Domestic" Cats in China Identified as Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigne, Jean-Denis; Evin, Allowen; Cucchi, Thomas; Dai, Lingling; Yu, Chong; Hu, Songmei; Soulages, Nicolas; Wang, Weilin; Sun, Zhouyong; Gao, Jiangtao; Dobney, Keith; Yuan, Jing

    2016-01-01

    The ancestor of all modern domestic cats is the wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica, with archaeological evidence indicating it was domesticated as early as 10,000 years ago in South-West Asia. A recent study, however, claims that cat domestication also occurred in China some 5,000 years ago and involved the same wildcat ancestor (F. silvestris). The application of geometric morphometric analyses to ancient small felid bones from China dating between 5,500 to 4,900 BP, instead reveal these and other remains to be that of the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). These data clearly indicate that the origins of a human-cat 'domestic' relationship in Neolithic China began independently from South-West Asia and involved a different wild felid species altogether. The leopard cat's 'domestic' status, however, appears to have been short-lived--its apparent subsequent replacement shown by the fact that today all domestic cats in China are genetically related to F. silvestris.

  1. Toxicity of Cadmium, Copper, and Zinc to the Threatened Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates [Rana] chiricahuensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calfee, Robin D; Little, Edward E

    2017-12-01

    The Chiricahua leopard frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis) is in decline throughout the western United States, and is particularly sensitive to physical, chemical and biotic changes in their habitat. Acute toxicity tests revealed that among the metals detected in Chiricahua leopard frog habitat, copper was toxic at concentrations lower than those observed in the environment. Developing tadpoles were chronically exposed for 60 days to cadmium, copper and zinc because of the potential for long term exposure to these metals during early development. Cadmium was toxic, but at concentrations above observed environmental levels. Copper was especially toxic to this species at concentrations of about 10% of concentrations observed in their habitats. The onset of toxicity occurred within a few days of exposure, thus pulsed exposures from rain events could potentially be acutely toxic to tadpoles of this species. Zinc did not appear to have a negative impact during the acute or chronic exposures.

  2. The tiger genome and comparative analysis with lion and snow leopard genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Yun Sung; Hu, Li; Hou, Haolong; Lee, Hang; Xu, Jiaohui; Kwon, Soowhan; Oh, Sukhun; Kim, Hak-Min; Jho, Sungwoong; Kim, Sangsoo; Shin, Young-Ah; Kim, Byung Chul; Kim, Hyunmin; Kim, Chang-uk; Luo, Shu-Jin; Johnson, Warren E.; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Schmidt-Küntzel, Anne; Turner, Jason A.; Marker, Laurie; Harper, Cindy; Miller, Susan M.; Jacobs, Wilhelm; Bertola, Laura D.; Kim, Tae Hyung; Lee, Sunghoon; Zhou, Qian; Jung, Hyun-Ju; Xu, Xiao; Gadhvi, Priyvrat; Xu, Pengwei; Xiong, Yingqi; Luo, Yadan; Pan, Shengkai; Gou, Caiyun; Chu, Xiuhui; Zhang, Jilin; Liu, Sanyang; He, Jing; Chen, Ying; Yang, Linfeng; Yang, Yulan; He, Jiaju; Liu, Sha; Wang, Junyi; Kim, Chul Hong; Kwak, Hwanjong; Kim, Jong-Soo; Hwang, Seungwoo; Ko, Junsu; Kim, Chang-Bae; Kim, Sangtae; Bayarlkhagva, Damdin; Paek, Woon Kee; Kim, Seong-Jin; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Wang, Jun; Bhak, Jong

    2013-01-01

    Tigers and their close relatives (Panthera) are some of the world’s most endangered species. Here we report the de novo assembly of an Amur tiger whole-genome sequence as well as the genomic sequences of a white Bengal tiger, African lion, white African lion and snow leopard. Through comparative genetic analyses of these genomes, we find genetic signatures that may reflect molecular adaptations consistent with the big cats’ hypercarnivorous diet and muscle strength. We report a snow leopard-specific genetic determinant in EGLN1 (Met39>Lys39), which is likely to be associated with adaptation to high altitude. We also detect a TYR260G>A mutation likely responsible for the white lion coat colour. Tiger and cat genomes show similar repeat composition and an appreciably conserved synteny. Genomic data from the five big cats provide an invaluable resource for resolving easily identifiable phenotypes evident in very close, but distinct, species. PMID:24045858

  3. Evaluation of cheetah and leopard spermatozoa developmental capability after interspecific ICSI with domestic cat oocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moro, L N; Sestelo, A J; Salamone, D F

    2014-08-01

    The ICSI procedure is potentially of great value for felids, and it has not been extensively studied in these species. The objectives of this work were to determine the best conditions for ICSI in the domestic cat (DC) to generate interspecific embryos by injecting cheetah (Ch) and leopard (Leo) spermatozoa. Firstly, DC oocytes were matured with insulin-transferrin-selenium (ITS) or without it (MM) and cultured using atmospheric (21%) or low (5%) oxygen tension after ICSI. The group ITS-5%O2 showed the highest blastocyst rate (p cheetah and leopard spermatozoa were able to generate blastocysts without artificial activation, which suggests that developmental capacity of wild felid spermatozoa can be evaluated by interspecific ICSI. This technique should be used to assist wild felid reproduction. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  4. The tiger genome and comparative analysis with lion and snow leopard genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Yun Sung; Hu, Li; Hou, Haolong; Lee, Hang; Xu, Jiaohui; Kwon, Soowhan; Oh, Sukhun; Kim, Hak-Min; Jho, Sungwoong; Kim, Sangsoo; Shin, Young-Ah; Kim, Byung Chul; Kim, Hyunmin; Kim, Chang-Uk; Luo, Shu-Jin; Johnson, Warren E; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Schmidt-Küntzel, Anne; Turner, Jason A; Marker, Laurie; Harper, Cindy; Miller, Susan M; Jacobs, Wilhelm; Bertola, Laura D; Kim, Tae Hyung; Lee, Sunghoon; Zhou, Qian; Jung, Hyun-Ju; Xu, Xiao; Gadhvi, Priyvrat; Xu, Pengwei; Xiong, Yingqi; Luo, Yadan; Pan, Shengkai; Gou, Caiyun; Chu, Xiuhui; Zhang, Jilin; Liu, Sanyang; He, Jing; Chen, Ying; Yang, Linfeng; Yang, Yulan; He, Jiaju; Liu, Sha; Wang, Junyi; Kim, Chul Hong; Kwak, Hwanjong; Kim, Jong-Soo; Hwang, Seungwoo; Ko, Junsu; Kim, Chang-Bae; Kim, Sangtae; Bayarlkhagva, Damdin; Paek, Woon Kee; Kim, Seong-Jin; O'Brien, Stephen J; Wang, Jun; Bhak, Jong

    2013-01-01

    Tigers and their close relatives (Panthera) are some of the world's most endangered species. Here we report the de novo assembly of an Amur tiger whole-genome sequence as well as the genomic sequences of a white Bengal tiger, African lion, white African lion and snow leopard. Through comparative genetic analyses of these genomes, we find genetic signatures that may reflect molecular adaptations consistent with the big cats' hypercarnivorous diet and muscle strength. We report a snow leopard-specific genetic determinant in EGLN1 (Met39>Lys39), which is likely to be associated with adaptation to high altitude. We also detect a TYR260G>A mutation likely responsible for the white lion coat colour. Tiger and cat genomes show similar repeat composition and an appreciably conserved synteny. Genomic data from the five big cats provide an invaluable resource for resolving easily identifiable phenotypes evident in very close, but distinct, species.

  5. Leaping lizards landing on leaves: escape-induced jumps in the rainforest canopy challenge the adhesive limits of geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higham, Timothy E; Russell, Anthony P; Niklas, Karl J

    2017-06-01

    The remarkable adhesive capabilities of geckos have garnered attention from scientists and the public for centuries. Geckos are known to have an adhesive load-bearing capacity far in excess (by 100-fold or more) of that required to support their body mass or accommodate the loading imparted during maximal locomotor acceleration. Few studies, however, have investigated the ecological contexts in which geckos use their adhesive system and how this may influence its properties. Here we develop a modelling framework to assess whether their prodigious adhesive capacity ever comes under selective challenge. Our investigation is based upon observations of escape-induced aerial descents of canopy-dwelling arboreal geckos that are rapidly arrested by clinging to leaf surfaces in mid-fall. We integrate ecological observations, adhesive force measurements, and body size and shape measurements of museum specimens to conduct simulations. Using predicted bending mechanics of petioles and leaf midribs, we find that the drag coefficient of the gecko, the size of the gecko and the size of the leaf determine impact forces. Regardless of the landing surface, safety factors for geckos range from a maximum of just over 10 to a minimum of well under one, which would be the point at which the adhesive system fails. In contrast to previous research that intimates that gecko frictional adhesive capacity is excessive relative to body mass, we demonstrate that realistic conditions in nature may result in frictional capacity being pushed to its limit. The rapid arrest of the lizard from its falling velocity likely results in the maximal loading to which the adhesive system is exposed during normal activities. We suggest that such activities might be primary determinants in driving their high frictional adhesive capacity. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Leopard syndrome and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: an association related to sudden death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antunes, Murillo de Oliveira; Arteaga, Edmundo; Matsumoto, Afonso Yoshikiro; Ianni, Barbara Maria

    2009-06-01

    We describe an uncommon association between Leopard syndrome and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in a 27-year-old woman, who was little symptomatic and came for sudden death risk stratification and prevention. She has a rare syndrome, whose symptoms are maculae over the body and abnormalities in eyes, genital organs, heart and in growth. Association of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with sudden death risk factors determined the implantation of cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) for primary prevention.

  7. A reference system for animal biometrics: application to the northern leopard frog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrovska-Delacretaz, D.; Edwards, A.; Chiasson, J.; Chollet, G.; Pilliod, D.S.

    2014-01-01

    Reference systems and public databases are available for human biometrics, but to our knowledge nothing is available for animal biometrics. This is surprising because animals are not required to give their agreement to be in a database. This paper proposes a reference system and database for the northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens). Both are available for reproducible experiments. Results of both open set and closed set experiments are given.

  8. Large intestine bacterial flora of nonhibernating and hibernating leopard frogs (Rana pipiens).

    OpenAIRE

    Gossling, J; Loesche, W J; Nace, G W

    1982-01-01

    The bacteria in the large intestines of 10 northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) were enumerated and partially characterized. Four nonhibernating frogs were collected in the summer, four hibernating frogs were collected in the winter, and two frogs just emerged from hibernation were collected in the spring. All frogs had about 10(10) bacteria per g (wet weight) of intestinal contents and about 10(9) bacteria per g (wet weight) of mucosal scraping, although the counts from the winter frogs wer...

  9. Suppression of leopard moth (Lepidoptera: Cossidae) populations in olive trees in Egypt through mating disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegazi, E M; Khafagi, W E; Konstantopoulou, M A; Schlyter, F; Raptopoulos, D; Shweil, S; Abd El-Rahman, S; Atwa, A; Ali, S E; Tawfik, H

    2010-10-01

    The leopard moth, Zeuzera pyrina (L.) (Lepidoptera: Cossidae), is a damaging pest for many fruit trees (e.g., apple [Malus spp.], pear [Pyrus spp.] peach [Prunus spp.], and olive [Olea]). Recently, it caused serious yield losses in newly established olive orchards in Egypt, including the death of young trees. Chemical and biological control have shown limited efficiency against this pest. Field tests were conducted in 2005 and 2006 to evaluate mating disruption (MD) for the control of the leopard moth, on heavily infested, densely planted olive plots (336 trees per ha). The binary blend of the pheromone components (E,Z)-2,13-octadecenyl acetate and (E,Z)-3,13-octadecenyl acetate (95:5) was dispensed from polyethylene vials. Efficacy was measured considering reduction of catches in pheromone traps, reduction of active galleries of leopard moth per tree and fruit yield in the pheromone-treated plots (MD) compared with control plots (CO). Male captures in MD plots were reduced by 89.3% in 2005 and 82.9% in 2006, during a trapping period of 14 and 13 wk, respectively. Application of MD over two consecutive years progressively reduced the number of active galleries per tree in the third year where no sex pheromone was applied. In all years, larval galleries outnumbered moth captures. Fruit yield from trees where sex pheromone had been applied in 2005 and 2006 increased significantly in 2006 (98.8 +/- 2.9 kg per tree) and 2007 (23 +/- 1.3 kg per tree) compared with control ones (61.0 +/- 3.9 and 10.0 +/- 0.6 kg per tree, respectively). Mating disruption shows promising for suppressing leopard moth infestation in olives.

  10. Threats from the past: Barbados green monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) fear leopards after centuries of isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns-Cusato, Melissa; Glueck, Amanda C; Merchak, Andrea R; Palmer, Cristin L; Rieskamp, Joshua D; Duggan, Ivy S; Hinds, Rebecca T; Cusato, Brian

    2016-05-01

    Ability to recognize and differentiate between predators and non-predators is a crucial component of successful anti-predator behavior. While there is evidence that both genetic and experiential mechanisms mediate anti-predator behaviors in various animal species, it is unknown to what extent each of these two mechanisms are utilized by the green monkey (Chlorocebus sabaeus). Green monkeys on the West Indies island of Barbados offer a unique opportunity to investigate the underpinnings of anti-predator behaviors in a species that has been isolated from ancestral predators for over 350 years. In the first experiment, monkeys in two free-ranging troops were presented with photographs of an ancestral predator (leopard, Panthera pardus) and a non-predator (African Buffalo, Syncerus caffer). Relative to non-predator stimuli, images of a leopard elicited less approach, more alarm calls, and more escape responses. Subsequent experiments were conducted to determine whether the monkeys were responding to a leopard-specific feature (spotted fur) or a general predator feature (forward facing eyes). The monkeys showed similar approach to images of an unfamiliar non-predator regardless of whether the image had forward facing predator eyes or side facing non-predator eyes. However, once near the images, the monkeys were less likely to reach for peanuts near the predator eyes than the non-predator eyes. The monkeys avoided an image of spotted leopard fur but approached the same image of fur when the dark spots had been removed. Taken together, the results suggest that green monkey anti-predator behavior is at least partially mediated by genetic factors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Detection of testudinid herpesvirus type 4 in a leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolesnik, Ekaterina; Mittenzwei, Frank; Marschang, Rachel E

    2016-08-17

    Several animals from a mixed species collection of tortoises in Germany died unexpectedly. Some of the affected leopard tortoises (Stigmochelys pardalis) from this group showed respiratory signs. Samples were collected from one of the ill tortoises, and a Mycoplasma spp. and a herpesvirus were detected by PCR. Sequencing of a portion of the DNA polymerase gene of the herpesvirus showed 99% identity with testudinid herpesvirus 4, previously described only once in a bowsprit tortoise (Chersina angulata) in the United States.

  12. Tidal influence on spatial dynamics of leopard sharks, Triakis semifasciata, in Tomales Bay, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Kondratieff, Matthew C.; Matern, Scott A.; Cech, Joseph J. Jr.

    2000-01-01

    We used ultrasonic telemetry to determine the movement directions and movement rates of leopard sharks, Triakis semifasciata, in Tomales Bay, California. To analyze tide and time of day effects, we surgically implanted transmitters in the peritoneal cavities of one male and five female leopard sharks, which we located during summer for three to five sampling sessions lasting 12 to 24 h each. All leopard sharks showed strong movement direction patterns with tide. During incoming tides, sharks moved significantly (p<0.0001) towards the inner bay, apparently to exploit the extensive inner bay muddy littoral zones' food resources. On outgoing tides, sharks showed significant (p<0.0001) movements towards the outer bay. During high tide, there was no discernible pattern to their movements (p=0.092). Shark movement rates were significantly (p<0.0001) greater during dark periods (mean±SE: 10.5±1.0 m min−1), compared with fully lighted ones (6.7±0.5 m min−1). Movement rates of longer sharks tended to be greater than those of shorter ones (range means±SE: 5.8±0.6 m min−1 for the 91 cm shark, to 12.8±1.6 m min−1 for the 119 cm shark), but the leopard sharks' overall mean movement rate (8.1±0.5 m min−1) was slower than other (more pelagic) sharks.

  13. Where to “Rock”? Choice of retreat sites by a gecko in a semi-arid habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreia Penado

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The Selvagens gecko (Tarentola boettgeri bischoffi Joger, 1984 is a medium sized gecko endemic to the Selvagens archipelago, Madeira, Portugal. The biology of this gecko is poorly known and in this study we present the first evidence regarding its habitat use. In 2010 (spring and autumn and 2011 (spring, we collected data on the characteristics of the habitat surrounding 168 rocks used by these geckos as retreat sites, as well as on 75 randomly selected rocks. We also recorded body measurements of the individuals caught under each rock. In both seasons retreat site occupancy was found to be related to rock area, with geckos being found mainly under large rocks. Interestingly, we found that in spring heavier males, in better body condition, occupied the largest rocks and larger geckos occupied rocks closer to creek beds. Our results shed some light upon the behavioural ecology of this nocturnally active ectotherm, that spends the day under a retreat site: i intraspecific competition may be an ecological factor prevalent in this species, since larger individuals occupy larger rocks, located in a presumably high quality micro-habitat; ii the possibility of spring territoriality in males, that compete for good quality shelters.

  14. Diagnosis, Surgical Treatment, Recovery, and Eventual Necropsy of a Leopard (Panthera pardus with Thyroid Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley Malmlov

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available An 18-year-old, male, castrated, captive-born leopard (Panthera pardus presented to Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital with a two-week history of regurgitation. Thoracic radiographs and ultrasound revealed a well-differentiated cranioventral mediastinal mass measuring 7.5 × 10 × 5.5 cm, impinging the esophagus. A sternotomy followed by mass excision was performed. The mass was diagnosed as an ectopic thyroid carcinoma. The leopard recovered from surgery with minimal complications and returned to near-normal activity levels for just under 6 months before rapidly declining. He had an acute onset of severe dyspnea and lethargy and was euthanized. On postmortem examination the tumor was found to involve the lung, liver, thyroid, parietal pleura, bronchial lymph nodes, and the internal intercostal muscles. This case report describes the history, diagnosis, surgical treatment, postoperative care, and recovery as well as the eventual decline, euthanasia, and necropsy of a leopard with thyroid carcinoma. When compared to thyroid carcinomas of domestic animals, the leopard’s disease process more closely resembles the disease process seen in domestic canines compared to domestic cats.

  15. Leopard (Panthera pardus status, distribution, and the research efforts across its range

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew P. Jacobson

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The leopard’s (Panthera pardus broad geographic range, remarkable adaptability, and secretive nature have contributed to a misconception that this species might not be severely threatened across its range. We find that not only are several subspecies and regional populations critically endangered but also the overall range loss is greater than the average for terrestrial large carnivores. To assess the leopard’s status, we compile 6,000 records at 2,500 locations from over 1,300 sources on its historic (post 1750 and current distribution. We map the species across Africa and Asia, delineating areas where the species is confirmed present, is possibly present, is possibly extinct or is almost certainly extinct. The leopard now occupies 25–37% of its historic range, but this obscures important differences between subspecies. Of the nine recognized subspecies, three (P. p. pardus, fusca, and saxicolor account for 97% of the leopard’s extant range while another three (P. p. orientalis, nimr, and japonensis have each lost as much as 98% of their historic range. Isolation, small patch sizes, and few remaining patches further threaten the six subspecies that each have less than 100,000 km2 of extant range. Approximately 17% of extant leopard range is protected, although some endangered subspecies have far less. We found that while leopard research was increasing, research effort was primarily on the subspecies with the most remaining range whereas subspecies that are most in need of urgent attention were neglected.

  16. Genetic diversity of six isolated populations of the leopard moth, Zeuzera pyrina (Lep: Zeuzeridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raheleh Dolati

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The leopard moth, Zeuzera pyrina (Lep: Zeuzeridae, is an important pest of a wide range of trees and shrubs including walnut and apple across the world. The natural populations of the leopard moth in different geographical areas of Iran show significant differences in some of their biological characteristics such as time of emergence, generation time and host specificity. So, we hypothesized that these populations may represent different subspecies that move toward a speciation event in their evolutionary route. In this study, we evaluated the genetic diversity of six different geographically isolated populations of the leopard moth using the sequence alignment of cytochrome oxidase c subunit one (COI. A fragment of 642 base pairs was amplified in all six populations and the phylogenetic tree was created based on sequenced fragments. Our results revealed significant differences in the nucleotide sequence of COI gene in these populations. Differences in climatic conditions of these regions seem to be the most powerful force driving this diversity among the studied populations.

  17. A new species of leopard frog (Anura: Ranidae) from the urban northeastern US.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Catherine E; Feinberg, Jeremy A; Rissler, Leslie J; Burger, Joanna; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2012-05-01

    Past confusion about leopard frog (genus Rana) species composition in the Tri-State area of the US that includes New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), and Connecticut (CT) has hindered conservation and management efforts, especially where populations are declining or imperiled. We use nuclear and mitochondrial genetic data to clarify the identification and distribution of leopard frog species in this region. We focus on four problematic frog populations of uncertain species affiliation in northern NJ, southeastern mainland NY, and Staten Island to test the following hypotheses: (1) they are conspecific with Rana sphenocephala or R. pipiens, (2) they are hybrids between R. sphenocephala and R. pipiens, or (3) they represent one or more previously undescribed cryptic taxa. Bayesian phylogenetic and cluster analyses revealed that the four unknown populations collectively form a novel genetic lineage, which represents a previously undescribed cryptic leopard frog species, Rana sp. nov. Statistical support for R. sp. nov. was strong in both the Bayesian (pp=1.0) and maximum-likelihood (bootstrap=99) phylogenetic analyses as well as the Structure cluster analyses. While our data support recognition of R. sp. nov. as a novel species, we recommend further study including fine-scaled sampling and ecological, behavioral, call, and morphological analyses before it is formally described. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Dissatisfaction with Veterinary Services Is Associated with Leopard (Panthera pardus Predation on Domestic Animals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Khorozyan

    Full Text Available Human-carnivore conflicts challenge biodiversity conservation and local livelihoods, but the role of diseases of domestic animals in their predation by carnivores is poorly understood. We conducted a human-leopard (Panthera pardus conflict study throughout all 34 villages around Golestan National Park, Iran in order to find the most important conflict determinants and to use them in predicting the probabilities of conflict and killing of cattle, sheep and goats, and dogs. We found that the more villagers were dissatisfied with veterinary services, the more likely they were to lose livestock and dogs to leopard predation. Dissatisfaction occurred when vaccination crews failed to visit villages at all or, in most cases, arrived too late to prevent diseases from spreading. We suggest that increased morbidity of livestock makes them particularly vulnerable to leopard attacks. Moreover, conflicts and dog killing were higher in villages located closer to the boundaries of the protected area than in distant villages. Therefore, we appeal for improved enforcement and coordination of veterinary services in our study area, and propose several priority research topics such as veterinarian studies, role of wild prey in diseases of domestic animals, and further analysis of potential conflict predictors.

  19. Ecology driving genetic variation: a comparative phylogeography of jungle cat (Felis chaus) and leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Shomita; Krishnan, Anand; Tamma, Krishnapriya; Home, Chandrima; Navya, R; Joseph, Sonia; Das, Arundhati; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2010-10-29

    Comparative phylogeography links historical population processes to current/ecological processes through congruent/incongruent patterns of genetic variation among species/lineages. Despite high biodiversity, India lacks a phylogeographic paradigm due to limited comparative studies. We compared the phylogenetic patterns of Indian populations of jungle cat (Felis chaus) and leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). Given similarities in their distribution within India, evolutionary histories, body size and habits, congruent patterns of genetic variation were expected. We collected scats from various biogeographic zones in India and analyzed mtDNA from 55 jungle cats (460 bp NADH5, 141 bp cytochrome b) and 40 leopard cats (362 bp NADH5, 202 bp cytochrome b). Jungle cats revealed high genetic variation, relatively low population structure and demographic expansion around the mid-Pleistocene. In contrast, leopard cats revealed lower genetic variation and high population structure with a F(ST) of 0.86 between North and South Indian populations. Niche-model analyses using two approaches (BIOCLIM and MaxEnt) support absence of leopard cats from Central India, indicating a climate associated barrier. We hypothesize that high summer temperatures limit leopard cat distribution and that a rise in temperature in the peninsular region of India during the LGM caused the split in leopard cat population in India. Our results indicate that ecological variables describing a species range can predict genetic patterns. Our study has also resolved the confusion over the distribution of the leopard cat in India. The reciprocally monophyletic island population in the South mandates conservation attention.

  20. Distribution Range and Population Status of Common Leopard (Panthera Pardus in and Around Machiara National Park, Azad Jammu and Kashmir

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad KABIR

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The present study was conducted to estimate the status of common leopard (Panthera pardus in and around Machiara National Park (MNP Azad Jammu and Kashmir between May 2007 and July 2008. Fifteen fixed transects were monitored on regular basis. Indirect signs of leopard such as pugmarks and scats were recorded along the transects in addition to people and livestock which were counted as an index of disturbance and mean encounter rate for leopard scats, footprints, livestock and people was calculated. Mean encounter rate for leopard pugmarks was 1.6, for scats 2.11, for livestock 25.03, and for people 22.48. Linear measurements of front and hind pugmarks and strides were classified which indicated that at least six to nine (06-09 individuals are present in the study area (13,532 ha. Questionnaire survey revealed that Leopards were sighted by the locals at 23 locations during the study period including; in the morning (35%, evening (29%, night (21% and daytime (15%. Maximum sightings were recorded between 4765ft to 9634ft elevation presenting moist temperate zone with Pinus wallichiana as a dominant tree species. As a result of increasing biotic pressures, the leopard has become rare with growing threat of further degradation and fragmentation of its habitat. It may cause the species to depend more on the domestic livestock available in and around the area giving way to the problem of human-leopard conflict. The information generated from the study will be helpful for the conservation and management of this critically endangered species.

