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Sample records for blunt-nosed leopard lizard

  1. Diet of the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Gambelia silus, on Naval Petroleum Reserves No. 1 and No. 2, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.; Rose, B.R.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1987-09-01

    A preliminary inventory of the prey consumed by the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus) was conducted by analysis of prey fragments present in scat collected during 1982 and 1984. Information on the diet of this species and a method to collect serial samples without sacrificing individuals were needed before an assessment of the potential effects of Malathion spraying to control the beet leafhopper (Circulifer tennelus) could be conducted. The study indicated that analysis of scats can accurately determine the diet of this endangered species. The diet of blunt-nosed leopard lizards as determined from 16 scats in order of numerical importance was: grasshoppers (orthropterans) (54.5%), bees (hymenopterans) (18.2%), true bugs (hemipterans) (16.7%), beetles (coleopterans) (4.5%), and lizards (4.5%). These results are similar to those reported by Tollestrup (1979) and Montanucci (1965, 1967) in the high proportion of diet consisting of insects. Results confirmed that vertebrates are sometimes consumed by blunt-nosed leopard lizards, as was reported by Montanucci (1967); Tollestrup (1979) found no vertebrate remains in stomachs. The combination of scat analysis and monitoring by radiotelemetry provided techniques which will permit collecting sufficient data to determine whether pest control programs negatively affect blunt-nosed leopard lizards.

  2. Distribution, abundance, and habitat use of the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard on the Naval Petroleum Reserves, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.; Rose, B.R.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1987-09-01

    The distribution, abundance, and habitat use of the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Gambelia silus, was studied on and adjacent to Naval Petroleum Reserves No. 1 (NPR-1, Elk Hills), and No. 2 (NPR-2, Buena Vista), Kern County, CAlifornia. A total of 262 blunt-nosed leopard lizards were seen over 8 years (1979-1987) in 28 sections of NPR-1, 15 sections of NPR-2, and 10 sections adjacent to the petroleum reserves. All but one were in areas of gentle or flat relief with sparse annual ground cover. Home range size and overlap, activity patterns, and habitat use were determined from monitoring blunt-nosed leopard lizards fitted with miniature radiocollars on two study sites. Mean home range size estimated by the minimum polygon method was 2.7 acres for female blunt-nosed leopard lizards, which was significantly smaller than the 5.4 acres mean home range size for males inhabiting a major wash. The structure of the habitat affected significantly the lizards' activity and burrow use. Lizards inhabiting the wash study site were more frequently seen on the surface not associated with a burrow than lizards in the more sparsely vegetated grassland study site (63% compared with 48% of their sightings); 51.5% of the sightings for lizards in the grassland study site were associated with burrows, compared with 37.1% for lizards in the wash study site. Burrows were not shared and some burrows were used more than once (30% of burrows and 62% of burrow sightings).

  3. Contemporary Drought and Future Effects of Climate Change on the Endangered Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizard, Gambelia sila

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Extreme weather events can provide unique opportunities for testing models that predict the effect of climate change. Droughts of increasing severity have been predicted under numerous models, thus contemporary droughts may allow us to test these models prior to the onset of the more extreme effects predicted with a changing climate. In the third year of an ongoing severe drought, surveys failed to detect neonate endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizards in a subset of previously surveyed populations where we expected to see them. By conducting surveys at a large number of sites across the range of the species over a short time span, we were able to establish a strong positive correlation between winter precipitation and the presence of neonate leopard lizards over geographic space. Our results are consistent with those of numerous longitudinal studies and are in accordance with predictive climate change models. We suggest that scientists can take immediate advantage of droughts while they are still in progress to test patterns of occurrence in other drought-sensitive species and thus provide for more robust models of climate change effects on biodiversity. PMID:27136458

  4. Contemporary Drought and Future Effects of Climate Change on the Endangered Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizard, Gambelia sila.

    PubMed

    Westphal, Michael F; Stewart, Joseph A E; Tennant, Erin N; Butterfield, H Scott; Sinervo, Barry

    2016-01-01

    Extreme weather events can provide unique opportunities for testing models that predict the effect of climate change. Droughts of increasing severity have been predicted under numerous models, thus contemporary droughts may allow us to test these models prior to the onset of the more extreme effects predicted with a changing climate. In the third year of an ongoing severe drought, surveys failed to detect neonate endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizards in a subset of previously surveyed populations where we expected to see them. By conducting surveys at a large number of sites across the range of the species over a short time span, we were able to establish a strong positive correlation between winter precipitation and the presence of neonate leopard lizards over geographic space. Our results are consistent with those of numerous longitudinal studies and are in accordance with predictive climate change models. We suggest that scientists can take immediate advantage of droughts while they are still in progress to test patterns of occurrence in other drought-sensitive species and thus provide for more robust models of climate change effects on biodiversity. PMID:27136458

  5. Biological assessment of the effects of petroleum production at maximum efficient rate, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (Elk Hills), Kern County, California, on the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Gambelia silus

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1986-06-01

    Surveys to determine the distribution and relative abundance of blunt-nosed leopard lizards on Naval Petroleum Reserve-1 were conducted in 1980 and 1981. In 1982 radiotelemetry and pitfall trapping techniques were used to gain additional information on the species and develop alternative methods of study. Incidental observations of blunt-nosed leopard lizards were recorded and used in the distribution information for NPR-1. DOE determined during this biological assessment that the construction projects and operational activities necessary to achieve and sustain MER have not adversely affected the blunt-nosed leopard lizard and its habitat, because only approximately 6% of the potential blunt-nosed leopard lizard habitat on NPR-1 was disturbed by construction and operational activities. DOE believes that the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of MER will not jeopardize the continued existence of the species, because results of surveys indicated that blunt-nosed leopard lizards are mainly distributed near the periphery of Elk Hills where few petroleum developments occurred in the past and where they are unlikely to occur in the future. A policy of conducting preconstruction surveys to protect blunt-nosed leopard lizard habitat was initiated, a habitat restoration plan was developed and implemented, and administrative policies to reduce vehicle speeds, contain oil spills, restrict off-road vehicle (ORV) travel, and to prohibit public access, livestock grazing, and agricultural activities were maintained.

  6. Relationship between abundance of blunt-nosed leopard lizards, Crotaphytus silus, and intensity of petroleum field development in Kern County, California, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Kato, T.

    1980-11-01

    The objectives of this study were to (1) determine the distribution and relative abundance of blunt-nosed leopard lizards, Crotaphytus silus, on three sections of BLM land impacted by light to moderate petroleum developments; (2) correlate relative density estimates with absolute density estimates, characteristics of the dominant vegetation associations, density of animal burrows, percent open space, and level of oil field development; and (3) determine the radius of movement for the species. Relative densities of lizards in each section were measured by counting all lizards seen during four surveys conducted between May and July 1980.

  7. Elk Hills Endangered Species Program: environmental assessment of the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Crotaphytus silus. Phase 2, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Mullen, R.K.

    1981-02-01

    This report represents an extension of previous findings concerning the status of the endangered species, Crotaphytus silus (blunt-nosed leopard lizard) on the Naval Petroleum Reserve Number 1 (NPR-1), Elk Hills, California. Previous findings in 1979 were limited to superficial observations of the occurrence and distribution of C. silus on NPR-1. The present report details findings from more extensive field work conducted from late May to early August 1980, and complements the 1979 work. The ultimate purpose of the investigations reported here is to provide sufficient bases for making informed decisions concerning the relationships of present and possible future oil-related activities at Elk Hills to the status of C. silus. There have been no particularly unique life history indicators of environmental impact on C. silus mediated through activities on NPR-1. Observations may be made, however, on the seasonal correlates of such activities: (1) individual C. silus may be buried or fatally exposed to the environment by construction activities occurring during the species' hibernation; (2) during periods when adult C. silus is active on the surface, construction activities may displace individuals that may not then be able to successfully occupy a new range, although it is to be noted in this regard that the home range of the species can be rather plastic; (3) construction activities bury or expose nest chambers of C. silus. This would unfavorably affect an average of three potential hatchlings with each burial or exposure; and (4) construction occurring when only (or predominantly) hatchlings are active on the surface may affect animals less able to avoid these activities than adults. In addition, hibernating adults will be affected, as previously noted.

  8. Potential of BLM lands in western Fresno and eastern San Benito and Monterey Counties, California, as critical habitats for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Crotaphytus silus

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; McCue, P.; Kato, T.

    1981-11-01

    The major objectives were to determine the presence and relative density of the San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard on BLM lands in western Fresno and eastern San Benito and Monterey counties, California, and to determine the potential of these lands as critical habitat for these endangered species. A total of 6220 acres in the Ciervo Hills and 4000 acres near Coalinga were surveyed for both San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizards; 810 acres in the Griswold Hills were surveyed for kit fox only; and 2000 acres in the Tumey Hills were surveyed for blunt-nosed leopard lizards only. Eight line transects per mile were used to gather information on: (1) kit fox dens, scats, tracks, and remains of their prey; (2) presence of blunt-nosed leopard lizards; (3) vegetation associations; (4) density of rodent burrows on lands surveyed for leopard lizards; (5) topography; (6) evidence of human activities; (7) presence of other wildlife species; and (8) any additional scientific data related to endangered species. Night spotlight surveys were conducted in the Ciervo Hills, Griswold Hills, and on lands adjacent to Coalinga and San Ardo to document presence of kit fox, their potential prey, and other vertebrates. Of BLM land surveyed in 1981, the Coalinga Land Unit had the highest potential as critical habitat for the San Joaquin kit fox, the Ciervo Hills Land Unit was ranked second,and parcels in the Griswold Hills received the lowest score given since inventories were initiated in 1979. Public lands in the Salinas Valley were too steep to serve as habitat for kit fox. Over 70% of the parcels had only fair to no potential as critical habitat for the blunt-nosed leopard lizard. BLM lands near Coalinga and those in the central plateau of the Tumey Hills visually appeared to have some potential as habitat for the species.

  9. Assessment of proposed agricultural outleasing - Naval Air Station, Lemoore, California, on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Crotaphytus (=Gambelia) silus

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Sauls, M.L.

    1982-11-01

    The United States Navy proposes to outlease lands adjacent to the runways of Naval Air Station, Lemoore, California, for agricultural purposes. These lands are currently undeveloped annual grasslands that have been modified by past land management practices. The proposed site is thought to provide habitat for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox. It has also been speculated that another endangered species, the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, may occur on the station. The objectives of this study were to determine whether kit fox and leopard lizards occurred on NAS, Lemoore, and to assess the possible impacts of the agricultural outlease program on these species and their essential habitats. Between 24 to 28 May 1982, ground transects studies, a helicopter overflight, night spotlight surveys, and live-trapping for kit fox were conducted on approximately 2700 acres to determine presence of the species. No evidence of either kit fox or blunt-nosed leopard lizards was found. It is unlikely that the Navy's proposed outlease program will negatively affect either species or jeopardize their continued existence.

  10. Biological assessment: possible impacts of exploratory drilling in sections 8B and 18H, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2, Kern County, California on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and other sensitive species

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Sauls, M.L.

    1982-07-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy proposes to drill exploratory wells on two sections, 8B and 18H, within Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 in western Kern County, California. The proposed sites are thought to provide habitat for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, as well as two sensitive species: the giant kangaroo rat and San Joaquin antelope ground squirrel. The objective was to assess the possible impacts of the exploratory drilling on these species and their essential habitats. Although 23 potential San Joaquin kit fox den sites were found during surveys of a total of 512 ha (1280 acres) surrounding both well sites, no burrows were closer than 30 m from proposed disturbance, and most were over 200 m away. Two blunt-nosed leopard lizards were observed on private land within 8B, one was observed on private land in 18H, and two were seen on DOE portions of 18H. No evidence of blunt-nosed leopard lizards was gathered in the immediate vicinity of either proposed well site. Although 5 ha of habitat will be disturbed, there is no evidence to indicate any of the species has burrows on-site that will be lost during land clearing. Loss of habitat will be mitigated during the cleanup and restoration phases when disturbed areas will be revegetated. Increased traffic, human activities, noise and ground vibration levels, as well as illumination throughout the night, may disturb the fauna. However, these species have adapted to intensive human disturbances on Elk Hills without obvious negative effects. The short duration of the project should allow any displaced animals to return to the sites after drilling ceases.

  11. Possible effects of drilling operations in Section 6D, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2, Kern County, California on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and other sensitive species

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Kato, T.

    1982-12-01

    Getty Oil Company requested permission from the US Department of Energy to drill 10 petroleum wells and one water disposal well in Section 6D, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2, Kern County, California, which is thought to provide habitat for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and two sensitive species: the giant kangaroo rat and San Joaquin antelope ground squirrel. The objective of this study was to assess the possible impacts of development drilling on these species and their essential habitats. Most of the proposed wells will be located on or near existing well pads; therefore, only 2 hectares of potential habitat will be disturbed. Although 21 kit fox dens were found, none were closer than 10 m from proposed well pads, and most were more than 40 m away. No evidence of either the blunt-nosed leopard lizard or giant kangaroo rat was gathered. Ten San Joaquin antelope ground squirrels were observed. Although 2 hectares of habitat will be disturbed, there is no evidence to indicate that any of the species has burrows that will be lost during landclearing. Loss of vegetation may have some small, unknown impacts on food supplies for species preyed upon by kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizards, but the disturbed vegetation represents a small fraction of the food supplies available in the surrounding habitat. Because the project poses few threats to individuals of the endangered or sensitive species surveyed, it was concluded that completion of the drilling is unlikely to jeopardize the continued existence of any of the species or their essential habitats if: (1) present kit fox dens are protected during construction activities, (2) topsoil removed during land-levelling is used to reclaim past disturbances of the habitat, and (3) artificial kit fox dens are installed to compensate for the possible loss of denning sites.

  12. Biological assessment: possible impacts of exploratory drilling in Section 18B, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2, Kern County, California on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and other sensitive species

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.

    1981-11-01

    The proposed site is thought to provide habitat for the endangered an Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, as well as the giant kangaroo rat and San Joaquin antelope ground squirrel. The objective of this study was to assess the possible impacts of the exploratory drilling on these species and their essential habitats. The proposed project will have four phases: (1) surveying; (2) site preparation; (3) drilling, logging, and testing; and (4) cleanup and restoration. During site preparation approximately 1.5 acres of vegetation and surface soils will be removed for an access road and well pad. During a 20-day drilling, logging, and testing phase, there will be increased vehicular traffic, human activities, noise and ground vibrations, and illumination during the night. Although 1.5 acres of habitat will be disturbed, there is no evidence to indicate any of the species has burrows on-site that will be lost during land clearing. Loss of habitat will be mitigated during the cleanup and restoration phases when disturbed areas will be revegetated. Increased traffic, human activities, noise and ground vibration levels, as well as illumination throughout the night, may disturb the fauna. However, these species have adapted to intensive human disturbances on Elk Hills without obvious negative effects. The most direct threat to the species is the possibility that they might be killed by vehicles. Since the project poses so few threats to individual endangered or sensitive species, and since minor habitat disturbances will be mitigated during a restoration program, it is unlikely that completion of the project jeopardizes the continued existence of any of the species or their essential habitats. (ERB)

  13. General Reynolds Analogy for Blunt-Nosed Bodies in Hypersonic Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xing-Xing; Wang, Zhi-Hui; Yu, Yong-Liang

    2015-08-01

    In this paper, the relation between skin friction and heat transfer along windward sides of blunt-nosed bodies in hypersonic flows is investigated. The self-similar boundary layer analysis is accepted to figure out the distribution of the ratio of skin friction to heat transfer coefficients along the wall. It is theoretically obtained that the ratio depends linearly on the local slope angle of the wall surface, and an explicit analogy expression is presented for circular cylinders, although the linear distribution is also found for other nose shapes and even in gas flows with chemical reactions. Furthermore, based on the theoretical modelling of the second order shear and heat transfer terms in Burnett equations, a modified analogy is derived in the near continuum regime by considering the rarefied gas effects. And a bridge function is also constructed to describe the nonlinear analogy in the transition flow regime. At last, the direct simulation Monte Carlo method is used to validate the theoretical results. The general analogy, beyond the classical Reynolds analogy, is applicable to both flat plates and blunt-nosed bodies, in either continuous or rarefied hypersonic flows.

  14. An approximate viscous shock layer technique for calculating nonequilibrium hypersonic flows about blunt-nosed bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheatwood, F. M.; Dejarnette, F. R.

    1992-01-01

    An approximate axisymmetric method has been developed which can reliably calculate nonequilibrium fully viscous hypersonic flows over blunt-nosed bodies. By substituting Maslen's second-order pressure expression for the normal momentum equation, a simplified form of the viscous shock layer (VSL) equations is obtained. This approach can solve both the subsonic and supersonic regions of the shock layer without a starting solution for the shock shape. This procedure is significantly faster than the parabolized Navier-Stokes and VSL solvers and would be useful in a preliminary design environment. Solutions have been generated for air flows over several analytic body shapes. Surface heat transfer and pressure predictions are comparable to VSL results. Computed heating rates are in good agreement with experimental data. The present technique generates its own shock shape as part of its solution, and therefore could be used to provide more accurate initial shock shapes for higher-order procedures which require starting solutions.

  15. An approximate viscous shock layer approach to calculating hypersonic flows about blunt-nosed bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheatwood, F. MCN.; Dejarnette, F. R.

    1991-01-01

    An approximate axisymmetric method has been developed which can reliably calculate fully viscous hypersonic flows over blunt-nosed bodies. By substituting Maslen's second order pressure expression for the normal momentum equation, a simplified form of the viscous shock layer (VSL) equations is obtained. This approach can solve both the subsonic and supersonic regions of the shock layer without a starting solution for the shock shape. Since the method is fully viscous, the problems associated with coupling a boundary-layer solution with an inviscid-layer solution are avoided. This procedure is significantly faster than the parabolized Navier-Stokes (PNS) or VSL solvers and would be useful in a preliminary design environment. Problems associated with a previously developed approximate VSL technique are addressed. Surface heat transfer and pressure predictions are comparable to both VSL results and experimental data. The present technique generates its own shock shape as part of its solution, and therefore could be used to provide more accurate initial shock shapes for higher-order procedures which require starting solutions.

  16. Effect of trap color and height on captures of blunt-nosed and sharp-nosed leafhoppers (hemiptera: cicadellidae) and non-target arthropods in cranberry bogs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A series of field experiments were conducted in cranberry bogs in 2006-2010 to determine adult attraction of the two most economically important leafhopper pests of cultivated Vaccinium spp. in the northeast USA, the blunt-nosed leafhopper, Limotettix vaccinii, and sharp-nosed leafhopper, Scaphytopi...

