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Sample records for pleistocene ursus spelaeus

  1. NEW LOCALITY OF CAVE BEAR (Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller & Heinroth, 1794 IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: MORPHO- ANATOMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF CRANIAL SKELETON FOUND IN CAVE AT VRELO MOKRANJSKA MILJACKA

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    Lada Lukić-Bilela

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available During the investigation of the Cave at Vrelo Mokranjska Miljacka, the bone remains of the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller & Heinroth, 1794 was found. This is the new Pleistocene fauna locality of this extinct species in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Almost complete cranial skeleton belongs to a young adult male. Analyzed morphometric proportions completely fit within the variation range of the Pleistocene cave bear populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.Key words: Ursus spelaeus, skull, teeth, Cave of Vrelo Mokranjska Miljacka

  2. Predormancy omnivory in European cave bears evidenced by a dental microwear analysis of Ursus spelaeus from Goyet, Belgium

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    Peigné, Stéphane; Goillot, Cyrielle; Germonpré, Mietje; Blondel, Cécile; Bignon, Olivier; Merceron, Gildas

    2009-01-01

    Previous morphological and isotopic studies indicate that Late Pleistocene cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) diet ranged from mostly vegetarian to omnivory or even carnivory. However, such analyses do not provide information on seasonal diets, and only provide an average record of diet. A dental microwear analysis of 43 young and adult individuals demonstrate that, during the predormancy period, cave bears from Goyet (Late Pleistocene, Belgium) were not strictly herbivorous, but had a mixed diet composed of hard items (e.g., possibly bone), invertebrates (e.g., insects), meat (ungulates, small vertebrates), and/or plant matter (hard mast, seeds, herbaceous vegetations, and fruits). Therefore, our results indicate that cave bears at Goyet were generalist omnivores during the predormancy period, which is consistent with current data on the dietary ecology of extant bears during this season. These data also raise questions about the ecological role and causes of the extinction of cave bears. PMID:19706401

  3. On the palaeobiology of the extinct cave bear Ursus spelaeus ROSENMÜLLER. Insights from stable isotope analysis

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    Grandal-D'Anglade, Aurora; Pérez-Rama, Marta; Fernández-Mosquera, Daniel

    2010-05-01

    Isotopic signatures (δ13C, δ15N) of bone collagen are used more and more to obtain the paleobiological data of fossil species. By means of these signatures, for example, the diet type of an extint species may be inferred. Also, the climate in which this species developed may greatly influence on the isotopic signature of its bone collagen. This influence is firstly produced in the initial material of the trophic chain but also may produce variations due to physiological changes caused by climatic changes in the species involved in this trophic chain. The cave bear (Ursus spelaeus ROSENMÜLLER) is a species of broad distribution in the European Pleistocene sites that has been studied from the isotopic point of view, trying to establish its diet type. For the moment, the results vary: though in most cases the isotopic values indicate a preferably herbivore diet type, differences exist between sites of different geographic zones and chronologies. Taking into account that climate influences on the cave bear's physiology through the physiological mechanism of hibernation, it is expected that in bears that lived in different climatic phases, the isotopic signatures will be also different. During hibernation a recycling of nitrogenised compounds is produced for protein synthesis, including bone collagen, so it is expected that the isotopic signature, at least of Nitrogen, will be altered with respect to the synthesized collagen when the bear is active and feeds normally. However, it is difficult to establish up to what extent the isotopic signatures due to hibernation or diet are overlapped. To study the physiological effect of hibernation on isotopic signatures we have selected bone remains of cave bears from populations whose chronologies correspond to different climatic moments, and in different ontogenetic stages, coming from Galician caves (NW of the Iberian Peninsula). Adult individuals show different isotopic signatures depending on their chronology. Juvenile

  4. Pitfalls in comparing modern hair and fossil bone collagen C and N isotopic data to reconstruct ancient diets: a case study with cave bears (Ursus spelaeus).

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    Bocherens, Hervé; Grandal-d'Anglade, Aurora; Hobson, Keith A

    2014-01-01

    Stable isotope analyses provide one of the few means to evaluate diet of extinct taxa. However, interpreting isotope data from bone collagen of extinct animals based on isotopic patterns in different tissues of modern animal proxies is precarious. For example, three corrections are needed before making comparisons of recent hair and ancient bone collagen: calibration of carbon-13 variations in atmospheric CO2, different isotopic discrimination between diet-hair keratin and diet-bone collagen, and time averaging of bone collagen versus short-term record in hair keratin. Recently, Robu et al. [Isotopic evidence for dietary flexibility among European Late Pleistocene cave bears (Ursus spelaeus). Can J Zool. 2013;91:227-234] published an article comparing extant carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) stable isotopic data of European cave bear bone collagen with those of Yellowstone Park grizzly bear hair in order to test the prevailing assumption of a largely vegetarian diet among cave bears. The authors concluded that cave bears were carnivores. This work is unfortunately unfounded as the authors failed to consider the necessary corrections listed above. When these corrections are applied to the Romanian cave bears, these individuals can be then interpreted without involving consumption of high trophic-level food, and environmental changes are probably the reason for the unusual isotopic composition of these cave bears in comparison with other European cave bears, rather than a change of diet. We caution researchers to pay careful attention to these factors when interpreting feeding ecology of extinct fauna using stable isotope techniques.

  5. La población de oso de las cavernas (Ursus spelaeus parvilatipedis n. ssp. de Troskaeta'ko-Kobea (Ataun - Gipuzkoa (Campañas de excavación de 1987 y 1988.

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    Trinidad de Torres Perezhidalgo

    1991-01-01

    Full Text Available Se estudia una abundante colección de restos óseos de oso de las cavernas (Ursus spelaeus parvilatipedis n.ssp. procedente de dos campañas de excavación paleontológica (1987 y 1988 llevadas a cabo en la cueva de Troskaeta (Gipuzkoa. El material es analizado métrica, taxonómica, morfológica y tafonómicamente. El trabajo incluye datos geomorfológicos sobre la cavidad.

  6. The presence of Ursus ex gr. minimus-thibetanus in the late villányian and its position among the Pliocene and Pleistocene black bears in Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wagner, Jan; Čermák, Stanislav; Horáček, I.

    -, č. 4 (2011), s. 39-58 ISSN 1771-1150 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/09/0184 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Black bear * MN17 * Ursus aff. thibetanus * Villány 3 * Central Europe - Hungary * Ursus * Pleistocene * Pliocene Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  7. The first finding of Asian black bear (Carnivora, Ursidae, Ursus (Euarctos) thibetanus G. Cuvier, 1823) in the Late Pleistocene of northern Eurasia.

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    Kosintsev, P A; Tiunov, M P; Gimranov, D O; Panov, V S

    2016-11-01

    An M1 tooth of Asian black bear (Ursus (Euarctos) thibetanus G. Cuvier, 1823) was found in deposits of the Tetyukhinskaya cave (Middle Sikhote-Alin, 44°35'N, 135°36'E). This finding is the first reliable evidence of Asian black bear's presence in Pleistocene of Primorye. Its morphological and morphometric descriptions are given. The period of inhabitation of U. (E.) thibetanus determined based on the radiocarbon date obtained during the study of the tooth, is 39 874 ± 133 BP (NSK-850, UGAMS-21786), which corresponds to the middle of Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3) of Late Pleistocene. The composition of ancient theriofauna indicates the existence of wide variety of landscapes in Primorye in the middle of Late Pleistocene. A refugium of forest fauna, in which species of taiga, nemoral, and Central Asian mountain-forest theriocomplexes were present, was located in southern Primorye in Late Pleistocene.

  8. Savčí společenstvo posledního glaciálu z jeskyně Barové - nové poznatky

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roblíčková, M.; Káňa, V.; Nývltová Fišáková, Miriam

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 102, 1-2 (2017), s. 119-142 ISSN 1211-8796 Institutional support: RVO:68081758 Keywords : Quaternary palaeontology * Late Pleistocene * Moravian Karst * Barová Cave * animal assemblage * Ursus ex gr. spelaeus * wintering site * gnawing marks * hunting and scavenging activity * seasonality Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy OBOR OECD: Paleontology

  9. Dietary ecology of the extinct cave bear: Evidence of omnivory as inferred from dental microwear textures

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    D. Brent Jones; Larisa R.G. DeSantis

    2016-01-01

    The diet of the extinct European cave bear, Ursus spelaeus, has widely been debated. Diverging from the extant brown bear (Ursus arctos) approximately 1.2 million years ago, the cave bear is one of the most ubiquitous fossil bears occurring in Europe during the middle and Late Pleistocene. Early morphological studies suggested that the cave bear was likely specialized on processing tough and/or abrasive foods, while later two-dimensional low-magnification microwear studies suggested that they...

  10. Cave bear (Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller & Heinroth males' den from Velika Pećina in Duboka Near Kučevo, Eastern Serbia

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    Dimitrijević Vesna M.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available More a 100 years after the first research in the cave Velika pećina in Duboka near Kučevo cave bear remains were discovered in a small chamber cut off from the passable channels by a 7 m high slope. A whole skull, bones of a forearm in articulation, and other skeleton parts were laying on the cave floor encrusted in travertine cover and in some places overgrown by stalagmites. Bones belonged to adult males, which found there the shelter to hibernate, in a short epizode that ended by closing the channels that once linked this part of the cave to a surface.

  11. Pliocene to early Middle Pleistocene ursine bears in Europe: a taxonomic overview

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wagner, Jan

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 179, - (2010), s. 197-215 ISSN 1802-6842 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/09/0184; GA AV ČR IAA300130701 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Ursus * taxonomy * Pliocene * Pleistocene Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy http://www.nm.cz/publikace/publikace-download.php?name=File1&dir=archiv&table=tabPublikaceArchiv&id=2796

  12. Revision of the early Middle Pleistocene bears (Ursidae, Mammalia) of Central Europe, with special respect to possible co-occurrence of spelaeoid and arctoid lineages

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wagner, J.; Čermák, Stanislav

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 87, č. 3 (2012), s. 461-496 ISSN 1214-1119 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Ursus deningeri * U. arctos, * Late Biharian * Early Toringian * Middle Pleistocene Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.141, year: 2012 http://www.geology.cz/bulletin/fulltext/1354_Wagner.pdf

  13. The mammalian fauna of Barová Cave (Moravian Karst, the Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roblíčková, M.; Káňa, V.; Nývltová Fišáková, Miriam

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 73, 3-4 (2017), s. 515-532 ISSN 2533-4050 Institutional support: RVO:68081758 Keywords : Quaternary palaeontology * Late Pleistocene * Moravian Karst * Barová Cave * animal assemblage * Ursus ex gr. spelaeus * wintering site * gnawing marks * hunting and scavenging * seasonality * dental age Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy OBOR OECD: Paleontology http://fi.nm.cz/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/15_Roblickova_et-al_2017.pdf

  14. Phylogeographic and Demographic Analysis of the Asian Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus) Based on Mitochondrial DNA.

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    Wu, Jiaqi; Kohno, Naoki; Mano, Shuhei; Fukumoto, Yukio; Tanabe, Hideyuki; Hasegawa, Masami; Yonezawa, Takahiro

    2015-01-01

    The Asian black bear Ursus thibetanus is widely distributed in Asia and is adapted to broad-leaved deciduous forests, playing an important ecological role in the natural environment. Several subspecies of U. thibetanus have been recognized, one of which, the Japanese black bear, is distributed in the Japanese archipelago. Recent molecular phylogeographic studies clarified that this subspecies is genetically distantly related to continental subspecies, suggesting an earlier origin. However, the evolutionary relationship between the Japanese and continental subspecies remained unclear. To understand the evolution of the Asian black bear in relation to geological events such as climatic and transgression-regression cycles, a reliable time estimation is also essential. To address these issues, we determined and analyzed the mt-genome of the Japanese subspecies. This indicates that the Japanese subspecies initially diverged from other Asian black bears in around 1.46Ma. The Northern continental population (northeast China, Russia, Korean peninsula) subsequently evolved, relatively recently, from the Southern continental population (southern China and Southeast Asia). While the Japanese black bear has an early origin, the tMRCAs and the dynamics of population sizes suggest that it dispersed relatively recently in the main Japanese islands: during the late Middle and Late Pleistocene, probably during or soon after the extinction of the brown bear in Honshu in the same period. Our estimation that the population size of the Japanese subspecies increased rapidly during the Late Pleistocene is the first evidential signal of a niche exchange between brown bears and black bears in the Japanese main islands. This interpretation seems plausible but was not corroborated by paleontological evidence that fossil record of the Japanese subspecies limited after the Late Pleistocene. We also report here a new fossil record of the oldest Japanese black bear from the Middle Pleistocene

  15. Phylogeographic and Demographic Analysis of the Asian Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus Based on Mitochondrial DNA.

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    Jiaqi Wu

    Full Text Available The Asian black bear Ursus thibetanus is widely distributed in Asia and is adapted to broad-leaved deciduous forests, playing an important ecological role in the natural environment. Several subspecies of U. thibetanus have been recognized, one of which, the Japanese black bear, is distributed in the Japanese archipelago. Recent molecular phylogeographic studies clarified that this subspecies is genetically distantly related to continental subspecies, suggesting an earlier origin. However, the evolutionary relationship between the Japanese and continental subspecies remained unclear. To understand the evolution of the Asian black bear in relation to geological events such as climatic and transgression-regression cycles, a reliable time estimation is also essential. To address these issues, we determined and analyzed the mt-genome of the Japanese subspecies. This indicates that the Japanese subspecies initially diverged from other Asian black bears in around 1.46Ma. The Northern continental population (northeast China, Russia, Korean peninsula subsequently evolved, relatively recently, from the Southern continental population (southern China and Southeast Asia. While the Japanese black bear has an early origin, the tMRCAs and the dynamics of population sizes suggest that it dispersed relatively recently in the main Japanese islands: during the late Middle and Late Pleistocene, probably during or soon after the extinction of the brown bear in Honshu in the same period. Our estimation that the population size of the Japanese subspecies increased rapidly during the Late Pleistocene is the first evidential signal of a niche exchange between brown bears and black bears in the Japanese main islands. This interpretation seems plausible but was not corroborated by paleontological evidence that fossil record of the Japanese subspecies limited after the Late Pleistocene. We also report here a new fossil record of the oldest Japanese black bear from the

  16. Pleistocene Paleoart of Australia

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    Robert G. Bednarik

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Pleistocene rock art is abundant in Australia, but has so far received only limited attention. Instead there has been a trend, begun over a century ago, to search for presumed depictions of extinct megafauna and the tracks of such species. All these notions have been discredited, however, and the current evidence suggests that figurative depiction was introduced only during the Holocene, never reaching Tasmania. Nevertheless, some Australian rock art has been attributed to the Pleistocene by direct dating methods, and its nature implies that a significant portion of the surviving corpus of rock art may also be of such age. In particular much of Australian cave art is of the Ice Age, or appears to be so, and any heavily weathered or patinated petroglyphs on particularly hard rocks are good candidates for Pleistocene antiquity. On the other hand, there is very limited evidence of mobiliary paleoart of such age in Australia.

  17. Pleistocene Palaeoart of Asia

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    Robert G. Bednarik

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This comprehensive overview considers the currently known Pleistocene palaeoart of Asia on a common basis, which suggests that the available data are entirely inadequate to form any cohesive synthesis about this corpus. In comparison to the attention lavished on the corresponding record available from Eurasia’s small western appendage, Europe, it is evident that Pleistocene palaeoart from the rest of the world has been severely neglected. Southern Asia, in particular, holds great promise for the study of early cognitive development of hominins, and yet this potential has remained almost entirely unexplored. Asia is suggested to be the key continent in any global synthesis of ‘art’ origins, emphasising the need for a comprehensive pan-continental research program. This is not just to counter-balance the incredible imbalance in favour of Europe, but to examine the topic of Middle Pleistocene palaeoart development effectively.

  18. Dietary ecology of the extinct cave bear: Evidence of omnivory as inferred from dental microwear textures

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    D. Brent Jones

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The diet of the extinct European cave bear, Ursus spelaeus, has widely been debated. Diverging from the extant brown bear (Ursus arctos approximately 1.2 million years ago, the cave bear is one of the most ubiquitous fossil bears occurring in Europe during the middle and Late Pleistocene. Early morphological studies suggested that the cave bear was likely specialized on processing tough and/or abrasive foods, while later two-dimensional low-magnification microwear studies suggested that they were omnivorous and may have consumed more bone than U. arctos. Here, we used dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA to further interpret the diet of the cave bear. Microscopic wear features were assessed and compared to modern ursids, including the cave bears’ closest living relative, U. arctos. Results suggest that U. spelaeus consumed a diet with a diversity of textural properties, similar to most other bears and only distinguishable from the hyper-carnivorous polar bear (Ursus maritimus. Further, only U. maritimus can be distinguished from all bear species here examined (i.e., the giant panda bear, Ailuropoda melanoleuca; sun-bear, Ursus malayanus; spectacled bear, Tremarctos ornatus; American black bear, Ursus americanus; and U. arctos, with significantly greater area-scale fractal complexity (Asfc of microwear surfaces. The DMTA of A. melanoleuca also has significantly lower Asfc than T. ornatus and U. americanus, consistent with observed dietary behavior. As modern bears vary their diets seasonally and across their range, it may be difficult to characterize the dietary ecology of extinct bears using dental microwear alone. Nevertheless, DMTA here demonstrates that U. spelaeus had a diet distinct from the hyper-carnivorous U. maritimus and instead likely consumed food with textural properties most similar to other herbivorous/omnivorous bears. Lastly, the European cave bear and North American giant short-faced bear (Arctodus simus may have had

  19. Genetic relationships of extant brown bears (Ursus arctos) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

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    Cronin, Matthew A; MacNeil, Michael D

    2012-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and brown bears (Ursus arctos) are closely related species for which extensive mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenetic comparisons have been made. We used previously published genotype data for 8 microsatellite DNA loci from 930 brown bears in 19 populations and 473 polar bears in 16 populations to compare the population genetic relationships of extant populations of the species. Genetic distances (Nei standard distance = 1.157), the proportion of private alleles (52% of alleles are not shared by the species), and Bayesian cluster analysis are consistent with morphological and life-history characteristics that distinguish polar bears and brown bears as different species with little or no gene flow among extant populations.

  20. [New data on the phylogeography and genetic diversity of the brown bear Ursus arctos Linnaeus, 1758 of northeastern Eurasia (mtDNA control region polymorphism analysis)].

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    Salomashkina, V V; Kholodova, M V; Tiuten'kov, O Iu; Moskvitina, N S; Erokhin, N G

    2014-01-01

    An analysis of polymorphism of the fragment of the control region of mitochondrial DNA of 53 tissue samples of the brown bear Ursus arctos from several regions of the eastern part of Russia was carried out. It was found that most of the described haplotypes belong to cluster 3a, the most common in Eurasia, and do not form regionally specific haplogroups. However, among the bears from Western and Eastern Siberia, as well as the island of Kunashir, three haplotypes were identified, which are close to the haplogroup typical of Eastern Hokkaido bears. The assumption was made of the existence in Siberia and the Far East of one or more Pleistocene refugia.

  1. Management of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Europe.

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    Klenzendorf, Sybille A.

    1997-01-01

    Management of Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) in Europe. Sybille A. Klenzendorf (Abstract) Successful conservation of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Europe is associated with public acceptance of damages caused by bears. Recent increases in sheep depredation and beehive damage in central Austria resulted in the deaths of two bears there. Since bear numbers are low in most European populations, alternatives to the elimination of problem bears associated with dam...

  2. The carnivore remains from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

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    García, N; Arsuaga, J L; Torres, T

    1997-01-01

    Remains of carnivores from the Sima de los Huesos site representing at least 158 adult individuals of a primitive (i.e., not very speleoid) form of Ursus deningeri Von Reichenau 1906, have been recovered through the 1995 field season. These new finds extend our knowledge of this group in the Sierra de Atapuerca Middle Pleistocene. Material previously classified as Cuoninae indet, is now assigned to Canis lupus and a third metatarsal assigned in 1987 to Panthera of gombaszoegensis, is in our opinion only attributable to Panthera sp. The family Mustelidae is added to the faunal list and includes Martes sp. and a smaller species. The presence of Panthera leo cf. fossilis, Lynx pardina spelaea and Felis silvestris, is confirmed. The presence of a not very speloid Ursus deningeri, together with the rest of the carnivore assemblage, points to a not very late Middle Pleistocene age, i.e., oxygen isotope stage 7 or older. Relative frequencies of skeletal elements for the bear and fox samples are without major biases. The age structure of the bear sample, based on dental wear stages, does not follow the typical hibernation mortality profile and resembles a catastrophic profile. The site was not a natal or refuge den. The hypothesis that the site was a natural trap is the most plausible. If the Sima de los Huesos functioned as a natural trap (without an egress out), the human accumulation cannot be attributed to carnivore: activities and must be explained differently.

  3. Pleistocene Palaeoart of Africa

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    Robert G. Bednarik

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available This comprehensive review of all currently known Pleistocene rock art of Africa shows that the majority of sites are located in the continent’s south, but that the petroglyphs at some of them are of exceptionally great antiquity. Much the same applies to portable palaeoart of Africa. The current record is clearly one of paucity of evidence, in contrast to some other continents. Nevertheless, an initial synthesis is attempted, and some preliminary comparisons with the other continents are attempted. Certain parallels with the existing record of southern Asia are defined.

  4. Paleobiology of Pleistocene Proboscideans

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    Fisher, Daniel C.

    2018-05-01

    The paleobiology of Pleistocene proboscideans plays a pivotal role in understanding their history and in answering fundamental questions involving their interactions with other taxa, including humans. Much of our view of proboscidean paleobiology is influenced by analogies with extant elephants. However, a wealth of information is available for reconstructing the paleobiology of ancient proboscideans using data from fossil specimens and preservational settings. Remarkable opportunities include permafrost-derived specimens with preserved soft tissue, intestinal contents with direct evidence of diet, and compositional and structural profiles with subannual temporal resolution archived in appositional systems such as proboscidean tusks. New information on diets and local climates puts our understanding of proboscidean paleoecology on a firmer foundation, but the greatest prospects for new insight spring from life history data now being retrieved from accelerator mass spectrometry–dated fossil material. Interaction between humans and proboscideans has been a critical factor in the history of both groups.

  5. New evidence of Ursus minims from the territory of Poland

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wagner, Jan; Lipecki, G.; Krawczyk, M.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 58, č. 2 (2008), s. 78-80 ISSN 0038-9226 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/09/0184 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Ursus minimus * Pliocene * dentition * Rebielice Królewskie (Poland) Subject RIV: EG - Zoology

  6. Trichinella surveillance in black bears (Ursus americanus) from Oregon, USA.

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    Mortenson, J A; Kent, M L; Fowler, D R; Chomel, B B; Immell, D A

    2014-01-01

    We used serology and muscle digestion to test black bears (Ursus americanus) from western Oregon, USA, for Trichinella. Results indicate black bears in Oregon are not part of a sylvatic cycle for Trichinella, and risk of human exposure to Trichinella larvae from eating black bear meat from Oregon appears low.

  7. Pleistocene Palaeoart of the Americas

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    Robert G. Bednarik

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available In contrast to the great time depth of Pleistocene rock art and mobiliary ‘art’ in the four other continents, the available evidence from the Americas is very limited, and restricted at best to the last part of the final Pleistocene. A review of what has so far become available is hampered by a considerable burden of literature presenting material contended to be of the Ice Age, even of the Mesozoic in some cases, that needs to be sifted through to find a minute number of credible claims. Even the timing of the first colonization of the Americas remains unresolved, and the lack of clear-cut substantiation of palaeoart finds predating about 12,000 years bp is conspicuous. There are vague hints of earlier human presence, rendering it likely that archaeology has failed to define its manifestations adequately, and Pleistocene palaeoart remains almost unexplored at this stage.

  8. Shaped by uneven Pleistocene climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Xinlei; Dong, Feng; Lei, Fumin

    2016-01-01

    had different impacts on different populations: clade N expanded after the last glacial maximum (LGM), whereas milder Pleistocene climate of east Asia allowed clade SE a longer expansion time (since MIS 5); clade SW expanded over a similarly long time as clade SE, which is untypical for European...

  9. First report of Taenia arctos (Cestoda: Taeniidae) from grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bears (Ursus americanus) in North America.

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    Catalano, Stefano; Lejeune, Manigandan; Verocai, Guilherme G; Duignan, Pádraig J

    2014-04-01

    The cestode Taenia arctos was found at necropsy in the small intestine of a grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis) and a black bear (Ursus americanus) from Kananaskis Country in southwestern Alberta, Canada. The autolysis of the tapeworm specimens precluded detailed morphological characterization of the parasites but molecular analysis based on mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene confirmed their identity as T. arctos. This is the first report of T. arctos from definitive hosts in North America. Its detection in Canadian grizzly and black bears further supports the Holarctic distribution of this tapeworm species and its specificity for ursids as final hosts. Previously, T. arctos was unambiguously described at its adult stage in brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) from Finland, and as larval stages in Eurasian elk (Alces alces) from Finland and moose (Alces americanus) from Alaska, USA. Given the morphological similarity between T. arctos and other Taenia species, the present study underlines the potential for misidentification of tapeworm taxa in previous parasitological reports from bears and moose across North America. The biogeographical history of both definitive and intermediate hosts in the Holarctic suggests an ancient interaction between U. arctos, Alces spp., and T. arctos, and a relatively recent host-switching event in U. americanus. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Gastric dilatation and volvulus in brown bear (Ursus arctos)

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    Marinković, Darko; Özvegy, Jòzsef; Aničić, Milan; Vučićević, Ivana; Nešić, Slađan; Kukolj, Vladimir

    2016-01-01

    Gastric dilatation and volvulus is a life-threatening condition characterized by rapid accumulation of food and gases that cause displacement and distension of the stomach. The large and giant, deep-chested breeds of dogs are at higher risk for developing the gastric dilatation and volvulus. Uncommonly, it can also develop in cats, but it is also described in free-range polar bears. A case of gastric dilatation and volvulus in a brown bear (Ursus arctos) is described in this paper. This case ...

  11. Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of a Middle Pleistocene cave bear reconstructed from ultrashort DNA fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dabney, Jesse; Knapp, Michael; Glocke, Isabelle; Gansauge, Marie-Theres; Weihmann, Antje; Nickel, Birgit; Valdiosera, Cristina; García, Nuria; Pääbo, Svante; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Meyer, Matthias

    2013-09-24

    Although an inverse relationship is expected in ancient DNA samples between the number of surviving DNA fragments and their length, ancient DNA sequencing libraries are strikingly deficient in molecules shorter than 40 bp. We find that a loss of short molecules can occur during DNA extraction and present an improved silica-based extraction protocol that enables their efficient retrieval. In combination with single-stranded DNA library preparation, this method enabled us to reconstruct the mitochondrial genome sequence from a Middle Pleistocene cave bear (Ursus deningeri) bone excavated at Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate that the U. deningeri sequence forms an early diverging sister lineage to all Western European Late Pleistocene cave bears. Our results prove that authentic ancient DNA can be preserved for hundreds of thousand years outside of permafrost. Moreover, the techniques presented enable the retrieval of phylogenetically informative sequences from samples in which virtually all DNA is diminished to fragments shorter than 50 bp.

  12. An Evolutionarily Young Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus Endogenous Retrovirus Identified from Next Generation Sequence Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyriakos Tsangaras

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Transcriptome analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus tissues identified sequences with similarity to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERV. Based on these sequences, four proviral copies and 15 solo long terminal repeats (LTRs of a newly described endogenous retrovirus were characterized from the polar bear draft genome sequence. Closely related sequences were identified by PCR analysis of brown bear (Ursus arctos and black bear (Ursus americanus but were absent in non-Ursinae bear species. The virus was therefore designated UrsusERV. Two distinct groups of LTRs were observed including a recombinant ERV that contained one LTR belonging to each group indicating that genomic invasions by at least two UrsusERV variants have recently occurred. Age estimates based on proviral LTR divergence and conservation of integration sites among ursids suggest the viral group is only a few million years old. The youngest provirus was polar bear specific, had intact open reading frames (ORFs and could potentially encode functional proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of UrsusERV consensus protein sequences suggest that it is part of a pig, gibbon and koala retrovirus clade. The young age estimates and lineage specificity of the virus suggests UrsusERV is a recent cross species transmission from an unknown reservoir and places the viral group among the youngest of ERVs identified in mammals.

  13. An Evolutionarily Young Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Endogenous Retrovirus Identified from Next Generation Sequence Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Mayer, Jens; Alquezar-Planas, David E; Greenwood, Alex D

    2015-11-24

    Transcriptome analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissues identified sequences with similarity to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERV). Based on these sequences, four proviral copies and 15 solo long terminal repeats (LTRs) of a newly described endogenous retrovirus were characterized from the polar bear draft genome sequence. Closely related sequences were identified by PCR analysis of brown bear (Ursus arctos) and black bear (Ursus americanus) but were absent in non-Ursinae bear species. The virus was therefore designated UrsusERV. Two distinct groups of LTRs were observed including a recombinant ERV that contained one LTR belonging to each group indicating that genomic invasions by at least two UrsusERV variants have recently occurred. Age estimates based on proviral LTR divergence and conservation of integration sites among ursids suggest the viral group is only a few million years old. The youngest provirus was polar bear specific, had intact open reading frames (ORFs) and could potentially encode functional proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of UrsusERV consensus protein sequences suggest that it is part of a pig, gibbon and koala retrovirus clade. The young age estimates and lineage specificity of the virus suggests UrsusERV is a recent cross species transmission from an unknown reservoir and places the viral group among the youngest of ERVs identified in mammals.

  14. An Evolutionarily Young Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Endogenous Retrovirus Identified from Next Generation Sequence Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Mayer, Jens; Alquezar-Planas, David E.; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2015-01-01

    Transcriptome analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissues identified sequences with similarity to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERV). Based on these sequences, four proviral copies and 15 solo long terminal repeats (LTRs) of a newly described endogenous retrovirus were characterized from the polar bear draft genome sequence. Closely related sequences were identified by PCR analysis of brown bear (Ursus arctos) and black bear (Ursus americanus) but were absent in non-Ursinae bear species. The virus was therefore designated UrsusERV. Two distinct groups of LTRs were observed including a recombinant ERV that contained one LTR belonging to each group indicating that genomic invasions by at least two UrsusERV variants have recently occurred. Age estimates based on proviral LTR divergence and conservation of integration sites among ursids suggest the viral group is only a few million years old. The youngest provirus was polar bear specific, had intact open reading frames (ORFs) and could potentially encode functional proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of UrsusERV consensus protein sequences suggest that it is part of a pig, gibbon and koala retrovirus clade. The young age estimates and lineage specificity of the virus suggests UrsusERV is a recent cross species transmission from an unknown reservoir and places the viral group among the youngest of ERVs identified in mammals. PMID:26610552

  15. Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bears (Ursus americanus) prevent trabecular bone loss during disuse (hibernation).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGee-Lawrence, Meghan E; Wojda, Samantha J; Barlow, Lindsay N; Drummer, Thomas D; Castillo, Alesha B; Kennedy, Oran; Condon, Keith W; Auger, Janene; Black, Hal L; Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Donahue, Seth W

    2009-12-01

    Disuse typically causes an imbalance in bone formation and bone resorption, leading to losses of cortical and trabecular bone. In contrast, bears maintain balanced intracortical remodeling and prevent cortical bone loss during disuse (hibernation). Trabecular bone, however, is more detrimentally affected than cortical bone in other animal models of disuse. Here we investigated the effects of hibernation on bone remodeling, architectural properties, and mineral density of grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bear (Ursus americanus) trabecular bone in several skeletal locations. There were no differences in bone volume fraction or tissue mineral density between hibernating and active bears or between pre- and post-hibernation bears in the ilium, distal femur, or calcaneus. Though indices of cellular activity level (mineral apposition rate, osteoid thickness) decreased, trabecular bone resorption and formation indices remained balanced in hibernating grizzly bears. These data suggest that bears prevent bone loss during disuse by maintaining a balance between bone formation and bone resorption, which consequently preserves bone structure and strength. Further investigation of bone metabolism in hibernating bears may lead to the translation of mechanisms preventing disuse-induced bone loss in bears into novel treatments for osteoporosis.

  16. Thermoluminescence dating of pleistocene sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poupeau, G.; Souza, J.H.; Rivera, A.

    1984-01-01

    After a short introduction on recent trends in quaternary geochronology, this article focuses on the thermoluminescence dating of sediments, whose principles and present limits and prospects are discussed. Results are presented for the TL behaviour of sands from various geological contexts in Brazil. They show that the coarse (approx. 100-200μm) quartz fraction of coastal and intra continental, eolian and fluvial-type deposits, might be datable by TL from the upper Holocene to at least the basis of the upper Pleistocene, with a precision of + - 10-15%. (Author) [pt

  17. Thermoluminescence dating of pleistocene sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poupeau, G.; Souza, J.H.

    1984-01-01

    After a short introduction on recent trends in quaternary geochronology, this article focuses on the thermoluminescence (TL) dating of sediments, whose principles, present limits and prospects are discussed. Results are presented for TL behavior of sands from various geological contexts in Brazil. They show that the coarse (approx. 100-200 μm) quartz fraction of coastal and intracontinental, eolian and fluvial - type deposits, might be datable by TL from the upper Holocene to at least the base of the upper Pleistocene, with a precision of +- 10-15%. (Author) [pt

  18. Size variation in Middle Pleistocene humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arsuaga, J L; Carretero, J M; Lorenzo, C; Gracia, A; Martínez, I; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Carbonell, E

    1997-08-22

    It has been suggested that European Middle Pleistocene humans, Neandertals, and prehistoric modern humans had a greater sexual dimorphism than modern humans. Analysis of body size variation and cranial capacity variation in the large sample from the Sima de los Huesos site in Spain showed instead that the sexual dimorphism is comparable in Middle Pleistocene and modern populations.

  19. Diet and Co-ecology of Pleistocene Short-Faced Bears and Brown Bears in Eastern Beringia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matheus, Paul E.

    1995-11-01

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis of fossil bone collagen reveals that Pleistocene short-faced bears ( Arctodus simus) of Beringia were highly carnivorous, while contemporaneous brown bears ( Ursus arctos) had highly variable diets that included varying amounts of terrestrial vegetation, salmon, and small amounts of terrestrial meat. A reconsideration of the short-faced bear's highly derived morphology indicates that they foraged as scavengers of widely dispersed large mammal carcasses and were simultaneously designed both for highly efficient locomotion and for intimidating other large carnivores. This allowed Arctodus to forage economically over a large home range and seek out, procure, and defend carcasses from other large carnivores. The isotope data and this reconstruction of Arctodus' foraging behavior refute the hypothesis that competition from brown bears was a significant factor in the extinction of short-faced bears.

  20. Análisis morfológico y métrico de la dentición y metapodios del oso de Deninger (Ursus deningeri Von Reichenau de la Cueva Sta. Isabel de Ranero. Aminocronología (Valle de Carranza - Bizkaia - País Vasco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TORRES, T., NESTARES, T., COBO, R., ORTIZ, J.E., CANTERO, M.A., ORTIZ, J., VIDAL, R., PRIETO, J.O.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Se realiza un análisis métrico y morfológico de la dentición y metapodios del material de Ursus deningeri excavado en la Cueva Santa Isabel en Ranero (Bizkaia. Los resultados obtenidos se comparan con los de otras poblaciones ibéricas de U. deningeri (La Lucia en Quintanilla, Cantabria ; Cueva Mayor (sima de los Huesos en Atapuerca, Burgos y Lezetxiki en Mondragón, Gipuzkoa y de Ursus speleaus (Eiros en Triacastela, Lugo ; La Lucía, La Pasada en Guriezo, Cantabria ; Lezetxiki, Arrikrutz en Oñati, Gipuzkoa ; Ekain en Deba, Gipuzkoa ; Troskaeta en Ataun, Gipuzkoa ; Coro Tracito, Tella-Sin, Huesca ; El Toll en Moia, Barcelona y el Reguerillo en Patones, Madrid. El análisis morfológico y métrico revela que las muestras de oso de Santa Isabel se agrupan bien con las de U. deningeri de La Lucia y de la Sima de los huesos, pero con caracteres ligeramente más evolucionados a los de esta última, existiendo una gran distancia métrica morfológica con las poblaciones de U. spelaeus. El análisis de la racemización del ácido del colágeno de la dentina de las poblaciones de oso de las cavernas de la Península Ibérica ha permitido establecer que los osos de la Cueva de Santa Isabel son sincrónimos, o tal vez, algo más antiguos que los de la Sima de los Huesos. La ligera discrepancia existente entre la bioestratigrafía deducida a partir de la morfología dental y la obtenida mediante análisis de la racemización del ácido aspártico, se podría explicar por diferencias en las condiciones tafonómicas del yacimiento y/o un inferior número de muestras para el yacimiento de Santa Isabel.

  1. MEDULLOBLASTOMA IN A GRIZZLY BEAR (URSUS ARCTOS HORRIBLIS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Jeffrey W; Thomovsky, Stephanie A; Chen, Annie V; Layton, Arthur W; Haldorson, Gary; Tucker, Russell L; Roberts, Gregory

    2015-09-01

    A 3-yr-old female spayed grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) was evaluated for seizure activity along with lethargy, inappetence, dull mentation, and aggressive behavior. Magnetic resonance (MR) examination of the brain revealed a contrast-enhanced right cerebellar mass with multifocal smaller nodules located in the left cerebellum, thalamus, hippocampus, and cerebrum with resultant obstructive hydrocephalus. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis revealed mild mononuclear pleocytosis, with differentials including inflammatory versus neoplastic processes. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid were also submitted for polymerase chain reaction and agar gel immunodiffusion to rule out infectious causes of meningitis/encephalitis. While awaiting these results, the bear was placed on steroid and antibiotic therapy. Over the next week, the bear deteriorated; she died 1 wk after MR. A complete postmortem examination, including immunohistochemisty, revealed the cerebellar mass to be a medulloblastoma. This is the only case report, to the authors' knowledge, describing a medulloblastoma in a grizzly bear.

  2. Disseminated pleomorphic myofibrosarcoma in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mete, A; Woods, L; Famini, D; Anderson, M

    2012-01-01

    The pathological and diagnostic features of a widely disseminated pleomorphic high-grade myofibroblastic sarcoma are described in a 23-year-old male brown bear (Ursus arctos horribilis). Firm, solid, white to tan neoplastic nodules, often with cavitated or soft grey-red necrotic centres, were observed throughout most internal organs, subcutaneous tissues and skeletal muscles on gross examination. Microscopically, the tumour consisted of pleomorphic spindle cells forming interlacing fascicles with a focal storiform pattern with large numbers of bizarre polygonal multinucleate cells, frequently within a collagenous stroma. Immunohistochemistry, Masson's trichrome stain and transmission electron microscopy designated the myofibroblast as the cell of origin. This is the first case of a high-grade myofibrosarcoma in a grizzly bear. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Acquired arteriovenous fistula in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuttle, Allison D; MacLean, Robert A; Linder, Keith; Cullen, John M; Wolfe, Barbara A; Loomis, Michael

    2009-03-01

    A captive adult male grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) was evaluated due to multifocal wounds of the skin and subcutaneous tissues sustained as a result of trauma from another grizzly bear. On presentation, one lesion that was located in the perineal region seemed to be a deep puncture with purple tissue protruding from it. This perineal wound did not heal in the same manner or rate as did the other wounds. Twenty-five days after initial detection, substantial active hemorrhage from the lesion occurred and necessitated anesthesia for examination of the bear. The entire lesion was surgically excised, which later proved curative. An acquired arteriovenous fistula was diagnosed via histopathology. Arteriovenous fistulas can develop after traumatic injury and should be considered as a potential complication in bears with nonhealing wounds.

  4. Steroid hormone profile in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustavson, Lisa; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Bytingsvik, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    The polar bear is an iconic Arctic species, threatened by anthropogenic impacts such as pollution and climate change. Successful reproduction of polar bears depends on a functioning steroid hormone system, which is susceptible to effects of persistent organic pollutants. The present study...... is the first study to report circulating concentrations of nine steroid hormones (i.e., estrogens, androgens and progestagens) in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of age, condition, location and reproductive status on steroid profile in female polar...... bears. Levels of pregnenolone (PRE), progesterone, androstenedione (AN), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2) and 17β-estradiol (βE2) were quantified in blood (serum) of free-living female polar bears (n = 15) from Svalbard, Norway, by gas...

  5. Omental torsion in a captive polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez-Angulo, Jose L; Funes, Francisco J; Trent, Ava M; Willette, Michelle; Woodhouse, Kerry; Renier, Anna C

    2014-03-01

    This is the first case report of an omental torsion in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus). A captive, 23-yr-old, 250-kg, intact female polar bear presented to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center with a 2-day history of lethargy, depression, and vomiting. Abdominal ultrasound identified large amounts of hyperechoic free peritoneal fluid. Ultrasound-guided abdominocentesis was performed and yielded thick serosanguinous fluid compatible with a hemoabdomen. An exploratory laparotomy revealed a large amount of malodorous, serosanguineous fluid and multiple necrotic blood clots associated with a torsion of the greater omentum and rupture of a branch of the omental artery. A partial omentectomy was performed to remove the necrotic tissue and the abdomen was copiously lavaged. The polar bear recovered successfully and is reported to be clinically well 6 mo later. This condition should be considered as a differential in bears with clinical signs of intestinal obstruction and hemoabdomen.

  6. Helminths of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in the Kola Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugmyrin, S V; Tirronen, K F; Panchenko, D V; Kopatz, A; Hagen, S B; Eiken, H G; Kuznetsova, A S

    2017-06-01

    We present data on the species composition of helminths in brown bears (Ursus arctos) from the Murmansk Region, Russia. The absence of any information about helminths of brown bear in the region necessitated the conduct of these studies. Samples were collected in 2014 and 2015 in the southern part of the Kola Peninsula from the White Sea coastal habitats. Annually, in the study area, 1-3 bears are legally hunted and biological samples for examination are very difficult to obtain. Therefore, we used fecal samples. We studied 93 feces and identified parasite eggs identified in 43 of them by morphometric criteria. The surveys revealed eggs of the following helminths: Dicrocoelium sp., Diphyllobothrium sp., Anoplocephalidae, Capillariidae, Baylisascaris sp., Strongylida 1, and Strongylida 2. These results represent the first reconnaissance stage, which allowed characterizing the taxonomic diversity and prevalence of parasites of brown bears of the Kola Peninsula.

  7. HYDROCEPHALUS IN THREE JUVENILE NORTH AMERICAN BLACK BEARS (URSUS AMERICANUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Sylvia H; Novak, Janelle; Hecht, Silke; Craig, Linden E

    2016-06-01

    Hydrocephalus has been reported in a variety of species, including the North American black bear ( Ursus americanus ). This report describes three cases of hydrocephalus in this species from wild bears aged 3-4 mo considered retrospectively from necropsy records of one institution. Clinical signs included cortical blindness and ataxia. Primary gross findings were doming of the skull, gyri compression and flattening, and lateral ventricle dilation. Two cases had severe bilateral ventricular dilation with loss of the septum pellucidum; atrophy of the surrounding corpus callosum; and bilateral periventricular tears involving the caudate nuclei, internal capsule, and adjacent cerebrum. Histologically, the cases with periventricular tearing had severe axonal loss and degeneration, malacia, hemorrhage, and variable periventricular astrocytosis. All cases were likely congenital, given the bears' age and lack of an apparent acquired obstruction.

  8. Tetranucleotide microsatellite loci from the black bear (Ursus americanus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanderlin, J.S.; Faircloth, B.C.; Shamblin, B.; Conroy, M.J.

    2009-01-01

    We describe primers and polymerase chain reaction conditions to amplify 21 tetranucleotide microsatellite DNA loci in black bears (Ursus americanus). We tested primers using individuals from two populations, one each in Georgia and Florida. Among individuals from Georgia (n = 29), primer pairs yielded an average of 2.9 alleles (range, one to four) and an average observed heterozygosity (HO) of 0.50 (range, 0.00 to 0.79). Among individuals from Florida (n = 19), primer pairs yielded an average of 5.7 alleles (range, one to 14) and an HO of 0.55 (range, 0.00 to 1.00). A comparison of previously developed markers with individuals from Georgia suggests that bear populations in Georgia and Florida have reduced allelic diversity relative to other populations. ?? 2008 The Authors.

  9. Lethal Interpersonal Violence in the Middle Pleistocene

    OpenAIRE

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Pantoja-P?rez, Ana; Pablos, Adri?n; Mart?nez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf M.; G?mez-Olivencia, Asier; Berm?dez de Castro, Jos? Mar?a; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force ...

  10. Platelet function in brown bear (Ursus arctos compared to man

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Särndahl Eva

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Information on hemostasis and platelet function in brown bear (Ursus arctos is of importance for understanding the physiological, protective changes during hibernation. Objective The study objective was to document platelet activity values in brown bears shortly after leaving the den and compare them to platelet function in healthy humans. Methods Blood was drawn from immobilized wild brown bears 7-10 days after leaving the den in mid April. Blood samples from healthy human adults before and after clopidogrel and acetylsalicylic acid administration served as control. We analyzed blood samples by standard blood testing and platelet aggregation was quantified after stimulation with various agonists using multiple electrode aggregometry within 3 hours of sampling. Results Blood samples were collected from 6 bears (3 females between 1 and 16 years old and from 10 healthy humans. Results of adenosine diphosphate, aspirin, and thrombin receptor activating peptide tests in bears were all half or less of those in humans. Platelet and white blood cell counts did not differ between species but brown bears had more and smaller red blood cells compared with humans. Conclusion Using three different tests, we conclude that platelet function is lower in brown bears compared to humans. Our findings represent the first descriptive study on platelet function in brown bears and may contribute to explain how bears can endure denning without obvious thrombus building. However, the possibility that our findings reflect test-dependent and not true biological variations in platelet reactivity needs further studies.

  11. Hemotropic mycoplasma infection in wild black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iso, Takehiro; Suzuki, Jin; Sasaoka, Fumina; Sashida, Hinako; Watanabe, Yusaku; Fujihara, Masatoshi; Nagai, Kazuya; Harasawa, Ryô

    2013-04-12

    This is the first report on Mycoplasma infection in wild bears. We report a novel hemotropic Mycoplasma (also called hemoplasma) detected in a free-ranging black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) in Japan. We then used real-time PCR to look for hemoplasma DNA in blood samples collected from 15 bears and found that eight (53%) were positive. Among these eight PCR samples, seven showed a melting temperature of around 85.5°C, while the remaining one showed a single peak at 82.26°C. Almost the entire region of the 16S rRNA gene as well as the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) region from the sample that showed a melting temperature of 82.26°C was successfully amplified by means of end-point PCR. The nucleotide sequences of the 16S rRNA gene and the ITS region were then determined and compared with those of authentic Mycoplasma species. Our examinations revealed the presence of a novel hemoplasma in Japanese black bears. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Spatial memory in captive American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamisch, Valeria; Vonk, Jennifer

    2012-11-01

    The spatial memory and foraging strategies of four adult captive-born American black bears (Ursus americanus) were explored in four experiments using a simulated foraging task. In the first three experiments, each session consisted of two phases separated by a delay: During the exploration phase, subjects foraged among a set of baited and unbaited sites. During the delay, the same locations were rebaited and subjects were released again and allowed to search the sites (search phase). In Experiments 1a and 1b, different sites were baited each day and the interval between exploration and search was short (4 hr or 15 min). Subjects were not accurate at recovering the food items in either experiment. In Experiment 2, an "informed forager" paradigm was used in which one subject was given privileged knowledge about the location of the food during the exploration phase and was later released with an "uninformed" competitor during the search phase. The bears did not achieve above-chance recovery accuracy even in the presence of a competitor. In Experiment 3, the same two of four sites were continually baited and the bears were released simultaneously over a period of 20 days, with each baiting separated by 2 or 3 days. As a group, the bears' foraging accuracy with repeated baiting and longer intervals approached greater than chance accuracy. Results suggest some limitations on bears' use of spatial memory in captive environments, but reveal the potential for use of spatial memory over longer delays.

  13. Acquired umbilical hernias in four captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velguth, Karen E; Rochat, Mark C; Langan, Jennifer N; Backues, Kay

    2009-12-01

    Umbilical hernias are a common occurrence in domestic animals and humans but have not been well documented in polar bears. Surgical reduction and herniorrhaphies were performed to correct acquired hernias in the region of the umbilicus in four adult captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) housed in North American zoos. Two of the four bears were clinically unaffected by their hernias prior to surgery. One bear showed signs of severe discomfort following acute enlargement of the hernia. In another bear, re-herniation led to acute abdominal pain due to gastric entrapment and strangulation. The hernias in three bears were surgically repaired by debridement of the hernia ring and direct apposition of the abdominal wall, while the large defect in the most severely affected bear was closed using polypropylene mesh to prevent excessive tension. The cases in this series demonstrate that while small hernias may remain clinically inconsequential for long periods of time, enlargement or recurrence of the defect can lead to incarceration and acute abdominal crisis. Umbilical herniation has not been reported in free-ranging polar bears, and it is suspected that factors such as body condition, limited exercise, or enclosure design potentially contribute to the development of umbilical hernias in captive polar bears.

  14. Questioning current practice in brown bear, Ursus arctos, conservation in Europe that undervalues taxonomy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gippoliti, S.

    2016-07-01

    The present paper highlights problems associated with the currently–accepted taxonomy of brown bear, Ursus arctos, and their consequences for conservation at the European level. The enormous morphological variability within Ursus arctos is not acknowledged in current taxonomy and conservation practice. Seven major clades are recognized in Ursus arctos by molecular researchers, and although Western Europe maintains most of the populations belonging to the relict Clade 1 brown bear lineage, no reference to this is made in current conservation policy. Furthermore, the tiny population of Apennine brown bears, characterized by unique skull morphology, is not even recognized as a distinct ESU (evolutionari significant unit) by current European legislation, nor is it included in the IUCN Red List. This may have serious consequences as brown bear conservation in Western Europe has been mainly based on restocking and reintroduction programs. (Author)

  15. Pleistocene Indian Monsoon Rainfall Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yirgaw, D. G.; Hathorne, E. C.; Giosan, L.; Collett, T. S.; Sijingeo, A. V.; Nath, B. N.; Frank, M.

    2014-12-01

    The past variability of the Indian Monsoon is mostly known from records of wind strength over the Arabian Sea. Here we investigate proxies for fresh water input and runoff in a region of strong monsoon precipitation that is a major moisture source for the east Asian Monsoon. A sediment core obtained by the IODP vessel JOIDES Resolution and a gravity core from the Alcock Seamount complex in the Andaman Sea are used to examine the past monsoon variability on the Indian sub-continent and directly over the ocean. The current dataset covers the last glacial and deglacial but will eventually provide a Pleistocene record. We utilise the ecological habitats of G. sacculifer and N. dutertrei to investigate the freshwater-induced stratification with paired Mg/Ca and δ18O analyses to estimate seawater δ18O (δ18Osw). During the last 60 kyrs, Ba/Ca ratios and δ18Osw values generally agree well between the two cores and suggest the weakest surface runoff and monsoon during the LGM and strongest monsoon during the Holocene. The difference in δ18O between the species, interpreted as a proxy for upper ocean stratification, implies stratification developed around 37 ka and remained relatively constant during the LGM, deglacial and Holocene. To investigate monsoon variability for intervals in the past, single shell Mg/Ca and δ18O analyses have been conducted. Mg/Ca ratios from individual shells of N. dutertrei suggest relatively small changes in temperature. However, individual N. dutertrei δ18O differ greatly between the mid-Holocene and samples from the LGM and a nearby core top. The mid-Holocene individuals have a greater range and large skew towards negative values indicating greater fresh water influence.

  16. Cardiac function adaptations in hibernating grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T

    2010-03-01

    Research on the cardiovascular physiology of hibernating mammals may provide insight into evolutionary adaptations; however, anesthesia used to handle wild animals may affect the cardiovascular parameters of interest. To overcome these potential biases, we investigated the functional cardiac phenotype of the hibernating grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) during the active, transitional and hibernating phases over a 4 year period in conscious rather than anesthetized bears. The bears were captive born and serially studied from the age of 5 months to 4 years. Heart rate was significantly different from active (82.6 +/- 7.7 beats/min) to hibernating states (17.8 +/- 2.8 beats/min). There was no difference from the active to the hibernating state in diastolic and stroke volume parameters or in left atrial area. Left ventricular volume:mass was significantly increased during hibernation indicating decreased ventricular mass. Ejection fraction of the left ventricle was not different between active and hibernating states. In contrast, total left atrial emptying fraction was significantly reduced during hibernation (17.8 +/- 2.8%) as compared to the active state (40.8 +/- 1.9%). Reduced atrial chamber function was also supported by reduced atrial contraction blood flow velocities and atrial contraction ejection fraction during hibernation; 7.1 +/- 2.8% as compared to 20.7 +/- 3% during the active state. Changes in the diastolic cardiac filling cycle, especially atrial chamber contribution to ventricular filling, appear to be the most prominent macroscopic functional change during hibernation. Thus, we propose that these changes in atrial chamber function constitute a major adaptation during hibernation which allows the myocardium to conserve energy, avoid chamber dilation and remain healthy during a period of extremely low heart rates. These findings will aid in rational approaches to identifying underlying molecular mechanisms.

  17. One of the last wild brown bears (Ursus arctos) in the Netherlands (Noordwijk)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Plicht, Johannes; Kuijper, Wim J.; Verheijen, Ivo K.A.; Ramcharan, André; Kolfschoten, T. van

    2016-01-01

    Early in 2016, bones of a left front leg of a brown bear (Ursus arctos) were found in the dunes between Noordwijk and Zandvoort (Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen - Amsterdam Water Supply Dunes). The stratigraphical composition of the find horizon was identified as the old surface (palaeosoil) of the

  18. Role of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in the flow of marine nitrogen into a terrestrial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant V. Hilderbrand; Thomas A. Hanley; Charles T. Robbins; Charles C. Schwartz

    1999-01-01

    We quantified the amount, spatial distribution, and importance of salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.)-derived nitrogen (N) by brown bears (Ursus arctos) on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. We tested and confirmed the hypothesis that the stable isotope signature (δ15N) of N in foliage of white spruce (

  19. PREVALENCE OF ANTIBODIES AGAINST TOXOPLASMA GONDII IN POLAR BEARS (URSUS MARITIMUS) FROM SVALBARD AND EAST GREENLAND

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serum samples from 419 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard and the Barents Sea (collected 1990 - 2000) and 108 polar bears from East Greenland (collected 1999 - 2004) were assayed for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibody prevalences were ...

  20. Is Bone Mineral Composition Disrupted by Organochlorines in East Greenland Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, C.; Dietz, R.; Born, E. W.

    2004-01-01

    We analyzed bone mineral density (BMD) in skulls of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n = 139) from East Greenland sampled during 1892-2002. Our primary goal was to detect possible changes in bone mineral content (osteopenia) due to elevated exposure to organochlorine [polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs.......04) and SigmaCHL (p polar...... bears may have been caused by organochlorine exposure. Udgivelsesdato: 2004-Dec...

  1. Transthyretin-Binding Activity of Contaminants in Blood from Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Cubs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bytingsvik, J.; Simon, E.; Leonards, P.E.G.; Lamoree, M.H.; Lie, E.; Aars, J.; Derocher, A. E.; Wiig, O.; Jenssen, B.M.; Hamers, T.

    2013-01-01

    We determined the transthyretin (TTR)-binding activity of blood-accumulating contaminants in blood plasma samples of approximately 4-months-old polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs from Svalbard sampled in 1998 and 2008. The TTR-binding activity was measured as thyroxine (T4)-like equivalents (T4-EQ

  2. Circumpolar contaminant concentrations in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and potential population-level effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nuijten, R.J.M.; Hendriks, A.J.; Jenssen, B.M.; Schipper, A.M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) currently receive much attention in the context of global climate change. However, there are other stressors that might threaten the viability of polar bear populations as well, such as exposure to anthropogenic pollutants. Lipophilic organic compounds

  3. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in American Black Bears ( Ursus americanus ) of the Central Appalachians, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, John J; Murphy, Sean M; Augustine, Ben C; Guthrie, Joseph M; Hast, John T; Maehr, Sutton C; McDermott, Joseph

    2017-07-01

    We assessed Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in 53 free-ranging American black bears ( Ursus americanus ) in the Central Appalachian Mountains, US. Seroprevalence was 62% with no difference between males and females or between juvenile and adult bears. Wildlife agencies should consider warnings in hunter education programs to reduce the chances for human infection from this source.

  4. Prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in North Carolina Eastern Black Bears ( Ursus americanus ).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westmoreland, Lori S H; Stoskopf, Michael K; Maggi, Ricardo G

    2016-10-01

    We detected Anaplasma phagocytophilum by DNA amplification in whole blood from free-ranging, hunter-killed American black bears ( Ursus americanus ) from the east coast of North Carolina, US. Molecular prevalence for Anaplasma phagocytophilum was 3% from 68 black bears. No DNA of other Anaplasma or Ehrlichia spp. was identified.

  5. Is bone mineral composition disrupted by organochlorines in east Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Born, Erik W

    2004-01-01

    We analyzed bone mineral density (BMD) in skulls of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n = 139) from East Greenland sampled during 1892-2002. Our primary goal was to detect possible changes in bone mineral content (osteopenia) due to elevated exposure to organochlorine [polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs...

  6. A Late Pleistocene sea level stack

    OpenAIRE

    Spratt Rachel M; Lisiecki Lorraine E

    2016-01-01

    Late Pleistocene sea level has been reconstructed from ocean sediment core data using a wide variety of proxies and models. However, the accuracy of individual reconstructions is limited by measurement error, local variations in salinity and temperature, and assumptions particular to each technique. Here we present a sea level stack (average) which increases the signal-to-noise ratio of individual reconstructions. Specifically, we perform principal componen...

  7. Pleistocene vertebrates of the Yukon Territory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harington, C. R.

    2011-08-01

    Unglaciated parts of the Yukon constitute one of the most important areas in North America for yielding Pleistocene vertebrate fossils. Nearly 30 vertebrate faunal localities are reviewed spanning a period of about 1.6 Ma (million years ago) to the close of the Pleistocene some 10 000 BP (radiocarbon years before present, taken as 1950). The vertebrate fossils represent at least 8 species of fishes, 1 amphibian, 41 species of birds and 83 species of mammals. Dominant among the large mammals are: steppe bison ( Bison priscus), horse ( Equus sp.), woolly mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius), and caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) - signature species of the Mammoth Steppe fauna ( Fig. 1), which was widespread from the British Isles, through northern Europe, and Siberia to Alaska, Yukon and adjacent Northwest Territories. The Yukon faunas extend from Herschel Island in the north to Revenue Creek in the south and from the Alaskan border in the west to Ketza River in the east. The Yukon holds evidence of the earliest-known people in North America. Artifacts made from bison, mammoth and caribou bones from Bluefish Caves, Old Crow Basin and Dawson City areas show that people had a substantial knowledge of making and using bone tools at least by 25 000 BP, and possibly as early as 40 000 BP. A suggested chronological sequence of Yukon Pleistocene vertebrates ( Table 1) facilitates comparison of selected faunas and indicates the known duration of various taxa.

  8. Pollen analyses of Pleistocene hyaena coprolites from Montenegro and Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Argant Jacqueline

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The results of pollen analyses of hyaena coprolites from the Early Pleistocene cave of Trlica in northern Montenegro and the Late Pleistocene cave of Baranica in southeast Serbia are described. The Early Pleistocene Pachycrocuta brevirostris, and the Late Pleistocene Crocuta spelaea are coprolite-producing species. Although the pollen concentration was rather low, the presented analyses add considerably to the much-needed knowledge of the vegetation of the central Balkans during the Pleistocene. Pollen extracted from a coprolite from the Baranica cave indicates an open landscape with the presence of steppe taxa, which is in accordance with the recorded conditions and faunal remains. Pollen analysis of the Early Pleistocene samples from Trlica indicate fresh and temperate humid climatic conditions, as well as the co-existence of several biotopes which formed a mosaic landscape in the vicinity of the cave.

  9. First case of Trichodectes pinguis (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera: Trichodectidae) on a Bear (Ursus arctos) in Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dik, Bilal; Orunç Kılınç, Özlem

    2015-12-01

    This study was conducted to provide morphological characters of Trichodectes pinguis Burmeister, 1838 that was found on a European brown bear (Ursus arctos Linnaeus) that was found injured in the Van province, eastern Turkey. Three lice specimens were collected from the bear, and they were identified as T. pinguis. The morphological characteristics of this species were provided in this study. T. pinguis was reported for the first time in Turkey.

  10. A novel endogenous betaretrovirus group characterized from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

    OpenAIRE

    Mayer, Jens; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Heeger, Felix; Ávila-Arcos, Maria; Stenglein, Mark D.; Chen, Wei; Sun, Wei; Mazzoni, Camila; Osterrieder, Nikolaus; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2013-01-01

    Transcriptome analysis of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) yielded sequences with highest similarity to the human endogenous retrovirus group HERV-K(HML-2). Further analysis of the polar bear draft genome identified an endogenous betaretrovirus group comprising 26 proviral copies and 231 solo LTRs. Molecular dating indicates the group originated before the divergence of bears from a common ancestor but is not present in all carnivores. Closely related sequences were identified in the giant panda...

  11. Late Pleistocene dune activity in the central Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, J.A.; Swinehart, J.B.; Hanson, P.R.; Loope, D.B.; Goble, R.J.; Miao, X.; Schmeisser, R.L.

    2011-01-01

    Stabilized dunes of the central Great Plains, especially the megabarchans and large barchanoid ridges of the Nebraska Sand Hills, provide dramatic evidence of late Quaternary environmental change. Episodic Holocene dune activity in this region is now well-documented, but Late Pleistocene dune mobility has remained poorly documented, despite early interpretations of the Sand Hills dunes as Pleistocene relicts. New optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages from drill cores and outcrops provide evidence of Late Pleistocene dune activity at sites distributed across the central Great Plains. In addition, Late Pleistocene eolian sands deposited at 20-25 ka are interbedded with loess south of the Sand Hills. Several of the large dunes sampled in the Sand Hills clearly contain a substantial core of Late Pleistocene sand; thus, they had developed by the Late Pleistocene and were fully mobile at that time, although substantial sand deposition and extensive longitudinal dune construction occurred during the Holocene. Many of the Late Pleistocene OSL ages fall between 17 and 14 ka, but it is likely that these ages represent only the later part of a longer period of dune construction and migration. At several sites, significant Late Pleistocene or Holocene large-dune migration also probably occurred after the time represented by the Pleistocene OSL ages. Sedimentary structures in Late Pleistocene eolian sand and the forms of large dunes potentially constructed in the Late Pleistocene both indicate sand transport dominated by northerly to westerly winds, consistent with Late Pleistocene loess transport directions. Numerical modeling of the climate of the Last Glacial Maximum has often yielded mean monthly surface winds southwest of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that are consistent with this geologic evidence, despite strengthened anticyclonic circulation over the ice sheet. Mobility of large dunes during the Late Pleistocene on the central Great Plains may have been the result of

  12. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nohemi Sala

    Full Text Available Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin.

  13. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf M; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin.

  14. Pleistocene lake level changes in Western Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borodavko, P. S.

    2009-04-01

    Global cooling in the Early Pleistocene caused extensive continental glaciation in the northern hemisphere including the arid areas of Central Asia. The reduction of temperatures (particularly summer temperatures) reduced evaporation and strengthened the importance of precipitation. The simultaneity of "lakes periods" (pluvials) and stages of glaciation is established experience confirmed by investigations in the west of North America and Russia. In the Mongolian Great Lakes Depression new evidence for similar conditions is found. The Great Lakes Depression is one of the largest in Central Asia, and is divided into 2 main Lakes basins: Hyargas Lake Basin and Uvs Lake Basin. The basin is 600-650 km in length with a width of 200-250 km in the north and 60-100 km in the south. Total catchment area is about 186600 km2. The elevation of the basin floor is from 1700 m a.s.l. to 760 m a.s.l., decreasing to the north and south-east. The depression extends south-north and is bounded by mountains: Tannu-Ola to the north, Hangai to the east; Gobi Altai to the south and Mongolian Altay to the west. The maximum elevation of the mountains is 4000 m a.s.l. There are some mountains with an elevation between 2000 and 3000 m a.s.l in the lake catchment. These mountains are not glaciated today. The geological record [1] suggests the Great Lakes Depression already existed in the Mesozoic, but assumed its modern form only during the Pliocene-Quaternary when tectonic movements caused the uplift of the surrounding mountains. A phase of tectonic stability occurred during the Late Quaternary. The depression is filled by Quaternary fluvial, aeolian and lacustrine deposits (e.g. sand, pebbles). The Neogene deposits are represented by coloured clay, marl, sand and sandstone [1]. Hyargas Lake is the end base level of erosion of the lake group consisting of the Hara-Us Nur, Dorgon, Hara Nur and Airag lakes. Hyargas is one of the largest lakes in Mongolia, with a water surface of 1,407 km2. The

  15. On the Paleobiogeography of Pleistocenic Italian Mammals / Osservazioni sulla paleobiogeografia dei mammiferi del Pleistocene italiano

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Caloi

    1986-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In this paper the main Italian Pleistocene mammalofaunas are examined and a chronological sequence of the main deposits is proposed. Centers of spreading, times of first appearence in Italy and ranges through the peninsula of the more representative species are indicated, as far as possible. The insular faunas and the different degrees of endemism they show, are particularly discussed. Riassunto Vengono esaminate sinteticamente le principali faune a mammiferi del Pleistocene d'Italia e viene proposta una successione cronologica per i principali giacimenti. Per le specie più rappresentative vengono indicati, per quanto possibile, le aree di provenienza, il momento della comparsa e la loro diffusione nella penisola. Particolare attenzione viene posta alle forme insulari ed al loro carattere endemico.

  16. EVALUATION OF CARDIOLOGIC FUNCTIONS IN CAPTIVE EURASIAN BROWN BEARS (URSUS ARCTOS ARCTOS) IN TURKEY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cihan, Huseyin; Yilmaz, Zeki; Aytug, Nilufer

    2016-03-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the cardiac functions in healthy Eurasian brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) living in a seminatural area during their active season. Twelve clinically healthy brown bears were selected based on their normal physical examination, hematologic, and serum biochemistry results. These bears were divided into two groups based on age; subadult (bears. Notching of QRS complexes and peaked T wave were also observed in both groups. Left ventricular diameter at systole and diastole in adult bears was wider (P bears. Subadult bears had reduced aortic diameter compared to adult bears (P bears.

  17. Temporal Trends and Future Predictions of Mercury Concentrations in Northwest Greenland Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Hair

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, Rune; Born, E.W.; Riget, Frank Farsø

    2011-01-01

    -2008 concentrations ofHg in Northwest Greenland polar bear hair exceeded the general guideline values of 20-30 μg/g dry weight for terrestrial wildlife, whereas the neurochemical effect level of 5.4 μg Hg/g dry weight proposed for East Greenland polar bears was exceeded in 93.5% of the cases. These results call......Hair samples from 117 Northwest Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were taken during 1892-2008 and analyzed for total mercury (hereafterHg). The sample represented 28 independent years and the aim of the study was to analyze for temporal Hg trends. Mercury concentrations showed yearly...

  18. SURGICAL CORRECTION OF BILATERAL PATELLAR LUXATION IN AN AMERICAN BLACK BEAR CUB (URSUS AMERICANUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Katarina R; Desmarchelier, Marion R; Bailey, Trina R

    2015-06-01

    A wild orphaned male American black bear cub ( Ursus americanus ) presented with hind limb gait abnormalities and was found to have bilateral grade 3 laterally luxating patellas. There were no other significant abnormalities detected on neurologic, radiographic, or hematologic examinations. The trochlear grooves were deepened with a chondroplasty, and the redundant soft tissues imbricated. There was a marked improvement in the bear's gait postoperatively, with an apparent full return to function. To the authors' knowledge, patellar luxation has not been reported in the Ursidae family, and the success in this case suggests that this technique may be used in large wild or captive carnivore cubs.

  19. Studies on endoparasites of the black bear (Ursus americanus) in the southeastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crum, J M; Nettles, V F; Davidson, W R

    1978-04-01

    Examination of 53 black bears (Ursus americanus) from six states in the southeastern United States revealed at least 17 species of endoparasites, including Sarcocystis sp., Spirometra mansonoides (spargana), Macracanthorhynchus ingens, Ancylostoma caninum, Arthrocephalus lotoris, Baylisascaris transfuga, Capillaria aerophila, Capillaria putorii, Crenosoma sp., Cyathospirura sp., Dirofilaria immitis, Gnathostoma sp., Gongylonema pulchrum, microfilariae, Molineus barbatus, Physaloptera sp. and Strongyloides sp. Twelve of these represent new host records for black bear, and two are considered to be new species. Data are presented on prevalence, intensity and geographic distribution of each species. Pathologic effects were associated with infections of spargana of S. mansonoides and adults of C. aerophilia.

  20. Consumption of seeds of southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis) by Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattson, David J.; Arundel, Terry A.

    2013-01-01

    We report a discovery of black bears (Ursus americanus) consuming seeds of southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis) on north slopes of the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona, in high-elevation, mixed-species conifer forest. In one instance, a bear had obtained seeds from cones excavated from a larder horde made by a red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Consumption of seeds of southwestern white pine by bears had not been previously documented. This discovery adds to the number of species of pine used by bears for food as well as the geographic range within which the behavior occurs.

  1. Pleistocene Homo sapiens from Middle Awash, Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Tim D; Asfaw, Berhane; DeGusta, David; Gilbert, Henry; Richards, Gary D; Suwa, Gen; Howell, F Clark

    2003-06-12

    The origin of anatomically modern Homo sapiens and the fate of Neanderthals have been fundamental questions in human evolutionary studies for over a century. A key barrier to the resolution of these questions has been the lack of substantial and accurately dated African hominid fossils from between 100,000 and 300,000 years ago. Here we describe fossilized hominid crania from Herto, Middle Awash, Ethiopia, that fill this gap and provide crucial evidence on the location, timing and contextual circumstances of the emergence of Homo sapiens. Radioisotopically dated to between 160,000 and 154,000 years ago, these new fossils predate classic Neanderthals and lack their derived features. The Herto hominids are morphologically and chronologically intermediate between archaic African fossils and later anatomically modern Late Pleistocene humans. They therefore represent the probable immediate ancestors of anatomically modern humans. Their anatomy and antiquity constitute strong evidence of modern-human emergence in Africa.

  2. Mitochondrial genomes reveal an explosive radiation of extinct and extant bears near the Miocene-Pliocene boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Johannes; Unger, Tina; Noçon, Aline; Malaspinas, Anna-Sapfo; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis; Stiller, Mathias; Soibelzon, Leopoldo; Spriggs, Helen; Dear, Paul H; Briggs, Adrian W; Bray, Sarah C E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Rabeder, Gernot; Matheus, Paul; Cooper, Alan; Slatkin, Montgomery; Pääbo, Svante; Hofreiter, Michael

    2008-07-28

    Despite being one of the most studied families within the Carnivora, the phylogenetic relationships among the members of the bear family (Ursidae) have long remained unclear. Widely divergent topologies have been suggested based on various data sets and methods. We present a fully resolved phylogeny for ursids based on ten complete mitochondrial genome sequences from all eight living and two recently extinct bear species, the European cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) and the American giant short-faced bear (Arctodus simus). The mitogenomic data yield a well-resolved topology for ursids, with the sloth bear at the basal position within the genus Ursus. The sun bear is the sister taxon to both the American and Asian black bears, and this clade is the sister clade of cave bear, brown bear and polar bear confirming a recent study on bear mitochondrial genomes. Sequences from extinct bears represent the third and fourth Pleistocene species for which complete mitochondrial genomes have been sequenced. Moreover, the cave bear specimen demonstrates that mitogenomic studies can be applied to Pleistocene fossils that have not been preserved in permafrost, and therefore have a broad application within ancient DNA research. Molecular dating of the mtDNA divergence times suggests a rapid radiation of bears in both the Old and New Worlds around 5 million years ago, at the Miocene-Pliocene boundary. This coincides with major global changes, such as the Messinian crisis and the first opening of the Bering Strait, and suggests a global influence of such events on species radiations.

  3. Biometrische Untersuchungen des Stylopodiums, Zygopodiums und Metapodiums pleistozäner Ursiden im Hinblick auf die Evolution des Höhlenbären und die Klassifizierung des Fundmaterials Einhornhöhle / Harz

    OpenAIRE

    Athen, Kerstin Anja

    2007-01-01

    In der vorliegenden Dissertation "Biometrische Untersuchungen des Stylopodiums, Zygopodiums und Metapodiums pleistozäner Ursiden im Hinblick auf die Evolution des Höhlenbären und die Klassifizierung des Fundmaterials Einhornhöhle / Harz" wurden Daten des oberpliozänen Ursus etruscus, des pleistozänen Ursus deningeri sowie des Ursus spelaeus ausgewertet. Zur Datenerhebung wurden 249 Messgrößen an den Skelettelementen Humerus, Ulna, Radius, Metacarpalia I-V, Femur, Tibia, Fibula und Metatarsali...

  4. Acute Chagas' cardiopathy in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus in Guadalajara, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Jaime-Andrade G.

    1997-08-01

    Full Text Available We report a 24 year old female polar bear (Ursus maritimus who contracted Chagas' infection at the Guadalajara Zoo, in Jalisco, México, and died of acute Chagas' carditis 15 days later. The histopathological findings are described, as well as the presence of triatomines (Triatoma longipennis Usinger infected with Trypanosoma cruzi collected within 5 meters from the place where the animal lived in the city of Guadalajara.Relatamos o caso de uma ursa polar (Ursus maritimus de 24 anos de idade, que contraiu a infecção chagásica no Zoológico de Guadalajara, em Jalisco, no México, e morreu de cardite chagásica aguda 15 dias após o início da sintomatologia. Os achados histopatológicos são descritos, bem como a presença de triatomíneos (Triatoma longipennis Usinger infectados por Trypanosoma cruzi coletados a 5 metros do local onde o animal vivia, na cidade de Guadalajara.

  5. Could brown bears (Ursus arctos) have survived in Ireland during the Last Glacial Maximum?

    OpenAIRE

    Leonard, Saoirse A.; Risley, Claire L.; Turvey, Samuel T.