  1. Spotted in the News: Using Media Reports to Examine Leopard Distribution, Depredation, and Management Practices outside Protected Areas in Southern India.

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    Vidya Athreya

    Full Text Available There is increasing evidence of large carnivore presence outside protected areas, globally. Although this spells conservation success through population recoveries, it makes carnivore persistence in human-use landscapes tenuous. The widespread distribution of leopards in certain regions of India typifies this problem. We obtained information on leopard-human interactions at a regional scale in Karnataka State, India, based on systematic surveys of local media reports. We applied an innovative occupancy modelling approach to map their distribution patterns and identify hotspots of livestock/human depredation. We also evaluated management responses like removals of 'problem' leopards through capture and translocations. Leopards occupied around 84,000 km2 or 47% of the State's geographic area, outside designated national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Their presence was facilitated by extent of vegetative cover- including irrigated croplands, rocky escarpments, and prey base in the form of feral and free-ranging dogs. Higher probabilities of livestock/human attacks by leopards were associated with similar ecological features as well as with capture/removals of leopards. Of the 56 cases of leopard removals reported, 91% did not involve human attacks, but followed livestock predation or only leopard sightings. The lack of knowledge on leopard ecology in human-use areas has resulted in unscientific interventions, which could aggravate the problem rather than mitigating it. Our results establish the presence of resident, breeding leopards in human-use areas. We therefore propose a shift in management focus, from current reactive practices like removal and translocation of leopards, to proactive measures that ensure safety of human lives and livelihoods.

  2. Comparison of Subjective Well-Being and Personality Assessments in the Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia), and African Lion (Panthera leo).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gartner, Marieke Cassia; Powell, David M; Weiss, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    The study of subjective well-being in nonhuman animals is growing in the field of psychology, but there are still only a few published studies and the focus is on primates. To consider whether the construct of subjective well-being could be found in another mammal, this study aimed to assess subjective well-being in felids and to examine its association with personality. Personality is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of well-being in humans. This relationship could have important implications for other species, because personality has also been shown to affect health outcomes including stress, morbidity, and mortality. As in previous studies in nonhuman animals, the study results revealed that subjective well-being was related to agreeableness/openness and neuroticism in clouded leopards, neuroticism in snow leopards, and impulsiveness and neuroticism in African lions. The implications of these results for health outcomes and the welfare of animals in captivity are discussed. More research on any direct links among personality, subjective well-being, and these outcomes is important to advancing this field and adding another tool for improving captive animals' lives.

  3. Effects of odors on behaviors of captive Amur leopards Panthera pardus orientalis

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    Shangying YU

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Captive environments often fail to resemble the wild environment in respects of limited space, unchanging habitat, lack of stimulus and contingency. Common animal welfare problems which occur in captive animals include low behavioral diversity, abnormal behavior and excessive inactivity. Environmental enrichment, as an effective strategy to tackle these problems and promote mental health of captive animals, has been recognized as an important principal for captive animal management. Among all the enrichment techniques, olfactory enrichment is a simple and effective method for improving the well-being of the olfactory sensitive felids. Behavioral problems were observed in six Amur leopards Panthera pardus orientalis at Beijing Zoological Garden. These were held in the older type exhibits which have now been rebuilt. These behaviors include stereotypic behavior and excessive inactivity caused by the spatially limited enclosures with low levels of stimuli. To determine the effects of predator, prey, and herb odors as potential enrichment materials for captive leopards, we conducted olfactory enrichment experiments for the leopards and tested the effects of nutmeg Myristica fragrans, feces of roe deer Capreolus capreolus and urine of Amur tiger Panthera tigris altaica to test for an increase in behavioral repertoire and activity. Odors provided in this study were also believed to improve the psychological and physiological health of individuals. To standardize the method of presentation the odors were introduced to the enclosures by rubbing or spraying onto a clean towel. Our results show that the selected three odors effectively increased the behavioral diversity. Ten new behavior types were observed in the nutmeg experiment, eight in the feces of roe deer experiment and six in the tiger urine experiment. Among the three odors, cats responded to nutmeg for the longest duration, followed by tiger urine and feces of roe deer. Leopards showed more

  4. Sharing refuges on arid islands: ecological and social influence on aggregation behaviour of wall geckos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raquel Vasconcelos

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background The extent of social behaviour among reptiles is underappreciated. Two types of aggregations are recognized in lizards: ecological and social, i.e., related to the attraction to a site or to animals of the same species, respectively. As most lizards are territorial, aggregations increase the probability of aggressive interactions among individuals, a density-dependent behaviour. Methods After some spurious observations of aggregation behaviour in the endemic Cabo Verde nocturnal gecko Tarentola substituta, we conducted a field-based study in order to thoroughly characterize it. We sampled 48 transects and 40 10 × 10 m quadrats on São Vicente Island to describe the incidence, size and composition of aggregations and to study the effect of gecko and refuge density, plus refuge quality, on refuge sharing. We hypothesize that when density of animals and scarcity of high-quality refuges is higher, lizards have increased probability of aggregating. We also predict a consistent pattern of size and composition of groups (male–female pairs, only one adult male per group throughout the year if there is a selected behaviour to avoid agonistic interactions, and low thermal advantage to aggregating individuals. Results We present one of the first evidences of aggregation for Phyllodactylidae geckos. We found that T. substituta forms aggregations around 30–40% of the time, and that refuges are almost always shared by a female-male pair, sometimes with a juvenile, probably a mechanism to avoid aggressive interactions. We also observed that refuge sharing is dependent on refuge quality, as medium–large (thermally more stable and positively selected rocks are shared much more frequently than small ones, but independent of adult sizes. Refuge sharing is also directly related to the density of geckos and inversely related to the density of high-quality refuges. We found no relation between body temperatures of geckos and refuge sharing when

  5. Sharing refuges on arid islands: ecological and social influence on aggregation behaviour of wall geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasconcelos, Raquel; Rocha, Sara; Santos, Xavier

    2017-01-01

    The extent of social behaviour among reptiles is underappreciated. Two types of aggregations are recognized in lizards: ecological and social, i.e., related to the attraction to a site or to animals of the same species, respectively. As most lizards are territorial, aggregations increase the probability of aggressive interactions among individuals, a density-dependent behaviour. After some spurious observations of aggregation behaviour in the endemic Cabo Verde nocturnal gecko Tarentola substituta, we conducted a field-based study in order to thoroughly characterize it. We sampled 48 transects and 40 10 × 10 m quadrats on São Vicente Island to describe the incidence, size and composition of aggregations and to study the effect of gecko and refuge density, plus refuge quality, on refuge sharing. We hypothesize that when density of animals and scarcity of high-quality refuges is higher, lizards have increased probability of aggregating. We also predict a consistent pattern of size and composition of groups (male-female pairs, only one adult male per group) throughout the year if there is a selected behaviour to avoid agonistic interactions, and low thermal advantage to aggregating individuals. We present one of the first evidences of aggregation for Phyllodactylidae geckos. We found that T. substituta forms aggregations around 30-40% of the time, and that refuges are almost always shared by a female-male pair, sometimes with a juvenile, probably a mechanism to avoid aggressive interactions. We also observed that refuge sharing is dependent on refuge quality, as medium-large (thermally more stable and positively selected) rocks are shared much more frequently than small ones, but independent of adult sizes. Refuge sharing is also directly related to the density of geckos and inversely related to the density of high-quality refuges. We found no relation between body temperatures of geckos and refuge sharing when controlling the effect of rock/air temperature

  6. Predicting the distributions of predator (snow leopard) and prey (blue sheep) under climate change in the Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aryal, Achyut; Shrestha, Uttam Babu; Ji, Weihong; Ale, Som B; Shrestha, Sujata; Ingty, Tenzing; Maraseni, Tek; Cockfield, Geoff; Raubenheimer, David

    2016-06-01

    Future climate change is likely to affect distributions of species, disrupt biotic interactions, and cause spatial incongruity of predator-prey habitats. Understanding the impacts of future climate change on species distribution will help in the formulation of conservation policies to reduce the risks of future biodiversity losses. Using a species distribution modeling approach by MaxEnt, we modeled current and future distributions of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and its common prey, blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), and observed the changes in niche overlap in the Nepal Himalaya. Annual mean temperature is the major climatic factor responsible for the snow leopard and blue sheep distributions in the energy-deficient environments of high altitudes. Currently, about 15.32% and 15.93% area of the Nepal Himalaya are suitable for snow leopard and blue sheep habitats, respectively. The bioclimatic models show that the current suitable habitats of both snow leopard and blue sheep will be reduced under future climate change. The predicted suitable habitat of the snow leopard is decreased when blue sheep habitats is incorporated in the model. Our climate-only model shows that only 11.64% (17,190 km(2)) area of Nepal is suitable for the snow leopard under current climate and the suitable habitat reduces to 5,435 km(2) (reduced by 24.02%) after incorporating the predicted distribution of blue sheep. The predicted distribution of snow leopard reduces by 14.57% in 2030 and by 21.57% in 2050 when the predicted distribution of blue sheep is included as compared to 1.98% reduction in 2030 and 3.80% reduction in 2050 based on the climate-only model. It is predicted that future climate may alter the predator-prey spatial interaction inducing a lower degree of overlap and a higher degree of mismatch between snow leopard and blue sheep niches. This suggests increased energetic costs of finding preferred prey for snow leopards - a species already facing energetic constraints due to the

  7. Trace element analysis in the serum and hair of Antarctic leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx, and Weddell seal, Leptonychotes weddellii

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, Rachael; Canfield, Paul; Rogers, Tracey

    2008-01-01

    Leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx, and Weddell seal, Leptonychotes weddellii, occupy an upper trophic level within the Antarctic ecosystem and are useful indicator species in the Southern Ocean of trace element concentrations. Reference values for the concentration of 19 trace elements were determined in the serum and hair of leopard and Weddell seals sampled in Eastern Antarctica. These reference values can be used as 'baseline' levels for monitoring trace element concentrations in these species. Greater trace element concentrations were determined in hair compared to serum, indicating different time scales of trace element accumulation in these samples. For the majority of trace elements, except for Se in the leopard seal samples and Cr in the Weddell seal samples, significant regression relationships for trace element concentrations in hair and serum were not elucidated. Significant differences were determined in the concentrations of seven out of 15 elements with hair type, moult and new, in the leopard seal; concentrations in moult hair were determined to be greater than in new hair for all elements except Zn. Hair analysis was determined to be useful for monitoring exposure to trace elements and when collected off the ice from moulting seals, hair can be employed as a non-invasive sample for trace element analysis in leopard and Weddell seals

  8. Trace element analysis in the serum and hair of Antarctic leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx, and Weddell seal, Leptonychotes weddellii

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gray, Rachael [Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 Australia (Australia); Australian Marine Mammal Research Centre PO Box 20 Mosman, NSW 2088 (Australia)], E-mail: rgray@vetsci.usyd.edu.au; Canfield, Paul [Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia); Rogers, Tracey [Australian Marine Mammal Research Centre PO Box 20 Mosman, NSW 2088 (Australia); Evolution and Ecology Research Centre and School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052 (Australia)

    2008-07-25

    Leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx, and Weddell seal, Leptonychotes weddellii, occupy an upper trophic level within the Antarctic ecosystem and are useful indicator species in the Southern Ocean of trace element concentrations. Reference values for the concentration of 19 trace elements were determined in the serum and hair of leopard and Weddell seals sampled in Eastern Antarctica. These reference values can be used as 'baseline' levels for monitoring trace element concentrations in these species. Greater trace element concentrations were determined in hair compared to serum, indicating different time scales of trace element accumulation in these samples. For the majority of trace elements, except for Se in the leopard seal samples and Cr in the Weddell seal samples, significant regression relationships for trace element concentrations in hair and serum were not elucidated. Significant differences were determined in the concentrations of seven out of 15 elements with hair type, moult and new, in the leopard seal; concentrations in moult hair were determined to be greater than in new hair for all elements except Zn. Hair analysis was determined to be useful for monitoring exposure to trace elements and when collected off the ice from moulting seals, hair can be employed as a non-invasive sample for trace element analysis in leopard and Weddell seals.

  9. Trace element analysis in the serum and hair of Antarctic leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx, and Weddell seal, Leptonychotes weddellii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Rachael; Canfield, Paul; Rogers, Tracey

    2008-07-25

    Leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx, and Weddell seal, Leptonychotes weddellii, occupy an upper trophic level within the Antarctic ecosystem and are useful indicator species in the Southern Ocean of trace element concentrations. Reference values for the concentration of 19 trace elements were determined in the serum and hair of leopard and Weddell seals sampled in Eastern Antarctica. These reference values can be used as 'baseline' levels for monitoring trace element concentrations in these species. Greater trace element concentrations were determined in hair compared to serum, indicating different time scales of trace element accumulation in these samples. For the majority of trace elements, except for Se in the leopard seal samples and Cr in the Weddell seal samples, significant regression relationships for trace element concentrations in hair and serum were not elucidated. Significant differences were determined in the concentrations of seven out of 15 elements with hair type, moult and new, in the leopard seal; concentrations in moult hair were determined to be greater than in new hair for all elements except Zn. Hair analysis was determined to be useful for monitoring exposure to trace elements and when collected off the ice from moulting seals, hair can be employed as a non-invasive sample for trace element analysis in leopard and Weddell seals.

  10. Observations on eggs of eublepharid lizards, with comments on the evolution of the Gekkonoidea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Werner, Y.L.

    1972-01-01

    Captive specimens of Coleonyx v. variegatus, C. v. bogerti, Eublepharis macularius and Hemitheconyx caudicinctus laid parchment-shelled, moisture dependent eggs, resembling those of diplodactyline geckos and most lepidosaurians. Eublepharid eggs, including those of Aeluroscalabotes measured in

  11. Investigation of bioinspired gecko fibers to improve adhesion of HeartLander surgical robot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tortora, Giuseppe; Glass, Paul; Wood, Nathan; Aksak, Burak; Menciassi, Arianna; Sitti, Metin; Riviere, Cameron

    2012-01-01

    HeartLander is a medical robot proposed for minimally invasive epicardial intervention on the beating heart. To date, all prototypes have used suction to gain traction on the epicardium. Gecko-foot-inspired micro-fibers have been proposed for repeatable adhesion to surfaces. In this paper, a method for improving the traction of HeartLander on biological tissue is presented. The method involves integration of gecko-inspired fibrillar adhesives on the inner surfaces of the suction chambers of HeartLander. Experiments have been carried out on muscle tissue ex vivo assessing the traction performance of the modified HeartLander with bio-inspired adhesive. The adhesive fibers are found to improve traction on muscle tissue by 57.3 %.

  12. Non-homologous sex chromosomes in two geckos (Gekkonidae: Gekkota) with female heterogamety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsubara, Kazumi; Gamble, Tony; Matsuda, Yoichi; Zarkower, David; Sarre, Stephen D; Georges, Arthur; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall; Ezaz, Tariq

    2014-01-01

    Evaluating homology between the sex chromosomes of different species is an important first step in deducing the origins and evolution of sex-determining mechanisms in a clade. Here, we describe the preparation of Z and W chromosome paints via chromosome microdissection from the Australian marbled gecko (Christinus marmoratus) and their subsequent use in evaluating sex chromosome homology with the ZW chromosomes of the Kwangsi gecko (Gekko hokouensis) from eastern Asia. We show that the ZW sex chromosomes of C. marmoratus and G. hokouensis are not homologous and represent independent origins of female heterogamety within the Gekkonidae. We also show that the C. marmoratus Z and W chromosomes are genetically similar to each other as revealed by C-banding, comparative genomic hybridization, and the reciprocal painting of Z and W chromosome probes. This implies that sex chromosomes in C. marmoratus are at an early stage of differentiation, suggesting a recent origin. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. Effects of spatial subsidies and habitat structure on the foraging ecology and size of geckos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy A Briggs

    Full Text Available While it is well established that ecosystem subsidies--the addition of energy, nutrients, or materials across ecosystem boundaries--can affect consumer abundance, there is less information available on how subsidy levels may affect consumer diet, body condition, trophic position, and resource partitioning among consumer species. There is also little information on whether changes in vegetation structure commonly associated with spatial variation in subsidies may play an important role in driving consumer responses to subsidies. To address these knowledge gaps, we studied changes in abundance, diet, trophic position, size, and body condition of two congeneric gecko species (Lepidodactylus spp. that coexist in palm dominated and native (hereafter dicot dominated forests across the Central Pacific. These forests differ strongly both in the amount of marine subsidies that they receive from seabird guano and carcasses, and in the physical structure of the habitat. Contrary to other studies, we found that subsidy level had no impact on the abundance of either gecko species; it also did not have any apparent effects on resource partitioning between species. However, it did affect body size, dietary composition, and trophic position of both species. Geckos in subsidized, dicot forests were larger, had higher body condition and more diverse diets, and occupied a much higher trophic position than geckos found in palm dominated, low subsidy level forests. Both direct variation in subsidy levels and associated changes in habitat structure appear to play a role in driving these responses. These results suggest that variation in subsidy levels may drive important behavioral responses in predators, even when their numerical response is limited. Strong changes in trophic position of consumers also suggest that subsidies may drive increasingly complex food webs, with longer overall food chain length.

  14. Tooth development in a model reptile: functional and null generation teeth in the gecko Paroedura picta

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Zahradníček, Oldřich; Horáček, I.; Tucker, A. S.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 221, č. 3 (2012), s. 195-208 ISSN 0021-8782 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP305/12/1766 Grant - others:GA AV ČR(CZ) KJB601110910 Program:KJ Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50390703 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : cusps * gecko * null generation teeth Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 2.357, year: 2012

  15. Effects of spatial subsidies and habitat structure on the foraging ecology and size of geckos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Amy A.; Young, Hillary S.; McCauley, Douglas J.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Fisher, Robert N.

    2012-01-01

    While it is well established that ecosystem subsidies—the addition of energy, nutrients, or materials across ecosystem boundaries—can affect consumer abundance, there is less information available on how subsidy levels may affect consumer diet, body condition, trophic position, and resource partitioning among consumer species. There is also little information on whether changes in vegetation structure commonly associated with spatial variation in subsidies may play an important role in driving consumer responses to subsidies. To address these knowledge gaps, we studied changes in abundance, diet, trophic position, size, and body condition of two congeneric gecko species (Lepidodactylus spp.) that coexist in palm dominated and native (hereafter dicot dominated) forests across the Central Pacific. These forests differ trongly both in the amount of marine subsidies that they receive from seabird guano and carcasses, and in the physical structure of the habitat. Contrary to other studies, we found that subsidy level had no impact on the abundance of either gecko species; it also did not have any apparent effects on resource partitioning between species. However, it did affect body size, dietary composition, and trophic position of both species. Geckos in subsidized, dicot forests were larger, had higher body condition and more diverse diets, and occupied a much higher trophic position than geckos found in palm dominated, low subsidy level forests. Both direct variation in subsidy levels and associated changes in habitat structure appear to play a role in driving these responses. These results suggest that variation in subsidy levels may drive important behavioral responses in predators, even when their numerical response is limited. Strong changes in trophic position of consumers also suggest that subsidies may drive increasingly complex food webs, with longer overall food chain length.

  16. High Diversity of Hepatozoon spp. in Geckos of the Genus Tarentola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé, Beatriz; Rato, Catarina; Harris, D James; Perera, Ana

    2016-08-01

    :   Hemogregarines are the most-commonly reported hemoparasites in reptiles. In this work we analyzed samples from 572 individuals of 6 species of the wall gecko genus Tarentola from European and African countries adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea as well as from the Macaronesian islands. Screening was done using hemogregarine-specific primers for the 18S rRNA gene. Positive amplifications were sequenced so that the diversity of the hemogregarines from these hosts could be assessed within a phylogenetic framework. The results from the phylogenetic analysis showed that within Tarentola, the detected parasites are comprised of at least 4 distinct main lineages of Hepatozoon spp. In clades A and B, the new sequences clustered closely together with the ones previously known from individuals of the genus Tarentola and other species of geckos but also with those from other vertebrate host groups including skinks, snakes, iguanids, and rodents. Clade C included a sample from Tarentola angustimentalis of the Canary Islands. This sequence is the first molecular characterization of these hemogregarines in this archipelago. Until now, this lineage had only been found in lacertids, skinks, and snakes, so this infection extends the host range for this clade. Lastly, in the newly detected clade D, the retrieved parasite sequences form a group currently identified as exclusive of geckos. Our results show that geckos of Tarentola spp. harbor a great diversity of hemogregarines but also that further sampling and other tools, including a multi-locus approach using faster-evolving genetic markers, and identification of definitive hosts are needed to better understand the biology, diversity, and distribution of these parasites.

  17. Mechanisms of spectral tuning in the RH2 pigments of Tokay gecko and American chameleon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takenaka, Naomi; Yokoyama, Shozo

    2007-09-01

    At present, molecular bases of spectral tuning in rhodopsin-like (RH2) pigments are not well understood. Here, we have constructed the RH2 pigments of nocturnal Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko) and diurnal American chameleon (Anolis carolinensis) as well as chimeras between them. The RH2 pigments of the gecko and chameleon reconstituted with 11-cis-retinal had the wavelengths of maximal absorption (lambda(max)'s) of 467 and 496 nm, respectively. Chimeric pigment analyses indicated that 76-86%, 14-24%, and 10% of the spectral difference between them could be explained by amino acid differences in transmembrane (TM) helices I-IV, V-VII, and amino acid interactions between the two segments, respectively. Evolutionary and mutagenesis analyses revealed that the lambda(max)'s of the gecko and chameleon pigments diverged from each other not only by S49A (serine to alanine replacement at residue 49), S49F (serine to phenylalanine), L52M (leucine to methionine), D83N (aspartic acid to asparagine), M86T (methionine to threonine), and T97A (threonine to alanine) but also by other amino acid replacements that cause minor lambda(max)-shifts individually.

  18. Tropical House Gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia predation on brown spiders (Loxosceles intermedia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.N. Ramires

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Brown spiders (Loxosceles spp. are venomous arachnids, successfully adapted to urban habitats in Brazil. Loxoscelism became a serious public health problem in Paraná State, especially at the capital Curitiba, where the most abundant species is Loxosceles intermedia. Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae lizards are synanthropic predators of arthropods. In this paper, we describe the predatory behavior of the Tropical House Gecko H. mabouia on L. intermedia under laboratory conditions. Twelve geckos were observed, and all of them fed on brown spiders (n=123 observations. The attack consisted of a fast run followed by one bite on the spider’s abdomen or legs. The geckos did not attack L. intermedia anterior body parts, probably due to the fangs present in this region. Two Hemidactylus individuals were killed by L. intermedia bites: during a predatory encounter, and by an induced bite on a restrained lizard. The observations summarized in this paper show that H. mabouia could be used in the biological control of Loxosceles populations in human dwellings. However, additional field studies are necessary to quantify the impact of H. mabouia predation on urban populations of L. intermedia and other species of the same genus.

  19. A new blood parasite within the relict endemic New Zealand gecko Hoplodactylus duvaucelii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, Manuela; Peirce, Michael A; Heath, Allen C G; Brunton, Dianne H; Barraclough, Rosemary K

    2011-06-30

    Duvaucel geckos (Hoplodactylus duvaucelii) are large endemic lizards that have been extirpated from the New Zealand mainland due to introduced mammalian predators. This species has subsequently become the subject of species translocation conservation management in an endeavour to increase the number of populations and as a part of island ecological restoration. Blood sampling of a captive adult male after tail autotomy led to the discovery of a Rickettsia-like organism within this gecko's erythrocytes. We conclude that this infection was acquired at the gecko's source location, a remote island closed to the general public and lacking potential invasive parasite reservoir reptiles. The likely vector is the native mite Geckobia naultina. This finding represents valuable new baseline information about the health parameters of this threatened species. Particularly in the light of the paucity of reported blood parasitism in New Zealand reptiles, the conservation management of this species through relocation and captive-breeding, and the on-going concerns regarding the introduction of novel parasites to New Zealand. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Mechanisms of spectral tuning in the RH2 pigments of Tokay gecko and American chameleon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takenaka, Naomi; Yokoyama, Shozo

    2009-01-01

    At present, molecular bases of spectral tuning in rhodopsin-like (RH2) pigments are not well understood. Here, we have constructed the RH2 pigments of nocturnal Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko) and diurnal American chameleon (Anolis carolinensis) as well as chimeras between them. The RH2 pigments of the gecko and chameleon reconstituted with 11-cis-retinal had the wavelengths of maximal absorption (λmax’s) of 467 and 496 nm, respectively. Chimeric pigment analyses indicated that 76–86%, 14–24%, and 10% of the spectral difference between them could be explained by amino acid differences in transmembrane (TM) helices I~IV, V~VII, and amino acid interactions between the two segments, respectively. Evolutionary and mutagenesis analyses revealed that the λmax’s of the gecko and chameleon pigments diverged from each other not only by S49A (serine to alanine replacement at residue 49), S49F (serine to phenylalanine), L52M (leucine to methionine), D83N (aspartic acid to asparagine), M86T (methionine to thereonine), and T97A (threonine to alanine) but also by other amino acid replacements that cause minor λmax-shifts individually. PMID:17590287

  1. The embryology of the retinal pigmented epithelium in dwarf geckos (Gekkota: Sphaerodactylinae): a unique developmental pattern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra-Fuentes, Ricardo A; Daza, Juan D; Bauer, Aaron M

    2014-06-30

    The retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) is a rounded shaped structure in almost all lizards. In the New World dwarf geckos, this structure shows an unusual morphology. In addition to this ocular character, we describe notable differences in the development of these geckos in comparison with available developmental staging tables for other geckos and squamate reptiles. We identified two main patterns of development of the RPE for squamates. These patterns were mapped onto a metatree of concordant hypotheses of squamates based on molecular data. During post-ovopositional stages the representative species of sphaerodactyls exhibit a RPE layer that transforms gradually from an ovoid form into the generalized spherical form. Sphaerodactyls are the only group of squamates in which this pattern is known. This transition might be circumstantial evidence that the accessory RPE plays a role in providing additional protection for their apomorphic concaviclivate temporal fovea. We also report the presence of conjunctival papillae in a developmental stage prior to the formation of scleral ossicles. This developmental progression is similar to that of birds and turtles.