  17. Experimental study of sharp and blunt nose streamwise corners at Mach 20. [hypersonic shock-boundary layer interaction parameters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, R. D.

    1974-01-01

    Extensive heat transfer and pressure distribution data and oil flow studies on sharp and blunt-nose streamwise corners at Mach 20 in helium are presented. The far corner boundary layers on the wedge surfaces forming the corners are laminar for most test conditions. Analysis of the data indicates that the corner flow field geometry can be described in terms of the inviscid shock pattern on the two dimensional surfaces forming the corner. Parameters used to correlate blunt shock growth can be used to correlate features of the flow field observed in oil flow photographs in addition to the measured pressure and heat transfer distributions on the models. The flow field structure is described from available experimental data. Regions of the flow in which the structure still is not known are discussed.

  18. An approximate viscous shock layer technique for calculating chemically reacting hypersonic flows about blunt-nosed bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheatwood, F. Mcneil; Dejarnette, Fred R.

    1991-01-01

    An approximate axisymmetric method was developed which can reliably calculate fully viscous hypersonic flows over blunt nosed bodies. By substituting Maslen's second order pressure expression for the normal momentum equation, a simplified form of the viscous shock layer (VSL) equations is obtained. This approach can solve both the subsonic and supersonic regions of the shock layer without a starting solution for the shock shape. The approach is applicable to perfect gas, equilibrium, and nonequilibrium flowfields. Since the method is fully viscous, the problems associated with a boundary layer solution with an inviscid layer solution are avoided. This procedure is significantly faster than the parabolized Navier-Stokes (PNS) or VSL solvers and would be useful in a preliminary design environment. Problems associated with a previously developed approximate VSL technique are addressed before extending the method to nonequilibrium calculations. Perfect gas (laminar and turbulent), equilibrium, and nonequilibrium solutions were generated for airflows over several analytic body shapes. Surface heat transfer, skin friction, and pressure predictions are comparable to VSL results. In addition, computed heating rates are in good agreement with experimental data. The present technique generates its own shock shape as part of its solution, and therefore could be used to provide more accurate initial shock shapes for higher order procedures which require starting solutions.

  19. The missing leopard lizard: Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov., a new species of the leopardinus clade (Reptilia: Squamata: Liolaemidae) from the Andes of the O'Higgins Region in Chile.

    PubMed

    Esquerré, Damien; Troncoso-Palacios, Jaime; Garín, Carlos F; Núnez, Herman

    2014-01-01

    Liolaemus is an extremely species rich genus of iguanid lizards from southern South America. Most of the diversity though is found in the Andes Cordillera, between Argentina and Chile. Here we describe Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov., from El Teniente Mine, in the Andean mountains of the O'Higgins Region in Chile. This species presents scalation and pattern traits that belong to the leopardinus clade, a group of viviparous, high altitude lizards that inhabit the mountain ranges surrounding Santiago City. The species of this clade in turn belong to the Andean and Patagonian elongatus-kriegi complex. Liolaemus ubaghsi sp. nov. has been previously recognized as L. leopardinus and L. elongatus, nevertheless we present diagnostic traits that allow us to describe it as a new species. It mainly differs from the rest of the leopardinus clade (L. leopardinus, L. ramonensis, L. valdesianus and L. frassinettii) by having the following unique combination of traits: ochre background coloration, a wide dark occipital stripe, dark flanks, white dots dispersed on the dorsum, absence of leopard-like spots and enlarged infralabial scales.  PMID:24943631

  20. LEOPARD Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Sudip Kumar; Majumdar, Biswajit; Rudra, Olympia; Chakraborty, Sougat

    2015-10-01

    LEOPARD syndrome (LS) is an autosomal dominantly inherited or sporadic disorder of variable penetrance and expressivity. The acronym LEOPARD stands for its cardinal clinical features including Lentigines, Electrocardiographic conduction abnormalities, Ocular hypertelorism, Pulmonary stenosis, Abnormalities of genitalia, Retardation of growth, and Deafness. We present herein a patient with LEOPARD syndrome and distinctive features. It was noteworthy that our patient presented with the concern of generalized lentiginosis and subsequent evaluation revealed that the patient had LEOPARD syndrome. In this report we would like to highlight the importance of detailed clinical examination and appropriate imaging in patients with multiple lentigines. PMID:26632807

  1. Forces and Moments on Pointed Blunt-nosed Bodies of Revolution at Mach Numbers from 2.75 to 5.00

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dennis, David H; Cunningham, Bernard E

    1952-01-01

    Results of tests to determine the aerodynamic forces and moments on bodies of revolution at angles of attack from 0 degrees to 25 degrees are presented and compared with theory. Cones and ogives of fineness ratios 3 to 7 and two blunt-nosed body shapes with fineness ratios 3 and 5 were tested at Mach numbers from 2.75 to 5.00. Reynolds numbers were from 0.5 million to 6.4 million, depending on Mach number and body fineness ratio.

  2. Calculation of Flow Fields from Bow-Wave Profiles for the Downstream Region of Blunt-Nosed Circular Cylinders in Axial Hypersonic Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seiff, Alvin; Whiting, Ellis E.

    1961-01-01

    A method by which known bow-wave profiles may be analyzed to give the flow fields around blunt-nosed cylinders in axial hypersonic flow is presented. In the method, the assumption is made that the pressure distribution curve in a transverse plane is similar to that given by blast- wave theory. Numerical analysis based on the one-dimensional energy and continuity equations then leads to distributions of all the flow variables in the cross section, for either a perfect gas or a real gas. The entire flow field need not be solved. Attention can be confined to any desired station. The critical question is the validity of the above assumption. It is tested for the case of a hemisphere cylinder in flight at 20,000 ft/sec. The flow is analyzed for three stations along the cylindrical afterbody, and found to compare very closely with the results of an exact (inviscid) solution. The assumed form of the pressure distribution occurs at stations as close as 1.2 diameters to the body nose. However, it is suggested that the assumption may not apply this far forward in general, particularly when bodies of nonsmooth contour are considered.

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

    PubMed

    Endo, Daisuke; Park, Min Kyun

    2003-12-01

    Sex steroid hormones play a central role in the reproduction of all vertebrates. These hormones function through their specific receptors, so the expression levels of the receptors may reflect the responsibility of target organs. However, there was no effective method to quantify the expression levels of these receptors in reptilian species. In this study, we established the competitive-PCR assay systems for the quantification of the mRNA expression levels of three sex steroid hormone receptors in the leopard gecko. These assay systems were successfully able to detect the mRNA expression level of each receptor in various organs of male adult leopard geckoes. The expression levels of mRNA of these receptors were highly various depending on the organs assayed. This is the first report regarding the tissue distributions of sex steroid hormone receptor expressions in reptile. The effects of environmental conditions on these hormone receptor expressions were also examined. After the low temperature and short photoperiod treatment for 6 weeks, only the androgen receptor expression was significantly increased in the testes. The competitive-PCR assay systems established in this report should be applicable for various studies of the molecular mechanism underlying the reproductive activity of the leopard gecko. PMID:14662317

  4. LEOPARD on a personal computer

    SciTech Connect

    Lancaster, D.B.

    1988-01-01

    The LEOPARD code is very widely used to produce four- or two-group cross sections for water reactors. Although it is heavily used it had not been downloaded to the PC. This paper has been written to announce the completion of downloading LEOPARD. LEOPARD can now be run on anything from the early PC to the most advanced 80386 machines. The only requirements are 512 Kbytes of memory (LEOPARD actually only needs 235, but with buffers, 256 Kbytes may not be enough) and two disk rives (preferably, one is a hard drive). The run times for various machines and configurations are summarized. The accuracy of the PC-LEOPARD results are documented.

  5. Leopard predation and primate evolution.

    PubMed

    Zuberbühler, Klaus; Jenny, David

    2002-12-01

    Although predation is an important driving force of natural selection its effects on primate evolution are still not well understood, mainly because little is known about the hunting behaviour of the primates' various predators. Here, we present data on the hunting behaviour of the leopard (Panthera pardus), a major primate predator in the Tai; forest of Ivory Coast and elsewhere. Radio-tracking data showed that forest leopards primarily hunt for monkeys on the ground during the day. Faecal analyses confirmed that primates accounted for a large proportion of the leopards' diet and revealed in detail the predation pressure exerted on the eight different monkey and one chimpanzee species. We related the species-specific predation rates to various morphological, behavioural and demographic traits that are usually considered adaptations to predation (body size, group size, group composition, reproductive behaviour, and use of forest strata). Leopard predation was most reliably associated with density, suggesting that leopards hunt primates according to abundance. Contrary to predictions, leopard predation rates were not negatively, but positively, related to body size, group size and the number of males per group, suggesting that predation by leopards did not drive the evolution of these traits in the predicted way. We discuss these findings in light of some recent experimental data and suggest that the principal effect of leopard predation has been on primates' cognitive evolution. PMID:12473487

  6. Communication Signals in Lizards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carpenter, Charles C.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses mechanisms and functional intent of visual communication signals in iguanid/agamid lizards. Demonstrated that lizards communicate with each other by using pushups and head nods and that each species does this in its own way, conveying different types of information. (JN)

  7. Semi-automated identification of leopard frogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. The Classroom Animal: The Leopard Frog.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science and Children, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Describes the natural history of the leopard frog and factors which make it appropriate for short-term study in the classroom. Information on the frog's habits, life cycle, housing, care, and health is included. (DH)

  9. Detection and analysis of six lizard adenoviruses by consensus primer PCR provides further evidence of a reptilian origin for the atadenoviruses.

    PubMed

    Wellehan, James F X; Johnson, April J; Harrach, Balázs; Benkö, Mária; Pessier, Allan P; Johnson, Calvin M; Garner, Michael M; Childress, April; Jacobson, Elliott R

    2004-12-01

    A consensus nested-PCR method was designed for investigation of the DNA polymerase gene of adenoviruses. Gene fragments were amplified and sequenced from six novel adenoviruses from seven lizard species, including four species from which adenoviruses had not previously been reported. Host species included Gila monster, leopard gecko, fat-tail gecko, blue-tongued skink, Tokay gecko, bearded dragon, and mountain chameleon. This is the first sequence information from lizard adenoviruses. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that these viruses belong to the genus Atadenovirus, supporting the reptilian origin of atadenoviruses. This PCR method may be useful for obtaining templates for initial sequencing of novel adenoviruses. PMID:15542689

  10. Detection and Analysis of Six Lizard Adenoviruses by Consensus Primer PCR Provides Further Evidence of a Reptilian Origin for the Atadenoviruses

    PubMed Central

    Wellehan, James F. X.; Johnson, April J.; Harrach, Balázs; Benkö, Mária; Pessier, Allan P.; Johnson, Calvin M.; Garner, Michael M.; Childress, April; Jacobson, Elliott R.

    2004-01-01

    A consensus nested-PCR method was designed for investigation of the DNA polymerase gene of adenoviruses. Gene fragments were amplified and sequenced from six novel adenoviruses from seven lizard species, including four species from which adenoviruses had not previously been reported. Host species included Gila monster, leopard gecko, fat-tail gecko, blue-tongued skink, Tokay gecko, bearded dragon, and mountain chameleon. This is the first sequence information from lizard adenoviruses. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that these viruses belong to the genus Atadenovirus, supporting the reptilian origin of atadenoviruses. This PCR method may be useful for obtaining templates for initial sequencing of novel adenoviruses. PMID:15542689

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    The tail of many species of lizard is used as a site of fat storage, and caudal autotomy is a widespread phenomenon among lizards. This means that caudal fat stores are at risk of being lost if the tail is autotomized. For fat-tailed species, such as the leopard gecko, this may be particularly costly. Previous work has shown that tail regeneration in juveniles of this species is rapid and that it receives priority for energy allocation, even when dietary resources are markedly reduced. We found that the regenerated tails of juvenile leopard geckos are more massive than their original counterparts, regardless of dietary intake, and that they exhibit greater amounts of skeleton, inner fat, muscle and subcutaneous fat than original tails (as assessed through cross-sectional area measurements of positionally equivalent stations along the tail). Autotomy and regeneration result in changes in tail shape, mass and the pattern of tissue distribution within the tail. The regenerated tail exhibits enhanced fat storage capacity, even in the face of a diet that results in significant slowing of body growth. Body growth is thus sacrificed at the expense of rapid tail growth. Fat stores laid down rapidly in the regenerating tail may later be used to fuel body growth or reproductive investment. The regenerated tail thus seems to have adaptive roles of its own, and provides a potential vehicle for studying trade-offs that relate to life history strategy. PMID:25935709

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) inhabits the rugged mountains in 12 countries of Central Asia, including the Tibetan Plateau. Due to poaching, decreased abundance of prey, and habitat degradation, it was listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1972. Current conservation strategies, including nature reserves and incentive programs, have limited capacities to protect snow leopards. We investigated the role of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in snow leopard conservation in the Sanjiangyuan region in China's Qinghai Province on the Tibetan Plateau. From 2009 to 2011, we systematically surveyed snow leopards in the Sanjiangyuan region. We used the MaxEnt model to determine the relation of their presence to environmental variables (e.g., elevation, ruggedness) and to predict snow leopard distribution. Model results showed 89,602 km(2) of snow leopard habitat in the Sanjiangyuan region, of which 7674 km(2) lay within Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve's core zones. We analyzed the spatial relation between snow leopard habitat and Buddhist monasteries and found that 46% of monasteries were located in snow leopard habitat and 90% were within 5 km of snow leopard habitat. The 336 monasteries in the Sanjiangyuan region could protect more snow leopard habitat (8342 km(2) ) through social norms and active patrols than the nature reserve's core zones. We conducted 144 household interviews to identify local herders' attitudes and behavior toward snow leopards and other wildlife. Most local herders claimed that they did not kill wildlife, and 42% said they did not kill wildlife because it was a sin in Buddhism. Our results indicate monasteries play an important role in snow leopard conservation. Monastery-based snow leopard conservation could be extended to other Tibetan Buddhist regions that in total would encompass about 80% of the global range of snow leopards. PMID:23992599

  13. Annual summary of endangered species preconstruction surveys conducted during 1985 on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1), Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.

    1986-10-01

    Preconstruction surveys were implemented as part of the US Department of Energy's compensation/mitigation plan to offset possible effects of petroleum developments on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 on endangered species and their habitats. These surveys were conducted to gather information that could be used to assess potential impacts of construction activity on these endangered species and habitats and to formulate alternatives that resulted in avoiding or minimizing the effects. During 1985 a total of 128 preconstruction surveys were conducted covering approximately 457.5 acres of which approximately 300 acres were for long-term disturbances and approximately 157.5 acres were for superficial disturbances. The area surveyed during preconstruction surveys was usually larger than the actual area disturbed. A total of 37 kit fox dens, four culverts and two erosion gullies used by kit fox, and six blunt-nosed leopard lizard habitats were found. All of the dens and culverts threatened by construction were avoided by modifications at 11 project sites. Three of the four threatened blunt-nosed leopard lizard habitats were avoided by modifications at three project sites. No new construction projects on NPR-1 were completed before a preconstruction survey was conducted. Preconstruction surveys continued to be a useful tool to eliminate or minimize potential direct effects of construction activities on endangered species, proposed endangered species, and their habitats on NPR-1. 4 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  14. Annual summary of endangered species preconstruction surveys conducted during 1986 on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1), Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.

    1987-07-01

    Preconstruction surveys were implemented as part of the US Department of Energy's compensation/mitigation plan to offset possible effects of petroleum developments on the endangered San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and the proposed endangered giant kangaroo rat. These surveys were conducted to gather information that could be used to assess potential impacts of construction activity on endangered species and their habitats, and to formulate alternatives that resulted in avoiding or minimizing the effects. During 1986 a total of 130 preconstruction surveys covering approximately 665 acres were conducted. Approximately 273.5 acres of the area surveyed were subsequently disturbed by construction or maintenance activities. A total of 45 kit fox dens, numerous giant kangaroo rat burrow systems, and 47 washes representing habitat for blunt-nosed leopard lizards were found. Three kit fox dens and one wash were not considered to be threatened by construction, but all giant kangaroo rat burrows were. Impacts to 41 kit fox dens, all of the burrows, and 46 of the washes were avoided by 27 project modifications. One den was excavated to prevent potential burial of a kit fox or other wildlife during construction. 10 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  15. Leading-edge receptivity for blunt-nose bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerschen, Edward J.

    1991-01-01

    This research program investigates boundary-layer receptivity in the leading-edge region for bodies with blunt leading edges. Receptivity theory provides the link between the unsteady distrubance environment in the free stream and the initial amplitudes of the instability waves in the boundary layer. This is a critical problem which must be addressed in order to develop more accurate prediction methods for boundary-layer transition. The first phase of this project examines the effects of leading-edge bluntness and aerodynamic loading for low Mach number flows. In the second phase of the project, the investigation is extended to supersonic Mach numbers. Singular perturbation techniques are utilized to develop an asymptotic theory for high Reynolds numbers. In the first year, the asymptotic theory was developed for leading-edge receptivity in low Mach number flows. The case of a parabolic nose is considered. Substantial progress was made on the Navier-Sotkes computations. Analytical solutions for the steady and unsteady potential flow fields were incorporated into the code, greatly expanding the types of free-stream disturbances that can be considered while also significantly reducing the the computational requirements. The time-stepping algorithm was modified so that the potential flow perturbations induced by the unsteady pressure field are directly introduced throughout the computational domain, avoiding an artificial 'numerical diffusion' of these from the outer boundary. In addition, the start-up process was modified by introducing the transient Stokes wave solution into the downstream boundary conditions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

    Thyroid hormones (THs) play crucial roles in various developmental and physiological processes in vertebrates, including squamate reptiles. The effect of THs on shedding frequency is interesting in Squamata, since the effects on lizards are quite the reverse of those in snakes: injection of thyroxine increases shedding frequency in lizards, but decreases it in snakes. However, the mechanism underlying this differential effect remains unclear. To facilitate the investigation of the molecular mechanism of the physiological functions of THs in Squamata, their two specific receptor (TRalpha and beta) cDNAs, which are members of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, were cloned from a lizard, the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. This is the first molecular cloning of thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) from reptiles. The deduced amino acid sequences showed high identity with those of other species, especially in the C and E/F domains, which are characteristic domains in nuclear hormone receptors. Expression analysis revealed that TRs were widely expressed in many tissues and organs, as in other animals. To analyze their role in the skin, temporal expression analysis was performed by RT-PCR, revealing that the two TRs had opposing expression patterns: TRalpha was expressed more strongly after than before skin shedding, whereas TRbeta was expressed more strongly before than after skin shedding. This provides good evidence that THs play important roles in the skin, and that the roles of their two receptor isoforms are distinct from each other. PMID:16849843

  17. Status of the Leopard Laser Project in Nevada Terawatt Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiewior, Piotr P.; Astanovitskiy, A.; Aubry, G.; Batie, S.; Caron, J.; Chalyy, O.; Cowan, T.; Haefner, C.; Le Galloudec, B.; Le Galloudec, N.; Macaulay, D.; Nalajala, V.; Pettee, G.; Samek, S.; Stepanenko, Y.; Vesco, J.

