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Sample records for pinnipeds

  1. Comparative assessment of amphibious hearing in pinnipeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichmuth, Colleen; Holt, Marla M; Mulsow, Jason; Sills, Jillian M; Southall, Brandon L

    2013-06-01

    Auditory sensitivity in pinnipeds is influenced by the need to balance efficient sound detection in two vastly different physical environments. Previous comparisons between aerial and underwater hearing capabilities have considered media-dependent differences relative to auditory anatomy, acoustic communication, ecology, and amphibious life history. New data for several species, including recently published audiograms and previously unreported measurements obtained in quiet conditions, necessitate a re-evaluation of amphibious hearing in pinnipeds. Several findings related to underwater hearing are consistent with earlier assessments, including an expanded frequency range of best hearing in true seals that spans at least six octaves. The most notable new results indicate markedly better aerial sensitivity in two seals (Phoca vitulina and Mirounga angustirostris) and one sea lion (Zalophus californianus), likely attributable to improved ambient noise control in test enclosures. An updated comparative analysis alters conventional views and demonstrates that these amphibious pinnipeds have not necessarily sacrificed aerial hearing capabilities in favor of enhanced underwater sound reception. Despite possessing underwater hearing that is nearly as sensitive as fully aquatic cetaceans and sirenians, many seals and sea lions have retained acute aerial hearing capabilities rivaling those of terrestrial carnivores.

  2. Dirofilaria immitis in pinnipeds and a?new host record

    OpenAIRE

    Alho, Ana Margarida; Marcelino, In?s; Colella, Vito; Flanagan, Carla; Silva, Nuno; Correia, Jorge Jesus; Latrofa, Maria Stefania; Otranto, Domenico; Madeira de Carvalho, Lu?s

    2017-01-01

    Background Dirofilaria immitis is a mosquito-borne pathogen that is spreading worldwide, and the associated infection (i.e. dirofilariosis) is becoming a threat to animals and humans living in endemic areas. Little is known about the occurrence and risk of infection of D. immitis in pinnipeds. Here we report dirofilariosis by D. immitis in several pinniped species kept in captivity in Portugal. Methods Animals were housed in an oceanographic park located in Algarve, southern Portugal, a geogr...

  3. Records of pinnipeds in the Mascarene Islands, 1996 - 2014 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    While no populations of seals are resident in the tropical Indian Ocean, vagrant animals are occasionally sighted in the region. Here we detail two new sightings of pinnipeds in the Mascarene Islands (Mauritius, Reunion and Rodrigues) since 1996 and review a further 15. These include nine records of southern elephant ...

  4. 76 FR 56167 - Marine Mammals; Pinniped Removal Authority

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-12

    ... problem interactions. See http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Marine-Mammals/Seals-and-Sea-Lions/Sec-120-Authority.cfm... to the pinniped predation problem at Bonneville Dam and is not a na[iuml]ve animal that can be driven... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA681 Marine...

  5. Do White Shark Bites on Surfers Reflect Their Attack Strategies on Pinnipeds?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erich Ritter

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The theory of mistaken identity states that sharks, especially white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, mistake surfers for pinnipeds when looking at them from below and thus bite them erroneously. Photographs of surfer wounds and board damage were interpreted with special emphasis on shark size, wound severity, and extent of damage to a board. These were compared with the concurrent literature on attack strategies of white sharks on pinnipeds and their outcomes. The results show that the majority of damage to surfers and their boards is at best superficial-to-moderate in nature and does not reflect the level of damage needed to immobilize or stun a pinniped. It is further shown that the size distribution of sharks biting surfers differs from that in pinnipeds. The results presented show that the theory of mistaken identity, where white sharks erroneously mistake surfers for pinnipeds, does not hold true and should be rejected.

  6. AFSC/NMML/CCEP: Food Habits of Pinnipeds at San Miguel Island, California

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Mammal Laboratories' California Current Ecosystem Program (AFSC/NOAA) collects fecal samples to examine the diet of pinnipeds, including...

  7. San Francisco Littoral Cell CRSMP Pinniped Haul-Out Sites 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — NMFS does not have a GIS-based database for all of the pinniped haulout sites in California. Much of the information is known through word of mouth or in unpublished...

  8. Bioacoustics of Monterey Bay Pinnipeds: Extraction of Information from Acoustic Signals

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schusterman, Ronald

    2002-01-01

    ... of pinnipeds while developing and carrying out complementary independent investigations. During the award period, both students received specialized training in animal psychophysics, experimental design, and acoustic instrumentation and measurement...

  9. Re-Evaluation of Morphological Characters Questions Current Views of Pinniped Origins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koretsky I. A.

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The origin of pinnipeds has been a contentious issue, with opposite sides debating monophyly or diphyly. This review uses evidence from the fossil record, combined with comparative morphology, molecular and cytogenetic investigations to evaluate the evolutionary history and phylogenetic relationships of living and fossil otarioid and phocoid pinnipeds. Molecular investigations support a monophyletic origin of pinnipeds, but disregard vital morphological data. Likewise, morphological studies support diphyly, but overlook molecular analyses. This review will demonstrate that a monophyletic origin of pinnipeds should not be completely accepted, as is the current ideology, and a diphyletic origin remains viable due to morphological and paleobiological analyses. Critical examination of certain characters, used by supporters of pinniped monophyly, reveals different polarities, variability, or simply convergence. The paleontological record and our morphological analysis of important characters supports a diphyletic origin of pinnipeds, with otarioids likely arising in the North Pacific from large, bear-like animals and phocids arising in the North Atlantic from smaller, otter-like ancestors. Although members of both groups are known by Late Oligocene time, each developed and invaded the aquatic environment separately from their much earlier, common arctoid ancestor. Therefore, we treat the superfamily Otarioidea as being monophyletic, including the families Enaliarctidae, Otariidae (fur seals/sea lions, Desmatophocidae, and Odobenidae (walruses and extinct relatives, and the superfamily Phocoidea as monophyletic, including only the family Phocidae, with four subfamilies (Devinophocinae, Phocinae, Monachinae, and Cystophorinae.

  10. Comparative axial morphology in pinnipeds and its correlation with aquatic locomotory behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, S E; Clack, J A; Hutchinson, J R

    2011-10-01

    Regional variation in the axial skeleton of pinnipeds (seals and walruses) and its correlation with aquatic locomotory behaviour is examined using vertebral functional profiles. The results demonstrate clear morpho-functional differences in the thoracolumbar region of modern pinnipeds (Phocidae, Otariidae, Odobenus) that can be strongly linked to swimming style. Phocid seals have a rigid thoracic region attached to a highly flexible lumbar region with long muscular lever arms providing the necessary mobility and leverage to perform pelvic oscillations. Conversely, otariid seals have extremely flexible inter-vertebral joints along the length of the column which should enhance manoeuvrability and turning performance. They also have greater muscular leverage in the anterior thoracic region to support pectoral oscillations. Odobenus (walrus) shows vertebral characteristics most similar to phocids, but with some otariid qualities, consistent with an intermediate or mixed form of aquatic locomotion, with pelvic oscillation dominating over pectoral oscillation. Comparison of the vertebral functional profiles in the fossil taxon Allodesmus kernensis with those of modern pinniped clades reveals that this extinct pinniped may also have used a combination of pectoral and pelvic oscillatory movements during swimming, but in a manner opposite to that of Odobenus, with pectoral oscillatory movements dominating. This study raises questions about the evolution and diversification of pinniped locomotory behaviours, but also provides the necessary framework to begin to examine axial mechanics and locomotory stages in other fossil pinnipedimorphs and their relatives in more detail. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Anatomy © 2011 Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

  11. 75 FR 8677 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-25

    ... not more than one year, by United States citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than.... Pinniped research activities involve monitoring breeding northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) to determine attendance patterns; resighting previously-tagged elephant seals; and conducting weekly...

  12. Characterization of phocid herpesvirus-1 and -2 as putative alpha- and gamma-herpesviruses of North American and European pinnipeds.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T.C. Harder (Timm); M. Harder; H. Vos; K. Kulonen; S. Kennedy-Stoskopf; B. Liess; M.J.G. Appel (Max); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert)

    1996-01-01

    textabstractTo study the relationships between herpesvirus recently isolated from different pinniped species, antigenic and genetic analyses were performed. First, herpesviruses isolated from North American harbour seals (Phoca vitulina), a Californian sea lion (Zalophus californianus) and a

  13. Dirofilaria immitis in pinnipeds and a new host record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alho, Ana Margarida; Marcelino, Inês; Colella, Vito; Flanagan, Carla; Silva, Nuno; Correia, Jorge Jesus; Latrofa, Maria Stefania; Otranto, Domenico; Madeira de Carvalho, Luís

    2017-03-13

    Dirofilaria immitis is a mosquito-borne pathogen that is spreading worldwide, and the associated infection (i.e. dirofilariosis) is becoming a threat to animals and humans living in endemic areas. Little is known about the occurrence and risk of infection of D. immitis in pinnipeds. Here we report dirofilariosis by D. immitis in several pinniped species kept in captivity in Portugal. Animals were housed in an oceanographic park located in Algarve, southern Portugal, a geographical area endemic for canine dirofilariosis. To assess the occurrence of D. immitis, blood was collected from the park's resident pinniped population, which consisted of 16 animals (5 common seals Phoca vitulina, 2 grey seals Halichoerus grypus, 3 California sea lions Zalophus californianus and 6 South African fur seals Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus). Dirofilaria immitis nematodes were detected by real-time PCR and by the presence of circulating antigens. In addition, modified Knott's technique was performed to detect circulating microfilariae. Necropsies and histopathological examination of two animals which died during the study were also conducted. Out of the 16 pinnipeds housed at the park, seven (43.8%) were positive for D. immitis by real-time PCR (3 P. vitulina, 2 Z. californianus and 2 A. p. pusillus), two of which (P. vitulina) were also positive for the nematode's antigen. Additionally, D. immitis microfilariae were detected in one A. p. pusillus. Furthermore, several D. immitis specimens were retrieved from the right ventricle and pulmonary arteries at the necropsy of one P. vitulina and one A. p. pusillus. This study provides new epidemiological data on D. immitis infection in pinnipeds diagnosed through clinical, molecular and pathological findings. Additionally, the South African fur seal is herein reported as a new host for this zoonotic filarioid. The situation herein described could also occur in other parks located in areas where canine dirofilariosis is endemic. Active

  14. Effect of angle on flow-induced vibrations of pinniped vibrissae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christin T Murphy

    Full Text Available Two types of vibrissal surface structures, undulated and smooth, exist among pinnipeds. Most Phocidae have vibrissae with undulated surfaces, while Otariidae, Odobenidae, and a few phocid species possess vibrissae with smooth surfaces. Variations in cross-sectional profile and orientation of the vibrissae also exist between pinniped species. These factors may influence the way that the vibrissae behave when exposed to water flow. This study investigated the effect that vibrissal surface structure and orientation have on flow-induced vibrations of pinniped vibrissae. Laser vibrometry was used to record vibrations along the whisker shaft from the undulated vibrissae of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina and northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris and the smooth vibrissae of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus. Vibrations along the whisker shaft were measured in a flume tank, at three orientations (0°, 45°, 90° to the water flow. The results show that vibration frequency and velocity ranges were similar for both undulated and smooth vibrissae. Angle of orientation, rather than surface structure, had the greatest effect on flow-induced vibrations. Vibration velocity was up to 60 times higher when the wide, flat aspect of the whisker faced into the flow (90°, compared to when the thin edge faced into the flow (0°. Vibration frequency was also dependent on angle of orientation. Peak frequencies were measured up to 270 Hz and were highest at the 0° orientation for all whiskers. Furthermore, CT scanning was used to quantify the three-dimensional structure of pinniped vibrissae that may influence flow interactions. The CT data provide evidence that all vibrissae are flattened in cross-section to some extent and that differences exist in the orientation of this profile with respect to the major curvature of the hair shaft. These data support the hypothesis that a compressed cross-sectional profile may play a key role in reducing self

  15. Molecular Indicators of Chronic Stress in a Model Pinniped - The Northern Elephant Seal

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Pinniped - The Northern Elephant Seal Cory Champagne , Jane Kyudyakov, & Dorian Houser National Marine Mammal Foundation 2240 Shelter Island Dr, Suite...in studies of stress and its impacts ( Champagne et al, 2012). Measurements will be conducted in juvenile elephant seals that reliably haul out each...their large adipose stores) and a reduced amino acid release (potentially resulting from a protein sparing adaptation during fasting; Champagne et

  16. Archaeofaunal insights on pinniped-human interactions in the northeastern Pacific

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gifford-Gonzales, D; Newsome, S; Koch, P; Guilderson, T; Snodgrass, J; Burton, R

    2004-02-07

    Human exploitation of pinnipeds has considerable antiquity but shows increasing impacts on population numbers in the Holocene. Pinnipeds are a rich source of fat as well as protein. A few well-documented cases of regional extirpation of seals and sea lions by non-industrial peoples exist. The northeastern Pacific region, from southern California to Alaska, has yielded archaeological evidence for distributions and abundances of eared seals that differs markedly from historically documented biogeography. This is especially true of the northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus), among the most common pinnipeds in many archaeological sites from the Santa Barbara Channel area through to Kodiak Islands. This chapter reviews contemporary eared seal biogeography, evidence for the earlier timing and extent, of occurrence of northern fur seals along the northeastern Pacific coast, zooarchaeological and isotopic evidence for their foraging and probable maintenance of rookeries in lower latitudes, and for their disappearance from the southernmost part of their ancient distribution well before European contact. It also reviews ongoing debates over the behavioral ecology of ancient fur seals and over humans role in contributing to their disappearance.

  17. Photomicrographic images of some features of Uncinaria spp (Nematoda: Ancylostomatidae) from otariid pinnipeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, E T; DeLong, R L

    2005-03-01

    Photomicrographs of several morphologic features of hookworms (Uncinaria spp) from northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) pups are presented. The main purpose is to show and describe some physical characteristics of hookworms from the two hosts; it is not to decide from these attributes whether the Uncinaria spp are the same species. The number of species of Uncinaria in pinnipeds is uncertain and specimens need to be examined from the various infected seals and sea lions before the taxonomy of these parasites can be clarified. Information in the present paper should aid in this determination.

  18. Inflation and deflation pressure-volume loops in anesthetized pinnipeds confirms compliant chest and lungs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahlman, Andreas; Loring, Stephen H; Johnson, Shawn P; Haulena, Martin; Trites, Andrew W; Fravel, Vanessa A; Van Bonn, William G

    2014-01-01

    We examined structural properties of the marine mammal respiratory system, and tested Scholander's hypothesis that the chest is highly compliant by measuring the mechanical properties of the respiratory system in five species of pinniped under anesthesia (Pacific harbor seal, Phoca vitulina; northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris; northern fur seal Callorhinus ursinus; California sea lion, Zalophus californianus; and Steller sea lion, Eumetopias jubatus). We found that the chest wall compliance (CCW) of all five species was greater than lung compliance (airways and alveoli, CL) as predicted by Scholander, which suggests that the chest provides little protection against alveolar collapse or lung squeeze. We also found that specific respiratory compliance was significantly greater in wild animals than in animals raised in an aquatic facility. While differences in ages between the two groups may affect this incidental finding, it is also possible that lung conditioning in free-living animals may increase pulmonary compliance and reduce the risk of lung squeeze during diving. Overall, our data indicate that compliance of excised pinniped lungs provide a good estimate of total respiratory compliance.

  19. Inflation and deflation pressure-volume loops in anesthetized pinnipeds confirms compliant chest and lungs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eFahlman

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available We examined structural properties of the marine mammal respiratory system, and tested Scholander’s hypothesis that the chest is highly compliant by measuring the mechanical properties of the respiratory system in five species of pinniped under anesthesia (Pacific harbor seal, Phoca vitulina; northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris; northern fur seal Callorhinus ursinus; California sea lion, Zalophus californianus; and Steller sea lion, Eumetopias jubatus. We found that the chest wall compliance (CCW of all five species was greater than lung compliance (airways and alveoli, CL as predicted by Scholander, which suggests that the chest provides little protection against alveolar collapse or lung squeeze. We also found that specific respiratory compliance was significantly greater in wild animals than in animals raised under human care. While differences in ages between the two groups may affect this incidental finding, it is also possible that lung conditioning in free-living animals may increase pulmonary compliance and reduce the risk of lung squeeze during diving. Overall, our data indicate that compliance of excised pinniped lungs provide a good estimate of total respiratory compliance.

  20. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in pinnipeds stranded along the southern California coast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meng Xiangzhou; Blasius, Mary Ellen; Gossett, Richard W.; Maruya, Keith A.

    2009-01-01

    Little to no information exists for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in marine mammals frequenting the highly urbanized southern California (USA) coast. Fourteen PBDE congeners were determined by GC-ECNI-MS in blubber of pinnipeds stranded locally between 1994 and 2006. Total PBDE concentrations (ΣPBDE) in California sea lion (n = 63) ranged from 0.04 to 33.7 μg/g wet weight (mean: 5.24 μg/g). To our knowledge, these are the highest reported PBDE levels in marine mammals to date. By comparison, mean ΣPBDE in Pacific harbor seals (n = 9) and northern elephant seals (n = 16) were 0.96 and 0.09 μg/g, respectively. PBDEs in adult males were higher than for adult females, however, no age class differences or temporal trends were observed. As the first PBDE data reported for marine mammals in this region, the elevated levels underscore the need for additional studies on the sources, temporal trends, and potential effects of PBDEs in highly urbanized coastal zones. - Levels of PBDEs in pinnipeds found stranded along the southern California coast (USA) between 1994 and 2006 are the highest reported to date for marine mammals.

  1. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in pinnipeds stranded along the southern California coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meng Xiangzhou [Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, 3535 Harbor Blvd, Suite 110, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (United States); Blasius, Mary Ellen; Gossett, Richard W. [Institute for Integrated Research in Materials, Environments and Society (IIRMES), California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840 (United States); Maruya, Keith A., E-mail: keithm@sccwrp.or [Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, 3535 Harbor Blvd, Suite 110, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (United States)

    2009-10-15

    Little to no information exists for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in marine mammals frequenting the highly urbanized southern California (USA) coast. Fourteen PBDE congeners were determined by GC-ECNI-MS in blubber of pinnipeds stranded locally between 1994 and 2006. Total PBDE concentrations (SIGMAPBDE) in California sea lion (n = 63) ranged from 0.04 to 33.7 mug/g wet weight (mean: 5.24 mug/g). To our knowledge, these are the highest reported PBDE levels in marine mammals to date. By comparison, mean SIGMAPBDE in Pacific harbor seals (n = 9) and northern elephant seals (n = 16) were 0.96 and 0.09 mug/g, respectively. PBDEs in adult males were higher than for adult females, however, no age class differences or temporal trends were observed. As the first PBDE data reported for marine mammals in this region, the elevated levels underscore the need for additional studies on the sources, temporal trends, and potential effects of PBDEs in highly urbanized coastal zones. - Levels of PBDEs in pinnipeds found stranded along the southern California coast (USA) between 1994 and 2006 are the highest reported to date for marine mammals.

  2. A review of the welfare impact on Pinnipeds of plastic marine debris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Butterworth

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Uncounted, and usually unobserved, numbers of pinnipeds find themselves entangled in lost fishing gear, monofilament line, nets, rope, plastic packaging in the ocean or on the shoreline. These animals may carry debris wrapped around themselves for long periods, and often die as a result, sometimes from deep chronic wounds. The pinniped species most affected by this modern and manmade phenomenon are fur seals, monk seals, and California sea lions, and to a lesser extent grey, common and monk seals. Entanglement rates described range up to 7.9% of local populations annually, and the common entangling materials; packing bands, fragments of lost net, rope, monofilament line, fishery flashers and lures, long-line fishing gear, hooks and line, and bait hooks are discussed. Awareness of this issue is increasing, and local action is reported to have made measurable differences in entanglement rates, however, plastic material in the ocean is likely to be long lived, and will leave many entangled pinnpeds unreported and result in a hidden and potentially significant effect on wild animal welfare.

  3. Comparison of pinniped and cetacean prey tissue lipids with lipids of their elasmobranch predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Bruce; Cliff, Geremy

    2014-01-01

    The great white shark is known to include pinnipeds and cetaceans in its diet. Both groups of marine mammals deposit thick blubber layers around their bodies. Elasmobranchs do not produce adipose tissue, but rather store lipid in their livers, thus a great white predating on a marine mammal will deposit the lipids in its liver until required. Samples from great white liver and muscle, Cape fur seal, Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin and common dolphin liver, muscle and blubber were analyzed for their lipid and fatty acid profiles. The great white liver and marine mammal blubber samples showed a considerable degree of homogeneity, but there were significant differences when comparing between the muscle samples. Blubber from all three marine mammal species was calculated to provide greater than 95% of lipid intake for the great white shark from the tissues analyzed. Sampling of prey blubber may give a good indication of the lipids provided to the shark predator.

  4. NCCOS Assessment: Predictive Mapping of Seabirds, Pinnipeds and Cetaceans off the Pacific Coast of Washington from 1995-07-21 to 2015-12-08 (NCEI Accession 0148762)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data collection comprises seasonal distribution maps and model outputs of selected seabird, pinniped and cetacean species off the Pacific coast of Washington....

  5. Skin histology and its role in heat dissipation in three pinniped species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khamas Wael A

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pinnipeds have a thick blubber layer and may have difficulty maintaining their body temperature during hot weather when on land. The skin is the main thermoregulatory conduit which emits excessive body heat. Methods Thorough evaluation of the skin histology in three pinniped species; the California sea lion-Zalophus californianus, the Pacific harbor seal-Phoca vitulina richardsi, and the Northern elephant seal-Mirounga angustirostris, was conducted to identify the presence, location and distribution of skin structures which contribute to thermoregulation. These structures included hair, adipose tissue, sweat glands, vasculature, and arteriovenous anastomoses (AVA. Thermal imaging was performed on live animals of the same species to correlate histological findings with thermal emission of the skin. Results The presence and distribution of skin structures directly relates to emissivity of the skin in all three species. Emissivity of skin in phocids (Pacific harbor and Northern elephant seals follows a different pattern than skin in otariids (California sea lions. The flipper skin in phocids tends to be the most emissive region during hot weather and least emissive during cold weather. On the contrary in otariids, skin of the entire body has a tendency to be emissive during both hot and cold weather. Conclusion Heat dissipation of the skin directly relates to the presence and distribution of skin structures in all three species. Different skin thermal dissipation patterns were observed in phocid versus otariid seals. Observed thermal patterns can be used for proper understanding of optimum thermal needs of seals housed in research facilities, rescue centers and zoo exhibits.

  6. Expanding the geographic and geochronologic range of early pinnipeds: New specimens of Enaliarctos from Northern California and Oregon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley W. Poust

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The early pinnipedimorph Enaliarctos was a marine-adapted carnivore with dental and locomotor features intermediate between terrestrial arctoids and living pinnipeds. New specimens of Enaliarctos are described from Oligocene and Miocene deposits on the Pacific coast of North America, and include the oldest enaliarctine mandible (Yaquina Formation, 30.6–27.4 Ma, the first enaliarctine from Northern California (Skooner Gulch Formation, 23.8–22 Ma, and the stratigraphically youngest fossil of the genus (Astoria Formation, 17.3–16.6 Ma. The wide biogeographic and temporal range of Enaliarctos provided the potential for interaction or competition with plotopterid birds, odontocete whales, and crown pinnipeds such as early odobenids, early otariids, and desmatophocids. The expansion of the known ranges of Enaliarctos species and the description of additional morphology, particularly of the mandible and lower dentition, provides insight into the origins of pinniped diversity and their possible interactions with other early Neogene coastal marine organisms.

  7. The use of diagnostic imaging for identifying abnormal gas accumulations in cetaceans and pinnipeds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie eDennison

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent dogma suggested that marine mammals are not at risk of decompression sickness (DCS due to a number of evolutionary adaptations. Several proposed adaptations exist. Lung compression and alveolar collapse that terminate gas exchange before a depth is reached where supersaturation is significant and bradycardia with peripheral vasoconstriction affecting the distribution, and dynamics of blood and tissue nitrogen levels. Published accounts of gas and fat emboli and dysbaric osteonecrosis in marine mammals and theoretical modeling have challenged this view-point, suggesting that decompression-like symptoms may occur under certain circumstances, contrary to common belief. Diagnostic imaging modalities are invaluable tools for the non-invasive examination of animals for evidence of gas and have been used to demonstrate the presence of incidental decompression-related renal gas accumulations in some stranded cetaceans. Diagnostic imaging has also contributed to the recognition of clinically significant gas accumulations in live and dead cetaceans and pinnipeds. Understanding the appropriate application and limitations of the available imaging modalities is important for accurate interpretation of results. The presence of gas may be incidental and must be interpreted cautiously alongside all other available data including clinical examination, clinical laboratory testing, gas analysis, necropsy examination and histology results.

  8. Serologic evidence of Brucella infection in pinnipeds along the coast of Hokkaido, the northernmost main island of Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Erika; Ohishi, Kazue; Ishinazaka, Tsuyoshi; Fujii, Kei; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2017-04-01

    Brucella infection in Hokkaido was serologically surveyed in four species of pinnipeds inhabiting Cape Erimo during 2008-2013 and the Shiretoko Peninsula in 1999 by ELISA using Brucella abortus and B. canis as antigens. Anti-Brucella positive sera showed higher absorbance to B. abortus than B. canis in almost all samples. Anti-B. abortus antibodies were detected in serum samples from 24% (n = 55) of Western Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina stejnegeri) in Cape Erimo and from 66% (n = 41) of spotted seals (P. largha), 15% (n = 20) of ribbon seals (Histriophoca fasciata) and 18% (n = 17) of Western Steller's sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus jubatus) in the Shiretoko Peninsula. Anti-Brucella antibodies were detected at higher absorbance in 1- to 4-year-old harbor seals than in the pups and mature animals, suggesting either that Brucella infection mainly occurs after weaning or that it is maternally transmitted to pups with premature or suppressed immunity. Anti-Brucella antibodies were detected in both immature and mature spotted seals and ribbon seals, with higher absorbance in the former. The antibodies were detected only in mature Western Steller's sea lions. Western blot analysis of the serum samples showed some differences in band appearances, namely discrete versus smeary, and in the number of bands, indicating that multiple different Brucella may be prevalent in pinnipeds in Hokkaido. Alternatively, the Brucella of pinnipeds may have some intra-species diversity. © 2017 The Societies and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  9. Evaluating hair as a predictor of blood mercury: the influence of ontogenetic phase and life history in pinnipeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Sarah H.; McHuron, Elizabeth A.; Kennedy, Stephanie N.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Rea, Lorrie D.; Castellini, J. Margaret; O'Hara, Todd M.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) biomonitoring of pinnipeds increasingly utilizes nonlethally collected tissues such as hair and blood. The relationship between total Hg concentrations ([THg]) in these tissues is not well understood for marine mammals, but it can be important for interpretation of tissue concentrations with respect to ecotoxicology and biomonitoring. We examined [THg] in blood and hair in multiple age classes of four pinniped species. For each species, we used paired blood and hair samples to quantify the ability of [THg] in hair to predict [THg] in blood at the time of sampling and examined the influence of varying ontogenetic phases and life history of the sampled animals. Overall, we found that the relationship between [THg] in hair and blood was affected by factors including age class, weaning status, growth, and the time difference between hair growth and sample collection. Hair [THg] was moderately to strongly predictive of current blood [THg] for adult female Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), adult female California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and adult harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), whereas hair [THg] was poorly predictive or not predictive (different times of year) of blood [THg] for adult northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris). Within species, except for very young pups, hair [THg] was a weaker predictor of blood [THg] for prereproductive animals than for adults likely due to growth, variability in foraging behavior, and transitions between ontogenetic phases. Our results indicate that the relationship between hair [THg] and blood [THg] in pinnipeds is variable and that ontogenetic phase and life history should be considered when interpreting [THg] in these tissues.

  10. Contaminant exposure and effects in pinnipeds: implications for Steller sea lion declines in Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron, Mace G; Heintz, Ron; Krahn, Margaret M

    2003-07-20

    After nearly 3 decades of decline, the western stock of Steller sea lions (SSL; Eumetopias jubatus) was listed as an endangered species in 1997. While the cause of the decline in the 1970s and 1980s has been attributed to nutritional stress, recent declines are unexplained and may result from other factors including the presence of environmental contaminants. SSL tissues show accumulation of butyltins, mercury, PCBs, DDTs, chlordanes and hexachlorobenzene. SSL habitats and prey are contaminated with additional chemicals including mirex, endrin, dieldrin, hexachlorocyclohexanes, tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and related compounds, cadmium and lead. In addition, many SSL haulouts and rookeries are located near other hazards including radioactivity, solvents, ordnance and chemical weapon dumps. PCB and DDT concentrations measured in a few SSL during the 1980s were the highest recorded for any Alaskan pinniped. Some contaminant exposures in SSL appear to be elevated in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea compared to southeast Alaska, but there are insufficient data to evaluate geospatial relationships with any certainty. Based on very limited blubber data, current levels of PCBs may not pose a risk to SSL based on comparison to immunotoxicity tissue benchmarks, but SSL may have been at risk from pre-1990 PCB exposures. While exposure to PCBs and DDTs may be declining, SSL are likely exposed to a multitude of other contaminants that have not been monitored. The impacts of these exposures on SSL remain unknown because causal effects have not been established. Field studies with SSL have been limited in scope and have not yet linked contaminant exposures to adverse animal health or population effects. Several biomarkers may prove useful for monitoring exposure and additional research is needed to evaluate their utility in SSL. We conclude that there are insufficient data to reject the hypothesis that contaminants play a role in the continued decline of SSL, and suggest

  11. Review of the systematics, biology and ecology of lice from pinnipeds and river otters (Insecta: Phthiraptera: Anoplura: Echinophthiriidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soledad Leonardi, Maria; Palma, Ricardo Luis

    2013-01-01

    We present a literature review of the sucking louse family Echinophthiriidae, its five genera and twelve species parasitic on pinnipeds (fur seals, sea lions, walruses, true seals) and the North American river otter. We give detailed synonymies and published records for all taxonomic hierarchies, as well as hosts, type localities and repositories of type material; we highlight significant references and include comments on the current taxonomic status of the species. We provide a summary of present knowledge of the biology and ecology for eight species. Also, we give a host-louse list, and a bibliography to the family as complete as possible.

  12. Otariodibacter oris and Bisgaardia genomospecies 1 isolated from infections in pinnipeds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mie Johanne; Bertelsen, Mads Frost; Delaney, Martha Ann

    2013-01-01

    We document the first associations of two recently described species of Pasteurellaceae bacteria with lesions in wild pinnipeds in rehabilitation. Samples were collected from nine lesions in four California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and two Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) during...... in pure culture from four abscesses, an affected lymph node, and a bone lesion consistent with osteomyelitis. Otariodibacter oris was also cultured with Arcanobacterium phocae and β-hemolytic streptococci. A pure culture of Bisgaardia genomospecies 1 was obtained from an abscess in a harbor seal...... in a harbor seal implies causality....