  2. The Role of Surface Chemistry in Adhesion and Wetting of Gecko Toe Pads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badge, Ila; Stark, Alyssa Y.; Paoloni, Eva L.; Niewiarowski, Peter H.; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2014-10-01

    An array of micron-sized setal hairs offers geckos a unique ability to walk on vertical surfaces using van der Waals interactions. Although many studies have focused on the role of surface morphology of the hairs, very little is known about the role of surface chemistry on wetting and adhesion. We expect that both surface chemistry and morphology are important, not only to achieve optimum dry adhesion but also for increased efficiency in self-cleaning of water and adhesion under wet conditions. Here, we used a plasma-based vapor deposition process to coat the hairy patterns on gecko toe pad sheds with polar and non-polar coatings without significantly perturbing the setal morphology. By a comparison of wetting across treatments, we show that the intrinsic surface of gecko setae has a water contact angle between 70-90°. As expected, under wet conditions, adhesion on a hydrophilic surface (glass) was lower than that on a hydrophobic surface (alkyl-silane monolayer on glass). Surprisingly under wet and dry conditions the adhesion was comparable on the hydrophobic surface, independent of the surface chemistry of the setal hairs. This work highlights the need to utilize morphology and surface chemistry in developing successful synthetic adhesives with desirable adhesion and self-cleaning properties.

  3. Generation of nuclear constants of the TRIGA reactor with the Leopard code; Generacion de constantes nucleares del reactor TRIGA con el codigo Leopard

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aguilar H, F.; Perusquia del C, R. [ININ, 52045 Ocoyoacac, Estado de Mexico (Mexico)

    1983-09-15

    The reactor core was divided in 12 regions, this was made in function of the composition and temperature and its are: 1) central thimble, 2) B ring, 3) C ring, 4) D ring, 5) E ring, 6) F ring, 7) G ring, 8) superior caps of fuel elements (E.C. s) standard, 9) inferior caps of E.C.'s standard, 10) superior and inferior reflector of the core, 11) lateral reflector and 12) superior and inferior caps of the E.C.'s graphite. Likewise the constants of the followers' of fuel cell, of the empty follower and of the conduits of the gamma camera were obtained. For the obtaining of the enter data of the LEOPARD the dimensions and the composition of the different regions are required, this is consigned in the IT/E21-83 report. (Author)

  4. Population status and population genetics of northern leopard frogs in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theimer, Tad C.; Drost, Charles A.; O'Donnell, Ryan P.; Mock, Karen E.

    2011-01-01

    Increasing isolation of populations by habitat fragmentation threatens the persistence of many species, both from stochastic loss of small isolated populations, and from inbreeding effects in populations that have become genetically isolated. In the southwestern United States, amphibian habitat is naturally patchy in occurrence because of the prevailing aridity of the region. Streams, rivers, and other wetlands are important both as habitat and as corridors that connect populations. However, populations of some species have become more fragmented and isolated by habitat degradation and loss. Northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) have experienced serious declines in the Southwest. We conducted an extensive survey across the known range of northern leopard frogs in Arizona to determine the current distribution and abundance of the species. From a range that once spanned much of the northern and central part of the State, northern leopard frogs have been reduced to three or four widely separated populations, near Lyman Lake in east-central Arizona, in the Stoneman Lake area south of Flagstaff, along Truxton Wash near Peach Springs, and a population of uncertain extent on Navajo Nation lands. The Lyman Lake and Truxton Wash populations are small and extremely isolated. The Stoneman Lake population, however, is an extensive metapopulation spread across several stream drainages, including numerous ponds, wetlands, and artificial tanks. This is the only population in Arizona that is increasing in extent and numbers, but there is concern about the apparent introduction of nonnative genetic stock from eastern North America into this area. We analyzed genetic diversity within and genetic divergence among populations of northern leopard frogs, across both extant and recently extirpated populations in Arizona. We also analyzed mitochondrial DNA to place these populations into a larger phylogenetic framework and to determine whether any populations contained genetic material

  5. Comparison of carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore mammalian genomes with a new leopard assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Kim, Hak-Min; Chung, Oksung; Kim, Hyunho; Jho, Sungwoong; Seomun, Hong; Kim, Jeongho; Bang, Woo Young; Kim, Changmu; An, Junghwa; Bae, Chang Hwan; Bhak, Youngjune; Jeon, Sungwon; Yoon, Hyejun; Kim, Yumi; Jun, JeHoon; Lee, HyeJin; Cho, Suan; Uphyrkina, Olga; Kostyria, Aleksey; Goodrich, John; Miquelle, Dale; Roelke, Melody; Lewis, John; Yurchenko, Andrey; Bankevich, Anton; Cho, Juok; Lee, Semin; Edwards, Jeremy S; Weber, Jessica A; Cook, Jo; Kim, Sangsoo; Lee, Hang; Manica, Andrea; Lee, Ilbeum; O'Brien, Stephen J; Bhak, Jong; Yeo, Joo-Hong

    2016-10-11

    There are three main dietary groups in mammals: carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Currently, there is limited comparative genomics insight into the evolution of dietary specializations in mammals. Due to recent advances in sequencing technologies, we were able to perform in-depth whole genome analyses of representatives of these three dietary groups. We investigated the evolution of carnivory by comparing 18 representative genomes from across Mammalia with carnivorous, omnivorous, and herbivorous dietary specializations, focusing on Felidae (domestic cat, tiger, lion, cheetah, and leopard), Hominidae, and Bovidae genomes. We generated a new high-quality leopard genome assembly, as well as two wild Amur leopard whole genomes. In addition to a clear contraction in gene families for starch and sucrose metabolism, the carnivore genomes showed evidence of shared evolutionary adaptations in genes associated with diet, muscle strength, agility, and other traits responsible for successful hunting and meat consumption. Additionally, an analysis of highly conserved regions at the family level revealed molecular signatures of dietary adaptation in each of Felidae, Hominidae, and Bovidae. However, unlike carnivores, omnivores and herbivores showed fewer shared adaptive signatures, indicating that carnivores are under strong selective pressure related to diet. Finally, felids showed recent reductions in genetic diversity associated with decreased population sizes, which may be due to the inflexible nature of their strict diet, highlighting their vulnerability and critical conservation status. Our study provides a large-scale family level comparative genomic analysis to address genomic changes associated with dietary specialization. Our genomic analyses also provide useful resources for diet-related genetic and health research.

  6. Neocortical neuronal morphology in the Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) and the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Cameron B; Schall, Matthew; Tennison, Mackenzie E; Garcia, Madeleine E; Shea-Shumsky, Noah B; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Lewandowski, Albert H; Bertelsen, Mads F; Waller, Leona C; Walsh, Timothy; Roberts, John F; Hof, Patrick R; Sherwood, Chet C; Manger, Paul R; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-12-01

    Despite extensive investigations of the neocortex in the domestic cat, little is known about neuronal morphology in larger felids. To this end, the present study characterized and quantified the somatodendritic morphology of neocortical neurons in prefrontal, motor, and visual cortices of the Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa). After neurons were stained with a modified Golgi technique (N = 194), dendritic branching and spine distributions were analyzed using computer-assisted morphometry. Qualitatively, aspiny and spiny neurons in both species appeared morphologically similar to those observed in the domestic cat. Although the morphology of spiny neurons was diverse, with the presence of extraverted, inverted, horizontal, and multiapical pyramidal neurons, the most common variant was the typical pyramidal neuron. Gigantopyramidal neurons in the motor cortex were extremely large, confirming the observation of Brodmann ([1909] Vergleichende Lokalisationlehre der Grosshirnrinde in ihren Prinzipien dargestellt auf Grund des Zellenbaues. Leipzig, Germany: J.A. Barth), who found large somata for these neurons in carnivores in general, and felids in particular. Quantitatively, a MARSplines analysis of dendritic measures differentiated typical pyramidal neurons between the Siberian tiger and the clouded leopard with 93% accuracy. In general, the dendrites of typical pyramidal neurons were more complex in the tiger than in the leopards. Moreover, dendritic measures in tiger pyramidal neurons were disproportionally large relative to body/brain size insofar as they were nearly as extensive as those observed in much larger mammals (e.g., African elephant). Comparison of neuronal morphology in a more diverse collection of larger felids may elucidate the comparative context for the relatively large size of the pyramidal neurons observed in the present study. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3641-3665, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Survival estimates for reintroduced populations of the Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Paige E; Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Chandler, Richard B.

    2016-01-01

    Global amphibian declines have been attributed to a number of factors including disease, invasive species, habitat degradation, and climate change. Reintroduction is one management action that is commonly used with the goal of recovering imperiled species. The success of reintroductions varies widely, and evaluating their efficacy requires estimates of population viability metrics, such as underlying vital rates and trends in abundance. Although rarely quantified, assessing vital rates for recovering populations provides a more mechanistic understanding of population growth than numerical trends in population occupancy or abundance. We used three years of capture-mark-recapture data from three breeding ponds and a Cormack-Jolly-Seber model to estimate annual apparent survival for reintroduced populations of the federally threatened Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis) at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR), in the Altar Valley, Arizona, USA. To place our results in context, we also compiled published survival estimates for other ranids. Average apparent survival of Chiricahua Leopard Frogs at BANWR was 0.27 (95% CI [0.07, 0.74]) and average individual capture probability was 0.02 (95% CI [0, 0.05]). Our apparent survival estimate for Chiricahua Leopard Frogs is lower than for most other ranids and is not consistent with recent research that showed metapopulation viability in the Altar Valley is high. We suggest that low apparent survival may be indicative of high emigration rates. We recommend that future research should estimate emigration rates so that actual, rather than apparent, survival can be quantified to improve population viability assessments of threatened species following reintroduction efforts.

  8. Fine structure of Leydig cells in crabeater, leopard and Ross seals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, A A; Erickson, A W; Seal, U S

    1977-01-01

    Ultrastructural study of the Leydig cells of nonbreeding crabeater, leopard and Ross seals showed that three types of cells could be distinguished. Type I cells possessed the cytological features typical of steroid-secreting cells. Type II cells exhibited various features of degeneration, e.g. accumulation of large amounts of lipofuscin granules (residual bodies), lipid droplets, secondary lysosomes, rectangular crystalloids, and previously undescribed 'peculiar bodies'. These cellular inclusions and debris were released into the interstitium to be phagocytosed by macrophages and/or resorbed by the lymphatics. Type III Leydig cells contained large amounts of lipid droplets, sparse cytoplasmic organelles and essentially became lipid storage cells.

  9. Mac OS X Snow Leopard for Power Users Advanced Capabilities and Techniques

    CERN Document Server

    Granneman, Scott

    2010-01-01

    Mac OS X Snow Leopard for Power Users: Advanced Capabilities and Techniques is for Mac OS X users who want to go beyond the obvious, the standard, and the easy. If want to dig deeper into Mac OS X and maximize your skills and productivity using the world's slickest and most elegant operating system, then this is the book for you. Written by Scott Granneman, an experienced teacher, developer, and consultant, Mac OS X for Power Users helps you push Mac OS X to the max, unveiling advanced techniques and options that you may have not known even existed. Create custom workflows and apps with Automa

  10. Personality structure in the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus), Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopard (Panthera uncia), and African lion (Panthera leo): a comparative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gartner, Marieke Cassia; Powell, David M; Weiss, Alexander

    2014-11-01

    Although the study of nonhuman personality has increased in the last decade, there are still few studies on felid species, and the majority focus on domestic cats. We assessed the structure of personality and its reliability in five felids-domestic cats, clouded leopards, snow leopards, African lions, and previous data on Scottish wildcats-and compared the results. In addition to the benefits of understanding more about this taxon, comparative studies of personality structure have the potential to provide information on evolutionary relationships among closely related species. Each of the species studied was found to have three factors of personality. Scottish wildcats' factors were labeled Dominance, Agreeableness, and Self Control; domestic cats' factors were Dominance, Impulsiveness, and Neuroticism; clouded leopards' factors were Dominance/Impulsiveness, Agreeableness/Openness, and Neuroticism; snow leopards' factors were Dominance, Impulsiveness/Openness, and Neuroticism; and African lions' factors were Dominance, Impulsiveness, and Neuroticism. The Neuroticism and Impulsiveness factors were similar, as were two of the Dominance factors. A taxon-level personality structure also showed three similar factors. Age and sex effects are also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Evolution of gliding in Southeast Asian geckos and other vertebrates is temporally congruent with dipterocarp forest development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinicke, Matthew P; Greenbaum, Eli; Jackman, Todd R; Bauer, Aaron M

    2012-12-23

    Gliding morphologies occur in diverse vertebrate lineages in Southeast Asian rainforests, including three gecko genera, plus frogs, snakes, agamid lizards and squirrels. It has been hypothesized that repeated evolution of gliding is related to the dominance of Asian rainforest tree floras by dipterocarps. For dipterocarps to have influenced the evolution of gliding in Southeast Asian vertebrates, gliding lineages must have Eocene or later origins. However, divergence times are not known for most lineages. To investigate the temporal pattern of Asian gliding vertebrate evolution, we performed phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses. New sequence data for geckos incorporate exemplars of each gliding genus (Cosymbotus, Luperosaurus and Ptychozoon), whereas analyses of other vertebrate lineages use existing sequence data. Stem ages of most gliding vertebrates, including all geckos, cluster in the time period when dipterocarps came to dominate Asian tropical forests. These results demonstrate that a gliding/dipterocarp correlation is temporally viable, and caution against the assumption of early origins for apomorphic taxa.

  12. Earliest “Domestic” Cats in China Identified as Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigne, Jean-Denis; Evin, Allowen; Cucchi, Thomas; Dai, Lingling; Yu, Chong; Hu, Songmei; Soulages, Nicolas; Wang, Weilin; Sun, Zhouyong; Gao, Jiangtao; Dobney, Keith; Yuan, Jing

    2016-01-01

    The ancestor of all modern domestic cats is the wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica, with archaeological evidence indicating it was domesticated as early as 10,000 years ago in South-West Asia. A recent study, however, claims that cat domestication also occurred in China some 5,000 years ago and involved the same wildcat ancestor (F. silvestris). The application of geometric morphometric analyses to ancient small felid bones from China dating between 5,500 to 4,900 BP, instead reveal these and other remains to be that of the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). These data clearly indicate that the origins of a human-cat ‘domestic’ relationship in Neolithic China began independently from South-West Asia and involved a different wild felid species altogether. The leopard cat’s ‘domestic’ status, however, appears to have been short-lived—its apparent subsequent replacement shown by the fact that today all domestic cats in China are genetically related to F. silvestris. PMID:26799955

  13. Placement of intracoelomic radio transmitters and silicone passive sampling devices in northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaw, Taylor; Swanson, Jennifer E; Pierce, Clay; Muths, Erin L.; Smalling, Kelly; Vandever, Mark; Zaffarano, Bianca Anne

    2017-01-01

    Historically, wetland toxin exposure studies have relied on single time point samples from stationary sampling devices. Development of passive sampling devices (PSDs) that can be attached to individual animals within wetland habitats has greatly improved in recent years, presenting an innovative sampling technology that can potentially yield individual-specific, quantifiable data about chemical exposure. In this study, silicone based PSDs were attached to the ventral skin of 20 northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens) with polypropylene sutures after radio transmitters had been surgically implanted into the coleomic cavity. After a recovery period frogs were released back into the wetland habitat where they were acquired. The animals were located daily using radio telemetry to assess how long PSDs would remain attached in the frogs' natural habitat. After one week, PSDs remained on 18 of the original 20 frogs. At 2 weeks 17 frogs were recovered and no PSDs remained attached. Although valuable data can be obtained over a short time period, more research will be necessary to demonstrate effectiveness of externally attaching silicone PSDs to northern leopard frogs for time periods longer than 1-2 weeks.

  14. Minimally invasive versus open distal pancreatectomy (LEOPARD): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Rooij, Thijs; van Hilst, Jony; Vogel, Jantien A; van Santvoort, Hjalmar C; de Boer, Marieke T; Boerma, Djamila; van den Boezem, Peter B; Bonsing, Bert A; Bosscha, Koop; Coene, Peter-Paul; Daams, Freek; van Dam, Ronald M; Dijkgraaf, Marcel G; van Eijck, Casper H; Festen, Sebastiaan; Gerhards, Michael F; Groot Koerkamp, Bas; Hagendoorn, Jeroen; van der Harst, Erwin; de Hingh, Ignace H; Dejong, Cees H; Kazemier, Geert; Klaase, Joost; de Kleine, Ruben H; van Laarhoven, Cornelis J; Lips, Daan J; Luyer, Misha D; Molenaar, I Quintus; Nieuwenhuijs, Vincent B; Patijn, Gijs A; Roos, Daphne; Scheepers, Joris J; van der Schelling, George P; Steenvoorde, Pascal; Swijnenburg, Rutger-Jan; Wijsman, Jan H; Abu Hilal, Moh'd; Busch, Olivier R; Besselink, Marc G

    2017-04-08

    Observational cohort studies have suggested that minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy (MIDP) is associated with better short-term outcomes compared with open distal pancreatectomy (ODP), such as less intraoperative blood loss, lower morbidity, shorter length of hospital stay, and reduced total costs. Confounding by indication has probably influenced these findings, given that case-matched studies failed to confirm the superiority of MIDP. This accentuates the need for multicenter randomized controlled trials, which are currently lacking. We hypothesize that time to functional recovery is shorter after MIDP compared with ODP even in an enhanced recovery setting. LEOPARD is a randomized controlled, parallel-group, patient-blinded, multicenter, superiority trial in all 17 centers of the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group. A total of 102 patients with symptomatic benign, premalignant or malignant disease will be randomly allocated to undergo MIDP or ODP in an enhanced recovery setting. The primary outcome is time (days) to functional recovery, defined as all of the following: independently mobile at the preoperative level, sufficient pain control with oral medication alone, ability to maintain sufficient (i.e. >50%) daily required caloric intake, no intravenous fluid administration and no signs of infection. Secondary outcomes are operative and postoperative outcomes, including clinically relevant complications, mortality, quality of life and costs. The LEOPARD trial is designed to investigate whether MIDP reduces the time to functional recovery compared with ODP in an enhanced recovery setting. Dutch Trial Register, NTR5188 . Registered on 9 April 2015.

  15. Complex spatial dynamics maintain northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) genetic diversity in a temporally varying landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Chen, Yongjiu; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2013-01-01

    In contrast to most local amphibian populations, northeastern populations of the Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) have displayed uncharacteristically high levels of genetic diversity that have been attributed to large, stable populations. However, this widely distributed species also occurs in areas known for great climatic fluctuations that should be reflected in corresponding fluctuations in population sizes and reduced genetic diversity. To test our hypothesis that Northern Leopard Frog genetic diversity would be reduced in areas subjected to significant climate variability, we examined the genetic diversity of L. pipiens collected from 12 sites within the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. Despite the region's fluctuating climate that includes periods of recurring drought and deluge, we found unexpectedly high levels of genetic diversity approaching that of northeastern populations. Further, genetic structure at a landscape scale was strikingly homogeneous; genetic differentiation estimates (Dest) averaged 0.10 (SD = 0.036) across the six microsatellite loci we studied, and two Bayesian assignment tests (STRUCTURE and BAPS) failed to reveal the development of significant population structure across the 68 km breadth of our study area. These results suggest that L. pipiens in the Prairie Pothole Region consists of a large, panmictic population capable of maintaining high genetic diversity in the face of marked climate variability.

  16. The effects of smoke derivatives on in vitro seed germination and development of the leopard orchid Ansellia africana

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Papenfus, H. B.; Naidoo, D.; Pošta, Martin; Finnie, J. F.; van Staden, J.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 18, č. 2 (2016), s. 289-294 ISSN 1435-8603 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : Ansellia africana * developmental rate index * germination rate index * karrikinolide * leopard orchid * smoke -water * trimethylbutenolide Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.106, year: 2016

  17. A Communal Sign Post of Snow Leopards (Panthera uncia and Other Species on the Tibetan Plateau, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Li

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The snow leopard is a keystone species in mountain ecosystems of Central Asia and the Tibetan Plateau. However, little is known about the interactions between snow leopards and sympatric carnivores. Using infrared cameras, we found a rocky junction of two valleys in Sanjiangyuan area on the Tibetan Plateau where many mammals in this area passed and frequently marked and sniffed the site at the junction. We suggest that this site serves as a sign post to many species in this area, especially snow leopards and other carnivores. The marked signs may also alert the animals passing by to temporally segregate their activities to avoid potential conflicts. We used the Schoener index to measure the degree of temporal segregation among the species captured by infrared camera traps at this site. Our research reveals the probable ways of both intra- and interspecies communication and demonstrates that the degree of temporal segregation may correlate with the degree of potential interspecies competition. This is an important message to help understand the structure of animal communities. Discovery of the sign post clarifies the importance of identifying key habitats and sites of both snow leopards and other species for more effective conservation.

  18. Predicting the Distribution of Asiatic Cheetah, Persian Leopard and Brown Bear in Response to EnvironmentalFactors in Isfahan Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. R. Hemami

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Distribution modelling is important for assessing threats and conservation status of species and for planning conservation programs. We studied the distribution of suitable habitats of Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor and brown bear (Ursus arctos in Isfahan province within and outside the protected areas. Suitable habitats of the three studied carnivores in Isfahan province were mapped in relation to climatic, topographic and anthropogenic variables using MAXENT. Assessing the developed model using the area under the ROC function showed that predictions for the three carnivore species were significantly better than random. Potential suitable habitats of Asiatic cheetah, Persian leopard and brown bear constituted 5.2%, 12% and 3.4% of the Isfahan province area, respectively. Slope was the most important factor determining Persian leopard habitat suitability, while climatic factors (mainly mean autumn and mean annual precipitation were the most important determinants of Asiatic cheetah and brown bear distribution. The protected area network within the province covers 55.7%, 23.7%, and 11.6% of the suitable habitats for Asiatic cheetah, Persian leopard and brown bear, respectively. Parts of suitable habitats of the three species are located outside the protected areas, which could be considered in planning conservation programs as potential movement corridors.

  19. A new species of arboreal forest-dwelling gecko (Hemidactylus: Squamata: Gekkonidae) from coastal Kenya, East Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malonza, Patrick K; Bauer, Aaron M

    2014-04-09

    A new species of Hemidactylus, H. mrimaensis sp. nov., is described from coastal kaya forests of Kenya. This small-sized, arboreal gecko may be distinguished from its probable close relative, the sympatric H. mabouia, by its more slender habitus, golden color, small adult body length (maximum SVL 50 mm in females) and features of scalation including keeled dorsal tubercles in 11-14 longitudinal rows, pointed tubercles on tail larger than those on the dorsum, and 32-34 precloacal pores in males. This gecko may be endemic to the coastal forests and given the ongoing threats to this habitat, the species is of high conservation concern.