    2009-06-01

    Nevada Terawatt Facility (NTF) currently operates a high-intensity laser system—Leopard. NTF already operates a powerful z-pinch device, called Zebra, for plasma and High Energy Density physics research. The unique research opportunities arise from the combination of NTF's terawatt Zebra z-pinch with 50-terawatt-class Leopard laser. This combination also provides opportunities to address fundamental physics of inertial fusion and high energy density physics with intense laser beam. We report on the status, design and architecture of the Leopard laser project. A first experiments carried out with Leopard will be also briefly mentioned.

  18. Schrodinger Leopards in Bose-Einstein Condensates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, Lincoln D.; Dounas-Frazer, Dimitri R.

    2008-03-01

    We present the complex quantum dynamics of vortices in Bose-Einstein condensates in a double well via exact diagonalization of a discretized Hamiltonian. When the barrier is high, vortices evolve into macroscopic superposition (NOON) states of a vortex in either well -- a Schrodinger cat with spots. Such Schrodinger leopard states are more robust than previously proposed NOON states, which only use two single particle modes of the double well potential.

  19. Trapper readies trap for lizard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    State-licensed animal trapper James Dean sets the open door of an animal trap on KSC. He hopes to catch a large monitor lizard spotted recently near S.R. 3, a route into the Center, by several area residents. The lizard is not a native of the area, and possibly a released pet. Dean is working with the cooperation of KSC and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

  20. A spotlight on snow leopard conservation in China.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Justine S; Zhang, Chengcheng; Shi, Kun; Riordan, Philip

    2016-07-01

    China holds the greatest proportion of the snow leopard's (Panthera uncia) global range and is central to their conservation. The country is also undergoing unprecedented economic growth, which increases both the threats to the snow leopard and the opportunities for its conservation. In this paper we aim to review published literature (from 1950 to 2014) in English and Mandarin on snow leopard ecology and conservation in China in order to identify thematic and geographic research gaps and propose research priorities. We first retrieved all published items that considered snow leopards in China (n = 106). We extracted from these papers 274 reports of snow leopard presence in China. We then reviewed a subset of papers (n = 33) of this literature, which specifically focused on snow leopard ecology and conservation within China. We introduced a thematic framework that allows a structured and comprehensive assessment of findings. This framework recognizes 4 critical and interrelated topics underpinning snow leopard ecology and conservation: habitat (distribution and protected area coverage); prey (distribution and abundance, predator-prey relationships); human interactions (hunting and trade, livestock interactions and conflicts); and the underlying policy context. Significant gains in knowledge as well as research gaps and priorities are discussed with reference to our framework. The modest quantity and limited scope of published research on the snow leopard in China calls for a continued and intensified effort to inform and support national conservation policies. PMID:27135283

  1. Applicability of Age-Based Hunting Regulations for African Leopards

    PubMed Central

    Balme, Guy Andrew; Hunter, Luke; Braczkowski, Alex Richard

    2012-01-01

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

  2. LEOPARD Syndrome: Clinical Features and Gene Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Quintana, E.; Rodríguez-González, F.

    2012-01-01

    The RAS/MAPK pathway proteins with germline mutations in their respective genes are associated with some disorders such as Noonan, LEOPARD (LS), neurofibromatosis type 1, Costello and cardio-facio-cutaneous syndromes. LEOPARD is an acronym, mnemonic for the major manifestations of this disorder, characterized by multiple lentigines, electrocardiographic abnormalities, ocular hypertelorism, pulmonic stenosis, abnormal genitalia, retardation of growth, and sensorineural deafness. Though it is not included in the acronym, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most frequent cardiac anomaly observed, representing a potentially life-threatening problem in these patients. PTPN11, RAF1 and BRAF are the genes known to be associated with LS, identifying molecular genetic testing of the 3 gene mutations in about 95% of affected individuals. PTPN11 mutations are the most frequently found. Eleven different missense PTPN11 mutations (Tyr279Cys/Ser, Ala461Thr, Gly464Ala, Thr468Met/Pro, Arg498Trp/Leu, Gln506Pro, and Gln510Glu/Pro) have been reported so far in LS, 2 of which (Tyr279Cys and Thr468Met) occur in about 65% of the cases. Here, we provide an overview of clinical aspects of this disorder, the molecular mechanisms underlying pathogenesis and major genotype-phenotype correlations. PMID:23239957

  3. Acoustical coupling of lizard eardrums.

    PubMed

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Manley, Geoffrey A

    2008-12-01

    Lizard ears are clear examples of two-input pressure-difference receivers, with up to 40-dB differences in eardrum vibration amplitude in response to ipsi- and contralateral stimulus directions. The directionality is created by acoustical coupling of the eardrums and interaction of the direct and indirect sound components on the eardrum. The ensuing pressure-difference characteristics generate the highest directionality of any similar-sized terrestrial vertebrate ear. The aim of the present study was to measure the gain of the direct and indirect sound components in three lizard species: Anolis sagrei and Basiliscus vittatus (iguanids) and Hemidactylus frenatus (gekkonid) by laser vibrometry, using either free-field sound or a headphone and coupler for stimulation. The directivity of the ear of these lizards is pronounced in the frequency range from 2 to 5 kHz. The directivity is ovoidal, asymmetrical across the midline, but largely symmetrical across the interaural axis (i.e., front-back). Occlusion of the contralateral ear abolishes the directionality. We stimulated the two eardrums with a coupler close to the eardrum to measure the gain of the sound pathways. Within the frequency range of maximal directionality, the interaural transmission gain (compared to sound arriving directly) is close to or even exceeds unity, indicating a pronounced acoustical transparency of the lizard head and resonances in the interaural cavities. Our results show that the directionality of the lizard ear is caused by the acoustic interaction of the two eardrums. The results can be largely explained by a simple acoustical model based on an electrical analog circuit. PMID:18648878

  4. Acoustical Coupling of Lizard Eardrums

    PubMed Central

    Manley, Geoffrey A.

    2008-01-01

    Lizard ears are clear examples of two-input pressure-difference receivers, with up to 40-dB differences in eardrum vibration amplitude in response to ipsi- and contralateral stimulus directions. The directionality is created by acoustical coupling of the eardrums and interaction of the direct and indirect sound components on the eardrum. The ensuing pressure-difference characteristics generate the highest directionality of any similar-sized terrestrial vertebrate ear. The aim of the present study was to measure the gain of the direct and indirect sound components in three lizard species: Anolis sagrei and Basiliscus vittatus (iguanids) and Hemidactylus frenatus (gekkonid) by laser vibrometry, using either free-field sound or a headphone and coupler for stimulation. The directivity of the ear of these lizards is pronounced in the frequency range from 2 to 5 kHz. The directivity is ovoidal, asymmetrical across the midline, but largely symmetrical across the interaural axis (i.e., front–back). Occlusion of the contralateral ear abolishes the directionality. We stimulated the two eardrums with a coupler close to the eardrum to measure the gain of the sound pathways. Within the frequency range of maximal directionality, the interaural transmission gain (compared to sound arriving directly) is close to or even exceeds unity, indicating a pronounced acoustical transparency of the lizard head and resonances in the interaural cavities. Our results show that the directionality of the lizard ear is caused by the acoustic interaction of the two eardrums. The results can be largely explained by a simple acoustical model based on an electrical analog circuit. PMID:18648878

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  6. A population model of the lizard Uta stansburiana in southern Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, F.B.; Medica, P.A.; Bridges, K.W.; Jennrich, R.I.

    1982-01-01

    Population densities, reproduction, and survival of the lizard Uta stansburiana were measured at the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada, USA, between 1964 and 1974. These data were used to develop a model of the population dynamics of this species. Results of irrigation experiments in 0.4-ha enclosures near Mercury, Nevada, were used to formulate multiple-regression equations predicting frequency and size of clutches laid by two age-classes of females in terms of winter rainfall, March air temperatures and Uta population density. Densities of Uta in these enclosures were manipulated, and age-specific survival modeled in terms of spring densities of Uta. Experiments in which an important predator on Uta (the leopard lizard, Crotaphytus wislizeni) was removed from enclosures were used to estimate the influence of the predator on basic survival rates of hatchling and older Uta. The model was generally developed from data acquired in the small enclosures, but predictions were compared with actual observations of changes in Uta populations in Rock Valley (19 km west of Mercury, Nevada) between 1966 and 1972. The basic model included three density-dependent parameters: clutch frequency, clutch size, and adult survival. It was concluded that processes relating to egg production were modeled more effectively than those influencing survival, and that improvement of the model will depend on more detailed studies of the impact of predation on age-specific survival rates of Uta.

  7. Implications of spatial genetic patterns for conserving African leopards.

    PubMed

    Ropiquet, Anne; Knight, Andrew T; Born, Céline; Martins, Quinton; Balme, Guy; Kirkendall, Lawrence; Hunter, Luke; Senekal, Charl; Matthee, Conrad A

    2015-11-01

    The leopard (Panthera pardus) is heavily persecuted in areas where it predates livestock and threatens human well-being. Attempts to resolve human-leopard conflict typically involve translocating problem animals; however, these interventions are rarely informed by genetic studies and can unintentionally compromise the natural spatial genetic structure and diversity, and possibly the long-term persistence, of the species. No significant genetic discontinuities were definable within the southern African leopard population. Analysis of fine-scale genetic data derived from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA revealed that the primary natural process shaping the spatial genetic structure of the species is isolation-by-distance (IBD). The effective gene dispersal (σ) index can inform leopard translocations and is estimated to be 82 km for some South African leopards. The importance of adopting an evidence-based strategy is discussed for supporting the integration of genetic data, spatial planning and social learning institutions so as to promote collaboration between land managers, government agency staff and researchers. PMID:26321316

  8. Operation of the Lectric Leopard. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Kamm, I.O.

    1981-07-01

    The vehicle selected for the demonstration project is a Lectric Leopard built by US Electricar Corporation. The vehicle was unable to fulfill the intentions of the program because of continuous failures in the control system and an inability of the factory to fix them. Our requests to obtain circuit diagrams of the system so that we could make repairs ourselves were turned down, stating that this information was proprietary. The vehicle was demonstrated three times, to a student audience, Public Service Electric and Gas Company Day at Stevens and the Rotary Club of Hoboken; but because of the large amounts of downtime the vehicle only accumulated 900 miles over a one year period. In May 1981 we were informed that in a frontal barrier test, the rear batteries had broken loose delivering a second impact on the driver and dumping several gallons of acid into the occupant compartment. On the advise of DOE the vehicle has not been used since. If Stevens is permitted to keep the vehicle it is our intent to make it the subject of several student senior design projects to make the vehicle safe for use by containerizing the rear batteries.

  9. Inventory of San Joaquin kit fox on BLM lands in southern and southwestern San Joaquin Valley. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Kato, T.; McCue, P.; Sauls, M.L.

    1980-08-01

    The objectives of this study were to provide the Bureau of Land Management, Bakersfield District, with information on the distribution of the San Joaquin kit fox, an endangered species, on public lands in the southern and southwestern San Joaquin Valley of California, and to develop information essential for designating kit fox critical habitats on lands under their jurisdiction as outlined by the Endangered Species Act and its amendments. A total of 31,860 acres of BLM lands were surveyed using line transects at a density of 8 per linear mile. Observations were recorded on: (1) kit fox dens, tracks, scats, and remains of their prey; (2) vegetation associations; (3) topography; (4) evidence of human activities; (5) species composition and abundance of wildlife seen, especially lagomorphs; (6) presence of Eriogonum gossypinum, a plant of special interest; and (7) presence of the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, another endangered species.

  10. Endangered Species Program Naval Petroleum Reserves in California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-02-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) are operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Construction and development activities, which are conducted by DOE at Naval Petroleum Reserve {number sign}1 (NPR-1) to comply with the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-258), potentially threaten the continued existence of four federally-listed endangered species: the San Joaquin kit fox, (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), and Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides). All four are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1990 (FY90).

  11. Endangered Species Program Naval Petroleum Reserves in California. Annual report FY90

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-02-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) are operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Construction and development activities, which are conducted by DOE at Naval Petroleum Reserve {number_sign}1 (NPR-1) to comply with the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-258), potentially threaten the continued existence of four federally-listed endangered species: the San Joaquin kit fox, (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), and Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides). All four are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1990 (FY90).

  12. Learning foraging thresholds for lizards

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, L.A.; Hart, W.E.; Wilson, D.B.

    1996-01-12

    This work gives a proof of convergence for a randomized learning algorithm that describes how anoles (lizards found in the Carribean) learn a foraging threshold distance. This model assumes that an anole will pursue a prey if and only if it is within this threshold of the anole`s perch. This learning algorithm was proposed by the biologist Roughgarden and his colleagues. They experimentally confirmed that this algorithm quickly converges to the foraging threshold that is predicted by optimal foraging theory our analysis provides an analytic confirmation that the learning algorithm converses to this optimal foraging threshold with high probability.

  13. Wildlife management plan, Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Scrivner, J.H.

    1987-01-01

    Under the Naval Petroleum Act of 1976, Congress directed the Secretary of the Navy and subsequently the Secretary of Energy, to produce petroleum products from Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) in Kern County, California, at the maximum efficient rate consistent with sound engineering practices. Because of the presence of two endangered species and the quality, quantity, and contiguous nature of habitat on NPR-1, the area is unique and management of its resources deserves special attention. The purpose of this wildlife management plan is to: (1) draw together specific information on NPR-1 wildlife resources; (2) suggest management goals that could be implemented, which if achieved, would result in diverse, healthy wildlife populations; and (3) reinitiate cooperative agreements between the US Department of Energy (DOE) and other conservation organizations regarding the management of wildlife on NPR-1. NPR-1 supports an abundant and diverse vertebrate fauna. Twenty-five mammalian, 92 avian, eight reptilian, and two amphibian species have been observed on Elk Hills. Of these, three are endangered (San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica; giant kangaroo rat, Dipodomys ingens; blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Gambelia silus). Nine vertebrates, six invertebrates, and four plant species known to occur or suspected of occurring on Elk Hills are potential candidates for listing. A major objective of this management plan is to minimize the impact of petroleum development activities on the San Joaquin kit fox, giant kangaroo rat, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and their essential habitats. This will mainly be achieved by monitoring the status of these species and their habitat and by restoring disturbed habitats. In general, management policies designed to benefit the above three species and other species of concern will also benefit other wildlife inhabiting NPR-1.

  14. Defrosting Polar Dunes--'The Snow Leopard'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    The patterns created by dark spots on defrosting south polar dunes are often strange and beautiful. This picture, which the Mars Orbiter Camera team has dubbed, 'the snow leopard,' shows a dune field located at 61.5oS, 18.9oW, as it appeared on July 1, 1999. The spots are areas where dark sand has been exposed from beneath bright frost as the south polar winter cap begins to retreat. Many of the spots have a diffuse, bright ring around them this is thought to be fresh frost that was re-precipitated after being removed from the dark spot. The spots seen on defrosting polar dunes are a new phenomenon that was not observed by previous spacecraft missions to Mars. Thus, there is much about these features that remains unknown. For example, no one yet knows why the dunes become defrosted by forming small spots that grow and grow over time. No one knows for sure if the bright rings around the dark spots are actually composed of re-precipitated frost. And no one knows for sure why some dune show spots that appear to be 'lined-up' (as they do in the picture shown here).

    This Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera image is illuminated from the upper left. North is toward the upper right. The scale bar indicates a distance of 200 meters (656 feet).

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  15. Temperature, activity, and lizard life histories

    SciTech Connect

    Adolph, S.C.; Porter, W.P. )

    1993-08-01

    Lizard life-history characteristics vary widely among species and populations. Most authors seek adaptive or phylogenetic explanations for life-history patterns, which are usually presumed to reflect genetic differences. However, lizard life histories are often phenotypically plastic, varying in response to temperature, food availability, and other environmental factors. Despite the importance of temperature to lizard ecology and physiology, its effects on life histories have received relatively little attention. The authors present a theoretical model predicting the proximate consequences of the thermal environment for lizard life histories. Temperature, by affecting activity times, can cause variation in annual survival rate and fecundity, leading to a negative correlation between survival rate and fecundity among populations in different thermal environments. Thus, physiological and evolutionary models predict the same qualitative pattern of life-history variation in lizards. They tested their model with published life-history data from field studies of the lizard Sceloporus undulatus, using climate and geographical data to reconstruct estimated annual activity seasons. Among populations, annual activity times were negatively correlated with annual survival rate and positively correlated with annual fecundity. Proximate effects of temperature may confound comparative analyses of lizard life-history variation and should be included in future evolutionary models. 125 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  16. Lizard locomotion in heterogeneous granular media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiebel, Perrin; Goldman, Daniel

    2014-03-01

    Locomotion strategies in heterogeneous granular environments (common substrates in deserts), are relatively unexplored. The zebra-tailed lizard (C. draconoides) is a useful model organism for such studies owing to its exceptional ability to navigate a variety of desert habitats at impressive speed (up to 50 body-lengths per second) using both quadrapedal and bidepal gaits. In laboratory experiments, we challenge the lizards to run across a field of boulders (2.54 cm diameter glass spheres or 3.8 cm 3D printed spheres) placed in a lattice pattern and embedded in a loosely packed granular medium of 0.3 mm diameter glass particles. Locomotion kinematics of the lizard are recorded using high speed cameras, with and without the scatterers. The data reveals that unlike the lizard's typical quadrupedal locomotion using a diagonal gait, when scatterers are present the lizard is most successful when using a bipedal gait, with a raised center of mass (CoM). We propose that the kinematics of bipedal running in conjunction with the lizard's long toes and compliant hind foot are the keys to this lizard's successful locomotion in the presence of such obstacles. NSF PoLS

  17. Trappers set up trap for lizard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    In hope of catching a large monitor lizard seen in the area, state-licensed animal trappers Dewey Kessler and James Dean (at left), with Gary Povitch (kneeling) of the U.S. Wildlife and Dan Turner (standing) set up a trap on KSC. The lizard has been spotted recently near S.R. 3, a route into the Center, by several area residents. Turner is a monitor expert. The lizard is not a native of the area, and possibly a released pet. Dean is working with the cooperation of KSC and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    When densities of large carnivores fall below certain thresholds, dramatic ecological effects can follow, leading to oversimplified ecosystems. Understanding the population status of such species remains a major challenge as they occur in low densities and their ranges are wide. This paper describes the use of non-invasive data collection techniques combined with recent spatial capture-recapture methods to estimate the density of snow leopards Panthera uncia. It also investigates the influence of environmental and human activity indicators on their spatial distribution. A total of 60 camera traps were systematically set up during a three-month period over a 480 km2 study area in Qilianshan National Nature Reserve, Gansu Province, China. We recorded 76 separate snow leopard captures over 2,906 trap-days, representing an average capture success of 2.62 captures/100 trap-days. We identified a total number of 20 unique individuals from photographs and estimated snow leopard density at 3.31 (SE = 1.01) individuals per 100 km2. Results of our simulation exercise indicate that our estimates from the Spatial Capture Recapture models were not optimal to respect to bias and precision (RMSEs for density parameters less or equal to 0.87). Our results underline the critical challenge in achieving sufficient sample sizes of snow leopard captures and recaptures. Possible performance improvements are discussed, principally by optimising effective camera capture and photographic data quality. PMID:26322682

  19. Prey preferences of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia): regional diet specificity holds global significance for conservation.