    2013-01-01

    Brown bears are recorded from Ireland during both the Late Pleistocene and early?mid Holocene. Although most of the Irish landmass was covered by an ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), Irish brown bears are known to have hybridized with polar bears during the Late Pleistocene, and it is suggested that the Irish brown bear population did not become extinct but instead persisted in situ through the LGM in a southwestern ice-free refugium. We use historical population modelling to d...

  6. Zonation of uplifted pleistocene coral reefs on barbados, west indies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesolella, K J

    1967-05-05

    The coral species composition of uplifted Pleistocene reefs on Barbados is very similar to Recent West Indian reefs. Acropora palmata, Acropora cervicornis, and Montastrea annularis are qtuantitatively the most important of the coral species.

  7. Plio-Pleistocene Hyracoidea from Swartkrans Cave, South Africa

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    the decline in relative abundance and ultimate extinction of this species towards the end of the Pleistocene. Predators can ..... There is no reason to discount the possibility that leopards .... animal bones from archacologicaJ sites. Peabody Mus ...

  8. Arterial supply and venous drainage of the brain of the black bear (Ursus americanus). I.Gross anatomical distribution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anderson, W.D.; Anderson, B.G.; Seguin, R.J.

    1989-01-01

    A morphological study of the intracranial vessels of the Black bear (Ursus americanus) was undertaken. The object was to provide basic information related to the vascular pattern in these animals as compared with other carnivores and with the human. Vascular casts were prepared from 6 animals. The

  9. Arterial supply and venous drainage of the brain of the black bear (Ursus americanus). II.Intracranial microvasculature

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anderson, B.G.; Anderson, W.D.; Seguin, R.J.

    1989-01-01

    A morphological study of the intracranial microvasculature of the Black bear (Ursus americanus) using vascular casts was undertaken. The object was to provide basic information regarding structural modifications of the microvasculature that might provide insight into the ability to cope with low

  10. Trichinella Surveillance in Black Bears ( Ursus americanus ) from the Dehcho Region, Northwest Territories, Canada, 2002-15.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larter, Nicholas C; Elkin, Brett T; Forbes, Lorry B; Wagner, Brent; Allaire, Danny G

    2017-04-01

    We used muscle digestion to test black bears ( Ursus americanus ) from the southwestern Northwest Territories, Canada, for Trichinella. Results showed a prevalence of 4.1%. Some bears had infection intensities of more than one larva per gram of muscle tissue; this level in meat is considered to pose a human consumption safety risk.

  11. Isolation and characterization of new genetic types of toxoplasma gondii and prevalence of trichinella murrelli from black bear (Ursus americanus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black bears (Ursus americanus) are hosts for two important zoonotic parasites, Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella spp. and bears are hunted for human consumption in the USA. Little is known of the genetic diversity of T. gondii circulating in wildlife. In the present study, antibodies to T. gondii we...

  12. Pleistocene megafaunal interaction networks became more vulnerable after human arrival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, Mathias M; Koch, Paul L; Fariña, Richard A; de Aguiar, Marcus A M; dos Reis, Sérgio F; Guimarães, Paulo R

    2015-09-07

    The end of the Pleistocene was marked by the extinction of almost all large land mammals worldwide except in Africa. Although the debate on Pleistocene extinctions has focused on the roles of climate change and humans, the impact of perturbations depends on properties of ecological communities, such as species composition and the organization of ecological interactions. Here, we combined palaeoecological and ecological data, food-web models and community stability analysis to investigate if differences between Pleistocene and modern mammalian assemblages help us understand why the megafauna died out in the Americas while persisting in Africa. We show Pleistocene and modern assemblages share similar network topology, but differences in richness and body size distributions made Pleistocene communities significantly more vulnerable to the effects of human arrival. The structural changes promoted by humans in Pleistocene networks would have increased the likelihood of unstable dynamics, which may favour extinction cascades in communities facing extrinsic perturbations. Our findings suggest that the basic aspects of the organization of ecological communities may have played an important role in major extinction events in the past. Knowledge of community-level properties and their consequences to dynamics may be critical to understand past and future extinctions. © 2015 The Author(s).

  13. Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubert, M; Brumm, A; Ramli, M; Sutikna, T; Saptomo, E W; Hakim, B; Morwood, M J; van den Bergh, G D; Kinsley, L; Dosseto, A

    2014-10-09

    Archaeologists have long been puzzled by the appearance in Europe ∼40-35 thousand years (kyr) ago of a rich corpus of sophisticated artworks, including parietal art (that is, paintings, drawings and engravings on immobile rock surfaces) and portable art (for example, carved figurines), and the absence or scarcity of equivalent, well-dated evidence elsewhere, especially along early human migration routes in South Asia and the Far East, including Wallacea and Australia, where modern humans (Homo sapiens) were established by 50 kyr ago. Here, using uranium-series dating of coralloid speleothems directly associated with 12 human hand stencils and two figurative animal depictions from seven cave sites in the Maros karsts of Sulawesi, we show that rock art traditions on this Indonesian island are at least compatible in age with the oldest European art. The earliest dated image from Maros, with a minimum age of 39.9 kyr, is now the oldest known hand stencil in the world. In addition, a painting of a babirusa ('pig-deer') made at least 35.4 kyr ago is among the earliest dated figurative depictions worldwide, if not the earliest one. Among the implications, it can now be demonstrated that humans were producing rock art by ∼40 kyr ago at opposite ends of the Pleistocene Eurasian world.

  14. In vitro assay shows that PCB metabolites completely saturate thyroid hormone transport capacity in blood of wild polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutleb, A.C.; Cenijn, P.H.; van Velzen, P.; Lie, E.; Ropstad, E.; Skaare, J.U.; Malmberg, T.; Bergman, A.; Gabrielsen, G. W.; Legler, J.

    2010-01-01

    Persistent chemicals accumulate in the arctic environment due to their chemical reactivity and physicochemical properties and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are the most concentrated pollutant class in polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Metabolism of PCB and polybrominated biphenyl ether (PBDE)

  15. Activity patterns of brown bears (Ursus arctos on the Deosai Plateau, northern Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Nawaz

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Ondersoek is ingestel na die daaglikse aktiwiteite van Himalaja-bruinbere (Ursus arctos in die Deosai Nasionale Park, noordelike Pakistan, oor ’n tydperk van vier jaar (1993 – 1995 en 1999. Bere spandeer die grootste gedeelte van die dag aan voeding, gevolg deur beweging. Rus en ander aktiwiteite gekombineerd vorm ’n wesentlike gedeelte van die daaglikse program. Geen betekenisvolle verskil in die daaglikse tydsbegroting kon tussen manlike en vroulike individue aangetoon word nie, maar onvolwassenes beweeg beduidend meer rond as beide volwassenes of jong beertjies en eenjariges. Afwykende aktiwiteitspatrone wat gedurende die somer van 1999 opgemerk is, kan aan menslike versteuring wat deur die Kargil-oorlog tussen Indië en Pakistan teweeggebring is, toegeskryf word.

  16. Size and density of East Greenland polar bear (Ursus maritimus) skulls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Bechshoft, Thea Ø.; Rigét, Frank F.

    2013-01-01

    density (BMD) in 87 East Greenland male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled in the time period of 1892-2010. The purpose of the study was to investigate if these measures are potential candidates as indicators for stress associated with climate change and long-range transported toxic industrial...... of the limited sample size in period 2 and lower mean age in period 4. Therefore, precautions should be taken towards a final conclusion on BMD and CBL as bioindicators for climate oscillations and exposure to toxic environmental chemicals. It is recommended that the sampling and archiving of East Greenland...... chemicals. The analyses showed that both BMD and CBL in polar bears sampled in period 4 (1999-2010, n = 57) were significantly lower when compared with period 2 (1920-1936, n = 19) (both p

  17. Exertional myopathy in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) captured by leghold snare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattet, Marc; Stenhouse, Gordon; Bollinger, Trent

    2008-10-01

    We diagnosed exertional myopathy (EM) in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) that died approximately 10 days after capture by leghold snare in west-central Alberta, Canada, in June 2003. The diagnosis was based on history, post-capture movement data, gross necropsy, histopathology, and serum enzyme levels. We were unable to determine whether EM was the primary cause of death because autolysis precluded accurate evaluation of all tissues. Nevertheless, comparison of serum aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase concentrations and survival between the affected bear and other grizzly bears captured by leghold snare in the same research project suggests EM also occurred in other bears, but that it is not generally a cause of mortality. We propose, however, occurrence of nonfatal EM in grizzly bears after capture by leghold snare has potential implications for use of this capture method, including negative effects on wildlife welfare and research data.

  18. Femoral fracture repair using a locking plate technique in an adult captive polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Dawn M; Dew, Terry; Douglass, Michael; Perez, Edward

    2010-02-01

    To report successful femoral fracture repair in a polar bear. Case report. Female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) 5 years and approximately 250 kg. A closed, complete, comminuted fracture of the distal midshaft femur was successfully reduced and stabilized using a compression plating technique with 2 specialized human femur plates offering axial, rotational, and bending support, and allowing the bone to share loads with the implant. Postoperative radiographs were obtained at 11.5 weeks, 11 months, and 24 months. Bone healing characterized by marked periosteal reaction was evident at 11 months with extensive remodeling evident at 24 months. No complications were noted. Distal mid shaft femoral fracture was reduced, stabilized, and healed in an adult polar bear with a locking plate technique using 2 plates. Previously, femoral fractures in polar bears were considered irreparable. Use of 2 plates applied with a locking plate technique can result in successful fracture repair despite large body weight and inability to restrict postoperative activity.

  19. Enlarged clitoris in wild polar bears (Ursus maritimus) can be misdiagnosed as pseudohermaphroditism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, C.; Leifsson, Páll Skuli; Dietz, R.

    2005-01-01

    A 23-year-old female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) killed in an Inuit hunt in East Greenland on July 9, 1999 had a significantly enlarged clitoris resembling, in size, form and colour, those of previously reported 'pseudohermaphroditic' polar bears from Svalbard. It has been suggested that an enzyme...... and internal reproductive organs of the present were similar to a reference group of 23 normal adult female polar bears from East Greenland collected in 1999-2002. The aberrant bear was a female genotype, and macroscopic examination of her internal reproductive organs indicated that she was reproductively....... It is hence possible that the previously reported adult female polar bear pseudohermaphrodites from Svalbard are in fact misdiagnoses. Therefore, future studies examining pseudohermaphroditism in wildlife should consider that certain occurrences are natural events, e.g., enlarged clitoris in the present East...

  20. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii from free-ranging black bears ( Ursus americanus ) from Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, D L; Ulrey, W A; Guthrie, J M; Kwok, O C H; Cox, J J; Maehr, D S; Dubey, J P

    2012-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a significant worldwide parasitic protozoan. In the present study, prevalence of antibodies of T. gondii was examined from 29 free-ranging black bears ( Ursus americanus ) from south-central Florida where the host species was listed as state threatened during this project. Overall T. gondii prevalence was found to be 44.8%, specifically 46.2% in male and 43.8% in female U. americanus , using a modified agglutination test (1:25 titer). Seroprevalence differences between sexes were not significant (P > 0.05). Results of the present study add supportive data to the growing body of evidence suggesting that U. americanus has one of the highest T. gondii seroprevalences among all known intermediate hosts. In addition, our data emphasize the importance of understanding parasitic disease dynamics from a conservation perspective.

  1. A novel endogenous betaretrovirus group characterized from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayer, Jens; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Heeger, Felix

    2013-01-01

    . Molecular dating indicates the group originated before the divergence of bears from a common ancestor but is not present in all carnivores. Closely related sequences were identified in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and characterized from its genome. We have designated the polar bear and giant...... panda sequences U. maritimus endogenous retrovirus (UmaERV) and A. melanoleuca endogenous retrovirus (AmeERV), respectively. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the bear virus group is nested within the HERV-K supergroup among bovine and bat endogenous retroviruses suggesting a complex evolutionary......Transcriptome analysis of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) yielded sequences with highest similarity to the human endogenous retrovirus group HERV-K(HML-2). Further analysis of the polar bear draft genome identified an endogenous betaretrovirus group comprising 26 proviral copies and 231 solo LTRs...

  2. Chewing lice Trichodectes pinguis pinguis in Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Núria Fandos Esteruelas

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In April 2014 and 2015, we noted localized alopecia (neck, forelimbs, and chest and hyperpigmentation on two adult brown bears (Ursus arctos captured in central-south Sweden for ecological studies under the Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project. In spring 2015, a brown bear was shot because of human-wildlife conflict in the same region. This bear also had extensive alopecia and hyperpigmentation. Ectoparasites were collected from the affected skin areas in all three individuals and preserved in ethanol for identification. Based on morphological characteristics, the lice were identified as Trichodectes spp. and Trichodectes pinguis pinguis. To our knowledge, these are the first reported cases of chewing lice in free-ranging brown bears in Scandinavia.

  3. Population viability and connectivity of the Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laufenberg, Jared S.; Clark, Joseph D.

    2014-01-01

    In 1992, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) granted Ursus americanus luteolus (Louisiana black bear) threatened status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973, listing loss and fragmentation of habitat as the primary threats. A study was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the University of Tennessee, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the USFWS to estimate demographic rates and genetic structure of Louisiana black bear populations; evaluate relations between environmental and anthropogenic factors and demographic, genetic, and movement characteristics of Louisiana black bear populations; and develop data-driven stochastic population projection models to assess long-term persistence of individual subpopulations and the overall black bear population in Louisiana.

  4. Factors influencing annual fecal testosterone metabolite profiles in captive male polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, E; Roth, T L; MacKinnon, K M; Stoops, M A

    2012-12-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the effects of season, breeding activity, age and latitude on fecal testosterone metabolite concentrations in captive, adult male polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Fourteen polar bears from 13 North American zoos were monitored for 12-36 months, producing 25-year-long testosterone profiles. Results indicated that testosterone was significantly higher during the breeding season (early January through the end of May) compared with the non-breeding season with the highest concentrations excreted from early January through late March. Variations in excretion patterns were observed among individuals and also between years within an individual, with testosterone peaks closely associated with breeding activity. Results indicate that fecal testosterone concentrations are influenced by season, breeding activity and age, but not by latitude. This is the first report describing longitudinal fecal testosterone metabolite concentrations in individual adult male polar bears. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  5. A retrospective study of end-stage renal disease in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaDouceur, Elise E B; Davis, Barbara; Tseng, Flo

    2014-03-01

    This retrospective study summarizes 11 cases of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from eight zoologic institutions across the United States and Canada. Ten bears were female, one was male, and the mean age at the time of death was 24 yr old. The most common clinical signs were lethargy, inappetence, and polyuria-polydipsia. Biochemical findings included azotemia, anemia, hyperphosphatemia, and isosthenuria. Histologic examination commonly showed glomerulonephropathies and interstitial fibrosis. Based on submissions to a private diagnostic institution over a 16-yr period, ESRD was the most commonly diagnosed cause of death or euthanasia in captive polar bears in the United States, with an estimated prevalence of over 20%. Further research is needed to discern the etiology of this apparently common disease of captive polar bears.

  6. Application of brown bear (Ursus arctos) records for retrospective assessment of mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solgi, Eisa; Ghasempouri, Seyed Mahmoud

    2015-01-01

    Because mercury (Hg) is released into the atmosphere, wildlife living in habitats located far from point sources of metal may still be at risk. Mercury accumulation, previously considered a risk for aquatic ecosystems, is also found in many wildlife terrestrial species. The aim of the present study was to examine total Hg concentrations in the brown bear (Ursus arctos) by measurement of metal in hair from museum collections in Iran. Another objective of this investigation was to characterize the risk of Hg exposure in bears in several parts of Iran. Brown bear (Ursus arctos) hair samples (n = 35) were collected from 14 provinces in Iran for analysis of Hg contamination, performed using an advanced mercury analyzer (model Leco 254 AMA, USA) according to ASTM standard D-6722. Total Hg levels in Iranian bears from all areas ranged from 115.81 to 505.82 μg/kg, with a mean of 193.39 ng/g. Mercury concentrations in brown bear hair from different provinces in Iran were as follows in descending order: Khorasan Razavi > Esfahan > Khozestan > Yazd > Lorestan > Charmahalva Bakhtiari > Bushehr > Mazandaran > Markazi > Tehran > Ardebil > Gilan > East Azerbaijan. The highest content of Hg was found in the south (206.62 ± 31.95 ng/g), whereas the lowest levels were detected in the west (167.71 ± 32.97 ng/g). Overall total Hg content in bear hair was below harmful levels for this species. A decreasing trend was noted in the period 1986-2006, which may be mainly due to reduction of global Hg emissions. Data suggest that food habits and habitat are two important factors that influence Hg accumulation in bears.

  7. Transient nature of late Pleistocene climate variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowley, Thomas J; Hyde, William T

    2008-11-13

    Climate in the early Pleistocene varied with a period of 41 kyr and was related to variations in Earth's obliquity. About 900 kyr ago, variability increased and oscillated primarily at a period of approximately 100 kyr, suggesting that the link was then with the eccentricity of Earth's orbit. This transition has often been attributed to a nonlinear response to small changes in external boundary conditions. Here we propose that increasing variablility within the past million years may indicate that the climate system was approaching a second climate bifurcation point, after which it would transition again to a new stable state characterized by permanent mid-latitude Northern Hemisphere glaciation. From this perspective the past million years can be viewed as a transient interval in the evolution of Earth's climate. We support our hypothesis using a coupled energy-balance/ice-sheet model, which furthermore predicts that the future transition would involve a large expansion of the Eurasian ice sheet. The process responsible for the abrupt change seems to be the albedo discontinuity at the snow-ice edge. The best-fit model run, which explains almost 60% of the variance in global ice volume during the past 400 kyr, predicts a rapid transition in the geologically near future to the proposed glacial state. Should it be attained, this state would be more 'symmetric' than the present climate, with comparable areas of ice/sea-ice cover in each hemisphere, and would represent the culmination of 50 million years of evolution from bipolar nonglacial climates to bipolar glacial climates.

  8. Could brown bears (Ursus arctos) have survived in Ireland during the Last Glacial Maximum?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Saoirse A; Risley, Claire L; Turvey, Samuel T

    2013-08-23

    Brown bears are recorded from Ireland during both the Late Pleistocene and early-mid Holocene. Although most of the Irish landmass was covered by an ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), Irish brown bears are known to have hybridized with polar bears during the Late Pleistocene, and it is suggested that the Irish brown bear population did not become extinct but instead persisted in situ through the LGM in a southwestern ice-free refugium. We use historical population modelling to demonstrate that brown bears are highly unlikely to have survived through the LGM in Ireland under any combination of life-history parameters shown by living bear populations, but instead would have rapidly become extinct following advance of the British-Irish ice sheet, and probably recolonized Ireland during the end-Pleistocene Woodgrange Interstadial from a closely related nearby source population. The time available for brown bear-polar bear hybridization was therefore restricted to narrow periods at the beginning or end of the LGM. Brown bears would have been extremely vulnerable to extinction in Quaternary habitat refugia and required areas substantially larger than southwestern Ireland to survive adverse glacial conditions.

  9. Identifying and managing an adverse food reaction in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus) by an elimination diet trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monson, Sara; Minter, Larry J; Krouse, Marissa; De Voe, Ryan S

    2014-06-01

    A 16-yr-old polar bear (Ursus maritimus) presented with severe diarrhea shortly following transfer to the North Carolina Zoological Park. Multiple diagnostic procedures were performed over several months and the cause of the chronic diarrhea was inconclusive. Histologically, colonic mucosal biopsies were consistent with severe chronic eosinophilic and lymphoplasmacytic colitis with no evidence of etiologic agents present. A dietary elimination trial was conducted and an adverse food reaction to the dog chow in the diet was confirmed.

  10. Late Middle Pleistocene hominin teeth from Panxian Dadong, South China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wu; Schepartz, Lynne A; Xing, Song; Miller-Antonio, Sari; Wu, Xiujie; Trinkaus, Erik; Martinón-Torres, María

    2013-05-01

    The hominin teeth and evidence of hominin activities recovered from 1991 to 2005 at the Panxian Dadong site in South China are dated to the late Middle Pleistocene (MIS 8-6 or ca. 130-300 ka), a period for which very little is known about the morphology of Asian populations. The present study provides the first detailed morphometric description and comparisons of four hominin teeth (I(1), C1, P(3) and P3) from this site. Our study shows that the Panxian Dadong teeth combine archaic and derived features that align them with Middle and Upper Pleistocene fossils from East and West Asia and Europe. These teeth do not display any typical Neanderthal features and they are generally more derived than other contemporaneous populations from Asia and Africa. However, the derived traits are not diagnostic enough to specifically link the Panxian Dadong teeth to Homo sapiens, a common problem when analyzing the Middle Pleistocene dental record from Africa and Asia. These findings are contextualized in the discussion of the evolutionary course of Asian Middle Pleistocene hominins, and they highlight the necessity of incorporating the Asian fossil record in the still open debate about the origin of H. sapiens. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. High population connectivity and Pleistocene range expansion in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nuclear markers (ATPSα, ATPSβ, ANT, SRPS4, TBP, LTRS and ZMP) showed no sequence variation. Bullia rhodostoma exhibited shallow ... from these refugial regions. Keywords: cytochrome oxidase I, demographic history, Pleistocene climatic changes, population genetic structure, sandy beach ecosystems, sea level ...

  12. The role of ice sheets in the pleistocene climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1991-01-01

    Northern hemisphere ice sheets have played an important role in the climatic evolution of the Pleistocene. The characteristic time-scale of icesheet growth has the same order-of-magnitude as that for the orbital insolation variations. The interaction with the solid earth, the importance of the

  13. Significance of Two New Pleistocene Plant Records from Western Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Michael H.; Velichkevich, Felix Y.; Andrieu-Ponel, Valerie; Woltz, Phillipe

    2000-09-01

    The first records of extinct Caulinia goretskyi (Dorofeev) Dorofeev (synonym Najas goretskyi Dorofeev) in western Europe and of Potamogeton occidentalis M.H. Field sp. nov. were obtained from plant macrofossil analyses of Middle Pleistocene temperate stage deposits exposed at Trez Rouz, Brittany, France. Palynological assemblages recovered suggest correlation with the Holsteinian Stage. This discovery greatly expands the western limit of the paleogeographical distribution of Caulinia goretskyi. The record of Potamogeton occidentalis indicates an affinity with the eastern Asiatic flora, as the fruits resemble those of the extant Potamogeton maackianus A. Bennett. Other extinct Pleistocene species related to P. maackianus have been described, and it is possible to follow the development of this group through the Pleistocene in the European fossil record. These new finds illustrate the importance of a complete paleobotanical approach (both plant macrofossil and palynological analyses). The plant macrofossil assemblages not only provide detailed insight into local vegetation and environment, because they are often not transported long distances (in temperate areas) and can frequently be identified to species level; they can also offer the opportunity to investigate Pleistocene evolutionary trends.

  14. MHC class II DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear, Ursus thibetanus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasukochi, Yoshiki; Kurosaki, Toshifumi; Yoneda, Masaaki; Koike, Hiroko; Satta, Yoko

    2012-11-29

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are one of the most important genetic systems in the vertebrate immune response. The diversity of MHC genes may directly influence the survival of individuals against infectious disease. However, there has been no investigation of MHC diversity in the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus). Here, we analyzed 270-bp nucleotide sequences of the entire exon 2 region of the MHC DQB gene by using 188 samples from the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) from 12 local populations. Among 185 of 188 samples, we identified 44 MHC variants that encoded 31 different amino acid sequences (allotypes) and one putative pseudogene. The phylogenetic analysis suggests that MHC variants detected from the Japanese black bear are derived from the DQB locus. One of the 31 DQB allotypes, Urth-DQB*01, was found to be common to all local populations. Moreover, this allotype was shared between the black bear on the Asian continent and the Japanese black bear, suggesting that Urth-DQB*01 might have been maintained in the ancestral black bear population for at least 300,000 years. Our findings, from calculating the ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions, indicate that balancing selection has maintained genetic variation of peptide-binding residues at the DQB locus of the Japanese black bear. From examination of genotype frequencies among local populations, we observed a considerably lower level of observed heterozygosity than expected. The low level of observed heterozygosity suggests that genetic drift reduced DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear due to a bottleneck event at the population or species level. The decline of DQB diversity might have been accelerated by the loss of rare variants that have been maintained by negative frequency-dependent selection. Nevertheless, DQB diversity of the black bear appears to be relatively high compared with some other endangered mammalian species. This result suggests that

  15. MHC class II DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear, Ursus thibetanus japonicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are one of the most important genetic systems in the vertebrate immune response. The diversity of MHC genes may directly influence the survival of individuals against infectious disease. However, there has been no investigation of MHC diversity in the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus). Here, we analyzed 270-bp nucleotide sequences of the entire exon 2 region of the MHC DQB gene by using 188 samples from the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) from 12 local populations. Results Among 185 of 188 samples, we identified 44 MHC variants that encoded 31 different amino acid sequences (allotypes) and one putative pseudogene. The phylogenetic analysis suggests that MHC variants detected from the Japanese black bear are derived from the DQB locus. One of the 31 DQB allotypes, Urth-DQB*01, was found to be common to all local populations. Moreover, this allotype was shared between the black bear on the Asian continent and the Japanese black bear, suggesting that Urth-DQB*01 might have been maintained in the ancestral black bear population for at least 300,000 years. Our findings, from calculating the ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions, indicate that balancing selection has maintained genetic variation of peptide-binding residues at the DQB locus of the Japanese black bear. From examination of genotype frequencies among local populations, we observed a considerably lower level of observed heterozygosity than expected. Conclusions The low level of observed heterozygosity suggests that genetic drift reduced DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear due to a bottleneck event at the population or species level. The decline of DQB diversity might have been accelerated by the loss of rare variants that have been maintained by negative frequency-dependent selection. Nevertheless, DQB diversity of the black bear appears to be relatively high compared with some other endangered mammalian

  16. MHC class II DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear, Ursus thibetanus japonicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasukochi Yoshiki

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The major histocompatibility complex (MHC genes are one of the most important genetic systems in the vertebrate immune response. The diversity of MHC genes may directly influence the survival of individuals against infectious disease. However, there has been no investigation of MHC diversity in the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus. Here, we analyzed 270-bp nucleotide sequences of the entire exon 2 region of the MHC DQB gene by using 188 samples from the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus from 12 local populations. Results Among 185 of 188 samples, we identified 44 MHC variants that encoded 31 different amino acid sequences (allotypes and one putative pseudogene. The phylogenetic analysis suggests that MHC variants detected from the Japanese black bear are derived from the DQB locus. One of the 31 DQB allotypes, Urth-DQB*01, was found to be common to all local populations. Moreover, this allotype was shared between the black bear on the Asian continent and the Japanese black bear, suggesting that Urth-DQB*01 might have been maintained in the ancestral black bear population for at least 300,000 years. Our findings, from calculating the ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions, indicate that balancing selection has maintained genetic variation of peptide-binding residues at the DQB locus of the Japanese black bear. From examination of genotype frequencies among local populations, we observed a considerably lower level of observed heterozygosity than expected. Conclusions The low level of observed heterozygosity suggests that genetic drift reduced DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear due to a bottleneck event at the population or species level. The decline of DQB diversity might have been accelerated by the loss of rare variants that have been maintained by negative frequency-dependent selection. Nevertheless, DQB diversity of the black bear appears to be relatively high compared with some other

  17. A Pleistocene coastal alluvial fan complex produced by Middle Pleistocene glacio-fluvial processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamson, Kathryn; Woodward, Jamie; Hughes, Philip; Giglio, Federico; Del Bianco, Fabrizio

    2014-05-01

    A coarse-grained alluvial fan sequence at Lipci, Kotor Bay, in western Montenegro, provides a sedimentary record of meltwater streams draining from the Orjen Massif (1,894 m a.s.l.) to the coastal zone. At Lipci sedimentary evidence and U-series ages have been used alongside offshore bathymetric imagery and seismic profiles to establish the size of the fan and constrain the nature and timing of its formation. Establishing the depositional history of such coastal fans is important for our understanding of cold stage sediment flux from glaciated uplands to the offshore zone, and for exploring the impact of sea level change on fan reworking. There is evidence of at least four phases of Pleistocene glaciation on the Orjen massif, which have been U-series dated and correlated to MIS 12, MIS 6, MIS 5d-2 and the Younger Dryas. A series of meltwater channels delivered large volumes of coarse- and fine-grained limestone sediment from the glaciated uplands into the Bay of Kotor. At the southern margin of the Orjen massif, a series of large (>700 m long) alluvial fans has developed. Some of these extend offshore for up to 600 m. Lipci fan lies downstream of end moraines in the valley immediately above, which were formed by an extensive outlet glacier of the Orjen ice cap during MIS 12. The terrestrial deposits are part of the fan apex (50 m a.s.l.) that lies at the foot of a steep bedrock channel, but the majority of the fan is now more than 25 m below sea level. The terrestrial fan sediments are strongly cemented by multiple generations of calcite precipitates: the oldest U-series ages are infinite indicating that the fan is >350 ka in age. These ages are in agreement with alluvial sedimentary evidence and U-series ages from other fluvial units on Mount Orjen. The terrestrial portion of the Lipci fan surface contains several channels. These are well preserved due to cementation with calcium carbonate. Submarine imagery indicates that the now submerged portion of the fan also

  18. De novo SNP discovery in the Scandinavian brown bear (Ursus arctos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita J Norman

    Full Text Available Information about relatedness between individuals in wild populations is advantageous when studying evolutionary, behavioural and ecological processes. Genomic data can be used to determine relatedness between individuals either when no prior knowledge exists or to confirm suspected relatedness. Here we present a set of 96 SNPs suitable for inferring relatedness for brown bears (Ursus arctos within Scandinavia. We sequenced reduced representation libraries from nine individuals throughout the geographic range. With consensus reads containing putative SNPs, we applied strict filtering criteria with the aim of finding only high-quality, highly-informative SNPs. We tested 150 putative SNPs of which 96% were validated on a panel of 68 individuals. Ninety-six of the validated SNPs with the highest minor allele frequency were selected. The final SNP panel includes four mitochondrial markers, two monomorphic Y-chromosome sex-determination markers, three X-chromosome SNPs and 87 autosomal SNPs. From our validation sample panel, we identified two previously known parent-offspring dyads with reasonable accuracy. This panel of SNPs is a promising tool for inferring relatedness in the brown bear population in Scandinavia.

  19. Establishing a definition of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health: A guide to research and management activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patyk, Kelly A.; Duncan, Colleen G.; Nol, Pauline; Sonne, C.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Wiig, Øystein; Aars, Jon; Regehr, Eric V.; Gustafson, L.; Atwood, Todd C.

    2015-01-01

    The meaning of health for wildlife and perspectives on how to assess and measure health, are not well characterized. For wildlife at risk, such as some polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulations, establishing comprehensive monitoring programs that include health status is an emerging need. Environmental changes, especially loss of sea ice habitat, have raised concern about polar bear health. Effective and consistent monitoring of polar bear health requires an unambiguous definition of health. We used the Delphi method of soliciting and interpreting expert knowledge to propose a working definition of polar bear health and to identify current concerns regarding health, challenges in measuring health, and important metrics for monitoring health. The expert opinion elicited through the exercise agreed that polar bear health is defined by characteristics and knowledge at the individual, population, and ecosystem level. The most important threats identified were in decreasing order: climate change, increased nutritional stress, chronic physiological stress, harvest management, increased exposure to contaminants, increased frequency of human interaction, diseases and parasites, and increased exposure to competitors. Fifteen metrics were identified to monitor polar bear health. Of these, indicators of body condition, disease and parasite exposure, contaminant exposure, and reproductive success were ranked as most important. We suggest that a cumulative effects approach to research and monitoring will improve the ability to assess the biological, ecological, and social determinants of polar bear health and provide measurable objectives for conservation goals and priorities and to evaluate progress.

  20. Serosurvey for selected pathogens in free-ranging American black bears (Ursus americanus) in Maryland, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronson, Ellen; Spiker, Harry; Driscoll, Cindy P

    2014-10-01

    American black bears (Ursus americanus) in Maryland, USA, live in forested areas in close proximity to humans and their domestic pets. From 1999 to 2011, we collected 84 serum samples from 63 black bears (18 males; 45 females) in five Maryland counties and tested them for exposure to infectious, including zoonotic, pathogens. A large portion of the bears had antibody to canine distemper virus and Toxoplasma gondii, many at high titers. Prevalences of antibodies to zoonotic agents such as rabies virus and to infectious agents of carnivores including canine adenovirus and canine parvovirus were lower. Bears also had antibodies to vector-borne pathogens common to bears and humans such as West Nile virus, Borrelia burgdorferi, Rickettsia rickettsii, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Antibodies were detected to Leptospira interrogans serovars Pomona, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Canicola, Grippotyphosa, and Bratislava. We did not detect antibodies to Brucella canis or Ehrlichia canis. Although this population of Maryland black bears demonstrated exposure to multiple pathogens of concern for humans and domesticated animals, the low levels of clinical disease in this and other free-ranging black bear populations indicate the black bear is likely a spillover host for the majority of pathogens studied. Nevertheless, bear populations living at the human-domestic-wildlife interface with increasing human and domestic animal exposure should continue to be monitored because this population likely serves as a useful sentinel of ecosystem health.

  1. Social network analysis of mating patterns in American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jennifer A; Xu, Ran; Frank, Kenneth; Draheim, Hope; Scribner, Kim T

    2015-08-01

    Nonrandom mating can structure populations and has important implications for population-level processes. Investigating how and why mating deviates from random is important for understanding evolutionary processes as well as informing conservation and management. Prior to the implementation of parentage analyses, understanding mating patterns in solitary, elusive species like bears was virtually impossible. Here, we capitalize on a long-term genetic data set collected from black bears (Ursus americanus) (N = 2422) in the Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP) of Michigan, USA. We identified mated pairs using parentage analysis and applied logistic regression (selection) models that controlled for features of the social network, to quantify the effects of individual characteristics, and spatial and population demographic factors on mating dynamics. Logistic regression models revealed that black bear mating was associated with spatial proximity of mates, male age, the time a pair had coexisted, local population density and relatedness. Mated pairs were more likely to contain older males. On average, bears tended to mate with nearby individuals to whom they were related, which does not support the existence of kin recognition in black bears. Pairwise relatedness was especially high for mated pairs containing young males. Restricted dispersal and high male turnover from intensive harvest mortality of NLP black bears are probably the underlying factors associated with younger male bears mating more often with female relatives. Our findings illustrate how harvest has the potential to disrupt the social structure of game species, which warrants further attention for conservation and management. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Physiological evidence for a human-induced landscape of fear in brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Ordiz, Andres; Evans, Alina L; Laske, Timothy G; Kindberg, Jonas; Fröbert, Ole; Swenson, Jon E; Arnemo, Jon M

    2015-12-01

    Human persecution is a major cause of mortality for large carnivores. Consequently, large carnivores avoid humans, but may use human-dominated landscapes by being nocturnal and elusive. Behavioral studies indicate that certain ecological systems are "landscapes of fear", driven by antipredator behavior. Because behavior and physiology are closely interrelated, physiological assessments may provide insight into the behavioral response of large carnivores to human activity. To elucidate changes in brown bears' (Ursus arctos) behavior associated with human activity, we evaluated stress as changes in heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in 12 GPS-collared, free-ranging bears, 7 males and 5 females, 3-11 years old, using cardiac-monitoring devices. We applied generalized linear regression models with HR and HRV as response variables and chest activity, time of day, season, distance traveled, and distance to human settlements from GPS positions recorded every 30 min as potential explanatory variables. Bears exhibited lower HRV, an indication of stress, when they were close to human settlements and especially during the berry season, when humans were more often in the forest, picking berries and hunting. Our findings provide evidence of a human-induced landscape of fear in this hunted population of brown bears. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Major decline in marine and terrestrial animal consumption by brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsubayashi, Jun; Morimoto, Junko O; Tayasu, Ichiro; Mano, Tsutomu; Nakajima, Miyuki; Takahashi, Osamu; Kobayashi, Kyoko; Nakamura, Futoshi

    2015-03-17

    Human activities have had the strongest impacts on natural ecosystems since the last glacial period, including the alteration of interspecific relationships such as food webs. In this paper, we present a historical record of major alterations of trophic structure by revealing millennium-scale dietary shifts of brown bears (Ursus arctos) on the Hokkaido islands, Japan, using carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur stable isotope analysis. Dietary analysis of brown bears revealed that salmon consumption by bears in the eastern region of Hokkaido significantly decreased from 19% to 8%. In addition, consumption of terrestrial animals decreased from 56% to 5% in western region, and 64% to 8% in eastern region. These dietary shifts are likely to have occurred in the last approximately 100-200 years, which coincides with the beginning of modernisation in this region. Our results suggest that human activities have caused an alteration in the trophic structure of brown bears in the Hokkaido islands. This alteration includes a major decline in the marine-terrestrial linkage in eastern region, and a loss of indirect-interactions between bears and wolves, because the interactions potentially enhanced deer predation by brown bears.

  4. Foot-and-mouth disease in Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Officer, Kirsty; Lan, Nguyen Thi; Wicker, Leanne; Hoa, Nguyen Thi; Weegenaar, Annemarie; Robinson, Jill; Ryoji, Yamaguchi; Loukopoulos, Panayiotis

    2014-09-01

    Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious, debilitating, and globally significant viral disease typically affecting cloven-hoofed hosts. The diagnosis of FMD in bears in Vietnam is described. The current study describes a confirmed case of FMD in a bear species, and the clinical signs compatible with FMD in a Malayan sun bear. Thirteen Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) and 1 Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) were apparently affected. In August 2011, an adult bear became lethargic, and developed footpad vesicles. Over 15 days, 14 out of 17 bears developed similar signs; the remaining 3 co-housed bears and another 57 resident bears did not. All affected bears developed vesicles on all footpads, and most were lethargic for 24-48 hr. Nasal and oral lesions were noted in 6 and 3 cases, respectively. Within 1 month, all looked normal. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, classified as serotype O, and isolated by virus isolation techniques. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated clustering of 3 bear isolates, in a branch distinct from other FMDV type O isolates. The outbreak likely occurred due to indirect contact with livestock, and was facilitated by the high density of captive bears. It showed that Asiatic black bears are capable of contracting FMDV and developing clinical disease, and that the virus spreads easily between bears in close contact. © 2014 The Author(s).

  5. Persistent or not persistent? Polychlorinated biphenyls are readily depurated by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Jennie R; Letcher, Robert J; Ross, Peter S

    2009-10-01

    Major pharmacokinetic processes influencing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) accumulation in mammals include uptake, biotransformation, respiration, and excretion. We characterized some of the factors underlying PCB accumulation/loss by evaluating PCB concentrations and patterns in pre- and posthibernation grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) and their prey. The PCB congeners with vicinal meta- and para-chlorine unsubstituted hydrogen positions consistently showed loss both before and during hibernation, supporting the idea of a dominant role for biotransformation. Retention of all other studied congeners relative to that of PCB 194 varied widely (from bears do not eat or excrete. We estimate that grizzly bears retain less than 10% of total PCBs taken up from their diet. Our results suggest that for grizzly bears, depuration of PCBs via biotransformation is important (explaining approximately 40% of loss), but that nonbiotransformation processes, such as excretion, may be more important (explaining approximately 60% of loss). These findings, together with the approximately 91% loss of the persistent PCB 153 congener relative to PCB 194 in grizzly bears, raise important questions about how one defines persistence of PCBs in wildlife and may have bearing on the interpretation of food-web biomagnification studies.

  6. Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) locomotion: gaits and ground reaction forces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shine, Catherine L; Penberthy, Skylar; Robbins, Charles T; Nelson, O Lynne; McGowan, Craig P

    2015-10-01

    Locomotion of plantigrade generalists has been relatively little studied compared with more specialised postures even though plantigrady is ancestral among quadrupeds. Bears (Ursidae) are a representative family for plantigrade carnivorans, they have the majority of the morphological characteristics identified for plantigrade species, and they have the full range of generalist behaviours. This study compared the locomotion of adult grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis Linnaeus 1758), including stride parameters, gaits and analysis of three-dimensional ground reaction forces, with that of previously studied quadrupeds. At slow to moderate speeds, grizzly bears use walks, running walks and canters. Vertical ground reaction forces demonstrated the typical M-shaped curve for walks; however, this was significantly more pronounced in the hindlimb. The rate of force development was also significantly higher for the hindlimbs than for the forelimbs at all speeds. Mediolateral forces were significantly higher than would be expected for a large erect mammal, almost to the extent of a sprawling crocodilian. There may be morphological or energetic explanations for the use of the running walk rather than the trot. The high medial forces (produced from a lateral push by the animal) could be caused by frontal plane movement of the carpus and elbow by bears. Overall, while grizzly bears share some similarities with large cursorial species, their locomotor kinetics have unique characteristics. Additional studies are needed to determine whether these characters are a feature of all bears or plantigrade species. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  7. Prioritizing Sites for Protection and Restoration for Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos) in Southwestern Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braid, Andrew C R; Nielsen, Scott E

    2015-01-01

    As the influence of human activities on natural systems continues to expand, there is a growing need to prioritize not only pristine sites for protection, but also degraded sites for restoration. We present an approach for simultaneously prioritizing sites for protection and restoration that considers landscape patterns for a threatened population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in southwestern Alberta, Canada. We considered tradeoffs between bottom-up (food resource supply) and top-down (mortality risk from roads) factors affecting seasonal habitat quality for bears. Simulated annealing was used to prioritize source-like sites (high habitat productivity, low mortality risk) for protection, as well as sink-like sites (high habitat productivity, high mortality risk) for restoration. Priority source-like habitats identified key conservation areas where future developments should be limited, whereas priority sink-like habitats identified key areas for mitigating road-related mortality risk with access management. Systematic conservation planning methods can be used to complement traditional habitat-based methods for individual focal species by identifying habitats where conservation actions (both protection and restoration) have the highest potential utility.

  8. Barents Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus: population biology and anthropogenic threats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magnus Andersen

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines how anthropogenic threats, such as disturbance, pollution and climate change, are linked to polar bear (Ursus maritimus population biology in the Svalbard and Barents Sea area, with the aim to increase our understanding of how human activity may impact the population. Overharvesting drastically reduced the population of polar bears in the Barents Sea region from about 1870 to 1970. After harvesting was stopped—in 1956 in Russia and 1973 in Norway—the population grew to an estimated 2650 individuals (95% confidence interval 1900–3600 in 2004, and maternity denning in the Svalbard Archipelago became more widely distributed. During recent decades, the population has faced challenges from a variety of new anthropogenic impacts: a range of pollutants, an increasing level of human presence and activity as well as changes in ice conditions. Contaminants bioaccumulate up through the marine food web, culminating in this top predator that consumes ringed, bearded and harp seals. Females with small cubs use land-fast sea ice for hunting and are therefore vulnerable to disturbance by snowmobile drivers. Sea-ice diminution, associated with climate change, reduces polar bears’ access to denning areas and could negatively affect the survival of cubs. There are clear linkages between population biology and current anthropogenic threats, and we suggest that future research and management should focus on and take into consideration the combined effects of several stressors on polar bears.

  9. Transthyretin-binding activity of contaminants in blood from polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bytingsvik, Jenny; Simon, Eszter; Leonards, Pim E G; Lamoree, Marja; Lie, Elisabeth; Aars, Jon; Derocher, Andrew E; Wiig, Oystein; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Hamers, Timo

    2013-05-07

    We determined the transthyretin (TTR)-binding activity of blood-accumulating contaminants in blood plasma samples of approximately 4-months-old polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs from Svalbard sampled in 1998 and 2008. The TTR-binding activity was measured as thyroxine (T4)-like equivalents (T4-EQMeas). Our findings show that the TTR-binding activity related to contaminant levels was significantly lower (45%) in 2008 than in 1998 (mean ± standard error of mean: 1998, 2265 ± 231 nM; 2008, 1258 ± 170 nM). Although we cannot exclude a potential influence of between-year differences in capture location and cub body mass, our findings most likely reflect reductions of TTR-binding contaminants or their precursors in the arctic environment (e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs]). The measured TTR-binding activity correlated positively with the cubs' plasma levels of hydroxylated PCBs (OH-PCBs). No such association was found between TTR-binding activity and the plasma levels of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). The OH-PCBs explained 60 ± 7% and 54 ± 4% of the TTR-binding activity in 1998 and 2008, respectively, and PFASs explained ≤1.2% both years. Still, almost half the TTR-binding activity could not be explained by the contaminants we examined. The considerable levels of TTR-binding contaminants warrant further effect directed analysis (EDA) to identify the contaminants responsible for the unexplained part of the observed TTR-binding activity.

  10. Conservation status of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in relation to projected sea-ice declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laidre, K. L.; Regehr, E. V.; Akcakaya, H. R.; Amstrup, S. C.; Atwood, T.; Lunn, N.; Obbard, M.; Stern, H. L., III; Thiemann, G.; Wiig, O.

    2016-12-01

    Loss of Arctic sea ice due to climate change is the most serious threat to polar bears (Ursus maritimus) throughout their circumpolar range. We performed a data-based sensitivity analysis with respect to this threat by evaluating the potential response of the global polar bear population to projected sea-ice conditions. We conducted 1) an assessment of generation length for polar bears, 2) developed of a standardized sea-ice metric representing important habitat characteristics for the species; and 3) performed population projections over three generations, using computer simulation and statistical models representing alternative relationships between sea ice and polar bear abundance. Using three separate approaches, the median percent change in mean global population size for polar bears between 2015 and 2050 ranged from -4% (95% CI = -62%, 50%) to -43% (95% CI = -76%, -20%). Results highlight the potential for large reductions in the global population if sea-ice loss continues. They also highlight the large amount of uncertainty in statistical projections of polar bear abundance and the sensitivity of projections to plausible alternative assumptions. The median probability of a reduction in the mean global population size of polar bears greater than 30% over three generations was approximately 0.71 (range 0.20-0.95. The median probability of a reduction greater than 50% was approximately 0.07 (range 0-0.35), and the probability of a reduction greater than 80% was negligible.

  11. Temporal trends and future predictions of mercury concentrations in Northwest Greenland polar bear (Ursus maritimus) hair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, R; Born, E W; Rigét, F; Aubail, A; Sonne, C; Drimmie, R; Basu, N

    2011-02-15

    Hair samples from 117 Northwest Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were taken during 1892-2008 and analyzed for total mercury (hereafter Hg). The sample represented 28 independent years and the aim of the study was to analyze for temporal Hg trends. Mercury concentrations showed yearly significant increases of 1.6-1.7% (p polar bear Hg exposure is 95.6-96.2% anthropogenic in its origin. Assuming a continued anthropogenic increase, this model estimated concentrations in 2050 and 2100 will be 40- and 92-fold the baseline concentration, respectively, which is equivalent to a 97.5 and 98.9% man-made contribution. None of the 2001-2008 concentrations of Hg in Northwest Greenland polar bear hair exceeded the general guideline values of 20-30 μg/g dry weight for terrestrial wildlife, whereas the neurochemical effect level of 5.4 μg Hg/g dry weight proposed for East Greenland polar bears was exceeded in 93.5% of the cases. These results call for detailed effect studies in main target organs such as brain, liver, kidney, and sexual organs in the Northwest Greenland polar bears.

  12. High contributions of sea ice derived carbon in polar bear (Ursus maritimus tissue.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A Brown

    Full Text Available Polar bears (Ursus maritimus rely upon Arctic sea ice as a physical habitat. Consequently, conservation assessments of polar bears identify the ongoing reduction in sea ice to represent a significant threat to their survival. However, the additional role of sea ice as a potential, indirect, source of energy to bears has been overlooked. Here we used the highly branched isoprenoid lipid biomarker-based index (H-Print approach in combination with quantitative fatty acid signature analysis to show that sympagic (sea ice-associated, rather than pelagic, carbon contributions dominated the marine component of polar bear diet (72-100%; 99% CI, n = 55, irrespective of differences in diet composition. The lowest mean estimates of sympagic carbon were found in Baffin Bay bears, which were also exposed to the most rapidly increasing open water season. Therefore, our data illustrate that for future Arctic ecosystems that are likely to be characterised by reduced sea ice cover, polar bears will not only be impacted by a change in their physical habitat, but also potentially in the supply of energy to the ecosystems upon which they depend. This data represents the first quantifiable baseline that is critical for the assessment of likely ongoing changes in energy supply to Arctic predators as we move into an increasingly uncertain future for polar ecosystems.

  13. High contributions of sea ice derived carbon in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Thomas A; Galicia, Melissa P; Thiemann, Gregory W; Belt, Simon T; Yurkowski, David J; Dyck, Markus G

    2018-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely upon Arctic sea ice as a physical habitat. Consequently, conservation assessments of polar bears identify the ongoing reduction in sea ice to represent a significant threat to their survival. However, the additional role of sea ice as a potential, indirect, source of energy to bears has been overlooked. Here we used the highly branched isoprenoid lipid biomarker-based index (H-Print) approach in combination with quantitative fatty acid signature analysis to show that sympagic (sea ice-associated), rather than pelagic, carbon contributions dominated the marine component of polar bear diet (72-100%; 99% CI, n = 55), irrespective of differences in diet composition. The lowest mean estimates of sympagic carbon were found in Baffin Bay bears, which were also exposed to the most rapidly increasing open water season. Therefore, our data illustrate that for future Arctic ecosystems that are likely to be characterised by reduced sea ice cover, polar bears will not only be impacted by a change in their physical habitat, but also potentially in the supply of energy to the ecosystems upon which they depend. This data represents the first quantifiable baseline that is critical for the assessment of likely ongoing changes in energy supply to Arctic predators as we move into an increasingly uncertain future for polar ecosystems.

  14. Establishing a definition of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health: a guide to research and management activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patyk, Kelly A; Duncan, Colleen; Nol, Pauline; Sonne, Christian; Laidre, Kristin; Obbard, Martyn; Wiig, Øystein; Aars, Jon; Regehr, Eric; Gustafson, Lori L; Atwood, Todd

    2015-05-01

    The meaning of health for wildlife and perspectives on how to assess and measure health, are not well characterized. For wildlife at risk, such as some polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulations, establishing comprehensive monitoring programs that include health status is an emerging need. Environmental changes, especially loss of sea ice habitat, have raised concern about polar bear health. Effective and consistent monitoring of polar bear health requires an unambiguous definition of health. We used the Delphi method of soliciting and interpreting expert knowledge to propose a working definition of polar bear health and to identify current concerns regarding health, challenges in measuring health, and important metrics for monitoring health. The expert opinion elicited through the exercise agreed that polar bear health is defined by characteristics and knowledge at the individual, population, and ecosystem level. The most important threats identified were in decreasing order: climate change, increased nutritional stress, chronic physiological stress, harvest management, increased exposure to contaminants, increased frequency of human interaction, diseases and parasites, and increased exposure to competitors. Fifteen metrics were identified to monitor polar bear health. Of these, indicators of body condition, disease and parasite exposure, contaminant exposure, and reproductive success were ranked as most important. We suggest that a cumulative effects approach to research and monitoring will improve the ability to assess the biological, ecological, and social determinants of polar bear health and provide measurable objectives for conservation goals and priorities and to evaluate progress. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  15. Genomic analysis of expressed sequence tags in American black bear Ursus americanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Sen; Shao, Chunxuan; Goropashnaya, Anna V; Stewart, Nathan C; Xu, Yichi; Tøien, Øivind; Barnes, Brian M; Fedorov, Vadim B; Yan, Jun

    2010-03-26

    Species of the bear family (Ursidae) are important organisms for research in molecular evolution, comparative physiology and conservation biology, but relatively little genetic sequence information is available for this group. Here we report the development and analyses of the first large scale Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) resource for the American black bear (Ursus americanus). Comprehensive analyses of molecular functions, alternative splicing, and tissue-specific expression of 38,757 black bear EST sequences were conducted using the dog genome as a reference. We identified 18 genes, involved in functions such as lipid catabolism, cell cycle, and vesicle-mediated transport, that are showing rapid evolution in the bear lineage Three genes, Phospholamban (PLN), cysteine glycine-rich protein 3 (CSRP3) and Troponin I type 3 (TNNI3), are related to heart contraction, and defects in these genes in humans lead to heart disease. Two genes, biphenyl hydrolase-like (BPHL) and CSRP3, contain positively selected sites in bear. Global analysis of evolution rates of hibernation-related genes in bear showed that they are largely conserved and slowly evolving genes, rather than novel and fast-evolving genes. We provide a genomic resource for an important mammalian organism and our study sheds new light on the possible functions and evolution of bear genes.

  16. Serosurvey for Trichinella in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard and the Barents Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asbakk, Kjetil; Aars, Jon; Derocher, Andrew E; Wiig, Oystein; Oksanen, Antti; Born, Erik W; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian; Godfroid, Jacques; Kapel, Christian M O

    2010-09-20

    Blood samples of live-caught polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard collected 1991-2000 (Period 1) and 2006-2008 (Period 2) and from the pack ice of the Barents Sea collected in Period 1, were assayed for antibodies against Trichinella spp. by ELISA. Of 54 cubs-of-the-year included in the Period 1 sample, 53 were seronegative, indicating that exposure to Trichinella infected meat is uncommon during the first months of life for polar bears in the Svalbard region. Of 30 mother-offspring pairs, 18 mothers were seropositive with seronegative offspring (n=27), suggesting (1) that maternal antibodies had dropped to levels below detection limit by the time of capture in April (offspring approximately 4 months old), and (2) supporting experimental studies in other animal models showing that vertical transmission of Trichinella spp. is uncommon. Bear 1 year and older had higher prevalence in Svalbard (78%) than in the Barents Sea (51%). There was no temporal change in prevalence for bears from Svalbard during the time between the two periods. The prevalence increased with age in both sexes. A positive correlation was found between anti-Toxoplasma gondii and anti-Trichinella spp. antibodies.

  17. Elevated expression of protein biosynthesis genes in liver and muscle of hibernating black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorov, Vadim B; Goropashnaya, Anna V; Tøien, Øivind; Stewart, Nathan C; Gracey, Andrew Y; Chang, Celia; Qin, Shizhen; Pertea, Geo; Quackenbush, John; Showe, Louise C; Showe, Michael K; Boyer, Bert B; Barnes, Brian M

    2009-04-10

    We conducted a large-scale gene expression screen using the 3,200 cDNA probe microarray developed specifically for Ursus americanus to detect expression differences in liver and skeletal muscle that occur during winter hibernation compared with animals sampled during summer. The expression of 12 genes, including RNA binding protein motif 3 (Rbm3), that are mostly involved in protein biosynthesis, was induced during hibernation in both liver and muscle. The Gene Ontology and Gene Set Enrichment analysis consistently showed a highly significant enrichment of the protein biosynthesis category by overexpressed genes in both liver and skeletal muscle during hibernation. Coordinated induction in transcriptional level of genes involved in protein biosynthesis is a distinctive feature of the transcriptome in hibernating black bears. This finding implies induction of translation and suggests an adaptive mechanism that contributes to a unique ability to reduce muscle atrophy over prolonged periods of immobility during hibernation. Comparing expression profiles in bears to small mammalian hibernators shows a general trend during hibernation of transcriptional changes that include induction of genes involved in lipid metabolism and carbohydrate synthesis as well as depression of genes involved in the urea cycle and detoxification function in liver.

  18. The first detection of Babesia species DNA from Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikawa, Kazuhito; Aoki, Mikiko; Ichikawa, Madoka; Itagaki, Tadashi

    2011-06-01

    In this study, we tried to detect protozoan blood parasites from the liver or blood of 156 Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) in Iwate Prefecture of Japan by polymerase chain reaction. Two amplicons (approximately 540 bp and 480 bp) were detected by amplification for V4 hyper-variable regions of the 18S rRNA gene. Approximately 540-bp products were obtained in 119 samples (76.3%) and were considered to be DNA of Hepatozoon ursi. Approximately 480-bp products were obtained in 22 samples (14.1%) and were considered to be DNA of Babesia species. The nucleotide sequences (1635 bp) of the 18S rRNA gene of Babesia sp. were very similar (99.3%) to those (AY190123, AY190124) of Babesia sp. detected previously from Ixodes ovatus. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Babesia sp. detected in this study closely related to Babesia sp. derived from raccoons in Japan and the U.S.A. This is the first report of Babesia species detected from Japanese black bears. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Evaluation of stored body fat in nuisance-killed Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Atsushi; Asano, Makoto; Suzuki, Masatsugu; Mizoguchi, Toshio; Oi, Toru; Shimozuru, Michito; Tsubota, Toshio

    2011-02-01

    We evaluated the stored body fat of Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) killed as nuisances in Gifu and Fukushima prefectures, Japan, during 2005-2007. We employed femur marrow fat (FMF), modified kidney fat index (mKFI), and abdominal subcutaneous fat (ASF) as indices for quantitative evaluation. We examined the basic characteristics of these indices, such as seasonality, age and sex dependency, and the quantitative relationship among them. mKFI and ASF increased towards the beginning of the denning period (December), while FMF was relatively stable throughout the sampling period (July-December). In cubs, all indices showed significantly lower values than in the older age classes. There seemed to be a catabolizing order between FMF and mKFI, but not between mKFI and ASF. We also evaluated the yearly change in the indices, and discussed its relevance to the incidence of bear intrusion into human residential areas. Bears nuisance-killed in summer (July-September) 2006 had a significantly larger amount of stored body fat than those killed in summer 2007, although the number of nuisance kills was larger in 2006 than in 2007. This suggests that poor nutritional condition is not a direct cause of bear intrusion.

  20. Immobilization of Asiatic Black Bears ( Ursus thibetanus ) with Medetomidine-Zolazepam-Tiletamine in South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Dong-Hyuk; Yang, Jeong-Jin; Seok, Seong-Hoon; Song, Byeung-Cheul; Yeon, Seong-Chan

    2017-07-01

    The Asiatic black bear ( Ursus thibetanus ; ABB) is a globally endangered species for which a restoration program has been ongoing in South Korea since 2001. However, there is little information on immobilization protocols for ABBs. We evaluated the use of medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine for their immobilization. During 2005-13, we anesthetized 60 ABBs (32 males, 28 females; 7 mo to 12 yr old) with medetomidine 0.03-0.045 mg/kg and zolazepam-tiletamine 1.54-2.3 mg/kg; reversal of anesthesia was done with atipamezole 0.15-0.225 mg/kg administered intravenously alone or intravenously and intramuscularly (50:50). Mean (and SD) for physiologic collected for 373 immobilizations of at least 60 min were: time to sedation, 7.8 (5.4) min; anesthesia induction time, 13.7 (8.1) min; complete recovery time, 14.8 (12.4) min; respiratory rate, 14 (7) breaths/min; heart rate, 51 (16) beats/min; rectal temperature, 37.3 (1.3) C; and hemoglobin oxygen saturation, 88% (6%). Few cardiopulmonary side effects occurred during immobilization and adequate depth of anesthesia was maintained for >60 min without need for supplementation. The dosage and drug combination used was effective for immobilization of ABBs with minimal adverse effects on vital signs and can be recommended in most clinical applications.

  1. Modulation of gene expression in heart and liver of hibernating black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorov, Vadim B; Goropashnaya, Anna V; Tøien, Øivind; Stewart, Nathan C; Chang, Celia; Wang, Haifang; Yan, Jun; Showe, Louise C; Showe, Michael K; Barnes, Brian M

    2011-03-31

    Hibernation is an adaptive strategy to survive in highly seasonal or unpredictable environments. The molecular and genetic basis of hibernation physiology in mammals has only recently been studied using large scale genomic approaches. We analyzed gene expression in the American black bear, Ursus americanus, using a custom 12,800 cDNA probe microarray to detect differences in expression that occur in heart and liver during winter hibernation in comparison to summer active animals. We identified 245 genes in heart and 319 genes in liver that were differentially expressed between winter and summer. The expression of 24 genes was significantly elevated during hibernation in both heart and liver. These genes are mostly involved in lipid catabolism and protein biosynthesis and include RNA binding protein motif 3 (Rbm3), which enhances protein synthesis at mildly hypothermic temperatures. Elevated expression of protein biosynthesis genes suggests induction of translation that may be related to adaptive mechanisms reducing cardiac and muscle atrophies over extended periods of low metabolism and immobility during hibernation in bears. Coordinated reduction of transcription of genes involved in amino acid catabolism suggests redirection of amino acids from catabolic pathways to protein biosynthesis. We identify common for black bears and small mammalian hibernators transcriptional changes in the liver that include induction of genes responsible for fatty acid β oxidation and carbohydrate synthesis and depression of genes involved in lipid biosynthesis, carbohydrate catabolism, cellular respiration and detoxification pathways. Our findings show that modulation of gene expression during winter hibernation represents molecular mechanism of adaptation to extreme environments.

  2. Genomic analysis of expressed sequence tags in American black bear Ursus americanus

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Species of the bear family (Ursidae) are important organisms for research in molecular evolution, comparative physiology and conservation biology, but relatively little genetic sequence information is available for this group. Here we report the development and analyses of the first large scale Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) resource for the American black bear (Ursus americanus). Results Comprehensive analyses of molecular functions, alternative splicing, and tissue-specific expression of 38,757 black bear EST sequences were conducted using the dog genome as a reference. We identified 18 genes, involved in functions such as lipid catabolism, cell cycle, and vesicle-mediated transport, that are showing rapid evolution in the bear lineage Three genes, Phospholamban (PLN), cysteine glycine-rich protein 3 (CSRP3) and Troponin I type 3 (TNNI3), are related to heart contraction, and defects in these genes in humans lead to heart disease. Two genes, biphenyl hydrolase-like (BPHL) and CSRP3, contain positively selected sites in bear. Global analysis of evolution rates of hibernation-related genes in bear showed that they are largely conserved and slowly evolving genes, rather than novel and fast-evolving genes. Conclusion We provide a genomic resource for an important mammalian organism and our study sheds new light on the possible functions and evolution of bear genes. PMID:20338065

  3. Prioritizing Sites for Protection and Restoration for Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos in Southwestern Alberta, Canada.

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    Andrew C R Braid

    Full Text Available As the influence of human activities on natural systems continues to expand, there is a growing need to prioritize not only pristine sites for protection, but also degraded sites for restoration. We present an approach for simultaneously prioritizing sites for protection and restoration that considers landscape patterns for a threatened population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos in southwestern Alberta, Canada. We considered tradeoffs between bottom-up (food resource supply and top-down (mortality risk from roads factors affecting seasonal habitat quality for bears. Simulated annealing was used to prioritize source-like sites (high habitat productivity, low mortality risk for protection, as well as sink-like sites (high habitat productivity, high mortality risk for restoration. Priority source-like habitats identified key conservation areas where future developments should be limited, whereas priority sink-like habitats identified key areas for mitigating road-related mortality risk with access management. Systematic conservation planning methods can be used to complement traditional habitat-based methods for individual focal species by identifying habitats where conservation actions (both protection and restoration have the highest potential utility.

  4. Anaerobic oral flora in the North American black bear (Ursus americanus) in eastern North Carolina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Elsburgh O; Stoskopf, Michael K; Minter, Larry J; Stringer, Elizabeth M

    2012-06-01

    Microbial flora can provide insight into the ecology and natural history of wildlife in addition to improving understanding of health risks. This study examines the anaerobic oral flora of hunter killed black bears (Ursus americanus) in eastern North Carolina. Oral swabs from the buccal and lingual supragingival tooth surfaces of the first and second mandibular and maxillary molars of 22 black bears were inoculated onto Brucella Blood Agar plates supplemented with hemin and vitamin K after transport from the field using reduced oxoid nutrient broth. Sixteen anaerobic bacterial species, representing nine genera were identified using the RapID ANA II Micromethod Kit system and a number of organisms grown that could not be identified with the system. The most frequently identified anaerobes were Peptostreptococcus prevotii, Streptococcus constellatus, and Porphyromonas gingivalis. The diversity in the anaerobic oral flora of black bear in eastern North Carolina suggests the importance of including these organisms in basic health risk assessment protocols and suggests a potential tool for assessment of bear/habitat interactions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Temporal diet changes recorded by stable isotopes in Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) hair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizukami, R N; Goto, M; Izumiyama, S; Yoh, M; Ogura, N; Hayashi, H

    2005-03-01

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios were measured in hair samples of the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) inhabiting the Northern Japanese Alps (NJA) (n = 20) and the periphery of Nagano City (NC) (n = 6), in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The hair of NJA bears, which did not have access to anthropogenic foods, showed lower values of d13C and d15N than that of NC bears which had access to garbage and corn fields, especially during the summer. These results reflect somewhat differing diets between the NJA and NC bears. We attempted to assess the feeding history during the hair growth cycle using the growth section analysis method. Each hair sample had been cut into 3?mm lengths from root to tip, labeled, and analyzed along the hair growth. We measured the carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of each 3?mm length of hair sample from one NC bear which had been killed while raiding a corn field. The sections showed wide ranges of isotope ratios, from -23.2% to -14.6% for delta13C, and from 0.3% to 4.6% for delta15N. It was shown that the diet of this bear shifted dramatically from principally C3 plants to more C4 plants and to foods of animal origin. An analysis of the whole hair reflects just the average feeding habit during hair growth, but the present method can trace its diet history. This method can contribute to obtain precise ecological information of wildlife.

  6. Use of hyaluronidase to improve chemical immobilization of free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattet, Marc R L; Obbard, Martyn E

    2010-01-01

    We assessed the efficacy and safety of hyaluronidase to improve chemical immobilization of free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus) captured from helicopter by remote drug delivery along the Ontario coast line of northwestern James Bay and southern Hudson Bay during September 2005 and October 2007. We used a single blind study design in which one person prepared and loaded all darts without the shooter knowing whether hyaluronidase (150 IU per dart) or sterile water was added to the immobilizing drug mixture of xylazine and zolazepam-tiletamine (XZT). We found that we often required more than one dart to immobilize bears in the control group (XZT+sterile water; >1 dart for 15 of 28 captures) versus the treatment group (XZT+hyaluronidase; >1 dart for seven of 26 captures). As a consequence, treatment bears were generally immobilized with smaller XZT dosages (7.9 vs. 9.4 mg/kg; P = 0.08) and shorter induction (10 vs. 15 min; P = 0.004) than control bears. We found no differences in vital rates and serum biochemistry results between control and treatment bears. We did find, however, that induction times correlated directly with rectal temperature at polar bears. Overall we found hyaluronidase to be effective and safe for capture of polar bears. We recommend further study to determine whether effects of hyaluronidase are dose dependent and recommend that others involved with capture of seasonally fat species such as polar bears consider use of hyaluronidase to improve chemical immobilization.

  7. Serum corticosteroid binding globulin expression is modulated by fasting in polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Brian A; Hamilton, Jason; Cattet, Marc R L; Stenhouse, Gordon; Obbard, Martyn E; Vijayan, Mathilakath M

    2011-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from several subpopulations undergo extended fasting during the ice-free season. However, the animals appear to conserve protein despite the prolonged fasting, though the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. We hypothesized that elevated concentrations of corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), the primary cortisol binding protein in circulation, lead to cortisol resistance and provide a mechanism for protein conservation during extended fasting. The metabolic state (feeding vs. fasting) of 16 field sampled male polar bears was determined based on their serum urea to creatinine ratio (>25 for feeding vs. polar bears sampled. Serum CBG expression was greater in lactating females relative to non-lactating females and males. CBG expression was significantly higher in fasting males when compared to non-fasting males. This leads us to suggest that CBG expression may serve as a mechanism to conserve protein during extended fasting in polar bears by reducing systemic free cortisol concentrations. This was further supported by a lower serum glucose concentration in the fasting bears. As well, a lack of an enhanced adrenocortical response to acute capture stress supports our hypothesis that chronic hunger is not a stressor in this species. Overall, our results suggest that elevated serum CBG expression may be an important adaptation to spare proteins by limiting cortisol bioavailability during extended fasting in polar bears. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. A novel endogenous betaretrovirus group characterized from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Jens; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Heeger, Felix; Avila-Arcos, María; Stenglein, Mark D; Chen, Wei; Sun, Wei; Mazzoni, Camila J; Osterrieder, Nikolaus; Greenwood, Alex D

    2013-08-15

    Transcriptome analysis of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) yielded sequences with highest similarity to the human endogenous retrovirus group HERV-K(HML-2). Further analysis of the polar bear draft genome identified an endogenous betaretrovirus group comprising 26 proviral copies and 231 solo LTRs. Molecular dating indicates the group originated before the divergence of bears from a common ancestor but is not present in all carnivores. Closely related sequences were identified in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and characterized from its genome. We have designated the polar bear and giant panda sequences U. maritimus endogenous retrovirus (UmaERV) and A. melanoleuca endogenous retrovirus (AmeERV), respectively. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the bear virus group is nested within the HERV-K supergroup among bovine and bat endogenous retroviruses suggesting a complex evolutionary history within the HERV-K group. All individual remnants of proviral sequences contain numerous frameshifts and stop codons and thus, the virus is likely non-infectious. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Complete mitochondrial genome and phylogeny of Pleistocene mammoth Mammuthus primigenius.

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    Evgeny I Rogaev

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Phylogenetic relationships between the extinct woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius, and the Asian (Elephas maximus and African savanna (Loxodonta africana elephants remain unresolved. Here, we report the sequence of the complete mitochondrial genome (16,842 base pairs of a woolly mammoth extracted from permafrost-preserved remains from the Pleistocene epoch--the oldest mitochondrial genome sequence determined to date. We demonstrate that well-preserved mitochondrial genome fragments, as long as approximately 1,600-1700 base pairs, can be retrieved from pre-Holocene remains of an extinct species. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the Elephantinae clade suggests that M. primigenius and E. maximus are sister species that diverged soon after their common ancestor split from the L. africana lineage. Low nucleotide diversity found between independently determined mitochondrial genomic sequences of woolly mammoths separated geographically and in time suggests that north-eastern Siberia was occupied by a relatively homogeneous population of M. primigenius throughout the late Pleistocene.

  10. Early pleistocene sediments at Great Blakenham, Suffolk, England

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbard, P. L.; Allen, P.; Field, M. H.; Hallam, D. F.

    Detailed investigation of a fine sediment sequence, the College Farm Silty Clay Member, that overlies the Creeting Sands (Early Pleistocene) in Suffolk, is presented. The sedimentary sequence is thought to represent a freshwater pool accumulation in a small coastal embayment. Palaeobotanical investigation of the sediment indicates that it accumulated during the late temperate substage of a temperate (interglacial) event. The occurrence of Tsuga pollen, associated with abundant remains of the water fern Azolla tegeliensis indicate that the deposits are of Early Pleistocene age and are correlated with a later part of the Antian-Bramertonian Stage. Correlation with Tiglian TO substage in The Netherlands' sequence is most likely. The sediments' normal palaeomagnetic polarity reinforces the biostratigraphical correlation.

  11. Early Pleistocene aquatic resource use in the Turkana Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, Will; Braun, David R; Harris, Jack W K; McCoy, Jack T; Richmond, Brian G

    2014-12-01

    Evidence for the acquisition of nutritionally dense food resources by early Pleistocene hominins has implications for both hominin biology and behavior. Aquatic fauna may have comprised a source of highly nutritious resources to hominins in the Turkana Basin at ∼1.95 Ma. Here we employ multiple datasets to examine the issue of aquatic resource use in the early Pleistocene. This study focuses on four components of aquatic faunal assemblages (1) taxonomic diversity, (2) skeletal element proportion, (3) bone fragmentation and (4) bone surface modification. These components are used to identify associations between early Pleistocene aquatic remains and hominin behavior at the site of FwJj20 in the Koobi Fora Fm. (Kenya). We focus on two dominant aquatic species: catfish and turtles. Further we suggest that data on aquatic resource availability as well as ethnographic examples of aquatic resource use complement our observations on the archaeological remains from FwJj20. Aquatic food items provided hominins with a valuable nutritional alternative to an exclusively terrestrial resource base. We argue that specific advantages afforded by an aquatic alternative to terrestrial resources include (1) a probable reduction in required investment of energy relative to economic return in the form of nutritionally dense food items, (2) a decrease in the technological costs of resource acquisition, and (3) a reduced level of inter-specific competition associated with carcass access and an associated reduction of predation risk relative to terrestrial sources of food. The combined evidence from FwJj20 suggests that aquatic resources may have played a substantial role in early Pleistocene diets and these resources may have been overlooked in previous interpretations of hominin behavior. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Fossils mollusc asemblage found at Zagarzazu, marine Pleistocene, Uruguay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rojas, A. . E mail: alejandra@fcien.edu.uy

    2004-01-01

    There are presented the results of the paleoecological analysis of the mollusc assemblage found at Zagarzazu, Colonia department. The fossils are well preserved, arranged in thin shell-beds with some specimens in life position. The assemblage is indicative of higher temperatures than present, and a strong marine influence. It is important to stress that new thermophilic molluscs for the marine Quaternary were found and that this locality represents a new Pleistocene marine record in Uruguay [es

  13. Winter blood values of selected parameters in a group of non-hibernating captive brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergiel, A; Bednarski, M; Maślak, R; Piasecki, T; Huber, D

    2015-01-01

    Bears undergo some significant changes reflected in blood values during winter season. The most significant are reduced urea and increased creatinine, by some authors considered to be physiological indicators of hibernation. Studied group of six captive brown bears (Ursus arctos) showed decreased activity in winter but were accepting food and walked outdoors. Blood parameters assessed in February 2011 revealed mean values of leucocytes and neutrophils as significantly lower, and creatinine significantly increased compared to captive and free living bears sampled during other seasons when bears are active.

  14. Activity pattern of the orphaned Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ursidae cubs during rehabilitation processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Dasgupta

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Five Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus cubs aged between 6.5-15 months were studied for five months using instantaneous scan sampling (n=3049 scans while they were undergoing acclimatization in the rehabilitation areas in Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh, India. During the course of the study, feeding, moving, climbing, resting and playing activities were recorded in three consecutive time periods, representing three phases of acclimatization. The frequency of climbing and moving increased considerably towards the third phase, while feeding decreased. These changes can be attributed to a learning process during acclimatization. Time spent on moving and playing differed significantly among the bears, but not climbing or feeding.