  13. Ecotoxicoparasitology of the gastrointestinal tracts of pinnipeds: the effect of parasites on the potential bioavailability of total mercury (THg).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrew, Ashley K; O'Hara, Todd M; Stricker, Craig A; Salman, Mo D; Van Bonn, William; Gulland, Frances M D; Whiting, Alex; Ballweber, Lora R

    2018-08-01

    Acanthocephalans, cestodes, and some species of nematodes acquire nutrients from the lumen contents in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of their definitive host. These parasites are exposed to toxicants, such as mercury (Hg), through passive or active feeding mechanisms; therefore, the focus of this study was to determine if there is an effect of parasites on the dietary availability of total mercury (THg) within piscivorous pinniped hosts. THg concentrations ([THg]) in selected host tissues, parasites, and GI lumen contents from 22 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), 15 ringed seals (Phoca hispida), and 4 spotted seals (Phoca largha) were determined. Among all pinnipeds, [THg] in acanthocephalans of the large intestine were significantly higher than concentrations in other samples (host lumen contents, other parasites and host intestinal wall), irrespective of location within the host GI tract. δ 15 N values of parasites depended both on parasite group and location within the GI tract. δ 15 N values were consistently higher in parasites inhabiting the large intestine, compared to elsewhere in the GI tract, for both sea lions and seals. δ 13 C values in parasites did not differ significantly from host GI tissues. Based on both [THg] and stable isotope values, parasites are likely affecting the Hg bioavailability within the GI lumen contents and host tissues, and toxicant-parasite interactions appear to depend on both parasitic taxon as well as their location within the host intestine. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Enamel ultrastructure of fossil and modern pinnipeds: evaluating hypotheses of feeding adaptations in the extinct walrus Pelagiarctos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loch, Carolina; Boessenecker, Robert W.; Churchill, Morgan; Kieser, Jules

    2016-06-01

    This study aimed to assess the enamel ultrastructure in modern otariid pinnipeds and in the extinct walrus Pelagiarctos. Teeth of the New Zealand fur seal ( Arctocephalus forsteri), sea lion ( Phocarctos hookeri), and fossil walrus Pelagiarctos thomasi were embedded, sectioned, etched, and analyzed via scanning electron microscopy. The enamel of NZ otariids and Pelagiarctos was prismatic and moderately thick, measuring 150-450 μm on average. It consisted of transversely oriented Hunter-Schreger bands (HSBs) from the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) to near the outer surface, where it faded into prismless enamel less than 10 μm thick. The width of HSB was variable and averaged between 6 and 10 prisms, and they presented an undulating course both in longitudinal and cross sections. The overall organization of the enamel was similar in all teeth sampled; however, the enamel was thicker in canines and postcanines than in incisors. The crowns of all teeth sampled were uniformly covered by enamel; however, the grooved incisors lacked an enamel cover on the posterior side of the buccal face. Large tubules and tuft-like structures were seen at the EDJ. HSB enamel as well as tubules and tufts at the EDJ suggest increased occlusal loads during feeding, a biomechanical adaptation to avoid enamel cracking and failure. Despite overall simplification in tooth morphology and reduced mastication, the fossil and modern pinnipeds analyzed here retained the complex undulating HSB structure of other fossils and living Carnivora, while other marine mammals such as cetaceans developed simplified radial enamel.

  15. Accuracy of ARGOS locations of Pinnipeds at-sea estimated using Fastloc GPS.

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    Daniel P Costa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: ARGOS satellite telemetry is one of the most widely used methods to track the movements of free-ranging marine and terrestrial animals and is fundamental to studies of foraging ecology, migratory behavior and habitat-use. ARGOS location estimates do not include complete error estimations, and for many marine organisms, the most commonly acquired locations (Location Class 0, A, B, or Z are provided with no declared error estimate. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We compared the accuracy of ARGOS Locations to those obtained using Fastloc GPS from the same electronic tags on five species of pinnipeds: 9 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus, 4 Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki, 6 Cape fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus, 3 Australian fur seals (A. p. doriferus and 5 northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris. These species encompass a range of marine habitats (highly pelagic vs coastal, diving behaviors (mean dive durations 2-21 min and range of latitudes (equator to temperate. A total of 7,318 ARGOS positions and 27,046 GPS positions were collected. Of these, 1,105 ARGOS positions were obtained within five minutes of a GPS position and were used for comparison. The 68(th percentile ARGOS location errors as measured in this study were LC-3 0.49 km, LC-2 1.01 km, LC-1 1.20 km, LC-0 4.18 km, LC-A 6.19 km, LC-B 10.28 km. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The ARGOS errors measured here are greater than those provided by ARGOS, but within the range of other studies. The error was non-normally distributed with each LC highly right-skewed. Locations of species that make short duration dives and spend extended periods on the surface (sea lions and fur seals had less error than species like elephant seals that spend more time underwater and have shorter surface intervals. Supplemental data (S1 are provided allowing the creation of density distributions that can be used in a variety of filtering algorithms to improve the

  16. From mammals back to birds: Host-switch of the acanthocephalan Corynosoma australe from pinnipeds to the Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Orts, Jesús Servando; Brandão, Martha; Georgieva, Simona; Raga, Juan Antonio; Crespo, Enrique Alberto; Luque, José Luis; Aznar, Francisco Javier

    2017-01-01

    Trophically-transmitted parasites are regularly exposed to potential new hosts through food web interactions. Successful colonization, or switching, to novel hosts, occur readily when 'donor' and 'target' hosts are phylogenetically related, whereas switching between distantly related hosts is rare and may result from stochastic factors (i.e. rare favourable mutations). This study investigates a host-switching event between a marine acanthocephalan specific to pinnipeds that is apparently able to reproduce in Magellanic penguins Spheniscus magellanicus from Brazil. Detailed analysis of morphological and morphometrical data from acanthocephalans from penguins indicates that they belong to Corynosoma australe Johnston, 1937. Partial fragments of the 28S rRNA and mitochondrial cox1 genes were amplified from isolates from penguins and two pinniped species (i.e. South American sea lion Otaria flavescens and South American fur seal Arctocephalus australis) to confirm this identification. Infection parameters clearly differ between penguins and the two pinniped species, which were significantly lower in S. magellanicus. The sex ratio of C. australe also differed between penguins and pinnipeds; in S. magellanicus was strongly biased against males, while in pinnipeds it was close to 1:1. Females of C. australe from O. flavescens were smaller than those from S. magellanicus and A. australis. However, fecundity (i.e. the proportion of fully developed eggs) was lower and more variable in females collected from S. magellanicus. At first glance, the occurrence of reproductive individuals of C. australe in Magellanic penguins could be interpreted as an adaptive colonization of a novel avian host through favourable mutations. However, it could also be considered, perhaps more likely, as an example of ecological fitting through the use of a plesimorphic (host) resource, since the ancestors of Corynosoma infected aquatic birds.

  17. The Ancestral Carnivore Karyotype As Substantiated by Comparative Chromosome Painting of Three Pinnipeds, the Walrus, the Steller Sea Lion and the Baikal Seal (Pinnipedia, Carnivora.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Violetta R Beklemisheva

    Full Text Available Karyotype evolution in Carnivora is thoroughly studied by classical and molecular cytogenetics and supplemented by reconstructions of Ancestral Carnivora Karyotype (ACK. However chromosome painting information from two pinniped families (Odobenidae and Otariidae is noticeably missing. We report on the construction of the comparative chromosome map for species from each of the three pinniped families: the walrus (Odobenus rosmarus, Odobenidae-monotypic family, near threatened Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus, Otariidae and the endemic Baikal seal (Pusa sibirica, Phocidae using combination of human, domestic dog and stone marten whole-chromosome painting probes. The earliest karyological studies of Pinnipedia showed that pinnipeds were characterized by a pronounced karyological conservatism that is confirmed here with species from Phocidae, Otariidae and Odobenidae sharing same low number of conserved human autosomal segments (32. Chromosome painting in Pinnipedia and comparison with non-pinniped carnivore karyotypes provide strong support for refined structure of ACK with 2n = 38. Constructed comparative chromosome maps show that pinniped karyotype evolution was characterized by few tandem fusions, seemingly absent inversions and slow rate of genome rearrangements (less then one rearrangement per 10 million years. Integrative comparative analyses with published chromosome painting of Phoca vitulina revealed common cytogenetic signature for Phoca/Pusa branch and supports Phocidae and Otaroidea (Otariidae/Odobenidae as sister groups. We revealed rearrangements specific for walrus karyotype and found the chromosomal signature linking together families Otariidae and Odobenidae. The Steller sea lion karyotype is the most conserved among three studied species and differs from the ACK by single fusion. The study underlined the strikingly slow karyotype evolution of the Pinnipedia in general and the Otariidae in particular.

  18. From mammals back to birds: Host-switch of the acanthocephalan Corynosoma australe from pinnipeds to the Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesús Servando Hernández-Orts

    Full Text Available Trophically-transmitted parasites are regularly exposed to potential new hosts through food web interactions. Successful colonization, or switching, to novel hosts, occur readily when 'donor' and 'target' hosts are phylogenetically related, whereas switching between distantly related hosts is rare and may result from stochastic factors (i.e. rare favourable mutations. This study investigates a host-switching event between a marine acanthocephalan specific to pinnipeds that is apparently able to reproduce in Magellanic penguins Spheniscus magellanicus from Brazil. Detailed analysis of morphological and morphometrical data from acanthocephalans from penguins indicates that they belong to Corynosoma australe Johnston, 1937. Partial fragments of the 28S rRNA and mitochondrial cox1 genes were amplified from isolates from penguins and two pinniped species (i.e. South American sea lion Otaria flavescens and South American fur seal Arctocephalus australis to confirm this identification. Infection parameters clearly differ between penguins and the two pinniped species, which were significantly lower in S. magellanicus. The sex ratio of C. australe also differed between penguins and pinnipeds; in S. magellanicus was strongly biased against males, while in pinnipeds it was close to 1:1. Females of C. australe from O. flavescens were smaller than those from S. magellanicus and A. australis. However, fecundity (i.e. the proportion of fully developed eggs was lower and more variable in females collected from S. magellanicus. At first glance, the occurrence of reproductive individuals of C. australe in Magellanic penguins could be interpreted as an adaptive colonization of a novel avian host through favourable mutations. However, it could also be considered, perhaps more likely, as an example of ecological fitting through the use of a plesimorphic (host resource, since the ancestors of Corynosoma infected aquatic birds.

  19. Impact of human-associated Escherichia coli clonal groups in Antarctic pinnipeds: presence of ST73, ST95, ST141 and ST131.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Azucena; García-Peña, Francisco Javier; Alonso, María Pilar; Pedraza-Diaz, Susana; Ortega-Mora, Luis Miguel; Garcia-Parraga, Daniel; López, Cecilia; Viso, Susana; Dahbi, Ghizlane; Marzoa, Juan; Sergeant, Martin J; García, Vanesa; Blanco, Jorge

    2018-03-16

    There is growing concern about the spreading of human microorganisms in relatively untouched ecosystems such as the Antarctic region. For this reason, three pinniped species (Leptonychotes weddellii, Mirounga leonina and Arctocephalus gazella) from the west coast of the Antartic Peninsula were analysed for the presence of Escherichia spp. with the recovery of 158 E. coli and three E. albertii isolates. From those, 23 harboured different eae variants (α1, β1, β2, ε1, θ1, κ, ο), including a bfpA-positive isolate (O49:H10-A-ST206, eae-k) classified as typical enteropathogenic E. coli. Noteworthy, 62 of the 158 E. coli isolates (39.2%) exhibited the ExPEC status and 27 (17.1%) belonged to sequence types (ST) frequently occurring among urinary/bacteremia ExPEC clones: ST12, ST73, ST95, ST131 and ST141. We found similarities >85% within the PFGE-macrorrestriction profiles of pinniped and human clinic O2:H6-B2-ST141 and O16:H5/O25b:H4-B2-ST131 isolates. The in silico analysis of ST131 Cplx genomes from the three pinnipeds (five O25:H4-ST131/PST43-fimH22-virotype D; one O16:H5-ST131/PST506-fimH41; one O25:H4-ST6252/PST9-fimH22-virotype D1) identified IncF and IncI1 plasmids and revealed high core-genome similarities between pinniped and human isolates (H22 and H41 subclones). This is the first study to demonstrate the worrisome presence of human-associated E. coli clonal groups, including ST131, in Antarctic pinnipeds.

  20. Food habit studies of pinnipeds conducted at San Miguel Island, California by Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 1980-02-01 to 2014-01-31 (NCEI Accession 0145166)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Mammal Laboratories' California Current Ecosystem Program (AFSC/NOAA) collects fecal samples to examine the diet of pinnipeds, including...

  1. Molecular systematics of pinniped hookworms (Nematoda: Uncinaria): species delimitation, host associations and host-induced morphometric variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadler, Steven A; Lyons, Eugene T; Pagan, Christopher; Hyman, Derek; Lewis, Edwin E; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Bell, Cameron M; Castinel, Aurelie; Delong, Robert L; Duignan, Padraig J; Farinpour, Cher; Huntington, Kathy Burek; Kuiken, Thijs; Morgades, Diana; Naem, Soraya; Norman, Richard; Parker, Corwin; Ramos, Paul; Spraker, Terry R; Berón-Vera, Bárbara

    2013-12-01

    Hookworms of the genus Uncinaria have been widely reported from juvenile pinnipeds, however investigations of their systematics has been limited, with only two species described, Uncinaria lucasi from northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) and Uncinaria hamiltoni from South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens). Hookworms were sampled from these hosts and seven additional species including Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis), Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus), New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri), southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina), and the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus). One hundred and thirteen individual hookworms, including an outgroup species, were sequenced for four genes representing two loci (nuclear ribosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA). Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences recovered seven independent evolutionary lineages or species, including the described species and five undescribed species. The molecular evidence shows that U. lucasi parasitises both C. ursinus and E. jubatus, whereas U. hamiltoni parasitises O. flavescens and A. australis. The five undescribed hookworm species were each associated with single host species (Z. californianus, A. pusillus, P. hookeri, M. leonina and M. monachus). For parasites of otarids, patterns of Uncinaria host-sharing and phylogenetic relationships had a strong biogeographic component with separate clades of parasites from northern versus southern hemisphere hosts. Comparison of phylogenies for these hookworms and their hosts suggests that the association of U. lucasi with northern fur seals results from a host-switch from Steller sea lions. Morphometric data for U. lucasi shows marked host-associated size differences for both sexes, with U. lucasi individuals from E. jubatus significantly larger. This result suggests that adult growth of U. lucasi is reduced within the

  2. ECOLOGICAL SITUATION ON THE TYULENIY ISLAND IN THE OKHOTSK SEA (2015: POPULATION INTERACTIONS BETWEEN PINNIPEDS, BIRDS, IXODIDAE TICKS AND VIRUSES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Yu. Shchelkanov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Analysis of environmental status Tyuleniy Island after a 25-year break in ecological and virological expeditions.Discussion. The paper presents the first results of the ecological and virological expedition to the Tyuleniy Island in August 2015 – the first after a 25 year break. Species of colonial seabirds and pinnipeds are described as well as their population interactions with each other and with Ixodidae ticks Ixodes uriae, which parasite in breeding colonies of birds and are hosts and vectors of several arboviruses that pose a potential risk to mammals. Two strains were isolated from common murre cloaca swabs using chicken embryo biological model. Complete genome sequencing permitted to identify these strains as NDV/Uria aalge/Russia/Tyuleniy Island/109/2015 (GenBank ID: KU601398 and APMV-4/Uria aalge/Russia/Tyuleniy Island/115/2015 (GenBank ID: KU601399. Strain of new virus (Bunyaviridae, Nairovirus was isolated from homogenate of I. uriae on the model of intracerebrally inoculated newborn mice and was identified by sequencing of the fragment (240 nucleotides of the N-gene.Conclusion. The Tyuleniy Island confirmed its importance as a reservoir of arboviruses. The ecological conditions of the Tyuleniy Island requires urgent action to clean up the island from the old buildings and giving it the status of the reserve. 

  3. Options for modulating intra-specific competition in colonial pinnipeds: the case of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina in the Wadden Sea

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    Rory P. Wilson

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Colonial pinnipeds may be subject to substantial consumptive competition because they are large, slow-moving central place foragers. We examined possible mechanisms for reducing this competition by examining the diving behaviour of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina after equipping 34 seals (11 females, 23 males foraging from three locations; Rømø, Denmark and Lorenzenplate and Helgoland, Germany, in the Wadden Sea area with time-depth recorders. Analysis of 319,021 dives revealed little between-colony variation but appreciable inter-sex differences, with males diving deeper than females, but for shorter periods. Males also had higher vertical descent rates. This result suggests that males may have higher overall swim speeds, which would increase higher oxygen consumption, and may explain the shorter dive durations compared to females. Intersex variation in swim speed alone is predicted to lead to fundamental differences in the time use of three-dimensional space, which may help reduce consumptive competition in harbour seals and other colonial pinnipeds.

  4. Perros ferales en la isla de Cedros, Baja California, México: una posible amenaza para los pinnípedos Feral dogs at Isla de Cedros, Baja California, Mexico: a possible threat for pinnipeds

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    María Concepción García-Aguilar

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available La presencia de perros ferales (Canis lupus familiaris en la isla de Cedros, Baja California, México, fue documentada hace más de 15 años. En el verano de 2009 e invierno 2009/2010, se realizaron 2 campañas de muestreo en la costa noreste de la isla para evaluar los hábitos alimentarios de los perros en las cercanías de las zonas de reproducción y descanso del lobo marino de California (Zalophus californianus y del elefante marino del norte (Mirounga angustirostris. Los mamíferos constituyeron el grupo consumido más importante en la alimentación de los perros (85.4%. Los resultados de este estudio muestran que en la costa noreste de la isla de Cedros los perros se alimentan de pinnípedos: el elefante marino fue la especie que más se consumió, con el mayor porcentaje en ambas temporadas (43.3% en verano y 51.9% en invierno; el lobo marino, fue la segunda durante el verano (23.3%, aunque su porcentaje disminuyó en el invierno (5.8%. Además del potencial impacto que el consumo por los perros pueda tener sobre las poblaciones de los pinnípedos, una amenaza adicional es la posible transmisión de los patógenos caninos, con serias consecuencias epizoóticas.The presence of feral dogs (Canis lupus familiaris in Isla de Cedros, Baja California, Mexico, has been documented for over 15 years. In the summer of2009 and the winter of 2009/2010, 2 sampling surveys were conducted in the northeast coastal portion of the island to assess the diet of feral dogs in the vicinity of hauled out California sea lions (Zalophus californianus and northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris. Mammals were the most important prey group in the diet of dogs (85.4%. Our results show that in the northeast coast of Isla de Cedros, feral dogs feed on pinnipeds: the elephant seal was the most important prey in both seasons (43.3% in summer and 51.9% in winter, followed by the sea lion as the second most important prey during the summer (23.3%, while its

  5. New records of non-resident pinnipeds from the Gulf of California, Mexico Registros nuevos de pinnípedos no-residentes en el golfo de California, México

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    Juan Pablo Gallo-Reynoso

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Although the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus is the only pinniped resident in the Gulf of California, there are occasional records of 3 additional species; here we report 4 recent records of the Guadalupe fur seal (Artocephalus townsendi, 6 of the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris and 2 of the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina. Harbor seals have been observed mostly during the winter-spring months of El Niño years, before water temperature warms in the summer. It is possible that juveniles and subadult and adult males of A. townsendi and M. angustirostris are using the Gulf as an alternative feeding area during the season of intensive feeding as individuals disperse more and more widely as their populations grow.Aunque en el golfo de California, el único pinnípedo residente es el lobo marino de California (Zalophus californianus, existen registros ocasionales de otras 3 especies; en la presente nota se proporcionan 4 registros recientes de lobo fino de Guadalupe (Arctocephalus townsendi, 6 de elefante marino del norte (Mirounga angustirostris y 2 de foca común (Phoca vitulina. La foca común se ha observado principalmente durante los meses de invierno-primavera en años de El Niño, antes del calentamiento anual del agua en verano. Es posible que los juveniles y los machos sub-adultos y adultos tanto de A. townsendi como de M. angustirostris hagan uso del golfo como un sitio alternativo durante la temporada de alimentación intensiva como de su expansión geográfica debido a su incremento poblacional.

  6. AFSC/NMML/CCEP: Channel Islands Pinniped Census

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Mammal Laboratories' California Current Ecosystem Program (AFSC/NOAA) initiated and maintains census programs for California sea lions (Zalophus...

  7. Individual foraging strategies reveal niche overlap between endangered galapagos pinnipeds.

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    Stella Villegas-Amtmann

    Full Text Available Most competition studies between species are conducted from a population-level approach. Few studies have examined inter-specific competition in conjunction with intra-specific competition, with an individual-based approach. To our knowledge, none has been conducted on marine top predators. Sympatric Galapagos fur seals (Arctocephalus galapagoensis and sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki share similar geographic habitats and potentially compete. We studied their foraging niche overlap at Cabo Douglas, Fernandina Island from simultaneously collected dive and movement data to examine spatial and temporal inter- and intra-specific competition. Sea lions exhibited 3 foraging strategies (shallow, intermediate and deep indicating intra-specific competition. Fur seals exhibited one foraging strategy, diving predominantly at night, between 0-80 m depth and mostly at 19-22 h. Most sea lion dives also occurred at night (63%, between 0-40 m, within fur seals' diving depth range. 34% of sea lions night dives occurred at 19-22 h, when fur seals dived the most, but most of them occurred at dawn and dusk, when fur seals exhibited the least amount of dives. Fur seals and sea lions foraging behavior overlapped at 19 and 21 h between 0-30 m depths. Sea lions from the deep diving strategy exhibited the greatest foraging overlap with fur seals, in time (19 h, depth during overlapping time (21-24 m, and foraging range (37.7%. Fur seals foraging range was larger. Cabo Douglas northwest coastal area, region of highest diving density, is a foraging "hot spot" for both species. Fur seals and sea lions foraging niche overlap occurred, but segregation also occurred; fur seals primarily dived at night, while sea lions exhibited night and day diving. Both species exploited depths and areas exclusive to their species. Niche breadth generally increases with environmental uncertainty and decreased productivity. Potential competition between these species could be greater during warmer periods when prey availability is reduced.

  8. Parasites and associated pathology observed in pinnipeds stranded along the Oregon coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroud, R K

    1978-07-01

    Forty-two seals and sea lions found dead along the Oregon Coast were examined for parasites and associated pathology. Nematode infections of the lung and/or gastrointestinal tract were the primary cause of death in 5 of 42 animals examined. New distribution records were established for Pricetrema zalophi and Zalophotrema hepaticum. New host records include Z. hepaticum and Diphyllobothrium cordatum in the Steller's sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus); Nanophyetus salmincola in the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus); P. zalophi in the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina); and P. zalophi, Trigonocotyle sp. and Otostrongylus circumlitus in the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris).

  9. Quantifying Stress in Marine Mammals: Measuring Biologically Active Cortisol in Cetaceans and Pinnipeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    boonstra/ LONG-TERM GOALS This research will improve our ability to measure stress in marine mammals. Stress hormones ( glucocorticoids ...either cortisol or corticosterone) are easily measured in blood and are an important measure of stress. However, a large proportion of glucocorticoids ...are best estimated by measuring “free glucocorticoid ” levels (i.e. that hormone not bound by CBG). This project will improve the capacity of marine

  10. 78 FR 66686 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-06

    .... Researchers would conduct occasional, intermittent visits during the rest of the year. A majority of the... immature seals and adult females return to molt. During the time they are onshore they are fasting (NPS.... Landing--403. ANI Seabird Monitoring 68 1 Other Areas--12...... Other Areas--816. ANI Intermittent...

  11. 77 FR 73989 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-12

    ... National Seashore, plan to conduct the proposed activities for one year. We determined the application... colonies; observing seabird nesting habitat; restoring nesting burrows; observing breeding elephant seals... (Zalophus californianus), Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), northern elephant seals (Mirounga...

  12. 76 FR 30311 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-25

    ... Reyes National Seashore, plan to conduct the proposed activities for one year. NMFS reviewed PRBO's... burrows; observing breeding elephant seals, and resupplying a field station. The proposed activities would... California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), northern elephant seals...

  13. 76 FR 46724 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-03

    ... Nuevo Island, and Point Reyes National Seashore in central California (CA) for one year. PRBO, along... research activities for one year. NMFS reviewed PRBO's application and identified a number of issues...; observing seabird nesting habitat; restoring nesting burrows; observing breeding elephant seals, and...

  14. 77 FR 59377 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-27

    ... of five times per year. To conduct the census, the researchers would travel by foot approximately 1... order to implement the mitigation measures that require real-time monitoring, and to satisfy the... marine mammals by harassment. Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the Act establishes a 45-day time limit for our...

  15. Applicability of single-camera photogrammetry to determine body dimensions of pinnipeds: Galapagos sea lions as an example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meise, Kristine; Mueller, Birte; Zein, Beate; Trillmich, Fritz

    2014-01-01

    Morphological features correlate with many life history traits and are therefore of high interest to behavioral and evolutionary biologists. Photogrammetry provides a useful tool to collect morphological data from species for which measurements are otherwise difficult to obtain. This method reduces disturbance and avoids capture stress. Using the Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) as a model system, we tested the applicability of single-camera photogrammetry in combination with laser distance measurement to estimate morphological traits which may vary with an animal's body position. We assessed whether linear morphological traits estimated by photogrammetry can be used to estimate body length and mass. We show that accurate estimates of body length (males: ±2.0%, females: ±2.6%) and reliable estimates of body mass are possible (males: ±6.8%, females: 14.5%). Furthermore, we developed correction factors that allow the use of animal photos that diverge somewhat from a flat-out position. The product of estimated body length and girth produced sufficiently reliable estimates of mass to categorize individuals into 10 kg-classes of body mass. Data of individuals repeatedly photographed within one season suggested relatively low measurement errors (body length: 2.9%, body mass: 8.1%). In order to develop accurate sex- and age-specific correction factors, a sufficient number of individuals from both sexes and from all desired age classes have to be captured for baseline measurements. Given proper validation, this method provides an excellent opportunity to collect morphological data for large numbers of individuals with minimal disturbance.

  16. Seals and sea lions are what they eat, plus what? Determination of trophic discrimination factors for seven pinniped species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltran, Roxanne S; Peterson, Sarah H; McHuron, Elizabeth A; Reichmuth, Colleen; Hückstädt, Luis A; Costa, Daniel P

    2016-05-15

    Mixing models are a common method for quantifying the contribution of prey sources to the diet of an individual using stable isotope analysis; however, these models rely upon a known trophic discrimination factor (hereafter, TDF) that results from fractionation between prey and animal tissues. Quantifying TDFs in captive animals is ideal, because diet is controlled and the proportional contributions and isotopic values of all prey items are known. To calculate TDFs for the Hawaiian monk seal, northern elephant seal, bearded seal, ringed seal, spotted seal, harbor seal, and California sea lion, we obtained whiskers, serum, plasma, red blood cells, and prey items from nine captive individuals. We obtained δ(13) C and δ(15) N values using continuous-flow isotope-ratio mass spectrometry. The average δ(13) C and δ(15) N values from bulk and lipid-corrected prey from the diet were subtracted from the δ(13) C and δ(15) N values of each blood and whisker sample to calculate tissue-specific TDFs for each individual (∆(13) C or ∆(15) N). The ∆(13) C values ranged from +1.7 to +3.2‰ (bulk prey) and from +0.8 to +1.9‰ (lipid-corrected prey) for the various blood components, and from +3.9 to +4.6‰ (bulk prey) or +2.6 to +3.9‰ (lipid-corrected prey) for whiskers. The ∆(15) N values ranged from +2.2 to +4.3‰ for blood components and from +2.6 to +4.0‰ for whiskers. The TDFs tended to group by tissue, with whiskers having greater ∆(13) C values than blood components. In contrast, the ∆(15) N values were greater in serum and plasma than in red blood cells and whiskers. By providing the first TDF values for five seal species (family Phocidae) and one otariid species (family Otariidae), our study facilitates more accurate mixing models for these species. These values are particularly important for critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals and the three Arctic seal species (bearded, ringed, and spotted) that are faced with a rapidly changing environment. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. Occurrence of Can-SINEs and intron sequence evolution supports robust phylogeny of pinniped carnivores and their terrestrial relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröder, Christiane; Bleidorn, Christoph; Hartmann, Stefanie; Tiedemann, Ralph

    2009-12-15

    Investigating the dog genome we found 178965 introns with a moderate length of 200-1000 bp. A screening of these sequences against 23 different repeat libraries to find insertions of short interspersed elements (SINEs) detected 45276 SINEs. Virtually all of these SINEs (98%) belong to the tRNA-derived Can-SINE family. Can-SINEs arose about 55 million years ago before Carnivora split into two basal groups, the Caniformia (dog-like carnivores) and the Feliformia (cat-like carnivores). Genome comparisons of dog and cat recovered 506 putatively informative SINE loci for caniformian phylogeny. In this study we show how to use such genome information of model organisms to research the phylogeny of related non-model species of interest. Investigating a dataset including representatives of all major caniformian lineages, we analysed 24 randomly chosen loci for 22 taxa. All loci were amplifiable and revealed 17 parsimony-informative SINE insertions. The screening for informative SINE insertions yields a large amount of sequence information, in particular of introns, which contain reliable phylogenetic information as well. A phylogenetic analysis of intron- and SINE sequence data provided a statistically robust phylogeny which is congruent with the absence/presence pattern of our SINE markers. This phylogeny strongly supports a sistergroup relationship of Musteloidea and Pinnipedia. Within Pinnipedia, we see strong support from bootstrapping and the presence of a SINE insertion for a sistergroup relationship of the walrus with the Otariidae.

  18. Applicability of single-camera photogrammetry to determine body dimensions of pinnipeds: Galapagos sea lions as an example.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine Meise

    Full Text Available Morphological features correlate with many life history traits and are therefore of high interest to behavioral and evolutionary biologists. Photogrammetry provides a useful tool to collect morphological data from species for which measurements are otherwise difficult to obtain. This method reduces disturbance and avoids capture stress. Using the Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki as a model system, we tested the applicability of single-camera photogrammetry in combination with laser distance measurement to estimate morphological traits which may vary with an animal's body position. We assessed whether linear morphological traits estimated by photogrammetry can be used to estimate body length and mass. We show that accurate estimates of body length (males: ±2.0%, females: ±2.6% and reliable estimates of body mass are possible (males: ±6.8%, females: 14.5%. Furthermore, we developed correction factors that allow the use of animal photos that diverge somewhat from a flat-out position. The product of estimated body length and girth produced sufficiently reliable estimates of mass to categorize individuals into 10 kg-classes of body mass. Data of individuals repeatedly photographed within one season suggested relatively low measurement errors (body length: 2.9%, body mass: 8.1%. In order to develop accurate sex- and age-specific correction factors, a sufficient number of individuals from both sexes and from all desired age classes have to be captured for baseline measurements. Given proper validation, this method provides an excellent opportunity to collect morphological data for large numbers of individuals with minimal disturbance.

  19. The immunocompetence handicap hypothesis in two sexually dimorphic pinniped species - there a sex difference in immunity during early development?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hall, A.J.; Engelhard, G.H.; Brasseur, S.M.J.M.; Vecchione, A.; Burton, H.R.; Reijnders, P.J.H.