    PubMed

    Lyngdoh, Salvador; Shrotriya, Shivam; Goyal, Surendra P; Clements, Hayley; Hayward, Matthew W; Habib, Bilal

    2014-01-01

    The endangered snow leopard is a large felid that is distributed over 1.83 million km(2) globally. Throughout its range it relies on a limited number of prey species in some of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet where high rates of human persecution exist for both predator and prey. We reviewed 14 published and 11 unpublished studies pertaining to snow leopard diet throughout its range. We calculated prey consumption in terms of frequency of occurrence and biomass consumed based on 1696 analysed scats from throughout the snow leopard's range. Prey biomass consumed was calculated based on the Ackerman's linear correction factor. We identified four distinct physiographic and snow leopard prey type zones, using cluster analysis that had unique prey assemblages and had key prey characteristics which supported snow leopard occurrence there. Levin's index showed the snow leopard had a specialized dietary niche breadth. The main prey of the snow leopard were Siberian ibex (Capra sibrica), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), argali (Ovis ammon) and marmots (Marmota spp). The significantly preferred prey species of snow leopard weighed 55±5 kg, while the preferred prey weight range of snow leopard was 36-76 kg with a significant preference for Siberian ibex and blue sheep. Our meta-analysis identified critical dietary resources for snow leopards throughout their distribution and illustrates the importance of understanding regional variation in species ecology; particularly prey species that have global implications for conservation. PMID:24533080

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Enterobacteriaceae isolated from iguanid lizards of west-central Texas.

    PubMed Central

    Mathewson, J J

    1979-01-01

    The prevalence of members of the family Enterobacteriaceae in the intestines of seven species of iguanid lizards native to west-central Texas was determined. Of the 67 lizard specimens examined, 48.7% were infected with Salmonella and 9% were infected with Salmonella arizonae. Two lizard species (Sceloporus olivaceus and Crotaphytus collaris) were shown to have a 100% prevalence of Salmonella. PMID:533273

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Cephalopagus conjoined twins in a leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).

    PubMed

    Kompanje, Erwin J O; Hermans, John J

    2008-01-01

    Case reports of conjoined twins ("Siamese twins") in wild mammals are scarce. Most published reports of conjoined twins in mammals concern cases in man and domestic mammals. This article describes a case of cephalopagus conjoined twins in a leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) collected on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, in the period 1873-76. A review of known cases of conjoined twinning in wild mammals is given. PMID:18263837

  4. Clostridium perfringens enterotoxicosis in two Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis).

    PubMed

    Neiffer, D L

    2001-03-01

    Two 6-yr-old male sibling Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis) housed together at the Pittsburgh Zoo presented for acute onset of diarrhea with no changes in appetite or behavior. Heat-fixed modified Wright-stained and Gram-stained fecal smears revealed a mixed bacterial population with a large number of gram-positive Clostridium perfringens-like spores (>20 per high-power oil immersion field). In addition, C. perfringens enterotoxin was isolated from one leopard at 1:256, confirming the presence of C. perfringens enterotoxicosis. Treatment with oral metronidazole, tylosin tartrate, and psyllium fiber was prescribed, with return of more normal stool by the third day of treatment. Fecal consistency steadily improved and was considered normal by the time all prescribed treatments were complete. Diarrhea has not recurred. Partially thawed meat in the leopards' diet may have precipitated the production of an endogenous clostridial enterotoxicosis by disrupting digestive tract flora with resultant clostridial overgrowth and sporulation. PMID:12790411

  5. Effects of endurance training in the leopard shark, Triakis semifasciata.

    PubMed

    Gruber, S J; Dickson, K A

    1997-01-01

    This study is the first to examine the effects of endurance training in an elasmobranch fish. Twenty-four leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) were divided randomly into three groups. Eight sharks were killed immediately, eight were forced to swim continuously for 6 wk against a current of 35 cm s-1 (60%-65% of maximal sustainable swimming speed), and eight were held for 6 wk in a tank without induced current. There were no changes due to training in maximal sustainable speed, oxygen consumption rates, percentage of the myotome composed of red and white muscle fibers, blood oxygen-carrying capacity, liver mass, liver lipid, glycogen, and protein concentrations, white muscle protein content, heart ventricle mass, or the specific activities of the enzymes citrate synthase, pyruvate kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase in the heart ventricle. In red myotomal muscle, citrate synthase activity increased 17% as a result of training, but there was no change in muscle fiber diameter. The greatest effects occurred in white myotomal muscle, in which a 34% increase in fiber diameter and a 36% increase in the activities of citrate synthase and lactate dehydrogenase occurred as a result of training. The conditioned fish also had significantly higher growth rates. The observed effects within the myotomal muscle may reflect the higher growth rates of the trained leopard sharks, or they may be a specific response to the increased energetic demands of the training activity, indicating characteristics that limit swimming performance in leopard sharks. PMID:9237309

  6. Toxoplasmosis May Lead to Road Kills of Persian Leopards ( Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Golestan National Park, Iran.

    PubMed

    Namroodi, Somayeh; Gholami, Alireza; Shariat-Bahadori, Ehsan

    2016-04-28

    Three Persian leopards ( Panthera pardus saxicolor) that died from car accidents in Golestan National Park, Iran, were tested for Toxoplasma gondii and rabies virus infection. Acute T. gondii infection was diagnosed in two Persian leopards; no rabies virus was detected. Acute toxoplasmosis may be a factor in Persian leopard road kills. PMID:26981691

  7. Challenges in cryopreservation of clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Pukazhenthi, Budhan; Laroe, Debra; Crosier, Adrienne; Bush, Lena May; Spindler, Rebecca; Pelican, Katherine M; Bush, Mitchell; Howard, Jo Gayle; Wildt, David E

    2006-10-01

    The clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is an endangered species that is difficult to breed in captivity. Species management could benefit from the use of artificial insemination (AI) with frozen-thawed spermatozoa, but there have been no detailed studies of sperm cryosensitivity. The purposes of this study were to: (1) re-characterize seminal characteristics in the clouded leopard 20 years after the first descriptive studies Wildt et al., [Wildt DE, Howard JG, Hall LL, Bush M. Reproductive physiology of the clouded leopard. I. Electroejaculates contain high proportions of pleiomorphic spermatozoa throughout the year. Biol Reprod 1986; 34: 937-947]; and (2) conduct a comparative cryopreservation study on the feasibility of sperm from this species surviving a freeze-thawing stress. Ejaculates were collected from five adult males and subjected to standard analysis, followed by a two-step straw freezing protocol that evaluated the impact of thawing, dilution, centrifugation and in vitro culture (through 4 h) on sperm motility and acrosomal integrity. Additionally, we assessed the impact of both a traditional permeating cryoprotectant (glycerol at a final dilution of 4%) and an unconventional nonpermeating trisaccharide; raffinose (R) at a final dilution of 4% or 8%, with or without 4% glycerol on sperm cryosurvival. The clouded leopard produced an extremely poor quality ejaculate; although approximately 70% of fresh sperm were motile, >80% were malformed. Phase contrast microscopy revealed that 40% of all sperm had abnormal acrosomes, but Coomassie blue staining indicated that acrosomal abnormalities existed in almost 70% of spermatozoa. Upon freeze-thawing, sperm motility declined markedly (P < 0.05) by an average of 40%, regardless of diluent used. Interestingly, raffinose was as effective as glycerol in protecting both sperm motility and acrosomal integrity. Although no acrosomal damage was seen immediately after thawing, < 6% morphologically normal intact

  8. Lizard-Skin Surface Texture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1

    The south polar region of Mars is covered seasonally with translucent carbon dioxide ice. In the spring gas subliming (evaporating) from the underside of the seasonal layer of ice bursts through weak spots, carrying dust from below with it, to form numerous dust fans aligned in the direction of the prevailing wind.

    The dust gets trapped in the shallow grooves on the surface, helping to define the small-scale structure of the surface. The surface texture is reminiscent of lizard skin (figure 1).

    Observation Geometry Image PSP_003730_0945 was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on 14-May-2007. The complete image is centered at -85.2 degrees latitude, 181.5 degrees East longitude. The range to the target site was 248.5 km (155.3 miles). At this distance the image scale is 24.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects 75 cm across are resolved. The image shown here has been map-projected to 25 cm/pixel . The image was taken at a local Mars time of 06:04 PM and the scene is illuminated from the west with a solar incidence angle of 69 degrees, thus the sun was about 21 degrees above the horizon. At a solar longitude of 237.5 degrees, the season on Mars is Northern Autumn.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  10. LAPAROSCOPIC SALPINGECTOMY IN TWO CAPTIVE LEOPARDS (PANTHERA PARDUS) USING A SINGLE PORTAL ACCESS SYSTEM.

    PubMed

    Hartman, Marthinus J; Monnet, Eric; Kirberger, Robert M; Schoeman, Johan P

    2015-12-01

    Laparoscopic salpingectomy was performed in two adult leopards (Panthera pardus) using a single portal access system, with a multicannulated single-incision laparoscopic surgery port, without any complications. The poorly developed ovarian bursa provided easy access to the uterine tube for salpingectomy. Laparoscopic salpingectomy can be safely performed in the leopard using a single portal access system. PMID:26667558

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

    SciTech Connect

    Rass-Rothchild, A.: Abeliovitch, D.; Kornstein, A. |

    1994-09-01

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

  12. Bone accumulation by leopards in the Late Pleistocene in the Moncayo massif (Zaragoza, NE Spain).

    PubMed

    Sauqué, Víctor; Rabal-Garcés, Raquel; Sola-Almagro, Cristina; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria

    2014-01-01

    Eating habits of Panthera pardus are well known. When there are caves in its territory, prey accumulates inside them. This helps to prevent its kill from being stolen by other predators like hyenas. Although the leopard is an accumulator of bones in caves, few studies have been conducted on existing lairs. There are, however, examples of fossil vertebrate sites whose main collecting agent is the leopard. During the Late Pleistocene, the leopard was a common carnivore in European faunal associations. Here we present a new locality of Quaternary mammals with a scarce human presence, the cave of Los Rincones (province of Zaragoza, Spain); we show the leopard to be the main accumulator of the bones in the cave, while there are no interactions between humans and leopards. For this purpose, a taphonomic analysis is performed on different bone-layers of the cave. PMID:24642667

  13. Bone Accumulation by Leopards in the Late Pleistocene in the Moncayo Massif (Zaragoza, NE Spain)

    PubMed Central

    Sauqué, Víctor; Rabal-Garcés, Raquel; Sola-Almagro, Cristina; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria

    2014-01-01

    Eating habits of Panthera pardus are well known. When there are caves in its territory, prey accumulates inside them. This helps to prevent its kill from being stolen by other predators like hyenas. Although the leopard is an accumulator of bones in caves, few studies have been conducted on existing lairs. There are, however, examples of fossil vertebrate sites whose main collecting agent is the leopard. During the Late Pleistocene, the leopard was a common carnivore in European faunal associations. Here we present a new locality of Quaternary mammals with a scarce human presence, the cave of Los Rincones (province of Zaragoza, Spain); we show the leopard to be the main accumulator of the bones in the cave, while there are no interactions between humans and leopards. For this purpose, a taphonomic analysis is performed on different bone-layers of the cave. PMID:24642667

  14. A stem acrodontan lizard in the Cretaceous of Brazil revises early lizard evolution in Gondwana.

    PubMed

    Simões, Tiago R; Wilner, Everton; Caldwell, Michael W; Weinschütz, Luiz C; Kellner, Alexander W A

    2015-01-01

    Iguanians are one of the most diverse groups of extant lizards (>1,700 species) with acrodontan iguanians dominating in the Old World, and non-acrodontans in the New World. A new lizard species presented herein is the first acrodontan from South America, indicating acrodontans radiated throughout Gondwana much earlier than previously thought, and that some of the first South American lizards were more closely related to their counterparts in Africa and Asia than to the modern fauna of South America. This suggests both groups of iguanians achieved a worldwide distribution before the final breakup of Pangaea. At some point, non-acrodontans replaced acrodontans and became the only iguanians in the Americas, contrary to what happened on most of the Old World. This discovery also expands the diversity of Cretaceous lizards in South America, which with recent findings, suggests sphenodontians were not the dominant lepidosaurs in that continent as previously hypothesized. PMID:26306778

  15. A stem acrodontan lizard in the Cretaceous of Brazil revises early lizard evolution in Gondwana

    PubMed Central

    Simões, Tiago R.; Wilner, Everton; Caldwell, Michael W.; Weinschütz, Luiz C.; Kellner, Alexander W. A.

    2015-01-01

    Iguanians are one of the most diverse groups of extant lizards (>1,700 species) with acrodontan iguanians dominating in the Old World, and non-acrodontans in the New World. A new lizard species presented herein is the first acrodontan from South America, indicating acrodontans radiated throughout Gondwana much earlier than previously thought, and that some of the first South American lizards were more closely related to their counterparts in Africa and Asia than to the modern fauna of South America. This suggests both groups of iguanians achieved a worldwide distribution before the final breakup of Pangaea. At some point, non-acrodontans replaced acrodontans and became the only iguanians in the Americas, contrary to what happened on most of the Old World. This discovery also expands the diversity of Cretaceous lizards in South America, which with recent findings, suggests sphenodontians were not the dominant lepidosaurs in that continent as previously hypothesized. PMID:26306778

  16. Synuclein expression in the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Toni, Mattia; Cioni, Carla; De Angelis, Federica; di Patti, Maria Carmela Bonaccorsi

    2016-08-01

    The synuclein (syn) family comprises three proteins: α-, β- and γ-syns. In humans, they are involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and in tumors. Members of the syn family were sequenced in representative species of all vertebrates and the comparative analysis of amino acid sequences suggests that syns are evolutionarily conserved, but information about their expression in vertebrate lineages is still scarce and completely lacking in reptiles. In this study, the expression of genes coding for α-, β- and γ-syns was analyzed in the green lizard Anolis carolinensis by semiquantitative RT-PCR and Western blot. Results demonstrate good expression levels of the three syns in the lizard nervous system, similarly to human syns. This, together with the high identity between lizard and human syns, suggests that these proteins fulfill evolutionarily conserved functions. However, differences between lizard and humans in the expression of syn variants (two different variants of γ-syn were detected in A. carolinensis) and differences in some amino acids in key positions for the regulation of protein conformation and affinity for lipid and metal ions also suggest that these proteins may have acquired different functional specializations in the two lineages. PMID:27393691

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is observed in reptiles with high morbidity and considerable mortality. The objective of this study was to achieve the molecular identification of Cryptosporidium spp. in pet leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) from a breeder colony in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Oocysts comparable to those of Cryptosporidium spp. were detected in three geckos with a history of diarrhea, anorexia and cachexia. Molecular identification methods confirmed the presence of Cryptosporidium varanii (syn. C. saurophilum). This agent was considered to be the primary cause of the observed clinical disease. This is the first description of C. varanii infection in pet reptiles in Argentina. PMID:27419102

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is observed in reptiles with high morbidity and considerable mortality. The objective of this study was to achieve the molecular identification of Cryptosporidium spp. in pet leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) from a breeder colony in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Oocysts comparable to those of Cryptosporidium spp. were detected in three geckos with a history of diarrhea, anorexia and cachexia. Molecular identification methods confirmed the presence of Cryptosporidium varanii (syn. C. saurophilum). This agent was considered to be the primary cause of the observed clinical disease. This is the first description of C. varanii infection in pet reptiles in Argentina. PMID:27419102

  19. Modeling outcomes of approaches to sustained human and snow leopard coexistence.

    PubMed

    Wilman, Elizabeth A; Wilman, Elspeth N

    2016-02-01

    The snow leopard (Uncia uncia) is in danger of extinction. Killing to protect livestock is among the primary causes of its decline. Efforts to mitigate this threat have focused on balancing the need to conserve the snow leopard with the needs of local people in snow leopard habitat, many of whom rely on raising livestock for their livelihoods. Conservation of the snow leopard has the characteristics of a public good, and outside funding is required to support conservation efforts. There are 5 commonly discussed approaches to resolving this issue: (1) direct payments for conservation, (2) investments in protection from predation, (3) damage compensation payments, (4) investments in better livestock husbandry, and (5) leases of pastureland for wild prey. After a review of these 5 conservation strategies, an economic-ecologic model, which includes the interactions between the snow leopard, its wild prey, and livestock, is used to evaluate the 2 most promising conservation strategies. The model reveals that investments in protection from predation and leases of pastureland for wild prey are effective but only in delaying the eventual extinction of the snow leopard. To preserve the snow leopard, these approaches must be applied more aggressively and new ones explored. PMID:26032441

  20. Conservation genetics of the Far Eastern leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis).

    PubMed

    Uphyrkina, O; Miquelle, D; Quigley, H; Driscoll, C; O'Brien, S J

    2002-01-01

    The Far Eastern or Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) survives today as a tiny relict population of 25-40 individuals in the Russian Far East. The population descends from a 19th-century northeastern Asian subspecies whose range extended over southeastern Russia, the Korean peninsula, and northeastern China. A molecular genetic survey of nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence variation validates subspecies distinctiveness but also reveals a markedly reduced level of genetic variation. The amount of genetic diversity measured is the lowest among leopard subspecies and is comparable to the genetically depleted Florida panther and Asiatic lion populations. When considered in the context of nonphysiological perils that threaten small populations (e.g., chance mortality, poaching, climatic extremes, and infectious disease), the genetic and demographic data indicate a critically diminished wild population under severe threat of extinction. An established captive population of P. p. orientalis displays much higher diversity than the wild population sample, but nearly all captive individuals are derived from a history of genetic admixture with the adjacent Chinese subspecies, P. p. japonensis. The conservation management implications of potential restoration/augmentation of the wild population with immigrants from the captive population are discussed. PMID:12547918

  1. Seasonal and diurnal calling patterns of Ross and leopards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  2. Habitat degradation may affect niche segregation patterns in lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelegrin, N.; Chani, J. M.; Echevarria, A. L.; Bucher, E. H.

