Sample records for relictual pecoran artiodactyl

  1. Virtual endocranial cast of earliest Eocene Diacodexis (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) and morphological diversity of early artiodactyl brains (United States)

    Orliac, M. J.; Gilissen, E.


    The study of brain evolution, particularly that of the neocortex, is of primary interest because it directly relates to how behavioural variations arose both between and within mammalian groups. Artiodactyla is one of the most diverse mammalian clades. However, the first 10 Myr of their brain evolution has remained undocumented so far. Here, we used high-resolution X-ray computed tomography to investigate the endocranial cast of Diacodexis ilicis of earliest Eocene age. Its virtual reconstruction provides unprecedented access to both metric parameters and fine anatomy of the most complete endocast of the earliest artiodactyl. This picture is assessed in a broad comparative context by reconstructing endocasts of 14 other Early and Middle Eocene representatives of basal artiodactyls, allowing the tracking of the neocortical structure of artiodactyls back to its simplest pattern. We show that the earliest artiodactyls share a simple neocortical pattern, so far never observed in other ungulates, with an almond-shaped gyrus instead of parallel sulci as previously hypothesized. Our results demonstrate that artiodactyls experienced a tardy pulse of encephalization during the Late Neogene, well after the onset of cortical complexity increase. Comparisons with Eocene perissodactyls show that the latter reached a high level of cortical complexity earlier than the artiodactyls. PMID:22764165

  2. Genetic, morphological, and spectral characterization of relictual Niobrara River hybrid aspens (Populus × smithii). (United States)

    Deacon, Nicholas John; Grossman, Jake Joseph; Schweiger, Anna Katharina; Armour, Isabella; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine


    Aspen groves along the Niobrara River in Nebraska have long been a biogeographic curiosity due to morphological differences from nearby remnant Populus tremuloides populations. Pleistocene hybridization between P. tremuloides and P. grandidentata has been proposed, but the nearest P. grandidentata populations are currently several hundred kilometers east. We tested the hybrid-origin hypothesis using genetic data and characterized putative hybrids phenotypically. We compared nuclear microsatellite loci and chloroplast sequences of Niobrara River aspens to their putative parental species. Parental species and putative hybrids were also grown in a common garden for phenotypic comparison. On the common garden plants, we measured leaf morphological traits and leaf-level spectral reflectance profiles, from which chemical traits were derived. The genetic composition of the three unique Niobrara aspen genotypes is consistent with the hybridization hypothesis and with maternal chloroplast inheritance from P. grandidentata . Leaf margin dentition and abaxial pubescence differentiated taxa, with the hybrids showing intermediate values. Spectral profiles allowed statistical separation of taxa in short-wave infrared wavelengths, with hybrids showing intermediate values, indicating that traits associated with internal structure of leaves and water absorption may vary among taxa. However, reflectance values in the visible region did not differentiate taxa, indicating that traits related to pigments are not differentiated. Both genetic and phenotypic results support the hypothesis of a hybrid origin for these genetically unique aspens. However, low genetic diversity and ongoing ecological and climatic threats to the hybrid taxon present a challenge for conservation of these relictual boreal communities. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  3. Physical and computational fluid dynamics models for the hemodynamics of the artiodactyl carotid rete. (United States)

    O'Brien, Haley D; Bourke, Jason


    In the mammalian order Artiodactyla, the majority of arterial blood entering the intracranial cavity is supplied by a large arterial meshwork called the carotid rete. This vascular structure functionally replaces the internal carotid artery. Extensive experimentation has demonstrated that the artiodactyl carotid rete drives one of the most effective selective brain cooling mechanisms among terrestrial vertebrates. Less well understood is the impact that the unique morphology of the carotid rete may have on the hemodynamics of blood flow to the cerebrum. It has been hypothesized that, relative to the tubular internal carotid arteries of most other vertebrates, the highly convoluted morphology of the carotid rete may increase resistance to flow during extreme changes in cerebral blood pressure, essentially protecting the brain by acting as a resistor. We test this hypothesis by employing simple and complex physical models to a 3D surface rendering of the carotid rete of the domestic goat, Capra hircus. First, we modeled the potential for increased resistance across the carotid rete using an electrical circuit analog. The extensive branching of the rete equates to a parallel circuit that is bound in series by single tubular arteries, both upstream and downstream. This method calculated a near-zero increase in resistance across the rete. Because basic equations do not incorporate drag, shear-stress, and turbulence, we used computational fluid dynamics to simulate the impact of these computationally intensive factors on resistance. Ultimately, both simple and complex models demonstrated negligible changes in resistance and blood pressure across the arterial meshwork. We further tested the resistive potential of the carotid rete by simulating blood pressures known to occur in giraffes. Based on these models, we found resistance (and blood pressure mitigation as a whole) to be an unlikely function for the artiodactyl carotid rete. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All

  4. A divergent Artiodactyl MYADM-like repeat is associated with erythrocyte traits and weight of lamb weaned in domestic sheep. (United States)

    Gonzalez, Michael V; Mousel, Michelle R; Herndon, David R; Jiang, Yu; Dalrymple, Brian P; Reynolds, James O; Johnson, Wendell C; Herrmann-Hoesing, Lynn M; White, Stephen N


    A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed to investigate seven red blood cell (RBC) phenotypes in over 500 domestic sheep (Ovis aries) from three breeds (Columbia, Polypay, and Rambouillet). A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) showed genome-wide significant association with increased mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC, P = 6.2×10(-14)) and genome-wide suggestive association with decreased mean corpuscular volume (MCV, P = 2.5×10(-6)). The ovine HapMap project found the same genomic region and the same peak SNP has been under extreme historical selective pressure, demonstrating the importance of this region for survival, reproduction, and/or artificially selected traits. We observed a large (>50 kb) variant haplotype sequence containing a full-length divergent artiodactyl MYADM-like repeat in strong linkage disequilibrium with the associated SNP. MYADM gene family members play roles in membrane organization and formation in myeloid cells. However, to our knowledge, no member of the MYADM gene family has been identified in development of morphologically variant RBCs. The specific RBC differences may be indicative of alterations in morphology. Additionally, erythrocytes with altered morphological structure often exhibit increased structural fragility, leading to increased RBC turnover and energy expenditure. The divergent artiodactyl MYADM-like repeat was also associated with increased ewe lifetime kilograms of lamb weaned (P = 2×10(-4)). This suggests selection for normal RBCs might increase lamb weights, although further validation is required before implementation in marker-assisted selection. These results provide clues to explain the strong selection on the artiodactyl MYADM-like repeat locus in sheep, and suggest MYADM family members may be important for RBC morphology in other mammals.

  5. A divergent Artiodactyl MYADM-like repeat is associated with erythrocyte traits and weight of lamb weaned in domestic sheep.

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    Michael V Gonzalez

    Full Text Available A genome-wide association study (GWAS was performed to investigate seven red blood cell (RBC phenotypes in over 500 domestic sheep (Ovis aries from three breeds (Columbia, Polypay, and Rambouillet. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP showed genome-wide significant association with increased mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC, P = 6.2×10(-14 and genome-wide suggestive association with decreased mean corpuscular volume (MCV, P = 2.5×10(-6. The ovine HapMap project found the same genomic region and the same peak SNP has been under extreme historical selective pressure, demonstrating the importance of this region for survival, reproduction, and/or artificially selected traits. We observed a large (>50 kb variant haplotype sequence containing a full-length divergent artiodactyl MYADM-like repeat in strong linkage disequilibrium with the associated SNP. MYADM gene family members play roles in membrane organization and formation in myeloid cells. However, to our knowledge, no member of the MYADM gene family has been identified in development of morphologically variant RBCs. The specific RBC differences may be indicative of alterations in morphology. Additionally, erythrocytes with altered morphological structure often exhibit increased structural fragility, leading to increased RBC turnover and energy expenditure. The divergent artiodactyl MYADM-like repeat was also associated with increased ewe lifetime kilograms of lamb weaned (P = 2×10(-4. This suggests selection for normal RBCs might increase lamb weights, although further validation is required before implementation in marker-assisted selection. These results provide clues to explain the strong selection on the artiodactyl MYADM-like repeat locus in sheep, and suggest MYADM family members may be important for RBC morphology in other mammals.

  6. Common functional correlates of head-strike behavior in the pachycephalosaur Stegoceras validum (Ornithischia, Dinosauria and combative artiodactyls.

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    Eric Snively

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Pachycephalosaurs were bipedal herbivorous dinosaurs with bony domes on their heads, suggestive of head-butting as seen in bighorn sheep and musk oxen. Previous biomechanical studies indicate potential for pachycephalosaur head-butting, but bone histology appears to contradict the behavior in young and old individuals. Comparing pachycephalosaurs with fighting artiodactyls tests for common correlates of head-butting in their cranial structure and mechanics. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Computed tomographic (CT scans and physical sectioning revealed internal cranial structure of ten artiodactyls and pachycephalosaurs Stegoceras validum and Prenocephale prenes. Finite element analyses (FEA, incorporating bone and keratin tissue types, determined cranial stress and strain from simulated head impacts. Recursive partition analysis quantified strengths of correlation between functional morphology and actual or hypothesized behavior. Strong head-strike correlates include a dome-like cephalic morphology, neurovascular canals exiting onto the cranium surface, large neck muscle attachments, and dense cortical bone above a sparse cancellous layer in line with the force of impact. The head-butting duiker Cephalophus leucogaster is the closest morphological analog to Stegoceras, with a smaller yet similarly rounded dome. Crania of the duiker, pachycephalosaurs, and bighorn sheep Ovis canadensis share stratification of thick cortical and cancellous layers. Stegoceras, Cephalophus, and musk ox crania experience lower stress and higher safety factors for a given impact force than giraffe, pronghorn, or the non-combative llama. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Anatomy, biomechanics, and statistical correlation suggest that some pachycephalosaurs were as competent at head-to-head impacts as extant analogs displaying such combat. Large-scale comparisons and recursive partitioning can greatly refine inference of behavioral capability for fossil animals.

  7. Light from dark: A relictual troglobite reveals a broader ancestral distribution for kimulid harvestmen (Opiliones: Laniatores: Kimulidae) in South America (United States)

    Ceccarelli, F. Sara; Monte, Bruno G. O.; Proud, Daniel N.; DaSilva, Márcio Bernardino; Bichuette, Maria E.


    A new troglobitic harvestman, Relictopiolus galadriel gen. nov et sp. nov., is described from Olhos d’Água cave, Itacarambi, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Morphological characters, including male genitalia and exomorphology, suggest that this species belongs to the family Kimulidae, and it appears to share the greatest similarities with Tegipiolus pachypus. Bayesian inference analyses of a molecular dataset strongly support the inclusion of this species in Kimulidae and confirm the hypothesized sister-group relationship between R. galadriel and T. pachypus. A time calibrated phylogeny indicates that these sister-taxa diverged from a common ancestor approximately 40 Mya, during the Paleogene. The current range of Kimulidae illustrates a remarkable disjunct distribution, and leads us to hypothesize that the ancestral distribution of Kimulidae was once much more widespread across eastern Brazil. This may be attributed to the Eocene radiation associated with the warming (and humidifying) events in the Cenozoic when the best conditions for evergreen tropical vegetation in South America were established and followed by the extinction of kimulid epigean populations together with the retraction of rain forests during the Oligocene to Miocene cooling. The discovery of this relictual troglobite indicates that the Olhos d’Água cave was a stable refugium for this ancient lineage of kimulids and acted as a "museum" of biodiversity. Our findings, considered collectively with the diverse troglofauna of the Olhos d’Água cave, highlight it as one of the most important hotspots of troglobite diversity and endemism in the Neotropics. Given the ecological stresses on this habitat, the cavernicolous fauna are at risk of extinction and we emphasize the urgent need for appropriate conservation actions. Finally, we propose the transfer of Acanthominua, Euminua, Euminuoides and Pseudominua from Kimulidae to Zalmoxidae, resulting in two new synonymies and 13 new combinations. PMID

  8. The artiodactyl APOBEC3 innate immune repertoire shows evidence for a multi-functional domain organization that existed in the ancestor of placental mammals

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    Andrésdóttir Valgerdur


    Full Text Available Abstract Background APOBEC3 (A3 proteins deaminate DNA cytosines and block the replication of retroviruses and retrotransposons. Each A3 gene encodes a protein with one or two conserved zinc-coordinating motifs (Z1, Z2 or Z3. The presence of one A3 gene in mice (Z2–Z3 and seven in humans, A3A-H (Z1a, Z2a-Z1b, Z2b, Z2c-Z2d, Z2e-Z2f, Z2g-Z1c, Z3, suggests extraordinary evolutionary flexibility. To gain insights into the mechanism and timing of A3 gene expansion and into the functional modularity of these genes, we analyzed the genomic sequences, expressed cDNAs and activities of the full A3 repertoire of three artiodactyl lineages: sheep, cattle and pigs. Results Sheep and cattle have three A3 genes, A3Z1, A3Z2 and A3Z3, whereas pigs only have two, A3Z2 and A3Z3. A comparison between domestic and wild pigs indicated that A3Z1 was deleted in the pig lineage. In all three species, read-through transcription and alternative splicing also produced a catalytically active double domain A3Z2-Z3 protein that had a distinct cytoplasmic localization. Thus, the three A3 genes of sheep and cattle encode four conserved and active proteins. These data, together with phylogenetic analyses, indicated that a similar, functionally modular A3 repertoire existed in the common ancestor of artiodactyls and primates (i.e., the ancestor of placental mammals. This mammalian ancestor therefore possessed the minimal A3 gene set, Z1-Z2-Z3, required to evolve through a remarkable series of eight recombination events into the present day eleven Z domain human repertoire. Conclusion The dynamic recombination-filled history of the mammalian A3 genes is consistent with the modular nature of the locus and a model in which most of these events (especially the expansions were selected by ancient pathogenic retrovirus infections.

  9. Evaluating detection and monitoring tools for incipient and relictual non-native ungulate populations (United States)

    Judge, Seth W.; Hess, Steve; Faford, Jonathan K.J.; Pacheco, Dexter; Leopold, Christina R.; Cole, Colleen; Deguzman, Veronica


    Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) encompasses 1,308 km2 on Hawai‘i Island. The park harbors endemic plants and animals which are threatened by a variety of invasive species. Introduced ungulates have caused sharp declines of numerous endemic species and have converted ecosystems to novel grazing systems in many cases. Local ranchers and the Territorial Government of Hawai‘i had long conducted regional ungulate control even prior to the establishment of HAVO in 1916. In 1995 the park’s hunting team began a new hunt database that allowed managers to review hunt effort and effectiveness in each management unit. Target species included feral pigs (Sus scrofa), European mouflon sheep (Ovis gmelini musimon), feral goats (Capra hircus) and wild cattle (Bos taurus). Hunters removed 1,204 feral pigs from HAVO over a 19-year period (1996‒2014). A variety of methods were employed, but trapping, snaring and ground hunts with dogs accounted for the most kills. Trapping yielded the most animals per unit effort. Hunters and volunteers removed 6,657 mouflon from HAVO; 6,601 of those were from the 468 km2 Kahuku Unit. Aerial hunts yielded the most animals followed by ground hunt methods. Hunters completed eradications of goats in several management units over an 18- year period (1997‒2014) when they removed the last 239 known individuals in HAVO primarily with aerial hunts. There have also been seven cattle and five feral dogs (Canis familiaris) removed from HAVO. Establishing benchmarks and monitoring the success of on-the-ground ungulate removal efforts can improve the efficiency of protecting and restoring native forest for high-priority watersheds and native wildlife. We tested a variety of methods to detect small populations of ungulates within HAVO and the Hō‘ili Wai study area in the high-priority watershed of Ka‘ū Forest Reserve on Hawai‘i Island. We conducted ground surveys, aerial surveys and continuous camera trap monitoring in both fence-enclosed units and unenclosed units where populations of introduced mouflon and feral pigs threatened sensitive native plants and forest bird habitats. Beginning in June 2014, twenty infrared camera traps were positioned in areas occupied by ungulates. The cameras were active for at most 198 days, and then half of the cameras were baited with oats and salt blocks for 126 days. There were a total of 1,496 observations of mouflon captured on camera, totaling 2,592 individuals: 1,020 ewes, 900 rams, 276 lambs, and 396 sheep of unknown sex. There were no detections of the illegally introduced axis deer (Axis axis). There were 11 observations of feral pigs and 109 observations of other animals (birds, rats, and other small mammals), including one detection of the federally endangered Hawaiian hawk (Buteo solitarius). Mouflon detection rates did not increase near baited cameras until three months after the initial baiting. Ground-based surveys for ungulate presence were conducted along six transects in Kahuku in October 2014. Evidence of ungulates were detected in 27.5% of plots surveyed within an unenclosed unit, while an enclosed unit had sign in only 3.6% of plots surveyed. An aerial survey by helicopter was conducted in October 2014. A total of 378 mouflon were detected during the survey: 192 in the Kahuku Paddocks, 186 in the Kahuku East unit and no mouflon were detected in the actively controlled Mauka unit. Two baseline ungulate surveys have been completed at the Hō‘ili Wai study area in the highpriority watershed of Ka‘ū Forest Reserve adjacent to Kahuku prior to the completion of an exclusionary ungulate fence. Ground-based surveys were conducted on four transects within a 4.99 km2 area on 5 August and 5–6 November 2014. In August, 20.71% of 565 plots surveyed 2 had fresh or intermediate ungulate sign. In November, 17.41% of 557 plots surveyed had fresh or intermediate ungulate sign. These surveys represent baseline levels of ungulate activity prior to management; therefore comparative inferences can be made about ungulate distribution and relative abundance, but inferences about absolute abundance cannot be made until all ungulates have been removed from the enclosed area. Additional ground-based surveys will be conducted when the fenced area has been fully enclosed, and until ungulate removals have been completed.

  10. Synchronous diversification of Sulawesi's iconic artiodactyls driven by recent geological events. (United States)

    Frantz, Laurent A F; Rudzinski, Anna; Nugraha, Abang Mansyursyah Surya; Evin, Allowen; Burton, James; Hulme-Beaman, Ardern; Linderholm, Anna; Barnett, Ross; Vega, Rodrigo; Irving-Pease, Evan K; Haile, James; Allen, Richard; Leus, Kristin; Shephard, Jill; Hillyer, Mia; Gillemot, Sarah; van den Hurk, Jeroen; Ogle, Sharron; Atofanei, Cristina; Thomas, Mark G; Johansson, Friederike; Mustari, Abdul Haris; Williams, John; Mohamad, Kusdiantoro; Damayanti, Chandramaya Siska; Wiryadi, Ita Djuwita; Obbles, Dagmar; Mona, Stephano; Day, Hally; Yasin, Muhammad; Meker, Stefan; McGuire, Jimmy A; Evans, Ben J; von Rintelen, Thomas; Ho, Simon Y W; Searle, Jeremy B; Kitchener, Andrew C; Macdonald, Alastair A; Shaw, Darren J; Hall, Robert; Galbusera, Peter; Larson, Greger


    The high degree of endemism on Sulawesi has previously been suggested to have vicariant origins, dating back to 40 Ma. Recent studies, however, suggest that much of Sulawesi's fauna assembled over the last 15 Myr. Here, we test the hypothesis that more recent uplift of previously submerged portions of land on Sulawesi promoted diversification and that much of its faunal assemblage is much younger than the island itself. To do so, we combined palaeogeographical reconstructions with genetic and morphometric datasets derived from Sulawesi's three largest mammals: the babirusa, anoa and Sulawesi warty pig. Our results indicate that although these species most likely colonized the area that is now Sulawesi at different times (14 Ma to 2-3 Ma), they experienced an almost synchronous expansion from the central part of the island. Geological reconstructions indicate that this area was above sea level for most of the last 4 Myr, unlike most parts of the island. We conclude that emergence of land on Sulawesi (approx. 1-2 Myr) may have allowed species to expand synchronously. Altogether, our results indicate that the establishment of the highly endemic faunal assemblage on Sulawesi was driven by geological events over the last few million years. © 2018 The Authors.

  11. Serological survey for West Nile virus in wild artiodactyls, Southern Moravia (Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hubálek, Zdeněk; Juřicová, Zina; Straková, Petra; Blažejová, Hana; Betášová, Lenka; Rudolf, Ivo


    Roč. 17, č. 9 (2017), s. 654-657 ISSN 1530-3667 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-20054S Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : fallow deer * Flavivirus * mouflon * red deer * roe deer * wild boar Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology OBOR OECD: Epidemiology Impact factor: 2.045, year: 2016

  12. Boom and bust: ancient and recent diversification in bichirs (Polypteridae: Actinopterygii), a relictual lineage of ray-finned fishes. (United States)

    Near, Thomas J; Dornburg, Alex; Tokita, Masayoshi; Suzuki, Dai; Brandley, Matthew C; Friedman, Matt


    Understanding the history that underlies patterns of species richness across the Tree of Life requires an investigation of the mechanisms that not only generate young species-rich clades, but also those that maintain species-poor lineages over long stretches of evolutionary time. However, diversification dynamics that underlie ancient species-poor lineages are often hidden due to a lack of fossil evidence. Using information from the fossil record and time calibrated molecular phylogenies, we investigate the history of lineage diversification in Polypteridae, which is the sister lineage of all other ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii). Despite originating at least 390 million years (Myr) ago, molecular timetrees support a Neogene origin for the living polypterid species. Our analyses demonstrate polypterids are exceptionally species depauperate with a stem lineage duration that exceeds 380 million years (Ma) and is significantly longer than the stem lineage durations observed in other ray-finned fish lineages. Analyses of the fossil record show an early Late Cretaceous (100.5-83.6 Ma) peak in polypterid genus richness, followed by 60 Ma of low richness. The Neogene species radiation and evidence for high-diversity intervals in the geological past suggest a "boom and bust" pattern of diversification that contrasts with common perceptions of relative evolutionary stasis in so-called "living fossils." © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  13. Spathebothriidea: survey of species, scolex and egg morphology, and interrelationships of a non-segmented, relictual tapeworm group (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kuchta, Roman; Pearson, R.; Scholz, Tomáš; Ditrich, O.; Olson, P. D.


