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Sample records for psittacus erithacus erithacus

  1. Breeding biology of African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) in Kom ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Parrots are considered a globally threatened group but, despite that, little is known about the ecology and biology of many species in the wild, this is the case for African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). The aim of this work was to study the reproductive biology of the wild grey parrot and its involvement in the conservation ...

  2. Grey Parrots Psittacus erithacus in Kampala, Uganda – are they ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The globally Vulnerable Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) has been seen in Kampala, Uganda's capital city, in increasing numbers in recent years. This apparently new behaviour of a typically forest species is helped by the presence of many large trees, which provide roosting and nesting sites, and fruiting trees where they ...

  3. Breeding biology of African grey parrot ( Psittacus erithacus ) in Kom ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Parrots are considered a globally threatened group but, despite that, little is known about the ecology and biology of many species in the wild, this is the case for African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). The aim of this work was to study the reproductive biology of the wild grey parrot and its involvement in the conservation ...

  4. Social isolation shortens telomeres in African Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Aydinonat

    Full Text Available Telomeres, the caps of eukaryotic chromosomes, control chromosome stability and cellular senescence, but aging and exposure to chronic stress are suspected to cause attrition of telomere length. We investigated the effect of social isolation on telomere length in the highly social and intelligent African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus. Our study population consisted of single-housed (n = 26 and pair-housed (n = 19 captive individuals between 0.75 to 45 years of age. Relative telomere length of erythrocyte DNA was measured by quantitative real-time PCR. We found that telomere length declined with age (p<0.001, and socially isolated parrots had significantly shorter telomeres compared to pair-housed birds (p<0.001 - even among birds of similar ages. Our findings provide the first evidence that social isolation affects telomere length, which supports the hypothesis that telomeres provide a biomarker indicating exposure to chronic stress.

  5. Social isolation shortens telomeres in African Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydinonat, Denise; Penn, Dustin J; Smith, Steve; Moodley, Yoshan; Hoelzl, Franz; Knauer, Felix; Schwarzenberger, Franz

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres, the caps of eukaryotic chromosomes, control chromosome stability and cellular senescence, but aging and exposure to chronic stress are suspected to cause attrition of telomere length. We investigated the effect of social isolation on telomere length in the highly social and intelligent African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). Our study population consisted of single-housed (n = 26) and pair-housed (n = 19) captive individuals between 0.75 to 45 years of age. Relative telomere length of erythrocyte DNA was measured by quantitative real-time PCR. We found that telomere length declined with age (pparrots had significantly shorter telomeres compared to pair-housed birds (p<0.001) - even among birds of similar ages. Our findings provide the first evidence that social isolation affects telomere length, which supports the hypothesis that telomeres provide a biomarker indicating exposure to chronic stress.

  6. Social context influences the vocalizations of a home-raised African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colbert-White, Erin N; Covington, Michael A; Fragaszy, Dorothy M

    2011-05-01

    Home-raised African Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus) exhibit strong social bonding with their human companions. We examined how 1 parrot's vocal production (speech and nonword sounds) changed with social context with respect to descriptive measures of the vocalizations and their thematic content. We videotaped the parrot in 4 social conditions: subject home alone, subject and owner in the same room, owner in a separate room within hearing range, and owner and experimenter conversing in the same room as the parrot but ignoring her. Linguistic analysis revealed the parrot's repertoire consisted of 278 "units" ranging in length from 1 to 8 words or sounds. Rate of vocalization and vocabulary richness (i.e., the number of different units used) differed significantly, and many vocalizations were context-specific. For example, when her owner was in the room and willing to reciprocate communication, the parrot was more likely to use units that, in English, would be considered solicitations for vocal interaction (e.g., "Cosmo wanna talk"). When she and her owner were in separate rooms, the subject was significantly more likely to use units that referenced her spatial location and that of her owner (e.g., "Where are you"), suggesting she uses specific units as an adaptation of the wild parrot contact call. These results challenge the notion that parrots only imitate speech and raise interesting questions regarding the role of social interaction in learning and communicative competence in an avian species. 2011 APA, all rights reserved

  7. Cooperative problem solving in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Péron, F; Rat-Fischer, L; Lalot, M; Nagle, L; Bovet, D

    2011-07-01

    One of the main characteristics of human societies is the extensive degree of cooperation among individuals. Cooperation is an elaborate phenomenon, also found in non-human primates during laboratory studies and field observations of animal hunting behaviour, among other things. Some authors suggest that the pressures assumed to have favoured the emergence of social intelligence in primates are similar to those that may have permitted the emergence of complex cognitive abilities in some bird species such as corvids and psittacids. In the wild, parrots show cooperative behaviours such as bi-parental care and mobbing. In this study, we tested cooperative problem solving in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Our birds were tested using several experimental setups to explore the different levels of behavioural organisation between participants, differing in temporal and spatial complexity. In our experiments, African grey parrots were able to act simultaneously but mostly failed during the delay task, maybe because of a lack of inhibitory motor response. Confronted with the possibility to adapt their behaviour to the presence or absence of a partner, they showed that they were able to coordinate their actions. They also collaborated, acting complementarily in order to solve tasks, but they were not able to place themselves in the partner's role.

  8. Antemortem diagnosis of hydrocephalus in two Congo African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus) by means of computed tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, Mary I; Mans, Christoph; Fazio, Constance; Waller, Ken; Rylander, Helena; Pinkerton, Marie E

    2015-04-01

    A 7-year-old and a 10-year-old Congo African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus; parrots 1 and 2, respectively) were evaluated because of neurologic deficits. Parrot 1 had an 8- to 9-month history of lethargy and anorexia, with a recent history of a suspected seizure. Parrot 2 had a 6-month history of decreased activity and vocalizing, with an extended history of excessive water intake; a water deprivation test ruled out diabetes insipidus, and psychogenic polydipsia was suspected. Both birds had ophthalmologic asymmetry, with anisocoria detected in parrot 1 and unilateral blindness in parrot 2. Metal gastrointestinal foreign bodies were observed on whole-body radiographs of both birds, but blood lead concentrations were below the range indicated for lead toxicosis. Findings on CT of the head were consistent with hydrocephalus in both cases. Parrot 1 received supportive care and died 3 months after the diagnosis of hydrocephalus. Parrot 2 was treated with omeprazole and prednisolone for 10 days without any improvement in neurologic deficits; euthanasia was elected, and hydrocephalus was confirmed on necropsy. No underlying or concurrent disease was identified. Hydrocephalus should be considered a differential diagnosis for parrots evaluated because of CNS signs. Computed tomography was an excellent screening tool to diagnose hydrocephalus in these patients. Compared with MRI, CT is more frequently available and offers reduced scanning times, reduced cost, and less concern for interference from metallic foreign bodies.

  9. Fecal corticosterone excretion in captive healthy and feather picking African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus)

    OpenAIRE

    Costa, Pierluca; Macchi, Elisabetta; Valle, Emanuela; De Marco, Michele; Gasco, Laura; Schiavone, Achille

    2016-01-01

    Feather picking (FP) is a common problem in companion parrots, especially in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Many hypothesis have been made about this self-mutilating behavior, and serious psychological conflicts can play a pivotal role in the initiation of this self-defeating and self-punishing behaviour. Even though ethological distress is difficult to study, the monitoring of fecal corticoids is a useful non-invasive tool that can be used to assess stress in animals. The purpos...

  10. Reasoning by inference: further studies on exclusion in grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepperberg, Irene M; Koepke, Adrienne; Livingston, Paige; Girard, Monique; Hartsfield, Leigh Ann

    2013-08-01

    Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) abilities for visual inferential reasoning by exclusion were tested in two experiments. The first replicated the Grey parrot study of Mikolasch, Kotrschal, and Schloegl (2011, African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus) use inference by exclusion to find hidden food. Biology Letters, 7, 875-877), which in turn replicated that of Premack and Premck (1994, Levels of causal understanding in chimpanzees and children. Cognition, 50, 347-362) with apes, to learn if our subjects could succeed on this task. Here parrots watched an experimenter hide two equally desirable foods under two separate opaque cups, surreptitiously remove and then, in view of the birds, pocket/eat one of the foods, leaving birds to find the still baited cup. The experiment contained controls for various alternative explanations for the birds' behavior, but birds might still have avoided a cup from which something had been removed rather than specifically tracking the eaten food. Thus, in the second experiment, some trials were run with one food slightly more preferred than the other, during which two items of each type were hidden and only one of the items were removed from one cup. Sessions also included Experiment 1-type trials to see if birds tracked when and when not to use exclusion. Thus, birds would be rewarded for attending closely to all the experimental aspects needed to infer how to receive their preferred treat. Three of four birds succeeded fully.

  11. Delayed gratification: A grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) will wait for a better reward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koepke, Adrienne E; Gray, Suzanne L; Pepperberg, Irene M

    2015-11-01

    Delay of gratification, the ability to forgo an immediate reward to gain either better quality or quantity, has been used as a metric for temporal discounting, self-control, and the ability to plan for the future in both humans (particularly children) and nonhumans. The task involved can be parsed in several ways, such that the subjects can be required to wait, not only for a better or a larger reward, but also such that the rewards can either be in view or hidden during the delay interval. We have demonstrated that a Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) trained in the use of English speech could respond to the label "wait" for up to 15 min, in a task that has many similarities to those used with young children, to receive a better quality reward, whether or not the better quality reward or the experimenter was in view. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Pharmacokinetics of paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, in Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus): influence of pharmaceutical formulation and length of dosing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Zeeland, Y R A; Schoemaker, N J; Haritova, A; Smit, J W; van Maarseveen, E M; Lumeij, J T; Fink-Gremmels, J

    2013-02-01

    Paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, may be beneficial in the treatment of behavioural disorders in pet birds. The lack of pharmacokinetic data and clinical trials currently limits the use of this drug in clinical avian practice. This paper evaluates the pharmacokinetic properties and potential side effects of single and repeated dosing of paroxetine in Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). Paroxetine pharmacokinetics were studied after single i.v. and single oral dosing, and after repeated oral administration during 1 month. Plasma paroxetine concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. No undesirable side effects were observed during the study. Pharmacokinetic analysis revealed a quick distribution and rapid elimination after i.v. administration. Oral administration of paroxetine HCl dissolved in water resulted in a relatively slow absorption (T(max)=5.9±2.6 h) and a low bioavailability (31±15%). Repeated administration resulted in higher rate of absorption, most likely due to a saturation of the cytochrome P450-mediated first-pass metabolism. This study shows that oral administration of paroxetine HCl (4 mg/kg twice daily) in parrots results in plasma concentrations within the therapeutic range recommended for the treatment of depressions in humans. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the clinical efficacy of this dosage regimen in parrots with behavioural disorders. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. [First detection of psittacid herpesvirus 2 in Congo African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus) associated with pharyngeal papillomas and cloacal inflammation in Germany].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legler, Marko; Kothe, Ruth; Wohlsein, Peter; Hewicker-Trautwein, Marion; Kummerfeld, Norbert; Rautenschlein, Silke

    2014-01-01

    Congo African Grey Parrots (GP; Psittacus erithacus erithacus) from four different avicultures, presented in the Clinic for Exotic Pets, Reptiles and Birds, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, showed choanal papillomas or hyperemia of the cloacal mucosa. Histologically, the mucosal choanal proliferations were diagnosed as exophytic papillomas and a mild hyperplasia of the cloacal mucosa with lympho-histiocytic inflammation with no visible inclusion bodies was found. Herpesvirus genome was detected by nested PCR in pooled choanal and cloacal swabs from clinically diseased parrots and healthy contact animals. Sequencing of parts of the herpesvirus DNA-polymerase gene indicated 98-100% homology of the detected herpesviruses with the Psittacid Herpesvirus 2 (PsHV-2). In one aviculture with cloacal inflammation papillomavirus-DNA was concurrently found to a PsHV-2 infection. In addition to the four avicultures with clinical symptoms 25 more flocks of grey parrots, in total 57 Congo-GP and 13 Timneh-GP, were examined for a herpesvirus infection. A total of six out of 29 studied parrot avicultures were tested positive for PsHV-2. The detection of this virus also in flocks of GP, which were bred in Europe, shows the establishment of this infection in the GP population in captivity. As indicated in the literature as well as in our study PsHV-2 could be only detected in Congo-GP, independently if they were kept either alone or in mixed avicultures with amazon and macaw species. These findings suggest that PsHV-2 is adapted to this Psittacus species.

  14. A study of sharing and reciprocity in grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Péron, Franck; John, Maria; Sapowicz, Stephanie; Bovet, Dalila; Pepperberg, Irene M

    2013-03-01

    Demonstrations of nonhuman ability to share resources and reciprocate such sharing seem contingent upon the experimental paradigm used (note Horner et al. in PNAS 108:13847-13851, 2011). Here, such behaviour in Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) was tested in two experiments, both designed to avoid possible issues involving apparatus complexity, visible reward options, and physical competition and/or limited communication between subjects. In both studies, two birds, working in dyads, took turns in choosing one of four different coloured cups with differing outcomes: empty (null, nonrewarding), selfish (keeping reward for oneself), share (sharing a divisible reward), or giving (donating reward to other). In Experiment 1, each bird alternated choices with a conspecific; in Experiment 2, each bird alternated with the three humans with different specific intentions (selfish, giving, or copying bird's behaviour). In both experiments, birds could learn to cooperatively reward a partner at little cost to themselves-by sharing-and potentially maximize overall reward by reciprocating such sharing. Experiment 1 results differed depending upon which bird began a session: Only our dominant bird, as follower, was willing to share. In Experiment 2, birds' responses tended towards consistency with human behaviour. Our dominant bird was willing to share a reward with a human who was willing to give up her reward, was selfish with the selfish human, and tended towards sharing with the copycat human; our subordinate bird tended slightly towards increased sharing with the generous human and selfishness with the selfish human, but did not change behaviour with the copycat.