  15. Temporal monitoring of liver and kidney lesions in contaminated East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1999-2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonne, Christian; Letcher, Robert J; Leifsson, Pall S; Rigét, Frank F; Bechshøft, Thea Ø; Bossi, Rossana; Asmund, Gert; Dietz, Rune

    2012-11-01

    Organohalogen contaminants bioaccumulate to high concentrations in tissues of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The exposure levels are in the order to be toxic to inner organs like liver and kidney. We therefore investigated the temporal development of lesions in liver (n=115) and kidney (n=122) samples from East Greenland polar bears taken over the 12 year period from 1999 to 2010. Seven liver and seven kidney lesions were observed of which six were age-related. Controlling for this, the analyses showed that hepatic steatosis and renal cell infiltrations, glomerular sclerosis and tubular hyperplasia decreased over the investigated time period (all ppolar bears. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Early Pleistocene occurrence of Acheulian technology in North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xingwen; Ao, Hong; Dekkers, Mark J.; Roberts, Andrew P.; Zhang, Peng; Lin, Shan; Huang, Weiwen; Hou, Yamei; Zhang, Weihua; An, Zhisheng

    2017-01-01

    Acheulian tools with their associated level of cognizance heralded a major threshold in the evolution of hominin technology, culture and behavior. Thus, unraveling occurrence ages of Acheulian technology across different regions worldwide constitutes a key aspect of understanding the archeology of early human evolution. Here we present a magneto-cyclochronology for the Acheulian assemblage from Sanmenxia Basin, Loess Plateau, North China. Our results place a sequence of stable normal and reversed paleomagnetic polarities within a regional lithostratigraphic context. The Acheulian assemblage is dated to be older than the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary at 0.78 Ma, and is found in strata that are probably equivalent to a weak paleosol subunit within loess layer L9 in the Chinese loess-paleosol sequence, which corresponds to marine isotope stage (MIS) 23, a relatively subdued interglacial period with age range of ∼0.89-0.92 Ma. This age of ∼0.9 Ma implies that Acheulian stone tools were unambiguously present in North China during the Early Pleistocene. It distinctly enlarges the geographic distribution of Acheulian technology and brings its occurrence in North China back into the Early Pleistocene, which is contemporaneous with its first emergence in Europe. Combined with other archeological records, the larger area over which Acheulian technology existed in East Asia during the terminal Early Pleistocene has important implications for understanding early human occupation of North China.

  17. Behaviour of solitary adult Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos when approached by humans on foot.

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    Gro Kvelprud Moen

    Full Text Available Successful management has brought the Scandinavian brown bear (Ursus arctos L. back from the brink of extinction, but as the population grows and expands the probability of bear-human encounters increases. More people express concerns about spending time in the forest, because of the possibility of encountering bears, and acceptance for the bear is decreasing. In this context, reliable information about the bear's normal behaviour during bear-human encounters is important. Here we describe the behaviour of brown bears when encountering humans on foot. During 2006-2009, we approached 30 adult (21 females, 9 males GPS-collared bears 169 times during midday, using 1-minute positioning before, during and after the approach. Observer movements were registered with a handheld GPS. The approaches started 869±348 m from the bears, with the wind towards the bear when passing it at approximately 50 m. The bears were detected in 15% of the approaches, and none of the bears displayed any aggressive behaviour. Most bears (80% left the initial site during the approach, going away from the observers, whereas some remained at the initial site after being approached (20%. Young bears left more often than older bears, possibly due to differences in experience, but the difference between ages decreased during the berry season compared to the pre-berry season. The flight initiation distance was longer for active bears (115±94 m than passive bears (69±47 m, and was further affected by horizontal vegetation cover and the bear's age. Our findings show that bears try to avoid confrontations with humans on foot, and support the conclusions of earlier studies that the Scandinavian brown bear is normally not aggressive during encounters with humans.

  18. Metabolic Changes in Summer Active and Anuric Hibernating Free-Ranging Brown Bears (Ursus arctos)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenvinkel, Peter; Fröbert, Ole; Anderstam, Björn; Palm, Fredrik; Eriksson, Monica; Bragfors-Helin, Ann-Christin; Qureshi, Abdul Rashid; Larsson, Tobias; Friebe, Andrea; Zedrosser, Andreas; Josefsson, Johan; Svensson, My; Sahdo, Berolla; Bankir, Lise; Johnson, Richard J.

    2013-01-01

    The brown bear (Ursus arctos) hibernates for 5 to 6 months each winter and during this time ingests no food or water and remains anuric and inactive. Despite these extreme conditions, bears do not develop azotemia and preserve their muscle and bone strength. To date most renal studies have been limited to small numbers of bears, often in captive environments. Sixteen free-ranging bears were darted and had blood drawn both during hibernation in winter and summer. Samples were collected for measurement of creatinine and urea, markers of inflammation, the calcium-phosphate axis, and nutritional parameters including amino acids. In winter the bear serum creatinine increased 2.5 fold despite a 2-fold decrease in urea, indicating a remarkable ability to recycle urea nitrogen during hibernation. During hibernation serum calcium remained constant despite a decrease in serum phosphate and a rise in FGF23 levels. Despite prolonged inactivity and reduced renal function, inflammation does not ensue and bears seem to have enhanced antioxidant defense mechanisms during hibernation. Nutrition parameters showed high fat stores, preserved amino acids and mild hyperglycemia during hibernation. While total, essential, non-essential and branched chain amino acids concentrations do not change during hibernation anorexia, changes in individual amino acids ornithine, citrulline and arginine indicate an active, although reduced urea cycle and nitrogen recycling to proteins. Serum uric acid and serum fructose levels were elevated in summer and changes between seasons were positively correlated. Further studies to understand how bears can prevent the development of uremia despite minimal renal function during hibernation could provide new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of human kidney disease. PMID:24039826

  19. PREVALENCE OF BABESIA SPP., EHRLICHIA SPP., AND TICK INFESTATIONS IN OKLAHOMA BLACK BEARS (URSUS AMERICANUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Delaina; Mitcham, Jessica R; Starkey, Lindsay A; Noden, Bruce H; Fairbanks, W Sue; Little, Susan E

    2017-10-01

    American black bears (Ursus americanus) are commonly infested with ticks throughout their range, but there are few surveys for tick-borne disease agents in bears. To characterize tick infestations and determine the prevalence of current infection with Babesia spp. and past or current infection with Ehrlichia spp. in newly re-established populations of black bears in east central and southeastern Oklahoma, US, we identified adult (n=1,048) and immature (n=107) ticks recovered from bears (n=62). We evaluated serum and whole blood samples from a subset (n=49) for antibodies reactive to, and characteristic DNA fragments of, Ehrlichia spp., as well as characteristic DNA fragments of Babesia spp. Amblyomma americanum, the most common tick identified, was found on a majority (56/62; 90%) of bears and accounted for 697/1,048 (66.5%) of all ticks recovered. Other ticks included Dermacentor variabilis (338/1,048; 32.3%) from 36 bears, Amblyomma maculatum (9/1,048; 0.9%) from three bears, and Ixodes scapularis (4/1,048; 0.4%) from three bears. Antibodies reactive to Ehrlichia spp. were detected in every bear tested (49/49; 100%); maximum inverse titers to Ehrlichia chaffeensis ranged from 64-4,096 (geometric mean titer 1,525). However, PCR failed to identify active infection with E. chaffeensis, Ehrlichia ewingii, or an Ehrlichia ruminantium-like agent. Infection with Babesia spp. was detected by PCR in 3/49 (6%) bears. Together these data confirm that tick infestations and infection with tick-borne disease agents are common in bears in the southern US. The significance of these infestations and infections to the health of bears, if any, and the identity of the Ehrlichia spp. responsible for the antibody reactivity seen, warrant further evaluation.

  20. Oxygen supplementation in anesthetized brown bears (Ursus arctos)-how low can you go?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahlman, Åsa; Arnemo, Jon M; Pringle, John; Nyman, Görel

    2014-07-01

    Hypoxemia is anticipated during wildlife anesthesia and thus should be prevented. We evaluated the efficacy of low flow rates of supplemental oxygen for improvement of arterial oxygenation in anesthetized brown bears (Ursus arctos). The study included 32 free-ranging brown bears (yearlings, subadults, and adults; body mass 12-250 kg) that were darted with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine (MZT) from a helicopter in Sweden. During anesthesia, oxygen was administered intranasally from portable oxygen cylinders at different flow rates (0.5-3 L/min). Arterial blood samples were collected before (pre-O2), during, and after oxygen therapy and immediately processed with a portable analyzer. Rectal temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate, and pulse oximetry-derived hemoglobin oxygen saturation were recorded. Intranasal oxygen supplementation at the evaluated flow rates significantly increased the partial pressure of arterial oxygen (PaO2) from pre-O2 values of 9.1 ± 1.3 (6.3-10.9) kPa to 20.4 ± 6.8 (11.1-38.7) kPa during oxygen therapy. When oxygen therapy was discontinued, the PaO2 decreased to values not significantly different from the pre-O2 values. In relation to the body mass of the bears, the following oxygen flow rates are recommended: 0.5 L/min to bears bears 51-100 kg, 2 L/min to bears 101-200 kg, and 3 L/min to bears 201-250 kg. In conclusion, low flow rates of intranasal oxygen were sufficient to improve arterial oxygenation in brown bears anesthetized with MZT. Because hypoxemia quickly recurred when oxygen was discontinued, oxygen supplementation should be provided continuously throughout anesthesia.

  1. Bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bear (Ursus maritimus in Arctic Svalbard

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    Brusetti Lorenzo

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Polar bears (Ursus maritimus are major predators in the Arctic marine ecosystem, feeding mainly on seals, and living closely associated with sea ice. Little is known of their gut microbial ecology and the main purpose of this study was to investigate the microbial diversity in faeces of polar bears in Svalbard, Norway (74-81°N, 10-33°E. In addition the level of blaTEM alleles, encoding ampicillin resistance (ampr were determined. In total, ten samples were collected from ten individual bears, rectum swabs from five individuals in 2004 and faeces samples from five individuals in 2006. Results A 16S rRNA gene clone library was constructed, and all sequences obtained from 161 clones showed affiliation with the phylum Firmicutes, with 160 sequences identified as Clostridiales and one sequence identified as unclassified Firmicutes. The majority of the sequences (70% were affiliated with the genus Clostridium. Aerobic heterotrophic cell counts on chocolate agar ranged between 5.0 × 104 to 1.6 × 106 colony forming units (cfu/ml for the rectum swabs and 4.0 × 103 to 1.0 × 105 cfu/g for the faeces samples. The proportion of ampr bacteria ranged from 0% to 44%. All of 144 randomly selected ampr isolates tested positive for enzymatic β-lactamase activity. Three % of the ampr isolates from the rectal samples yielded positive results when screened for the presence of blaTEM genes by PCR. BlaTEM alleles were also detected by PCR in two out of three total faecal DNA samples from polar bears. Conclusion The bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bears in their natural environment in Svalbard is low compared to other animal species, with all obtained clones affiliating to Firmicutes. Furthermore, only low levels of blaTEM alleles were detected in contrast to their increasing prevalence in some clinical and commensal bacterial populations.

  2. Immobilization of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) with dexmedetomidine, tiletamine, and zolazepam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teisberg, Justin E; Farley, Sean D; Nelson, O Lynne; Hilderbrand, Grant V; Madel, Michael J; Owen, Patricia A; Erlenbach, Joy A; Robbins, Charles T

    2014-01-01

    Safe and effective immobilization of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) is essential for research and management. Fast induction of anesthesia, maintenance of healthy vital rates, and predictable recoveries are priorities. From September 2010 to May 2012, we investigated these attributes in captive and wild grizzly bears anesthetized with a combination of a reversible α2 agonist (dexmedetomidine [dexM], the dextrorotatory enantiomer of medetomidine) and a nonreversible N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) agonist and tranquilizer (tiletamine and zolazepam [TZ], respectively). A smaller-than-expected dose of the combination (1.23 mg tiletamine, 1.23 mg zolazepam, and 6.04 µg dexmedetomidine per kg bear) produced reliable, fast ataxia (3.7 ± 0.5 min, x̄±SE) and workable anesthesia (8.1 ± 0.6 min) in captive adult grizzly bears. For wild bears darted from a helicopter, a dose of 2.06 mg tiletamine, 2.06 mg zolazepam, and 10.1 µg dexmedetomidine/kg produced ataxia in 2.5 ± 0.3 min and anesthesia in 5.5 ± 1.0 min. Contrary to published accounts of bear anesthesia with medetomidine, tiletamine, and zolazepam, this combination did not cause hypoxemia or hypoventilation, although mild bradycardia (bears during the active season. With captive bears, effective dose rates during hibernation were approximately half those during the active season. The time to first signs of recovery after the initial injection of dexMTZ was influenced by heart rate (Pgrizzly bears, especially during helicopter capture operations.

  3. The utility of harvest recoveries of marked individuals to assess polar bear (Ursus maritimus) survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, Elizabeth; Laake, Jeff; Laidre, Kristin L.; Born, Erik W.; Atkinson, Stephen N.

    2012-01-01

    Management of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) populations requires the periodic assessment of life history metrics such as survival rate. This information is frequently obtained during short-term capture and marking efforts (e.g., over the course of three years) that result in hundreds of marked bears remaining in the population after active marking is finished. Using 10 additional years of harvest recovery subsequent to a period of active marking, we provide updated estimates of annual survival for polar bears in the Baffin Bay population of Greenland and Canada. Our analysis suggests a decline in survival of polar bears since the period of active marking that ended in 1997; some of the decline in survival can likely be attributed to a decline in springtime ice concentration over the continental shelf of Baffin Island. The variance around the survival estimates is comparatively high because of the declining number of marks available; therefore, results must be interpreted with caution. The variance of the estimates of survival increased most substantially in the sixth year post-marking. When survival estimates calculated with recovery-only and recapture-recovery data sets from the period of active marking were compared, survival rates were indistinguishable. However, for the period when fewer marks were available, survival estimates were lower using the recovery-only data set, which indicates that part of the decline we detected for 2003 – 09 may be due to using only harvest recovery data. Nevertheless, the decline in the estimates of survival is consistent with population projections derived from harvest numbers and earlier vital rates, as well as with an observed decline in the extent of sea ice habitat.

  4. Bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in Arctic Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glad, Trine; Bernhardsen, Pål; Nielsen, Kaare M; Brusetti, Lorenzo; Andersen, Magnus; Aars, Jon; Sundset, Monica A

    2010-01-14

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are major predators in the Arctic marine ecosystem, feeding mainly on seals, and living closely associated with sea ice. Little is known of their gut microbial ecology and the main purpose of this study was to investigate the microbial diversity in faeces of polar bears in Svalbard, Norway (74-81 degrees N, 10-33 degrees E). In addition the level of blaTEM alleles, encoding ampicillin resistance (ampr) were determined. In total, ten samples were collected from ten individual bears, rectum swabs from five individuals in 2004 and faeces samples from five individuals in 2006. A 16S rRNA gene clone library was constructed, and all sequences obtained from 161 clones showed affiliation with the phylum Firmicutes, with 160 sequences identified as Clostridiales and one sequence identified as unclassified Firmicutes. The majority of the sequences (70%) were affiliated with the genus Clostridium. Aerobic heterotrophic cell counts on chocolate agar ranged between 5.0 x 10(4) to 1.6 x 10(6) colony forming units (cfu)/ml for the rectum swabs and 4.0 x 10(3) to 1.0 x 10(5) cfu/g for the faeces samples. The proportion of ampr bacteria ranged from 0% to 44%. All of 144 randomly selected ampr isolates tested positive for enzymatic beta-lactamase activity. Three % of the ampr isolates from the rectal samples yielded positive results when screened for the presence of blaTEM genes by PCR. BlaTEM alleles were also detected by PCR in two out of three total faecal DNA samples from polar bears. The bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bears in their natural environment in Svalbard is low compared to other animal species, with all obtained clones affiliating to Firmicutes. Furthermore, only low levels of blaTEM alleles were detected in contrast to their increasing prevalence in some clinical and commensal bacterial populations.

  5. Genetic and demographic recovery of an isolated population of brown bear Ursus arctos L., 1758

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena G. Gonzalez

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The brown bear Ursus arctos L., 1758 population of the Cantabrian Mountains (northwestern Spain became isolated from other bear populations in Europe about 500 years ago and has declined due to hunting and habitat degradation. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Cantabrian population split into eastern and western subpopulations, and genetic exchange between them ceased. In the early 1990s, total population size was estimated to be < 100 bears. Subsequently, reduction in human-caused mortality has brought about an increase in numbers, mainly in the western subpopulation, likely promoting male-mediated migration and gene flow from the western nucleus to the eastern. To evaluate the possible genetic recovery of the small and genetically depauperate eastern subpopulation, in 2013 and 2014 we genotyped hair and faeces samples (116 from the eastern subpopulation and 36 from the western for 18 microsatellite markers. Data from the annual count of females with cubs of the year (COY during the past twenty-six years was used to analyze demographic changes. The number of females with COY fell to a minimum of seven in the western and three in eastern subpopulations in the biennium 1993–1994 and reached a respective maximum of 54 and 10 individuals in 2013–2014. We also observed increased bear dispersal and gene flow, mainly from the western to the eastern subpopulation. Of the 26 unique genotypes detected in the eastern subpopulation, 14 (54% presented an admixture composition, and seven (27% were determined to be migrants from the western subpopulation. Hence, the two separated and clearly structured subpopulations identified in the past currently show some degree of genetic admixture. This research shows the partial demographic recovery and a change in genetic composition due to migration process in a population of bears that has been isolated for several centuries.

  6. Metabolic changes in summer active and anuric hibernating free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos.

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    Peter Stenvinkel

    Full Text Available The brown bear (Ursus arctos hibernates for 5 to 6 months each winter and during this time ingests no food or water and remains anuric and inactive. Despite these extreme conditions, bears do not develop azotemia and preserve their muscle and bone strength. To date most renal studies have been limited to small numbers of bears, often in captive environments. Sixteen free-ranging bears were darted and had blood drawn both during hibernation in winter and summer. Samples were collected for measurement of creatinine and urea, markers of inflammation, the calcium-phosphate axis, and nutritional parameters including amino acids. In winter the bear serum creatinine increased 2.5 fold despite a 2-fold decrease in urea, indicating a remarkable ability to recycle urea nitrogen during hibernation. During hibernation serum calcium remained constant despite a decrease in serum phosphate and a rise in FGF23 levels. Despite prolonged inactivity and reduced renal function, inflammation does not ensue and bears seem to have enhanced antioxidant defense mechanisms during hibernation. Nutrition parameters showed high fat stores, preserved amino acids and mild hyperglycemia during hibernation. While total, essential, non-essential and branched chain amino acids concentrations do not change during hibernation anorexia, changes in individual amino acids ornithine, citrulline and arginine indicate an active, although reduced urea cycle and nitrogen recycling to proteins. Serum uric acid and serum fructose levels were elevated in summer and changes between seasons were positively correlated. Further studies to understand how bears can prevent the development of uremia despite minimal renal function during hibernation could provide new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of human kidney disease.

  7. Detection of human bacterial pathogens in ticks collected from Louisiana black bears (Ursus americanus luteolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leydet, Brian F; Liang, Fang-Ting

    2013-04-01

    There are 4 major human-biting tick species in the northeastern United States, which include: Amblyomma americanum, Amblyomma maculatum, Dermacentor variabilis, and Ixodes scapularis. The black bear is a large mammal that has been shown to be parasitized by all the aforementioned ticks. We investigated the bacterial infections in ticks collected from Louisiana black bears (Ursus americanus subspecies luteolus). Eighty-six ticks were collected from 17 black bears in Louisiana from June 2010 to March 2011. All 4 common human-biting tick species were represented. Each tick was subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting select bacterial pathogens and symbionts. Bacterial DNA was detected in 62% of ticks (n=53). Rickettsia parkeri, the causative agent of an emerging spotted fever group rickettsiosis, was identified in 66% of A. maculatum, 28% of D. variabilis, and 11% of I. scapularis. The Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, was detected in 2 I. scapularis, while one A. americanum was positive for Borrelia bissettii, a putative human pathogen. The rickettsial endosymbionts Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae, rickettsial endosymbiont of I. scapularis, and Rickettsia amblyommii were detected in their common tick hosts at 21%, 39%, and 60%, respectively. All ticks were PCR-negative for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia spp., and Babesia microti. This is the first reported detection of R. parkeri in vector ticks in Louisiana; we also report the novel association of R. parkeri with I. scapularis. Detection of both R. parkeri and B. burgdorferi in their respective vectors in Louisiana demands further investigation to determine potential for human exposure to these pathogens. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  8. Blood lipid concentrations and lipoprotein patterns in captive and wild American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Nicholas; Elliott, Sarah B; Allin, Shawn B; Ramsay, Edward C

    2006-02-01

    To compare blood lipid concentrations and lipoprotein patterns for captive and wild American black bears (Ursus americanus). 7 captive and 9 wild adult (> or = 4 years old) black bears. Blood was collected from 2 groups of captive black bears (groups A and B) and 1 group of wild black bears (group C). Blood triglyceride (TG) and cholesterol concentrations were compared among groups. Plasma lipoproteins were isolated by use of a self-generating gradient of iodixanol, and lipoprotein patterns were compared between groups A and B. Captive bears (mean +/- SD, 187.8 +/- 44.4 kg) weighed significantly more than wild bears (mean, 104.8 +/- 41.4 kg), but mean body weight did not differ between groups A and B. Mean blood TG concentrations for groups B (216.8 +/- 16.0 mg/dL) and C (190.7 +/- 34.0 mg/dL) were significantly higher than that of group A (103.9 +/- 25.3 mg/dL). Mean blood cholesterol concentration was also significantly higher for group B (227.8 +/- 8.2 mg/dL) than for groups A (171.7 +/- 35.5 mg/dL) or C (190.8 +/- 26.8 mg/dL). Mean very-low-density lipoprotein TG and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were 2- and 3-fold higher, respectively, for group B, compared with concentrations for group A. Blood lipid concentrations vary significantly among populations of black bears. Plasma lipoprotein patterns of captive bears differed significantly between colonies and may have reflected differences in diet or management practices.

  9. Modulation of gene expression in heart and liver of hibernating black bears (Ursus americanus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Jun

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hibernation is an adaptive strategy to survive in highly seasonal or unpredictable environments. The molecular and genetic basis of hibernation physiology in mammals has only recently been studied using large scale genomic approaches. We analyzed gene expression in the American black bear, Ursus americanus, using a custom 12,800 cDNA probe microarray to detect differences in expression that occur in heart and liver during winter hibernation in comparison to summer active animals. Results We identified 245 genes in heart and 319 genes in liver that were differentially expressed between winter and summer. The expression of 24 genes was significantly elevated during hibernation in both heart and liver. These genes are mostly involved in lipid catabolism and protein biosynthesis and include RNA binding protein motif 3 (Rbm3, which enhances protein synthesis at mildly hypothermic temperatures. Elevated expression of protein biosynthesis genes suggests induction of translation that may be related to adaptive mechanisms reducing cardiac and muscle atrophies over extended periods of low metabolism and immobility during hibernation in bears. Coordinated reduction of transcription of genes involved in amino acid catabolism suggests redirection of amino acids from catabolic pathways to protein biosynthesis. We identify common for black bears and small mammalian hibernators transcriptional changes in the liver that include induction of genes responsible for fatty acid β oxidation and carbohydrate synthesis and depression of genes involved in lipid biosynthesis, carbohydrate catabolism, cellular respiration and detoxification pathways. Conclusions Our findings show that modulation of gene expression during winter hibernation represents molecular mechanism of adaptation to extreme environments.

  10. Relationships between POPs, biometrics and circulating steroids in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Hansen, Ingunn Tjelta; Bytingsvik, Jenny; Hansen, Martin; Lie, Elisabeth; Aars, Jon; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Styrishave, Bjarne

    2017-11-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and biometric variables on circulating levels of steroid hormones (androgens, estrogens and progestagens) in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard, Norway (n = 23). Levels of pregnenolone (PRE), progesterone (PRO), androstenedione (AN), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone (TS), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2) and 17β-estradiol (βE2) were quantified in polar bear serum by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS), while POPs were measured in plasma. Subsequently, associations between hormone concentrations (9 steroids), POPs (21 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 8 OH-PCBs, 8 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and OCP metabolites, and 2 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)) and biological variables (age, head length, body mass, girth, body condition index), capture date, location (latitude and longitude), lipid content and cholesterol levels were examined using principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal projections to latent structures (OPLS) modelling. Average concentrations of androgens, estrogens and progestagens were in the range of 0.57-83.7 (0.57-12.4 for subadults, 1.02-83.7 for adults), 0.09-2.69 and 0.57-2.44 nmol/L, respectively. The steroid profiles suggest that sex steroids were mainly synthesized through the Δ-4 pathway in male polar bears. The ratio between androgens and estrogens significantly depended on sexual maturity with androgen/estrogen ratios being approximately 60 times higher in adult males than in subadult males. PCA plots and OPLS models indicated that TS was positively related to biometrics, such as body condition index in male polar bears. A negative relationship was also observed between POPs and DHT. Consequently, POPs and body condition may potentially affect the endocrinological function of steroids, including development of reproductive tissues and sex organs and the

  11. Impacts of Human Recreation on Brown Bears (Ursus arctos): A Review and New Management Tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortin, Jennifer K; Rode, Karyn D; Hilderbrand, Grant V; Wilder, James; Farley, Sean; Jorgensen, Carole; Marcot, Bruce G

    2016-01-01

    Increased popularity of recreational activities in natural areas has led to the need to better understand their impacts on wildlife. The majority of research conducted to date has focused on behavioral effects from individual recreations, thus there is a limited understanding of the potential for population-level or cumulative effects. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are the focus of a growing wildlife viewing industry and are found in habitats frequented by recreationists. Managers face difficult decisions in balancing recreational opportunities with habitat protection for wildlife. Here, we integrate results from empirical studies with expert knowledge to better understand the potential population-level effects of recreational activities on brown bears. We conducted a literature review and Delphi survey of brown bear experts to better understand the frequencies and types of recreations occurring in bear habitats and their potential effects, and to identify management solutions and research needs. We then developed a Bayesian network model that allows managers to estimate the potential effects of recreational management decisions in bear habitats. A higher proportion of individual brown bears in coastal habitats were exposed to recreation, including photography and bear-viewing than bears in interior habitats where camping and hiking were more common. Our results suggest that the primary mechanism by which recreation may impact brown bears is through temporal and spatial displacement with associated increases in energetic costs and declines in nutritional intake. Killings in defense of life and property were found to be minimally associated with recreation in Alaska, but are important considerations in population management. Regulating recreation to occur predictably in space and time and limiting recreation in habitats with concentrated food resources reduces impacts on food intake and may thereby, reduce impacts on reproduction and survival. Our results suggest that

  12. Role of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in the flow of marine nitrogen into a terrestrial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilderbrand, G V; Hanley, Thomas A; Robbins, Charles T; Schwartz, C C

    1999-12-01

    We quantified the amount, spatial distribution, and importance of salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.)-derived nitrogen (N) by brown bears (Ursus arctos) on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. We tested and confirmed the hypothesis that the stable isotope signature (δ 15 N) of N in foliage of white spruce (Picea glauca) was inversely proportional to the distance from salmon-spawning streams (r=-0.99 and Pbrown bears, relative to their distance from a stream, were highly correlated with δ 15 N depletion of foliage across the same gradient (r=-0.98 and -0.96 and Pbrown bears were 37.2±2.9 kg/year per bear (range 23.1-56.3), of which 96% (35.7±2.7 kg/year per bear) was excreted in urine, 3% (1.1±0.1 kg/year per bear) was excreted in feces, and bear) was retained in the body. On an area basis, salmon-N redistribution rates were as high as 5.1±0.7 mg/m 2 per year per bear within 500 m of the stream but dropped off greatly with increasing distance. We estimated that 15.5-17.8% of the total N in spruce foliage within 500 m of the stream was derived from salmon. Of that, bears had distributed 83-84%. Thus, brown bears can be an important vector of salmon-derived N into riparian ecosystems, but their effects are highly variable spatially and a function of bear density.

  13. Fatal snake bite in a brown bear (Ursus arctos L.: A case report

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    Romel Velev

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Poisoning from snake venom in animals is an emergency which requires immediate attention or otherwise, the delayed and inadequate treatment leads to untoward consequences and death. The present paper describes a case of venomous snakebite in a brown bear cub (Ursus arctos L. and its therapeutic management. The brown bear cub of which was found alone on the slopes of a mountain in the southwest part of the country was presented to the peripheral veterinary practice in Ohrid with a history of dullness, disorientation and excessive swelling around the left forepaw. It was diagnosed for snakebite based on the history and physical examination. The hematological parameters showed reduced values of hemoglobin, packed cell volume and increased total leukocyte count. The biochemical values showed elevated levels of alanine aminotransferase and creatinine. After immobilization of the animal, the treatment was conducted with fluids, corticosteroid and broad spectrum antibiotic with careful monitoring. Despite the treatment which was initiated immediately, it was only partially effective, and the animal died one hour after the beginning of its course. Poisonous snakes are common in the mountainous part of Macedonia and, just like humans, wild bears especially their cubs are susceptible to the deadly venom of some species. The severity of the reaction to snake venom and prognosis in animals depends on a number of factors: on the type and species of snake, on how much venom was injected, on the location of the bite, on the age, health and body weight of the animal and crucially, the time interval between the snakebite and the application of the treatment.

  14. Hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls decrease circulating steroids in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustavson, Lisa; Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Bytingsvik, Jenny; Styrishave, Bjarne; Hansen, Martin; Lie, Elisabeth; Aars, Jon; Jenssen, Bjørn M

    2015-04-01

    As a top predator in the Arctic food chain, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are exposed to high levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Because several of these compounds have been reported to alter endocrine pathways, such as the steroidogenesis, potential disruption of the sex steroid synthesis by POPs may cause implications for reproduction by interfering with ovulation, implantation and fertility. Blood samples were collected from 15 female polar bears in Svalbard (Norway) in April 2008. The concentrations of nine circulating steroid hormones; dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), androstenedione (AN), testosterone (TS), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2), 17β-estradiol (βE2), pregnenolone (PRE) and progesterone (PRO) were determined. The aim of the study was to investigate associations among circulating levels of specific POP compounds and POP-metabolites (hydroxylated PCBs [OH-PCBs] and hydroxylated PBDEs [OH-PBDEs]), steroid hormones, biological and capture variables in female polar bears. Inverse correlations were found between circulating levels of PRE and AN, and circulating levels of OH-PCBs. There were no significant relationships between the steroid concentrations and other analyzed POPs or the variables capture date and capture location (latitude and longitude), lipid content, condition and body mass. Although statistical associations do not necessarily represent direct cause-effect relationships, the present study indicate that OH-PCBs may affect the circulating levels of AN and PRE in female polar bears and that OH-PCBs thus may interfere with the steroid homeostasis. Increase in PRO and a decrease in AN concentrations suggest that the enzyme CYP17 may be a potential target for OH-PCBs. In combination with natural stressors, ongoing climate change and contaminant exposure, it is possible that OH-PCBs may disturb the reproductive potential of polar bears. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in Arctic Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are major predators in the Arctic marine ecosystem, feeding mainly on seals, and living closely associated with sea ice. Little is known of their gut microbial ecology and the main purpose of this study was to investigate the microbial diversity in faeces of polar bears in Svalbard, Norway (74-81°N, 10-33°E). In addition the level of blaTEM alleles, encoding ampicillin resistance (ampr) were determined. In total, ten samples were collected from ten individual bears, rectum swabs from five individuals in 2004 and faeces samples from five individuals in 2006. Results A 16S rRNA gene clone library was constructed, and all sequences obtained from 161 clones showed affiliation with the phylum Firmicutes, with 160 sequences identified as Clostridiales and one sequence identified as unclassified Firmicutes. The majority of the sequences (70%) were affiliated with the genus Clostridium. Aerobic heterotrophic cell counts on chocolate agar ranged between 5.0 × 104 to 1.6 × 106 colony forming units (cfu)/ml for the rectum swabs and 4.0 × 103 to 1.0 × 105 cfu/g for the faeces samples. The proportion of ampr bacteria ranged from 0% to 44%. All of 144 randomly selected ampr isolates tested positive for enzymatic β-lactamase activity. Three % of the ampr isolates from the rectal samples yielded positive results when screened for the presence of blaTEM genes by PCR. BlaTEM alleles were also detected by PCR in two out of three total faecal DNA samples from polar bears. Conclusion The bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bears in their natural environment in Svalbard is low compared to other animal species, with all obtained clones affiliating to Firmicutes. Furthermore, only low levels of blaTEM alleles were detected in contrast to their increasing prevalence in some clinical and commensal bacterial populations. PMID:20074323

  16. The impacts of human recreation on brown bears (Ursus arctos): A review and new management tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortin-noreus, Jennifer; Rode, Karyn D.; Hilderbrand, Grant V; Wilder, James; Farley, Sean; Jorgensen, Carole; Marcot, Bruce G.

    2016-01-01

    Increased popularity of recreational activities in natural areas has led to the need to better understand their impacts on wildlife. The majority of research conducted to date has focused on behavioral effects from individual recreations, thus there is a limited understanding of the potential for population-level or cumulative effects. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are the focus of a growing wildlife viewing industry and are found in habitats frequented by recreationists. Managers face difficult decisions in balancing recreational opportunities with habitat protection for wildlife. Here, we integrate results from empirical studies with expert knowledge to better understand the potential population-level effects of recreational activities on brown bears. We conducted a literature review and Delphi survey of brown bear experts to better understand the frequencies and types of recreations occurring in bear habitats and their potential effects, and to identify management solutions and research needs. We then developed a Bayesian network model that allows managers to estimate the potential effects of recreational management decisions in bear habitats. A higher proportion of individual brown bears in coastal habitats were exposed to recreation, including photography and bear-viewing than bears in interior habitats where camping and hiking were more common. Our results suggest that the primary mechanism by which recreation may impact brown bears is through temporal and spatial displacement with associated increases in energetic costs and declines in nutritional intake. Killings in defense of life and property were found to be minimally associated with recreation in Alaska, but are important considerations in population management. Regulating recreation to occur predictably in space and time and limiting recreation in habitats with concentrated food resources reduces impacts on food intake and may thereby, reduce impacts on reproduction and survival. Our results suggest that

  17. Low regional diversity of late cave bears mitochondrial DNA at the time of Chauvet Aurignacian paintings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bon, Celine; Berthonaud, Veronique; Fosse, Philippe; Gely, Bernard; Maksud, Frederic; Vitalis, Renaud; Philippe, Michel; van der Plicht, Johannes; Elalouf, Jean-Marc

    The Chauvet-Pont d'Arc and Deux-Ouvertures caves, located along the Ardeche River (France), contain abundant remains of the extinct cave bear (Ursus spelaeus). Because they also display a variety of Palaeolithic anthropogenic evidences, such as the earliest charcoal drawings recorded to date

  18. Plio-Pleistocene aardvarks (Mammalia, Tubulidentata from East Africa

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    T. Lehmann

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available The Tubulidentata are unique among mammals for being the only order represented nowadays by a single living species, Orycteropus afer: the aardvark. Nevertheless, it is one of the least studied mammalian orders. Aardvarks are currently distributed all over sub-Saharan Africa, but the fossil record extends their spatial range to Europe and Asia. The earliest known Tubulidentata are ca. 20 million years old. About 14 species and three to four genera have been recognised so far, but since the late Pliocene, aardvarks have only been represented by a single genus and are restricted to Africa. The extant aardvark is the only species of Tubulidentata with a large distribution area, i.e. the African continent. There are three known Plio-Pleistocene African species of aardvark: Orycteropus afer (Pallas, 1766, O. crassidens MacInnes, 1956, and O. djourabensis Lehmann et al., 2004. Fossils of these species have been discovered in North-Africa, Kenya, and Chad respectively. The present study is focused on the aardvark material found in the Plio-Pleistocene of East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya. New specimens from Asa Issie (Ethiopia and East Turkana (Kenya are described, and published ones are re-examined in the light of the latest discoveries. This study demonstrates that Kenyan specimens identified as O. crassidens are in fact representatives of the Chadian O. djourabensis. Moreover, additional material from Ethiopia and Kenya shows a close relationship with the latter species too. The presence of specimens of O. djourabensis in Chad and in Kenya during the Plio-Pleistocene implies that this taxon is the oldest-known species of aardvark to have experienced a continental dispersal. It also shows that Tubulidentates were able to cross Africa from east-west during Plio-Pleistocene times, despite the presence of the Rift Valley. It is however not possible to infer the centre of origin of O. djourabensis. Finally, this study suggests that two species of aardvark

  19. Pleistocene and Holocene Iberian flora: a complete picture and review

    Science.gov (United States)

    González Sampériz, Penélope

    2010-05-01

    A detailed analysis of the location and composition of Iberian vegetation types during the whole Pleistocene and Holocene periods shows a complex patched landscape with persistence of different types of ecosystems, even during glacial times. In addition, recent, high-resolution palaeoecological records are changing the traditional picture of post-glacial vegetation succession in the Iberian Peninsula. The main available charcoal and pollen sequences include, coniferous and deciduous forest, steppes, shrublands, savannahs and glacial refugia during the Pleistocene for Meso-thermophytes (phytodiversity reservoirs), in different proportions. This panorama suggests an environmental complexity that relates biotic responses to climate changes forced by Milankovitch cycles, suborbital forcings and by the latitudinal and physiographic particularities of the Iberian Peninsula. Thus, many factors are critical in the course of vegetational developments and strong regional differences are observed since the Early Pleistocene. Currently, the flora of Iberia is located in two biogeographical/climatic regions: the Eurosiberian and the Mediterranean. The first one includes northern and northwestern areas of the peninsula, where post-glacial responses of vegetation are very similar to Central Europe, although with some particularities due to its proximity to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean region. The second one comprises the main territory of Iberia and shows more complex patterns and singularities, now and in the past. Steppe landscapes dominated extensive areas over all the territory during the cold spells of the Quaternary, especially during the Late Pleistocene up to the Last Glacial Maximum, but differences in composition of the dominant taxa (Compositae versus Artemisia) are observed since the Early Pleistocene, probably related to moisture regional gradients. Coastal shelves and intramountainous valleys, even in continental areas, are spots of floristic

  20. Age and seasonal variability of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in free-ranging East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dietz, Rune; Riget, Frank F.; Sonne, Christian; Letcher, Robert J.; Backus, Sean; Born, Erik W.; Kirkegaard, Maja; Muir, Derek C.G.

    2007-01-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were analysed in adipose tissue from 92 East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled during 1999-2001. Mean ΣPBDE concentrations were 70 ng/g lipid weight (lw) (range: 22-192 ng/g lw) and showed no relationship with age or sex. Of the 32 analysed PBDE congeners; BDE47, BDE153, BDE99 and BDE100 dominated, and comprised 99.6% of the ΣPBDE concentration. The ΣPBDE concentration had a highly significant correlation with ΣPCB, ΣCHL, dieldrin, HCB and ΣHCH concentrations. We found a seasonal pattern of median ΣPBDE concentration with 1.2 to 1.8 times higher concentrations in March to July than the rest of the year. The seasonal variation also provides a clue to the seasonal exposure, bio-availability, toxic exposure and degradation. We suggest that future geographical PBDE data comparisons may not need corrections for sex or age, but such data sets should be corrected for seasonal variability, using the presented correctional trigonometric regression. - Mean ΣPBDE concentrations of East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were 69.5 ng/g lw (range: 21.7-192 ng/g lw) and showed a seasonal pattern with no relationship with age and sex

  1. Use of acepromazine and medetomidine in combination for sedation and handling of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) and black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Lisa L; Johnson, Heather E; Fisher, Mark C; Sirochman, Michael A; Kraft, Benjamin; Miller, Michael W

    2014-10-01

    We opportunistically evaluated a combination of acepromazine maleate and medetomidine HCl for use in sedating Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) and black bears (Ursus americanus) as an alternative to scheduled drug combinations. This combination was safe and effective with limitations inherent in its sedative rather than anesthetic properties.

  2. Capture, anesthesia, and disturbance of free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) during hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Alina L; Sahlén, Veronica; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Fahlman, Åsa; Brunberg, Sven; Madslien, Knut; Fröbert, Ole; Swenson, Jon E; Arnemo, Jon M

    2012-01-01

    We conducted thirteen immobilizations of previously collared hibernating two- to four-year-old brown bears (Ursus arctos) weighing 21-66 kg in central Sweden in winter 2010 and 2011 for comparative physiology research. Here we report, for the first time, an effective protocol for the capture and anesthesia of free-ranging brown bears during hibernation and an assessment of the disturbance the captures caused. Bears were darted in anthill, soil, or uprooted tree dens on eleven occasions, but two bears in rock dens fled and were darted outside the den. We used medetomidine at 0.02-0.06 mg/kg and zolazepam-tiletamine at 0.9-2.8 mg/kg for anesthesia. In addition, ketamine at 1.5 mg/kg was hand-injected intramuscularly in four bears and in six it was included in the dart at 1.1-3.0 mg/kg. Once anesthetized, bears were removed from the dens. In nine bears, arterial blood samples were analyzed immediately with a portable blood gas analyzer. We corrected hypoxemia in seven bears (PaO(2) 57-74 mmHg) with supplemental oxygen. We placed the bears back into the dens and antagonized the effect of medetomidine with atipamezole. Capturing bears in the den significantly increased the risk of den abandonment. One of twelve collared bears that were captured remained at the original den until spring, and eleven, left their dens (mean ± standard deviation) 3.2±3.6 (range 0.5-10.5) days after capture. They used 1.9±0.9 intermediate resting sites, during 6.2±7.8 days before entering a new permanent den. The eleven new permanent dens were located 730±589 m from the original dens. We documented that it was feasible and safe to capture hibernating brown bears, although they behaved differently than black bears. When doing so, researchers should use 25% of the doses used for helicopter darting during the active period and should consider increased energetic costs associated with den abandonment.

  3. Capture, anesthesia, and disturbance of free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos during hibernation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina L Evans

    Full Text Available We conducted thirteen immobilizations of previously collared hibernating two- to four-year-old brown bears (Ursus arctos weighing 21-66 kg in central Sweden in winter 2010 and 2011 for comparative physiology research. Here we report, for the first time, an effective protocol for the capture and anesthesia of free-ranging brown bears during hibernation and an assessment of the disturbance the captures caused. Bears were darted in anthill, soil, or uprooted tree dens on eleven occasions, but two bears in rock dens fled and were darted outside the den. We used medetomidine at 0.02-0.06 mg/kg and zolazepam-tiletamine at 0.9-2.8 mg/kg for anesthesia. In addition, ketamine at 1.5 mg/kg was hand-injected intramuscularly in four bears and in six it was included in the dart at 1.1-3.0 mg/kg. Once anesthetized, bears were removed from the dens. In nine bears, arterial blood samples were analyzed immediately with a portable blood gas analyzer. We corrected hypoxemia in seven bears (PaO(2 57-74 mmHg with supplemental oxygen. We placed the bears back into the dens and antagonized the effect of medetomidine with atipamezole. Capturing bears in the den significantly increased the risk of den abandonment. One of twelve collared bears that were captured remained at the original den until spring, and eleven, left their dens (mean ± standard deviation 3.2±3.6 (range 0.5-10.5 days after capture. They used 1.9±0.9 intermediate resting sites, during 6.2±7.8 days before entering a new permanent den. The eleven new permanent dens were located 730±589 m from the original dens. We documented that it was feasible and safe to capture hibernating brown bears, although they behaved differently than black bears. When doing so, researchers should use 25% of the doses used for helicopter darting during the active period and should consider increased energetic costs associated with den abandonment.

  4. Dental and Temporomandibular Joint Pathology of the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winer, J N; Arzi, B; Leale, D M; Kass, P H; Verstraete, F J M

    2016-01-01

    Museum specimens (maxillae and/or mandibles) from 317 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were examined macroscopically according to predefined criteria and 249 specimens were included in this study. The specimens were acquired between 1906 and 2011. There were 126 specimens (50.6%) from male animals, 93 (37.3%) from female animals and 30 (12.1%) from animals of unknown sex. The ages of the animals ranged from neonate to adult, with 125 adults (50.2%) and 124 young adults (49.8%) included and neonates/juveniles excluded from the study. The number of teeth available for examination was 7,638 (73.5%); 12.3% of teeth were absent artefactually, 0.8% were deemed absent due to acquired tooth loss and 13.4% were absent congenitally. With respect to tooth morphology, 20 teeth (0.26% of available teeth) in 18 specimens (7.2% of available specimens) were small vestigial structures with crowns that were flush with the level of surrounding alveolar bone. One supernumerary tooth and one tooth with enamel hypoplasia were encountered. Persistent deciduous teeth and teeth with an aberrant number of roots were not found. Relatively few teeth (3.7%) displayed attrition/abrasion, 90% of which were the maxillary and mandibular incisor teeth, in 41 polar bears (16.5%). Nearly twice as many adult specimens exhibited attrition/abrasion as those from young adults; significantly more males were affected than females. Dental fractures were noted in 52 polar bears, affecting 20.9% of specimens and 1.3% of the total number of teeth present. More adult polar bears had dental fractures than young adults. There were 21 specimens (8.4%) that displayed overt periapical disease, affecting a total of 24 dental alveoli (0.23%). Some degree of periodontitis was seen in 199 specimens (79.9%); however, only 12.6% of dental alveoli had bony changes indicative of periodontitis. Lesions consistent with temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis (TMJ-OA) were found in 23 specimens (9.2%). TMJ-OA was significantly

  5. Dental and Temporomandibular Joint Pathology of the American Black Bear (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, E J; Chesnutt, S R; Winer, J N; Kass, P H; Verstraete, F J M

    Museum specimens (maxillae and/or mandibles) from 371 American black bears (Ursus americanus) acquired between 1889 and 2006 were examined macroscopically according to predefined criteria, and 348 were included in this study. Of the 348 specimens, 126 (36.2%) were from male animals, 106 (30.5%) were from female animals and 116 (33.3%) were from animals of unknown sex. Specimen ages ranged from young adult (n = 63, 18.1%) to adult (n = 285, 81.9%), with juveniles excluded from the study. The number of teeth available for examination was 12,019 (82.2%); 7.0% of teeth were absent artefactually, 0.4% were deemed absent due to acquired tooth loss and 9.7% were absent congenitally. In 43 specimens (12.3%), 82 teeth (0.68%) were small vestigial structures with crowns that were flush with the level of surrounding alveolar bone. The remaining teeth (99.3%) were of normal morphology. Only three supernumerary teeth and three instances of enamel hypoplasia were encountered. Persistent deciduous teeth or teeth with an aberrant number of roots were not encountered in any of the specimens. Approximately one-third of the teeth examined (4,543, 37.8%) displayed attrition/abrasion, affecting nearly all of the specimens (n = 338, 97.1%). Incisor and molar teeth accounted for 52.5% and 34.3% of the affected teeth, respectively, with significantly more adults affected than young adults. Dental fractures were noted in 63 bears, affecting 18.1% of specimens and 1.0% of the total number of present teeth. The canine teeth were most often fractured, with adults having significantly more complicated crown fractures of these teeth than young adults. There were 11 specimens (3.2%) that displayed periapical lesions, affecting 12 (0.1%) dental alveoli. There were 179 specimens (51.4%) displaying bony changes indicative of periodontitis, affecting 816 (6.8%) dental alveoli. The proportion of adult bears affected by periodontitis (57.9%) was significantly greater than that of young adults

  6. Impacts of Human Recreation on Brown Bears (Ursus arctos: A Review and New Management Tool.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer K Fortin

    Full Text Available Increased popularity of recreational activities in natural areas has led to the need to better understand their impacts on wildlife. The majority of research conducted to date has focused on behavioral effects from individual recreations, thus there is a limited understanding of the potential for population-level or cumulative effects. Brown bears (Ursus arctos are the focus of a growing wildlife viewing industry and are found in habitats frequented by recreationists. Managers face difficult decisions in balancing recreational opportunities with habitat protection for wildlife. Here, we integrate results from empirical studies with expert knowledge to better understand the potential population-level effects of recreational activities on brown bears. We conducted a literature review and Delphi survey of brown bear experts to better understand the frequencies and types of recreations occurring in bear habitats and their potential effects, and to identify management solutions and research needs. We then developed a Bayesian network model that allows managers to estimate the potential effects of recreational management decisions in bear habitats. A higher proportion of individual brown bears in coastal habitats were exposed to recreation, including photography and bear-viewing than bears in interior habitats where camping and hiking were more common. Our results suggest that the primary mechanism by which recreation may impact brown bears is through temporal and spatial displacement with associated increases in energetic costs and declines in nutritional intake. Killings in defense of life and property were found to be minimally associated with recreation in Alaska, but are important considerations in population management. Regulating recreation to occur predictably in space and time and limiting recreation in habitats with concentrated food resources reduces impacts on food intake and may thereby, reduce impacts on reproduction and survival. Our

  7. Signatures of Late Pleistocene fluvial incision in an Alpine landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leith, Kerry; Fox, Matthew; Moore, Jeffrey R.

    2018-02-01

    Uncertainty regarding the relative efficacy of fluvial and glacial erosion has hindered attempts to quantitatively analyse the Pleistocene evolution of alpine landscapes. Here we show that the morphology of major tributaries of the Rhone River, Switzerland, is consistent with that predicted for a landscape shaped primarily by multiple phases of fluvial incision following a period of intense glacial erosion after the mid-Pleistocene transition (∼0.7 Ma). This is despite major ice sheets reoccupying the region during cold intervals since the mid-Pleistocene. We use high-resolution LiDAR data to identify a series of convex reaches within the long-profiles of 18 tributary channels. We propose these reaches represent knickpoints, which developed as regional uplift raised tributary bedrock channels above the local fluvial baselevel during glacial intervals, and migrated upstream as the fluvial system was re-established during interglacial periods. Using a combination of integral long-profile analysis and stream-power modelling, we find that the locations of ∼80% of knickpoints in our study region are consistent with that predicted for a fluvial origin, while the mean residual error over ∼100 km of modelled channels is just 26.3 m. Breaks in cross-valley profiles project toward the elevation of former end-of-interglacial channel elevations, supporting our model results. Calculated long-term uplift rates are within ∼15% of present-day measurements, while modelled rates of bedrock incision range from ∼1 mm/yr for low gradient reaches between knickpoints to ∼6-10 mm/yr close to retreating knickpoints, typical of observed rates in alpine settings. Together, our results reveal approximately 800 m of regional uplift, river incision, and hillslope erosion in the lower half of each tributary catchment since 0.7 Ma.

  8. The Pleistocene rivers of the English Channel region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoine, Pierre; Coutard, Jean-Pierre; Gibbard, Philip; Hallegouet, Bernard; Lautridou, Jean-Pierre; Ozouf, Jean-Claude

    2003-02-01

    The Pleistocene history of river systems that enter the English Channel from northern France and southern England is reviewed. During periods of low sea-level (cold stages) these streams were tributaries of the Channel River. In southern England the largest, the River Solent, is an axial stream that has drained the Hampshire Basin from the Early Pleistocene or late Pliocene. Other streams of southern England may be of similar antiquity but their records are generally short and their sedimentary history have been destroyed, as in northern Brittany, by coastal erosion and valley deepening as a consequence of tectonic uplift. In northern France, the Seine and Somme rivers have very well developed terrace systems recording incision that began at around 1 Ma. The uplift rate, deduced from the study of these terrace systems, is of 55 to 60 m myr-1 since the end of the Early Pleistocene. Generally the facies and sedimentary structures indicate that the bulk of the deposits in these rivers accumulated in braided river environments under periglacial climates in all the area around the Channel. Evolution of the rivers reflects their responses to climatic change, local geological structure and long-term tectonic activity. In this context the Middle Somme valley is characterised by a regular pattern in which incision occurs at the beginning of each glacial period within a general background of uplift. Nevertheless the response of the different rivers to climatic variations, uplift and sea-level changes is complex and variable according to the different parts of the river courses.

  9. Ancient DNA reveals that bowhead whale lineages survived Late Pleistocene climate change and habitat shifts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Kaschner, Kristin; Schultze, Sebastian E.

    2013-01-01

    that a true Arctic species, the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), shifted its range and tracked its core suitable habitat northwards during the rapid climate change of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Late Pleistocene lineages survived into the Holocene and effective female population size increased...

  10. Late Pleistocene fishes of the Tennessee River Basin: an analysis of a late Pleistocene freshwater fish fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2) in Colbert County, Alabama, USA

    OpenAIRE

    Stephen J. Jacquemin; Jun A. Ebersole; William C. Dickinson; Charles N. Ciampaglio

    2016-01-01

    The Tennessee River Basin is considered one of the most important regions for freshwater biodiversity anywhere on the globe. The Tennessee River Basin currently includes populations of at least half of the described contemporary diversity of extant North American freshwater fishes, crayfish, mussel, and gastropod species. However, comparatively little is known about the biodiversity of this basin from the Pleistocene Epoch, particularly the late Pleistocene (?10,000 to 30,000 years B.P.) lead...

  11. Microbial Habitability and Pleistocene Aridification of the Asian Interior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiuyi; Lowenstein, Tim K; Fang, Xiaomin

    2016-06-01

    Fluid inclusions trapped in ancient halite can contain a community of halophilic prokaryotes and eukaryotes that inhabited the surface brines from which the halite formed. Long-term survival of bacteria and archaea and preservation of DNA have been reported from halite, but little is known about the distribution of microbes in buried evaporites. Here we report the discovery of prokaryotes and single-celled algae in fluid inclusions in Pleistocene halite, up to 2.26 Ma in age, from the Qaidam Basin, China. We show that water activity (aw), a measure of water availability and an environmental control on biological habitability in surface brines, is also related to microbe entrapment in fluid inclusions. The aw of Qaidam Basin brines progressively decreased over the last ∼1 million years, driven by aridification of the Asian interior, which led to decreased precipitation and water inflow and heightened evaporation rates. These changes in water balance produced highly concentrated brines, which reduced the habitability of surface lakes and decreased the number of microbes trapped in halite. By 0.13 Ma, the aw of surface brines approached the limits tolerated by halophilic prokaryotes and algae. These results show the response of microbial ecosystems to climate change in an extreme environment, which will guide future studies exploring deep life on Earth and elsewhere in the Solar System. Halite fluid inclusions-Ancient microbes-Water activity-Qaidam Basin-Pleistocene aridification. Astrobiology 16, 379-388.

  12. New Middle Pleistocene hominin cranium from Gruta da Aroeira (Portugal).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daura, Joan; Sanz, Montserrat; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Hoffmann, Dirk L; Quam, Rolf M; Ortega, María Cruz; Santos, Elena; Gómez, Sandra; Rubio, Angel; Villaescusa, Lucía; Souto, Pedro; Mauricio, João; Rodrigues, Filipa; Ferreira, Artur; Godinho, Paulo; Trinkaus, Erik; Zilhão, João

    2017-03-28

    The Middle Pleistocene is a crucial time period for studying human evolution in Europe, because it marks the appearance of both fossil hominins ancestral to the later Neandertals and the Acheulean technology. Nevertheless, European sites containing well-dated human remains associated with an Acheulean toolkit remain scarce. The earliest European hominin crania associated with Acheulean handaxes are at the sites of Arago, Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos (SH), and Swanscombe, dating to 400-500 ka (Marine Isotope Stage 11-12). The Atapuerca (SH) fossils and the Swanscombe cranium belong to the Neandertal clade, whereas the Arago hominins have been attributed to an incipient stage of Neandertal evolution, to Homo heidelbergensis , or to a subspecies of Homo erectus A recently discovered cranium (Aroeira 3) from the Gruta da Aroeira (Almonda karst system, Portugal) dating to 390-436 ka provides important evidence on the earliest European Acheulean-bearing hominins. This cranium is represented by most of the right half of a calvarium (with the exception of the missing occipital bone) and a fragmentary right maxilla preserving part of the nasal floor and two fragmentary molars. The combination of traits in the Aroeira 3 cranium augments the previously documented diversity in the European Middle Pleistocene fossil record.

  13. The British Lower Palaeolithic of the early Middle Pleistocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosfield, Robert

    2011-06-01

    The archaeology of Britain during the early Middle Pleistocene (MIS 19-12) is represented by a number of key sites across eastern and southern England. These sites include Pakefield, Happisburgh 1, High Lodge, Warren Hill, Waverley Wood, Boxgrove, Kent's Cavern, and Westbury-sub-Mendip, alongside a 'background scatter' lithic record associated with the principal river systems (Bytham, pre-diversion Thames, and Solent) and raised beaches (Westbourne-Arundel). Hominin behaviour can be characterised in terms of: preferences for temperate or cool temperate climates and open/woodland mosaic habitats (indicated by mammalian fauna, mollusca, insects, and sediments); a biface-dominated material culture characterised by technological diversity, although with accompanying evidence for distinctive core and flake (Pakefield) and flake tool (High Lodge) assemblages; probable direct hunting-based subsistence strategies (with a focus upon large mammal fauna); and generally locally-focused spatial and landscape behaviours (principally indicated by raw material sources data), although with some evidence of dynamic, mobile and structured technological systems. The British data continues to support a 'modified short chronology' to the north of the Alps and the Pyrenees, with highly sporadic evidence for a hominin presence prior to 500-600 ka, although the ages of key assemblages are subject to ongoing debates regarding the chronology of the Bytham river terraces and the early Middle Pleistocene glaciations of East Anglia.

  14. Late Pleistocene and Holocene mammal extinctions on continental Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faith, J. Tyler

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the cause of late Quaternary mammal extinctions is the subject of intense debate spanning the fields of archeology and paleontology. In the global context, the losses on continental Africa have received little attention and are poorly understood. This study aims to inspire new discussion of African extinctions through a review of the extinct species and the chronology and possible causes of those extinctions. There are at least 24 large mammal (> 5 kg) species known to have disappeared from continental Africa during the late Pleistocene or Holocene, indicating a much greater taxonomic breadth than previously recognized. Among the better sampled taxa, these losses are restricted to the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene, between 13,000 and 6000 yrs ago. The African extinctions preferentially affected species that are grazers or prefer grasslands. Where good terrestrial paleoenvironmental records are present, extinctions are associated with changes in the availability, productivity, or structure of grassland habitats, suggesting that environmental changes played a decisive role in the losses. In the broader evolutionary context, these extinctions represent recent examples of selective taxonomic winnowing characterized by the loss of grassland specialists and the establishment of large mammal communities composed of more ecologically flexible taxa over the last million years. There is little reason to believe that humans played an important role in African extinctions.

  15. Mitochondrial genomes reveal an explosive radiation of extinct and extant bears near the Miocene-Pliocene boundary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rabeder Gernot

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite being one of the most studied families within the Carnivora, the phylogenetic relationships among the members of the bear family (Ursidae have long remained unclear. Widely divergent topologies have been suggested based on various data sets and methods. Results We present a fully resolved phylogeny for ursids based on ten complete mitochondrial genome sequences from all eight living and two recently extinct bear species, the European cave bear (Ursus spelaeus and the American giant short-faced bear (Arctodus simus. The mitogenomic data yield a well-resolved topology for ursids, with the sloth bear at the basal position within the genus Ursus. The sun bear is the sister taxon to both the American and Asian black bears, and this clade is the sister clade of cave bear, brown bear and polar bear confirming a recent study on bear mitochondrial genomes. Conclusion Sequences from extinct bears represent the third and fourth Pleistocene species for which complete mitochondrial genomes have been sequenced. Moreover, the cave bear specimen demonstrates that mitogenomic studies can be applied to Pleistocene fossils that have not been preserved in permafrost, and therefore have a broad application within ancient DNA research. Molecular dating of the mtDNA divergence times suggests a rapid radiation of bears in both the Old and New Worlds around 5 million years ago, at the Miocene-Pliocene boundary. This coincides with major global changes, such as the Messinian crisis and the first opening of the Bering Strait, and suggests a global influence of such events on species radiations.

  16. Pleistocene changes in the fauna and flora of South america.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuilleumier, B S

    1971-08-27

    In recent years, the view that Pleistocene climatic events played a major role in the evolution of the biotas of southern, primarily tropical continents has begun to displace the previously held conviction that these areas remained relatively stable during the Quaternary. Studies of speciation patterns of high Andean plant and avian taxa (7-14) have led to the conclusion that Pleistocene climatic events were the factors that ultimately shaped the patterns now observed in the paramo-puna and the related Patagonian flora and fauna. The final uplift of the Andes at the end of the Tertiary automatically limits the age of the high Andean habitats and their biotas to the Quaternary. Within this period, the number of ecological fluctuations caused by the glaciations could easily have provided the mechanism behind the patterns now present in these habitats (Appendix, 1; Figs. 1 and 2; Table 1). In glacial periods, when vegetation belts, were lowered, organisms in the paramo-puna habitat were allowed to expand their ranges. In interglacial periods, these taxa were isolated on disjunct peaks, where differentiation could occur. At times of ice expansion, glacial tongues and lakes provided local barriers to gene exchange, whereas in warm, interglacial times, dry river valleys were a major deterrent to the interbreeding of populations on different mountains (Fig. 2; Table 2). A preliminary analysis of about 10 to 12 percent of the total South American avifauna (14), subsequent to the study of the high Andean biota, suggested that the birds of all the major habitats of the continent possess, with about equal frequency, similar stages of speciation. This correspondence in levels of evolution indicated that the avifauna of vegetation zones which were thought to have been more stable (for example, tropical rainforests) are as actively speciating as are those of the more recent paramo-puna habitats. More intensive work on lowland tropical taxa (16, 19-21) and recent work on montane

  17. Spinal spondylosis and acute intervertebral disc prolapse in a European brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos : clinical communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W.M. Wagner

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available A 22-year-old male European brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos was presented to the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital after an acute onset of hind limb paralysis 4 days earlier. Previous radiographs revealed marked degenerative joint disease of the stifles, tarsi and digits. The clinical findings were consistent with acute disc prolapse. Lateral radiographs of the entire vertebral column were made as well as ventrodorsal pelvic radiographs. The latter were within normal limits. The vertebral column revealed multiple lesions consistent with chronic and acute disc herniations. Lateral compression of the caudal lumbar nerve roots could not be ruled out. Owing to multiple significant findings of the vertebral column and the poor prognosis for full recovery after surgery, the bear was euthanased. The diagnosis of an acute disc prolapse and multiple chronic disc herniations was confirmed on necropsy.

  18. Three decades (1983-2010) of contaminant trends in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Part 2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, Rune; Rigét, Frank F; Sonne, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Legacy organochlorine contaminants were determined in adipose tissues from 294 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled in East Greenland in 23 of the 28years between 1983 and 2010. Of 19 major legacy contaminants and congeners (ΣPCB, 4 PCB congeners (CB153, 180, 170/190), ΣDDT, p,p'-DDE, p,p' -DDD...... and p,p'-DDT, α- and β-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), HCB, octachlorostyrene, dieldrin, oxychlordane, cis- and trans-chlordane, cis- and trans-nonachlor, heptachlor epoxide and BB-153), 18 showed statistically significant average yearly declines of -4.4% (range: -2.0 to -10.8%/year) among subadult polar...... bears (i.e. females...

  19. A Review of Infectious Agents in Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus) and Their Long-Term Ecological Relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagre, Anna C; Patyk, Kelly A; Nol, Pauline; Atwood, Todd; Hueffer, Karsten; Duncan, Colleen

    2015-09-01

    Disease was a listing criterion for the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2008; it is therefore important to evaluate the current state of knowledge and identify any information gaps pertaining to diseases in polar bears. We conducted a systematic literature review focused on infectious agents and associated health impacts identified in polar bears. Overall, the majority of reports in free-ranging bears concerned serosurveys or fecal examinations with little to no information on associated health effects. In contrast, most reports documenting illness or pathology referenced captive animals and diseases caused by etiologic agents not representative of exposure opportunities in wild bears. As such, most of the available infectious disease literature has limited utility as a basis for development of future health assessment and management plans. Given that ecological change is a considerable risk facing polar bear populations, future work should focus on cumulative effects of multiple stressors that could impact polar bear population dynamics.

  20. PCR-Based Detection of Trypanosoma evansi Infection in Semi-Captive Asiatic Black Bears (Ursus thibetanus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maliha Shahid, Safia Janjua*, Fakhar-i-Abbas and Jan Schmidt Burbach1

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Clinical signs, viz lethargy, increased heart rate and reduced appetite, making trypanosomiasis a possible differential diagnosis, were found in five out of twenty semi-captive Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus in a sanctuary, located in Kund, District Sawabi, KPK, Pakistan. Microscopic examination of blood samples of bears expressing clinical signs and symptoms revealed the presence of haemoflagellates, which was found to be trypanosomes. Subsequently, the PCR technique was exploited to screen for the presence of trypanosomal species in all bears’ blood samples. Blood samples from 20 individual bears were screened using three sets of primers specific to Trypanosoma evansi species. Three primer pairs used are equally effective in successful detection of the parasite. Two out of five, diseased bears died prior to any trypanosoma specific medication while the rest were given an administered dose of Melarsomine (Immiticide. The treated bears survived and were assured to be aparasitemic on post-treatment examination after six weeks.

  1. Three decades (1983-2010) of contaminant trends in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Part 1: legacy organochlorine contaminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, Rune; Rigét, Frank F; Sonne, Christian; Born, Erik W; Bechshøft, Thea; McKinney, Melissa A; Letcher, Robert J

    2013-09-01

    Legacy organochlorine contaminants were determined in adipose tissues from 294 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled in East Greenland in 23 of the 28years between 1983 and 2010. Of 19 major legacy contaminants and congeners (ΣPCB, 4 PCB congeners (CB153, 180, 170/190), ΣDDT, p,p'-DDE, p,p' -DDD and p,p'-DDT, α- and β-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), HCB, octachlorostyrene, dieldrin, oxychlordane, cis- and trans-chlordane, cis- and trans-nonachlor, heptachlor epoxide and BB-153), 18 showed statistically significant average yearly declines of -4.4% (range: -2.0 to -10.8%/year) among subadult polar bears (i.e. femalespolar bear tissues. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Characterization of blood lipoproteins and validation of cholesterol and triacylglycerol assays for free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, John P; Frank, Nicholas; Greller, Katie A; Harlow, Henry J; Ben-David, Merav

    2013-05-01

    Blood triacylglycerol (TG) and lipoproteins are important variables for evaluating nutritional status of wildlife, but measurements are often expensive and difficult. Performance of a small, portable blood analyzer intended for human medical diagnostics was evaluated in measuring these variables in plasma and serum from free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus), which are experiencing nutritional stress related to sea ice loss. The analyzer accurately tracked changes in concentration of total cholesterol (Ctotal), cholesterol associated with high-density lipoprotein (CHDL), and TG during a validation protocol of diluting samples and spiking them with exogenous cholesterol and glycerol. Values of Ctotal and TG agreed well with values obtained by other methods (ultracentrifugation followed by colorimetric assays); agreement was variable for values of cholesterol associated with specific lipoproteins. Similar to a study of captive polar bears, ultracentrifugation methods revealed greater TG in very low-density lipoproteins than in low-density lipoprotein, which is unusual and merits additional study.

  3. The influence of climate variability on polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and ringed seal (Pusa hispida) population dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosing-Asvid, A.

    2006-01-01

    Unusually high polar bear (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) predation on ringed seal (Pusa hispida (Schreber, 1775)) pups and increased survival of polar bear cubs during mild springs is documented in published articles. Strong predation on newborn ringed seal pups in early spring, however, is likely...... to lower the overall energy intake of polar bears if ringed seal pups are their main food, because the energetic value of ringed seal pups increases 7-8 times during the 6 week lactation period. So although hunting success in early spring increases cub survival during the period after den emergence......,when they are most vulnerable, it is likely to increase the number of starving bears later in the season. This negative-feedback effect of strong spring predation will not occur in areas where other seal species are abundant during summer, and polar bears in such areas are likely to exhibit population growth during...

  4. Assessment of geomorphological and hydrological changes produced by Pleistocene glaciations in a Patagonian basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scordo, Facundo; Seitz, Carina; Melo, Walter D.; Piccolo, M. Cintia; Perillo, Gerardo M. E.

    2018-04-01

    This work aims to assess how Pleistocene glaciations modeled the landscape in the upper Senguer River basin and its relationship to current watershed features (drainage surface and fluvial hydrological regime). During the Pleistocene six glacial lobes developed in the upper basin of the Senguer River localized east of the Andean range in southern Argentinean Patagonia between 43° 36' - 46° 27‧ S. To describe the topography and hydrology, map the geomorphology, and propose an evolution of the study area during the Pleistocene we employed multitemporal Landsat images, national geological sheets and a mosaic of the digital elevation model (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) along with fieldwork. The main conclusion is that until the Middle Pleistocene, the drainage divide of the Senguer River basin was located to the west of its current limits and its rivers drained the meltwater of the glaciers during interglacial periods. However, processes of drainage inversion and drainage surface reduction occurred in the headwater of most rivers of the basin during the Late Pleistocene. Those processes were favored by a relative shorter glacial extension during LGM and the dam effect produced by the moraines of the Post GPG I and III glaciations. Thus, since the Late Pleistocene, the headwaters of several rivers in the basin have been reduced, and the moraines corresponding to the Middle Pleistocene glaciations currently divide the watersheds that drain towards the Senguer River from those that flow west towards the Pacific Ocean.

  5. Upper Middle Pleistocene climate and landscape development of Northern Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, B.

    2009-04-01

    The Pleistocene sequence of the Schöningen lignite mine contains a number of interglacial and interstadial limnic and peat deposits, travertine tuff, soils, tills and fluvioglacial sediments as well as loess deposits. The complex Quaternary sequence contains six major cycles with evidence of four interglacials younger than the Elsterian glaciation and preceding the Holocene. The sequence begins with Late Elsterian glacial and three interstadial deposits formed in shallow basins. Cycle I is assigned to late parts of the Holsteinian interglacial. A strong cooling is recorded by a significant increase of Artemisia and grasses during the following Buschhaus A Stadial, which is considered to mark the onset of the Saalian Complex sensu lato (penultimate glacial-complex). The lacustrine sediments of Cycle II, Reinsdorf interglacial sequence (Urban, 1995), have been found to occur at archaeological sites Schöningen 12 and 13 (Thieme,1997). Recent investigations give evidence for at least 13 Local Pollen Assemblage Zones showing a five-fold division of the interglacial and a sequence of five climatic oscillations following the interglacial (Urban, 2006). From the relative high values for grasses and herbs in the inferred forested periods of the interglacial, a warm dry forest steppe climate can be deduced. The stratigraphic position of throwing spears (Thieme, 1997), can clearly be allocated to Reinsdorf Interstadial B (level II-4) characterized by an open pine-birch forest. Uppermost parts (level II-5) represent the transition into a periglacial environment indicating the definite end of cycle II. The Schöningen Interglacial (Cycle III) represents the youngest of the pre-Drenthe (Early Saalian Stadial) interglacials (Urban, 1995). In summary, it can be concluded that the Middle Pleistocene terrestrial pollen record of the Schöningen sequence represents tentative correlatives of MIS 7, 9 and 11. North of Leck (North Friesland, Schleswig-Holstein) sediments of the centre

  6. A complete human pelvis from the Middle Pleistocene of Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arsuaga, J L; Lorenzo, C; Carretero, J M; Gracia, A; Martínez, I; García, N; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Carbonell, E

    1999-05-20

    The Middle Pleistocene site of Sima de los Huesos in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain, has yielded around 2,500 fossils from at least 33 different hominid individuals. These have been dated at more than 200,000 years ago and have been classified as ancestors of Neanderthals. An almost complete human male pelvis (labelled Pelvis 1) has been found, which we associate with two fragmentary femora. Pelvis 1 is robust and very broad with a very long superior pubic ramus, marked iliac flare, and a long femoral neck. This pattern is probably the primitive condition from which modern humans departed. A modern human newborn would pass through the birth canal of Pelvis 1 and this would be even larger in a female individual. We estimate the body mass of this individual at 95 kg or more. Using the cranial capacities of three specimens from Sima de los Huesos, the encephalization quotients are substantially smaller than in Neanderthals and modern humans.

  7. Towards an Integrated Geomagnetic Polarity Reversal Timescale for the Pleistocene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rivera, Tiffany; Storey, Michael; Kuiper, Klaudia

    The development of the geomagnetic polarity timescale (GPTS) in the mid 20th century led to the greater understanding of seafloor spreading and plate tectonics (Heirtzler et al., 1968). Over 40 years later, the GPTS continues to be refined, particularly in terms of integrating multiple dating...... minerals. Each of these ages is then compared to independent astronomical ages for the events in order to define tie-points for constructing a Pleistocene a multi-chronometer GPTS. Although only three reversals are addressed here, the methodology applied shows promise to refining short-lived excursions...... to enable further understanding of the wavering magnetic field. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2007-2013] under grant agreement no. 215458....

  8. The consequences of pleistocene climate change on lowland neotropical vegetation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Oliveira, P.E.; Colinvaux, P.A. (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City (Panama))

    1994-06-01

    Palynological reconstructions indicate that lowland tropical America was subject to intense cooling during the last ice-age. The descent of presently montane taxa into the lowlands of Amazonia and Minas Gerais indicate temperature depressions ranging from 5[degrees]C to 9[degrees]C cooler-than-present. The strengthened incursion of southerly airmasses caused a reassortment of vegetation throughout Amazonia. Presently allopatric species are found to have been sympatric as novel forest assemblages and formed and dissolved. Modest drying, perhaps a 20% reduction in precipitation, accounts for all the records that show a Pleistocene expansion of savanna. No evidence is found to support the fragmentation of Amazonian forests during glacial times, and the hypothesis of forest refuges as an explanation of tropical speciation is rejected on empirical grounds.

  9. Palaeodemography of the Atapuerca-SH Middle Pleistocene hominid sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Nicolás, M E

    1997-01-01

    We report here on the palaeodemographic analysis of the hominid sample recovered to date from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) Middle Pleistocene cave site in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). The analysis of the mandibular, maxillary, and dental remains has made it possible to estimate that a minimum of 32 individuals, who probably belonged to the same biological population, are represented in the current SH human hypodigm. The remains of nine-individuals are assigned to males, and nine to females, suggesting that a 1:1 sex ratio characterizes this hominid sample. The survivorship curve shows a low representation of infants and children, a high mortality among the adolescents and prime-age adults, and a low older adult mortality. Longevity was probably no greater than 40 years. This mortality pattern (adolescents and adults); which in some aspects resembles that observed in Neandertals, is quite different from those reported for recent foraging human groups. The adult age-at-death distribution of the SH hominid sample appears to be neither the consequence of underaging the older adults, nor of differential preservation or of the recognition of skeletal remains. Thus if we accept that they had a life history pattern similar to that of modern humans there would appear to be a clear contradiction between the demographic distribution and the demographic viability of the population represented by the SH hominid fossils. The possible representational bias of the SH hominid sample, as well as some aspects of the reproductive biology of the Pleistocene populations are also discussed.