    Roč. 61, č. 4 (2014), s. 331-346 ISSN 0015-5683 R&D Projects: GA ČR GBP505/12/G112 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Eucestoda * taxonomy * scanning electron microscopy * 28S rDNA * 18S rDNA * ITS2 * phylogenetic relationships * phylogenetic relationships Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.147, year: 2014

  14. A new genus and species of characid fish from the Amazon basin: the recognition of a relictual lineage of characid fishes (Ostariophysi: Cheirodontinae: Cheirodontini

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    Cristina M. Bührnheim

    Full Text Available Amazonspinther dalmata, a new miniature characid from the streams of rio Purus and rio Madeira, right bank tributaries of the rio Amazonas, is described as a new genus and species of the subfamily Cheirodontinae. The unique characters of the new genus and species are the three remarkable black blotches on the base of the dorsal, anal, and caudal fins, the anteriormost proximal radial of the anal fin with an anteriorly extended lamina entering the abdominal cavity, and the extremely elongate caudal peduncle. The reduced number of ventral procurrent caudal-fin rays (7-9, and the hemal spines of only posterior one, two, or sometimes three caudal vertebrae directly articulating with the ventral procurrent caudal-fin rays further diagnoses the new taxon from remaining genera of the tribe Cheirodontini. The results of a phylogenetic analysis strongly support a close relationship between A. dalmata and Spintherobolus in the tribe Cheirodontini on the basis of fifteen unambiguous synapomorphies. Ten of these characters, previously hypothesized as exclusive synapomorphies for Spintherobolus, were now also identified in Amazonspinther, such as the pattern of exposed neuromasts on the head, the presence of a second pseudotympanum anterior to the first pleural rib, and the nearly discoidal coracoid bone. A discussion about the phylogenetic position of the closely related fossil †Megacheirodon to Spintherobolus and Amazonspinther is also provided. Convergent characters shared between Amazonspinther and the characid Priocharax are discussed in relation to miniaturization. Biogeographical implications of the diversification of Amazonspinther, Spintherobolus, and Megacheirodon lineages are discussed.

  15. Geometry and evolutionary parallelism in the long bones of cavioid ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Morphological parallelism between South American cavioid rodents and small artiodactyls from the Old World has ... mammalian ecological guilds, namely the South American ..... giants (New York: Columbia University Press) ... Crocodylians.

  16. Geometry and evolutionary parallelism in the long bones of cavioid ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Our study deals with this question from the point of view of biomechanical characteristics of the ... values of these variables calculated for the samples studied of artiodactyls and rodents. The present ...... diving ducks; Syst. Biol. 48 683–714.

  17. Cellular scaling rules for the brain of Artiodactyla include a highly folded cortex with few neurons

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    Rodrigo eSiqueira Kazu


    Full Text Available Quantitative analysis of the cellular composition of rodent, primate, insectivore and afrotherian brains has shown that nonneuronal scaling rules are similar across these mammalian orders that diverged about 95 million years ago, and therefore appear to be conserved in evolution, while neuronal scaling rules appear to be free to vary in a clade-specific manner. Here we analyze the cellular scaling rules that apply to the brain of artiodactyls, a group within the order Cetartiodactyla, believed to be a relatively recent radiation from the common Eutherian ancestor. We find that artiodactyls share nonneuronal scaling rules with all groups analyzed previously. Artiodactyls share with afrotherians and rodents, but not with primates, the neuronal scaling rules that apply to the cerebral cortex and cerebellum. The neuronal scaling rules that apply to the remaining brain areas are however distinct in artiodactyls. Importantly, we show that the folding index of the cerebral cortex scales with the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex in distinct fashions across artiodactyls, afrotherians, rodents, and primates, such that the artiodactyl cerebral cortex is more convoluted than primate cortices of similar numbers of neurons. Our findings suggest that the scaling rules found to be shared across modern afrotherians, glires and artiodactyls applied to the common Eutherian ancestor, such as the relationship between the mass of the cerebral cortex as a whole and its number of neurons. In turn, the distribution of neurons along the surface of the cerebral cortex, which is related to its degree of gyrification, appears to be a clade-specific characteristic. If the neuronal scaling rules for artiodactyls extend to all cetartiodactyls, we predict that the large cerebral cortex of cetaceans will still have fewer neurons than the human cerebral cortex.

  18. First record of Citheronia regalis (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) feeding on Cotinus obovatus (Anacardiaceae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graves, Gary R.


    Summary The regal moth (Citheronia regalis F.; Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) is reported for the first time feeding on foliage of the American smoketree (Cotinus obovatus Raf.; Anacardiaceae), an endemic tree with a relictual distribution on calcareous soils in the southern United States. This record...

  19. New and noteworthy Malesian species of Loranthaceae

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    Barlow, Bryan A.


    Ten new or noteworthy Malesian species of Loranthaceae are discussed. The known area of the relictual Cecarria obtusifolia (Merrill) Barlow is increased to include Flores and Timor. Dendrophthoe curvata (Blume) Miquel is accepted as a distinct species. The status of Dendrophthoe falcata (L. f.)

  20. Distribución biocronológica de los Moschidae (Mammalia, Ruminantia) en España


    Morales, J.; Sánchez, I. M.


    The Moschidae are a group of hornless pecoran ruminants that showed a high specific diversity during the Middle and Upper Miocene in Spain. Moschids registered by the first time at the local zone Db with two species, Micromeryx flourensianus and Micromeryx sp. nov. 1. The latter species becomes extinct at local zone E, and it is substituted by Micromeryx sp. nov. 2, which shows a more derived dentition. From local zone G to local zone J and during a four million year period, the specific dive...

  1. Placentation in dolphins from the Amazon River Basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    da Silva, Vera M F; Carter, Anthony M; Ambrosio, Carlos E


    A recent reassessment of the phylogenetic affinities of cetaceans makes it timely to compare their placentation with that of the artiodactyls. We studied the placentae of two sympatric species of dolphin from the Amazon River Basin, representing two distinct families. The umbilical cord branched ...

  2. Experimental infection of pregnant goats with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV)1 or 2 (United States)

    Infections with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) of the genus pestivirus, family Flaviviridae, are not limited to cattle but occur in various artiodactyls. Persistently infected (PI) cattle are the main source of BVDV. Persistent infections also occur in heterologous hosts such as sheep and deer. ...

  3. Systematics and Evolution of the Miocene Three-Horned Palaeomerycid Ruminants (Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla.

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    Israel M Sánchez

    Full Text Available Palaeomerycids were strange three-horned Eurasian Miocene ruminants known through fossils from Spain to China. We here study their systematics, offering the first cladistic phylogeny of the best-known species of the group, and also reassess their phylogenetic position among ruminants, which is currently disputed. The beautifully preserved remains of a new palaeomerycid from middle Miocene deposits of Spain, Xenokeryx amidalae gen. et sp. nov., helps us to better understand palaeomerycid anatomy, especially that of the nuchal region in the skull, significantly improving our current knowledge on these enigmatic ruminants. Our results show two main lineages of palaeomerycids, one containing the genus Ampelomeryx diagnosed by a characteristic type of cranium / cranial appendages and some dental derived traits, and another one that clusters those forms more closely related to Triceromeryx than to Ampelomeryx, characterized by a more derived dentition and a set of apomorphic cranial features. Xenokeryx branches as a basal offshoot of this clade. Also, we find that Eurasian palaeomerycids are not closely related to North American dromomerycids, thus rejecting the currently more accepted view of palaeomerycids as the Eurasian part of the dromomerycid lineage. Instead of this, palaeomerycids are nested with the African Miocene pecoran Propalaeoryx and with giraffoids. On the other hand, dromomerycids are closely related to cervids. We define a clade Giraffomorpha that includes palaeomerycids and giraffids, and propose an emended diagnosis of the Palaeomerycidae based on cranial and postcranial characters, including several features of the cranium not described so far. We also define the Palaeomerycidae as the least inclusive clade of pecorans containing Triceromeryx and Ampelomeryx. Finally, we reassess the taxonomy of several palaeomerycid taxa.

  4. Unique biochemical and mineral composition of whale ear bones. (United States)

    Kim, Sora L; Thewissen, J G M; Churchill, Morgan M; Suydam, Robert S; Ketten, Darlene R; Clementz, Mark T


    Abstract Cetaceans are obligate aquatic mammals derived from terrestrial artiodactyls. The defining characteristic of cetaceans is a thick and dense lip (pachyosteosclerotic involucrum) of an ear bone (the tympanic). This unique feature is absent in modern terrestrial artiodactyls and is suggested to be important in underwater hearing. Here, we investigate the mineralogical and biochemical properties of the involucrum, as these may hold clues to the aquatic adaptations of cetaceans. We compared bioapatites (enamel, dentine, cementum, and skeletal bone) of cetaceans with those of terrestrial artiodactyls and pachyosteosclerotic ribs of manatees (Sirenia). We investigated organic, carbonate, and mineral composition as well as crystal size and crystallinity index. In all studied variables, bioapatites of the cetacean involucrum were intermediate in composition and structure between those of tooth enamel on the one hand and those of dentine, cementum, and skeletal bone on the other. We also studied the amino acid composition of the cetacean involucrum relative to that of other skeletal bone. The central involucrum had low glycine and hydroxyproline concentrations but high concentrations of nonessential amino acids, unlike most bone samples but similar to the tympanic of hippos and the (pachyosteosclerotic) ribs of manatees. These amino acid results are evidence of rapid bone development. We hypothesize that the mineralogical and amino acid composition of cetacean bullae differs from that of other bone because of (1) functional modifications for underwater sound reception and (2) structural adaptations related to rapid ossification.

  5. Evolution of Muscle Activity Patterns Driving Motions of the Jaw and Hyoid during Chewing in Gnathostomes (United States)

    Konow, Nicolai; Herrel, Anthony; Ross, Callum F.; Williams, Susan H.; German, Rebecca Z.; Sanford, Christopher P. J.; Gintof, Chris


    Although chewing has been suggested to be a basal gnathostome trait retained in most major vertebrate lineages, it has not been studied broadly and comparatively across vertebrates. To redress this imbalance, we recorded EMG from muscles powering anteroposterior movement of the hyoid, and dorsoventral movement of the mandibular jaw during chewing. We compared muscle activity patterns (MAP) during chewing in jawed vertebrate taxa belonging to unrelated groups of basal bony fishes and artiodactyl mammals. Our aim was to outline the evolution of coordination in MAP. Comparisons of activity in muscles of the jaw and hyoid that power chewing in closely related artiodactyls using cross-correlation analyses identified reorganizations of jaw and hyoid MAP between herbivores and omnivores. EMG data from basal bony fishes revealed a tighter coordination of jaw and hyoid MAP during chewing than seen in artiodactyls. Across this broad phylogenetic range, there have been major structural reorganizations, including a reduction of the bony hyoid suspension, which is robust in fishes, to the acquisition in a mammalian ancestor of a muscle sling suspending the hyoid. These changes appear to be reflected in a shift in chewing MAP that occurred in an unidentified anamniote stem-lineage. This shift matches observations that, when compared with fishes, the pattern of hyoid motion in tetrapods is reversed and also time-shifted relative to the pattern of jaw movement. PMID:21705368

  6. Flow regime effects on mature Populus fremontii (Fremont cottonwood) productivity on two contrasting dryland river floodplains (United States)

    Andersen, Douglas C.


    I compared riparian cottonwood (Populus fremontii) productivity-discharge relationships in a relictual stand along the highly regulated Green River and in a naturally functioning stand along the unregulated Yampa River in semiarid northwest Colorado. I used multiple regression to model flow effects on annual basal area increment (BAI) from 1982 to 2011, after removing any autocorrelation present. Each BAI series was developed from 20 trees whose mean size (67 cm diameter at breast height [DBH]) was equivalent in the two stands. BAI was larger in the Yampa River stand except in 2 y when defoliating leaf beetles were present there. I found no evidence for a Yampa flood-magnitude threshold above which BAI declined. Flow variables explained ∼45% of residual BAI variability, with most explained by current-year maximum 90-d discharge (QM90) in the Yampa River stand and by a measure of the year-to-year change in QM90 in the Green River stand. The latter reflects a management-imposed ceiling on flood magnitude—Flaming Gorge Dam power plant capacity—infrequently exceeded during the study period. BAI in the relictual stand began to trend upward in 1992 when flows started to mimic a natural flow regime. Mature Fremont cottonwoods appear to be ecologically resilient. Their productivity along regulated rivers might be optimized using multiyear environmental flow designs.

  7. Patrones de distribución de escarabajos coprófagos (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae en relicto del bosque altoandino, Cordillera Oriental de Colombia

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    Amat García Germán


    Full Text Available This study documents the diversity and distribution patterns of dung beetles in three relictual patches of montane forest located near the Sabana de Bogotá. 2486 individuals of 11 species in 6 genera were collected. The most abundant specie was Ontherus brevicollis, collected in two patches, followed by Dichotomius achamas collected in all three patches and Uroxys sp present only in one. Chicaque has the highest species richness with 10 species. We found a clear pattern related to habitat preferences, summarized in 3 groups: pasture beetles, edges and forest interior beetles.En este trabajo se estudió la diversidad y distribución de escarabajos coprófagos, en tres relictos de bosque altoandino de la Sabana de Bogotá. Se colectaron un total de 2486 individuos agrupados en 6 géneros y 11 especies. La especie más abundante fue Ontherus brevicollis, presente en dos de las tres áreas estudiadas, seguida por Dichotomius achamas presente en las tres áreas y Uroxys sp sólo en una. El área relictual más grande, Chicaque, presenta la mayor riqueza (10 especies, seguido por Soche con tres especies. Se encontró un claro patrón de preferencia de hábitats, resumido en tres grupos: escarabajos de potreros, de borde y de interior del bosque.

  8. Evidence of taxon cycles in an Indo-Pacific passerine bird radiation (Aves: Pachycephala) (United States)

    Jønsson, Knud Andreas; Irestedt, Martin; Christidis, Les; Clegg, Sonya M.; Holt, Ben G.; Fjeldså, Jon


    Many insular taxa possess extraordinary abilities to disperse but may differ in their abilities to diversify and compete. While some taxa are widespread across archipelagos, others have disjunct (relictual) populations. These types of taxa, exemplified in the literature by selections of unrelated taxa, have been interpreted as representing a continuum of expansions and contractions (i.e. taxon cycles). Here, we use molecular data of 35 out of 40 species of the avian genus Pachycephala (including 54 out of 66 taxa in Pachycephala pectoralis (sensu lato), to assess the spatio-temporal evolution of the group. We also include data on species distributions, morphology, habitat and elevational ranges to test a number of predictions associated with the taxon-cycle hypothesis. We demonstrate that relictual species persist on the largest and highest islands across the Indo-Pacific, whereas recent archipelago expansions resulted in colonization of all islands in a region. For co-occurring island taxa, the earliest colonists generally inhabit the interior and highest parts of an island, with little spatial overlap with later colonists. Collectively, our data support the idea that taxa continuously pass through phases of expansions and contractions (i.e. taxon cycles). PMID:24403319

  9. Subtype distribution of Blastocystis isolates from synanthropic and zoo animals and identification of a new subtype

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stensvold, C. R.; Alfellani, M. A.; Nørskov-Lauritsen, S.


    Blastocystis isolates from 56 Danish synanthropic and zoo animals, 62 primates primarily from United Kingdom (UK) collections and 16 UK primate handlers were subtyped by PCR, sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. A new subtype (ST) from primates and artiodactyls was identified and designated...... infections from primates by their handlers had occurred in these cases. Data from published studies of non-human primates, other mammals and birds were collected and interpreted to generate a comprehensive overview on the ST distribution in such animals. On the basis of information on 438 samples...

  10. The shape of contention: adaptation, history, and contingency in ungulate mandibles. (United States)

    Raia, Pasquale; Carotenuto, Francesco; Meloro, Carlo; Piras, Paolo; Pushkina, Diana


    Mandibles and teeth of ungulates have been extensively studied to discern the functional significance of their design. Grazing ungulates have deeper mandibles, longer coronoid processes, flatter incisor arcades, and more hypsodont molars in comparison to browsers. If the functional significance of both mandible and teeth shapes is well-established, it remains uncertain to what extent mandible shapes are really adapted to grazing, meaning that they evolved either to serve their current biological function or just as a structural requirement to accommodate higher crowned molars. Here, we address this question by studying the contribution of phylogeny, hypsodonty, and body size to mandibular shape variation. The mandible shape appeared to be significantly influenced by hypsodonty but not by body size. Interestingly, hypsodonty-related changes influenced the tooth row in artiodactyls and perissodactyls significantly but in the opposite directions, which is ultimately related to their different digestive strategies. Yet, we obtained a strong phylogenetic effect in perissodactyls, suggesting that their mandible shape should be strongly inherited. The strength of this effect was not significant within artiodactyls (where hypsodonty explained much more variance in mandible shape). Digestive strategy is deemed to interplay with hypsodonty to produce different paths of adaptation to particular diets in ungulates.

  11. Anatomical and histological description of the male taruca reproductive organs (Hippocamelus antisensis, d'Orbigny 1834

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    Pacheco JI


    Full Text Available The taruca is the largest species of cervid native of the Peruvian Andes, which is in a vulnerable state, a circumstance by which it is necessary to carry out studies regarding its anatomy and reproductive physiology, in the future, to implement reproductive biotechnologies for its conservation. The anatomy and histological structure of the reproductive organs of an adult male Hippocamelus antisensis specimen is described and sent to the IVITA Maranganí, UNMSM station by the SERFOR Cusco with custody act No. 042-2015-SERFOR-ATFFS CUSCO for Research purposes, the same one that died in the Zoo of Tipon - Cusco. The external reproductive organs are described, which present anatomical disposition similar to other artiodactyls, with the peculiarity of being covered with secretions and odors characteristic of the species; Have vesicles of the deferent, testicles represent 3.4% of the body weight, there are three adjoining glands: vesicular glands, prostate and bulbourethral glands, fibroelastic penis without sigmoid flexure, glans does not present urethral process, histologically the testis presents The structure similar to other species of artiodactyls, the epididymis shows sperm content, the vas deferens presents a broad muscular tunica, in conclusion the characteristics are similar to other cervids and also to domestic species like the ram and the goat

  12. Mandibular corpus bone strains during mastication in goats (Capra hircus): a comparison of ingestive and rumination chewing. (United States)

    Williams, Susan H; Stover, Kristin K; Davis, Jillian S; Montuelle, Stephane J


    To compare the mechanical loading environment of the jaw in goats during ingestive and rumination chewing. Rosette strain gauges were attached to the external surface of the mandibular corpus in five goats to record bone strains during the mastication of hay and rumination. Strain magnitudes and maximum physiological strain rates during the mastication of hay are significantly higher than during rumination chewing on the working and balancing sides. Principal strain ratios and orientations are similar between the two chewing behaviours. Loading and chewing cycle duration are all longer during rumination chewing, whereas chew duty factor and variances in load and chewing cycle durations are higher during ingestive chewing. For most of the variables, differences in strain magnitudes or durations are similar at all three gauge sites, suggesting that rumination and ingestive chewing do not differentially influence bone at the three gauge sites. Despite lower strain magnitudes, the repetitive nature of rumination chewing makes it an important component of the mechanical loading environment of the selenodont artiodactyl jaw. However, similarities in principal strain orientations and ratios indicate that rumination chewing need not be considered as a unique loading behaviour influencing the biomechanics of the selenodont artiodactyl jaw. Differences in loading and chewing cycle durations during rumination and ingestion demonstrate flexibility in adult chewing frequencies. Finally, although the low within-sequence variability in chewing cycle durations supports the hypothesis that mammalian mastication is energetically efficient, chewing during rumination may not be more efficient than during ingestion. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The enigma of the lower gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). (United States)

    Butler, John E; Sinkora, Marek


    Artiodactyls possess GALT that appears in fetal life and is located at the extreme end of the ileum. These IPP contain mostly B cells and involute early in postnatal life. Rabbits have a similarly located lymphoid organ, called the sacculus rotundus. Studies in sheep and rabbits have led to the concept that the lower hindgut GALT represents primary lymphoid tissue for B cells and is necessary for normal B cell development, analogous to the bursa of Fabricius. This review traces the history of the observations and theories that have led to the existing concept concerning the role of lower GALT. We then review recent data from piglets with resected IPP that challenges the concept that the IPP is primary B cell lymphoid tissue and that artiodactyls and rabbits are members of the GALT group in the same context as gallinaceous birds. Eliminating the IPP as the primary lymphoid tissue for B cells leads to the hypothesis that the IPP acts as first-responder mucosal lymphoid tissue.