  15. Plasma osmolality reference values in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus), Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis), and red-fronted macaws (Ara rubrogenys).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaufrère, Hugues; Acierno, Mark; Mitchell, Mark; Guzman, David Sanchez-Migallon; Bryant, Heather; Tully, Thomas N

    2011-06-01

    Birds are routinely presented to veterinarians for dehydration. Success with these cases ultimately depends on providing replacement fluids and re-establishing fluid homeostasis. Few studies have been done to determine reference ranges for plasma osmolality in birds. The goals of this study were to determine reference values for plasma osmolality in 3 species of parrots and to provide recommendations on fluid selection for replacement therapy in these species. Blood samples were collected from 21 adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis), 21 Congo African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus), and 9 red-fronted macaws (Ara rubrogenys), and were placed into lithium heparin containers. Plasma osmolality was measured in duplicate with a freezing point depression osmometer. Summary statistics were computed from the average values. Reference ranges, calculated by using the robust method, were 288-324, 308-345, and 223-369 mOsm/kg in African grey parrots, Hispaniolan Amazon parrots, and red-fronted macaws, respectively. The mean +/- SD values were 306 +/- 7, 327 +/- 7, and 304 +/- 18 mOsm/kg in African grey parrots, Hispaniolan Amazon parrots, and red-fronted macaws, respectively. Comparisons with osmolality values in mammals and values previously reported for psittacine bird species suggest that plasma osmolality is slightly higher in parrots than in mammals, species-specific differences exist, and differences between reported values occur. Overall, fluids with an osmolarity close to 300-320 mOsm/L, such as Normosol-R, Plasmalyte-R, Plasmalyte-A, and NaCl 0.9%, can be recommended in parrots for fluid replacement therapy when isotonic fluids are required.

  16. Congestive heart failure in 6 African grey parrots (Psittacus e erithacus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juan-Sallés, C; Soto, S; Garner, M M; Montesinos, A; Ardiaca, M

    2011-05-01

    Six African grey parrots (Psittacus e erithacus) were diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure based on gross and microscopic findings. Ages ranged from 15 days to 8 years, and 5 of 6 parrots were either neonates or juveniles at the time of diagnosis. Two neonates and 2 juveniles came from the same breeding aviary; the 2 juveniles were born to the same breeding pair. The 2 other parrots were kept as pets. Clinical signs included distention of the coelomic cavity (4 of 6), rales (3 of 6), weakness (4 of 6), bradyarrhythmia (1 of 6), growth retardation (1 of 6), crop stasis (1 of 6), and regurgitation (1 of 6). Three parrots were euthanized and 3 died. Gross findings included cardiomegaly due to biventricular, right-, or left-sided cardiomyopathy (6 of 6); coelomic effusion (6 of 6); whitish or yellow foci in the liver (6 of 6); atrophy of the liver (particularly, the left lobe; 5 of 6); reddened or grey lungs (5 of 6); subcutaneous edema (2 of 6); hydropericardium (1 of 6); and bilateral thyroid gland enlargement (1 of 6). Relevant microscopic findings included passive hepatic congestion (6 of 6) and pulmonary congestion (2 of 6), lymphocytic thyroiditis (2 of 6), and diffuse thyroid follicular hyperplasia (2 of 6). Microscopically, the heart was unremarkable (2 of 6) or had mild lymphocytic myocarditis (2 of 6), mild multifocal cytoplasmic vacuolation of cardiomyocytes (2 of 6), mild lymphocytic myocardial (Purkinje cell) ganglioneuritis (1 of 6), and mild multifocal interstitial fibrosis and nuclear hypertrophy of cardiomyocytes (1 of 6). One parrot had concurrent proventricular dilatation disease (systemic ganglioneuritis). The cause of cardiomyopathy in these parrots was not determined.

  17. Characterization of atherosclerosis by histochemical and immunohistochemical methods in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and Amazon parrots (Amazona spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fricke, Cornelia; Schmidt, Volker; Cramer, Kerstin; Krautwald-Junghanns, Maria-Elisabeth; Dorrestein, Gerry M

    2009-09-01

    The aim of the study was to characterize atherosclerotic changes in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and Amazon parrots (Amazona spp.) by histochemical and immunohistochemical methods. Samples of the aorta ascendens and trunci brachiocephalici from 62 African grey parrots and 35 Amazon parrots were stained by hematoxylin and eosin and Elastica van Gieson for grading of atherosclerosis in these birds. Four different stages were differentiated. The incidence of atherosclerosis in the examined parrots was 91.9% in African grey parrots and 91.4% in Amazon parrots. To evaluate the pathogenesis in birds, immunohistochemical methods were performed to demonstrate lymphocytes, macrophages, smooth muscle cells, and chondroitin sulfate. According to the missing lymphocytes and macrophages and the absence of invasion and proliferation of smooth muscle cells in each atherosclerotic stage, "response-to-injury hypothesis" seems inapplicable in parrots. Additionally, we found alterations of vitally important organs (heart, lungs) significantly correlated with atherosclerosis of the aorta ascendens.

  18. Endoscopic Removal of Gastrointestinal Foreign Bodies in Two African Grey Parrots ( Psittacus erithacus) and a Hyacinth Macaw ( Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton, Robert J; Divers, Stephen J

    2017-12-01

    Two African grey parrots ( Psittacus erithacus) and one hyacinth macaw ( Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) were examined because of varying clinical signs ranging from general lethargy to seizure-like episodes and regurgitation. Radiography and fluoroscopy in the 3 birds demonstrated variable degrees of gastric abnormalities, suggesting the presence of foreign material or stricture-like defects. Upper gastrointestinal rigid endoscopy by ingluviotomy revealed foreign bodies that were removed endoscopically. Minor postoperative complications were pulmonary congestion or mild aspiration and cardiac arrhythmia, both of which resolved, and no serious deleterious effects were associated with endoscopy in the short or long term. Endoscopy is recommended for examination and removal of foreign bodies from the upper gastrointestinal tract because it is less invasive and traumatic than traditional surgical approaches.

  19. Simultaneous development of vocal and physical object combinations by a Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus): bottle caps, lids, and labels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepperberg, I M; Shive, H R

    2001-12-01

    On the basis of primarily behavioral data, researchers (e.g., P. M. Greenfield, 1991) have argued (a) that parallel development of communicative and physical object (manual) combinatorial abilities exists in young children; (b) that these abilities initially have a common neural substrate; (c) that a homologous substrate in great apes allows for similar, if limited, parallel development of these 2 abilities; and (d) that such abilities thus may indicate a shared evolutionary history for both communicative and physical behavior (J. Johnson-Pynn, D. M. Fragaszy, E. M. Hirsh, K. E. Brakke, & P. M. Greenfield, 1999). The authors of the present study found a comparable, if limited, parallel combinatorial development in a Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus). Given the evolutionary distance between parrots and primates, the authors suggest that the search for and arguments concerning responsible substrates and common behavior should be approached with care and should not be restricted to the primate line.

  20. The influence of local enhancement on choice performances in African Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and jackdaws (Corvus monedula).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikolasch, Sandra; Kotrschal, Kurt; Schloegl, Christian

    2012-11-01

    Being attentive to the behavior of others may be advantageous to gain important information, for example, on the location of food. Often, this is achieved through simple local enhancement. However, this is not always beneficial, as it may override cognitive abilities, with negative consequences. Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and ravens have already succeeded in exclusion tasks, but carrion crows do so only when controlling for local enhancement, and jackdaws (Corvus monedula) fail entirely. Presently, we tested whether jackdaws would still be influenced by local enhancement in a simple choice-task. We compared their performance with those of Grey parrots. Since these birds did not respond to enhancement in the exclusion task, we expected them also to be less susceptible to enhancement here. In our tasks, two pieces of food were visibly hidden under two cups. Then one cup was lifted, the reward was shown to the bird and was either laid back underneath the cup or was removed. Alternatively, both manipulations were combined with the first reward being shown to the bird and the second one being removed or vice versa. Surprisingly, both species had a preference for the last handled cup, irrespective of whether it contained food or not. However, if the birds had to wait for 10 seconds after the presentation, the jackdaws performed better than the Grey parrots. Additionally, the delay improved the performance of both species in conditions in which the reward was removed last and deteriorated their performance in conditions in which the item was shown last.

  1. Referential learning of French and Czech labels in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus): different methods yield contrasting results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giret, Nicolas; Péron, Franck; Lindová, Jitka; Tichotová, Lenka; Nagle, Laurent; Kreutzer, Michel; Tymr, Frantisek; Bovet, Dalila

    2010-10-01

    Some African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), the most famous being Pepperberg's parrot Alex, are able to imitate human speech and produce labels referentially. In this study, the aim was to teach ten African grey parrots from two laboratories to label items. Training three parrots from the first laboratory for several months with the Model/Rival method, developed by Pepperberg, in which two humans interact in front of the subject to demonstrate the use of a label, led to disappointing results. Similarly, seven parrots from the second laboratory, having been trained with several variants of Model/Rival attained little success. After the informal observation of the efficiency of other methods (i.e. learning to imitate labels either spontaneously or with specific learning methods and use of these labels referentially), four different teaching methods were tested with two birds: the Model/Rival; Repetition/Association which consisted of repeating a label and presenting the item only when the parrot produced the label; Intuitive in which the experimenter handled an item and repeated its name in front of the subject; Diffusion in which labels with either variable or flat intonation were played back daily to parrots. One bird learned three labels, one of which was used referentially, with the Repetition/Association method. He learned one label non-referentially with the Model/Rival but no labels were acquired using the other methods. The second bird did not learn any labels. This study demonstrates that different methods can be efficient to teach labels referentially and it suggests that rearing conditions and interindividual variability are important features when assessing learning ability of African grey parrots. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Avian papillomaviruses: the parrot Psittacus erithacus papillomavirus (PePV genome has a unique organization of the early protein region and is phylogenetically related to the chaffinch papillomavirus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenson A Bennett

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An avian papillomavirus genome has been cloned from a cutaneous exophytic papilloma from an African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus. The nucleotide sequence, genome organization, and phylogenetic position of the Psittacus erithacus papillomavirus (PePV were determined. This PePV sequence represents the first complete avian papillomavirus genome defined. Results The PePV genome (7304 basepairs differs from other papillomaviruses, in that it has a unique organization of the early protein region lacking classical E6 and E7 open reading frames. Phylogenetic comparison of the PePV sequence with partial E1 and L1 sequences of the chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs papillomavirus (FPV reveals that these two avian papillomaviruses form a monophyletic cluster with a common branch that originates near the unresolved center of the papillomavirus evolutionary tree. Conclusions The PePV genome has a unique layout of the early protein region which represents a novel prototypic genomic organization for avian papillomaviruses. The close relationship between PePV and FPV, and between their Psittaciformes and Passeriformes hosts, supports the hypothesis that papillomaviruses have co-evolved and speciated together with their host species throughout evolution.

  3. Reference intervals of plasma calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium for African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and Hispaniolan parrots (Amazona ventralis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Carvalho, Fernanda M; Gaunt, Stephen D; Kearney, Michael T; Rich, Gregory A; Tully, Thomas N

    2009-12-01

    Calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), and magnesium (Mg) are important elements for body homeostasis in several diseases associated with imbalances in the plasma concentration of these ions. This is the first published report of reference intervals for Mg in association with Ca and P levels for psittacine species. One milliliter of blood was collected from 26 Hispaniolan parrots (Amazona ventralis) and 24 African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). The plasma concentrations of Ca, P, and Mg were determined for each sample. Statistical analyses were performed including all data (analysis 1) and after exclusion of the subjects with Ca > or = 14.00 mg/dl (3.5 mmol) (analysis 2). The data from analysis 1 have a narrower interval than that observed in analysis 2. Following the normality test (Shapiro-Wilk, alpha = 0.05), the univariate and mean procedures were run. For the reference intervals, the lower and upper values were used, after elimination of the outliers calculated by Blom scores from the ranked variables. The analysis 1 references for the Hispaniolans were Ca = 8.80-10.40 mg/dl (2.20-2.60 mmol/L), P = 1.80-4.40 mg/dl (0.58-1.42 mmol/L), Mg = 1.80-3.10 mg/dl (0.74-1.27 mmol/L), and Ca:P ratio = 2.62-5.39; for the African greys analysis 1 references were Ca = 8.20-20.20 mg/dl (2.05-5.05 mmol/L), P = 2.50-5.90 mg/dl (0.81-1.91 mmol/L), Mg = 2.10-3.40 mg/dl (0.82-1.4 mmol/L), and Ca:P ratio = 1.81-3.77. The analysis 2 references for the Hispaniolans were Ca = 8.80-10.30 mg/dl (2.20-2.58 mmol/L), P = 1.80-3.80 mg/dl (0.58-1.23 mmol/L), Mg = 1.90-3.00 mg/dl (0.82-1.07 mmol/L), Ca:P ratio = 2.62-5.39; for the African greys analysis 2 references were Ca = 1.07 mmol/L), Ca:P ratio = 1.67-3.50. The results of this study are important for evaluating Mg concentrations in relation to the Ca and P parameters in psittacines. This information will be particularly helpful for veterinarians evaluating the hypocalcemic syndrome in African grey parrots and other disease processes

  4. Pharmacokinetics of Amitriptyline HCl and Its Metabolites in Healthy African Grey Parrots ( Psittacus erithacus ) and Cockatoos (Cacatua Species).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, Marike; Ragsdale, Michelle M; Boothe, Dawn M