    2003-01-01

    The 'immunocompetence handicap hypothesis' predicts that highly sexually dimorphic and polygynous species will exhibit sex differences in immunity. We tested this hypothesis in southern elephant and grey seals during their early development by measuring the following parameters: leucocyte counts,

  20. The immunocompetence handicap hypothesis in two sexually dimorphic pinniped species - is there a sex difference in immunity during early development?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hall, AJ; Englehard, GH; Brasseur, SMJM; Vecchione, A; Burton, HR; Reijnders, PJH

    2003-01-01

    The 'immunocompetence handicap hypothesis' predicts that highly sexually dimorphic and polygynous species will exhibit sex differences in immunity. We tested this hypothesis in southern elephant and grey seals during their early development by measuring the following parameters: leucocyte counts,

  1. From mammals back to birds: Host-switch of the acanthocephalan Corynosoma australe from pinnipeds to the Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hernandez-Orts, J. S.; Brandao, M.; Georgieva, Simona; Raga, J. A.; Crespo, E.A.; Luque, J.L.; Aznar, F. J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 10 (2017), č. článku e0183809. E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : mitochondrial gene-sequences * parasite community structure * american sea lion * phylogenetic-relationships * arctocephalus-australis * polymorphidae acanthocephala * ecological specialization * evolutionary ecology * systematic position * helminth-parasites Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  2. Competition influence in the segregation of the trophic niche of otariids: a case study using isotopic Bayesian mixing models in Galapagos pinnipeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Páez-Rosas, Diego; Rodríguez-Pérez, Mónica; Riofrío-Lazo, Marjorie

    2014-12-15

    The feeding success of predators is associated with the competition level for resources, and, thus, sympatric species are exposed to a potential trophic overlap. Isotopic Bayesian mixing models should provide a better understanding of the contribution of preys to the diet of predators and the feeding behavior of a species over time. The carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures from pup hair samples of 93 Galapagos sea lions and 48 Galapagos fur seals collected between 2003 and 2009 in different regions (east and west) of the archipelago were analyzed. A PDZ Europa ANCA-GSL elemental analyzer interfaced with a PDZ Europa 20-20 continuous flow gas source mass spectrometer was employed. Bayesian models, SIAR and SIBER, were used to estimate the contribution of prey to the diet of predators, the niche breadth, and the trophic overlap level between the populations. Statistical differences in the isotopic values of both predators were observed over the time. The mixing model determined that Galapagos fur seals had a primarily teutophagous diet, whereas the Galapagos sea lions fed exclusively on fish in both regions of the archipelago. The SIBER analysis showed differences in the trophic niche between the two sea lion populations, with the western rookery of the Galapagos sea lion being the population with the largest trophic niche area. A trophic niche partitioning between Galapagos fur seals and Galapagos sea lions in the west of the archipelago is suggested by our results. At intraspecific level, the western population of the Galapagos sea lion (ZwW) showed higher trophic breadth than the eastern population, a strategy adopted by the ZwW to decrease the interspecific competition levels in the western region. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  3. Otariodibacter oris gen. nov., sp. nov., a member of the family Pasteurellaceae isolated from the oral cavity of pinnipeds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mie Johanne; Bertelsen, Mads Frost; Christensen, Henrik

    2012-01-01

    from existing genera of the Pasteurellaceae by the following tests: positive reactions for catalase, oxidase, Voges-Proskauer and indole; no X- or V-factor dependency; and acid production from L-arabinose (slow), L-fucose, maltose and trehalose, but not from dulcitol, D-mannitol, D-mannose or sucrose...

  4. Characterizing pinniped use of offshore oil and gas platforms as haulouts and foraging areas in waters off southern California from 2013-01-01 to 2015-01-31 (NCEI Accession 0138984)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) use offshore oil and gas platforms as resting and foraging areas. Both...

  5. 77 FR 44218 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16111

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-27

    ... (B. physalus), humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), eastern gray (Eschrichtius robustus), sperm... for population counts and scat collection to study harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) and other pinnipeds...

  6. Structural characterisation of Toll-like receptor 1 (TLR1) and Toll-like receptor 6 (TLR6) in elephant and harbor seals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woodman, Sally; Gibson, Amanda J.; Garcia, Ana Rubio; Contreras, Guillermo Sanchez; Rossen, John W.; Werling, Dirk; Offord, Victoria

    Pinnipeds are a diverse Glade of semi-aquatic mammals, which act as key indicators of ecosystem health. Their transition from land to marine environments provides a complex microbial milieu, making them vulnerable to both aquatic and terrestrial pathogens, thereby contributing to pinniped population

  7. 75 FR 53723 - Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-541)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-01

    ... Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-541), as amended by the Antarctic Science, Tourism and...-depth sensing equipment is available, however positioning such devices near seabird and pinniped...

  8. AFSC/NMML/CCEP: Raw telemetry data for California sea lions and northern fur seals in waters off California, Oregon, and Washington during 2002-2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The purpose of this project was to obtain data that are pertinent to assessing aspects of the distribution and foraging ecology of pinnipeds inhabiting the...

  9. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: North Carolina: M_MAMMAL (Marine Mammal Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for whales, porpoises, dolphins, manatees, and pinnipeds in North Carolina. Vector polygons in this data...

  10. 77 FR 50990 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-23

    ... to a single pup approximately 4- 5 days after arrival and will nurse pups for about a week before... pinnipeds before close approach to avoid being seen by animals; and (7) rescheduling work at sites where...

  11. Clawed forelimbs allow northern seals to eat like their ancient ancestors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocking, David P.; Marx, Felix G.; Sattler, Renae; Harris, Robert N.; Pollock, Tahlia I.; Sorrell, Karina J.; Fitzgerald, Erich M. G.; McCurry, Matthew R.; Evans, Alistair R.

    2018-04-01

    Streamlined flippers are often considered the defining feature of seals and sea lions, whose very name `pinniped' comes from the Latin pinna and pedis, meaning `fin-footed'. Yet not all pinniped limbs are alike. Whereas otariids (fur seals and sea lions) possess stiff streamlined forelimb flippers, phocine seals (northern true seals) have retained a webbed yet mobile paw bearing sharp claws. Here, we show that captive and wild phocines routinely use these claws to secure prey during processing, enabling seals to tear large fish by stretching them between their teeth and forelimbs. `Hold and tear' processing relies on the primitive forelimb anatomy displayed by phocines, which is also found in the early fossil pinniped Enaliarctos. Phocine forelimb anatomy and behaviour therefore provide a glimpse into how the earliest seals likely fed, and indicate what behaviours may have assisted pinnipeds along their journey from terrestrial to aquatic feeding.

  12. 50 CFR 216.272 - Permissible methods of taking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ...) (iii) Pinnipeds: (A) Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris)—4795 (an average of 959 annually... of the species listed in § 216.272(c)(1)(ii)(D) through (G) over the course of the 5-year regulations. ...

  13. Fulltext PDF

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2012-08-11

    Aug 11, 2012 ... This preference reflects the fundamental influence that lactation has ... For example, milk may direct the development of organs such as the gut, can ... For example, the three families of pinnipeds, comprising phocids (true ...

  14. Walrus Haulout and In-water Activity Levels Relative to Sea Ice Availability in the Chukchi Sea: 2008-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — An animal’s energetic costs are dependent on the amount of time it allocates to various behavioral activities. For Arctic pinnipeds, the time allocated to active...

  15. Veterinary Research Manpower Development for Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-01

    other species will be examined, if available. Other species of pinnipeds recorded in Brazil include the South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens...Norton Evaluation of Serum Amyloid A in Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) DiMeglio, Julie, V14 Dr. E. McCobb Pilot Study to Establish A...Clinical Significance of Parasites in Stranded Pinnipeds in Southern Brazil Kozol, Stephanie, V15 Dr. E. McCobb Anesthetic Management and Short

  16. Fishing gear-related injury in California marine wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dau, Brynie Kaplan; Gilardi, Kirsten V K; Gulland, Frances M; Higgins, Ali; Holcomb, Jay B; Leger, Judy St; Ziccardi, Michael H

    2009-04-01

    We reviewed medical records from select wildlife rehabilitation facilities in California to determine the prevalence of injury in California Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), gulls (Larus spp.), and pinniped species (Zalophus californianus, Mirounga angustirostris, and Phoca vitulina) due to fishing gear entanglement and ingestion from 2001 to 2006. Of 9,668 Brown Pelican, gull, and pinniped cases described during the 6-yr study period (2001-06), 1,090 (11.3%) were fishing gear-related. Pelican injuries caused by fishing gear were most common in the Monterey Bay region, where 59.6% of the pelicans rescued in this area and admitted to a rehabilitation center were injured by fishing gear over the 6-yr period. The highest prevalence of fishing gear-related injury in gulls was documented in the Los Angeles/Orange County region (16.1%), whereas the highest prevalences in pinnipeds were seen in the San Diego region (3.7%). Despite these higher prevalences of gull and pinniped fishing gear-related injuries in these specific regions, there was no statistical significance in these trends. Juvenile gulls and pinnipeds were more commonly injured by fishing gear than adults (gulls: P = 0.03, odds ratio = 1.29; pinnipeds: P = 0.01, odds ratio = 2.07). Male pinnipeds were twice as likely to be injured by fishing gear as females (P gear-related injury cases that were successfully rehabilitated and released (percentage of cases successfully rehabilitated to the point of release out of the total number of fishing gear-related injury cases) was high in all three species groups (pelicans: 63%; gulls: 54%; pinnipeds: 70%). Fishing gear-related injuries in Brown Pelicans and gulls were highest in the fall, but there was only a significant difference between seasons for fishing gear-related injuries in pelicans. Fishing gear-related injuries in pinnipeds most commonly occurred in summer; however, a statistical difference was not detected between seasons for pinnipeds. Derelict

  17. The effects of vessel approaches on the New Zealand fur seal (Arctocepahlus forsteri) in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cowling, M.; Kirkwood, R.J.; Boren, L.; Sutherland, D.; Scarpaci, C.

    2015-01-01

    Animals that establish new sites near the edge of the species' range may be vulnerable to disturbance as they are low in numbers and are not tied to the sites. Pinniped distributions world-wide are changing as many species are recolonizing areas of their former ranges and establishing new colonies.

  18. 78 FR 71576 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; St. George Reef Light Station...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-29

    ... species composition, age and sex class of pinnipeds using the project site during human activity periods...; Fate of the animal(s); and Photographs or video footage of the animal(s) (if equipment is available... hours of the discovery. The Society will provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other...

  19. 75 FR 80773 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-23

    ... collected from the live stream video would include number of animals observed, by age and sex class when... Behavioral Impacts To comply with their current regulations, AAC attempted to collect video footage of pinnipeds during launches; however, weather, technical, and accessibility issues prevented video from being...

  20. 77 FR 8811 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; St. George Reef Light Station...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-15

    ... provide the most accurate means of documenting species composition, age and sex class of pinnipeds using...; Fate of the animal(s); and Photographs or video footage of the animal(s) (if equipment is available... discovery. The SGRLPS will provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the...

  1. 76 FR 16311 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-23

    ... application. Data collected from the live stream video will include number of animals observed, by age and sex... AAC attempted to collect video footage of pinnipeds during launches; however, weather, technical, and accessibility issues prevented video coverage from being obtained. Therefore, no immediate responses of...

  2. Marine Science

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mauritius Marine Conservation Society through their. Abstract. While no populations of seals are resident in the tropical Indian Ocean, vagrant animals are occasionally sighted in the region. Here we detail two new sightings of pinnipeds in the Mascarene Islands (Mauritius, Reunion and Rodri- gues) since 1996 and review ...

  3. 50 CFR 14.133 - Care in transit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Care in transit. 14.133 Section 14.133 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR TAKING..., Sea Otters, Pinnipeds, and Polar Bears) § 14.133 Care in transit. (a) Any marine mammal shall be...

  4. 76 FR 53884 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Navy Operations of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-30

    ... disruption of natural behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing... pinnipeds), by harassment, incidental to upcoming training, testing, and routine military operations (all... states that these training, testing, and routine military activities may expose some of the marine...

  5. 76 FR 43639 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-21

    ... the TSS, unless transiting the Off Race Point Seasonal Management Area (SMA) between the dates of... estimated to occur between approximately 200 Hz and 180 kHz; and Pinnipeds in Water: functional hearing is... possible that there could be noise-induced physiological stress; this might in turn have negative effects...

  6. 78 FR 72655 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Bremerton Ferry Terminal Wingwall...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-03

    ... timber piles generated 149 to 152 dB rms re 1 [mu]Pa with an overall average root-mean-square (RMS) value... century, there was a productive commercial hunt for humpbacks in Georgia Strait that was probably... organisms, especially toothed whales and pinnipeds that are high in the food chain and bioaccumulate these...

  7. 78 FR 11844 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Bremerton Ferry Terminal Wingwall...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-20

    ...-square (RMS) value of 150 dB rms re 1 [mu]Pa measured at 16 meters. A worst-case noise level for... century, there was a productive commercial hunt for humpbacks in Georgia Strait that was probably... organisms, especially toothed whales and pinnipeds that are high in the food chain and bioaccumulate these...

  8. A List of the Marine Mammals of the World. Third Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Dale W.

    This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publication lists 116 species of living and recently extinct marine mammals of the world. Included are 36 species of Order Carnivora (polar bear, sea otter, and 34 pinnipeds); 5 species of Order Sirenia; 10 of Order Mysticeti (baleen whales); and 65 species of Order Odontoceti (tooth whales).…

  9. Phocine distemper Virus: Current knowledge and future directions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P. Duignan; M.-F. Van Bressem (Marie-Françoise); J.D. Baker (Jason); M. Barbieri (Michelle); K.M. Colegrove (Kathleen M); S. De Guise (Sylvain); R.L. de Swart (Rik); G. di Guardo (Giovanni); A.P. Dobson (Andrew); W.P. Duprex (Paul); G. Early (Greg); D. Fauquier (Deborah); T. Goldstein (Tracey); S.J. Goodman (Simon J.); B.T. Grenfell (Bryan); K.R. Groch (Kátia R.); F. Gulland (Frances); A. Hall (Ailsa); B.A. Jensen (Brenda A.); K. Lamy (Karina); K. Matassa (Keith); S. Mazzariol (Sandro); S.E. Morris (Sinead E.); O. Nielsen (Ole); D. Rotstein (David); T.K. Rowles (Teresa K); J. Saliki (Jeremy); U. Siebert (Ursula); T. Waltzek (Thomas); J.F.X. Wellehan (James F. X.)

    2014-01-01

    textabstractPhocine distemper virus (PDV) was first recognized in 1988 following a massive epidemic in harbor and grey seals in north-western Europe. Since then, the epidemiology of infection in North Atlantic and Arctic pinnipeds has been investigated. In the western North Atlantic endemic

  10. 76 FR 79157 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; St. George Reef Light Station...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-21

    ... automation of the light system); and (4) human presence, may have the potential to cause any pinnipeds hauled... activities would require the SGRLPS to transport personnel and equipment from the California mainland to NWSR... approximately 15 m (48 ft) above the surface of the rocks on NWSR. SGRLPS proposes to transport no more than 15...

  11. Brucella antibody seroprevalence in Antarctic seals (Arctocephalus gazella, Leptonychotes weddellii and Mirounga leonina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Silje-Kristin; Nymo, Ingebjørg Helena; Forcada, Jaume; Hall, Ailsa; Godfroid, Jacques

    2013-09-03

    Brucellosis is a worldwide infectious zoonotic disease caused by Gram-negative bacteria of the genus Brucella, and Brucella infections in marine mammals were first reported in 1994. A serosurvey investigating the presence of anti-Brucella antibodies in 3 Antarctic pinniped species was undertaken with a protein A/G indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) and the Rose Bengal test (RBT). Serum samples from 33 Weddell seals Leptonychotes weddelli were analysed, and antibodies were detected in 8 individuals (24.2%) with the iELISA and in 21 (65.6%) with the RBT. We tested 48 southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina sera and detected antibodies in 2 animals (4.7%) with both the iELISA and the RBT. None of the 21 Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella was found positive. This is the first report of anti-Brucella antibodies in southern elephant seals. The potential impact of Brucella infection in pinnipeds in Antarctica is not known, but Brucella spp. are known to cause abortion in terrestrial species and cetaceans. Our findings suggest that Brucella infection in pinnipeds is present in the Antarctic, but to date B. pinnipedialis has not been isolated from any Antarctic pinniped species, leaving the confirmation of infection pending.

  12. The Marine Mammal Programme at the Prince Edward Islands: 38 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Marine Mammal Programme (MMP) conducts research on pinnipeds and killer whales Orcinus orca at Marion Island, Prince Edward Islands, under the auspices of the Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria. The history of the MMP, which has benefited from ...

  13. Influence of a low intensity electric sea lion deterrence system on the migratory behavior of fishes in the upstream migrant tunnel (UMT) at Bonneville Dam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesa, Matthew G.; Dixon, Christopher J.

    2010-01-01

    Predation by pinnipeds, such as California sea lions (Zalophus alifornianus), Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), and Stellar sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) on returning adult Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) in the Columbia River basin has become an increasing concern for fishery managers trying to conserve and restore threatened and endangered runs of

  14. THE SHIFTING BASELINE OF NORTHERN FUR SEAL ECOLOGY IN THE NORTHEAST PACIFIC OCEAN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Historical data provide a baseline against which to judge the significance of recent ecological shifts and guide conservation strategies, especially for species decimated by pre-20th century harvesting. Northern fur seals (NFS; Callorhinus ursinus) are a common pinniped species i...

  15. 77 FR 48130 - Marine Mammals; File No. 17152

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-13

    ... harbor seals are requested over the duration of the permit. Each year, up to 2,500 northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) will be handled for marking without capture; up to 100 elephant seals... five-year permit to study and monitor population trends, health, and ecology of pinnipeds in California...

  16. 76 FR 73600 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Missile Launch...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-29

    ... years if NMFS finds, after notification and opportunity for public comment, that the taking will have a... taking. Regulations governing the taking of northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), Pacific... a period not to exceed 1 year, take of pinnipeds, by harassment, incidental to missile launch...

  17. 77 FR 73988 - Marine Mammals; File No. 17152

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-12

    ... pinnipeds in California over a five-year period. To accomplish this, researchers are authorized to capture... authorized to capture, mark, weigh, and sample (swabs and blood) northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris); and incidentally harass elephant seals during captures and ground monitoring/photo...

  18. 75 FR 28587 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Missile Launch...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-21

    ... granted for periods up to 5 years if NMFS finds, after notification and opportunity for public comment... such taking. Regulations governing the taking of northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris... would authorize, for a period not to exceed 1 year, take of pinnipeds, by harassment, incidental to...

  19. 76 FR 51002 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16553

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-17

    ... californianus), northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina). DATES... five-year permit to study three species of pinnipeds in California. The objectives of the research are.... California sea lions, northern elephant seals, and harbor seals would be captured and samples at several...

  20. 45 CFR 670.19 - Designation of native mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Designation of native mammals. 670.19 Section 670... CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.19 Designation of native mammals. The following are designated native mammals: Pinnipeds: Crabeater seal—Lobodon...

  1. 50 CFR 14.132 - Food and water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Food and water. 14.132 Section 14.132 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR TAKING..., Sea Otters, Pinnipeds, and Polar Bears) § 14.132 Food and water. A marine mammal shall not be...

  2. 75 FR 37388 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14535

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-29

    ... cognitive function among pinnipeds and to assess potential impacts of human noise on marine mammals. The... Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213; phone (562)980-4001... environmental impact statement. Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is...

  3. 75 FR 58352 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14535

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-24

    ... pinnipeds and to assess potential impacts of human noise on marine mammals. The amendment is for the... Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213; phone (562)980-4001... environmental impact statement. Dated: September 17, 2010. P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits, Conservation and...

  4. Passive Wake Detection Using Seal Whisker-Inspired Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-02-01

    companion. The redemption, love, and joy that have come from our time together are written between 6 each line here. Mom, Dad , Jenn, and Robert: thank...specific study is described. 1.1.1 Pinniped Sensory Systems As with many animals, the sensory systems available to the harbor seal are rich and diverse...shifts the mag- netic field (Figure 1-4b). In these test conditions, the seal exhibited poor ability to detect the change. Olfaction There is evidence

  5. Hookworm infection, anaemia and genetic variability of the New Zealand sea lion

    OpenAIRE

    Acevedo-Whitehouse, Karina; Petetti, Laura; Duignan, Padraig; Castinel, Aurelie

    2009-01-01

    Hookworms are intestinal blood-feeding nematodes that parasitize and cause high levels of mortality in a wide range of mammals, including otariid pinnipeds. Recently, an empirical study showed that inbreeding (assessed by individual measures of multi-locus heterozygosity) is associated with hookworm-related mortality of California sea lions. If inbreeding increases susceptibility to hookworms, effects would expectedly be stronger in small, fragmented populations. We tested this assumption in ...

  6. Hydrodynamic perception in true seals (Phocidae) and eared seals (Otariidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanke, Wolf; Wieskotten, Sven; Marshall, Christopher; Dehnhardt, Guido

    2013-06-01

    Pinnipeds, that is true seals (Phocidae), eared seals (Otariidae), and walruses (Odobenidae), possess highly developed vibrissal systems for mechanoreception. They can use their vibrissae to detect and discriminate objects by direct touch. At least in Phocidae and Otariidae, the vibrissae can also be used to detect and analyse water movements. Here, we review what is known about this ability, known as hydrodynamic perception, in pinnipeds. Hydrodynamic perception in pinnipeds developed convergently to the hydrodynamic perception with the lateral line system in fish and the sensory hairs in crustaceans. So far two species of pinnipeds, the harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) representing the Phocidae and the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) representing the Otariidae, have been studied for their ability to detect local water movements (dipole stimuli) and to follow hydrodynamic trails, that is the water movements left behind by objects that have passed by at an earlier point in time. Both species are highly sensitive to dipole stimuli and can follow hydrodynamic trails accurately. In the individuals tested, California sea lions were clearly more sensitive to dipole stimuli than harbour seals, and harbour seals showed a superior trail following ability as compared to California sea lions. Harbour seals have also been shown to derive additional information from hydrodynamic trails, such as motion direction, size and shape of the object that caused the trail (California sea lions have not yet been tested). The peculiar undulated shape of the harbour seals' vibrissae appears to play a crucial role in trail following, as it suppresses self-generated noise while the animal is swimming.

  7. DNA metabarcoding for diet analysis and biodiversity: A case study using the endangered Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea)

    OpenAIRE

    Berry, Tina E.; Osterrieder, Sylvia K.; Murray, D?ith? C.; Coghlan, Megan L.; Richardson, Anthony J.; Grealy, Alicia K.; Stat, Michael; Bejder, Lars; Bunce, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The analysis of apex predator diet has the ability to deliver valuable insights into ecosystem health, and the potential impacts a predator might have on commercially relevant species. The Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea) is an endemic apex predator and one of the world's most endangered pinnipeds. Given that prey availability is vital to the survival of top predators, this study set out to understand what dietary information DNA metabarcoding could yield from 36 sea lion scats...

  8. Variability of Hormonal Stress Markers and Stress Responses in a Large Cross-Sectional Sample of Elephant Seals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    regulation in a captive dolphin population PI: Cory Champagne This project examines roles of CBG and rT3 in the sister study on the Navy captive...bottlenose dolphin population. Molecular indicators of chronic stress in a model pinniped - the northern elephant seal. PI: Cory Champagne This...Khudyakov J.I., C.D. Champagne , L. Preeyanon, R.M. Ortiz, D.E. Crocker. 2015. Muscle transcriptome response to ACTH administration in a free-ranging

  9. Atypical Red Blood Cells Are Prevalent in California Sea Lion Pups Born during Anomalous Sea Surface Temperature Events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Morán, Adriana; Banuet-Martínez, Marina; Elorriaga-Verplancken, Fernando R; García-Ortuño, Luis Enrique; Sandoval-Sierra, Julieta; Acevedo-Whitehouse, Karina

    To date, there is limited knowledge of the effects that abnormal sea surface temperature (SST) can have on the physiology of neonate pinnipeds. However, maternal nutritional deficiencies driven by alimentary restrictions would expectedly impact pinniped development and fitness, as an adequate supply of nutrients is essential for growth and proper functioning of all body systems, including red blood cell synthesis and clearance. Here, we investigated red blood cell morphology of California sea lion (CSL) pups from the San Benito Archipelago born during the 2014 and 2015 anomalously high SST events recorded in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. We examined whether atypical erythrocyte morphologies were more common in 2015, when the high SST event was more pronounced, and whether the stable isotope signature of pup fur, as an indicator of maternal feeding strategies, accounted for the number of atypical cells. Various atypical erythrocyte morphologies were more prevalent and more abundant than reference values. Evidence of iron deficiency was found in both years, and only pups born in 2014 showed evidence of active erythropoiesis. Microcytes and reticulocytes were more common in pups with higher isotopic δ 13 C and lower δ 15 N values, suggesting a probable relationship between maternal feeding strategies and the effect of climatic anomalies on red blood cell physiology of their pups. As developing pinnipeds require increased oxygen storage capacity for diving and foraging, the presence of atypical erythrocytes could be relevant to CSL pup fitness if the underlying cause is not reverted. This study is a first step to explore the effects that climatic alterations in the marine environment can have on the blood physiology of developing individuals.

  10. Thoracic auscultation in captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and South African fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus) with an electronic stethoscope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharpegge, Julia; Hartmann, Manuel García; Eulenberger, Klaus

    2012-06-01

    Thoracic auscultation is an important diagnostic method used in cases of suspected pulmonary disease in many species, as respiratory sounds contain significant information on the physiology and pathology of the lungs and upper airways. Respiratory diseases are frequent in marine mammals and are often listed as one of their main causes of death. The aim of this study was to investigate and report baseline parameters for the electronic-mediated thoracic auscultation of one cetacean species and two pinniped species in captivity. Respiratory sounds from 20 captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), 6 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and 5 South African fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus) were recorded with an electronic stethoscope. The sounds were analyzed for duration of the respiratory cycle, adventitious sounds, and peak frequencies of recorded sounds during expiration and inspiration as well as for sound intensity as reflected by waveform amplitude during the respiratory cycle. In respiratory cycles of the bottlenose dolphins' expiring "on command," the duration of the expiration was significantly shorter than the duration of the inspiration. In the examined pinnipeds of this study, there was no clear pattern concerning the duration of one breathing phase: Adventitious sounds were detected most often in bottlenose dolphins that were expiring on command and could be compared with "forced expiratory wheezes" in humans. This is the first report of forced expiratory wheezes in bottlenose dolphins; they can easily be misinterpreted as pathologic respiratory sounds. The peak frequencies of the respiratory sounds reached over 2,000 Hz in bottlenose dolphins and over 1,000 Hz in California sea lions and South African fur seals, but the variation of the frequency spectra was very high in all animals. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first systematic analysis of respiratory sounds of bottlenose dolphins and two species of pinnipeds.

  11. Software for real-time localization of baleen whale calls using directional sonobuoys: A case study on Antarctic blue whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian S; Calderan, Susannah; Gillespie, Douglas; Weatherup, Graham; Leaper, Russell; Collins, Kym; Double, Michael C

    2016-03-01

    Directional frequency analysis and recording (DIFAR) sonobuoys can allow real-time acoustic localization of baleen whales for underwater tracking and remote sensing, but limited availability of hardware and software has prevented wider usage. These software limitations were addressed by developing a module in the open-source software PAMGuard. A case study is presented demonstrating that this software provides greater efficiency and accessibility than previous methods for detecting, localizing, and tracking Antarctic blue whales in real time. Additionally, this software can easily be extended to track other low and mid frequency sounds including those from other cetaceans, pinnipeds, icebergs, shipping, and seismic airguns.

  12. Global population structure and demographic history of the grey seal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klimova, A.; Phillips, C. D.; Fietz, Katharina

    2014-01-01

    Although the grey seal Halichoerus grypus is one of the most familiar and intensively studied of all pinniped species, its global population structure remains to be elucidated. Little is also known about how the species as a whole may have historically responded to climate-driven changes in habitat...... a little over 10 000 years ago, consistent with the last proposed isolation of the Baltic Sea. Approximate Bayesian computation also identified genetic signals consistent with postglacial population expansion across much of the species range, suggesting that grey seals are highly responsive to changes...

  13. Phocine distemper virus: current knowledge and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duignan, Pádraig J; Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Baker, Jason D; Barbieri, Michelle; Colegrove, Kathleen M; De Guise, Sylvain; de Swart, Rik L; Di Guardo, Giovanni; Dobson, Andrew; Duprex, W Paul; Early, Greg; Fauquier, Deborah; Goldstein, Tracey; Goodman, Simon J; Grenfell, Bryan; Groch, Kátia R; Gulland, Frances; Hall, Ailsa; Jensen, Brenda A; Lamy, Karina; Matassa, Keith; Mazzariol, Sandro; Morris, Sinead E; Nielsen, Ole; Rotstein, David; Rowles, Teresa K; Saliki, Jeremy T; Siebert, Ursula; Waltzek, Thomas; Wellehan, James F X

    2014-12-22

    Phocine distemper virus (PDV) was first recognized in 1988 following a massive epidemic in harbor and grey seals in north-western Europe. Since then, the epidemiology of infection in North Atlantic and Arctic pinnipeds has been investigated. In the western North Atlantic endemic infection in harp and grey seals predates the European epidemic, with relatively small, localized mortality events occurring primarily in harbor seals. By contrast, PDV seems not to have become established in European harbor seals following the 1988 epidemic and a second event of similar magnitude and extent occurred in 2002. PDV is a distinct species within the Morbillivirus genus with minor sequence variation between outbreaks over time. There is now mounting evidence of PDV-like viruses in the North Pacific/Western Arctic with serological and molecular evidence of infection in pinnipeds and sea otters. However, despite the absence of associated mortality in the region, there is concern that the virus may infect the large Pacific harbor seal and northern elephant seal populations or the endangered Hawaiian monk seals. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on PDV with particular focus on developments in diagnostics, pathogenesis, immune response, vaccine development, phylogenetics and modeling over the past 20 years.

  14. Characterization of the putatively introduced red alga Acrochaetium secundatum (Acrochaetiales, Rhodophyta) growing epizoically on the pelage of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentall, Gena B.; Rosen, Barry H.; Kunz, Jessica M.; Miller, Melissa A.; Saunders, Gary W.; LaRoche, Nicole L.

    2016-01-01

    Ecological associations between epibionts (organisms that live on the surface of another living organism) and vertebrates have been documented in both marine and terrestrial environments, and may be opportunistic, commensal, or symbiotic (Lewin et al. 1981, Holmes 1985, Allen et al. 1993, Bledsoe et al. 2006, Pfaller et al. 2008, Suutari et al. 2010). Although epibiont proliferation is frequently reported on slow-moving, sparsely haired organisms such as manatees and sloths, reports from densely furred, highly mobile mammals are much less common. There are reports of epizoic algae for several species of pinnipeds (Kenyon and Rice 1959, Scheffer 1962, Baldridge 1977, Allen et al. 1993), which rely to varying degrees on both pelage and blubber for thermoregulation, but the phenomenon has not been widely described. Scheffer (1962) noted that red algae was fairly common on the pelage of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus), pinnipeds for which fur likely makes a comparatively high contribution to thermoregulation (Donohue et al. 2000). For species with pelage that plays a critical role of thermal insulation, it seems implausible that an epibiont would persist on healthy individuals that devote significant energy resources toward grooming and actively maintaining their coat. Biological characteristics of epibiont settlement and attachment, and physiological requirements of epizoic species play key roles in their successful colonization and potential host impacts. To investigate this relationship, we explore a novel discovery of an epizoic alga from southern sea otters, including describing algal development on sea otter hair and molecular identification of the algae.