    2013-08-01

    Lizards partition resources in three main niche dimensions: time, space and food. Activity time and microhabitat use are strongly influenced by thermal environment, and may differ between species according to thermal requirements and tolerance. As thermal characteristics are influenced by habitat structure, microhabitat use and activity of lizards can change in disturbed habitats. We compared activity and microhabitat use of two abundant lizard species of the Semi-arid Chaco of Argentina between a restored and a highly degraded Chaco forest, to determine how habitat degradation affects lizard segregation in time and space, hypothesizing that as activity and microhabitat use of lizards are related to habitat structure, activity and microhabitat use of individual species can be altered in degraded habitats, thus changing segregation patterns between them. Activity changed from an overlapped pattern in a restored forest to a segregated pattern in a degraded forest. A similar trend was observed for microhabitat use, although to a less extent. No correlation was found between air temperature and lizard activity, but lizard activity varied along the day and among sites. Contrary to what was believed, activity patterns of neotropical diurnal lizards are not fixed, but affected by multiple factors related to habitat structure and possibly to interspecific interactions. Changes in activity patterns and microhabitat use in degraded forests may have important implications when analyzing the effects of climate change on lizard species, due to synergistic effects.

  3. Ecological release in White Sands lizards

    PubMed Central

    Roches, S Des; Robertson, J M; Harmon, L J; Rosenblum, E B

    2011-01-01

    Ecological opportunity is any change that allows populations to escape selection from competition and predation. After encountering ecological opportunity, populations may experience ecological release: enlarged population size, broadened resource use, and/or increased morphological variation. We identified ecological opportunity and tested for ecological release in three lizard colonists of White Sands, New Mexico (Sceloporus undulatus, Holbrookia maculata, and Aspidoscelis inornata). First, we provide evidence for ecological opportunity by demonstrating reduced species richness and abundance of potential competitors and predators at White Sands relative to nearby dark soils habitats. Second, we characterize ecological release at White Sands by demonstrating density compensation in the three White Sands lizard species and expanded resource use in White Sands S. undulatus. Contrary to predictions from ecological release models, we observed directional trait change but not increased trait variation in S. undulatus. Our results suggest that ecological opportunity and ecological release can be identified in natural populations, especially those that have recently colonized isolated ecosystems. PMID:22393523

  4. Coupled, Active Oscillators and Lizard Otoacoustic Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergevin, Christopher; Velenovsky, David S.; Bonine, Kevin E.

    2011-11-01

    The present study empirically explores the relationship between spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) and stimulus-frequency emissions (SFOAEs) in lizards, an ideal group for such research given their relatively simple inner ear (e.g., lack of basilar membrane traveling waves), diverse morphology across species/families (e.g., tectorial membrane structure) and robust emissions. In a nutshell, our results indicate that SFOAEs evoked using low-level tones are intimately related to underlying SOAE activity, and appear to represent the entrained response of active oscillators closely tuned to the probe frequency. The data described here indicate several essential features that are desirable to capture in theoretical models for auditory transduction in lizards, and potentially represent generic properties at work in many different classes of "active" ears.

  5. Numerical solution of the Navier-Stokes equations for blunt nosed bodies in supersonic flows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warsi, Z. U. A.; Devarayalu, K.; Thompson, J. F.

    1978-01-01

    A time dependent, two dimensional Navier-Stokes code employing the method of body fitted coordinate technique was developed for supersonic flows past blunt bodies of arbitrary shapes. The bow shock ahead of the body is obtained as part of the solution, viz., by shock capturing. A first attempt at mesh refinement in the shock region was made by using the forcing function in the coordinate generating equations as a linear function of the density gradients. The technique displaces a few lines from the neighboring region into the shock region. Numerical calculations for Mach numbers 2 and 4.6 and Reynolds numbers from 320 to 10,000 were performed for a circular cylinder with and without a fairing. Results of Mach number 4.6 and Reynolds number 10,000 for an isothermal wall temperature of 556 K are presented in detail.

  6. Evidence of a High Density Population of Harvested Leopards in a Montane Environment

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Populations of large carnivores can persist in mountainous environments following extensive land use change and the conversion of suitable habitat for agriculture and human habitation in lower lying areas of their range. The significance of these populations is poorly understood, however, and little attention has focussed on why certain mountainous areas can hold high densities of large carnivores and what the conservation implications of such populations might be. Here we use the leopard (Panthera pardus) population in the western Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa, as a model system and show that montane habitats can support high numbers of leopards. Spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) analysis recorded the highest density of leopards reported outside of state-protected areas in sub-Saharan Africa. This density represents a temporally high local abundance of leopards and we explore the explanations for this alongside some of the potential conservation implications. PMID:24349375

  7. Occurrence of Gnathostoma spinigerum in a leopard cat from Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala.

    PubMed

    Lenka, Dibya Ranjan; Johns, Joju; Gopi, Jyothimol; Chandy, George; Narayanan, Priya Manakkulamparambil; Kalarikkal, Deepa Chundayil; Ravindran, Reghu

    2016-06-01

    The post-mortem examination of a leopard cat from Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala, died in a road accident, revealed presence of gastric tumours containing worms which were identified as Gnathostoma spinigerum based on morphological characteristics. PMID:27413340

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    The rapid explosion of human populations and the associated development of human-dominated landscapes have drastically reduced and fragmented habitat for tigers (Panthera tigris) and leopards (Panthera pardus) across Asia, resulting in multiple small populations. However, Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) habitat in Russia has remained largely interconnected, except for a break between tigers in southwest Primorye and the southern Sikhote-Alin Mountains. This habitat patch in southwest Primorye also retains the last population of Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis). Genetic differentiation of tigers in southwest Primorye and the Sikhote-Alin Mountains along with survey data suggest that habitat fragmentation is limiting movement of tigers and leopards across the Razdolnaya River basin. We looked at historical and recent survey data on tigers and leopards and mapped existing cover types to examine land-use patterns of both large felids and humans in the development strip along the Razdolnaya River. We then used least-cost distance analyses to identify the most effective potential corridor to retain connectivity for large felids between Land of the Leopard National Park and Ussuriskii Zapovednik (Reserve). We identified a single potential corridor that still exists with a total distance of 62.5 km from Land of the Leopard National Park to Ussuriskii Zapovednik, mostly (93%) through forested habitat. We recommend formal recognition of a Razdolnaya ecological corridor and provide specific recommendations for each of 3 proposed management sections. PMID:26096589

  10. Leopard (Panthera pardus) status, distribution, and the research efforts across its range.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Andrew P; Gerngross, Peter; Lemeris, Joseph R; Schoonover, Rebecca F; Anco, Corey; Breitenmoser-Würsten, Christine; Durant, Sarah M; Farhadinia, Mohammad S; Henschel, Philipp; Kamler, Jan F; Laguardia, Alice; Rostro-García, Susana; Stein, Andrew B; Dollar, Luke

    2016-01-01

    The leopard's (Panthera pardus) broad geographic range, remarkable adaptability, and secretive nature have contributed to a misconception that this species might not be severely threatened across its range. We find that not only are several subspecies and regional populations critically endangered but also the overall range loss is greater than the average for terrestrial large carnivores. To assess the leopard's status, we compile 6,000 records at 2,500 locations from over 1,300 sources on its historic (post 1750) and current distribution. We map the species across Africa and Asia, delineating areas where the species is confirmed present, is possibly present, is possibly extinct or is almost certainly extinct. The leopard now occupies 25-37% of its historic range, but this obscures important differences between subspecies. Of the nine recognized subspecies, three (P. p. pardus, fusca, and saxicolor) account for 97% of the leopard's extant range while another three (P. p. orientalis, nimr, and japonensis) have each lost as much as 98% of their historic range. Isolation, small patch sizes, and few remaining patches further threaten the six subspecies that each have less than 100,000 km(2) of extant range. Approximately 17% of extant leopard range is protected, although some endangered subspecies have far less. We found that while leopard research was increasing, research effort was primarily on the subspecies with the most remaining range whereas subspecies that are most in need of urgent attention were neglected. PMID:27168983

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

    Tanzania holds most of the remaining large populations of African lions (Panthera leo) and has extensive areas of leopard habitat (Panthera pardus), and both species are subjected to sizable harvests by sport hunters. As a first step toward establishing sustainable management strategies, we analyzed harvest trends for lions and leopards across Tanzania's 300,000 km(2) of hunting blocks. We summarize lion population trends in protected areas where lion abundance has been directly measured and data on the frequency of lion attacks on humans in high-conflict agricultural areas. We place these findings in context of the rapidly growing human population in rural Tanzania and the concomitant effects of habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and cultural practices. Lion harvests declined by 50% across Tanzania between 1996 and 2008, and hunting areas with the highest initial harvests suffered the steepest declines. Although each part of the country is subject to some form of anthropogenic impact from local people, the intensity of trophy hunting was the only significant factor in a statistical analysis of lion harvest trends. Although leopard harvests were more stable, regions outside the Selous Game Reserve with the highest initial leopard harvests again showed the steepest declines. Our quantitative analyses suggest that annual hunting quotas be limited to 0.5 lions and 1.0 leopard/1000 km(2) of hunting area, except hunting blocks in the Selous Game Reserve, where harvests should be limited to 1.0 lion and 3.0 leopards/1000 km(2) . PMID:20825444

  12. Leopard frog and wood frog reproduction in Colorado and Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, Paul Stephen; Livo, Lauren J.

    1989-01-01

    Between 1978 and 1988, we recorded reproductive information from populations of ranid frogs in Colorado and Wyoming. Egg masses from five plains and montane populations of northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) contained 645-6272 eggs (x̄ = 3045, N = 68 egg masses). In two montane populations of wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) numbers of eggs per egg mass varied from 711-1248 (x̄ = 876, N = 15) and probably were equal to total clutch size. Mean hatching success was 90% in egg masses from one R. sylvatica population and ranged from 70% to 99% in R. pipiens egg masses. Rana pipiens egg masses from one location were assigned to three overlapping size distributions, which we believe reflects the underlying age structure of female frogs.

  13. Interhabitat differences in energy acquisition and expenditure in a lizard

    SciTech Connect

    Karasov, W.H.; Anderson, R.A.

    1984-02-01

    Cnemidophorus hyperythrus, a small (approx. =4-g) teiid lizard, occurs along an elevational thorn scrub - thorn woodland - thorn forest habitat gradient in the cape region of Baja California. Body size, daily energy expenditure (DEE, measured with doubly labeled water), relative feeding rate (as reflected by H/sub 2/O influx rate), behavior, and abundance of this species at two sites along the gradient were compared. At the inland thorn woodland site C. hyperythrus were more abundant (approx. =100 lizards/ha) than at the thorn scrub site near the ocean (approx. =50 lizards/ha). Mean body mass of woodland site lizards was 13% greater than that of scrub lizards. The DEE of the thorn woodland lizards, 330 J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/,> and their H/sub 2/O influx, 99 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/, were also higher than the thorn scrub lizards', 219 J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/ and 52 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/. Diets at the two sites were similar. There were no differences between sexes in diet, DEE, or H/sub 2/O influx. Daily maintenance energy costs were calculated based upon laboratory measures of O/sub 2/ consumption of resting lizards at a series of temperatures that represented the daily range of body temperatures experienced by lizards in the field. Activity costs (=DEE minus maintenance) were three times higher in the woodland lizards. Behavioral observations showed that woodland lizards were active most of the day (approx. =9 h/d) whereas scrub lizards were active primarily in the morning (approx. =3.5 h/d). Thus, the higher activity cost, DEE, and feeding rate of woodland lizards can be explained by their longer daily activity period. Causal factors for the difference in daily activity period are suggested, and implications of length of daily foraging period for adult body, size, population density, and various life history parameters of lizards are discussed.

  14. Lizards in the ecology of salmonellosis in Panama.

    PubMed Central

    Kourany, M; Telford, S R

    1981-01-01

    Enteropathogenic bacteria was isolated from 131 of 447 (29.4%) neotropical Panamanian lizards belonging to 34 species of seven families. Overall, 147 strains of bacteria were isolated comprising 26 Salmonella and 10 Arizona serotypes. Gymnopthalmus speciosus had the highest infection rate, 12 of 13 individuals (92.3%), whereas Gonatodes fuscus exhibited the lowest, 1 of 18 (5.6%). The highest infection was detected in lizards whose behavioral patterns were secretive (42.0%) and terrestrial (42.6%), whereas the lowest infection was among the scansorial lizards (17.5%). Rates were highest during the dry season, from January through April. Many neotropical Panamanian lizards were multiply infected by Salmonella an Arizona strains representing representing a wide range of serotypes. Infected lizards were distributed in areas varying from remote rural and forested regions to urban developments, offering a potentially important reservoir of enteropathogenic bacteria known to cause infection in man and domestic animals. PMID:7259156

  15. Salmonellosis in laboratory-housed iguanid lizards (Sceloporus spp.).

    PubMed

    Kalvig, B A; Maggio-Price, L; Tsuji, J; Giddens, W E

    1991-10-01

    Fifteen wild-caught iguanid lizards (14 Sceloporus variabilis and one S. malachiticus) were used in a 3 mo study on thermal acclimation. Over a 2 mo period, five of the lizards showed decreased activity, anorexia and enlarged joints, and were either found moribund or were euthanatized due to their poor condition. Specimens taken from lesions in four of the five lizards were cultured and were infected with Salmonella spp. Salmonella spp. was cultured from cloacal swabs in six of the 10 surviving lizards. Standard metabolic rates of those that were infected did not differ significantly from those that were not infected. We postulate that the lizards were inapparent carriers of Salmonella spp. at the time of capture and, as a result of stress, five developed active overwhelming systemic infections. PMID:1758020

  16. Interhabitat differences in energy acquisition and expenditure in a lizard

    SciTech Connect

    Karasov, W.H.; Anderson, R.A.

    1984-02-01

    Cnemidophorus hyperythrus, a small (approx. =4-g) teiid lizard, occurs along an elevational thorn scrub-thorn woodland-thorn forest habitat gradient in the cape region of Baja California. The authors compared body size, daily energy expenditure (DEE, measured with double labeled water), relative feeding rate (as reflected by H/sub 2/O influx rate), behavior, and abundance of this species at two sites along the gradient. At the inland thorn woodland site C. hyperythrus were more abundant (approx. =50 lizards/ha.). Mean body mass of woodland site lizards was 13% greater than that of scrub lizards. The DEE of the thorn woodland lizards, 330 site J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/, and their H/sub 2/O influx, 99 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/, were also higher than the thorn scrub lizards', 219 J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/ and 52 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/. Diets at the two sites were similar. There were no differences between sexes in diet, DEE, or H/sub 2/ influx. Daily maintenance energy costs were calculated based upon laboratory measures of O/sub 2/ consumption of resting lizards at a series of temperatures that represented the daily range of body temperatures experienced by lizards in the field. Activity costs (=DEE minus maintenance) were three times higher in the woodland lizards. Behavioral observations showed that woodland lizards were active most of the day (approx. =9 h/d) whereas scrub lizards were active primarily in the morning (approx. =3.5 h/d). Thus, the higher activity cost, DEE, and feeding rate of woodland lizards can be explained by their longer daily activity period. We suggest causal factors for the difference in daily activity period, and discuss implications of length of daily forging period for adult body size, population density, and various life history parameters of lizards.

  17. Density-Dependent Natal Dispersal Patterns in a Leopard Population Recovering from Over-Harvest

    PubMed Central

    Fattebert, Julien; Balme, Guy; Dickerson, Tristan; Slotow, Rob; Hunter, Luke

    2015-01-01

    Natal dispersal enables population connectivity, gene flow and metapopulation dynamics. In polygynous mammals, dispersal is typically male-biased. Classically, the ‘mate competition’, ‘resource competition’ and ‘resident fitness’ hypotheses predict density-dependent dispersal patterns, while the ‘inbreeding avoidance’ hypothesis posits density-independent dispersal. In a leopard (Panthera pardus) population recovering from over-harvest, we investigated the effect of sex, population density and prey biomass, on age of natal dispersal, distance dispersed, probability of emigration and dispersal success. Over an 11-year period, we tracked 35 subadult leopards using VHF and GPS telemetry. Subadult leopards initiated dispersal at 13.6 ± 0.4 months. Age at commencement of dispersal was positively density-dependent. Although males (11.0 ± 2.5 km) generally dispersed further than females (2.7 ± 0.4 km), some males exhibited opportunistic philopatry when the population was below capacity. All 13 females were philopatric, while 12 of 22 males emigrated. Male dispersal distance and emigration probability followed a quadratic relationship with population density, whereas female dispersal distance was inversely density-dependent. Eight of 12 known-fate females and 5 of 12 known-fate male leopards were successful in settling. Dispersal success did not vary with population density, prey biomass, and for males, neither between dispersal strategies (philopatry vs. emigration). Females formed matrilineal kin clusters, supporting the resident fitness hypothesis. Conversely, mate competition appeared the main driver for male leopard dispersal. We demonstrate that dispersal patterns changed over time, i.e. as the leopard population density increased. We conclude that conservation interventions that facilitated local demographic recovery in the study area also restored dispersal patterns disrupted by unsustainable harvesting, and that this indirectly improved

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. The Lizard Wireless Station of Guglielmo Marconi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montstein, Christian

    2014-08-01

    During the vacation with my wife in Cornwall, we by chance were walking by the Lizard wireless station, originally installed by Guglielmo Marconi and recently refurbished by The National Trust/UK. Fortunately the shed was open for public visitors and a student was present telling stories about the station and its history. The historic equipment was demonstrated by sending some Morse codes. The high voltage sparks and its sound were quite impressive while in the background the Morse code receiver punched dots and dashes onto the strip chart.