    2015-12-01

    Amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, is used clinically to treat feather-destructive behavior in psittacine birds at a recommended dosage of 1-5 mg/kg PO q12-24h, which has been extrapolated from human medicine and based on anecdotal reports. The purpose of this pilot study was to describe the individual and population pharmacokinetic parameters of amitriptyline after a single oral dose at 1.5 mg/kg, 4.5 mg/kg, and 9 mg/kg in healthy African grey parrots ( Psittacus erithacus , n = 3) and cockatoos (Cacatua species, n = 3). Three birds received an initial 1.5 mg/kg oral dose, and blood samples were collected for 24 hours at fixed time intervals. Serum concentrations of amitriptyline and its metabolites were determined by polarized immunofluorescence. After determining the initial parameters and a 14-day washout period, 2 African grey parrots and 1 cockatoo received a single oral dose at 4.5 mg/kg, and 3 cockatoos and 1 African grey parrot received a single oral dose at 9 mg/kg. Concentrations reached the minimum therapeutic range reported in people (60 ng/mL) in 4 of 10 birds (4.5 and 9.0 mg/kg). Concentrations were within the toxic range in 1 African grey parrot (9 mg/kg), with regurgitation, ataxia, and dullness noted. Serum concentrations were nondetectable in 3 birds (1.5 and 4.5 mg/kg) and detectable but below the human therapeutic range in 3 birds (1.5 mg/kg and 9 mg/kg). Drug concentrations were continuing to increase at the end of the study (24 hours) in 1 bird. Elimination half-life varied from 1.6 to 91.2 hours. Population pharmacokinetics indicated significantly varied absorption, and elimination constants varied between species. Although amitriptyline appeared to be tolerated in most birds, disposition varies markedly among and within species, between the 2 genera, and within individual birds. The current recommended dosage of 1-5 mg/kg q12h in psittacine birds appears insufficient to achieve serum concentrations within the human therapeutic range

  5. An association between feather damaging behavior and corticosterone metabolite excretion in captive African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Pierluca; Macchi, Elisabetta; Valle, Emanuela; De Marco, Michele; Nucera, Daniele M; Gasco, Laura; Schiavone, Achille

    2016-01-01

    African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) are kept as pets and are frequently hand-reared. It has been observed that hand-reared African grey parrots may develop behavioral disorders such as feather damaging behavior (FDB). It is well known that chronic stress is involved in behavioral disorders in captive parrots. The main glucocorticoid in birds is corticosterone; its quantification provides information about adrenocortical activity and is considered to be a reliable indicator of stress levels in birds. We analyzed the differences in the excretion of corticosterone metabolites (CM) in the droppings of African grey parrots characterized by: 1. different rearing histories (parent rearing vs. hand rearing); and 2. the presence or absence of FDB in hand-reared parrots. A total of 82 African grey parrots that were kept in captivity were considered. According to breeding methods, three groups of birds were defined: 1. The parent-reared (PR) parrots included birds kept in pairs (n = 30 pairs) with a conspecific partner of the opposite sex. All of these birds were healthy and never showed FDB signs; 2. The healthy hand-reared parrots (H-HR) included pet parrots individually kept, that were hand-reared and did not display any sign of FDB (n = 11, 7 males and 4 females); 3. The FDB hand-reared parrot (FDB-HR) included pet parrots individually kept, that were hand-reared and displayed FDB (n = 11, 7 males and 4 females). Droppings were collected in the morning over three alternating days in autumn 2014 and spring 2015. The CM were determined using a multi-species corticosterone enzyme immunoassay kit. Split-plot repeated-measure ANOVA was used to examine any differences using group, season and group × season as the main factors. Different quantities of CM in droppings were found for the three groups. The mean CM value was 587 ng/g in the PR parrots, 494 ng/g in the H-HR parrots and 1,744 ng/g in the FDB-HR parrots, irrespective of the season. The excretion of CM in FDB

  6. An association between feather damaging behavior and corticosterone metabolite excretion in captive African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierluca Costa

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus are kept as pets and are frequently hand-reared. It has been observed that hand-reared African grey parrots may develop behavioral disorders such as feather damaging behavior (FDB. It is well known that chronic stress is involved in behavioral disorders in captive parrots. The main glucocorticoid in birds is corticosterone; its quantification provides information about adrenocortical activity and is considered to be a reliable indicator of stress levels in birds. We analyzed the differences in the excretion of corticosterone metabolites (CM in the droppings of African grey parrots characterized by: 1. different rearing histories (parent rearing vs. hand rearing; and 2. the presence or absence of FDB in hand-reared parrots. Methods A total of 82 African grey parrots that were kept in captivity were considered. According to breeding methods, three groups of birds were defined: 1. The parent-reared (PR parrots included birds kept in pairs (n = 30 pairs with a conspecific partner of the opposite sex. All of these birds were healthy and never showed FDB signs; 2. The healthy hand-reared parrots (H-HR included pet parrots individually kept, that were hand-reared and did not display any sign of FDB (n = 11, 7 males and 4 females; 3. The FDB hand-reared parrot (FDB-HR included pet parrots individually kept, that were hand-reared and displayed FDB (n = 11, 7 males and 4 females. Droppings were collected in the morning over three alternating days in autumn 2014 and spring 2015. The CM were determined using a multi-species corticosterone enzyme immunoassay kit. Split-plot repeated-measure ANOVA was used to examine any differences using group, season and group × season as the main factors. Results Different quantities of CM in droppings were found for the three groups. The mean CM value was 587 ng/g in the PR parrots, 494 ng/g in the H-HR parrots and 1,744 ng/g in the FDB-HR parrots, irrespective of the

  7. Can grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) succeed on a "complex" foraging task failed by nonhuman primates (Pan troglodytes, Pongo abelii, Sapajus apella) but solved by wrasse fish (Labroides dimidiatus)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepperberg, Irene M; Hartsfield, Leigh Ann

    2014-08-01

    Linking specific cognitive abilities of nonhuman species on a laboratory task to their evolutionary history-ecological niche can be a fruitful exercise in comparative psychology. Crucial issues, however, are the choice of task, the specific conditions of the task, and possibly the subjects' understanding or interpretation of the task. Salwiczek et al. (2012) compared cleaner wrasse fish (Labroides dimidaitus) to several nonhuman primate species (capuchins, Sapajus paella; chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes; orangutans, Pongo abelii) on a task purportedly related to the ecological demands of the fish, but not necessarily of the nonhuman primates; fish succeeded whereas almost all of the nonhuman primates that were tested failed. We replicated the two-choice paradigm of the task with three Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), whose ecology, evolutionary history, and cortical capacity are arguably more like those of nonhuman primates than fish. Greys succeeded at levels more like fish than all the nonhuman primates, suggesting possible alternative explanations for their success. Fish and nonhuman primate subjects also experienced a reversal of the initial conditions to test for generalization: Greys were similarly tested; they performed more like fish and capuchins (who now succeeded) than the apes (who continued to fail).

  8. Effects of Meloxicam on Hematologic and Plasma Biochemical Analyte Values and Results of Histologic Examination of Kidney Biopsy Specimens of African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesinos, Andres; Ardiaca, Maria; Juan-Sallés, Carles; Tesouro, Miguel A

    2015-03-01

    In this study we evaluated the effects of meloxicam administered at 0.5 mg/kg IM q12h for 14 days on hematologic and plasma biochemical values and on kidney tissue in 11 healthy African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Before treatment with meloxicam, blood samples were collected and renal biopsy samples were obtained from the cranial portion of the left kidney from each of the birds. On day 14 of treatment, a second blood sample and biopsy from the middle portion of the left kidney were obtained from each bird. All birds remained clinically normal throughout the study period. No significant differences were found between hematologic and plasma biochemical values before and after 14 days of treatment with meloxicam, except for a slight increase in median beta globulin and corresponding total globulin concentrations, and a slight decrease in median phosphorus concentration. Renal lesions were absent in 9 of 10 representative posttreatment biopsy samples. On the basis of these results, meloxicam administered at the dosage used in this study protocol does not appear to cause renal disease in African grey parrots.

  9. Computed tomographic anatomy of the heads of blue-and-gold macaws (Ara ararauna), African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), and monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veladiano, Irene A; Banzato, Tommaso; Bellini, Luca; Montani, Alessandro; Catania, Salvatore; Zotti, Alessandro

    2016-12-01

    OBJECTIVE To create an atlas of the normal CT anatomy of the head of blue-and-gold macaws (Ara ararauna), African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), and monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus). ANIMALS 3 blue-and-gold macaws, 5 African grey parrots, and 6 monk parakeets and cadavers of 4 adult blue-and-gold macaws, 4 adult African grey parrots, and 7 monk parakeets. PROCEDURES Contrast-enhanced CT imaging of the head of the live birds was performed with a 4-multidetector-row CT scanner. Cadaveric specimens were stored at -20°C until completely frozen, and each head was then sliced at 5-mm intervals to create reference cross sections. Frozen cross sections were cleaned with water and photographed on both sides. Anatomic structures within each head were identified with the aid of the available literature, labeled first on anatomic photographs, and then matched to and labeled on corresponding CT images. The best CT reconstruction filter, window width, and window level for obtaining diagnostic images of each structure were also identified. RESULTS Most of the clinically relevant structures of the head were identified in both the cross-sectional photographs and corresponding CT images. Optimal visibility of the bony structures was achieved via CT with a standard soft tissue filter and pulmonary window. The use of contrast medium allowed a thorough evaluation of the soft tissues. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The labeled CT images and photographs of anatomic structures of the heads of common pet parrot species created in this study may be useful as an atlas to aid interpretation of images obtained with any imaging modality.

  10. Isotope (δ13C, δ15N, δ2H) diet-tissue discrimination in African grey parrot Psittacus erithacus: implications for forensic studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symes, Craig; Skhosana, Felix; Butler, Mike; Gardner, Brett; Woodborne, Stephan

    2017-12-01

    Diet-tissue isotopic relationships established under controlled conditions are informative for determining the dietary sources and geographic provenance of organisms. We analysed δ 13 C, δ 15 N, and non-exchangeable δ 2 H values of captive African grey parrot Psittacus erithacus feathers grown on a fixed mixed-diet and borehole water. Diet-feather Δ 13 C and Δ 15 N discrimination values were +3.8 ± 0.3 ‰ and +6.3 ± 0.7 ‰ respectively; significantly greater than expected. Non-exchangeable δ 2 H feather values (-62.4 ± 6.4 ‰) were more negative than water (-26.1 ± 2.5 ‰) offered during feather growth. There was no positive relationship between the δ 13 C and δ 15 N values of the samples along each feather with the associated samples of food offered, or the feather non-exchangeable hydrogen isotope values with δ 2 H values of water, emphasising the complex processes involved in carbohydrate, protein, and income water routing to feather growth. Understanding the isotopic relationship between diet and feathers may provide greater clarity in the use of stable isotopes in feathers as a tool in determining origins of captive and wild-caught African grey parrots, a species that is widespread in aviculture and faces significant threats to wild populations. We suggest that these isotopic results, determined even in controlled laboratory conditions, be used with caution.

  11. Molecular analysis and associated pathology of beak and feather disease virus isolated in Italy from young Congo African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) with an "atypical peracute form" of the disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robino, Patrizia; Grego, Elena; Rossi, Giacomo; Bert, Elena; Tramuta, Clara; Stella, Maria Cristina; Bertoni, Pierfrancesco; Nebbia, Patrizia

    2014-01-01

    This study is the first report on the genetic and pathogenic characterization of beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) occurring in Italy. Twenty BFDV strains isolated in Italy from juvenile Congo African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) were investigated. Seventeen strains showed an "atypical peracute form" (aPF) of the disease, and three a chronic form (CF). The birds with aPF had been weaned, were independent as far as food and protection were concerned and apparently were without lesions. The gene coding for the putative coat protein was amplified in all isolates while the BFDV genome was sequenced completely in 10 samples, eight of them belonging to aPF affected birds and two from CF of the disease. All full genomes clustered into the J strain of BFDV, where two new subtypes were identified. Recombination analyses showed evidence of genetic exchanges in two BFDV genomes. In addition, a correlation between viral isolate and origin of the breeding material was shown, while an association between the genetic features of the virus and the clinical form was not observed. Histologically, apoptosis was detected frequently in aPF samples and sporadically in CF samples. Interestingly, BFDV antigens were detected in the nuclei and cytoplasm of such apoptotic cells. The data presented here support the hypothesis that, in the absence of a defined BFDV genetic variant accountable for a specific clinical form of psittacine beak and feather disease, differences in the apoptotic rate between aPF and CF are strictly host related.

  12. A Survey of African Grey Parrots ( Psittacus erithacus ) Trade and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The surveys which identified and involved occupational parrots' trappers as guides was pursued with a view to identifying Nest sites, Nest density, Parrot roosts as well as investigate parrots trapping, trade and trafficking in the light of Nigeria's biodiversity conservation policy thrust and the country's continued notoriety in the ...

  13. Breeding biology of African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) in Kom ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The KNP is bordered to the. South by Kom River which is the natural border between Cameroon ... and more often the leaves of the trees (Tamungang et al., 2016). Throughout their life, grey parrots and other ... every year). The observation was made using binoculars while we hid in a shelter so as not to disturb couples.

  14. A Survey of African Grey Parrots (Psittacus Erithacus) Trade and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Choice-Academy

    References. Eniang, E. A. (2000) Confirmation of the. Preuss's red colobus in the rain forest of. Southeastern, Nigeria. American journal of. Primatology. Vol 51 supplement 1, 2000. Eniang, E.A., and E.I. Nwufoh (2001): Book. Review: Myth and Reality in the Rainforest;. How Conservation strategies are failing in. West Africa.

  15. A Survey of African Grey Parrots (Psittacus Erithacus) Trade and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Choice-Academy

    and conservation education are recommended for sustainable biodiversity conservation in Nigeria. Introduction he Southeastern Corner of Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon all the way ... snakes are traded for traditional, cultural and scientific purposes including their skins and to some extent as bush meat. Illegal trade ...

  16. Aggressive behaviour of Robins Erithacus rubecula (Passeriformes, Muscicapidae) at watering places in the forest steppe zone of Ukraine

    OpenAIRE

    A. O. Markova

    2016-01-01

    283  The purpose of this research was to study interspecific and intra-specific aggressive reactions of Robins (Erithacus rubecula L.) at watering places in natural and anthropogenically pressured areas. The study took place in Kaniv Nature Reserve, Cherkassy region, in May-June 2010, 2012 and 2014 and the state dendrology park “Oleksandriya” of the National Academy of Science in Bila Tserkva. The observation of the birds’ behavior was performed using the ethological methods of “total obse...