  15. Hearing in the sea otter (Enhydra lutris): auditory profiles for an amphibious marine carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghoul, Asila; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2014-11-01

    In this study we examine the auditory capabilities of the sea otter (Enhydra lutris), an amphibious marine mammal that remains virtually unstudied with respect to its sensory biology. We trained an adult male sea otter to perform a psychophysical task in an acoustic chamber and at an underwater apparatus. Aerial and underwater audiograms were constructed from detection thresholds for narrowband signals measured in quiet conditions at frequencies from 0.125-40 kHz. Aerial hearing thresholds were also measured in the presence of octave-band masking noise centered at eight signal frequencies (0.25-22.6 kHz) so that critical ratios could be determined. The aerial audiogram of the sea otter resembled that of sea lions and showed a reduction in low-frequency sensitivity relative to terrestrial mustelids. Best sensitivity was -1 dB re 20 µPa at 8 kHz. Under water, hearing sensitivity was significantly reduced when compared to sea lions and other pinniped species, demonstrating that sea otter hearing is primarily adapted to receive airborne sounds. Critical ratios were more than 10 dB higher than those measured for pinnipeds, suggesting that sea otters are less efficient than other marine carnivores at extracting acoustic signals from background noise, especially at frequencies below 2 kHz.

  16. Innervation Patterns of Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris Mystacial Follicle-Sinus Complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Douglas Marshall

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Sea otters (Enhydra lutris are the most recent group of mammals to return to the sea, and may exemplify divergent somatosensory tactile systems among mammals. Therefore, we quantified the mystacial vibrissal array of sea otters and histologically processed follicle-sinus complexes (F-SCs to test the hypotheses that the number of myelinated axons per F-SC is greater than that found for terrestrial mammalian vibrissae and that their organization and microstructure converge with those of pinniped vibrissae. A mean of 120.5 vibrissae were arranged rostrally on a broad, blunt muzzle in 7-8 rows and 9-13 columns. The F-SCs of sea otters are tripartite in their organization and similar in microstructure to pinnipeds rather than terrestrial species. Each F-SC was innervated by a mean 1339±408.3 axons. Innervation to the entire mystacial vibrissal array was estimated at 161,313 axons. Our data support the hypothesis that the disproportionate expansion of the coronal gyrus in somatosensory cortex of sea otters is related to the high innervation investment of the mystacial vibrissal array, and that quantifying innervation investment is a good proxy for tactile sensitivity. We predict that the tactile performance of sea otter mystacial vibrissae is comparable to that of harbor seals, sea lions and walruses¬.

  17. Pathology and Epidemiology of Stillbirth in New Zealand Sea Lions (Phocarctos hookeri) From Enderby Island, Auckland Islands, 1998-2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael, S A; Chilvers, B L; Hunter, S A; Duignan, P; Roe, W

    2016-11-01

    Stillbirth is a small and often cryptic fraction of neonatal mortality in mammals including pinnipeds. As part of an investigation into the poor reproductive success of the endangered New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri), archived tissues from 37 stillborn pups born on Enderby Island between 1998 and 2012 were examined using histopathological techniques. Apart from bronchopneumonia with neutrophilic infiltration in 4 cases, few inflammatory conditions were identified in stillborn pups. However, 27/32 (84%) stillborn pups had aspirated squames present in the respiratory tract, without meconium. It is unclear if this finding represents fetal distress during parturition or whether it is a normal finding for this species. Three pups lacked histological evidence of hepatic glycogen storage, which may indicate placental defects or maternal undernutrition. No evidence of infectious disease was found on histopathological analysis, consistent with the low seroprevalence in New Zealand of infections known to cause reproductive failure in other pinniped species. This study forms an important baseline for further examination of stillborn New Zealand sea lion pups, as pup mortality is investigated as a contributor to the species' decline. © The Author(s) 2016.

  18. Health Status of Galápagos Sea Lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) on San Cristóbal Island Rookeries Determined by Hematology, Biochemistry, Blood Gases, and Physical Examination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Páez-Rosas, Diego; Hirschfeld, Maximilian; Deresienski, Diane; Lewbart, Gregory A

    2016-01-01

    The Galápagos sea lion, Zalophus wollebaeki, is an endemic and endangered species subject to population decline associated with environmental variability, such as El Niño events, constant feeding stress, and exposure to diseases through contact with introduced species. Reference blood parameter intervals have been published for some pinniped species, but baseline biochemical and blood gas values are lacking from Z. wollebaeki. We analyzed blood samples from 30 juvenile Galápagos sea lions (19 females, 11 males) captured in two rookeries on San Cristóbal Island. A portable blood analyzer (iSTAT) was used to obtain near-immediate field results for pH, partial pressure of O2, partial pressure of CO2, bicarbonate (HCO3(-)), hematocrit (Hct), hemoglobin, Na, K, ionized Ca, and glucose, and blood lactate was measured using a portable Lactate Plus(TM) analyzer. Average heart rate, biochemistry, and hematology parameters were comparable with healthy individuals of other pinniped species. Hemoglobin was significantly correlated with body condition of juvenile Galápagos sea lions. When compared with available blood values of clinically healthy California sea lions, Galápagos sea lions had higher total protein and Hct and lower Ca and K levels. Our results provide baseline data that may be useful in comparisons among populations and in detecting changes in health status among Galápagos sea lions.

  19. Marine mammal fauna of potential OTEC sites in the Gulf of Mexico and Hawaii

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, S.F.

    1979-05-01

    Twenty-seven marine mammal species have been recorded for the Gulf of Mexico, including 7 Mysticetes or baleen whales, 17 Odontocetes or toothed whales, 1 Sirenian (manatee), and 1 or 2 Pinnipeds or seals. The most common species in the Gulf is the bottlenosed dolphin, an inshore species. Offshore, the spotted dolphin, is fairly common. Most other species are recorded from very few sightings or strandings. None of the endangered species is common in potential OTEC sites in the Gulf of Mexico. Twenty-two marine mammals may occur in Hawaii; 2 Mystecetes, 19 Odonotocetes, and the endemic monk seal. The monk seal, an endangered species, lives in the extreme northwestern island chain away from potential OTEC sites. Among the most common cetaceans in Hawaii is the endangered humpback whale. The spinner dolphin and the bottlenosed dolphin are also fairly common. The baleen whales feed on zooplankton during the summer in polar waters, and are migratory, while the toothed whales feed mainly on fish and squid, and are found in temperate or tropical regions year-round. The manatee is vegetarian and the pinnipeds are fish- or squid-eaters. Environmental effects of OTEC which may affect mammals are: toxic effects of biocide release or ammonia spill, biostimulating effects of seawater redistribution, oil spills, or effects of the physical presence of OTEC plants.

  20. THE MARINE MAMMAL FAUNA OF POTENTIAL OTEC SITES IN THE GULF OF MEXICO AND HAWAII

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, S.F.

    1979-05-01

    Twenty-seven marine mammal species have been recorded for the Gulf of Mexico, including 7 Mysticetes or baleen whales, 17 Odontocetes or toothed whales, 1 Sirenian (manatee), and 1 or 2 Pinnipeds or seals. The most common species in the Gulf is Tursiops truncatus, the bottlenosed dolphin, an inshore species. Offshore, Stenella plagiodon, the spotted dolphin, is fairly common. Most other species are recorded from very few sightings or strandings. None of the endangered species is common in potential OTEC sites in the Gulf of Mexico. Twenty-two marine mammals may occur in Hawaii; 2 Mystecetes, 19 Odonotocetes, and the endemic monk seal. The monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi), an endangered species, lives in the extreme northwestern island chain away from potential OTEC sites. Among the most common cetaceans in Hawaii is the endangered humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Stenella longirostris, the spinner dolphin; and Tursiops sp., the bottlenosed dolphin are also fairly common. The baleen whales feed on zooplankton during the summer in polar waters, and are migratory, while the toothed whales feed mainly on fish and squid, and are found in temperate or tropical regions year-round. The manatee is vegetarian and the pinnipeds are fish- or squid-eaters. Environmental effects of OTEC which may affect mammals are: toxic effects of biocide release or ammonia spill, biostimulating effects of seawater redistribution, oil spills, or effects of the physical presence of OTEC plants.

  1. Ancient whales did not filter feed with their teeth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocking, David P; Marx, Felix G; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Evans, Alistair R

    2017-08-01

    The origin of baleen whales (Mysticeti), the largest animals on Earth, is closely tied to their signature filter-feeding strategy. Unlike their modern relatives, archaic whales possessed a well-developed, heterodont adult dentition. How these teeth were used, and what role their function and subsequent loss played in the emergence of filter feeding, is an enduring mystery. In particular, it has been suggested that elaborate tooth crowns may have enabled stem mysticetes to filter with their postcanine teeth in a manner analogous to living crabeater and leopard seals, thereby facilitating the transition to baleen-assisted filtering. Here we show that the teeth of archaic mysticetes are as sharp as those of terrestrial carnivorans, raptorial pinnipeds and archaeocetes, and thus were capable of capturing and processing prey. By contrast, the postcanine teeth of leopard and crabeater seals are markedly blunter, and clearly unsuited to raptorial feeding. Our results suggest that mysticetes never passed through a tooth-based filtration phase, and that the use of teeth and baleen in early whales was not functionally connected. Continued selection for tooth sharpness in archaic mysticetes is best explained by a feeding strategy that included both biting and suction, similar to that of most living pinnipeds and, probably, early toothed whales (Odontoceti). © 2017 The Authors.

  2. Estimation of walrus populations on sea ice with infrared imagery and aerial photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udevitz, M.S.; Burn, D.M.; Webber, M.A.

    2008-01-01

    Population sizes of ice-associated pinnipeds have often been estimated with visual or photographic aerial surveys, but these methods require relatively slow speeds and low altitudes, limiting the area they can cover. Recent developments in infrared imagery and its integration with digital photography could allow substantially larger areas to be surveyed and more accurate enumeration of individuals, thereby solving major problems with previous survey methods. We conducted a trial survey in April 2003 to estimate the number of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) hauled out on sea ice around St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. The survey used high altitude infrared imagery to detect groups of walruses on strip transects. Low altitude digital photography was used to determine the number of walruses in a sample of detected groups and calibrate the infrared imagery for estimating the total number of walruses. We propose a survey design incorporating this approach with satellite radio telemetry to estimate the proportion of the population in the water and additional low-level flights to estimate the proportion of the hauled-out population in groups too small to be detected in the infrared imagery. We believe that this approach offers the potential for obtaining reliable population estimates for walruses and other ice-associated pinnipeds. ?? 2007 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  3. Dramatic increase in sea otter mortality from white sharks in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinker, M. Tim; Hatfield, Brian B.; Harris, Michael D.; Ames, Jack A.

    2016-01-01

    Although southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) are not considered prey for white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), sharks do nonetheless bite sea otters. We analyzed spatial and temporal trends in shark bites on sea otters in California, assessing the frequency of shark bite wounds in 1,870 carcasses collected since 1985. The proportion of stranded sea otters having shark bites has increased sharply since 2003, and white shark bites now account for >50% of recovered carcasses. The trend was most pronounced in the southern part of the range, from Estero Bay to Point Conception, where shark bite frequency has increased eightfold. Seasonal trends were also evident: most shark-bitten carcasses are recovered in late summer and fall; however, the period of elevated shark bite frequency has lengthened. The causes of these trends are unclear, but possible contributing factors include increased white shark abundance and/or changes in white shark behavior and distribution. In particular, the spatiotemporal patterns of shark-bitten sea otters match increases in pinniped populations, and the increased availability of marine mammal prey for white sharks may have led to more sharks spending more time in nearshore waters utilized by both sea otters and pinnipeds.

  4. Influence of a weak field of pulsed DC electricity on the behavior and incidence of injury in adult Steelhead and Pacific Lamprey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesa, Matthew G.; Copeland, Elizabeth S.

    2009-01-01

    Predation by pinnipeds, such as California sea lions Zalophus californianus, Pacific harbor seals Phoca vitulina, and Stellar sea lions Eumetopias jubatus on adult Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp in the lower Columbia River has become a serious concern for fishery managers trying to conserve and restore runs of threatened and endangered fish. As a result, Smith-Root, Incorporated (SRI; Vancouver, Washington), manufacturers of electrofishing and closely-related equipment, proposed a project to evaluate the potential of an electrical barrier to deter marine mammals and reduce the amount of predation on adult salmonids (SRI 2007). The objectives of their work were to develop, deploy, and evaluate a passive, integrated sonar and electric barrier that would selectively inhibit the upstream movements of marine mammals and reduce predation, but would not injure pinnipeds or impact anadromous fish migrations. However, before such a device could be deployed in the field, concerns by regional fishery managers about the potential effects of such a device on the migratory behavior of Pacific salmon, steelhead O. mykiss, Pacific lampreys Entoshpenus tridentata, and white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus, needed to be addressed. In this report, we describe the results of laboratory research designed to evaluate the effects of prototype electric barriers on adult steelhead and Pacific lampreys.

  5. Numerical anomalies in the dentition of southern fur seals and sea lions (Pinnipedia: Otariidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Loch

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Cases of dental agenesis, supernumerary teeth and dental losses are presented in three species of South American Otariids: Arctocephalus australis (Zimmermann, 1783, A. tropicalis (Gray, 1872 and Otaria flavescens (Shaw, 1800. For the first time, congenital and acquired dental anomalies were comparatively diagnosed in skull samples from southern Brazil and nearby areas. The skulls and mandibles were accessed in the scientific collection of mammals of the Federal University of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. Agenesis was found only among maxillary post-canine teeth, especially the distal ones (PC/6, due to an evolutionary trend towards reduction of the number of post-canine teeth in this family. Maxillary and mandibular supernumerary teeth were found in A. australis and A. tropicalis, but their positioning is unrelated to cases regarding phylogenetic and evolutionary implications. Dental losses were found in all species and different stages of alveolar obliteration suggest that this process is common in Otariids and does not affect their survival. The investigation of congenital and acquired dental anomalies in pinnipeds can provide information on dental formula evolution in Pinnipeds and in the phylogenetic relationships among Carnivora.

  6. Population differentiation in the context of Holocene climate change for a migratory marine species, the southern elephant seal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrigan, L J; Fabiani, A; Chauke, L F; McMahon, C R; de Bruyn, M; Bester, M N; Bastos, A; Campagna, C; Muelbert, M M C; Hoelzel, A R

    2016-09-01

    Understanding observed patterns of connectivity requires an understanding of the evolutionary processes that determine genetic structure among populations, with the most common models being associated with isolation by distance, allopatry or vicariance. Pinnipeds are annual breeders with the capacity for extensive range overlap during seasonal migrations, establishing the potential for the evolution of isolation by distance. Here, we assess the pattern of differentiation among six breeding colonies of the southern elephant seal, Mirounga leonina, based on mtDNA and 15 neutral microsatellite DNA markers, and consider measures of their demography and connectivity. We show that all breeding colonies are genetically divergent and that connectivity in this highly mobile pinniped is not strongly associated with geographic distance, but more likely linked to Holocene climate change and demographic processes. Estimates of divergence times between populations were all after the last glacial maximum, and there was evidence for directional migration in a clockwise pattern (with the prevailing current) around the Antarctic. We discuss the mechanisms by which climate change may have contributed to the contemporary genetic structure of southern elephant seal populations and the broader implications. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  7. Phocine Distemper Virus: Current Knowledge and Future Directions

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    Pádraig J. Duignan

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Phocine distemper virus (PDV was first recognized in 1988 following a massive epidemic in harbor and grey seals in north-western Europe. Since then, the epidemiology of infection in North Atlantic and Arctic pinnipeds has been investigated. In the western North Atlantic endemic infection in harp and grey seals predates the European epidemic, with relatively small, localized mortality events occurring primarily in harbor seals. By contrast, PDV seems not to have become established in European harbor seals following the 1988 epidemic and a second event of similar magnitude and extent occurred in 2002. PDV is a distinct species within the Morbillivirus genus with minor sequence variation between outbreaks over time. There is now mounting evidence of PDV-like viruses in the North Pacific/Western Arctic with serological and molecular evidence of infection in pinnipeds and sea otters. However, despite the absence of associated mortality in the region, there is concern that the virus may infect the large Pacific harbor seal and northern elephant seal populations or the endangered Hawaiian monk seals. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on PDV with particular focus on developments in diagnostics, pathogenesis, immune response, vaccine development, phylogenetics and modeling over the past 20 years.

  8. Zooarqueologia dos mamíferos aquáticos e semi-aquáticos da Ilha de Santa Catarina, sul do Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Volkmer de Castilho

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available This study analyzes the use of aquatic mammals by prehistoric societies of Santa Catarina Island, Southern Brazil. Samples from two archaeological sites were examined: Rio do Meio (RM and Porto do Rio Vermelho (SCPRV. Nine aquatic mammal species were found: a pinnipeds: Arctocephalus australis (Zimmerman, 1783 and A. tropicalis (Gray, 1872, and b cetaceans: Eubalaena australis (Desmoulins, 1822, Delphinus delphis Linnaeus, 1758, Stenella frontalis (Cuvier, 1829, Steno bredanensis (Lesson, 1828, Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821, Pontoporia blainvillei (Gervais & d'Orbigny, 1844 and a non-identified rorqual from the genus Balaenoptera Lacépède, 1804. Three especies of semi-aquatic mammals were also recorded: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris (Linnaeus, 1758, Tapirus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758 and Lontra longicaudis (Olfers,1818. Both sites presented similar species diversity, although abundance was greater at the most recent site (RM. There were more samples from axial skeletons, but in genera the anatomical regions were homogeneously distributed among the identified taxa.

  9. Three-Terminal Amorphous Silicon Solar Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Hung Tai

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Many defects exist within amorphous silicon since it is not crystalline. This provides recombination centers, thus reducing the efficiency of a typical a-Si solar cell. A new structure is presented in this paper: a three-terminal a-Si solar cell. The new back-to-back p-i-n/n-i-p structure increased the average electric field in a solar cell. A typical a-Si p-i-n solar cell was also simulated for comparison using the same thickness and material parameters. The 0.28 μm-thick three-terminal a-Si solar cell achieved an efficiency of 11.4%, while the efficiency of a typical a-Si p-i-n solar cell was 9.0%. Furthermore, an efficiency of 11.7% was achieved by thickness optimization of the three-terminal solar cell.

  10. Marine mammal sightings around oil and gas installations in the central North Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Delefosse, Matthieu; Rahbek, Malene Louise; Roesen, Lars

    2017-01-01

    288 animals were reported between May 2013 and May 2016. A total of seven marine mammal species were identified, five cetaceans: harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), killer whale (Orcinus orca), pilot whales......Relatively little is known about the distribution and diversity of marine mammals around offshore anthropogenic structures. Wepresentresultsobtainedfromincidentalsightings ofmarinemammalsaroundoilandgasinstallationslocated200 kmoff the Danish coast. A total of 131 sightings corresponding to about...... (Globicephala spp.) and two species of pinnipeds: harbour (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). The most sighted species were harbour porpoise (41%) and minke whale (31%). Relative counts and biodiversity of marine mammals observed around installations corresponded well with the expected...

  11. Uncinariasis in northern fur seal and California sea lion pups from California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, E T; DeLong, R L; Melin, S R; Tolliver, S C

    1997-10-01

    Northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) (n = 25) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) (n = 53) pups, found dead on rookeries on San Miguel Island (California, USA), were examined for adult Uncinaria spp. Prevalence of these nematodes was 96% in fur seal pups and 100% in sea lion pups. Mean intensity of Uncinaria spp. per infected pup was 643 in fur seals and 1,284 in sea lions. Eggs of Uncinaria spp. from dead sea lion pups underwent embryonation in an incubator; development to the free-living third stage larva occurred within the egg. This study provided some specific information on hookworm infections in northern fur seal and California sea lion pups on San Miguel Island. High prevalence rate of Uncinaria spp. in both species of pinnipeds was documented and much higher numbers (2X) of hookworms were present in sea lion than fur seal pups.

  12. First report and characterization of adult Uncinaria spp. in New Zealand Sea Lion (Phocarctos hookeri) pups from the Auckland Islands, New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castinel, A; Duignan, P J; Pomroy, W E; Lyons, E T; Nadler, S A; Dailey, M D; Wilkinson, I S; Chilvers, B L

    2006-03-01

    Two species of hookworms (Uncinaria lucasi and Uncinaria hamiltoni) have been formally described from pinnipeds, but dissimilar types are noted from these hosts. This report is the first description of hookworms (Uncinaria spp.) from the New Zealand sea lion, Phocarctos hookeri. The nematodes were collected from dead pups on Enderby Island (Auckland Islands, 50 degrees 30', 166 degrees 17') during January and February, 2004. Standard measurements of male and female hookworms were obtained, providing a general morphometric characterization of the hookworm species in P. hookeri. Considerable variations in the body length of adult hookworms were noted within the same host. The arrangement of some of the bursal rays differs from that described for U. lucasi and U. hamiltoni.

  13. Isolation of Brucella pinnipedialis from Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus) in the Baltic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirvelä-Koski, Varpu; Nylund, Minna; Skrzypczak, Teresa; Heikkinen, Petra; Kauhala, Kaarina; Jay, Maryne; Isomursu, Marja

    2017-10-01

    Brucella infection in seals was reported for the first time in 1994 around the coast of Scotland. Since then, marine mammal Brucella infections were found to be widely distributed in the northern hemisphere. Two Brucella species affect marine mammals: Brucella pinnipedialis in pinnipeds and Brucella ceti in cetaceans. We examined the livers of Baltic grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) from the Finnish coast (n=122) hunted, found dead, or killed as by-catch in fishing gear in 2013-15 as part of population health monitoring. We detected B. pinnipedialis in the livers of three grey seals. The bacterium was isolated from livers displaying parasitic cholangitis. We also detected Brucella DNA in liver flukes (Pseudamphistomum truncatum) obtained from a Brucella-infected grey seal, suggesting that flukes might be possible vectors of this pathogen in the marine environment.

  14. Sexual harassment and female gregariousness in the South American sea lion, Otaria flavescens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappozzo, Humberto L.; Túnez, Juan I.; Cassini, Marcelo H.

    2008-07-01

    Most colonial pinnipeds form extreme clusters of breeding females that cannot be entirely explained by the distribution of sites for reproduction. Avoidance of male harassment has been postulated as an important determinant of reproductive aggregation in this group of mammals. Female gregariousness can reduce harassment by resident males by two mechanisms; directly by the ‘dilution effect’ or indirectly because resident males that defend large female groups are less harassing. In order to investigate the relationship between male harassment and female gregariousness in relation to the size of breeding groups, we analysed the behaviour of dominant males and their females in a breeding colony of Otaria flavescens. Females in large breeding groups received less harassment by resident males due to dilution effects and because males that defended a large group interacted less frequently with females than males with small groups.

  15. Adhesive and invasive capacities of Edwarsiella tarda isolated from South American sea lion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Araceli Fernández

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Edwarsiella tarda is a zoonotic bacterium that can be isolated from humans, animals and the environment. Although E. tarda is primarily considered a fish pathogen, it is the only species of its genus considered to be pathogenic for humans as well. A survey of zoonotic intestinal bacteria in fresh feces from South American sea lions (SASL Otaria flavescens, reported E. tarda as the most frequently isolated species. In this study, we used HEp-2 cells to establish in vitro the adherence and invasive ability of 17 E. tarda strains isolated from SASL fecal material. All the strains were able to adhere and invade HEp-2 cells with adhesion and invasion percentages ranging from 56 to 100% and 21 to 74%, respectively. Despite the expression of these pathogenic factors, further investigation is needed to determine whether this bacterium could play a role as primary pathogen for this and other species of pinnipeds.

  16. Adhesive and invasive capacities of Edwardsiella tarda isolated from South American sea lion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Araceli; Villanueva, María Paz; González, Mario; Fernández, Fabiola; Latif, Fadua; Flores, Sandra Nonier; Fernández, Heriberto

    2014-01-01

    Edwarsiella tarda is a zoonotic bacterium that can be isolated from humans, animals and the environment. Although E. tarda is primarily considered a fish pathogen, it is the only species of its genus considered to be pathogenic for humans as well. A survey of zoonotic intestinal bacteria in fresh feces from South American sea lions (SASL) Otaria flavescens, reported E. tarda as the most frequently isolated species. In this study, we used HEp-2 cells to establish in vitro the adherence and invasive ability of 17 E. tarda strains isolated from SASL fecal material. All the strains were able to adhere and invade HEp-2 cells with adhesion and invasion percentages ranging from 56 to 100% and 21 to 74%, respectively. Despite the expression of these pathogenic factors, further investigation is needed to determine whether this bacterium could play a role as primary pathogen for this and other species of pinnipeds.

  17. A new species of Ascocotyle (Trematoda: Heterophyidae) from the South American sea lion, Otaria flavescens, off Patagonia, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Orts, Jesús Servando; Montero, Francisco Esteban; Crespo, Enrique Alberto; García, Néstor Aníbal; Raga, Juan Antonio; Aznar, Francisco Javier

    2012-08-01

    We describe a new heterophyid species, Ascocotyle (Ascocotyle) patagoniensis n. sp., based on specimens collected from the intestines of the South American sea lion Otaria flavescens from Patagonia (Argentina). Ascocotyle (A.) patagoniensis n. sp. is distinguished from the other species of the subgenus by the number of circumoral spines, which are arranged in 2 rows of 18 to 23. The new species also differs from the other species in having a gonotyl without papillae. The specimens exhibited the widest seminal receptacle described for a species of this subgenus. Species of the subgenus Ascocotyle usually infect fish-eating birds or mammals in freshwater or brackish habitats. Ascocotyle (A.) patagoniensis n. sp. is the first species of the subgenus described from a marine mammal. However, no metacercariae of Ascocotyle spp. were found in 542 marine teleosts from 20 species collected in the same locality. The life cycle of the marine species from the Ascocotyle -complex infecting pinnipeds remains elusive.

  18. Adhesive and invasive capacities of Edwarsiella tarda isolated from South American sea lion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Araceli; Villanueva, María Paz; González, Mario; Fernández, Fabiola; Latif, Fadua; Flores, Sandra Nonier; Fernández, Heriberto

    2014-01-01

    Edwarsiella tarda is a zoonotic bacterium that can be isolated from humans, animals and the environment. Although E. tarda is primarily considered a fish pathogen, it is the only species of its genus considered to be pathogenic for humans as well. A survey of zoonotic intestinal bacteria in fresh feces from South American sea lions (SASL) Otaria flavescens, reported E. tarda as the most frequently isolated species. In this study, we used HEp-2 cells to establish in vitro the adherence and invasive ability of 17 E. tarda strains isolated from SASL fecal material. All the strains were able to adhere and invade HEp-2 cells with adhesion and invasion percentages ranging from 56 to 100% and 21 to 74%, respectively. Despite the expression of these pathogenic factors, further investigation is needed to determine whether this bacterium could play a role as primary pathogen for this and other species of pinnipeds. PMID:25477948

  19. Assay dependence of Brucella antibody prevalence in a declining Alaskan harbor seal (Phoca vitulina population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hueffer Karsten

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brucella is a group of bacteria that causes brucellosis, which can affect population health and reproductive success in many marine mammals. We investigated the serological prevalence of antibodies against Brucella bacteria in a declining harbor seal population in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. Results Prevalence ranged from 16 to 74 percent for those tests detecting antibodies, indicating that harbor seals in Glacier Bay have been exposed to Brucella bacteria. However, the actual level of serological prevalence could not be determined because results were strongly assay-dependent. Conclusions This study reinforces the need to carefully consider assay choice when comparing different studies on the prevalence of anti–Brucella antibodies in pinnipeds and further highlights the need for species- or taxon-specific assay validation for both pathogen and host species.

  20. Otters, Marine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, James A.; Bodkin, James L.; Ben-David, M.; Perrin, William F.; Würsing, Bernd; Thewissen, J.G.M.

    2009-01-01

    The otters (Mustelidae; Lutrinae) provide an exceptional perspective into the evolution of marine living by mammals. Most extant marine mammals (e.g. the cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenians) have been so highly modified by long periods of selection for life in the sea that they bear little resemblance to their terrestrial ancestors. Marine otters, in contrast, are more recent expatriates from freshwater habitats and some species still live in both environments. Contrasts among species within the otters, and among the otters, terrestrial mammals, and the more highly adapted pinnipeds and cetaceans provide powerful insights into mammalian adaptations to life in the sea (Estes, 1989). Among the marine mammals, sea otters (Enhydra lutris, Fig. 1) provide the clearest understanding of consumer-induced effects on ecosystem function. This is due in part to opportunities provided by history and in part to the relative ease with which shallow coastal systems where sea otters live can be observed and studied. Although more difficult to study than sea otters, other otter species reveal the connectivity among the marine, freshwater, and terrestrial systems. These three qualities of the otters – their comparative biology, their role as predators, and their role as agents of ecosystem connectivity – are what make them interesting to marine mammalogy.The following account provides a broad overview of the comparative biology and ecology of the otters, with particular emphasis on those species or populations that live in the sea. Sea otters are features prominently, in part because they live exclusively in the sea whereas other otters have obligate associations with freshwater and terrestrial environments (Kenyon, 1969; Riedman and Estes, 1990).

  1. Myoglobin oxygen affinity in aquatic and terrestrial birds and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Traver J; Davis, Randall W

    2015-07-01

    Myoglobin (Mb) is an oxygen binding protein found in vertebrate skeletal muscle, where it facilitates intracellular transport and storage of oxygen. This protein has evolved to suit unique physiological needs in the muscle of diving vertebrates that express Mb at much greater concentrations than their terrestrial counterparts. In this study, we characterized Mb oxygen affinity (P50) from 25 species of aquatic and terrestrial birds and mammals. Among diving species, we tested for correlations between Mb P50 and routine dive duration. Across all species examined, Mb P50 ranged from 2.40 to 4.85 mmHg. The mean P50 of Mb from terrestrial ungulates was 3.72±0.15 mmHg (range 3.70-3.74 mmHg). The P50 of cetaceans was similar to terrestrial ungulates ranging from 3.54 to 3.82 mmHg, with the exception of the melon-headed whale, which had a significantly higher P50 of 4.85 mmHg. Among pinnipeds, the P50 ranged from 3.23 to 3.81 mmHg and showed a trend for higher oxygen affinity in species with longer dive durations. Among diving birds, the P50 ranged from 2.40 to 3.36 mmHg and also showed a trend of higher affinities in species with longer dive durations. In pinnipeds and birds, low Mb P50 was associated with species whose muscles are metabolically active under hypoxic conditions associated with aerobic dives. Given the broad range of potential globin oxygen affinities, Mb P50 from diverse vertebrate species appears constrained within a relatively narrow range. High Mb oxygen affinity within this range may be adaptive for some vertebrates that make prolonged dives. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  2. Longer and less overlapping food webs in anthropogenically disturbed marine ecosystems: confirmations from the past.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiana Saporiti

    Full Text Available The human exploitation of marine resources is characterised by the preferential removal of the largest species. Although this is expected to modify the structure of food webs, we have a relatively poor understanding of the potential consequences of such alteration. Here, we take advantage of a collection of ancient consumer tissues, using stable isotope analysis and SIBER to assess changes in the structure of coastal marine food webs in the South-western Atlantic through the second half of the Holocene as a result of the sequential exploitation of marine resources by hunter-gatherers, western sealers and modern fishermen. Samples were collected from shell middens and museums. Shells of both modern and archaeological intertidal herbivorous molluscs were used to reconstruct changes in the stable isotopic baseline, while modern and archaeological bones of the South American sea lion Otaria flavescens, South American fur seal Arctocephalus australis and Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus were used to analyse changes in the structure of the community of top predators. We found that ancient food webs were shorter, more redundant and more overlapping than current ones, both in northern-central Patagonia and southern Patagonia. These surprising results may be best explained by the huge impact of western sealing on pinnipeds during the fur trade period, rather than the impact of fishing on fish populations. As a consequence, the populations of pinnipeds at the end of the sealing period were likely well below the ecosystem's carrying capacity, which resulted in a release of intraspecific competition and a shift towards larger and higher trophic level prey. This in turn led to longer and less overlapping food webs.