  20. Prevalence of neutralising antibodies against adenoviruses in lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Ball, Inna; Ofner, Sabine; Funk, Richard S; Griffin, Chris; Riedel, Ulf; Möhring, Jens; Marschang, Rachel E

    2014-10-01

    Adenoviruses (AdVs) are relatively common in lizards and snakes, and several genetically distinct AdVs have been isolated in cell culture. The aims of this study were to examine serological relationships among lizard and snake AdVs and to determine the frequency of AdV infections in these species. Isolates from a boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), a corn snake (Pantherophis gutattus) and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), and two isolates from helodermatid lizards (Heloderma horridum and H. suspectum) were used in neutralisation tests for the detection of antibodies in plasma from 263 lizards from seven families (including 12 species) and from 141 snakes from four families (including 28 species) from the USA and Europe. Most lizard and snake samples had antibodies against a range of AdV isolates, indicating that AdV infection is common among these squamates. Neutralisation tests with polyclonal antibodies raised in rabbits demonstrated serological cross-reactivity between both helodermatid lizard isolates. However, squamate plasma showed different reactions to each of these lizard isolates in neutralisation tests. PMID:25163614

  1. Distribution pattern and number of ticks on lizards.

    PubMed

    Dudek, Krzysztof; Skórka, Piotr; Sajkowska, Zofia Anna; Ekner-Grzyb, Anna; Dudek, Monika; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-02-01

    The success of ectoparasites depends primarily on the site of attachment and body condition of their hosts. Ticks usually tend to aggregate on vertebrate hosts in specific areas, but the distribution pattern may depend on host body size and condition, sex, life stage or skin morphology. Here, we studied the distribution of ticks on lizards and tested the following hypothesis: occurrence or high abundance of ticks is confined with body parts with smaller scales and larger interscalar length because such sites should provide ticks with superior attachment conditions. This study was performed in field conditions in central Poland in 2008-2011. In total, 500 lizards (Lacerta agilis) were caught and 839 ticks (Ixodes ricinus, larvae and nymphs) were collected from them. Using generalised linear mixed models, we found that the ticks were most abundant on forelimbs and their axillae, with 90% of ticks attached there. This part of the lizard body and the region behind the hindlimb were covered by the smallest scales with relatively wide gaps between them. This does not fully support our hypothesis that ticks prefer locations with easy access to skin between scales, because it does not explain why so few ticks were in the hindlimb area. We found that the abundance of ticks was positively correlated with lizard body size index (snout-vent length). Tick abundance was also higher in male and mature lizards than in female and young individuals. Autotomy had no effect on tick abundance. We found no correlation between tick size and lizard morphology, sex, autotomy and body size index. The probability of occurrence of dead ticks was positively linked with the total number of ticks on the lizard but there was no relationship between dead tick presence and lizard size, sex or age. Thus lizard body size and sex are the major factors affecting the abundance of ticks, and these parasites are distributed nearly exclusively on the host's forelimbs and their axillae. PMID:26520053

  2. Morbid attraction to leopard urine in Toxoplasma-infected chimpanzees.

    PubMed

    Poirotte, Clémence; Kappeler, Peter M; Ngoubangoye, Barthelemy; Bourgeois, Stéphanie; Moussodji, Maick; Charpentier, Marie J E

    2016-02-01

    Parasites are sometimes capable of inducing phenotypic changes in their hosts to improve transmission [1]. Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan that infects a broad range of warm-blooded species, is one example that supports the so-called 'parasite manipulation hypothesis': it induces modifications in rodents' olfactory preferences, converting an innate aversion for cat odor into attraction and probably favoring trophic transmission to feline species, its only definitive hosts [2]. In humans, T. gondii induces behavioral modifications such as personality changes, prolonged reaction times and decreased long-term concentration [3]. However, modern humans are not suitable intermediate hosts because they are no longer preyed upon by felines. Consequently, behavioral modifications in infected people are generally assumed to be side effects of toxoplasmosis or residual manipulation traits that evolved in appropriate intermediate hosts. An alternative hypothesis, however, states that these changes result from parasite manipulative abilities that evolved when human ancestors were still under significant feline predation [3,4]. As such, T. gondii also alters olfactory preferences in humans; infected men rate cat urine, but not tiger urine, as pleasant while non-infected men do not [5]. To unravel the origin of Toxoplasma-induced modifications in humans, we performed olfactory tests on a living primate still predated by a feline species. We found in our closest relative, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes troglodytes), that Toxoplasma-infected (TI) animals lost their innate aversion towards the urine of leopards (Panthera pardus), their only natural predator. By contrast, we observed no clear difference in the response of TI and Toxoplasma-non-infected (TN) animals towards urine collected from other definitive feline hosts that chimpanzees do not encounter in nature. Although the adaptive value of parasitically induced behavior should be assessed carefully, we suggest that the

  3. New hope for the survival of the Amur leopard in China.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Guangshun; Qi, Jinzhe; Wang, Guiming; Shi, Quanhua; Darman, Yury; Hebblewhite, Mark; Miquelle, Dale G; Li, Zhilin; Zhang, Xue; Gu, Jiayin; Chang, Youde; Zhang, Minghai; Ma, Jianzhang

    2015-01-01

    Natural range loss limits the population growth of Asian big cats and may determine their survival. Over the past decade, we collected occurrence data of the critically endangered Amur leopard worldwide and developed a distribution model of the leopard's historical range in northeastern China over the past decade. We were interested to explore how much current range area exists, learn what factors limit their spatial distribution, determine the population size and estimate the extent of potential habitat. Our results identify 48,252 km(2) of current range and 21,173.7 km(2) of suitable habitat patches and these patches may support 195.1 individuals. We found that prey presence drives leopard distribution, that leopard density exhibits a negative response to tiger occurrence and that the largest habitat patch connects with 5,200 km(2)of Russian current range. These insights provide a deeper understanding of the means by which endangered predators might be saved and survival prospects for the Amur leopard not only in China, but also through imperative conservation cooperation internationally. PMID:26638877

  4. Who Bites the Bullet First? The Susceptibility of Leopards Panthera pardus to Trophy Hunting

    PubMed Central

    Braczkowski, Alex Richard; Balme, Guy Andrew; Dickman, Amy; Macdonald, David Whyte; Fattebert, Julien; Dickerson, Tristan; Johnson, Paul; Hunter, Luke

    2015-01-01

    Reliable data is fundamentally important for managing large carnivore populations, and vital for informing hunting quota levels if those populations are subject to trophy hunting. Camera-trapping and spoor counts can provide reliable population estimates for many carnivores, but governments typically lack the resources to implement such surveys over the spatial scales required to inform robust quota setting. It may therefore be prudent to shift focus away from estimating population size and instead focus on monitoring population trend. In this paper we assess the susceptibility of African leopards Panthera pardus to trophy hunting. This has management ramifications, particularly if the use of harvest composition is to be explored as a metric of population trend. We explore the susceptibility of different leopard age and sex cohorts to trophy hunting; first by examining their intrinsic susceptibility to encountering trophy hunters using camera-traps as surrogates, and second by assessing their extrinsic susceptibility using photographic questionnaire surveys to determine their attractiveness to hunters. We show that adult male and female leopards share similar incident rates to encountering hunters but adult males are the most susceptible to hunting due to hunter preference for large trophies. In contrast, sub-adult leopards rarely encounter hunters and are the least attractive trophies. We suggest that our findings be used as a foundation for the exploration of a harvest composition scheme in the Kwazulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces where post mortem information is collected from hunted leopards and submitted to the local provincial authorities. PMID:25860139

  5. Nephtyidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Murray, Anna; Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    Seven species of the family Nephtyidae are recorded from Lizard Island, none previously reported from the Great Barrier Reef. Two species of Aglaophamus, four species of Micronephthys, one new and one previously unreported from Australia, and one species of Nephtys, were identified from samples collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop 2013, as well as from ecological studies undertaken during the 1970s and deposited in the Australian Museum marine invertebrate Collections. A dichotomous key to aid identification of these species newly reported from Lizard Island is provided. PMID:26624076

  6. Assessment and conservation of the giant gomeran lizard (Gallotia bravoana).

    PubMed

    Hernandez-Divers, S J; Lafortune, M; Martínez-Silvestre, A; Pether, J

    2003-03-29

    In June 1999, a species of lizard previously considered extinct was rediscovered on the island of La Gomera, Spain. The giant gomeran lizard, Gallotia bravoana, is highly endangered and at risk of extinction by the feral cat population. A conservation effort to save the species was initiatived by the regional and central Spanish government and six lizards were captured and brought into captivity. This paper describes the results of the initial assessment of the health of the animals, by a physical examination and by haematological, biochemical, radiographical and coprological investigations. The methods used to maintain the animals in captivity are described and the first captive breeding success is reported. PMID:12696706

  7. Phylogeny of Neotropical Cercosaura (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) lizards.

    PubMed

    Torres-Carvajal, Omar; Lobos, Simón E; Venegas, Pablo J

    2015-12-01

    Among Neotropical lizards, the geographically widespread gymnophthalmid Cercosaura as currently defined includes lowland and highland taxa from Panama to Argentina, with some species occurring in the northern Andes. In this study we analyze three mitochondrial (12S, 16S, ND4) and one nuclear (c-mos) gene using Bayesian methods to clarify the phylogenetic relationships among most species of Cercosaura based on a well-supported phylogenetic hypothesis that also includes a large sample of other taxa within Cercosaurini. The phylogenetic tree obtained in this paper shows that Cercosaura as currently defined is not monophyletic. Two species from the northern Andes (C. dicra and C. vertebralis) are nested within Pholidobolus, which has been formerly recognized as a major radiation along the Andes of Ecuador and Colombia. Therefore, Cercosaura has probably not diversified in the northern Andes, although the phylogenetic position of C. hypnoides from the Andes of Colombia remains unknown. Tree topology and genetic distances support both recognition of C. ocellata bassleri as a distinct species, C. bassleri, and recognition of C. argula and C. oshaughnessyi as two different species. In the interest of promoting clarity and precision regarding the names of clades of gymnophthalmid lizards, we propose a phylogenetic definition of Cercosaura. PMID:26256641

  8. Verification tests of the US Electricar Corporation Lectric Leopard

    SciTech Connect

    Dowgiallo, E.J. Jr.; Snellings, I.R.; Chapman, R.D.

    1982-04-01

    The Lectric Leopard, manufactured by US Electricar Corporation, was tested during the period 3 August 1981 to 25 September 1981. Part of the verification results are summarized below (complete tests results are contained in Section V): Acceleration: 0-50 km/h (31.1 mi/h) in 9.9 s. Range: SAE J227a cycle ''C'' on level (+-1-percent grade) terrain yielded 66.2 km (41.2 mi) and 120 cycles. Forward Speed Capability: Forward speed of 80 km/h (50 mi/h) was maintained for more than 5 min on the level (+-1-percent grade) portion of the MERADCOM Test Track. Gradeability at Speed: At 25 km/h (15.5 mi/h) the vehicle can traverse a 15.5-percent grade based on calculations from acceleration tests. Gradeability Limit: Calculations based on drawbar-pull test indicate a 35.2-percent forward and a 36.4-percent gradeability for at least 20 s.

  9. Status of the Island Night Lizard and Two Non-Native Lizards on Outlying Landing Field San Nicolas Island, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fellers, Gary M.; Drost, Charles A.; Murphey, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    More than 900 individually marked island night lizards (Xantusia riversiana) were captured on San Nicolas Island, California, between 1984 and 2007 as part of an ongoing study to monitor the status of this threatened species. Our data suggest that at least a few lizards are probably more than 20 years old, and one lizard would be 31.5 years old if it grew at an average rate for the population. Ages of 20 and 30 years seem reasonable given the remarkably slow growth during capture intervals of more than a decade for five of the lizards which we estimated to be 20 or more years old. Like other lizards, island night lizard growth rates vary by size, with larger lizards growing more slowly. In general, growth rates were somewhat greater on San Nicolas Island (compared with Santa Barbara Island), and this increase was sustained through all of the intermediate size classes. The higher growth rate may account for the somewhat larger lizards present on San Nicolas Island, although we cannot discount the possibility that night lizards on San Nicolas are merely living longer. The high percentage of small lizards in the Eucalyptus habitat might seem to reflect a healthy population in that habitat, but the high proportion of small lizards appears to be caused by good reproduction in the 1900s and substantially poorer reproduction in subsequent years. The Eucalyptus habitat has dried quite a bit in recent years. Night lizards in the Haplopappus/Grassland habitat have shown an increase in the proportion of larger lizards since 2000. There has also been an increase in the proportion of large lizards in the Rock Cobble habitat at Redeye Beach. However, there are has been some change in habitat with more elephant seals occupying the same area just above the high tide as do the night lizards. Southern alligator lizards and side-blotched lizards are both non-native on San Nicolas Island. Neither lizard causes obvious harm to island night lizards, and management time and effort should

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Human population growth and concomitant increases in demand for natural resources pose threats to many wildlife populations. The landscapes used by the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and their prey is increasingly subject to major changes in land use. We aimed to assess the influence of 1) key human activities, as indicated by the presence of mining and livestock herding, and 2) the presence of a key prey species, the blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), on probability of snow leopard site use across the landscape. In Gansu Province, China, we conducted sign surveys in 49 grid cells, each of 16 km2 in size, within a larger area of 3392 km2. We analysed the data using likelihood-based habitat occupancy models that explicitly account for imperfect detection and spatial auto-correlation between survey transect segments. The model-averaged estimate of snow leopard occupancy was high [0.75 (SE 0.10)], but only marginally higher than the naïve estimate (0.67). Snow leopard segment-level probability of detection, given occupancy on a 500 m spatial replicate, was also high [0.68 (SE 0.08)]. Prey presence was the main determinant of snow leopard site use, while human disturbances, in the form of mining and herding, had low predictive power. These findings suggest that snow leopards continue to use areas very close to such disturbances, as long as there is sufficient prey. Improved knowledge about the effect of human activity on large carnivores, which require large areas and intact prey populations, is urgently needed for conservation planning at the local and global levels. We highlight a number of methodological considerations that should guide the design of such research. PMID:27171203

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

    PubMed

    Alexander, Justine Shanti; Gopalaswamy, Arjun M; Shi, Kun; Hughes, Joelene; Riordan, Philip

    2016-01-01

    Human population growth and concomitant increases in demand for natural resources pose threats to many wildlife populations. The landscapes used by the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and their prey is increasingly subject to major changes in land use. We aimed to assess the influence of 1) key human activities, as indicated by the presence of mining and livestock herding, and 2) the presence of a key prey species, the blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), on probability of snow leopard site use across the landscape. In Gansu Province, China, we conducted sign surveys in 49 grid cells, each of 16 km2 in size, within a larger area of 3392 km2. We analysed the data using likelihood-based habitat occupancy models that explicitly account for imperfect detection and spatial auto-correlation between survey transect segments. The model-averaged estimate of snow leopard occupancy was high [0.75 (SE 0.10)], but only marginally higher than the naïve estimate (0.67). Snow leopard segment-level probability of detection, given occupancy on a 500 m spatial replicate, was also high [0.68 (SE 0.08)]. Prey presence was the main determinant of snow leopard site use, while human disturbances, in the form of mining and herding, had low predictive power. These findings suggest that snow leopards continue to use areas very close to such disturbances, as long as there is sufficient prey. Improved knowledge about the effect of human activity on large carnivores, which require large areas and intact prey populations, is urgently needed for conservation planning at the local and global levels. We highlight a number of methodological considerations that should guide the design of such research. PMID:27171203

  12. Estimating snow leopard population abundance using photography and capture-recapture techniques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jackson, R.M.; Roe, J.D.; Wangchuk, R.; Hunter, D.O.

    2006-01-01

    Conservation and management of snow leopards (Uncia uncia) has largely relied on anecdotal evidence and presence-absence data due to their cryptic nature and the difficult terrain they inhabit. These methods generally lack the scientific rigor necessary to accurately estimate population size and monitor trends. We evaluated the use of photography in capture-mark-recapture (CMR) techniques for estimating snow leopard population abundance and density within Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India. We placed infrared camera traps along actively used travel paths, scent-sprayed rocks, and scrape sites within 16- to 30-km2 sampling grids in successive winters during January and March 2003-2004. We used head-on, oblique, and side-view camera configurations to obtain snow leopard photographs at varying body orientations. We calculated snow leopard abundance estimates using the program CAPTURE. We obtained a total of 66 and 49 snow leopard captures resulting in 8.91 and 5.63 individuals per 100 trap-nights during 2003 and 2004, respectively. We identified snow leopards based on the distinct pelage patterns located primarily on the forelimbs, flanks, and dorsal surface of the tail. Capture probabilities ranged from 0.33 to 0.67. Density estimates ranged from 8.49 (SE = 0.22; individuals per 100 km2 in 2003 to 4.45 (SE = 0.16) in 2004. We believe the density disparity between years is attributable to different trap density and placement rather than to an actual decline in population size. Our results suggest that photographic capture-mark-recapture sampling may be a useful tool for monitoring demographic patterns. However, we believe a larger sample size would be necessary for generating a statistically robust estimate of population density and abundance based on CMR models.

  13. A New Eocene Casquehead Lizard (Reptilia, Corytophanidae) from North America.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Jack L

    2015-01-01

    A new fossil showing affinities with extant Laemanctus offers the first clear evidence for a casquehead lizard (Corytophanidae) from the Eocene of North America. Along with Geiseltaliellus from roughly coeval rocks in central Europe, the new find further documents the tropical fauna present during greenhouse conditions in the northern mid-latitudes approximately 50 million years ago (Ma). Modern Corytophanidae is a neotropical clade of iguanian lizards ranging from southern Mexico to northern South America. PMID:26131767

  14. A New Eocene Casquehead Lizard (Reptilia, Corytophanidae) from North America

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Jack L.