  14. New records on the Abruzzo brown bear range, particularly on Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains / Osservazioni sull'areale dell'orso marsicano, con particolare riferimento al Gran Sasso e ai Monti della Laga

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    Marco Bologna


    Full Text Available Abstract New records of Abruzzo brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus in some mountain massifs of Central Apennines (Laga, Gran Sasso, Velino, Sirente and Northern Molise are reported. These records are discussed in relation to the recent dispersion of the relictual population, and the probable recolonization of some areas where the brown bear went out in the last two centuries. Riassunto Viene brevemente discusso il fenomeno di dispersione e ricolonizzazione di aree montane centro-appenniniche da parte dell'orso bruno marsicano. Tra i nuovi reperti, particolarmente significativi sono quelli più settentrionali, relativi ai Monti della Laga ed al Gran Sasso, dove la specie era estinta da circa duecento anni.

  15. Development and characterization of 16 polymorphic microsatellite loci for the Alaska blackfish (Esociformes: Dallia pectoralis) (United States)

    Campbell, Matthew A.; Sage, George K.; DeWilde, Rachel L.; López, J. Andres; Talbot, Sandra L.


    Blackfishes (Esociformes: Esocidae: Dallia), small fishes with relictual distributions, are unique in being the only primary freshwater fish genus endemic to Beringia. Although the number of species of Dallia is debated, disjunct populations and distinct mitochondrial divisions that predate the end of the last glacial maximum are apparent. We developed sixteen polymorphic microsatellites from the Alaska blackfish (Dallia pectoralis) to study genetic diversity in Dallia. Genotypes from two populations, Denali (n = 31) and Bethel (n = 35), demonstrated the usefulness of the loci for population-level investigation. Observed and expected heterozygosity averaged 18.6 and 19.8 % in Denali and 61.1 and 63.7 % in Bethel. Number of alleles at each locus averaged 3.50 in Denali and 9.63 in Bethel. The observed signature of variability and structuring between populations is consistent with mitochondrial data.

  16. High endemism and stem density distinguish New Caledonian from other high-diversity rainforests in the Southwest Pacific. (United States)

    Ibanez, Thomas; Blanchard, E; Hequet, V; Keppel, G; Laidlaw, M; Pouteau, R; Vandrot, H; Birnbaum, P


    The biodiversity hotspot of New Caledonia is globally renowned for the diversity and endemism of its flora. New Caledonia's tropical rainforests have been reported to have higher stem densities, higher concentrations of relictual lineages and higher endemism than other rainforests. This study investigates whether these aspects differ in New Caledonian rainforests compared to other high-diversity rainforests in the Southwest Pacific. Plants (with a diameter at breast height ≥10 cm) were surveyed in nine 1-ha rainforest plots across the main island of New Caledonia and compared with 14 1-ha plots in high-diversity rainforests of the Southwest Pacific (in Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands). This facilitated a comparison of stem densities, taxonomic composition and diversity, and species turnover among plots and countries. The study inventoried 11 280 stems belonging to 335 species (93 species ha-1 on average) in New Caledonia. In comparison with other rainforests in the Southwest Pacific, New Caledonian rainforests exhibited higher stem density (1253 stems ha-1 on average) including abundant palms and tree ferns, with the high abundance of the latter being unparalleled outside New Caledonia. In all plots, the density of relictual species was ≥10 % for both stems and species, with no discernible differences among countries. Species endemism, reaching 89 % on average, was significantly higher in New Caledonia. Overall, species turnover increased with geographical distance, but not among New Caledonian plots. High stem density, high endemism and a high abundance of tree ferns with stem diameters ≥10 cm are therefore unique characteristics of New Caledonian rainforests. High endemism and high spatial species turnover imply that the current system consisting of a few protected areas is inadequate, and that the spatial distribution of plant species needs to be considered to adequately protect the exceptional flora of New Caledonian rainforests

  17. Biogeography of Mediterranean Hotspot Biodiversity: Re-Evaluating the 'Tertiary Relict' Hypothesis of Macaronesian Laurel Forests. (United States)

    Kondraskov, Paulina; Schütz, Nicole; Schüßler, Christina; de Sequeira, Miguel Menezes; Guerra, Arnoldo Santos; Caujapé-Castells, Juli; Jaén-Molina, Ruth; Marrero-Rodríguez, Águedo; Koch, Marcus A; Linder, Peter; Kovar-Eder, Johanna; Thiv, Mike


    The Macaronesian laurel forests (MLF) are dominated by trees with a laurophyll habit comparable to evergreen humid forests which were scattered across Europe and the Mediterranean in the Paleogene and Neogene. Therefore, MLF are traditionally regarded as an old, 'Tertiary relict' vegetation type. Here we address the question if key taxa of the MLF are relictual. We evaluated the relict hypothesis consulting fossil data and analyses based on molecular phylogenies of 18 representative species. For molecular dating we used the program BEAST, for ancestral trait reconstructions BayesTraits and Lagrange to infer ancestral areas. Our molecular dating showed that the origins of four species date back to the Upper Miocene while 14 originated in the Plio-Pleistocene. This coincides with the decline of fossil laurophyllous elements in Europe since the middle Miocene. Ancestral trait and area reconstructions indicate that MLF evolved partly from pre-adapted taxa from the Mediterranean, Macaronesia and the tropics. According to the fossil record laurophyllous taxa existed in Macaronesia since the Plio- and Pleistocene. MLF are composed of species with a heterogeneous origin. The taxa dated to the Pleistocene are likely not 'Tertiary relicts'. Some species may be interpreted as relictual. In this case, the establishment of most species in the Plio-Pleistocene suggests that there was a massive species turnover before this time. Alternatively, MLF were largely newly assembled through global recruitment rather than surviving as relicts of a once more widespread vegetation. This process may have possibly been triggered by the intensification of the trade winds at the end of the Pliocene as indicated by proxy data.

  18. Mastritherium (Artiodactyla, Anthracotheriidae) from Wadi Sabya, southwestern Saudi Arabia; an earliest Miocene age for continental rift-valley volcanic deposits of the Red Sea margin (United States)

    Madden, Gary T.; Schmidt, Dwight Lyman; Whitmore, Frank C.


    A lower jaw fragment with its last molar (M/3) from the Baid formation in Wadi Sabya, southwestern Saudi Arabia, represents the first recorded occurrence in the Arabian Peninsula of an anthracotheriid artiodactyl (hippo-like, even-toed ungulate). This fossil is identified as a primitive species of Masritherium, a North and East African genus restricted, previously to the later early Miocene. This identification indicates that the age of the Baid formation, long problematical, is early Miocene and, moreover, shows that the age of the fossil site is earliest Miocene (from 25 to 21Ma). The Wadi Sabya anthracothere is the first species of fossil mammal recorded from western Saudi Arabia, and more important, it indicates an early Miocene age for the volcanic deposits of a continental rift-valley that preceded the initial sea-floor spreading of the Red Sea.

  19. Exposure of Asian Elephants and Other Exotic Ungulates to Schmallenberg Virus. (United States)

    Molenaar, Fieke M; La Rocca, S Anna; Khatri, Meenakshi; Lopez, Javier; Steinbach, Falko; Dastjerdi, Akbar


    Schmallenberg virus (SBV) is an emerging Orthobunyavirus, first described in 2011 in cattle in Germany and subsequently spread throughout Europe, affecting mainly ruminant livestock through the induction of foetal malformations. To gain a better understanding of the spectrum of susceptible species and to assess the value of current SBV serological assays, screening of serum samples from exotic artiodactyls and perissodactyls collected at the Living Collections from the Zoological Society of London (Whipsnade and London Zoos) and Chester Zoo was carried out. There was compelling evidence of SBV infection in both zoological collections. The competitive ELISA has proved to be applicable for the detection of SBV in exotic Bovidae, Cervidae, Suidae, Giraffidae and most notably in endangered Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), but unreliable for the screening of Camelidae, for which the plaque reduction neutralisation test was considered the assay of choice.

  20. Exposure of Asian Elephants and Other Exotic Ungulates to Schmallenberg Virus.

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    Fieke M Molenaar

    Full Text Available Schmallenberg virus (SBV is an emerging Orthobunyavirus, first described in 2011 in cattle in Germany and subsequently spread throughout Europe, affecting mainly ruminant livestock through the induction of foetal malformations. To gain a better understanding of the spectrum of susceptible species and to assess the value of current SBV serological assays, screening of serum samples from exotic artiodactyls and perissodactyls collected at the Living Collections from the Zoological Society of London (Whipsnade and London Zoos and Chester Zoo was carried out. There was compelling evidence of SBV infection in both zoological collections. The competitive ELISA has proved to be applicable for the detection of SBV in exotic Bovidae, Cervidae, Suidae, Giraffidae and most notably in endangered Asian elephants (Elephas maximus, but unreliable for the screening of Camelidae, for which the plaque reduction neutralisation test was considered the assay of choice.

  1. [Local anaesthesia in ruminants]. (United States)

    Nuss, Karl; Schwarz, Andrea; Ringer, Simone


    The use of local anaesthesia in ruminants allows many surgical procedures to be conducted free of pain, efficiently and inexpensively in the field. Local anaesthesia combined with sedation and immobilisation of the animal can replace general anaesthesia for many procedures (e. g. castration, claw amputation). The level of difficulty differs among various local anaesthetic techniques: local infiltration of tissue or anaesthesia of the cornual nerve are easily performed, whereas local anaesthesia of the eye, regional anaesthesia in limbs or anaesthesia for umbilical surgery are more difficult to carry out. This article presents an illustrated overview of the most common local anaesthetic procedures in cattle as well as in small ruminants and serves as a practical guide for veterinarians in the field. In principle, these techniques can likewise be applied in other ruminants or artiodactyls.

  2. An in-depth comparison of the porcine, murine and human inflammasomes; lessons from the porcine genome and transcriptome. (United States)

    Dawson, Harry D; Smith, Allen D; Chen, Celine; Urban, Joseph F


    Emerging evidence suggests that swine are a scientifically acceptable intermediate species between rodents and humans to model immune function relevant to humans. The swine genome has recently been sequenced and several preliminary structural and functional analysis of the porcine immunome have been published. Herein we provide an expanded in silico analysis using an improved assembly of the porcine transcriptome that provides an in depth analysis of genes that are related to inflammasomes, responses to Toll-like receptor ligands, and M1 macrophage polarization and Escherichia coli as a model organism. Comparisons of the expansion or contraction of orthologous gene families indicated more similar rates and classes of genes in humans and pigs than in mice; however several novel porcine or artiodactyl-specific paralogs or pseudogenes were identified. Conservation of homology and structural motifs of orthologs revealed that the overall similarity to human proteins was significantly higher for pigs compared to mouse. Despite these similarities, two out of four canonical inflammasome pathways, Absent in melanoma 2 (AIM2) and NLR family and CARD domain containing 4 (NLRC4), were found to be missing in pigs. Pig M1 Mφ polarization in response to interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was assessed, via the transcriptome, using next generation sequencing. Our analysis revealed predominantly human-like responses however some, mouse-like responses were observed, as well as induction of numerous pig or artiodactyl-specific genes. This work supports using swine to model both human immunological and inflammatory responses to infection. However, caution must be exercised as pigs differ from humans in several fundamental pathways. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Tree mortality in mature riparian forest: Implications for Fremont cottonwood conservation in the American southwest (United States)

    Andersen, Douglas


    Mature tree mortality rates are poorly documented in desert riparian woodlands. I monitored deaths and calculated annual survivorship probability (Ps) in 2 groups of large (27–114 cm DBH), old (≥40 years old) Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii Wats.) in a stand along the free-flowing Yampa River in semiarid northwestern Colorado. Ps = 0.993 year-1 in a group (n = 126) monitored over 2003–2013, whereas Ps = 0.985 year-1 in a group (n = 179) monitored over the same period plus 3 earlier years (2000–2003) that included drought and a defoliating insect outbreak. Assuming Ps was the same for both groups during the 10-year postdrought period, the data indicate that Ps = 0.958 year-1 during the drought. I found no difference in canopy dieback level between male and female survivors. Mortality was equal among size classes, suggesting Ps is independent of age, but published longevity data imply that either Ps eventually declines with age or, as suggested in this study, periods with high Ps are interrupted by episodes of increased mortality. Stochastic population models featuring episodes of low Ps suggest a potential for an abrupt decline in mature tree numbers where recruitment is low. The modeling results have implications for woodland conservation, especially for relictual stands along regulated desert rivers.

  4. Continental sedimentary successions exposed in Centinela del Mar, Buenos Aires, Argentina (Lower Pleistocene - Holocene); Las sucesiones sedimentarias continentales expuestas en Centinela del Mar, provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina (Pleistoceno Inferior-Holoceno)

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    Cenizo, M. M.


    In the present paper, the geomorphologic and sedimentary characteristics of the continental sequences exposed on the coastal cliffs and surrounding areas of the Centinela del Mar locality are described and interpreted. Fourteen lithofacies are defined, their relation, geometry and structure are represented using transversal and longitudinal detailed profiles. In the basal and medium sector of the profile, facies of different degrees of transport and aqueous rework were recognized. In the superior sector, a succession of marine peri-coastal facies corresponding to the Belgranense transgression (=Fm. Pascua) were identified, ending the sequence with relictual eolic facies. The different historical interpretations are discussed, homologating the units referred previously with the ones proposed on this paper. These units are correlated with those defined in the allostratigrapic scheme proposed by other authors for the area covered between Playa San Carlos and Arroyo Chapadmalal. This allowed recognize for the area under study the presence of the Punta San Andres and Arroyo Loberia Alloformations (basal-medium and superior sector, respectively). Between these two entities, a association of well defined progradant marine facies are found and named on this paper as Centinela del Mar Alloformation. Finally, periferithe information gathered here (magnetostratigraphy, radiometric dating, stratigraphic correlations, etc) indicates, at least preliminarily, that the sequence of Centinela del Mar corresponds to the Ensenadense- Lujanense interval (Lower Pleistocene - Holocene). (Author) 73 refs.

  5. Una nueva especie de Bolitoglossa (Caudata: Plethodontidae de las selvas del Magdalena Medio en Colombia

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    Acosta Galvis Andrés R.


    Full Text Available Se describe una nueva especie del genero Bolitoglossa del grupo alfa (sensu Wake & Lynch, 1976 denominada Bolitoglossa lozanoi de las selvas húmedas relictuales del valle del Río Magdalena en La Cordillera Central de Colombia (loe. typ.: Río La Miel, Mpio. La Victoria, Departamento de Caldas, 500 m.s.n.m.; la nueva especie es reconocible por su cuerpo robusto, las palmeaduras manuales y pediales extensas, su patrón cromático ventral café con punteaduras café más oscuras y crema, ojos no protuberantes y la talla corporal relativamente grande entre las especies de salamandras del país. A new species of the genus Bolitoglossa, of the alpha group (sensu Wake & Lynch, 1976 named Bolitoglossa lozanoi from the relictual humid forest from the Magdalena Valley on the eastern slope ofthe central Andes Mountain range in Colombia (type locality: La Miel River, Mpio. La Victoria, Dept. of Caldas, 500 m.s.n.m.. The new species is mainly recognized by the presence of a robust body, extensively webbed hands and toes, a brownish ventral chromatic pattern with small darker brown and cream dots, non-protuberant eyes and a relatively large size.

  6. The Stapes of Gomphodont Cynodonts: Insights into the Middle Ear Structure of Non-Mammaliaform Cynodonts.

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    Leandro C Gaetano

    Full Text Available The stapes is known in several non-mammaliaform cynodonts, although it has only been cursorily studied. Here we thoroughly analyze the stapedial anatomy of several basal cynodonts in a phylogenetic framework. Our study shows that the stapedial anatomy is more variable than previously thought. The morphological variation of the stapes led to the recognition of 11 phylogenetic characters that were included in a total evidence data matrix centered in the analysis of gomphodont cynodonts. Stapes morphology does not provide evidence to suggest a direct connection between the stapes and a postquadrate tympanic membrane (if present and the hypothesis of a dorsal process as the site of attachment of a small ligament or the stapedial muscle is supported. The re-evaluation of the theories concerning the position of the tympanic membrane in non-mammaliaform cynodonts allowed us to conclude that the hypothetical postquadrate tympanic membrane associated with the squamosal sulcus is at best relictual and most likely non-functional (not connected with the stapes. The sound waves were most likely transmitted to the stapes from a postdentary tympanic membrane through the quadrate. Our analysis results in a better understanding of the auditory system in basal cynodonts and its evolution, highlighting the variability of the stapedial anatomy.

  7. Multilocus phylogeography and systematic revision of North American water shrews (genus: Sorex) (United States)

    Hope, Andrew G.; Panter, Nicholas; Cook, Joseph A.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Nagorsen, David W.


    North American water shrews, which have traditionally included Sorex alaskanus, S. bendirii, and S. palustris, are widely distributed through Nearctic boreal forests and adapted for life in semiaquatic environments. Molecular mitochondrial signatures for these species have recorded an evolutionary history with variable levels of regional divergence, suggesting a strong role of Quaternary environmental change in speciation processes. We expanded molecular analyses, including more-comprehensive rangewide sampling of specimens representing North American water shrew taxa, except S. alaskanus, and sequencing of 4 independent loci from the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. We investigated relative divergence of insular populations along the North Pacific Coast, and newly recognized diversity from southwestern montane locations, potentially representing refugial isolates. Congruent independent genealogies, lack of definitive evidence for contemporary gene flow, and high support from coalescent species trees indicated differentiation of 4 major geographic lineages over multiple glacial cycles of the late Quaternary, similar to a growing number of boreal taxa. Limited divergence of insular populations suggested colonization following the last glacial. Characterization of southwestern montane diversity will require further sampling but divergence over multiple loci is indicative of a relictual sky-island fauna. We have reviewed and revised North American water shrew taxonomy including the recognition of 3 species within what was previously known as S. palustris. The possibility of gene flow between most distantly related North American water shrew lineages coupled with unresolved early diversification of this group and other sibling species reflects a complex but potentially productive system for investigating speciation processes.

  8. At the end of the line: independent overwater colonizations of the Solomon Islands by a hyperdiverse trans-Wallacean lizard lineage (Cyrtodactylus: Gekkota: Squamata) (United States)

    Oliver, Paul M.; Travers, Scott L; Richmond, Jonathan Q.; Pikacha, Patrick; Fisher, Robert N.


    The islands of East Melanesia have generated key insights into speciation processes and community assembly. However, when and how these islands began to form, emerge and accumulate endemic taxa remains poorly understood. Here, we show that two divergent lineages within the world’s most diverse genus of geckos (Cyrtodactylus) occur in the Solomon Islands. One large-bodied species is nested within a radiation from far eastern New Guinea, with inferred colonization, spread and diversification since the late Miocene. In contrast, a newly sampled and relatively small species with a restricted distribution on Guadalcanal Island is a relict that diverged from extant congeners around the early to mid-Miocene. Similar Miocene divergences from extralimital relatives have been inferred for other endemic bird, bat and lizard lineages in East Melanesia. In contrast, across all lineages (including divergent relictual lineages), there is little evidence for endemic in situ diversification within East Melanesia predating the Pliocene (especially in the Solomon Islands). While some East Melanesian endemic lineages may have origins on progenitor islands during the Miocene or even earlier, current evidence suggests the in situ diversification and assembly of extant biological communities commenced around the end of the Miocene.

  9. Nilonema gymnarchi Khalil, 1960 and N. senticosum (Baylis, 1922) (Nematoda: Dracunculoidea): Gondwana relicts? (United States)

    Santos, Cláudia Portes; Gibson, David I


    Data-base searches of records of the helminth parasites of South American and African freshwater fishes revealed only two pairs of species from genera endemic to the two regions. One pair, species of the primitive amphilinid cestode genus Nesolecithus Dönges & Harder, 1966, has already been designated as likely Gondwana relicts. The second pair are the philometrid nematodes Nilonema gymnarchi Khalil, 1960 from Gymnarchus niloticus Cuvier (Gymnarchidae) in Africa and N. senticosum (Baylis, 1922) from the South American fish Arapaima gigas (Cuvier) (Arapaimidae). Both species are partly redescribed on the basis of light and scanning electron microscopical observations of the type-specimens, and their relationships are discussed. In view of the fact that both hosts are basal teleosts of the order Osteoglossiformes and they are the same two fish which harbour the amphilinid cestodes already indicated as Gondwana relics, the nematode pair is also deemed to be relictual. However, these species are suggested as being of limited potential value for calibrating a molecular clock.

  10. Los Rumiantes (Artiodactyla, Mammalia del Mioceno inferior de La Encinilla (Colmenar Viejo, Madrid

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    Morales, J.