  20. Examining Temporal Sample Scale and Model Choice with Spatial Capture-Recapture Models in the Common Leopard Panthera pardus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua F Goldberg

    Full Text Available Many large carnivores occupy a wide geographic distribution, and face threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, prey depletion, and human wildlife-conflicts. Conservation requires robust techniques for estimating population densities and trends, but the elusive nature and low densities of many large carnivores make them difficult to detect. Spatial capture-recapture (SCR models provide a means for handling imperfect detectability, while linking population estimates to individual movement patterns to provide more accurate estimates than standard approaches. Within this framework, we investigate the effect of different sample interval lengths on density estimates, using simulations and a common leopard (Panthera pardus model system. We apply Bayesian SCR methods to 89 simulated datasets and camera-trapping data from 22 leopards captured 82 times during winter 2010-2011 in Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan. We show that sample interval length from daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly periods did not appreciably affect median abundance or density, but did influence precision. We observed the largest gains in precision when moving from quarterly to shorter intervals. We therefore recommend daily sampling intervals for monitoring rare or elusive species where practicable, but note that monthly or quarterly sample periods can have similar informative value. We further develop a novel application of Bayes factors to select models where multiple ecological factors are integrated into density estimation. Our simulations demonstrate that these methods can help identify the "true" explanatory mechanisms underlying the data. Using this method, we found strong evidence for sex-specific movement distributions in leopards, suggesting that sexual patterns of space-use influence density. This model estimated a density of 10.0 leopards/100 km2 (95% credibility interval: 6.25-15.93, comparable to contemporary estimates in Asia. These SCR methods provide

  1. Contaminant adhesion (aerial/ground biofouling) on the skin of a gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Gregory S; Cribb, Bronwen W; Schwarzkopf, Lin; Watson, Jolanta A

    2015-07-06

    In this study, we have investigated the micro- and nano-structuring and contaminant adhesional forces of the outer skin layer of the ground dwelling gecko--Lucasium steindachneri. The lizard's skin displayed a high density of hairs with lengths up to 4 μm which were spherically capped with a radius of curvature typically less than 30 nm. The adhesion of artificial hydrophilic (silica) and hydrophobic (C18) spherical particles and natural pollen grains were measured by atomic force microscopy and demonstrated extremely low values comparable to those recorded on superhydrophobic insects. The lizard scales which exhibited a three-tier hierarchical architecture demonstrated higher adhesion than the trough regions between scales. The two-tier roughness of the troughs comprising folding of the skin (wrinkling) limits the number of contacting hairs with particles of the dimensions used in our study. The gecko skin architecture on both the dorsal and trough regions demonstrates an optimized topography for minimizing solid-solid and solid-liquid particle contact area, as well as facilitating a variety of particulate removal mechanisms including water-assisted processes. These contrasting skin topographies may also be optimized for other functions such as increased structural integrity, levels of wear protection and flexibility of skin for movement and growth. While single hair adhesion is low, contributions of many thousands of individual hairs (especially on the abdominal scale surface and if deformation occurs) may potentially aid in providing additional adhesional capabilities (sticking ability) for some gecko species when interacting with environmental substrates such as rocks, foliage and even man-made structuring. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  2. Preliminary results on tail energetics in the Moorish gecko, Tarentola mauritanica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    marco zuffi

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The amount of lipids, proteins, ashes and water in original versus regenerated tails in Tarentola mauritanica shows differences, especially on the lipid fraction, supporting adaptive function hypotheses during reproduction of regenerated tails in geckos.

  3. A new species of gecko (Squamata: Diplodactylidae: Strophurus) from central Queensland, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderduys, Eric

    2017-11-13

    A new species of diplodactylid gecko in the genus Strophurus Fitzinger, from central Queensland, Australia, is described herein as Strophurus trux sp. nov. It is similar to the recently described Strophurus congoo Vanderduys from north Queensland and apparently shares a habitat preference for Triodia hummock open woodlands. It is notably different from the latter in possessing a vivid yellow to golden eye. It is only known from one small area of the Brigalow Belt Bioregion, although it is expected to occur more widely than the one area in which it has been found. It is likely that it is endemic to the Brigalow Belt Bioregion.

  4. A preliminary phylogeny of the Palearctic naked-toed geckos (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) with taxonomic implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Aaron M; Masroor, Rafaqat; Titus-McQuillan, James; Heinicke, Matthew P; Daza, Juan D; Jackman, Todd R

    2013-01-08

    Palearctic naked-toed geckos are a group of gekkonid geckos that range from North Africa to northern India and western China, with their greatest diversity in Iran and Pakistan. Relationships among the constituent genera remain incompletely resolved and the monophyly of key genera remains unverified. Further, competing classifications are in current use and many species have been allocated to different genera by different authors. We used both mitochondrial (ND2) and nuclear genes (RAG1, PDC) to explore relationships among representatives of all but one genus in the group (Rhinogecko), including four genera not previously included in phylogenetic analyses (Asiocolotes, Altigekko, Indogekko, and Siwaligekko). Siwaligekko (and presumably other Tibeto-Himalayan species often referred to Cyrtopodion) are more closely related to tropical Asian Cyrtodactylus than to Palearctic naked-toed geckos. Sampled species of Asiocolotes and Altigekko are sister taxa, but both genera are here considered junior subjective synonyms of Altiphylax. Cyrtopodion sensu lato is non-monophyletic; Mediodactylus and Tenuidactylus, which have variably been considered as subgenera or synonyms of Cyrtopodion are both valid genera. Indogekko is embedded within Cyrtopodion and is here treated as a subgenus. Bunopus and Crossobamon are closely related to one-another, and with Agamura are interdigitated among taxa previously assigned to Cyrtopodion. Our data confirm the previous identification of a Saharo-Arabian Stenodactylus/Tropiocolotes/Pseudoceramodactylus clade and verify that Microgecko and Alsophylax are not members of the main clade of Palearctic naked-toed geckos. Osteological differences between Tropiocolotes and Microgecko, formerly treated as congeneric, are discussed and illustrated. The divergence between Cyrtodactylus and the Palearctic naked-toed clade predates the initial collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates, but deeper divergences within both groups are

  5. Adhesion mechanism of a gecko-inspired oblique structure with an adhesive tip for asymmetric detachment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sekiguchi, Yu; Sato, Chiaki; Takahashi, Kunio

    2015-01-01

    An adhesion model of an oblique structure with an adhesive tip is proposed by considering a limiting stress for adhesion to describe the detachment mechanism of gecko foot hairs. When a force is applied to the root of the oblique structure, normal and shear stresses are generated at contact and the adhesive tip is detached from the surface when reaching the limiting stress. An adhesion criterion that considers both the normal and shear stresses is introduced, and the asymmetric detachment of the oblique structure is theoretically investigated. In addition, oblique beam array structures are manufactured, and an inclination effect of the structure on the asymmetric detachment is experimentally verified. (paper)

  6. Adhesive behaviour of gecko-inspired nanofibrillar arrays: combination of experiments and finite element modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Zhengzhi; Xu Yun; Gu Ping

    2012-01-01

    A polypropylene nanofibrillar array was successfully fabricated by template-assisted nanofabrication strategy. Adhesion properties of this gecko-inspired structure were studied through two parallel and independent approaches: experiments and finite element simulations. Experimental results show relatively good normal adhesion, but accompanied by high preloads. The interfacial adhesion was modelled by effective spring elements with piecewise-linear constitution. The effective elasticity of the fibre-array system was originally calculated from our measured elasticity of single nanowire. Comparisons of the experimental and simulative results reveal quantitative agreement except for some explainable deviations, which suggests the potential applicability of the present models and applied theories. (fast track communication)

  7. A complex approach to study the Amur leopard using camera traps in Protected Areas in the southwest of Primorsky krai (Russian Far East

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna V. Vitkalova

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes the methodology and preliminary results of a complex camera trap study of the Amur leopard. The main studies were concentrated on protected areas: the Land of the Leopard National Park with its buffer zone and the Kedrovaya Pad' Biosphere Reserve, a total area of 3600 sq.km. The first results of the 2014–2015 survey period are presented. According to spatial capture-recapture analysis at least 57 adult Amur leopards occupied the Russian protected areas with the density of about 0.98 individuals/100 sq.km. The sex ratio (male : female was 1:1.2. Five breeding females with 11 cubs were registered in 2014 and 9 females with 16 cubs in 2015. The basis was founded for long-term monitoring of and fundamental research on the Amur leopard in the protected areas in Primorsky Krai.

  8. The foraging ecology, diet, and mass estimation of an apex predator, the leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), at Livingston Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Krause, Douglas

    2016-01-01

    Describing the foraging dynamics of apex predators is crucial to understanding ecosystem function and to effective conservation and management. Leopard seals are conspicuous apex predators in Antarctic coastal ecosystems; however, their foraging ecology is poorly understood. Likely due to a geographical redistribution driven by pack-ice habitat reduction in the western Antarctic Peninsula, leopard seals have been hauling out at Cape Shirreff with increasing frequency in recent years. Utilizin...

  9. An adaptable but threatened big cat: density, diet and prey selection of the Indochinese leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri) in eastern Cambodia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamler, Jan F.; Crouthers, Rachel; Sopheak, Keo; Prum, Sovanna; In, Visattha; Pin, Chanratana; Caragiulo, Anthony; Macdonald, David W.

    2018-01-01

    We studied the Indochinese leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri) in eastern Cambodia, in one of the few potentially remaining viable populations in Southeast Asia. The aims were to determine the: (i) current leopard density in Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS) and (ii) diet, prey selection and predation impact of leopard in SWS. The density, estimated using spatially explicit capture–recapture models, was 1.0 leopard/100 km2, 72% lower than an estimate from 2009 at the same site, and one of the lowest densities ever reported in Asia. Dietary analysis of 73 DNA confirmed scats showed leopard consumed 13 prey species, although ungulates comprised 87% of the biomass consumed (BC). The overall main prey (42% BC) was banteng (Bos javanicus), making this the only known leopard population whose main prey had adult weight greater than 500 kg. Consumption of wild pig (Sus scrofa) was also one of the highest ever reported (22% BC), indicating leopard consistently predated on ungulates with some of the largest adult weights in SWS. There were important differences in diet and prey selection between sexes, as males consumed mostly banteng (62% BC) in proportion to availability, but few muntjac (Muntiacus vaginalis; 7% BC), whereas females selectively consumed muntjac (56% BC) and avoided banteng (less than 1% BC). Predation impact was low (0.5–3.2% of populations) for the three ungulate species consumed. We conclude that the Indochinese leopard is an important apex predator in SWS, but this unique population is declining at an alarming rate and will soon be eradicated unless effective protection is provided. PMID:29515839

  10. Who's behind that mask and cape? The Asian leopard cat's Agouti (ASIP) allele likely affects coat colour phenotype in the Bengal cat breed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gershony, L C; Penedo, M C T; Davis, B W; Murphy, W J; Helps, C R; Lyons, L A

    2014-12-01

    Coat colours and patterns are highly variable in cats and are determined mainly by several genes with Mendelian inheritance. A 2-bp deletion in agouti signalling protein (ASIP) is associated with melanism in domestic cats. Bengal cats are hybrids between domestic cats and Asian leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis), and the charcoal coat colouration/pattern in Bengals presents as a possible incomplete melanism. The complete coding region of ASIP was directly sequenced in Asian leopard, domestic and Bengal cats. Twenty-seven variants were identified between domestic and leopard cats and were investigated in Bengals and Savannahs, a hybrid with servals (Leptailurus serval). The leopard cat ASIP haplotype was distinguished from domestic cat by four synonymous and four non-synonymous exonic SNPs, as well as 19 intronic variants, including a 42-bp deletion in intron 4. Fifty-six of 64 reported charcoal cats were compound heterozygotes at ASIP, with leopard cat agouti (A(P) (be) ) and domestic cat non-agouti (a) haplotypes. Twenty-four Bengals had an additional unique haplotype (A2) for exon 2 that was not identified in leopard cats, servals or jungle cats (Felis chaus). The compound heterozygote state suggests the leopard cat allele, in combination with the recessive non-agouti allele, influences Bengal markings, producing a darker, yet not completely melanistic coat. This is the first validation of a leopard cat allele segregating in the Bengal breed and likely affecting their overall pelage phenotype. Genetic testing services need to be aware of the possible segregation of wild felid alleles in all assays performed on hybrid cats. © 2014 The Authors. Animal Genetics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  11. Skipping breakfast and overweight in 2-and 5-year-old Dutch children-the GECKO Drenthe cohort

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kupers, L. K.; de Pijper, J. J.; Sauer, P. J. J.; Stolk, R. P.; Corpeleijn, E.

    Skipping breakfast is associated with higher BMI in children aged 5 years and older. However, not much is known about this association in younger children. In the Dutch GECKO Drenthe birth cohort we examined the association between breakfast skipping and objectively measured overweight at the age of

  12. First record of cannibalism in the Lima leaf-toed gecko, Phyllodactylus sentosus (Reptilia, Phyl-lodactylidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Valdez

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available We report a case of cannibalism for the Lima leaf-toed gecko, Phyllodactylus sentosus, in which an adult male devoured a juvenile. No reported cases were found in other species of the same genus, so we consider that this is the first report of cannibalism in Phyllodactylus.

  13. Comparative Studies of the Thick-Toed Geckos after the 16 and 12 Days Spaceflight in > Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikitin, V. B.; Proshchina, A. E.; Kharlamova, A. S.; Barabanov, V. M.; Krivova, J. S.; Godovalova, O. S.; Savelieva, E. S.; Makarov, A. N.; Gulimova, V. I.; Okshtein, I. L.; Naidenko, S. V.; Souza, K. A.; Almeida, E. A. C.; Ilyin, E. A.; Saveliev, S. V.

    2008-06-01

    In our study we compare the data from analysis of thick-toed geckoes Pachydactylus turneri from 16 and 12 days spaceflights onboard «Foton-M2» (M2) and «Foton-M3» (M3) satellites respectively. These studies were realized in the frames of Russian-American joint experiments. In M2 they were performed on 4 females and 1 male in each of the following groups: flight (F), basal (BC) and delayed synchronous (SC) controls. In M3 there were 5 females in each group. The animals were euthanized and examined using traditional histology, immunohistochemistry and X-ray microtomography. Mallory, Nissl and hematoxylin-eosin staining were used to compare the condition of brain, heart, liver, pancreas, spleen and small intestine. Brain and pancreas were also studied immunohistochemically. Behavior was registered by video camera in F and SC (M3). Thus we confirm the previous assumption that geckoes can preserve in weightlessness their ability to fi x themselves to the surfaces by their toe pads. We did not reveal in liver, pancreas, spleen and small intestine of F-M3 geckoes such evident changes like in F-M2 group. Glial destruction was detected immunohistochemically in the brains of F-M3 geckoes, especially in the cortical structures and epithalamus. Gluckocorticoids level for geckoes' feces in F-M2 was 4 times higher than in SC-M2 whereas the results for M3 were almost the same. Microtomografi c analysis of the femur bones showed some redistribution of the trabeculae in F-M3 group which occured in the direction from the outer compact bone to the bone center. Thus we conclude that in most structures of F-M3 animals the changes were less then in F-M2 ones. It can be explaned by shorter duration of M3 flight, higer temperature and the presence of water source. More prolonged experiments with larger groups of geckoes are necessary to verify the obtained data. Probably geckoes are well preadapted to conditions of spaceflight due to their specific biology.

  14. Purulent meningoventriculitis caused by Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus in a snow leopard (Panthera uncia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, R; Nakamura, S; Hori, H; Kato, Y; Une, Y

    2012-01-01

    Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus (SEZ) is a zoonotic pathogen that causes respiratory tract infections in man and animals. SEZ infections are very rare in felids. This report describes purulent meningoventriculitis caused by SEZ in an approximately 16-year-old male snow leopard (Panthera uncia). The animal exhibited neurological signs and died 1 month after their onset. On necropsy examination, the surface blood vessels of the brain were swollen and there was an increased volume and turbidity of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Microscopically, suppurative inflammation accompanied by gram-positive cocci was observed in the meninges and near the ventricles. SEZ was isolated from the brain tissue and CSF. This is the first report of infection with SEZ in a felid other than a domestic cat. This animal had not had direct contact with horses, but it had been fed horse flesh that may have been the source of infection. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Vigorous Dynamics Underlie a Stable Population of the Endangered Snow Leopard Panthera uncia in Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Koustubh; Bayrakcismith, Rana; Tumursukh, Lkhagvasumberel; Johansson, Orjan; Sevger, Purevsuren; McCarthy, Tom; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-01-01

    Population monitoring programmes and estimation of vital rates are key to understanding the mechanisms of population growth, decline or stability, and are important for effective conservation action. We report, for the first time, the population trends and vital rates of the endangered snow leopard based on camera trapping over four years in the Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. We used robust design multi-season mark-recapture analysis to estimate the trends in abundance, sex ratio, survival probability and the probability of temporary emigration and immigration for adult and young snow leopards. The snow leopard population remained constant over most of the study period, with no apparent growth (λ = 1.08+−0.25). Comparison of model results with the “known population” of radio-collared snow leopards suggested high accuracy in our estimates. Although seemingly stable, vigorous underlying dynamics were evident in this population, with the adult sex ratio shifting from being male-biased to female-biased (1.67 to 0.38 males per female) during the study. Adult survival probability was 0.82 (SE+−0.08) and that of young was 0.83 (SE+−0.15) and 0.77 (SE +−0.2) respectively, before and after the age of 2 years. Young snow leopards showed a high probability of temporary emigration and immigration (0.6, SE +−0.19 and 0.68, SE +−0.32 before and after the age of 2 years) though not the adults (0.02 SE+−0.07). While the current female-bias in the population and the number of cubs born each year seemingly render the study population safe, the vigorous dynamics suggests that the situation can change quickly. The reduction in the proportion of male snow leopards may be indicative of continuing anthropogenic pressures. Our work reiterates the importance of monitoring both the abundance and population dynamics of species for effective conservation. PMID:25006879

  16. Oxidative stress induced in PCB 126-exposed northern leopard frogs, Rana pipiens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Y.-W.; Hoffman, D.J.; Karasov, W.H.

    2007-01-01

    Northern leopard frogs Rana pipiens exposed to PCB 126 (3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl) were examined for hepatic oxidative stress. In a dose-response study, northern leopard frogs were injected intraperitoneally with either PCB 126 in corn oil (0.2, 0.7, 2.3, or 7.8 mg/kg body weight) or corn oil alone. In a time-course study, frogs received 7.8 mg/kg or corn oil alone, and were examined at 1, 2, 3, and 4 wk after dosing. Hepatic concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH), thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), and total sulfhydryls (total SH), as well as activities of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-P), GSSG reductase (GSSG-R), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PDH), and glutathione S-transferase (GSH-S-T) were measured. In the dose-response experiment, few effects were apparent 1 wk after dosing. In the time-course experiment, significant changes were observed in the 7.8-mg/kg group at 2 wk or more posttreatment. Hepatic concentrations of GSH and TBARS were higher than in corresponding controls at wk 3 and 4; the activities of GSSG-R and GSH-S-T were higher than in controls at wk 2 and 4; and the activity of G-6-PDH was increased at wk 2 and 4. These data collectively indicate that altered glutathione metabolism and oxidative stress occurred and were indicative of both toxicity and induction of protective mechanisms in frogs exposed to PCB. A similar delay in response was reported in fish and may relate to lower metabolic rate and physiological reactions in ectothermic vertebrates

  17. Interactions between hair cells shape spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in a model of the tokay gecko's cochlea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Gelfand

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The hearing of tetrapods including humans is enhanced by an active process that amplifies the mechanical inputs associated with sound, sharpens frequency selectivity, and compresses the range of responsiveness. The most striking manifestation of the active process is spontaneous otoacoustic emission, the unprovoked emergence of sound from an ear. Hair cells, the sensory receptors of the inner ear, are known to provide the energy for such emissions; it is unclear, though, how ensembles of such cells collude to power observable emissions.We have measured and modeled spontaneous otoacoustic emissions from the ear of the tokay gecko, a convenient experimental subject that produces robust emissions. Using a van der Pol formulation to represent each cluster of hair cells within a tonotopic array, we have examined the factors that influence the cooperative interaction between oscillators.A model that includes viscous interactions between adjacent hair cells fails to produce emissions similar to those observed experimentally. In contrast, elastic coupling yields realistic results, especially if the oscillators near the ends of the array are weakened so as to minimize boundary effects. Introducing stochastic irregularity in the strength of oscillators stabilizes peaks in the spectrum of modeled emissions, further increasing the similarity to the responses of actual ears. Finally, and again in agreement with experimental findings, the inclusion of a pure-tone external stimulus repels the spectral peaks of spontaneous emissions. Our results suggest that elastic coupling between oscillators of slightly differing strength explains several properties of the spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in the gecko.

  18. Interactions between hair cells shape spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in a model of the tokay gecko's cochlea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelfand, Michael; Piro, Oreste; Magnasco, Marcelo O; Hudspeth, A J

    2010-06-15

    The hearing of tetrapods including humans is enhanced by an active process that amplifies the mechanical inputs associated with sound, sharpens frequency selectivity, and compresses the range of responsiveness. The most striking manifestation of the active process is spontaneous otoacoustic emission, the unprovoked emergence of sound from an ear. Hair cells, the sensory receptors of the inner ear, are known to provide the energy for such emissions; it is unclear, though, how ensembles of such cells collude to power observable emissions. We have measured and modeled spontaneous otoacoustic emissions from the ear of the tokay gecko, a convenient experimental subject that produces robust emissions. Using a van der Pol formulation to represent each cluster of hair cells within a tonotopic array, we have examined the factors that influence the cooperative interaction between oscillators. A model that includes viscous interactions between adjacent hair cells fails to produce emissions similar to those observed experimentally. In contrast, elastic coupling yields realistic results, especially if the oscillators near the ends of the array are weakened so as to minimize boundary effects. Introducing stochastic irregularity in the strength of oscillators stabilizes peaks in the spectrum of modeled emissions, further increasing the similarity to the responses of actual ears. Finally, and again in agreement with experimental findings, the inclusion of a pure-tone external stimulus repels the spectral peaks of spontaneous emissions. Our results suggest that elastic coupling between oscillators of slightly differing strength explains several properties of the spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in the gecko.

  19. Ontogeny of metabolic rate and red blood cell size in eyelid geckos: species follow different paths.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzana Starostová

    Full Text Available While metabolism is a fundamental feature of all organisms, the causes of its scaling with body mass are not yet fully explained. Nevertheless, observations of negative correlations between red blood cell (RBC size and the rate of metabolism suggest that size variation of these cells responsible for oxygen supply may play a crucial role in determining metabolic rate scaling in vertebrates. Based on a prediction derived from the Cell Metabolism Hypothesis, metabolic rate should increase linearly with body mass in species with RBC size invariance, and slower than linearly when RBC size increases with body mass. We found support for that prediction in five species of eyelid geckos (family Eublepharidae with different patterns of RBC size variation during ontogenetic growth. During ontogeny, metabolic rate increases nearly linearly with body mass in those species of eyelid geckos where there is no correlation between RBC size and body mass, whereas non-linearity of metabolic rate scaling is evident in those species with ontogenetic increase of RBC size. Our findings provide evidence that ontogenetic variability in RBC size, possibly correlating with sizes of other cell types, could have important physiological consequences and can contribute to qualitatively different shape of the intraspecific relationship between metabolic rate and body mass.

  20. The tails of two geckos tell the story of dispersal in a fragmented landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Kendi F; Melbourne, Brett A

    2007-08-01

    The fragmentation of habitat is a major cause of biodiversity loss. However, while numerous studies have suggested that reducing the size of populations and isolating them on fragments leads ultimately to the extinction of a species (small isolated populations are extinction prone), the evidence has been rather conjectural. This is because dispersal is so difficult to measure and isolation difficult to confirm. In past studies, evidence that populations become small and isolated on fragments, leading to declines, has relied on spatial patterns of distribution and abundance. Thus, a species not trapped in the matrix in which fragments are embedded might be assumed isolated on fragments, and if low in abundance on fragments compared to continuous habitat is assumed to have declined on fragments due to this isolation. However, without accurately measuring the degree of isolation, it is difficult to distinguish the role of isolation from other important causes of population decline that are correlated with fragment and population size, such as habitat degradation. Developments in molecular techniques and statistical methods now make it possible to measure isolation. Refreshingly, in this issue Hoehn et al. analyse microsatellite DNA with a suite of statistical methods to show convincingly that a declining species of gecko suffers from greater isolation on habitat fragments than a contrasting gecko that is able to disperse between fragments and hence persist in the severely fragmented wheatbelt of Western Australia.

  1. Modeling of the Gecko's skin microfibrillar structures using the Immersed Boundary method via DNS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arenas, Isnardo; Carrasquillo, Kenneth; Leonardi, Stefano; Araya, Guillermo; Hussain, Fazle; Castillo, Luciano

    2013-11-01

    There is a current interest in surfaces that mimic the skin of some species (i.e., sharks, dolphins and geckos) in order to achieve drag reduction. The surface considered is based on the microfribrillar structures of a gecko's skin (Aksak et al. 2008). The structures are modeled by means of the immersed boundary method proposed by Fadlun et al. (2000). Direct simulations are performed to predict flow dynamics with a Reynolds number of 7000 based on the height of the channel and centerline velocity. The ratio of the height of the structure with respect to the height of the channel is approximately 0.05. The main motivation is to study how the microfribillar structures affect the momentum transfer from the viscous layer to the outer layer. The surface shows a reduction of the area affected by the shear stress due to the cavities formed by the pattern. As expected, the cavities create a low velocity zone thus decreasing the Reynolds shear stresses. Lambda-2 and Q-criterion were implemented to identify the elongated streamwise vortices. The results show that when compared to a flat channel the microfribillar structures tend to preserve these streamwise vortices instead of bursting into the outer layer which is a source of drag increase.

  2. Adaptive simplification and the evolution of gecko locomotion: Morphological and biomechanical consequences of losing adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higham, Timothy E.; Birn-Jeffery, Aleksandra V.; Collins, Clint E.; Hulsey, C. Darrin; Russell, Anthony P.