    2015-01-01

    A new fossil showing affinities with extant Laemanctus offers the first clear evidence for a casquehead lizard (Corytophanidae) from the Eocene of North America. Along with Geiseltaliellus from roughly coeval rocks in central Europe, the new find further documents the tropical fauna present during greenhouse conditions in the northern mid-latitudes approximately 50 million years ago (Ma). Modern Corytophanidae is a neotropical clade of iguanian lizards ranging from southern Mexico to northern South America. PMID:26131767

  15. A trial of semen collection by transrectal electroejaculation method from Amur leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus).

    PubMed

    Tajima, Hideo; Yoshizawa, Madoka; Sasaki, Shinichi; Yamamoto, Fujio; Narushima, Etsuo; Ogawa, Yuka; Orima, Hiromitsu; Tsutsui, Toshihiko; Toyonaga, Mari; Kobayashi, Masanori; Kawakami, Eiichi; Hori, Tatsuya

    2016-07-01

    We collected semen from a male Amur leopard cat using the transrectal electroejaculation method and investigated the semen qualities for about four years. In addition, the influence of the season on the spermatogenic function of the Amur leopard cat was investigated with regard to the semen qualities, testicular volume and serum testosterone level. As a result, we could collect semen with good sperm qualities that would be useable for artificial insemination. Some seasonality was noted in the testicular volume and serum testosterone level. We clarified that the semen qualities were favorable before and during the female breeding season compared with those after the breeding season. PMID:26935841

  16. Anaplasma sp. and hemoplasma infection in leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) from Korea

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Jusun; Oh, Dae-Hyun; Lee, Hang

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the occurrence of Anaplasma spp. and hemoplasma infection in leopard cats, Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus, in Korea. Twenty-nine biological samples were tested by molecular analysis. Two (6.9%) and eight (27.6%) tested specimens were positive for Anaplasma bovis and hemoplasma infection, respectively. Based on our results, Anaplasma/Ehrlichia spp. and hemoplasma are regularly infecting leopard cat populations of Korea. Considering their endangered status, regular monitoring of infection by arthropod-borne pathogens known to cause clinical symptoms in feline hosts such as Anaplasma/Ehrlichia spp. and hemoplasma would be crucial as part of ongoing conservation efforts. PMID:26040618

  17. A trial of semen collection by transrectal electroejaculation method from Amur leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus)

    PubMed Central

    TAJIMA, Hideo; YOSHIZAWA, Madoka; SASAKI, Shinichi; YAMAMOTO, Fujio; NARUSHIMA, Etsuo; OGAWA, Yuka; ORIMA, Hiromitsu; TSUTSUI, Toshihiko; TOYONAGA, Mari; KOBAYASHI, Masanori; KAWAKAMI, Eiichi; HORI, Tatsuya

    2016-01-01

    We collected semen from a male Amur leopard cat using the transrectal electroejaculation method and investigated the semen qualities for about four years. In addition, the influence of the season on the spermatogenic function of the Amur leopard cat was investigated with regard to the semen qualities, testicular volume and serum testosterone level. As a result, we could collect semen with good sperm qualities that would be useable for artificial insemination. Some seasonality was noted in the testicular volume and serum testosterone level. We clarified that the semen qualities were favorable before and during the female breeding season compared with those after the breeding season. PMID:26935841

  18. The complete mitochondrial genome of the North Chinese Leopard (Panthera pardus japonensis).

    PubMed

    Dou, Hailong; Feng, Limin; Xiao, Wenhong; Wang, Tianming

    2016-01-01

    The North Chinese Leopard (Panthera pardus japonensis) is an endemic subspecies of Panthera pardus to China, living in small and isolated populations with a severely fragmented distribution. Here we first sequenced and annotated its complete mitochondrial genome. The total length of the North Chinese Leopard is of 16,966 base pairs that consist of 2 rRNA gene, 22 tRNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes, 1 OLR and 1 control region (CR). The structures of the genomes were highly similar to other Felidae. PMID:25028790

  19. Life-History Patterns of Lizards of the World.

    PubMed

    Mesquita, Daniel O; Costa, Gabriel C; Colli, Guarino R; Costa, Taís B; Shepard, Donald B; Vitt, Laurie J; Pianka, Eric R

    2016-06-01

    Identification of mechanisms that promote variation in life-history traits is critical to understand the evolution of divergent reproductive strategies. Here we compiled a large life-history data set (674 lizard populations, representing 297 species from 263 sites globally) to test a number of hypotheses regarding the evolution of life-history traits in lizards. We found significant phylogenetic signal in most life-history traits, although phylogenetic signal was not particularly high. Climatic variables influenced the evolution of many traits, with clutch frequency being positively related to precipitation and clutches of tropical lizards being smaller than those of temperate species. This result supports the hypothesis that in tropical and less seasonal climates, many lizards tend to reproduce repeatedly throughout the season, producing smaller clutches during each reproductive episode. Our analysis also supported the hypothesis that viviparity has evolved in lizards as a response to cooler climates. Finally, we also found that variation in trait values explained by clade membership is unevenly distributed among lizard clades, with basal clades and a few younger clades showing the most variation. Our global analyses are largely consistent with life-history theory and previous results based on smaller and scattered data sets, suggesting that these patterns are remarkably consistent across geographic and taxonomic scales. PMID:27172590

  20. Spatial patterns in the abundance of the coastal horned lizard

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, R.N.; Suarez, A.V.; Case, T.J.

    2002-01-01

    Coastal horned lizards (Phrynosoma coronatum) have undergone severe declines in southern California and are a candidate species for state and federal listing tender the Endangered Species Act. Quantitative data on their habitat use, abundance, and distribution are lacking, however. We investigated the determinants of abundance for coastal horned lizards at multiple spatial scales throughout southern California. Specifically, we estimated lizard distribution and abundance by establishing 256 pitfall trap arrays clustered within 21 sites across four counties. These arrays were sampled bimonthly for 2-3 years. At each array we measured 26 "local" site descriptors and averaged these values with other "regional" measures to determine site characteristics. Our analyses were successful at identifying factors within and among sites correlated with the presence and abundance of coastal horned lizards. These factors included the absence of the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) (and presence of native ant species eaten by the lizards), the presence of chaparral community plants, and the presence of sandy substrates. At a regional scale the relative abundance of Argentine ants was correlated with the relative amount of developed edge around a site. There was no evidence for spatial autocorrelation, even at the scale of the arrays within sites, suggesting that the determinants of the presence or absence and abundance of horned lizard can vary over relatively small spatial scales (hundreds of meters). Our results suggest that a gap-type approach may miss some of the fine-scale determinants of species abundance in fragmented habitats.

  1. Ranavirus infections associated with skin lesions in lizards

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Ranaviral disease in amphibians has been studied intensely during the last decade, as associated mass-mortality events are considered to be a global threat to wild animal populations. Several studies have also included other susceptible ectothermic vertebrates (fish and reptiles), but only very few cases of ranavirus infections in lizards have been previously detected. In this study, we focused on clinically suspicious lizards and tested these animals for the presence of ranaviruses. Virological screening of samples from lizards with increased mortality and skin lesions over a course of four years led to the detection of ranaviral infections in seven different groups. Affected species were: brown anoles (Anolis sagrei), Asian glass lizards (Dopasia gracilis), green anoles (Anolis carolinensis), green iguanas (Iguana iguana), and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Purulent to ulcerative-necrotizing dermatitis and hyperkeratosis were diagnosed in pathological examinations. All animals tested positive for the presence of ranavirus by PCR and a part of the major capsid protein (MCP) gene of each virus was sequenced. Three different ranaviruses were isolated in cell culture. The analyzed portions of the MCP gene from each of the five different viruses detected were distinct from one another and were 98.4-100% identical to the corresponding portion of the frog virus 3 (FV3) genome. This is the first description of ranavirus infections in these five lizard species. The similarity in the pathological lesions observed in these different cases indicates that ranaviral infection may be an important differential diagnosis for skin lesions in lizards. PMID:24073785

  2. Ranavirus infections associated with skin lesions in lizards.

    PubMed

    Stöhr, Anke C; Blahak, Silvia; Heckers, Kim O; Wiechert, Jutta; Behncke, Helge; Mathes, Karina; Günther, Pascale; Zwart, Peer; Ball, Inna; Rüschoff, Birgit; Marschang, Rachel E

    2013-01-01

    Ranaviral disease in amphibians has been studied intensely during the last decade, as associated mass-mortality events are considered to be a global threat to wild animal populations. Several studies have also included other susceptible ectothermic vertebrates (fish and reptiles), but only very few cases of ranavirus infections in lizards have been previously detected. In this study, we focused on clinically suspicious lizards and tested these animals for the presence of ranaviruses. Virological screening of samples from lizards with increased mortality and skin lesions over a course of four years led to the detection of ranaviral infections in seven different groups. Affected species were: brown anoles (Anolis sagrei), Asian glass lizards (Dopasia gracilis), green anoles (Anolis carolinensis), green iguanas (Iguana iguana), and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Purulent to ulcerative-necrotizing dermatitis and hyperkeratosis were diagnosed in pathological examinations. All animals tested positive for the presence of ranavirus by PCR and a part of the major capsid protein (MCP) gene of each virus was sequenced. Three different ranaviruses were isolated in cell culture. The analyzed portions of the MCP gene from each of the five different viruses detected were distinct from one another and were 98.4-100% identical to the corresponding portion of the frog virus 3 (FV3) genome. This is the first description of ranavirus infections in these five lizard species. The similarity in the pathological lesions observed in these different cases indicates that ranaviral infection may be an important differential diagnosis for skin lesions in lizards. PMID:24073785

  3. Refuge sharing network predicts ectoparasite load in a lizard.

    PubMed

    Leu, Stephan T; Kappeler, Peter M; Bull, C Michael

    2010-09-01

    Living in social groups facilitates cross-infection by parasites. However, empirical studies on indirect transmission within wildlife populations are scarce. We investigated whether asynchronous overnight refuge sharing among neighboring sleepy lizards, Tiliqua rugosa, facilitates indirect transmission of its ectoparasitic tick, Amblyomma limbatum. We fitted 18 neighboring lizards with GPS recorders, observed their overnight refuge use each night over 3 months, and counted their ticks every fortnight. We constructed a transmission network to estimate the cross-infection risk based on asynchronous refuge sharing frequencies among all lizards and the life history traits of the tick. Although self-infection was possible, the network provided a powerful predictor of measured tick loads. Highly connected lizards that frequently used their neighbors' refuges were characterized by higher tick loads. Thus, indirect contact had a major influence on transmission pathways and parasite loads. Furthermore, lizards that used many different refuges had lower cross- and self-infection risks and lower tick loads than individuals that used relatively fewer refuges. Increasing the number of refuges used by a lizard may be an important defense mechanism against ectoparasite transmission in this species. Our study provides important empirical data to further understand how indirectly transmitted parasites move through host populations and influence individual parasite loads. PMID:20802788

  4. Conservation of sex chromosomes in lacertid lizards.

    PubMed

    Rovatsos, Michail; Vukić, Jasna; Altmanová, Marie; Johnson Pokorná, Martina; Moravec, Jiří; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2016-07-01

    Sex chromosomes are believed to be stable in endotherms, but young and evolutionary unstable in most ectothermic vertebrates. Within lacertids, the widely radiated lizard group, sex chromosomes have been reported to vary in morphology and heterochromatinization, which may suggest turnovers during the evolution of the group. We compared the partial gene content of the Z-specific part of sex chromosomes across major lineages of lacertids and discovered a strong evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes. We can conclude that the common ancestor of lacertids, living around 70 million years ago (Mya), already had the same highly differentiated sex chromosomes. Molecular data demonstrating an evolutionary conservation of sex chromosomes have also been documented for iguanas and caenophidian snakes. It seems that differences in the evolutionary conservation of sex chromosomes in vertebrates do not reflect the distinction between endotherms and ectotherms, but rather between amniotes and anamniotes, or generally, the differences in the life history of particular lineages. PMID:27037610

  5. Spatial memory: are lizards really deficient?

    PubMed Central

    LaDage, L. D.; Roth, T. C.; Cerjanic, A. M.; Sinervo, B.; Pravosudov, V. V.

    2012-01-01

    In many animals, behaviours such as territoriality, mate guarding, navigation and food acquisition rely heavily on spatial memory abilities; this has been demonstrated in diverse taxa, from invertebrates to mammals. However, spatial memory ability in squamate reptiles has been seen as possible, at best, or non-existent, at worst. Of the few previous studies testing for spatial memory in squamates, some have found no evidence of spatial memory while two studies have found evidence of spatial memory in snakes, but have been criticized based on methodological issues. We used the Barnes maze, a common paradigm to test spatial memory abilities in mammals, to test for spatial memory abilities in the side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana). We found the existence of spatial memory in this species using this spatial task. Thus, our study supports the existence of spatial memory in this squamate reptile species and seeks to parsimoniously align this species with the diverse taxa that demonstrate spatial memory ability. PMID:22933038

  6. Predictors of telomere content in dragon lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballen, Cissy; Healey, Mo; Wilson, Mark; Tobler, Michael; Olsson, Mats

    2012-08-01

    Telomeres shorten as a consequence of DNA replication, in particular in cells with low production of telomerase and perhaps in response to physiological stress from exposure to reactive oxygen species, such as superoxide. This process of telomere attrition is countered by innate antioxidation, such as via the production of superoxide dismutase. We studied the inheritance of telomere length in the Australian painted dragon lizard ( Ctenophorus pictus) and the extent to which telomere length covaries with mass-corrected maternal reproductive investment, which reflects the level of circulating yolk precursor and antioxidant, vitellogenin. Our predictors of offspring telomere length explained 72 % of telomere variation (including interstitial telomeres if such are present). Maternal telomere length and reproductive investment were positively influencing offspring telomere length in our analyses, whereas flow cytometry-estimated superoxide level was negatively impacting offspring telomere length. We suggest that the effects of superoxide on hatchling telomere shortening may be partly balanced by transgenerational effects of vitellogenin antioxidation.

  7. [Dr Lorenzo Dojmi di Delupis- the "Leopard" from Vis].

    PubMed

    Jamnicki Dojmi, Mirko

    2011-01-01

    Dr Lorenzo Dojmi di Delupis (1845-1927) was a descendant of a respectful aristocratic family from Vis. His father was Peter Dojmi di Delupis (1809-1886), an attorney, a moderate pro-Italian autonomist, and a mayor of Vis, and his mother was Margherita Siminati. As soon as he graduated from the Medical University of Graz in 1870, he joined the Ottoman army as a physician for a two-year journey in which he reached as far as Baghdad and Basra. He left notes about this dramatic, juvenile adventure in his diaries. In 1878, he married a Viennese girl Maria Neidl and brought her home to Vis, where he got a position of municipal doctor. He had an extraordinary diagnosing acuity, great sympathy for patients, and was always willing to help, which is why he was adored by all the people of Vis, whether they agreed with his autonomist ideas or not, and soon became "the father of Vis". He was the first to warn of leprosy in Dalmatia, when he diagnosed two cases in Vis. Beside medicine and politics, he was also a passionate botanist. He was the first to seed palms in Vis and to grow a palm nursery with his agronomist son Peter Dojmi, for the whole of Dalmatia. He also tried breeding ostriches and growing Mexican coffee. He funded a small meteorological station in Vis, and planned to open a health resort with professor Schröter from Vienna. Even though Lorenzo Dojmi di Delupis held the great Italian culture very dear, his vocation as a physician and humanist inclination never let him burn with the fervour of a political extremist. Thanks to his psychophysical stability, he overcame numerous difficulties in life and retained faith in people. All these traits evoke Prince Salina, the leading character of the renowned novel Il gattopardo (The Leopard) by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, which is why the author has so entitled this article "The Gattopardo of Vis". PMID:22292541

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Illicit trade in wildlife products is rapidly decimating many species across the globe. Such trade is often underestimated for wide-ranging species until it is too late for the survival of their remaining populations. Policing this trade could be vastly improved if one could reliably determine geographic origins of illegal wildlife products and identify areas where greater enforcement is needed. Using DNA-based assignment tests (i.e., samples are assigned to geographic locations), we addressed these factors for leopards (Panthera pardus) on the Indian subcontinent. We created geography-specific allele frequencies from a genetic reference database of 173 leopards across India to infer geographic origins of DNA samples from 40 seized leopard skins. Sensitivity analyses of samples of known geographic origins and assignments of seized skins demonstrated robust assignments for Indian leopards. We found that confiscated pelts seized in small numbers were not necessarily from local leopards. The geographic footprint of large seizures appeared to be bigger than the cumulative footprint of several smaller seizures, indicating widespread leopard poaching across the subcontinent. Our seized samples had male-biased sex ratios, especially the large seizures. From multiple seized sample assignments, we identified central India as a poaching hotspot for leopards. The techniques we applied can be used to identify origins of seized illegal wildlife products and trade routes at the subcontinent scale and beyond. PMID:25376464

  9. Applying molecular genetic tools to the conservation and action plan for the critically endangered Far Eastern leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis).