    Full Text Available This article is a preliminary study of the fossil ruminants found in the Early Miocene site of La Encinilla (Colmenar Viejo, Madrid. The morphological description of dentition and postcranial bones, along with the metrical and comparative study with material from localities of similar age in France and Spain has allowed us to confirm the presence of two Pecoran ruminants in La Encinilla: Andegameryx sp. and a larger species related to Teruelia Moyá-Solá, 1987. Although the identification in one of the cases should be confirmed with more material, the record in the Madrid Bassin would represent new information regarding the known biogeographical distribution of both taxa. The systematic position of Andegameryx and Teruelia is still under discussion, but both forms are clearly distinct from the Cervoidea ruminants found in Europe and the Iberian Peninsula at the same age, such as Amphitragulus, Oriomeryx, Bedenomeryx or Dremotherium.Este trabajo constituye un estudio preliminar de los restos de rumiantes fósiles hallados en el yacimiento del Mioceno inferior de La Encinilla (Colmenar Viejo, Madrid. La descripción morfológica de la dentición y del esqueleto postcraneal, así como el estudio métrico y comparativo con material procedente de localidades francesas y españolas de edad similar ha permitido constatar hasta el momento la presencia de dos formas de rumiantes Pecora en La Encinilla: Andegameryx sp. y un rumiante de mayor talla relacionado con Teruelia Moyá-Solá, 1987. Aunque la identificación en uno de los casos necesitaría confirmarse con más material, la presencia de estas dos formas en la Cuenca de Madrid ampliaría la distribución biogeográfica conocida para ambos taxones. La posición sistemática de Andegameryx y Teruelia permanece abierta a discusión, pero ambos géneros se diferencian de los Cervoidea del Mioceno inferior encontrados en Europa y la Península Ibérica, tales como Amphitragulus, Oriomeryx, Bedenomeryx

  11. A multi-calibrated mitochondrial phylogeny of extant Bovidae (Artiodactyla, Ruminantia) and the importance of the fossil record to systematics. (United States)

    Bibi, Faysal


    Molecular phylogenetics has provided unprecedented resolution in the ruminant evolutionary tree. However, molecular age estimates using only one or a few (often misapplied) fossil calibration points have produced a diversity of conflicting ages for important evolutionary events within this clade. I here identify 16 fossil calibration points of relevance to the phylogeny of Bovidae and Ruminantia and use these, individually and together, to construct a dated molecular phylogeny through a reanalysis of the full mitochondrial genome of over 100 ruminant species. The new multi-calibrated tree provides ages that are younger overall than found in previous studies. Among these are young ages for the origin of crown Ruminantia (39.3-28.8 Ma), and crown Bovidae (17.3-15.1 Ma). These are argued to be reasonable hypotheses given that many basal fossils assigned to these taxa may in fact lie on the stem groups leading to the crown clades, thus inflating previous age estimates. Areas of conflict between molecular and fossil dates do persist, however, especially with regard to the base of the rapid Pecoran radiation and the sister relationship of Moschidae to Bovidae. Results of the single-calibrated analyses also show that a very wide range of molecular age estimates are obtainable using different calibration points, and that the choice of calibration point can influence the topology of the resulting tree. Compared to the single-calibrated trees, the multi-calibrated tree exhibits smaller variance in estimated ages and better reflects the fossil record. The use of a large number of vetted fossil calibration points with soft bounds is promoted as a better approach than using just one or a few calibrations, or relying on internal-congruency metrics to discard good fossil data. This study also highlights the importance of considering morphological and ecological characteristics of clades when delimiting higher taxa. I also illustrate how phylogeographic and paleoenvironmental

  12. Genomic and expression analyses of Tursiops truncatus T cell receptor gamma (TRG) and alpha/delta (TRA/TRD) loci reveal a similar basic public γδ repertoire in dolphin and human. (United States)

    Linguiti, Giovanna; Antonacci, Rachele; Tasco, Gianluca; Grande, Francesco; Casadio, Rita; Massari, Serafina; Castelli, Vito; Consiglio, Arianna; Lefranc, Marie-Paule; Ciccarese, Salvatrice


    The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a mammal that belongs to the Cetartiodactyla and have lived in marine ecosystems for nearly 60 millions years. Despite its popularity, our knowledge about its adaptive immunity and evolution is very limited. Furthermore, nothing is known about the genomics and evolution of dolphin antigen receptor immunity. Here we report a evolutionary and expression study of Tursiops truncatus T cell receptor gamma (TRG) and alpha/delta (TRA/TRD) genes. We have identified in silico the TRG and TRA/TRD genes and analyzed the relevant mature transcripts in blood and in skin from four subjects. The dolphin TRG locus is the smallest and simplest of all mammalian loci as yet studied. It shows a genomic organization comprising two variable (V1 and V2), three joining (J1, J2 and J3) and a single constant (C), genes. Despite the fragmented nature of the genome assemblies, we deduced the TRA/TRD locus organization, with the recent TRDV1 subgroup genes duplications, as it is expected in artiodactyls. Expression analysis from blood of a subject allowed us to assign unambiguously eight TRAV genes to those annotated in the genomic sequence and to twelve new genes, belonging to five different subgroups. All transcripts were productive and no relevant biases towards TRAV-J rearrangements are observed. Blood and skin from four unrelated subjects expression data provide evidence for an unusual ratio of productive/unproductive transcripts which arise from the TRG V-J gene rearrangement and for a "public" gamma delta TR repertoire. The productive cDNA sequences, shared both in the same and in different individuals, include biases of the TRGV1 and TRGJ2 genes. The high frequency of TRGV1-J2/TRDV1- D1-J4 productive rearrangements in dolphins may represent an interesting oligo-clonal population comparable to that found in human with the TRGV9- JP/TRDV2-D-J T cells and in primates. Although the features of the TRG and TRA/TRD loci organization reflect

  13. Sedimentology and paleoecology of an Eocene Oligocene alluvial lacustrine arid system, Southern Mexico (United States)

    Beraldi-Campesi, Hugo; Cevallos-Ferriz, Sergio R. S.; Centeno-García, Elena; Arenas-Abad, Concepción; Fernández, Luis Pedro


    A depositional model of the Eocene-Oligocene Coatzingo Formation in Tepexi de Rodríguez (Puebla, Mexico) is proposed, based on facies analysis of one of the best-preserved sections, the Axamilpa Section. The sedimentary evolution is interpreted as the retrogradation of an alluvial system, followed by the progressive expansion of an alkaline lake system, with deltaic, palustrine, and evaporitic environments. The analysis suggests a change towards more arid conditions with time. Fossils from this region, such as fossil tracks of artiodactyls, aquatic birds and cat-like mammals, suggest that these animals traversed the area, ostracods populated the lake waters, and plants grew on incipient soils and riparian environments many times throughout the history of the basin. The inferred habitat for some fossil plants coincides with the sedimentological interpretation of an arid to semiarid climate for that epoch. This combined sedimentological-paleontological study of the Axamilpa Section provides an environmental context in which fossils can be placed and brings into attention important biotic episodes, like bird and camelid migrations or the origin of endemic but extinct plants in this area.

  14. Global trends in infectious diseases at the wildlife-livestock interface. (United States)

    Wiethoelter, Anke K; Beltrán-Alcrudo, Daniel; Kock, Richard; Mor, Siobhan M


    The role and significance of wildlife-livestock interfaces in disease ecology has largely been neglected, despite recent interest in animals as origins of emerging diseases in humans. Scoping review methods were applied to objectively assess the relative interest by the scientific community in infectious diseases at interfaces between wildlife and livestock, to characterize animal species and regions involved, as well as to identify trends over time. An extensive literature search combining wildlife, livestock, disease, and geographical search terms yielded 78,861 publications, of which 15,998 were included in the analysis. Publications dated from 1912 to 2013 and showed a continuous increasing trend, including a shift from parasitic to viral diseases over time. In particular there was a significant increase in publications on the artiodactyls-cattle and bird-poultry interface after 2002 and 2003, respectively. These trends could be traced to key disease events that stimulated public interest and research funding. Among the top 10 diseases identified by this review, the majority were zoonoses. Prominent wildlife-livestock interfaces resulted largely from interaction between phylogenetically closely related and/or sympatric species. The bird-poultry interface was the most frequently cited wildlife-livestock interface worldwide with other interfaces reflecting regional circumstances. This review provides the most comprehensive overview of research on infectious diseases at the wildlife-livestock interface to date.

  15. Ancient ecology of 15-million-year-old browsing mammals within C3 plant communities from Panama. (United States)

    MacFadden, Bruce J; Higgins, Pennilyn


    Middle Miocene mammals are known from approximately 15 million-year-old sediments exposed along the Panama Canal of Central America, a region that otherwise has an exceedingly poor terrestrial fossil record. These land mammals, which represent a part of the ancient terrestrial herbivore community, include an oreodont Merycochoerus matthewi, small camel-like protoceratid artiodactyl Paratoceras wardi, two horses Anchitherium clarencei and Archaeohippus sp., and two rhinos Menoceras barbouri and Floridaceras whitei. Bulk and serial carbon and oxygen isotope analyses of the tooth enamel carbonate allow reconstruction of the ancient climate and ecology of these fossil mammals. Ancient Panama had an equable climate with seasonal temperature and rainfall fluctuations less than those seen today. The middle Miocene terrestrial community consisted predominantly, or exclusively, of C3 plants, i.e., there is no evidence for C4 grasses. Statistically different mean carbon isotope values for the mammalian herbivores indicate niche partitioning of the C3 plant food resources. The range of individual carbon isotope analyses, i.e., delta13C from -15.9 to -10.1 per thousand, indicates herbivores feeding on diverse plants from different habitats with extrapolated delta13C values of -29.9 to -24.2 per thousand, possibly ranging from dense forest to more open country woodland. The ecological niches of individual mammalian herbivore species were differentiated either by diet or body size.

  16. Mammal body size evolution in North America and Europe over 20 Myr: similar trends generated by different processes. (United States)

    Huang, Shan; Eronen, Jussi T; Janis, Christine M; Saarinen, Juha J; Silvestro, Daniele; Fritz, Susanne A


    Because body size interacts with many fundamental biological properties of a species, body size evolution can be an essential component of the generation and maintenance of biodiversity. Here we investigate how body size evolution can be linked to the clade-specific diversification dynamics in different geographical regions. We analyse an extensive body size dataset of Neogene large herbivores (covering approx. 50% of the 970 species in the orders Artiodactyla and Perissodactyla) in Europe and North America in a Bayesian framework. We reconstruct the temporal patterns of body size in each order on each continent independently, and find significant increases of minimum size in three of the continental assemblages (except European perissodactyls), suggesting an active selection for larger bodies. Assessment of trait-correlated birth-death models indicates that the common trend of body size increase is generated by different processes in different clades and regions. Larger-bodied artiodactyl species on both continents tend to have higher origination rates, and both clades in North America show strong links between large bodies and low extinction rate. Collectively, our results suggest a strong role of species selection and perhaps of higher-taxon sorting in driving body size evolution, and highlight the value of investigating evolutionary processes in a biogeographic context. © 2017 The Author(s).

  17. New records of the dolphin Albertocetus meffordorum (Odontoceti: Xenorophidae from the lower Oligocene of South Carolina: Encephalization, sensory anatomy, postcranial morphology, and ontogeny of early odontocetes.

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    Robert W Boessenecker

    Full Text Available We report five new specimens of xenorophid dolphins from North and South Carolina. Four of the specimens represent the xenorophid Albertocetus meffordorum, previously only known from the holotype skull. The other is a fragmentary petrosal from the upper Oligocene Belgrade Formation that we refer to Echovenator sp, indicating at least two xenorophids from that unit. Two of the Albertocetus meffordorum specimens are from the lower Oligocene Ashley Formation: 1 a partial skeleton with neurocranium, fragmentary mandible, ribs, vertebrae, and chevrons, and 2 an isolated braincase. The partial vertebral column indicates that Albertocetus retained the ancestral morphology and locomotory capabilities of basilosaurid archaeocetes, toothed mysticetes, and physeteroids, and caudal vertebrae that are as wide as tall suggest that the caudal peduncle, which occurs in all extant Cetacea, was either wide or lacking. CT data from the isolated braincase were used to generate a digital endocast of the cranial cavity. The estimated EQ of this specimen is relatively high for an Oligocene odontocete, and other aspects of the brain, such as its anteroposterior length and relative size of the temporal lobe, are intermediate in morphology between those of extant cetaceans and terrestrial artiodactyls. Ethmoturbinals are also preserved, and are similar in morphology and number to those described for the Miocene odontocete Squalodon. These fossils extend the temporal range of Albertocetus meffordorum into the early Oligocene, its geographic range into South Carolina, and expand our paleobiological understanding of the Xenorophidae.

  18. Global Mammal Parasite Database version 2.0. (United States)

    Stephens, Patrick R; Pappalardo, Paula; Huang, Shan; Byers, James E; Farrell, Maxwell J; Gehman, Alyssa; Ghai, Ria R; Haas, Sarah E; Han, Barbara; Park, Andrew W; Schmidt, John P; Altizer, Sonia; Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Nunn, Charles L


    Illuminating the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of parasites is one of the most pressing issues facing modern science, and is critical for basic science, the global economy, and human health. Extremely important to this effort are data on the disease-causing organisms of wild animal hosts (including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, helminths, arthropods, and fungi). Here we present an updated version of the Global Mammal Parasite Database, a database of the parasites of wild ungulates (artiodactyls and perissodactyls), carnivores, and primates, and make it available for download as complete flat files. The updated database has more than 24,000 entries in the main data file alone, representing data from over 2700 literature sources. We include data on sampling method and sample sizes when reported, as well as both "reported" and "corrected" (i.e., standardized) binomials for each host and parasite species. Also included are current higher taxonomies and data on transmission modes used by the majority of species of parasites in the database. In the associated metadata we describe the methods used to identify sources and extract data from the primary literature, how entries were checked for errors, methods used to georeference entries, and how host and parasite taxonomies were standardized across the database. We also provide definitions of the data fields in each of the four files that users can download. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  19. How body mass and lifestyle affect juvenile biomass production in placental mammals. (United States)

    Sibly, Richard M; Grady, John M; Venditti, Chris; Brown, James H


    In mammals, the mass-specific rate of biomass production during gestation and lactation, here called maternal productivity, has been shown to vary with body size and lifestyle. Metabolic theory predicts that post-weaning growth of offspring, here termed juvenile productivity, should be higher than maternal productivity, and juveniles of smaller species should be more productive than those of larger species. Furthermore because juveniles generally have similar lifestyles to their mothers, across species juvenile and maternal productivities should be correlated. We evaluated these predictions with data from 270 species of placental mammals in 14 taxonomic/lifestyle groups. All three predictions were supported. Lagomorphs, perissodactyls and artiodactyls were very productive both as juveniles and as mothers as expected from the abundance and reliability of their foods. Primates and bats were unproductive as juveniles and as mothers, as expected as an indirect consequence of their low predation risk and consequent low mortality. Our results point the way to a mechanistic explanation for the suite of correlated life-history traits that has been called the slow-fast continuum.

  20. Astragalar Morphology of Selected Giraffidae.

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    Nikos Solounias

    Full Text Available The artiodactyl astragalus has been modified to exhibit two trochleae, creating a double pullied structure allowing for significant dorso-plantar motion, and limited mediolateral motion. The astragalus structure is partly influenced by environmental substrates, and correspondingly, morphometric studies can yield paleohabitat information. The present study establishes terminology and describes detailed morphological features on giraffid astragali. Each giraffid astragalus exhibits a unique combination of anatomical characteristics. The giraffid astragalar morphologies reinforce previously established phylogenetic relationships. We find that the enlargement of the navicular head is a feature shared by all giraffids, and that the primitive giraffids possess exceptionally tall astragalar heads in relation to the total astragalar height. The sivatheres and the okapi share a reduced notch on the lateral edge of the astragalus. We find that Samotherium is more primitive in astragalar morphologies than Palaeotragus, which is reinforced by tooth characteristics and ossicone position. Diagnostic anatomical characters on the astragalus allow for giraffid species identifications and a better understanding of Giraffidae.

  1. Brucella ceti and Brucellosis in Cetaceans (United States)

    Guzmán-Verri, Caterina; González-Barrientos, Rocío; Hernández-Mora, Gabriela; Morales, Juan-Alberto; Baquero-Calvo, Elías; Chaves-Olarte, Esteban; Moreno, Edgardo


    Since the first case of brucellosis detected in a dolphin aborted fetus, an increasing number of Brucella ceti isolates has been reported in members of the two suborders of cetaceans: Mysticeti and Odontoceti. Serological surveys have shown that cetacean brucellosis may be distributed worldwide in the oceans. Although all B. ceti isolates have been included within the same species, three different groups have been recognized according to their preferred host, bacteriological properties, and distinct genetic traits: B. ceti dolphin type, B. ceti porpoise type, and B. ceti human type. It seems that B. ceti porpoise type is more closely related to B. ceti human isolates and B. pinnipedialis group, while B. ceti dolphin type seems ancestral to them. Based on comparative phylogenetic analysis, it is feasible that the B. ceti ancestor radiated in a terrestrial artiodactyl host close to the Raoellidae family about 58 million years ago. The more likely mode of transmission of B. ceti seems to be through sexual intercourse, maternal feeding, aborted fetuses, placental tissues, vertical transmission from mother to the fetus or through fish or helminth reservoirs. The B. ceti dolphin and porpoise types seem to display variable virulence in land animal models and low infectivity for humans. However, brucellosis in some dolphins and porpoises has been demonstrated to be a severe chronic disease, displaying significant clinical and pathological signs related to abortions, male infertility, neurobrucellosis, cardiopathies, bone and skin lesions, strandings, and death. PMID:22919595

  2. Fast running restricts evolutionary change of the vertebral column in mammals. (United States)

    Galis, Frietson; Carrier, David R; van Alphen, Joris; van der Mije, Steven D; Van Dooren, Tom J M; Metz, Johan A J; ten Broek, Clara M A


    The mammalian vertebral column is highly variable, reflecting adaptations to a wide range of lifestyles, from burrowing in moles to flying in bats. However, in many taxa, the number of trunk vertebrae is surprisingly constant. We argue that this constancy results from strong selection against initial changes of these numbers in fast running and agile mammals, whereas such selection is weak in slower-running, sturdier mammals. The rationale is that changes of the number of trunk vertebrae require homeotic transformations from trunk into sacral vertebrae, or vice versa, and mutations toward such transformations generally produce transitional lumbosacral vertebrae that are incompletely fused to the sacrum. We hypothesize that such incomplete homeotic transformations impair flexibility of the lumbosacral joint and thereby threaten survival in species that depend on axial mobility for speed and agility. Such transformations will only marginally affect performance in slow, sturdy species, so that sufficient individuals with transitional vertebrae survive to allow eventual evolutionary changes of trunk vertebral numbers. We present data on fast and slow carnivores and artiodactyls and on slow afrotherians and monotremes that strongly support this hypothesis. The conclusion is that the selective constraints on the count of trunk vertebrae stem from a combination of developmental and biomechanical constraints.

  3. Historical biogeography among species of Varestrongylus lungworms (Nematoda: Protostrongylidae) in ungulates: episodic expansion and host colonization linking Eurasia and North America. (United States)

    Verocai, Guilherme G; Kutz, Susan J; Hoberg, Eric P


    Varestrongylus lungworms (Nematoda: Protostrongylidae) include 10 nominal species that parasitize wild and domesticated artiodactyles. Eight species are endemic to the western Palearctic and Eurasia, whereas two are limited in distribution to the Nearctic. Complex host associations, primarily among Cervidae and Bovidae (Caprinae), and biogeography were explored based on direct comparisons of parasite and host phylogenies to reveal the historical development of this fauna. Diversification among Varestrongylus species has an intricate history extending over the Pliocene and Quaternary involving episodic processes for geographic and host colonization: (1) Varestrongylus has origins in Eurasia with independent expansion events into bordering ecozones; (2) cervids are ancestral hosts; (3) the caprine-associated V. pneumonicus is basal and a result of an independent host colonization event; (4) secondary diversification, linked to sequential and independent host colonization events, occurred within cervids (V. sagittatus + V. tuvae; V. alpenae; and V. capreoli, V. alces + V. eleguneniensis); (5) at least two additional host colonization events into caprines occurred, followed or not by diversification (V. qinghaiensis + V. longispiculatus; V. capricola, respectively); (6) two independent events of geographic expansion into North America from Eurasia with cervids in the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene are postulated (V. alpenae, V. eleguneniensis). Comparisons based on phylogenetic hypotheses derived from comparative morphology and molecular inference for these nematodes are consistent with the postulated history for coevolutionary and biogeographic history. Episodes of geographic and host colonization, often in relation to rapid shifts in climate and habitat perturbation, have dominated the history of diversification of Varestrongylus.

  4. Consommation de produits d'origine animale dans la concession forestière 039/11 de la SODEFOR à Oshwe (R.D. Congo

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    Semeki Ngabinzeke, J.