  17. How do African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) perform on a delay of gratification task?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vick, Sarah-Jane; Bovet, Dalila; Anderson, James R

    2010-03-01

    Humans and other animals often find it difficult to choose a delayed reward over an immediate one, even when the delay leads to increased pay-offs. Using a visible incremental reward procedure, we tested the ability of three grey parrots to maintain delay of gratification for an increasingly valuable food pay-off. Up to five sunflower seeds were placed within the parrot's reach, one at a time, at a rate of one seed per second. When the parrot took a seed the trial was ended and the birds consumed the accumulated seeds. Parrots were first tested in daily sessions of ten trials and then with single daily trials. For multiple trial sessions, all three parrots showed some limited improvement across 30 sessions. For single trial sessions, only one parrot showed any increase in seed acquisition across trials. This parrot was also able to consistently obtain two or more seeds per trial (across both multiple and single trial conditions) but was unable to able to wait 5 s to obtain the maximum number of seeds. This parrot was also tested on a slower rate of seed presentation, and this significantly reduced her mean seed acquisition in both multiple and single trial conditions, suggesting that both value of reward available and delay duration impact upon self-control. Further manipulation of both the visibility and proximity of seeds during delay maintenance had little impact upon tolerance of delays for both parrots tested in this condition. This task demanded not just a choice of delayed reward but the maintenance of delayed gratification and was clearly difficult for the parrots to learn; additional training or alternative paradigms are required to better understand the capacity for self-control in this and other species.

  18. African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) use inference by exclusion to find hidden food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikolasch, Sandra; Kotrschal, Kurt; Schloegl, Christian

    2011-12-23

    Exclusion allows the detection of hidden food when confronted with the choice between an empty and a potentially baited food location. However, exclusion may be based on avoidance of the empty location without drawing inferences about the presence of the food in the baited location. So far, such inferences have been demonstrated in the great apes only: after seeing an experimenter eating one of two food types, which both had been hidden previously in two boxes, the apes were able to choose the box that still contained the other food type. African grey parrots are capable of exclusion, and we here assessed if they are capable of inference by exclusion. In our task, two different but equally preferred food items were hidden in full view of the birds under two opaque cups. Then, an experimenter secretly removed one food type and showed it to the bird. Similarly to the apes, one out of seven parrots significantly preferred the baited cup; control conditions rule out that its choice was based on associative learning or the use of olfactory cues. Thus, we conclude that-like the apes-some grey parrots are able to infer the location of a hidden food reward.

  19. The Robin, Erithacus Rubecula (Passeriformes, Turdidae, As a Component of Autotrophic Consortia of Forest Cenoses, Northeast Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chaplygina A. B.

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The role of the robin, Erithacus rubecula Linnaeus, 1758 as a consort of autotrophic consortia is considered. It has been found that representatives of 9 higher taxa of animals (Mammalia, Aves, Gastropoda, Insecta, Arachnida, Acarina, Malacostraca, Diplopoda, Clitellata have trophic and topical links with the robin. At the same time, the robin is a consort of determinants of autotrophic consortia, which core is represented mostly by dominating species of deciduous trees (Quercus robur Linnaeus, 1753 (24.6 %, Tilia cordata Miller, 1768 (17.5 %, Acer platanoides Linnaeus, 1753 (22.8 %, Acer campestre Linnaeus, 1753, and also by sedges (Carex sp. and grasses (Poaceae. The robin also belongs to the concentre of the second and higher orders as a component of forest biogeocenoses and forms a complex trophic system. In the diet of its nestlings, there have been found 717 objects from 32 invertebrate taxa, belonging to the phylums Arthropoda (99.2 %, 31 species and Annelida (0.8 %, 1 species. The phylum Arthropoda was represented by the most numerous class Insecta (76.9 %, in which 10 orders (Lepidoptera (46.8 % dominates and 20 families were recorded, and also by the classes Arachnida (15.0 %, Malacostraca (5.3 % and Diplopoda (1.9 %. The invertebrate species composition was dominated by representatives of a trophic group of zoophages (14 species; 43.8 %; the portion of phytophages (7 species; 21.9 %, saprophages (18.7 %, and necrophages (15.6 % was the less. The highest number of food items was represented by phytophages (N = 717; 51 %, followed by zoophages (34 %, saprophages (12 %, and necrophages (3 %. The difference among study areas according to the number of food items and the number of species in the robin nestling diet is shown. In NNP “HF”, the highest number of food items was represented by phytophages - 47 % (N = 443, whereas zoophages were the most species-rich group (43.3 %, 13 species. In NNP “H”, phytophages also prevailed in

  20. Aggressive behaviour of Robins Erithacus rubecula (Passeriformes, Muscicapidae at watering places in the forest steppe zone of Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. O. Markova

    2016-06-01

     The purpose of this research was to study interspecific and intra-specific aggressive reactions of Robins (Erithacus rubecula L. at watering places in natural and anthropogenically pressured areas. The study took place in Kaniv Nature Reserve, Cherkassy region, in May-June 2010, 2012 and 2014 and the state dendrology park “Oleksandriya” of the National Academy of Science in Bila Tserkva. The observation of the birds’ behavior was performed using the ethological methods of “total observation” and “continuous logging”. In order to calculate the critical distance at which a bird shows aggression, the watering areas studied were divided into 1 x 1 m squares. It was found that aggressive intersspecific actions of Robins were more frequent in the natural habitat of Kaniv Reserve while intraspecific aggression was more frequent in the dendrology park. It was noticed that Robins responded aggressively to 12 species of birds in the Kaniv Natur Reserve site. Those species were: Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos, Blackbird (T. merula, Great Tit (Parus major, BlueTit (P. caeruleus, Marsh Tit (P. palustris, Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs, Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes, Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina, Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix, Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla, Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis and Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata. Most often, aggression was directed to individuals that were already at a watering place rather than birds which arrived after the Robins. Besides, Robins frequently initiate aggressive relations. An inverse correlation of aggressive acts and the size parameters of the species, which were objects of Robins’ aggression, was observed. A success rating of Robins’ defence and attack in aggressive relations in Kaniv Nature Reserve was established: Robins were always successful in protecting its territory or attacking an Icterine Warbler and Chiffchaff, and always fails in defending agianst or attacking a

  1. Abstract concept formation in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) on the basis of a low number of cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suková, Karolína; Uchytilová, Michaela; Lindová, Jitka

    2013-06-01

    The formation of the concept of sameness is considered as a crucial cognitive ability which allows for other high cognitive functions in some species, e.g. humans. It is often operationalized as transfer of the matching rule to new stimuli in a matching-to-sample task. Animal species show great differences regarding the number of stimuli needed in training to be able to perform a full transfer to new stimuli. Not only apes appear to master this task, but also corvids among the birds were shown to reach a full transfer using only few stimuli. Using colour, shape and number stimuli in a matching-to-sample design, we tested four grey parrots for their ability to judge identity. Only a limited set of 8 stimulus cards were used in training. Pairs of "same" number stimuli were visually different thus allowing to be matched according to number of elements only. All four parrots successfully transferred to testing phases including testing with completely new stimuli and their performance did not drop with new stimuli. Including number stimuli invalidated some interpretations based on visual non-abstract processes and give evidence for formation of the concept of sameness. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Review of Studies on Visual Perception in Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus: The Muller-Lyer Illusion, Amodal and Modal Completion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene M. Pepperberg

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Few avian studies on optical illusions are directly comparable to those with humans. Grey parrots that have some referential use of English speech, however, allow for such comparative studies, as these birds can be tested just as are humans, by asking them to describe exactly what they have seen. Here I review two studies, one on the Müller-Lyer illusion (Pepperberg, Vicinay, & Cavanagh, 2008, one on amodal and modal perception (Pepperberg & Nakayama, 2016, that demonstrate similarities between human and Grey parrot perceptual abilities.

  3. Grey Parrot Number Acquisition: The Inference of Cardinal Value from Ordinal Position on the Numeral List

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepperberg, Irene M.; Carey, Susan

    2012-01-01

    A Grey parrot ("Psittacus erithacus") had previously been taught to use English count words ("one" through "sih" [six]) to label sets of one to six individual items (Pepperberg, 1994). He had also been taught to use the same count words to label the Arabic numerals 1 through 6. Without training, he inferred the relationship between the Arabic…

  4. Journal of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences - Vol 3, No 1 (2003)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The impact of capture and trade in African grey parrot populations (Psittacus erithacus) in Lobeke National Park, south east Cameroon, EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. A Ngenyi, Z Nzooh, L Usongo, 11-16 ...

  5. Author Details

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nzooh, Z. Vol 3, No 1 (2003) - Articles The impact of capture and trade in African grey parrot populations (Psittacus erithacus) in Lobeke National Park, south east Cameroon Details PDF · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for Librarians · for Authors · FAQ's · More about AJOL · AJOL's ...

  6. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U15323-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available _1( EU737901 |pid:none) Psittacus erithacus aldolase B fru... 164 6e-39 EU737783_...1( EU737783 |pid:none) Tinamus guttatus aldolase B fructo... 164 8e-39 EU737833_1( EU737833 |pid:none) Daptr

  7. Histopathological survey of protozoa, helminths and acarids of imported and local psittacine and passerine birds in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, S S; Hirai, K; Itakura, C

    1992-12-01

    A total of 534 psittacine and passerine birds consisting of 241 imported and 293 local birds were examined histologically. As a result, the following parasites were found: Giardia (86 cases), Knemido-coptes (26 cases), coccidia (10 cases), Ascaridia (6 cases), Cryptosporidium (5 cases), Sarcocystis (5 cases), tapeworm (4 cases), microfilaria (2 cases), Hexamita (1 case), and Spiroptera (1 case). High incidences of giardiasis and knemido-coptic infestation were detected in the local birds, but rarely in the imported birds. Giardial trophozoites were observed mainly in the duodenum of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Knemidocoptic mites burrowed into the epidermis producing proliferative dermatitis in 25 budgerigars and 1 African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). This ectoparasite often infested the skin around the cloaca. Coccidiosis was seen only in the small intestines of the finch (Poephila gouldiae gouldiae), African Grey Parrot, Rainbow lory (Trichoglossus haematodus), Indian Ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri manillensis) and peach-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis). Two parrots (Amazona aestiva aestiva and Psittacus erithacus erithacus) and two budgerigars had intestinal cryptosporidiosis. Conjunctivitis associated with cryptosporidial infection was seen in a lovebird. Sarcocystis cysts containing crescent-shaped bradyzoites were found not only in the thigh and breast but also in the heart and cloacal muscles. Other organisms such as Ascaridia, tapeworm, microfilaria, Hexamita, and Spiroptera were clinically less significant. However, infections such as Giardia and Cryptosporidim might have zoonotic implications.

  8. Austromegabalanus psittacus barnacle shell structure and proteoglycan localization and functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, M S; Arias, J I; Neira-Carrillo, A; Arias, J L

    2015-09-01

    Comparative analyzes of biomineralization models have being crucial for the understanding of the functional properties of biominerals and the elucidation of the processes through which biomacromolecules control the synthesis and structural organization of inorganic mineral-based biomaterials. Among calcium carbonate-containing bioceramics, egg, mollusk and echinoderm shells, and crustacean carapaces, have being fairly well characterized. However, Thoraceca barnacles, although being crustacea, showing molting cycle, build a quite stable and heavily mineralized shell that completely surround the animal, which is for life firmly cemented to the substratum. This makes barnacles an interesting model for studying processes of biomineralization. Here we studied the main microstructural and ultrastructural features of Austromegabalanus psittacus barnacle shell, characterize the occurrence of specific proteoglycans (keratan-, dermatan- and chondroitin-6-sulfate proteoglycans) in different soluble and insoluble organic fractions extracted from the shell, and tested them for their ability to crystallize calcium carbonate in vitro. Our results indicate that, in the barnacle model, proteoglycans are good candidates for the modification of the calcite crystal morphology, although the cooperative effect of some additional proteins in the shell could not be excluded. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Contribution to the feeding ecology of the banded puffer fish Colomesus psittacus (Tetraodontidae) in north Brazilian mangrove creeks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krumme, U; Keuthen, H; Saint-Paul, U; Villwock, W

    2007-08-01

    Stomach contents were examined from 102 banded puffer, Colomesus psittacus (Tetraodontidae), caught from intertidal mangrove creeks at diurnal neap tides between June and September, 1997 (early dry season) near Bragança (north Brazil). The study found that C. psittacus were specialized predators of Cirripedia (Balanus spp.) and Brachyuran crabs (Uca spp., Pachygrapsus gracilis) (mean: 58 and 38% by dry weight, respectively), emphasizing a short food chain in the mangrove system. Cirripedia and Brachyura dominated the diet in all size classes, however, the prey spectrum narrowed with fish size. The mean daily consumption of Cirripedia and Brachyura was 6.2% body weight of C. psittacus. On average C. psittacus consumed 100.3 g x ha(-1) x d(-1) of Cirripedia and 178.7 g x ha(-1) x d(-1) of Brachyura (wet weight). The predation on Brachyuran crabs--a significant driver of fluxes of organic matter and energy in the system--provides C. psittacus with an important ecological function in the mangrove food web. A plant-animal interaction is proposed where C. psittacus exerts a mutually beneficial cleaning function on the Aufwuchs (Cirripedia and associated epibiota) of Rhizophora mangle stilt roots. Our results and those of other studies suggest that C. psittacus encounter optimum foraging conditions in the mangrove at high inundations at daylight (spring tide-day) whereas darkness and low inundations are linked to poor foraging conditions (neap tide-night). The C. psittacus resource could be used as an alternative income in the region in terms of i) sustainable catch and filet processing for exports to East Asia, ii) developing certified aquaculture methods for breeding puffers for the aquarium trade.