  10. Muzzle of South American Pleistocene ground sloths (Xenarthra, Tardigrada).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bargo, M Susana; Toledo, Néstor; Vizcaíno, Sergio F

    2006-02-01

    Sloths are among the most characteristic elements of the Cainozoic of South America and are represented, during the Pleistocene, by approximately nine genera of gigantic ground sloths (Megatheriidae and Mylodontidae). A few contributions have described their masticatory apparatus, but almost no attention has been paid to the reconstruction of the muzzle, an important feature to consider in relation to food intake, and particularly relevant in sloths because of the edentulous nature of the muzzle and its varied morphology. The relationship between dietary habits and shape and width of the muzzle is well documented in living herbivores and has been considered an important feature for the inference of alimentary styles in fossils, providing an interesting methodological tool that deserves to be considered for xenarthrans. The goal of this study was to examine models of food intake by reconstructing the appearance and shape of the muzzle in five species of Pleistocene ground sloths (Megatherium americanum, Glossotherium robustum, Lestodon armatus, Mylodon darwini, and Scelidotherium leptocephalum) using reconstructions of the nasal cartilages and facial muscles involved in food intake. The preservation of the nasal septum, and the scars for muscular attachment in the rostral part of the skulls, allow making a conservative reconstruction of muzzle anatomy in fossil sloths. Wide-muzzled ground sloths (Glossotherium and Lestodon) had a square, nonprehensile upper lip and were mostly bulk-feeders. The lips, coupled with the tongue, were used to pull out grass and herbaceous plants. Narrow-muzzled sloths (Mylodon, Scelidotherium, and Megatherium) had a cone-shaped and prehensile lip and were mixed or selective feeders. The prehensile lip was used to select particular plants or plant parts. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. Allelic diversity of the MHC class II DRB genes in brown bears (Ursus arctos) and a comparison of DRB sequences within the family Ursidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goda, N; Mano, T; Kosintsev, P; Vorobiev, A; Masuda, R

    2010-11-01

    The allelic diversity of the DRB locus in major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes was analyzed in the brown bear (Ursus arctos) from the Hokkaido Island of Japan, Siberia, and Kodiak of Alaska. Nineteen alleles of the DRB exon 2 were identified from a total of 38 individuals of U. arctos and were highly polymorphic. Comparisons of non-synonymous and synonymous substitutions in the antigen-binding sites of deduced amino acid sequences indicated evidence for balancing selection on the bear DRB locus. The phylogenetic analysis of the DRB alleles among three genera (Ursus, Tremarctos, and Ailuropoda) in the family Ursidae revealed that DRB allelic lineages were not separated according to species. This strongly shows trans-species persistence of DRB alleles within the Ursidae. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  12. Estimating the success rate of ovulation and early litter loss rate in the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) by examining the ovaries and uteri

    OpenAIRE

    Yamanaka, Atsushi; Yamauchi, Kiyoshi; Tsujimoto, Tsunenori; Mizoguchi, Toshio; Oi, Toru; Sawada, Seigo; Shimozuru, Michito; Tsubota, Toshio

    2011-01-01

    In order to develop a method for estimating the success/failure rates of reproductive processes, especially those of ovulation and neonate nurturing, in the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus), we examined offspring status, corpora lutea (CLs), placental scars (PSs) and corpora albicantia (CAs) in 159 females (0-23 years old) killed as nuisances on Honshu Island of Japan during 2001-2009. PSs were found to remain in the uterus at least until November of the year of...

  13. Evaluation of black bear (Ursus americanus) diet and consequences in its conservation in Sierra de Picachos, Nuevo León, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Juárez-Casillas, Luis Antonio; Varas, Cora

    2013-01-01

    Black bears (Ursus americanus) are considered endangered in Mexico. In northern Mexico, bears are considered responsible for preying on livestock, damaging private property, and crops; therefore they are killed to protect locals' livelihoods. There is a need to understand bears' ecological requirements in order to create conservation plans that include human-bear conflict resolution and that reduce the hunting of this endangered species. We studied the diet of black bears in the Sierra de Pic...

  14. Continuity versus discontinuity of the human settlement of Europe between the late Early Pleistocene and the early Middle Pleistocene. The mandibular evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Rosell, Jordi; Blasco, Ruth; Arsuaga, Juan Luís; Carbonell, Eudald

    2016-12-01

    One of the most interesting aspects of the settlement of Europe is the possible continuity or discontinuity of the populations living in this continent during the Early and Middle Pleistocene. In this paper we present an analysis of the mandibular fossil record from four important Pleistocene European sites, Gran Dolina-TD6-2 (Sierra de Atapuerca), Mauer, Arago, and Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos. We focus this study in the recognition of key derived mandibular features that may be useful to assess the relationship among the populations represented at these sites. In order to make an approach to the ecological scenario, we also present a short review and discussion of the archaeological and paleoenvironmental evidences at that time. Our results suggest that probably there was a demographic discontinuity between the late Early Pleistocene populations (MIS 21-MIS 19), and those dated to the MIS 15. Hybridization between residents and new settlers cannot be discarded. However, some features of the Gran Dolina-TD6 hominins point to some relationship between the population represented in this site (probably dated to the MIS 21) and the European Middle Pleistocene and early Late Pleistocene populations. A hypothetical scenario is presented in order to understand this apparent contradiction with the model of discontinuity.

  15. Middle and Late Pleistocene glaciations in the southwestern Pamir and their effects on topography [Topography of the SW Pamir shaped by middle-late Pleistocene glaciation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stübner, Konstanze; Grin, Elena; Hidy, Alan J.; Schaller, Mirjam; Gold, Ryan D.

    2017-01-01

    Glacial chronologies provide insight into the evolution of paleo-landscapes, paleoclimate, topography, and the erosion processes that shape mountain ranges. In the Pamir of Central Asia, glacial morphologies and deposits indicate extensive past glaciations, whose timing and extent remain poorly constrained. Geomorphic data and 15 new "1"0Be exposure ages from moraine boulders and roches moutonnées in the southwestern Pamir document multiple Pleistocene glacial stages. The oldest exposure ages, View the MathML source113 ± 10ka, underestimate the age of the earliest preserved glacial advance and imply that the modern relief of the southwestern Pamir (peaks at ~5000–6000 m a.s.l.; valleys at ~2000–3000 m a.s.l.) already existed in the late Middle Pleistocene. Younger exposure ages (~40–80 ka, ~30 ka) complement the existing Central Asian glacial chronology and reflect successively less extensive Late Pleistocene glaciations. The topography of the Pamir and the glacial chronologies suggest that, in the Middle Pleistocene, an ice cap or ice field occupied the eastern Pamir high-altitude plateau, whereas westward flowing valley glaciers incised the southwestern Pamir. Since the Late Pleistocene deglaciation, the rivers of the southwestern Pamir adjusted to the glacially shaped landscape. As a result, localized rapid fluvial incision and drainage network reorganization reflect the transient nature of the deglaciated landscape.

  16. Dietary traits of the late Early Pleistocene Bison menneri (Bovidae, Mammalia) from its type site Untermassfeld (Central Germany) and the problem of Pleistocene 'wood bison'

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Asperen, Eline N.; Kahlke, Ralf-Dietrich

    2017-12-01

    Over the course of the Early and early Middle Pleistocene, a climatic cooling trend led to the partial opening up of landscapes in the western Palaearctic. This led to a gradual replacement of browsers by grazers, whilst some herbivore species shifted their diet towards including more grass. Wear patterns of herbivore cheek teeth can inform our understanding of the timing and extent of this change and indicate levels of dietary plasticity. One of the indicator species of the faunal turnover is the first large-sized form of bison in the Palaearctic, Bison menneri. The dental mesowear of the palaeopopulation from the species' late Early Pleistocene type site of Untermassfeld in Central Germany and the Late Pleistocene B. priscus from Taubach, both from habitat mosaics of forested habitats and more open landscapes, have a mixed feeder profile similar to that of North American wood bison, which has a distinct preference for open habitats but occasionally consumes a high amount of browse as a fall-back food. In contrast, the grazer mesowear signature of early Middle Pleistocene B. schoetensacki voigtstedtensis from Voigtstedt indicates these animals likely did not regularly feed in the densely forested area around the site. The mesowear of B. schoetensacki from Süssenborn, in a more open environment, is similar to that of extant European bison. Both Pleistocene and extant bison are grazers to mixed feeders with relatively high tolerance of a suboptimal browsing diet. None of these species can be regarded as true 'wood bison'.

  17. Attempt at ESR dating of tooth enamel of French middle pleistocene sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bahain, J.J.; Sarcia, M.N.; Falgueres, C.; Yokoyama, Y.

    1993-01-01

    Tooth enamel samples from four important French middle Pleistocene sites are analyzed by the ESR method. ESR ages were calculated using uranium uptake mathematical models and compared with U-series results. (author)

  18. Paleoescatology in the sopas formation (Upper Pleistocene) form Uruguay, paleobilogic focus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verde, M.; Ubilla, M.; Soloviy, J.

    1998-01-01

    Continental tetrapod coprolites are reported for the first time for Uruguay, these remains come from the Sopas Formation (Upper Pleistocene). They are assigned to carnivore mammals based on morphology and inclusions of micrommmal remains besides of other attributes.(author)

  19. Snapshots of the Greenland ice sheet configuration in the Pliocene to early Pleistocene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solgaard, Anne M.; Reeh, Niels; Japsen, Peter

    2011-01-01

    The geometry of the ice sheets during the Pliocene to early Pleistocene is not well constrained. Here we apply an ice-flow model in the study of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) during three extreme intervals of this period constrained by geological observations and climate reconstructions. We study...... the extent of the GIS during the Mid-Pliocene Warmth (3.3-3.0 Ma), its advance across the continental shelf during the late Pliocene to early Pleistocene glaciations (3.0-2.4 Ma) as implied by offshore geological studies, and the transition from glacial to interglacial conditions around 2.4 Ma as deduced...... the variability of the GIS during the Pliocene to early Pleistocene and underline the importance of including independent estimates of the GIS in studies of climate during this period. We conclude that the GIS did not exist throughout the Pliocene to early Pleistocene, and that it melted during interglacials even...

  20. CANIS LUPUS (MAMMALIA, CANIDAE FROM THE LATE PLEISTOCENE DEPOSIT OF AVETRANA (TARANTO, SOUTHERN ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DAVIDE F.BERTÈ

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Here we described the remains of Canis lupus from the bed 8 of Avetrana karst filling (Late Pleistocene; Taranto, Southern Italy. The studied specimens are larger than those collected from the early Late Pleistocene Apulian localities and those referred to the recent Italian wolf. Moreover, the remains from Avetrana are morphometrically close to Canis lupus maximus from France and to C. lupus collected from Central and Northern Italian localities, chronologically related to MIS 2 and MIS 3. Morphologically, the studied specimens slightly differ from both C. l. maximus and other Pleistocene Apulian wolves. The dimensional differences between the Avetrana wolves and those collected from the other early Late Pleistocene Apulian localities could be explained through a spread of a large-sized morphotype from the Northern Italy.

  1. Late Pleistocene fishes of the Tennessee River Basin: an analysis of a late Pleistocene freshwater fish fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2) in Colbert County, Alabama, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacquemin, Stephen J; Ebersole, Jun A; Dickinson, William C; Ciampaglio, Charles N

    2016-01-01

    The Tennessee River Basin is considered one of the most important regions for freshwater biodiversity anywhere on the globe. The Tennessee River Basin currently includes populations of at least half of the described contemporary diversity of extant North American freshwater fishes, crayfish, mussel, and gastropod species. However, comparatively little is known about the biodiversity of this basin from the Pleistocene Epoch, particularly the late Pleistocene (∼10,000 to 30,000 years B.P.) leading to modern Holocene fish diversity patterns. The objective of this study was to describe the fish assemblages of the Tennessee River Basin from the late Pleistocene using a series of faunas from locales throughout the basin documented from published literature, unpublished reports, and an undocumented fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2, Colbert County, AL). Herein we discuss 41 unequivocal taxa from 10 late Pleistocene localities within the basin and include a systematic discussion of 11 families, 19 genera, and 24 identifiable species (28 unequivocal taxa) specific to the Bell Cave locality. Among the described fauna are several extirpated (e.g., Northern Pike Esox lucius, Northern Madtom Noturus stigmosus) and a single extinct (Harelip Sucker Moxostoma lacerum) taxa that suggest a combination of late Pleistocene displacement events coupled with more recent changes in habitat that have resulted in modern basin diversity patterns. The Bell Cave locality represents one of the most intact Pleistocene freshwater fish deposits anywhere in North America. Significant preservational, taphonomic, sampling, and identification biases preclude the identification of additional taxa. Overall, this study provides a detailed look into paleo-river ecology, as well as freshwater fish diversity and distribution leading up to the contemporary biodiversity patterns of the Tennessee River Basin and Mississippi River Basin as a whole.

  2. Late Pleistocene fishes of the Tennessee River Basin: an analysis of a late Pleistocene freshwater fish fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2 in Colbert County, Alabama, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J. Jacquemin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The Tennessee River Basin is considered one of the most important regions for freshwater biodiversity anywhere on the globe. The Tennessee River Basin currently includes populations of at least half of the described contemporary diversity of extant North American freshwater fishes, crayfish, mussel, and gastropod species. However, comparatively little is known about the biodiversity of this basin from the Pleistocene Epoch, particularly the late Pleistocene (∼10,000 to 30,000 years B.P. leading to modern Holocene fish diversity patterns. The objective of this study was to describe the fish assemblages of the Tennessee River Basin from the late Pleistocene using a series of faunas from locales throughout the basin documented from published literature, unpublished reports, and an undocumented fauna from Bell Cave (site ACb-2, Colbert County, AL. Herein we discuss 41 unequivocal taxa from 10 late Pleistocene localities within the basin and include a systematic discussion of 11 families, 19 genera, and 24 identifiable species (28 unequivocal taxa specific to the Bell Cave locality. Among the described fauna are several extirpated (e.g., Northern Pike Esox lucius, Northern Madtom Noturus stigmosus and a single extinct (Harelip Sucker Moxostoma lacerum taxa that suggest a combination of late Pleistocene displacement events coupled with more recent changes in habitat that have resulted in modern basin diversity patterns. The Bell Cave locality represents one of the most intact Pleistocene freshwater fish deposits anywhere in North America. Significant preservational, taphonomic, sampling, and identification biases preclude the identification of additional taxa. Overall, this study provides a detailed look into paleo-river ecology, as well as freshwater fish diversity and distribution leading up to the contemporary biodiversity patterns of the Tennessee River Basin and Mississippi River Basin as a whole.

  3. Analysis of seminal plasma from brown bear (Ursus arctos during the breeding season: Its relationship with testosterone levels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Anel-López

    Full Text Available Seminal plasma (SP plays an important role in the motility, viability and maintenance of the fertilizing capacity of mammalian spermatozoa. This study is the first on brown bear (Ursus arctos SP components, and has two main objectives: 1 to define the SP composition in bear ejaculate and 2 to identify variations in SP composition in relation to high and low levels of testosterone in serum during the breeding season. Forty-eight sperm samples from 30 sexually mature male brown bears (Ursus arctos were obtained by electroejaculation, and their serum testosterone levels were assessed to sort the animals into 2 groups (high and low testosterone levels, threshold 5 ng/dl. The biochemical and protein compositions of the SP samples were assessed, and sperm motility was analyzed. We found that lactate dehydrogenase was significantly higher in the low-serum-testosterone samples, while concentrations of lipase and Mg+ values were significantly higher in the high-serum-testosterone samples. In contrast, sperm motility did not significantly differ (P>0.05 between the testosterone level groups (total motility: 74.42.8% in the high-level group vs. 77.1±4.7% in the low-level group. A reference digital model was constructed since there is no information for this wild species. To do this, all gel images were added in a binary multidimensional image and thirty-three spots were identified as the most-repeated spots. An analysis of these proteins was done by qualitative equivalency (isoelectric point and molecular weight with published data for a bull. SP protein composition was compared between bears with high and low serum testosterone, and three proteins (binder of sperm and two enzymes not identified in the reference bull showed significant (P<0.05 quantitative differences. We conclude that male bears with high or low serum testosterone levels differs only in some properties of their SP, differences in enzyme LDIP2, energy source LACT2, one protein (similar to

  4. Low Florida coral calcification rates in the Plio-Pleistocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brachert, Thomas C.; Reuter, Markus; Krüger, Stefan; Klaus, James S.; Helmle, Kevin; Lough, Janice M.

    2016-08-01

    In geological outcrops and drill cores from reef frameworks, the skeletons of scleractinian corals are usually leached and more or less completely transformed into sparry calcite because the highly porous skeletons formed of metastable aragonite (CaCO3) undergo rapid diagenetic alteration. Upon alteration, ghost structures of the distinct annual growth bands often allow for reconstructions of annual extension ( = growth) rates, but information on skeletal density needed for reconstructions of calcification rates is invariably lost. This report presents the bulk density, extension rates and calcification rates of fossil reef corals which underwent minor diagenetic alteration only. The corals derive from unlithified shallow water carbonates of the Florida platform (south-eastern USA), which formed during four interglacial sea level highstands dated approximately 3.2, 2.9, 1.8, and 1.2 Ma in the mid-Pliocene to early Pleistocene. With regard to the preservation, the coral skeletons display smooth growth surfaces with minor volumes of marine aragonite cement within intra-skeletal porosity. Within the skeletal structures, voids are commonly present along centres of calcification which lack secondary cements. Mean extension rates were 0.44 ± 0.19 cm yr-1 (range 0.16 to 0.86 cm yr-1), mean bulk density was 0.96 ± 0.36 g cm-3 (range 0.55 to 1.83 g cm-3) and calcification rates ranged from 0.18 to 0.82 g cm-2 yr-1 (mean 0.38 ± 0.16 g cm-2 yr-1), values which are 50 % of modern shallow-water reef corals. To understand the possible mechanisms behind these low calcification rates, we compared the fossil calcification rates with those of modern zooxanthellate corals (z corals) from the Western Atlantic (WA) and Indo-Pacific calibrated against sea surface temperature (SST). In the fossil data, we found a widely analogous relationship with SST in z corals from the WA, i.e. density increases and extension rate decreases with increasing SST, but over a significantly larger

  5. Arctic East Siberia had a lower latitude in the Pleistocene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willy Woelfli

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Remains of mammoths in Arctic East Siberia, where there is not sufficient sunlight over the year for the growth of the plants on which these animals feed, indicate that the latitude of this region was lower before the end of the Pleistocene than now. Reconstructing this geographic pole shift, we introduce a massive object, which moved in an extremely eccentric orbit and was hot from tidal work and solar radiation. Evaporation produced a disk-shaped cloud of ions around the Sun. This cloud partially shielded the solar radiation, producing the cold and warm periods characterizing the Pleistocene. The shielding depends on the inclination of Earth's orbit, which has a period of 100. 000 years. The cloud builds up to a point where inelastic particle collisions induce its collapse The resulting near-periodic time dependence resembles that of Dansgaard-Oeschger events. The Pleistocene ended when the massive object had a close encounter with the Earth, which suffered a one per mil extensional deformation. While the deformation relaxed to an equilibrium shape in one to several years, the globe turned relative to the rotation axis: The North Pole moved from Greenland to the Arctic Sea. The massive object split into fragments, which evaporated.Na Sibéria Oriental Ártica, onde há sobras de mamutes, a luzsolar durante o ano é insuficiente para sustentar as plantas que alimentam esses animais. Isto prova que a latitude dessas regiões era menor durante o Pleistoceno. Reconstruindo esse deslocamento geográfico dos pólos introduzimos um planeta adicional numa órbita tão excêntrica que a energia da maré e da radiação solar o esquentou. A sua evaporação criava em torno do sol uma nuvem de íons que espalhava a radiação solar e assim causava os períodos quentes e frios do Pleistoceno. O efeito depende da inclinação da órbita da terra, que varia com um período de 100. 000 anos. Quase periodicamente anuvem se formava até o ponto em que as colis

  6. "Pleistocene Park" - A Glacial Ecosystem in a Warming World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimov, N.; Zimov, S. A.

    2011-12-01

    dry and runoff low. This would further increase nutrient availability in the soil. Water limitation would force roots grow deeper to cold soil horizons where these roots (carbon) will be sequestered for a long period of time. After high productivity and high diversity of animals in the ecosystem is reached, this ecosystem will once again be able to compete and to expand. To test this hypothesis, we have started the experiment named "Pleistocene Park". For over 15 years we have brought different herbivore species to the fenced area in the Kolyma river lowland, keep them at high density and see the ecosystem transformation. Now Pleistocene Park is size of 20 km2 and home for 7 big herbivores species. It is a small version of how the Mammoth Steppe ecosystem looked in the past and may look in the future. Pleistocene Park is a place where scientists can conduct in situ research and see how restoration of the ice age ecosystem may help mitigate future climatic changes. Arctic is a weakly populated region with no possibilities for agriculture. Modern civilization treats bigger part of the Arctic as wastelands. So why don't turn this "wasteland" into something that can strongly benefit our civilization in the future?

  7. Paleopatologie na kostech medvědů (Ursus deningeri) z jeskyně "Za hájovnou", Javořičský kras.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nývltová Fišáková, Miriam

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 8, - (2006), s. 167-171 ISSN 1803-1404 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z80010507 Keywords : Pleistocene * pathology, palaeonthology * vertebrate, bear Subject RIV: AC - Archeology, Anthropology, Ethnology

  8. Global Implications of late Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinctions in the Holarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Alan; Turney, Chris

    2017-04-01

    Improved resolution data from radiocarbon, climate and ancient DNA studies of megafauna and humans is providing the first ability to disentangle the roles of climate change and human impact in the Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions. In the Holarctic we find that megafaunal populations underwent repeated local or global extinctions apparently associated with abrupt, centennial to millennial duration warming events (Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadials). Importantly, the extinction events took place both before and after the arrival of modern humans in the landscape. Here we look at the possible role of human activity in Holarctic and suggest it may be through the disruption of metapopulation processes which stabilize ecosystems and may have evolved to provide resilience to rapid and frequent climate shifts in the past. The observed relationship between climate and humans on megafaunal populations may provide a model for global extinction. Fortunately in this regard, the rapid movement of the first Native Americans throughout both American continents during the Last Deglaciation provides a powerful and unique model system for testing the competing roles on extinction because the opposing climate trends in each hemisphere at the time. Here we show that while megafaunal extinctions were associated with warming trends in both cases, the out-of-phase climate patterns caused the sequence and timing of events to be mirrored, providing a unique high-resolution view of the interactions of human colonization and rapid climate change on megafaunal ecosystems, with implications for future warming scenarios. References: Cooper, A., Turney, C., Hughen, K.A., Brook, B.W., McDonald, H.G., Bradshaw, C.J.A., 2015. Abrupt warming events drove Late Pleistocene Holarctic megafaunal turnover. Science 349, 602-606. Metcalf, J.L., Turney, C., Barnett, R., Martin, F., Bray, S.C., Vilstrup, J.T., Orlando, L., Salas-Gismondi, R., Loponte, D., Medina, M., De Nigris, M., Civalero, T., Fern

  9. Late Pleistocene climate drivers of early human migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmermann, Axel; Friedrich, Tobias

    2016-10-01

    On the basis of fossil and archaeological data it has been hypothesized that the exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa and into Eurasia between ~50-120 thousand years ago occurred in several orbitally paced migration episodes. Crossing vegetated pluvial corridors from northeastern Africa into the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant and expanding further into Eurasia, Australia and the Americas, early H. sapiens experienced massive time-varying climate and sea level conditions on a variety of timescales. Hitherto it has remained difficult to quantify the effect of glacial- and millennial-scale climate variability on early human dispersal and evolution. Here we present results from a numerical human dispersal model, which is forced by spatiotemporal estimates of climate and sea level changes over the past 125 thousand years. The model simulates the overall dispersal of H. sapiens in close agreement with archaeological and fossil data and features prominent glacial migration waves across the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant region around 106-94, 89-73, 59-47 and 45-29 thousand years ago. The findings document that orbital-scale global climate swings played a key role in shaping Late Pleistocene global population distributions, whereas millennial-scale abrupt climate changes, associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger events, had a more limited regional effect.

  10. TERRESTRIAL EFFECTS OF NEARBY SUPERNOVAE IN THE EARLY PLEISTOCENE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas, B. C.; Engler, E. E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Washburn University, Topeka, KS 66621 (United States); Kachelrieß, M. [Institutt for fysikk, NTNU, Trondheim (Norway); Melott, A. L. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045 (United States); Overholt, A. C. [Department of Science and Mathematics, MidAmerica Nazarene University, Olathe, KS 66062 (United States); Semikoz, D. V., E-mail: brian.thomas@washburn.edu [APC, Universite Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/IRFU, Observatoire de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, F-119 75205 Paris (France)

    2016-07-20

    Recent results have strongly confirmed that multiple supernovae happened at distances of ∼100 pc, consisting of two main events: one at 1.7–3.2 million years ago, and the other at 6.5–8.7 million years ago. These events are said to be responsible for excavating the Local Bubble in the interstellar medium and depositing {sup 60}Fe on Earth and the Moon. Other events are indicated by effects in the local cosmic ray (CR) spectrum. Given this updated and refined picture, we ask whether such supernovae are expected to have had substantial effects on the terrestrial atmosphere and biota. In a first look at the most probable cases, combining photon and CR effects, we find that a supernova at 100 pc can have only a small effect on terrestrial organisms from visible light and that chemical changes such as ozone depletion are weak. However, tropospheric ionization right down to the ground, due to the penetration of ≥TeV CRs, will increase by nearly an order of magnitude for thousands of years, and irradiation by muons on the ground and in the upper ocean will increase twentyfold, which will approximately triple the overall radiation load on terrestrial organisms. Such irradiation has been linked to possible changes in climate and increased cancer and mutation rates. This may be related to a minor mass extinction around the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary, and further research on the effects is needed.

  11. Early human symbolic behavior in the Late Pleistocene of Wallacea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumm, Adam; Hakim, Budianto; Ramli, Muhammad; Sumantri, Iwan; Burhan, Basran; Saiful, Andi Muhammad; Siagian, Linda; Suryatman; Sardi, Ratno; Jusdi, Andi; Abdullah; Mubarak, Andi Pampang; Hasliana; Hasrianti; Oktaviana, Adhi Agus; Adhityatama, Shinatria; van den Bergh, Gerrit D.; Aubert, Maxime; Zhao, Jian-xin; Huntley, Jillian; Li, Bo; Roberts, Richard G.; Saptomo, E. Wahyu; Perston, Yinika; Grün, Rainer

    2017-01-01

    Wallacea, the zone of oceanic islands separating the continental regions of Southeast Asia and Australia, has yielded sparse evidence for the symbolic culture of early modern humans. Here we report evidence for symbolic activity 30,000–22,000 y ago at Leang Bulu Bettue, a cave and rock-shelter site on the Wallacean island of Sulawesi. We describe hitherto undocumented practices of personal ornamentation and portable art, alongside evidence for pigment processing and use in deposits that are the same age as dated rock art in the surrounding karst region. Previously, assemblages of multiple and diverse types of Pleistocene “symbolic” artifacts were entirely unknown from this region. The Leang Bulu Bettue assemblage provides insight into the complexity and diversification of modern human culture during a key period in the global dispersal of our species. It also shows that early inhabitants of Sulawesi fashioned ornaments from body parts of endemic animals, suggesting modern humans integrated exotic faunas and other novel resources into their symbolic world as they colonized the biogeographically unique regions southeast of continental Eurasia. PMID:28373568

  12. Pleistocene climatic changes drive diversification across a tropical savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Sally; Xue, Alexander T; Bragg, Jason G; Rosauer, Dan F; Roycroft, Emily J; Moritz, Craig

    2018-01-01

    Spatial responses of species to past climate change depend on both intrinsic traits (climatic niche breadth, dispersal rates) and the scale of climatic fluctuations across the landscape. New capabilities in generating and analysing population genomic data, along with spatial modelling, have unleashed our capacity to infer how past climate changes have shaped populations, and by extension, complex communities. Combining these approaches, we uncover lineage diversity across four codistributed lizards from the Australian Monsoonal Tropics and explore how varying climatic tolerances interact with regional climate history to generate common vs. disparate responses to late Pleistocene change. We find more divergent spatial structuring and temporal demographic responses in the drier Kimberley region compared to the more mesic and consistently suitable Top End. We hypothesize that, in general, the effects of species' traits on sensitivity to climate fluctuation will be more evident in climatically marginal regions. If true, this points to the need in climatically marginal areas to craft more species-(or trait)-specific strategies for persistence under future climate change. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. LEUKOCYTE COPING CAPACITY AS A TOOL TO ASSESS CAPTURE- AND HANDLING-INDUCED STRESS IN SCANDINAVIAN BROWN BEARS (URSUS ARCTOS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteruelas, Núria Fandos; Huber, Nikolaus; Evans, Alina L; Zedrosser, Andreas; Cattet, Marc; Palomares, Francisco; Angel, Martine; Swenson, Jon E; Arnemo, Jon M

    2016-04-01

    Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are often captured and handled for research and management purposes. Although the techniques used are potentially stressful for the animals and might have detrimental and long-lasting consequences, it is difficult to assess their physiological impact. Here we report the use of the leukocyte coping capacity (LCC) technique to quantify the acute stress of capture and handling in brown bears in Scandinavia. In April and May 2012 and 2013, we collected venous blood samples and recorded a range of physiological variables to evaluate the effects of capture and the added impact of surgical implantation or removal of transmitters and sensors. We studied 24 brown bears, including 19 that had abdominal surgery. We found 1) LCC values following capture were lower in solitary bears than in bears in family groups suggesting capture caused relatively more stress in solitary bears, 2) ability to cope with handling stress was better (greater LCC values) in bears with good body condition, and 3) LCC values did not appear to be influenced by surgery. Although further evaluation of this technique is required, our preliminary results support the use of the LCC technique as a quantitative measure of stress.

  14. Cardiorespiratory effects of isoflurane in Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) anesthetized with intramuscular medetomidine and zolazepam/tiletamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Dong-Hyuk; Yang, Jeong-Jin; Seok, Seong-Hoon; Song, Dong-Joo; Yeon, Seong-Chan

    2017-01-20

    The objective of this study was to determine the dose-dependent effects of isoflurane on various cardiovascular parameters and the stable range of isoflurane concentrations in Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus). Seven Asiatic black bears were intramuscularly injected with medetomidine, zolazepam and tiletamine (MZT) to induce anesthesia, and anesthesia was maintained by administering isoflurane in 100% oxygen (4 l/min) without mechanical ventilation. Several cardiovascular parameters were measured at five end-tidal isoflurane concentrations (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5%). Blood was collected from the femoral artery before administration of isoflurane and after each administration for immediate blood gas analysis. Isoflurane produced dose-dependent increases in heart rate, respiratory rate, minute volume, end-tidal carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) partial pressure and the partial pressure of arterial CO 2 , and dose-dependent decreases in non-invasive blood pressure and tidal volume. Rectal temperature, oxygenation and acid-base balance were unaffected by isoflurane. All parameters in this study were in a clinically acceptable range at all times. The data show that the combination of MZT and isoflurane is suitable for general anesthesia in Asiatic black bears with spontaneous breathing during prolonged procedures. End-tidal isoflurane concentrations of 0.5 to 2.5% can be used in Asiatic black bears without adverse side effects.

  15. Interthalamic hematoma secondary to cerebrovascular atherosclerosis in an aged grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) with primary cardiac schwannoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Andrew David; McDonough, Sean

    2008-12-01

    A 38-year-old intact female Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) was evaluated for progressive seizure activity, pale mucous membranes, deficient pupillary light and menace responses, and irregular shallow respiration. Because of poor response to treatment, the animal was euthanized. Gross examination revealed abundant hemorrhage in both lateral ventricles; a large, encapsulated mass within the rostral interthalamic region; and a well-demarcated, round white mass in the apex of the right ventricle. Histologic examination of the interthalamic mass revealed a resolving hematoma composed of stratified layers of fibrin and white blood cells that was surrounded by a thick fibrous capsule. Most meningeal and intraparenchymal blood vessels had multifocal degeneration, fragmentation, and fraying of the internal elastic lamina with prominent intimal proliferations and plaques. The plaques were formed by small numbers of lipid-laden macrophages (foam cells) that were intermixed with occasional lymphocytes and plasma cells. The cardiac mass was composed of pallisading and interlacing spindle cells with parallel nuclei and abundant, pale eosinophilic cytoplasm consistent with a schwannoma.

  16. Development and application of an antibody-based protein microarray to assess physiological stress in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Ruth I; Cattet, Marc R L; Sarauer, Bryan L; Nielsen, Scott E; Boulanger, John; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Janz, David M

    2016-01-01

    A novel antibody-based protein microarray was developed that simultaneously determines expression of 31 stress-associated proteins in skin samples collected from free-ranging grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Alberta, Canada. The microarray determines proteins belonging to four broad functional categories associated with stress physiology: hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis proteins, apoptosis/cell cycle proteins, cellular stress/proteotoxicity proteins and oxidative stress/inflammation proteins. Small skin samples (50-100 mg) were collected from captured bears using biopsy punches. Proteins were isolated and labelled with fluorescent dyes, with labelled protein homogenates loaded onto microarrays to hybridize with antibodies. Relative protein expression was determined by comparison with a pooled standard skin sample. The assay was sensitive, requiring 80 µg of protein per sample to be run in triplicate on the microarray. Intra-array and inter-array coefficients of variation for individual proteins were generally bears. This suggests that remotely delivered biopsy darts could be used in future sampling. Using generalized linear mixed models, certain proteins within each functional category demonstrated altered expression with respect to differences in year, season, geographical sampling location within Alberta and bear biological parameters, suggesting that these general variables may influence expression of specific proteins in the microarray. Our goal is to apply the protein microarray as a conservation physiology tool that can detect, evaluate and monitor physiological stress in grizzly bears and other species at risk over time in response to environmental change.

  17. Effect of season and high ambient temperature on activity levels and patterns of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLellan, Michelle L; McLellan, Bruce N

    2015-01-01

    Understanding factors that influence daily and annual activity patterns of a species provides insights to challenges facing individuals, particularly when climate shifts, and thus is important in conservation. Using GPS collars with dual-axis motion sensors that recorded the number of switches every 5 minutes we tested the hypotheses: 1. Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) increase daily activity levels and active bout lengths when they forage on berries, the major high-energy food in this ecosystem, and 2. Grizzly bears become less active and more nocturnal when ambient temperature exceeds 20°C. We found support for hypothesis 1 with both male and female bears being active from 0.7 to 2.8 h longer in the berry season than in other seasons. Our prediction under hypothesis 2 was not supported. When bears foraged on berries on a dry, open mountainside, there was no relationship between daily maximum temperature (which varied from 20.4 to 40.1°C) and the total amount of time bears were active, and no difference in activity levels during day or night between warm (20.4-27.3°C) and hot (27.9-40.1°C) days. Our results highlight the strong influence that food acquisition has on activity levels and patterns of grizzly bears and is a challenge to the heat dissipation limitation theory.

  18. Long-distance swimming by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea during years of extensive open water

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) depend on sea ice for catching marine mammal prey. Recent sea-ice declines have been linked to reductions in body condition, survival, and population size. Reduced foraging opportunity is hypothesized to be the primary cause of sea-ice-linked declines, but the costs of travel through a deteriorated sea-ice environment also may be a factor. We used movement data from 52 adult female polar bears wearing Global Positioning System (GPS) collars, including some with dependent young, to document long-distance swimming (>50 km) by polar bears in the southern Beaufort and Chukchi seas. During 6 years (2004-2009), we identified 50 long-distance swims by 20 bears. Swim duration and distance ranged from 0.7 to 9.7 days (mean = 3.4 days) and 53.7 to 687.1 km (mean = 154.2 km), respectively. Frequency of swimming appeared to increase over the course of the study. We show that adult female polar bears and their cubs are capable of swimming long distances during periods when extensive areas of open water are present. However, long-distance swimming appears to have higher energetic demands than moving over sea ice. Our observations suggest long-distance swimming is a behavioral response to declining summer sea-ice conditions.

  19. Individual effects of seasonal changes, visitor density, and concurrent bear behavior on stereotypical behaviors in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Krista R; Harrison, Michelle L; Size, Daniele D; MacDonald, Suzanne E

    2015-01-01

    Stereotypical behaviors in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) can be detrimental to their welfare. These behaviors can be reduced through enrichment programs but are often not completely eliminated, so identifying potential triggers is important. The present study investigated the influences of seasonal changes, visitor density, and concurrent bear activity on stereotypical behaviors exhibited by 3 captive polar bears at the Toronto Zoo. All bears exhibited these behaviors; however, individual differences were found in duration and form. The male exhibited less stereotypical behavior during spring, and the females exhibited less stereotypical behavior during winter. An increase in visitor density was associated with more stereotypical behavior in 1 female but less stereotypical behavior in the other 2 bears. All bears engaged in more stereotypical behaviors when the other bears were inactive, and 1 female engaged in more stereotypical behaviors when the other bears were out of sight. Further, when conspecifics were active, all bears engaged in less stereotypical behaviors. Given the variability among individual bears, future enrichment programs must be tailored to the needs of individuals to maximize efficacy.

  20. Tissue-specific congener composition of organohalogen and metabolite contaminants in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gebbink, Wouter A.; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Kirkegaard, Maja; Riget, Frank F.; Born, Erik W.; Muir, Derek C.G.; Letcher, Robert J.

    2008-01-01

    Congener patterns of the major organohalogen contaminant classes of PCBs, PBDEs and their metabolites and/or by-products (OH-PCBs, MeSO 2 -PCBs, OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs) were examined in adipose tissue, liver, brain and blood of East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). PCB, OH-PCB, MeSO 2 -PCB and PBDE congener patterns showed significant differences (p ≤ 0.05) mainly in the liver and the brain relative to the adipose tissue and the blood. OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs were not detected in the brain and liver, but had different patterns in blood versus the adipose tissue. Novel OH-polybrominated biphenyls (OH-PBBs), one tri- and two tetra-brominated OH-PBBs were detected in all tissues and blood. Congener pattern differences among tissues and blood are likely due to a combination of factors, e.g., biotransformation and retention in the liver, retention in the blood and blood-brain barrier transport. Our findings suggest that different congener pattern exposures to these classes of contaminants should be considered with respect to potential target tissue-specific effects in East Greenland polar bears. - Tissues-specific (adipose tissue, liver, brain and blood) differences exist for the congener patterns of PCBs, PBDEs and their metabolites/degradation products in East Greenland polar bears

  1. Prevalence and spatio-temporal variation of an alopecia syndrome in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Peacock, Elizabeth; Burek, K.A.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Bodenstein, Barbara L.; Beckmen, Kimberlee B.; Durner, George M.

    2015-01-01

    Alopecia (hair loss) has been observed in several marine mammal species and has potential energetic consequences for sustaining a normal core body temperature, especially for Arctic marine mammals routinely exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely on a thick layer of adipose tissue and a dense pelage to ameliorate convective heat loss while moving between sea ice and open water. From 1998 to 2012, we observed an alopecia syndrome in polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea of Alaska that presented as bilaterally asymmetrical loss of guard hairs and thinning of the undercoat around the head, neck, and shoulders, which, in severe cases, was accompanied by exudation and crusted skin lesions. Alopecia was observed in 49 (3.45%) of the bears sampled during 1,421 captures, and the apparent prevalence varied by years with peaks occurring in 1999 (16%) and 2012 (28%). The probability that a bear had alopecia was greatest for subadults and for bears captured in the Prudhoe Bay region, and alopecic individuals had a lower body condition score than unaffected individuals. The cause of the syndrome remains unknown and future work should focus on identifying the causative agent and potential effects on population vital rates.

  2. Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort Sea and neighboring regions, Alaska, 1910-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Douglas, David C.

    2010-01-01

    This report presents data on the approximate locations and methods of discovery of 392 polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal dens found in the Beaufort Sea and neighboring regions between 1910 and 2010 that are archived by the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska. A description of data collection methods, biases associated with collection method, primary time periods, and spatial resolution are provided. Polar bears in the Beaufort Sea and nearby regions den on both the sea ice and on land. Standardized VHF surveys and satellite radio telemetry data provide a general understanding of where polar bears have denned in this region over the past 3 decades. Den observations made during other research activities and anecdotal reports from other government agencies, coastal residents, and industry personnel also are reported. Data on past polar bear maternal den locations are provided to inform the public and to provide information for natural resource agencies in planning activities to avoid or minimize interference with polar bear maternity dens.

  3. Demographic and temporal variations in immunity and condition of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuman-Lee, Lorin; Terletzky, Patricia; Atwood, Todd C.; Gese, Eric; Smith, Geoffrey; Greenfield, Sydney; Pettit, John; French, Susannah

    2017-01-01

    Assessing the health and condition of animals in their natural environment can be problematic. Many physiological metrics, including immunity, are highly influenced by specific context and recent events to which researchers may be unaware. Thus, using a multifaceted physiological approach and a context-specific analysis encompassing multiple time scales can be highly informative. Ecoimmunological tools in particular can provide important indications to the health of animals in the wild. We collected blood and hair samples from free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea and examined the influence of sex, age, and reproductive status on metrics of immunity, stress, and body condition during 2013–2015. We examined metrics of innate immunity (bactericidal ability and lysis) and stress (hair cortisol, reactive oxygen species, and oxidative barrier), in relation to indices of body condition considered to be short term (urea to creatinine ratio; UC ratio) and long term (storage energy and body mass index). We found the factors of sex, age, and reproductive status of the bear were critical for interpreting different physiological metrics. Additionally, the metrics of body condition were important predictors for stress indicators. Finally, many of these metrics differed between years, illustrating the need to examine populations on a longer time scale. Taken together, this study demonstrates the complex relationship between multiple facets of physiology and how interpretation requires us to examine individuals within a specific context.

  4. Are liver and renal lesions in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus associated with high mercury levels?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Born Erik W

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the Arctic, polar bears (Ursus maritimus bio-accumulate mercury as they prey on polluted ringed seals (Phoca hispida and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus. Studies have shown that polar bears from East Greenland are among the most mercury polluted species in the Arctic. It is unknown whether these levels are toxic to liver and kidney tissue. Methods We investigated the histopathological impact from anthropogenic long-range transported mercury on East Greenland polar bear liver (n = 59 and kidney (n = 57 tissues. Results Liver mercury levels ranged from 1.1–35.6 μg/g wet weight and renal levels ranged from 1–50 μg/g wet weight, of which 2 liver values and 9 kidney values were above known toxic threshold level of 30 μg/g wet weight in terrestrial mammals. Evaluated from age-correcting ANCOVA analyses, liver mercury levels were significantly higher in individuals with visible Ito cells (p Conclusion Based on these relationships and the nature of the chronic inflammation we conclude that the lesions were likely a result of recurrent infections and ageing but that long-term exposure to mercury could not be excluded as a co-factor. The information is important as it is likely that tropospheric mercury depletion events will continue to increase the concentrations of this toxic heavy metal in the Sub Arctic and Arctic marine food webs.

  5. Geographical distribution of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Norwegian and Russian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lie, E.; Bernhoft, A.; Riget, F.; Belikov, Stanislav; Boltunov, Andrei N.; Derocher, A.E.; Garner, G.W.; Wiig, O.; Skaare, J.U.

    2003-01-01

    Geographical variation of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) was studied in blood samples from 90 adult female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, Kara Sea, East-Siberian Sea and Chukchi Sea. In all regions, oxychlordane was the dominant OCP. Regional differences in mean levels of HCB, oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor, ??-HCH, ??-HCH and p,p???-DDE were found. The highest levels of oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor and DDE were found in polar bears from Franz Josef Land and Kara Sea. HCB level was lowest in polar bears from Svalbard. Polar bears from Chukchi Sea had the highest level of ??- and ??-HCH. The lowest ??-HCH concentration was found in bears from Kara Sea. In all the bears, ???HCHs was dominated by ??-HCH. The geographical variation in OCP levels and pattern may suggest regional differences in pollution sources and different feeding habits in the different regions. Polar bears from the Western Russian Arctic were exposed to higher levels of chlordanes and p,p???-DDE than polar bears from locations westwards and eastwards from this region. This may imply the presence of a significant pollution source in the Russian Arctic area. The study suggests that the western Russian Arctic is the most contaminated region of the Arctic and warrants further research. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Blood Chemistry Reference Values for Free-Ranging Asiatic Black Bears ( Ursus thibetanus) by Season, Age, and Sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jeong-Jin; Jeong, Dong-Hyuk; Lim, Yoon-Kyu

    2018-04-19

    Physiological characteristics, such as blood chemistry values, are valuable for evaluating the health of the animals. To our knowledge, these values have never been reported for the free-ranging Asiatic black bear ( Ursus thibetanus; ABB). Thus, 28 blood chemistry values from 50 free-ranging ABBs captured in Jirisan National Park, Republic of Korea, from 2005 to 2016 were evaluated. The aim of this study was to establish blood chemistry reference values for the free-ranging ABBs during both the hibernating and nonhibernating seasons. During hibernation, mean values of creatinine (CRE), total cholesterol, total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), triglycerides, and Mg were significantly higher than those during nonhibernation; however, mean values of blood urea nitrogen, urea nitrogen to creatinine (U/C) ratio, inorganic phosphorous (IP), aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were significantly lower. Age differences (young vs. adult) were found in IP, LDH, TP, and ALB values during hibernation and in the U/C ratio, Ca, IP, ALP, creatine kinase myocardial band, CRE, total bilirubin, and uric acid values during nonhibernation. However, there were no sex differences (male vs. female).

  7. A new voluntary blood collection method for the Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otaki, Yusuke; Kido, Nobuhide; Omiya, Tomoko; Ono, Kaori; Ueda, Miya; Azumano, Akinori; Tanaka, Sohei

    2015-01-01

    Various training methods have been developed for animal husbandry and health care in zoos and one of these trainings is blood collection. One training method, recently widely used for blood collection in Ursidae, requires setting up a sleeve outside the cage and gives access to limited blood collection sites. A new voluntary blood collection method without a sleeve was applied to the Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) with access to various veins at the same time. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of this new method and suggests improvements. Two Andean and two Asiatic black bears in Yokohama and Nogeyama Zoological Gardens, respectively, were trained to hold a bamboo pipe outside their cages. We could, thereby, simultaneously access superficial dorsal veins, the dorsal venous network of the hand, the cephalic vein from the carpal joint, and an area approximately 10 cm proximal to the carpal joint. This allowed us to evaluate which vein was most suitable for blood collection. We found that the cephalic vein, approximately 10 cm proximal to the carpal joint, was the most suitable for blood collection. This new method requires little or no modification of zoo facilities and provides a useful alternative method for blood collection. It could be adapted for use in other clinical examinations such as ultrasound examination. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Molecular phylogeography of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) in Northeastern Asia based on analyses of complete mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Daisuke; Mano, Tsutomu; Abramov, Alexei V; Baryshnikov, Gennady F; Kosintsev, Pavel A; Vorobiev, Alexandr A; Raichev, Evgeny G; Tsunoda, Hiroshi; Kaneko, Yayoi; Murata, Koichi; Fukui, Daisuke; Masuda, Ryuichi

    2013-07-01

    To further elucidate the migration history of the brown bears (Ursus arctos) on Hokkaido Island, Japan, we analyzed the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of 35 brown bears from Hokkaido, the southern Kuril Islands (Etorofu and Kunashiri), Sakhalin Island, and the Eurasian Continent (continental Russia, Bulgaria, and Tibet), and those of four polar bears. Based on these sequences, we reconstructed the maternal phylogeny of the brown bear and estimated divergence times to investigate the timing of brown bear migrations, especially in northeastern Eurasia. Our gene tree showed the mtDNA haplotypes of all 73 brown and polar bears to be divided into eight divergent lineages. The brown bear on Hokkaido was divided into three lineages (central, eastern, and southern). The Sakhalin brown bear grouped with eastern European and western Alaskan brown bears. Etorofu and Kunashiri brown bears were closely related to eastern Hokkaido brown bears and could have diverged from the eastern Hokkaido lineage after formation of the channel between Hokkaido and the southern Kuril Islands. Tibetan brown bears diverged early in the eastern lineage. Southern Hokkaido brown bears were closely related to North American brown bears.

  9. Identification and phylogenetic analysis of Dirofilaria ursi (Nematoda: Filarioidea) from Wisconsin black bears (Ursus americanus) and its Wolbachia endosymbiont.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, Michelle L; Bain, Odile; Fischer, Kerstin; Fischer, Peter U; Kumar, Sanjay; Foster, Jeremy M

    2010-04-01

    Dirofilaria ursi is a filarial nematode of American black bears (Ursus americanus Pallas, 1780) that is vectored by black flies (Simuliidae) in many parts of the United States. In northwestern Wisconsin, the prevalence of microfilaremic bears during the fall hunting season was 21% (n = 47). Unsheathed blood microfilariae from Wisconsin bears possess characters consistent with the original description of D. ursi, as do adult worms observed histologically and grossly. Immunohistochemistry was used to identify the Wolbachia endosymbiont in the hypodermis and lateral cords of an adult female D. ursi. Amplification of wsp, gatB, coxA, fbpA, and ftsZ bacterial sequences from parasite DNA confirmed the presence of Wolbachia, and molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Wolbachia ftsZ gene groups the endosymbiont with Wolbachia from D. immitis and D. repens. Phylogenetic analysis of D. ursi 5s rDNA sequence confirms the morphological observations grouping this parasite as a member of Dirofilaria, and within the Dirofilaria - Onchocerca clade of filarial nematodes. This is the first report of Wolbachia characterization and molecular phylogeny information for D. ursi.

  10. Ticks and tick-borne pathogens and putative symbionts of black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) from Georgia and Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yabsley, Michael J; Nims, Todd N; Savage, Mason Y; Durden, Lance A

    2009-10-01

    Ticks were collected from 38 black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) from northwestern Florida (n = 18) from 2003 to 2005 and southern Georgia (n = 20) in 2006. Five species (Amblyomma americanum, A. maculatum, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, and I. affinis) were collected from Florida bears, and 4 species (A. americanum, A. maculatum, D. variabilis, I. scapularis) were collected from bears in Georgia. Ixodes scapularis was the most frequently collected tick, followed by D. variabilis, A. americanum, A. maculatum, and I. affinis. The collection of I. affinis from a Florida bear represents a new host record. A subset of ticks was screened for pathogens and putative symbionts by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The zoonotic tick-borne pathogens Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Rickettsia parkeri were detected in 1 of 23 (4.3%) A. americanum and 1 of 12 (8.3%) A. maculatum, respectively. The putative zoonotic pathogen "Rickettsia amblyommii" was detected in 4 (17.4%) A. americanum and 1 (8.3%) A. maculatum. Other putative symbiotic rickettsiae detected included R. bellii and R. montanensis in D. variabilis, a Rickettsia cooleyi-like sp. and Rickettsia sp. Is-1 in I. scapularis, and Rickettsia TR39-like sp. in I. scapularis and A. americanum. All ticks were PCR-negative for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Panola Mountain Ehrlichia sp., E. ewingii, Francisella tularensis, and Borrelia spp.

  11. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy under field conditions in Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) rescued from illegal bile farming in Vietnam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizzi, R; Cracknell, J; David, S; Laughlin, D; Broadis, N; Rouffignac, M; Duong, D V; Girling, S; Hunt, M

    2011-10-29

    Nine adult Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) previously rescued from illegal bile farming in Vietnam were examined via abdominal ultrasound and exploratory laparoscopy for liver and gall bladder pathology. Three bears demonstrated notable gall bladder pathology, and minimally invasive cholecystectomies were performed using an open laparoscopic access approach, standard 10 to 12 mmHg carbon dioxide pneumoperitoneum and a four-port technique. A single bear required insertion of an additional 5 mm port and use of a flexible liver retractor due to the presence of extensive adhesions between the gall bladder and quadrate and left and right medial liver lobes. The cystic duct was dissected free and this and the cystic artery were ligated by means of extracorporeal tied Meltzer knot sutures. The gall bladder was dissected free of the liver by blunt and sharp dissection, aided by 3.8 MHz monopolar radiosurgery. Bears that have had open abdominal cholecystectomies are reported as taking four to six weeks before a return to normal activity postoperatively. In contrast, these bears demonstrated rapid unremarkable healing, and were allowed unrestricted access to outside enclosures to climb trees, swim and interact normally with other bears within seven days of surgery.

  12. The effects of hibernation and captivity on glucose metabolism and thyroid hormones in American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCain, Stephanie; Ramsay, Ed; Kirk, Claudia

    2013-06-01

    American black bears (Ursus americanus) have been shown to become transiently insulin resistant and hypothyroid during winter, but no studies have investigated these changes in long-term captive bears or in bears which remain awake year-round. Wild, captive hibernating, and captive nonhibernating bears were evaluated at times corresponding to three of their major physiologic stages: fall (hyperphagic stage), winter (hibernation stage), and summer (normal activity stage). Combined insulin and glucose tolerance tests and thyroid hormone profiles were performed on all bears during each stage. All three groups of bears had evidence of insulin resistance during the winter, as compared to the summer or fall, based on glucose tolerance curves. Analysis of thyroid hormone concentration varied and distinct patterns or similarities were not apparent. While obesity in captive American black bears is multifactorial, the finding that, regardless of their ability to hibernate, captive bears retain similar physiology to their wild counterparts indicates that captive bears' complex physiologic changes need to be addressed in their management.

  13. Relationship between uterine morphology and peripheral concentrations of sex steroid hormone in wild Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamane, Masako; Yamamoto, Yoshio; Tsujimoto, Tsunenori; Osawa, Takeshi

    2009-07-01

    Developing a better understanding of the reproductive physiology and breeding condition peculiar to wild Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) is crucial for estimation of their habitat distribution. The aim of this study was to clarify the changes in morphology of the genital organs, cellular proliferation in the endometrium and sex steroid hormone concentrations along with the reproductive cycle in Japanese black bears. Samples were collected from a total of 24 female Japanese black bears (1-15 presumptive years old) that were caught in the wild in Iwate prefecture during the period between August 1999 and September 2005. Twenty-two out of the 24 animals were hunted from May to October. The ovaries from the 24 animals and the uteri from 23 animals were observed macroscopically and histologically to examine the relationship between morphology of the genital organs and the month of the year the animal was caught. The staining pattern of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in the endometrium was characterised. Peripheral concentrations of oestradiol-17beta and progesterone were determined by radioimmunoassay. All the animals that had a corpus luteum (n=12) were captured from August to October. The thickness of the endometrium in the animals captured from August to October (n=16) was significantly greater than those in animals captured from May to July (n=5) (Pblack bears.

  14. Evaluation on the effects of ageing factor, sampling and preservation methods on Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus noninvasive DNA amplification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Chin SHIH

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Noninvasive genetic sampling allows studying wildlife without having to catch, handle or even observe individuals. In this study, factors which may affect the quality of noninvasive samples of Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus in the subtropical areas were identified. We collected hair and faecal samples from captive Asiatic black bears and quantitatively evaluated the effects of hair age (from fresh to 60 days, faeces age (from fresh to 14 days, faeces sampling locations (i.e. sample collected from either the surface, inside or a mixture of both the surface and inside of faeces, and faeces preservation methods (frozen or kept at room temperature in 95% ethanol on amplification success rates of mitochondrial DNA fragments of different sizes (450bp, 900bp, and 1600bp. The results showed that the amplification success rates decreased with sample age and amplicon size in both hair and faecal DNA. In subtropical environment, there was no significant difference between amplification success of DNA extracted from fresh and 7-day-old samples of either the hair or faeces. The amplification success rates were not influenced by sampling location of faeces. For faeces preserved in 95% ethanol, the amplification success appeared unaffected by frozen at -20 °C or kept at room temperature in shorter mtDNA fragments, but was significantly influenced when amplicon size was 1600bp. The results of this study will reinforce the optimization of noninvasive sampling approaches in Asiatic black bear research, especially in the subtropics.

  15. Population genetic studies of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus): A summary of available data and interpretation of results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scribner, Kim T.; Garner, G.W.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Cronin, M.A.; Dizon, Andrew E.; Chivers, Susan J.; Perrin, William F.

    1997-01-01

    A summary of existing population genetics literature is presented for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and interpreted in the context of the species' life-history characteristics and regional heterogeneity in environmental regimes and movement patterns. Several nongenetic data sets including morphology, contaminant levels, geographic variation in reproductive characteristics, and the location and distribution of open-water foraging habitat suggest some degree of spatial structuring. Eleven populations are recognized by the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group. Few genetics studies exist for polar bears. Interpretation and generalizations of regional variation in intra- and interpopulation levels of genetic variability are confounded by the paucity of data from many regions and by the fact that no single informative genetic marker has been employed in multiple regions. Early allozyme studies revealed comparatively low levels of genetic variability and no compelling evidence of spatial structuring. Studies employing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) also found low levels of genetic variation, a lack of phylogenetic structure, and no significant evidence for spatial variation in haplotype frequency. In contrast, microsatellite variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) loci have revealed significant heterogeneity in allele frequency among populations in the Canadian Arctic. These regions are characterized by archipelgic patterns of sea-ice movements. Further studies using highly polymorphic loci are needed in regions characterized by greater polar bear dependency on pelagic sea-ice movements and in regions for which no data currently exist (i.e., Laptev and Novaya Zemlya/Franz Josef).

  16. Effect of season and high ambient temperature on activity levels and patterns of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle L McLellan

    Full Text Available Understanding factors that influence daily and annual activity patterns of a species provides insights to challenges facing individuals, particularly when climate shifts, and thus is important in conservation. Using GPS collars with dual-axis motion sensors that recorded the number of switches every 5 minutes we tested the hypotheses: 1. Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos increase daily activity levels and active bout lengths when they forage on berries, the major high-energy food in this ecosystem, and 2. Grizzly bears become less active and more nocturnal when ambient temperature exceeds 20°C. We found support for hypothesis 1 with both male and female bears being active from 0.7 to 2.8 h longer in the berry season than in other seasons. Our prediction under hypothesis 2 was not supported. When bears foraged on berries on a dry, open mountainside, there was no relationship between daily maximum temperature (which varied from 20.4 to 40.1°C and the total amount of time bears were active, and no difference in activity levels during day or night between warm (20.4-27.3°C and hot (27.9-40.1°C days. Our results highlight the strong influence that food acquisition has on activity levels and patterns of grizzly bears and is a challenge to the heat dissipation limitation theory.

  17. Three decades (1983-2010) of contaminant trends in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Part 2: brominated flame retardants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, Rune; Rigét, Frank F; Sonne, Christian; Born, Erik W; Bechshøft, Thea; McKinney, Melissa A; Drimmie, Robert J; Muir, Derek C G; Letcher, Robert J

    2013-09-01

    Brominated flame retardants were determined in adipose tissues from 294 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled in East Greenland in 23 of the 28years between 1983 and 2010. Significant linear increases were found for sum polybrominated diphenyl ether (ΣPBDE), BDE100, BDE153, and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). Average increases of 5.0% per year (range: 2.9-7.6%/year) were found for the subadult polar bears. BDE47 and BDE99 concentrations did not show a significant linear trend over time, but rather a significant non-linear trend peaking between 2000 and 2004. The average ΣPBDE concentrations increased 2.3 fold from 25.0ng/g lw (95% C.I.: 15.3-34.7ng/g lw) in 1983-1986 to 58.5ng/g lw (95% C.I.: 43.6-73.4ng/g lw) in 2006-2010. Similar but fewer statistically significant trends were found for adult females and adult males likely due to smaller sample size and years. Analyses of δ(15)N and δ(13)C stable isotopes in hair revealed no clear linear temporal trends in trophic level or carbon source, respectively, and non-linear trends differed among sex and age groups. These increasing concentrations of organobromine contaminants contribute to complex organohalogen mixture, already causing health effects to the East Greenland polar bears. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Prevalence and spatio-temporal variation of an alopecia syndrome in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd; Peacock, Elizabeth; Burek-Huntington, Kathy; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie; Bodenstein, Barbara; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Durner, George

    2015-01-01

    Alopecia (hair loss) has been observed in several marine mammal species and has potential energetic consequences for sustaining a normal core body temperature, especially for Arctic marine mammals routinely exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely on a thick layer of adipose tissue and a dense pelage to ameliorate convective heat loss while moving between sea ice and open water. From 1998 to 2012, we observed an alopecia syndrome in polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea of Alaska that presented as bilaterally asymmetrical loss of guard hairs and thinning of the undercoat around the head, neck, and shoulders, which, in severe cases, was accompanied by exudation and crusted skin lesions. Alopecia was observed in 49 (3.45%) of the bears sampled during 1,421 captures, and the apparent prevalence varied by years with peaks occurring in 1999 (16%) and 2012 (28%). The probability that a bear had alopecia was greatest for subadults and for bears captured in the Prudhoe Bay region, and alopecic individuals had a lower body condition score than unaffected individuals. The cause of the syndrome remains unknown and future work should focus on identifying the causative agent and potential effects on population vital rates.

  19. Brain region distribution and patterns of bioaccumulative perfluoroalkyl carboxylates and sulfonates in east greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greaves, Alana K; Letcher, Robert J; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune

    2013-03-01

    The present study investigated the comparative accumulation of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in eight brain regions of polar bears (Ursus maritimus, n = 19) collected in 2006 from Scoresby Sound, East Greenland. The PFAAs studied were perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs, C(6) -C(15) chain lengths) and sulfonates (C(4) , C(6) , C(8) , and C(10) chain lengths) as well as selected precursors including perfluorooctane sulfonamide. On a wet-weight basis, blood-brain barrier transport of PFAAs occurred for all brain regions, although inner regions of the brain closer to incoming blood flow (pons/medulla, thalamus, and hypothalamus) contained consistently higher PFAA concentrations compared to outer brain regions (cerebellum, striatum, and frontal, occipital, and temporal cortices). For pons/medulla, thalamus, and hypothalamus, the most concentrated PFAAs were perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), ranging from 47 to 58 ng/g wet weight, and perfluorotridecanoic acid, ranging from 43 to 49 ng/g wet weight. However, PFOS and the longer-chain PFCAs (C(10) -C(15) ) were significantly (p  0.05) different among brain regions. The burden of the sum of PFCAs, perfluoroalkyl sulfonates, and perfluorooctane sulfonamide in the brain (average mass, 392 g) was estimated to be 46 µg. The present study demonstrates that both PFCAs and perfluoroalkyl sulfonates cross the blood-brain barrier in polar bears and that wet-weight concentrations are brain region-specific. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  20. Influence of carbon and lipid sources on variation of mercury and other trace elements in polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routti, Heli; Letcher, Robert J; Born, Erik W; Branigan, Marsha; Dietz, Rune; Evans, Thomas J; McKinney, Melissa A; Peacock, Elizabeth; Sonne, Christian

    2012-12-01

    In the present study, the authors investigated the influence of carbon and lipid sources on regional differences in liver trace element (As, Cd, Cu, total Hg, Mn, Pb, Rb, Se, and Zn) concentrations measured in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n = 121) from 10 Alaskan, Canadian Arctic, and East Greenland subpopulations. Carbon and lipid sources were assessed using δ(13) C in muscle tissue and fatty acid (FA) profiles in subcutaneous adipose tissue as chemical tracers. A negative relationship between total Hg and δ(13) C suggested that polar bears feeding in areas with higher riverine inputs of terrestrial carbon accumulate more Hg than bears feeding in areas with lower freshwater input. Mercury concentrations were also positively related to the FA 20:1n-9, which is biosynthesized in large amounts in Calanus copepods. This result raises the hypothesis that Calanus glacialis are an important link in the uptake of Hg in the marine food web and ultimately in polar bears. Unadjusted total Hg, Se, and As concentrations showed greater geographical variation among polar bear subpopulations compared with concentrations adjusted for carbon and lipid sources. The Hg concentrations adjusted for carbon and lipid sources in Bering-Chukchi Sea polar bear liver tissue remained the lowest among subpopulations. Based on these findings, the authors suggest that carbon and lipid sources for polar bears should be taken into account when one is assessing spatial and temporal trends of long-range transported trace elements. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  1. The food habits of the Himalayan Brown Bear Ursus arctos (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ursidae in Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bipan C. Rathore

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We documented the food habits of the Himalayan Brown Bear Ursus arctos in Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh, India, between 2002 and 2004 using scat analysis (n=222, direct observation (n=57, and feeding sign observations (n=57.  We concluded that Himalayan Brown Bears lead a predominantly herbivorous life style as plant matter occurred more frequently in scats (79% than animal matter (21%.  During summer, monsoon and fall, the frequency occurrence of plant matter was 72.2%, 77% and 91% respectively.  During early summer, brown bears foraged primarily on green vegetation such as Rumex nepalensis followed by Chaerophyllum reflexum.  Based on direct feeding observations, brown bears were observed to be feeding on 29 species of plants including agricultural crops and one fungi, Morchella esculenta.  The overuse by livestock, decline in local herbs and excessive extraction of high altitudinal medicinal plants in this habitat may pose a threat to the fragmented brown bear population. 

  2. Biotic turnover rates during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stivrins, Normunds; Soininen, Janne; Amon, Leeli; Fontana, Sonia L.; Gryguc, Gražyna; Heikkilä, Maija; Heiri, Oliver; Kisielienė, Dalia; Reitalu, Triin; Stančikaitė, Miglė; Veski, Siim; Seppä, Heikki

    2016-11-01

    The Northern Hemisphere is currently warming at the rate which is unprecedented during the Holocene. Quantitative palaeoclimatic records show that the most recent time in the geological history with comparable warming rates was during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (PHT) about 14,000 to 11,000 years ago. To better understand the biotic response to rapid temperature change, we explore the community turnover rates during the PHT by focusing on the Baltic region in the southeastern sector of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet, where an exceptionally dense network on microfossil and macrofossil data that reflect the biotic community history are available. We further use a composite chironomid-based summer temperature reconstruction compiled specifically for our study region to calculate the rate of temperature change during the PHT. The fastest biotic turnover in the terrestrial and aquatic communities occurred during the Younger Dryas-Holocene shift at 11,700 years ago. This general shift in species composition was accompanied by regional extinctions, including disappearance of mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and many arctic-alpine plant taxa, such as Dryas octopetala, Salix polaris and Saxifraga aizoides, from the region. This rapid biotic turnover rate occurred when the rate of warming was 0.17 °C/decade, thus slightly lower than the current Northern Hemisphere warming of 0.2 °C/decade. We therefore conclude that the Younger Dryas-Holocene shift with its rapid turnover rates and associated regional extinctions represents an important palaeoanalogue to the current high latitude warming and gives insights about the probable future turnover rates and patterns of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem change.

  3. Paleochemistry of Plio-Pleistocene Lake Turkana, Kenya. [Alkalinity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cerling, T.

    1979-01-01

    The paleochemisry of Plio-Pleistocene Lake Turkana can be estimated by using the chemistry of lakes from the Eastern Rift of Africa as an analogue. Most modern East Africa lakes occupy closed basins; their chemistries follow an evaporation trend defined by the precipitation of certain mineral phases with increasing alkalinity. Estimates of paleoalkalinity can be used to closely estimate the chemical composition of ancient lakes. Three methods are used to estimate paleoalkalinity. Diatoms, molluscs, and fish have certain metabolic requirements that are dependent on pH, alkalinity, or calcium levels; thus fauna and flora can be used as paleoalkalinity indicators. Exchangeable cations on clay minerals can also be used because the relative concentrations of sodium and calcium in lake waters are related to alkalinity. Absence or presence of certain minerals also can serve as a paleoalkalinity indicator. Although the latter two techniques give estimates of paleoalkalinity that are averaged over several hundred or thousand years, their estimates agree with the instantaneous estimates based on biologic considerations. This study shows that the earliest lake phase was very fresh and contained until the end of the Kubi Algi Formation. The Lower Member of the Koobi Fora Formation is shown to have been a fresh- to brackish-water lake. From the beginning of Upper Member time (about 1.8 MY ago) to the present, the lake occupying the Turkana Depression has varied from a brackish lake that overflowed to a closed basin lake that fell below overflow level and whose alkalinity rose to about 200 meq/l.

  4. Enamel hypoplasia in the middle pleistocene hominids from Atapuerca (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Pérez, P J

    1995-03-01

    The prevalence and chronology of enamel hypoplasias were studied in a hominid dental sample from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) Middle Pleistocene site at the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, northern Spain). A total of 89 permanent maxillary teeth, 143 permanent mandibular teeth, and one deciduous lower canine, belonging to a minimum of 29 individuals, were examined. Excluding the antimeres (16 maxillary and 37 mandibular cases) from the sample, the prevalence of hypoplasias in the permanent dentition is 12.8% (23/179), whereas the deciduous tooth also showed an enamel defect. No statistically significant differences were found between both arcades and between the anterior and postcanine teeth for the prevalence of hypoplasias. In both the maxilla and the mandible the highest frequency of enamel hypoplasias was recorded in the canines. Only one tooth (a permanent upper canine) showed two different enamel defects, and most of the hypoplasias were expressed as faint linear horizontal defects. Taking into account the limitations that the incompleteness of virtually all permanent dentitions imposes, we have estimated that the frequency by individual in the SH hominid sample was not greater than 40%. Most of the hypoplasias occurred between birth and 7 years (N = 18, X = 3.5, SD = 1.3). Both the prevalence and severity of the hypoplasias of the SH hominid sample are significantly less than those of a large Neandertal sample. Furthermore, prehistoric hunter-gatherers and historic agricultural and industrial populations exhibit a prevalence of hypoplasias generally higher than that of the SH hominids. Implications for the survival strategies and life quality of the SH hominids are also discussed.

  5. Canyon Creek: A late Pleistocene vertebrate locality in interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Florence R.; Hamilton, Thomas D.; Hopkins, David M.; Repenning, Charles A.; Haas, Herbert

    1981-09-01

    The Canyon Creek vertebrate-fossil locality is an extensive road cut near Fairbanks that exposes sediments that range in age from early Wisconsin to late Holocene. Tanana River gravel at the base of the section evidently formed during the Delta Glaciation of the north-central Alaska Range. Younger layers and lenses of fluvial sand are interbedded with arkosic gravel from Canyon Creek that contains tephra as well as fossil bones of an interstadial fauna about 40,000 years old. Solifluction deposits containing ventifacts, wedge casts, and rodent burrows formed during a subsequent period of periglacial activity that took place during the maximum phase of Donnelly Glaciation about 25,000-17,000 years ago. Overlying sheets of eolian sand are separated by a 9500-year-old paleosol that may correlate with a phase of early Holocene spruce expansion through central Alaska. The Pleistocene fauna from Canyon Creek consists of rodents (indicated by burrows), Mammuthus primigenius (woolly mammoth), Equus lambei (Yukon wild ass), Camelops hesternus (western camel), Bison sp. cf. B. crassicornis (large-horned bison), Ovis sp. cf. O. dalli (mountain sheep), Canis sp. cf. C. lupus (wolf), Lepus sp. cf. L. othus or L. arcticus (tundra hare), and Rangifer sp. (caribou). This assemblage suggests an open landscape in which trees and tall shrubs were either absent or confined to sheltered and moist sites. Camelops evidently was present in eastern Beringia during the middle Wisconsin interstadial interval but may have disappeared during the following glacial episode. The stratigraphic section at Canyon Creek appears to demonstrate that the Delta Glaciation of the north-central Alaska Range is at least in part of early Wisconsin age and was separated from the succeeding Donnelly Glaciation by an interstadial rather than interglacial episode.

  6. Late Pleistocene glacial fluctuations in Cordillera Oriental, subtropical Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, Mateo A.; Kaplan, Michael R.; Strelin, Jorge A.; Astini, Ricardo A.; Schaefer, Joerg M.; Caffee, Marc W.; Schwartz, Roseanne

    2017-09-01

    The behavior of subtropical glaciers during Middle to Late Pleistocene global glacial maxima and abrupt climate change events, specifically in Earth's most arid low-latitude regions, remains an outstanding problem in paleoclimatology. The present-day climate of Cordillera Oriental, in arid northwestern Argentina, is influenced by shifts in subtropical climate systems, including the South American Summer Monsoon. To understand better past glacier-subtropical climates during the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 26.5-19 ka) and other time periods, we combined geomorphic features with forty-two precise 10Be ages on moraine boulders and reconstructed paleo-equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) at Nevado de Chañi (24°S) in the arid subtropical Andes. We found a major glacial expansion at ∼23 ± 1.6 ka, that is, during the global LGM. Additional glacial expansions are observed before the global LGM (at ∼52-39 ka), and after, at 15 ± 0.5 and 12 ± 0.6 ka. The ∼15 ka glacial event was found on both sides of Chañi and the ∼12 ka event is only recorded on the east side. Reconstructed ELAs of the former glaciers exhibit a rise from east to west that resembles the present subtropical climate trajectory from the Atlantic side of the continent; hence, we infer that this climate pattern must have been present in the past. Based on comparison with other low-latitude paleoclimate records, such as those from lakes and caves, we infer that both temperature and precipitation influenced past glacial occurrence in this sector of the arid Andes. Our findings also imply that abrupt deglacial climate events associated with the North Atlantic, specifically curtailed meridional overturning circulation and regional cooling, may have had attendant impacts on low subtropical Southern Hemisphere latitudes, including the climate systems that affect glacial activity around Nevado de Chañi.