    Full Text Available Consumption of Products of Animal Origin in the Forest Concession 039/11 of the SODEFOR to Oshwe (D.R. Congo. To identify the main foods of animal origin consumed by people living in the concession 039/11 of the forest Development Company (SODEFOR in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to specify the determinants of consumption, 120 households in 3 villages (Taketa, Ikala 1 and Mombele and in the base of Nteno were surveyed for 30 days. The results show that bush meat represents 72.00% of the number of meals followed by fish (24.00%, and livestock products finally (3.10%. In total, 30 species of animals including 4 which are legally banned from hunting have been identified, for a total biomass of 1235 kg. Mammals represent 97.00% of animals consumed with a predominance of artiodactyls (71.60%, primates (15.40%, and rodents (9.10%. The duikers, the bushes and the atherure are the most represented. The choice of consumption is guided by the availability of the product, taste, and eating habits. The majority of households are supplied by intermediaries to whom they primarily buy animal parts. This study suggests a long term follow-up of hunting with an assessment of the abundance of animal species to guide the SODEFOR in the decision-making.

  5. Characterization of the guinea pig 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Delta5-Delta4-isomerase expressed in the adrenal gland and gonads. (United States)

    Durocher, Francine; Sanchez, Rocio; Ricketts, Marie-Louise; Labrie, Yvan; Laudet, Vincent; Simard, Jacques


    The guinea pig adrenal gland, analogous to the human, possesses the capacity to synthesize C(19) steroids. In order to further understand the control of guinea pig adrenal steroidogenesis we undertook the characterization of the guinea pig 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Delta(5)-Delta(4)-isomerase (3beta-HSD) expressed in the adrenal gland. A cDNA clone encoding guinea pig 3beta-HSD isolated from a guinea pig adrenal library is predicted to encode a protein of 373 amino acid residues and 41,475Da. Ribonuclease protection assay suggests that this cDNA corresponds to the predominant, if not the sole, mRNA species detectable in total RNA from the guinea pig adrenal gland, ovary and testis. The guinea pig 3beta-HSD shows a similar affinity for both pregnenolone and dehydroepiandrosterone, and in addition, a 17beta-HSD type II-like activity was also observed. A phylogenetical analysis of the 3beta-HSD gene family demonstrates that the guinea pig is in a parallel branch to the myomorpha group supporting the hypothesis that the guinea pig lineage has branched off after the divergence among primates, artiodactyls and rodents, suggesting the paraphyly of the order rodentia.

  6. A suite of microsatellite markers optimized for amplification of DNA from Addax (Addax nasomaculatus) blood preserved on FTA cards. (United States)

    Heim, Brett C; Ivy, Jamie A; Latch, Emily K


    The addax (Addax nasomaculatus) is a critically endangered antelope that is currently maintained in zoos through regional, conservation breeding programs. As for many captive species, incomplete pedigree data currently impedes the ability of addax breeding programs to confidently manage the genetics of captive populations and to select appropriate animals for reintroduction. Molecular markers are often used to improve pedigree resolution, thereby improving the long-term effectiveness of genetic management. When developing a suite of molecular markers, it is important to consider the source of DNA, as the utility of markers may vary across DNA sources. In this study, we optimized a suite of microsatellite markers for use in genotyping captive addax blood samples collected on FTA cards. We amplified 66 microsatellite loci previously described in other Artiodactyls. Sixteen markers amplified a single product in addax, but only 5 of these were found to be polymorphic in a sample of 37 addax sampled from a captive herd at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in the US. The suite of microsatellite markers developed in this study provides a new tool for the genetic management of captive addax, and demonstrates that FTA cards can be a useful means of sample storage, provided appropriate loci are used in downstream analyses. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Alveoli, teeth, and tooth loss: Understanding the homology of internal mandibular structures in mysticete cetaceans.

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    Carlos Mauricio Peredo

    Full Text Available The evolution of filter feeding in baleen whales (Mysticeti facilitated a wide range of ecological diversity and extreme gigantism. The innovation of filter feeding evolved in a shift from a mineralized upper and lower dentition in stem mysticetes to keratinous baleen plates that hang only from the roof of the mouth in extant species, which are all edentulous as adults. While all extant mysticetes are born with a mandible lacking a specialized feeding structure (i.e., baleen, the bony surface retains small foramina with elongated sulci that often merge together in what has been termed the alveolar gutter. Because mysticete embryos develop tooth buds that resorb in utero, these foramina have been interpreted as homologous to tooth alveoli in other mammals. Here, we test this homology by creating 3D models of the internal mandibular morphology from terrestrial artiodactyls and fossil and extant cetaceans, including stem cetaceans, odontocetes and mysticetes. We demonstrate that dorsal foramina on the mandible communicate with the mandibular canal via smaller canals, which we explain within the context of known mechanical models of bone resorption. We suggest that these dorsal foramina represent distinct branches of the inferior alveolar nerve (or artery, rather than alveoli homologous with those of other mammals. As a functional explanation, we propose that these branches provide sensation to the dorsal margin of the mandible to facilitate placement and occlusion of the baleen plates during filer feeding.

  8. Mammal extinctions in the Vallesian (Upper Miocene) (United States)

    Agusti, J.; Moya-Sola, S.

    The term Vallesian was created by Crusafont (1950) to designate the first European Mammalian palaeofaunas containing the equid Hipparion, the remainder of the faunas being composed of typical elements coming from the Middle Miocene such as Micromeryx, Euprox, Sansanosmilus, Pseudaelurus, and Listriodon. Thus, the Aragonian-Vallesian boundary does not show a strong change among European Miocene mammalian faunas (Agusti et al., 1984). On the other hand, the Lower Vallesian/Upper Vallesian transition corresponds to a major biotic crisis. This boudnary is characterized by the disappearence of most of the Aragonian artiodactyl forms such as Protragocerus, Miotragocerus, Listriodon, Hyotherium, Parachleusastochoerus, etc. Among the rodents, this crisis affects the family Eomyidae and most of the cricetid and glirid species. On the other hand, a number of eastern elements appear in the area at the same time. This is the case of the suid Schizochoerus and the murid Progonomys. Other eastern forms are Tragoportax, Graecoryx, Adcrocuta, Paramachairodus, Microstonyx, etc. Most of these are typical elements of the next Mammal stage, the Turolian. Thus, whereas the Lower Vallesian fauna has a typical Aragonian composition except for Hipparion. After the Middle Vallesian event, the Upper Vallesian faunas are already largely Turolian in character. The possible factors involved in this extinction event are discussed.

  9. Application of commercial enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA for the detection of antibodies for foot-and-mouth disease virus in wild boar and red deer

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    Terzić Svjetlana


    Full Text Available For detecting antibodies towards foot and mouth (FMD virus in sera collected from red deer hinds (Cervus elaphus and wild boars (Sus scrofa, three commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA were used. Two ELISA kits (PrioCHECK FMDV NS and CHEKIT FMD-3ABC were used for the detection of antibodies towards non-structural proteins of FMD virus and one assay was based on the detection of antibodies for serotype O (PrioCHECK FMDV type O. All of the sera tested in our study were negative for antibodies against FMD virus. The aim of this study was to investigate the usefulness of commercially available ELISA kits given for marketing authorization in Croatia in testing the prevalence of FMD antibodies in wild boar and red deer populations. Since the producers of ELISA kits used in our study did not declare wild animals as a target species, we hypothesised that the same kits could be used for serological diagnosis of FMD in red deer and wild boars. Our study confirmed that the kits used are acceptable for detecting antibodies in both species tested, however, the investigation highlighted the problem of validating the kits due to the absence of available positive sera originating from red deer, as well as other susceptible species, especially artiodactyls.

  10. Species longevity in North American fossil mammals. (United States)

    Prothero, Donald R


    Species longevity in the fossil record is related to many paleoecological variables and is important to macroevolutionary studies, yet there are very few reliable data on average species durations in Cenozoic fossil mammals. Many of the online databases (such as the Paleobiology Database) use only genera of North American Cenozoic mammals and there are severe problems because key groups (e.g. camels, oreodonts, pronghorns and proboscideans) have no reliable updated taxonomy, with many invalid genera and species and/or many undescribed genera and species. Most of the published datasets yield species duration estimates of approximately 2.3-4.3 Myr for larger mammals, with small mammals tending to have shorter species durations. My own compilation of all the valid species durations in families with updated taxonomy (39 families, containing 431 genera and 998 species, averaging 2.3 species per genus) yields a mean duration of 3.21 Myr for larger mammals. This breaks down to 4.10-4.39 Myr for artiodactyls, 3.14-3.31 Myr for perissodactyls and 2.63-2.95 Myr for carnivorous mammals (carnivorans plus creodonts). These averages are based on a much larger, more robust dataset than most previous estimates, so they should be more reliable for any studies that need species longevity to be accurately estimated. © 2013 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  11. Genetic structure analysis of a highly inbred captive population of the African antelope Addax nasomaculatus. Conservation and management implications. (United States)

    Armstrong, E; Leizagoyen, C; Martínez, A M; González, S; Delgado, J V; Postiglioni, A


    The African antelope Addax nasomaculatus is a rare mammal at high risk of extinction, with no more than 300 individuals in the wild and 1,700 captive animals distributed in zoos around the world. In this work, we combine genetic data and genealogical information to assess the structure and genetic diversity of a captive population located at Parque Lecocq Zoo (N=27), originated from only two founders. We amplified 39 microsatellites previously described in other Artiodactyls but new to this species. Seventeen markers were polymorphic, with 2-4 alleles per locus (mean=2.71). Mean expected heterozygosity (He) per locus was between 0.050 (marker ETH3) and 0.650 (marker D5S2), with a global He of 0.43. The mean inbreeding coefficient of the population computed from pedigree records of all registered individuals (N=53) was 0.222. The mean coancestry of the population was 0.298 and F(IS) index was -0.108. These results reflect the importance of an adequate breeding management on a severely bottlenecked captive population, which would benefit by the incorporation of unrelated individuals. Thanks to the successful amplification of a large number of microsatellites commonly used in domestic bovids, this study will provide useful information for the management of this population and serve as future reference for similar studies in other captive populations of this species. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. The evolutionary emergence and refinement of the mammalian pattern of foot architecture. (United States)

    Lewis, O J


    It is shown that in form and function the articular complexes of the monotreme foot are pre-adaptive to the therian condition, but the echidna differs by having a tuber calcaneus which is directed downward and distally. The cynodont foot (TR. 8) and that of the Triassic mammal Eozostrodon seem to possess the essential articular features present in monotremes, but they are assembled rather differently. In both, tuber calcaneus was apparently directed downwards. It follows that monotremes were probably derived from some way along the lineage usually, but inappropriately, termed "Theria'. A calcaneofibular articulation is present in kangaroos, certain shrews, elephant shrews, rabbits and artiodactyls. In all of them it is an apomorphic condition involving annexation of part of the posterior talar facet on the calcaneus by the fibula, which invariably shows some degree of amalgamation with the tibia. It is shown that the trochlear process of the mammalian calcaneus has the dual function of providing origin for the m. flexor accessorius and acting as a supporting shelf for the bundle of peroneal tendons. It is almost certainly a derivative of the lateral flange on the cynodont calcaneus, which presumably had a comparable function. In man, the process is fragmented, one of its derivatives being the lateral process of the calcaneal tuber which shows varying degrees of migration towards the medial process and amalgamation with it. The importance of these morphological features is discussed in relation to their use in cladistic analysis and their relevance to theories of the early evolution of the mammals.

  13. Paleogenomics in a temperate environment: shotgun sequencing from an extinct Mediterranean caprine.

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    Oscar Ramírez

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Numerous endemic mammals, including dwarf elephants, goats, hippos and deers, evolved in isolation in the Mediterranean islands during the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Most of them subsequently became extinct during the Holocene. Recently developed high-throughput sequencing technologies could provide a unique tool for retrieving genomic data from these extinct species, making it possible to study their evolutionary history and the genetic bases underlying their particular, sometimes unique, adaptations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPALS FINDINGS: A DNA extraction of a approximately 6,000 year-old bone sample from an extinct caprine (Myotragus balearicus from the Balearic Islands in the Western Mediterranean, has been subjected to shotgun sequencing with the GS FLX 454 platform. Only 0.27% of the resulting sequences, identified from alignments with the cow genome and comprising 15,832 nucleotides, with an average length of 60 nucleotides, proved to be endogenous. CONCLUSIONS: A phylogenetic tree generated with Myotragus sequences and those from other artiodactyls displays an identical topology to that generated from mitochondrial DNA data. Despite being in an unfavourable thermal environment, which explains the low yield of endogenous sequences, our study demonstrates that it is possible to obtain genomic data from extinct species from temperate regions.

  14. Expressed sequence tags as a tool for phylogenetic analysis of placental mammal evolution.

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    Morgan Kullberg

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: We investigate the usefulness of expressed sequence tags, ESTs, for establishing divergences within the tree of placental mammals. This is done on the example of the established relationships among primates (human, lagomorphs (rabbit, rodents (rat and mouse, artiodactyls (cow, carnivorans (dog and proboscideans (elephant. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have produced 2000 ESTs (1.2 mega bases from a marsupial mouse and characterized the data for their use in phylogenetic analysis. The sequences were used to identify putative orthologous sequences from whole genome projects. Although most ESTs stem from single sequence reads, the frequency of potential sequencing errors was found to be lower than allelic variation. Most of the sequences represented slowly evolving housekeeping-type genes, with an average amino acid distance of 6.6% between human and mouse. Positive Darwinian selection was identified at only a few single sites. Phylogenetic analyses of the EST data yielded trees that were consistent with those established from whole genome projects. CONCLUSIONS: The general quality of EST sequences and the general absence of positive selection in these sequences make ESTs an attractive tool for phylogenetic analysis. The EST approach allows, at reasonable costs, a fast extension of data sampling from species outside the genome projects.

  15. Répteis squamata de remanescentes florestais do Campus da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal-RN, Brasil

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    De Sales, Raul Fernandes Dantas


    Full Text Available Inventários faunísticos são fundamentais para o conhecimento da biodiversidade e, conseqüentemente, para o planejamento e tomada de decisões sobre estratégias de conservação. Para conhecer a diversidade e composição dos répteis Squamata, assim como a distribuição das espécies por microhábitat em três fragmentos florestais na área do Campus da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN, efetuaram-se excursões quinzenais diurnas, de março a junho de 2008. As buscas ativas foram realizadas ao longo de transecções percorridas aleatoriamente, efetuando-se os registros das espécies, dos microhábitats e do horário de observação. Um total de 92 espécimes, correspondentes a 10 espécies, foi coletados nas três áreas estudadas. A consulta da Coleção Herpetológica da UFRN possibilitou adicionar outras oito espécies, totalizando 18 espécies para o Campus da UFRN. As espécies mais abundantes foram Mabuya heathi, Hemidactylus mabouia e Tropidurus hispidus. O coeficiente de similaridade faunística binário de Sorensen mostrou 59 % de similaridade com os Squamata do Parque Estadual das Dunas do Natal (PEDN, área de conservação contígua com a área estudada. Apesar do grande adensamento urbano, os fragmentos florestais do Campus Central da UFRN abrigam espécies de formações abertas e de áreas florestadas, com destaque para os primeiros registros de Coleodactylus natalensis e de Amphisbaena heathi nessa vegetação relictual, fatos que justificam a preservação desses fragmentos em prol da manutenção destas espécies endêmicas do Rio Grande do Norte. Fauna inventories are crucial for increasing knowledge of biodiversity as well as for planning and conservation strategies. To assess the taxonomic composition and microhabitat distribution of squamate reptiles in three forest fragments on the campus of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN, field collections were carried out quarterly from March

  16. West meets East: How do rainforest beetles become circum-Pacific? Evolutionary origin of Callipogon relictus and allied species (Cerambycidae: Prioninae) in the New and Old Worlds. (United States)

    Kim, Sangil; de Medeiros, Bruno A S; Byun, Bong-Kyu; Lee, Seunghwan; Kang, Jung-Hoon; Lee, Bongwoo; Farrell, Brian D


    The longhorn beetle genus Callipogon Audinet-Serville represents a small group of large wood-boring beetles whose distribution pattern exhibits a unique trans-Pacific disjunction between the East Asian temperate rainforest and the tropical rainforest of the Neotropics. To understand the biogeographic history underlying this circum-Pacific disjunct distribution, we reconstructed a molecular phylogeny of the subfamily Prioninae with extensive sampling of Callipogon using multilocus sequence data of 99 prionine and four parandrine samples (ingroups), together with two distant outgroup species. Our sampling of Callipogon includes 18 of the 24 currently accepted species, with complete representation of all species in our focal subgenera. Our phylogenetic analyses confirmed the purported affinity between the Palearctic Callipogon relictus and its Neotropical congeners. Furthermore, based on molecular dating under the fossilized birth-death (FBD) model with comprehensive fossil records and probabilistic ancestral range reconstructions, we estimated the crown group Callipogon to have originated in the Paleocene circa 60 million years ago (Ma) across the Neotropics and Eastern Palearctics. The divergence between the Palearctic C. relictus and its Neotropical congeners is explained as the result of a vicariance event following the demise of boreotropical forest across Beringia at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. As C. relictus represents the unique relictual species that evidentiates the lineage's expansive ancient distribution, we evaluated its conservation importance through species distribution modelling. Though we estimated a range expansion for C. relictus by 2050, we emphasize a careful implementation of conservation programs towards the protection of primary forest across its current habitats, as the species remains highly vulnerable to habitat disturbance. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. The disjunct pattern of the Neotropical harvestman Discocyrtus dilatatus (Gonyleptidae explained by climate-driven range shifts in the Quaternary: Paleodistributional and molecular evidence.

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    Julia Vergara

    Full Text Available The disjunct distribution of the harvestman Discocyrtus dilatatus (Opiliones, Gonyleptidae is used as a case study to test the hypothesis of a trans-Chaco Pleistocene paleobridge during range expansion stages. This would have temporarily connected humid regions ('Mesopotamia' in northeastern Argentina, and the 'Yungas' in the northwest, NWA in the subtropical and temperate South American lowlands. The present study combines two independent approaches: paleodistributional reconstruction, using the Species Distribution Modeling method MaxEnt and projection onto Quaternary paleoclimates (6 kya, 21 kya, 130 kya, and phylogeographic analyses based on the cytochrome oxidase subunit I molecular marker. Models predict a maximal shrinkage during the warm Last Interglacial (130 kya, and the rise of the hypothesized paleobridge in the Last Glacial Maximum (21 kya, revealing that cold-dry stages (not warm-humid ones, as supposed enabled the range expansion of this species. The disjunction was formed in the mid-Holocene (6 kya and is intensified under current conditions. The median-joining network shows that NWA haplotypes are peripherally related to different Mesopotamian lineages; haplotypes from Santa Fe and Córdoba Provinces consistently occupy central positions in the network. According to the dated phylogeny, Mesopotamia-NWA expansion events would have occurred in the last glacial period, in many cases closely associated to the Last Glacial Maximum, with most divergence events occurring shortly thereafter. Only two (out of nine NWA haplotypes are shared with Mesopotamian localities. A single, presumably relictual NWA haplotype was found to have diverged much earlier, suggesting an ancient expansion event not recoverable by the paleodistributional models. Different measures of sequence statistics, genetic diversity, population structure and history of demographic changes are provided. This research offers the first available evidence for the historical

  18. Anthropogenic impacts drive niche and conservation metrics of a cryptic rattlesnake on the Colorado Plateau of western North America. (United States)

    Douglas, M R; Davis, M A; Amarello, M; Smith, J J; Schuett, G W; Herrmann, H-W; Holycross, A T; Douglas, M E


    Ecosystems transition quickly in the Anthropocene, whereas biodiversity adapts more slowly. Here we simulated a shifting woodland ecosystem on the Colorado Plateau of western North America by using as its proxy over space and time the fundamental niche of the Arizona black rattlesnake (Crotalus cerberus). We found an expansive (= end-of-Pleistocene) range that contracted sharply (= present), but is blocked topographically by Grand Canyon/Colorado River as it shifts predictably northwestward under moderate climate change (= 2080). Vulnerability to contemporary wildfire was quantified from available records, with forested area reduced more than 27% over 13 years. Both 'ecosystem metrics' underscore how climate and wildfire are rapidly converting the Plateau ecosystem into novel habitat. To gauge potential effects on C. cerberus, we derived a series of relevant 'conservation metrics' (i.e. genetic variability, dispersal capacity, effective population size) by sequencing 118 individuals across 846 bp of mitochondrial (mt)DNA-ATPase8/6. We identified five significantly different clades (net sequence divergence = 2.2%) isolated by drainage/topography, with low dispersal (F ST = 0.82) and small sizes (2N ef = 5.2). Our compiled metrics (i.e. small-populations, topographic-isolation, low-dispersal versus conserved-niche, vulnerable-ecosystem, dispersal barriers) underscore the susceptibility of this woodland specialist to a climate and wildfire tandem. We offer adaptive management scenarios that may counterbalance these metrics and avoid the extirpation of this and other highly specialized, relictual woodland clades.