  10. Contribution to the feeding ecology of the banded puffer fish Colomesus psittacus (Tetraodontidae in north Brazilian mangrove creeks

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    U. Krumme

    Full Text Available Stomach contents were examined from 102 banded puffer, Colomesus psittacus (Tetraodontidae, caught from intertidal mangrove creeks at diurnal neap tides between June and September, 1997 (early dry season near Bragança (north Brazil. The study found that C. psittacus were specialized predators of Cirripedia (Balanus spp. and Brachyuran crabs (Uca spp., Pachygrapsus gracilis (mean: 58 and 38% by dry weight, respectively, emphasizing a short food chain in the mangrove system. Cirripedia and Brachyura dominated the diet in all size classes, however, the prey spectrum narrowed with fish size. The mean daily consumption of Cirripedia and Brachyura was 6.2% body weight of C. psittacus. On average C. psittacus consumed 100.3 g.ha-1.d-1 of Cirripedia and 178.7 g.ha-1.d-1 of Brachyura (wet weight. The predation on Brachyuran crabs - a significant driver of fluxes of organic matter and energy in the system - provides C. psittacus with an important ecological function in the mangrove food web. A plant-animal interaction is proposed where C. psittacus exerts a mutually beneficial cleaning function on the Aufwuchs (Cirripedia and associated epibiota of Rhizophora mangle stilt roots. Our results and those of other studies suggest that C. psittacus encounter optimum foraging conditions in the mangrove at high inundations at daylight (spring tide-day whereas darkness and low inundations are linked to poor foraging conditions (neap tide-night. The C. psittacus resource could be used as an alternative income in the region in terms of i sustainable catch and filet processing for exports to East Asia, ii developing certified aquaculture methods for breeding puffers for the aquarium trade.

  11. Morfología del aparato reproductor del picoroco Austromegabalanus psittacus (Molina, 1782) (Cirripedia, Balanidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Catalina Contreras; Nicolás Luna; Enrique Dupré

    2015-01-01

    Descripción morfológica de las estructuras reproductivas de Austromegabalanus psittacus en dos periodos de maduración sexual. Se determinó que es un organismo hermafrodita que transfiere sus espermatozoides mediante un órgano intromitente o pene. El aparato reproductor masculino consta de testículos organizados en acinos que se distribuyen arboriformemente, dos conductos deferentes que se unen en la base del pene para formar el conducto eyaculador. El aparato reproductor femenino consiste pri...

  12. Anatomopathological study of parrot pufferfishColomesus psittacus parasitized by the aspidogastreanRohdella sp.

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    Michele Velasco Oliveira da Silva

    Full Text Available Aspidogastrea are globally-distributed parasites of the class Trematoda, which have been described as pathogens of a range of aquatic organisms, in marine and freshwater environments. The principal morphological characteristic of the group is an adhesive ventral disc, which is responsible for fixing the parasite to the host organism. In this study, 112 specimens ofColomesus psittacus from the municipality of Cametá, in the state of Pará (Brazil, were necropsied. Platyhelminthes of the genus Rohdella attached to the mucous membrane of the fish's intestine by the adhesive disc were observed. Fragments of parasitized tissue were fixed in Davidson solution and then processed and stained with hematoxylin-eosin. Other fragments were fixed in glutaraldehyde, processed and observed under a scanning electron microscope. The prevalence of the parasite was 76.4%, mean intensity of infection was 8.0 and mean abundance was 6.2. The parasitism provoked chronic enteritis with diffused inflammatory infiltration. The adherence of the parasite to the mucous membrane of the intestine resulted in strangulation and hyperplasia of the region, as well as causing hypertrophy of the muscle of the mucous membrane. The present study describes the anatomopathological and ultrastructural aspects of the parasitism of the intestine of C. psittacus byRohdella sp.

  13. Morfología del aparato reproductor del picoroco Austromegabalanus psittacus (Molina, 1782 (Cirripedia, Balanidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catalina Contreras

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Descripción morfológica de las estructuras reproductivas de Austromegabalanus psittacus en dos periodos de maduración sexual. Se determinó que es un organismo hermafrodita que transfiere sus espermatozoides mediante un órgano intromitente o pene. El aparato reproductor masculino consta de testículos organizados en acinos que se distribuyen arboriformemente, dos conductos deferentes que se unen en la base del pene para formar el conducto eyaculador. El aparato reproductor femenino consiste principalmente en un ovario sacular que rodea al resto del cuerpo y se encuentra adherido a través de musculatura a la base de las placas operculares. Se organiza internamente en sacos acinares elongados que contienen ovogonias y ovocitos previtelogénicos adheridos a su pared y vitelogénicos y maduros libres dentro del lumen. Se observaron diferencias notorias en los ovarios entre los organismos recolectados en septiembre y octubre. En septiembre presentaron coloración amarillenta y en su interior se encontraron dos estructuras compactas denominadas lamelas ovígeras en cuyo interior se observaron ovocitos fecundados, embriones en diferentes estados de desarrollo y nauplius libres en la cavidad corporal; en octubre los ovarios son gruesos, blanquecinos y con gran cantidad de fluido lechoso en su interior.

  14. Anatomopathological study of parrot pufferfish Colomesus psittacus parasitized by the aspidogastrean Rohdella sp. Estudo anatomopatológico do peixe baiacu papagaio Colomesus psittacus parasitado pelo aspidogastrea Rohdella sp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele Velasco Oliveira da Silva

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Aspidogastrea are globally-distributed parasites of the class Trematoda, which have been described as pathogens of a range of aquatic organisms, in marine and freshwater environments. The principal morphological characteristic of the group is an adhesive ventral disc, which is responsible for fixing the parasite to the host organism. In this study, 112 specimens of Colomesus psittacus from the municipality of Cametá, in the state of Pará (Brazil, were necropsied. Platyhelminthes of the genus Rohdella attached to the mucous membrane of the fish's intestine by the adhesive disc were observed. Fragments of parasitized tissue were fixed in Davidson solution and then processed and stained with hematoxylin-eosin. Other fragments were fixed in glutaraldehyde, processed and observed under a scanning electron microscope. The prevalence of the parasite was 76.4%, mean intensity of infection was 8.0 and mean abundance was 6.2. The parasitism provoked chronic enteritis with diffused inflammatory infiltration. The adherence of the parasite to the mucous membrane of the intestine resulted in strangulation and hyperplasia of the region, as well as causing hypertrophy of the muscle of the mucous membrane. The present study describes the anatomopathological and ultrastructural aspects of the parasitism of the intestine of C. psittacus by Rohdella sp.Os Aspidogastreas são parasitos da classe Trematoda, distribuídos globalmente e têm sido descritos como patógenos em uma gama de organismos aquáticos de ambientes marinhos e de água doce. A principal característica morfológica do grupo é um disco adesivo na região ventral responsável pela fixação do parasito no organismo hospedeiro. Neste estudo, 112 espécimes de Colomesus psittacus provenientes do município de Cametá, no estado do Pará (Brasil, foram necropsiados. Foram observados platelmintos do gênero Rohdella aderidos à mucosa intestinal através do disco adesivo. Fragmentos de tecido com

  15. Rohdella amazonica n. sp. (Aspidogastrea: Aspidogastridae) from the Amazoninan banded puffer fish Colomesus psittacus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giese, E G; Silva, M V O; Videira, M N; Furtado, A P; Matos, E R; Gonçalves, E C; Melo, F T V; Santos, J N

    2015-05-01

    Aspidogastreans are commonly found infecting freshwater and marine molluscs, teleosts fishes and freshwater turtles. The subclass comprises four families - Rugogastridae Schell 1973, Stichocotylidae Faust & Tang 1936, Multicalycidae Gibson & Chinabut 1984 and Aspidogastridae Poche 1907 - and it is characterized by the presence of a ventral adhesive disc divided into rows of alveoli. In the current work, using light and scanning electron microscopy and molecular approaches, a new species of Aspidogastridae of the genus Rohdella Gibson & Chinabut, 1984, is described as a parasite of Colomesus psittacus in Brazil. The new taxon is distinguishable by the presence of oesophageal glands, teguments covered by ciliated papillae, and the position and shape of the hermaphroditic duct. The present work describes the third species of the genus Rohdella, thereby adding new morphological and molecular data regarding Aspidogastridae.

  16. Diversification of Chilean aquaculture: the case of the giant barnacle Austromegabalanus psittacus (Molina, 1782 Diversificación de la acuicultura chilena: el caso del cirripedio gigante Austromegabalanus psittacus (Molina, 1782

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    Daniel A López

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Evidence is presented supporting the technical and economic possibilities of giant barnacle Austromegabalanuspsittacus (Molina, 1782 culture, one of the main alternatives for diversifying aquaculture in Chile. Spat collection from the wild varied between different sites in the north and south of the country and according to type of artificial collector. Growth also varied between sites (greater in the north, technological systems (greater in tubular systems and depths (greater at 4 m. Average commercial size in the national market was reached over a period between 18 and 24 months. A long-line can produce between 7 to 10 gross ton during this period, therefore average annual fisheries production can be reached with only 10 to 30 long-lines, in an area of 1 to 3 ha. There is demand for this resource in the external market, particularly in the Japanese market, either as product similar to "fujit subo" (Balanus rostratus, or as a new resource; the relationship between production costs and price determines that giant barnacle culture has commercial potential. Economic indicators for cultured giant barnacle were as follows: net present value (NPV: US$ 490,000; internal rate of return (IRR: 32%; discounted payback period (DPBP: 4 years. Results obtained suggest the natural bank repopulation option, and the development of mass cultures. Giant barnacle culture is based on biological characteristics that differentiate it from other crustaceans species, as well as simple and economic production technologies and favourable economic projections on external markets.Se presentan evidencias de las posibilidades técnicas y económicas del cultivo del cirripedio gigante o "picoroco", Austromegabalanus psittacus (Molina, 1782. Esta especie es una de las principales alternativas para la diversificación de la acuicultura en Chile. La captación de semilla desde el ambiente varió entre distintos sitios del norte y sur del país y según el tipo de colector

  17. Occurrence of Ornithonyssus sylviarum in pet birds from the district of Setúbal, Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waap, Helga; Paulino, Diana; Cardoso, Rita

    2017-07-01

    Ornithonyssus sylviarum is a blood-feeding ectoparasite of birds and the most serious pest in poultry farms in North America. Although the mites are typically adapted to temperate climates, information on this mite in Europe is sparse, and Dermanyssus gallinae is considered to be the only mite impacting the poultry industry. The present study reports the occurrence of O. sylviarum in pet birds in Portugal. Mites were collected directly from birds and with traps placed in cages and nests at 20 different sampling places belonging to 6 municipalities in the district of Setúbal. In a total of 217 birds, O. sylviarum was identified in 47 out of 147 (32.0%) canaries (Serinus canaria), 14 out of 21 (14.3%) estrildid finches, 1 out of 24 (4.2%) budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and 1 out of 15 (6.7%) lovebirds (Agapornis spp.). Mites of the genus Dermanyssus were identified in 8 canaries (5.4%), 8 estrildid finches (38.1%) and 1 lovebird (6.7%). No mites were found in 6 cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), 2 African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), 1 Bourke's parrot (Neophema bourkii) and 1 rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri). Considering the zoonotic potential and the risk of dissemination to poultry, the present findings underline the need for further monitoring of O. sylviarum in the wild and domestic avifauna in Portugal.

  18. Are California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus Sensitive to the Attentional State of their Caretakers?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Penel

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Human-animal relations appear in various contexts (homes, farms, zoos, aquatic parks, etc. possibly favoring the emergence of the ability to understand heterospecific communication signals in several species. Studies show that dogs (Canis familiaris have developed the ability to attribute attention to humans, reading their body, head and gaze cues. Horses (Equus caballus and other species including African gray parrots (Psittacus erithacus show this ability too. Here, we asked if California sea lions (Zalophus californianus can discriminate the attentional state of their caretakers. Four sea lions were tested in three increasingly complex experiments requiring them to make a choice between an attentive versus an inattentive caretaker. The first test asked whether sea lions could attribute attention to a human facing them versus facing away. In the second test, the caretaker’s head orientation towards the sea lion served as the attentional cue. In the final test, the inattentive caretaker wore dark sunglasses. The results were heterogeneous and showed a higher rate of success than failure in the test 1, but the opposite in test 2. The results in the test 3 were not significant. Furthermore, the latency measures suggested that the subjects did not understand the tasks. It therefore appears that in the situation used here sea lions mainly focused their attention on the experimenter’s body orientation; the head did not seem to be a pertinent cue.

  19. Habitat Preferences of the Grey Parrot in Heterogeneous Vegetation Landscapes and Their Conservation Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon A. Tamungang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The wild Grey Parrot Psittacus erithacus Linnaeus suffers from many habitat use challenges in the wake of extensive deforestation in its endemic range of West and Central African rainforests. To determine effects of these challenges on the bird species, seasonal densities of the Grey Parrot were determined using line transects in major heterogeneous vegetation types in the Korup Rainforest, south-western Cameroon. Results of the study highlight habitat preferences of this species on a seasonal base and under different situations of human activity intensity in the landscape. This information can be used to understand the causes of changes in the distribution and abundance of endangered species and also to determine sustainable conservation strategies. It is concluded that the parrot needs diverse vegetation types for survival in the wild state, as it depends on specific tree species for specific habitat resources such as food, roosts, security, and nests at specific periods of the year. Hence, the continuous survival of the Grey Parrot in the range states is not certain, if sustainable measures are not taken to conserve the parrot and its habitat resources both in and outside protected areas.

  20. Plasma butyrylcholinesterase concentrations in psittacine birds: reference values, factors of variation, and association with feather-damaging behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosset, Claire; Bougerol, Christian; Sanchez-Migallon Guzman, David

    2014-03-01

    Butyrylcholinesterase is a glycoprotein enzyme used in the diagnosis of toxicosis by cholinesterase-inhibitor agents like organophosphates and carbamates. In animals, butyrylcholinesterase concentrations have been shown to vary depending on numerous factors such as age, sex, diet, and season of sampling. To establish reference values of plasma butyrylcholinesterase concentrations in common psittacine species, plasma butyrylcholinesterase concentrations were measured in 1942 companion psittacine birds. The birds were classified by age, sex, season, health status, and the presence of feather-damaging behavior. A significant difference was observed among species, with eclectus parrots (Eclectus roratus) having the lowest and African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) having the highest reference values. Plasma butyrylcholinesterase concentrations varied by age, health status, and season but not by sex. Concentrations were significantly higher during autumn and spring than during winter and summer, and significantly lower in healthy birds than in sick birds. No significant association between butyrylcholinesterase concentrations and feather-damaging behavior could be established except in lovebirds (Agapornis species). Further research is needed to better understand the effect of nutritional and hormonal factors on butyrylcholinesterase concentrations in psittacine birds and its possible effect on bird cognition.