  7. Hominin teeth from the early Late Pleistocene site of Xujiayao, Northern China.

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    Xing, Song; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, Jose María; Wu, Xiujie; Liu, Wu

    2015-02-01

    It is generally accepted that from the late Middle to the early Late Pleistocene (∼340-90 ka BP), Neanderthals were occupying Europe and Western Asia, whereas anatomically modern humans were present in the African continent. In contrast, the paucity of hominin fossil evidence from East Asia from this period impedes a complete evolutionary picture of the genus Homo, as well as assessment of the possible contribution of or interaction with Asian hominins in the evolution of Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis. Here we present a comparative study of a hominin dental sample recovered from the Xujiayao site, in Northern China, attributed to the early Late Pleistocene (MIS 5 to 4). Our dental study reveals a mosaic of primitive and derived dental features for the Xujiayao hominins that can be summarized as follows: i) they are different from archaic and recent modern humans, ii) they present some features that are common but not exclusive to the Neanderthal lineage, and iii) they retain some primitive conformations classically found in East Asian Early and Middle Pleistocene hominins despite their young geological age. Thus, our study evinces the existence in China of a population of unclear taxonomic status with regard to other contemporary populations such as H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis. The morphological and metric studies of the Xujiayao teeth expand the variability known for early Late Pleistocene hominin fossils and suggest the possibility that a primitive hominin lineage may have survived late into the Late Pleistocene in China. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Behavioural differences between single scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos) and females with dependent young when experimentally approached by humans.

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    Sahlén, Veronica; Ordiz, Andrés; Swenson, Jon E; Støen, Ole Gunnar

    2015-01-01

    Carnivore-human encounters that result in human injury present a conservation and management challenge and it is therefore important to understand under what conditions such incidents occur. Females with cubs are often involved when humans are injured by brown bears Ursus arctos. In Scandinavia, this is particularly true for unarmed recreational forest users. Our aim was to document behavioural differences between single bears and females with cubs in order to develop recommendations to minimize the risk of injuries to recreational forest users. We documented the reactions of GPS-collared females with cubs and single brown bears to experimental approaches by humans to 50 m from the bear on 42 and 108 occasions, respectively. The majority of females with cubs (95%) and single bears (89%) left when approached. Bears that left were passed at shorter distances and were in more open areas than those that stayed. Both groups had similar flight initiation distances, which were longer for bears that were active at the time of the disturbance. Females with cubs selected more open habitat than single bears, also for the new site they selected following disturbance. Females with cubs, particularly active females with cubs of the year, moved greater distances and spent more time active following the approach. Females with cubs and single bears were seen or heard in 26% and 14% of the approaches, respectively. None of the bears displayed any aggressive behaviour during the approaches. Females with cubs selected more open habitat, perhaps predisposing them to encountering people that are not involved in hunting activities, which might be the primary explanation why females with cubs are most frequently involved when unarmed people are injured by bears in Scandinavia. To mitigate injury risks, one must consider factors that bring bears closer to human activity in the first place.

  9. EFFECT OF ACTIVE COOLING AND α-2 ADRENOCEPTOR ANTAGONISM ON CORE TEMPERATURE IN ANESTHETIZED BROWN BEARS (URSUS ARCTOS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozeki, Larissa Mourad; Caulkett, Nigel; Stenhouse, Gordon; Arnemo, Jon M; Fahlman, Åsa

    2015-06-01

    Hyperthermia is a common complication during anesthesia of bears, and it can be life threatening. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of active cooling on core body temperature for treatment of hyperthermia in anesthetized brown bears (Ursus arctos). In addition, body temperature after reversal with atipamezole was also evaluated. Twenty-five adult and subadult brown bears were captured with a combination of zolazepam-tiletamine and xylazine or medetomidine. A core temperature capsule was inserted into the bears' stomach or 15 cm into their rectum or a combination of both. In six bears with gastric temperatures≥40.0°C, an active cooling protocol was performed, and the temperature change over 30 min was analyzed. The cooling protocol consisted of enemas with 2 L of water at approximately 5°C/100 kg of body weight every 10 min, 1 L of intravenous fluids at ambient temperature, water or snow on the paws or the inguinal area, intranasal oxygen supplementation, and removing the bear from direct sunlight or providing shade. Nine bears with body temperature>39.0°C that were not cooled served as control for the treated animals. Their body temperatures were recorded for 30 min, prior to administration of reversal. At the end of the anesthetic procedure, all bears received an intramuscular dose of atipamezole. In 10 bears, deep rectal temperature change over 30 min after administration of atipamezole was evaluated. The active cooling protocol used in hyperthermic bears significantly decreased their body temperatures within 10 min, and it produced a significantly greater decrease in their temperature than that recorded in the control group.

  10. Low cardiac output as physiological phenomenon in hibernating, free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos) - an observational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jørgensen, Peter Godsk; Arnemo, Jon; Swenson, Jon E; Jensen, Jan S; Galatius, Søren; Frøbert, Ole

    2014-09-16

    Despite 5-7 months of physical inactivity during hibernation, brown bears (Ursus arctos) are able to cope with physiological conditions that would be detrimental to humans. During hibernation, the tissue metabolic demands fall to 25% of the active state. Our objective was to assess cardiac function associated with metabolic depression in the hibernating vs. active states in free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears. We performed echocardiography on seven free-ranging brown bears in Dalarna, Sweden, anesthetized with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine-ketamine during winter hibernation in February 2013 and with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine during active state in June 2013. We measured cardiac output noninvasively using estimates of hemodynamics obtained by pulsed wave Doppler echocardiography and 2D imaging. Comparisons were made using paired T-tests. During hibernation, all hemodynamic indices were significantly decreased (hibernating vs. active state): mean heart rate was 26.0 (standard deviation (SD): 5.6) beats per min vs. 75.0 (SD: 17.1) per min (P=0.002), mean stroke volume 32.3 (SD: 5.2) ml vs. 47.1 (SD: 7.9) ml (P=0.008), mean cardiac output 0.86 (SD: 0.31) l/min vs. 3.54 (SD: 1.04) l/min (P=0.003), and mean cardiac index 0.63 (SD: 0.21) l/min/kg vs. 2.45 (SD: 0.52) l/min/ m2 (Pbears during hibernation, despite the absence of atrial arrhythmias and valvular disease. Free-ranging brown bears demonstrate hemodynamics comparable to humans during active state, whereas during hibernation, we documented extremely low-flow hemodynamics. Understanding these physiological changes in bears may help to gain insight into the mechanisms of cardiogenic shock and heart failure in humans.

  11. Spatial analysis of factors influencing long-term stress in the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos population of Alberta, Canada.

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    Mathieu L Bourbonnais

    Full Text Available Non-invasive measures for assessing long-term stress in free ranging mammals are an increasingly important approach for understanding physiological responses to landscape conditions. Using a spatially and temporally expansive dataset of hair cortisol concentrations (HCC generated from a threatened grizzly bear (Ursus arctos population in Alberta, Canada, we quantified how variables representing habitat conditions and anthropogenic disturbance impact long-term stress in grizzly bears. We characterized spatial variability in male and female HCC point data using kernel density estimation and quantified variable influence on spatial patterns of male and female HCC stress surfaces using random forests. Separate models were developed for regions inside and outside of parks and protected areas to account for substantial differences in anthropogenic activity and disturbance within the study area. Variance explained in the random forest models ranged from 55.34% to 74.96% for males and 58.15% to 68.46% for females. Predicted HCC levels were higher for females compared to males. Generally, high spatially continuous female HCC levels were associated with parks and protected areas while low-to-moderate levels were associated with increased anthropogenic disturbance. In contrast, male HCC levels were low in parks and protected areas and low-to-moderate in areas with increased anthropogenic disturbance. Spatial variability in gender-specific HCC levels reveal that the type and intensity of external stressors are not uniform across the landscape and that male and female grizzly bears may be exposed to, or perceive, potential stressors differently. We suggest observed spatial patterns of long-term stress may be the result of the availability and distribution of foods related to disturbance features, potential sexual segregation in available habitat selection, and may not be influenced by sources of mortality which represent acute traumas. In this wildlife

  12. Spatial analysis of factors influencing long-term stress in the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population of Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourbonnais, Mathieu L; Nelson, Trisalyn A; Cattet, Marc R L; Darimont, Chris T; Stenhouse, Gordon B

    2013-01-01

    Non-invasive measures for assessing long-term stress in free ranging mammals are an increasingly important approach for understanding physiological responses to landscape conditions. Using a spatially and temporally expansive dataset of hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) generated from a threatened grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population in Alberta, Canada, we quantified how variables representing habitat conditions and anthropogenic disturbance impact long-term stress in grizzly bears. We characterized spatial variability in male and female HCC point data using kernel density estimation and quantified variable influence on spatial patterns of male and female HCC stress surfaces using random forests. Separate models were developed for regions inside and outside of parks and protected areas to account for substantial differences in anthropogenic activity and disturbance within the study area. Variance explained in the random forest models ranged from 55.34% to 74.96% for males and 58.15% to 68.46% for females. Predicted HCC levels were higher for females compared to males. Generally, high spatially continuous female HCC levels were associated with parks and protected areas while low-to-moderate levels were associated with increased anthropogenic disturbance. In contrast, male HCC levels were low in parks and protected areas and low-to-moderate in areas with increased anthropogenic disturbance. Spatial variability in gender-specific HCC levels reveal that the type and intensity of external stressors are not uniform across the landscape and that male and female grizzly bears may be exposed to, or perceive, potential stressors differently. We suggest observed spatial patterns of long-term stress may be the result of the availability and distribution of foods related to disturbance features, potential sexual segregation in available habitat selection, and may not be influenced by sources of mortality which represent acute traumas. In this wildlife system and others

  13. Design of a 9K illumina BeadChip for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from RAD and transcriptome sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malenfant, René M; Coltman, David W; Davis, Corey S

    2015-05-01

    Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) offer numerous advantages over anonymous markers such as microsatellites, including improved estimation of population parameters, finer-scale resolution of population structure and more precise genomic dissection of quantitative traits. However, many SNPs are needed to equal the resolution of a single microsatellite, and reliable large-scale genotyping of SNPs remains a challenge in nonmodel species. Here, we document the creation of a 9K Illumina Infinium BeadChip for polar bears (Ursus maritimus), which will be used to investigate: (i) the fine-scale population structure among Canadian polar bears and (ii) the genomic architecture of phenotypic traits in the Western Hudson Bay subpopulation. To this end, we used restriction-site associated DNA (RAD) sequencing from 38 bears across their circumpolar range, as well as blood/fat transcriptome sequencing of 10 individuals from Western Hudson Bay. Six-thousand RAD SNPs and 3000 transcriptomic SNPs were selected for the chip, based primarily on genomic spacing and gene function respectively. Of the 9000 SNPs ordered from Illumina, 8042 were successfully printed, and - after genotyping 1450 polar bears - 5441 of these SNPs were found to be well clustered and polymorphic. Using this array, we show rapid linkage disequilibrium decay among polar bears, we demonstrate that in a subsample of 78 individuals, our SNPs detect known genetic structure more clearly than 24 microsatellites genotyped for the same individuals and that these results are not driven by the SNP ascertainment scheme. Here, we present one of the first large-scale genotyping resources designed for a threatened species. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Genetic variation, relatedness, and effective population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Matthew A.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, George K.; Amstrup, Kristin S.

    2009-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are unique among bears in that they are adapted to the Arctic sea ice environment. Genetic data are useful for understanding their evolution and can contribute to management. We assessed parentage and relatedness of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska, with genetic data and field observations of age, sex, and mother–offspring and sibling relationships. Genotypes at 14 microsatellite DNA loci for 226 bears indicate that genetic variation is comparable to other populations of polar bears with mean number of alleles per locus of 7.9 and observed and expected heterozygosity of 0.71. The genetic data verified 60 field-identified mother–offspring pairs and identified 10 additional mother–cub pairs and 48 father–offspring pairs. The entire sample of related and unrelated bears had a mean pairwise relatedness index (rxy) of approximately zero, parent–offspring and siblings had rxy of approximately 0.5, and 5.2% of the samples had rxy values within the range expected for parent-offspring. Effective population size (Ne= 277) and the ratio of Ne to total population size (Ne/N = 0.182) were estimated from the numbers of reproducing males and females. Ne estimates with genetic methods gave variable results. Our results verify and expand field data on reproduction by females and provide new data on reproduction by males and estimates of relatedness and Ne in a polar bear population.

  15. Wound healing during hibernation by black bears (Ursus americanus) in the wild: elicitation of reduced scar formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iaizzo, Paul A; Laske, Timothy G; Harlow, Henry J; McClay, Carolyn B; Garshelis, David L

    2012-03-01

    Even mildly hypothermic body or limb temperatures can retard healing processes in mammals. Despite this, we observed that hibernating American black bears (Ursus americanus Pallas, 1780) elicit profound abilities in mounting inflammatory responses to infection and/or foreign bodies. In addition, they resolve injuries during hibernation while maintaining mildly hypothermic states (30-35 °C) and without eating, drinking, urinating or defecating. We describe experimental studies on free-ranging bears that document their abilities to completely resolve cutaneous cuts and punctures incurred during or prior to hibernation. We induced small, full-thickness cutaneous wounds (biopsies or incisions) during early denning, and re-biopsied sites 2-3 months later (near the end of denning). Routine histological methods were used to characterize these skin samples. All biopsied sites with respect to secondary intention (open circular biopsies) and primary intention (sutured sites) healed, with evidence of initial eschar (scab) formation, completeness of healed epidermis and dermal layers, dyskeratosis (inclusion cysts), and abilities to produce hair follicles. These healing abilities of hibernating black bears are a clear survival advantage to animals injured before or during denning. Bears are known to have elevated levels of hibernation induction trigger (delta-opioid receptor agonist) and ursodeoxycholic acid (major bile acid within plasma, mostly conjugated with taurine) during hibernation, which may relate to these wound-healing abilities. Further research as to the underlying mechanisms of wound healing during hibernation could have applications in human medicine. Unique approaches may be found to improve healing for malnourished, hypothermic, diabetic and elderly patients or to reduce scarring associated with burns and traumatic injuries. © 2012 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS.

  16. Phylogeographic Analyses of American Black Bears (Ursus americanus) Suggest Four Glacial Refugia and Complex Patterns of Postglacial Admixture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puckett, Emily E; Etter, Paul D; Johnson, Eric A; Eggert, Lori S

    2015-09-01

    Studies of species with continental distributions continue to identify intraspecific lineages despite continuous habitat. Lineages may form due to isolation by distance, adaptation, divergence across barriers, or genetic drift following range expansion. We investigated lineage diversification and admixture within American black bears (Ursus americanus) across their range using 22 k single nucleotide polymorphisms and mitochondrial DNA sequences. We identified three subcontinental nuclear clusters which we further divided into nine geographic regions: Alaskan (Alaska-East), eastern (Central Interior Highlands, Great Lakes, Northeast, Southeast), and western (Alaska-West, West, Pacific Coast, Southwest). We estimated that the western cluster diverged 67 ka, before eastern and Alaskan divergence 31 ka; these divergence dates contrasted with those from the mitochondrial genome where clades A and B diverged 1.07 Ma, and clades A-east and A-west diverged 169 ka. We combined estimates of divergence timing with hindcast species distribution models to infer glacial refugia for the species in Beringia, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast. Our results show a complex arrangement of admixture due to expansion out of multiple refugia. The delineation of the genomic population clusters was inconsistent with the ranges for 16 previously described subspecies. Ranges for U. a. pugnax and U. a. cinnamomum were concordant with admixed clusters, calling into question how to order taxa below the species level. Additionally, our finding that U. a. floridanus has not diverged from U. a. americanus also suggests that morphology and genetics should be reanalyzed to assess taxonomic designations relevant to the conservation management of the species. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved.For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Determining causes of genetic isolation in a large carnivore (Ursus americanus population to direct contemporary conservation measures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnès Pelletier

    Full Text Available The processes leading to genetic isolation influence a population's local extinction risk, and should thus be identified before conservation actions are implemented. Natural or human-induced circumstances can result in historical or contemporary barriers to gene flow and/or demographic bottlenecks. Distinguishing between these hypotheses can be achieved by comparing genetic diversity and differentiation in isolated vs. continuous neighboring populations. In Ontario, American black bears (Ursus americanus are continuously distributed, genetically diverse, and exhibit an isolation-by-distance structuring pattern, except on the Bruce Peninsula (BP. To identify the processes that led to the genetic isolation of BP black bears, we modelled various levels of historical and contemporary migration and population size reductions using forward simulations. We compared simulation results with empirical genetic indices from Ontario black bear populations under different levels of geographic isolation, and conducted additional simulations to determine if translocations could help achieve genetic restoration. From a genetic standpoint, conservation concerns for BP black bears are warranted because our results show that: i a recent demographic bottleneck associated with recently reduced migration best explains the low genetic diversity on the BP; and ii under sustained isolation, BP black bears could lose between 70% and 80% of their rare alleles within 100 years. Although restoring migration corridors would be the most effective method to enhance long-term genetic diversity and prevent inbreeding, it is unrealistic to expect connectivity to be re-established. Current levels of genetic diversity could be maintained by successfully translocating 10 bears onto the peninsula every 5 years. Such regular translocations may be more practical than landscape restoration, because areas connecting the peninsula to nearby mainland black bear populations have been

  18. Sex, Diet, and the Social Environment: Factors Influencing Hair Cortisol Concentration in Free-Ranging Black Bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Diana J R; Laudenslager, Mark L; Mowat, Garth; Heard, Doug; Belant, Jerrold L

    2015-01-01

    Increasingly, measures of glucocorticoid levels (e.g., cortisol), key components of the neuroendocrine stress axis, are being used to measure past hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity to index psychological and physiological stress exhibited by wildlife for assessing individual and population-level well-being. However, many intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect HPA activity in animals. Using American black bears (Ursus americanus; n = 116) as an ecological model and hair cortisol concentration (HCC) as an integrative measure of past HPA activity, we evaluated the influence of diet, sex and the social environment on black bear HCC in a free-ranging population that spanned adjoining ecoregions with differing densities of potential conspecific and heterospecific competitors. HCC varied by sex, with female HCC ranging from 0.6 to 10.7 pg/mg (median = 4.5 ± 1.2 mean absolute deviation [MAD]) and male HCC ranging from 0.5 to 35.1 pg/mg (median = 6.2 ± 2.6 MAD). We also observed a three-way interaction among sex, δ14C and ecoregion, which may indicate that some differences in HCC between female and male black bears results from variability in the nutritional needs of larger-bodied males relative to smaller-bodied females, slight differences in food resources use between ecoregions as well as sex-based differences regarding the social environment. Once we understand what drives sex-specific differences in HCC, HCC may aid our understanding of the physiological responses by bears and other wildlife to diverse environmental challenges.

  19. Skull pathology in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1892 to 2002 in relation to organochlorine pollution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sonne, Christian; Riget, Frank F.; Dietz, Rune; Wiig, Oystein; Kirkegaard, Maja; Born, Erik W.

    2007-01-01

    East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are heavily polluted with long-range transported organochlorines such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). To investigate the negative health impacts, a time-trend study of skull pathology was conducted on 269 East Greenland and 241 Svalbard polar bears. The skulls were sampled during 1892-2002 and 1964-1992, respectively. Seven different pathological changes were found: adonti, displacement of teeth, caries, osseous proliferations, exostosis, tooth wear and periodontitis. Only tooth wear and periodontitis was in a prevalence that allowed statistical treatment. The most severe cases of tooth wear and periodontitis were accompanied by a substantial loss of alveolar bone structure. The prevalence of tooth wear and periodontitis increased significantly with age (p < 0.001) with incisor wear being more severe than in canines, premolars and molars (p < 0.001). No sex difference was found for tooth wear (p = 0.22) while a significant difference between sexes was found for periodontitis (p = 0.01) with males having higher prevalence than females (odds ratio of 2.5 for males:females). In East Greenland, the prevalence of tooth wear was significantly higher in polar bears collected in the pre pollution period (< 1960) than in bears sampled during polluted periods (1960-1980 and 1981-2002) (p < 0.001). Regarding periodontitis, the prevalence was not significantly different between pre-pollution and pollution periods (p = 0.309). Polar bears from Svalbard had significantly higher prevalence of tooth wear (p < 0.001) and periodontitis (p = 0.02) than polar bears from East Greenland. The tooth wear and periodontitis odds ratios for Svalbard:East Greenland were 135 and 2.6, respectively. Hence, we found a clear age/sex link and geographical difference but no evidence for an association between skull pathology and exposure to organochlorines in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears

  20. Assays for Detection and Identification of the Causative Agent of Mange in Free-Ranging Black Bears ( Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltier, Sarah K; Brown, Justin D; Ternent, Mark A; Fenton, Heather; Niedringhaus, Kevin D; Yabsley, Michael J

    2018-03-02

    Three mite species ( Demodex ursi, Ursicoptes americanus, and Sarcoptes scabiei) have been associated with mange in black bears ( Ursus americanus). Since the early 1990s, the number and geographic distribution of mange cases in black bears in Pennsylvania has increased; however, the causative mites have yet to be completely defined. We evaluated several diagnostic approaches for detection and identification of mites in 72 black bears with severe lesions consistent with mange. Sarcoptes scabiei was morphologically identified in skin scrapes from 66 of the bears; no mites were identified in the remaining six. Histopathologic lesions consistent with sarcoptic mange were observed in 39 of 40 bear skin samples examined, and intralesional mites were observed in samples from 38 of these bears. Samples were collected from a subset of the 72 bears for PCR testing targeting both the internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-2 region and cytochrome c oxidase I ( cox1) gene including 69 skin scrapes ( ITS-2 only), 56 skin biopsies ( ITS-2 and cox1), and 36 fecal samples ( ITS-2 and cox1). Skin scrapes were a more sensitive sample for PCR detection than either skin biopsies or fecal samples, and the ITS-2 primers proved more sensitive than cox1. Using a commercial indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, antibodies to S. scabiei were detected in 45/49 (92%) black bears with confirmed mange and 0/62 (0%) cubs with no gross lesions suggestive of mange and which were born to seronegative sows. Sarcoptes scabiei was the predominant mite associated with mange in black bears in Pennsylvania. Diagnostically, cytologic examination of skin scrapes was the most effective approach for diagnosing active mite infestations in black bears. The evaluated serologic assay accurately detected antibodies to S. scabiei in most bears with confirmed S. scabiei infestations. Additional research is needed to determine the usefulness of this approach for larger scale surveys and for asymptomatic bears.

  1. Impacts of rural development on Yellowstone wildlife: linking grizzly bear Ursus arctos demographics with projected residential growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Charles C.; Gude, Patricia H.; Landenburger, Lisa; Haroldson, Mark A.; Podruzny, Shannon

    2012-01-01

    Exurban development is consuming wildlife habitat within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with potential consequences to the long-term conservation of grizzly bears Ursus arctos. We assessed the impacts of alternative future land-use scenarios by linking an existing regression-based simulation model predicting rural development with a spatially explicit model that predicted bear survival. Using demographic criteria that predict population trajectory, we portioned habitats into either source or sink, and projected the loss of source habitat associated with four different build out (new home construction) scenarios through 2020. Under boom growth, we predicted that 12 km2 of source habitat were converted to sink habitat within the Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone (RZ), 189 km2 were converted within the current distribution of grizzly bears outside of the RZ, and 289 km2 were converted in the area outside the RZ identified as suitable grizzly bear habitat. Our findings showed that extremely low densities of residential development created sink habitats. We suggest that tools, such as those outlined in this article, in addition to zoning and subdivision regulation may prove more practical, and the most effective means of retaining large areas of undeveloped land and conserving grizzly bear source habitat will likely require a landscape-scale approach. We recommend a focus on land conservation efforts that retain open space (easements, purchases and trades) coupled with the implementation of ‘bear community programmes’ on an ecosystem wide basis in an effort to minimize human-bear conflicts, minimize management-related bear mortalities associated with preventable conflicts and to safeguard human communities. Our approach has application to other species and areas, and it has illustrated how spatially explicit demographic models can be combined with models predicting land-use change to help focus conservation priorities.

  2. Sex, Diet, and the Social Environment: Factors Influencing Hair Cortisol Concentration in Free-Ranging Black Bears (Ursus americanus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Diana J. R.; Laudenslager, Mark L.; Mowat, Garth; Heard, Doug; Belant, Jerrold L.

    2015-01-01

    Increasingly, measures of glucocorticoid levels (e.g., cortisol), key components of the neuroendocrine stress axis, are being used to measure past hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity to index psychological and physiological stress exhibited by wildlife for assessing individual and population-level well-being. However, many intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect HPA activity in animals. Using American black bears (Ursus americanus; n = 116) as an ecological model and hair cortisol concentration (HCC) as an integrative measure of past HPA activity, we evaluated the influence of diet, sex and the social environment on black bear HCC in a free-ranging population that spanned adjoining ecoregions with differing densities of potential conspecific and heterospecific competitors. HCC varied by sex, with female HCC ranging from 0.6 to 10.7 pg/mg (median = 4.5 ± 1.2 mean absolute deviation [MAD]) and male HCC ranging from 0.5 to 35.1 pg/mg (median = 6.2 ± 2.6 MAD). We also observed a three-way interaction among sex, δ14C and ecoregion, which may indicate that some differences in HCC between female and male black bears results from variability in the nutritional needs of larger-bodied males relative to smaller-bodied females, slight differences in food resources use between ecoregions as well as sex-based differences regarding the social environment. Once we understand what drives sex-specific differences in HCC, HCC may aid our understanding of the physiological responses by bears and other wildlife to diverse environmental challenges. PMID:26529405

  3. Dietary plasticity in a nutrient-rich system does not influence brown bear (Ursus arctos) body condition or denning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangipane, Lindsey S.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Lafferty, Diana J. R.; Gustine, David D.; Hiller, Tim L.; Colvin, Michael E.; Mangipane, Buck A.; Hilderbrand, Grant V.

    2018-01-01

    Behavioral differences within a population can allow use of a greater range of resources among individuals. The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a generalist omnivore that occupies diverse habitats and displays considerable plasticity in food use. We evaluated whether brown bear foraging that resulted in deviations from a proposed optimal diet influenced body condition and, in turn, denning duration in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska. To assess assimilated diet, we used sectioned guard hair samples (n = 23) collected in autumn to determine stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios. To index proportional contributions of meat and vegetation to assimilated diets, we compared the carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) values of hair samples with the values identified for major food categories. We then compared percentage body fat and body mass in relation to the proportion of assimilated meat in the diet using linear models. We also examined the influence of autumn percentage body fat and mass on denning duration. Percentage body fat was not influenced by the proportion of assimilated meat in the diet. Additionally, percentage body fat and body mass did not influence denning duration. However, body mass of bears assimilating proportionately more meat was greater than bears assimilating less meat. Our results provide support for previous findings that larger bears consume higher amounts of protein to maintain their body size and therefore forage further from the proposed optimal diet. Additionally, our results demonstrate that individuals can achieve similar biological outcomes (e.g., percentage body fat) despite variable foraging strategies, suggesting that individuals within generalist populations may confer an adaptive advantage through behavioral plasticity.

  4. Skull pathology in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1892 to 2002 in relation to organochlorine pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sonne, Christian [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark) and Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Buelowsvej 17, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C (Denmark)]. E-mail: csh@dmu.dk; Riget, Frank F. [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Dietz, Rune [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Wiig, Oystein [Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, PO Box 1172 Blindern, N-0562 Oslo (Norway); Kirkegaard, Maja [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Born, Erik W. [Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, PO Box 570, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark)

    2007-01-01

    East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are heavily polluted with long-range transported organochlorines such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). To investigate the negative health impacts, a time-trend study of skull pathology was conducted on 269 East Greenland and 241 Svalbard polar bears. The skulls were sampled during 1892-2002 and 1964-1992, respectively. Seven different pathological changes were found: adonti, displacement of teeth, caries, osseous proliferations, exostosis, tooth wear and periodontitis. Only tooth wear and periodontitis was in a prevalence that allowed statistical treatment. The most severe cases of tooth wear and periodontitis were accompanied by a substantial loss of alveolar bone structure. The prevalence of tooth wear and periodontitis increased significantly with age (p < 0.001) with incisor wear being more severe than in canines, premolars and molars (p < 0.001). No sex difference was found for tooth wear (p = 0.22) while a significant difference between sexes was found for periodontitis (p = 0.01) with males having higher prevalence than females (odds ratio of 2.5 for males:females). In East Greenland, the prevalence of tooth wear was significantly higher in polar bears collected in the pre pollution period (< 1960) than in bears sampled during polluted periods (1960-1980 and 1981-2002) (p < 0.001). Regarding periodontitis, the prevalence was not significantly different between pre-pollution and pollution periods (p = 0.309). Polar bears from Svalbard had significantly higher prevalence of tooth wear (p < 0.001) and periodontitis (p = 0.02) than polar bears from East Greenland. The tooth wear and periodontitis odds ratios for Svalbard:East Greenland were 135 and 2.6, respectively. Hence, we found a clear age/sex link and geographical difference but no evidence for an association between skull pathology and exposure to organochlorines in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears.

  5. Immunolocalization of steroidogenic enzymes in the corpus luteum and placenta of the Japanese black bear, Ursus thibetanus japonicus, during pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsubota, T; Taki, S; Nakayama, K; Mason, J I; Kominami, S; Harada, N; Kita, I

    2001-04-01

    The Japanese black bear, Ursus thibetanus japonicus, is a seasonal breeder and shows delayed implantation for several months during pregnancy. The objective of this study was to clarify the steroidogenic capability of the corpus luteum and placenta during pregnancy, including both delayed implantation and fetal development, by immunolocalization of steroidogenic enzymes in these organs of the Japanese black bear. Ovaries and placentae from 15 wild Japanese black bears, which had been killed legally by hunters and were thought to be pregnant, were used in an immunocytochemical study to localize the cholesterol side chain cleavage cytochrome P450 (P450scc), 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3betaHSD), 17alpha-hydroxylase cytochrome P450 (P450c17) and aromatase cytochrome P450 (P450arom) by the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex method using polyclonal antisera raised in mammals against P450scc, 3betaHSD, P450c17 and P450arom. P450scc and 3betaHSD were localized in all luteal cells throughout pregnancy. P450c17 was present in a few luteal cells, especially in the outer area of the corpus luteum throughout pregnancy, but the number of positively immunostained cells decreased during the post-implantation period. Cells positively immunostained for P450c17 were significantly smaller than negatively immunostained cells (P black bear, corpora lutea are a source of progesterone which may play an important role in the maintenance of delayed implantation and fetal development during pregnancy. Corpora lutea have a minimum capability to synthesize androgen in small luteal cells and oestrogen in normal-sized luteal cells during pregnancy, and placentae have the ability to synthesize oestrogen during late pregnancy.

  6. Genetic variation, relatedness, and effective population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Matthew A; Amstrup, Steven C; Talbot, Sandra L; Sage, George K; Amstrup, Kristin S

    2009-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are unique among bears in that they are adapted to the Arctic sea ice environment. Genetic data are useful for understanding their evolution and can contribute to management. We assessed parentage and relatedness of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska, with genetic data and field observations of age, sex, and mother-offspring and sibling relationships. Genotypes at 14 microsatellite DNA loci for 226 bears indicate that genetic variation is comparable to other populations of polar bears with mean number of alleles per locus of 7.9 and observed and expected heterozygosity of 0.71. The genetic data verified 60 field-identified mother-offspring pairs and identified 10 additional mother-cub pairs and 48 father-offspring pairs. The entire sample of related and unrelated bears had a mean pairwise relatedness index (r(xy)) of approximately zero, parent-offspring and siblings had r(xy) of approximately 0.5, and 5.2% of the samples had r(xy) values within the range expected for parent-offspring. Effective population size (N(e) = 277) and the ratio of N(e) to total population size (N(e)/N = 0.182) were estimated from the numbers of reproducing males and females. N(e) estimates with genetic methods gave variable results. Our results verify and expand field data on reproduction by females and provide new data on reproduction by males and estimates of relatedness and N(e) in a polar bear population.

  7. Brown bear (Ursus arctos attacks resulting in human casualties in Scandinavia 1977-2016; management implications and recommendations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ole-Gunnar Støen

    Full Text Available Human persecution and habitat loss have endangered large carnivore populations worldwide, but some are recovering, exacerbating old conflicts. Carnivores can injure and kill people; the most dramatic form of wildlife-human conflict. In Scandinavia, the brown bear (Ursus arctos population increased from ~500 bears in 1977 to ~3300 in 2008, with an increase in injuries, fatalities, and public fear of bear attacks. We reviewed media coverage and interviewed victims to explore how bear population trends, hunter education, and other factors may have influenced the number of injuries and fatalities in Scandinavia from 1977 to 2016. We found 42 incidents with 42 injuries and 2 fatalities; 42 were adult men, one was an adult woman conducting forestry work, and one was a boy skiing off-piste. Thirty-three adult men were hunting bears, moose, or small game, often with a hunting dog, and 26 had shot at the bear at 8±11 m before injury. Eleven nonhunters were conducting forestry work, inspecting a hunting area, picking berries, tending livestock, hiking, harassing a denned bear, and one person was killed outside his house at night. Eight of the 11 incidents of nonhunters involved female bears with cubs; three of these family groups were in dens and two were on carcasses. The annual number of hunters injured/killed was mostly influenced by the increase in the bear population size. The pattern was similar regarding injuries/fatalities to other outdoor users, but the relation with the bear population size was weaker than for hunters, and the null model was equally supported. Bear physiology at denning may make encounters with bears more risky in the fall, when bears show prehibernation behavior. Awareness and education efforts, especially among hunters, seem important to ensure human safety. Recreationists and forestry workers should avoid dense vegetation or make noise to warn bears of their presence.

  8. Sex, Diet, and the Social Environment: Factors Influencing Hair Cortisol Concentration in Free-Ranging Black Bears (Ursus americanus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana J R Lafferty

    Full Text Available Increasingly, measures of glucocorticoid levels (e.g., cortisol, key components of the neuroendocrine stress axis, are being used to measure past hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA activity to index psychological and physiological stress exhibited by wildlife for assessing individual and population-level well-being. However, many intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect HPA activity in animals. Using American black bears (Ursus americanus; n = 116 as an ecological model and hair cortisol concentration (HCC as an integrative measure of past HPA activity, we evaluated the influence of diet, sex and the social environment on black bear HCC in a free-ranging population that spanned adjoining ecoregions with differing densities of potential conspecific and heterospecific competitors. HCC varied by sex, with female HCC ranging from 0.6 to 10.7 pg/mg (median = 4.5 ± 1.2 mean absolute deviation [MAD] and male HCC ranging from 0.5 to 35.1 pg/mg (median = 6.2 ± 2.6 MAD. We also observed a three-way interaction among sex, δ14C and ecoregion, which may indicate that some differences in HCC between female and male black bears results from variability in the nutritional needs of larger-bodied males relative to smaller-bodied females, slight differences in food resources use between ecoregions as well as sex-based differences regarding the social environment. Once we understand what drives sex-specific differences in HCC, HCC may aid our understanding of the physiological responses by bears and other wildlife to diverse environmental challenges.

  9. Middle Pleistocene protein sequences from the rhinoceros genus Stephanorhinus and the phylogeny of extant and extinct Middle/Late Pleistocene Rhinocerotidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welker, Frido; Smith, Geoff M; Hutson, Jarod M; Kindler, Lutz; Garcia-Moreno, Alejandro; Villaluenga, Aritza; Turner, Elaine; Gaudzinski-Windheuser, Sabine

    2017-01-01

    Ancient protein sequences are increasingly used to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships between extinct and extant mammalian taxa. Here, we apply these recent developments to Middle Pleistocene bone specimens of the rhinoceros genus Stephanorhinus . No biomolecular sequence data is currently available for this genus, leaving phylogenetic hypotheses on its evolutionary relationships to extant and extinct rhinoceroses untested. Furthermore, recent phylogenies based on Rhinocerotidae (partial or complete) mitochondrial DNA sequences differ in the placement of the Sumatran rhinoceros ( Dicerorhinus sumatrensis ). Therefore, studies utilising ancient protein sequences from Middle Pleistocene contexts have the potential to provide further insights into the phylogenetic relationships between extant and extinct species, including Stephanorhinus and Dicerorhinus . ZooMS screening (zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry) was performed on several Late and Middle Pleistocene specimens from the genus Stephanorhinus , subsequently followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to obtain ancient protein sequences from a Middle Pleistocene Stephanorhinus specimen. We performed parallel analysis on a Late Pleistocene woolly rhinoceros specimen and extant species of rhinoceroses, resulting in the availability of protein sequence data for five extant species and two extinct genera. Phylogenetic analysis additionally included all extant Perissodactyla genera ( Equus , Tapirus ), and was conducted using Bayesian (MrBayes) and maximum-likelihood (RAxML) methods. Various ancient proteins were identified in both the Middle and Late Pleistocene rhinoceros samples. Protein degradation and proteome complexity are consistent with an endogenous origin of the identified proteins. Phylogenetic analysis of informative proteins resolved the Perissodactyla phylogeny in agreement with previous studies in regards to the placement of the families Equidae, Tapiridae, and

  10. Patterns of myoxid evolution in the Pliocene and Pleistocene of Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Nadachoswki

    1995-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The origin of recent species belonging to the genera Myoxus, Muscardinus, Glirulus, Eliomys, Dryomys and Myomimus is discussed. Evolution of myoxids in the Pliocene and Pleistocene is expressed by gradual size increase of their cheek teeth. No gradual change in the dental pattern is observed. Riassunto Modelli di evoluzione dei Mioxidi nel Pliocene e Pleistocene in Europa - Viene discussa l'origine delle specie recenti appartenenti ai generi Myoxus, Muscardinus, Glirulus, Eliomys, Dryomys e Myomimus. L'evoluzione dei Mioxidi nel Pliocene e nel Pleistocene è espressa da un graduale aumento delle dimensioni dei molari. Non è stato osservato alcun cambiamento graduale nel pattern dentale.

  11. A NEW EARLY PLEISTOCENE BIRD ASSOCIATION FROM PIETRAFITTA (PERUGIA, CENTRAL ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GILDA ZUCCHETTA

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available We here present che preliminary results of the analysis of the fossil bird assemblages found in the lignite deposits of the Pietrafitta Mine (Perugia, Central Italy. A rich vertebrate association, mainly mammals, has been retrieved in Pietrafitta, which is the richest local fauna of the Farneta Faunal Unit (late Villafranchian, early Pleistocene. Avian remains of Podicipedidae, Ardeidae, Phalacrocoracidae, Anatidae, Phasianidae and Rallidae have been identified, for most of which Pietrafitta represents the earliest occurrence in Italy. The Pietrafitta fossil bird association is the first Italian bird assemblage of the Early Pleistocene and seems to be one of the most important ones for the early Pleistocene in Europe, especially because it contains mainly aquatic birds, often rare in many other European deposits. 

  12. Earliest Pleistocene hominid cranial remains from Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia: taxonomy, geological setting, and age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabunia, L; Vekua, A; Lordkipanidze, D; Swisher, C C; Ferring, R; Justus, A; Nioradze, M; Tvalchrelidze, M; Antón, S C; Bosinski, G; Jöris, O; Lumley, M A; Majsuradze, G; Mouskhelishvili, A

    2000-05-12

    Archaeological excavations at the site of Dmanisi in the Republic of Georgia have uncovered two partial early Pleistocene hominid crania. The new fossils consist of a relatively complete cranium and a second relatively complete calvaria from the same site and stratigraphic unit that yielded a hominid mandible in 1991. In contrast with the uncertain taxonomic affinity of the mandible, the new fossils are comparable in size and morphology with Homo ergaster from Koobi Fora, Kenya. Paleontological, archaeological, geochronological, and paleomagnetic data from Dmanisi all indicate an earliest Pleistocene age of about 1.7 million years ago, supporting correlation of the new specimens with the Koobi Fora fossils. The Dmanisi fossils, in contrast with Pleistocene hominids from Western Europe and Eastern Asia, show clear African affinity and may represent the species that first migrated out of Africa.

  13. Drainage system inversion in the Guadalentin Depression during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene (Murcia, Spain)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calmel-Avila, M.; Silva, P. G.; Bardaji, T.; Goy, J. L.; Zazo, C.

    2009-07-01

    This article presents the results of studies conducted in the central sector of Guadalentin depression (Murcia) for the abnormal accumulation (more than 17 m) of Pleistocene and Holocene deposits upstream of Romeral tectonic threshold (Librilla). {sup 1}4C dating. ruins and archaeological sites, together with its stratigraphic analysis show that the three sequences that constitute the Holocene detrital filling of the Depression, prograded are superimposed on the upper Pleistocene travertine upstream from the confluence of the River Guadalentin the Rambla de Librilla. Between Librilla and threshold Romeral Holocene deposits only appear along the left bank (15-17m). By contrast the right side shows significant lifting of the Pleistocene travertine up area Romeral threshold, where the substrate allora Neogene. (Author) 11 refs.

  14. Late Pleistocene and Holocene landscape formation in a gully catchment area in Northern Hesse, Germany

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Döhler, Susanne; Damm, Bodo; Terhorst, Birgit

    2015-01-01

    the differentiation between Pleistocene and Holocene landforms. Radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating are applied to add numerical data to the relative ages of the sediments and landforms. The gully channels are oriented along Pleistocene depressions that are built up of periglacial cover beds...... and intercalated reworked loess. As the gully channels cut through the periglacial cover beds, especially the upper layer, the gully system is of Holocene age. At least two phases of gully erosion are identified in the alluvial fan sediments. The initial gully erosion is dated to the time span between the Late......Permanent gully channels under forest are common geomorphological features in Central European low mountain areas. In the Rehgraben/Fuchslöchergraben gully catchment in Northern Hesse, Germany the Late Pleistocene landscape formation is reconstructed based on periglacial cover beds. In addition...

  15. The late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record of eastern Asia: synthesis and review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Christopher J

    2010-01-01

    Traditionally, Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils that cannot be allocated to Homo erectus sensu lato or modern H. sapiens have been assigned to different specific taxa. For example, in eastern Asia, these hominin fossils have been classified as archaic, early, or premodern H. sapiens. An increasing number of Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils are currently being assigned to H. heidelbergensis. This is particularly the case for the African and European Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record. There have been suggestions that perhaps the eastern Asian late Middle Pleistocene hominins can also be allocated to the H. heidelbergensis hypodigm. In this article, I review the current state of the late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record from eastern Asia and examine the various arguments for assigning these hominins to the different specific taxa. The two primary conclusions drawn from this review are as follows: 1) little evidence currently exists in the eastern Asian Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record to support their assignment to H. heidelbergensis; and 2) rather than add to the growing list of hominin fossil taxa by using taxonomic names like H. daliensis for northeast Asian fossils and H. mabaensis for Southeast Asian fossils, it is better to err on the side of caution and continue to use the term archaic H. sapiens to represent all of these hominin fossils. What should be evident from this review is the need for an increase in the quality and quantity of the eastern Asian hominin fossil data set. Fortunately, with the increasing number of large-scale multidisciplinary paleoanthropological field and laboratory research projects in eastern Asia, the record is quickly becoming better understood. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. Hominin teeth from the Middle Pleistocene site of Yiyuan, Eastern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Song; Sun, Chengkai; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Han, Fei; Zhang, Yingqi; Liu, Wu

    2016-06-01

    In 1981-1982, some hominin fossils, including a relatively complete skull and seven isolated teeth, were recovered from the Middle Pleistocene site of Yiyuan in Eastern China. In the present study we provide a detailed metric and morphological comparison of the Yiyuan dental sample in order to characterize better the variability of the human populations that inhabited China during the Middle Pleistocene. Aside from taxonomic and phylogenetic questions, the lack of understanding and/or knowledge about the morphological variability of these populations have caused concern about the human versus non-human nature of some of the hominin dental remains found in East Asia during the Early and the Middle Pleistocene. Thus, our study aims to present a detailed description and comparison of the Yiyuan isolated teeth to 1) discuss and support their human nature and 2) to explore their taxonomic affinities with regard to other penecontemporaneous populations from Asia. Our results clearly differentiate the Yiyuan sample from Pongo specimens and support a human attribution for the Yiyuan material. Our analyses also suggest that the Yiyuan teeth form a morphologically coherent group together with samples from Zhoukoudian, Chaoxian and Hexian. They are different from the more derived specimens from Panxian Dadong, suggesting a pattern of biogeographic isolation and different evolutionary trends between northern and southern China during the Middle Pleistocene. In addition, and despite sharing a common morphological bauplan with Homo erectus sensu stricto (s.s.), the Yiyuan, Zhoukoudian and Hexian teeth are also different from the Indonesian Early Pleistocene samples. In particular, the expression of a highly crenulated or dendritic enamel-dentine surface could be unique to these groups. Our study supports the notion that the taxonomy of the Pleistocene hominins from Asia may have been oversimplified. Future studies should explore the variability of the Asian specimens and

  17. The temporal bones from Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). A phylogenetic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, I; Arsuaga, J L

    1997-01-01

    Three well-preserved crania and 22 temporal bones were recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site up to and including the 1994 field season. This is the largest sample of hominid temporal bones known from a single Middle Pleistocene site and it offers the chance to characterize the temporal bone morphology of an European Middle Pleistocene population and to study the phylogenetic relationships of the SH sample with other Upper and Middle Pleistocene hominids. We have carried out a cladistic analysis based on nine traits commonly used in phylogenetic analysis of Middle and Late Pleistocene hominids: shape of the temporal squama superior border, articular eminence morphology, contribution of the sphenoid bone to the median glenoid wall, postglenoid process projection, tympanic plate orientation, presence of the styloid process, mastoid process projection, digastric groove morphology and anterior mastoid tubercle. We have found two autapomorphies on the Home erectus temporal bone: strong reduction of the postglenoid process and absence of the styloid process. Modern humans, Neandertals and the Middle Pleistocene fossils from Europe and Africa constitute a clade characterized by a convex superior border of the temporal squama. The European Middle Pleistocene fossils from Sima de los Huesos, Petralona, Steinheim, Bilzingsleben and Castel di Guido share a Neandertal apomorphy: a relatively flat articular eminence. The fossils from Ehringsdorf, La Chaise Suardi and Biache-Saint-Vaast also display another Neandertal derived trait: an anteriorly obliterated digastric groove. Modern humans and the African Middle Pleistocene fossils share a synapomorphy: a sagittally orientated tympanic plate.

  18. The Pliocene initiation and Early Pleistocene volcanic disruption of the palaeo-Gediz fluvial system, Western Turkey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maddy, D.; Demir, T.; Bridgland, D.R.; Veldkamp, A.; Stemerdink, C.; Schriek, van der T.; Schreve, D.

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, we report our latest observations concerning a Pliocene and Early Pleistocene record from Western Turkey. The sedimentary sequence described comprises the fluvial deposits of an Early Pleistocene palaeo-Gediz river system and its tributaries prior to the onset of volcanism around Kula

  19. Is the modern koala ( Phascolarctos cinereus) a derived dwarf of a Pleistocene giant? Implications for testing megafauna extinction hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Gilbert J.

    2008-12-01

    The modern Australian koala ( Phascolarctos cinereus) is commonly regarded as a dwarf descendent of a Late Pleistocene giant koala ( Ph. stirtoni). The implication of that hypothesis is that the giant koala survived the Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinction "event", albeit as a smaller body-sized form. It is important to be able to constrain rates of Late Pleistocene faunal turnover, an aspect reliant on having accurate taxonomic information of extinct species. The koala dwarfing hypothesis is tested here by using a temporally-constrained biogeographical record of fossil koalas, and a morphological character analysis. The contemporary occurrence of both taxa in pre-Late Pleistocene deposits and significant differences in dental morphologies between those forms suggests that the modern koala is not a derived dwarf of the Pleistocene giant koala. Thus, the giant-form was among a number of other giant mammals, lizards and birds that suffered extinction sometime during the Late Pleistocene. The potential phenomenon of dwarfing of other Late Pleistocene and Recent faunas, such as grey kangaroos, is commonly used as a test for or against various megafaunal extinction hypotheses. However, the results of this study also demonstrate that the dwarfing hypothesis has not been adequately tested for a suite of other taxa. Thus, until the dwarfing hypothesis can be more fully tested, a clear understanding of the fate of Late Pleistocene faunas that apparently survived the extinction "event", and the origins of many extant forms will remain elusive.

  20. Molecular biogeography of Europe: Pleistocene cycles and postglacial trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmitt Thomas

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The climatic cycles with subsequent glacial and intergalcial periods have had a great impact on the distribution and evolution of species. Using genetic analytical tools considerably increased our understanding of these processes. In this review I therefore give an overview of the molecular biogeography of Europe. For means of simplification, I distinguish between three major biogeographical entities: (i "Mediterranean" with Mediterranean differentiation and dispersal centres, (ii "Continental" with extra-Mediterranean centres and (iii "Alpine" and/or "Arctic" with recent alpine and/or arctic distribution patterns. These different molecular biogeographical patterns are presented using actual examples. Many "Mediterranean" species are differentiated into three major European genetic lineages, which are due to glacial isolation in the three major Mediterranean peninsulas. Postglacial expansion in this group of species is mostly influenced by the barriers of the Pyrenees and the Alps with four resulting main patterns of postglacial range expansions. However, some cases are known with less than one genetic lineage per Mediterranean peninsula on the one hand, and others with a considerable genetic substructure within each of the Mediterranean peninsulas, Asia Minor and the Maghreb. These structures within the Mediterranean sub-centres are often rather strong and in several cases even predate the Pleistocene. For the "Continental" species, it could be shown that the formerly supposed postglacial spread from eastern Palearctic expansion centres is mostly not applicable. Quite the contrary, most of these species apparently had extra-Mediterranean centres of survival in Europe with special importance of the perialpine regions, the Carpathian Basin and parts of the Balkan Peninsula. In the group of "Alpine" and/or "Arctic" species, several molecular biogeographical patterns have been found, which support and improve the postulates based on

  1. Indian Ocean circulation changes over the Middle Pleistocene Transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrick, B.; Auer, G.; De Vleeschouwer, D.; Christensen, B. A.; Stolfi, C.; Reuning, L.; Martinez-Garcia, A.; Haug, G. H.; Bogus, K.

    2017-12-01

    The Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT; 1.4 - 0.4 Ma) represents a climatic shift towards climate cycles at a quasi-100-kyr frequency. Although, several high-resolution records covering the MPT from globally distributed archives exist, there is only sparse evidence on changes in heat exchange between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, which represents a crucial part of the global thermohaline circulation (THC). Deciphering the influence of this heat exchange via the Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) is an important step in understanding the causes of the MPT. The Leeuwin Current off Western Australia is directly influenced by the ITF and can therefore be used to reconstruct ITF variability during the MPT. Today, the Leeuwin Current is the only southward flowing eastern boundary current in the southern hemisphere. The onset of the current is unknown but is proposed to have occurred 1 Ma and was likely related to significant changes in ITF dynamics during the MPT We present the first continuous reconstruction of changes in the Leeuwin Current during the MPT using data from IODP Expedition 356 Site U1460. The site is located at 29°S in the path of the current. High sedimentation rates ( 30 cm/ka) at Site U1460 provide the opportunity for high-resolution reconstruction of the MPT. We reconstruct paleoenvironmental variability by combining XRF, organic geochemistry, ICP-MS and XRD data with shipboard data, to reconstruct Leeuwin Current and ITF variability. Initial analyses show clear indications that upwelling off Western Australia intensified during the MPT, indicated by increased primary productivity related to increased nutrient levels, from 900-600 ka. Our results also suggest that the west Australian current (WAC) strengthened during this time supplying cool eutrophic waters from the high southern latitutes to the site. This intensification of the WAC may have had major implications for the Indian Ocean current system, but also the THC at large. This seems to be coupled with

  2. Temporal evolution of the Roccamonfina volcanic complex (Pleistocene), Central Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouchon, V.; Gillot, P. Y.; Quidelleur, X.; Chiesa, S.; Floris, B.

    2008-10-01

    The Roccamonfina volcanic complex (RVC), in southern Italy, is an Early to Middle Pleistocene stratovolcano sharing temporal and morphological characteristics with the Somma-Vesuvius and the Alban Hills; both being associated with high volcanic hazard for the cities of Naples and Rome, respectively. The RVC is important for the understanding of volcanic evolution in the Roman and Campanian volcanic provinces. We report a comprehensive study of its evolution based on morphological, geochemical and K-Ar geochronological data. The RVC was active from c.a. 550 ka to 150 ka. Its evolution is divided into five stages, defining a volcanic pulse recurrence time of c.a. 90-100 kyr. The two initial stages, consisted in the construction of two successive stratovolcanoes of the tephrite-phonolite, namely "High-K series". The first stage was terminated by a major plinian eruption emplacing the trachytic Rio Rava pumices at 439 ± 9 ka. At the end of the second stage, the last High-K series stratovolcano was destroyed by a large sector collapse and the emplacement of the Brown Leucitic Tuff (BLT) at 353 ± 5 ka. The central caldera of the RVC is the result of the overlapping of the Rio Rava and of the BLT explosions. The plinian eruption of the BLT is related to the emptying of a stratified, deep-seated HKS magma chamber during the upwelling of K series (KS) magma, marking a major geochemical transition and plumbing system re-organization. The following stage was responsible for the emplacement of the Lower White Trachytic Tuff at 331 ± 2 ka, and of basaltic-trachytic effusive products erupted through the main vent. The subsequent activity was mainly restricted to the emplacement of basaltic-shoshonitic parasitic cones and lava flows, and of minor subplinian deposits of the Upper White Trachytic Tuff between 275 and 230 ka. The northern crater is most probably a maar that formed by the phreatomagmatic explosion of the Yellow Trachytic Tuff at 230 ka. The latest stage of

  3. Latest Pleistocene and Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in southernmost Patagonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menounos, B.; Maurer, M.; Clague, J. J.; osborn, G.; Ponce, F.; Davis, P. T.; Rabassa, J.; Coronato, A.; Marr, R.

    2011-12-01

    Summer insolation has been proposed to explain long-term glacier fluctuations during the Holocene. If correct, the record of glacier fluctuations at high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere should differ from that in the Northern Hemisphere. Testing this insolation hypothesis has been hampered by dating uncertainties of many Holocene glacier chronologies from Patagonia. We report on our ongoing research aimed at developing a regional glacier chronology at the southern end of the Andes north and west of Ushuaia, Argentina. We have found evidence for an advance of cirque glaciers at the end of the Pleistocene; one or locally two closely spaced moraines extend up to 2 km beyond Little Ice Age moraines. Radiocarbon dating of terrestrial macrofossils recovered from basal sediments behind two of these moraines yielded ages of 10,320 ± 25 and 10,330 ± 30 14C yr BP. These moraines may record glacier advances coeval with the Antarctic Cold Reversal; surface exposure dating of these moraines is currently in progress to test this hypothesis. We find no evidence of Holocene moraines older than 6800 14C yr BP, based on the distribution of Hudson tephra of that age. At some sites, there is evidence for an early Neoglacial advance of glaciers slightly beyond (Peru. We have documented multiple wood mats with stumps in growth position separated by till units in a 100 m section of the northeast lateral moraine at Stoppani Glacier (54.78 S, 68.98 W), 50 km west of Ushuaia. Ten radiocarbon ages on these wood mats range in age from 3510 ± 15 to 135 ± 15 14C yr BP. The mats decrease in age up-section; many overlap with published age ranges for Neoglacial advances in western Canada. Taken together, these data: a) do not support the summer insolation hypothesis for Holocene glacier fluctuations in southernmost Patagonia; b) confirm paleobotanical evidence for a warm, dry early Holocene; and c) suggest that many Neoglacial advances in southernmost Patagonia and western North America

  4. Geomorphic controls on Pleistocene knickpoint migration in Alpine valleys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leith, Kerry; Fox, Matt; Moore, Jeffrey R.; Brosda, Julian; Krautblatter, Michael; Loew, Simon

    2014-05-01

    Recent insights into sub-glacial bedrock stress conditions suggest that the erosional efficiency of glaciers may reduce markedly following a major erosional cycle [Leith et al., 2013]. This implies that the formation of large glacial valleys within the Alps is likely to have occurred shortly after the onset of 100 ky glacial-interglacial cycles (at the mid-Pleistocene Revolution (MPR)). The majority of landscape change since this time may have therefore been driven by sub-aerial processes. This hypothesis is supported by observations of hillslope and channel morphology within Canton Valais (Switzerland), where major tributary valleys display a common morphology along their length, hinting at a shared geomorphic history. Glaciers currently occupy the headwaters of many catchments, while the upper reaches of rivers flow across extensive alluvial planes before abruptly transitioning to steep channels consisting of mixed bedrock and talus fan deposits. The rivers then converge to flow out over the alluvial plane of the Rhone Valley. Characteristically rough topographies within the region are suggested to mark the progressive transition from a glacial to fluvially-dominated landscape, and correlate well with steepened river channel sections determined from a 2.5 m resolution LiDAR DEM. We envisage a landscape in which ongoing tectonic uplift drives the emergence of Alpine bedrock through massive sedimentary valley infills (currently concentrated in the Rhone Valley), whose elevation is fixed by the consistent fluvial baselevel at Lake Geneva. As fluvial incision ceases at the onset of glaciation, continued uplift causes the formation of knickpoints at the former transition from bedrock to sedimentary infill. These knickpoints will then propagate upstream during subsequent interglacial periods. By investigating channel morphologies using an approach based on the steady-state form of the stream power equation, we can correlate steepened channel reaches (degraded

  5. Anthropogenic Origin of Siliceous Scoria Droplets from Pleistocene and Holocene Archeaological Sites in Northern Syria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thy, Peter; Willcox, George; Barfod, Gry

    2015-01-01

    Siliceous scoria droplets, measuring from 1 to 10 mm, from one late Pleistocene and four early Holocene archaeological sites in northern Syria are compared to similar droplets previously suggested to be the result of a cosmic impact at the onset of the Younger Dryas global cooling event. The !ndi......Siliceous scoria droplets, measuring from 1 to 10 mm, from one late Pleistocene and four early Holocene archaeological sites in northern Syria are compared to similar droplets previously suggested to be the result of a cosmic impact at the onset of the Younger Dryas global cooling event...

  6. Implications of the avian fauna for paleoecology in the Early Pleistocene of the Iberian Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Marco, A

    1999-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to reconstruct the landscape and climate during the formation of the Lower Pleistocene TD6 layer at Gran Dolina, Atapuerca. Habitat preferences and phenetic behavioural spectra of fossil birds are reconstructed using comparisons of fossil bird assemblages with modern avian communities. This method is based upon the phenology (seasonality and breeding status) of each species for both the fossil association and modern communities. The results indicate that more open country and wetter conditions prevailed during the early Pleistocene than were previously inferred. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  7. A critical evaluation of the evidence for multiple Late Pleistocene eruptions of Laacher See Volcano

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zernack, Anke Verena; Hoggard, Christian Steven; Sauer, Florian Rudolf

    The c. 12,900 BP Plinian eruption of Laacher See Volcano is one of the largest known volcanic events of the Late Pleistocene in the Northern Hemisphere. It buried proximal areas under tens of meters of pyroclastic flow, surge and fallout deposits and deposited a widespread tephra layer across much...... of dispersal of the products from varying eruptive stages and some sites even report two distinct Laacher See Tephra layers that have been interpreted as evidence of a precursor eruption. In order to assess the potential for multiple Late Pleistocene eruptions of Laacher See Volcano, we have compiled...

  8. Origin of late pleistocene formation water in Mexican oil reservoirs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Birkle, P. [Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, Cuernavaca (Mexico)

    2004-07-01

    . For wellhead samples, a 20 liter-sampling-reagent was previously filled with N{sub 2}-gas for the collection and phase separation of the pressurized gas-water-crude oil mixture. No differences in {sup 14}C-concentrations were detected applying, both, conventional and AMS-techniques. In contradiction to the expected 'fossil age' of reservoir water as part of a stagnant hydraulic system, measured {sup 14}C-concentrations between 0.89 pmC and 31.86 pmC indicate a late Pleistocene-early Holocene, regional event for the infiltration of surface water into the reservoir. The variety in water mineralization from meteoric (TDS{sub max} = 0.5 g/l) to hyper-saline composition (TDS{sub max} = 338 g/l) is not caused by halite dissolution from adjacent salt domes, as shown by elevated Br/Cl ratios. In contrary, the linear correlation between {sup 18}O and Cl values reflect varying mixing proportions of two components - meteoric water and evaporated seawater. Instead of water/rock-interaction, evaporation of seawater at the surface prior to infiltration represents the principal process for fluid enrichment in {sup 18}O and chlorine, with maximum values of 17.2 %o and 228 g/l, respectively. The young residence time of formation water in Mexican oil reservoirs implies following: - The common assumption of 'hydraulically-frozen' reservoirs is not correct, as main descending fluid migration occurred during glacial period. Probably, major infiltration processes are related to periods with climatic changes and increased humidity - as observed for the adjacent Yucatan region in SE-Mexico during early-mid Holocene (6,000 yr BP) (Metcalfe et al. 2000) - with the probable transgression of Mexican Gulf seawater into the recent Mexican coastal plain. - The common hypothesis of hydrocarbon maturation within Jurassic organic-rich layers, and its subsequent expulsion and migration into Cretaceous/Tertiary sedimentary units must be expanded by a last-step-process: As glacial

  9. Paleosoils and pedogenic calcretes formations in Fray Bentos (Oligocene - early miocene) Raigon (late pliocene and middle pleistocene) and Libertad (early - middle pleistocene)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tofalo, O.; Morras, H.; Sanchez-Bettucci, L.

    2012-01-01

    The Fray Bentos formation is composed by loessic deposits based on paleosoils and pedogenic calcretes (Oligocene - early miocene). In this deposits are tubular and lamellar formations which would have been formed in arid climates.The fluvial origen of Raigon Formation, (late pliocene and middle pleistocene) presents a paleosoil roof which is generated under a subhumid climate.The Libertad Formation during the glacial intervals consisted of loess deposits

  10. Prevalence of antibodies against Brucella spp. in West Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and East Greenland muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Andersen-Ranberg, Emilie; Rajala, Elisabeth L.

    2018-01-01

    impact on human health due to consumption of raw meat or otherwise contact with tissues and fluids of infected game species such as muskoxen and polar bears. Here, we present serological results for Baffin Bay polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n = 96) and North East Greenland muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) (n...

  11. Morphometric variation in Plio-Pleistocene hominid distal humeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lague, M R; Jungers, W L

    1996-11-01

    The magnitude and meaning of morphological variation among Plio-Pleistocene hominid distal humeri have been recurrent points of disagreement among paleoanthropologists. Some researchers have found noteworthy differences among fossil humeri that they believe merit taxonomic separation, while others question the possibility of accurately sorting these fossils into different species and/or functional groups. Size and shape differences among fossil distal humeri are evaluated here to determine whether the magnitude and patterns of these differences can be observed within large-bodied, living hominoids. Specimens analyzed in this study have been assigned to various taxa (Australopithecus afarensis, A. africanus, A. anamensis, Paranthropus, and early Homo) and include AL 288-1m, AL 288-1s, AL 137-48a, AL 322-1, Gomboré IB 7594, TM 1517, KNM-ER 739, KNM-ER 1504, KMN-KP 271 (Kanapoi), and Stw 431. Five extant hominoid populations are sampled to provide a standard by which to consider differences found between the fossils, including two modern human groups (Native American and African American), one group of Pan troglodytes, and two subspecies of Gorilla gorilla (G.g. beringei, G.g. gorilla). All possible pairwise d values (average Euclidena distances) are calculated within each of the reference populations using an exact randomization procedure. This is done using both raw linear measurements as well as scale-free shape data created as ratios of each measurement to the geometric mean. Differences between each pair of fossil humeri are evaluated by comparing their d values to the distribution of d values found within each of the reference populations. Principal coordinate analysis and an unweighted pair group method with arithmetic averages (UPGMA) cluster analysis are utilized to further assess similarities and differences among the fossils. Finally, canonical variates analysis and discriminant analysis are employed using all hominoid samples in order to control for

  12. Plio-Pleistocene magnetostratigraphy of the Turkana basin, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepre, C. J.; Quinn, R.; Feibel, C. S.; Brown, F. H.; Kent, D. V.

    2012-12-01

    Archaeological and fossil sites from the Turkana basin provide a unique record of important human evolutionary junctures, which have been linked to terrestrial environmental change as a consequence of late Cenozoic climate phenomenon. However, because of low geochronological resolution, spatial discontinuities, and the episodic nature of sedimentation in the half-graben basins of the East African Rift System, it has been difficult to directly connect the terrestrial sites with marine archives of Pliocene and Pleistocene climate. For the purpose of addressing these issues, a magnetic polarity stratigraphy and a corresponding geochronology are presented for 12 sampling sites spanning about 400 m of continental sediments that crop out in eastern (Areas 118 and 130 of the Karari ridge, Areas 102 and 104 of the Koobi Fora ridge, Areas 107 and 123 of Bara Hasuma) and western (Kokiselei, Naiyena Engol, Kalochoro, Lomekwi, South Turkwel, and Kanapoi) parts of the Turkana basin. Characteristic magnetizations isolated through thermal demagnetization experiments on mudstone specimens pass reversal tests and are indistinguishable in mean direction regardless if samples were collected from ancient fluvial floodplain or lacustrine strata of correlative stratigraphic intervals. The sequence of the composite paleomagnetic reversal stratigraphy consists of 15 magnetozones that vary from less than a meter to tens of meters thick and can be unambiguously correlated within limits of the previously established tephrochronology to the Gilbert through Matuyama portion of the Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale dated to about 4.0-1.5 Ma. Sedimentation rates through lacustrine intervals (e.g., 22-29 cm/kyr) are comparable with high-fidelity marine cores. This factor coupled with copious amounts of magnetic mineral detritus from basin-bounding rift volcanics probably contributes to a high natural remanent magnetization of the sediments and the recording of temporally brief magnetozones (e

  13. Geologic records of Pleistocene, Holocene and Anthropocene beach profiles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougherty, Amy; Choi, Jeong-Heon; Dosseto, Anthony

    2017-04-01

    The Anthropocene Working Group recently concluded that we have entered a new Epoch; starting during the last century when carbon dioxide, temperatures, and sea level all exceeding previous Holocene measurements. Climate change models predict a 1m rise in sea-level by 2100 coupled with increased storm intensity. Determining how vulnerable coasts will respond to global warming in the future, requires past records of sea-level and storm impacts to be deciphered. Paying specific attention to any changes prior to, and since, the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Coastal change over centennial time-scales has long fallen within a knowledge gap that exists between our understanding of shoreline behaviour measured over decades and that inferred from the landscape over millennia. Insight on shoreline behaviour across spatial and temporal scales is gained using computers to integrate models of short-term morphodynamics along beaches with longer-term coastal landscape evolution models. However, limitations exist as process-based engineering models depend on wave climate and beach profile data that is restricted to regional/historical records, while large-scale coastal behaviour models are based on general chronostratographic data from topographic profiles, interpolated cores, and isochrons extrapolated from deep radiocarbon ages. Here we demonstrate a unique methodology combining state-of-the-art geophysics, luminescence, and remote sensing techniques on prograded barriers to extract comprehensive chronostratigraphic records. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) data document beach and dune stratigraphy at decimetre resolution. Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) directly date the formation of paleo-beachfaces and dunes. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) image the lateral extent of strandplain ridge morphology. The resulting record of paleo-beach profiles spanning from the present-day beach through Holocene and Pleistocene barriers, enables our in-depth understanding of

  14. Reactivity of Pleistocene aged organic matter in the Siberian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davydov, S.; Vonk, J. E.; Mann, P. J.; Davydova, A.; Sobczak, W. V.; Schade, J. D.; Bulygina, E. B.; Zimov, S. A.; Holmes, R. M.

    2011-12-01

    Half of the global stock of soil organic carbon (OC) is stored in Arctic permafrost. About one third of this pool consists of so-called yedoma, organic-rich deposits that were formed during the Pleistocene. Previous studies show rapid respiration of yedoma upon thawing, with the potential release of large quantities of relict OC into the contemporary C cycle. The fluvial and coastal reactivity of this OC, however, and its fate remain unclear. Duvannyi Yar is a well-studied yedoma exposure on the banks of Kolyma River in Northeastern Siberia. It can serve as a model for the >7000 km long East Siberian Arctic coastline that is dominated by similarly exposed yedoma cliffs, and is increasingly vulnerable to erosion with climate warming-induced decreases in sea-ice, and increases in storms and wave-fetch. Permafrost thaw causes the slopes of Duvannyi Yar to retreat 3-5 m/y, producing mudstreams that drain into the Kolyma River. These streams are heavily loaded with freshly thawed yedoma sediments (ca. 650 g/L; POC ca. 10 g/L; DOC ca. 150 mg/L). Partial CO2 pressure in these streams was on average 8400 ppm (stdev 2100; n=4) whereas the Kolyma River at the stream mouth contained CO2 concentrations of ca. 900 ppm (stdev 90; n=4), suggesting substantial outgassing during transport. We performed biological oxygen demand assays in combination with a set of incubations to estimate OC lability in a range of dilutions of Duvannyi Yar water with Kolyma River and East Siberian Sea water, in combination with nutrient and enzymatic activity rate analysis to identify potential limitation processes. Our goal was to assess carbon consumption rates and the effect of different microbial communities along its transport towards the ocean. O2 loss (% after 24h) increased significantly from undiluted Kolyma water to increasingly spiked dilutions with filtered Duvannyi Yar filtered water; 0%/0.5%/1%/10%/100% dilutions showed O2 losses of 1.6%, 3.5%, 5.1%, 13% and 35%, respectively. However, C

  15. Seroepidemiologic study on the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella spp. infections in black bears (Ursus americanus) in Pennsylvania, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, Jitender P; Brown, Justin; Ternent, Mark; Verma, Shiv K; Hill, Dolores E; Cerqueira-Cézar, Camila K; Kwok, Oliver C H; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Humphreys, Jan G

    2016-10-15

    The protozoan Toxoplasma gondii and the metazoan Trichinella spp. infect virtually all warm-blooded animals, including birds, humans, livestock, and marine mammals. Both parasitic infections can cause serious illness in human beings and can be acquired by ingesting under-cooked meat harboring infective stages. Approximately 3500 black bears (Ursus americanus) are legally-harvested each year in Pennsylvania, USA during the November hunting season. Among animals found infected with T. gondii, the prevalence of T. gondii is the highest among black bears in the USA; however, little is currently known of epidemiology of toxoplasmosis in this host species. Serum samples were collected during the winters of 2015 and 2016 from adult female bears and their nursing cubs or yearlings while they were still in their dens. Additionally, archived sera from bear samples collected throughout the year, including hunter-harvested bears in November and trapped bears in the summer, were serologically tested. Antibodies to T. gondii were assayed by the modified agglutination test (MAT, cut-off 1:25) and antibodies to Trichinella spp. were assayed using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Overall, T. gondii antibodies were found in 87.6% (206/235) of adults, and 44.1% (30/68) of yearlings. In March 2015/2016 sampling, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 94% (30/32) adult female bears while in their den. Antibodies were detected in 5% (3/66) of the nursing cubs in the dens of these sows. One positive cub had a MAT titer of 1:160 and two were positive at the 1:25 dilution but not at 1:50. The adult females of these cubs had MAT titers ranging from 1:400 to 1:3200. Antibodies to Trichinella spp. were found in 3% (6/181) of adults and 3.6% (1/28) of yearlings; these 7 bears were also seropositive for T. gondii. No antibodies to Trichinella spp. were detected in the sera of 44 nursing cubs tested. The finding of T. gondii antibodies in only 3 of 66 cubs, and higher

  16. Traditional Knowledge About Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus in East Greenland: Changes in the Catch and Climate Over Two Decades

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin L. Laidre

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In Greenland, polar bears (Ursus maritimus are nutritional, economic, and cultural subsistence resources for Inuit. Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK collected from subsistence hunters can provide important insights and improve management decisions when collected systematically. We report on the results of a TEK survey of subsistence polar bear hunters living in the areas around Tasiilaq and Ittoqqortoormiit, East Greenland. Twenty-five full-time polar bear hunters were interviewed between December 2014 and March 2015 in a conversation-style interview, where a local interviewer fluent in the East Greenlandic dialect asked a series of 55 predetermined questions. The primary goals were to (1 gather Inuit perspectives on polar bear subsistence quotas and hunting strategies, (2 understand how climate change is affecting the polar bear subsistence hunt, and (3 document observed changes in polar bear distribution, abundance, and biology. Approximately 40% of the Tasiilaq respondents had caught between 10 and 19 polar bears in their lifetime, while 67% of Ittoqqortoormiit respondents reported lifetime catches of ≥20 bears. In both areas, polar bears were most commonly hunted between February and April. Hunters noted large changes to the climate in the areas where they hunt polar bears. Most hunters reported loss of sea ice, receding glaciers, unstable weather, and warmer temperatures. In Tasiilaq 73% of the hunters said climate changes had affected the polar bear hunt and in Ittoqqortoormiit about 88% of respondents reported the same. Hunters indicated that sea ice loss has created more areas of open water so dog sledges have become unsafe for hunting transportation compared to 10–15 years ago (reported by 100% of hunters in Tasiilaq and 80% in Ittoqqortoormiit. In Ittoqqortoormiit, the distance traveled during polar bear hunting trips has decreased dramatically. In both areas hunters noted that more polar bears are coming into their

  17. THE USE OF KETAMINE-XYLAZINE OR BUTORPHANOL-AZAPERONE-MEDETOMIDINE TO IMMOBILIZE AMERICAN BLACK BEARS ( URSUS AMERICANUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Ryan H; Muller, Lisa L; Blair, Coy

    2018-04-04

      Wildlife anesthetic protocols must offer rapid inductions and recoveries, be physiologically safe, and be minimally regulated. With this in mind, we evaluated differences in induction and recovery times and physiological parameters in 33 American black bears ( Ursus americanus) anesthetized with ketamine-xylazine (KX) or immobilized with a commercial drug combination of butorphanol, azaperone, and medetomidine (BAM). Dose was based on mass estimated from field observations. Bears were housed at Appalachian Bear Rescue, Townsend, Tennessee, US, or free-ranging within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee and North Carolina, US) and chemically immobilized for management purposes. From 11 April to 29 June 2016, we immobilized bears with injection via pole syringe or disposable dart projected from an air-powered dart rifle. Once immobilized, we measured each bear's temperature, respiration (breaths/min), heart rate (beats/min), hemoglobin oxygen saturation (via pulse oximetry), arterial blood gases, and mass (kg). We found no differences in the induction parameters, partial pressures of CO 2 , and rectal temperatures. The BAM-treated bears had lower heart and respiratory rates that led to lower hemoglobin oxygen saturation levels (from blood gas analysis, SaO 2 ). The SaO 2 after treatment with BAM (91.1±0.8%) was lower than with KX (93.4±0.9%). After handling, we reversed KX-treated bears with a x̄=0.2±0.02 mg/kg yohimbine and BAM-treated bears with x̄=1.5±0.1 mg/kg atipamezole and 0.8±0.1 mg/kg naltrexone. We found no differences in the recovery times to increased respiration and to the bear assuming a head-up position. The BAM-treated bears stood and recovered quicker than did KX-treated animals. Based on our observations, BAM appears to offer safe, predictable immobilizations with fewer drawbacks and faster recovery times than KX-treated bears.