  19. Glacial vicariance in the Pacific Northwest: evidence from a lodgepole pine mitochondrial DNA minisatellite for multiple genetically distinct and widely separated refugia. (United States)

    Godbout, Julie; Fazekas, Aron; Newton, Craig H; Yeh, Francis C; Bousquet, Jean


    The Canadian side of the Pacific Northwest was almost entirely covered by ice during the last glacial maximum, which has induced vicariance and genetic population structure for several plant and animal taxa. Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex. Loud.) has a wide latitudinal and longitudinal distribution in the Pacific Northwest. Our main objective was to identify relictual signatures of glacial vicariance in the population structure of the species and search for evidence of distinct glacial refugia in the Pacific Northwest. A maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA minisatellite-like marker was used to decipher haplotype diversity in 91 populations of lodgepole pine located across the natural range. Overall population differentiation was sizeable (G(ST) = 0.365 and R(ST) = 0.568). Four relatively homogeneous groups of populations, possibly representative of as many genetically distinct glacial populations, were identified for the two main subspecies, ssp. latifolia and ssp. contorta. For ssp. contorta, one glacial lineage is suggested to have been located at high latitudes and possibly off the coast of mainland British Columbia (BC), while the other is considered to have been located south of the ice sheet along the Pacific coast. For ssp. latifolia, two genetically distinct glacial populations probably occurred south of the ice sheet: in the area bounded by the Cascades and Rocky Mountains ranges, and on the eastern side of the Rockies. A possible fifth refugium located in the Yukon may have also been present for ssp. latifolia. Zones of contact between these ancestral lineages were also apparent in interior and northern BC. These results indicate the role of the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Alexander Archipelago as a refugial zone for some Pacific Northwest species and the vicariant role played by the Cascades and the American Rocky Mountains during glaciation.

  20. The unique deep sea—land connection: interactive 3D visualization and molecular phylogeny of Bathyhedyle boucheti n. sp. (Bathyhedylidae n. fam.—the first panpulmonate slug from bathyal zones

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    Timea P. Neusser


    Full Text Available The deep sea comprises vast unexplored areas and is expected to conceal significant undescribed invertebrate species diversity. Deep waters may act as a refuge for many relictual groups, including elusive and enigmatic higher taxa, but the evolutionary pathways by which colonization of the deep sea has occurred have scarcely been investigated. Sister group relationships between shallow water and deep sea taxa have been documented in several invertebrate groups, but are unknown between amphibious/terrestrial and deep-sea species. Here we describe in full and interactive 3D morphoanatomical detail the new sea slug species Bathyhedyle boucheti n. sp., dredged from the continental slope off Mozambique. Molecular and morphological analyses reveal that it represents a novel heterobranch gastropod lineage which we establish as the new family Bathyhedylidae. The family is robustly supported as sister to the recently discovered panpulmonate acochlidian family Aitengidae, which comprises amphibious species living along the sea shore as well as fully terrestrial species. This is the first marine-epibenthic representative among hedylopsacean Acochlidiida, the first record of an acochlidian from deep waters and the first documented panpulmonate deep-sea slug. Considering a marine mesopsammic ancestor, the external morphological features of Bathyhedyle n. gen. may be interpreted as independent adaptations to a benthic life style in the deep sea, including the large body size, broad foot and propodial tentacles. Alternatively, the common ancestor of Bathyhedylidae and Aitengidae may have been a macroscopic amphibious or even terrestrial species. We hypothesize that oophagy in the common ancestor of Aitengidae and Bathyhedylidae might explain the impressive ecological and evolutionary flexibility in habitat choice in the Acochlidiida.

  1. A middle Eocene mesoeucrocodylian (Crocodyliformes) from the Kaninah Formation, Republic of Yemen (United States)

    Stevens, Nancy J.; Hill, Robert V.; Al-Wosabi, Mohammed; Schulp, Anne; As-Saruri, Mustafa; Al-Nimey, Fuad; Jolley, Lea Ann; Schulp-Stuip, Yvonne; O'Connor, Patrick


    recovered from the Kaninah Formation raise unanticipated questions about the longevity of Mesozoic clades, underscoring the role that the region may play in revealing novel occurrences, relictual forms, and evidence of faunal dispersals from this critical interval in vertebrate evolutionary history.

  2. Orchid’s diversity at Tepequém’s Tepuy, Roraima, Brazil

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    Sanna Rocha Nobrega


    Full Text Available The Orchidaceae family is one of the largest among the angiosperm, with more than 27000 species, 2,500 is endemic to Brazil, 871 species are found in the Brazilian Amazon. In the far north of Brazil, in the state of Roraima, is located the Tepequém Mountains, a Tepuy – mountain top with table shape – with relictual vegetation due to prolonged isolation. Historically, Tepequém was a site of diamond exploration, which caused changes in the landscape. However, with mining decay, ecotourism became the main economic activity. About 68% of Roraima’s territory is composed of conservation areas and indigenous lands, and the Tepequém Mountain is the only Tepuy found outside the protected areas. Thus, this study aims to describe the orchid flora found at Tepequém’s Tepuy, an area of ecological and economic importance for Roraima’s ecotourism. The survey was carried out through expeditions between the years of 2013-2015. The species were photographed, harvested and taken to Embrapa Roraima for identification, exsiccate confection and/or cultivation. The exsiccatae were deposited at Roraima’s Integrated Museum (Museu Integrado de Roraima – MIRR and the Federal University of Roraima (Universidade Federal de Roraima – UFRR. Any orchid species deposited by other collectors was also considered. Thus, 20 genera and 34 species were registered at Tepequém. The genera with largest representation were the Epidendrum (7 spp., Scaphyglottis (4 spp. and Habenaria (3 spp., with 70% of the other genera presenting one species only. 10% of Roraima’s orchid’s diversity is found at Tepequém. The diversity of habitats – forest, campina and savannah – found at Tepequém’s Tepuy allows the Orchidaceae species diversity and the unique flora with low similarities to other floristic surveys.

  3. Inferring the biogeographic origins of inter-continental disjunct endemics using a Bayes-DIVA approach

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    AJ HARRIS; Jun WEN; Qiu-Yun (Jenny) XIANG


    The arcto-Tertiary relictual flora is comprised of many genera that occur non-contiguously in the temperate zones of eastern Asia,Europe,eastern North America,and westem North America.Within each distributional area,species are typically endemic and may thus be widely separated from closely related species within the other areas.It is widely accepted that this common pattern of distribution resulted from of the fragmentation of a once morecontinuous arcto-Tertiary forest.The historical biogeographic events leading to the present-day disjunction have often been investigated using a phylogenetic approach.Limitations to these previous studies have included phylogenetic uncertainty and uncertainty in ancestral range reconstructions.However,the recently described Bayes-DIVA method handles both types of uncertainty.Thus,we used Bayes-DIVA analysis to reconstruct the stem lineage distributions for 185 endemic lineages from 23 disjunct genera representing 17 vascular plant families.In particular,we asked whether endemic lineages within each of the four distributional areas more often evolved from (1) widespread ancestors,(2) ancestors dispersed from other areas,or (3) endemic ancestors.We also considered which of these three biogeographic mechanisms may best explain the origins of arcto-Tertiary disjunct endemics in the neotropics.Our results show that eastern Asian endemics more often evolved from endemic ancestors compared to endemics in Europe and eastern and western North America.Present-day endemic lineages in the latter areas more often arose from widespread ancestors.Our results also provide anecdotal evidence for the importance of dispersal in the biogeographic origins of arcto-Tertiary species endemic in the neotropics.

  4. Status and management of the Palila, an endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper, 1987-1996 (United States)

    Pratt, T.K.; Banko, P.C.; Fancy, S.G.; Lindsey, G.D.; Jacobi, J.D.


    A single, relictual population of Palila Loxioides bailleui, a Hawaiian honeycreeper, survives on the slopes of Mauna Kea volcano on the island of Hawai'i, where it feeds principally on flowers and green seeds of the mamane tree Sophora chrysophylla. The Palila was listed as an endangered species by state and federal governments because of continuing damage to its habitat by browsing Feral and Mouflon Sheep Ovis aries and O. musimon and Goats Capra hircus and because of the bird's restricted range and low numbers. Ecology of the Palila was studied from 1987 to 1996. Annual population estimates fluctuated between 1 600 and 5 700 and averaged 3 400 birds. Estimates varied with availability of mamane seeds, which are less abundant in drought years. In drought years, most birds did not attempt to breed, and survival rates were lower because of a shortage of food. Availability of mamane seeds also showed large seasonal variability. While some nests were preyed upon by Owls Asio flammeus, Cats Felis catus and Rats Rattus rattus, losses were high at the end of the season from unexplained death of eggs and chicks. Genetic studies did not implicate inbreeding depression. Neither avian malaria nor avian pox appeared at this site, where the mosquito vector was absent. However, weather and food shortage worsened towards the end of the nesting season. Availability of food and habitat remain the principal factors limiting increase in the Palila population. Recovery efforts now focus on reducing numbers of feral ungulates, fire management, removing mammalian predators, and developing techniques for captive propagation and introduction to currently unoccupied sites within the bird's former range. Reforestation adjacent to the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve would allow the Palila population to expand and grow.

  5. Distribuição geográfica de Psychosaura agmosticha (Rodrigues, 2000 (Squamata, Mabuyidae

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    Arnaldo Magalhães Júnior


    Full Text Available Durante as atividades de resgate de fauna do Projeto de Integração do Rio São Francisco com as bacias do nordeste setentrional foram capturados 39 exemplares de Psychosaura agmosticha (Rodrigues, 2000 em localidades nos estados do Ceará, Paraíba e Pernambuco, região Nordeste do Brasil. Relacionamos estes registros aos encontrados na literatura e constatamos a espécie em quatro formações fitofisionômicas distintas: Dunas arenosas do rio São Francisco, caatinga arbustiva, caatinga arbórea e formações de florestas residuais e ecotonais. A ampliação da distribuição geográfica e os novos registros de ocorrência de P. agmosticha, bem como sua ocorrência em diferentes formações fitofisionômicas da Caatinga e em áreas de florestas residuais e ecótonos, demonstram que, apesar de sua distribuição geográfica ser mais ampla do que se conhecia, seu padrão de distribuição relictual ainda se mantém, em virtude da ocorrência de P. agmosticha estar relacionada à ocorrência de bromélias. Contudo, o endemismo da espécie para o bioma Caatinga parece não ser absoluto.

  6. Distribución biocronológica de los Moschidae (Mammalia, Ruminantia en España

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    Morales, J.


    Full Text Available The Moschidae are a group of hornless pecoran ruminants that showed a high specific diversity during the Middle and Upper Miocene in Spain. Moschids registered by the first time at the local zone Db with two species, Micromeryx flourensianus and Micromeryx sp. nov. 1. The latter species becomes extinct at local zone E, and it is substituted by Micromeryx sp. nov. 2, which shows a more derived dentition. From local zone G to local zone J and during a four million year period, the specific diversity of the Spanish Moschidae becomes higher, coinciding with the first record and diversification of the genus Hispanomeryx since local zone F times. During all this period (zones G to J a minimum number of three moschid species always exists, with a maximum peak of four species during the zones G3 and H; this time span of 2,5 million years can be considered the moschid diversity apogee in the Iberian Peninsula, and it is dominated by the species Micromeryx sp. nov. 3. At local zone H a new moschid association dominated by Micromeryx sp. nov. 4 appears. The Moschidae became totally extinct in Spain 8 million years ago at local zone K.Los Moschidae son un grupo de rumiantes Pecora inermes que presentó una alta diversidad específica durante el Mioceno medio y superior en España. Aparecen en la zona local Db, con dos especies, Micromeryx flourensianus y Micromeryx sp. nov. 1, siendo esta última la forma más común durante la zona D. En la zona E Micromeryx sp. nov. 1 ha desaparecido, siendo sustituida por Micromeryx sp. nov. 2, de dentición más derivada. A partir de la zona local G, y durante más de cuatro millones de años, hasta la zona local J inclusive, la diversidad específica de los mósquidos ibéricos se hace mayor, coincidiendo con la aparición y diversificación de Hispanomeryx en la zona F. Durante todo este tiempo, el número mínimo de especies de mósquido en la Península Ibérica es de tres, alcanzándose un máximo de diversidad

  7. Evidence of Positive Selection of Aquaporins Genes from Pontoporia blainvillei during the Evolutionary Process of Cetaceans.

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    Simone Lima São Pedro

    Full Text Available Marine mammals are well adapted to their hyperosmotic environment. Several morphological and physiological adaptations for water conservation and salt excretion are known to be present in cetaceans, being responsible for regulating salt balance. However, most previous studies have focused on the unique renal physiology of marine mammals, but the molecular bases of these mechanisms remain poorly explored. Many genes have been identified to be involved in osmotic regulation, including the aquaporins. Considering that aquaporin genes were potentially subject to strong selective pressure, the aim of this study was to analyze the molecular evolution of seven aquaporin genes (AQP1, AQP2, AQP3, AQP4, AQP6, AQP7, and AQP9 comparing the lineages of cetaceans and terrestrial mammals.Our results demonstrated strong positive selection in cetacean-specific lineages acting only in the gene for AQP2 (amino acids 23, 83, 107,179, 180, 181, 182, whereas no selection was observed in terrestrial mammalian lineages. We also analyzed the changes in the 3D structure of the aquaporin 2 protein. Signs of strong positive selection in AQP2 sites 179, 180, 181, and 182 were unexpectedly identified only in the baiji lineage, which was the only river dolphin examined in this study. Positive selection in aquaporins AQP1 (45, AQP4 (74, AQP7 (342, 343, 356 was detected in cetaceans and artiodactyls, suggesting that these events are not related to maintaining water and electrolyte homeostasis in seawater.Our results suggest that the AQP2 gene might reflect different selective pressures in maintaining water balance in cetaceans, contributing to the passage from the terrestrial environment to the aquatic. Further studies are necessary, especially those including other freshwater dolphins, who exhibit osmoregulatory mechanisms different from those of marine cetaceans for the same essential task of maintaining serum electrolyte balance.

  8. An invasive vector of zoonotic disease sustained by anthropogenic resources: the raccoon dog in northern Europe.

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    Karmen Süld

    Full Text Available The raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides is an introduced species in Europe with a continually expanding range. Since the species is capable of affecting local ecosystems and is a vector for a number of severe zoonotic diseases, it is important to understand its food habits. Raccoon dog diet was studied in Estonia by examining the contents of 223 stomach samples collected during the coldest period of the year, August to March, in 2010-2012. The most frequently consumed food categories were anthropogenic plants (e.g. cereals, fruits; FO = 56.1% and carrion (e.g. carcasses of artiodactyls and carnivores; FO = 48.4%. Carrion was also the only food category that was consumed significantly more frequently by raccoon dogs exhibiting symptoms of sarcoptic mange than by uninfected animals. Small mammals, which represent intermediate hosts for the zoonotic tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, were more commonly recorded in samples also containing anthropogenic plants than expected by chance. Comparison of raccoon dog and red fox (Vulpes vulpes diet in Estonia revealed higher overlap than found elsewhere in Europe, with 'carrion' and 'anthropogenic plants' making up the bulk of both species' diet; however, raccoon dogs were more omnivorous than red foxes. Our results suggest that while the use of most food categories reflects the phenology of natural food sources, 'anthropogenic plants' and 'carrion' provide an essential resource for raccoon dogs during the coldest period of the year, with the latter resource especially important for individuals infected with sarcoptic mange. Since both of these food categories and small mammals are often found at supplementary feeding sites for wild boar (Sus scrofa, this game management practice may facilitate high densities of mesocarnivores and promote the spread of some severe zoonotic diseases, including alveolar echinococcosis, trichinellosis, rabies and sarcoptic mange.

  9. An invasive vector of zoonotic disease sustained by anthropogenic resources: the raccoon dog in northern Europe. (United States)

    Süld, Karmen; Valdmann, Harri; Laurimaa, Leidi; Soe, Egle; Davison, John; Saarma, Urmas


    The raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) is an introduced species in Europe with a continually expanding range. Since the species is capable of affecting local ecosystems and is a vector for a number of severe zoonotic diseases, it is important to understand its food habits. Raccoon dog diet was studied in Estonia by examining the contents of 223 stomach samples collected during the coldest period of the year, August to March, in 2010-2012. The most frequently consumed food categories were anthropogenic plants (e.g. cereals, fruits; FO = 56.1%) and carrion (e.g. carcasses of artiodactyls and carnivores; FO = 48.4%). Carrion was also the only food category that was consumed significantly more frequently by raccoon dogs exhibiting symptoms of sarcoptic mange than by uninfected animals. Small mammals, which represent intermediate hosts for the zoonotic tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, were more commonly recorded in samples also containing anthropogenic plants than expected by chance. Comparison of raccoon dog and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) diet in Estonia revealed higher overlap than found elsewhere in Europe, with 'carrion' and 'anthropogenic plants' making up the bulk of both species' diet; however, raccoon dogs were more omnivorous than red foxes. Our results suggest that while the use of most food categories reflects the phenology of natural food sources, 'anthropogenic plants' and 'carrion' provide an essential resource for raccoon dogs during the coldest period of the year, with the latter resource especially important for individuals infected with sarcoptic mange. Since both of these food categories and small mammals are often found at supplementary feeding sites for wild boar (Sus scrofa), this game management practice may facilitate high densities of mesocarnivores and promote the spread of some severe zoonotic diseases, including alveolar echinococcosis, trichinellosis, rabies and sarcoptic mange.

  10. Novel porcine repetitive elements

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    Nonneman Dan J


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Repetitive elements comprise ~45% of mammalian genomes and are increasingly known to impact genomic function by contributing to the genomic architecture, by direct regulation of gene expression and by affecting genomic size, diversity and evolution. The ubiquity and increasingly understood importance of repetitive elements contribute to the need to identify and annotate them. We set out to identify previously uncharacterized repetitive DNA in the porcine genome. Once found, we characterized the prevalence of these repeats in other mammals. Results We discovered 27 repetitive elements in 220 BACs covering 1% of the porcine genome (Comparative Vertebrate Sequencing Initiative; CVSI. These repeats varied in length from 55 to 1059 nucleotides. To estimate copy numbers, we went to an independent source of data, the BAC-end sequences (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, covering approximately 15% of the porcine genome. Copy numbers in BAC-ends were less than one hundred for 6 repeat elements, between 100 and 1000 for 16 and between 1,000 and 10,000 for 5. Several of the repeat elements were found in the bovine genome and we have identified two with orthologous sites, indicating that these elements were present in their common ancestor. None of the repeat elements were found in primate, rodent or dog genomes. We were unable to identify any of the replication machinery common to active transposable elements in these newly identified repeats. Conclusion The presence of both orthologous and non-orthologous sites indicates that some sites existed prior to speciation and some were generated later. The identification of low to moderate copy number repetitive DNA that is specific to artiodactyls will be critical in the assembly of livestock genomes and studies of comparative genomics.

  11. Ecological Diversity in South American Mammals: Their Geographical Distribution Shows Variable Associations with Phylogenetic Diversity and Does Not Follow the Latitudinal Richness Gradient.

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    Paula Nilda Fergnani

    Full Text Available The extent to which the latitudinal gradient in species richness may be paralleled by a similar gradient of increasing functional or phylogenetic diversity is a matter of controversy. We evaluated whether taxonomic richness (TR is informative in terms of ecological diversity (ED, an approximation to functional diversity and phylogenetic diversity (AvPD using data on 531 mammal species representing South American old autochthonous (marsupials, xenarthrans, mid-Cenozoic immigrants (hystricognaths, primates and newcomers (carnivorans, artiodactyls. If closely related species are ecologically more similar than distantly related species, AvPD will be a strong predictor of ED; however, lower ED than predicted from AvPD may be due to species retaining most of their ancestral characters, suggesting niche conservatism. This pattern could occur in tropical rainforests for taxa of tropical affinity (old autochthonous and mid-Cenozoic immigrants and in open and arid habitats for newcomers. In contrast, higher ED than expected from AvPD could occur, possibly in association with niche evolution, in arid and open habitats for taxa of tropical affinity and in forested habitats for newcomers. We found that TR was a poor predictor of ED and AvPD. After controlling for TR, there was considerable variability in the extent to which AvPD accounted for ED. Taxa of tropical affinity did not support the prediction of ED deficit within tropical rainforests, rather, they showed a mosaic of regions with an excess of ED interspersed with zones of ED deficit within the tropics; newcomers showed ED deficit in arid and open regions. Some taxa of tropical affinity showed excess of ED in tropical desert areas (hystricognaths or temperate semideserts (xenarthrans; newcomers showed excess of ED at cold-temperate latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. This result suggests that extreme climatic conditions at both temperate and tropical latitudes may have promoted niche evolution in

  12. Pigs in sequence space: A 0.66X coverage pig genome survey based on shotgun sequencing

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    Li Wei


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative whole genome analysis of Mammalia can benefit from the addition of more species. The pig is an obvious choice due to its economic and medical importance as well as its evolutionary position in the artiodactyls. Results We have generated ~3.84 million shotgun sequences (0.66X coverage from the pig genome. The data are hereby released (NCBI Trace repository with center name "SDJVP", and project name "Sino-Danish Pig Genome Project" together with an initial evolutionary analysis. The non-repetitive fraction of the sequences was aligned to the UCSC human-mouse alignment and the resulting three-species alignments were annotated using the human genome annotation. Ultra-conserved elements and miRNAs were identified. The results show that for each of these types of orthologous data, pig is much closer to human than mouse is. Purifying selection has been more efficient in pig compared to human, but not as efficient as in mouse, and pig seems to have an isochore structure most similar to the structure in human. Conclusion The addition of the pig to the set of species sequenced at low coverage adds to the understanding of selective pressures that have acted on the human genome by bisecting the evolutionary branch between human and mouse with the mouse branch being approximately 3 times as long as the human branch. Additionally, the joint alignment of the shot-gun sequences to the human-mouse alignment offers the investigator a rapid way to defining specific regions for analysis and resequencing.