  1. Cryptococcosis outbreak in psittacine birds in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raso, T F; Werther, K; Miranda, E T; Mendes-Giannini, M J S

    2004-08-01

    An outbreak of cryptococcosis occurred in a breeding aviary in São Paulo, Brazil. Seven psittacine birds (of species Charmosyna papou, Lorius lory, Trichoglossus goldiei, Psittacula krameri and Psittacus erithacus) died of disseminated cryptococcosis. Incoordination, progressive paralysis and difficulty in flying were seen in five birds, whereas superficial lesions coincident with respiratory alterations were seen in two birds. Encapsulated yeasts suggestive of Cryptococcus sp. were seen in faecal smears stained with India ink in two cases. Histological examination of the birds showed cryptococcal cells in various tissues, including the beak, choana, sinus, lungs, air sacs, heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, intestines and central nervous system. High titres of cryptococcal antigen were observed in the serum of an affected bird. In this case, titres increased during treatment and the bird eventually died. Yeasts were isolated from the nasal mass, faeces and liver of one bird. Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii serovar B was identified based on biochemical, physiological and serological tests. These strains were resistant (minimum inhibitory concentration 64 microg/ml) to fluconazole. This is the first report of C. neoformans var. gattii occurring in psittacine birds in Brazil.

  2. Carotenoid pigments and the selectivity of psittacofulvin-based coloration systems in parrots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, K J; Nogare, M C

    2004-07-01

    Carotenoid pigments are commonly used as colorants of feathers and bare parts by birds. However, parrots (Aves: Psittaciformes) use a novel class of plumage pigments (called psittacofulvins) that, like carotenoids, are lipid-soluble and red, orange, or yellow in color. To begin to understand how and why parrots use these pigments and not carotenoids in their feathers, we must first describe the distribution of these two types of pigments in the diet, tissues, and fluids of these birds. Here, we studied the carotenoid content of blood in five species of parrots with red in their plumage to see if they show the physiological ability to accumulate carotenoids in the body. Although Scarlet (Ara macao) and Greenwing Macaws (Ara chloroptera) and Eclectus (Eclectus roratus), African Gray (Psittacus erithacus) and Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva) Parrots all use psittacofulvins to color their feathers red, we found that they also circulated high concentrations of both dietary (lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin) and metabolically derived (anhydrolutein, dehydrolutein) carotenoids through blood at the time of feather growth, at levels comparable to those found in many other carotenoid-colored birds. These results suggest that parrots have the potential to use carotenoids for plumage pigmentation, but preferentially avoid depositing them in feathers, which is likely under the control of the maturing feather follicle. As there is no evidence of psittacofulvins in parrot blood at the tune of feather growth, we presume that these pigments are locally synthesized by growing feathers within the follicular tissue.

  3. Evaluation of a novel feather scoring system for monitoring feather damaging behaviour in parrots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Zeeland, Yvonne R A; Bergers, Madeleine J; van der Valk, Lisette; Schoemaker, Nico J; Lumeij, Johannes T

    2013-05-01

    Feather damaging behaviour is common in captive psittacine birds and there is a need for reliable methods to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic and preventive interventions. This study compared the inter- and intra-observer reliabilities of a novel feather scoring system with an existing system to assess the plumage of grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Regions of the body were photographed separately at 1 week intervals and shown at random to 35 examiners (avian veterinarians and veterinary students), who used the two scoring systems to assess plumage. Since the quality of the photographs was insufficient to allow accurate assessment of the individual flight and tail feathers, the novel scoring system was only evaluated for its reliability regarding covert and down feathers. Inter- and intra-observer reliabilities were determined using the intra-class correlation coefficient. Bland-Altman analysis was performed to determine absolute reliabilities for both systems. Correlation coefficients were 0.90 and 0.95 for intra-observer reliability and 0.83 and 0.89 for inter-observer reliability for the existing and novel feather scoring systems, respectively. When using the novel system, a change in plumage condition of ≥10% was needed to ensure that the change reflected a real difference in 95% of cases, while a change of ≥15% was needed for the existing system. Since it may take from 4 weeks (covert or down feathers) to over 1 year (flight or tail feathers) for feathers to regrow, sufficient time should be allowed to elapse between two scoring sessions to reliably evaluate the efficacy of preventive or therapeutic interventions for feather damaging behaviour. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. A novel papillomavirus in Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) faeces sampled at the Cape Crozier colony, Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varsani, Arvind; Kraberger, Simona; Jennings, Scott; Porzig, Elizabeth L; Julian, Laurel; Massaro, Melanie; Pollard, Annie; Ballard, Grant; Ainley, David G

    2014-06-01

    Papillomaviruses are epitheliotropic viruses that have circular dsDNA genomes encapsidated in non-enveloped virions. They have been found to infect a variety of mammals, reptiles and birds, but so far they have not been found in amphibians. Using a next-generation sequencing de novo assembly contig-informed recovery, we cloned and Sanger sequenced the complete genome of a novel papillomavirus from the faecal matter of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) nesting on Ross Island, Antarctica. The genome had all the usual features of a papillomavirus and an E9 ORF encoding a protein of unknown function that is found in all avian papillomaviruses to date. This novel papillomavirus genome shared ~60 % pairwise identity with the genomes of the other three known avian papillomaviruses: Fringilla coelebs papillomavirus 1 (FcPV1), Francolinus leucoscepus papillomavirus 1 (FlPV1) and Psittacus erithacus papillomavirus 1. Pairwise identity analysis and phylogenetic analysis of the major capsid protein gene clearly indicated that it represents a novel species, which we named Pygoscelis adeliae papillomavirus 1 (PaCV1). No evidence of recombination was detected in the genome of PaCV1, but we did detect a recombinant region (119 nt) in the E6 gene of FlPV1 with the recombinant region being derived from ancestral FcPV1-like sequences. Previously only paramyxoviruses, orthomyxoviruses and avian pox viruses have been genetically identified in penguins; however, the majority of penguin viral identifications have been based on serology or histology. This is the first report, to our knowledge, of a papillomavirus associated with a penguin species. © 2014 The Authors.

  5. Effects of mydriatic agents in cockatoos, African gray parrots, and Blue-fronted Amazon parrots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramer, J C; Paul-Murphy, J; Brunson, D; Murphy, C J

    1996-01-15

    To compare, in psittacines, the mydriatic effects of several topically applied curariform, sympathomimetic, and parasympatholytic drugs with and without the addition of surface-acting penetrating agents. Prospective, randomized controlled trial. 10 adult cockatoos (Cacatua sulphurea subspecies), 2 adult African gray parrots (Psittacus erithacus), and 3 adult Blue-fronted Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva). Three curariform drugs (d-tubocurarine, pancuronium, and vecuronium bromide) and 2 autonomic drugs (atropine and phenylephrine hydrochloride) were evaluated. Drugs were tested with and without the addition of a surface-acting penetrating agent, either saponin or benzalkonium chloride. The agent that resulted in the most significant change in pupillary diameter with the fewest systemic side effects in the cockatoos then was evaluated for its effects in the African gray parrots and the Blue-fronted Amazon parrots. During each drug trial, 1 eye was randomly selected to receive the control drug (0.9% NaCl), and the opposite eye was selected to receive the test drug. Each pupil was videotaped 5 (cockatoos only), 15, 30, 45, 60, and 75 minutes after treatment. Pupil diameters were measured by use of a computerized image analysis system. Data for pupil size were analyzed by means of repeated measures ANOVA. Vecuronium without the addition of a surface-acting penetrating agent produced the most consistent and greatest pupillary dilatation in all 3 species with the fewest systemic side effects. Vecuronium is potentially a clinically useful, topical mydriatic agent for use in avian species. Documented differences in the prevalence of systemic side effects between species suggests that caution should be applied when applying this drug bilaterally.

  6. Acarnidae (Porifera: Demospongiae: Poecilosclerida from the Mexican Pacific Ocean with the description of six new species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Maria Aguilar-Camacho

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The family Acarnidae is characterized by sponges with ectosomal diactinal spicules and choanosomal monactinal spicules. Microscleres include palmate isochelae, toxas and echinating acanthostyles. We described ten species from the Mexican Pacific Ocean. Six of them are new to science: Acarnus michoacanensis n. sp., Acarnus oaxaquensis n. sp., Acarnus sabulum n. sp., Acheliderma fulvum n. sp., Megaciella toxispinosa n. sp. and Iophon bipocillum n. sp. Four are known in Eastern Pacific waters: Acarnus erithacus, Acarnus peruanus, Megaciella microtoxa and Iophon indentatum.

  7. Barrier effects on vertebrate distribution caused by a motorway crossing through fragmented forest landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tellería, J. L.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We analysed the effects of a 25–year–old motorway on the distribution of five vertebrates inhabiting a fragmented forest landscape and differing in their ability to move across linear infrastructures. We found clear evidence of barrier effects on the distribution of the forest lizard Psammodromus algirus. The roe deer (Capreolus capreolus was also unequally distributed on both sides of the motorway, but this could also be due, at least in part, to fragmentation. The eyed lizard (Timon lepidus, that can move through open fields, showed no evidence of barrier effects. The distribution of two small birds (Erithacus rubecula and Phylloscopus bonelli was unaffected by the motorway. Our results show that a motorway may severely restrict the distribution of species which can withstand high levels of forest fragmentation but show limited dispersal ability, highlighting the role of linear infrastructures in shaping species’ ranges at regional scales.

  8. Flight calls and orientation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ole Næsbye; Andersen, Bent Bach; Kropp, Wibke

    2008-01-01

    flight calls was simulated by sequential computer controlled activation of five loudspeakers placed in a linear array perpendicular to the bird's migration course. The bird responded to this stimulation by changing its migratory course in the direction of that of the ‘flying conspecifics' but after about...... 30 minutes it drifted back to its original migration course. The results suggest that songbirds migrating alone at night can use the flight calls from conspecifics as additional cues for orientation and that they may compare this information with other cues to decide what course to keep.......  In a pilot experiment a European Robin, Erithacus rubecula, expressing migratory restlessness with a stable orientation, was video filmed in the dark with an infrared camera and its directional migratory activity was recorded. The flight overhead of migrating conspecifics uttering nocturnal...

  9. Morfología del aparato reproductor del picoroco Austromegabalanus psittacus (Molina, 1782) (Cirripedia, Balanidae)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Catalina Contreras; Nicolás Luna; Enrique Dupré

    2015-01-01

    .... El aparato reproductor masculino consta de testículos organizados en acinos que se distribuyen arboriformemente, dos conductos deferentes que se unen en la base del pene para formar el conducto eyaculador...

  10. Gnezdilke Parka Škocjanske jame (Kras, JZ Slovenija/ The breeding birds of Škocjan Caves Park (Kras, SW Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Figelj Jernej

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study done in 2011 and 2012 was to identify the number of breeding bird species, to provide population estimates as well as to evaluate the conservational importance of Škocjan Caves Park for birds. Common bird species were surveyed using the territory mapping method. Rare species and nocturnally active species were surveyed using species-specific methods: observation, the playback method and the line transect method. 81 species were registered, 49 of which bred within the boundaries of the Park. The most abundant breeding species were Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla (260-320 breeding pairs, Robin Erithacus rubecula (250-310 breeding pairs, Blackbird Turdus merula (230-280 breeding pairs, Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs (230-280 breeding pairs and Marsh Tit Poecile palustris (200-240 breeding pairs. Qualifying species for the Special Protected Area (SPA Kras (SI5000023 also bred within the Park: Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus, Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, Scops Owl Otus scops and Woodlark Lululla arborea. Eagle Owl Bubo bubo was also registered, but breeding attempts during the study period were unsuccessful due to the negative influence of several factors. One of the largest colonies of Alpine Swifts Apus melba, a rare and localized species in Slovenia, is also of conservation concern.

  11. Avian magnetoreception: elaborate iron mineral containing dendrites in the upper beak seem to be a common feature of birds.

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    Gerald Falkenberg

    Full Text Available The magnetic field sensors enabling birds to extract orientational information from the Earth's magnetic field have remained enigmatic. Our previously published results from homing pigeons have made us suggest that the iron containing sensory dendrites in the inner dermal lining of the upper beak are a candidate structure for such an avian magnetometer system. Here we show that similar structures occur in two species of migratory birds (garden warbler, Sylvia borin and European robin, Erithacus rubecula and a non-migratory bird, the domestic chicken (Gallus gallus. In all these bird species, histological data have revealed dendrites of similar shape and size, all containing iron minerals within distinct subcellular compartments of nervous terminals of the median branch of the Nervus ophthalmicus. We also used microscopic X-ray absorption spectroscopy analyses to identify the involved iron minerals to be almost completely Fe III-oxides. Magnetite (Fe II/III may also occur in these structures, but not as a major Fe constituent. Our data suggest that this complex dendritic system in the beak is a common feature of birds, and that it may form an essential sensory basis for the evolution of at least certain types of magnetic field guided behavior.

  12. Oxidative stress in endurance flight: an unconsidered factor in bird migration.

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    Susanne Jenni-Eiermann

    Full Text Available Migrating birds perform extraordinary endurance flights, up to 200 h non-stop, at a very high metabolic rate and while fasting. Such an intense and prolonged physical activity is normally associated with an increased production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS and thus increased risk of oxidative stress. However, up to now it was unknown whether endurance flight evokes oxidative stress. We measured a marker of oxidative damage (protein carbonyls, PCs and a marker of enzymatic antioxidant capacity (glutathione peroxidase, GPx in the European robin (Erithacus rubecula, a nocturnal migrant, on its way to the non-breeding grounds. Both markers were significantly higher in European robins caught out of their nocturnal flight than in conspecifics caught during the day while resting. Independently of time of day, both markers showed higher concentrations in individuals with reduced flight muscles. Adults had higher GPx concentrations than first-year birds on their first migration. These results show for the first time that free-flying migrants experience oxidative stress during endurance flight and up-regulate one component of antioxidant capacity. We discuss that avoiding oxidative stress may be an overlooked factor shaping bird migration strategies, e.g. by disfavouring long non-stop flights and an extensive catabolism of the flight muscles.