    2015-01-01

    Innovations permit the diversification of lineages, but they may also impose functional constraints on behaviors such as locomotion. Thus, it is not surprising that secondary simplification of novel locomotory traits has occurred several times among vertebrates and could potentially lead to exceptional divergence when constraints are relaxed. For example, the gecko adhesive system is a remarkable innovation that permits locomotion on surfaces unavailable to other animals, but has been lost or simplified in species that have reverted to a terrestrial lifestyle. We examined the functional and morphological consequences of this adaptive simplification in the Pachydactylus radiation of geckos, which exhibits multiple unambiguous losses or bouts of simplification of the adhesive system. We found that the rates of morphological and 3D locomotor kinematic evolution are elevated in those species that have simplified or lost adhesive capabilities. This finding suggests that the constraints associated with adhesion have been circumvented, permitting these species to either run faster or burrow. The association between a terrestrial lifestyle and the loss/reduction of adhesion suggests a direct link between morphology, biomechanics, and ecology. PMID:25548182

  3. Ontogeny of metabolic rate and red blood cell size in eyelid geckos: species follow different paths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starostová, Zuzana; Konarzewski, Marek; Kozłowski, Jan; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2013-01-01

    While metabolism is a fundamental feature of all organisms, the causes of its scaling with body mass are not yet fully explained. Nevertheless, observations of negative correlations between red blood cell (RBC) size and the rate of metabolism suggest that size variation of these cells responsible for oxygen supply may play a crucial role in determining metabolic rate scaling in vertebrates. Based on a prediction derived from the Cell Metabolism Hypothesis, metabolic rate should increase linearly with body mass in species with RBC size invariance, and slower than linearly when RBC size increases with body mass. We found support for that prediction in five species of eyelid geckos (family Eublepharidae) with different patterns of RBC size variation during ontogenetic growth. During ontogeny, metabolic rate increases nearly linearly with body mass in those species of eyelid geckos where there is no correlation between RBC size and body mass, whereas non-linearity of metabolic rate scaling is evident in those species with ontogenetic increase of RBC size. Our findings provide evidence that ontogenetic variability in RBC size, possibly correlating with sizes of other cell types, could have important physiological consequences and can contribute to qualitatively different shape of the intraspecific relationship between metabolic rate and body mass.

  4. An energetic perspective on tissue regeneration: The costs of tail autotomy in growing geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starostová, Zuzana; Gvoždík, Lumír; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2017-04-01

    Tail autotomy is a crucial antipredatory lizard response, which greatly increases individual survival, but at the same time also compromises locomotor performance, sacrifices energy stores and induces a higher burden due to the ensuing response of regenerating the lost body part. The potential costs of tail autotomy include shifts in energy allocation and metabolic rates, especially in juveniles, which invest their energy primarily in somatic growth. We compared the metabolic rates and followed the growth of juvenile males with and without regenerating tails in the Madagascar ground gecko (Paroedura picta), a nocturnal ground-dwelling lizard. Geckos with intact tails and those that were regrowing them grew in snout-vent-length at similar rates for 22weeks after autotomy. Tail regeneration had a negligible influence on body mass-corrected metabolic rate measured at regular intervals throughout the regenerative process. We conclude that fast-growing juveniles under the conditions of unrestricted food can largely compensate for costs of tail loss and regeneration in their somatic growth without a significant impact on the total individual body mass-corrected metabolic rate. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Prevalence and diversity of Hepatozoon in native and exotic geckos from Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, David James; Borges-Nojosa, Diva Maria; Maia, João Pedro

    2015-02-01

    Hepatozoon is a genus of hemogregarines constituting the most widespread and common reptile hemoparasite. Although various molecular assessments of these parasites have been conducted in lizards from Africa and Europe, similar studies are needed for South American lizards. Through amplification and sequencing of fragments of the 18S rRNA gene, we assess the prevalence of Hepatozoon parasites in 230 geckos from South America, including the endemic species Hemidactylus agrius, Hemidactylus brasilianus, Lygodactylus klugei, Phyllopezus pollicaris, Phyllopezus periosus, and an exotic species, Hemidactylus mabouia . We found an overall low prevalence of Hepatozoon infection (7/230, 3%) with only 3 of the 6 host species infected with Hepatozoon ( Hemidactylus mabouia , P. pollicaris, and P. periosus). Within the 7 infected host samples, 5 genetically distinct lineages of Hepatozoon parasites were identified, only 1 of which was similar to previously published haplotypes. Thus, although prevalence is low, genetically based diversity of Hepatozoon in geckos from South America is very high. Three of these lineages appear basal to 1 of the major clades of Hepatozoon, suggesting that this clade might have originated in South America, and thereby indicating a potential phylogeographic pattern that had not been previously identified. Future studies should assess the distribution and competence of invertebrate hosts in the regions analyzed, and Hepatozoon diversity in other less well-known regions of the world.

  6. Intrauterine insemination with fresh semen in Amur leopard cat (Pionailurus bengalensis eutilura) during non-breeding season

    Science.gov (United States)

    TAJIMA, Hideo; YOSHIZAWA, Madoka; SASAKI, Shinichi; YAMAMOTO, Fujio; NARUSHIMA, Etsuo; TSUTSUI, Toshihiko; FUNAHASHI, Takashi; KUSUDA, Satoshi; DOI, Osamu; TATEYAMA, Yuriko; KOBAYASHI, Masanori; HORI, Tatsuya; KAWAKAMI, Eiichi

    2016-01-01

    Equine and human chorionic gonadotropins were administered to two female Amur leopard cats to induce estrus and ovulation during non-breeding season. Fresh semen collected from male cats was surgically inseminated into the uterine horn of the females. In one animal, two fetal sacs without heartbeats were observed on abdominal ultrasonography 31 days after insemination, which indicated that embryo death had occurred. In the other animal, fetal heartbeats were detected in two fetal sacs 29 days after insemination, which confirmed as pregnancy. This animal delivered two newborns 68 days after insemination; the one of the kittens was assumed to be stillbirth, and the other grew normally. In this study, we successfully obtained a kitten from an Amur leopard cat by artificial breeding for the first time in Japan. PMID:27733725

  7. Intrauterine insemination with fresh semen in Amur leopard cat (Pionailurus bengalensis eutilura) during non-breeding season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tajima, Hideo; Yoshizawa, Madoka; Sasaki, Shinichi; Yamamoto, Fujio; Narushima, Etsuo; Tsutsui, Toshihiko; Funahashi, Takashi; Kusuda, Satoshi; Doi, Osamu; Tateyama, Yuriko; Kobayashi, Masanori; Hori, Tatsuya; Kawakami, Eiichi

    2017-01-20

    Equine and human chorionic gonadotropins were administered to two female Amur leopard cats to induce estrus and ovulation during non-breeding season. Fresh semen collected from male cats was surgically inseminated into the uterine horn of the females. In one animal, two fetal sacs without heartbeats were observed on abdominal ultrasonography 31 days after insemination, which indicated that embryo death had occurred. In the other animal, fetal heartbeats were detected in two fetal sacs 29 days after insemination, which confirmed as pregnancy. This animal delivered two newborns 68 days after insemination; the one of the kittens was assumed to be stillbirth, and the other grew normally. In this study, we successfully obtained a kitten from an Amur leopard cat by artificial breeding for the first time in Japan.

  8. Snow Leopard

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Owing to their secretive nature and inaccessible habitat,little is known about its ecology and distribution. Due toits endangered status and high aesthetic value, the snow leopardis considered as an 'umbrella species' for wildlife conservationin the Indian Himalayas. This article summarizes thecurrent knowledge on snow ...

  9. Snow Leopard

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    around the same time in Kinnaur district. Studies on snow leop- ard habitats over the past two decades show that the economy of the region has rapidly shifted from traditional agro-pastoralism to market-driven agriculture. Consequently, human population growth, agricultural expanse, and excessive livestock grazing (Fig-.

  10. Sliding-induced non-uniform pre-tension governs robust and reversible adhesion: a revisit of adhesion mechanisms of geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Q H; Chen, B; Gao, H J; Zhang, Y W

    2012-02-07

    Several mechanisms have been proposed in the literature to explain the robust attachment and rapid, controllable detachment of geckos' feet on vertical walls or ceilings, yet, it is still debatable, which one is ultimately responsible for geckos' extraordinary capabilities for robust and reversible adhesion. In this paper, we re-examine some of the key movements of geckos' spatula pads and seta hairs during attachment and detachment, and propose a sequence of simple mechanical steps that would lead to the extraordinary properties of geckos observed in experiments. The central subject under study here is a linear distribution of pre-tension along the spatula pad induced by its sliding motion with respect to a surface. The resulting pre-tension, together with a control of setae's pulling force and angle, not only allows for robust and strong attachment, but also enables rapid and controllable detachment. We perform computational modelling and simulations to validate the following key steps of geckos' adhesion: (i) creation of a linear distribution of pre-tension in spatula through sliding, (ii) operation of an instability envelope controlled by setae's pulling force and angle, (iii) triggering of an adhesion instability leading to partial decohesion along the interface, and (iv) complete detachment of spatula through post-instability peeling. The present work not only reveals novel insights into the adhesion mechanism of geckos, but also develops a powerful numerical simulation approach as well as additional guidelines for bioinspired materials and devices.

  11. Temporal occurrence and community structure of helminth parasites in southern leopard frogs, Rana sphenocephala, from north central Oklahoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vhora, M Suhail; Bolek, Matthew G

    2015-03-01

    Currently, little information is available about the temporal recruitment of helminth communities in amphibian hosts. We examined the helminth community structure and temporal recruitment of helminth parasites in southern leopard frogs, Rana sphenocephala. Specifically, we were interested in how host life history such as habitat, age and/or size, diet, sex, and temporal variation in abiotic factors (precipitation and temperature) were important in determining monthly infection patterns of helminth populations and communities in southern leopard frogs. From May to September 2011, 74 southern leopard frogs were collected from Teal Ridge in Stillwater Payne County, OK, USA. Sixty-nine (93 %) of 74 frogs were infected with 1 or more helminth species. During our collecting period, the average monthly temperature was lowest in May and highest in July, and monthly precipitation was highest in May and lowest during the first week of September. The component community consisted of 11 species of helminth, including 1 larval and 1 adult cestode, 2 larval and 3 adult trematodes, and 1 juvenile and 3 adult nematodes. Of the 1790 helminths recovered, 51 % (911) were nematodes, 47 % (842) were cestodes, and 2 % (37) were trematodes. There were significant differences in the total abundance and mean species richness of helminths acquired by skin contact or through frog diet in monthly component communities of southern leopard frogs. A positive correlation existed for percentage of all helminths acquired by skin contact and monthly precipitation (r = 0.94, P < 0.01). Conversely, a negative correlation existed for monthly precipitation and percentage of helminths acquired by diet (r = -0.94, P < 0.01). Our results indicate that abiotic conditions such as precipitation have a major influence on the avenues for and constraints on the transmission of helminths with life cycles associated with water/moisture or terrestrial intermediate/paratenic hosts and are important in structuring

  12. Uncommon or cryptic? Challenges in estimating leopard seal abundance by conventional but state-of-the-art methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southwell, Colin; Paxton, Charles G. M.; Borchers, David; Boveng, Peter; Rogers, Tracey; de la Mare, William K.

    2008-04-01

    The method traditionally used to estimate pack-ice seal abundance employs sighting surveys from ships or aircraft to estimate the number of seals hauled out on the ice, combined with studies of haul-out behaviour to estimate the proportion of time spent on the ice. Application of this approach has been improved in recent times by developments in survey methodology and satellite technology that theoretically allow biases in the estimation of hauled-out abundance and haul-out behaviour to be accounted for that previously could not be addressed. A survey using these conventional but state-of-the-art methods was undertaken in the summer of 1999/2000 off east Antarctica between longitudes 64°E and 150°E to estimate the abundance of leopard ( Hydrurga leptonyx) and other pack-ice seal species. Because they are either uncommon or very cryptic, very few leopard seals were encountered despite a large survey effort. This presented challenges in both application of the methods and analysis of the data. Abundance estimates were derived using a number of plausible predictive models. The model considered as the most reliable returned best estimates of 7300 and 12,100 for definite and definite plus probable leopard seal sightings, respectively, with 95% confidence intervals of 3700-14,500 and 7100-23,400. These estimates are likely to be negatively biased and should be treated as minimum estimates only.

  13. Serum proteins in the leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx, in Prydz Bay, Eastern Antarctica and the coast of NSW, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Rachael; Canfield, Paul; Rogers, Tracey

    2005-09-01

    Blood protein analysis including total serum protein and albumin by chemical methods, fibrinogen estimation and serum protein electrophoresis (SPE) was performed on the leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx. The most commonly observed SPE pattern was eight fractions designated albumin, alpha(1a), alpha(1b), alpha(2a), alpha(2b), beta(1), beta(2) and gamma-globulin. Significantly higher total serum protein and albumin concentrations, as determined by chemical methods, and significantly higher alpha(2)-globulin concentrations, determined by SPE, were seen in free-ranging male seals compared to females, whilst significantly higher beta-globulin concentrations were seen in female seals. Season of sampling influenced fibrinogen and beta(2)-globulin concentrations, whereas there were no significant differences in any protein concentrations with moult status. Qualitative comparison of SPE traces of leopard seals in Antarctica with "sick" individuals in NSW, Australia revealed obvious differences, as did quantitative comparison of protein concentrations where differences in alpha(1), alpha(2), beta(1), beta(2), and gamma-globulin concentrations were seen. These findings suggest that SPE is a useful tool for investigating serum proteins in the leopard seal, with applications for the investigation of "sick" individuals and the assessment of variation in homeostasis. This technique could also be used to identify the presence of environmental stressors, subclinical disease and physiological variation within specific seal populations.

  14. Histology of selected tissues of the leopard seal and implications for functional adaptations to an aquatic lifestyle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Rachael; Canfield, Paul; Rogers, Tracey

    2006-08-01

    The microscopic anatomy of the cardio-respiratory system, digestive system, kidney, lymphatic system and integument was investigated in the leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx, by examining histological sections of tissues collected from leopard seals in Antarctica and New South Wales, Australia. The majority of the tissues had similar histological features to those described in terrestrial mammals and other pinniped species, particularly phocid seals. Differences noted included readily identifiable Purkinje cells within the endocardium, muscular rather than cartilaginous reinforcement of the smaller airways, a single capillary layer within the alveolar septa, limited and variable keratinization of the oesophageal epithelium, few lymphoid follicles within the lamina propria of the gastrointestinal tract, and an absence of a sporta perimedullaris musculosa described in the kidney of cetaceans and some pinniped species. Adaptations of the lung, spleen and integument, similar to those described in other pinnipeds, including reinforcement of the pulmonary terminal airways, prominent pulmonary interlobular septa, ample smooth muscle in the capsule and trabeculae of the spleen, increased thickness of the epidermis, well-developed dermal sebaceous glands, and a thick blubber layer, appear to confer upon the leopard seal advantages related to its aquatic lifestyle.

  15. The fourth Bent-toed Gecko of the genus Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Java, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riyanto, Awal; Grismer, L Lee; Wood, Perry L

    2015-12-22

    Cyrtodactylus petani sp. nov. is a new species of Bent-toed Gecko from Java, Indonesia that had been masquerading under the name C. fumosus (Müller, 1895). The new species is differentiated from C. fumosus and all its Sundaland congeners by having the following combination of morphological characters: a maximum SVL of 57.2 mm; nine or ten supralabials; seven or eight infralabials; strongly tuberculate body and limbs; 20-25 paravertebral tubercles; 30-35 ventral scales; enlarged precloacal scales; enlarged femoral scales; 17-18 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; 31-35 continuous precloacal and femoral pores in males, pores absent in females; no precloacal groove; no enlarged median subcaudals; tubercles on anterior portion of tail; no reticulated pattern on top of head; a blotched dorsal pattern; and no paired, dark, semi-lunar shaped blotches on the nape.

  16. The complete mitochondrial genome of the Madagascar ground gecko Paroedura picta (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starostová, Zuzana; Musilová, Zuzana

    2016-11-01

    We sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of the Madagascar ground gecko Paroedura picta (Squamata: Gekkonidae). The mitogenome is 17 220 base pairs long and conforms to the typical vertebrate gene composition and arrangement, i.e. 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 1919 bp long control region. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships of P. picta and representatives of nine other genera from the family Gekkonidae and calculated mean p-distances for all 13 protein-coding mitochondrial genes. The lowest mean p-distances were found in cytochrome oxidase subunit I and III genes (COI and COIII) indicating their usefulness for elucidating deeper phylogenetic relationships.

  17. A new species of Rock Gecko genus Cnemaspis (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Western Sarawak, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurita, Takaki; Nishikawa, Kanto; Matsui, Masafumi; Hikida, Tsutomu

    2017-05-03

    A new species of Asian rock gecko, genus Cnemaspis, is described from Padawan, western Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The new species forms a clade with C. paripari and C. nigridia of the C. nigridia group in a mitochondrial DNA phylogeny and is similar to them morphologically in some characters such as caudal scalation. It differs from the other Asian Cnemaspis species in its unique combination of snout-vent length (up to 62.7 mm), 4-9 precloacal pores in males, keeled subcaudals with an enlarged, smooth, median row, presence of ventrolateral caudal tubercles, and coloration (head and upper flanks dark-yellow; anterior portion of tail black; posterior portion of tail white with black, paravertebral blob). Phylogenetic relationships within the C. nigridia group and the distributional ranges of species within the group suggest allopatric speciation by geographic isolation.

  18. Stooped Nanohairs: Geometry-Controllable, Unidirectional, Reversible, and Robust Gecko-like Dry Adhesive

    KAUST Repository

    Kim, Tae-il

    2009-06-12

    A study was conducted to demonstrate a simple method for fabricating stopped high-aspect-ratio (AR) nanohairs of polyurethane acrylate (PUA) material that utilized replica molding and post-electron-beam irradiation. The method offered a facile route to prepare angled polymer nanohairs without multistep processes or surface treatment. It was demonstrated that the PUA material was molded into a geometry controlled and high-density nanochair surface with an AR of up to 10 without facing self-matting problem, due to its favorable mechanical properties. The as-formed hairy structures also allowed for structural transformation into directional and angled nanohairs, while maintaining better adhesion capability. The nanohair surface also showed significant unidirectional adhesion properties and a higher shear adhesion due to its structural similarity to natural gecko foot hairs.

  19. Effect of 12-Day Spaceflight on Brain of Thick-Toed Geckos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proshchina, A. E.; Karlamova, A. S.; Barabanovet, V. M.; Godovalova, O. S.; Guilimova, V. I.; Krivova, Y. S.; Makarov, A. N.; Nikitin, V. B.; Savelieva, E. S.; Saveliev, S. V.

    2008-06-01

    In the frames of Russian-American joint space experiment onboard Foton-M3 satellite there was undertaken a study of spaceflight influence on brain of the thick-toed gecko (Pachydactylus turneri Gray, 1864). Serial brain sections were stained according to Nissl and also the immunohistochemical method with antibodies to NGF-receptor (p75NGFR), CD95 (also known as Fas and APO-1), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and transferrin-receptor (CD71). Detailed examination of the sections of rhombencephalon revealed cytological changes in the neuron bodies of vestibular nuclei inside the flight group. Immunohistochemicaly we found the increase density of CD95 and p75NGFR and decrease of GFAP expression in medial cortex and epithalamus in flight group compared both control.

  20. Lower fecundity in parthenogenetic geckos than sexual relatives in the Australian arid zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearney, M; Shine, R

    2005-05-01

    Theoretical models of the advantage of sexual reproduction typically assume that reproductive output is equal in sexual and parthenogenetic females. We tested this assumption by comparing fecundity between parthenogenetic and sexual races of gekkonid lizards in the Heteronotia binoei complex, collected across a 1200 km latitudinal gradient through the Australian arid zone. Under laboratory conditions, parthenogenetic geckos had approximately 30% lower fecundity when compared with their sexual progenitors, irrespective of body size. Reflecting clutch-size constraints in gekkonids, this fecundity difference was mainly because of fewer clutches over a shorter period. When parthenogens were compared more broadly with all coexisting sexual races across the latitudinal gradient, parthenogens had lower fecundity than sexuals only when corrected for body size. Differences in fecundity between parthenogens and coexisting sexual races depended on which sexual race was considered. There was no significant relationship between fecundity and parasite (mite) load, despite significantly higher mite loads in parthenogens than in sexual races.

  1. Setting UP a decontamination and dismantling (D and D) scenario - methodology and tools developed leopard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pradoura, F.

    2009-01-01

    At the AREVA NC La Hague site, the former nuclear spent fuel reprocessing plant UP2-400 was shutdown on December 30, 2003. Since then, the cleaning up and dismantling activities have been carried by the DV/PRO project, which is the program management organization settled by AREVA NC, for valorization projects. SGN, part of the AREVA NC Engineering Business Unit, operates as the main contractor of the DV/PRO project and provides project management services related to decommissioning and waste management. Hence, SGN is in charge of building D and D's scenarios for all the facilities of the UP2-400 plant, in compliance with safety, technical and financial requirements. Main outputs are logic diagrams, block flow diagrams, wastes and effluents throughputs. In order to meet with AREVA NC's requirements and expectations, SGN developed specific process and tools methods adapted to the scale and complexity of decommissioning a plant with several facilities, with different kind of processes (chemical, mechanical), some of which are in operation and other being dismantled. Considering the number of technical data and inputs to be managed, this methodology leads to complex outputs such as schedules, throughputs, work packages... The development, the maintenance and the modification of these outputs become more and more difficult with the complexity and the size of the plant considered. To cope with these issues, SGN CDE/DEM UP2-400 project team has developed a dedicated tool to assist and optimize in elaborating D and D scenarios. This tool is named LEOPARD (Logiciel d'Elaboration et d'Optimisation des Programmes d'Assainissement Radiologique et de Demantelement) (Software for the Development and Optimization of Radiological Clean up and Dismantling Programs). The availability of this tool allowed the rapid construction of a test case (demonstrator) that has convinced DV/PRO of its numerous advantages and of the future further development potentials. Presentations of LEOPARD

  2. Comparison of tiletamine and zolazepam pharmacokinetics in tigers (Panthera tigris) and leopards (Panthera pardus): do species differences account for adverse effects in tigers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, J C M; Teale, P; Webber, G; Sear, J W; Taylor, P M

    2014-09-01

    Serious post-operative neurological complications of unknown aetiology are reported in tigers after immobilisation using tiletamine and zolazepam. These complications may arise from the persistent effects of tiletamine or active metabolites of tiletamine or zolazepam. Concentrations of tiletamine, zolazepam and some metabolites were measured using high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in plasma from captive tigers (n = 8) and leopards (n = 9; an unaffected species, for comparison) during anaesthesia for routine clinical procedures. The zolazepam:tiletamine (Z:T) ratio was calculated. Peak concentrations occurred at 9-33 min and ranged from 83.5 to 379.2 ng/mL for tiletamine and 301.1 to 1239.3 ng/mL for zolazepam after correction for dose by weight. There were no significant differences between tigers and leopards. The Z:T ratio was generally tigers and leopards, zolazepam metabolism appeared to be primarily via demethylation. There was evidence for hydroxylation in leopards, but much less in tigers than leopards. No major differences between the species in parent pharmacokinetics were identified. The metabolism of tiletamine could not be defined with any degree of certainty for either species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Notes on the diet and habitat selection of the Sri Lankan Leopard Panthera pardus kotiya (Mammalia: Felidae in the central highlands of Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.M. Kittle

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The endangered Sri Lankan Leopard Panthera pardus kotiya occupies the island’s highly fragmented central hills where data on its feeding ecology and habitat use is largely absent. This study’s objective was to investigate diet and resource selection of leopards here with a focus on the extent of potential interactions with humans in this heavily populated, largely unprotected landscape. Fecal sample analysis was undertaken to investigate diet and sign index counts and selectivity index analysis to determine habitat and landscape features important to fine scale leopard utilization. Results indicated that leopards in the central hills hunt a wide range of prey (at least 10 genera, including larger species where available (e.g., Sambar Rusa unicolor and smaller, more specialized prey (e.g., Porcupine Hystrix indica where necessary. No domestic species were recorded in scat analysis (N=35 despite the availability of dogs Canis familiaris, suggesting such predation may be atypical in Sri Lanka. Leopards use a range of landscapes within the region including established and regenerating forests, plantation lands (e.g., pine, eucalyptus, tea, and areas in close proximity to human settlement. At a fine scale, areas of dense undergrowth including tall grasslands were preferred to more open forest, as well as to Pine Pinus caribaea monocultures. Avoidance of humans may be influencing these patterns. This study has important implications as researchers and managers necessarily expand beyond focusing on protected areas toward integrated, landscape-level conservation strategies.