  13. Contactdag Jonge vorsers overzee

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    Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences


    Full Text Available Afin d'identifier les principaux aliments d'origine animale consommés par les populations vivant dans la concession 039/11 de la Société de Développement Forestier (SODEFOR, République Démocratique du Congo et de spécifier les déterminants de la consommation, 120 ménages répartis dans 3 villages (Taketa, Ikala 1 et Mombele et la base-vie de Nteno ont été enquêtés pendant 30 jours. Les résultats montrent que la viande de brousse représente 72,00% du nombre de repas, suivi du poisson (24,00% et enfin des produits d'élevage (3,10%. Au total, 30 espèces animales dont 4 légalement interdites de chasse ont été identifiées, pour une biomasse totale de 1235 kg. Les mammifères constituent 97,00% des animaux consommés avec une dominance des artiodactyles (71,60%, des primates (15,40% et des rongeurs (9,10%. Les céphalophes, les cercopithèques et l'athérure sont les plus représentés. Les actes de consommation sont guidés par la disponibilité du produit, le goût et les habitudes alimentaires. La majorité des ménages s'approvisionne auprès d'intermédiaires essentiellement sous forme de morceaux d'animaux. Cette étude suggère un suivi à long terme de la chasse assorti d'une évaluation de l'abondance des espèces animales afin de guider la SODEFOR dans la prise des décisions.

  14. Molecular Epidemiology of Blastocystis sp. in Various Animal Groups from Two French Zoos and Evaluation of Potential Zoonotic Risk.

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    Amandine Cian

    Full Text Available Blastocystis sp. is a common intestinal parasite infecting humans and a wide range of animals worldwide. It exhibits an extensive genetic diversity and 17 subtypes (STs have thus far been identified in mammalian and avian hosts. Since several STs are common to humans and animals, it was proposed that a proportion of human infections may result from zoonotic transmission. However, the contribution of each animal source to human infection remains to be clarified. Therefore, the aim of this study was to expand our knowledge of the epidemiology and host specificity of this parasite by performing the largest epidemiological survey ever conducted in animal groups in terms of numbers of species screened. A total of 307 stool samples from 161 mammalian and non-mammalian species in two French zoos were screened by real-time PCR for the presence of Blastocystis sp. Overall, 32.2% of the animal samples and 37.9% of the species tested were shown to be infected with the parasite. A total of 111 animal Blastocystis sp. isolates were subtyped, and 11 of the 17 mammalian and avian STs as well as additional STs previously identified in reptiles and insects were found with a varying prevalence according to animal groups. These data were combined with those obtained from previous surveys to evaluate the potential risk of zoonotic transmission of Blastocystis sp. through the comparison of ST distribution between human and animal hosts. This suggests that non-human primates, artiodactyls and birds may serve as reservoirs for human infection, especially in animal handlers. In contrast, other mammals such as carnivores, and non-mammalian groups including reptiles and insects, do not seem to represent significant sources of Blastocystis sp. infection in humans. In further studies, more intensive sampling and screening of potential new animal hosts will reinforce these statements and expand our understanding of the circulation of Blastocystis sp. in animal and human

  15. Dietary analysis of Late Cenozoic Mexican equids from three different geographic/geologic settings using stable carbon isotopes: Coincidences, differences and paleobiologic significance (United States)

    Pérez-Crespo, Víctor Adrian; Ferrusquía-Villafranca, Ismael; Bravo-Cuevas, Víctor Manuel; Morales-Puente, Pedro; Ruiz-González, José E.


    The development of Vertebrate Paleontology in Mexico is uneven, so that there is a strong bias in favor of Neogene/Quaternary mammals largely collected in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB hereafter) and Central Plateau (CeP hereafter) Morphotectonic Provinces [MP hereafter]; however, the time is ripe for pursuing research in other than taxonomic areas. Here we investigate C3/C4 plant consumption in the equid lineage in three such provinces, which provide different geographic/geologic and paleoecologic scenarios during the Barstovian, Hemphillian and Rancholabrean times. Our results show that the Barstovian equids from Oaxaca, Sierra Madre del Sur MP Cormohipparion aff. C. quinni, Merychippus cf. M. sejunctus and Pliohippus sp. largely fed on C3 plants, which were the chief food stuff of horses in Mexico, particularly in the Southeast. On the other hand, the Hemphillian equid from Guanajuato, CeP Astrohippus stocki, was an unbalanced C3/C4 mixed feeders in favor of C4 plants, a fact that indicates a profound plant diversification due to the inception and rapid diversification of C4 plants that occurred there at this time, as it occurred in temperate North America, resulting in the differential consumption of C4 plants over that of C3 plants. Such trend prevailed until the Rancholabrean, as born out by the inferred diet for Equus conversidens and Equus sp. from Hidalgo, TMVB. Clearly then, the coeval diet change observed in Mexico and temperate North America implies a correlative vegetation change resulting in the appearance and rapid diversification of C4 plants, which largely formed the preferred food stuff of equids since the Hemphillian, although some C3 plant consumption was maintained till the Rancholabrean. It should be noted that the development of hypsodonty in equids and many artiodactyls, has long been interpreted as the adaptive mammalian response to the new feeding conditions.

  16. A comparative study of the morphometry of sperm head components in cattle, sheep, and pigs with a computer-assisted fluorescence method

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    Jesús L Yániz


    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to compare the sperm nuclear and acrosomal morphometry of three species of domestic artiodactyls; cattle (Bos taurus, sheep (Ovis aries, and pigs (Sus scrofa. Semen smears of twenty ejaculates from each species were fixed and labeled with a propidium iodide-Pisum sativum agglutinin (PI/PSA combination. Digital images of the sperm nucleus, acrosome, and whole sperm head were captured and analyzed. The use of the PI/PSA combination and CASA-Morph fluorescence-based method allowed the capture, morphometric analysis, and differentiation of most sperm nuclei, acrosomes and whole heads, and the assessment of acrosomal integrity with a high precision in the three species studied. For the size of the head and nuclear area, the relationship between the three species may be summarized as bull > ram > boar. However, for the other morphometric parameters (length, width, and perimeter, there were differences in the relationships between species for sperm nuclei and whole sperm heads. Bull sperm acrosomes were clearly smaller than those in the other species studied and covered a smaller proportion of the sperm head. The acrosomal morphology, small in the bull, large and broad in the sheep, and large, long, and with a pronounced equatorial segment curve in the boar, was species-characteristic. It was concluded that there are clear variations in the size and shape of the sperm head components between the three species studied, the acrosome being the structure showing the most variability, allowing a clear distinction of the spermatozoa of each species.

  17. Icnitas de artiodactilos (Mammalia del Paleogeno de Olcoz (Depresion del Ebro, Navarra

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    Murelaga, X.


    Full Text Available A group of fossil mammal ichnites from the proximity of the town of Olcoz (Navarra, Ebro Basin is described herein. The tracks occur on sandstone beds of the Mués Formation of Suevian (Early Oligocene age. Owing to their morphology these ichnites have been assigned to artiodactyl mammals and can be compared to Entelodontipus forms. Moreover, this represents the second known finding of this ichnogenus. Among the tracks of this deposit there is a significant heterogeneity which is due to the variable penetration and displacement of the autopodes on the substrate. On Olcoz the presence of abundant ichnites that follow subparallel tracks allows the establishment of the gregarious behaviour of the producers of such tracks.Se describe un conjunto de icnitas fósiles de mamíferos ubicado en los alrededores de la localidad navarra de Olcoz (Depresión del Ebro. Las huellas se localizan en niveles areniscosos de la «Formación de Mués», de posible edad Sueviense (Oligoceno inferior. Por su morfología pueden asignarse a mamíferos artiodáctilos y resultan comparables a Entelodontipus, constituyendo este hallazgo una segunda cita para dicho icnogénero. En este yacimiento se constata una notable variabilidad morfológica de las huellas, resultado de la distinta penetración y desplazamiento de los autópodos en el sustrato. La presencia en Olcoz de numerosas icnitas formando rastros subparalelos permite inferir el comportamiento gregario de sus productores.

  18. Divergent evolution in the cytoplasmic domains of PRLR and GHR genes in Artiodactyla

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    Li Meng-Hua


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prolactin receptor (PRLR and growth hormone receptor (GHR belong to the large superfamily of class 1 cytokine receptors. Both of them have been identified as candidate genes affecting key quantitative traits, like growth and reproduction in livestock. We have previously studied the molecular anatomy of the cytoplasmic domain of GHR in different cattle breeds and artiodactyl species. In this study we have analysed the corresponding cytoplasmic signalling region of PRLR. Results We sequenced PRLR gene exon 10, coding for the major part of the cytoplasmic domain, from cattle, American bison, European bison, yak, sheep, pig and wild boar individuals. We found different patterns of variation in the two receptors within and between ruminants and pigs. Pigs and bison species have no variation within GHR exon 10, but show high haplotype diversity for the PRLR exon 10. In cattle, PRLR shows lower diversity than GHR. The Bovinae PRLR haplotype network fits better the known phylogenetic relationships between the species than that of the GHR, where differences within cattle breeds are larger than between the different species in the subfamily. By comparison with the wild boar haplotypes, a high number of subsequent nonsynonymous substitutions seem to have accumulated in the pig PRLR exon 10 after domestication. Conclusion Both genes affect a multitude of traits that have been targets of selection after domestication. The genes seem to have responded differently to different selection pressures imposed by human artificial selection. The results suggest possible effects of selective sweeps in GHR before domestication in the pig lineage or species divergence in the Bison lineage. The PRLR results may be explained by strong directional selection in pigs or functional switching.

  19. How the Aridification of Australia Structured the Biogeography and Influenced the Diversification of a Large Lineage of Australian Cicadas. (United States)

    Owen, Christopher L; Marshall, David C; Hill, Kathy B R; Simon, Chris


    Over the last 30 million years, Australia's landscape has undergone dramatic cooling and drying due to the establishment of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and change in global CO$_{2}$ levels. Studies have shown that many Australian organisms went extinct during these major cooling events, while others experienced adaptive radiations and increases in diversification rates as a result of exploiting new niches in the arid zone. Despite the many studies on diversification and biogeography in Australia, few have been continent-wide and none have focused on a group of organisms adapted to feeding on plants. We studied 162 species of cicadas in the Australian Pauropsalta complex, a large generic lineage within the tribe Cicadettini. We asked whether there were changes in the diversification rate of Pauropsalta over time and if so: 1) which clades were associated with the rate change? 2) did timing of rate shifts correspond to known periods of dramatic historical climate change, 3) did increases in diversification rate along select lineages correspond to adaptive radiations with movement into the arid zone? To address these questions, we estimated a molecular phylogeny of the Pauropsalta complex using ${\\sim}$5300 bp of nucleotide sequence data distributed among five loci (one mtDNA locus and four nDNA loci). We found that this large group of cicadas did not diversify at a constant rate as they spread through Australia; instead the signature of decreasing diversification rate changed roughly around the time of the expansion of the east Antarctic ice sheets ${\\sim}$16 Ma and the glaciation of the northern hemisphere ${\\sim}$3 Ma. Unlike other Australian taxa, the Pauropsalta complex did not explosively radiate in response to an early invasion of the arid zone. Instead multiple groups invaded the arid zone and experienced rates of diversification similar to mesic-distributed taxa. We found evidence for relictual groups, located in pre-Mesozoic habitat, that have not

  20. Evaluating the phylogenetic signal limit from mitogenomes, slow evolving nuclear genes, and the concatenation approach. New insights into the Lacertini radiation using fast evolving nuclear genes and species trees. (United States)

    Mendes, Joana; Harris, D James; Carranza, Salvador; Salvi, Daniele


    Estimating the phylogeny of lacertid lizards, and particularly the tribe Lacertini has been challenging, possibly due to the fast radiation of this group resulting in a hard polytomy. However this is still an open question, as concatenated data primarily from mitochondrial markers have been used so far whereas in a recent phylogeny based on a compilation of these data within a squamate supermatrix the basal polytomy seems to be resolved. In this study, we estimate phylogenetic relationships between all Lacertini genera using for the first time DNA sequences from five fast evolving nuclear genes (acm4, mc1r, pdc, βfib and reln) and two mitochondrial genes (nd4 and 12S). We generated a total of 529 sequences from 88 species and used Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference methods based on concatenated multilocus dataset as well as a coalescent-based species tree approach with the aim of (i) shedding light on the basal relationships of Lacertini (ii) assessing the monophyly of genera which were previously questioned, and (iii) discussing differences between estimates from this and previous studies based on different markers, and phylogenetic methods. Results uncovered (i) a new phylogenetic clade formed by the monotypic genera Archaeolacerta, Zootoca, Teira and Scelarcis; and (ii) support for the monophyly of the Algyroides clade, with two sister species pairs represented by western (A. marchi and A. fitzingeri) and eastern (A. nigropunctatus and A. moreoticus) lineages. In both cases the members of these groups show peculiar morphology and very different geographical distributions, suggesting that they are relictual groups that were once diverse and widespread. They probably originated about 11-13 million years ago during early events of speciation in the tribe, and the split between their members is estimated to be only slightly older. This scenario may explain why mitochondrial markers (possibly saturated at higher divergence levels) or slower nuclear markers

  1. The fossil history of pseudoscorpions (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones

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    D. Harms


    Full Text Available Pseudoscorpions, given their resemblance to scorpions, have attracted human attention since the time of Aristotle, although they are much smaller and lack the sting and elongated tail. These arachnids have a long evolutionary history but their origins and phylogenetic affinities are still being debated. Here, we summarise their fossil record based on a comprehensive review of the literature and data contained in other sources. Pseudoscorpions are one of the oldest colonisers of the land, with fossils known since the Middle Devonian (ca. 390 Ma. The only arachnid orders with an older fossil record are scorpions, harvestmen and acariform mites, plus two extinct groups. Pseudoscorpions do not fossilise easily, and records from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic consist almost exclusively of amber inclusions. Most Mesozoic fossils come from Archingeay and Burmese ambers (Late Cretaceous and those from the Cenozoic are primarily from Eocene Baltic amber, although additional fossils from, for example, Miocene Dominican and Mexican ambers, are known. Overall, 16 of the 26 families of living pseudoscorpions have been documented from fossils and 49 currently valid species are recognised in the literature. Pseudoscorpions represent a case of morphological stasis and even the Devonian fossils look rather modern. Indeed, most amber fossils are comparable to Recent groups despite a major gap in the fossil record of almost 250 Myr. Baltic amber inclusions indicate palaeofauna inhabiting much warmer climates than today and point to climatic shifts in central Europe since the Eocene. They also indicate that some groups (e.g. Feaellidae and Pseudogarypidae had much wider Eocene distributions. Their present-day occurrence is relictual and highlights past extinction events. Faunas from younger tropical amber deposits (e.g. Dominican and Mexican amber are comparable to Recent ones. Generally, there is a strong bias in the amber record towards groups that live under tree

  2. Paper birch decline in the Niobrara River Valley, Nebraska: Weather, microclimate, and birch stand conditions (United States)

    Stroh, Esther D.; Miller, Joel P.


    The Niobrara River Valley in north-central Nebraska supports scattered stands of paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh), a species more typical of boreal forests. These birch stands are considered to be relictual populations that have persisted since the end of the Wisconsin glaciation, when regional flora was more boreal in nature (Wright 1970, Kaul and others, 1988). Dieback of canopy-sized birch has been observed throughout the Niobrara Valley in recent years, although no onset dates are documented. The current dieback event probably started around or after the early 1980’s. The study objectives were to understand microclimatic conditions in birch stands relative to nearby weather stations and historic weather conditions, and to assess current health conditions of individual birch trees. Temperature was measured every half-hour from June 2005 through October 2007 in 12 birch stands and individual birch tree health was measured as expressed by percent living canopy in these and 13 additional stands in spring 2006 and 2007. Birch site microclimate was compared to data from a National Weather Service station in Valentine, Nebraska, and to an automated weather station at The Nature Conservancy Niobrara Valley Preserve 24 kilometers north of Johnstown, Nebraska. Historic weather data from the Valentine station and another National Weather Service Station at Ainsworth, Nebraska, were used to reconstruct minimum and maximum temperature at The Nature Conservancy and one microclimate monitoring station using Kalman filtering and smoothing algorithms. Birch stand microclimate differed from local weather stations as well as among stands. Birch health was associated with annual minimum temperature regimes; those stands whose annual daily minimum temperature regimes were most like The Nature Conservancy station contained smaller proportions of living trees. Frequency of freeze/thaw conditions capable of inducing rootlet injury and subsequent crown dieback significantly have

  3. Special issue on Ecology, evolution, and conservation of plants in China: Introduction and some considerations

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    Liu, J. Q.


    Full Text Available China has one of the world’s richest floras with around 33,000 vascular plants, of which up to 17,000 are endemic. Besides these astonishing figures, the Chinese flora is very interesting from the point of view of evolution, as it shows a strong relictual character with some truly “living fossils” such as Ginkgo biloba or Metasequoia glyptostroboides. At the same time, China probably harbours the most important ‘‘evolutionary front’’ of the world’s temperate flora, the Hengduan Mountains. Unfortunately, the flora of China also includes a high number of threatened species (with nearly 4000, mostly due to the destruction of natural habitats and the over-exploitation of natural resources. This special issue, which corresponds to volume 34 of Collectanea Botanica, is aimed to contribute to the knowledge of Chinese flora through a series of contributions (seven full-length articles and one short note spanning several topics such as biogeography, conservation, demography, ecology, evolution, and plant-animal interactions.China tiene una de las floras más ricas del mundo con alrededor 33.000 plantas vasculares, de las cuales hasta 17.000 son endémicas. Además de estas cifras asombrosas, la flora china es muy interesante desde el punto de vista de la evolución, ya que muestra un fuerte carácter relictual con algunos auténticos «fósiles vivientes» como Ginkgo biloba o Metasequoia glyptostroboides. Al mismo tiempo, China probablemente alberga el «frente evolutivo» más importante de las floras templadas del mundo, las montañas Hengduan. Por desgracia, la flora de China también destaca por el elevado número de especies amenazadas (casi 4000, sobre todo debido a la destrucción de los hábitats y la sobreexplotación de los recursos naturales. Este número especial, que corresponde al volumen 34 de Collectanea Botanica, tiene como objetivo contribuir al conocimiento de la flora de China a través de una serie de contribuciones

  4. Molecular evolution of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA in Ungulata (mammalia). (United States)

    Douzery, E; Catzeflis, F M


    The complete 12S rRNA gene has been sequenced in 4 Ungulata (hoofed eutherians) and 1 marsupial and compared to 38 available mammalian sequences in order to investigate the molecular evolution of the mitochondrial small-subunit ribosomal RNA molecule. Ungulata were represented by one artiodactyl (the collared peccary, Tayassu tajacu, suborder Suiformes), two perissodactyls (the Grevy's zebra, Equus grevyi, suborder Hippomorpha; the white rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum, suborder Ceratomorpha), and one hyracoid (the tree hyrax, Dendrohyrax dorsalis). The fifth species was a marsupial, the eastern gray kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). Several transition/transversion biases characterized the pattern of changes between mammalian 12S rRNA molecules. A bias toward transitions was found among 12S rRNA sequences of Ungulata, illustrating the general bias exhibited by ribosomal and protein-encoding genes of the mitochondrial genome. The derivation of a mammalian 12S rRNA secondary structure model from the comparison of 43 eutherian and marsupial sequences evidenced a pronounced bias against transversions in stems. Moreover, transversional compensatory changes were rare events within double-stranded regions of the ribosomal RNA. Evolutionary characteristics of the 12S rRNA were compared with those of the nuclear 18S and 28S rRNAs. From a phylogenetic point of view, transitions, transversions and indels in stems as well as transversional and indels events in loops gave congruent results for comparisons within orders. Some compensatory changes in double-stranded regions and some indels in single-stranded regions also constituted diagnostic events. The 12S rRNA molecule confirmed the monophyly of infraorder Pecora and order Cetacea and demonstrated the monophyly of the suborder Ruminantia was not supported and the branching pattern between Cetacea and the artiodacytyl suborders Ruminantia and Suiformes was not established. The monophyly of the order Perissodactyla was evidenced

  5. Dogs Have the Most Neurons, Though Not the Largest Brain: Trade-Off between Body Mass and Number of Neurons in the Cerebral Cortex of Large Carnivoran Species

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    Débora Jardim-Messeder


    Full Text Available Carnivorans are a diverse group of mammals that includes carnivorous, omnivorous and herbivorous, domesticated and wild species, with a large range of brain sizes. Carnivory is one of several factors expected to be cognitively demanding for carnivorans due to a requirement to outsmart larger prey. On the other hand, large carnivoran species have high hunting costs and unreliable feeding patterns, which, given the high metabolic cost of brain neurons, might put them at risk of metabolic constraints regarding how many brain neurons they can afford, especially in the cerebral cortex. For a given cortical size, do carnivoran species have more cortical neurons than the herbivorous species they prey upon? We find they do not; carnivorans (cat, mongoose, dog, hyena, lion share with non-primates, including artiodactyls (the typical prey of large carnivorans, roughly the same relationship between cortical mass and number of neurons, which suggests that carnivorans are subject to the same evolutionary scaling rules as other non-primate clades. However, there are a few important exceptions. Carnivorans stand out in that the usual relationship between larger body, larger cortical mass and larger number of cortical neurons only applies to small and medium-sized species, and not beyond dogs: we find that the golden retriever dog has more cortical neurons than the striped hyena, African lion and even brown bear, even though the latter species have up to three times larger cortices than dogs. Remarkably, the brown bear cerebral cortex, the largest examined, only has as many neurons as the ten times smaller cat cerebral cortex, although it does have the expected ten times as many non-neuronal cells in the cerebral cortex compared to the cat. We also find that raccoons have dog-like numbers of neurons in their cat-sized brain, which makes them comparable to primates in neuronal density. Comparison of domestic and wild species suggests that the neuronal

  6. The natural food habits of grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park, 1973-74 (United States)

    Mealey, Stephen Patrick


    succulent herbs was compenstated for by high intake. Grizzlies were digestively flexible and maximized use of protein from plant and animal sources. They were adapted to the most constant and abundant sources of protein: succulent herbs and animal material from open, fertile grasslands. Competition among grizzlies for animal food during the pregrowing season may be regulatory for the grizzly population. The grizzly population level can be partially accounted for by the grizzlies' status as secondary consumers during pregreen-up periods and primary consumers during the growing and postgrowing seasons. The essential environmental requirement was the availability of fertile grasslands and herblands interspersed with cover and capable of maintaining artiodactyls, rodents, and abundant nutritious herbs as sources of food.