  18. Genetic Characterization of Sarcoptes scabiei from Black Bears (Ursus americanus) and Other Hosts in the Eastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltier, Sarah K; Brown, Justin D; Ternent, Mark; Niedringhaus, Kevin D; Schuler, Krysten; Bunting, Elizabeth M; Kirchgessner, Megan; Yabsley, Michael J

    2017-10-01

    Since the early 1990s there has been an increase in the number of cases and geographic expansion of severe mange in the black bear (Ursus americanus) population in Pennsylvania. Although there are 3 species of mites associated with mange in bears, Sarcoptes scabiei has been identified as the etiologic agent in these Pennsylvania cases. Historically, S. scabiei-associated mange in bears has been uncommon and sporadic, although it is widespread and relatively common in canid populations. To better understand this recent emergence of sarcoptic mange in bears in Pennsylvania and nearby states, we genetically characterized S. scabiei samples from black bears in the eastern United States. These sequences were compared with newly acquired S. scabiei sequences from wild canids (red fox [Vulpes vulpes] and coyote [Canis latrans]) and a porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) from Pennsylvania and Kentucky and also existing sequences in GenBank. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-2 region and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene were amplified and sequenced. Twenty-four ITS-2 sequences were obtained from mites from bears (n = 16), red fox (n = 5), coyote (n = 2), and a porcupine. The sequences from bear samples were identical to each other or differed only at polymorphic bases, whereas S. scabiei from canids were more variable, but 2 were identical to S. scabiei sequences from bears. Eighteen cox1 sequences obtained from mites from bears represented 6 novel haplotypes. Phylogenetic analysis of cox1 sequences revealed 4 clades: 2 clades of mites of human origin from Panama or Australia, a clade of mites from rabbits from China, and a large unresolved clade that included the remaining S. scabiei sequences from various hosts and regions, including sequences from the bears from the current study. Although the cox1 gene was more variable than the ITS-2, phylogenetic analyses failed to detect any clustering of S. scabiei from eastern U.S. hosts. Rather, sequences from black bears

  19. Investigating the mechanism for maintaining eucalcemia despite immobility and anuria in the hibernating American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seger, Rita L; Cross, Randal A; Rosen, Clifford J; Causey, Robert C; Gundberg, Caren M; Carpenter, Thomas O; Chen, Tai C; Halteman, William A; Holick, Michael F; Jakubas, Walter J; Keisler, Duane H; Seger, Richard M; Servello, Frederick A

    2011-12-01

    Ursine hibernation uniquely combines prolonged skeletal unloading, anuria, pregnancy, lactation, protein recycling, and lipolysis. This study presents a radiographic and biochemical picture of bone metabolism in free-ranging, female American black bears (Ursus americanus) that were active (spring bears and autumn bears) or hibernating (hibernating bears). Hibernating bears included lactating and non-lactating individuals. We measured serum calcium, albumin, inorganic phosphate, creatinine, bone specific alkaline phosphatase (BSALP), CTX, parathyroid hormone, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-l), leptin, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)(2)D] and sclerostin from 35 to 50 tranquilized hibernating bears and 14 to 35 tranquilized spring bears. We compared metacarpal cortical indices (MCI), measured by digital X-ray radiogrammetry, from 60 hunter-killed autumn bears and 79 tranquilized, hibernating bears. MCI was greater in autumn than winter in younger bears, but showed no seasonal difference in older bears. During hibernation eucalcemia was maintained, BSALP was suppressed, and CTX was in the range expected for anuria. During hibernation 1,25(OH)(2)D was produced despite anuria. 1,25(OH)(2)D and IGF-I were less in hibernating than spring bears. In a quarter of hibernating bears, sclerostin was elevated. Leptin was greater in hibernating than spring bears. In hibernating bears, leptin correlated positively with BSALP in non-lactating bears and with CTX in lactating bears. Taken together the biochemical and radiographic findings indicate that during hibernation, bone turnover was persistent, balanced, and suppressed; bone resorption was lower than expected for an unloaded skeleton; and there was no unloading-induced bone loss. The skeleton appears to perceive that it was loaded when it was actually unloaded during hibernation. However, at the level of sclerostin, the skeleton recognized that it was unloaded. During hibernation leptin

  20. Differences in mercury bioaccumulation between polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Canadian high- and sub-Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Louis, Vincent L; Derocher, Andrew E; Stirling, Ian; Graydon, Jennifer A; Lee, Caroline; Jocksch, Erin; Richardson, Evan; Ghorpade, Sarah; Kwan, Alvin K; Kirk, Jane L; Lehnherr, Igor; Swanson, Heidi K

    2011-07-15

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are being impacted by climate change and increased exposure to pollutants throughout their northern circumpolar range. In this study, we quantified concentrations of total mercury (THg) in the hair of polar bears from Canadian high- (southern Beaufort Sea, SBS) and sub- (western Hudson Bay, WHB) Arctic populations. Concentrations of THg in polar bears from the SBS population (14.8 ± 6.6 μg g(-1)) were significantly higher than in polar bears from WHB (4.1 ± 1.0 μg g(-1)). On the basis of δ(15)N signatures in hair, in conjunction with published δ(15)N signatures in particulate organic matter and sediments, we estimated that the pelagic and benthic food webs in the SBS are ∼ 4.7 and ∼ 4.0 trophic levels long, whereas in WHB they are only ∼ 3.6 and ∼ 3.3 trophic levels long. Furthermore, the more depleted δ(13)C ratios in hair from SBS polar bears relative to those from WHB suggests that SBS polar bears feed on food webs that are relatively more pelagic (and longer), whereas polar bears from WHB feed on those that are relatively more benthic (and shorter). Food web length and structure accounted for ∼ 67% of the variation we found in THg concentrations among all polar bears across both populations. The regional difference in polar bear hair THg concentrations was also likely due to regional differences in water-column concentrations of methyl Hg (the toxic form of Hg that biomagnifies through food webs) available for bioaccumulation at the base of the food webs. For example, concentrations of methylated Hg at mid-depths in the marine water column of the northern Canadian Arctic Archipelago were 79.8 ± 37.3 pg L(-1), whereas, in HB, they averaged only 38.3 ± 16.6 pg L(-1). We conclude that a longer food web and higher pelagic concentrations of methylated Hg available to initiate bioaccumulation in the BS resulted in higher concentrations of THg in polar bears from the SBS region compared to those inhabiting the western

  1. Exposure to mixtures of organohalogen contaminants and associative interactions with thyroid hormones in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanger, Gro D; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Fjeldberg, Rita R; Letcher, Robert J; Muir, Derek C G; Kirkegaard, Maja; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune

    2011-05-01

    We investigated the multivariate relationships between adipose tissue residue levels of 48 individual organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) and circulating thyroid hormone (TH) levels in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland (1999-2001, n=62), using projection to latent structure (PLS) regression for four groupings of polar bears; subadults (SubA), adult females with cubs (AdF_N), adult females without cubs (AdF_S) and adult males (AdM). In the resulting significant PLS models for SubA, AdF_N and AdF_S, some OHCs were especially important in explaining variations in circulating TH levels: polybrominated diphenylether (PBDE)-99, PBDE-100, PBDE-153, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-52, PCB-118, cis-nonachlor, trans-nonachlor, trichlorobenzene (TCB) and pentachlorobenzene (QCB), and both negative and positive relationships with THs were found. In addition, the models revealed that DDTs had a positive influence on total 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (TT3) in AdF_S, and that a group of 17 higher chlorinated ortho-PCBs had a positive influence on total 3,5,3',5'-tetraiodothyronine (thyroxine, TT4) in AdF_N. TH levels in AdM seemed less influenced by OHCs because of non-significant PLS models. TH levels were also influenced by biological factors such as age, sex, body size, lipid content of adipose tissue and sampling date. When controlling for biological variables, the major relationships from the PLS models for SubA, AdF_N and AdF_S were found significant in partial correlations. The most important OHCs that influenced TH levels in the significant PLS models may potentially act through similar mechanisms on the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis, suggesting that both combined effects by dose and response addition and perhaps synergistic potentiation may be a possibility in these polar bears. Statistical associations are not evidence per se of biological cause-effect relationships. Still, the results of the present study indicate that OHCs may affect circulating

  2. PLIO-PLEISTOCENE FOSSIL VERTEBRATES OF MONTE TUTTAVISTA (OROSEI, EASTERN SARDINIA, ITALY, AN OVERVIEW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LAURA ABBAZZI

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available The preliminary results of the analisys of fossil vertebrate remains from 19 fissure fillings in the karst network at Monte Tuttavista (Orosei, NMoro are reported. about 80 taxa, among fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals have been recognised.These remains document the evolution of vertebrate assemblages in the Sardinian insular domain, during a time interval apparently spanning the Late Pliocene to Late Pleistocene or Holocene. A succession of at least four populating complexes has been identified which document the vertebrate colonisation phases from the Italian mainland and the following periods of insularity. Indeed, the occurrence of endemic taxa such as the murid Rhagapodemus minor, the primate Macaca cf. M. majori and the caprine Nesogoral, suggest some fissure fillings date to a phase close to the Plio/Pleistocene boundary since these taxa occur at the Sardinian locality Capo Figari I which has been dated to about 1.8 Ma. However, the presence of the "hunting-hyaena" Chasmaporthetes, never reported before in Sardinia, could suggest that the beginning of the vertebrate record of Monte Tuttavista is older, given that this carnivore is documented in European Middle Pliocene-Early Pleistocene localities. The vertebrate assemblages that document the most recent migratory phases in the karst network of Monte Tuttavista are characterised by the occurrence of the endemic megalocerine cervid Praemegaceros cazioti and the arvicolid Tyrrhenicola henseli which are comparable with those occurring in other Late Pleistocene and early Holocene Sardinian sites.

  3. Pleistocene vertebrates from Celebes : XIV. Additions to the Archidiskodon-Celebochoerus fauna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooijer, D.A.

    1972-01-01

    A joint Dutch-Indonesian expedition to Celebes in 1970 worked especially in the Beru area whence the first described Pleistocene Celebes vertebrate remains came. In the present contribution I shall describe the most important specimens that have been brought to light. My thanks are due to Mr. R. P.

  4. Spatial prediction of the variability of early pleistocene subsurface sediments in the Netherlands part 2: geochemistry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huisman, D.J.; Weijers, J.P.; Dijkshoorn, L.; Veldkamp, A.

    2000-01-01

    We started a geochemical mapping campaign in the Early Pleistocene fluviatile Kedichem Formation in the Netherlands in order to meet the demand for more information about subsurface sediment compositions. Geochemical data were collected during a sampling campaign, and about 600 samples from the

  5. Spatial prediction of the variability of Early Pleistocene subsurface sediments in the Netherlands - Part 2 : Geochemistry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huisman, D.J.; Weijers, J.P.; Dijkshoorn, L.; Veldkamp, A.

    2000-01-01

    We started a geochemical mapping campaign in the Early Pleistocene fluviatile Kedichem Formation in the Netherlands in order to meet the demand for more information about subsurface sediment compositions. Geochemical data were collected during a sampling campaign, and about 600 samples from the

  6. Evidences of climatic variations during Late Pleistocene- Holocene in the eastern Bay of Bengal

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chauhan, O.S; Borole, D.V.; Gujar, A; Mascarenhas, A; Mislankar, P.G.; Rao, Ch.M.

    Based upon the variations of clay minerals, sediment texture, heavy mineral assemblage and sup(230)Th excess in the Late Pleistocene sediments of a hemipelagic core from the eastern Bay of Bengal (2713 m water depth), 35 cm and 73-78 cm levels...

  7. Phylogeography, hybridization and Pleistocene refugia of the kob antelope (Kobus kob)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lorenzen, Eline Deidre; De Neergaard, Rikke; Arctander, Peter

    2007-01-01

    that the divergent phenotype and life-history adaptations of K. k. leucotis reflect the isolation of kob populations in refugia in west and east Africa during the Pleistocene. Subsequent dispersal has led to secondary contact and hybridization in northern Uganda between lineages, which was supported by high levels...

  8. Macro fossils vegetable in Palmar formation (later pleistocene) in Entre Rios - Argentina

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramos, R.; Brea, M.; Krohling, D.

    2012-01-01

    This work is about the macro fossil knowledge preserved like wood fossils in the El Palmar Formation (Late Pleistocene) from a systematic - anatomical as well as paleoecological and paleoclimate point of view.The paleo Flora comes from various fossil located in the province of Entre Rios - Argentina

  9. Vertebrates from the Middle Pleistocene locality Lysa Gora 1 in Ukraine

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rekovets, L.; Čermák, Stanislav; Kovalchuk, O.; Prisyazhniuk, V.; Nowakowski, D.

    326/327, 1 April (2014), s. 481-491 ISSN 1040-6182 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : Vertebrates * Pleistocene * paleoecology * taxonomy * phylogeny Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.062, year: 2014

  10. Zoogdieren uit de Onderst-Pleistocene kuststreken van Nederland (with English summary)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schreuder, A.

    1949-01-01

    Lower-Villafranchian landmammals lived in the South of the Netherlands when the coastline of the North Sea retired in northern direction during the Plio-Pleistocene transition period. In the province of Zealand their black remains have been fished out of the waters of the Scheldt in the depth of

  11. Terminal Pleistocene Alaskan genome reveals first founding population of Native Americans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moreno-Mayar, J Víctor; Potter, Ben A; Vinner, Lasse

    2017-01-01

    Despite broad agreement that the Americas were initially populated via Beringia, the land bridge that connected far northeast Asia with northwestern North America during the Pleistocene epoch, when and how the peopling of the Americas occurred remains unresolved. Analyses of human remains from La...

  12. High resolution magnetostratigraphy and raio-isotope dating of early Pleistocene lake sediments from southern Armenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kirscher, U.; Bruch, A.A.; Gabrielyan, I.; Scharrer, S.; Kuiper, K.F.; Bachtadse, V.

    2014-01-01

    The Pleistocene geology of Armenia is dominated by widespread occurrence of sediments recording recurring rapid and drastic changes of the environmental conditions during at least the last 2 million years. These sediments, predominantly diatomites, contain a huge variety of various fossil remains,

  13. Hydrology of the alluvial, buried channel, basal Pleistocene and Dakota aquifers in west-central Iowa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runkle, D.L.

    1985-01-01

    A ground-water resources investigation in west-central Iowa indicates that water is available from alluvial, buried channel, basal Pleistocene, and Dakota aquifers. The west-central Iowa area includes Audubon, Carrol1, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie, Harrison, Monona, and Shelby Counties.

  14. Late Pleistocene and Holocene activity of the Atacazo-Ninahuilca Volcanic Complex (Ecuador)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hidalgo, Silvana; Monzier, Michel; Almeida, Eduardo; Chazot, Gilles; Eissen, Jean-Philippe; van der Plicht, Johannes; Hall, Minard L.

    2008-01-01

    The Atacazo-Ninahuilca Volcanic Complex (ANVC) is located in the Western Cordillera of Ecuador, 10 km southwest of Quito. At least six periods of Pleistocene to Holocene activity (N1 to N6) have been preserved in the geologic record as tephra fallouts and pyroclastic flow deposits. New field data,

  15. Paleomagnetism and geochronology of the Pliocene-Pleistocene lavas in Iceland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McDougall, Ian; Wensink, H.

    Potassium-argon dates are reported on five basalt samples from the Pliocene-Pleistocene sequence of lavas in the Jökuldalur area, northeastern Iceland. These dates confirm the correlations previously made with the geological time scale by means of paleomagnetic stratigraphy. The R1 and N2 polarity

  16. A new species of land crab, Sesarma Say, 1817 (Decapoda, Brachyura), from the Pleistocene of Jamaica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Collins, J.S.H.; Mitchell, S.F.; Donovan, S.K.

    2009-01-01

    Terrestrial arthropods are poorly known from the Cenozoic of Jamaica. A probably Late Pleistocene land crab, Sesarma primigenium sp. nov., is described from the Western Cement Company Cave, parish of St. Elizabeth, southwestern Jamaica. The same species is also tentatively recognised from the Late

  17. Small mammal diversity loss in response to late-Pleistocene climatic change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blois, Jessica L; McGuire, Jenny L; Hadly, Elizabeth A

    2010-06-10

    Communities have been shaped in numerous ways by past climatic change; this process continues today. At the end of the Pleistocene epoch about 11,700 years ago, North American communities were substantially altered by the interplay of two events. The climate shifted from the cold, arid Last Glacial Maximum to the warm, mesic Holocene interglacial, causing many mammal species to shift their geographic distributions substantially. Populations were further stressed as humans arrived on the continent. The resulting megafaunal extinction event, in which 70 of the roughly 220 largest mammals in North America (32%) became extinct, has received much attention. However, responses of small mammals to events at the end of the Pleistocene have been much less studied, despite the sensitivity of these animals to current and future environmental change. Here we examine community changes in small mammals in northern California during the last 'natural' global warming event at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition and show that even though no small mammals in the local community became extinct, species losses and gains, combined with changes in abundance, caused declines in both the evenness and richness of communities. Modern mammalian communities are thus depauperate not only as a result of megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene but also because of diversity loss among small mammals. Our results suggest that across future landscapes there will be some unanticipated effects of global change on diversity: restructuring of small mammal communities, significant loss of richness, and perhaps the rising dominance of native 'weedy' species.

  18. Forests of the tropical eastern Andean flank during the middle Pleistocene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cárdenas, M.L.; Gosling, W.D.; Pennington, R.T.; Poole, I.; Sherlock, S.C.; Mothes, P.

    2014-01-01

    Inter-bedded volcanic and organic sediments from Erazo (Ecuador) indicate the presence of four different forest assemblages on the eastern Andean flank during the middle Pleistocene. Radiometric dates (40Ar-39Ar) obtained from the volcanic ash indicate that deposition occurred between 620,000 and

  19. Mid-Pleistocene climate transition drives net mass loss from rapidly uplifting St. Elias mountains, Alaska

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Gulick, S.P.S.; Jaeger, J.M.; Mix, A.C.; Asahi, H.; Bahlburg, H.; Belanger, C.L.; Berbel, G.B.B.; Childress, L.; Cowan, E.; Drab, L.; Forwick, M.; Fukumura, A.; Ge, S.; Gupta, S.M.; Kioka, A.; Konno, S.; LeVay, L.J.; Marz, C.; Matsuzaki, K.M.; McClymont, E.L.; Moy, C.; Muller, J.; Nakamura, A.; Ojima, T.; Ribeiro, F.R.; Ridgway, K.D.; Romero, O.E.; Slagle, A.L.; Stoner, J.S.; St-Onge, G.; Suto, I.; Walczak, M.D.; Worthington, L.L.; Bailey, I.; Enkelmann, E.; Reece, R.; Swartz, J.M.

    the onset of quasi-periodic (~100-ky) glacial cycles in the mid-Pleistocene climate transition (1.2–0.7 Ma). Since then, erosion and transport of material out of the orogen has outpaced tectonic influx by 50–80%. Such a rapid net mass loss explains apparent...

  20. The Pleistocene reindeer of the North Sea - initial palaeontological data and archaeological remarks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Glimmerveen, J; Mol, D; van der Plicht, H

    The interdisciplinary North Sea Project aims at investigating the biotic history of the Pleistocene in the Southern Bight of the North Sea. Humans were part of these biotopes too as Palaeolithic flint artefacts prove. Based on a large fossil record and radiocarbon dating, it becomes clear that

  1. A remarkable collection of Late Pleistocene reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) remains from Woerden (The Netherlands)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Kolfschoten, Thijs; van der Jagt, Inge; Beeren, Zoe; Argiti, Vasiliki; van der Leije, Judith; van Essen, Hans; Busschers, Freek S.; Stoel, Pieter; van der Plicht, Hans

    2011-01-01

    Woerden, in the central part of The Netherlands, is a locality where the amateur-archaeologist Pieter Stoel collected several thousands of fossil mammalian remains of Pleistocene age. The stratigraphically-mixed assemblage includes a broad variety of taxa including species that are indicative of

  2. True single-molecule DNA sequencing of a pleistocene horse bone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre; Ginolhac, Aurélien; Raghavan, Maanasa

    2011-01-01

    -preserved Pleistocene horse bone using the Helicos HeliScope and Illumina GAIIx platforms, respectively. We find that the percentage of endogenous DNA sequences derived from the horse is higher among the Helicos data than Illumina data. This result indicates that the molecular biology tools used to generate sequencing...

  3. Lifestyle and Ice: The Relationship between Ecological Specialization and Response to Pleistocene Climate Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kašparová, Eva; Van de Putte, Anton P; Marshall, Craig; Janko, Karel

    2015-01-01

    Major climatic changes in the Pleistocene had significant effects on marine organisms and the environments in which they lived. The presence of divergent patterns of demographic history even among phylogenetically closely-related species sharing climatic changes raises questions as to the respective influence of species-specific traits on population structure. In this work we tested whether the lifestyle of Antarctic notothenioid benthic and pelagic fish species from the Southern Ocean influenced the concerted population response to Pleistocene climatic fluctuations. This was done by a comparative analysis of sequence variation at the cyt b and S7 loci in nine newly sequenced and four re-analysed species. We found that all species underwent more or less intensive changes in population size but we also found consistent differences between demographic histories of pelagic and benthic species. Contemporary pelagic populations are significantly more genetically diverse and bear traces of older demographic expansions than less diverse benthic species that show evidence of more recent population expansions. Our findings suggest that the lifestyles of different species have strong influences on their responses to the same environmental events. Our data, in conjunction with previous studies showing a constant diversification tempo of these species during the Pleistocene, support the hypothesis that Pleistocene glaciations had a smaller effect on pelagic species than on benthic species whose survival may have relied upon ephemeral refugia in shallow shelf waters. These findings suggest that the interaction between lifestyle and environmental changes should be considered in genetic analyses.

  4. High-latitude steppe vegetation and the mineral nutrition of Pleistocene herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davydov, S. P.; Davydova, A.; Makarevich, R.; Loranty, M. M.; Boeskorov, G.

    2014-12-01

    High-latitude steppes were widespread and zonal in the Late Pleistocene and formed a landscape basis for the Mammoth Biome. Now the patches of these steppes survived on steep slopes under southern aspects. These steppes serve as unique information sources about the Late Pleistocene "Mammoth" steppe. Numerous data obtained by palynological, carpological, and DNA analysis of plant remains from feces and stomach contents of Pleistocene herbivore mummies, as well as from buried soils and enclosing deposits show that they are similar to modern steppe plant assemblage in taxa composition. Plant's nutrient concentrations are of fundamental importance across Pleistocene grass-rich ecosystems because of their role in the support of large herbivores. The average weight of an adult mammoth skeleton (about 0.5 tons) and of a woolly rhinoceros (about 0.2 tons) clearly suggests this. Detailed studies on fossil bone remains showed mineral deficiency in large Pleistocene herbivores. A three-year study of ash and mineral contents of two types of relict steppe vegetation at the Kolyma Lowland, Arctic Siberia has been carried out. Nowadays refugia of similar vegetation are located not far (1 - 15km) from the Yedoma permafrost outcrops were abundant fossil remains are found. Dominant species of the steppe vegetation were sampled. Preliminary studies indicate that the ash-content varied 1.5-2 times in speceies of steppe herbs. The Ca, P, Mg, K element contents was higher for most steppe species than in the local herbaceous vegetation, especially in Ca and P. One of the most important elements of the mineral nutrition, the phosphorus, was always found in higher concentrations in the steppe vegetation than in plants of recently dominant landscapes of the study area. It should be noted that the mineral nutrient content of the modern steppe vegetation of Siberian Arctic is comparable to that of the recent zonal steppe of Transbaikal Region. This study supports the hypothesis that

  5. A comparative study of frontal bone morphology among Pleistocene hominin fossil groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athreya, Sheela

    2009-12-01

    Features of the frontal bone that are conventionally used to distinguish among fossil hominin groups were quantitatively examined. Fifty-five fossil crania dating from the early to the late Pleistocene were analyzed. Using a modified pantograph, outlines of the frontal bone were collected along the midsagittal and two parasagittal planes. The profile from nasion to bregma, as well as two profiles above the medial and lateral sections of the orbit, respectively, extending from the orbital margin to the coronal suture were traced. The outlines were measured using Elliptical Fourier Function Analysis (EFFA), which enabled a quantification of aspects of the frontal bone that have historically been described primarily in nonmetric or linear terms. Four measurements were obtained: 1) overall morphology as expressed in the Fourier harmonic amplitudes; 2) maximum projection of the supraorbital torus at three points along the browridge (glabella and the medial and lateral aspects of the torus above the orbit); 3) maximum distance of the frontal squama from the frontal chord, capturing forehead curvature; and 4) nasion-bregma chord length. The results indicate that the midsagittal profile is significantly different among all Pleistocene groups in analyses that include both size and shape, as well as size-adjusted data. Homo erectus is significantly different from the late Pleistocene groups (Neandertals and early modern H. sapiens) in glabellar projection. Anatomically modern humans are significantly different from all other groups in both raw and size-standardized analyses of all three outlines that captured overall morphology, as well as forehead curvature and lateral supraorbital torus prominence, and middle Pleistocene Homo are significantly different in both medial and lateral overall parasagittal form. However, for the majority of analyses there were no significant differences among the Pleistocene archaic groups in supraorbital torus projection, frontal squama

  6. The medial pterygoid tubercle in the Atapuerca Early and Middle Pleistocene mandibles: evolutionary implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermúdez de Castro, José-María; Quam, Rolf; Martinón-Torres, María; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Arsuaga, Juan Luís; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies have attempted to identify the presence of uniquely derived (autoapomorphic) Neandertal features. Here, we deal with the medial pterygoid tubercle (MTP), which is usually present on the internal face of the ascending ramus of Neandertal specimens. Our study stems from the identification of a hypertrophied tubercle in ATD6-96, an Early Pleistocene mandible recovered from the TD6 level of the Atapuerca-Gran Dolina site and attributed to Homo antecessor. Our review of the literature and study of numerous original fossil specimens and high quality replicas confirm that the MTP occurs at a high frequency in Neandertals (ca. 89%) and is also present in over half (ca. 55%) of the Middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos (SH) hominins. In contrast, it is generally absent or minimally developed in other extinct hominins, but can be found in variable frequencies (Pleistocene and recent H. sapiens samples. The presence of this feature in ATD6-96 joins other traits shared by H. antecessor, the SH hominins and Neandertals. Since the TD6 hominins have been attributed either to MIS 21 or to MIS 25, it seems that a suite of assumed derived Neandertal features appeared in the Early Pleistocene, and they should be interpreted as synapomorphies shared among different taxa. We suggest that H. antecessor, the SH hominins and Neandertals shared a common ancestor in which these features appeared during the Early Pleistocene. The presence of the MTP in taxa other than H. neanderthalensis precludes this feature from being a Neandertal autapomorphy. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Paleohydrology and paleoenvironments at Bir Sahara: Pleistocene lithostratigraphy and sedimentology in the southern Egyptian Sahara

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Christopher L.; Schild, Romuald

    2017-12-01

    The Bir Sahara area contains a remarkable record of Middle and Late Pleistocene hydrologic and environmental conditions for Saharan North Africa, based on lithostratigraphic and sedimentologic evidence from basin-fill deposits. Some of the deposits contain Lower Paleolithic (Acheulean) or Middle Paleolithic artifacts that help to constrain their age, since Acheulian artifacts are assigned to the Middle Pleistocene, while Middle Paleolithic artifacts are limited to either the Middle or Late Pleistocene. Locality BS-14 is in the southern part of Bir Sahara, while localities E-88-15, E-88-2, BS-13, and BS-16 are situated in the south-central part of the deflational basin, closer to the present-day water-hole. Lowered groundwater conditions during arid intervals resulted in erosional topographic basins. These deflational basins were later filled with sediments associated with wetter hydrologic conditions. The oldest studied sedimentary sequence in the Bir Sahara depression (BS-14) contains in situ Acheulian artifacts. Acheulian handaxes are found in sands underlying carbonates that are interpreted as evidence of spring-fed pond and marsh environments during a Middle Pleistocene wet interval. At the E-88-15 locality, the stratigraphic sequence documents deposition in a possible perennial pond or small lake that varied in extent and depth and is associated with Middle Paleolithic artifacts. At E-88-12 and BS-13, lateral and vertical variations in the lithofacies of the basin-fill sediments provide additional records of changing hydrologic conditions during the Late Pleistocene. These hydrologic conditions appear to reflect variations in water-table levels related to groundwater recharge and, at times, local rains.

  8. Nitrogen Isotope Evidence for a Shift in Eastern Beringian Nitrogen Cycle after the Terminal Pleistocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahmasebi, F.; Longstaffe, F. J.; Zazula, G.

    2016-12-01

    The loess deposits of eastern Beringia, a region in North America between 60° and 70°N latitude and bounded by Chukchi Sea to the west and the Mackenzie River to the east, are a magnificent repository of Late Pleistocene megafauna fossils. The stable carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions of these fossils are measured to determine the paleodiet of these animals, and hence the paleoenvironment of this ecosystem during the Quaternary. For this approach to be most successful, however, requires consideration of possible changes in nutrient cycling and hence the carbon and nitrogen isotopic compositions of vegetation in this ecosystem. To test for such a shift following the terminal Pleistocene, we analyzed the stable carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions of modern plants and bone collagen of Arctic ground squirrels from Yukon Territory, and fossil plants and bones recovered from Late Pleistocene fossil Arctic ground squirrel nests. The data for modern samples provided a measure of the isotopic fractionation between ground squirrel bone collagen and their diet. The over-wintering isotopic effect of decay on typical forage grasses was also measured to evaluate its role in determining fossil plant isotopic compositions. The grasses showed only a minor change ( 0-1 ‰) in carbon isotope composition, but a major change ( 2-10 ‰) in nitrogen isotope composition over the 317-day experiment. Based on the modern carbon isotope fractionation between ground squirrel bone collagen and their diet, the modern vegetation carbon isotopic baseline provides a suitable proxy for the Late Pleistocene of eastern Beringia, after accounting for the Suess effect. However, the predicted nitrogen isotope composition of vegetation comprising the diet of fossil ground squirrels remains 2.5 ‰ higher than modern grasslands in this area, even after accounting for possible N-15 enrichment during decay. This result suggests a change in N cycling in this region since the Late Pleistocene.

  9. Phylogeographic patterns of Hawaiian Megalagrion damselflies (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) correlate with Pleistocene island boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Stephen A.; Simon, C.; Foote, D.; Englund, R.A.

    2005-01-01

    The Pleistocene geological history of the Hawaiian Islands is becoming well understood. Numerous predictions about the influence of this history on the genetic diversity of Hawaiian organisms have been made, including the idea that changing sea levels would lead to the genetic differentiation of populations isolated on individual volcanoes during high sea stands. Here, we analyse DNA sequence data from two closely related, endemic Hawaiian damselfly species in order to test these predictions, and generate novel insights into the effects of Pleistocene glaciation and climate change on island organisms. Megalagrion xanthomelas and Megalagrion pacificum are currently restricted to five islands, including three islands of the Maui Nui super-island complex (Molokai, Lanai, and Maui) that were connected during periods of Pleistocene glaciation, and Hawaii island, which has never been subdivided. Maui Nui and Hawaii are effectively a controlled, natural experiment on the genetic effects of Pleistocene sea level change. We confirm well-defined morphological species boundaries using data from the nuclear EF-1?? gene and show that the species are reciprocally monophyletic. We perform phylogeographic analyses of 663 base pairs (bp) of cytochrome oxidase subunit II (COII) gene sequence data from 157 individuals representing 25 populations. Our results point to the importance of Pleistocene land bridges and historical island habitat availability in maintaining inter-island gene flow. We also propose that repeated bottlenecks on Maui Nui caused by sea level change and restricted habitat availability are likely responsible for low genetic diversity there. An island analogue to northern genetic purity and southern diversity is proposed, whereby islands with little suitable habitat exhibit genetic purity while islands with more exhibit genetic diversity. ?? 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. The southernmost record of a large erethizontid rodent (Hystricomorpha: Erethizontoidea) in the Pleistocene of South America: Biogeographic and paleoenvironmental implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vezzosi, Raúl I.; Kerber, Leonardo

    2018-03-01

    The South American porcupines (Erethizontidae) are included in two genera: Chaetomys and Coendou. The latter is a very speciose taxon, with about 13 living species. During at least the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene, erethizontids immigrated to Central and North America during the Great American Biotic Interchange. Although some Pleistocene fossils have been reported, the Quaternary history of this clade is still understudied. The only known extinct species is Coendou magnus. In this work, a fossil of a porcupine is reported from an Upper Pleistocene fluvial sedimentary sequence cropping out in the Northern Pampa geomorphological region, Santa Fe Province, Argentina. Despite this group having different living forms widely distributed in South American Neotropical woodland habitats, the Pleistocene occurrences of Erethizontidae are scarce and limited to Upper Pleistocene deposits from Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay. Currently, the specimen here reported represents the only Pleistocene porcupine from Argentina with a stratigraphical context. The morphological characters as well as the dimensions indicate that it is close to the Pleistocene erethizontid Coendou magnus. In this context, the presence of this erethizontid in such a southern locality, together with other taxa recorded from this site and the associated geological and paleoenvironmental evidence, indicates subtropical conditions, compared with the current conditions, which may have allowed a southern displacement of taxa more related to woodlands and xeric subtropical environments.

  11. Late Pleistocene Stratigraphy and Palaeobotany of the Isles of Scilly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scourse, J. D.

    1991-12-01

    A re-evaluation of the Pleistocene stratigraphy of the Isles of Scilly has enabled the formal definition of eight lithostratigraphic units of member status grouped into two formations. A chronology of events has been provided by radiocarbon (14C) determinations, optical and thermoluminescene (TL) dates. Intersite correlations have been strengthened by palynology, which has aided palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. The defined units have been incorporated into two lithostratigraphic models, one for the `northern' (glacial) Scillies and one for the `southern' (extra-glacial) Scillies. Raised beach sediments of the Watermill Sands and Gravel in the southern Scillies are overlain by the Porthloo Breccia, a unit of soliflucted material derived exclusively from the weathering of local granite. Organic sequences at Carn Morval, Watermill Cove, Porth Askin, Porth Seal and Bread and Cheese Cove occur within the Porthloo Breccia, and are interpreted as the infillings of ponds associated with active solifluction. Radiocarbon determinations from these organic sediments are critical because they pre-date units associated with a glacial event. The 14C determinations indicate deposition of the organic material between 34500-800+885 (Q-2410) and 21500-800+890 (Q-2358) years BP and provide a maximum age for the glacial event and the first radiometric dates for the coastal `head' sediments of southwest England. The pollen assemblages from these organic sites all record open grassland vegetation, and represent the earliest vegetational record for the Scillies. High Pinus values are interpreted as evidence of climatic deterioration. In the southern Scillies, the Porthloo Breccia is overlain by the Old Man Sandloess, a coarse aeolian silt with subdominant fine sand, TL-dated to 18600-3700+3700 years (QTL-ld and lf; Wintle 1981) and optically dated to 20000-7000+7000 and 26000-9000+10000 years (two samples; 738al and 741al; Smith et al. 1990). This material occurs in a variety of facies

  12. Cheek tooth morphology and ancient mitochondrial DNA of late Pleistocene horses from the western interior of North America: Implications for the taxonomy of North American Late Pleistocene Equus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina I Barrón-Ortiz

    Full Text Available Horses were a dominant component of North American Pleistocene land mammal communities and their remains are well represented in the fossil record. Despite the abundant material available for study, there is still considerable disagreement over the number of species of Equus that inhabited the different regions of the continent and on their taxonomic nomenclature. In this study, we investigated cheek tooth morphology and ancient mtDNA of late Pleistocene Equus specimens from the Western Interior of North America, with the objective of clarifying the species that lived in this region prior to the end-Pleistocene extinction. Based on the morphological and molecular data analyzed, a caballine (Equus ferus and a non-caballine (E. conversidens species were identified from different localities across most of the Western Interior. A second non-caballine species (E. cedralensis was recognized from southern localities based exclusively on the morphological analyses of the cheek teeth. Notably the separation into caballine and non-caballine species was observed in the Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of ancient mtDNA as well as in the geometric morphometric analyses of the upper and lower premolars. Teeth morphologically identified as E. conversidens that yielded ancient mtDNA fall within the New World stilt-legged clade recognized in previous studies and this is the name we apply to this group. Geographic variation in morphology in the caballine species is indicated by statistically different occlusal enamel patterns in the specimens from Bluefish Caves, Yukon Territory, relative to the specimens from the other geographic regions. Whether this represents ecomorphological variation and/or a certain degree of geographic and genetic isolation of these Arctic populations requires further study.

  13. 捕殺個体を利用したニホンツキノワグマ (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) の 栄養状態および繁殖評価方法に関する研究

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    The Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) is a subspecies of the Asiatic blackbear (Ursus thibetanus), which is classified as a vulnerable species in the IUCN red list. Inthe Japanese red list, six local populations of the Japanese black bear are designated asthreatened local populations, although the subspecies as a whole is not listed as threatened.The Japanese black bear is one of the largest mammals in forest ecosystems in Japan, andefforts in their conservation could contribut...

  14. Positive Reinforcement Training for Blood Collection in Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) Results in Undetectable Elevations in Serum Cortisol Levels: A Preliminary Investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce-Zuniga, Nicole M; Newberry, Ruth C; Robbins, Charles T; Ware, Jasmine V; Jansen, Heiko T; Nelson, O Lynne

    2016-01-01

    Training nonhuman animals in captivity for participation in routine husbandry procedures is believed to produce a lower stress environment compared with undergoing a general anesthetic event for the same procedure. This hypothesis rests largely on anecdotal evidence that the captive subjects appear more relaxed with the trained event. Blood markers of physiological stress responses were evaluated in 4 captive grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) who were clicker-trained for blood collection versus 4 bears who were chemically immobilized for blood collection. Serum cortisol and immunoglobulin A (IgA) and plasma β-endorphin were measured as indicators of responses to stress. Plasma β-endorphin was not different between the groups. Serum IgA was undetectable in all bears. Serum cortisol was undetectable in all trained bears, whereas chemically immobilized bears had marked cortisol elevations (p bears with extensive recent immobilization experience. These findings support the use of positive reinforcement training for routine health procedures to minimize anxiety.

  15. Persistent organic pollutants and penile bone mineral density in East Greenland and Canadian polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1996-2015

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Daugaard-Petersen, Tobias; Langebaek, Rikke; Riget, Frank F.

    2018-01-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are long-range transported to the Arctic via atmospheric and oceanic currents, where they biomagnify to high concentrations in the tissues of apex predators such as polar bears (Ursus maritimus). A major concern of POP exposure is their physiological effects o......) and Western Hudson (WH) Bay subpopulations (all p osteoporosis index for the EG subpopulation using WH bears as a reference group gave a T-score of -1.44 which indicate risk of osteopenia. Concentrations of ΣPCB74(polychlorinated biphenyls), ΣDDT3....... POPs. Other important factors such as nutritional status, body mass and body condition was not available for the statistical modelling. Since on-going environmental changes are known to affect these, future studies need to incorporate nutritional, endocrine and genetic parameters to further understand...

  16. Pronounced expression of the lipolytic inhibitor G0/G1 Switch Gene 2 (G0S2) in adipose tissue from brown bears (Ursus arctos) prior to hibernation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jessen, Niels; Nielsen, Thomas S; Vendelbo, Mikkel H

    2016-01-01

    Prior to hibernation, the brown bear (Ursus arctos) exhibits unparalleled weight gain. Unlike humans, weight gain in bears is associated with lower levels of circulating free fatty acids (FFA) and increased insulin sensitivity. Understanding how free-ranging brown bears suppress lipolysis when...... gaining weight may therefore provide novel insight toward the development of human therapies. Blood and subcutaneous adipose tissue were collected from immobilized free-ranging brown bears (fitted with GPS-collars) during hibernation in winter and from the same bears during the active period in summer...... in Dalarna, Sweden. The expression of lipid droplet-associated proteins in adipose tissue was examined under the hypothesis that bears suppress lipolysis during summer while gaining weight by increased expression of negative regulators of lipolysis. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) expression did...

  17. Genetic characterization of Kenai brown bears (Ursus arctos): Microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA control region variation in brown bears of the Kenai Peninsula, south central Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, J.V.; Talbot, S.L.; Farley, S.

    2008-01-01

    We collected data from 20 biparentally inherited microsatellite loci, and nucleotide sequence from the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region, to determine levels of genetic variation of the brown bears (Ursus arctos L., 1758) of the Kenai Peninsula, south central Alaska. Nuclear genetic variation was similar to that observed in other Alaskan peninsular populations. We detected no significant inbreeding and found no evidence of population substructuring on the Kenai Peninsula. We observed a genetic signature of a bottleneck under the infinite alleles model (IAM), but not under the stepwise mutation model (SMM) or the two-phase model (TPM) of microsatellite mutation. Kenai brown bears have lower levels of mtDNA haplotypic diversity relative to most other brown bear populations in Alaska. ?? 2008 NRC.

  18. Reproductive performance in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) may be affected by organohalogen contaminants as shown by physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Gustavson, Kim; Rigét, Frank F.

    2009-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) feed mainly on ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and consume large quantities of blubber and consequently have one of the highest tissue concentrations of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) worldwide. In East Greenland, studies of OHC time trends and organ system health...... effects, including reproductive, were conducted during 1990–2006. However, it has been difficult to determine the nature of the effects induced by OHC exposures on wild caught polar bears using body burden data and associated changes in reproductive organs and systems. We therefore conducted a risk......, oxychlordane, HCHs, HCB, PBDEs and PFOS in East Greenland polar bears based on known OHC pharmacokinetics and dynamics in laboratory rats (Rattus rattus). The results showed that subcutaneous adipose tissue concentrations of dieldrin (range: 79–1271 ng g−1 lw) and PCBs (range: 4128–53 923 ng g−1 lw) reported...

  19. Pleistocene glaciation of the Jackson Hole area, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Kenneth L.; Licciardi, Joseph M.; Good, John M.; Jaworowski, Cheryl

    2018-01-24

    Pleistocene glaciations and late Cenozoic offset on the Teton fault have played central roles in shaping the scenic landscapes of the Teton Range and Jackson Hole area in Wyoming. The Teton Range harbored a system of mountain-valley glaciers that produced the striking geomorphic features in these mountains. However, the comparatively much larger southern sector of the Greater Yellowstone glacial system (GYGS) is responsible for creating the more expansive glacial landforms and deposits that dominate Jackson Hole. The glacial history is also inextricably associated with the Yellowstone hotspot, which caused two conditions that have fostered extensive glaciation: (1) uplift and consequent cold temperatures in greater Yellowstone; and (2) the lowland track of the hotspot (eastern Snake River Plain) that funneled moisture to the Yellowstone Plateau and the Yellowstone Crescent of High Terrain (YCHT).The penultimate (Bull Lake) glaciation filled all of Jackson Hole with glacial ice. Granitic boulders on moraines beyond the south end of Jackson Hole have cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages of ~150 thousand years ago (ka) and correlate with Marine Isotope Stage 6. A thick loess mantle subdues the topography of Bull Lake moraines and caps Bull Lake outwash terraces with a reddish buried soil near the base of the loess having a Bk horizon that extends down into the outwash gravel. The Bull Lake glaciation of Jackson Hole extended 48 kilometers (km) farther south than the Pinedale, representing the largest separation of these two glacial positions in the Western United States. The Bull Lake is also more extensive than the Pinedale on the west (22 km) and southwest (23 km) margins of the GYGS but not on the north and east. This pattern is explained by uplift and subsidence on the leading and trailing “bow-wave” of the YCHT, respectively.During the last (Pinedale) glaciation, mountain-valley glaciers of the Teton Range extended to the western edge of Jackson Hole and built

  20. A Late Pleistocene clockwise rotation phase of Zakynthos (Greece) and implications for the evolution of the western Aegean arc

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duermeijer, C.E.; Krijgsman, W.; Langereis, C.G.; Meulenkamp, J.E.; Triantaphyllou, M.V.; Zachariasse, W.J.

    1999-01-01

    Palaeomagnetic measurements have been carried out on Eocene to Pleistocene sediments on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, NW Greece. Magnetostratigraphic constraints, biostratigraphic analyses of planktonic foraminifera and calcareous nannofossils provide a reliable time frame for these deposits.

  1. Pattern of dental development in Hominid XVIII from the Middle Pleistocene Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos site (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermudez De Castro, J M; Rosas, A

    2001-04-01

    . We describe the pattern of dental development of Hominid XVIII from the Middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos (SH) site of the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). As expected, this pattern is similar to that of modern humans. A delay of development of the lower and upper canines was observed. In contrast, the relative advanced development of the lower second molars and, especially, the upper and lower third molars is noteworthy. This latter feature seems to be common in Pleistocene hominids, and suggests that the pattern of dental development evolved in the genus Homo during the Pleistocene. In European Middle Pleistocene hominids, this pattern probably was facilitated by the extra space available in the mandible and maxilla for developing teeth. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Lower and Middle Pleistocene sediment sequence with archaeological finds in Horky nad Jizerou (okr. Mladá Boleslav/ CZ)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šída, P.; Sázelová, S.; Havlíček, P.; Hlaváč, Jaroslav

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 45, č. 3 (2015), s. 283-302 ISSN 0342-734X Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : Middle Pleistocene * Lower and Middle Palaeolithic * Quaternary geology * Bohemia * Czech Republic Subject RIV: AC - Archeology, Anthropology, Ethnology

  3. Pleistocene mitochondrial genomes suggest a single major dispersal of non-Africans and a Late Glacial population turnover in Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Posth, C.; Renaud, G.; Mittnik, A.; Drucker, D. G.; Rougier, H.; Cupillard, Ch.; Valentin, F.; Thevenet, C.; Furtwängler, A.; Wissing, Ch.; Francken, M.; Malina, M.; Bolus, M.; Lari, M.; Gigli, E.; Capecchi, G.; Crevecoeur, I.; Beauval, C.; Flas, D.; Germonpré, M.; Plicht van der, J.; Cottiaux, R.; Gély, B.; Ronchitelli, A.; Wehrberger, K.; Grigorescu, D.; Svoboda, Jiří; Semal, P.; Caramelli, D.; Bocherens, H.; Harvati, K.; Conard, N. J.; Haak, W.; Powell, A.; Krause, J.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 26, March 21 (2016), s. 827-833 ISSN 0960-9822 Institutional support: RVO:68081758 Keywords : mitochondrial genome * Pleistocene * Europe Subject RIV: AC - Archeology, Anthropology, Ethnology OBOR OECD: Archaeology Impact factor: 8.851, year: 2016

  4. Changing sedimentary environments during Pleistocene-Holocene in a core from the eastern continental margin of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, V.P.; Rao, Ch.M.; Mascarenhas, A.; Rao, K.M.; Reddy, N.P.C.; Das, H.C.

    and are apparently formEd. by rapid burial of terrigenous organic matter by turbidites with intermittent reducing conditions during lowered sealevels. Dolostone fragments appear to have been transportEd. by mass movement processes during the terminal Pleistocene...

  5. Occurrence and significance of biogenic opal in Plio-Pleistocene sediments of the stream Tegua, Cordoba. Argentina

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ayala, R.; Karlsson, A.; Daziano, C.; Dogliani, J.; Paredes, R.

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this work is to understand the history of the vegetation from the analysis of phytoliths present in Plio-Pleistocene and interpret the possible climatic changes since the Quaternary sediments to the present

  6. Polar bears, Ursus maritimus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D.; Stirling, Ian

    2017-01-01

    Polar bears are the largest of the eight species of bears found worldwide and are covered in a pigment-free fur giving them the appearance of being white. They are the most carnivorous of bear species consuming a high-fat diet, primarily of ice-associated seals and other marine mammals. They range throughout the circumpolar Arctic to the southernmost extent of seasonal pack ice.

  7. Ancient divergence time estimates in Eutropis rugifera support the existence of Pleistocene barriers on the exposed Sunda Shelf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin R. Karin

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Episodic sea level changes that repeatedly exposed and inundated the Sunda Shelf characterize the Pleistocene. Available evidence points to a more xeric central Sunda Shelf during periods of low sea levels, and despite the broad land connections that persisted during this time, some organisms are assumed to have faced barriers to dispersal between land-masses on the Sunda Shelf. Eutropis rugifera is a secretive, forest adapted scincid lizard that ranges across the Sunda Shelf. In this study, we sequenced one mitochondrial (ND2 and four nuclear (BRCA1, BRCA2, RAG1, and MC1R markers and generated a time-calibrated phylogeny in BEAST to test whether divergence times between Sundaic populations of E. rugifera occurred during Pleistocene sea-level changes, or if they predate the Pleistocene. We find that E. rugifera shows pre-Pleistocene divergences between populations on different Sundaic land-masses. The earliest divergence within E. rugifera separates the Philippine samples from the Sundaic samples approximately 16 Ma; the Philippine populations thus cannot be considered conspecific with Sundaic congeners. Sundaic populations diverged approximately 6 Ma, and populations within Borneo from Sabah and Sarawak separated approximately 4.5 Ma in the early Pliocene, followed by further cladogenesis in Sarawak through the Pleistocene. Divergence of peninsular Malaysian populations from the Mentawai Archipelago occurred approximately 5 Ma. Separation among island populations from the Mentawai Archipelago likely dates to the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary approximately 3.5 Ma, and our samples from peninsular Malaysia appear to coalesce in the middle Pleistocene, about 1 Ma. Coupled with the monophyly of these populations, these divergence times suggest that despite consistent land-connections between these regions throughout the Pleistocene E. rugifera still faced barriers to dispersal, which may be a result of environmental shifts that accompanied the

  8. Plio-Pleistocene climate change and geographic heterogeneity in plant diversity-environment relationships

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svenning, J.-C.; Normand, Signe; Skov, Flemming

    2009-01-01

    Plio-Pleistocene climate change may have induced geographic heterogeneity in plant species richness-environment relationships in Europe due to greater in situ species survival and speciation rates in southern Europe. We formulate distinct hypotheses on how Plio-Pleistocene climate change may have...... affected richness-topographic heterogeneity and richness-water-energy availability relationships, causing steeper relationships in southern Europe. We investigated these hypotheses using data from Atlas Florae Europaeae on the distribution of 3069 species and geographically weighted regression (GWR). Our...... analyses showed that plant species richness generally increased with topographic heterogeneity (ln-transformed altitudinal range) and actual evapotranspiration (AET). We also found evidence for strong geographic heterogeneity in the species richness-environment relationship, with a greater increase...

  9. PLEISTOCENE-HOLOCENE PALAEOENVIRONMENTAL RECORDS FROM PERMAFROST SEQUENCES AT THE KARA SEA COAST (NW SIBERIA, RUSSIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina Streletskaya

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Kara Sea coasts were studied using comprehensive stratigraphic and geocryological methods. The paper presents the new analytical studies of ground ice and Quaternary deposits of Western Taymyr and presents the results of spore and pollen, foraminifera, grain-size, mineralogical, geochemical, oxygen isotopic, and other analyses. Several stratigraphic-geocryological transects from Yenisey and Gydan Bays enable us to refine the stratigraphy and palaeogeographical reconstruction of the environments and freezing of Late Pleistocene-Holocene sediments. Marine sedimentation conditions during the late Kargino time (MIS3 changed to continental conditions in MIS2 and MIS1. Marine sediments were frozen syn- and epigenetically with cryotexture and ground ice formation. Ice wedges formation corresponds to the end of the Pleistocene (MIS2 and during cooler periods of the Holocene.

  10. Pliocene warmth, polar amplification, and stepped Pleistocene cooling recorded in NE Arctic Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brigham-Grette, Julie; Melles, Martin; Minyuk, Pavel; Andreev, Andrei; Tarasov, Pavel; DeConto, Robert; Koenig, Sebastian; Nowaczyk, Norbert; Wennrich, Volker; Rosén, Peter; Haltia, Eeva; Cook, Tim; Gebhardt, Catalina; Meyer-Jacob, Carsten; Snyder, Jeff; Herzschuh, Ulrike

    2013-06-21

    Understanding the evolution of Arctic polar climate from the protracted warmth of the middle Pliocene into the earliest glacial cycles in the Northern Hemisphere has been hindered by the lack of continuous, highly resolved Arctic time series. Evidence from Lake El'gygytgyn, in northeast (NE) Arctic Russia, shows that 3.6 to 3.4 million years ago, summer temperatures were ~8°C warmer than today, when the partial pressure of CO2 was ~400 parts per million. Multiproxy evidence suggests extreme warmth and polar amplification during the middle Pliocene, sudden stepped cooling events during the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition, and warmer than present Arctic summers until ~2.2 million years ago, after the onset of Northern Hemispheric glaciation. Our data are consistent with sea-level records and other proxies indicating that Arctic cooling was insufficient to support large-scale ice sheets until the early Pleistocene.

  11. Craniosynostosis in the Middle Pleistocene human Cranium 14 from the Sima de los Huesos, Atapuerca, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gracia, Ana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Martínez, Ignacio; Lorenzo, Carlos; Carretero, José Miguel; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2009-04-21

    We report here a previously undescribed human Middle Pleistocene immature specimen, Cranium 14, recovered at the Sima de los Huesos (SH) site (Atapuerca, Spain), that constitutes the oldest evidence in human evolution of a very rare pathology in our own species, lambdoid single suture craniosynostosis (SSC). Both the ecto- and endo-cranial deformities observed in this specimen are severe. All of the evidence points out that this severity implies that the SSC occurred before birth, and that facial asymmetries, as well as motor/cognitive disorders, were likely to be associated with this condition. The analysis of the present etiological data of this specimen lead us to consider that Cranium 14 is a case of isolated SSC, probably of traumatic origin. The existence of this pathological individual among the SH sample represents also a fact to take into account when referring to sociobiological behavior in Middle Pleistocene humans.

  12. Changes of 2H and 18O enrichment of meteoric water and Pleistocene glaciation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harmon, R.S.; Schwarcz, H.P.

    1981-01-01

    Isotopic data on fluid inclusions and host speleothems are presented which support the hypothesis that the deltaD-delta 18 O relationship for modern meteoric waters may have changed during the Pleistocene glacial periods in response to increased ocean surface air humidity. Palaeotemperatures for five areas of east-central North America and Bermuda, calculated assuming the present deltaDdelta 18 O meteoric water relationship for fluid inclusion waters, are observed to be too low during late Pleistocene glacial periods (in some instances falling below O 0 C) while interglacial palaeotemperatures are largely equivalent to those in the areas at present. As speleothem deposition cannot occur at subzero temperatures, a possible solution to this dilemma is a shift in the intercept of the meteoric water relationship. (U.K.)

  13. New radiocarbon dates for terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene settlements in West Turkana, northern Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyin, Amanuel; Prendergast, Mary E.; Grillo, Katherine M.; Wang, Hong

    2017-07-01

    The Turkana Basin in northern Kenya is located in an environmentally sensitive region along the eastern African Rift system. Lake Turkana's sensitivity to fluctuations in precipitation makes this an ideal place to study prehistoric human adaptations during key climatic transitions. Here we present eleven radiocarbon dates from two recently excavated sites in West Turkana, Kokito 01 and Kokito 02. The sites span the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, a time of fluctuating lake levels and novel cultural responses within the region. Several scenarios are laid out for the interpretation of site chronologies, and these are discussed with reference to the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene chronological record for the region. Given the paucity of well-dated sites from this timespan in the Turkana Basin, the new radiocarbon dates are an important step toward establishing human settlement history and associated cultural developments in the region.

  14. Pleistocene North African genomes link Near Eastern and sub-Saharan African human populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Loosdrecht, Marieke; Bouzouggar, Abdeljalil; Humphrey, Louise; Posth, Cosimo; Barton, Nick; Aximu-Petri, Ayinuer; Nickel, Birgit; Nagel, Sarah; Talbi, El Hassan; El Hajraoui, Mohammed Abdeljalil; Amzazi, Saaïd; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Pääbo, Svante; Schiffels, Stephan; Meyer, Matthias; Haak, Wolfgang; Jeong, Choongwon; Krause, Johannes

    2018-05-04

    North Africa is a key region for understanding human history, but the genetic history of its people is largely unknown. We present genomic data from seven 15,000-year-old modern humans, attributed to the Iberomaurusian culture, from Morocco. We find a genetic affinity with early Holocene Near Easterners, best represented by Levantine Natufians, suggesting a pre-agricultural connection between Africa and the Near East. We do not find evidence for gene flow from Paleolithic Europeans to Late Pleistocene North Africans. The Taforalt individuals derive one-third of their ancestry from sub-Saharan Africans, best approximated by a mixture of genetic components preserved in present-day West and East Africans. Thus, we provide direct evidence for genetic interactions between modern humans across Africa and Eurasia in the Pleistocene. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  15. Parallels between playbacks and Pleistocene tar seeps suggest sociality in an extinct sabretooth cat, Smilodon

    OpenAIRE

    Carbone, Chris; Maddox, Tom; Funston, Paul J.; Mills, Michael G.L.; Grether, Gregory F.; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire

    2008-01-01

    Inferences concerning the lives of extinct animals are difficult to obtain from the fossil record. Here we present a novel approach to the study of extinct carnivores, using a comparison between fossil records (n=3324) found in Late Pleistocene tar seeps at Rancho La Brea in North America and counts (n=4491) from playback experiments used to estimate carnivore abundance in Africa. Playbacks and tar seep deposits represent competitive, potentially dangerous encounters where multiple predators ...

  16. Prey preferences of the jaguar Panthera onca reflect the post-Pleistocene demise of large prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt W Hayward

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Documenting the impacts of the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions on predator-prey interactions is a challenge because of the incomplete fossil record and depauperate extant community structure. We used a comparative ecological approach to investigate whether the existing prey preference patterns of jaguars Panthera onca were potentially affected by the Pleistocene extinctions in the Americas compared with large felids in Africa and Asia. We reviewed the literature and found 25 studies reporting 3214 jaguar kills recorded throughout the species’ distribution. We found that jaguars significantly preferred capybara Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris and giant anteater Myrmecophaga tridactyla, and avoided agoutis, carnivorans, primates, black-eared opossum Didelphis marsupialis and tapirs. Generalised linear models showed that jaguars select prey primarily based on socio-ecological and behavioural traits (abundance and herd size, rather than morphological characteristics (body size. Nonetheless, their accessible prey weight range was 6-60 kg, preferred prey weight range was 45-85 kg, and mean mass of significantly preferred prey was 32 ± 13 kg leading to a predator to prey body mass ratio of 1:0.53, which is much less than that of other solitary felids. Compared with other large, solitary felids, jaguars have an unusual predator to prey body mass ratio, show limited effect of prey morphology as a driver of prey selection, lack evidence of optimal foraging beyond their preferred prey, and an absence of preferentially hunting on Cetartiodactyla herbivores. These features, coupled with the reduction in jaguar body mass since the Pleistocene, suggest that the loss of larger potential prey items within the preferred and accessible weight ranges at the end-Pleistocene still affects jaguar predatory behaviour. It may be that jaguars survived this mass extinction event by preferentially preying on relatively small species.

  17. Mandibular molar root morphology in Neanderthals and Late Pleistocene and recent Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kupczik, Kornelius; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2010-11-01

    Neanderthals have a distinctive suite of dental features, including large anterior crown and root dimensions and molars with enlarged pulp cavities. Yet, there is little known about variation in molar root morphology in Neanderthals and other recent and fossil members of Homo. Here, we provide the first comprehensive metric analysis of permanent mandibular molar root morphology in Middle and Late Pleistocene Homo neanderthalensis, and Late Pleistocene (Aterian) and recent Homo sapiens. We specifically address the question of whether root form can be used to distinguish between these groups and assess whether any variation in root form can be related to differences in tooth function. We apply a microtomographic imaging approach to visualise and quantify the external and internal dental morphologies of both isolated molars and molars embedded in the mandible (n=127). Univariate and multivariate analyses reveal both similarities (root length and pulp volume) and differences (occurrence of pyramidal roots and dental tissue volume proportion) in molar root morphology among penecontemporaneous Neanderthals and Aterian H. sapiens. In contrast, the molars of recent H. sapiens are markedly smaller than both Pleistocene H. sapiens and Neanderthals, but share with the former the dentine volume reduction and a smaller root-to-crown volume compared with Neanderthals. Furthermore, we found the first molar to have the largest average root surface area in recent H. sapiens and Neanderthals, although in the latter the difference between M(1) and M(2) is small. In contrast, Aterian H. sapiens root surface areas peak at M(2). Since root surface area is linked to masticatory function, this suggests a distinct occlusal loading regime in Neanderthals compared with both recent and Pleistocene H. sapiens. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Ecospaces occupied by Homo erectus and Homo sapiens in insular Southeast Asia in the Pleistocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertler, Christine; Haupt, Susanne; Volmer, Rebekka; Bruch, Angela

    2014-05-01

    Hominins migrated to the islands of the Sunda Shelf multiple times. At least two immigration events are evident, an early immigration of Homo erectus in the late Early Pleistocene and a second immigration of Homo sapiens during the Late Pleistocene. Regional environments changed considerably in the Pleistocene. Expansion patterns among hominins are at least co-determined by their ecologies and environmental change. We examine these expansion patterns on the basis of habitat reconstructions. Mammalian communities provide a geographically extensive record and permit to assess hominin ecospaces. Although chronological resolution is low, they represent the most complete record of habitat changes associated with hominin expansion patterns. In order to reconstruct and compare hominin ecospaces on a quantitative scale, we set up a reference sample consisting of mammalian communities of 117 national parks in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The diversity of such communities is assessed by ecological profiling of specialized herbivore taxa. Moreover, datasets on climate and vegetation correlate with the diversity structure of such specialized herbivore communities. Reconstructing the diversity structure of communities at key sites in Pleistocene Southeast Asia permits to infer features of the climatic and vegetation framework associated with different hominin taxa. Our results show that Homo erectus and Homo sapiens did not occupy similar ecospaces. The ecospace of Homo erectus is characterized by comparatively low diversity among frugivorous and folivorous taxa, while obligate grazers are part of the assemblages. Specialized herbivore communities with such a diversity structure occur at present in East Africa, while they are absent in Southeast Asia. In the reference sample, this type of ecospace corresponds to seasonal wetlands. Although Homo sapiens still inhabits this type of environment in Southeast Asia, his ecospace is wider. Homo sapiens is associated with

  19. Pleistocene aridification cycles shaped the contemporary genetic architecture of Southern African baboons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riashna Sithaldeen

    Full Text Available Plio-Pleistocene environmental change influenced the evolutionary history of many animal lineages in Africa, highlighting key roles for both climate and tectonics in the evolution of Africa's faunal diversity. Here, we explore diversification in the southern African chacma baboon Papio ursinus sensu lato and reveal a dominant role for increasingly arid landscapes during past glacial cycles in shaping contemporary genetic structure. Recent work on baboons (Papio spp. supports complex lineage structuring with a dominant pulse of diversification occurring 1-2Ma, and yet the link to palaeoenvironmental change remains largely untested. Phylogeographic reconstruction based on mitochondrial DNA sequence data supports a scenario where chacma baboon populations were likely restricted to refugia during periods of regional cooling and drying through the Late Pleistocene. The two lineages of chacma baboon, ursinus and griseipes, are strongly geographically structured, and demographic reconstruction together with spatial analysis of genetic variation point to possible climate-driven isolating events where baboons may have retreated to more optimum conditions during cooler, drier periods. Our analysis highlights a period of continuous population growth beginning in the Middle to Late Pleistocene in both the ursinus and the PG2 griseipes lineages. All three clades identified in the study then enter a state of declining population size (Nef through to the Holocene; this is particularly marked in the last 20,000 years, most likely coincident with the Last Glacial Maximum. The pattern recovered here conforms to expectations based on the dynamic regional climate trends in southern Africa through the Pleistocene and provides further support for complex patterns of diversification in the region's biodiversity.

  20. People of the ancient rainforest: late Pleistocene foragers at the Batadomba-lena rockshelter, Sri Lanka.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Nimal; Kourampas, Nikos; Simpson, Ian A; Deraniyagala, Siran U; Bulbeck, David; Kamminga, Johan; Perera, Jude; Fuller, Dorian Q; Szabó, Katherine; Oliveira, Nuno V

    2011-09-01

    Batadomba-lena, a rockshelter in the rainforest of southwestern Sri Lanka, has yielded some of the earliest evidence of Homo sapiens in South Asia. H. sapiens foragers were present at Batadomba-lena from ca. 36,000 cal BP to the terminal Pleistocene and Holocene. Human occupation was sporadic before the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Batadomba-lena's Late Pleistocene inhabitants foraged for a broad spectrum of plant and mainly arboreal animal resources (monkeys, squirrels and abundant rainforest snails), derived from a landscape that retained equatorial rainforest cover through periods of pronounced regional aridity during the LGM. Juxtaposed hearths, palaeofloors with habitation debris, postholes, excavated pits, and animal and plant remains, including abundant Canarium nutshells, reflect intensive habitation of the rockshelter in times of monsoon intensification and biome reorganisation after ca. 16,000 cal BP. This period corresponds with further broadening of the economic spectrum, evidenced though increased contribution of squirrels, freshwater snails and Canarium nuts in the diet of the rockshelter occupants. Microliths are more abundant and morphologically diverse in the earliest, pre-LGM layer and decline markedly during intensified rockshelter use on the wane of the LGM. We propose that changing toolkits and subsistence base reflect changing foraging practices, from shorter-lived visits of highly mobile foraging bands in the period before the LGM, to intensified use of Batadomba-lena and intense foraging for diverse resources around the site during and, especially, following the LGM. Traces of ochre, marine shell beads and other objects from an 80 km-distant shore, and, possibly burials reflect symbolic practices from the outset of human presence at the rockshelter. Evidence for differentiated use of space (individual hearths, possible habitation structures) is present in LGM and terminal Pleistocene layers. The record of Batadomba-lena demonstrates

  1. Evolution, Systematics, and Phylogeography of Pleistocene Horses in the New World: A Molecular Perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weinstock, Jaco; Willerslev, Eske; Sher, A.

    2005-01-01

    . Furthermore, we show that stilt-legged horses, commonly regarded as Old World migrants related to the hemionid asses of Asia, were in fact an endemic North American lineage. Finally, our data suggest that there were fewer horse species in late Pleistocene North America than have been named on morphological...... grounds. Both caballine and stilt-legged lineages may each have comprised a single, wide-ranging species....

  2. Large Late Pleistocene landslides from the marginal slope of the Flysch Carpathians

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pánek, T.; Hartvich, Filip; Jankovská, Vlasta; Klimeš, Jan; Tábořík, Petr; Bubík, M.; Smolková, V.; Hradecký, J.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 6 (2014), s. 981-992 ISSN 1612-510X R&D Projects: GA MŠk LM2010008 Institutional support: RVO:67985891 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : fossil landslide * radiocarbon dating * electrical resistivity tomography * pollen analysis * Late Pleistocene * Flysch Carpathians * Marine Isotope Stage 3 Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography; EF - Botanics (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.870, year: 2014

  3. A new interpretation of forming process of marine pleistocene succession in the kanto tectonic basin

    OpenAIRE

    Kikuchi, Takao

    1996-01-01

    Relatively thick marine Pleistocene deposits, the Kazusa and the Shimosa Groups. are exposed in the Boso Peninsula, central Japan. It is generally said that the continuous tectonic subsidence of the Kanto Tectonic Basin causes such remarkable sedimentation. Especially the Shimosa Group consists of a succession of several formations controlled by glacio-eustasy. Besides, the Basin must have upheaved from deep sea during the Quaternary, because it is located on the wide uplift belt of the islan...

  4. LATE PLEISTOCENE RODENTS (MAMMALIA: RODENTIA FROM THE BARANICA CAVE NEAR KNJAZEVAC (EASTERN SERBIA: SYSTEMATICS AND PALAEOECOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KATARINA BOGICEVIC

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Baranica is a cave in the Balkan mountain range in the eastern part of Serbia. It contains four layers of sediments of Quaternary age. The Upper Pleistocene deposits (layers 2-4 have yielded a rich and diverse assemblage of vertebrate fauna, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small and large mammals. In this work, preliminary results of a study of the rodent fauna from the Upper Pleistocene deposits of the Baranica Cave (Knjazevac, eastern Serbia are presented. The fossil material comes from the 1995 archaeological excavation. The remains of 10 rodent species are described herein: Spermophilus cf. citelloides, Castor fiber, Sicista subtilis, Cricetulus migratorius, Cricetus cricetus, Mesocricetus newtoni, Apodemus ex gr. sylvaticus-flavicollis, Spalax leucodon, Dryomys nitedula, and Muscardinus avellanarius. Along with eight vole species, this makes altogether 18 species of rodents found in this locality. Both layers 2 and 4 (layer 3 is very poor in fossils have yielded a rodent fauna typical for the cold periods of the Late Pleistocene on the Balkan Peninsula, with a prevalence of open and steppe inhabitants, but some forest dwellers were also present. The assemblages from these layers are similar, but there are some differences in the composition of the fauna, which may indicate a slight shift towards drier conditions. They have also been compared to rodent associations from some Serbian and Bulgarian localities of the same age and their similarities and differences are discussed. SHORT NOTE-NOTA BREVE

  5. The Middle Pleistocene vertebrate fauna from Khok Sung (Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand): biochronological and paleobiogeographical implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suraprasit, Kantapon; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques; Chaimanee, Yaowalak; Chavasseau, Olivier; Yamee, Chotima; Tian, Pannipa; Panha, Somsak

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The fluviatile terrace deposits of Khok Sung, Nakhon Ratchasima province, have yielded more than one thousand fossils, making this the richest Pleistocene vertebrate fauna of Thailand. The excellent preservation of the specimens allows precise characterization of the faunal composition. The mammalian fauna consists of fifteen species in thirteen genera, including a primate, a canid, a hyaenid, proboscideans, rhinoceroses, a suid, cervids, and bovids. Most species correspond to living taxa but globally (Stegodon cf. orientalis) and locally (Crocuta crocuta ultima, Rhinoceros unicornis, Sus barbatus, and Axis axis) extinct taxa were also present. The identification of Axis axis in Khok Sung, a chital currently restricted to the Indian Subcontinent, represents the first record of the species in Southeast Asia. Three reptilian taxa: Crocodylus cf. siamensis, Python sp., and Varanus sp., are also identified. Faunal correlations with other Southeast Asian sites suggest a late Middle to early Late Pleistocene age for the Khok Sung assemblage. However, the Khok Sung mammalian fauna is most similar to that of Thum Wiman Nakin, dated to older than 169 ka. The Khok Sung large mammal assemblage mostly comprises mainland Southeast Asian taxa that migrated to Java during the latest Middle Pleistocene, supporting the hypothesis that Thailand was a biogeographic pathway for the Sino-Malayan migration event from South China to Java. PMID:27667928

  6. Upper Pleistocene Human Dispersals out of Africa: A Review of the Current State of the Debate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyin, Amanuel

    2011-01-01

    Although there is a general consensus on African origin of early modern humans, there is disagreement about how and when they dispersed to Eurasia. This paper reviews genetic and Middle Stone Age/Middle Paleolithic archaeological literature from northeast Africa, Arabia, and the Levant to assess the timing and geographic backgrounds of Upper Pleistocene human colonization of Eurasia. At the center of the discussion lies the question of whether eastern Africa alone was the source of Upper Pleistocene human dispersals into Eurasia or were there other loci of human expansions outside of Africa? The reviewed literature hints at two modes of early modern human colonization of Eurasia in the Upper Pleistocene: (i) from multiple Homo sapiens source populations that had entered Arabia, South Asia, and the Levant prior to and soon after the onset of the Last Interglacial (MIS-5), (ii) from a rapid dispersal out of East Africa via the Southern Route (across the Red Sea basin), dating to ~74–60 kya. PMID:21716744

  7. Magnetostratigraphy, paleomagnetic correlation, and deformation of pleistocene deposits in the south central Puget Lowland, Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagstrum, J.T.; Booth, D.B.; Troost, K.G.; Blakely, R.J.

    2002-01-01

    Paleomagnetic results from Pleistocene sedimentary deposits in the central Puget Lowland indicate that the region has experienced widespread deformation within the last 780 kyr. Three oriented samples were collected from unaltered fine-grained sediments mostly at sea level to determine the magnetostratigraphy at 83 sites. Of these, 47 have normal, 18 have reversed, and 18 have transitional (8 localities) polarities. Records of reversed- to normal-polarity transitions of the geomagnetic field were found in thick sections of silt near the eastern end of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and again at Wingehaven Park near the northern tip of Vashon Island. The transitional horizons, probably related to the Bruhnes-Matuyama reversal, apparently fall between previously dated Pleistocene sediments at the Puyallup Valley type section (all reversed-polarity) to the south and the Whidbey Island type section (all normal-polarity) to the north. The samples, in general, are of sufficient quality to record paleosecular variation (PSV) of the geomagnetic field, and a statistical technique is used to correlate horizons with significant agreement in their paleomagnetic directions. Our data are consistent with the broad structures of the Seattle uplift inferred at depth from seismic reflection, gravity, and aeromagnetic profiles, but the magnitude of vertical adjustments is greatly subdued in the Pleistocene deposits.

  8. Coral zonation and diagenesis of an emergent Pleistocene patch reef, Belize, Central America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lighty, R.G.; Russell, K.L.