  4. The phylogenetic distribution, anatomy and histology of the post-cloacal bones and adnexa of geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Anthony P; Vickaryous, Matthew K; Bauer, Aaron M

    2016-02-01

    Post-cloacal bones of gekkotans may be present as a single (medial) pair, two pairs (medial and lateral), or may be lacking. We, herein, demonstrate that the presence of a single medial pair is the ancestral condition for the Gekkota, that the lateral pair is of sporadic occurrence within and between families, except for the Eublepharidae where it is universal, and that absence is also of sporadic occurrence except for the Sphaerodactylidae where it is the ancestral condition. Adult male Tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) possess only the medial pair of bones, and these exhibit a regionally-specific expression of woven, fibrolamellar, and lamellar bone, and an enclosed medullary cavity. Females and small juvenile males lack bony elements but exhibit a conspicuous band of dense connective tissue located about the anterior and lateral margins of the cloacal sacs. As males grow and attain sexual maturity, the medial post-cloacal bones condense in this band of dense connective tissue, and are thus shown to be dermal ossifications, similar to osteoderms but with muscular associations (although this is also known for crocodylians). Based upon ontogenetic data we set forth a scenario to explain the loss of the medial post-cloacal bones in various lineages. Differential staining of the cloacal sacs failed to reveal any specialized glandular structures. Investigation of the post-cloacal spurs shows them to be associated with cellular connective tissue of a type similar to that found in the vicinity of the medial post-cloacal bones. This suggests that the lateral post-cloacal bones may also be dermal bones, but histological evidence is needed to corroborate this. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Chloride effect on the early photolysis intermediates of a gecko cone-type visual pigment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, J W; Liang, J; Ebrey, T G; Sheves, M; Kliger, D S

    1995-05-02

    Nanosecond laser photolysis measurements were conducted on the cone-type visual pigment P521 in digitonin extracts of Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko) retina containing physiological chloride ion levels and also on samples which had been chloride depleted or which contained high levels (4 M) of chloride. Absorbance difference spectra were recorded at a sequence of time delays from 30 ns to 60 microseconds following excitation with a pulse of either 532- or 477-nm actinic light. Global analysis showed the kinetic decay data for gecko pigment P521 to be best fit by two exponential processes under all chloride conditions. The initial photoproduct detected had a broad spectrum characteristic of an equilibrated mixture of a Batho P521 intermediate with its blue-shifted intermediate (BSI P521) decay product. The first exponential process was assigned to the decay of this mixture to the Lumi P521 intermediate. The second exponential process was identified as the decay of Lumi P521 to Meta I P521. The initial photoproduct's spectrum exhibited a strong dependence on chloride concentration, indicating that chloride affects the composition of the equilibrated mixture of Batho P521 and BSI P521. These results suggest that the affinity for chloride is reduced approximately 5-fold in the Batho P521 intermediate and approximately 50-fold in the BSI P521 intermediate. Chloride concentration also affects the apparent decay rate of the equilibrated mixture. When the apparent decay rate is corrected for the composition of the equilibrated mixture, a relatively invariant microscopic rate constant is obtained for BSI decay (k = 1/55 ns-1).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  6. Importance of loading and unloading procedures for gecko-inspired controllable adhesives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamelier, John; Chary, Sathya; Turner, Kimberly L

    2013-08-27

    The importance of loading and unloading procedures has been shown in a variety of different methods for biological dry adhesives, such as the fibers on the feet of the Tokay gecko, but biomimetic dry adhesives have yet to be explored in a similar manner. To date, little work has systematically varied multiple parameters to discern the influence of the testing procedure, and the effect of the approach angle remains uncertain. In this study, a synthetic adhesive is moved in 13 individual approach and retraction angles relative to a flat substrate as well as 9 different shear lengths to discern how loading and unloading procedures influence the preload, adhesion, and shear/friction forces supported. The synthetic adhesive, composed of vertical 10 μm diameter semicircular poly(dimethylsiloxane) fibers, is tested against a 4 mm diameter flat glass puck on a home-built microtribometer using both vertical approach and retraction tests and angled approach and retraction tests. The results show that near maximum adhesion and friction can be obtained for most approach and retraction angles, provided that a sufficient shear length is performed. The results also show that the reaction forces during adhesive placement can be significantly reduced by using specific approach angles, resulting for the vertical fibers in a 38-fold increase in the ratio of adhesion force to preload force, μ', when compared to that when using a vertical approach. These results can be of use to those currently researching gecko-inspired adhesives when designing their testing procedures and control algorithms for climbing and perching robots.

  7. Vestibular nuclei characterized by calcium-binding protein immunoreactivity and tract tracing in Gekko gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Jing; Wang, Wenbo; Carr, Catherine E; Dai, Zhendong; Tang, Yezhong

    2013-02-01

    Immunohistochemical techniques were used to describe the distribution of the calcium binding proteins calretinin, calbindin and parvalbumin as well as synaptic vesicle protein 2 in the vestibular nuclei of the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko). In addition, tract tracing was used to investigate connections between the vestibular nerves and brainstem nuclei. Seven vestibular nuclei were recognized: the nuclei cerebellaris lateralis (Cerl), vestibularis dorsolateralis (Vedl), ventrolateralis (Vevl), ventromedialis (Vevm), tangentialis (Vetg), ovalis (VeO) and descendens (Veds). Vestibular fibers entered the brainstem with the ascending branch projecting to Vedl and Cerl, the lateral descending branch to Veds, and the medial descending branch to ipsilateral Vevl. Cerl lay most rostral, in the cerebellar peduncle. Vedl, located rostrally, was ventral to the cerebellar peduncle, and consisted of loosely arranged multipolar and monopolar cells. Vevl was found at the level of the vestibular nerve root and contained conspicuously large cells and medium-sized cells. Veds is a large nucleus, the most rostral portion of which is situated lateral and ventral to Vevl, and occupies much of the dorsal brainstem extending caudally through the medulla. VeO is a spherically shaped cell group lateral to the auditory nucleus magnocellularis and dorsal to the caudal part of Vevl. Vevm and Vetg were small in the present study. Except for VeO, all other vestibular nuclei appear directly comparable to counterparts in other reptiles and birds based on their location, cytoarchitecture, and connections, indicating these are conserved features of the vestibular system. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Bioadhesion of mussels and geckos: Molecular mechanics, surface chemistry, and nanoadhesives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Haeshin

    The adhesive strategies of living creatures are diverse, ranging from temporary to permanent adhesions with various functions such as locomotion, self-defense, communication, colony formation, and so on. The classic example of temporary adhesion is the gecko, which is known for its ability to walk along vertical and even inverted surfaces; this remarkable adhesion arises from the interfacial weak interactions of van der Waals and capillary forces. In contrast, a celerbrated example of permanent adhesion is found in marine mussels which secrete protein adhesives that function in aqueous environments without mechanical failure against turbulent conditions on the seashore. In addition, mussel adhesives stick to virtually all inorganic and organic surfaces. However, most commonly used man-made adhesives lack such unique adhesion properties compared to their natural counterparts. For example, many commercial adhesives quickly lose their adhesive strength when exposed to solvents, particularly water. The first part of this thesis focused on adhesion mechanics of mussels at a single-molecule level, in which the adhesive molecule showed surprisingly strong yet reversible adhesion on inorganic surfaces but exhibited irreversible covalent bond formation on organic surfaces. Strong and reversible adhesion on mucin surfaces was found, indicating potential application for drug delivery via mucus layers. Next, inspired by the mussel's versatile adhesion on a wide variety of material surfaces, a material-independent surface modification chemistry called 'polydopamine coating' is described. This concept was subsequently adapted to develop a surface-independent polymeric primer for layer-by-layer assembly of multifunctional coatings. Finally, a new bio-hybrid adhesive 'geckel' was developed by the functional combination of adhesion strategies of geckos and mussels. The new bio-inspired adhesive and material-independent surface chemistry can revolutionize the research areas such as

  9. Origin and in situ diversification in Hemidactylus geckos of the Socotra Archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Díaz, Elena; Sindaco, Roberto; Pupin, Fabio; Fasola, Mauro; Carranza, Salvador

    2012-08-01

    The Socotra Archipelago is an ancient continental fragment of Gondwanan origin and one of the most isolated landforms on Earth and a biodiversity hot spot. Yet, the biogeography and evolutionary history of its endemic fauna still remain largely overlooked. We investigate the origin, tempo and mode of diversification in the Hemidactylus geckos of the Socotra Archipelago. Concatenated and multilocus species coalescent analyses of Hemidactylus from Arabia and North Africa indicate that the Hemidactylus from Socotra do not form a monophyletic group and branch as three independent and well-supported clades instead. Both the chronogram inferred using the gene tree approach of BEAST and the age-calibrated multilocus species tree obtained using *BEAST suggest that the origin of Hemidactylus from Socotra may have involved a first vicariance event that occurred in the Early Miocene, followed by two independent transoceanic dispersal events that occurred more recently, during the Pliocene. Within Socotra, we analysed patterns of genetic diversity, the phylogeography and the demographic history in all seven nonintroduced species of Hemidactylus. Results based on two mitochondrial and two nuclear loci from 144 individuals revealed complex patterns of within-island diversification and high levels of intra-species genetic divergence. The interplay of both historical and ecological factors seems to have a role in the speciation process of this group of geckos. Interestingly, the case of H. forbesii and H. oxyrhinus, which inhabit the island of Abd al Kuri with an area of 133 km(2), may represent one of the most extreme cases of intra-island speciation in reptiles ever reported. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. Generalization of predator recognition: Velvet geckos display anti-predator behaviours in response to chemicals from non-dangerous elapid snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan K. WEBB, Weiguo DU, David PIKE, Richard SHINE

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Many prey species detect chemical cues from predators and modify their behaviours in ways that reduce their risk of predation. Theory predicts that prey should modify their anti-predator responses according to the degree of threat posed by the predator. That is, prey should show the strongest responses to chemicals of highly dangerous prey, but should ignore or respond weakly to chemicals from non-dangerous predators. However, if anti-predator behaviours are not costly, and predators are rarely encountered, prey may exhibit generalised antipredator behaviours to dangerous and non-dangerous predators. In Australia, most elapid snakes eat lizards, and are therefore potentially dangerous to lizard prey. Recently, we found that the nocturnal velvet gecko Oedura lesueurii responds to chemicals from dangerous and non-dangerous elapid snakes, suggesting that it displays generalised anti-predator behaviours to chemicals from elapid snakes. To explore the generality of this result, we videotaped the behaviour of velvet geckos in the presence of chemical cues from two small elapid snakes that rarely consume geckos: the nocturnal golden-crowned snake Cacophis squamulosus and the diurnal marsh snake Hemiaspis signata. We also videotaped geckos in trials involving unscented cards (controls and cologne-scented cards (pungency controls. In trials involving Cacophis and Hemiaspis chemicals, 50% and 63% of geckos spent long time periods (> 3 min freezing whilst pressed flat against the substrate, respectively. Over half the geckos tested exhibited anti-predator behaviours (tail waving, tail vibration, running in response to Cacophis (67% or Hemiaspis (63% chemicals. These behaviours were not observed in control or pungency control trials. Our results support the idea that the velvet gecko displays generalised anti-predator responses to chemical cues from elapid snakes. Generalised responses to predator chemicals may be common in prey species that co-occur with

  11. Arboreal Day Geckos (Phelsuma madagascariensis Differentially Modulate Fore- and Hind Limb Kinematics in Response to Changes in Habitat Structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingna V Zhuang

    Full Text Available By using adhesion, geckos can move through incredibly challenging habitats. However, continually changing terrain may necessitate modulation of the adhesive apparatus in order to maximize its effectiveness over a range of challenges. Behaviorally modulating how the adhesive system is applied can occur by altering the alignment of the foot relative to the long axis of the body and/or the angles between the digits (interdigital angle. Given the directionality of the adhesive system, geckos likely vary the application of the system via these mechanisms as they run. We quantified 3D movements (using high-speed video of the day gecko, Phelsuma madagascariensis, running on a range of ecologically relevant inclines (0°, 45°, 90° and perch diameters (1.5 cm, 10 cm and broad. We measured the instantaneous sum of interdigital angles and foot alignment relative to the body, as well as other kinematic variables, throughout each stride and across treatments. Modulation of foot alignment at 45° and 90° was similar between the forelimb and hind limb, but differed at 0°, suggesting that P. madagascariensis is able to exert an adhesive force using multiple strategies. Both the sum of interdigital angles and alignment in the fore- and hind foot were modulated. Differences in modulation between the limbs are likely related to the underlying morphology. The modulation of interdigital angle and foot alignment suggests that aspects other than the mechanism of adhesion, such as joint morphology, are important for arboreal movement in geckos. Our study of foot usage in arboreal locomotion reveals patterns that may be widespread across pad-bearing lizards. In addition to understanding the constraints exerted by the adhesive apparatus, we highlight how biomechanical traits may respond to the evolution of novel adaptations and morphologies.

  12. Arboreal Day Geckos (Phelsuma madagascariensis) Differentially Modulate Fore- and Hind Limb Kinematics in Response to Changes in Habitat Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, Mingna V; Higham, Timothy E

    2016-01-01

    By using adhesion, geckos can move through incredibly challenging habitats. However, continually changing terrain may necessitate modulation of the adhesive apparatus in order to maximize its effectiveness over a range of challenges. Behaviorally modulating how the adhesive system is applied can occur by altering the alignment of the foot relative to the long axis of the body and/or the angles between the digits (interdigital angle). Given the directionality of the adhesive system, geckos likely vary the application of the system via these mechanisms as they run. We quantified 3D movements (using high-speed video) of the day gecko, Phelsuma madagascariensis, running on a range of ecologically relevant inclines (0°, 45°, 90°) and perch diameters (1.5 cm, 10 cm and broad). We measured the instantaneous sum of interdigital angles and foot alignment relative to the body, as well as other kinematic variables, throughout each stride and across treatments. Modulation of foot alignment at 45° and 90° was similar between the forelimb and hind limb, but differed at 0°, suggesting that P. madagascariensis is able to exert an adhesive force using multiple strategies. Both the sum of interdigital angles and alignment in the fore- and hind foot were modulated. Differences in modulation between the limbs are likely related to the underlying morphology. The modulation of interdigital angle and foot alignment suggests that aspects other than the mechanism of adhesion, such as joint morphology, are important for arboreal movement in geckos. Our study of foot usage in arboreal locomotion reveals patterns that may be widespread across pad-bearing lizards. In addition to understanding the constraints exerted by the adhesive apparatus, we highlight how biomechanical traits may respond to the evolution of novel adaptations and morphologies.

  13. Scotopic electroretinography in fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) and leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sussadee, Metita; Vorawattanatham, Narathip; Pinyopummin, Anuchai; Phavaphutanon, Janjira; Thayananuphat, Aree

    2017-05-01

    To establish baseline normal scotopic electroretinograpic (ERG) parameters for two wild cat species: fishing cats (FC) and leopard cats (LC). Twelve normal, FC and eight LC kept in the Chiang Mai Night Safari Zoo, Thailand. The mean ages of FC and LC were 7.08 and 5.00 years, respectively. All animals were studied using a standard scotopic protocol of a portable, handheld, multi-species electroretinography (HMsERG). There were significant differences in the means of ERG b-wave amplitude of the rod response (Rod, 0.01 cd.s/m 2 ), a- and b-wave amplitudes of standard light intensity of rod and cone response (Std R&C, 3 cd.s/m 2 ) and b-wave amplitude of high light intensity of rod and cone response (Hi-int R&C, 10 cd.s/m 2 ) with LC having higher amplitudes than FC. There was no significant difference in a- and b- wave implicit time except for the b-wave of Hi-int (P=0.03). No significant differences were observed in b/a amplitude ratios. Data from this report provides reference values for scotopic ERG measurements in these two wild cat species. It showed that the normal scotopic ERG responses have some differences between the two species which might be due to the skull conformation, eye size or physiology of the retina. © 2016 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  14. Unlikely remedy: fungicide clears infection from pathogenic fungus in larval southern leopard frogs (Lithobates sphenocephalus.

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    Shane M Hanlon

    Full Text Available Amphibians are often exposed to a wide variety of perturbations. Two of these, pesticides and pathogens, are linked to declines in both amphibian health and population viability. Many studies have examined the separate effects of such perturbations; however, few have examined the effects of simultaneous exposure of both to amphibians. In this study, we exposed larval southern leopard frog tadpoles (Lithobates sphenocephalus to the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and the fungicide thiophanate-methyl (TM at 0.6 mg/L under laboratory conditions. The experiment was continued until all larvae completed metamorphosis or died. Overall, TM facilitated increases in tadpole mass and length. Additionally, individuals exposed to both TM and Bd were heavier and larger, compared to all other treatments. TM also cleared Bd in infected larvae. We conclude that TM affects larval anurans to facilitate growth and development while clearing Bd infection. Our findings highlight the need for more research into multiple perturbations, specifically pesticides and disease, to further promote amphibian heath.

  15. Modeling habitat connectivity to inform reintroductions: a case study with the Chiricahua Leopard Frog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarchow, Christopher J.; Hossack, Blake R.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Managing species with intensive tools such as reintroduction may focus on single sites or entire landscapes. For vagile species, long-term persistence will require colonization and establishment in neighboring habitats. Therefore, both suitable colonization sites and suitable dispersal corridors between sites are required. Assessment of landscapes for both requirements can contribute to ranking and selection of reintroduction areas, thereby improving management success. Following eradication of invasive American Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) from most of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR; Arizona, United States), larval Chiricahua Leopard Frogs (Lithobates chiricahuensis) from a private pond were reintroduced into three stock ponds. Populations became established at all three reintroduction sites followed by colonization of neighboring ponds in subsequent years. Our aim was to better understand colonization patterns by the federally threatened L. chiricahuensis which could help inform other reintroduction efforts. We assessed the influence of four landscape features on colonization. Using surveys from 2007 and information about the landscape, we developed a habitat connectivity model, based on electrical circuit theory, that identified potential dispersal corridors after explicitly accounting for imperfect detection of frogs. Landscape features provided little insight into why some sites were colonized and others were not, results that are likely because of the uniformity of the BANWR landscape. While corridor modeling may be effective in more-complex landscapes, our results suggest focusing on local habitat will be more useful at BANWR. We also illustrate that existing data, even when limited in spatial or temporal resolution, can provide information useful in formulating management actions.

  16. Physiological effects and tissue residues from exposure of leopard frogs to commercial naphthenic acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smits, Judit E G; Hersikorn, Blair D; Young, Rozlyn F; Fedorak, Phillip M

    2012-10-15

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) have been cited as one of the main causes of the toxicity related to oil sands process-affected materials and have recently been measured in biological tissues (fish). However, adverse effects have not been a consistent finding in toxicology studies on vertebrates. This study set out to determine two factors: 1) whether exposure to commercial NAs (Refined Merichem) resulted in detectable tissue residues in native amphibians (northern leopard frogs, Lithobates pipiens), and 2) whether such exposure would produce clinical or subclinical toxicity. Frogs were kept in NA solutions (0, 20, or 40 mg/L) under saline conditions comparable to that on reclaimed wetlands in the Athabasca oil sands for 28 days. These exposures resulted in proportional NA concentrations in muscle tissue of the frogs, estimated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses. Detailed studies determined if the increasing concentrations of NAs, and subsequently increased tissue NA levels, caused a proportional compromise in the health of the experimental animals. Physiological investigations included innate immune function, thyroid hormone levels, and hepatic detoxification enzyme induction, none of which differed in response to increased exposures or tissue concentrations of NAs. Body mass did increase in both the salt- and NA-exposed animals, likely related to osmotic pressure and uptake of water through the skin. Our results demonstrate that commercial NAs are absorbed and deposited in muscle tissue, yet they show few negative physiological or toxicological effects on the frogs. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Evidences Dependent Population Distribution Patterns of Tiger and Leopard in Similipal Tiger Reserve, Odisha, India

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    Sandeep Ranjan Mishra

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The Tiger (Panthera tigris is an endangered carnivore with uncertain demographic status spanning 13 Asian countries. Due to its larger body size and carnivorous diet in nature it always occurs at low population densities. Further prey depletion due to overhunting (Karanth & Stith, 1998, poaching, habitat shrinkage (Kenny et al., 1995, Wcs, 1995 and direct killing altogether have also become a major factor for depletion of wild tiger populations tiger. Monitoring the abundance and its alteration is always important for the effective management of endangered species. Tiger is categorized as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List (IUCN, 2008 and listed under Schedule-I of Wildlife (Protection Act, 1972 in India and Appendix-I of the CITES. Leopard (Panthera pardus is also included in the Schedule- I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and is placed under “Least Concern” category of 2002 IUCN Red List of threatened animals. Similipal Tiger Reserve is one of the largest Tiger Reserves of India with an area of 2750 km2. Therefore we have to depend mainly on the direct sightings and evidence records of the animals to analysis the status and distribution pattern of these two big cats in the core area of this Tiger Reserve.

  18. Effect of counterface roughness on the friction of bionic wall-shaped microstructures for gecko-like attachments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasem, Haytam; Cohen, Yossi

    2017-08-04

    Hairy adhesive systems involved in gecko locomotion have drawn the interest of many researchers regarding the development of bionic solutions for fast and reversible adhesive technologies. To date, despite extensive efforts to design gecko-inspired adhesive surfaces, adhesion and friction capacities are often evaluated using smooth and rigid counterfaces, in general glass, whereas most natural and artificial surfaces inevitably have a certain level of roughness. For that reason, in this study experiments tested the effects of the substrate roughness on the friction of bionic wale-shaped microstructures for gecko-like attachments. To this end, 12 substrates with different isotropic roughness were prepared using the same Epoxy material. Friction force was measured under various normal loads. It was concluded that classical roughness parameters, considered separately, are not appropriate to explain roughness-related variations in friction force. This has led us to develop a new integrative roughness parameter that combines characteristics of the surface. The parameter is capable of classifying the obtained experimental results in a readable way. An analytical model based on the experimental results has been developed to predict the variation of the friction force as a function of counterface roughness and applied normal load.

  19. Phylogeography and dispersal in the velvet gecko (Oedura lesueurii, and potential implications for conservation of an endangered snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides

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    Dubey Sylvain

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To conserve critically endangered predators, we also need to conserve the prey species upon which they depend. Velvet geckos (Oedura lesueurii are a primary prey for the endangered broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides, which is restricted to sandstone habitats in southeastern Australia. We sequenced the ND2 gene from 179 velvet geckos, to clarify the lizards’ phylogeographic history and landscape genetics. We also analysed 260 records from a longterm (3-year capture-mark-recapture program at three sites, to evaluate dispersal rates of geckos as a function of locality, sex and body size. Results The genetic analyses revealed three ancient lineages in the north, south and centre of the species’ current range. Estimates of gene flow suggest low dispersal rates, constrained by the availability of contiguous rocky habitat. Mark-recapture records confirm that these lizards are highly sedentary, with most animals moving  Conclusion The low vagility of these lizards suggests that they will be slow to colonise vacant habitat patches; and hence, efforts to restore degraded habitats for broad-headed snakes may need to include translocation of lizards.

  20. Off the scale: a new species of fish-scale gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Geckolepis with exceptionally large scales

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    Mark D. Scherz

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The gecko genus Geckolepis, endemic to Madagascar and the Comoro archipelago, is taxonomically challenging. One reason is its members ability to autotomize a large portion of their scales when grasped or touched, most likely to escape predation. Based on an integrative taxonomic approach including external morphology, morphometrics, genetics, pholidosis, and osteology, we here describe the first new species from this genus in 75 years: Geckolepis megalepis sp. nov. from the limestone karst of Ankarana in northern Madagascar. The new species has the largest known body scales of any gecko (both relatively and absolutely, which come off with exceptional ease. We provide a detailed description of the skeleton of the genus Geckolepis based on micro-Computed Tomography (micro-CT analysis of the new species, the holotype of G. maculata, the recently resurrected G. humbloti, and a specimen belonging to an operational taxonomic unit (OTU recently suggested to represent G. maculata. Geckolepis is characterized by highly mineralized, imbricated scales, paired frontals, and unfused subolfactory processes of the frontals, among other features. We identify diagnostic characters in the osteology of these geckos that help define our new species and show that the OTU assigned to G. maculata is probably not conspecific with it, leaving the taxonomic identity of this species unclear. We discuss possible reasons for the extremely enlarged scales of G. megalepis in the context of an anti-predator defence mechanism, and the future of Geckolepis taxonomy.

  1. Off the scale: a new species of fish-scale gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae:Geckolepis) with exceptionally large scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherz, Mark D; Daza, Juan D; Köhler, Jörn; Vences, Miguel; Glaw, Frank

    2017-01-01

    The gecko genus Geckolepis , endemic to Madagascar and the Comoro archipelago, is taxonomically challenging. One reason is its members ability to autotomize a large portion of their scales when grasped or touched, most likely to escape predation. Based on an integrative taxonomic approach including external morphology, morphometrics, genetics, pholidosis, and osteology, we here describe the first new species from this genus in 75 years: Geckolepis megalepis sp. nov. from the limestone karst of Ankarana in northern Madagascar. The new species has the largest known body scales of any gecko (both relatively and absolutely), which come off with exceptional ease. We provide a detailed description of the skeleton of the genus Geckolepis based on micro-Computed Tomography (micro-CT) analysis of the new species, the holotype of G. maculata , the recently resurrected G. humbloti , and a specimen belonging to an operational taxonomic unit (OTU) recently suggested to represent G. maculata . Geckolepis is characterized by highly mineralized, imbricated scales, paired frontals, and unfused subolfactory processes of the frontals, among other features. We identify diagnostic characters in the osteology of these geckos that help define our new species and show that the OTU assigned to G. maculata is probably not conspecific with it, leaving the taxonomic identity of this species unclear. We discuss possible reasons for the extremely enlarged scales of G. megalepis in the context of an anti-predator defence mechanism, and the future of Geckolepis taxonomy.