  7. Viral diseases of northern ungulates

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    K. Frölich


    has a multi-factorial etiology. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV can infect deer and many other wild artiodactyls. Moose, roe deer and the saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica are the main hosts of FMDV in the Russian Federation. In addition, serological evidence of a FMD infection without clinical disease was detected in red deer in France. Epizootic haemorrhage disease of deer (EHD and bluetongue (BT are acute non-contagious viral diseases of wild ruminants characterised by extensive haemorrhage. Culicoides insects are the main vectors. EHD and BT only play a minor role in Europe but both diseases are widespread in North America.

  8. Caprine Butchery and Bone Modification Templates: A step towards standardisation

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    Peter Popkin


    Full Text Available Widely accepted zooarchaeological procedure for recording butchery marks and other types of bone modification involves two processes: Drawing the bone showing the exact location and orientation of the modification and recording all of the information about the bone and its modification into an electronic database. No recording templates have ever been published, however, resulting in individual zooarchaeologists repeating the effort of developing their own templates or drawings for each bone in an assemblage showing a modification. Both of these tasks are time consuming and lead to inconsistencies in recording and quantification methods. To help alleviate this problem a series of caprine (sheep and goat bone templates have been created. These templates show every bone in a goat skeleton, apart from the skull, from six views at life-size when printed on A4 paper. They have intentionally been produced with a minimum of detail (without shading or stippling etc. so that the recorded butchery marks and bone modifications will be clearly visible. Because the skeletal morphology of sheep and goats is so similar these templates may be used interchangeably for either species. They may also be used for many other artiodactyl species such as cattle and deer as no scale has been indicated. The study of butchery marks and bone modification has the potential to provide zooarchaeologists with information about taphonomy, site formation processes, burial/ritual practices, human behaviour, ancient technologies and possibly ethnicity amongst other things, but only if the recording of these bone modifications is undertaken in a standardised fashion across the field. While much effort has been directed towards standardising the recognition and classification of various bone modifications, the recording of these modifications regularly occurs in various ways. Using standardised recording templates will save valuable time and help to alleviate problems of data

  9. Chapter 2. Fasciola, lymnaeids and human fascioliasis, with a global overview on disease transmission, epidemiology, evolutionary genetics, molecular epidemiology and control. (United States)

    Mas-Coma, Santiago; Valero, María Adela; Bargues, María Dolores


    spp. are distinguished from local and zonal overlaps in areas where both fasciolids co-exist. Genetic techniques applied to liver flukes in recent years that are useful to elucidate the genetic characteristics of the two fasciolids are reviewed. The intra-specific and inter-specific variabilities of 'pure'F. hepatica and 'pure'F. gigantica were ascertained by means of complete sequences of ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-2 and ITS-1 and mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (mtDNA) cox1 and nad1 from areas with only one fasciolid species. Fasciolid sequences of the same markers scattered in the literature are reviewed. The definitive haplotypes established appear to fit the proposed global evolutionary scenario. Problems posed by fasciolid cross-breeding, introgression and hybridization in overlap areas are analyzed. Nuclear rDNA appears to correlate with adult fluke characteristics and fasciolid/lymnaeid specificity, whereas mtDNA does not. However, flukes sometimes appear so intermediate that they cannot be ascribed to either F. hepatica-like or F. gigantica-like forms and snail specificity may be opposite to the one deduced from the adult morphotype. The phenotypic characteristics of adults and eggs of 'pure'F. hepatica and F. gigantica, as well as of intermediate forms in overlap areas, are compared, with emphasis on the definitive host influence on egg size in humans. Knowledge is sufficient to support F. hepatica and F. gigantica as two valid species, which recently diverged by adaptation to different pecoran and lymnaeid hosts in areas with differing environmental characteristics. Their phenotypic differences and ancient pre-domestication origins involve a broad geographical area that largely exceeds the typical, more local scenarios known for sub-species units. Phenomena such as abnormal ploidy and aspermic parthenogenesis in hybrids suggest that their separate evolution in pre-domestication times allowed them to achieve

  10. Las sucesiones sedimentarias continentales expuestas en Centinela del Mar, provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina (Pleistoceno Inferior-Holoceno

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    Cenizo, Marcos M.


    Full Text Available In the present paper, the geomorphological and sedimentary characteristics of the continental sequences exposed on the coastal cliffs and surrounding areas of the Centinela del Mar locality are described and interpreted. Fourteen lithofacies are defined, their relation, geometry and structure are represented using transversal and longitudinal detailed profiles. In the basal and medium sector of the profile, facies of different degrees of transport and aqueous rework were recognized. In the superior sector, a succession of marine peri-coastal facies corresponding to the «Belgranense» transgression (=Fm. Pascua were identified, ending the secuence with relictual eolic facies. The different historical interpretations are discussed, homologating the units referred previously with the ones proposed on this paper. These units are correlated with those defined in the allostratigrapic scheme proposed by other authors for the area covered between Playa San Carlos and Arroyo Chapadmalal. This allowed recognize for the area under study the presence of the Punta San Andrés and Arroyo Lobería Alloformations (basal-medium and superior sector, respectively. Between these two entities, a association of well defined progradant marine facies are found and named on this paper as Centinela del Mar Alloformation. Finally, the information gathered here (magnetostratigraphy, radiometric dating, stratigraphic correlations, etc indicates, at least preliminarily, that the secuence of Centinela del Mar corresponds to the Ensenadense-Lujanense interval (Lower Pleistocene - Holocene.

    Son descriptas e interpretadas las características geomorfológicas y sedimentarias de las sucesiones continentales expuestas en los acantilados litorales y sectores aledaños de la localidad Centinela del Mar. Se definen catorce litofacies, cuyas relaciones, geometría y estructuras son representadas mediante perfiles transversales y longitudinales de detalle. En el sector basal y

  11. Distribución de macroinvertebrados (Plecoptera y Aeglidae en ecosistemas fluviales de la Patagonia chilena: ¿Muestran señales biológicas de la evolución geomorfológica postglacial? Distribution of macroinvertebrates (Plecoptera and Aeglidae in fluvial ecosystems of the Chilean Patagonia: Do they show biological signals of the postglacial geomorphological evolution?

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    Full Text Available La Patagonia chilena incluye uno de los sistemas hídricos más complejos de Sudamérica y uno de los menos intervenidos del mundo, los cuales fueron intensamente modelados por la actividad glacial del Cuaternario. El objetivo de este estudio fue determinar si en esta área existen zonas de endemismo de macroinvertebrados bentónicos fluviales y analizar los patrones de diversidad de organismos de alta (Plecoptera y baja vagilidad (Aeglidae. Entre el 2006 y 2009 se muestrearon 183 sitios entre 42°50' y 54°43' S, focalizándose en las principales cuencas. Los muéstreos se realizaron con una red "kicknet", cubriendo una superficie de fondo de 8 m². En toda el área se registraron 30 especies de Plecoptera y dos de Aeglidae. Se identificó una zona de endemismo en la cuenca del río Aysén, sustentada por el plecóptero Ceratoperla fazi y el cangrejo Aegla neuquensis. Esta última especie correspondería a una población relictual procedente de los ríos de la estepa Argentina, que habría quedado atrapada en la Patagonia chilena, luego que se invirtiera el flujo del cauce del río que originalmente fluía hacia el Atlántico. Un marcado cambio latitudinal en la diversidad de especies fue evidente a lo largo del área de estudio (R² = 0.72, P The Chilean Patagonia includes one of the most complex hydrological systems of South America and one of the least modified systems of the world. These systems were intensely modified by the glacial activity of the Quaternary. The objectives of this study were to determine whether or not in this area exists zones of endemic benthic fluvial macroinvertebrates, and to analyze the patterns of diversity of species composed by organisms of high (Plecoptera and low (Aeglidae vagility. A collection of 183 selected sites, located between the latitude 42° 50' and 54°43' S, were sampled during 2006 and 2009. The sampling was focused on the main river basins and a "kicknet" was used to cover a surface of 8 m² at

  12. Diversidad de la familia Carabidae (Coleoptera en Chile Diversity of the family Carabidae (Coleoptera in Chile

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    that of the Neotropics and other South American countries. There are 21 tribes of Carabidae represented in Chile (38.8 % of the total found in Neotropics, with 95 genera (28.2 % of the Neotropical fauna, and 365 species (7.9 % of the total from the Neotropics. Chile has a low number of tribes compared with other countries, but it is an important area because six relictual tribes occur within it, being mostly gondwanan or pangeic. At the generic level, 18 genera are endemic (18.5 % of Chilean genera, 28 genera are restricted to Chile and Argentina, and six to Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. The number of carabid species in Chile is low compared with other South American countries, but the number of endemic species is high, 204, which is 55.8 % of the total carabid fauna of the country. This high endemicity in Chile might be due to Chile´s isolated situation in South America. The Andean mountains and the Northern Desert region, separate Chile from most of the neotropical fauna, as is shown by the absence of important tribes such as the Galeritini, Scaritini, and Brachinini. Keys for all genera present in Chile are provided, with a brief description of habitat and species richness of each

  13. Endocrinologic control of normal canine ovarian function. (United States)

    Concannon, P W


    In dogs, the termination of the 3-10-month obligate anoestrus involves selection of a cohort of LH-sensitive follicles, presumably from a wave of dominant small antral follicles that would otherwise undergo atresia. The number and size of such follicles appears to increase, especially during the last 50 days of anoestrus when the already elevated concentrations of FSH become further elevated. The final selection and eventual terminal development of these follicles is caused by an increased frequency of high-amplitude LH pulses at the end of anoestrus. Concomitant increases in FSH are typically small or negligible. High concentrations of FSH in anoestrus are likely to be important in maintaining, if not stimulating, overlapping waves of dominant follicles throughout anoestrus, their expression of aromatase activity and basal oestradiol secretion sufficient to suppress LH by negative feedback. An attractive hypothesis is that late anoestrus increases in LH-stimulate synthesis of precursor androgen for already available FSH-dependent aromatase. After 7 or more days of elevated LH, and perhaps 2-5 days of semi-autonomous growth, with maximal oestradiol production reached, follicle capacity to further increase oestradiol becomes limited and excess progesterone becomes increasingly secreted. The pre-ovulatory LH surge and oestrus onset are then triggered - often synchronously and in concert with the terminal maturation of the follicles - by central effects of the large decrease in the oestrogen to progestin ratio. Follicular endocrine and paracrine events during and following the LH surge are likely similar to those reported for other species. The prolonged luteal phase lengths of 55-75 days in non-pregnant bitches bracket the 64 +/- 1 day in pregnancy and represent a genetically programmed luteal cell lifespan approximating gestation length as occurs in the luteal phase of hysterectomized animals of most polyoestrous artiodactyls and rodents. The 30-40-day slow

  14. On the Tayassuid affinities of Xenohyus Ginsburg, 1980, and the description of new fossils from Spain

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    Morales, J.


    Full Text Available In 1980, Ginsburg created the new genus Xenobyus for a large suiform artiodactyl which he considered to belong to the family Suidae. Among the distinguishing characters of the genus, Ginsburg cited the enlarged, strongly curved and inflated central upper incisors possessing a distal accessory cusplet, the shortened muzzle, the enlarged lower first and second incisors, and the c10se packing of the entire tooth row (i.e. reduced to absent diastemata. These and other characters, such as the vertically implanted mandibular canines, the sympbyseal morphology, and the shape of the third upper incisor, suggest that Xenobyus belongs instead to the family Tayassuidae, subfamily Doliochoerinae. Whereas Ginsburg suggested that Xenobyus had an unknown ancestry and that it represented an immigrant into Europe at about the beginning of zone MN2b, it now seems more likely that it represents a late doliochoere of the sort represented by Doliochoerus quercyi which occurs in late Stampian deposits (Ginsburg, 1974. In many ways it is merely an enlarged version of this species, but there are sufficient morphological differences to warrant retention of the genus Xenobyus. Viewed within a tayassuid framework, Xenobyus is not seen to be unusual and not to run counter to evolutionary trends in the Suidae, the latter view being a necessity following its identifiation as a suid. Sorne fundamental similarities between tbe molars of Xenobyus and Kenyapotamus could provide a link between late doliochoeres and early hippopotamids, an hypothesis already mentioned by Pickford (1983. Newly discovered fossils from Loranca, Cuenca, Spain belong to two different species of Xenobyus, X venitor and an undescribed larger species. Nuevos fósiles, descubiertos en Loranca (Cuenca, España, pertenecientes a dos diferentes especies de Xenobyus; X vemtor y Xenobyus sp. de talla mayor que el anterior, son también descritos en este trabajo.Ginsburg (1980 creó un nuevo género Xenobyus

  15. Tafonomia y ambiente sedimentario del yacimiento de Huelago

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    Alberdi, M. T.


    Full Text Available This work analyses the sedimentary environment and accumulative natural agents that contributed to the Huélago site formation (Middle Villafranchian. The fossiliferous assemblage was accumulated in the paludine fringe of a calcareous, fresh water lacustrine system. The mud-flats were crossed by low energy alluvial currents with outlets in the lacustrine area. Severa1 floods have been recognized that conditioned the spatial distribution and composition of the bone remains. Huélago shows a mixture of bones transported by alluvial currents together with remains deposited almost in situ. The percentage of isolated teeth and sprinters is higher in the paleochannels, whereas horns and maxillas are found mainly within the mar1 levels. Weathering was a decisive factor in the fracturation of the bone assemblage. Predator-scavenger activity in the herbaceous swamped margins of the lacustrine area has been found. The great diversity of ruminant artiodactyls, in particular browsers is indicative of wooded or bushy areas in the surroundings of Huélago, although not in the immediate area of the lake. A data base compiled the severa1 variables measured for each recovered bone and provided information for the statistical and graphic programs used in the study of the Huélago site.Se analiza el ambiente sedimentario y los procesos y agentes de acumulación que contribuyeron a la formación del yacimiento Villafranquiense medio de Huélago. El conjunto fosilífero se depositó en los márgenes pantanosos de un sistema lacustre de aguas dulces con sedimentación carbonatada, donde las llanuras de fangos eran surcadas por corrientes aluviales de baja energía que desembocaban en la zona lacustre. Se reconocen varios ciclos de inundación que condicionaron la distribución espacial y composición de los restos óseos. Huélago representa una acumulación mixta de restos removilizados y transportados por corrientes aluviales junto con materiales depositados in

  16. Tafonomia del yacimiento de vertebrados pleistoceno de Huéscar-1 (Granada, españa

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    Alberdi, M. T.


    Full Text Available This work analyses the sedimentary and taphonomic processes that induced the selective preservation and spatial distribution of Húescar-1 bone assemblage (early Galerian. The bone fossil remains are associated with an alluvial fan system that flowed into a lacustrine area with calcareous sedimentation. The fossils show numerous scratch and abrasion marks produced during their transportation as channel lag. The remains appear in three sedimentological settings: in paleochannel filling-up sequences, in pockets built at the outlet of the channels in the lacustrine area, and scattered within calcareous silts. Nevertheless, most of them are found in the second instante. The cumulative process was attritional as pointed out by the mortality profiles of Equus altidens and could be explained by selective predation and/or seasonal bone accumulation. The notably small number of artiodactyl species, particularly in the typical foms of bush or forest habitats and the presence of amphibious forms (Hippopotamus are indicative of an open grassland habitat. The aquatic birds represent the autochthonous component of the association. For each bone recovered severa1 variables were measured, the data obtained underwent graphic and statistical treatment that provided useful information for the site taphonomic interpretation.Se estudia el conjunto de procesos sedimentarios y rasgos tafonómicos que condicionaron la preservación selectiva y disposición espacial de los restos de vertebrados que forman el yacimiento de edad Galeriense inferior de Huéscar-l. Los restos óseos están asociados a un sistema de abanicos aluviales que desembocaba en una zona lacustre carbonatada amplia. Es un conjunto transportado donde los restos muestran numerosas señales de abrasión y arrastre. Los restos óseos aparecen en tres situaciones sedimentológicas: carga de fondo en el relleno de los paleocanales, bolsadas formadas en el punto de la desembocadura y dispersos espor

  17. Evolución de la sociabilidad en Hymenoptera: Rasgos conductuales vinculados a niveles sociales y precursores de sociabilidad en especies solitarias Evolution of sociality in Hymenoptera: Behavioural traits linked to social levels and precursors of sociality in solitary species

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    the evolution of sociality in Xylocopinae because it has been hypothesized as the sister group of all other Xylocopinae. It is a relictual taxon retaining several ancestral morphological features and contains only largely solitary species (although nestmate and kin recognition has been recently demonstrated in one of these species, and some species exhibit behavioural traits that have been proposed as prerequisite for the evolution to social life. In this work, the degrees of sociality associated with behavioural traits are reviewed in Hymenoptera, the hypothetical evolutionary routes, origins and losses of highly social behaviour are discussed, and information about taxonomic groups that have emerged as valuable models to study the evolution of sociality is reported. Additionally, features proposed as precursors of sociality are compared within the subfamily Xylocopinae, evidence demonstrating nestmate recognition in a Manueliini species, a phenomenon first demonstrated in a largely solitary species, is discussed, and the evolution of sociality associated with behavioural traits is analyzed, on the basis of a new phylogenetic hypothesis for the Xylocopinae.

  18. Final integrated trip report: site visits to Area 50, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam National Wildlife Refuge, War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Guam, Rota and Saipan, CNMI, 2004-2005 (United States)

    Hess, Steven C.; Pratt, Linda W.


    . Although the military mission comes first on these lands, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assists in protecting native species and habitats. The recovery of limestone forest on Guam for forest bird habitat may require intensive management, including reduction of feral herbivores, propagation, out-planting, weed control, and periodic suppression of herbivorous insects. Research to support these techniques may be best accomplished in small areas where potential limiting factors can easily be experimentally manipulated. Area 50, a 24 ha enclosure, contains a relictual patch of relatively undisturbed limestone forest surrounded by tarmac allowing easy access and management opportunities to control alien mammals and snakes. These species have been periodically managed in the past, but recent typhoons have damaged snake-proofing on the enclosure fence. A new concrete barrier is planned to provide more permanent control opportunities within this enclosed area or another similar area, thereby allowing experimental research for various management regimes. Eradication and control of alien vertebrate and plant pests will provide habitat where native communities can be restored in a small, intensively managed area. The stated aim of this project is to "affect ecosystem restoration through the removal and exclusion of introduced species and the reestablishment and propagation of native species, with focus on the reintroduction of native forest bird species." This will be achieved by constructing a multispecies barrier surrounding the area, coordinated eradication of selected alien species within the area, and possible reintroduction of Mariana Crow, Guam Kingfisher, and Guam Rail. This barrier also allows experimental research questions to be addressed within the small enclosure around Area 50 that may be applied to manage and restore the larger areas of limestone forest on northern Guam and also similar forests on other islands of the Marianas.