    1985-01-01

    Transect mapping and petrologic studies reveal a new depositional model and limited diagenesis of a well-exposed Pleistocene reef outcrop at Ambergris Cay, northern Belize. This emergent shelf-edge reef forms a rocky wave-washed headland at the northern terminus of the present-day 250 km long flourishing Belize Barrier Reef. Previously, the Belize reef outcrop was thought to extend southward in the subsurface beneath the modern barrier reef as a Pleistocene equivalent. The authors study indicate that this outcrop is a large, coral patch reef and not part of a barrier reef trend. Sixteen transects 12.5 m apart described in continuous cm increments from fore reef to back reef identified: extensive deposits of broken Acropora cervicornis; small thickets of A. palmata with small, oriented branches; and muddy skeletal sediments with few corals or reef rubble. Thin section and SEM studies show three phases of early submarine cementation: syntaxial and rosette aragonite; Mg-calcite rim cement and peloids; and colloidal Mg-calcite geopetal fill. Subaerial exposure in semi-arid northern Belize caused only minor skeletal dissolution, some precipitation of vadose whisker calcite, and no meteoric phreatic diagenesis. Facies geometry, coral assemblages, lack of rubble deposits, coralline algal encrustations and Millepora framework, and recognition of common but discrete submarine cements, all indicate that this Pleistocene reef was an isolated, coral-fringed sediment buildup similar to may large patch reefs existing today in moderate-energy shelf environments behind the modern barrier reef in central and southern Belize.

  9. Effects of Pleistocene sea-level fluctuations on mangrove population dynamics: a lesson from Sonneratia alba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yuchen; Li, Jianfang; Yang, Shuhuan; Li, Xinnian; Fang, Lu; Zhong, Cairong; Duke, Norman C; Zhou, Renchao; Shi, Suhua

    2017-01-18

    A large-scale systematical investigation of the influence of Pleistocene climate oscillation on mangrove population dynamics could enrich our knowledge about the evolutionary history during times of historical climate change, which in turn may provide important information for their conservation. In this study, phylogeography of a mangrove tree Sonneratia alba was studied by sequencing three chloroplast fragments and seven nuclear genes. A low level of genetic diversity at the population level was detected across its range, especially at the range margins, which was mainly attributed to the steep sea-level drop and associated climate fluctuations during the Pleistocene glacial periods. Extremely small effective population size (Ne) was inferred in populations from both eastern and western Malay Peninsula (44 and 396, respectively), mirroring the fragility of mangrove plants and their paucity of robustness against future climate perturbations and human activity. Two major genetic lineages of high divergence were identified in the two mangrove biodiversity centres: the Indo-Malesia and Australasia regions. The estimated splitting time between these two lineages was 3.153 million year ago (MYA), suggesting a role for pre-Pleistocene events in shaping the major diversity patterns of mangrove species. Within the Indo-Malesia region, a subdivision was implicated between the South China Sea (SCS) and the remaining area with a divergence time of 1.874 MYA, corresponding to glacial vicariance when the emerged Sunda Shelf halted genetic exchange between the western and eastern coasts of the Malay Peninsula during Pleistocene sea-level drops. Notably, genetic admixture was observed in populations at the boundary regions, especially in the two populations near the Malacca Strait, indicating secondary contact between divergent lineages during interglacial periods. These interregional genetic exchanges provided ample opportunity for the re-use of standing genetic variation

  10. Quantifying the astronomical contribution to Pleistocene climate change: A non-linear, statistical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crucifix, Michel; Wilkinson, Richard; Carson, Jake; Preston, Simon; Alemeida, Carlos; Rougier, Jonathan

    2013-04-01

    The existence of an action of astronomical forcing on the Pleistocene climate is almost undisputed. However, quantifying this action is not straightforward. In particular, the phenomenon of deglaciation is generally interpreted as a manifestation of instability, which is typical of non-linear systems. As a consequence, explaining the Pleistocene climate record as the addition of an astronomical contribution and noise-as often done using harmonic analysis tools-is potentially deceptive. Rather, we advocate a methodology in which non-linear stochastic dynamical systems are calibrated on the Pleistocene climate record. The exercise, though, requires careful statistical reasoning and state-of-the-art techniques. In fact, the problem has been judged to be mathematically 'intractable and unsolved' and some pragmatism is justified. In order to illustrate the methodology we consider one dynamical system that potentially captures four dynamical features of the Pleistocene climate : the existence of a saddle-node bifurcation in at least one of its slow components, a time-scale separation between a slow and a fast component, the action of astronomical forcing, and the existence a stochastic contribution to the system dynamics. This model is obviously not the only possible representation of Pleistocene dynamics, but it encapsulates well enough both our theoretical and empirical knowledge into a very simple form to constitute a valid starting point. The purpose of this poster is to outline the practical challenges in calibrating such a model on paleoclimate observations. Just as in time series analysis, there is no one single and universal test or criteria that would demonstrate the validity of an approach. Several methods exist to calibrate the model and judgement develops by the confrontation of the results of the different methods. In particular, we consider here the Kalman filter variants, the Particle Monte-Carlo Markov Chain, and two other variants of Sequential Monte

  11. Growth trajectories in the cave bear and its extant relatives: an examination of ontogenetic patterns in phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Manuela; Geiger, Madeleine; Stange, Madlen; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2015-11-02

    The study of postnatal ontogeny can provide insights into evolution by offering an understanding of how growth trajectories have evolved resulting in adult morphological disparity. The Ursus lineage is a good subject for studying cranial and mandibular shape and size variation in relation to postnatal ontogeny and phylogeny because it is at the same time not diverse but the species exhibit different feeding ecologies. Cranial and mandibular shapes of Ursus arctos (brown bear), U. maritimus (polar bear), U. americanus (American black bear), and the extinct U. spelaeus (cave bear) were examined, using a three-dimensional geometric morphometric approach. Additionally, ontogenetic series of crania and mandibles of U. arctos and U. spelaeus ranging from newborns to senile age were sampled. The distribution of specimens in morphospace allowed to distinguish species and age classes and the ontogenetic trajectories U. arctos and U. spelaeus were found to be more similar than expected by chance. Cranial shape changes during ontogeny are largely size related whereas the evolution of cranial shape disparity in this clade appears to be more influenced by dietary adaptation than by size and phylogeny. The different feeding ecologies are reflected in different cranial and mandibular shapes among species. The cranial and mandibular shape disparity in the Ursus lineage appears to be more influenced by adaptation to diet than by size or phylogeny. In contrast, the cranial and mandibular shape changes during postnatal ontogeny in U. arctos and U. spelaeus are probably largely size related. The patterns of morphospace occupation of the cranium and the mandible in adults and through ontogeny are different.

  12. Mineralogical evidence of reduced East Asian summer monsoon rainfall on the Chinese loess plateau during the early Pleistocene interglacials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Xianqiang; Liu, Lianwen; Wang, Xingchen T.; Balsam, William; Chen, Jun; Ji, Junfeng

    2018-03-01

    The East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) is an important component of the global climate system. A better understanding of EASM rainfall variability in the past can help constrain climate models and better predict the response of EASM to ongoing global warming. The warm early Pleistocene, a potential analog of future climate, is an important period to study EASM dynamics. However, existing monsoon proxies for reconstruction of EASM rainfall during the early Pleistocene fail to disentangle monsoon rainfall changes from temperature variations, complicating the comparison of these monsoon records with climate models. Here, we present three 2.6 million-year-long EASM rainfall records from the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) based on carbonate dissolution, a novel proxy for rainfall intensity. These records show that the interglacial rainfall on the CLP was lower during the early Pleistocene and then gradually increased with global cooling during the middle and late Pleistocene. These results are contrary to previous suggestions that a warmer climate leads to higher monsoon rainfall on tectonic timescales. We propose that the lower interglacial EASM rainfall during the early Pleistocene was caused by reduced sea surface temperature gradients across the equatorial Pacific, providing a testable hypothesis for climate models.

  13. Using obsidian transfer distances to explore social network maintenance in late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, Eiluned; Moutsiou, Theodora

    2014-12-01

    Social behaviour is notoriously difficult to study archaeologically and it is unclear how large the networks of prehistoric humans were, or how they remained connected. Maintaining social cohesion was crucial for early humans because social networks facilitate cooperation and are imperative for survival and reproduction. Recent hunter-gatherer social organisation typically comprises a number of nested layers, ranging from the nuclear family through to the ~1500-strong ethnolinguistic tribe. Here we compare maximum obsidian transfer distances from the late Pleistocene with ethnographic data on the size of the geographic areas associated with each of these social grouping layers in recent hunter-gatherers. The closest match between the two is taken to indicate the maximum social layer within which contact could be sustained by Pleistocene hominins. Within both the (sub)tropical African and Subarctic biomes, the maximum obsidian transfer distances for Pleistocene modern humans (~200km and ~400km respectively) correspond to the geographic ranges of the outermost tribal layer in recent hunter-gatherers. This suggests that modern humans could potentially sustain the cohesion of their entire tribe at all latitudes, even though networks are more dispersed nearer the poles. Neanderthal obsidian transfer distances (300km) indicate that although Neanderthal home ranges are larger than those of low latitude hominins, Neanderthals travelled shorter distances than modern humans living at the same high latitudes. We argue that, like modern humans, Neanderthals could have maintained tribal cohesion, but that their tribes were substantially smaller than those of contemporary modern humans living in similar environments. The greater time taken to traverse the larger modern human tribal ranges may have limited the frequency of their face-to-face interactions and thus necessitated additional mechanisms to ensure network connectivity, such as the exchange of symbolic artefacts

  14. Human influence on distribution and extinctions of the late Pleistocene Eurasian megafauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pushkina, Diana; Raia, Pasquale

    2008-06-01

    Late Pleistocene extinctions are of interest to paleontological and anthropological research. In North America and Australia, human occupation occurred during a short period of time and overexploitation may have led to the extinction of mammalian megafauna. In northern Eurasia megafaunal extinctions are believed to have occurred over a relatively longer period of time, perhaps as a result of changing environmental conditions, but the picture is much less clear. To consider megafaunal extinction in Eurasia, we compare differences in the geographical distribution and commonness of extinct and extant species between paleontological and archaeological localities from the late middle Pleistocene to Holocene. Purely paleontological localities, as well as most extinct species, were distributed north of archaeological sites and of the extant species, suggesting that apart from possible differences in adaptations between humans and other species, humans could also have a detrimental effect on large mammal distribution. However, evidence for human overexploitation applies only to the extinct steppe bison Bison priscus. Other human-preferred species survive into the Holocene, including Rangifer tarandus, Equus ferus, Capreolus capreolus, Cervus elaphus, Equus hemionus, Saiga tatarica, and Sus scrofa. Mammuthus primigenius and Megaloceros giganteus were rare in archaeological sites. Carnivores appear little influenced by human presence, although they become rarer in Holocene archaeological sites. Overall, the data are consistent with the conclusion that humans acted as efficient hunters selecting for the most abundant species. Our study supports the idea that the late Pleistocene extinctions were environmentally driven by climatic changes that triggered habitat fragmentation, species range reduction, and population decrease, after which human interference either by direct hunting or via indirect activities probably became critical.

  15. Pleistocene Park: the restoration of steppes as a tool to mitigate climate change through albedo effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimov, N.; Loranty, M. M.; Edgar, C.; Kropp, H.; Zimov, S. A.

    2017-12-01

    In the late Pleistocene, the world largest ecosystem was the mammoth steppe. It stretched from the Iberian Peninsula to Canada and from the New Siberian Islands to China. It was a highly productive steppe ecosystem with numerous predators and herbivores that maintained the dominance of grasslands. With the end of the Pleistocene, the climate warmed and humans entered Siberia and the Americas. The introduction of humans as predators in these regions led to the extinction of most large animals, and the further degradation of the steppes. Mosses, shrubs and larch forest soon replaced grasses and herbs. Pleistocene Park is an experiment conducted in the far north of Siberia; its main goal is to revive the extinct steppe ecosystem in the Arctic. This would increase the richness of the northern ecosystems and, bioproductivity, and through a series of ecological mechanisms help to mitigate climate change. To conduct the experiment, was fenced 2000 hectares of land, and continue the ongoing process of introducing animals that either lived on this territory in the past or that can adapt to the modern northern environment. Through grazing, animals slowly transform the vegetation, replacing mosses, shrubs, and trees with grasses and herbs. Here we present the effects grazing animals have on the albedo of the landscape. Several years of year-round measurement of albedo and incoming and reflected radiation conducted in the grasslands in the park indicate substantially higher albedo compared with most modern ecosystems like larch forest and shrublands. Since grasses are lighter than forest, they reflect a higher portion of energy back to space. Results indicate the most dramatic difference in reflected solar radiation is in April and early May. Grasslands covered with snow reflect most of the sun's energy, while dark stems of forests and shrubs absorb that energy and promote warming. We argue that large-scale promotion of highly productive steppes in the Arctic will

  16. Plio-Pleistocene phylogeography of the Southeast Asian Blue Panchax killifish, Aplocheilus panchax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Gary R.; Barlow, Axel; Rüber, Lukas; Hui Tan, Heok; Nugroho, Estu; Wowor, Daisy; Mohd Nor, Siti Azizah; Herder, Fabian; Muchlisin, Zainal A.; de Bruyn, Mark

    2017-01-01

    The complex climatic and geological history of Southeast Asia has shaped this region’s high biodiversity. In particular, sea level fluctuations associated with repeated glacial cycles during the Pleistocene both facilitated, and limited, connectivity between populations. In this study, we used data from two mitochondrial and three anonymous nuclear markers to determine whether a fresh/brackish water killifish, Aplocheilus panchax, Hamilton, 1822, could be used to further understand how climatic oscillations and associated sea level fluctuations have shaped the distribution of biota within this region, and whether such patterns show evidence of isolation within palaeodrainage basins. Our analyses revealed three major mitochondrial clades within A. panchax. The basal divergence of A. panchax mitochondrial lineages was approximately 3.5 Ma, whilst the subsequent divergence timings of these clades occurred early Pleistocene (~2.6 Ma), proceeding through the Pleistocene. Continuous phylogeographic analysis showed a clear west-east dispersal followed by rapid radiation across Southeast Asia. Individuals from Krabi, just north of the Isthmus of Kra, were more closely related to the Indian lineages, providing further evidence for a freshwater faunal disjunction at the Isthmus of Kra biogeographic barrier. Our results suggest that Sulawesi, across the Wallace Line, was colonised relatively recently (~30 ka). Nuclear DNA is less geographically structured, although Mantel tests indicated that nuclear genetic distances were correlated with geographic proximity. Overall, these results imply that recent gene flow, as opposed to historical isolation, has been the key factor determining patterns of nuclear genetic variation in A. panchax, however, some evidence of historical isolation is retained within the mitochondrial genome. Our study further validates the existence of a major biogeographic boundary at the Kra Isthmus, and also demonstrates the use of widely distributed

  17. The Taxonomic and Phylogenetic Affinities of Bunopithecus sericus, a Fossil Hylobatid from the Pleistocene of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Alejandra; Pilbrow, Varsha; Villamil, Catalina I.; Korsgaard, Jessica G.; Bailey, Shara E.; Harrison, Terry

    2015-01-01

    Fossil hylobatids are rare, but are known from late Miocene and Pleistocene sites throughout East Asia. The best-known fossil hylobatid from the Pleistocene of China is a left mandibular fragment with M2-3 (AMNH 18534), recovered from a pit deposit near the village of Yanjinggou in Wanzhou District, Chongqing Province. Matthew and Granger described this specimen in 1923 as a new genus and species, Bunopithecus sericus. Establishing the age of Bunopithecus has proved difficult because the Yanjinggou collection represents a mixed fauna of different ages, but it likely comes from early or middle Pleistocene deposits. Although the Bunopithecus specimen has featured prominently in discussions of hylobatid evolution and nomenclature, its systematic status has never been satisfactorily resolved. The present study reexamines the taxonomic and phylogenetic relationships of Bunopithecus by carrying out a detailed comparative morphometric study of its lower molars in relation to a large sample of modern hylobatids. Our results show that differences in M2 and M3 discriminate extant hylobatids fairly well, at least at the generic level, and that AMNH 18534 is not attributable to Hylobates, Nomascus or Symphalangus. Support for a close relationship between Bunopithecus and Hoolock is more equivocal. In most multivariate analyses, Bunopithecus presents a unique morphological pattern that falls outside the range of variation of any hylobatid taxon, although its distance from the cluster represented by extant hoolocks is relatively small. Our results support the generic distinction of Bunopithecus, which most likely represents an extinct crown hylobatid, and one that may possibly represent the sister taxon to Hoolock. PMID:26154175

  18. Synchronous genetic turnovers across Western Eurasia in Late Pleistocene collared lemmings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Baca, Mateusz; Abramson, Natalia I; Sablin, Mikhail; Socha, Paweł; Nadachowski, Adam; Prost, Stefan; Germonpré, Mietje; Kosintsev, Pavel; Smirnov, Nickolay G; Vartanyan, Sergey; Ponomarev, Dmitry; Nyström, Johanna; Nikolskiy, Pavel; Jass, Christopher N; Litvinov, Yuriy N; Kalthoff, Daniela C; Grigoriev, Semyon; Fadeeva, Tatyana; Douka, Aikaterini; Higham, Thomas F G; Ersmark, Erik; Pitulko, Vladimir; Pavlova, Elena; Stewart, John R; Węgleński, Piotr; Stankovic, Anna; Dalén, Love

    2016-05-01

    Recent palaeogenetic studies indicate a highly dynamic history in collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx spp.), with several demographical changes linked to climatic fluctuations that took place during the last glaciation. At the western range margin of D. torquatus, these changes were characterized by a series of local extinctions and recolonizations. However, it is unclear whether this pattern represents a local phenomenon, possibly driven by ecological edge effects, or a global phenomenon that took place across large geographical scales. To address this, we explored the palaeogenetic history of the collared lemming using a next-generation sequencing approach for pooled mitochondrial DNA amplicons. Sequences were obtained from over 300 fossil remains sampled across Eurasia and two sites in North America. We identified five mitochondrial lineages of D. torquatus that succeeded each other through time across Europe and western Russia, indicating a history of repeated population extinctions and recolonizations, most likely from eastern Russia, during the last 50 000 years. The observation of repeated extinctions across such a vast geographical range indicates large-scale changes in the steppe-tundra environment in western Eurasia during the last glaciation. All Holocene samples, from across the species' entire range, belonged to only one of the five mitochondrial lineages. Thus, extant D. torquatus populations only harbour a small fraction of the total genetic diversity that existed across different stages of the Late Pleistocene. In North American samples, haplotypes belonging to both D. groenlandicus and D. richardsoni were recovered from a Late Pleistocene site in south-western Canada. This suggests that D. groenlandicus had a more southern and D. richardsoni a more northern glacial distribution than previously thought. This study provides significant insights into the population dynamics of a small mammal at a large geographical scale and reveals a rather complex

  19. Geographic and temporal trends in proboscidean and human radiocarbon histories during the late Pleistocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugan, Andrew; Byers, David

    2007-12-01

    The causes of large animal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene remain a hotly debated topic focused primarily on the effects of human over hunting and climate change. Here we examine multiple, large radiocarbon data sets for humans and extinct proboscideans and explore how variation in their temporal and geographic distributions were related prior to proboscidean extinction. These data include 4532 archaeological determinations from Europe and Siberia and 1177 mammoth and mastodont determinations from Europe, Siberia, and North America. All span the period from 45,000 to 12,000 calendar years BP. We show that while the geographic ranges of dated human occupations and proboscidean remains overlap across the terminal Pleistocene of the Old World, the two groups remain largely segregated and increases in the frequency of human occupations do not coincide with declines in proboscidean remains. Prior to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ca 21,000 years BP), archaeological 14C determinations increase slightly in frequency worldwide while the frequency of dated proboscidean remains varies depending on taxon and location. After the LGM, both sympatric and allopatric groups of humans and proboscideans increase sharply as climatic conditions ameliorate. Post-LGM radiocarbon frequencies among proboscideans peak at different times, also depending upon taxon and location. Woolly mammoths in Beringia reach a maximum and then decline beginning between 16,000 and 15,500 years BP, woolly mammoths in Europe and Siberia ca 14,500 and 13,500 BP, and Columbian mammoth and American mastodont only after 13,000 BP. Declines among woolly mammoths appear to coincide with the restructuring of biotic communities following the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.

  20. Phylogeography of the Alcippe morrisonia (Aves: Timaliidae: long population history beyond late Pleistocene glaciations

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    Li Shouhsien

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The role of Pleistocene glacial oscillations in current biodiversity and distribution patterns varies with latitude, physical topology and population life history and has long been a topic of discussion. However, there had been little phylogeographical research in south China, where the geophysical complexity is associated with great biodiversity. A bird endemic in Southeast Asia, the Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Alcippe morrisonia, has been reported to show deep genetic divergences among its seven subspecies. In the present study, we investigated the phylogeography of A. morrisonia to explore its population structure and evolutionary history, in order to gain insight into the effect of geological events on the speciation and diversity of birds endemic in south China. Results Mitochondrial genes cytochrome b (Cytb and cytochrome c oxidase I (COI were represented by 1236 nucleotide sites from 151 individuals from 29 localities. Phylogenetic analysis showed seven monophyletic clades congruent with the geographically separated groups, which were identified as major sources of molecular variance (90.92% by AMOVA. TCS analysis revealed four disconnected networks, and that no haplotype was shared among the geographical groups. The common ancestor of these populations was dated to 11.6 Mya and several divergence events were estimated along the population evolutionary history. Isolation by distance was inferred by NCPA to be responsible for the current intra-population genetic pattern and gene flow among geographical groups was interrupted. A late Pleistocene demographic expansion was detected in the eastern geographical groups, while the expansion time (0.2–0.4 Mya was earlier than the Last Glacial Maximum. Conclusion It is proposed that the complicated topology preserves high genetic diversity and ancient lineages for geographical groups of A. morrisonia in China mainland and its two major islands, and restricts gene exchange during

  1. The late Pleistocene glacial sequence in the middle Maruia valley, southeast Nelson, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mabin, M.C.G.

    1983-01-01

    Glacial and fluvioglacial landforms and deposits preserved in the middle reaches of the Maruia valley, southeast Nelson, New Zealand, record the activity of the Maruia glacier during the late Pleistocene Otira Glaciation. Five advances are recognised, from oldest to youngest: Creighton 1, 2, 3, and the Reid Stream 1, 2 advances. There was an interstadial interval between the Creighton 3 and Reid Stream 1 advances. The Reid Stream 1 advance occurred shortly after 14 800 years B.P. (NZ536, old T/sub 0.5/). (auths)

  2. New findings of Pleistocene fossil turtles (Geoemydidae, Kinosternidae and Chelydridae from Santa Elena Province, Ecuador

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    Edwin A. Cadena

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available New Pleistocene fossilized turtle remains from five localities of western Ecuador (Santa Elena Province are described here. All these shell (carapace and plastron fossil remains come from the Tablazo Formation and belong to three different lineages of cryptodires (“hidden-necked” turtles. The most abundant remains belong to geoemydids, attributed here to the genus Rhinoclemmys (indeterminate species. Less abundant in occurrence are the kinosternidids, attributed to Kinosternon (indeterminate species, and the first fossil record of chelydrids, Chelydra(indeterminate species, in the entirety of Central and South America.

  3. Constraining Middle Pleistocene Glaciations in Birmingham, England; Using Optical Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) Dating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, S. M.; Gibbard, P. L.; Bateman, M. D.; Boreham, S.

    2014-12-01

    Birmingham is built on a complex sequence of Middle Pleistocene sediments, representing at least three lowland glaciations (MIS12, MIS6, and MIS2). British Geological Survey mapping accounts 75% of the land mass as Quaternary deposits; predominantly glacial-sandy tills, glacial-fluvial sands, clays and organic silts and peats. Understanding the age of fluvial-glacial outwash, related to specific glaciations, is critical in establishing a Geochronology of Birmingham. Shotton (1953) found a series of Middle Pleistocene glacial sediments, termed the Wolstonian, intermediate in age between MIS11 and MIS5e Interglacial's. Uncertainty surrounding the relation to East Anglian sequences developed by Rose (1987) implies Birmingham sequences should be referred to MIS12. Despite this, younger Middle Pleistocene glacial sequences occur in Birmingham, yet uncertainty has deepened over our understanding of the complex, inaccessible sediments, especially as deposits have similar extent with MIS2 sequences. Five Optical Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dates from three sites around Birmingham have been sampled. East of Birmingham, ice advanced from the Irish Sea and later the North East. In Wolston, a sample of outwash sand, associated with the Thurssington Till, is dated. In Meriden, two samples of outwash sands, associated with a distal Oadby Till, are dated. West of Birmingham, ice advanced from the Welsh Ice Sheet. In Seisdon, two samples of an Esker and outwash sand, associated with a Ridgeacre Till, are dated. Correlation of OSL dates provide an important constraint on understanding the history of Birmingham. Using GSI3D modeling to correlate geochronology and sedimentology, the significance of OSL dating can be understood within the complex sequences (and regional stratigraphy), complimented by Cosmogenic and Palynology dates taken in South West and North East. OSL dating on Birmingham's outwash sands, deposited by extensive repeated Middle Pleistocene glaciations, asserts the

  4. Erosion by pleistocene continental ice sheets in the area of the Canadian Shield

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rutter, N.W.

    The principles, theory and knowledge on the behaviour of glaciers indicate that only confined glacier flow is a major erosional agent. Unconfined, areally flowing ice sheets such as those present over the Canadian Shield during the Pleistocene Period modified the landscape very little. The potential for deep glacial erosion in future glaciations over the Canadian Shield area is low. Nuclear waste disposal sites, based only upon potential glacial erosion, should be located a few hundred meters below the surface in competent, fractureless crystalline shield bedrock, in relatively reliefless terrain, a few hundred kilometers away from the Paleozoic boundary. (auth)

  5. U-series component dating for late pleistocene basalt Longgang, Jilin province

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Fusheng; Yuan Wanming; Han Song

    2003-01-01

    Longgang volcanic swarm belongs to one of volcanic areas which have been active since modern times. In view of multiple eruptions during histories, it is very important to determine age of every eruption for evaluating volcanic hazards. The alkaline basalt samples taken from Dayizishan and diaoshuihu are analyzed by U-series component method, after magnetic separation. The ages of the two samples are (71 ± 9) ka, (106 ± 13) ka before presence, respectively. These data indicate that there exist intensively eruptive activities during late Pleistocene

  6. Radiometric dating of the extinction of the large Pleistocene fauna in Peru

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Falgueres, C.; Fontugne, M.

    1994-01-01

    The discovery in northern Peru of fossil deposits belonging to large mammals allows the dating of the extinction of this fauna. The method based on disequilibrium within the uranium family ( 230 Th/ 234 U) was used. The extinction occurred at the end of the Pleistocene and is contemporaneous with the beginning of the deglaciation. Moreover, this dating, compared with results of excavations of palaeo-indian ''Paijan'' sites, indicates that human groups in Peru did not play a significant role in extinction of this large fauna. (authors). 26 refs., 1 tab

  7. A new fossil peccary from the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary of the eastern Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinnesbeck, Sarah R.; Frey, Eberhard; Stinnesbeck, Wolfgang; Avíles Olguín, Jeronimo; Zell, Patrick; Terrazas Mata, Alejandro; Benavente Sanvicente, Martha; González González, Arturo; Rojas Sandoval, Carmen; Acevez Nuñez, Eugenio

    2017-08-01

    Here we describe the left mandibular ramus of a fossil peccary from the submerged karst cave system in the southeastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The specimen, which was discovered in the Muknal cave northwest of Tulúm, is a new genus and species of peccary termed Muknalia minima. The taxon likely dates from the latest Pleistocene and differs significantly from all extant peccaries and their Pleistocene relatives by a concave notch at the caudal edge of the mandibular ramus and prominent ventrally directed angular process. These diagnostic osteological differences suggest that the masticatory apparatus differed from all other peccaries, which may hint to an ecological isolation on the late Pleistocene Yucatán Peninsula.

  8. Assessment of Brown Bear\\'s (Ursus arctos syriacus Winter Habitat Using Geographically Weighted Regression and Generalized Linear Model in South of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Zarei

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Winter dens are one of the important components of brown bear's (Ursus arctos syriacus habitat, affecting their reproduction and survival. Therefore identification of factors affecting the habitat selection and suitable denning areas in the conservation of our largest carnivore is necessary. We used Geographically Weighted Logistic Regression (GWLR and Generalized Linear Model (GLM for modeling suitability of denning habitat in Kouhkhom region in Fars province. In the present research, 20 dens (presence locations and 20 caves where signs of bear were not found (absence locations were used as dependent variables and six environmental factors were used for each location as independent variables. The results of GLM showed that variables of distance to settlements, altitude, and distance to water were the most important parameters affecting suitability of the brown bear's denning habitat. The results of GWLR showed the significant local variations in the relationship between occurrence of brown bear dens and the variable of distance to settlements. Based on the results of both models, suitable habitats for denning of the species are impassable areas in the mountains and inaccessible for humans.

  9. A Double-Blinded, Randomized Comparison of Medetomidine-Tiletamine-Zolazepam and Dexmedetomidine-Tiletamine-Zolazepam Anesthesia in Free-Ranging Brown Bears (Ursus Arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fandos Esteruelas, Núria; Cattet, Marc; Zedrosser, Andreas; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Küker, Susanne; Evans, Alina L; Arnemo, Jon M

    2017-01-01

    We compared anesthetic features, blood parameters, and physiological responses to either medetomidine-tiletamine-zolazepam or dexmedetomidine-tiletamine-zolazepam using a double-blinded, randomized experimental design during 40 anesthetic events of free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) either captured by helicopter in Sweden or by culvert trap in Canada. Induction was smooth and predictable with both anesthetic protocols. Induction time, the need for supplemental drugs to sustain anesthesia, and capture-related stress were analyzed using generalized linear models, but anesthetic protocol did not differentially affect these variables. Arterial blood gases and acid-base status, and physiological responses were examined using linear mixed models. We documented acidemia (pH of arterial blood bears could not be attributed to the anesthetic protocol. Heart rate increased with increasing rectal temperature (p bears captured by helicopter in Sweden than in bears captured by culvert trap in Canada (p bears. Both drug combinations appeared to be safe and reliable for the anesthesia of free-ranging brown bears captured by helicopter or by culvert trap.

  10. Spatial and temporal variation in size of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) sexual organs and its use in pollution and climate change studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Born, Erik W; Riget, Frank F; Leifsson, Pall S; Bechshøft, Thea Ø; Kirkegaard, Maja

    2007-11-15

    Sexual organs and their development are susceptible to atmospheric transported environmental xenoendocrine pollutants and climate change (food availability). We therefore investigated sexual organs from 55 male and 44 female East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to obtain information about growth/size and sexual maturity. Then, the genitalia size was compared with those previously reported from Canadian and Svalbard polar bears. Growth models showed that East Greenland male polar bears reached sexual maturity around 7 years of age and females around 4 years of age. When comparing East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears, the size of baculum and uterus were significantly lower in the East Greenland polar bears (ANOVA: all p polar bears, a similar baculum pattern was found for East Greenland vs. Canadian polar bears. It is speculated whether this could be a result of the general high variation in polar bear body size, temporal distribution patterns of anthropogenic long-range transported persistent organic pollutants or climate change (decreasing food availability). The present investigation represents conservation and background data for future spatial and temporal assessments of hunting, pollution and climate change scenarios.

  11. Molecular phylogeny and SNP variation of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), brown bears (U. arctos), and black bears (U. americanus) derived from genome sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Matthew A; Rincon, Gonzalo; Meredith, Robert W; MacNeil, Michael D; Islas-Trejo, Alma; Cánovas, Angela; Medrano, Juan F

    2014-01-01

    We assessed the relationships of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), brown bears (U. arctos), and black bears (U. americanus) with high throughput genomic sequencing data with an average coverage of 25× for each species. A total of 1.4 billion 100-bp paired-end reads were assembled using the polar bear and annotated giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) genome sequences as references. We identified 13.8 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the 3 species aligned to the polar bear genome. These data indicate that polar bears and brown bears share more SNP with each other than either does with black bears. Concatenation and coalescence-based analysis of consensus sequences of approximately 1 million base pairs of ultraconserved elements in the nuclear genome resulted in a phylogeny with black bears as the sister group to brown and polar bears, and all brown bears are in a separate clade from polar bears. Genotypes for 162 SNP loci of 336 bears from Alaska and Montana showed that the species are genetically differentiated and there is geographic population structure of brown and black bears but not polar bears.

  12. An immunohistochemical study of retinol-binding protein (RBP) in livers of free-living polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from east Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heier, Annabelle; Sonne, Christian; Gröne, Andrea; Leifsson, Pall S; Dietz, Rune; Born, Erik W; Bacciarini, Luca N

    2005-09-01

    From 1999 to 2002 samples from 114 free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were collected in the municipality of Scoresby Sound, East Greenland, to detect levels of organochlorines and potential histopathologic changes. Livers of 16 female polar bears from this group were evaluated histologically and analyzed for hepatic retinol-binding protein by immunohistochemistry. Retinol-binding protein is the main transport protein for retinol, an important vitamin A metabolite in the polar bear. Only mild pathologic changes were noted on histologic evaluation of the livers. Small lymphocytic or lymphohistiocytic infiltrates were present in all the livers. Small lipid granulomas, mild periportal fibrosis, and bile duct proliferation were found in several cases. Immunohistochemistry for retinol-binding protein of hepatic tissue from free-ranging polar bears showed no distinct difference in staining intensity by a number of criteria: age, season (fasting and nonfasting), or lactation status. The staining was diffuse to finely stippled in the cytoplasm and showed very little variation among the animals. Because of the lack of macroscopic changes and the absence of severe histologic liver lesions, these polar bears were assumed to be healthy. The diffuse cytoplasmic retinol-binding protein staining in hepatocytes of free-ranging polar bears varies markedly from the prominent granular, less intense staining of captive polar bears investigated previously.

  13. In vitro assay shows that PCB metabolites completely saturate thyroid hormone transport capacity in blood of wild polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutleb, Arno C; Cenijn, Peter; Velzen, Martin van; Lie, Elisabeth; Ropstad, Erik; Skaare, Janneche Utne; Malmberg, Tina; Bergman, Ake; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Legler, Juliette

    2010-04-15

    Persistent chemicals accumulate in the arctic environment due to their chemical reactivity and physicochemical properties and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are the most concentrated pollutant class in polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Metabolism of PCB and polybrominated biphenyl ether (PBDE) flame-retardants alter their toxicological properties and these metabolites are known to interfere with the binding of thyroid hormone (TH) to transthyretin (TTR) in rodents and humans. In polar bear plasma samples no binding of [125I]-T(4) to TTR was observed after incubation and PAGE separation. Incubation of the plasma samples with [14C]-4-OH-CB107, a compound with a higher binding affinity to TTR than the endogenous ligand T(4) resulted in competitive binding as proven by the appearance of a radio labeled TTR peak in the gel. Plasma incubation with T(4) up to 1 mM, a concentration that is not physiologically relevant anymore did not result in any visible competition. These results give evidence that the binding sites on TTR for T(4) in wild living polar bears are completely saturated. Such saturation of binding sites can explain observed lowered levels of THs and could lead to contaminant transport into the developing fetus.

  14. Application of large-scale parentage analysis for investigating natal dispersal in highly vagile vertebrates: a case study of American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jennifer A; Draheim, Hope M; Etter, Dwayne; Winterstein, Scott; Scribner, Kim T

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the factors that affect dispersal is a fundamental question in ecology and conservation biology, particularly as populations are faced with increasing anthropogenic impacts. Here we collected georeferenced genetic samples (n = 2,540) from three generations of black bears (Ursus americanus) harvested in a large (47,739 km2), geographically isolated population and used parentage analysis to identify mother-offspring dyads (n = 337). We quantified the effects of sex, age, habitat type and suitability, and local harvest density at the natal and settlement sites on the probability of natal dispersal, and on dispersal distances. Dispersal was male-biased (76% of males dispersed) but a small proportion (21%) of females also dispersed, and female dispersal distances (mean ± SE  =  48.9±7.7 km) were comparable to male dispersal distances (59.0±3.2 km). Dispersal probabilities and dispersal distances were greatest for bears in areas with high habitat suitability and low harvest density. The inverse relationship between dispersal and harvest density in black bears suggests that 1) intensive harvest promotes restricted dispersal, or 2) high black bear population density decreases the propensity to disperse. Multigenerational genetic data collected over large landscape scales can be a powerful means of characterizing dispersal patterns and causal associations with demographic and landscape features in wild populations of elusive and wide-ranging species.

  15. Application of large-scale parentage analysis for investigating natal dispersal in highly vagile vertebrates: a case study of American black bears (Ursus americanus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A Moore

    Full Text Available Understanding the factors that affect dispersal is a fundamental question in ecology and conservation biology, particularly as populations are faced with increasing anthropogenic impacts. Here we collected georeferenced genetic samples (n = 2,540 from three generations of black bears (Ursus americanus harvested in a large (47,739 km2, geographically isolated population and used parentage analysis to identify mother-offspring dyads (n = 337. We quantified the effects of sex, age, habitat type and suitability, and local harvest density at the natal and settlement sites on the probability of natal dispersal, and on dispersal distances. Dispersal was male-biased (76% of males dispersed but a small proportion (21% of females also dispersed, and female dispersal distances (mean ± SE  =  48.9±7.7 km were comparable to male dispersal distances (59.0±3.2 km. Dispersal probabilities and dispersal distances were greatest for bears in areas with high habitat suitability and low harvest density. The inverse relationship between dispersal and harvest density in black bears suggests that 1 intensive harvest promotes restricted dispersal, or 2 high black bear population density decreases the propensity to disperse. Multigenerational genetic data collected over large landscape scales can be a powerful means of characterizing dispersal patterns and causal associations with demographic and landscape features in wild populations of elusive and wide-ranging species.

  16. Changes in blood glucose and insulin responses to intravenous glucose tolerance tests and blood biochemical values in adult female Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamine, Akari; Shimozuru, Michito; Shibata, Haruki; Tsubota, Toshio

    2012-02-01

    The metabolic mechanisms to circannual changes in body mass of bears have yet to be elucidated. We hypothesized that the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) has a metabolic mechanism that efficiently converts carbohydrates into body fat by altering insulin sensitivity during the hyperphagic stage before hibernation. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the changes in blood biochemical values and glucose and insulin responses to intravenous glucose tolerance tests (IVGTT) during the active season (August, early and late November). Four, adult, female bears (5-17 years old) were anesthetized with 6 mg/kg TZ (tiletamine HCl and zolazepam HCl) in combination with 0.1 mg/kg acepromazine maleate. The bears were injected intravenously with glucose (0.5 g/kg of body mass), and blood samples were obtained before, at, and intermittently after glucose injection. The basal triglycerides concentration decreased significantly with increase in body mass from August to November. Basal levels of plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations were not significantly different among groups. The results of IVGTT demonstrated the increased peripheral insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in early November. In contrast, peripheral insulin resistance was indicated by the exaggerated insulin response in late November. Our findings suggest that bears shift their glucose and lipid metabolism from the stage of normal activity to the hyperphagic stage in which they show lipogenic-predominant metabolism and accelerate glucose uptake by increasing the peripheral insulin sensitivity.

  17. Changes in expression of hepatic genes involved in energy metabolism during hibernation in captive, adult, female Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimozuru, Michito; Kamine, Akari; Tsubota, Toshio

    2012-10-01

    Hibernating bears survive up to 6 months without feeding by utilizing stored body fat as fuel. To investigate how bears maintain energy homeostasis during hibernation, we analyzed changes in mRNA expression of hepatic genes involved in energy metabolism throughout the hibernation period in captive, adult, female Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus). Real-time PCR analysis revealed down-regulation of glycolysis- (e.g., glucokinase), amino acid catabolism- (e.g., alanine aminotransferase) and de novo lipogenesis-related genes (e.g., acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1), and up-regulation of gluconeogensis- (e.g., pyruvate carboxylase), β-oxidation- (i.e., uncoupling protein 2) and ketogenesis-related genes (i.e., 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutary-CoA synthase 2), during hibernation, compared to the active period (June). In addition, we found that glycolysis-related genes (i.e., glucokinase and pyruvate kinase) were more suppressed in the early phase of hibernation (January) compared to the late phase (March). One week after the commencement of feeding in April, expression levels of most genes returned to levels comparable to those seen in June, but β-oxidation-related genes were still up-regulated during this period. These results suggest that the modulation of gene expression is not static, but changes throughout the hibernation period. The transcriptional modulation during hibernation represents a unique physiological adaptation to prolonged fasting in bears. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Change in body weight of mothers and neonates and in milk composition during denning period in captive Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iibuchi, Ruriko; Nakano, Noriko; Nakamura, Tadashi; Urashima, Tadasu; Shimozuru, Michito; Murase, Tetsuma; Tsubota, Toshio

    2009-05-01

    Japanese black bears, Ursus thibetanus japonicus, have been classified as a vulnerable species so that data on reproduction are needed to maintain and/or extend their population. They are known to have a peculiar style of reproduction, giving birth to their neonates and raising them during denning, a period of complete fasting. In this study, we investigated the metabolic rate and milk composition of mother bears raising neonates, and the changes in body weight of the neonates under captive conditions. Seven female bears kept in dens were weighed once a month, and the amount of energy they used was calculated. From birth, cubs were also weighed and their growth rate was determined. In addition, the milk composition was analyzed to investigate its characteristics. As a result, it was found that mother bears used 34% more energy than did solitary females. There was no significant difference in the energy used for nursing whether they had single or twin cubs. On the other hand, the body weight gain of single cubs was significantly higher than that of twin cubs, suggesting that the growth of the cubs was highly affected by the suppression of mother's energy consumption during the fasting period. The milk had high fat and low sugar concentrations. This indicates that mother bears used the fat accumulated prior to denning for their main energy source when raising cubs. Considering all results together, Japanese black bears showed remarkable efficiency in the use of energy for reproduction during the fasting period.

  19. Trace and macro elements in the femoral bone as indicators of long-term environmental exposure to toxic metals in European brown bear (Ursus arctos) from Croatia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazarus, Maja; Orct, Tatjana; Reljić, Slaven; Sedak, Marija; Bilandžić, Nina; Jurasović, Jasna; Huber, Đuro

    2018-05-21

    We explored the long-term accumulation of aluminium, strontium, cadmium and lead in the compact and trabecular bone of the femoral epiphysis, metaphysis and diaphysis in 41 brown bears (Ursus arctos) from Croatia. Also, we assessed their influence on macro and trace elements (sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, cobalt, copper, zinc and barium) in bears' bone. There were no sex differences in element levels in general, while age was associated with bone length and levels of all elements, except for cadmium. Elements had different levels depending on the part of the bone sampled. More pronounced differences were observed between the compact and trabecular regions, with higher levels of majority of elements found in compact bone. Moderate to high associations (Spearman coefficient, r S  = 0.59-0.97) were confirmed between calcium and potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, cobalt, zinc, strontium and lead. Lead levels in the bone were below those known to cause adverse health effects, but in 4 of 41 animals they exceeded baseline levels for domestic animals. The femoral bone of the brown bear reflected the accumulative nature of lead and strontium well, as it did the impairment of bone-forming essential element levels associated with these two elements. However, the distribution pattern of elements along the bone was not uniform, so additional care should be taken when choosing on the part of the bone sampled.

  20. Pronounced expression of the lipolytic inhibitor G0/G1 Switch Gene 2 (G0S2) in adipose tissue from brown bears (Ursus arctos) prior to hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessen, Niels; Nielsen, Thomas S; Vendelbo, Mikkel H; Viggers, Rikke; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Evans, Alina; Frøbert, Ole

    2016-04-01

    Prior to hibernation, the brown bear (Ursus arctos) exhibits unparalleled weight gain. Unlike humans, weight gain in bears is associated with lower levels of circulating free fatty acids (FFA) and increased insulin sensitivity. Understanding how free-ranging brown bears suppress lipolysis when gaining weight may therefore provide novel insight toward the development of human therapies. Blood and subcutaneous adipose tissue were collected from immobilized free-ranging brown bears (fitted with GPS-collars) during hibernation in winter and from the same bears during the active period in summer in Dalarna, Sweden. The expression of lipid droplet-associated proteins in adipose tissue was examined under the hypothesis that bears suppress lipolysis during summer while gaining weight by increased expression of negative regulators of lipolysis. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) expression did not differ between seasons, but in contrast, the expression of ATGL coactivator Comparative gene identification-58 (CGI-58) was lower in summer. In addition, the expression of the negative regulators of lipolysis, G0S2 and cell-death inducing DNA fragmentation factor-a-like effector (CIDE)C markedly increased during summer. Free-ranging brown bears display potent upregulation of inhibitors of lipolysis in adipose tissue during summer. This is a potential mechanism for increased insulin sensitivity during weight gain and G0S2 may serve as a target to modulate insulin sensitivity. © 2016 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.

  1. Estimating the success rate of ovulation and early litter loss rate in the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) by examining the ovaries and uteri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Atsushi; Yamauchi, Kiyoshi; Tsujimoto, Tsunenori; Mizoguchi, Toshio; Oi, Toru; Sawada, Seigo; Shimozuru, Michito; Tsubota, Toshio

    2011-02-01

    In order to develop a method for estimating the success/failure rates of reproductive processes, especially those of ovulation and neonate nurturing, in the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus), we examined offspring status, corpora lutea (CLs), placental scars (PSs) and corpora albicantia (CAs) in 159 females (0-23 years old) killed as nuisances on Honshu Island of Japan during 2001-2009. PSs were found to remain in the uterus at least until November of the year of parturition. CA detectability began to decline after September of the year of parturition. Monthly and age-specific proportions of CL-present females revealed that the post-mating season starts in August, and that the age of first ovulation is 4 years. These results indicate that the success rate of ovulation (SRO: the probability that solitary/non-lactating mature females actually succeed in ovulation) can be estimated by calculating the proportion of CL-present females among > or = 4-year-old females without PSs captured from August to November; the early litter loss rate (ELLR: the probability that parenting females lose all of their cubs [0-year-old offspring] before mating season) can be estimated by calculating the proportion of CL-present females among those with PSs and CAs captured in August or later. The estimated values of SRO and ELLR were 0.93 (62/67) and 0.27 (6/22), respectively.

  2. Molecular evidence of the multiple genotype infection of a wild Hokkaido brown bear (Ursus arctos yesoensis) by Babesia sp. UR1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jinnai, Michio; Kawabuchi-Kurata, Takako; Tsuji, Masayoshi; Nakajima, Rui; Hirata, Haruyuki; Fujisawa, Kohei; Shiraki, Hiromi; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko; Nasuno, Toyohiko; Ishihara, Chiaki

    2010-10-11

    A frozen-stored blood clot of a wild brown bear cub Ursus arctos yesoensis that had been captured in Hokkaido, Japan was examined for piroplasma infection using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Two 18S ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rDNA) sequences were generated. One 1565-bp sequence showed the highest similarity with B. gibsoni (95.9% identity) but, phylogenetically, was found to belong to a distinct lineage. The other sequence (1709-bp) could not be definitively assigned to a described taxon, sharing only limited homology to the closest named species (90.1% identity with C. felis). In order to enhance information obtained from the SSU rDNA sequence, further detection and sequence analysis of the CCTeta gene sequence were done revealing the simultaneous presence of three closely related genotypes (all in a monophyletic lineage) within a single bear host. This finding suggested the possibility that a new Babesia species (Babesia sp. UR1) might have been maintained in nature in wild brown bears. While the parasite's biology is yet unknown, to our knowledge, this is, excepting the single case documentation in 1910 of a hemoparasite in a bear at Russian zoo, the first reported case of piroplasms inhabiting a bear species. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Combined thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography with mass spectrometric analysis of lipid classes and fatty acids in malnourished polar bears (Ursus maritimus) which swam to Iceland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eibler, Dorothee; Krüger, Sabine; Skírnisson, Karl; Vetter, Walter

    2017-03-01

    Between 2008 and 2011, four polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Greenland population swam and/or drifted on ice to Iceland where they arrived in very poor body condition. Body fat resources in these animals were only between 0% and 10% of the body weight (usually 25%). Here we studied the lipid composition in different tissues (adipose tissue if available, liver, kidney and muscle). Lipid classes were determined by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and on-column gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The fatty acid pattern of total lipids and free fatty acids was analyzed by GC/MS in selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode. Additionally, cholesteryl esters and native fatty acid methyl esters, initially detected as zones in thin layer chromatograms, were enriched by solid phase extraction and quantified by GC/MS. The ratio of free fatty acids to native fatty acid methyl esters could be correlated with the remained body lipids in the polar bears and thus may also serve as a marker for other starving animals or even for humans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Lineage-specific late pleistocene expansion of an endemic subtropical gossamer-wing damselfly, Euphaea formosa, in Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Jen-Pan

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pleistocene glacial oscillations have significantly affected the historical population dynamics of temperate taxa. However, the general effects of recent climatic changes on the evolutionary history and genetic structure of extant subtropical species remain poorly understood. In the present study, phylogeographic and historical demographic analyses based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences were used. The aim was to investigate whether Pleistocene climatic cycles, paleo-drainages or mountain vicariance of Taiwan shaped the evolutionary diversification of a subtropical gossamer-wing damselfly, Euphaea formosa. Results E. formosa populations originated in the middle Pleistocene period (0.3 Mya and consisted of two evolutionarily independent lineages. It is likely that they derived from the Pleistocene paleo-drainages of northern and southern Minjiang, or alternatively by divergence within Taiwan. The ancestral North-central lineage colonized northwestern Taiwan first and maintained a slowly growing population throughout much of the early to middle Pleistocene period. The ancestral widespread lineage reached central-southern Taiwan and experienced a spatial and demographic expansion into eastern Taiwan. This expansion began approximately 30,000 years ago in the Holocene interglacial period. The ancestral southern expansion into eastern Taiwan indicates that the central mountain range (CMR formed a barrier to east-west expansion. However, E. formosa populations in the three major biogeographic regions (East, South, and North-Central exhibit no significant genetic partitions, suggesting that river drainages and mountains did not form strong geographical barriers against gene flow among extant populations. Conclusions The present study implies that the antiquity of E. formosa's colonization is associated with its high dispersal ability and larval tolerance to the late Pleistocene dry grasslands. The effect of late Pleistocene

  5. Earthquake-induced soft-sediment deformation structures in Late Pleistocene lacustrine deposits of Issyk-Kul lake (Kyrgyzstan)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gladkov, A. S.; Lobova, E. U.; Deev, E. V.; Korzhenkov, A. M.; Mazeika, J. V.; Abdieva, S. V.; Rogozhin, E. A.; Rodkin, M. V.; Fortuna, A. B.; Charimov, T. A.; Yudakhin, A. S.

    2016-10-01

    This paper discusses the composition and distribution of soft-sediment deformation structures induced by liquefaction in Late Pleistocene lacustrine terrace deposits on the southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake in the northern Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan. The section contains seven deformed beds grouped in two intervals. Five deformed beds in the upper interval contain load structures (load casts and flame structures), convolute lamination, ball-and-pillow structures, folds and slumps. Deformation patterns indicate that a seismic trigger generated a multiple slump on a gentle slope. The dating of overlying subaerial deposits suggests correlation between the deformation features and strong earthquakes in the Late Pleistocene.

  6. The late Pleistocene environment of the Eastern West Beringia based on the principal section at the Main River, Chukotka

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuzmina, Svetlana A.; Sher, Andrei V.; Edwards, Mary E.

    2011-01-01

    Chukotka is a key region for understanding both Quaternary environmental history and transcontinental migrations of flora and fauna during the Pleistocene as it lies at the far eastern edge of Asia bordering the Bering Sea. The now submerged land bridge is the least understood region of Beringia...... yet the most critical to understanding migrations between the Old and New Worlds. The insect fauna of the Main River Ledovy Obryv (Ice Bluff) section, which is late Pleistocene in age (MIS 3-2), is markedly different from coeval faunas of areas further to the west, as it is characterized by very few...

  7. The diversity and biogeography of late Pleistocene birds from the lowland Neotropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steadman, David W.; Oswald, Jessica A.; Rincón, Ascanio D.

    2015-05-01

    The Neotropical lowlands sustain the world's richest bird communities, yet little that we know about their history is based on paleontology. Fossils afford a way to investigate distributional shifts in individual species, and thus improve our understanding of long-term change in Neotropical bird communities. We report a species-rich avian fossil sample from a late Pleistocene tar seep (Mene de Inciarte) in northwestern Venezuela. A mere 175 identified fossils from Mene de Inciarte represent 73 species of birds, among which six are extinct, and eight others no longer occur within 100 km. These 14 species consist mainly of ducks (Anatidae), snipe (Scolopacidae), vultures/condors (Vulturidae), hawks/eagles (Accipitridae), and blackbirds (Icteridae). Neotropical bird communities were richer in the late Pleistocene than today; their considerable extinction may be related to collapse of the large mammal fauna at that time. The species assemblage at Mene de Inciarte suggests that biogeographic patterns, even at continental scales, have been remarkably labile over short geological time frames. Mene de Inciarte is but one of 300 + tar seeps in Venezuela, only two of which have been explored for fossils. We may be on the cusp of an exciting new era of avian paleontology in the Neotropics.

  8. Fossil woods of Detarioideae subfamily (Fabaceae) from El Palmar Formation (Late Pleistocene) in South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, R. Soledad; Brea, Mariana; Kröhling, Daniela M.

    2017-11-01

    The main aim of the present paper is to describe the first Detarioideae fossil woods from El Palmar Formation (Late Pleistocene) in the Uruguay River Basin (Entre Ríos, Argentina). This study is based on five silicified wood specimens preserved in fluvial deposits, which were transported from their growth site. Two new genera and species are described: Paraoxystigma concordiensis gen. nov and sp. nov. has medium-sized vessels, paratracheal axial parenchyma, heterocellular and multiseriate rays, and diffuse axial canals similar in size and shape to vessels, and Gossweilerodendroxylon palmariensis gen. nov and sp. nov. has medium-sized vessels, alternate intervessel pits, paratracheal and apotracheal axial parenchyma, homocellular and uni to-multiseriate rays, and small diffuse axial canals. These Detarioideae fossil records in south-eastern South America support the existence of a very old relationship with the extant West African forests. Eco-anatomical features observed in these fossil woods, along with the climatic information available from the Nearest Living Relatives (NLRs) comparison, suggest warm and humid climatic conditions for the upper-middle basin of the Uruguay River during some periods of the Late Pleistocene.

  9. Plio-Pleistocene climate sensitivity evaluated using high-resolution CO2 records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Botí, M. A.; Foster, G. L.; Chalk, T. B.; Rohling, E. J.; Sexton, P. F.; Lunt, D. J.; Pancost, R. D.; Badger, M. P. S.; Schmidt, D. N.

    2015-02-01

    Theory and climate modelling suggest that the sensitivity of Earth's climate to changes in radiative forcing could depend on the background climate. However, palaeoclimate data have thus far been insufficient to provide a conclusive test of this prediction. Here we present atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) reconstructions based on multi-site boron-isotope records from the late Pliocene epoch (3.3 to 2.3 million years ago). We find that Earth's climate sensitivity to CO2-based radiative forcing (Earth system sensitivity) was half as strong during the warm Pliocene as during the cold late Pleistocene epoch (0.8 to 0.01 million years ago). We attribute this difference to the radiative impacts of continental ice-volume changes (the ice-albedo feedback) during the late Pleistocene, because equilibrium climate sensitivity is identical for the two intervals when we account for such impacts using sea-level reconstructions. We conclude that, on a global scale, no unexpected climate feedbacks operated during the warm Pliocene, and that predictions of equilibrium climate sensitivity (excluding long-term ice-albedo feedbacks) for our Pliocene-like future (with CO2 levels up to maximum Pliocene levels of 450 parts per million) are well described by the currently accepted range of an increase of 1.5 K to 4.5 K per doubling of CO2.

  10. Bovids as indicators of Plio-Pleistocene paleoenvironments in east Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kappelman, J; Plummer, T; Bishop, L; Duncan, A; Appleton, S

    1997-01-01

    Reconstructions of the paleoenvironments of early hominids offer a framework for understanding hominid ecological and behavioral adaptations. Habitat reconstructions typically rely upon various biological or physical habitat indicators, and here we present reconstructions of the Plio-Pleistocene paleohabitats of Koobi Fora and Olduvai Gorge as based on fossil bovids (Artiodactyla: Bovidae). Bovids are the most common faunal element at most Neogene hominid and hominoid fossil localities and have been widely studied. This study addresses the functional morphology of the bovid femur through discriminant function analysis and provides additional support for the observation that certain features of the femur demonstrate clear correlations with the amount of vegetative cover in different modern habitats. The reconstructions for both Koobi Fora and Olduvai Gorge suggest that the full range of environments inhabited by living bovids was present during the Plio-Pleistocene. Koobi Fora appears to have had a somewhat higher percentage of more closed habitats than the relatively more open habitats of Olduvai Gorge. These habitat reconstructions are in broad agreement with other reconstructions based on a purely taxonomic approach to the bovid remains. Grounding our reconstructions of paleoenvironments in studies of functional morphology can help to develop a richer idea of the habitats and resources available to early hominids.

  11. Late Pleistocene ecological, environmental and climatic reconstruction based on megafauna stable isotopes from northwestern Chilean Patagonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Guarda, Erwin; Domingo, Laura; Tornero, Carlos; Pino, Mario; Hernández Fernández, Manuel; Sevilla, Paloma; Villavicencio, Natalia; Agustí, Jordi

    2017-08-01

    Stable isotope analyses have been performed on the bioapatite (δ13C; δ18O) and collagen (δ13C; δ15N) of four late Pleistocene South American megafaunal taxa (Notiomastodon platensis, Equus andium, cf. Hemiauchenia paradoxa and Xenarthra indet.) to evaluate paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental conditions as well as paleoecological features of this time period. The analyzed megafauna was found at several locations in the northwestern Chilean Patagonia (38°-42°S, 74°-71°W). The bioapatite δ13C values indicated the presence of C3 vegetation ranging from forestal to woodland areas. The collagen δ15N values pointed to temperate and humid ecosystems, and to the consumption of shrubs, trees, grasses and sedges. Mean annual temperatures estimated from bioapatite δ18OPO4 values show a similarity to modern temperatures and suggested that the megafauna under study may have lived during warm stages (interstadials) of the late Pleistocene. When comparing our results with those obtained from other South American regions, we find that the diet of this particular Chilean megafauna appears to have been more influenced by resource availability than by the potential dietary range of the taxa.

  12. Pleistocene calcareous nannofossil biochronology at IODP Site U1385 (Expedition 339)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balestra, B.; Flores, J.-A.; Hodell, D. A.; Hernández-Molina, F. J.; Stow, D. A. V.

    2015-12-01

    During Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 339, Site U1385 (37°34‧N, 10°7‧W, 2578 m below sea level) was drilled in the lower slope of the Portuguese margin, to provide a marine reference section of Pleistocene millennial-scale climate variability. Five holes were cored using the Advanced Piston Corer (APC) to a depth of ~ 151 m below sea floor (mbsf) recovering a continuous stratigraphic record covering the past 1.4 Ma. Here we present results of the succession of standard and unconventional calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphic events. The quantitative study of calcareous nannofossils showed well-preserved and abundant assemblages throughout the core. Most conventional Pleistocene events were recognized and the timing of bioevents were calibrated using correlation to the new oxygen isotope stratigraphy record developed for the Site U1385. The analyses provide further data on the stratigraphic distribution of selected species and genera, such as the large Emiliania huxleyi (> 4 μm), Gephyrocapsa caribbeanica, Helicosphaera inversa, Gephyrocapsa omega and Reticulofenestra asanoi (> 6 μm) and other circular-subcircular small reticulofenestrids, resulting in new insights into the environmental control of their stratigraphic patterns. Finally, the comparison between nannofossil datums and oxygen isotope stratigraphy on the same samples has resulted in an accurate revision of timing of the events, providing valuable biochronologic information.

  13. Splendid oddness: revisiting the curious trophic relationships of South American Pleistocene mammals and their abundance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RICHARD A. FARIÑA

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The South American Pleistocene mammal fauna includes great-sized animals that have intrigued scientists for over two centuries. Here we intend to update the knowledge on its palaeoecology and provide new evidence regarding two approaches: energetics and population density and relative abundance of fossils per taxa. To determine whether an imbalance exists, population density models were applied to several South American fossil faunas and the results compared to those that best describe the palaeoecology of African faunas. The results on the abundance study for Uruguay and the province of Buenos Aires during the Lujanian stage/age reveal that bulk-feeding ground sloths (Lestodon and Glossotherium were more represented in the first territory, while the more selective Scelidotherium and Megatherium were more abundant in the second. Although the obtained values were corrected to avoid size-related taphonomic biases, linear regressions of abundance vs. body mass plots did not fit the expected either for first or second consumers. South American Pleistocene faunas behave differently from what models suggest they should. Changes in sea level and available area could account for these differences; the possibility of a floodplain in the area then emerged could explain seasonal changes, which would modify the calculations of energetics and abundance.

  14. Plio-Pleistocene climate sensitivity evaluated using high-resolution CO2 records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Botí, M A; Foster, G L; Chalk, T B; Rohling, E J; Sexton, P F; Lunt, D J; Pancost, R D; Badger, M P S; Schmidt, D N

    2015-02-05

    Theory and climate modelling suggest that the sensitivity of Earth's climate to changes in radiative forcing could depend on the background climate. However, palaeoclimate data have thus far been insufficient to provide a conclusive test of this prediction. Here we present atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) reconstructions based on multi-site boron-isotope records from the late Pliocene epoch (3.3 to 2.3 million years ago). We find that Earth's climate sensitivity to CO2-based radiative forcing (Earth system sensitivity) was half as strong during the warm Pliocene as during the cold late Pleistocene epoch (0.8 to 0.01 million years ago). We attribute this difference to the radiative impacts of continental ice-volume changes (the ice-albedo feedback) during the late Pleistocene, because equilibrium climate sensitivity is identical for the two intervals when we account for such impacts using sea-level reconstructions. We conclude that, on a global scale, no unexpected climate feedbacks operated during the warm Pliocene, and that predictions of equilibrium climate sensitivity (excluding long-term ice-albedo feedbacks) for our Pliocene-like future (with CO2 levels up to maximum Pliocene levels of 450 parts per million) are well described by the currently accepted range of an increase of 1.5 K to 4.5 K per doubling of CO2.

  15. Pliocene –Pleistocene geomorphological evolution of the Adriatic side of Central Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gentili Bernardino

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This work is a significant contribution to knowledge of the Quaternary and pre-Quaternary morphogenesis of a wide sector of central Italy, from the Apennine chain to the Adriatic Sea. The goal is achieved through a careful analysis and interpretation of stratigraphic and tectonic data relating to marine and continental sediments and, mostly, through the study of relict limbs of ancient landscapes (erosional surfaces shaped by prevailing planation processes. The most important scientific datum is the definition of the time span in which the modelling of the oldest morphological element (the “summit relict surface” occurred: it started during Messinian in the westernmost portion and after a significant phase during middle-late Pliocene, ended in the early Pleistocene. During the middle and late Pleistocene, the rapid tectonic uplift of the area and the climate fluctuations favoured the deepening of the hydrographic network and the genesis of three orders of fluvial terraces, thus completing the fundamental features of the landscape. The subsequent Holocene evolution reshaped the minor elements, but not the basic ones.

  16. Chemical controls on abiotic and biotic release of geogenic arsenic from Pleistocene aquifer sediments to groundwater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillispie, Elizabeth C; Andujar, Erika; Polizzotto, Matthew L

    2016-08-10

    Over 150 million people in South and Southeast Asia consume unsafe drinking water from arsenic-rich Holocene aquifers. Although use of As-free water from Pleistocene aquifers is a potential mitigation strategy, such aquifers are vulnerable to geogenic As pollution, placing millions more people at potential risk. The goal of this research was to define chemical controls on abiotic and biotic release of geogenic As to groundwater. Batch incubations of sediments with natural chemical variability from a Pleistocene aquifer in Cambodia were conducted to evaluate how interactions among arsenic, manganese and iron oxides, and dissolved and sedimentary organic carbon influenced As mobilization from sediments. The addition of labile dissolved organic carbon produced the highest concentrations of dissolved As after >7 months, as compared to sediment samples incubated with sodium azide or without added carbon, and the extent of As release was positively correlated with the percent of initial extractable Mn released from the sediments. The mode of As release was impacted by the source of DOC supplied to the sediments, with biological processes responsible for 81% to 85% of the total As release following incubations with lactate and acetate but only up to 43% to 61% of the total As release following incubations with humic and fulvic acids. Overall, cycling of key redox-active elements and organic-carbon reactivity govern the potential for geogenic As release to groundwater, and results here may be used to formulate better predictions of the arsenic pollution potential of aquifers in South and Southeast Asia.

  17. Discontinuity of human presence at Atapuerca during the early Middle Pleistocene: a matter of ecological competition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Gómez, Guillermo; Mateos, Ana; Martín-González, Jesús Angel; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Rodríguez, Jesús

    2014-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the European human settlement is older than 1.2 Ma. However, there is a fierce debate about the continuity or discontinuity of the early human settlement of Europe. In particular, evidence of human presence in the interval 0.7-0.5 Ma is scarce in comparison with evidence for the previous and later periods. Here, we present a case study in which the environmental conditions at Sierra de Atapuerca in the early Middle Pleistocene, a period without evidence of human presence, are compared with the conditions in the previous period, for which a relatively intense human occupation is documented. With this objective in mind, the available resources for a human population and the intensity of competition between secondary consumers during the two periods are compared using a mathematical model. The Gran Dolina site TD8 level, dated to 0.7-0.6 Ma, is taken as representative of the period during which Atapuerca was apparently not occupied by humans. Conditions at TD8 are compared with those of the previous period, represented by the TD6-2 level, which has yielded abundant evidence of intense human occupation. The results show that survival opportunities for a hypothetical human population were lower at TD8 than they were at TD6-2. Increased resource competition between secondary consumers arises as a possible explanation for the absence of human occupation at Atapuerca in the early Middle Pleistocene.

  18. Postcranial morphology of the middle Pleistocene humans from Sima de los Huesos, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Carretero, José-Miguel; Lorenzo, Carlos; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Pablos, Adrián; Rodríguez, Laura; García-González, Rebeca; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Quam, Rolf M; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Martínez, Ignacio; Aranburu, Arantza; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Poza-Rey, Eva; Sala, Nohemi; García, Nuria; Alcázar de Velasco, Almudena; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-09-15

    Current knowledge of the evolution of the postcranial skeleton in the genus Homo is hampered by a geographically and chronologically scattered fossil record. Here we present a complete characterization of the postcranium of the middle Pleistocene paleodeme from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) and its paleobiological implications. The SH hominins show the following: (i) wide bodies, a plesiomorphic character in the genus Homo inherited from their early hominin ancestors; (ii) statures that can be found in modern human middle-latitude populations that first appeared 1.6-1.5 Mya; and (iii) large femoral heads in some individuals, a trait that first appeared during the middle Pleistocene in Africa and Europe. The intrapopulational size variation in SH shows that the level of dimorphism was similar to modern humans (MH), but the SH hominins were less encephalized than Neandertals. SH shares many postcranial anatomical features with Neandertals. Although most of these features appear to be either plesiomorphic retentions or are of uncertain phylogenetic polarity, a few represent Neandertal apomorphies. Nevertheless, the full suite of Neandertal-derived features is not yet present in the SH population. The postcranial evidence is consistent with the hypothesis based on the cranial morphology that the SH hominins are a sister group to the later Neandertals. Comparison of the SH postcranial skeleton to other hominins suggests that the evolution of the postcranium occurred in a mosaic mode, both at a general and at a detailed level.

  19. Nuclear DNA sequences from the Middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Matthias; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; de Filippo, Cesare; Nagel, Sarah; Aximu-Petri, Ayinuer; Nickel, Birgit; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia, Ana; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald; Viola, Bence; Kelso, Janet; Prüfer, Kay; Pääbo, Svante

    2016-03-24

    A unique assemblage of 28 hominin individuals, found in Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain, has recently been dated to approximately 430,000 years ago. An interesting question is how these Middle Pleistocene hominins were related to those who lived in the Late Pleistocene epoch, in particular to Neanderthals in western Eurasia and to Denisovans, a sister group of Neanderthals so far known only from southern Siberia. While the Sima de los Huesos hominins share some derived morphological features with Neanderthals, the mitochondrial genome retrieved from one individual from Sima de los Huesos is more closely related to the mitochondrial DNA of Denisovans than to that of Neanderthals. However, since the mitochondrial DNA does not reveal the full picture of relationships among populations, we have investigated DNA preservation in several individuals found at Sima de los Huesos. Here we recover nuclear DNA sequences from two specimens, which show that the Sima de los Huesos hominins were related to Neanderthals rather than to Denisovans, indicating that the population divergence between Neanderthals and Denisovans predates 430,000 years ago. A mitochondrial DNA recovered from one of the specimens shares the previously described relationship to Denisovan mitochondrial DNAs, suggesting, among other possibilities, that the mitochondrial DNA gene pool of Neanderthals turned over later in their history.

  20. Rock art at the pleistocene/holocene boundary in Eastern South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neves, Walter A; Araujo, Astolfo G M; Bernardo, Danilo V; Kipnis, Renato; Feathers, James K

    2012-01-01

    Most investigations regarding the first americans have primarily focused on four themes: when the New World was settled by humans; where they came from; how many migrations or colonization pulses from elsewhere were involved in the process; and what kinds of subsistence patterns and material culture they developed during the first millennia of colonization. Little is known, however, about the symbolic world of the first humans who settled the New World, because artistic manifestations either as rock-art, ornaments, and portable art objects dated to the Pleistocene/Holocene transition are exceedingly rare in the Americas. Here we report a pecked anthropomorphic figure engraved in the bedrock of Lapa do Santo, an archaeological site located in Central Brazil. The horizontal projection of the radiocarbon ages obtained at the north profile suggests a minimum age of 9,370 ± 40 BP, (cal BP 10,700 to 10,500) for the petroglyph that is further supported by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dates from sediment in the same stratigraphic unit, located between two ages from 11.7 ± 0.8 ka BP to 9.9 ± 0.7 ka BP. These data allow us to suggest that the anthropomorphic figure is the oldest reliably dated figurative petroglyph ever found in the New World, indicating that cultural variability during the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary in South America was not restricted to stone tools and subsistence, but also encompassed the symbolic dimension.

  1. Implication of biomarkers signatures of the Ulleung Basin, East Sea, during the Pleistocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jiyoung; Lee, Kyung Eun; Kim, Ji-Hoon; Bahk, Jang-Jun; Yoo, Dong-Geun

    2014-05-01

    In this study, the molecular distribution of the n-alkanes, alkenone and C/N ratio and δ13C of bulk sediment were used to assess changes in organic matter (OM) source and transport which could be related with paleoclimate change. The proxy records corresponding to the Pleistocene have been obtained from the well-studied the Ulleung Basin Gas Hydrate Expedition 2 (UBGH2) site 11 in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea. The distribution of carbon preference index (CPI) of n-alkane encountered in this study confirmed the importance of terrestrial OM in the marine sediment. Alkenone has been widely applied for sea surface temperature (SST) reconstruction. The data results show that CPI values generally increase with decreasing paleo-SST. Plot of C/N ratio versus δ13C shows a predominance of marine algae origin in the study area. It may indicate that the minimum CPI in warm period is related with the contribution of probably enhanced biodegradation, while the maximum CPI value in cold period result from restrain of OM input associated with sea level lowering. It is likely that the vertical variations of the biomarkers signature reflect the shifts in sedimentary environment and transportation related with change of ocean currents and sea level during the Pleistocene period.

  2. Contributions to the Pleistocene Coral Reefs of the Red Sea Coast, Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Sorogy, A.S.

    2008-01-01

    The Pleistocene coral reefs of the Red Sea coast form discontinuous strip in three morphological units, with elevations range from 10 to 35 m above the present sea level and with maximum width of about 550 m. The morphological steps of the studied reefal units are caused by on-lap during different sea levels, by tectonics, or by erosion during transgression. Facies patterns within reefs exhibit lateral and vertical changes. The lateral development of each unit begins at the shore, covering the whole lagoonal facies and ends at the upper reef slope. These changes either reflect transitions within the depositional environment or they are related to minor/major sea level fluctuations. The vertical pattern shows a transgressive sequence in the lower (youngest) and the upper (oldest) units and a regressive one in the middle unit. Eighty-eight scleractinian species have been identified. They belong to 3 suborders, 8 families and 27 genera. The straitigraphic range of the majority of the identified species, which have been previously recorded from the recent sediments of study area is extended here to the Pleistocene age. The paleo- and -biogeographic distribution of the studied species indicated that all belong to Indo-Pacific affinity as well as Atlantic-Mediterranean for very few. (author)

  3. Holocene estuarine sediments as a source of arsenic in Pleistocene groundwater in suburbs of Hanoi, Vietnam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuroda, Keisuke; Hayashi, Takeshi; Funabiki, Ayako; Do, An Thuan; Canh, Vu Duc; Nga, Tran Thi Viet; Takizawa, Satoshi

    2017-06-01

    Groundwater pollution by arsenic is a major health threat in suburban areas of Hanoi, Vietnam. The present study evaluates the effect of the sedimentary environments of the Pleistocene and Holocene deposits, and the recharge systems, on the groundwater arsenic pollution in Hanoi suburbs distant from the Red River. At two study sites (Linh Dam and Tai Mo communes), undisturbed soil cores identified a Pleistocene confined aquifer (PCA) and Holocene unconfined aquifer (HUA) as major aquifers, and Holocene estuarine and deltaic sediments as an aquitard layer between the two aquifers. The Holocene estuarine sediments (approximately 25-40 m depth, 9.6-4.8 cal ka BP) contained notably high concentrations of arsenic and organic matter, both likely to have been accumulated by mangroves during the Holocene sea-level highstand. The pore waters in these particular sediments exhibited elevated levels of arsenic and dissolved organic carbon. Arsenic in groundwater was higher in the PCA (25-94 μg/L) than in the HUA (5.2-42 μg/L), in both the monitoring wells and neighboring household tubewells. Elevated arsenic concentration in the PCA groundwater was likely due to vertical infiltration through the arsenic-rich and organic-matter-rich overlying Holocene estuarine sediments, caused by massive groundwater abstraction from the PCA. Countermeasures to prevent arsenic pollution of the PCA groundwater may include seeking alternative water resources, reducing water consumption, and/or appropriate choice of aquifers for groundwater supply.