  2. Phylogeography and dispersal in the velvet gecko (Oedura lesueurii), and potential implications for conservation of an endangered snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background To conserve critically endangered predators, we also need to conserve the prey species upon which they depend. Velvet geckos (Oedura lesueurii) are a primary prey for the endangered broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides), which is restricted to sandstone habitats in southeastern Australia. We sequenced the ND2 gene from 179 velvet geckos, to clarify the lizards’ phylogeographic history and landscape genetics. We also analysed 260 records from a longterm (3-year) capture-mark-recapture program at three sites, to evaluate dispersal rates of geckos as a function of locality, sex and body size. Results The genetic analyses revealed three ancient lineages in the north, south and centre of the species’ current range. Estimates of gene flow suggest low dispersal rates, constrained by the availability of contiguous rocky habitat. Mark-recapture records confirm that these lizards are highly sedentary, with most animals moving < 30 m from their original capture site even over multi-year periods. Conclusion The low vagility of these lizards suggests that they will be slow to colonise vacant habitat patches; and hence, efforts to restore degraded habitats for broad-headed snakes may need to include translocation of lizards. PMID:22583676

  3. Cryptic diversity and population genetic structure in the rare, endemic, forest-obligate, slender geckos of the Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siler, Cameron D; Dececchi, T Alex; Merkord, Chris L; Davis, Drew R; Christiani, Tony J; Brown, Rafe M

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies of forest lizards in Southeast Asia have highlighted spectacular morphological and cryptic genetic diversity in several poorly known clades. Unfortunately, many of the included species have microhabitat preferences for forested environments, and therefore they are threatened by extensive forest destruction throughout the region. This is particularly true in the Philippines, an archipelago with a strikingly high proportion (84%) of endemic geckos. Abundances inferred from historical museum collections suggests that we are in a critical period where apparent declines in population viability and species' abundance have taken place faster than the growth in our understanding of alpha diversity. This phenomenon is exemplified in the exceedingly rare Philippine slender forest geckos of the genus Pseudogekko. Most of the known species are rarely encountered by field biologists, and species boundaries are unclear; this poor state of knowledge impedes effective conservation measures. Using the first multilocus phylogeny for these taxa, and phylogenetic and population genetic approaches, we elucidate evolutionary lineages and delimit species-level conservation targets in this unique radiation of endemic Philippine geckos. The results support the presence of widespread cryptic diversity in the genus, providing a framework for the re-evaluation of conservation priorities aimed at protecting these rare, forest-obligate species. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Does the mechanism of sex determination constrain the potential for sex manipulation? A test in geckos with contrasting sex-determining systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Kubička, Lukáš; Landová, Eva

    2008-03-01

    The concentration of yolk steroids was suggested to influence offspring gender in oviparous animals subject to both temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and genotypic sex determination (GSD). However, the proposed mechanisms of steroid effects are thought to differ between TSD and GSD: a direct effect of oestrogens on gonad feminisation in TSD species vs a differential induction of male-producing or female-producing gametes in GSD species. Geckos offer an ideal opportunity for testing these suggested mechanisms. Closely related gecko species differ in their modes of sex determination. They lay clutches of two synchronously formed eggs; both eggs share equal steroid levels. If identical hormonal composition and environment during vitellogenesis, gravidity and incubation determine the sex of the progeny, siblings should share the same gender in both TSD and GSD geckos. We found strong support for this prediction in a TSD gecko species. Among clutches that were incubated at the temperature that produced both sexes, there were no clutches with siblings of the opposite sex. On the other hand, about half of the clutches yielded siblings of the opposite sex in four GSD species. These results suggest that sex-determining systems constrain the ability of the female to produce single-sex siblings and, hence, it seems that the GSD mechanism constrains the opportunities for sex ratio manipulation in geckos via yolk steroid manipulation.

  5. Movement of leopard tortoises in response to environmental and climatic variables in a semi-arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drabik-Hamshare, Martyn; Downs, Colleen T

    2017-01-01

    Tortoises (Testudinidae) occur in a wide range of environments, providing important ecosystem functions, such as seed dispersal and refuge in the form of burrows. Tortoise movement has previously been shown to be related to resource availability, reproductive status and local environmental conditions. However, understanding of the variables that drive their movement remains comparatively low. We investigated aspects of movement in leopard tortoises Stigmochelys pardalis -the largest and most abundant tortoise species in sub-Saharan Africa-in response to environmental, climatic and individual variables in the semi-arid Karoo, South Africa. We used GPS telemetry to calculate bihourly and daily movement and used generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) to ascertain important predictor variables. Temperature, distance from water sources, and month were important variables for predicting both bihourly and daily movement. Our results showed that movement increased when individuals were close to known water sources, indicating that individuals close to water resources make regular long distance movements. Movement showed a positive relationship for temperature in both models, whilst rainfall was an important predictor for bihourly movement. Our results displayed aspects of seasonality, with movement highest in spring months, likely related to reproductive activities, although no sex differences were observed. We identified temporal and spatial conditions in which leopard tortoise movement increased. Our results further support the relationship between water as a resource and movement in leopard tortoises. Individuals used one of two basic movement behaviours in relation to water in this water scarce environment. Either an individual's home range and movements included permanent water resources allowing internal water storage replenishment, or excluded these with reliance on food resources (such as grasses, forbs, and succulents) for water.

  6. Using landscape and bioclimatic features to predict the distribution of lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas in Tanzania's Ruaha landscape.

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    Leandro Abade

    Full Text Available Tanzania's Ruaha landscape is an international priority area for large carnivores, supporting over 10% of the world's lions and important populations of leopards and spotted hyaenas. However, lack of ecological data on large carnivore distribution and habitat use hinders the development of effective carnivore conservation strategies in this critical landscape. Therefore, the study aimed to (i identify the most significant ecogeographical variables influencing the potential distribution of lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas across the Ruaha landscape; (ii identify zones with highest suitability for harbouring those species; and (iii use species distribution modelling algorithms (SDMs to define important areas for conservation of large carnivores. Habitat suitability was calculated based on environmental features from georeferenced presence-only carnivore location data. Potential distribution of large carnivores appeared to be strongly influenced by water availability; highly suitable areas were situated close to rivers and experienced above average annual precipitation. Net primary productivity and tree cover also exerted some influence on habitat suitability. All three species showed relatively narrow niche breadth and low tolerance to changes in habitat characteristics. From 21,050 km2 assessed, 8.1% (1,702 km2 emerged as highly suitable for all three large carnivores collectively. Of that area, 95.4% (1,624 km2 was located within 30 km of the Park-village border, raising concerns about human-carnivore conflict. This was of particular concern for spotted hyaenas, as they were located significantly closer to the Park boundary than lions and leopards. This study provides the first map of potential carnivore distribution across the globally important Ruaha landscape, and demonstrates that SDMs can be effective for understanding large carnivore habitat requirements in poorly sampled areas. This approach could have relevance for many other

  7. Using landscape and bioclimatic features to predict the distribution of lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas in Tanzania's Ruaha landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abade, Leandro; Macdonald, David W; Dickman, Amy J

    2014-01-01

    Tanzania's Ruaha landscape is an international priority area for large carnivores, supporting over 10% of the world's lions and important populations of leopards and spotted hyaenas. However, lack of ecological data on large carnivore distribution and habitat use hinders the development of effective carnivore conservation strategies in this critical landscape. Therefore, the study aimed to (i) identify the most significant ecogeographical variables influencing the potential distribution of lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas across the Ruaha landscape; (ii) identify zones with highest suitability for harbouring those species; and (iii) use species distribution modelling algorithms (SDMs) to define important areas for conservation of large carnivores. Habitat suitability was calculated based on environmental features from georeferenced presence-only carnivore location data. Potential distribution of large carnivores appeared to be strongly influenced by water availability; highly suitable areas were situated close to rivers and experienced above average annual precipitation. Net primary productivity and tree cover also exerted some influence on habitat suitability. All three species showed relatively narrow niche breadth and low tolerance to changes in habitat characteristics. From 21,050 km2 assessed, 8.1% (1,702 km2) emerged as highly suitable for all three large carnivores collectively. Of that area, 95.4% (1,624 km2) was located within 30 km of the Park-village border, raising concerns about human-carnivore conflict. This was of particular concern for spotted hyaenas, as they were located significantly closer to the Park boundary than lions and leopards. This study provides the first map of potential carnivore distribution across the globally important Ruaha landscape, and demonstrates that SDMs can be effective for understanding large carnivore habitat requirements in poorly sampled areas. This approach could have relevance for many other important wildlife

  8. Effects of shepherds and dogs on livestock depredation by leopards (Panthera pardus in north-eastern Iran

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    Igor Khorozyan

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Human-carnivore conflicts over livestock depredation are increasingly common, yet little is understood about the role of husbandry in conflict mitigation. As shepherds and guarding dogs are most commonly used to curb carnivore attacks on grazing livestock, evaluation and improvement of these practices becomes an important task. We addressed this issue by studying individual leopard (Panthera pardus attacks on sheep and goats in 34 villages near Golestan National Park, Iran. We obtained and analyzed data on 39 attacks, which included a total loss of 31 sheep and 36 goats in 17 villages. We applied non-parametric testing, Poisson Generalized Linear Modelling (GLM and model selection to assess how numbers of sheep and goats killed per attack are associated with the presence and absence of shepherds and dogs during attacks, depredation in previous years, villages, seasons, ethnic groups, numbers of sheep and goats kept in villages, and distances from villages to the nearest protected areas. We found that 95.5% of losses were inflicted in forests when sheep and goats were accompanied by shepherds (92.5% of losses and dogs (77.6%. Leopards tended to kill more sheep and goats per attack (surplus killing when dogs were absent in villages distant from protected areas, but still inflicted most losses when dogs were present, mainly in villages near protected areas. No other variables affected numbers of sheep and goats killed per attack. These results indicate that local husbandry practices are ineffectual and the mere presence of shepherds and guarding dogs is not enough to secure protection. Shepherds witnessed leopard attacks, but could not deter them while dogs did not exhibit guarding behavior and were sometimes killed by leopards. In an attempt to make practical, low-cost and socially acceptable improvements in local husbandry, we suggest that dogs are raised to create a strong social bond with livestock, shepherds use only best available dogs, small

  9. The gecko visual pigment: a pH indicator with a salt effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crescitelli, F

    1981-12-01

    1. Unlike rhodopsin, the extracted 521-pigment of the Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko) is pH-sensitive and changes its spectral absorbance in the pH range of 4.5-7.3. The colour change is reversible and pH can be employed to adjust the spectral maximum anywhere between 490 nm and its native location at 521 nm.2. The hypsochromic shift with increasing acidity is opposite to that expected for the protonation of the Schiff base nitrogen and suggests an action on the secondary system of interacting charges that have long been postulated to adjust vertebrate visual pigment colour within the visible spectrum.3. Chloride ions modulate this pH effect in a systematic and significant manner. For the pigment extracted in the chloride-deficient state the colour change occurs in the pH range of 6.0-7.0, the midpoint being close to 6.5, suggesting the possible participation of the imidazole group of histidine as the functional moiety. With added NaCl the colour shifts to the region below pH 6.2.4. The modulating action of chloride is postulated to be a conformational change of the opsin leading to a shift of the secondary interacting site from one functional group to another or else to a change in pK of a single group due to the conformational alteration of the electrostatics of the system.5. At pH values between 7.5 and 9.0 a different mechanism becomes apparent. In this region a decrease occurs in the photopigment density as well as a shift in absorbance toward the blue. This alkaline effect is readily reversed either by adding NaCl or else by lowering the pH. Along with the other protective effects of chloride these ions serve to reduce or prevent this alkaline loss in density.6. Associated with this reversible photopigment loss is a reversible appearance of a product with a maximum at about 366 nm. The spectrum of this product is like that produced by the addition of 11-cis retinal to the extract. Acidification of the alkaline preparation leads to a restitution of the photopigment

  10. Controlled chaos: three-dimensional kinematics, fiber histochemistry, and muscle contractile dynamics of autotomized lizard tails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higham, Timothy E; Lipsett, Kathryn R; Syme, Douglas A; Russell, Anthony P

    2013-01-01

    The ability to shed an appendage occurs in both vertebrates and invertebrates, often as a tactic to avoid predation. The tails of lizards, unlike most autotomized body parts of animals, exhibit complex and vigorous movements once disconnected from the body. Despite the near ubiquity of autotomy across groups of lizards and the fact that this is an extraordinary event involving the self-severing of the spinal cord, our understanding of why and how tails move as they do following autotomy is sparse. We herein explore the histochemistry and physiology of the tail muscles of the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a species that exhibits vigorous and variable tail movements following autotomy. To confirm that the previously studied tail movements of this species are generally representative of geckos and therefore suitable for in-depth muscle studies, we quantified the three-dimensional kinematics of autotomized tails in three additional species. The movements of the tails of all species were generally similar and included jumps, flips, and swings. Our preliminary analyses suggest that some species of gecko exhibit short but high-frequency movements, whereas others exhibit larger-amplitude but lower-frequency movements. We then compared the ATPase and oxidative capacity of muscle fibers and contractile dynamics of isolated muscle bundles from original tails, muscle from regenerate tails, and fast fibers from an upper limb muscle (iliofibularis) of the leopard gecko. Histochemical analysis revealed that more than 90% of the fibers in original and regenerate caudal muscles had high ATPase but possessed a superficial layer of fibers with low ATPase and high oxidative capacity. We found that contraction kinetics, isometric force, work, power output, and the oscillation frequency at which maximum power was generated were lowest in the original tail, followed by the regenerate tail and then the fast fibers of the iliofibularis. Muscle from the original tail exhibited

  11. Perspectives provided by leopard and other cat genomes: how diet determined the evolutionary history of carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Bhak, Jong; O'Brian, Stephen J; Yeo, Joo-Hong

    2017-01-01

    Recent advances in genome sequencing technologies have enabled humans to generate and investigate the genomes of wild species. This includes the big cat family, such as tigers, lions, and leopards. Adding the first high quality leopard genome, we have performed an in-depth comparative analysis to identify the genomic signatures in the evolution of felid to become the top predators on land. Our study focused on how the carnivore genomes, as compared to the omnivore or herbivore genomes, shared evolutionary adaptations in genes associated with nutrient metabolism, muscle strength, agility, and other traits responsible for hunting and meat digestion. We found genetic evidence that genomes represent what animals eat through modifying genes. Highly conserved genetically relevant regions were discovered in genomes at the family level. Also, the Felidae family genomes exhibited low levels of genetic diversity associated with decreased population sizes, presumably because of their strict diet, suggesting their vulnerability and critical conservation status. Our findings can be used for human health enhancement, since we share the same genes as cats with some variation. This is an example how wildlife genomes can be a critical resource for human evolution, providing key genetic marker information for disease treatment. [BMB Reports 2017; 50(1): 3-4].

  12. Contemporary Drought and Future Effects of Climate Change on the Endangered Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizard, Gambelia sila

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Extreme weather events can provide unique opportunities for testing models that predict the effect of climate change. Droughts of increasing severity have been predicted under numerous models, thus contemporary droughts may allow us to test these models prior to the onset of the more extreme effects predicted with a changing climate. In the third year of an ongoing severe drought, surveys failed to detect neonate endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizards in a subset of previously surveyed populations where we expected to see them. By conducting surveys at a large number of sites across the range of the species over a short time span, we were able to establish a strong positive correlation between winter precipitation and the presence of neonate leopard lizards over geographic space. Our results are consistent with those of numerous longitudinal studies and are in accordance with predictive climate change models. We suggest that scientists can take immediate advantage of droughts while they are still in progress to test patterns of occurrence in other drought-sensitive species and thus provide for more robust models of climate change effects on biodiversity. PMID:27136458

  13. Contemporary Drought and Future Effects of Climate Change on the Endangered Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizard, Gambelia sila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael F Westphal

    Full Text Available Extreme weather events can provide unique opportunities for testing models that predict the effect of climate change. Droughts of increasing severity have been predicted under numerous models, thus contemporary droughts may allow us to test these models prior to the onset of the more extreme effects predicted with a changing climate. In the third year of an ongoing severe drought, surveys failed to detect neonate endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizards in a subset of previously surveyed populations where we expected to see them. By conducting surveys at a large number of sites across the range of the species over a short time span, we were able to establish a strong positive correlation between winter precipitation and the presence of neonate leopard lizards over geographic space. Our results are consistent with those of numerous longitudinal studies and are in accordance with predictive climate change models. We suggest that scientists can take immediate advantage of droughts while they are still in progress to test patterns of occurrence in other drought-sensitive species and thus provide for more robust models of climate change effects on biodiversity.

  14. Forest cover and level of protection influence the island-wide distribution of an apex carnivore and umbrella species, the Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew M. Kittle; Anjali C. Watson; Samuel A. Cushman; David. W. Macdonald

    2017-01-01

    Apex predators fulfil potentially vital ecological roles. Typically wide-ranging and charismatic, they can also be useful surrogates for biodiversity preservation, making their targeted conservation imperative. The Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya), an endangered, endemic sub-species, is the island’s apex predator. Of potential keystone importance, this...

  15. STATUS OF THE RELICT LEOPARD FROG (RANA ONCA): OUR LIMITED UNDERSTANDING OF THE DISTRIBUTION, SIZE, AND DYNAMICS OF EXTANT AND RECENTLY EXTINCT POPULATIONS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The relict leopard frog (Rana onca) was once thought to be extinct, but has recently been shown to comprise a valid taxon with extant populations. Here, we discuss research from several studies, conducted between 1991 and 200 1, that represent the basis for our understanding of t...

  16. A review of the proposed reintroduction program for the Far Eastern leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) and the role of conservation organizations, veterinarians, and zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Paul; Stack, David; Harley, Jessica

    2013-11-01

    The Amur leopard is at the point of extinction. At present there are fewer than 35 in the wild. Their natural habitat ranges from China to the North Korean peninsula to Primorsky Krai in Russia. A reintroduction plan has been proposed to increase the population in the wild; however, this proposed plan still has many questions to be answered as to how effective it will be. The main objective is to reintroduce animals from a select group within the Far Eastern leopard programme or the Species Survival programme, which consist of leopards from select populations in the Northern Hemisphere. Zoos are central to the success of this plan, providing suitable breeding pairs to breed animals for reintroduction and also raising much needed funds to finance the project. Zoos are also central in educating the public about the critical status of the Amur leopard and other endangered animals of the world. Veterinary surgeons, by the very nature of their professional skills, are at the forefront of this seemingly endless battle against extinction of thousands of species that are critical to maintaining the balance of our fragile ecosystem. Veterinarians can analyze the health risks and health implications of reintroduction on the animals to be reintroduced and also on the native population. A world without large cats is a world hard to imagine. If we look closer at the implications of extinction, we see the domino effect of their loss and an ecosystem out of control. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Karyotype Reorganization in the Hokou Gecko (Gekko hokouensis, Gekkonidae): The Process of Microchromosome Disappearance in Gekkota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srikulnath, Kornsorn; Uno, Yoshinobu; Nishida, Chizuko; Ota, Hidetoshi; Matsuda, Yoichi

    2015-01-01

    The Hokou gecko (Gekko hokouensis: Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Squamata) has the chromosome number 2n = 38, with no microchromosomes. For molecular cytogenetic characterization of the gekkotan karyotype, we constructed a cytogenetic map for G. hokouensis, which retains the ancestral karyotype of Gekkota, with 86 functional genes, and compared it with cytogenetic maps for four Toxicofera species that have many microchromosomes (Elaphe quadrivirgata, Varanus salvator macromaculatus, Leiolepis reevesii rubritaeniata, and Anolis carolinensis) and that for a lacertid species (Lacerta agilis) with only one pair of autosomal microchromosomes. Ten pairs of G. hokouensis chromosomes [GHO1, 2, 3, Z(4), 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15] showed highly conserved linkage homology with macrochromosomes and/or macrochromosome arms of the four Toxicofera species and corresponded to eight L. agilis macrochromosomes (LAG). However, GHO5, GHO9, GHO10, GHO11, and LAG6 were composed of chromosome segments that have a homology with Toxicofera microchromosomes, and no homology was found in the chromosomes between G. hokouensis and L. agilis. These results suggest that repeated fusions of microchromosomes may have occurred independently in each lineage of Gekkota and Lacertidae, leading to the disappearance of microchromosomes and appearance of small-sized macrochromosomes.

  18. Effects of salicylates and aminoglycosides on spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in the Tokay gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, C E; Hudspeth, A J

    2000-01-04

    The high sensitivity and sharp frequency discrimination of hearing depend on mechanical amplification in the cochlea. To explore the basis of this active process, we examined the pharmacological sensitivity of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) in a lizard, the Tokay gecko. In a quiet environment, each ear produced a complex but stable pattern of emissions. These SOAEs were reversibly modulated by drugs that affect mammalian otoacoustic emissions, the salicylates and the aminoglycoside antibiotics. The effect of a single i.p. injection of sodium salicylate depended on the initial power of the emissions: ears with strong control SOAEs displayed suppression at all frequencies, whereas those with weak control emissions showed enhancement. Repeated oral administration of acetylsalicylic acid reduced all emissions. Single i.p. doses of gentamicin or kanamycin suppressed SOAEs below 2.6 kHz, while modulating those above 2.6 kHz in either of two ways. For ears whose emission power at 2.6-5.2 kHz encompassed more than half of the total, individual emissions displayed facilitation as great as 35-fold. For the remaining ears, emissions dropped to as little as one-sixth of their initial values. The similarity of the responses of reptilian and mammalian cochleas to pharmacological intervention provides further evidence for a common mechanism of cochlear amplification.

  19. Mitochondrial introgression via ancient hybridization, and systematics of the Australian endemic pygopodid gecko genus Delma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan, Ian G; Bauer, Aaron M; Jackman, Todd R

    2016-01-01

    Of the more than 1500 species of geckos found across six continents, few remain as unfamiliar as the pygopodids - Family Pygopodidae (Gray, 1845). These gekkotans are limited to Australia (44 species) and New Guinea (2 species), but have diverged extensively into the most ecologically diverse limbless radiation save Serpentes. Current phylogenetic understanding of the family has relied almost exclusively on two works, which have produced and synthesized an immense amount of morphological, geographical, and molecular data. However, current interspecific relationships within the largest genus Delma Gray 1831 are based chiefly upon data from two mitochondrial loci (16s, ND2). Here, we reevaluate the interspecific relationships within the genus Delma using two mitochondrial and four nuclear loci (RAG1, MXRA5, MOS, DYNLL1), and identify points of strong conflict between nuclear and mitochondrial genomic data. We address mito-nuclear discordance, and remedy this conflict by recognizing several points of mitochondrial introgression as the result of ancient hybridization events. Owing to the legacy value and intraspecific informativeness, we suggest the continued use of ND2 as a phylogenetic marker. Results identify strong support for species groups, but relationships among these clades, and the placement of several enigmatic taxa remain uncertain. We suggest a more careful review of Delma australis and the 'northwest Australia' clade. Accurately assessing and addressing species richness and relationships within this endemic Australian Gekkotan genus is relevant for understanding patterns of squamate speciation across the region. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Visceral larva migrans associated with earthworm and gecko ingestion: a case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Tao

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Visceral larva migrans is a syndrome caused by an infection with larval helminths, which may result in partial or general pathological changes in host tissues. Due to the difficulty in finding the causative parasites, the diagnosis of visceral larva migrans is generally based on compatible clinical signs, epidemic history, marked eosinophilia and pathological examination, especially positive serological test results and the disappearance of symptoms after specific treatment. Case presentation We report here the case of a 21-year-old Chinese man who, having ingested living earthworms and geckos at a witch’s suggestion, presented with fatigue and wordlessness lasting for one year along with elevated transaminase levels for one month. Clinical examination showed eosinophilia, elevated transaminase levels, nodular lesions in his liver and typical pathological characteristics of hepatic visceral larva migrans. After four courses of anthelmintic therapy, our patient presented with sustaining improvement of clinical manifestations and normalization of laboratory data. Conclusions Because of the difficulty in making a definite diagnosis, anthelmintic therapy should be performed in patients with a suspected diagnosis of visceral larva migrans based on their epidemic history and presence of typical manifestations, especially when the serological test results are negative. Furthermore, patients with severe parasite infection may require multiple anthelmintic therapies in order to eliminate the parasites.