  3. ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF A NOVEL MARINE BRUCELLA FROM A SOUTHERN SEA OTTER (ENHYDRA LUTRIS NEREIS), CALIFORNIA, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Melissa A; Burgess, Tristan L; Dodd, Erin M; Rhyan, Jack C; Jang, Spencer S; Byrne, Barbara A; Gulland, Frances M D; Murray, Michael J; Toy-Choutka, Sharon; Conrad, Patricia A; Field, Cara L; Sidor, Inga F; Smith, Woutrina A

    2017-04-01

    We characterize Brucella infection in a wild southern sea otter ( Enhydra lutris nereis) with osteolytic lesions similar to those reported in other marine mammals and humans. This otter stranded twice along the central California coast, US over a 1-yr period and was handled extensively at two wildlife rehabilitation facilities, undergoing multiple surgeries and months of postsurgical care. Ultimately the otter was euthanized due to severe, progressive neurologic disease. Necropsy and postmortem radiographs revealed chronic, severe osteoarthritis spanning the proximal interphalangeal joint of the left hind fifth digit. Numerous coccobacilli within the joint were strongly positive on Brucella immunohistochemical labelling, and Brucella sp. was isolated in pure culture from this lesion. Sparse Brucella-immunopositive bacteria were also observed in the cytoplasm of a pulmonary vascular monocyte, and multifocal granulomas were observed in the spinal cord and liver on histopathology. Findings from biochemical characterization, 16S ribosomal DNA, and bp26 gene sequencing of the bacterial isolate were identical to those from marine-origin brucellae isolated from cetaceans and phocids. Although omp2a gene sequencing revealed 100% homology with marine Brucella spp. infecting pinnipeds, whales, and humans, omp2b gene sequences were identical only to pinniped-origin isolates. Multilocus sequence typing classified the sea otter isolate as ST26, a sequence type previously associated only with cetaceans. Our data suggest that the sea otter Brucella strain represents a novel marine lineage that is distinct from both Brucella pinnipedialis and Brucella ceti. Prior reports document the zoonotic potential of the marine brucellae. Isolation of Brucella sp. from a stranded sea otter highlights the importance of wearing personal protective equipment when handling sea otters and other marine mammals as part of wildlife conservation and rehabilitation efforts.

  4. Summer distribution and ecological role of seabirds and marine mammals in the Norwegian and Greenland seas (June 1988)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joiris, Claude R.

    1992-03-01

    During the ARK V /2 expedition of RV Polarstern in the Norwegian and Greenland seas in June 1988, 380 half hour counts for marine vertebrates (seabirds, pinnipeds and cetaceans) were carried out. Results are presented as total numbers encountered and then converted into density and food intake. Mean food intake was 2.2 kg fresh weight per km 2 per day for seabirds, with a higher value in Atlantic water (2.5) lower values in polar water and the pack ice (1.7 and 1.9), and an intermediate value at the ice edge. The main species were the alcids (1.5, primarily Little Auk, Alle alle and Brünnich's Guillemot, Urea Iomvia) ,the Fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis (0.5), and the Kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla (0.2). The ecological role of cetaceans was clearly lower, with a mean value of 0.2 and a maximum of 0.7 in Atlantic water (rough evaluation, due to the low number of contacts). The food intake by pinnipeds was 0.55 kg/km 2 day at the ice edge and 0.4 in the pack ice; they were mainly harp, Phoca groenlandica and hooded seals, Cystophora cristata, in one main concentration each and ringed seals, Phoca hispida, scattered on the pack. Data for July 1988 show a great similarity with these results, except for a lower density of alcids, which probably reflects that Little Auk, Brünnich's Guillemot and Common Guillemot, Uria aalge already had started to leave the region.

  5. Toxic effects of various pollutants in 11B7501 lymphoma B cell line from harbour seal (Phoca vitulina)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frouin, Heloise; Fortier, Marlene; Fournier, Michel

    2010-01-01

    Although, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been reported at high levels in marine mammals, little is known about the toxic effects of some of these contaminants. In this study, we assessed the immunotoxic and genotoxic effects of seven heavy metals (arsenic, vanadium, selenium, iron, zinc, silver and chromium) and one PAH (benzo[a]pyrene or B[a]P) on a lymphoma B cell line from harbour seal (Phoca vitulina). A significant reduction in lymphocyte proliferation was registered following an exposure to 0.05 μM of B[a]P, 5 μM of arsenic or selenium, 50 μM of vanadium, 100 μM of silver and 200 μM of iron. On the contrary, zinc increased the lymphoproliferative response at 200 μM. Decreased phagocytosis was observed at 20 μM of arsenic, 50 μM of B[a]P or selenium, 200 μM of zinc and 500 μM of vanadium. Micronuclei induction occurred with 0.2 μM of B[a]P, 100 μM of vanadium and with 200 μM of arsenic or selenium. Exposure to 50 μM of arsenic decreased G 2 /M phase of the cell cycle. Chromium did not induce any effects at the concentrations tested. Concentrations of heavy metals (except silver and vanadium) and B[a]P inducing an toxic effect are within the environmental ranges reported in the blood tissue of pinnipeds. The reduction of some functional activities of the harbour seal immune system may cause a significant weakness capable of altering host resistance to disease in free-ranging pinnipeds.

  6. Fitting models of continuous trait evolution to incompletely sampled comparative data using approximate Bayesian computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Graham J; Harmon, Luke J; Wegmann, Daniel; Joyce, Paul; Revell, Liam J; Alfaro, Michael E

    2012-03-01

    In recent years, a suite of methods has been developed to fit multiple rate models to phylogenetic comparative data. However, most methods have limited utility at broad phylogenetic scales because they typically require complete sampling of both the tree and the associated phenotypic data. Here, we develop and implement a new, tree-based method called MECCA (Modeling Evolution of Continuous Characters using ABC) that uses a hybrid likelihood/approximate Bayesian computation (ABC)-Markov-Chain Monte Carlo approach to simultaneously infer rates of diversification and trait evolution from incompletely sampled phylogenies and trait data. We demonstrate via simulation that MECCA has considerable power to choose among single versus multiple evolutionary rate models, and thus can be used to test hypotheses about changes in the rate of trait evolution across an incomplete tree of life. We finally apply MECCA to an empirical example of body size evolution in carnivores, and show that there is no evidence for an elevated rate of body size evolution in the pinnipeds relative to terrestrial carnivores. ABC approaches can provide a useful alternative set of tools for future macroevolutionary studies where likelihood-dependent approaches are lacking. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  7. Detection of canine distemper virus serum neutralizing antibodies in captive U.S. phocids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, Meredith M; Gamble, Kathryn C; Travis, Dominic A

    2013-03-01

    Antibodies to morbilliviruses have been documented in free-ranging pinnipeds throughout populations in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, but not from the Pacific Ocean. As a symbolic geographic barrier between the exposed Atlantic and naive Pacific populations, the captive phocid population in North America had undocumented serologic status. In this study, canine distemper virus (CDV) serum neutralization assays were used to assess the prevalence of antibodies in this population with participation of 25 U.S. institutions from grey seals (Halichoerus grypus, n = 6) and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina, n = 108). Historic and environmental risk factors associated with the epidemiology of distemper virus were collected by survey. Based on antibodies to canine distemper virus, the prevalence of exposure in this population was 25.5%, with 28 seals (grey, n = 2; harbor, n = 26) demonstrating antibody titers > or = 1:16, and positive titers ranged from 1:4 to 1:1,536. By survey analysis, strong associations with seropositive status were identified for captive origin (P = 0.013) and movement among institutions (P = 0.024). Size of population has positive correlation with likelihood of seropositive seals at an institution (P = 0.020). However, no major husbandry or enclosure-based risk factors were identified in institutions with seropositive seals, and no interaction between individual or institutional risk factors was identified. Previously undocumented prior to this study, CDV antibodies were measured in harbor seals (n = 2) recently stranded from the Pacific coast.

  8. Harbor seal vibrissa morphology suppresses vortex-induced vibrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanke, Wolf; Witte, Matthias; Miersch, Lars; Brede, Martin; Oeffner, Johannes; Michael, Mark; Hanke, Frederike; Leder, Alfred; Dehnhardt, Guido

    2010-08-01

    Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) often live in dark and turbid waters, where their mystacial vibrissae, or whiskers, play an important role in orientation. Besides detecting and discriminating objects by direct touch, harbor seals use their whiskers to analyze water movements, for example those generated by prey fish or by conspecifics. Even the weak water movements left behind by objects that have passed by earlier can be sensed and followed accurately (hydrodynamic trail following). While scanning the water for these hydrodynamic signals at a swimming speed in the order of meters per second, the seal keeps its long and flexible whiskers in an abducted position, largely perpendicular to the swimming direction. Remarkably, the whiskers of harbor seals possess a specialized undulated surface structure, the function of which was, up to now, unknown. Here, we show that this structure effectively changes the vortex street behind the whiskers and reduces the vibrations that would otherwise be induced by the shedding of vortices from the whiskers (vortex-induced vibrations). Using force measurements, flow measurements and numerical simulations, we find that the dynamic forces on harbor seal whiskers are, by at least an order of magnitude, lower than those on sea lion (Zalophus californianus) whiskers, which do not share the undulated structure. The results are discussed in the light of pinniped sensory biology and potential biomimetic applications.

  9. Indicator Species Population Monitoring in Antarctica with Uav

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zmarz, A.; Korczak-Abshire, M.; Storvold, R.; Rodzewicz, M.; Kędzierska, I.

    2015-08-01

    A program to monitor bird and pinniped species in the vicinity of Arctowski Station, King George Island, South Shetlands, Antarctica, has been conducted over the past 38 years. Annual monitoring of these indicator species includes estimations of breeding population sizes of three Pygoscelis penguin species: Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap. Six penguin colonies situated on the western shores of two bays: Admiralty and King George are investigated. To study changes in penguin populations Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were used for the first time in the 2014/15 austral summer season. During photogrammetric flights the high-resolution images of eight penguin breeding colonies were taken. Obtained high resolution images were used for estimation of breeding population size and compared with the results of measurements taken at the same time from the ground. During this Antarctic expedition eight successful photogrammetry missions (total distance 1500 km) were performed. Images were taken with digital SLR Canon 700D, Nikon D5300, Nikon D5100 with a 35mm objective lens. Flights altitude at 350 - 400 AGL, allowed images to be taken with a resolution GSD (ground sample distance) less than 5 cm. The Image J software analysis method was tested to provide automatic population estimates from obtained images. The use of UAV for monitoring of indicator species, enabled data acquisition from areas inaccessible by ground methods.

  10. Low Density of Top Predators (Seabirds and Marine Mammals in the High Arctic Pack Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claude R. Joiris

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The at-sea distribution of top predators, seabirds and marine mammals, was determined in the high Arctic pack ice on board the icebreaker RV Polarstern in July to September 2014. In total, 1,620 transect counts were realised, lasting 30 min each. The five most numerous seabird species represented 74% of the total of 15,150 individuals registered: kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, puffin Fratercula arctica, Ross’s gull Rhodostethia rosea, and little auk Alle alle. Eight cetacean species were tallied for a total of 330 individuals, mainly white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris and fin whale Balaenoptera physalus. Five pinniped species were represented by a total of 55 individuals and the polar bear Ursus maritimus was represented by 12 individuals. Four main geographical zones were identified: from Tromsø to the outer marginal ice zone (OMIZ, the Arctic pack ice (close pack ice, CPI, the end of Lomonosov Ridge off Siberia, and the route off Siberia and northern Norway. Important differences were detected between zones, both in species composition and in individual abundance. Low numbers of species and high proportion of individuals for some of them can be considered to reflect very low biodiversity. Numbers encountered in zones 2 to 4 were very low in comparison with other European Arctic seas. The observed differences showed strong patterns.

  11. Projected status of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in the twenty-first century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Marcot, Bruce G.; Douglas, David C.

    2011-01-01

    Extensive and rapid losses of sea ice in the Arctic have raised conservation concerns for the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens), a large pinniped inhabiting arctic and subarctic continental shelf waters of the Chukchi and Bering seas. We developed a Bayesian network model to integrate potential effects of changing environmental conditions and anthropogenic stressors on the future status of the Pacific walrus population at four periods through the twenty-first century. The model framework allowed for inclusion of various sources and levels of knowledge, and representation of structural and parameter uncertainties. Walrus outcome probabilities through the century reflected a clear trend of worsening conditions for the subspecies. From the current observation period to the end of century, the greatest change in walrus outcome probabilities was a progressive decrease in the outcome state of robust and a concomitant increase in the outcome state of vulnerable. The probabilities of rare and extirpated states each progressively increased but remained level of 10% in 2004 to 22% by 2050 and 40% by 2095. The degree of uncertainty in walrus outcomes increased monotonically over future periods. In the model, sea ice habitat (particularly for summer/fall) and harvest levels had the greatest influence on future population outcomes. Other potential stressors had much smaller influences on walrus outcomes, mostly because of uncertainty in their future states and our current poor understanding of their mechanistic influence on walrus abundance.

  12. On the biological basis of musicality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honing, Henkjan

    2018-03-15

    In recent years, music and musicality have been the focus of an increasing amount of research effort. This has led to a growing role and visibility of the contribution of (bio)musicology to the field of neuroscience and cognitive sciences at large. While it has been widely acknowledged that there are commonalities between speech, language, and musicality, several researchers explain this by considering musicality as an epiphenomenon of language. However, an alternative hypothesis is that musicality is an innate and widely shared capacity for music that can be seen as a natural, spontaneously developing set of traits based on and constrained by our cognitive abilities and their underlying biology. A comparative study of musicality in humans and well-known animal models (monkeys, birds, pinnipeds) will further our insights on which features of musicality are exclusive to humans and which are shared between humans and nonhuman animals, contribute to an understanding of the musical phenotype, and further constrain existing evolutionary theories of music and musicality. © 2018 The Authors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of New York Academy of Sciences.

  13. Ontogenetic changes in skeletal muscle fiber type, fiber diameter and myoglobin concentration in the Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colby eMoore

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris (NES are known to be deep, long-duration divers and to sustain long-repeated patterns of breath-hold, or apnea. Some phocid dives remain within the bounds of aerobic metabolism, accompanied by physiological responses inducing lung compression, bradycardia and peripheral vasoconstriction. Current data suggest an absence of type IIb fibers in pinniped locomotory musculature. To date, no fiber type data exist for NES, a consummate deep diver. In this study, NES were biopsied in the wild. Ontogenetic changes in skeletal muscle were revealed through succinate dehydrogenase (SDH based fiber typing. Results indicated a predominance of uniformly shaped, large type I fibers and elevated myoglobin (Mb concentrations in the longissimus dorsi (LD muscle of adults. No type II muscle fibers were detected in any adult sampled. This was in contrast to the juvenile animals that demonstrated type II myosin in Western Blot analysis, indicative of an ontogenetic change in skeletal muscle with maturation. These data support previous hypotheses that the absence of type II fibers indicates reliance on aerobic metabolism during dives, as well as a depressed metabolic rate and low energy locomotion. We also suggest that the lack of type IIb fibers (adults may provide a protection against ischemia reperfusion (IR injury in vasoconstricted peripheral skeletal muscle.

  14. A novel Sarcocystis neurona genotype XIII is associated with severe encephalitis in an unexpectedly broad range of marine mammals from the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Lorraine; Johnson, Christine K; Lambourn, Dyanna M; Gibson, Amanda K; Haman, Katherine H; Huggins, Jessica L; Sweeny, Amy R; Sundar, Natarajan; Raverty, Stephen A; Grigg, Michael E

    2015-08-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of protozoal encephalitis among marine mammals in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. To characterise the genetic type of S. neurona in this region, samples from 227 stranded marine mammals, most with clinical or pathological evidence of protozoal disease, were tested for the presence of coccidian parasites using a nested PCR assay. The frequency of S. neurona infection was 60% (136/227) among pinnipeds and cetaceans, including seven marine mammal species not previously known to be susceptible to infection by this parasite. Eight S. neurona fetal infections identified this coccidian parasite as capable of being transmitted transplacentally. Thirty-seven S. neurona-positive samples were multilocus sequence genotyped using three genetic markers: SnSAG1-5-6, SnSAG3 and SnSAG4. A novel genotype, referred to as Type XIII within the S. neurona population genetic structure, has emerged recently in the northeastern Pacific Ocean and is significantly associated with an increased severity of protozoal encephalitis and mortality among multiple stranded marine mammal species. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Complex trophic interactions in kelp forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, J.A.; Danner, E.M.; Doak, D.F.; Konar, B.; Springer, A.M.; Steinberg, P.D.; Tinker, M. Tim; Williams, T.M.

    2004-01-01

    The distributions and abundances of species and populations change almost continuously. Understanding the processes responsible is perhaps ecology’s most fundamental challenge. Kelp-forest ecosystems in southwest Alaska have undergone several phase shifts between alga- and herbivore-dominated states in recent decades. Overhunting and recovery of sea otters caused the earlier shifts. Studies focusing on these changes demonstrate the importance of top-down forcing processes, a variety of indirect food-web interactions associated with the otter-urchin-kelp trophic cascade, and the role of food-chain length in the coevolution of defense and resistance in plants and their herbivores. This system unexpectedly shifted back to an herbivore-dominated state during the 1990s, because of a sea-otter population collapse that apparently was driven by increased predation by killer whales. Reasons for this change remain uncertain but seem to be linked to the whole-sale collapse of marine mammals in the North Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea. We hypothesize that killer whales sequentially "fished down" pinniped and sea-otter populations after their earlier prey, the great whales, were decimated by commercial whaling. The dynamics of kelp forests in southwest Alaska thus appears to have been influenced by an ecological chain reaction that encompassed numerous species and large scales of space and time.

  16. Environment and feeding change the ability of heart rate to predict metabolism in resting Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Beth L; Rosen, David A S; Haulena, Martin; Hindle, Allyson G; Trites, Andrew W

    2011-01-01

    The ability to use heart rate (fh) to predict oxygen consumption rates ([Formula: see text]) in Steller sea lions and other pinnipeds has been investigated in fasting animals. However, it is unknown whether established fh:[Formula: see text] relationships hold under more complex physiological situations, such as when animals are feeding or digesting. We assessed whether fh could accurately predict [Formula: see text] in trained Steller sea lions while fasting and after being fed. Using linear mixed-effects models, we derived unique equations to describe the fh:[Formula: see text] relationship for fasted sea lions resting on land and in water. Feeding did not significantly change the fh:[Formula: see text] relationship on land. However, Steller sea lions in water displayed a different fh:[Formula: see text] relationship after consuming a 4-kg meal compared with the fasting condition. Incorporating comparable published fh:[Formula: see text] data from Steller sea lions showed a distinct effect of feeding after a 6-kg meal. Ultimately, our study illustrated that both feeding and physical environment are statistically relevant when deriving [Formula: see text] from telemetered fh, but that only environment affects the practical ability to predict metabolism from fh. Updating current bioenergetic models with data gathered using these predictive fh:[Formula: see text] equations will yield more accurate estimates of metabolic rates of free-ranging Steller sea lions under a variety of physiological, behavioral, and environmental states.

  17. INDICATOR SPECIES POPULATION MONITORING IN ANTARCTICA WITH UAV

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Zmarz

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A program to monitor bird and pinniped species in the vicinity of Arctowski Station, King George Island, South Shetlands, Antarctica, has been conducted over the past 38 years. Annual monitoring of these indicator species includes estimations of breeding population sizes of three Pygoscelis penguin species: Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap. Six penguin colonies situated on the western shores of two bays: Admiralty and King George are investigated. To study changes in penguin populations Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were used for the first time in the 2014/15 austral summer season. During photogrammetric flights the high-resolution images of eight penguin breeding colonies were taken. Obtained high resolution images were used for estimation of breeding population size and compared with the results of measurements taken at the same time from the ground. During this Antarctic expedition eight successful photogrammetry missions (total distance 1500 km were performed. Images were taken with digital SLR Canon 700D, Nikon D5300, Nikon D5100 with a 35mm objective lens. Flights altitude at 350 – 400 AGL, allowed images to be taken with a resolution GSD (ground sample distance less than 5 cm. The Image J software analysis method was tested to provide automatic population estimates from obtained images. The use of UAV for monitoring of indicator species, enabled data acquisition from areas inaccessible by ground methods.

  18. Species-specific accumulation of dioxin related compounds in cetaceans collected from Japanese coastal waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kajiwara, N.; Watanabe, M.; Tanabe, S. [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime Univ. (Japan); Amano, M. [Ocean Research Inst., Univ. of Tokyo, Iwate (Japan); Yamada, T. [National Science Museum, Tokyo (Japan)

    2004-09-15

    Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) are extremely hazardous and persistent chemicals identified as contaminants in chlorophenols, herbicides, fly ash and other incineration products. Dioxin-like PCBs including non- and mono-ortho coplanar PCBs are referred to as dioxin related compounds and are evaluated on par with PCDD/Fs in environmental risks since they have a high toxicity, similar to that of PCDD/Fs. These congeners have a range of physicochemical characteristics, which profoundly affect their persistence, environmental distribution, and bioaccumulation in aquatic food chains. Fish-eating wildlife such as marine mammals are particularly vulnerable to such contamination given their long lives, high trophic level, relative inability to metabolize many persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and the biomagnification of these contaminants in aquatic food chains. However, most studies dealing with PCDDs and PCDFs in marine mammals have been carried out on pinnipeds, and data on PCDD/Fs levels in cetaceans are scarce. The present study is aimed at understanding the recent pattern of contamination by dioxin related compounds including non- and mono-ortho coplanar PCBs and PCDD/Fs in three cetacean species collected from Japanese coastal waters during 1998-2001, and also to discuss the factors determining the accumulation.

  19. Aerial surveys of endangered whales in the Beaufort Sea, Fall 1989. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Treacy, S.D.

    1990-11-01

    The OCSLA Amendments of 1978 (43 U.S.C. 1802) established a policy for the management of oil and natural gas in the OCS and for protection of the marine and coastal environments. The amended OCSLA authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct studies in areas or regions of sales to ascertain the environmental impacts on the marine and coastal environments of the outer Continental Shelf and the coastal areas which may be affected by oil and gas development (43 U.S.C. 1346). The report describes field activities and data analyses for aerial surveys of bowhead whales conducted between 1 September 1989 and 20 October 1989 in the Beaufort Sea, primarily between 140 W. and 154 W. longitudes south of 72 N. latitude. Ice cover during September and October 1989 was exceptionally light. A total of 215 bowhead whales, 104 belukha whales, 9 bearded seals, 84 ringed seals, and 32 unidentified pinnipeds were observed in 1989 during 98.70 hours of survey effort that included 38.10 hours on randomized transects. The last sighting of a bowhead whale made during the survey occurred in open water on 19 October 1989. No whales were sighted during a subsequent flight on 20 October 1989. Estimated median and mean water depths were shallower than for previous surveys (1982-1989). This is consistent with a trend for whales to be located in shallower water during years of generally light ice cover

  20. Description of Uncinaria lyonsi n. sp. (Nematoda: Ancylostomatidae) from the California sea lion Zalophus californianus Lesson (Carnivora: Otariidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzmina, Tetiana A; Kuzmin, Yuriy

    2015-02-01

    A new species of hookworm, Uncinaria lyonsi n. sp., is described based on morphological studies of the nematodes collected by Dr. E. T. Lyons from the California sea lion Zalophus californianus (Lesson) on San Miguel Island, California, USA. The new species is morphologically similar to three other species of the genus Uncinaria Frölich, 1789 parasitising pinnipeds, U. lucasi Stiles, 1901, U. hamiltoni Baylis, 1933 and U. sanguinis Marcus, Higgins, Šlapeta & Gray, 2014, in the body dimensions, the structure of the buccal capsule, the shape and structure of the male caudal bursa and female genital system. Uncinaria lyonsi n. sp. is differentiated from U. lucasi by having longer spicules and gubernaculum, larger buccal capsule and more slender oesophagus. The new species differs from U. hamiltoni and U. sanguinis in having shorter spicules and narrower buccal capsule. The latter two species also occur in the Southern Hemisphere and are geographically separated from U. lyonsi n. sp. The present study confirms the existence of a host-specific species of Uncinaria in the California sea lion, previously revealed by molecular and biological investigations.

  1. Hookworm infection, anaemia and genetic variability of the New Zealand sea lion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo-Whitehouse, Karina; Petetti, Laura; Duignan, Padraig; Castinel, Aurelie

    2009-10-07

    Hookworms are intestinal blood-feeding nematodes that parasitize and cause high levels of mortality in a wide range of mammals, including otariid pinnipeds. Recently, an empirical study showed that inbreeding (assessed by individual measures of multi-locus heterozygosity) is associated with hookworm-related mortality of California sea lions. If inbreeding increases susceptibility to hookworms, effects would expectedly be stronger in small, fragmented populations. We tested this assumption in the New Zealand sea lion, a threatened otariid that has low levels of genetic variability and high hookworm infection rates. Using a panel of 22 microsatellites, we found that average allelic diversity (5.9) and mean heterozygosity (0.72) were higher than expected for a small population with restricted breeding, and we found no evidence of an association between genetic variability and hookworm resistance. However, similar to what was observed for the California sea lion, homozygosity at a single locus explained the occurrence of anaemia and thrombocytopenia in hookworm-infected pups (generalized linear model, F = 11.81, p < 0.001) and the effect was apparently driven by a particular allele (odds ratio = 34.95%; CI: 7.12-162.41; p < 0.00001). Our study offers further evidence that these haematophagus parasites exert selective pressure on otariid blood-clotting processes.

  2. A review of Brucella infection in marine mammals, with special emphasis on Brucella pinnipedialis in the hooded seal (Cystophora cristata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Brucella spp. were isolated from marine mammals for the first time in 1994. Two novel species were later included in the genus; Brucella ceti and Brucella pinnipedialis, with cetaceans and seals as their preferred hosts, respectively. Brucella spp. have since been isolated from a variety of marine mammals. Pathological changes, including lesions of the reproductive organs and associated abortions, have only been registered in cetaceans. The zoonotic potential differs among the marine mammal Brucella strains. Many techniques, both classical typing and molecular microbiology, have been utilised for characterisation of the marine mammal Brucella spp. and the change from the band-based approaches to the sequence-based approaches has greatly increased our knowledge about these strains. Several clusters have been identified within the B. ceti and B. pinnipedialis species, and multiple studies have shown that the hooded seal isolates differ from other pinniped isolates. We describe how different molecular methods have contributed to species identification and differentiation of B. ceti and B. pinnipedialis, with special emphasis on the hooded seal isolates. We further discuss the potential role of B. pinnipedialis for the declining Northwest Atlantic hooded seal population. PMID:21819589

  3. Exposure of harbour seals Phoca vitulina to Brucella in declining populations across Scotland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kershaw, Joanna L; Stubberfield, Emma J; Foster, Geoffrey; Brownlow, Andrew; Hall, Ailsa J; Perrett, Lorraine L

    2017-09-20

    Since 2000 there has been a major decline in the abundance of Scottish harbour seals Phoca vitulina. The causes of the decline remain uncertain. The aim of this study was to establish the extent to which the seals in the regions of greatest decline have been exposed to Brucella, a bacterial pathogen that causes reproductive failure in terrestrial mammalian hosts. Tissues from dead seals collected between 1992 and 2013 were cultured for Brucella (n = 150). Serum samples collected from live capture-released seals (n = 343) between 1997 and 2012 were tested for Brucella antibodies using the Rose Bengal plate agglutination test (RBT) and a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA). In total, 16% of seals cultured had Brucella isolated from one or more tissues, but there were no pathological signs of infection. The cELISA results were more sensitive than the RBT results, showing that overall 25.4% of seals were seropositive, with the highest seroprevalence in juveniles. As there was no evidence of either a higher seroprevalence or higher circulating antibody levels in seropositive animals in the areas with the greatest declines, it was concluded that Brucella infection is likely not a major contributing factor to recent declines. However, the consistently high proportion of seals exposed to Brucella indicates possible endemicity in these populations, likely due to B. pinnipedialis, which has demonstrated a preference for pinniped hosts. Importantly, given the close proximity between seals, humans and livestock in many areas, there is the potential for cross-species infections.

  4. Colony-level assessment of Brucella and Leptospira in the Guadalupe fur seal, Isla Guadalupe, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziehl-Quirós, E Carolina; García-Aguilar, María C; Mellink, Eric

    2017-01-24

    The relatively small population size and restricted distribution of the Guadalupe fur seal Arctocephalus townsendi could make it highly vulnerable to infectious diseases. We performed a colony-level assessment in this species of the prevalence and presence of Brucella spp. and Leptospira spp., pathogenic bacteria that have been reported in several pinniped species worldwide. Forty-six serum samples were collected in 2014 from pups at Isla Guadalupe, the only place where the species effectively reproduces. Samples were tested for Brucella using 3 consecutive serological tests, and for Leptospira using the microscopic agglutination test. For each bacterium, a Bayesian approach was used to estimate prevalence to exposure, and an epidemiological model was used to test the null hypothesis that the bacterium was present in the colony. No serum sample tested positive for Brucella, and the statistical analyses concluded that the colony was bacterium-free with a 96.3% confidence level. However, a Brucella surveillance program would be highly recommendable. Twelve samples were positive (titers 1:50) to 1 or more serovars of Leptospira. The prevalence was calculated at 27.1% (95% credible interval: 15.6-40.3%), and the posterior analyses indicated that the colony was not Leptospira-free with a 100% confidence level. Serovars Icterohaemorrhagiae, Canicola, and Bratislava were detected, but only further research can unveil whether they affect the fur seal population.

  5. Evidence of Brucella strain ST27 in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cvetnić, Željko; Duvnjak, Sanja; Đuras, Martina; Gomerčić, Tomislav; Reil, Irena; Zdelar-Tuk, Maja; Špičić, Silvio

    2016-11-30

    Marine mammal brucellosis has been known for more than 20 years, but recent work suggests it is more widespread than originally thought. Brucella (B.) pinnipedialis has been isolated from pinnipeds, while B. ceti strains have been associated with cetaceans. Here we report a Brucella strain isolated from multiple lymph nodes of one bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) during routine examination of dolphin carcasses found in the Croatian part of the northern Adriatic Sea during the summer of 2015. Classical bacteriological biotyping, PCR-based techniques (single, multiplex, PCR-RFLP) and 16S rRNA DNA sequencing were used to identify Brucella spp. Multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis of 16 loci and multilocus sequence typing of 9 loci were used for genotyping and species determination. The combination of bacteriological, molecular and genotyping techniques identified our strain as ST27, previously identified as a human pathogen. This report provides, to our knowledge, the first evidence of ST27 in the Adriatic Sea in particular and in European waters in general. The zoonotic nature of the strain and its presence in the Adriatic, which is inhabited by bottlenose dolphins, suggest that the strain may pose a significant threat to human health. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Diet induced differences in carbon isotope fractionation between sirenians and terrestrial ungulates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clementz, M.T.; Koch, P.L.; Beck, C.A.