  4. A Pathological Late Pleistocene canid from San Sidero (Italy): implications for social- and feeding-behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iurino, Dawid Adam; Fico, Rosario; Petrucci, Mauro; Sardella, Raffaele

    2013-03-01

    Evidence of diseases on vertebrate fossil bones can provide detailed information on many aspects of extinct animals. This study focused on pathological craniodental remains (left maxilla and dentary) referred to the canid Cuon alpinus unearthed from a Late Pleistocene karst filling deposit at San Sidero (Apulia, southern Italy). These fossils show clear evidence of a chronic periodontitis that caused the animal's death. Clinical diagnosis of the disease and the timing of its development have been defined on the basis of a veterinary odontostomatology approach, in addition to radiographic and tomographic techniques. From the initiation of the infection until death, a time span of at least 6 months occurred, and three main steps have been defined: (1) the bacterial infections of the buccal cavity turning into severe periodontitis, (2) the fracture of the lower carnassial and (3) the loss of teeth due to the worsening infection that deformed and/or eroded maxillary and mandibular bones and enlarged alveoli. The analysis of the palaeopathology also provides information about the biomechanics of the bite, on the feeding behaviour and on the relationships of injured members in a pack of Late Pleistocene canids.

  5. Rodent burrows in late Pleistocene paleosols at Korean Palaeolithic sites and their implications for paleoclimate changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, H.; Park, S.; Lee, J.; Lee, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Rodent burrows are commonly found at many Paleolithic archaeological sites in Korea. They are nearly straight in horizontal view and gently inclined in lateral view. Burrow diameters are mostly 7 - 10cm, and burrow length may reach a few meters. Vertical penetration depths are generally about 1 m from the surface, and the thickness of the burrow-bearing layer is about 1-2 m. Although no remains (bones, teeth, claws, and coprolites) were found within burrows, they are interpreted to have been produced by rodent-like mammals (probably ground squirrels) based on the size and architecture. According to the previous study, the age of these burrows was constrained to be between ca. 40,000 and 25,000 yr BP by tephrochronology, radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating results (Lim et al., 2007). However, little is known about the reason why these burrows have disappeared after late Pleistocene time. For this question, two explanations can be considered: extinction or migration. Since same kinds of burrows are still found in the high-latitude regions, such as Mongolia and North America, the possibility of extinction can be ruled out. Therefore, migration seems to be the most likely explanation. Our results show that the destruction of habitat caused by climate change during this period is the main reason for the northward migration of burrowing animals. This study suggests that rodent burrows found in the late Pleistocene paleosols can provide useful information on paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental changes.

  6. From Pleistocene to Holocene: the prehistory of southwest Asia in evolutionary context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Trevor

    2017-08-14

    In this paper I seek to show how cultural niche construction theory offers the potential to extend the human evolutionary story beyond the Pleistocene, through the Neolithic, towards the kind of very large-scale societies in which we live today. The study of the human past has been compartmentalised, each compartment using different analytical vocabularies, so that their accounts are written in mutually incompatible languages. In recent years social, cognitive and cultural evolutionary theories, building on a growing body of archaeological evidence, have made substantial sense of the social and cultural evolution of the genus Homo. However, specialists in this field of studies have found it difficult to extend their kind of analysis into the Holocene human world. Within southwest Asia the three or four millennia of the Neolithic period at the beginning of the Holocene represents a pivotal point, which saw the transformation of human society in the emergence of the first large-scale, permanent communities, the domestication of plants and animals, and the establishment of effective farming economies. Following the Neolithic, the pace of human social, economic and cultural evolution continued to increase. By 5000 years ago, in parts of southwest Asia and northeast Africa there were very large-scale urban societies, and the first large-scale states (kingdoms). An extension of cultural niche construction theory enables us to extend the evolutionary narrative of the Pleistocene into the Holocene, opening the way to developing a single, long-term, evolutionary account of human history.

  7. Seismic Stratigraphy of Pleistocene Deltaic Deposits in Bahía Blanca Estuary, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SALVADOR ALIOTTA

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The Bahía Blanca estuary (Argentina has a morphological configuration resulting from hydrological and sedimentary processes related to Late Quaternary sea level changes. This estuarine system occupies a large coastal plain with a dense net of tidal channels, low-altitude islands and large intertidal flats. Little is known about the sedimentary units of the marine subbottom. Therefore, a stratigraphical analysis of the northern coast of Bahía Blanca estuary was carried out using high resolution seismic (3.5 kHz in order to: i define Quaternary sequences, ii describe sedimentary structures, and iii determine the paleoenvironmental conditions of sedimentation. The seismic stratigraphic data collected and their correlation with drilling lithological data show five seismic sequences (S1, S2, S3, S4 and S5, of which S1-S2 were found to be associated with a continental paleoenvironment of Miocene-Pleistocene age. Sequences S3 and S4, whose lithology and seismic facies (paleochannel structures and prograding reflection configurations, were defined on these materials, to evidence the development of an ancient deltaic environment which was part of a large Pleistocene drainage system. The S5 sequence was formed during the Holocene transgressive-regressive process and complete the seismostratigraphic column defined in the present study.

  8. Evolution, systematics, and phylogeography of pleistocene horses in the new world: a molecular perspective.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available The rich fossil record of horses has made them a classic example of evolutionary processes. However, while the overall picture of equid evolution is well known, the details are surprisingly poorly understood, especially for the later Pliocene and Pleistocene, c. 3 million to 0.01 million years (Ma ago, and nowhere more so than in the Americas. There is no consensus on the number of equid species or even the number of lineages that existed in these continents. Likewise, the origin of the endemic South American genus Hippidion is unresolved, as is the phylogenetic position of the "stilt-legged" horses of North America. Using ancient DNA sequences, we show that, in contrast to current models based on morphology and a recent genetic study, Hippidion was phylogenetically close to the caballine (true horses, with origins considerably more recent than the currently accepted date of c. 10 Ma. Furthermore, we show that stilt-legged horses, commonly regarded as Old World migrants related to the hemionid asses of Asia, were in fact an endemic North American lineage. Finally, our data suggest that there were fewer horse species in late Pleistocene North America than have been named on morphological grounds. Both caballine and stilt-legged lineages may each have comprised a single, wide-ranging species.

  9. Evolution, systematics, and phylogeography of pleistocene horses in the new world: a molecular perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstock, Jaco; Willerslev, Eske; Sher, Andrei; Tong, Wenfei; Ho, Simon Y W; Rubenstein, Dan; Storer, John; Burns, James; Martin, Larry; Bravi, Claudio; Prieto, Alfredo; Froese, Duane; Scott, Eric; Xulong, Lai; Cooper, Alan

    2005-08-01

    The rich fossil record of horses has made them a classic example of evolutionary processes. However, while the overall picture of equid evolution is well known, the details are surprisingly poorly understood, especially for the later Pliocene and Pleistocene, c. 3 million to 0.01 million years (Ma) ago, and nowhere more so than in the Americas. There is no consensus on the number of equid species or even the number of lineages that existed in these continents. Likewise, the origin of the endemic South American genus Hippidion is unresolved, as is the phylogenetic position of the "stilt-legged" horses of North America. Using ancient DNA sequences, we show that, in contrast to current models based on morphology and a recent genetic study, Hippidion was phylogenetically close to the caballine (true) horses, with origins considerably more recent than the currently accepted date of c. 10 Ma. Furthermore, we show that stilt-legged horses, commonly regarded as Old World migrants related to the hemionid asses of Asia, were in fact an endemic North American lineage. Finally, our data suggest that there were fewer horse species in late Pleistocene North America than have been named on morphological grounds. Both caballine and stilt-legged lineages may each have comprised a single, wide-ranging species.

  10. Quantitative palaeodrainage analysis in the Pleistocene of the Po Plain (Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vezzoli, G.; Garzanti, E.; Sciunnach, D.

    2009-04-01

    During the Pleistocene, Po Plain deposits recorded repeated waxing and waning of Alpine ice caps, and thus provide an excellent opportunity to investigate the interactions between pronounced climatic fluctuations and background tectonic activity (Scardia et al., 2006), resulting in frequent changes of drainage patterns. A high-resolution Pleistocene stratigraphy, with a complete sedimentological, paleontological, petrographic-mineralogical, magneto-stratigraphic, and seismic data base, was recently obtained from eleven continuous cores drilled in the Lombardy Po Plain north of the Po River (ENI and Regione Lombardia, 2002). In the present study we focus on two cores in the proximal (Cilavegna) and distal plain (Pianengo), which best exemplify the drastic change in sedimentary systems and drainage patterns associated with the onset of major Pleistocene glaciations in the Alps (˜870ky; Muttoni et al., 2003). This climatic event is recorded by a regional unconformity (named R-unconformity by Muttoni et al., 2003), traced all across the Po Basin and encountered at -81 m depth in the Pianengo Core and at -98 m depth in the Cilavegna Core. The Cilavegna Core consists of metamorphiclastic floodplain sediments, capped by the R-unconformity and overlain by quartzofeldspathic braidplain deposits. The Pianengo Core consists of metamorphiclastic deltaic to floodpain sediments, capped by the R-unconformity and overlain by alluvial-fan gravels rich in carbonate pebbles; another unconformity at -39 m depth is overlain by metamorphiclastic braidplain deposits. Our quantitative approach to paleodrainage analysis is based on comprehensive information obtained from modern settings (Garzanti et al., 2004; 2006). End-member modelling and similarity analysis allows us to objectively compare detrital modes from modern and ancient deposits, and to reconstruct the evolution of sediment pathways through geologic time (Vezzoli and Garzanti 2009). The Cilavegna Core documents stepwise south

  11. Vegetal paleoenvironment in the human settlements found in Payre Cave at the end of the Middle Pleistocene and the beginning of the Upper Pleistocene (Ardeche, Francia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalai, Chafika

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available The Middle Paleolithic site named Payre is located in the south-east of France, in the Middle Rhone Valley, in the Mediterranean world. Since 1990, the excavations have yielded a sequence dated from the isotopic stages 7 to 5. The palynological study based on settlement levels from the isotopic stages 6 and 5 has provided us with information about the vegetal environment of the end of the Middle Pleistocene and the beginning of the Upper Pleistocene. When men came, the landscape was semi-forest and the climate was temperate with Mediterranean influences.

    [es] El emplazamiento arqueológico del Paleolítico Medio de Payre se sitúa al sureste de Francia, en el valle del Ródano, en el contexto mediterráneo actual. Las excavaciones que vienen llevándose a cabo desde 1990 presentan una secuencia fechada en los estadios isotópicos 7 al 5. El estudio palinológico de los niveles de ocupación de los estadios isotópicos 6 y 5 nos informan sobre el contexto vegetal del final del Pleistoceno Medio y de principios del Pleistoceno Superior. Los diferentes periodos climáticos se caracterizan por la predominancia de los taxones arbóreos como Quercus t. ilex y Buxus. El paisaje es a lo largo del diagrama, globalmente semi-abierto y el clima de tipo templado presenta influencias mediterráneas. [fr] Le gisement paléolithique moyen de Payre est situé dans le sud-est de la France, dans la moyenne vallée du Rhône en contexte méditerranéen. Les fouilles, qui s'y déroulent depuis 1990, livrent une séquence datée des stades isotopiques 7 à 5. L'étude palynologique des niveaux d'occupation des stades isotopiques 6 et 5 nous informe sur le contexte végétal de la fin du Pléistocène moyen et du début du Pléistocène supérieur. Le paysage est, lors des diverses occupations humaines, globalement semi-ouvert et le climat de type tempéré sous influence méditerranéenne.

  12. Acinonyx pardinensis (Carnivora, Felidae) from the Early Pleistocene of Pantalla (Italy): predatory behavior and ecological role of the giant Plio-Pleistocene cheetah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherin, Marco; Iurino, Dawid Adam; Sardella, Raffaele; Rook, Lorenzo

    2014-03-01

    The site of Pantalla (central Italy) yielded a rich late Villafranchian (Early Pleistocene) faunal assemblage, which includes some well-preserved large mammal skulls. We describe here two nearly complete crania and a left hemimandible of Acinonyx pardinensis from this locality, representing the most complete cranial material of this species in Europe. These finds allowed us to define more clearly the craniodental morphology of A. pardinensis. Similarly to the forms from North Africa and China, the giant cheetah from Pantalla has a more generalized skull than the living Acinonyx jubatus, showing some primitive, pantherine-like features such as the less domed dorsal outline of the cranium, the more developed sagittal and nuchal crests and the less bowed zygomatic arches. High-resolution CT scans of the specimens were used to obtain the first 3D model of a cranium with articulated mandible of A. pardinensis. Starting from the insertion areas on this model we reconstructed the jaw muscles of the Pantalla felid, confirming its affinities with pantherine felines. In the light of the musculoskeletal skull anatomy and the average body mass (about 80 kg), it is likely that A. pardinensis could kill large prey through a hunting strategy more similar to pantherine cats than to the living cheetah.

  13. The effect of body size evolution and ecology on encephalization in cave bears and extant relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veitschegger, Kristof

    2017-06-05

    The evolution of larger brain volumes relative to body size in Mammalia is the subject of an extensive amount of research. Early on palaeontologists were interested in the brain of cave bears, Ursus spelaeus, and described its morphology and size. However, until now, it was not possible to compare the absolute or relative brain size in a phylogenetic context due to the lack of an established phylogeny, comparative material, and phylogenetic comparative methods. In recent years, many tools for comparing traits within phylogenies were developed and the phylogenetic position of cave bears was resolved based on nuclear as well as mtDNA. Cave bears exhibit significantly lower encephalization compared to their contemporary relatives and intraspecific brain mass variation remained rather small. Encephalization was correlated with the combined dormancy-diet score. Body size evolution was a main driver in the degree of encephalization in cave bears as it increased in a much higher pace than brain size. In Ursus spelaeus, brain and body size increase over time albeit differently paced. This rate pattern is different in the highest encephalized bear species within the dataset, Ursus malayanus. The brain size in this species increased while body size heavily decreased compared to its ancestral stage. Early on in the evolution of cave bears encephalization decreased making it one of the least encephalized bear species compared to extant and extinct members of Ursidae. The results give reason to suspect that as herbivorous animals, cave bears might have exhibited a physiological buffer strategy to survive the strong seasonality of their environment. Thus, brain size was probably affected by the negative trade-off with adipose tissue as well as diet. The decrease of relative brain size in the herbivorous Ursus spelaeus is the result of a considerable increase in body size possibly in combination with environmental conditions forcing them to rest during winters.

  14. Late Pleistocene and Holocene-Age Columbia River Sediments and Bedforms: Hanford Reach Area, Washington - Part 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K.R. Fecht, T.E. Marceau

    2006-03-28

    This report presents the results of a geologic study conducted on the lower slopes of the Columbia River Valley in south-central Washington. The study was designed to investigate glaciofluvial and fluvial sediments and bedforms that are present in the river valley and formed subsequent to Pleistocene large-scale cataclysmic flooding of the region.

  15. Different orbital rhythms in the Asian summer monsoon records from North and South China during the Pleistocene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ao, H.; Dekkers, M.J.; Xiao, G.; Yang, X.; Qin, L.; Liu, X; Qiang, X.; Chang, H.; Zhao, H.

    2012-01-01

    Here we construct a Pleistocene astronomical timescale for the Nihewan fluvio–lacustrine sediments (North China), via tuning a stacked summer monsoon index generated from grain size and low-field magnetic susceptibility records to orbital obliquity and precession. Combining the summer monsoon

  16. Trophic interactions between larger crocodylians and giant tortoises on Aldabra Atoll, Western Indian Ocean, during the Late Pleistocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Delfino, Massimo; Klein, Nicole; Bunbury, Nancy; Fleischer-Dogley, Frauke; Hansen, Dennis M

    2018-01-01

    Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aldabra Atoll is home to about 100 000 giant tortoises, Aldabrachelys gigantea , whose fossil record goes back to the Late Pleistocene. New Late Pleistocene fossils (age ca . 90-125 000 years) from the atoll revealed some appendicular bones and numerous shell fragments of giant tortoises and cranial and postcranial elements of crocodylians. Several tortoise bones show circular holes, pits and scratch marks that are interpreted as bite marks of crocodylians. The presence of a Late Pleistocene crocodylian species, Aldabrachampsus dilophus , has been known for some time, but the recently found crocodylian remains presented herein are distinctly larger than those previously described. This indicates the presence of at least some larger crocodylians, either of the same or of a different species, on the atoll. These larger crocodylians, likely the apex predators in the Aldabra ecosystem at the time, were well capable of inflicting damage on even very large giant tortoises. We thus propose an extinct predator-prey interaction between crocodylians and giant tortoises during the Late Pleistocene, when both groups were living sympatrically on Aldabra, and we discuss scenarios for the crocodylians directly attacking the tortoises or scavenging on recently deceased animals.

  17. Genetic consequences of population expansions and contractions in the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) since the Late Pleistocene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stoffel, Céline; Dufresnes, Christophe; Okello, John B A

    2015-01-01

    Over the past two decades, an increasing amount of phylogeographic work has substantially improved our understanding of African biogeography, in particular the role played by Pleistocene pluvial-drought cycles on terrestrial vertebrates. However, still little is known on the evolutionary history...

  18. New evidences on the presence of Stegomastodon platensis Ameghino, 1888, Proboscidea: Gomphotheriidae, in the Late Pleistocene of Central Chile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Labarca, R.; Alberdi, M.T.; Prado, J.L.; Mansilla, P.; Mourgues, F.A.

    2016-07-01

    This paper contextualizes, describes and taxonomically assigned cranial and dental Gomphotheriidae materials from the El Trebal 1, late Pleistocene form central Chile. Starting from metric and morphological variables fossils are included in Stegomastodon platensis. Taxonomic implications of this finding as well as some regional paleoenvironmental history are discussed. (Author)

  19. An enlarged parietal foramen in the late archaic Xujiayao 11 neurocranium from Northern China, and rare anomalies among Pleistocene Homo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiu-Jie; Xing, Song; Trinkaus, Erik

    2013-01-01

    We report here a neurocranial abnormality previously undescribed in Pleistocene human fossils, an enlarged parietal foramen (EPF) in the early Late Pleistocene Xujiayao 11 parietal bones from the Xujiayao (Houjiayao) site, northern China. Xujiayao 11 is a pair of partial posteromedial parietal bones from an adult. It exhibits thick cranial vault bones, arachnoid granulations, a deviated posterior sagittal suture, and a unilateral (right) parietal lacuna with a posteriorly-directed and enlarged endocranial vascular sulcus. Differential diagnosis indicates that the perforation is a congenital defect, an enlarged parietal foramen, commonly associated with cerebral venous and cranial vault anomalies. It was not lethal given the individual's age-at-death, but it may have been associated with secondary neurological deficiencies. The fossil constitutes the oldest evidence in human evolution of this very rare condition (a single enlarged parietal foramen). In combination with developmental and degenerative abnormalities in other Pleistocene human remains, it suggests demographic and survival patterns among Pleistocene Homo that led to an elevated frequency of conditions unknown or rare among recent humans.

  20. An enlarged parietal foramen in the late archaic Xujiayao 11 neurocranium from Northern China, and rare anomalies among Pleistocene Homo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiu-Jie Wu

    Full Text Available We report here a neurocranial abnormality previously undescribed in Pleistocene human fossils, an enlarged parietal foramen (EPF in the early Late Pleistocene Xujiayao 11 parietal bones from the Xujiayao (Houjiayao site, northern China. Xujiayao 11 is a pair of partial posteromedial parietal bones from an adult. It exhibits thick cranial vault bones, arachnoid granulations, a deviated posterior sagittal suture, and a unilateral (right parietal lacuna with a posteriorly-directed and enlarged endocranial vascular sulcus. Differential diagnosis indicates that the perforation is a congenital defect, an enlarged parietal foramen, commonly associated with cerebral venous and cranial vault anomalies. It was not lethal given the individual's age-at-death, but it may have been associated with secondary neurological deficiencies. The fossil constitutes the oldest evidence in human evolution of this very rare condition (a single enlarged parietal foramen. In combination with developmental and degenerative abnormalities in other Pleistocene human remains, it suggests demographic and survival patterns among Pleistocene Homo that led to an elevated frequency of conditions unknown or rare among recent humans.

  1. Human talus bones from the Middle Pleistocene site of Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Lorenzo, Carlos; Gracia, Ana; Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2013-07-01

    Here we present and describe comparatively 25 talus bones from the Middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain). These tali belong to 14 individuals (11 adult and three immature). Although variation among Middle and Late Pleistocene tali tends to be subtle, this study has identified unique morphological characteristics of the SH tali. They are vertically shorter than those of Late Pleistocene Homo sapiens, and show a shorter head and a broader lateral malleolar facet than all of the samples. Moreover, a few shared characters with Neanderthals are consistent with the hypothesis that the SH population and Neanderthals are sister groups. These shared characters are a broad lateral malleolar facet, a trochlear height intermediate between modern humans and Late Pleistocene H. sapiens, and a short middle calcaneal facet. It has been possible to propose sex assignment for the SH tali based on their size. Stature estimates based on these fossils give a mean stature of 174.4 cm for males and 161.9 cm for females, similar to that obtained based on the long bones from this same site. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Expansion of the known distribution of Asiatic mouflon (Ovis orientalis) in the Late Pleistocene of the Southern Levant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeomans, Lisa; Martin, Louise; Richter, Tobias

    2017-08-01

    Wild sheep (Ovis orientalis) bones recovered from the Natufian site of Shubayqa 1 demonstrate a wider distribution of mouflon in the Late Pleistocene of the Southern Levant than previously known. Early Epipalaeolithic sites are common in the limestone steppe region of eastern Jordan but have yielded only a handful of caprine bones that cannot be identified to species level and few faunal remains from excavated Late Epipalaeolithic sites have been reported. Analysis of animal bone from Shubayqa 1 suggests a significant population of wild sheep could be found concentrated in the basalt desert environment of eastern Jordan during the Late Pleistocene, especially where higher rainfall over the Jebel Druze provided more water. A population of wild sheep was still present in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A when the nearby site of Shubayqa 6 was occupied. Hunting of diverse, locally available resources including wild sheep at the end of the Pleistocene illustrates the flexible and adaptive exploitation strategies that hunter-forager groups engaged in. This provides further evidence to the increasing body of data showing the creative and opportunistic approach of terminal Pleistocene groups allowing continued occupation even in more marginal environments in a period of environmental change.

  3. The role of dispersal and vicariance in the Pleistocene history of an East African mountain rodent, Praomys delectorum

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bryja, Josef; Mikula, Ondřej; Patzenhauerová, Hana; Oguge, N. O.; Šumbera, R.; Verheyen, E.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 41, č. 1 (2014), s. 196-208 ISSN 0305-0270 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP506/10/0983 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Cytochrome b * Eastern Arc Mountains * microsatellites * montane forests * Pleistocene climate changes * Praomys delectorum * Muridae * Southern Rift Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.590, year: 2014

  4. Subglacial bed conditions during Late Pleistocene glaciations and their impact on ice dynamics in the southern North Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Passchier, S.; Laban, C.; Mesdag, C.S.; Rijsdijk, K.F.

    2010-01-01

    Changes in subglacial bed conditions through multiple glaciations and their effect on ice dynamics are addressed through an analysis of glacigenic sequences in the Upper Pleistocene stratigraphy of the southern North Sea basin. During Elsterian (MIS 12) ice growth, till deposition was subdued when

  5. Reconstructing Early Pleistocene (1.3 Ma) terrestrial environmental change in western Anatolia: Did it drive fluvial terrace formation?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldkamp, A.; Candy, I.; Jongmans, A.G.; Maddy, D.; Demir, T.; Schoorl, J.M.; Schreve, D.; Stemerdink, C.; Schriek, van der T.

    2015-01-01

    A terrestrial environmental reconstruction of an Early Pleistocene landscape from western Anatolia is presented. The basis of this reconstruction is a sedimentary stack comprising fluvial and colluvial slope deposits. Contained within this stack is a sequence comprising two massive laminar calcretes

  6. Land-sea coupling of early Pleistocene glacial cycles in the southern North Sea exhibit dominant Northern Hemisphere forcing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Donders, Timme; Van Helmond, Niels A.G.M.; Verreussel, Roel; Munsterman, Dirk; Veen, Johan Ten; Speijer, Robert P.; Weijers, Johan W.H.; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Peterse, Francien; Reichart, Gert-Jan; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.; Lourens, Lucas; Kuhlmann, Gesa; Brinkhuis, Henk

    2018-01-01

    We assess the disputed phase relations between forcing and climatic response in the early Pleistocene with a spliced Gelasian (ĝ1/4 2.6-1.8ĝ€Ma) multi-proxy record from the southern North Sea basin. The cored sections couple climate evolution on both land and sea during the intensification of

  7. Magnetic minerals in Pliocene and Pleistocene marine marls from Southern Italy : rock magnetic properties and alteration during thermal demagnetization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Velzen, A.J.

    1994-01-01

    The rock magnetic properties of two different Pliocene to Pleistocene marine marls from southern Italy are studied. Different conditions during sedimentation have led to two completely different magnetic mineralogies in these marls. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 examine the rock magnetic properties of the

  8. Middel Pleistocene to Holocene fluvial terrace development and uplift-driven valley incision in the SE Carpathians, Romania

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Necea, D.; Fielitz, W.; Andriessen, P.A.M.; Dinu, C.

    2013-01-01

    This study reveals that in the SE Carpathians terrace development and fluvial incision during the Middle Pleistocene-Holocene are predominantly controlled by tectonic uplift as shown by terrace distributions and uplift amounts and rates. The work focuses on a transect from the internal nappes and

  9. The Punta Lucero Quarry site (Zierbena, Bizkaia): a window into the Middle Pleistocene in the Northern Iberian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Sala, Nohemi; Arceredillo, Diego; García, Nuria; Martínez-Pillado, Virginia; Rios-Garaizar, Joseba; Garate, Diego; Solar, Gonzalo; Libano, Iñaki

    2015-08-01

    The period between the end of the Early Pleistocene and the mid-Middle Pleistocene (roughly between 1.0 and 0.4 Ma BP) is of great interest in Western Europe. It witnessed several climatic oscillations and changes in the fauna, the demise of a hominin species and the appearance of another, along with important cultural and technological changes. Thus, the few available sites with these chronologies is vital to the understanding of the tempo and mode of these changes. Middle Pleistocene sites in the Northern Iberian Peninsula are very rare. Here we present the study of the site found at the Punta Lucero Quarry (Biscay province, Northern Iberian Peninsula), which includes for the first time the complete collection from the site. The fossil association from this site includes several ungulates, such as a Megacerine deer, Cervus elaphus, large bovids (likely both Bos primigenius and Bison sp. are present), Stephanorhinus sp., and carnivores, such as Homotherium latidens, Panthera gombaszoegensis, Canis mosbachensis and Vulpes sp. This association is typical of a middle Middle Pleistocene chronology and would be the oldest macro-mammal site in the Eastern Cantabrian region. This site would likely correspond to a chronology after Mode 1 technological complex and before the arrival of Mode 2 technology in this region. Thus, it offers a glimpse into the paleoecological conditions slightly prior to or contemporaneous with the first Acheulian makers in the northern fringe of the Iberian Peninsula.

  10. A cave response to environmental changes in the Late Pleistocene: a study of Budimirica Cave sediments, Macedonia

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Temovski, M.; Pruner, Petr; Hercman, H.; Bosák, Pavel

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 69, č. 3 (2016), s. 307-316 ISSN 1330-030X Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : cave sediments * palaeoenvironmental changes * Late Pleistocene * Budimirica Cave * Macedonia Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.595, year: 2016 http://www. geologia -croatica.hr/ojs/index.php/GC

  11. Modelling the Middle Pleistocene uplift in the Ardennes-Rhenish Massif: Thermo-mechanical weakening under the Eifel?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garcia-Castellanos, D.; Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.; van Balen, R.T.

    2000-01-01

    Middle Pleistocene uplift in the Eifel has been interpreted as the isostatic response of the lithosphere to a deep buoyant hot body. The spatial and temporal distribution of the uplift in the Ardennes-Rhenish Massif Region has recently been constrained by new data of river incision that have been

  12. A taxonomic revision of the Pleistocene Hystrix (Hystricidae, Rodentia) from Eurasia with notes on the evolution of the family

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weers, van D.J.

    2005-01-01

    Measurements of many hundreds of the high-crowned cheek teeth of Hystrix specimens from the Euro-Asiatic Pleistocene in the collections of European and Asiatic institutions have been compared with extant species for a revision of the genus. A review is given about the extant genera and species of

  13. How Far into Europe Did Pikas (Lagomorpha: Ochotonidae) Go during the Pleistocene? New Evidence from Central Iberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laplana, César; Sevilla, Paloma; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Arriaza, Mari Carmen; Baquedano, Enrique; Pérez-González, Alfredo

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports the first find of pika remains in the Iberian Peninsula, at a site in central Spain. A fragmented mandible of Ochotona cf. pusilla was unearthed from Layer 3 (deposited some 63.4±5.5 ka ago as determined by thermoluminescence) of the Buena Pinta Cave. This record establishes new limits for the genus geographic distribution during the Pleistocene, shifting the previous edge of its known range southwest by some 500 km. It also supports the idea that, even though Europe’s alpine mountain ranges represented a barrier that prevented the dispersal into the south to this and other taxa of small mammals from central and eastern Europe, they were crossed or circumvented at the coldest time intervals of the end of the Middle Pleistocene and of the Late Pleistocene. During those periods both the reduction of the forest cover and the emersion of large areas of the continental shelf due to the drop of the sea level probably provided these species a way to surpass this barrier. The pika mandible was found accompanying the remains of other small mammals adapted to cold climates, indicating the presence of steppe environments in central Iberia during the Late Pleistocene. PMID:26535576

  14. Continuity or discontinuity in the European Early Pleistocene human settlement: the Atapuerca evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carbonell, Eudald

    2013-09-01

    The nature, timing, pattern, favourable circumstances and impediments of the human occupation of the European continent during the Early Pleistocene are hot topics in Quaternary studies. In particular, the problem of the (dis) continuity of the settlement of Europe in this period is an important matter of discussion, which has been approached in the last decade from different points of view. The Gran Dolina (TD) and Sima del Elefante (TE) cave sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca, (Spain) include large and quasi-continuous stratigraphic sequences that stretch back from at least 1.2 million years ago (Ma) to the Matuyama/Brunhes boundary. The archaeological and paleontological record from these sites can help to test different hypotheses about the character of the human settlement in this region and period. Furthermore, the TD6 level has yielded a large collection of human fossil remains attributed to Homo antecessor. According to different geochronological methods, as well as to paleomagnetic and biostratigraphical analyses, these hominins belong to an age range of 0.96-0.80 Ma. Unfortunately, the finding in 2007 of some human fossil remains in the TE9 level, dated to about 1.22 Ma, was not enough to conclude whether H. antecessor had deep roots in the European Early Pleistocene. A set of derived features of H. antecessor shared with both the Neanderthal lineage and modern humans suggests that this species is related, and not far, from the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. If we assume that there was a lineal biological relationship between the TE9 and TD6 hominins, we should reconsider many of the conclusions achieved in previous paleontological and genetic studies. In addition, we would be obliged to build a highly complicated paleogeographical scenario for the origin of the MRCA. Although continuity in the settlement of Europe during the entire late Early Pleistocene is not discarded (e.g. in refuge areas), it seems that

  15. Aminostratigraphic correlations and paleotemperature implications, Pliocene-Pleistocene high-sea-level deposits, northwestern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Darrell S.; Brigham-Grette, Julie

    Multiple periods of Late Pliocene and Pleistocene high sea level are recorded by surficial deposits along the coastal plains of northwestern Alaska. Analyses of the extent of amino acid epimerization in fossil molluscan shells from the Nome coastal plain of the northern Bering Sea coast, and from the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain of the Chukchi and Beaufort Sea coasts, allow recognition of at least five intervals of higher-than-present relative sea level. Three Late Pliocene transgressions are represented at Nome by the complex and protracted Beringian transgression, and on the Arctic Coastal Plain by the Colvillian, Bigbendian, and Fishcreekian transgressions. These were followed by a lengthy period of non-marine deposition during the Early Pleistocene when sea level did not reach above its present position. A Middle Pleistocene high-sea-level event is represented at Nome by the Anvilian transgression, and on the Arctic Coastal Plain by the Wainwrightian transgression. Anvilian deposits at the type locality are considerably younger than previously thought, perhaps as young as Oxygen-Isotope Stage 11 (˜410,000 BP). Finally, the last interglacial Pelukian transgression is represented discontinuously along the shores of northwestern Alaska. Amino acid epimerization data, together with previous paleomagnetic measurements, radiometric-age determinations, and paleontologic evidence provide geochronological constraints on the sequence of marine deposits. They form the basis of regional correlations and offer a means of evaluating the post-depositional thermal history of the high-sea-level deposits. Provisional correlations between marine units at Nome and the Artic Coastal Plain indicate that the temperature difference that separates the two sites today had existed by about 3.0 Ma. Since that time, the effective diagenetic temperature was lowered by about 3-4°C at both sites, and the mean annual temperature was lowered considerably more. This temperature decrease was

  16. The bony labyrinth of the middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos hominins (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quam, Rolf; Lorenzo, Carlos; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2016-01-01

    We performed 3D virtual reconstructions based on CT scans to study the bony labyrinth morphology in 14 individuals from the large middle Pleistocene hominin sample from the site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain. The Atapuerca (SH) hominins represent early members of the Neandertal clade and provide an opportunity to compare the data with the later in time Neandertals, as well as Pleistocene and recent humans more broadly. The Atapuerca (SH) hominins do not differ from the Neandertals in any of the variables related to the absolute and relative sizes and shape of the semicircular canals. Indeed, the entire Neandertal clade seems to be characterized by a derived pattern of canal proportions, including a relatively small posterior canal and a relatively large lateral canal. In contrast, one of the most distinctive features observed in Neandertals, the low placement of the posterior canal (i.e., high sagittal labyrinthine index), is generally not present in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins. This low placement is considered a derived feature in Neandertals and is correlated with a more vertical orientation of the ampullar line (LSCm  PPp), and third part of the facial canal (LSCm < FC3). Some variation is present within the Atapuerca (SH) sample, however, with a few individuals approaching the Neandertal condition more closely. In addition, the cochlear shape index in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins is low, indicating a reduction in the height of the cochlea. Although the phylogenetic polarity of this feature is less clear, the low shape index in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins may be a derived feature. Regardless, cochlear height subsequently increased in Neandertals. In contrast to previous suggestions, the expanded data in the present study indicate no difference across the genus Homo in the angle of inclination of the cochlear basal turn (COs < LSCm). Principal components analysis largely confirms these observations. While not

  17. Hominin responses to environmental changes during the Middle Pleistocene in central and southern Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orain, R.; Lebreton, V.; Russo Ermolli, E.; Sémah, A.-M.; Nomade, S.; Shao, Q.; Bahain, J.-J.; Thun Hohenstein, U.; Peretto, C.

    2013-03-01

    The palaeobotanical record of early Palaeolithic sites from Western Europe indicates that hominins settled in different kinds of environments. During the "mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT)", from about 1 to 0.6 Ma, the transition from 41- to 100-ka dominant climatic oscillations, occurring within a long-term cooling trend, was associated with an aridity crisis which strongly modified the ecosystems. Starting from the MPT the more favourable climate of central and southern Italy provided propitious environmental conditions for long-term human occupations even during the glacial times. In fact, the human strategy of territory occupation was certainly driven by the availabilities of resources. Prehistoric sites such as Notarchirico (ca. 680-600 ka), La Pineta (ca. 600-620 ka), Guado San Nicola (ca. 380-350 ka) or Ceprano (ca. 345-355 ka) testify to a preferential occupation of the central and southern Apennines valleys during interglacial phases, while later interglacial occupations were oriented towards the coastal plains, as attested by the numerous settlements of the Roma Basin (ca. 300 ka). Faunal remains indicate that human subsistence behaviours benefited from a diversity of exploitable ecosystems, from semi-open to closed environments. In central and southern Italy, several palynological records have already illustrated the regional- and local-scale vegetation dynamic trends. During the Middle Pleistocene climate cycles, mixed mesophytic forests developed during the interglacial periods and withdrew in response to increasing aridity during the glacial episodes. New pollen data from the Boiano Basin (Molise, Italy) attest to the evolution of vegetation and climate between MIS 13 and 9 (ca. 500 to 300 ka). In this basin the persistence of high edaphic humidity, even during the glacial phases, could have favoured the establishment of a refuge area for the arboreal flora and provided subsistence resources for the animal and hominin communities during the Middle

  18. Hominin responses to environmental changes during the Middle Pleistocene in central and southern Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Orain

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The palaeobotanical record of early Palaeolithic sites from Western Europe indicates that hominins settled in different kinds of environments. During the "mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT", from about 1 to 0.6 Ma, the transition from 41- to 100-ka dominant climatic oscillations, occurring within a long-term cooling trend, was associated with an aridity crisis which strongly modified the ecosystems. Starting from the MPT the more favourable climate of central and southern Italy provided propitious environmental conditions for long-term human occupations even during the glacial times. In fact, the human strategy of territory occupation was certainly driven by the availabilities of resources. Prehistoric sites such as Notarchirico (ca. 680–600 ka, La Pineta (ca. 600–620 ka, Guado San Nicola (ca. 380–350 ka or Ceprano (ca. 345–355 ka testify to a preferential occupation of the central and southern Apennines valleys during interglacial phases, while later interglacial occupations were oriented towards the coastal plains, as attested by the numerous settlements of the Roma Basin (ca. 300 ka. Faunal remains indicate that human subsistence behaviours benefited from a diversity of exploitable ecosystems, from semi-open to closed environments. In central and southern Italy, several palynological records have already illustrated the regional- and local-scale vegetation dynamic trends. During the Middle Pleistocene climate cycles, mixed mesophytic forests developed during the interglacial periods and withdrew in response to increasing aridity during the glacial episodes. New pollen data from the Boiano Basin (Molise, Italy attest to the evolution of vegetation and climate between MIS 13 and 9 (ca. 500 to 300 ka. In this basin the persistence of high edaphic humidity, even during the glacial phases, could have favoured the establishment of a refuge area for the arboreal flora and provided subsistence resources for the animal and hominin communities

  19. Leaf wax biomarker reconstruction of Early Pleistocene hydrological variation during hominin evolution in West Turkana, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupien, R.; Russell, J. M.; Cohen, A. S.; Feibel, C. S.; Beck, C.; Castañeda, I. S.

    2016-12-01

    Climate change is thought to play a critical role in human evolution; however, this hypothesis is difficult to test due to a lack of long, high-quality paleoclimate records from key hominin fossil locales. To address this issue, we examine Plio-Pleistocene lake sediment drill cores from East Africa that were recovered by the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project, an international effort to study the environment in which our hominin ancestors evolved and dispersed. With new data we test various evolutionary hypotheses, such as the "variability selection" hypothesis, which posits that high-frequency environmental variations selected for generalist traits that allowed hominins to expand into variable environments. We analyzed organic geochemical signals of climate in lake cores from West Turkana, Kenya, which span 1.87-1.38 Ma and contain the first fossils from Homo erectus. In particular, we present a compound-specific hydrogen isotopic analysis of terrestrial plant waxes (δDwax) that records regional hydrology. The amount effect dominates water isotope fractionation in the tropics; therefore, these data are interpreted to reflect mean annual rainfall, which affects vegetation structure and thus, hominin habitats. The canonical view of East Africa is that climate became drier and increasingly felt high-latitude glacial-interglacial cycles during the Plio-Pleistocene. However, the drying trend seen in some records is not evident in Turkana δDwax, signifying instead a climate with a steady mean state. Spectral and moving variance analyses indicate paleohydrological variations related to both high-latitude glaciation (41 ky cycle) and local insolation-forced monsoons (21 ky cycle). An interval of particularly high-amplitude rainfall variation occurs at 1.7 Ma, which coincides with the intensification of the Walker Circulation. These results identify high- and low-latitude controls on East African paleohydrology during Homo erectus evolution. In particular, the

  20. A middle Pleistocene eastern Mediterranean fish refuge: the Tsampika Bay (Rhodes, Greece)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agiadi, K.; Koskeridou, E.; Moissette, P.; Lopez-Otalvaro, G. E.; Quillévéré, F.; Cornée, J. J.

    2012-04-01

    Extensive sampling of the Tsampika marly diatomites reveals the presence of at least three very important fish species, Bregmaceros sp., Sygnathus acus and Spratteloides sp.. Previous records of Bregmaceros sp. in the Mediterranean have suggested that this characteristic Pliocene warm-water circumglobal pelagic fish disappeared from the Mediterranean basin due to the climatic deterioration, after the Gelasian age1,2,3,4. The Tsampika fish-bearing deposits, mainly marly diatomites, are younger than 268 Ka, based on the occurrence of Emiliania huxleyi. Consequently, this is so far the youngest record of Bregmaceros sp. in the Mediterranean, suggesting that typical Pliocene fish may have found refuge in selected localities, such as Tsampika Bay, at least until the Ionian. Evidence for its presence in the Mediterranean basin today is ambiguous. Isolated records of Bregmaceros atlanticus place it in the Sicily Strait5, and off the Israeli and south Turkish coasts6. Although it appears more likely that Bregmaceros atlanticus has been introduced to the modern Mediterranean from the Red Sea, through the Suez Canal, the possibility that it is part of a small population native to the Mediterranean can not be excluded based on present-day data6. Indeed the late Pleistocene Mediterranean fish record is obsolete, due to the lack of appropriate sampling on this subject. Furthermore, the majority of Pleistocene Bregmaceros samples pertain to otoliths, which cannot be unambiguously identified on the species level. As a result, the present findings pose the considerable possibility that the Pleistocene Bregmaceros records belong to two species, B. albyi, the well known post-Messinian Mediterranean fish, and B. atlanticus, which may have invaded the Mediterranean Sea from Gibraltar along with several other warm-water taxa during recurring interglacial periods. The specific identification of the Tsampika fish will undoubtedly shed light to this possibility, and enhance our knowledge

  1. Loess deposition and Paleolithic human activity in late Pleistocene in North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, D.

    2013-12-01

    Loess is one of the best geological records in the world for reconstruction of paleoenvironment. Loess deposited widely in North China in Quaternary, composing the famous Chinese Loess Plateau where loess sections could be as thick as 200 m. In these thick loess profiles, various archaeological remains including human fossils are found across the Chinese Loess Plateau, which indicates the aeolian loess deposition provides a good preservation environment for archaeological remains or the environment when loess is deposited in North China is favorable for human subsistence. Therefore, well developed loess studies using conventional methods such as grain size, magnetism, carbonate contents, TOC and biological or chemical methods like pollen, phytolith, stable isotopes, could provide important information for archaeologists about site formation process, human subsistence environment and human adaptation behaviors. This study focuses on late Pleistocene environment change and human adaptation in Chinese Western Loess Plateau. Over fifty Paleolithic sites were found buried in loess sections in two small rive catchments about 400 km2 in Chinese Western Loess Plateau in this study. Based on the well loess study in this region, the ages of most of the sites could be easily assumed in the field, which were usually confirmed by later radiocarbon or OSL dating results. Paleoenvironment of human subsistence is reconstructed using pollen, grain size, magnetism studies on the loess profiles producing archaeological remains. The chronological framework built with absolute dating results and loess-paleosol sequence comparison shows that humans first appear in the study area during warm and humid MIS5, may have abandoned the area in cold MIS4, reappeared in cool but humid MIS3 and continued thereafter, even extremely cold and dry LGM. A comprehensive study of 3727 pieces of stone artifacts shows that small-flake-tool industry is dominant through most of the late Pleistocene and

  2. Analyses of fecal and hair glucocorticoids to evaluate short- and long-term stress and recovery of Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) removed from bile farms in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malcolm, K D; McShea, W J; Van Deelen, T R; Bacon, H J; Liu, F; Putman, S; Zhu, X; Brown, J L

    2013-05-01

    Demand for traditional Chinese medicines has given rise to the practice of maintaining Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) in captivity to harvest bile. We evaluated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity in Asiatic black bears on a bile farm in China by measuring cortisol in hair. We also monitored hair and fecal glucocorticoid metabolites as bears acclimated to improved husbandry at the Animals Asia Foundation China Bear Rescue Center (CBRC) after removal from other bile farms. Fecal samples were collected twice weekly for ~1 year, and hair was obtained from bears upon arrival at the CBRC and again ≥163 days later. Paired hair samples showed declines in cortisol concentrations of 12-88% in 38 of 45 (84%, pbears after arrival and acclimation at the rehabilitation facility. Concentrations of cortisol in hair from bears on the bile farm were similar to initial concentrations upon arrival at the CBRC but were higher than those collected after bears had been at the CBRC for ≥163 days. Fecal glucocorticoid concentrations varied across months and were highest in April and declined through December, possibly reflecting seasonal patterns, responses to the arrival and socialization of new bears at the CBRC, and/or annual metabolic change. Data from segmental analysis of hair supports the first of these explanations. Our findings indicate that bears produced elevated concentrations of glucocorticoids on bile farms, and that activity of the HPA axis declined following relocation. Thus, hair cortisol analyses are particularly well suited to long-term, retrospective assessments of glucocorticoids in ursids. By contrast, fecal measures were not clearly associated with rehabilitation, but rather reflected more subtle endocrine changes, possibly related to seasonality. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Potentiation of ecological factors on the disruption of thyroid hormones by organo-halogenated contaminants in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Barents Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeon, Sophie; Riemer, Astrid Kolind; Tartu, Sabrina; Aars, Jon; Polder, Anuschka; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Routti, Heli

    2017-10-01

    As apex predators, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are among the most heavily polluted organisms in the Arctic. In addition to this anthropogenic stressor, climate warming has been shown to negatively affect their body condition, reproductive output and survival. Among potential underlying physiological mechanisms, thyroid hormones (THs), which control thermoregulation, metabolism and reproduction, can be affected by a variety of both natural and anthropogenic factors. While THs have been extensively used as proxies for pollution exposure in mammals, including polar bears, there is a lack of knowledge of their natural variations. In this context, we examined seasonal variations in body condition and circulating TH concentrations in free-ranging female polar bears. Females with variable reproductive status (i.e., solitary, with cubs of the year or with yearlings) were sampled from locations with contrasted sea ice conditions. Furthermore, we studied THs in relation to levels of organo-halogenated contaminants. As predicted, solitary females were in better condition than females caring for offspring, especially in spring. In addition, TH levels were lower in autumn compared to spring, although this seasonal effect was mainly observed in solitary females. Finally, the negative relationships between organochlorine and perfluoroalkyl substances and some THs suggest a possible alteration of homeostasis of THs. Since the latter relationships were only observed during spring, we emphasize the importance of considering the ecological factors when using THs as proxies for pollution exposure. Yet, the combined effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors on THs might impair the ability of polar bears to adapt to ongoing climate changes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Influence of drift and admixture on population structure of American black bears (Ursus americanus) in the Central Interior Highlands, USA, 50 years after translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puckett, Emily E; Kristensen, Thea V; Wilton, Clay M; Lyda, Sara B; Noyce, Karen V; Holahan, Paula M; Leslie, David M; Beringer, Jeff; Belant, Jerrold L; White, Don; Eggert, Lori S

    2014-05-01

    Bottlenecks, founder events, and genetic drift often result in decreased genetic diversity and increased population differentiation. These events may follow abundance declines due to natural or anthropogenic perturbations, where translocations may be an effective conservation strategy to increase population size. American black bears (Ursus americanus) were nearly extirpated from the Central Interior Highlands, USA by 1920. In an effort to restore bears, 254 individuals were translocated from Minnesota, USA, and Manitoba, Canada, into the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains from 1958 to 1968. Using 15 microsatellites and mitochondrial haplotypes, we observed contemporary genetic diversity and differentiation between the source and supplemented populations. We inferred four genetic clusters: Source, Ouachitas, Ozarks, and a cluster in Missouri where no individuals were translocated. Coalescent models using approximate Bayesian computation identified an admixture model as having the highest posterior probability (0.942) over models where the translocation was unsuccessful or acted as a founder event. Nuclear genetic diversity was highest in the source (AR = 9.11) and significantly lower in the translocated populations (AR = 7.07-7.34; P = 0.004). The Missouri cluster had the lowest genetic diversity (AR = 5.48) and served as a natural experiment showing the utility of translocations to increase genetic diversity following demographic bottlenecks. Differentiation was greater between the two admixed populations than either compared to the source, suggesting that genetic drift acted strongly over the eight generations since the translocation. The Ouachitas and Missouri were previously hypothesized to be remnant lineages. We observed a pretranslocation remnant signature in Missouri but not in the Ouachitas. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  5. Six months of disuse during hibernation does not increase intracortical porosity or decrease cortical bone geometry, strength, or mineralization in black bear (Ursus americanus) femurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGee-Lawrence, Meghan E; Wojda, Samantha J; Barlow, Lindsay N; Drummer, Thomas D; Bunnell, Kevin; Auger, Janene; Black, Hal L; Donahue, Seth W

    2009-07-22

    Disuse typically uncouples bone formation from resorption, leading to bone loss which compromises bone mechanical properties and increases the risk of bone fracture. Previous studies suggest that bears can prevent bone loss during long periods of disuse (hibernation), but small sample sizes have limited the conclusions that can be drawn regarding the effects of hibernation on bone structure and strength in bears. Here we quantified the effects of hibernation on structural, mineral, and mechanical properties of black bear (Ursus americanus) cortical bone by studying femurs from large groups of male and female bears (with wide age ranges) killed during pre-hibernation (fall) and post-hibernation (spring) periods. Bone properties that are affected by body mass (e.g. bone geometrical properties) tended to be larger in male compared to female bears. There were no differences (p>0.226) in bone structure, mineral content, or mechanical properties between fall and spring bears. Bone geometrical properties differed by less than 5% and bone mechanical properties differed by less than 10% between fall and spring bears. Porosity (fall: 5.5+/-2.2%; spring: 4.8+/-1.6%) and ash fraction (fall: 0.694+/-0.011; spring: 0.696+/-0.010) also showed no change (p>0.304) between seasons. Statistical power was high (>72%) for these analyses. Furthermore, bone geometrical properties and ash fraction (a measure of mineral content) increased with age and porosity decreased with age. These results support the idea that bears possess a biological mechanism to prevent disuse and age-related osteoporoses.

  6. Effects of biometrics, location and persistent organic pollutants on blood clinical-chemical parameters in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard, Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciesielski, Tomasz Maciej; Sonne, Christian; Ormbostad, Ingunn; Aars, Jon; Lie, Elisabeth; Bytingsvik, Jenny; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro

    2018-05-31

    In the present study, blood clinical-chemical parameters (BCCPs) were analysed in 20 female and 18 male Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) captured in spring 2007. The aim was to study how age, body condition (BC), biometrics, plasma lipid content and geographical location may confound the relationship between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including PCBs, HCB, chlordanes, DDTs, HCHs, mirex and OH-PCBs and the concentrations of 12 specific BCCPs (hematocrit [HCT], hemoglobin [HB], aspartate aminotransferase [ASAT], alanine aminotransferase [ALAT], γ-glutamyltransferase [GGT], creatine kinase [CK], triglycerides [TG], cholesterol [CHOL], high-density lipoprotein [HDL], creatinine (CREA], urea, potassium (K]), and to investigate if any of these BCCPs may be applied as potential biomarkers for POP exposure in polar bears. Initial PCA and O-PLS modelling showed that age, lipids, BC and geographical location (longitude and latitude) were important parameters explaining BCCPs in females. Following subsequent partial correlation analyses correcting for age and lipids, multiple POPs in females were still significantly correlated with HCT and HDL (all p biometrics, lipids and longitude in males, multiple POPs were significantly correlated with HCT, ASAT, GGT and CHOL (all p < 0.05). In conclusion, several confounding parameters has to be taken into account when studying the relations between BCCPs and POPs in polar bears. When correcting for these, in particular HCT may be used as a simple cost-efficient biomarker of POP exposure in polar bears. Furthermore, decreasing HDL concentrations and increasing CHOL concentration with increasing POP concentrations may indicate responses related to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. We therefore suggest to further study POP exposure and lipidome response to increase knowledge of the risk of cardiometabolic syndrome in polar bears. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Isolation and Genetic Characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from Black Bears (Ursus americanus), Bobcats (Lynx rufus), and Feral Cats (Felis catus) from Pennsylvania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, Jitender P; Verma, Shiv K; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Cassinelli, Ana B; Kwok, Oliver C H; Van Why, Kyle; Su, Chunlei; Humphreys, Jan G

    2015-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infects virtually all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. Recently, attention has been focused on the genetic diversity of the parasite to explain its pathogenicity in different hosts. It has been hypothesized that interaction between feral and domestic cycles of T. gondii may increase unusual genotypes in domestic cats and facilitate transmission of potentially more pathogenic genotypes to humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. In the present study, we tested black bear (Ursus americanus), bobcat (Lynx rufus), and feral cat (Felis catus) from the state of Pennsylvania for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 32 (84.2%) of 38 bears, both bobcats, and 2 of 3 feral cats tested by the modified agglutination test (cut off titer 1:25). Hearts from seropositive animals were bioassayed in mice, and viable T. gondii was isolated from 3 of 32 bears, 2 of 2 bobcats, and 2 of 3 feral cats. DNA isolated from culture-derived tachyzoites of these isolates was characterized using multilocus PCR-RFLP markers. Three genotypes were revealed, including ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #1 or #3 (Type II, 1 isolate), #5 (Type 12, 3 isolates), and #216 (3 isolates), adding to the evidence of genetic diversity of T. gondii in wildlife in Pennsylvania. Pathogenicity of 3 T. gondii isolates (all #216, 1 from bear, and 2 from feral cat) was determined in outbred Swiss Webster mice; all three were virulent causing 100% mortality. Results indicated that highly mouse pathogenic strains of T. gondii are circulating in wildlife, and these strains may pose risk to infect human through consuming of game meat. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  8. Decrease in the red cell cofactor 2,3-diphosphoglycerate increases hemoglobin oxygen affinity in the hibernating brown bear Ursus arctos.

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    Revsbech, Inge G; Malte, Hans; Fröbert, Ole; Evans, Alina; Blanc, Stéphane; Josefsson, Johan; Fago, Angela

    2013-01-01

    During winter hibernation, brown bears (Ursus arctos) reduce basal O(2) consumption rate to ∼25% compared with the active state, while body temperature decreases moderately (to ∼30°C), suggesting a temperature-independent component in their metabolic depression. To establish whether changes in O(2) consumption during hibernation correlate with changes in blood O(2) affinity, we took blood samples from the same six individuals of hibernating and nonhibernating free-ranging brown bears during winter and summer, respectively. A single hemoglobin (Hb) component was detected in all samples, indicating no switch in Hb synthesis. O(2) binding curves measured on red blood cell lysates at 30°C and 37°C showed a less temperature-sensitive O(2) affinity than in other vertebrates. Furthermore, hemolysates from hibernating bears consistently showed lower cooperativity and higher O(2) affinity than their summer counterparts, regardless of the temperature. We found that this increase in O(2) affinity was associated with a significant decrease in the red cell Hb-cofactor 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (DPG) during hibernation to approximately half of the summer value. Experiments performed on purified Hb, to which DPG had been added to match summer and winter levels, confirmed that the low DPG content was the cause of the left shift in the Hb-O(2) equilibrium curve during hibernation. Levels of plasma lactate indicated that glycolysis is not upregulated during hibernation and that metabolism is essentially aerobic. Calculations show that the increase in Hb-O(2) affinity and decrease in cooperativity resulting from decreased red cell DPG may be crucial in maintaining a fairly constant tissue oxygen tension during hibernation in vivo.

  9. cDNA, genomic sequence cloning, and overexpression of EIF1 from the giant panda (Ailuropoda Melanoleuca) and the black bear (Ursus Thibetanus Mupinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Wan-ru; Tang, Yun; Hou, Yi-ling; Song, Yan; Zhang, Tian; Wu, Guang-fu

    2010-07-01

    Eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) EIF1 is a universally conserved translation factor that is involved in translation initiation site selection. The cDNA and the genomic sequences of EIF1 were cloned successfully from the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and the black bear (Ursus thibetanus mupinensis) using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technology and touchdown-polymerase chain reaction, respectively. The cDNAs of the EIF1 cloned from the giant panda and the black bear are 418 bp in size, containing an open reading frame (ORF) of 342 bp encoding 113 amino acids. The length of the genomic sequence of the giant panda is 1909 bp, which contains four exons and three introns. The length of the genomic sequence of the black bear is 1897 bp, which also contains four exons and three introns. Sequence alignment indicates a high degree of homology to those of Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus, and Bos Taurus at both amino acid and DNA levels. Topology prediction shows there are one N-glycosylation site, two Casein kinase II phosphorylation sites, and a Amidation site in the EIF1 protein of the giant panda and black bear. In addition, there is a protein kinase C phosphorylation site in EIF1 of the giant panda. The giant panda and the black bear EIF1 genes were overexpressed in E. coli BL21. The results indicated that the both EIF1 fusion proteins with the N-terminally His-tagged form gave rise to the accumulation of two expected 19 kDa polypeptide. The expression products obtained could be used to purify the proteins and study their function further.

  10. Persistent organic pollutants and penile bone mineral density in East Greenland and Canadian polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1996-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugaard-Petersen, Tobias; Langebæk, Rikke; Rigét, Frank F; Dyck, Markus; Letcher, Robert J; Hyldstrup, Lars; Jensen, Jens-Erik Bech; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian

    2018-05-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are long-range transported to the Arctic via atmospheric and oceanic currents, where they biomagnify to high concentrations in the tissues of apex predators such as polar bears (Ursus maritimus). A major concern of POP exposure is their physiological effects on vital organ-tissues posing a threat to the health and survival of polar bears. Here we examined the relationship between selected POPs and baculum bone mineral density (BMD) in the East Greenland and seven Canadian subpopulations of polar bears. BMD was examined in 471 bacula collected between years 1996-2015 while POP concentrations in adipose tissue were determined in 67-192 of these individuals collected from 1999 to -2015. A geographical comparison showed that baculum BMD was significantly lowest in polar bears from East Greenland (EG) when compared to Gulf of Boothia (GB), Southern Hudson (SH) and Western Hudson (WH) Bay subpopulations (all p bears as a reference group gave a T-score of -1.44 which indicate risk of osteopenia. Concentrations of ΣPCB 74 (polychlorinated biphenyls), ΣDDT 3 (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes), p,p'-DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), ΣHCH 3 (hexachlorohexane) and α-HCH was significantly highest in EG bears while ΣPBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), BDE-47 and BDE-153 was significantly highest in SH bears (all p polar bears despite the positive statistical correlations of BMD vs. POPs. Other important factors such as nutritional status, body mass and body condition was not available for the statistical modelling. Since on-going environmental changes are known to affect these, future studies need to incorporate nutritional, endocrine and genetic parameters to further understand how POP exposure may disrupt bone homeostasis and affect baculum BMD across polar bear subpopulations. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. East Greenland and Barents Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus): adaptive variation between two populations using skull morphometrics as an indicator of environmental and genetic differences.

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    Pertoldi, Cino; Sonne, Christian; Wiig, Øystein; Baagøe, Hans J; Loeschcke, Volker; Bechshøft, Thea Østergaard

    2012-06-01

    A morphometric study was conducted on four skull traits of 37 male and 18 female adult East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) collected 1892-1968, and on 54 male and 44 female adult Barents Sea polar bears collected 1950-1969. The aim was to compare differences in size and shape of the bear skulls using a multivariate approach, characterizing the variation between the two populations using morphometric traits as an indicator of environmental and genetic differences. Mixture analysis testing for geographic differentiation within each population revealed three clusters for Barents Sea males and three clusters for Barents Sea females. East Greenland consisted of one female and one male cluster. A principal component analysis (PCA) conducted on the clusters defined by the mixture analysis, showed that East Greenland and Barents Sea polar bear populations overlapped to a large degree, especially with regards to females. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) showed no significant differences in morphometric means between the two populations, but differences were detected between clusters from each respective geographic locality. To estimate the importance of genetics and environment in the morphometric differences between the bears, a PCA was performed on the covariance matrix derived from the skull measurements. Skull trait size (PC1) explained approx. 80% of the morphometric variation, whereas shape (PC2) defined approx. 15%, indicating some genetic differentiation. Hence, both environmental and genetic factors seem to have contributed to the observed skull differences between the two populations. Overall, results indicate that many Barents Sea polar bears are morphometrically similar to the East Greenland ones, suggesting an exchange of individuals between the two populations. Furthermore, a subpopulation structure in the Barents Sea population was also indicated from the present analyses, which should be considered with regards to future management

  12. Assessment of neurotoxic effects of mercury in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), ringed seals (Pusa hispida), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krey, Anke; Ostertag, Sonja K; Chan, Hing Man

    2015-03-15

    Marine mammals are indicator species of the Arctic ecosystem and an integral component of the traditional Inuit diet. The potential neurotoxic effects of increased mercury (Hg) in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), ringed seals (Pusa hispida), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are not clear. We assessed the risk of Hg-associated neurotoxicity to these species by comparing their brain Hg concentrations with threshold concentrations for toxic endpoints detected in laboratory animals and field observations: clinical symptoms (>6.75 mg/kg wet weight (ww)), neuropathological signs (>4 mg/kg ww), neurochemical changes (>0.4 mg/kg ww), and neurobehavioral changes (>0.1mg/kg ww). The total Hg (THg) concentrations in the cerebellum and frontal lobe of ringed seals and polar bears were 3mg/kg ww. Our results suggest that brain THg levels in polar bears are below levels that induce neurobehavioral effects as reported in the literature, while THg concentrations in ringed seals are within the range that elicit neurobehavioral effects and individual ringed seals exceed the threshold for neurochemical changes. The relatively high THg concentration in beluga whales exceeds all of the neurotoxicity thresholds assessed. High brain selenium (Se):Hg molar ratios were observed in all three species, suggesting that Se could protect the animals from Hg-associated neurotoxicity. This assessment was limited by several factors that influence neurotoxic effects in animals, including: animal species; form of Hg in the brain; and interactions with modifiers of Hg-associated toxicity, such as Se. Comparing brain Hg concentrations in wildlife with concentrations of appropriate laboratory studies can be used as a tool for risk characterization of the neurotoxic effects of Hg in Arctic marine mammals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Thyroid hormones and deiodinase activity in plasma and tissues in relation to high levels of organohalogen contaminants in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielsen, Kristin Møller; Krokstad, Julie Stene; Villanger, Gro Dehli; Blair, David A D; Obregon, Maria-Jesus; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Letcher, Robert J; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown relationships between organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) and circulating levels of thyroid hormones (THs) in arctic wildlife. However, there is a lack of knowledge concerning the possible functional effects of OHCs on TH status in target tissues for TH-dependent activity. The relationships between circulating (plasma) levels of OHCs and various TH variables in plasma as well as in liver, muscle and kidney tissues from East Greenland sub-adult polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled in 2011 (n=7) were therefore investigated. The TH variables included 3.3',5.5'-tetraiodothyronine or thyroxine (T4), 3.3',5-triiodothyronine (T3) and type 1 (D1) and type 2 (D2) deiodinase activities. Principal component analysis (PCA) combined with correlation analyses demonstrated negative relationships between individual polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and their hydroxylated (OH-) metabolites and T4 in both plasma and muscle. There were both positive and negative relationships between individual OHCs and D1 and D2 activities in muscle, liver and kidney tissues. In general, PCBs, OH-PCBs and polybrominated dipehenyl ethers (PBDEs) were positively correlated to D1 and D2 activities, whereas organochlorine pesticides and byproducts (OCPs) were negatively associated with D1 and D2 activities. These results support the hypothesis that OHCs can affect TH status and action in the target tissues of polar bears. TH levels and deiodinase activities in target tissues can be sensitive endpoints for exposure of TH-disrupting compounds in arctic wildlife, and thus, tissue-specific responses in target organs should be further considered when assessing TH disruption in wildlife studies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Reproductive performance in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) may be affected by organohalogen contaminants as shown by physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonne, Christian; Gustavson, Kim; Rigét, Frank F; Dietz, Rune; Birkved, Morten; Letcher, Robert J; Bossi, Rossana; Vorkamp, Katrin; Born, Erik W; Petersen, Gitte

    2009-12-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) feed mainly on ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and consume large quantities of blubber and consequently have one of the highest tissue concentrations of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) worldwide. In East Greenland, studies of OHC time trends and organ system health effects, including reproductive, were conducted during 1990-2006. However, it has been difficult to determine the nature of the effects induced by OHC exposures on wild caught polar bears using body burden data and associated changes in reproductive organs and systems. We therefore conducted a risk quotient (RQ) evaluation to more quantitatively evaluate the effect risk on reproduction (embryotoxicity and teratogenicity) based on the critical body residue (CBR) concept and using a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. We applied modelling approaches to PCBs, p,p'-DDE, dieldrin, oxychlordane, HCHs, HCB, PBDEs and PFOS in East Greenland polar bears based on known OHC pharmacokinetics and dynamics in laboratory rats (Rattus rattus). The results showed that subcutaneous adipose tissue concentrations of dieldrin (range: 79-1271 ng g(-1) lw) and PCBs (range: 4128-53,923 ng g(-1) lw) reported in bears in the year 1990 were in the range to elicit possible adverse health effects on reproduction in polar bears in East Greenland (all RQs > or = 1). Similar results were found for PCBs (range: 1928-17,376 ng g(-1) lw) and PFOS (range: 104-2840 ng g(-1) ww) in the year 2000 and for dieldrin (range: 43-640 ng g(-1) lw), PCBs (range: 3491-13,243 ng g(-1) lw) and PFOS (range: 1332-6160 ng g(-1) ww) in the year 2006. The concentrations of oxychlordane, DDTs, HCB and HCHs in polar bears resulted in RQspolar bears correlated to OHC exposure are supported by the present study. This study also indicates that PBPK models may be a supportive tool in the evaluation of possible OHC-mediated health effects for Arctic wildlife.

  15. Preliminary Facies Reconstruction of a Late Pleistocene Cypress Forest Discovered on the Northern Gulf of Mexico Continental Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez Rodriguez, S. M.; Bentley, S. J.; DeLong, K. L.; Xu, K.; Caporaso, A.; Obelcz, J. B.; Harley, G. L.; Reese, C. A.; Truong, J. T.

    2016-12-01

    We are investigating the origin and preservation of an ancient bald cypress forest (Taxodium distichum) discovered on the continental shelf seafloor, offshore of Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA, in 20 m water depth. The forest was likely buried in the late Pleistocene, possibly exhumed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and is now exposed as stumps in life position with little evidence of decay before recent marine exposure. Radiocarbon analyses show that the forest age is near (and in some cases beyond) the limits of 14C dating, at least 41-45 ky BP. In August 2015 and July 2016, submersible vibracores (up to 5 m in length) were collected. Ongoing core analyses include: organic content (loss on ignition), granulometry, and core logging using a Geotek Multi Sensor Core Logger to generate imagery, bulk density, and x-ray fluorescence data. To bolster 14C analyses, cores collected in 2016 are presently being dated using optically stimulated luminescence. Local stratigraphy consists of a surface facies of Holocene transgressive sands, underlain by possible estuarine sediments of interbedded sand and mud (potentially Holocene or Pleistocene), overlying a swamp or delta plain facies (likely Pleistocene) containing woody debris and mud. Deeper woody facies are thought to include the soil horizons of the ancient cypress forest. Cores collected in 2016 revealed a Pleistocene paleosol beneath Holocene sands in a nearby trough. Elevation differences between swamp and paleosol horizons will be evaluated from bathymetric and subbottom data, to help characterize the preserved ancient landscape. Initial interpretation based on close proximity of Pleistocene swamp and oxidized paleosol sediments, and regional geomorphic gradients suggest that this relatively diverse assemblage of facies developed up to tens of km from the glacial-age coastline, and relatively rapid burial prevented erosion by coastal processes during the Holocene transgression thus preserving the tree stumps and wood debris.

  16. Nitrogen isotopes suggest a change in nitrogen dynamics between the Late Pleistocene and modern time in Yukon, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longstaffe, Fred J.; Zazula, Grant

    2018-01-01

    A magnificent repository of Late Pleistocene terrestrial megafauna fossils is contained in ice-rich loess deposits of Alaska and Yukon, collectively eastern Beringia. The stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope compositions of bone collagen from these fossils are routinely used to determine paleodiet and reconstruct the paleoecosystem. This approach requires consideration of changes in C- and N-isotope dynamics over time and their effects on the terrestrial vegetation isotopic baseline. To test for such changes between the Late Pleistocene and modern time, we compared δ13C and δ15N for vegetation and bone collagen and structural carbonate of some modern, Yukon, arctic ground squirrels with vegetation and bones from Late Pleistocene fossil arctic ground squirrel nests preserved in Yukon loess deposits. The isotopic discrimination between arctic ground squirrel bone collagen and their diet was measured using modern samples, as were isotopic changes during plant decomposition; Over-wintering decomposition of typical vegetation following senescence resulted in a minor change (~0–1 ‰) in δ13C of modern Yukon grasses. A major change (~2–10 ‰) in δ15N was measured for decomposing Yukon grasses thinly covered by loess. As expected, the collagen-diet C-isotope discrimination measured for modern samples confirms that modern vegetation δ13C is a suitable proxy for the Late Pleistocene vegetation in Yukon Territory, after correction for the Suess effect. The N-isotope composition of vegetation from the fossil arctic ground squirrel nests, however, is determined to be ~2.8 ‰ higher than modern grasslands in the region, after correction for decomposition effects. This result suggests a change in N dynamics in this region between the Late Pleistocene and modern time. PMID:29447202

  17. Steppic environments at the end of the upper pleistocene in southern Tunisia (Oued el Akarit)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brun, Annik; Guerin, Claude; Levy, Alain; Riser, Jean; Rognon, Pierre

    The cross section of the Oued el Akarit, 25 km North of Gabès, is of considerable importance for the paleoenvironmental reconstitution of South Tunisia at the end of the Upper Pleistocene. Grey or black silts and clays and greenish gray sands which overlap them, contain many paleontological remains: rodents, birds and Rhinoceros bones, Gasteropods, Foraminifera, Ostracoda and pollen. All these sedimentological, faunistic or botanical indications allow to consider that this area, between approximatively 35,000 and 22,000 yr. B.P., belonged to the steppe domaine. But this steppe was probably more dense and more diversified than the present-day steppe which receives 170 mm of rain (annual average). This conclusion is in good agreement with the other paleoenvironmental data from the Chott Djerid, the Matmata plateau or the Gulf of Gabès cores, areas situated at about 100 km to the West, the South or the East of the Oued el Akarit.

  18. Direct evidence for human reliance on rainforest resources in late Pleistocene Sri Lanka.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Patrick; Perera, Nimal; Wedage, Oshan; Deraniyagala, Siran; Perera, Jude; Eregama, Saman; Gledhill, Andrew; Petraglia, Michael D; Lee-Thorp, Julia A

    2015-03-13

    Human occupation of tropical rainforest habitats is thought to be a mainly Holocene phenomenon. Although archaeological and paleoenvironmental data have hinted at pre-Holocene rainforest foraging, earlier human reliance on rainforest resources has not been shown directly. We applied stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis to human and faunal tooth enamel from four late Pleistocene-to-Holocene archaeological sites in Sri Lanka. The results show that human foragers relied primarily on rainforest resources from at least ~20,000 years ago, with a distinct preference for semi-open rainforest and rain forest edges. Homo sapiens' relationship with the tropical rainforests of South Asia is therefore long-standing, a conclusion that indicates the time-depth of anthropogenic reliance and influence on these habitats. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  19. Reconsideration of the systematics of the Early Pleistocene Cervavitus (Cervidae, Artiodactyla, Mammalia

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    Dong, W.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Cervavitus were usually found from the Late Miocene and Pliocene deposits in East Europe, Middle Asia and North China, but they were found recently in many Early Pleistocene localities in southern China. The latter resulted in the discussion of their systematic status between Cervavitus and Cervus. Here we show the Early Pleistocene forms from southern China are morphometrically more similar to northern China Cervavitus species, and the cladistic analysis shows that the southern China forms are closer to classic Cervavitus species than Cervus and that also proves their systematic status in Cervavitus rather than in Cervus. Cervavitus originated in Moldovan forests of East Europe in the late Vallesian (MN10 from a brachyodont and holometacarpal ancestor with two/three-tined antlers and Palaeomeryx fold and evolved into C. novorossiae. It dispersed into West Europe forests in the earliest Turolian and further west to France in the Ruscinian. It dispersed into northern China forests in the early Turolian and represented by C. shanxius. The great quantity of C. shanxius specimens with brachyodont teeth and complete lateral metacarpals implies the arid Loess Plateau of today was a humid forested region in the Late Miocene. C. shanxius migrated southwards in the Plio-Pleistocene probably due to the drying environment in northern China with uplifting of Himalayas and evolved into C. ultimus and C. fenqii, which survived in southern China until the Early Pleistocene (MNQ18.La revisión sistemática de Cervivatus sugiere que deriva del principal clado de los cérvidos posteriores a los muntiacinos, e implica que Procervulinae, Dicrocerinae y la primeras formas de Munticiacinae serían holometacarpales, como también lo es Cervivatus, originario en los bosques de Moldavia (Europa del Este durante el Vallesiense final (MN 10, a partir de un antecesor braquiodonto y holometacarpal, con astas con dos o tres candiles y pliegue paleomerícido, y que da lugar a

  20. FOSSIL REPTILES FROM THE PLEISTOCENE HOMO-BEARING LOCALITY OF BUIA (ERITREA, NORTHERN DANAKIL DEPRESSION

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    MASSIMO DELFINO

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available The early to early-Middle Pleistocene fossil assemblage form the Buia area (Northern Danakil Depression, Eritrea hosts, along with Homo and several other large mammal taxa, the following reptiles: Nile Crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus, Serrated Hinged Terrapin, Pelusios cf. P. sinuatus, Nile Monitor, Varanus niloticus and African Rock Python, Python gr. sebae. All the identified taxa belong to living species. At present, these taxa do not occur in the Northern Danakil depression since it is an arid area. P. sinuatus is not a member of the Eritrean herpetofauna. Although the marked preponderance of the crocodile remains is probably connected to the taphonomy of the sites and the collecting methods used, the ecological value of the reptile fauna corroborates that of the mammals, in indicating a lacustrine or fluvio-deltaic palaeoenvironment and a tropical/subtropical or even sub-Sahelic climate. The Buia remains represent the first reported Eritrean palaeoherpetofauna.