  1. Phylogeny and cryptic diversity in geckos (Phyllopezus; Phyllodactylidae; Gekkota) from South America's open biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamble, Tony; Colli, Guarino R; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Werneck, Fernanda P; Simons, Andrew M

    2012-03-01

    The gecko genus Phyllopezus occurs across South America's open biomes: Cerrado, Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests (SDTF, including Caatinga), and Chaco. We generated a multi-gene dataset and estimated phylogenetic relationships among described Phyllopezus taxa and related species. We included exemplars from both described Phyllopezus pollicaris subspecies, P. p. pollicaris and P. p.przewalskii. Phylogenies from the concatenated data as well as species trees constructed from individual gene trees were largely congruent. All phylogeny reconstruction methods showed Bogertia lutzae as the sister species of Phyllopezus maranjonensis, rendering Phyllopezus paraphyletic. We synonymized the monotypic genus Bogertia with Phyllopezus to maintain a taxonomy that is isomorphic with phylogenetic history. We recovered multiple, deeply divergent, cryptic lineages within P. pollicaris. These cryptic lineages possessed mtDNA distances equivalent to distances among other gekkotan sister taxa. Described P. pollicaris subspecies are not reciprocally monophyletic and current subspecific taxonomy does not accurately reflect evolutionary relationships among cryptic lineages. We highlight the conservation significance of these results in light of the ongoing habitat loss in South America's open biomes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. A new species of dwarf gecko in the genus Lygodactylus (squamata: Gekkonidae) from central Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malonza, Patrick K; Granthon, Carolina; Williams, Dean A

    2016-01-08

    A new species of Lygodactylus gecko (L. wojnowskii sp. nov.) is described from the vicinity of Chogoria Town on the eastern lower slopes of Mt. Kenya in central Kenya. A phylogeny based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA shows that the proposed new taxon is distinct within the Lygodactylus picturatus group and is the sister lineage to L. mombasicus and L. kimhowelli. It is morphologically very similar to both L. mombasicus and L. keniensis but its dorsal coloration and pattern is different. Its dorsum is grey with dark stripes while its head has black and white stripes that form a Y-shaped mark. While the male throat pattern is similar to that of L. mombasicus, that of the female is like that of females and some males of Lygodactylus keniensis. Lygodactylus wojnowskii sp. nov. has a higher number of post-postmental scales (6) than do its close relatives (5). The new species is distributed on the lower slopes of mid-altitude areas on eastern Mt. Kenya, but it may occur in other areas at similar elevations in central Kenya. It is associated with short, scattered trees within agricultural areas. It has not yet been recorded within the protected Chogoria forest block of Mt. Kenya forest. It is likely present in Mwea National Reserve as it occurs in nearby areas.

  3. A practical fabrication method of the gecko-inspired easy-removal skin adhesives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qilan Li

    2017-06-01

    The averaged pull-off strength under a preload 10 N for 10 s can reach up to approximately five times of peel strength when the peel angle is 30 degree. Also compared with conventional Band-Aids, a slight enhancement in attachment ability and a significant decrease in peel strength between the skin and the adhesives were consistently observed. Therefore, the fabrication of the gecko-inspired structures on the micro-molding of PDMS appeared to offer a near-practical way for manufacturing an easy-removal skin adhesives, albeit in its present form with a comparable adhesion strength and a decreased peel strength. The originality of this work is the reverse de-molding approach based on the combination of the cost- and time-efficient laser cutting methods and the Teflon film as the mold material, which avoid the limitation caused by taking PDMS structure out of the molds, so that provide more variations of the tip geometry. As such, a further development of this fabrication method might be of significant interest in a number of practical applications in skin tissue industrial design.

  4. Television, sleep, outdoor play and BMI in young children: the GECKO Drenthe cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sijtsma, Anna; Koller, Marjory; Sauer, Pieter J J; Corpeleijn, Eva

    2015-05-01

    In this study, we investigated the interplay between screen time, sleep duration, outdoor play, having a television in the bedroom and the number of televisions at home and their association with body mass index (BMI) in preschool children. All participants, 3-4 years of age (n = 759), were part of the Groningen expert center for kids with obesity (GECKO) Drenthe birth cohort. Weight and height were measured. Total screen time, number of televisions at home, a television in the bedroom, sleep duration and time of outdoor play were self-reported by parents in a questionnaire. Ordinary least square (OLS) regression-based path analysis was used to estimate direct and indirect effects on BMI in mediation models. A television in the bedroom or more televisions at home gave a higher screen time, which were associated with decreased sleep duration and resulted in higher BMI (indirect effect = 0.0115, 95% bootstrap interval = 0.0016; 0.0368 and indirect effect = 0.0026, 95% bootstrap interval = 0.0004; 0.0078, respectively). In contrast to the direct effect of screen time, sleep duration and a television in the bedroom on BMI, no direct effect was found for outdoor play and number or televisions at home on BMI. Short sleep duration, long screen time and a television in the bedroom were associated with the presence of overweight in preschool children.

  5. Testing the island effect on phenotypic diversification: insights from the Hemidactylus geckos of the Socotra Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Porta, Joan; Šmíd, Jiří; Sol, Daniel; Fasola, Mauro; Carranza, Salvador

    2016-04-01

    Island colonization is often assumed to trigger extreme levels of phenotypic diversification. Yet, empirical evidence suggests that it does not always so. In this study we test this hypothesis using a completely sampled mainland-island system, the arid clade of Hemidactylus, a group of geckos mainly distributed across Africa, Arabia and the Socotra Archipelago. To such purpose, we generated a new molecular phylogeny of the group on which we mapped body size and head proportions. We then explored whether island and continental taxa shared the same morphospace and differed in their disparities and tempos of evolution. Insular species produced the most extreme sizes of the radiation, involving accelerated rates of evolution and higher disparities compared with most (but not all) of the continental groups. In contrast, head proportions exhibited constant evolutionary rates across the radiation and similar disparities in islands compared with the continent. These results, although generally consistent with the notion that islands promote high morphological disparity, reveal at the same time a complex scenario in which different traits may experience different evolutionary patterns in the same mainland-island system and continental groups do not always present low levels of morphological diversification compared to insular groups.

  6. Direct integration of MEMS, dielectric pumping and cell manipulation with reversibly bonded gecko adhesive microfluidics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Warnat, S; King, H; Hubbard, T; Wasay, A; Sameoto, D

    2016-01-01

    We present an approach to form a microfluidic environment on top of MEMS dies using reversibly bonded microfluidics. The reversible polymeric microfluidics moulds bond to the MEMS die using a gecko-inspired gasket architecture. In this study the formed microchannels are demonstrated in conjunction with a MEMS mechanical single cell testing environment for BioMEMS applications. A reversible microfluidics placement technique with an x - y and rotational accuracy of  ±2 µ m and 1° respectively on a MEMS die was developed. No leaks were observed during pneumatic pumping of common cell media (PBS, sorbitol, water, seawater) through the fluidic channels. Thermal chevron actuators were successful operated inside this fluidic environment and a performance deviation of ∼15% was measured compared to an open MEMS configuration. Latex micro-spheres were pumped using traveling wave di-electrophoresis and compared to an open (no-microfluidics) configuration with velocities of 24 µ m s −1 and 20 µ m s −1 . (technical note)

  7. A new biogeographically disjunct giant gecko (Gehyra: Gekkonidae: Reptilia) from the East Melanesian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Paul M.; Clegg, Jonathan R.; Fisher, Robert N.; Richards, Stephen J.; Taylor, Peter N.; Jocque, Merlijn M. T.

    2016-01-01

    The East Melanesian Islands have been a focal area for research into island biogeography and community ecology. However, previously undescribed and biogeographically significant new species endemic to this region continue to be discovered. Here we describe a phylogenetically distinct (~20% divergence at the mitochondrial ND2 gene) and biogeographically disjunct new species of gecko in the genus Gehyra, from the Admiralty and St Matthias Islands. Gehyra rohan sp. nov. can be distinguished from all congeners by the combination of its very large size, ring of bright orange scales around the eye, moderate degree of lateral folding on the limbs and body, and aspects of head, body and tail scalation. Molecular data indicate mid to late Miocene divergence of the new species from nearest relatives occurring nearly 2000 kilometres away in Vanuatu and Fiji. Large Gehyra have not been recorded on the intervening large islands of the Bismark Archipelago (New Britain and New Ireland) and the Solomon Islands, suggesting this dispersal pre-dated the current configuration of these islands, extinction in intervening regions, or potentially elements of both. Conversely, low genetic divergence between disjunct samples on Manus and Mussau implies recent overseas dispersal via either natural or anthropogenic means.

  8. Insights into Himalayan biogeography from geckos: a molecular phylogeny of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Ishan; Bauer, Aaron M; Jackman, Todd R; Karanth, K Praveen

    2014-11-01

    The India-Asia collision profoundly influenced the climate, topography and biodiversity of Asia, causing the formation of the biodiverse Himalayas. The species-rich gekkonid genus Cyrtodactylus is an ideal clade for exploring the biological impacts of the India-Asia collision, as previous phylogenetic hypotheses suggest basal divergences occurred within the Himalayas and Indo-Burma during the Eocene. To this end, we sampled for Cyrtodactylus across Indian areas of the Himalayas and Indo-Burma Hotspots and used three genes to reconstruct relationships and estimate divergence times. Basal divergences in Cyrtodactylus, Hemidactylus and the Palaearctic naked-toed geckos were simultaneous with or just preceded the start of the India-Asia collision. Diversification within Cyrtodactylus tracks the India-Asia collision and subsequent geological events. A number of geographically concordant clades are resolved within Indo-Burmese Cyrtodactylus. Our study reveals 17 divergent lineages that may represent undescribed species, underscoring the previously undocumented diversity of the region. The importance of rocky habitats for Cyrtodactylus indicates the Indo-Gangetic flood plains and the Garo-Rajmahal Gap are likely to have been important historical barriers for this group. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. The oogenic cycle of the Caspian bent-toed gecko, Cyrtopodion caspium (Squamata: Gekkonidae in Iran

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    Vida Hojati

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The Caspian bent-toed gecko, Cyrtopodion caspium, is one of the commonest lizards in northern Iran. It is nocturnal, anthropophile and oviparous. In this study, the reproductive cycle of this species was studied by focusing on oogenesis, from April 5 to October 20, 2011. In total, 70 adult females were obtained from Mazandaran, one of the northern provinces of Iran where the climate is temperate. Ovaries were removed and processed for histological and morphometric studies. The results show that oocyte growth starts in late April and ends in August. Mating starts in spring, especially at the beginning of May, with oviposition occurring from late May to mid August. Females lay 1-2 eggs per clutch with the possibility of producing a secondary clutch later in the season. Maximum reproductive activity occurs in May and peaks in June. There was no significant difference between right and left side of reproductive system. With oogenesis occurring from April through July, C. caspium follows an oogenic cycle typical for temperate species.

  10. ‘Man-eaters’ in the Media: Representation of Human-leopard Interactions in India Across Local, National, and International Media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crystal A Crown

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Interactions between humans and wildlife are frequent in India, requiring stakeholders to devise mitigation strategies that benefit both humans and wildlife. Success of such initiatives can be impacted by stakeholders' perceptions of species and related issues, which may be unduly influenced by the media. This paper explores media representation of Human-Leopard Interactions (HLI in India, focusing on detecting agenda-setting and framing in articles, and whether these differ with the level of association with HLI. To accomplish this, we coded articles (n=291 from three media-distribution levels with increasing detachment to HLI events: local news, Indian national news, and international news, and compared the types of agenda-setting and framing found across the three. Overall, international media had the most negative portrayal of leopards and HLI, while national had the most balanced. Local and international media included 'man-eater' framing in the majority of their stories; whereas stories of leopards as victims were most prominent in local news, and victim framing was most frequent in national. These results suggest that agenda-setting and framing may vary with association with HLI. Despite differences between sources, our findings suggest that all media distributions focused primarily on stories of leopards causing trouble (e.g., attacks and incursions, or in ways viewed as troublesome (e.g. incursions with few stories of leopards as victims or informational pieces. The largely negative depiction, and differences in representation between geographic locations, could hinder mitigation strategies and policy through presenting stakeholders with incomplete information.

  11. Lungs of the gecko Rhacodactylus leachianus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae): a correlative gross anatomical and light and electron microscopic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, S F; Bauer, A M; Russell, A P; Alston, J T; Maloney, J E

    1989-01-01

    The lungs of the New Caldeonian gecko Rhacodactylus leachianus were examined by means of gross dissection and light and electron microscopy. This tropical species, which is the largest living gecko, possesses two simple, single-chambered lungs. Right and left lungs are of similar size and shape. The lung volume (27.2 ml.100 g-1) is similar to that of the tokay (Gekko gecko) but differs in that the gas exchange tissue is approximately homogeneously distributed, and the parenchymal units (ediculae) are very large, approximately 2 mm in diameter. The parenchymal depth varies according to the location in the lung, being deepest near the middle of the lung and shallowest caudally. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy reveal an unusual distribution of ciliated cells in patches on the edicular walls as well as on the trabeculae. Secretory cells are very numerous, particularly in the bronchial epithelium, where they greatly outnumber the ciliated cells. The secretory cells form a morphological continuum characterized by small secretory droplets apically and large vacuoles basally. This continuum includes cells resembling type II pneumocytes but which are devoid of lamellar bodies. Type I pneumocytes similar to those of other reptiles cover the respiratory capillaries, where they form a thin, air-blood barrier together with the capillary endothelial cells and the fused basement laminae. The innervation, musculature, and vascular distribution in R. leachianus are also characterized. Apparent simplification of the lungs in this taxon may be related to features of its sluggish habits, whereas peculiarities of cell and tissue composition may reflect demands of its mesic habitat.

  12. Sex determination in Madagascar geckos of the genus Paroedura (Squamata: Gekkonidae): are differentiated sex chromosomes indeed so evolutionary stable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koubová, Martina; Johnson Pokorná, Martina; Rovatsos, Michail; Farkačová, Klára; Altmanová, Marie; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2014-12-01

    Among amniote vertebrates, geckos represent a clade with exceptional variability in sex determination; however, only a minority of species of this highly diverse group has been studied in this respect. Here, we describe for the first time a female heterogamety in the genus Paroedura, the group radiated in Madagascar and adjacent islands. We identified homomorphic ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes with a highly heterochromatic W chromosome in Paroedura masobe, Paroedura oviceps, Paroedura karstophila, Paroedura stumpffi, and Paroedura lohatsara. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) revealed that female-specific sequences are greatly amplified in the W chromosome of P. lohatsara and that P. gracilis seems to possess a derived system of multiple sex chromosomes. Contrastingly, neither CGH nor heterochromatin visualization revealed differentiated sex chromosomes in the members of the Paroedura picta-Paroedura bastardi-Paroedura ibityensis clade, which is phylogenetically nested within lineages with a heterochromatic W chromosome. As a sex ratio consistent with genotypic sex determination has been reported in P. picta, it appears that the members of the P. picta-P. bastardi-P. ibityensis clade possess homomorphic, poorly differentiated sex chromosomes and may represent a rare example of evolutionary loss of highly differentiated sex chromosomes. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with a telomeric probe revealed a telomere-typical pattern in all species and an accumulation of telomeric sequences in the centromeric region of autosomes in P. stumpffi and P. bastardi. Our study adds important information for the greater understanding of the variability and evolution of sex determination in geckos and demonstrates how the geckos of the genus Paroedura provide an interesting model for studying the evolution of the sex chromosomes.

  13. Differentiation of sex chromosomes and karyotypic evolution in the eye-lid geckos (Squamata: Gekkota: Eublepharidae), a group with different modes of sex determination

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pokorná, M.; Rábová, Marie; Ráb, Petr; Kratochvíl, L.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 18, č. 6 (2010), s. 748-748 ISSN 0967-3849. [19th International Colloquium on animal cytogenetics and gene mapping. 06.06.-09.06.2010, Krakow] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50450515 Keywords : sex chromosomes * karyotypic evolution * eye-lid geckos Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology

  14. A new species of Spauligodon (Nematoda: Oxyurida: Pharyngodonidae) in geckos from São Nicolau Island (Cape Verde) and its phylogenetic assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorge, Fátima; Carretero, Miguel A; Perera, Ana; Harris, D James; Roca, Vicente

    2012-02-01

    A new nematode species, Spauligodon nicolauensis n. sp., is described from geckos Tarentola bocagei and Tarentola nicolauensis on the island of São Nicolau, Cape Verde. The new nematode was found in the pellets obtained directly from the geckos in a non-invasive fashion, and its identity was assessed both at morphologic and genetic levels. The new species has morphological similarities with Spauligodon tarentolae Spaul, 1926, also parasitizing geckos from the Canary Islands. However, the male cloacal region in the new species is distinct, presenting a different shape of the caudal papillae. The overall resemblance probably resulted from colonization via descent from an ancestor of S. tarentolae carried by the ancestor of Cape Verde Tarentola. The analysis of nuclear DNA sequences confirms that the new species is phylogenetically distinct from all other Spauligodon species already analyzed, forming a group clearly separated from species parasitizing lacertid lizards. The COI genetic distance suggests that the S. nicolauensis n. sp. found in the 2 species of geckos in São Nicolau Island may have resulted from a host-switching event, when they came into contact after the unification of the island.

  15. Phylogenetic relationships of geckos of the genus Nactus and their relatives (Squamata: Gekkonidae

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    Todd R. Jackman

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available We employed nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence data to investigate relationships within the gekkonid genus Nactus and between Nactus and other gekkonid genera. Nuclear (RAG-1, PDC and mitochondrial (ND2 data provide strong support for conflicting patterns of relationship among bisexual New Guinean species of Nactus and the unisexual oceanic form N. pelagicus. This may be explained by an ancient mitochondrial introgression event between N. sphaerodactylodes and N. vankampeni, a recent selective sweep of mitochondrial DNA throughout N. vankampeni, and gene conflict stemming from the hybrid event that gave rise to N. pelagicus. Strong support from all data partitions is obtained for the sister group relationship of Nactus to a clade consisting of the Australian Heteronotia and the Southeast Asian Dixonius. Putative synapomorphies of the Nactus/Heteronotia/Dixonius clade include the reduction of the second phalanx of digit IV of the manus and the presence of regular rows of keeled (sometimes multicarinate dorsal tubercles on the dorsum. Nactus and Heteronotia both include parthenogenetic species formed via hybridogenesis. This is rare among geckos, and vertebrates in general, and at some level may also be synapomorphic. Dixonius is not known to have any all-female species, but “D. siamensis” consists of multiple chromosome “races” that mirror morphologically cryptic, but karyotypically distinct, species in the other two genera. The strong support for the Nactus/Heteronotia/Dixonius clade demonstrates that the leaf-toed digital morphology of Dixonius has evolved multiple times within the Gekkonidae and suggests that superficial digital morphology may be misleading with respect to gekkonid suprageneric relationships.

  16. Landscape genetics of leaf-toed geckos in the tropical dry forest of northern Mexico.

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    Christopher Blair

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation due to both natural and anthropogenic forces continues to threaten the evolution and maintenance of biological diversity. This is of particular concern in tropical regions that are experiencing elevated rates of habitat loss. Although less well-studied than tropical rain forests, tropical dry forests (TDF contain an enormous diversity of species and continue to be threatened by anthropogenic activities including grazing and agriculture. However, little is known about the processes that shape genetic connectivity in species inhabiting TDF ecosystems. We adopt a landscape genetic approach to understanding functional connectivity for leaf-toed geckos (Phyllodactylus tuberculosus at multiple sites near the northernmost limit of this ecosystem at Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Traditional analyses of population genetics are combined with multivariate GIS-based landscape analyses to test hypotheses on the potential drivers of spatial genetic variation. Moderate levels of within-population diversity and substantial levels of population differentiation are revealed by FST and Dest. Analyses using structure suggest the occurrence of from 2 to 9 genetic clusters depending on the model used. Landscape genetic analysis suggests that forest cover, stream connectivity, undisturbed habitat, slope, and minimum temperature of the coldest period explain more genetic variation than do simple Euclidean distances. Additional landscape genetic studies throughout TDF habitat are required to understand species-specific responses to landscape and climate change and to identify common drivers. We urge researchers interested in using multivariate distance methods to test for, and report, significant correlations among predictor matrices that can impact results, particularly when adopting least-cost path approaches. Further investigation into the use of information theoretic approaches for model selection is also warranted.

  17. The measure of success: geographic isolation promotes diversification in Pachydactylus geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinicke, Matthew P; Jackman, Todd R; Bauer, Aaron M

    2017-01-11

    Geckos of the genus Pachydactylus and their close relatives comprise the most species-rich clade of lizards in sub-Saharan Africa. Many explanations have been offered to explain species richness patterns of clades. In the Pachydactylus group, one possible explanation is a history of diversification via geographic isolation. If geographic isolation has played a key role in facilitating diversification, then we expect species in more species-rich subclades to have smaller ranges than species in less diverse subclades. We also expect traits promoting geographic isolation to be correlated with small geographic ranges. In order to test these expectations, we performed phylogenetic analyses and tested for correlations among body size, habitat choice, range sizes, and diversification rates in the Pachydactylus group. Both body size and habitat use are inferred to have shifted multiple times across the phylogeny of the Pachydactylus group, with large size and generalist habitat use being ancestral for the group. Geographic range size is correlated with both of these traits. Small-bodied species have more restricted ranges than large-bodied species, and rock-dwelling species have more restricted ranges than either terrestrial or generalist species. Rock-dwelling and small body size are also associated with higher rates of diversification, and subclades retaining ancestral conditions for these traits are less species rich than subclades in which shifts to small body size and rocky habitat use have occurred. The phylogeny also illustrates inadequacies of the current taxonomy of the group. The results are consistent with a model in which lineages more likely to become geographically isolated diversify to a greater extent, although some patterns also resemble those expected of an adaptive radiation in which ecological divergence acts as a driver of speciation. Therefore, the Pachydactylus group may represent an intermediate between clades in which radiation is adaptive versus

  18. Phylogeny of bent-toed geckos (Cyrtodactylus) reveals a west to east pattern of diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Perry L; Heinicke, Matthew P; Jackman, Todd R; Bauer, Aaron M

    2012-12-01

    The Asian/Pacific genus Cyrtodactylus is the most diverse and among the most widely distributed genera of geckos, and more species are continually being discovered. Major patterns in the evolutionary history of Cyrtodactylus have remained largely unknown because no published study has broadly sampled across the geographic range and morphological diversity of the genus. We assembled a data set including sequences from one mitochondrial and three nuclear loci for 68 Cyrtodactylus and 20 other gekkotan species to infer phylogenetic relationships within the genus and identify major biogeographic patterns. Our results indicate that Cyrtodactylus is monophyletic, but only if the Indian/Sri Lankan species sometimes recognized as Geckoella are included. Basal divergences divide Cyrtodactylus into three well-supported groups: the single species C. tibetanus, a clade of Myanmar/southern Himalayan species, and a large clade including all other Cyrtodactylus plus Geckoella. Within the largest major clade are several well-supported subclades, with separate subclades being most diverse in Thailand, Eastern Indochina, the Sunda region, the Papuan region, and the Philippines, respectively. The phylogenetic results, along with molecular clock and ancestral area analyses, show Cyrtodactylus to have originated in the circum-Himalayan region just after the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary, with a generally west to east pattern of colonization and diversification progressing through the Cenozoic. Wallacean species are derived from within a Sundaland radiation, the Philippines were colonized from Borneo, and Australia was colonized twice, once via New Guinea and once via the Lesser Sundas. Overall, these results are consistent with past suggestions of a Palearctic origin for Cyrtodactylus, and highlight the key role of geography in diversification of the genus. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Landscape Genetics of Leaf-Toed Geckos in the Tropical Dry Forest of Northern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Christopher; Jiménez Arcos, Victor H.; Mendez de la Cruz, Fausto R.; Murphy, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation due to both natural and anthropogenic forces continues to threaten the evolution and maintenance of biological diversity. This is of particular concern in tropical regions that are experiencing elevated rates of habitat loss. Although less well-studied than tropical rain forests, tropical dry forests (TDF) contain an enormous diversity of species and continue to be threatened by anthropogenic activities including grazing and agriculture. However, little is known about the processes that shape genetic connectivity in species inhabiting TDF ecosystems. We adopt a landscape genetic approach to understanding functional connectivity for leaf-toed geckos (Phyllodactylus tuberculosus) at multiple sites near the northernmost limit of this ecosystem at Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Traditional analyses of population genetics are combined with multivariate GIS-based landscape analyses to test hypotheses on the potential drivers of spatial genetic variation. Moderate levels of within-population diversity and substantial levels of population differentiation are revealed by F ST and D est. Analyses using structure suggest the occurrence of from 2 to 9 genetic clusters depending on the model used. Landscape genetic analysis suggests that forest cover, stream connectivity, undisturbed habitat, slope, and minimum temperature of the coldest period explain more genetic variation than do simple Euclidean distances. Additional landscape genetic studies throughout TDF habitat are required to understand species-specific responses to landscape and climate change and to identify common drivers. We urge researchers interested in using multivariate distance methods to test for, and report, significant correlations among predictor matrices that can impact results, particularly when adopting least-cost path approaches. Further investigation into the use of information theoretic approaches for model selection is also warranted. PMID:23451230

  20. Organization of the auditory brainstem in a lizard, Gekko gecko. I. Auditory nerve, cochlear nuclei, and superior olivary nuclei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yezhong; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Carr, Catherine E

    2012-06-01

    We used tract tracing to reveal the connections of the auditory brainstem in the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko). The auditory nerve has two divisions, a rostroventrally directed projection of mid- to high best-frequency fibers to the nucleus angularis (NA) and a more dorsal and caudal projection of low to middle best-frequency fibers that bifurcate to project to both the NA and the nucleus magnocellularis (NM). The projection to NM formed large somatic terminals and bouton terminals. NM projected bilaterally to the second-order nucleus laminaris (NL), such that the ipsilateral projection innervated the dorsal NL neuropil, whereas the contralateral projection crossed the midline and innervated the ventral dendrites of NL neurons. Neurons in NL were generally bitufted, with dorsoventrally oriented dendrites. NL projected to the contralateral torus semicircularis and to the contralateral ventral superior olive (SOv). NA projected to ipsilateral dorsal superior olive (SOd), sent a major projection to the contralateral SOv, and projected to torus semicircularis. The SOd projected to the contralateral SOv, which projected back to the ipsilateral NM, NL, and NA. These results suggest homologous patterns of auditory connections in lizards and archosaurs but also different processing of low- and high-frequency information in the brainstem. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.