    2007-01-01

    Carbon isotope differences (??13C) between bioapatite and diet, collagen and diet, and bioapatite and collagen were calculated for four species of sirenians, Dugong dugon (Mu??ller), Trichechus manatus (Linnaeus), Trichechus inunguis (Natterer), and the extinct Hydrodamalis gigas (Zimmerman). Bone and tooth samples were taken from archived materials collected from populations during the mid eighteenth century (H. gigas), between 1978 and 1984 (T. manatus, T. inunguis), and between 1997 and 1999 (D. dugon). Mean ??13C values were compared with those for terrestrial ungulates, carnivores, and six species of carnivorous marine mammals (cetaceans = 1; pinnipeds = 4; mustelids = 1). Significant differences in mean ??13C values among species for all tissue types were detected that separated species or populations foraging on freshwater plants or attached marine macroalgae (??13C values -4???; ??13Cbioapatite-diet ???11???). Likewise, ??13Cbioapatite-collagen values for freshwater and algal-foraging species (???7???) were greater than those for seagrass-foraging species (???5???). Variation in ??13C values calculated between tissues and between tissues and diet among species may relate to the nutritional composition of a species' diet and the extent and type of microbial fermentation that occurs during digestion of different types of plants. These results highlight the complications that can arise when making dietary interpretations without having first determined species-specific ??13Ctissue-diet values. ?? 2007 Springer-Verlag.

  7. Visitor effects on a zoo population of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vere, Amber J

    2018-04-19

    The effects of visitor presence on zoo and aquarium animals have become increasingly well studied, using measures such as behavioral responses and exhibit usage. Many taxa remain underrepresented in this literature; this is the case for marine mammals, despite widespread public concern for their welfare in managed care settings. The current study therefore used behavioral activity budgets and exhibit usage to assess the responses of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) to visitors at the Seal Cove exhibit at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo CA. Data was collected via focal follow video recordings over the summer season of 2016, and analyzed using MANCOVAs, discriminant analyses, and modified Spread of Participation Indices. The sea lions showed no significant changes in behavior when visitors were present, but did show greater preference for the water bordering visitor viewing areas during these times. Two sea lions gave birth during the study period, and showed greater preference for land areas both adjacent to and out of sight of visitors when nursing compared to while pregnant. In contrast, the harbor seals showed significant behavioral changes in the presence of visitors, including increased vigilance and feeding. This was associated with increased preferential use of water areas adjacent to the visitor viewing area. Visitors were able to purchase fish to throw to the animals, which likely contributed to the differences observed. Overall, this study found little evidence for negative visitor impacts on two pinniped species in a zoo setting. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Auditory detection of ultrasonic coded transmitters by seals and sea lions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Kane A; Hayes, Sean A; Michelle Wargo Rub, A; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2014-04-01

    Ultrasonic coded transmitters (UCTs) are high-frequency acoustic tags that are often used to conduct survivorship studies of vulnerable fish species. Recent observations of differential mortality in tag control studies suggest that fish instrumented with UCTs may be selectively targeted by marine mammal predators, thereby skewing valuable survivorship data. In order to better understand the ability of pinnipeds to detect UCT outputs, behavioral high-frequency hearing thresholds were obtained from a trained harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) and a trained California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). Thresholds were measured for extended (500 ms) and brief (10 ms) 69 kHz narrowband stimuli, as well as for a stimulus recorded directly from a Vemco V16-3H UCT, which consisted of eight 10 ms, 69 kHz pure-tone pulses. Detection thresholds for the harbor seal were as expected based on existing audiometric data for this species, while the California sea lion was much more sensitive than predicted. Given measured detection thresholds of 113 dB re 1 μPa and 124 dB re 1 μPa, respectively, both species are likely able to detect acoustic outputs of the Vemco V16-3H under water from distances exceeding 200 m in typical natural conditions, suggesting that these species are capable of using UCTs to detect free-ranging fish.

  9. Organochlorine pollutants in small cetaceans from the Pacific and south Atlantic Oceans, November 1968-June 1976

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Shea, T.J.; Brownell, R.L. Jr.; Clark, D.R. Jr.; Walker, W.A.; Gay, M.L.; Lamont, T.G.

    1980-09-01

    Organochlorine residues were analyzed in blubber, brain, or muscle tissues of 69 individuals representing 10 species of small cetaceans. Collections were made from November 1968 through June 1976 at localities in the Eastern Tropical Pacific and along the coasts of California, Hawaii, Japan, and Uruguay, Relations of residue concentrations between tissues are described for DDE and PCBs in two dolphin species. sigma DDT and PCB residues in blubber of most of the 19 individuals of the five southern California species sampled exceed concentrations that are associated with reproductive impairment in pinnipeds, although the nature of such associations is not well defined. The sigma DDT residue of 2,695 ppm in blubber of one California coastal Tursiops truncatus is one of the highest concentrations reported in tissues of members of any population of wild mammals. Except for one rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) from Maui, Hawaii, all individuals from all localities surveyed were contaminated with organochlorine compounds. Seventeen different organochlorines were detected; greatest diversity occurred near Japan and California. This is the first report of several of these compounds in tissues of any species of marine mammals. The o,p'-isomers and metabolites of DDT were detected unusually frequently. Ratios of p,p'-DDT to p,p'-DDE in blubber of cetaceans from waters off countries where use of this pesticide has been relatively recent and ongoing were at least an order of magnitude higher than in cetaceans from United States waters.

  10. Ecology of Hawaiian marine mammals emphasizing the impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on endangered species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, S.F.; Hartwig, E.O.

    1982-06-01

    Twenty-two marine mammal species including 2 baleen whales, 20 toothed whales, and one pinniped occur in Hawaiian waters. Among these are two endangered species, the migratory humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) around the main islands, and the non-migratory Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) in the extreme northwestern island chain. The endangered species are among those most commonly sighted, while spinner dolphins (Stenella spp.), bottle-nosed dolphins (Tursiops sp.), and false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are sighted less frequently. Most Hawaiian cetacean species are Odontoceti, or toothed whales, and feed on fish and squid. The Mysteceti or baleen whales feed on plankton, however the endangered humpback whale, which migrates to Hawaii to breed and calve, presumably does not feed there. The endangered monk seal feeds on cephalopods and fish. The impact of OTEC on endangered and non-endangered marine mammals results from several direct and indirect effects and is discussed in the text. Careful siting of OTEC plants away from humpback breeding areas and monk seal breeding and feeding areas will avoid adverse effects on these populations.

  11. Breeding success of a marine central place forager in the context of climate change: A modeling approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauriane Massardier-Galatà

    Full Text Available In response to climate warming, a southward shift in productive frontal systems serving as the main foraging sites for many top predator species is likely to occur in Subantarctic areas. Central place foragers, such as seabirds and pinnipeds, are thus likely to cope with an increase in the distance between foraging locations and their land-based breeding colonies. Understanding how central place foragers should modify their foraging behavior in response to changes in prey accessibility appears crucial. A spatially explicit individual-based simulation model (Marine Central Place Forager Simulator (MarCPFS, including bio-energetic components, was built to evaluate effects of possible changes in prey resources accessibility on individual performances and breeding success. The study was calibrated on a particular example: the Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella, which alternates between oceanic areas in which females feed and the land-based colony in which they suckle their young over a 120 days rearing period. Our model shows the importance of the distance covered to feed and prey aggregation which appeared to be key factors to which animals are highly sensitive. Memorization and learning abilities also appear to be essential breeding success traits. Females were found to be most successful for intermediate levels of prey aggregation and short distance to the resource, resulting in optimal female body length. Increased distance to resources due to climate warming should hinder pups' growth and survival while female body length should increase.

  12. Genital morphology of the male South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis and biological implications

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    Alex Sander D. Machado

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Male capacity for spreading genes to a great number of descendents and to determine population dynamics depend directly on the genital organs. Morphological studies in pinnipeds are scarce and the functional meaning of some characteristics has never been discussed. We hypothesized that Arctocephalus australis (A. australis shows morphophysiological adaptations in order to guarantee the perpetuation of the species in the unique annual mating season. Seven males, dead from natural causes, had their genital organs collected and fixed for morphological description. Some features differ from other described mammalian males and are closely related to the biology and reproductive cycle of this species, as the scrotal epidermis, absence of glandular portion in the ductus deferens and spermatogenic epithelium suggest a recrudescent testis period. The corona glandis exhibits a singular arrangement: its erectile border looks like a formation of petals and its association with the os penis gives a "lily-flower" form to this region. We propose the name margo petaliformis to this particular erectile border of the corona glandis because of its similarity to a flower corola. The male genital organs of A. australis show morphological features compatible with adaptation to environment requirements and reproductive efficiency.

  13. A review of Brucella infection in marine mammals, with special emphasis on Brucella pinnipedialis in the hooded seal (Cystophora cristata

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    Nymo Ingebjørg H

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Brucella spp. were isolated from marine mammals for the first time in 1994. Two novel species were later included in the genus; Brucella ceti and Brucella pinnipedialis, with cetaceans and seals as their preferred hosts, respectively. Brucella spp. have since been isolated from a variety of marine mammals. Pathological changes, including lesions of the reproductive organs and associated abortions, have only been registered in cetaceans. The zoonotic potential differs among the marine mammal Brucella strains. Many techniques, both classical typing and molecular microbiology, have been utilised for characterisation of the marine mammal Brucella spp. and the change from the band-based approaches to the sequence-based approaches has greatly increased our knowledge about these strains. Several clusters have been identified within the B. ceti and B. pinnipedialis species, and multiple studies have shown that the hooded seal isolates differ from other pinniped isolates. We describe how different molecular methods have contributed to species identification and differentiation of B. ceti and B. pinnipedialis, with special emphasis on the hooded seal isolates. We further discuss the potential role of B. pinnipedialis for the declining Northwest Atlantic hooded seal population.

  14. Avaliação hematológica e dosagem bioquímica de ALT, AST e creatinina em elefante-marinho-do-sul, Mirounga leonina (linnaeus, 1758, encontrado no litoral de Salvador, Bahia

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    Bruno Lopes Bastos

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Since 1999 the Aquatic Mammals Rescue Center - AMRC has been working in the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded cetaceans and pinnipeds on the coast of Bahia, Brazil. This paper presents and analyses the blood cells count and clinical chemistry of alanine aminotransferase (ALT, aspartate aminotransferase (AST and creatinine of a southern elephant seal, Mirounga leonina (LINNAEUS, 1758, found on February the 11th at Barra Beach, Salvador, BA. The specimen was an orphan male calf, with 137cm of length and estimated weight of 49kg. It presented bad nutritional conditions and a shark bite on the right shoulder area. Clinical management was performed for 56 days, anthelmintic Febendazole was utilized, and the bite was treated with iodined alcohol, Nitrofurazone solution and Kethanserin, simultaneously with Enrofloxacin 10%, Potenay®, Vitamin B Complex and Benerva®. On the 16th the animal presented a right unilateral conjuntivitis, treated with Cloranphenicol oftalmic pomade until the end of its stay in the captive. During this period a total of six blood samples were collected, three for total blood counts and the others for the biochemistry determination of ALT, AST and creatinine. According to the haematological analysis the seal developed an anaemia which was classified as microcytic and normochromic. Lymphopenia, eosinopenia and monocytopenia were also observed, possibly due to its handling and stress conditions. The clinical chemistry presented low values for AST and creatinine, although this did not represent the existence of any pathologic context or disease with clinical significance.

  15. Mercury in the ecosystem of Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica: Occurrence and trophic distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cipro, Caio V Z; Montone, Rosalinda C; Bustamante, Paco

    2017-01-15

    Mercury (Hg) can reach the environment through natural and human-related sources, threatening ecosystems all over the planet due to its well known deleterious effects. Therefore, Antarctic trophic webs, despite being relatively isolated, are not exempt of its influence. To evaluate Hg concentrations in an Antarctic ecosystem, different tissues from 2 species of invertebrates, 2 of fish, 8 of birds, 4 of pinnipeds and at least 5 of vegetation were investigated (n=176). For animals, values ranged from 0.018 to 48.7μgg -1 dw (whole Antarctic krill and Antarctic Fur Seal liver). They were generally correlated to trophic position (assessed by δ 15 N and δ 13 C) but also to cephalopods and myctophids consumption. For vegetation, values ranged from 0.014 to 0.227μgg -1 dw (Colobanthus quitensis and an unidentified lichen), with lichens presenting significantly higher values than mosses, likely due to year-round exposure and absorption of animal derived organic matter, as hypothesized by literature. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) Reproductive Advertisement Behavior and the Effects of Vessel Noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Leanna P.

    Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are a widely distributed pinniped species that mate underwater. Similar to other aquatically mating pinnipeds, male harbor seals produce vocalizations during the breeding season that function in male-male interactions and possibly as an attractant for females. I investigated multiple aspects of these reproductive advertisement displays in a population of harbor seals in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska. First, I looked at vocal production as a function of environmental variables, including season, daylight, and tidal state. Vocalizations were highly seasonal and detection of these vocalizations peaked in June and July, which correspond with the estimated time of breeding. Vocalizations also varied with light, with the lowest probability of detection during the day and the highest probability of detection at night. The high probability of detection corresponded to when females are known to forage. These results are similar to the vocal behavior of previously studied populations. However, unlike previously studied populations, the detection of harbor seal breeding vocalizations did not vary with tidal state. This is likely due to the location of the hydrophone, as it was not near the haul out and depth was therefore not significantly influenced by changes in tidal height. I also investigated the source levels and call parameters of vocalizations, as well as call rate and territoriality. The average source level of harbor seal breeding vocalizations was 144 dB re 1 ?Pa at 1 m and measurements ranged from 129 to 149 dB re 1 ?Pa. Analysis of call parameters indicated that vocalizations of harbor seals in Glacier Bay were similar in duration to other populations, but were much lower in frequency. During the breeding season, there were two discrete calling areas that likely represent two individual males; the average call rate in these display areas was approximately 1 call per minute. The harbor seal breeding season also

  17. Climate change and control of the southeastern Bering Sea pelagic ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, George L., Jr.; Stabeno, Phyllis; Walters, Gary; Sinclair, Elizabeth; Brodeur, Richard D.; Napp, Jeffery M.; Bond, Nicholas A.

    2002-12-01

    We propose a new hypothesis, the Oscillating Control Hypothesis (OCH), which predicts that pelagic ecosystem function in the southeastern Bering Sea will alternate between primarily bottom-up control in cold regimes and primarily top-down control in warm regimes. The timing of spring primary production is determined predominately by the timing of ice retreat. Late ice retreat (late March or later) leads to an early, ice-associated bloom in cold water (e.g., 1995, 1997, 1999), whereas no ice, or early ice retreat before mid-March, leads to an open-water bloom in May or June in warm water (e.g., 1996, 1998, 2000). Zooplankton populations are not closely coupled to the spring bloom, but are sensitive to water temperature. In years when the spring bloom occurs in cold water, low temperatures limit the production of zooplankton, the survival of larval/juvenile fish, and their recruitment into the populations of species of large piscivorous fish, such as walleye pollock ( Theragra chalcogramma), Pacific cod ( Gadus macrocephalus) and arrowtooth flounder ( Atheresthes stomias). When continued over decadal scales, this will lead to bottom-up limitation and a decreased biomass of piscivorous fish. Alternatively, in periods when the bloom occurs in warm water, zooplankton populations should grow rapidly, providing plentiful prey for larval and juvenile fish. Abundant zooplankton will support strong recruitment of fish and will lead to abundant predatory fish that control forage fish, including, in the case of pollock, their own juveniles. Piscivorous marine birds and pinnipeds may achieve higher production of young and survival in cold regimes, when there is less competition from large piscivorous fish for cold-water forage fish such as capelin ( Mallotus villosus). Piscivorous seabirds and pinnipeds also may be expected to have high productivity in periods of transition from cold regimes to warm regimes, when young of large predatory species of fish are numerous enough to

  18. A colostrum trypsin inhibitor gene expressed in the Cape fur seal mammary gland during lactation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pharo, Elizabeth A; Cane, Kylie N; McCoey, Julia; Buckle, Ashley M; Oosthuizen, W H; Guinet, Christophe; Arnould, John P Y

    2016-03-01

    The colostrum trypsin inhibitor (CTI) gene and transcript were cloned from the Cape fur seal mammary gland and CTI identified by in silico analysis of the Pacific walrus and polar bear genomes (Order Carnivora), and in marine and terrestrial mammals of the Orders Cetartiodactyla (yak, whales, camel) and Perissodactyla (white rhinoceros). Unexpectedly, Weddell seal CTI was predicted to be a pseudogene. Cape fur seal CTI was expressed in the mammary gland of a pregnant multiparous seal, but not in a seal in its first pregnancy. While bovine CTI is expressed for 24-48 h postpartum (pp) and secreted in colostrum only, Cape fur seal CTI was detected for at least 2-3 months pp while the mother was suckling its young on-shore. Furthermore, CTI was expressed in the mammary gland of only one of the lactating seals that was foraging at-sea. The expression of β-casein (CSN2) and β-lactoglobulin II (LGB2), but not CTI in the second lactating seal foraging at-sea suggested that CTI may be intermittently expressed during lactation. Cape fur seal and walrus CTI encode putative small, secreted, N-glycosylated proteins with a single Kunitz/bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI) domain indicative of serine protease inhibition. Mature Cape fur seal CTI shares 92% sequence identity with Pacific walrus CTI, but only 35% identity with BPTI. Structural homology modelling of Cape fur seal CTI and Pacific walrus trypsin based on the model of the second Kunitz domain of human tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) and porcine trypsin (Protein Data Bank: 1TFX) confirmed that CTI inhibits trypsin in a canonical fashion. Therefore, pinniped CTI may be critical for preventing the proteolytic degradation of immunoglobulins that are passively transferred from mother to young via colostrum and milk. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Re-alimentation in harbor seal pups: effects on the somatotropic axis and growth rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richmond, Julie P; Norris, Tenaya; Zinn, Steven A

    2010-01-15

    The metabolic hormones, growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, together with IGF binding proteins (IGFBP), have been well studied in domestic species and are the primary components of the somatotropic axis. This hormone axis is responsive to nutrient intake, associated with growth rate, and accretion of protein and adipose. However, this relationship has not been evaluated in species that rely heavily on adipose stores for survival, such as pinnipeds. The primary objectives of this research were to investigate the response of the somatotropic axis to reduced nutrient intake and re-alimentation in rehabilitated harbor seal pups, and to assess if these hormones are related to nutritional status and growth rate in harbor seals. Stranded harbor seal pups (n=24) arrived at the rehabilitation facility very thin after fasting for several days (nutritional nadir). Throughout rehabilitation nutrient intake increased and pups gained mass and body condition. Concentrations of GH and IGFBP-2 decreased with re-alimentation, while IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations increased. Overall, GH and IGFBP-2 were negatively associated and IGF-I and IGFBP-3 were positively associated with growth rate and increased body condition of harbor sea pups. Further, the magnitude of the growth response was related to the magnitude in response of the somatotropic axis to varied levels of intake. These data suggest that multiple components of the somatotropic axis may be used to assess the energy status of individuals and may also provide information on the level of feed intake that is predictive of growth rate.

  20. Dive characteristics can predict foraging success in Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus as validated by animal-borne video

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth L. Volpov

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Dive characteristics and dive shape are often used to infer foraging success in pinnipeds. However, these inferences have not been directly validated in the field with video, and it remains unclear if this method can be applied to benthic foraging animals. This study assessed the ability of dive characteristics from time-depth recorders (TDR to predict attempted prey capture events (APC that were directly observed on animal-borne video in Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus, n=11. The most parsimonious model predicting the probability of a dive with ≥1 APC on video included only descent rate as a predictor variable. The majority (94% of the 389 total APC were successful, and the majority of the dives (68% contained at least one successful APC. The best model predicting these successful dives included descent rate as a predictor. Comparisons of the TDR model predictions to video yielded a maximum accuracy of 77.5% in classifying dives as either APC or non-APC or 77.1% in classifying dives as successful verses unsuccessful. Foraging intensity, measured as either total APC per dive or total successful APC per dive, was best predicted by bottom duration and ascent rate. The accuracy in predicting total APC per dive varied based on the number of APC per dive with maximum accuracy occurring at 1 APC for both total (54% and only successful APC (52%. Results from this study linking verified foraging dives to dive characteristics potentially opens the door to decades of historical TDR datasets across several otariid species.

  1. Preliminary Screening Analysis for the Environmental Risk Evaluation System: Task 2.1.1: Evaluating Effects of Stressors – Fiscal Year 2010 Progress Report: Environmental Effects of Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Richard M.; Copping, Andrea E.; Van Cleve, Frances B.

    2010-11-15

    Possible environmental effects of marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy development are not well understood, and yet regulatory agencies are required to make decisions in spite of substantial uncertainty about environmental impacts and their long-term effects. An understanding of risk associated with likely interactions between MHK installations and aquatic receptors, including animals, habitats, and ecosystems, can help reduce the level of uncertainty and focus regulatory actions and scientific studies on interactions of most concern. As a first step in developing the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Environmental Risk Evaluation System (ERES), PNNL scientists conducted a preliminary risk screening analysis on three initial MHK cases - a tidal project in Puget Sound using Open Hydro turbines, a wave project off the coast of Oregon using Ocean Power Technologies point attenuator buoys, and a riverine current project in the Mississippi River using Free Flow turbines. Through an iterative process, the screening analysis revealed that top-tier stressors in all three cases were the effects of the dynamic physical presence of the device (e.g., strike), accidents, and effects of the static physical presence of the device (e.g., habitat alteration). Receptor interactions with these stressors at the four highest tiers of risk were dominated by marine mammals (cetaceans and pinnipeds) and birds (diving and non-diving); only the riverine case (Free Flow) included different receptors in the third tier (fish) and the fourth tier (benthic invertebrates). Although this screening analysis provides a preliminary analysis of vulnerability of environmental receptors to stressors associated with MHK installations, probability analysis, especially of risk associated with chemical toxicity and accidents such as oil spills or lost gear, will be necessary to further understand high-priority risks. Subject matter expert review of this process and results is required and is

  2. A fugacity model for source determination of the Lake Baikal region pollution with polychlorinated Biphenyls

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sofiev, M. [Finnish Meteorological Inst., Helsinki (Finland); Galperin, M.; Maslyaev, A. [Inst. of Program Systems, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy (Russian Federation); McLachlan, M. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden); Wania, F. [Toronto Univ. (Canada)

    2004-09-15

    PCBs were discovered in the Lake Baikal ecosystem by Malakhov et al. and Bobovnikova et al. A follow up to the initial study showed no decrease over 1981-1989 4, in contrast to what has been observed in other water bodies in the industrialised world. Further studies also showed the contamination in pinnipeds to be among the highest measured anywhere. Above studies and other data suggested a presence of a strong local PCB source (or several ones), which has had a widespread adverse effect for the whole region. To locate the source, Mamontov et al. collected samples from 34 sites over the region, the analysis of which showed a gradient of a factor of 1000, with the lowest concentrations at the north-east of Lake Baikal and the highest concentrations close to the city of Usolye Sibirskoye, a centre of the chemical industry in the Angara River valley. A continuous decrease in the soil contamination was observed along the path from Usolye Sibirskoye up the Angara River valley to Lake Baikal and from there north-eastward along the lake. These results indicate that there was (and perhaps still is) a major source of PCBs in the Usolye area, from where the PCBs are dispersed over the region. However, various obstacles prevent direct observations of potential sources. Therefore, a mathematical modelling approach was adopted in a currently ongoing INTAS project aiming to shed some more light on this problem. The model principles, setup and the results of the first experiments are presented in the current paper.

  3. Insights using a molecular approach into the life cycle of a tapeworm infecting great white sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randhawa, Haseeb S

    2011-04-01

    The great white shark Carcharodon carcharias Linnaeus, 1758 is a versatile and fierce predator (and responsible for many shark attacks on humans). This apex predator feeds on a wide range of organisms including teleosts, other elasmobranchs, cephalopods, pinnipeds, and cetaceans. Although much is known about its diet, no trophic links have been empirically identified as being involved in the transmission of its tapeworm parasites. Recently, the use of molecular tools combined with phylogenetics has proven useful to identify larval and immature stages of marine tapeworms; utilization of the technique has been increasing rapidly. However, the usefulness of this approach remains limited by the availability of molecular data. Here, I employed gene sequence data from the D2 region of the large subunit of ribosomal DNA to link adults of the tapeworm Clistobothrium carcharodoni Dailey and Vogelbein, 1990 (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea) to larvae for which sequence data for this gene are available. The sequences from the adult tapeworms were genetically identical (0% sequence divergence) to those available on GenBank for "SP" 'small' Scolex pleuronectis recovered from the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus). This study is the first to provide empirical evidence linking the trophic interaction between great white sharks and cetaceans as a definitive route for the successful transmission of a tetraphyllidean tapeworm. Using the intensity of infection data from this shark and from cetaceans as proxies for the extent of predation, I estimate that this individual shark would have consumed between 9 to 83 G. griseus , fresh, dead, or both, in its lifetime.

  4. The better to eat you with: the comparative feeding morphology of phocid seals (Pinnipedia, Phocidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kienle, Sarah S; Berta, Annalisa

    2016-03-01

    . These results provide a framework for understanding the evolution and adaptability of feeding strategies employed by extant phocid species, and these findings can be applied to other pinniped lineages and extinct taxa. © 2015 Anatomical Society.

  5. Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium occurrence in Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea) exposed to varied levels of human interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delport, Tiffany C; Asher, Amy J; Beaumont, Linda J; Webster, Koa N; Harcourt, Robert G; Power, Michelle L

    2014-12-01

    Giardia and Cryptosporidium are amongst the most common protozoan parasites identified as causing enteric disease in pinnipeds. A number of Giardia assemblages and Cryptosporidium species and genotypes are common in humans and terrestrial mammals and have also been identified in marine mammals. To investigate the occurrence of these parasites in an endangered marine mammal, the Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea), genomic DNA was extracted from faecal samples collected from wild populations (n = 271) in Southern and Western Australia and three Australian captive populations (n = 19). These were screened using PCR targeting the 18S rRNA of Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Giardia duodenalis was detected in 28 wild sea lions and in seven captive individuals. Successful sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene assigned 27 Giardia isolates to assemblage B and one to assemblage A, both assemblages commonly found in humans. Subsequent screening at the gdh and β-giardin loci resulted in amplification of only one of the 35 18S rRNA positive samples at the β-giardin locus. Sequencing at the β-giardin locus assigned the assemblage B 18S rRNA confirmed isolate to assemblage AI. The geographic distribution of sea lion populations sampled in relation to human settlements indicated that Giardia presence in sea lions was highest in populations less than 25 km from humans. Cryptosporidium was not detected by PCR screening in either wild colonies or captive sea lion populations. These data suggest that the presence of G. duodenalis in the endangered Australian sea lion is likely the result of dispersal from human sources. Multilocus molecular analyses are essential for the determination of G. duodenalis assemblages and subsequent inferences on transmission routes to endangered marine mammal populations.

  6. Comparative taphonomy, taphofacies, and bonebeds of the Mio-Pliocene Purisima Formation, central California: strong physical control on marine vertebrate preservation in shallow marine settings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W Boessenecker

    Full Text Available Taphonomic study of marine vertebrate remains has traditionally focused on single skeletons, lagerstätten, or bonebed genesis with few attempts to document environmental gradients in preservation. As such, establishment of a concrete taphonomic model for shallow marine vertebrate assemblages is lacking. The Neogene Purisima Formation of Northern California, a richly fossiliferous unit recording nearshore to offshore depositional settings, offers a unique opportunity to examine preservational trends across these settings.Lithofacies analysis was conducted to place vertebrate fossils within a hydrodynamic and depositional environmental context. Taphonomic data including abrasion, fragmentation, phosphatization, articulation, polish, and biogenic bone modification were recorded for over 1000 vertebrate fossils of sharks, bony fish, birds, pinnipeds, odontocetes, mysticetes, sirenians, and land mammals. These data were used to compare both preservation of multiple taxa within a single lithofacies and preservation of individual taxa across lithofacies to document environmental gradients in preservation. Differential preservation between taxa indicates strong preservational bias within the Purisima Formation. Varying levels of abrasion, fragmentation, phosphatization, and articulation are strongly correlative with physical processes of sediment transport and sedimentation rate. Preservational characteristics were used to delineate four taphofacies corresponding to inner, middle, and outer shelf settings, and bonebeds. Application of sequence stratigraphic methods shows that bonebeds mark major stratigraphic discontinuities, while packages of rock between discontinuities consistently exhibit onshore-offshore changes in taphofacies.Changes in vertebrate preservation and bonebed character between lithofacies closely correspond to onshore-offshore changes in depositional setting, indicating that the dominant control of preservation is exerted by physical

  7. Comparative taphonomy, taphofacies, and bonebeds of the Mio-Pliocene Purisima Formation, central California: strong physical control on marine vertebrate preservation in shallow marine settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boessenecker, Robert W; Perry, Frank A; Schmitt, James G

    2014-01-01

    Taphonomic study of marine vertebrate remains has traditionally focused on single skeletons, lagerstätten, or bonebed genesis with few attempts to document environmental gradients in preservation. As such, establishment of a concrete taphonomic model for shallow marine vertebrate assemblages is lacking. The Neogene Purisima Formation of Northern California, a richly fossiliferous unit recording nearshore to offshore depositional settings, offers a unique opportunity to examine preservational trends across these settings. Lithofacies analysis was conducted to place vertebrate fossils within a hydrodynamic and depositional environmental context. Taphonomic data including abrasion, fragmentation, phosphatization, articulation, polish, and biogenic bone modification were recorded for over 1000 vertebrate fossils of sharks, bony fish, birds, pinnipeds, odontocetes, mysticetes, sirenians, and land mammals. These data were used to compare both preservation of multiple taxa within a single lithofacies and preservation of individual taxa across lithofacies to document environmental gradients in preservation. Differential preservation between taxa indicates strong preservational bias within the Purisima Formation. Varying levels of abrasion, fragmentation, phosphatization, and articulation are strongly correlative with physical processes of sediment transport and sedimentation rate. Preservational characteristics were used to delineate four taphofacies corresponding to inner, middle, and outer shelf settings, and bonebeds. Application of sequence stratigraphic methods shows that bonebeds mark major stratigraphic discontinuities, while packages of rock between discontinuities consistently exhibit onshore-offshore changes in taphofacies. Changes in vertebrate preservation and bonebed character between lithofacies closely correspond to onshore-offshore changes in depositional setting, indicating that the dominant control of preservation is exerted by physical processes. The

  8. Effects of whaling on the structure of the Southern Ocean food web: insights on the "krill surplus" from ecosystem modelling.