  13. The function of migratory bird calls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reichl, Thomas; Andersen, Bent Bach; Larsen, Ole Næsbye

    migration and to stimulate migratory restlessness in conspecifics. We wished to test if conspecific flight calls influence the flight direction of a nocturnal migrant, the European Robin (Erithacus rubecula), i.e. if flight calls help migrants keeping course. Wild caught birds showing migratory restlessness...... the experimental bird could be activated successively to simulate a migrating Robin cruising E-W, W-E, S-N or N-S at a chosen height (mostly about 40 m), at 10 m/s and emitting Robin flight calls of 80 dB(A) at 1 m. The simulated flight of a "ding" sound served as a control. During an experiment the bird was first...... allowed to settle and express migratory restlessness for at least 30 minutes. Secondly, the flight simulation axis (e.g. E-W or N-S) with the largest angle relative to the bird's migration course was chosen and "flights" of simulated calling conspecifics or the "ding" sound along this axis continued...

  14. 'Candidatus Rickettsia mendelii', a novel basal group rickettsia detected in Ixodes ricinus ticks in the Czech Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajduskova, Eva; Literak, Ivan; Papousek, Ivo; Costa, Francisco B; Novakova, Marketa; Labruna, Marcelo B; Zdrazilova-Dubska, Lenka

    2016-04-01

    A novel rickettsial sequence in the citrate synthase gltA gene indicating a novel Rickettsia species has been detected in 7 out of 4524 Ixodes ricinus ticks examined within several surveys performed in the Czech Republic from 2005 to 2009. This new Candidatus Rickettsia sp. sequence has been found in 2 nymphs feeding on wild birds (Luscinia megarhynchos and Erithacus rubecula), in a male tick from vegetation, and 4 ticks feeding on a dog (3 males, 1 female tick). Portions of the ompA, ompB, sca4, and htrA genes were not amplifiable in these samples. A maximum likelihood tree of rickettsiae based on comparisons of partial amino acid sequences of citrate synthase and nucleotide sequences of 16S rDNA genes and phylogenetic analysis revealed a basal position of the novel species in the proximity of R. bellii and R. canadensis. The novel species has been named 'Candidatus Rickettsia mendelii' after the founder of genetics, Gregor Mendel. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. Chlamydiosis in British Garden Birds (2005-2011): retrospective diagnosis and Chlamydia psittaci genotype determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckmann, K M; Borel, N; Pocknell, A M; Dagleish, M P; Sachse, K; John, S K; Pospischil, A; Cunningham, A A; Lawson, B

    2014-12-01

    The significance of chlamydiosis as a cause of mortality in wild passerines (Order Passeriformes), and the role of these birds as a potential source of zoonotic Chlamydia psittaci infection, is unknown. We reviewed wild bird mortality incidents (2005-2011). Where species composition or post-mortem findings were indicative of chlamydiosis, we examined archived tissues for C. psittaci infection using PCR and ArrayTube Microarray assays. Twenty-one of 40 birds tested positive: 8 dunnocks (Prunella modularis), 7 great tits (Parus major), 3 blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus), 2 collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto, Order Columbiformes), and 1 robin (Erithacus rubecula). Chlamydia psittaci genotype A was identified in all positive passerines and in a further three dunnocks and three robins diagnosed with chlamydiosis from a previous study. Two collared doves had genotype E. Ten of the 21 C. psittaci-positive birds identified in the current study had histological lesions consistent with chlamydiosis and co-localizing Chlamydia spp. antigens on immunohistochemistry. Our results indicate that chlamydiosis may be a more common disease of British passerines than was previously recognized. Wild passerines may be a source of C. psittaci zoonotic infection, and people should be advised to take appropriate hygiene precautions when handling bird feeders or wild birds.

  16. Lateralization of the Avian Magnetic Compass: Analysis of Its Early Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis Gehring

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In European Robins, Erithacus rubecula, the magnetic compass is lateralized in favor of the right eye/left hemisphere of the brain. This lateralization develops during the first winter and initially shows a great plasticity. During the first spring migration, it can be temporarily removed by covering the right eye. In the present paper, we used the migratory orientation of robins to analyze the circumstances under which the lateralization can be undone. Already a period of 1½ h being monocularly left-eyed before tests began proved sufficient to restore the ability to use the left eye for orientation, but this effect was rather short-lived, as lateralization recurred again within the next 1½ h. Interpretable magnetic information mediated by the left eye was necessary for removing the lateralization. In addition, monocularly, the left eye seeing robins could adjust to magnetic intensities outside the normal functional window, but this ability was not transferred to the “right-eye system”. Our results make it clear that asymmetry of magnetic compass perception is amenable to short-term changes, depending on lateralized stimulation. This could mean that the left hemispheric dominance for the analysis of magnetic compass information depends on lateralized interhemispheric interactions that in young birds can swiftly be altered by environmental effects.

  17. Provenance does matter: links between winter trophic segregation and the migratory origins of European robins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catry, Paulo; Campos, Ana R; Granadeiro, José Pedro; Neto, Júlio M; Ramos, Jaime; Newton, Jason; Bearhop, Stuart

    2016-12-01

    Amongst migratory species, it is common to find individuals from different populations or geographical origins sharing staging or wintering areas. Given their differing life histories, ecological theory would predict that the different groups of individuals should exhibit some level of niche segregation. This has rarely been investigated because of the difficulty in assigning migrating individuals to breeding areas. Here, we start by documenting a broad geographical gradient of hydrogen isotopes (δ (2)H) in robin Erithacus rubecula feathers across Europe. We then use δ (2)H, as well as wing-tip shape, as surrogates for broad migratory origin of birds wintering in Iberia, to investigate the ecological segregation of populations. Wintering robins of different sexes, ages and body sizes are known to segregate between habitats in Iberia. This has been attributed to the despotic exclusion of inferior competitors from the best patches by dominant individuals. We find no segregation between habitats in relation to δ (2)H in feathers, or to wing-tip shape, which suggests that no major asymmetries in competitive ability exist between migrant robins of different origins. Trophic level (inferred from nitrogen isotopes in blood) correlated both with δ (2)H in feathers and with wing-tip shape, showing that individuals from different geographic origins display a degree of ecological segregation in shared winter quarters. Isotopic mixing models indicate that wintering birds originating from more northerly populations consume more invertebrates. Our multi-scale study suggests that trophic-niche segregation may result from specializations (arising in the population-specific breeding areas) that are transported by the migrants into the shared wintering grounds.

  18. Seasonally Changing Cryptochrome 1b Expression in the Retinal Ganglion Cells of a Migrating Passerine Bird.

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    Christine Nießner

    Full Text Available Cryptochromes, blue-light absorbing proteins involved in the circadian clock, have been proposed to be the receptor molecules of the avian magnetic compass. In birds, several cryptochromes occur: Cryptochrome 2, Cryptochrome 4 and two splice products of Cryptochrome 1, Cry1a and Cry1b. With an antibody not distinguishing between the two splice products, Cryptochrome 1 had been detected in the retinal ganglion cells of garden warblers during migration. A recent study located Cry1a in the outer segments of UV/V-cones in the retina of domestic chickens and European robins, another migratory species. Here we report the presence of cryptochrome 1b (eCry1b in retinal ganglion cells and displaced ganglion cells of European Robins, Erithacus rubecula. Immuno-histochemistry at the light microscopic and electron microscopic level showed eCry1b in the cell plasma, free in the cytosol as well as bound to membranes. This is supported by immuno-blotting. However, this applies only to robins in the migratory state. After the end of the migratory phase, the amount of eCry1b was markedly reduced and hardly detectable. In robins, the amount of eCry1b in the retinal ganglion cells varies with season: it appears to be strongly expressed only during the migratory period when the birds show nocturnal migratory restlessness. Since the avian magnetic compass does not seem to be restricted to the migratory phase, this seasonal variation makes a role of eCry1b in magnetoreception rather unlikely. Rather, it could be involved in physiological processes controlling migratory restlessness and thus enabling birds to perform their nocturnal flights.

  19. Double-Cone Localization and Seasonal Expression Pattern Suggest a Role in Magnetoreception for European Robin Cryptochrome 4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Günther, Anja; Einwich, Angelika; Sjulstok, Emil; Feederle, Regina; Bolte, Petra; Koch, Karl-Wilhelm; Solov'yov, Ilia A; Mouritsen, Henrik

    2017-12-27

    Birds seem to use a light-dependent, radical-pair-based magnetic compass. In vertebrates, cryptochromes are the only class of proteins that form radical pairs upon photo-excitation. Therefore, they are currently the only candidate proteins for light-dependent magnetoreception. Cryptochrome 4 (Cry4) is particularly interesting because it has only been found in vertebrates that use a magnetic compass. However, its structure and localization within the retina has remained unknown. Here, we sequenced night-migratory European robin (Erithacus rubecula) Cry4 from the retina and predicted the currently unresolved structure of the erCry4 protein, which suggests that erCry4 should bind Flavin. We also found that Cry1a, Cry1b, and Cry2 mRNA display robust circadian oscillation patterns, whereas Cry4 shows only a weak circadian oscillation. When we compared the relative mRNA expression levels of the cryptochromes during the spring and autumn migratory seasons relative to the non-migratory seasons in European robins and domestic chickens (Gallus gallus), the Cry4 mRNA expression level in European robin retinae, but not in chicken retinae, is significantly higher during the migratory season compared to the non-migratory seasons. Cry4 protein is specifically expressed in the outer segments of the double cones and long-wavelength single cones in European robins and chickens. A localization of Cry4 in double cones seems to be ideal for light-dependent magnetoreception. Considering all of the data presented here, especially including its localization within the European robin retina, its likely binding of Flavin, and its increased expression during the migratory season in the migratory bird but not in chicken, Cry4 could be the magnetoreceptive protein. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Increasing incidence of megabacteriosis in canaries (Serinus canarius domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marlier, D; Leroy, C; Sturbois, M; Delleur, V; Poulipoulis, A; Vindevogel, H

    2006-11-01

    A total of 312 post-mortem examinations of 178 canaries (Serinus canarius domesticus), 40 parakeets (Melopsittacus undulatus, Nymphicus hollandicus) and 94 parrots (Amazona aestiva, Psitaccus erithacus) were conducted at the Birds and Rabbits Service of the University of Liège, Belgium. After a detailed gross examination, tissue samples were collected for virological and/or bacteriological and/or parasitological examination to complete the diagnosis. In all cases, a microscopic examination of the proventricular mucus layer was undertaken for the detection of the anamorphic ascomycetous yeast Macrorhabdus ornithogaster, which causes the non-zoonotic but important disease in cage birds known as megabacteriosis. At the time of death, megabacteriosis was diagnosed respectively in 28% of canaries and 22.5% of budgerigars (P value for Fisher's exact test=0.5576), but was not diagnosed in parrots (P value for Fisher's exact test <0.0001). The incidence of megabacteriosis significantly increases along the years (P value for chi2 test <0.0001, Cramer's coefficient=0.3405). The most common gross lesions seen at necropsy of the 59 megabacteriosis cases was proventricular dilatation (86.1%). All the birds diagnosed as typical megabacteriosis cases were free of Salmonella spp. infections and of any parasitic infections. Four megabacteriosis cases (three canaries, one parakeet) were not included in statistical analysis as salmonellosis, pseudotuberculosis, coccidiosis and chlamydophilosis were diagnosed concomitantly in these birds. With the exception of megabacteriosis, the most frequent causes of death were protozoan (coccidiosis, lankesterellosis) infections (18.4%) and salmonellosis (17.1%) in canaries, and psittacosis (31.5%) and viral hepatitis (26.3%) in parakeets. In parrots, the most common causes of death were psittacosis (28.6%) and aspergillosis (28.5%).

  1. Seasonal changes in colour: a comparison of structural, melanin- and carotenoid-based plumage colours.

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    Kaspar Delhey

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Plumage coloration is important for bird communication, most notably in sexual signalling. Colour is often considered a good quality indicator, and the expression of exaggerated colours may depend on individual condition during moult. After moult, plumage coloration has been deemed fixed due to the fact that feathers are dead structures. Still, many plumage colours change after moult, although whether this affects signalling has not been sufficiently assessed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied changes in coloration after moult in four passerine birds (robin, Erithacus rubecula; blackbird, Turdus merula; blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus; and great tit, Parus major displaying various coloration types (melanin-, carotenoid-based and structural. Birds were caught regularly during three years to measure plumage reflectance. We used models of avian colour vision to derive two variables, one describing chromatic and the other achromatic variation over the year that can be compared in magnitude among different colour types. All studied plumage patches but one (yellow breast of the blue tit showed significant chromatic changes over the year, although these were smaller than for a typical dynamic trait (bill colour. Overall, structural colours showed a reduction in relative reflectance at shorter wavelengths, carotenoid-based colours the opposite pattern, while no general pattern was found for melanin-based colours. Achromatic changes were also common, but there were no consistent patterns of change for the different types of colours. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Changes of plumage coloration independent of moult are probably widespread; they should be perceivable by birds and have the potential to affect colour signalling.

  2. A Preliminary Investigation on Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) Infesting Birds in Kızılırmak Delta, Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keskin, Adem; Erciyas-Yavuz, Kiraz

    2016-01-01

    Ticks are mandatory blood-feeding ectoparasites of mammals, birds, reptiles, and even amphibians. Turkey has a rich bird fauna and is located on the main migration route for many birds. However, information on ticks infesting birds is very limited. In the present study, we aimed to determine ticks infesting birds in Kızılırmak Delta, Turkey. In 2014 autumn bird migration season, a total of 7,452 birds belonging to 79 species, 52 genera, 35 families, and 14 orders were examined for tick infestation. In total, 287 (234 larvae, 47 nymphs, 6♀) ticks were collected from 54 passerine birds (prevalence = 0.72%) belonging to 12 species. Ticks were identified as Amblyomma sp., Dermacentor marginatus (Sulzer), Haemaphysalis concinna Koch, Haemaphysalis punctata Canestrini and Fanzago, Hyalomma sp., Ixodes frontalis (Panzer), and Ixodes ricinus (L). The most common tick species were I. frontalis (223 larvae, 23 nymphs, 6♀) followed by I. ricinus (3 larvae, 12 nymphs) and H. concinna (4 larvae, 6 nymphs). Based on our results, it can be said that Erithacus rubecula (L.) is the main host of immature I. frontalis, whereas Turdus merula L. is the most important carrier of immature stages of some ticks in Kızılırmak Delta, Turkey. To the best of our knowledge, most of the tick-host associations found in this study have never been documented in the literature. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Niche segregation in high-altitude Himalayan chats (Aves, Turdidae): does morphology match ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landmann, Armin; Winding, Norbert

    1993-10-01

    We investigated patterns of habitat segregation and morphological differentiation in syntopic, closely related turdid birds of the alpine zone of the Central Himalayas. Discriminant function analysis of 19 habitat structure parameters and comparisons of additional habitat features revealed that the species were distributed along gradients of vegetation height and vegetation density. In addition, non-vegetational structural habitat features, like microrelief variability or the presence of rocks and boulders, had strong discriminating power. In terms of habitat preferences the species of the guild investigated formed three subsets: shrubbery species (Erithacus pectoralis, E. chrysaeus and Hodgsonius phoenicuroides), species preferring open areas with higher surface roughness (Phoenicurus frontalis, Chaimarrornis leucocephalus) and the high-altitude species Grandala coelicolor. Using discriminant function analysis of 20 characters, morphology was analysed in relation to microhabitat utilization and foraging behaviour. Species inhabiting patches of shrubby thickets and foraging mainly by pedal movements (E. pectoralis, E. chrysaeus and H. phoenicuroides) have in common short rounded wings with high wing loading and strong legs and feet. Species preferably foraging by aerial hawking or "perch and pounce" techniques in more open areas (P. frontalis, C. chaimarrornis, and to some extent E. cyanurus) have longer wings, shorter tarsi and long rictal bristles. Grandala proved to be well adpated for long-distance flights at high altitudes (long, pointed wings) and for pedal foraging. Overall our results fit the basic assumption of ecomorphological theory that morphological distance reflects ecological distance. The ordination of each species in morphological space closely matched its distribution in ecological space (microhabitat, foraging strategies). Striking associations of morphology with ecology were not only evident for single traits but were also found in

  4. Chirotteri carnivori in Europa? Il caso della Nottola gigante (Nyctalus lasiopterus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Vergari

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Nel maggio 1994, iniziò uno studio sulla chirotterofauna forestale nella Riserva Biogenetica di Pian di Novello (Toscana, Pistoia, 44°07?N-10°42?E. La vegetazione della riserva è dominata essenzialmente dal faggio ed è governata ad alto fusto con una età media degli esemplari di 80-100 anni. Un totale di 90 bat-boxes furono distribuite all?interno della riserva. In questi anni sono state evidenziate le seguenti specie all?interno della foresta: Nyctalus leisleri, N. noctula, N. lasiopterus, Myotis bechsteinii, M. mystacinus, M. nattereri, Pipistrellus pipistrellus, P. kuhlii, Hypsugo savii e Tadarida teniotis. Nel contesto della ricerca sono stati avviati approfondimenti per valutare la dieta delle varie specie e valutare l?eventuale sovrapposizione di nicchia trofica. L?analisi degli escrementi della nottola gigante (N. lasiopterus ha sorpreso non poco per la presenza di una cospicua presenza di residui appartenenti a piccoli passeriformi. La carnivoria nei pipistrelli è definita come una specializzazione a catturare e consumare altri vertebrati ad esclusione dei pesci. Ad oggi è stata documentata in circa 12 specie su circa 1000 descritte. In particolare: 1 specie di Nycteridae, 4 specie di Megadermatidae, 5 specie di Phyllostomidae, 1 specie di Vespertilionidae e 1 specie di Hipposideridae. La nottola gigante è presente nella riserva solo nel periodo tardo estivo-autunnale. Una approfondita indagine su di un certo numero di escrementi ha permesso di valutare che la dieta è basata principalmente su passeriformi come pettirosso (Erithacus rubecula e cinciarella (Parus caeruleus. Successivi rilievi hanno permesso di esaminare il comportamento predatorio da parte della nottola gigante, soprattutto le strategie alimentari in relazione alla termoregolazione. Viene inoltre confrontato la morfologia alare con le altre specie

  5. Singing from North to South: Latitudinal variation in timing of dawn singing under natural and artificial light conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Silva, Arnaud; Kempenaers, Bart

    2017-10-01

    Animals breeding at northern latitudes experience drastic changes in daily light conditions during the breeding season with decreasing periods of darkness, whereas those living at lower latitudes are exposed to naturally dark nights throughout the year. Nowadays, many animals are also exposed to artificial night lighting (often referred to as light pollution). Animals strongly rely on variation in light levels to time their daily and seasonal behaviour. Previous work on passerine birds showed that artificial night lighting leads to earlier onset of dawn song. However, these studies were carried out at intermediate latitudes with more limited seasonal changes in daylength, and we still lack an understanding of the impact of artificial night lighting in relation to variation in natural light conditions. We investigated the influence of natural and artificial light conditions on the timing of dawn singing in five common songbird species in each of three regions in Europe that differed in natural variation in daylength (northern Finland, 65°N; southern Germany, 48°N; southern Spain, 37°N). In each region, we selected five peri-urban forest sites with and five without street lighting, and we recorded dawn singing at the beginning of the local breeding season. Our results show that the earliest natural singers, that is, European robins (Erithacus rubecula) and common blackbirds (Turdus merula), started dawn singing earlier along with the natural increase in night brightness in Finland, with no additional effects of artificial night lighting. In contrast, the later singers, such as, great tits (Parus major), blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs), showed similar onsets of dawn song relative to sunrise across the season and similar effects of artificial night lighting at all latitudes. Artificial night lighting affected great tits, blue tits and chaffinches even in northern Finland where nights became very bright. Proximate factors such as

  6. Temporal patterns in the occurrence of selected tropical fishes in mangrove creeks: implications for the fisheries management in north Brazil

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    Tommaso Giarrizzo

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available To examine the temporal patterns in the occurrence of a tropical ichthyofauna, fisheries-independent samples were collected between September 2003 and July 2004 from intertidal mangrove creeks in the Curuçá estuary, Pará, north Brazil. Juveniles occurred year-round with the most intense occurrence during the wet/dry transition season (Anchovia clupeoides, Cetengraulis edentulus, Rhinosardinia amazonica, Mugil sp.. The occurrence of Colomesus psittacus and Anchoa hepsetus was continuous. Sciades herzbergii displayed two peaks (wet and dry season while Cathorops sp. peaked only in the wet season. The continuous presence of juveniles in the tropical mangroves suggested that the fisheries management should be based on large no-take areas rather than closed seasons.Com o objetivo de examinar padrões temporais em recrutamento de uma ictiofauna tropical, pescarias experimentais foram realizadas entre setembro 2003 e Julio 2004 em canais de maré com vegetação de mangue no estuário do rio Curuçá, Pará, Norte do Brasil. Juvenis ocorreram durante todo o ano, entretanto com maior intensidade no período de recrutamento, durante a transição da estação chuvosa para a seca (Anchovia clupeoides, Cetengraulis edentulus, Rhinosardinia amazonica, Mugil sp.. O recrutamento foi continuo para Colomesus psittacus e Anchoa hepsetus. Sciades herzbergii apresentou dois picos de recrutamento (estação chuvosa e seca, entretanto Cathorops sp. teve somente um (estação chuvosa. A presença contínua de juvenis nos manguezais sugere que o manejo da pesca em regiões tropicais com vegetação de mangue deveria se direcionar em definir grandes áreas de proteção ao lugar de épocas de defeso.

  7. The evolutionary diversification of parrots supports a taxon pulse model with multiple trans-oceanic dispersal events and local radiations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweizer, Manuel; Seehausen, Ole; Güntert, Marcel; Hertwig, Stefan T

    2010-03-01

    Vicariance is thought to have played a major role in the evolution of modern parrots. However, as the relationships especially of the African taxa remained mostly unresolved, it has been difficult to draw firm conclusions about the roles of dispersal and vicariance. Our analyses using the broadest taxon sampling of old world parrots ever based on 3219bp of three nuclear genes revealed well-resolved and congruent phylogenetic hypotheses. Agapornis of Africa and Madagascar was found to be the sister group to Loriculus of Australasia and Indo-Malayasia and together they clustered with the Australasian Loriinae, Cyclopsittacini and Melopsittacus. Poicephalus and Psittacus from mainland Africa formed the sister group of the Neotropical Arini and Coracopsis from Madagascar and adjacent islands may be the closest relative of Psittrichas from New Guinea. These biogeographic relationships are best explained by independent colonization of the African continent via trans-oceanic dispersal from Australasia and Antarctica in the Paleogene following what may have been vicariance events in the late Cretaceous and/or early Paleogene. Our data support a taxon pulse model for the diversification of parrots whereby trans-oceanic dispersal played a more important role than previously thought and was the prerequisite for range expansion into new continents. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. A New Cryptic Species of South American Freshwater Pufferfish of the Genus Colomesus (Tetraodontidae), Based on Both Morphology and DNA Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaral, Cesar R. L.; Brito, Paulo M.; Silva, Dayse A.; Carvalho, Elizeu F.

    2013-01-01

    The Tetraodontidae are an Acantomorpha fish family with circumglobal distribution composed of 189 species grouped in 19 genera, occurring in seas, estuaries, and rivers between the tropical and temperate regions. Of these, the genus Colomesus is confined to South America, with what have been up to now considered only two species. C. asellus is spread over the entire Amazon, Tocantins-Araguaia drainages, and coastal environments from the Amazon mouth to Venezuela, and is the only freshwater puffers on that continent. C. psittacus is found in coastal marine and brackish water environments from Cuba to the northern coast of South America as far south as to Sergipe in Brazil. In the present contribution we used morphological data along with molecular systematics techniques to investigate the phylogeny and phylogeography of the freshwater pufferfishes of the genus Colomesus. The molecular part is based on a cytochrome C oxidase subunit I dataset constructed from both previously published and newly determined sequences, obtained from specimens collected from three distinct localities in South America. Our results from both molecular and morphological approaches enable us to identify and describe a new Colomesus species from the Tocantins River. We also discuss aspects of the historical biogeography and phylogeography of the South American freshwater pufferfishes, suggesting that it could be more recent than previously expected. PMID:24040239

  9. Fouling community dominated by Metridium senile (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Actiniaria in Bahía San Julián (southern Patagonia, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Pablo Martin

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study is to provide information about a harbour-fouling community dominated by Metridium senile in southern Patagonia. Several steel tubes from the wharf of Puerto San Julián were extracted to perform repair tasks, allowing the attached benthic community to be studied. Sampling was conducted at three levels: lower intertidal, 3-4 m depth and 6-7 m depth. In the lower intertidal, M. senile had a relative abundance of 43%, the most abundant accompanying species being Perumytilus purpuratus, Mytilus edulis platensis and Aulacomya atra atra. At subtidal level, the anemone showed relative abundances of 64% and 65%, and was accompanied by Monocorophium insidiosum at 3-4 m depth and by polychaetes of families Sabellidae and Syllidae at 6-7 m at depth. In the lower intertidal, epibiosis was more frequent on P. purpuratus, A. atra atra and M. edulis platensis, while in the subtidal, the richness of substrate-organisms increased significantly and the anemone was fixed to A. atra atra, M. edulis platensis, Paramolgula gregaria, Crepipatella dilatata, Austromegabalanus psittacus, Hiatella arctica, Polyzoa opuntia, Pyura sp. and Sabellidae tubes. The ability of M. senile to settle on many different organisms, along with other strategies, makes it a colonizer able to displace other species that could compete with it for substratum. Given the cosmopolitan nature of M. senile, the fact that this species has not been previously reported in the coastal zone of the region, and the results of our study, we discuss the possibility that this sea anemone is an invasive alien species in southern Patagonia, or at least a cryptogenic species.

  10. Long-term stability of tidal and diel-related patterns in mangrove creek fish assemblages in North Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellanos-Galindo, G. A.; Krumme, U.

    2014-08-01

    Intertidal fish assemblages are thought to respond to tidal and diel rhythms although the assumption that these patterns are stable over long time scales (>1 year) is largely untested. Testing the validity of this assumption is necessary to assess whether short-term temporal patterns, once established, can be extrapolated over time and give a better understanding of the temporal dynamics of fish assemblages in coastal habitats. Here, we compare the fish assemblage structure from two intertidal mangrove creeks in North Brazil (Bragança Peninsula, Caeté estuary) sampled with the same sampling methodology (block nets), effort (two lunar cycles) and design (accounting for the combination of tidal and diel cycle) in the rainy seasons of 1999 and 2012 to evaluate the persistence, stability and recurrence of short-term patterns in the fish community organization. The interaction of tidal and diel cycles (inundations at spring tide-night, spring tide-day, neap tide-night, neap tide-day), found to be stable after 13 years, resulted in recurrent and stable intertidal mangrove fish assemblage compositions. The intertidal mangrove creek fish assemblage consisted of a persistent number of dominant species (seven). However, there were notable changes in fish catch mass, abundance and species dominance between 1999 and 2012. The most severe drought in North Brazil in 30 years, linked to lower precipitation and river runoff in the rainy season of 2012, may have resulted in (1) lower abundance of small juveniles of several dominant species in this assemblage (especially Ariidae - Cathorops agassizii and Sciades herzbergii) and (2) increased dominance of large-sized specimens of the tetraodontid Colomesus psittacus. Our findings highlight: (1) the overriding importance and stability of the interactive pulse of the tidal and diel cycles in determining short-term temporal patterns in intertidal mangrove fish assemblages in neotropical macrotidal estuaries despite the occurrence of