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    Szymon Surma

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to examine the ecological plausibility of the "krill surplus" hypothesis and the effects of whaling on the Southern Ocean food web using mass-balance ecosystem modelling. The depletion trajectory and unexploited biomass of each rorqual population in the Antarctic was reconstructed using yearly catch records and a set of species-specific surplus production models. The resulting estimates of the unexploited biomass of Antarctic rorquals were used to construct an Ecopath model of the Southern Ocean food web existing in 1900. The rorqual depletion trajectory was then used in an Ecosim scenario to drive rorqual biomasses and examine the "krill surplus" phenomenon and whaling effects on the food web in the years 1900-2008. An additional suite of Ecosim scenarios reflecting several hypothetical trends in Southern Ocean primary productivity were employed to examine the effect of bottom-up forcing on the documented krill biomass trend. The output of the Ecosim scenarios indicated that while the "krill surplus" hypothesis is a plausible explanation of the biomass trends observed in some penguin and pinniped species in the mid-20th century, the excess krill biomass was most likely eliminated by a rapid decline in primary productivity in the years 1975-1995. Our findings suggest that changes in physical conditions in the Southern Ocean during this time period could have eliminated the ecological effects of rorqual depletion, although the mechanism responsible is currently unknown. Furthermore, a decline in iron bioavailability due to rorqual depletion may have contributed to the rapid decline in overall Southern Ocean productivity during the last quarter of the 20th century. The results of this study underscore the need for further research on historical changes in the roles of top-down and bottom-up forcing in structuring the Southern Ocean food web.

  9. Foraging behaviour of juvenile female New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri in contrasting environments.

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    Elaine S Leung

    Full Text Available Foragers can show adaptive responses to changes within their environment through morphological and behavioural plasticity. We investigated the plasticity in body size, at sea movements and diving behaviour of juvenile female New Zealand (NZ sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri in two contrasting environments. The NZ sea lion is one of the rarest pinnipeds in the world. Most of the species is based at the subantarctic Auckland Islands (AI; considered to be marginal foraging habitat, with a recolonizing population on the Otago Peninsula, NZ mainland (considered to be more optimal habitat. We investigated how juvenile NZ sea lions adjust their foraging behaviour in contrasting environments by deploying satellite-linked platform transmitting terminals (PTTs and time-depth recorders (TDRs on 2-3 year-old females at AI (2007-2010 and Otago (2009-2010. Juvenile female NZ sea lions exhibited plasticity in body size and behaviour. Otago juveniles were significantly heavier than AI juveniles. Linear mixed effects models showed that study site had the most important effect on foraging behaviour, while mass and age had little influence. AI juveniles spent more time at sea, foraged over larger areas, and dove deeper and longer than Otago juveniles. It is difficult to attribute a specific cause to the observed contrasts in foraging behaviour because these differences may be driven by disparities in habitat/prey characteristics, conspecific density levels or interseasonal variation. Nevertheless, the smaller size and increased foraging effort of AI juveniles, combined with the lower productivity in this region, support the hypothesis that AI are less optimal habitat than Otago. It is more difficult for juveniles to forage in suboptimal habitats given their restricted foraging ability and lower tolerance for food limitation compared to adults. Thus, effective management measures should consider the impacts of low resource environments, along with changes that can

  10. Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium occurrence in Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea exposed to varied levels of human interaction

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    Tiffany C. Delport

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Giardia and Cryptosporidium are amongst the most common protozoan parasites identified as causing enteric disease in pinnipeds. A number of Giardia assemblages and Cryptosporidium species and genotypes are common in humans and terrestrial mammals and have also been identified in marine mammals. To investigate the occurrence of these parasites in an endangered marine mammal, the Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea, genomic DNA was extracted from faecal samples collected from wild populations (n = 271 in Southern and Western Australia and three Australian captive populations (n = 19. These were screened using PCR targeting the 18S rRNA of Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Giardia duodenalis was detected in 28 wild sea lions and in seven captive individuals. Successful sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene assigned 27 Giardia isolates to assemblage B and one to assemblage A, both assemblages commonly found in humans. Subsequent screening at the gdh and β-giardin loci resulted in amplification of only one of the 35 18S rRNA positive samples at the β-giardin locus. Sequencing at the β-giardin locus assigned the assemblage B 18S rRNA confirmed isolate to assemblage AI. The geographic distribution of sea lion populations sampled in relation to human settlements indicated that Giardia presence in sea lions was highest in populations less than 25 km from humans. Cryptosporidium was not detected by PCR screening in either wild colonies or captive sea lion populations. These data suggest that the presence of G. duodenalis in the endangered Australian sea lion is likely the result of dispersal from human sources. Multilocus molecular analyses are essential for the determination of G. duodenalis assemblages and subsequent inferences on transmission routes to endangered marine mammal populations.

  11. Rapid onset of maternal vocal recognition in a colonially breeding mammal, the Australian sea lion.

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    Benjamin J Pitcher

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In many gregarious mammals, mothers and offspring have developed the abilities to recognise each other using acoustic signals. Such capacity may develop at different rates after birth/parturition, varying between species and between the participants, i.e., mothers and young. Differences in selective pressures between species, and between mothers and offspring, are likely to drive the timing of the onset of mother-young recognition. We tested the ability of Australian sea lion mothers to identify their offspring by vocalisation, and examined the onset of this behaviour in these females. We hypothesise that a rapid onset of recognition may reflect an adaptation to a colonial lifestyle. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In a playback study maternal responses to own pup and non-filial vocalisations were compared at 12, 24 and every subsequent 24 hours until the females' first departure post-partum. Mothers showed a clear ability to recognise their pup's voice by 48 hours of age. At 24 hours mothers called more, at 48 hours they called sooner and at 72 hours they looked sooner in response to their own pup's vocalisations compared to those of non-filial pups. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that Australian sea lion females can vocally identify offspring within two days of birth and before mothers leave to forage post-partum. We suggest that this rapid onset is a result of selection pressures imposed by a colonial lifestyle and may be seen in other colonial vertebrates. This is the first demonstration of the timing of the onset of maternal vocal recognition in a pinniped species.

  12. Low Spatial Genetic Differentiation Associated with Rapid Recolonization in the New Zealand Fur Seal Arctocephalus forsteri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dussex, Nicolas; Robertson, Bruce C; Salis, Alexander T; Kalinin, Aleksandr; Best, Hugh; Gemmell, Neil J

    2016-01-01

    Population declines resulting from anthropogenic activities are of major consequence for the long-term survival of species because the resulting loss of genetic diversity can lead to extinction via the effects of inbreeding depression, fixation of deleterious mutations, and loss of adaptive potential. Otariid pinnipeds have been exploited commercially to near extinction with some species showing higher demographic resilience and recolonization potential than others. The New Zealand fur seal (NZFS) was heavily impacted by commercial sealing between the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but has recolonized its former range in southern Australia. The species has also recolonized its former range in New Zealand, yet little is known about the pattern of recolonization. Here, we first used 11 microsatellite markers (n = 383) to investigate the contemporary population structure and dispersal patterns in the NZFS (Arctocephalus forsteri). Secondly, we model postsealing recolonization with 1 additional mtDNA cytochrome b (n = 261) marker. Our data identified 3 genetic clusters: an Australian, a subantarctic, and a New Zealand one, with a weak and probably transient subdivision within the latter cluster. Demographic history scenarios supported a recolonization of the New Zealand coastline from remote west coast colonies, which is consistent with contemporary gene flow and with the species' high resilience. The present data suggest the management of distinct genetic units in the North and South of New Zealand along a genetic gradient. Assignment of individuals to their colony of origin was limited (32%) with the present data indicating the current microsatellite markers are unlikely sufficient to assign fisheries bycatch of NZFSs to colonies. © The American Genetic Association 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Impact of the 2015 El Niño-Southern Oscillation on the Abundance and Foraging Habits of Guadalupe Fur Seals and California Sea Lions from the San Benito Archipelago, Mexico.

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    Fernando R Elorriaga-Verplancken

    Full Text Available The abundance of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus (CSLs and Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus philippii townsendi (GFSs from the San Benito Archipelago (SBA was determined through nine monthly surveys in 2014-2015. Assessment of their foraging habits was examined based on the isotopic analysis of pups (maternal indicators (SIAR/SIBER-R. Environmental variability between 2014 and 2015 was also analyzed, in terms of sea surface temperature (SST and chlorophyll (Chl-a concentration. Both otariids reached their highest abundance in July of both years; however, relative to 2014, the 2015 survey showed a 59.7% decline in the total GFS abundance and a 42.9% decrease of GFS pups, while total CSL abundance decreased 52.0% and CSL pup presence decreased in 61.7%. All monthly surveys for both otariids showed a similar trend (>50% decrease in 2015. Compared to 2014, the 2015 GFSs isotopic niche was three times larger (2.0 in 2015, 0.6 in 2014 and the δ13C was significantly lower. CSLs also showed significantly lower δ13C and higher δ15N in 2015. Interannual segregation was greater for CSLs, and their pup body mass was also significantly lower during the 2015 breeding season (mean = 8.7 kg than in the same season of 2014 (mean = 9.9 kg. The decrease in δ13C for both otariids reflected a more oceanic foraging; most likely associated with the decline in primary productivity in surrounding areas to the SBA, related to a higher SST caused by the 2015 ENSO, with a subsequent increase in foraging effort. These would explain the fewer observed individuals on land, especially pups, which showed diminished body condition (CSLs. This study highlights the importance of marine mammals as sentinel species that respond dynamically to changes in environment, providing valuable information on the effect of ENSO on pinnipeds in Mexican waters.

  14. New-tools to assess the toxicological hazard of endocrine disruptor organoclorine contaminants in Mediterranean cetaceans

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    M. Cristina Fossi; Marsili, L.; Casini, S. [Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Siena (Italy)

    2004-09-15

    The Mediterranean top predators, and particularly cetacean odontocetes, accumulate high concentrations of organochlorine contaminants (OCs), incurring high toxicological risk. Some organochlorine compounds, now with worldwide distribution, are known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Four types of organochlorine endocrine disruptors are commonly found in Mediterranean cetaceans: (1) environmental estrogens, (2) environmental androgens, (3) anti-estrogens and (4) anti-androgens. Endocrine disruptors act by mimicking sex steroid hormones, both estrogens and androgens, by binding to hormone receptors or influencing cell pathways (environmental estrogens and androgens), or by blocking and altering hormone receptor binding (anti-estrogens, antiandrogens). Environmental estrogens are the most common and most widely studied EDCs. The relative estrogenic power of these chemicals, identified by in vitro and in vivo screening methods is rather weak (10{sup -3} or less) compared with the reference power of 17-estradiol or DES. However, the high levels of organochlorine compounds detected in marine mammals, particularly in pinnipeds and odontocetes, and consequently, the high levels of organochlorines with ED capacity, cannot be ignored. Here the hypothesis that some Mediterranean cetaceans (Stenella coeruleoalba, Delphinus delphis, Tursiops truncatus and Balaenoptera physalus) are ''potentially at risk'' due to organochlorines with endocrine disrupting capacity is investigated using new non-lethal tools. As ''diagnostic'' tool we use benzo(a)pyrene monooxygenase (CYP1A1) activity in skin biopsies (non-lethal biomarker) as a potential indicator of exposure to organochlorines, with special reference to the compounds with endocrine disrupting capacity. As ''prognostic'' tool we propose the immunofluorescence technique in fibroblast cell cultures, for a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the target

  15. Molecular and morphometric evidence for separate species of Uncinaria (Nematoda: Ancylostomatidae) in California sea lions and northern fur seals: hypothesis testing supplants verification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadler, S A; Adams, B J; Lyons, E T; DeLong, R L; Melin, S R

    2000-10-01

    California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) are each believed to host distinct hookworm species (Uncinaria spp.). However, a recent morphometric analysis suggested that a single species parasitizes multiple pinniped hosts, and that the observed differences are host-induced. To explore the systematics of these hookworms and test these competing hypotheses, we obtained nucleotide sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA (D2/D3 28S, D18/D19 28S, and internal transcribed spacer [ITS] regions) from 20 individual hookworms parasitizing California sea lion and northern fur seal pups where their breeding grounds are sympatric. Five individuals from an allopatric population of California sea lions were also sampled for ITS-1 and D18/D19 28S sequences. The 28S D2/D3 sequences showed no diagnostic differences among hookworms sampled from individual sea lions and fur seals, whereas the 28S D18/D19 sequences had one derived (apomorphic) character demarcating hookworms from northern fur seals. ITS sequences were variable for 7 characters, with 4 derived (apomorphic) states in ITS-1 demarcating hookworms from California sea lions. Multivariate analysis of morphometric data also revealed significant differences between nematodes representing these 2 host-associated lineages. These results indicate that these hookworms represent 2 species that are not distributed indiscriminately between these host species, but instead exhibit host fidelity, evolving independently with each respective host species. This evolutionary approach to analyzing sequence data for species delimitation is contrasted with similarity-based methods that have been applied to numerous diagnostic studies of nematode parasites.

  16. Entrance and Survival of Brucella pinnipedialis Hooded Seal Strain in Human Macrophages and Epithelial Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briquemont, Benjamin; Sørensen, Karen K.; Godfroid, Jacques

    2013-01-01

    Marine mammal Brucella spp. have been isolated from pinnipeds (B. pinnipedialis) and cetaceans (B. ceti) from around the world. Although the zoonotic potential of marine mammal brucellae is largely unknown, reports of human disease exist. There are few studies of the mechanisms of bacterial intracellular invasion and multiplication involving the marine mammal Brucella spp. We examined the infective capacity of two genetically different B. pinnipedialis strains (reference strain; NTCT 12890 and a hooded seal isolate; B17) by measuring the ability of the bacteria to enter and replicate in cultured phagocytes and epithelial cells. Human macrophage-like cells (THP-1), two murine macrophage cell lines (RAW264.7 and J774A.1), and a human malignant epithelial cell line (HeLa S3) were challenged with bacteria in a gentamicin protection assay. Our results show that B. pinnipedialis is internalized, but is then gradually eliminated during the next 72 – 96 hours. Confocal microscopy revealed that intracellular B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain colocalized with lysosomal compartments at 1.5 and 24 hours after infection. Intracellular presence of B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain was verified by transmission electron microscopy. By using a cholesterol-scavenging lipid inhibitor, entrance of B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain in human macrophages was significantly reduced by 65.8 % (± 17.3), suggesting involvement of lipid-rafts in intracellular entry. Murine macrophages invaded by B. pinnipedialis do not release nitric oxide (NO) and intracellular bacterial presence does not induce cell death. In summary, B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain can enter human and murine macrophages, as well as human epithelial cells. Intracellular entry of B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain involves, but seems not to be limited to, lipid-rafts in human macrophages. Brucella pinnipedialis does not multiply or survive for prolonged periods intracellulary. PMID:24376851

  17. Metabolic costs of foraging and the management of O2 and CO2 stores in Steller sea lions.

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    Fahlman, Andreas; Svärd, Caroline; Rosen, David A S; Jones, David R; Trites, Andrew W

    2008-11-01

    The metabolic costs of foraging and the management of O2 and CO2 stores during breath-hold diving was investigated in three female Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) trained to dive between 10 and 50 m (N=1142 dives). Each trial consisted of two to eight dives separated by surface intervals that were determined by the sea lion (spontaneous trials) or by the researcher (conditioned trials). During conditioned trials, surface intervals were long enough for O2 to return to pre-dive levels between each dive. The metabolic cost of each dive event (dive+surface interval; DMR) was measured using flow-through respirometry. The respiratory exchange ratio (VO2/VCO2) was significantly lower during spontaneous trials compared with conditioned trials. DMR was significantly higher during spontaneous trials and decreased exponentially with dive duration. A similar decrease in DMR was not as evident during conditioned trials. DMR could not be accurately estimated from the surface interval (SI) following individual dives that had short SIs (50 s). DMR decreased by 15%, but did not differ significantly from surface metabolic rates (MRS) when dive duration increased from 1 to 7 min. Overall, these data suggest that DMR is almost the same as MRS, and that Steller sea lions incur an O2 debt during spontaneous diving that is not repaid until the end of the dive bout. This has important consequences in differentiating between the actual and 'apparent' metabolic rate during diving, and may explain some of the differences in metabolic rates reported in pinniped species.

  18. DNA metabarcoding for diet analysis and biodiversity: A case study using the endangered Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Tina E; Osterrieder, Sylvia K; Murray, Dáithí C; Coghlan, Megan L; Richardson, Anthony J; Grealy, Alicia K; Stat, Michael; Bejder, Lars; Bunce, Michael

    2017-07-01

    The analysis of apex predator diet has the ability to deliver valuable insights into ecosystem health, and the potential impacts a predator might have on commercially relevant species. The Australian sea lion ( Neophoca cinerea ) is an endemic apex predator and one of the world's most endangered pinnipeds. Given that prey availability is vital to the survival of top predators, this study set out to understand what dietary information DNA metabarcoding could yield from 36 sea lion scats collected across 1,500 km of its distribution in southwest Western Australia. A combination of PCR assays were designed to target a variety of potential sea lion prey, including mammals, fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, and birds. Over 1.2 million metabarcodes identified six classes from three phyla, together representing over 80 taxa. The results confirm that the Australian sea lion is a wide-ranging opportunistic predator that consumes an array of mainly demersal fauna. Further, the important commercial species Sepioteuthis australis (southern calamari squid) and Panulirus cygnus (western rock lobster) were detected, but were present in fish, sharks and rays, clarify previous knowledge of sea lion prey, and some, such as eel taxa and two gastropod species, represent new dietary insights. Even with modest sample sizes, a spatial analysis of taxa and operational taxonomic units found within the scat shows significant differences in diet between many of the sample locations and identifies the primary taxa that are driving this variance. This study provides new insights into the diet of this endangered predator and confirms the efficacy of DNA metabarcoding of scat as a noninvasive tool to more broadly define regional biodiversity.

  19. Uncovering deep mysteries: the underwater life of an amphibious louse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, Maria Soledad; Aznar, F Javier; Crespo, Enrique A; Lazzari, Claudio R

    2014-12-01

    Despite the incredible success of insects in colonizing almost every habitat, they remain virtually absent in one major environment--the open sea. A variety of hypotheses have been raised to explain why just a few insect species are present in the ocean, but none of them appears to be fully explanatory. Lice belonging to the family Echinophthiriidae are ectoparasites on different species of pinnipeds and river otters, i.e. they have amphibious hosts, who regularly perform long excursions into the open sea reaching depths of hundreds of meters (thousands of feets). Consequently, lice must be able to support not only changes in their surrounding media, but also extreme variations in hydrostatic pressure as well as breathing in a low oxygen atmosphere. In order to shed some light on the way lice can survive during the diving excursions of their hosts, we have performed a series of experiments to test the survival capability of different instars of Antarctophthirus microchir (Phthiraptera: Anoplura) from South American sea lions Otaria flavescens, when submerged into seawater. These experiments were aimed at analyzing: (a) immersion tolerance along the louse life; (b) lice's ability to obtain oxygen from seawater; (c) physiological responses and mechanisms involved in survival underwater. Our experiments showed that the forms present in non-diving pups--i.e. eggs and first-instar nymphs--were unable to tolerate immersion in water, while following instars and adults, all usually found in diving hosts, supported it very well. Furthermore, as long as the level of oxygen dissolved in water was higher, the lice survival capability underwater increased, and the recovery period after returning to air declined. These results are discussed in relation to host ecology, host exploitation and lice functional morphology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A Comparative Morphometric Analysis of Three Cranial Nerves in Two Phocids: The Hooded Seal (Cystophora cristata) and the Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlert, Dennis; Kröger, Jürgen; Witt, Martin; Schmitt, Oliver; Wree, Andreas; Czech-Damal, Nicole; Siebert, Ursula; Folkow, Lars; Hanke, Frederike D

    2016-03-01

    While our knowledge about the senses of pinnipeds has increased over the last decades almost nothing is known about the organization of the neuroanatomical pathways. In a first approach to this field of research, we assessed the total number of myelinated axons of three cranial nerves (CNs) in the harbor (Phoca vitulina, Pv) and hooded seal (Cystophora cristata, Cc). Axons were counted in semithin sections of the nerves embedded in Epon and stained with toluidine blue. In both species, the highest axon number was found within the optic nerve (Pv 187,000 ± 8,000 axons, Cc 481,600 ± 1,300 axons). Generally, considering absolute axon numbers, far more axons were counted within the optic and trigmenial nerve (Pv 136,700 ± 2,500 axons, Cc 179,300 ± 6,900 axons) in hooded in comparison to harbor seals. The axon counts of the vestibulocochlear nerve are nearly identical for both species (Pv 87,100 ± 8,100 axons, Cc 86,600 ± 2,700 axons). However, when comparing cell density, the cell density is almost equal for all nerves for both species except for the optic nerve in which cell density was particularly higher than in the other nerves and higher in hooded in comparison to harbor seals. We here present the first comparative analysis of three CNs in two phocid seals. While the CNs of these closely related species share some general characteristics, pronounced differences in axon numbers/densities are apparent. These differences seem to reflect differences in e.g. size, habitat, and/or functional significance of the innervated sensory systems. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Intraperitoneal implantation of life-long telemetry transmitters in otariids

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    Haulena Martin

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pinnipeds, including many endangered and declining species, are inaccessible and difficult to monitor for extended periods using externally attached telemetry devices that are shed during the annual molt. Archival satellite transmitters were implanted intraperitoneally into four rehabilitated California sea lions (Zalophus californianus and 15 wild juvenile Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus to determine the viability of this surgical technique for the deployment of long-term telemetry devices in otariids. The life history transmitters record information throughout the life of the host and transmit data to orbiting satellites after extrusion following death of the host. Results Surgeries were performed under isoflurane anesthesia and single (n = 4 or dual (n = 15 transmitters were inserted into the ventrocaudal abdominal cavity via an 8.5 to 12 cm incision along the ventral midline between the umbilicus and pubic symphysis or preputial opening. Surgeries lasted 90 minutes (SD = 8 for the 19 sea lions. All animals recovered well and were released into the wild after extended monitoring periods from 27 to 69 days at two captive animal facilities. Minimum post-implant survival was determined via post-release tracking using externally attached satellite transmitters or via opportunistic re-sighting for mean durations of 73.7 days (SE = 9.0, Z. californianus and 223.6 days (SE = 71.5, E. jubatus. Conclusion The low morbidity and zero mortality encountered during captive observation and post-release tracking periods confirm the viability of this surgical technique for the implantation of long-term telemetry devices in otariids.

  2. Characteristics and Propagation of Airgun Pulses in Shallow Water with Implications for Effects on Small Marine Mammals.

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    Line Hermannsen

    Full Text Available Airguns used in seismic surveys are among the most prevalent and powerful anthropogenic noise sources in marine habitats. They are designed to produce most energy below 100 Hz, but the pulses have also been reported to contain medium-to-high frequency components with the potential to affect small marine mammals, which have their best hearing sensitivity at higher frequencies. In shallow water environments, inhabited by many of such species, the impact of airgun noise may be particularly challenging to assess due to complex propagation conditions. To alleviate the current lack of knowledge on the characteristics and propagation of airgun pulses in shallow water with implications for effects on small marine mammals, we recorded pulses from a single airgun with three operating volumes (10 in3, 25 in3 and 40 in3 at six ranges (6, 120, 200, 400, 800 and 1300 m in a uniform shallow water habitat using two calibrated Reson 4014 hydrophones and four DSG-Ocean acoustic data recorders. We show that airgun pulses in this shallow habitat propagated out to 1300 meters in a way that can be approximated by a 18log(r geometric transmission loss model, but with a high pass filter effect from the shallow water depth. Source levels were back-calculated to 192 dB re µPa2s (sound exposure level and 200 dB re 1 µPa dB Leq-fast (rms over 125 ms duration, and the pulses contained substantial energy up to 10 kHz, even at the furthest recording station at 1300 meters. We conclude that the risk of causing hearing damage when using single airguns in shallow waters is small for both pinnipeds and porpoises. However, there is substantial potential for significant behavioral responses out to several km from the airgun, well beyond the commonly used shut-down zone of 500 meters.

  3. With the noose around the neck: Marine debris entangling otariid species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco-Trecu, Valentina; Drago, Massimiliano; Katz, Helena; Machín, Emanuel; Marín, Yamandú

    2017-01-01

    Plastic debris in marine environments and its impact on wildlife species is becoming a problem of increasing concern. In pinnipeds, entanglements commonly consist of loops around the neck of non-biodegradable materials from fishing gear or commercial packaging, known as "neck collars". These entanglements can cause injuries, death by suffocation and starvation, and therefore they may add to the overall decrease in population. Our objective was to describe the entanglement of two species of otariids (Arctocephalus australis and Otaria flavescens) in the South West Atlantic Ocean. These two species have widely different population sizes and contrasting trends, being the O. flavescens population one order of magnitude lower in abundance with a negative population trend. A total number of 47 entangled individuals and the ingestion of a fishing sinker were recorded (A. australis: n = 26; O. flavescens: n = 22). For A. australis about 40% of the objects came from industrial fishing with which this species overlap their foraging areas, although also its lost or discarded gear can travel long distances. In O. flavescens 48% of observed injuries were very severe, which might indicate that they had been entangled for a long time. More than 60% of the objects came from artisanal and recreational fishing that operates within 5 nautical miles off the coast, which is probably related to coastal foraging habits of this species. Due to the frequent interaction between artisanal fisheries and O. flavescens, it is possible that entangled nets could be active gears. An important contribution to mitigate entanglements can be the development of education programs setting the scenario for effective communication, and exchange with involved fishermen to collect and recycle old fishing nets. Returning to natural fibers or replacement of the current materials used in fishing gear for biodegradable materials can also be a recommended mitigation measure. Copyright © 2016

  4. A parsimonious approach to modeling animal movement data.

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    Yann Tremblay

    Full Text Available Animal tracking is a growing field in ecology and previous work has shown that simple speed filtering of tracking data is not sufficient and that improvement of tracking location estimates are possible. To date, this has required methods that are complicated and often time-consuming (state-space models, resulting in limited application of this technique and the potential for analysis errors due to poor understanding of the fundamental framework behind the approach. We describe and test an alternative and intuitive approach consisting of bootstrapping random walks biased by forward particles. The model uses recorded data accuracy estimates, and can assimilate other sources of data such as sea-surface temperature, bathymetry and/or physical boundaries. We tested our model using ARGOS and geolocation tracks of elephant seals that also carried GPS tags in addition to PTTs, enabling true validation. Among pinnipeds, elephant seals are extreme divers that spend little time at the surface, which considerably impact the quality of both ARGOS and light-based geolocation tracks. Despite such low overall quality tracks, our model provided location estimates within 4.0, 5.5 and 12.0 km of true location 50% of the time, and within 9, 10.5 and 20.0 km 90% of the time, for above, equal or below average elephant seal ARGOS track qualities, respectively. With geolocation data, 50% of errors were less than 104.8 km (<0.94 degrees, and 90% were less than 199.8 km (<1.80 degrees. Larger errors were due to lack of sea-surface temperature gradients. In addition we show that our model is flexible enough to solve the obstacle avoidance problem by assimilating high resolution coastline data. This reduced the number of invalid on-land location by almost an order of magnitude. The method is intuitive, flexible and efficient, promising extensive utilization in future research.

  5. Epizootiology of Brucella infection in Australian fur seals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Michael; Duignan, Pádraig J; Taylor, Trevor; Nielsen, Ole; Kirkwood, Roger; Gibbens, John; Arnould, John P Y

    2011-04-01

    Novel members of the bacterial genus Brucella have recently emerged as pathogens of various marine mammal species and as potential zoonotic agents. We investigated the epizootiology of Brucella infection in Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) by establishing demographic and temporal variations in antibody prevalence, attempting isolation of the causative agent, and determining whether this potential pathogen is involved in frequent abortions observed in this pinniped species. Two competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (cELISAs), an indirect ELISA, and a fluorescence polarization assay (FPA) were used to test sera for Brucella antibodies. The FPA and cELISA proved suitable for use in this species. Significant differences in antibody prevalence were found between age classes of seals sampled between 2007 and 2009 at one colony. Pups sampled at this site (n=134) were negative for Brucella antibodies by all serologic tests but 17 of 45 (38%) of juveniles were antibody-positive. Antibody prevalence in adult females was significantly higher than in juveniles (P=0.044). Antibody prevalence for adult females between 2003 and 2009 varied significantly over time (P=0.011), and for individuals sampled between 2003 and 2005, the likelihood of pregnancy was greater in individuals positive for Brucella antibodies (P=0.034). Inflammatory lesions suggestive of infectious agents were found in 14 of 39 aborted Australian fur seal pups, but pathologic changes were not uniformly consistent for Brucella infection. Culture and PCR investigations on fetal tissues were negative for Brucella. Culture and PCR on selected fresh or frozen tissues from 36 juvenile and adult animals were also negative. We suspect that the prevalence of active infection with Brucella in Australian fur seals is low relative to antibody prevalence.

  6. Nuevos resultados del estudio del sitio Ajej I: un aporte a la variabilidad de estrategias de los canoeros fueguinos

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    Ernesto Luis Piana

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available El estudio del sitio Ajej I, ubicado cronológicamente entre 1300 y 1400 años AP, es resultado de una excavación de rescate realizada en la costa norte del Canal Beagle. La región fue ocupada desde el séptimo milenio AP por cazadores-recolectores litorales. Los análisis realizados permiten postular que el sitio se caracteriza por: a una baja recurrencia de ocupación; b la selectividad de caza de pinnípedos frente a otros recursos; c su representación diferencial de partes anatómicas y d una baja variabilidad actividades realizadas con el instrumental lítico. Asimismo, proveyó una fecha temprana para la presencia del arco y la flecha en la región austral. Los resultados permiten discutir sobre la diversidad de estrategias implementadas por los cazadores-recolectores canoeros.The study of the archaeological site Ajej I dated between 1300 and 1400 BP is the result of a rescue excavation carried out in the northern coast of the Beagle Channel, an area peopled by sea littoral hunter-gatherers since the seventh millennium BP. The analyses results pinpoint that the site is characterized by: a a low redundant occupation; b a selectivity of the pinnipeds as preys; c a differential distribution of their anatomical parts; and d a low diversity of activities carried with the lithic instruments. Besides, these studies provided an early date to the presence of bows and arrows in such an austral region. Results enable to discuss on the variability of the strategies carried on by those sea nomads.

  7. Recovery trends in marine mammal populations.

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    Anna M Magera

    Full Text Available Marine mammals have greatly benefitted from a shift from resource exploitation towards conservation. Often lauded as symbols of conservation success, some marine mammal populations have shown remarkable recoveries after severe depletions. Others have remained at low abundance levels, continued to decline, or become extinct or extirpated. Here we provide a quantitative assessment of (1 publicly available population-level abundance data for marine mammals worldwide, (2 abundance trends and recovery status, and (3 historic population decline and recent recovery. We compiled 182 population abundance time series for 47 species and identified major data gaps. In order to compare across the largest possible set of time series with varying data quality, quantity and frequency, we considered an increase in population abundance as evidence of recovery. Using robust log-linear regression over three generations, we were able to classify abundance trends for 92 spatially non-overlapping populations as Significantly Increasing (42%, Significantly Decreasing (10%, Non-Significant Change (28% and Unknown (20%. Our results were comparable to IUCN classifications for equivalent species. Among different groupings, pinnipeds and other marine mammals (sirenians, polar bears and otters showed the highest proportion of recovering populations, likely benefiting from relatively fast life histories and nearshore habitats that provided visibility and protective management measures. Recovery was less frequent among cetaceans, but more common in coastal than offshore populations. For marine mammals with available historical abundance estimates (n = 47, larger historical population declines were associated with low or variable recent recoveries so far. Overall, our results show that many formerly depleted marine mammal populations are recovering. However, data-deficient populations and those with decreasing and non-significant trends require attention. In particular

  8. ORTHOMYXO- AND PARAMYXOVIRUSES IN MARINE MAMMALS

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    Marina G. Gulyaeva

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. Aim. Marine mammals play the role of "sentries", standing guard over the health and functioning of marine ecosystems. The analysis of data reported in literature was carried out to understand and to evaluate a circulation of representatives of the Orthomyxoviridae and Paramyxoviridae, dangerous pathogens capable to cause morbidity and mortality in marine warm-blooded animals. Discussion. In the population of marine animals, in the available literature, no more than twenty infectious diseases were described. At the same time, according to preliminary estimates, about 15% of marine mammals die from indicated diseases. Previous studies conducted by various groups of scientists have already shown the circulation of various viral pathogens, which cause different infections in these animals. The present fact indicates the important role of marine mammals in the ecology and spreading of a number of viruses. In accordance with a literature data, representatives of Orthomixoviruses and Paramyxoviruses are among the most dangerous pathogens, which may infect this type of animals. Thus, it was suggested that seals may be infected with a wide range of influenza viruses without prior adaptation. It was emphasized that pinnipeds are one of the reservoir of a human influenza B virus in nature. Infections caused by morbilliviruses, can be the reason of epizootics in a population of seals and among the other species of marine mammals. Signs of a disease are similar to the clinic of carnivore plague. Main conclusions. The data presented in literature is extremely not enough for fully understanding a role of marine mammals as hosts or carriers of potential zoonotic pathogens, such as avian influenza virus (AIV, morbilliviruses and others. Thus, this issue requires further more detailed study.

  9. Characteristics and Propagation of Airgun Pulses in Shallow Water with Implications for Effects on Small Marine Mammals.

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    Hermannsen, Line; Tougaard, Jakob; Beedholm, Kristian; Nabe-Nielsen, Jacob; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2015-01-01

    Airguns used in seismic surveys are among the most prevalent and powerful anthropogenic noise sources in marine habitats. They are designed to produce most energy below 100 Hz, but the pulses have also been reported to contain medium-to-high frequency components with the potential to affect small marine mammals, which have their best hearing sensitivity at higher frequencies. In shallow water environments, inhabited by many of such species, the impact of airgun noise may be particularly challenging to assess due to complex propagation conditions. To alleviate the current lack of knowledge on the characteristics and propagation of airgun pulses in shallow water with implications for effects on small marine mammals, we recorded pulses from a single airgun with three operating volumes (10 in3, 25 in3 and 40 in3) at six ranges (6, 120, 200, 400, 800 and 1300 m) in a uniform shallow water habitat using two calibrated Reson 4014 hydrophones and four DSG-Ocean acoustic data recorders. We show that airgun pulses in this shallow habitat propagated out to 1300 meters in a way that can be approximated by a 18log(r) geometric transmission loss model, but with a high pass filter effect from the shallow water depth. Source levels were back-calculated to 192 dB re µPa2s (sound exposure level) and 200 dB re 1 µPa dB Leq-fast (rms over 125 ms duration), and the pulses contained substantial energy up to 10 kHz, even at the furthest recording station at 1300 meters. We conclude that the risk of causing hearing damage when using single airguns in shallow waters is small for both pinnipeds and porpoises. However, there is substantial potential for significant behavioral responses out to several km from the airgun, well beyond the commonly used shut-down zone of 500 meters.

  10. Morphological variability and molecular identification of Uncinaria spp. (Nematoda: Ancylostomatidae) from grizzly and black bears: new species or phenotypic plasticity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catalano, Stefano; Lejeune, Manigandan; van Paridon, Bradley; Pagan, Christopher A; Wasmuth, James D; Tizzani, Paolo; Duignan, Pádraig J; Nadler, Steven A

    2015-04-01

    The hookworms Uncinaria rauschi Olsen, 1968 and Uncinaria yukonensis ( Wolfgang, 1956 ) were formally described from grizzly ( Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bears ( Ursus americanus ) of North America. We analyzed the intestinal tracts of 4 grizzly and 9 black bears from Alberta and British Columbia, Canada and isolated Uncinaria specimens with anatomical traits never previously documented. We applied morphological and molecular techniques to investigate the taxonomy and phylogeny of these Uncinaria parasites. The morphological analysis supported polymorphism at the vulvar region for females of both U. rauschi and U. yukonensis. The hypothesis of morphological plasticity for U. rauschi and U. yukonensis was confirmed by genetic analysis of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA. Two distinct genotypes were identified, differing at 5 fixed sites for ITS-1 (432 base pairs [bp]) and 7 for ITS-2 (274 bp). Morphometric data for U. rauschi revealed host-related size differences: adult U. rauschi were significantly larger in black bears than in grizzly bears. Interpretation of these results, considering the historical biogeography of North American bears, suggests a relatively recent host-switching event of U. rauschi from black bears to grizzly bears which likely occurred after the end of the Wisconsin glaciation. Phylogenetic maximum parsimony (MP) and maximum likelihood (ML) analyses of the concatenated ITS-1 and ITS-2 datasets strongly supported monophyly of U. rauschi and U. yukonensis and their close relationship with Uncinaria stenocephala (Railliet, 1884), the latter a parasite primarily of canids and felids. Relationships among species within this group, although resolved by ML, were unsupported by MP and bootstrap resampling. The clade of U. rauschi, U. yukonensis, and U. stenocephala was recovered as sister to the clade represented by Uncinaria spp. from otariid pinnipeds. These results support the absence of strict

  11. Isolation of a Seawater Tolerant Leptospira spp. from a Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis).

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    Grune Loffler, Sylvia; Rago, Virginia; Martínez, Mara; Uhart, Marcela; Florin-Christensen, Monica; Romero, Graciela; Brihuega, Bibiana

    2015-01-01

    Leptospirosis is the most widespread zoonotic disease in the world. It is caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the genus Leptospira spp. and is maintained in nature through chronic renal infection of carrier animals. Rodents and other small mammals are the main reservoirs. Information on leptospirosis in marine mammals is scarce; however, cases of leptospirosis have been documented in pinniped populations from the Pacific coast of North America from southern California to British Columbia. We report the isolation of a Leptospira spp. strain, here named Manara, from a kidney sample obtained from a Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) calf, which stranded dead in Playa Manara, Península Valdés, Argentina. This strain showed motility and morphology typical of the genus Leptospira spp. under dark-field microscopy; and grew in Ellinghausen-McCullough-Johnson-Harris (EMJH) medium and Fletcher medium after 90 days of incubation at 28°C. Considering the source of this bacterium, we tested its ability to grow in Fletcher medium diluted with seawater at different percentages (1%, 3%, 5%, 7% and 10% v/v). Bacterial growth was detected 48 h after inoculation of Fletcher medium supplemented with 5% sea water, demonstrating the halophilic nature of the strain Manara. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences placed this novel strain within the radiation of the pathogenic species of the genus Leptospira spp., with sequence similarities within the range 97-100%, and closely related to L. interrogans. Two different PCR protocols targeting genus-specific pathogenic genes (G1-G2, B64I-B64II and LigB) gave positive results, which indicates that the strain Manara is likely pathogenic. Further studies are needed to confirm this possibility as well as determine its serogroup. These results could modify our understanding of the epidemiology of this zoonosis. Until now, the resistance and ability to grow in seawater for long periods of time had been proven for the strain

  12. Habitat selection and seasonal movements of young bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus in the Bering Sea.

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    Michael F Cameron

    Full Text Available The first year of life is typically the most critical to a pinniped's survival, especially for Arctic phocids which are weaned at only a few weeks of age and left to locate and capture prey on their own. Their seasonal movements and habitat selection are therefore important factors in their survival. During a cooperative effort between scientists and subsistence hunters in October 2004, 2005, and 2006, 13 female and 13 male young (i.e., age <2 bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus were tagged with satellite-linked dive recorders (SDRs in Kotzebue Sound, Alaska. Shortly after being released, most seals moved south with the advancing sea-ice through the Bering Strait and into the Bering Sea where they spent the winter and early spring. The SDRs of 17 (8 female and 9 male seals provided frequent high-quality positions in the Bering Sea; their data were used in our analysis. To investigate habitat selection, we simulated 20 tracks per seal by randomly selecting from the pooled distributions of the absolute bearings and swim speeds of the tagged seals. For each point in the observed and simulated tracks, we obtained the depth, sea-ice concentration, and the distances to sea-ice, open water, the shelf break and coastline. Using logistic regression with a stepwise model selection procedure, we compared the simulated tracks to those of the tagged seals and obtained a model for describing habitat selection. The regression coefficients indicated that the bearded seals in our study selected locations near the ice edge. In contrast, aerial surveys of the bearded seal population, predominantly composed of adults, indicated higher abundances in areas farther north and in heavier pack ice. We hypothesize that this discrepancy is the result of behavioral differences related to age. Ice concentration was also shown to be a statistically significant variable in our model. All else being equal, areas of higher ice concentration are selected for up to about 80%. The

  13. Feeding behaviour of free-ranging walruses with notes on apparent dextrality of flipper use

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    Ehlme Göran

    2003-10-01

    four feeding behaviours observed are typical of walruses in general, although walruses in other parts of their range may have evolved other types of feeding behaviour. While based on small sample sizes both the underwater observations and skeletal measurements suggest lateralized limb use, which is the first time this has been reported in a pinniped.

  14. Transcriptome of the dead: characterisation of immune genes and marker development from necropsy samples in a free-ranging marine mammal

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    Hoffman Joseph I

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transcriptomes are powerful resources, providing a window on the expressed portion of the genome that can be generated rapidly and at low cost for virtually any organism. However, because many genes have tissue-specific expression patterns, developing a complete transcriptome usually requires a 'discovery pool' of individuals to be sacrificed in order to harvest mRNA from as many different types of tissue as possible. This hinders transcriptome development in large, charismatic and endangered species, many of which stand the most to gain from such approaches. To circumvent this problem in a model pinniped species, we 454 sequenced cDNA from testis, heart, spleen, intestine, kidney and lung tissues obtained from nine adult male Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella that died of natural causes at Bird Island, South Georgia. Results After applying stringent quality control criteria based on length and annotation, we obtained 12,397 contigs which, in combination with 454 data previously obtained from skin, gave a total of 23,096 unique contigs. Homology was found to 77.0% of dog (Canis lupus familiaris transcripts, suggesting that the combined assembly represents a substantial proportion of this species' transcriptome. Moreover, only 0.5% of transcripts revealed sequence similarity to bacteria, implying minimal contamination, and the percentage of transcripts involved in cell death was low at 2.6%. Transcripts with immune-related annotations were almost five-fold enriched relative to skin and represented 13.2% of all spleen-specific contigs. By reference to the dog, we also identified transcripts revealing homology to five class I, ten class II and three class III genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex and derived the putative genomic distribution of 17,121 contigs, 2,119 in silico mined microsatellites and 9,382 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Conclusions Our findings suggest that transcriptome development based on

  15. Isolation of a Seawater Tolerant Leptospira spp. from a Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis.

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    Sylvia Grune Loffler

    Full Text Available Leptospirosis is the most widespread zoonotic disease in the world. It is caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the genus Leptospira spp. and is maintained in nature through chronic renal infection of carrier animals. Rodents and other small mammals are the main reservoirs. Information on leptospirosis in marine mammals is scarce; however, cases of leptospirosis have been documented in pinniped populations from the Pacific coast of North America from southern California to British Columbia. We report the isolation of a Leptospira spp. strain, here named Manara, from a kidney sample obtained from a Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis calf, which stranded dead in Playa Manara, Península Valdés, Argentina. This strain showed motility and morphology typical of the genus Leptospira spp. under dark-field microscopy; and grew in Ellinghausen-McCullough-Johnson-Harris (EMJH medium and Fletcher medium after 90 days of incubation at 28°C. Considering the source of this bacterium, we tested its ability to grow in Fletcher medium diluted with seawater at different percentages (1%, 3%, 5%, 7% and 10% v/v. Bacterial growth was detected 48 h after inoculation of Fletcher medium supplemented with 5% sea water, demonstrating the halophilic nature of the strain Manara. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences placed this novel strain within the radiation of the pathogenic species of the genus Leptospira spp., with sequence similarities within the range 97-100%, and closely related to L. interrogans. Two different PCR protocols targeting genus-specific pathogenic genes (G1-G2, B64I-B64II and LigB gave positive results, which indicates that the strain Manara is likely pathogenic. Further studies are needed to confirm this possibility as well as determine its serogroup. These results could modify our understanding of the epidemiology of this zoonosis. Until now, the resistance and ability to grow in seawater for long periods of time had been proven

  16. Major immunogenic proteins of phocid herpes-viruses and their relationships to proteins of canine and feline herpesviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harder, T C; Harder, M; de Swart, R L; Osterhaus, A D; Liess, B

    1998-04-01

    The immunogenic proteins of cells infected with the alpha- or the gamma-herpesvirus of seals, phocid herpesvirus-1 and -2 (PhHV-1, -2), were examined in radioimmunoprecipitation assays as a further step towards the development of a PhHV-1 vaccine. With sera obtained from convalescent seals of different species or murine monoclonal antibodies (Mabs), at least seven virus-induced glycoproteins were detected in lysates of PhHV-1-infected CrFK cells. A presumably disulphide-linked complex composed of glycoproteins of 59, 67 and 113/120 kDa, expressed on the surface of infected cells, was characterized as a major immunogenic infected cell protein of PhHV-1. This glycoprotein complex has previously been identified as the proteolytically cleavable glycoprotein B homologue of PhHV-1 (14). At least three distinct neutralization-relevant epitopes were operationally mapped, by using Mabs, on the glycoprotein B of PhHV-1. Among the infected cell proteins of the antigenically closely related feline and canine herpesvirus, the glycoprotein B equivalent proved to be the most highly conserved glycoprotein. Sera obtained from different seal species from Arctic, Antarctic, and European habitats did not precipitate uniform patterns of infected cell proteins from PhHV-1-infected cell lysates although similar titres of neutralizing antibodies were displayed. Thus, antigenic differences among the alphaherpesvirus species prevalent in the different pinniped populations cannot be excluded. PhHV-2 displayed a different pattern of infected cell proteins and only limited cross-reactivity to PhHV-1 at the protein level was detected, which is in line with its previous classification as a distinct species, based on nucleotide sequence analysis, of the gammaherpesvirus linenge. A Mab raised against PhHV-2 and specific for a major glycoprotein of 117 kDa, cross reacted with the glycoprotein B of PhHV-1. The 117-kDa glycoprotein could represent the uncleaved PhHV-2 glycoprotein B homologue.

  17. Brucella microti sp. nov., isolated from the common vole Microtus arvalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholz, Holger C; Hubalek, Zdenek; Sedlácek, Ivo; Vergnaud, Gilles; Tomaso, Herbert; Al Dahouk, Sascha; Melzer, Falk; Kämpfer, Peter; Neubauer, Heinrich; Cloeckaert, Axel; Maquart, Marianne; Zygmunt, Michel S; Whatmore, Adrian M; Falsen, Enevold; Bahn, Peter; Göllner, Cornelia; Pfeffer, Martin; Huber, Birgit; Busse, Hans-Jürgen; Nöckler, Karsten

    2008-02-01

    Two Gram-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming, coccoid bacteria (strains CCM 4915(T) and CCM 4916), isolated from clinical specimens of the common vole Microtus arvalis during an epizootic in the Czech Republic in 2001, were subjected to a polyphasic taxonomic study. On the basis of 16S rRNA (rrs) and recA gene sequence similarities, both isolates were allocated to the genus Brucella. Affiliation to Brucella was confirmed by DNA-DNA hybridization studies. Both strains reacted equally with Brucella M-monospecific antiserum and were lysed by the bacteriophages Tb, Wb, F1 and F25. Biochemical profiling revealed a high degree of enzyme activity and metabolic capabilities not observed in other Brucella species. The omp2a and omp2b genes of isolates CCM 4915(T) and CCM 4916 were indistinguishable. Whereas omp2a was identical to omp2a of brucellae from certain pinniped marine mammals, omp2b clustered with omp2b of terrestrial brucellae. Analysis of the bp26 gene downstream region identified strains CCM 4915(T) and CCM 4916 as Brucella of terrestrial origin. Both strains harboured five to six copies of the insertion element IS711, displaying a unique banding pattern as determined by Southern blotting. In comparative multilocus VNTR (variable-number tandem-repeat) analysis (MLVA) with 296 different genotypes, the two isolates grouped together, but formed a separate cluster within the genus Brucella. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis using nine different loci also placed the two isolates separately from other brucellae. In the IS711-based AMOS PCR, a 1900 bp fragment was generated with the Brucella ovis-specific primers, revealing that the insertion element had integrated between a putative membrane protein and cboL, encoding a methyltransferase, an integration site not observed in other brucellae. Isolates CCM 4915(T) and CCM 4916 could be clearly distinguished from all known Brucella species and their biovars by means of both their phenotypic and molecular

  18. Trophic modeling of the Northern Humboldt Current Ecosystem, Part I: Comparing trophic linkages under La Niña and El Niño conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Jorge; Taylor, Marc H.; Blaskovic, Verónica; Espinoza, Pepe; Michael Ballón, R.; Díaz, Erich; Wosnitza-Mendo, Claudia; Argüelles, Juan; Purca, Sara; Ayón, Patricia; Quipuzcoa, Luis; Gutiérrez, Dimitri; Goya, Elisa; Ochoa, Noemí; Wolff, Matthias

    2008-10-01

    The El Niño of 1997-98 was one of the strongest warming events of the past century; among many other effects, it impacted phytoplankton along the Peruvian coast by changing species composition and reducing biomass. While responses of the main fish resources to this natural perturbation are relatively well known, understanding the ecosystem response as a whole requires an ecotrophic multispecies approach. In this work, we construct trophic models of the Northern Humboldt Current Ecosystem (NHCE) and compare the La Niña (LN) years in 1995-96 with the El Niño (EN) years in 1997-98. The model area extends from 4°S-16°S and to 60 nm from the coast. The model consists of 32 functional groups of organisms and differs from previous trophic models of the Peruvian system through: (i) division of plankton into size classes to account for EN-associated changes and feeding preferences of small pelagic fish, (ii) increased division of demersal groups and separation of life history stages of hake, (iii) inclusion of mesopelagic fish, and (iv) incorporation of the jumbo squid ( Dosidicus gigas), which became abundant following EN. Results show that EN reduced the size and organization of energy flows of the NHCE, but the overall functioning (proportion of energy flows used for respiration, consumption by predators, detritus and export) of the ecosystem was maintained. The reduction of diatom biomass during EN forced omnivorous planktivorous fish to switch to a more zooplankton-dominated diet, raising their trophic level. Consequently, in the EN model the trophic level increased for several predatory groups (mackerel, other large pelagics, sea birds, pinnipeds) and for fishery catch. A high modeled biomass of macrozooplankton was needed to balance the consumption by planktivores, especially during EN condition when observed diatoms biomass diminished dramatically. Despite overall lower planktivorous fish catches, the higher primary production required-to-catch ratio implied a

  19. Immobilization of free-ranging male pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) with carfentanil citrate and naltrexone hydrochloride

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Tuomi, P.A.; Garner, Gerald W.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2003-01-01

    The major challenges in immobilization of free-ranging walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are to produce a deep level of anesthesia very quickly (to avoid darted animals from entering the water and drowning), and to find a drug or drug combination that requires only a small volume to be delivered by dart, is safe, reversible, and that provides an adequate period of immobilization to permit attachment of instruments, phlebotomy, and measuring. Tiletamine-zolazepam is recommended for immobilization of pinnipeds, with inhalant anesthesia recommended for more extensive procedures requiring better analgesia (Gales 1989). Drugs that have been used on free-ranging walruses include ketamine (Hagenbeck et al. 1975), phencyclidine combined with acepromazine (DeMaster et al. 1981), etorphine (Born and Knutsen 1990, Hills 1992, Griffiths et al. 1993), tiletamine-zolazepam (Stirling and Sjare 1988, Griffiths et al. 1993), medetomidine and ketamine (Lydersen et al. 1992), and carfentanil (Hills 1992, Lanthier et al. 1999). Carfentanil but not etorphine is presently licensed and available in the United States.Forty-eight adult male walruses were immobilized with carfentanil citrate in the summers of 1995-1997 at Maggy Beach (58°57’N, 161°76’W), a land haul-out located at Cape Peirce within the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska. The number of animals present during immobilizations ranged from three to several thousand. Criteria for choosing individual walruses included good body condition, the presence of two tusks of sufficient diameter for the attachment of radio transmitters, and presence of the animal at the edge of the herd. In addition, we chose animals that were resting quietly and which had not recently hauled out (as judged by skin color). Walruses were darted from ranges of approximately 10-15 m using a Cap-Chur rifle (Palmer Chemical and Equipment Co., Douglasville, Georgia, GA 30133). Carfentanil citrate (Wildlife Pharmaceuticals, Fort

  20. MLVA-16 typing of 295 marine mammal Brucella isolates from different animal and geographic origins identifies 7 major groups within Brucella ceti and Brucella pinnipedialis

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    Jacques Isabelle

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Since 1994, Brucella strains have been isolated from a wide range of marine mammals. They are currently recognized as two new Brucella species, B. pinnipedialis for the pinniped isolates and B. ceti for the cetacean isolates in agreement with host preference and specific phenotypic and molecular markers. In order to investigate the genetic relationships within the marine mammal Brucella isolates and with reference to terrestrial mammal Brucella isolates, we applied in this study the Multiple Loci VNTR (Variable Number of Tandem Repeats Analysis (MLVA approach. A previously published assay comprising 16 loci (MLVA-16 that has been shown to be highly relevant and efficient for typing and clustering Brucella strains from animal and human origin was used. Results 294 marine mammal Brucella strains collected in European waters from 173 animals and a human isolate from New Zealand presumably from marine origin were investigated by MLVA-16. Marine mammal Brucella isolates were shown to be different from the recognized terrestrial mammal Brucella species and biovars and corresponded to 3 major related groups, one specific of the B. ceti strains, one of the B. pinnipedialis strains and the last composed of the human isolate. In the B. ceti group, 3 subclusters were identified, distinguishing a cluster of dolphin, minke whale and porpoise isolates and two clusters mostly composed of dolphin isolates. These results were in accordance with published analyses using other phenotypic or molecular approaches, or different panels of VNTR loci. The B. pinnipedialis group could be similarly subdivided in 3 subclusters, one composed exclusively of isolates from hooded seals (Cystophora cristata and the two others comprising other seal species isolates. Conclusion The clustering analysis of a large collection of marine mammal Brucella isolates from European waters significantly strengthens the current view of the population structure of these two

  1. Tracing carbon flow in an arctic marine food web using fatty acid-stable isotope analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budge, S M; Wooller, M J; Springer, A M; Iverson, S J; McRoy, C P; Divoky, G J

    2008-08-01

    Global warming and the loss of sea ice threaten to alter patterns of productivity in arctic marine ecosystems because of a likely decline in primary productivity by sea ice algae. Estimates of the contribution of ice algae to total primary production range widely, from just 3 to >50%, and the importance of ice algae to higher trophic levels remains unknown. To help answer this question, we investigated a novel approach to food web studies by combining the two established methods of stable isotope analysis and fatty acid (FA) analysis--we determined the C isotopic composition of individual diatom FA and traced these biomarkers in consumers. Samples were collected near Barrow, Alaska and included ice algae, pelagic phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish, seabirds, pinnipeds and cetaceans. Ice algae and pelagic phytoplankton had distinctive overall FA signatures and clear differences in delta(13)C for two specific diatom FA biomarkers: 16:4n-1 (-24.0+/-2.4 and -30.7+/-0.8 per thousand, respectively) and 20:5n-3 (-18.3+/-2.0 and -26.9+/-0.7 per thousand, respectively). Nearly all delta(13)C values of these two FA in consumers fell between the two stable isotopic end members. A mass balance equation indicated that FA material derived from ice algae, compared to pelagic diatoms, averaged 71% (44-107%) in consumers based on delta(13)C values of 16:4n-1, but only 24% (0-61%) based on 20:5n-3. Our estimates derived from 16:4n-1, which is produced only by diatoms, probably best represented the contribution of ice algae relative to pelagic diatoms. However, many types of algae produce 20:5n-3, so the lower value derived from it likely represented a more realistic estimate of the proportion of ice algae material relative to all other types of phytoplankton. These preliminary results demonstrate the potential value of compound-specific isotope analysis of marine lipids to trace C flow through marine food webs and provide a foundation for future work.

  2. Record of Carcharocles megalodon in the Eastern Guadalquivir Basin (Upper Miocene, South Spain

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    Reolid, M.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Tortonian diatomites of the San Felix Quarry (Porcuna, in the Eastern Guadalquivir Basin, have given isolated marine vertebrate remains that include a large shark tooth (123.96 mm from apex to the baseline of the root. The large size of the crown height (92.2 mm, the triangular shape, the broad serrated crown, the convex lingual face and flat labial face, and the robust, thick angled root determine that this specimen corresponds to Carcharocles megalodon. The symmetry with low slant shows it to be an upper anterior tooth. The total length estimated from the tooth crown height is calculated by means of different methods, and comparison is made with Carcharodon carcharias. The final inferred total length of around 11 m classifies this specimen in the upper size range of the known C. megalodon specimens. The palaeogeography of the Guadalquivir Basin close to the North Betic Strait, which connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, favoured the interaction of the cold nutrient-rich Atlantic waters with warmer Mediterranean waters. The presence of diatomites indicates potential upwelling currents in this context, as well as high productivity favouring the presence of large vertebrates such as mysticetid whales, pinnipeds and small sharks (Isurus. These large vertebrates recorded in the Eastern Guadalquivir Basin were potential prey of C. megalodon.Las diatomitas tortonienses de la antigua Cantera de San Félix (Porcuna, Jaén, en el sector oriental de la Cuenca del Guadalquivir, han proporcionado restos aislados de vertebrados marinos entre los que destaca un gran diente de tiburón (123.96 mm desde el ápice hasta la línea basal de la raiz. La altura de la corona (92.2 mm, su forma triangular con bordes aserrados, la presencia de una cara lingual convexa y una labial plana, conjuntamente con la raíz angulosa y robusta, permiten determinar que este diente perteneció a un ejemplar de Carcharocles megalodon. La alta simetría de la pieza

  3. Genital morphology of the male South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis and biological implications Morfologia dos órgãos genitais do macho do Lobo marinho (Arctocephalus australis e implicações biológicas

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    Alex Sander D. Machado

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Male capacity for spreading genes to a great number of descendents and to determine population dynamics depend directly on the genital organs. Morphological studies in pinnipeds are scarce and the functional meaning of some characteristics has never been discussed. We hypothesized that Arctocephalus australis (A. australis shows morphophysiological adaptations in order to guarantee the perpetuation of the species in the unique annual mating season. Seven males, dead from natural causes, had their genital organs collected and fixed for morphological description. Some features differ from other described mammalian males and are closely related to the biology and reproductive cycle of this species, as the scrotal epidermis, absence of glandular portion in the ductus deferens and spermatogenic epithelium suggest a recrudescent testis period. The corona glandis exhibits a singular arrangement: its erectile border looks like a formation of petals and its association with the os penis gives a "lily-flower" form to this region. We propose the name margo petaliformis to this particular erectile border of the corona glandis because of its similarity to a flower corola. The male genital organs of A. australis show morphological features compatible with adaptation to environment requirements and reproductive efficiency.A capacidade do macho de espalhar seus genes a um grande número de descendentes e determinar a dinâmica populacional depende diretamente dos seus órgãos genitais. Estudos morfológicos em pinípedes são escassos e o significado funcional de algumas de suas características ecológicas ainda foi pouco discutido. Nossa hipótese é que Arctocephalus australis (A. australis apresenta adaptações morfofisiológicas em seus órgãos genitais capazes de interagir com o meio e garantir a perpetuação da espécie que apresenta apenas uma época de acasalamento que ocorre uma vez a cada ano. Sete A. australis machos, mortos recentes por causas

  4. Pacific Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment (PaCSEA): aerial seabird and marine mammal surveys off northern California, Oregon, and Washington, 2011-2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Josh; Felis, Jonathan J.; Mason, John W.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2014-01-01

    (-2) and similar during winter (37.4 ± 4.6 birds km-2) and summer (37.5 ± 6.4 birds km-2). Within the outer-shelf domain (100 – 200-m depth), average densities for all marine birds combined were greatest during winter (34.6 ± 4.2 birds km-2), lesser during fall (16.2 ± 1.7 birds km-2), and least during summer (6.9 ± 1.1 birds km-2). Within the farthest offshore waters over the continental slope domain (200 – 2000-m depth) average densities for all marine birds combined were greatest during fall (10.0 ± 2.2 birds km-2) and winter (9.3 ± 1.5 birds km-2), and lesser during summer (6.2 ± 1.4 birds km-2). We observed 16 cetacean species and five pinniped species. Among the Mysticeti (baleen whales), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) were most frequently observed (114 sightings of 264 individuals) during summer and fall mostly over the outer-shelf and slope waters, however, individuals were also seen within the Siltcoos, Nehalem, Fort Bragg, and Eureka Focal Areas. We recorded 11 Odontoceti (toothed whale) species. Harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) were the most frequently sighted (164 sightings of 270 individuals). Harbor porpoises were present year-round and most frequently sighted within the inner-shelf domain throughout the entire study area in all seasons. Harbor porpoises occurred in all six Focal Areas, with noteworthy aggregations within the Eureka, Siltcoos, and Grays Harbor Focal Areas. We recorded 246 sightings of 375 individual pinnipeds (5 species). California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) were the most frequently sighted and were present year-round with slightly more sightings recorded during the fall. California sea lions showed a decreasing frequency of sightings and relative abundance with distance from shore across the bathymetric domains surveyed, being most frequently observed over the inner-shelf. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) were

  5. Dividing up the pie: Whales, fish, and humans as competitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruzicka, James J.; Steele, John H.; Ballerini, Tosca; Gaichas, Sarah K.; Ainley, David G.

    2013-09-01

    Similarly structured food web models of four coastal ecosystems (Northern California Current, Central Gulf of Alaska, Georges Bank, southwestern Antarctic Peninsula) were used to investigate competition among whales, fishes, pinnipeds, and humans. Two analysis strategies simulated the effects of historic baleen and odontocete whale abundances across all trophic levels: food web structure scenarios and time-dynamic scenarios. Direct competition between whales and commercial fisheries is small at current whale abundances; whales and fisheries each take similar proportions of annual pelagic fish production (4-7%). Scenarios show that as whale populations grow, indirect competition between whales and fish for zooplankton would more likely impact fishery production than would direct competition for fish between whales and commercial fisheries. Increased baleen whale abundance would have greater and broader indirect effects on upper trophic levels and fisheries than a similar increase in odontocete abundance. Time-dynamic scenarios, which allow for the evolution of compensatory mechanisms, showed more modest impacts than structural scenarios, which show the immediate impacts of altered energy pathways. Structural scenarios show that in terms of energy availability, there is potential for large increases in whale abundance without major changes to existing food web structures and without substantial reduction of fishery production. For each ecosystem, a five-fold increase in baleen whale abundance could be supported with minor disruptions to existing energy flow pathways. However, such an increase would remain below historical population levels for many cetaceans. A larger expansion (20X) could be accommodated only with large reductions in energy flow to competitor groups. The scope for odontocete expansion varies between ecosystems but may be more restricted than the scope for baleen expansion because they feed at higher, less productive trophic levels. Egestion