    PubMed

    Uphyrkina, Olga; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2003-08-01

    A role for molecular genetic approaches in conservation of endangered taxa is now commonly recognized. Because conservation genetic analyses provide essential insights on taxonomic status, recent evolutionary history and current health of endangered taxa, they are considered in nearly all conservation programs. Genetic analyses of the critically endangered Far Eastern, or Amur leopard, Panthera pardus orientalis, have been done recently to address all of these questions and develop strategies for survival of the leopard in the wild. The genetic status and implication for conservation management of the Far Eastern leopard subspecies are discussed. PMID:14558456

  10. Lizard and Frog Prestin: Evolutionary Insight into Functional Changes

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Jie; Pecka, Jason L.; Fritzsch, Bernd

    2013-01-01

    The plasma membrane of mammalian cochlear outer hair cells contains prestin, a unique motor protein. Prestin is the fifth member of the solute carrier protein 26A family. Orthologs of prestin are also found in the ear of non-mammalian vertebrates such as zebrafish and chicken. However, these orthologs are electrogenic anion exchangers/transporters with no motor function. Amphibian and reptilian lineages represent phylogenic branches in the evolution of tetrapods and subsequent amniotes. Comparison of the peptide sequences and functional properties of these prestin orthologs offer new insights into prestin evolution. With the recent availability of the lizard and frog genome sequences, we examined amino acid sequence and function of lizard and frog prestins to determine how they are functionally and structurally different from prestins of mammals and other non-mammals. Somatic motility, voltage-dependent nonlinear capacitance (NLC), the two hallmarks of prestin function, and transport capability were measured in transfected human embryonic kidney cells using voltage-clamp and radioisotope techniques. We demonstrated that while the transport capability of lizard and frog prestin was compatible to that of chicken prestin, the NLC of lizard prestin was more robust than that of chicken’s and was close to that of platypus. However, unlike platypus prestin which has acquired motor capability, lizard or frog prestin did not demonstrate motor capability. Lizard and frog prestins do not possess the same 11-amino-acid motif that is likely the structural adaptation for motor function in mammals. Thus, lizard and frog prestins appear to be functionally more advanced than that of chicken prestin, although motor capability is not yet acquired. PMID:23342145

  11. Prey capture kinematics of ant-eating lizards.

    PubMed

    Meyers, Jay J; Herrel, Anthony

    2005-01-01

    While morphological and behavioral feeding specializations are obvious in many vertebrate groups, among lizards there appear to be few dietary specialists. By comparing the prey capture kinematics and overall feeding behavior in two highly specialized ant-eating lizards (Moloch horridus and Phrynosoma platyrhinos) with those of two closely related dietary generalists (Pogona vitticeps and Uma notata), we investigate whether dietary specialization has been accompanied by changes in the function and use of the feeding system. We quantified kinematic variables from high-speed video recordings (200-250 frames s(-1)) of each species feeding on ants. Prey capture was strikingly different in M. horridus to that of other species, being characterized by a suite of unusual behaviors including the lack of a body lunge, faster tongue protrusion, reduced prey processing and, most notably, the ability to modulate the slow open phase of the gape cycle. In concert, these traits make a single feeding event in M. horridus faster than that in any other iguanian lizard studied to date. Prey capture behavior in P. platyrhinos is kinematically more similar to U. notata and P. vitticeps than to M. horridus, but the ant specialists are similar in that both lack distinct prey processing behaviors, resulting in faster overall capture and feeding events. While ant feeding in P. vitticeps is faster than feeding on other prey, the duration of a single feeding event is still four times longer than in either ant specialist, because of extensive prey processing. Additionally, a phylogenetic comparison of ant specialist lizards with dietary generalists revealed that ant-eating lizards require significantly less time to capture and process prey. Thus there are not only significant behavioral modifications in these ant-eating lizards, but also multiple strategies among specialists, suggesting differing selective pressures or phylogenetic constraints in the evolution of ant eating in lizards. PMID

  12. Lizard and frog prestin: evolutionary insight into functional changes.

    PubMed

    Tang, Jie; Pecka, Jason L; Fritzsch, Bernd; Beisel, Kirk W; He, David Z Z

    2013-01-01

    The plasma membrane of mammalian cochlear outer hair cells contains prestin, a unique motor protein. Prestin is the fifth member of the solute carrier protein 26A family. Orthologs of prestin are also found in the ear of non-mammalian vertebrates such as zebrafish and chicken. However, these orthologs are electrogenic anion exchangers/transporters with no motor function. Amphibian and reptilian lineages represent phylogenic branches in the evolution of tetrapods and subsequent amniotes. Comparison of the peptide sequences and functional properties of these prestin orthologs offer new insights into prestin evolution. With the recent availability of the lizard and frog genome sequences, we examined amino acid sequence and function of lizard and frog prestins to determine how they are functionally and structurally different from prestins of mammals and other non-mammals. Somatic motility, voltage-dependent nonlinear capacitance (NLC), the two hallmarks of prestin function, and transport capability were measured in transfected human embryonic kidney cells using voltage-clamp and radioisotope techniques. We demonstrated that while the transport capability of lizard and frog prestin was compatible to that of chicken prestin, the NLC of lizard prestin was more robust than that of chicken's and was close to that of platypus. However, unlike platypus prestin which has acquired motor capability, lizard or frog prestin did not demonstrate motor capability. Lizard and frog prestins do not possess the same 11-amino-acid motif that is likely the structural adaptation for motor function in mammals. Thus, lizard and frog prestins appear to be functionally more advanced than that of chicken prestin, although motor capability is not yet acquired. PMID:23342145

  13. Resistance of leopard tortoises and helmeted guineafowl to Cowdria ruminantium infection (heartwater).

    PubMed

    Peter, T F; Mahan, S M; Burridge, M J

    2001-07-27

    Experimental infection trials were conducted to investigate susceptibility of leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis) and helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris) to infection with Cowdria ruminantium, the causative agent of heartwater, a tickborne disease of domestic and wild ruminants. Ten guineafowl were inoculated intravenously with a virulent dose of C. ruminantium derived from bovine endothelial cell cultures, and four leopard tortoises were exposed to C. ruminantium infection by the feeding of infected Amblyomma hebraeum ticks. Uninfected A. hebraeum ticks (on both tortoises and guineafowl) and Amblyomma marmoreum ticks (on tortoises only) were fed on the animals during weeks 2 and 3 post-exposure in an attempt to detect infection. These ticks were analyzed for C. ruminantium infection by xenodiagnosis and with the C. ruminantium-specific pCS20 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Attempts to detect infection in ticks fed on either species were negative by both tests. These results suggest that leopard tortoises and helmeted guineafowl are refractory to C. ruminantium infection and, therefore, are unlikely to be capable of introducing heartwater directly into new areas. However, leopard tortoises are efficient hosts of A. marmoreum and A. hebraeum and are likely to be important epidemiologically in the transport and maintenance of these tick vector species. PMID:11423187

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

    EPA Science Inventory


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

  15. Leopard frog PCB levels and evaluation of EROD as a biomarker in Green Bay ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Y.W.; Karasov, W.H.; Patnode, K.P.

    1995-12-31

    The induction of mixed function oxidases has been shown to be a promising biomarker in many taxa of wildlife, though not yet tested for amphibians. The three hypotheses tested in this study were (1) activities of hepatic EROD of leopard frog (Rana pipiens) are induced following exposure to planar chlorinated PCBs, (2) tissue PCB residue levels of leopard frogs are positively correlated with their wetland sediment PCB levels, and (3) EROD activities are positively correlated with tissue PCB concentrations and sediment PCB. In the laboratory, EROD was increased 2--3 times seven days after i.p. injection with PCB 126 at doses {ge} 2.3 ppm (wet mass basis). Leopard frogs from seven sites along the Lower Fox River and Green Bay in 1994--1995 were assayed for hepatic EROD activities and total PCB levels in carcasses. Tissue PCB levels ranged from 3 to 152 ppb (including coplanar congeners) and were highest from sites with higher sediment PCB. EROD activity in frogs collected in August--September was not significantly correlated with frog body mass and was similar among sites with one exception. There was no significant correlation between EROD activity and tissue PCB concentration. This result was consistent with the fact that the frogs collected from the Green Bay ecosystem had relatively low PCB levels compared with what was required for induction in the laboratory. The authors conclude that EROD activity is not a sensitive biomarker of PCB exposure in leopard frogs in this ecosystem.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mans, Christoph; Foster, Jonathan D.

    2014-01-01

    Egg retention in the urinary bladder of a leopard tortoise was diagnosed by radiography and confirmed by cystoscopy. The egg was removed with a modified polypectomy snare, aided by a flexible endoscope and insufflation. No complications occurred during the procedures and the tortoise made a complete recovery. PMID:24891641

  17. POPULATION STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION OF A DECIMATED AMPHIBIAN, THE RELICT LEOPARD FROG (RANA ONCA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The relict leopard frog (Rana onca) was once thought to be extinct, but has recently been shown to comprise a valid taxon with extant populations. We delineate the minimum historical range of the species, and report results of surveys at 12 historical and 54 other localities to d...

  18. New hope for the survival of the Amur leopard in China

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Guangshun; Qi, Jinzhe; Wang, Guiming; Shi, Quanhua; Darman, Yury; Hebblewhite, Mark; Miquelle, Dale G.; Li, Zhilin; Zhang, Xue; Gu, Jiayin; Chang, Youde; Zhang, Minghai; Ma, Jianzhang

    2015-01-01

    Natural range loss limits the population growth of Asian big cats and may determine their survival. Over the past decade, we collected occurrence data of the critically endangered Amur leopard worldwide and developed a distribution model of the leopard’s historical range in northeastern China over the past decade. We were interested to explore how much current range area exists, learn what factors limit their spatial distribution, determine the population size and estimate the extent of potential habitat. Our results identify 48,252 km2 of current range and 21,173.7 km2 of suitable habitat patches and these patches may support 195.1 individuals. We found that prey presence drives leopard distribution, that leopard density exhibits a negative response to tiger occurrence and that the largest habitat patch connects with 5,200 km2of Russian current range. These insights provide a deeper understanding of the means by which endangered predators might be saved and survival prospects for the Amur leopard not only in China, but also through imperative conservation cooperation internationally. PMID:26638877

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

    Thuppil, Vivek; Coss, Richard G

    2013-10-23

    Prey species exhibit antipredator behaviours such as alertness, aggression and flight, among others, in response to predators. The nature of this response is variable, with animals reacting more strongly in situations of increased vulnerability. Our research described here is the first formal study to investigate night-time antipredator behaviour in any species of elephants, Asian or African. We examined the provocative effects of elephant-triggered tiger and leopard growls while elephants attempted to crop-raid. Tigers opportunistically prey on elephant calves, whereas leopards pose no threat; therefore, we predicted that the elephant response would be reflective of this difference. Elephants reacted similarly cautiously to the simulated presence of felids of both species by eventually moving away, but differed markedly in their more immediate behavioural responses. Elephants retreated silently to tiger-growl playbacks, whereas they responded with aggressive vocalizations, such as trumpets and grunts, to leopard-growl playbacks. Elephants also lingered in the area and displayed alert or investigative behaviours in response to leopard growls when compared with tiger growls. We anticipate that the methods outlined here will promote further study of elephant antipredator behaviour in a naturalistic context, with applications for conservation efforts as well. PMID:24026347

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

    PubMed

    Sicuro, Fernando L; Oliveira, Luiz Flamarion B

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Luiz Flamarion B.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. The Ins & Outs of Developing a Field-Based Science Project: Learning by Lassoing Lizards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Catherine E.; Huffling, Lacey D.; Benavides, Aerin

    2014-01-01

    We describe a field-based lizard project we did with high school students as a part of our summer Herpetological Research Experiences. We describe data collection on lizards captured, identified, and marked as a part of our mark-recapture study. We also describe other lizard projects that are ongoing in the United States and provide resources for…

  6. Artificial Water Point for Livestock Influences Spatial Ecology of a Native Lizard Species

    PubMed Central

    Leu, Stephan T.; Bull, C. Michael

    2016-01-01

    Pastoralism is a major agricultural activity in drier environments, and can directly and indirectly impact native species in those areas. We investigated how the supply of an artificial watering point to support grazing livestock affected movement and activity patterns of the Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) during a drought year. We observed 23 adult lizards; six had access to a dam, whereas 17 lizards did not. Lizards with access to the dam had larger home ranges, were substantially active on more days (days with >100 steps), and moved more steps per day compared to lizards that did not have access to the dam, both during the early and late period of our observation. Furthermore, while the two groups of lizards had similar body condition early in the season, they differed later in the season. Lizards with dam access retained, whereas lizards without access lost body condition. Local heterogeneity in access to an artificial water resource resulted in spatially dependent behavioural variation among sleepy lizard individuals. This suggests that sleepy lizards have flexible responses to changing climatic conditions, depending on the availability of water. Furthermore, while reducing activity appears a suitable short term strategy, if harsh conditions persist, then access to dams could be of substantial benefit and could support sustained lizard activity and movement and allow maintenance of body condition. Hence, artificial watering points, such as the dams constructed by pastoralists, may provide local higher quality refugia for sleepy lizards and other species during drought conditions. PMID:26800274

  7. Artificial Water Point for Livestock Influences Spatial Ecology of a Native Lizard Species.

    PubMed

    Leu, Stephan T; Bull, C Michael

    2016-01-01

    Pastoralism is a major agricultural activity in drier environments, and can directly and indirectly impact native species in those areas. We investigated how the supply of an artificial watering point to support grazing livestock affected movement and activity patterns of the Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) during a drought year. We observed 23 adult lizards; six had access to a dam, whereas 17 lizards did not. Lizards with access to the dam had larger home ranges, were substantially active on more days (days with >100 steps), and moved more steps per day compared to lizards that did not have access to the dam, both during the early and late period of our observation. Furthermore, while the two groups of lizards had similar body condition early in the season, they differed later in the season. Lizards with dam access retained, whereas lizards without access lost body condition. Local heterogeneity in access to an artificial water resource resulted in spatially dependent behavioural variation among sleepy lizard individuals. This suggests that sleepy lizards have flexible responses to changing climatic conditions, depending on the availability of water. Furthermore, while reducing activity appears a suitable short term strategy, if harsh conditions persist, then access to dams could be of substantial benefit and could support sustained lizard activity and movement and allow maintenance of body condition. Hence, artificial watering points, such as the dams constructed by pastoralists, may provide local higher quality refugia for sleepy lizards and other species during drought conditions. PMID:26800274

  8. Scent Lure Effect on Camera-Trap Based Leopard Density Estimates

    PubMed Central

    Braczkowski, Alexander Richard; Balme, Guy Andrew; Dickman, Amy; Fattebert, Julien; Johnson, Paul; Dickerson, Tristan; Macdonald, David Whyte; Hunter, Luke

    2016-01-01

    Density estimates for large carnivores derived from camera surveys often have wide confidence intervals due to low detection rates. Such estimates are of limited value to authorities, which require precise population estimates to inform conservation strategies. Using lures can potentially increase detection, improving the precision of estimates. However, by altering the spatio-temporal patterning of individuals across the camera array, lures may violate closure, a fundamental assumption of capture-recapture. Here, we test the effect of scent lures on the precision and veracity of density estimates derived from camera-trap surveys of a protected African leopard population. We undertook two surveys (a ‘control’ and ‘treatment’ survey) on Phinda Game Reserve, South Africa. Survey design remained consistent except a scent lure was applied at camera-trap stations during the treatment survey. Lures did not affect the maximum movement distances (p = 0.96) or temporal activity of female (p = 0.12) or male leopards (p = 0.79), and the assumption of geographic closure was met for both surveys (p >0.05). The numbers of photographic captures were also similar for control and treatment surveys (p = 0.90). Accordingly, density estimates were comparable between surveys (although estimates derived using non-spatial methods (7.28–9.28 leopards/100km2) were considerably higher than estimates from spatially-explicit methods (3.40–3.65 leopards/100km2). The precision of estimates from the control and treatment surveys, were also comparable and this applied to both non-spatial and spatial methods of estimation. Our findings suggest that at least in the context of leopard research in productive habitats, the use of lures is not warranted. PMID:27050816

  9. Adaptable Neighbours: Movement Patterns of GPS-Collared Leopards in Human Dominated Landscapes in India

    PubMed Central

    Odden, Morten; Athreya, Vidya; Rattan, Sandeep; Linnell, John D. C.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the nature of the interactions between humans and wildlife is of vital importance for conflict mitigation. We equipped five leopards with GPS-collars in Maharashtra (4) and Himachal Pradesh (1), India, to study movement patterns in human-dominated landscapes outside protected areas. An adult male and an adult female were both translocated 52 km, and exhibited extensive, and directional, post release movements (straight line movements: male  = 89 km in 37 days, female  = 45 km in 5 months), until they settled in home ranges of 42 km2 (male) and 65 km2 (female). The three other leopards, two adult females and a young male were released close to their capture sites and used small home ranges of 8 km2 (male), 11 km2 and 15 km2 (females). Movement patterns were markedly nocturnal, with hourly step lengths averaging 339±9.5 m (SE) during night and 60±4.1 m during day, and night locations were significantly closer to human settlements than day locations. However, more nocturnal movements were observed among those three living in the areas with high human population densities. These visited houses regularly at nighttime (20% of locations <25 m from houses), but rarely during day (<1%). One leopard living in a sparsely populated area avoided human settlements both day and night. The small home ranges of the leopards indicate that anthropogenic food resources may be plentiful although wild prey is absent. The study provides clear insights into the ability of leopards to live and move in landscapes that are extremely modified by human activity. PMID:25390067

  10. Scent Lure Effect on Camera-Trap Based Leopard Density Estimates.

    PubMed

    Braczkowski, Alexander Richard; Balme, Guy Andrew; Dickman, Amy; Fattebert, Julien; Johnson, Paul; Dickerson, Tristan; Macdonald, David Whyte; Hunter, Luke

    2016-01-01

    Density estimates for large carnivores derived from camera surveys often have wide confidence intervals due to low detection rates. Such estimates are of limited value to authorities, which require precise population estimates to inform conservation strategies. Using lures can potentially increase detection, improving the precision of estimates. However, by altering the spatio-temporal patterning of individuals across the camera array, lures may violate closure, a fundamental assumption of capture-recapture. Here, we test the effect of scent lures on the precision and veracity of density estimates derived from camera-trap surveys of a protected African leopard population. We undertook two surveys (a 'control' and 'treatment' survey) on Phinda Game Reserve, South Africa. Survey design remained consistent except a scent lure was applied at camera-trap stations during the treatment survey. Lures did not affect the maximum movement distances (p = 0.96) or temporal activity of female (p = 0.12) or male leopards (p = 0.79), and the assumption of geographic closure was met for both surveys (p >0.05). The numbers of photographic captures were also similar for control and treatment surveys (p = 0.90). Accordingly, density estimates were comparable between surveys (although estimates derived using non-spatial methods (7.28-9.28 leopards/100km2) were considerably higher than estimates from spatially-explicit methods (3.40-3.65 leopards/100km2). The precision of estimates from the control and treatment surveys, were also comparable and this applied to both non-spatial and spatial methods of estimation. Our findings suggest that at least in the context of leopard research in productive habitats, the use of lures is not warranted. PMID:27050816

  11. Bone indicators of grasping hands in lizards

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Grasping is one of a few adaptive mechanisms that, in conjunction with clinging, hooking, arm swinging, adhering, and flying, allowed for incursion into the arboreal eco-space. Little research has been done that addresses grasping as an enhanced manual ability in non-mammalian tetrapods, with the exception of studies comparing the anatomy of muscle and tendon structure. Previous studies showed that grasping abilities allow exploitation for narrow branch habitats and that this adaptation has clear osteological consequences. The objective of this work is to ascertain the existence of morphometric descriptors in the hand skeleton of lizards related to grasping functionality. A morphological matrix was constructed using 51 morphometric variables in 278 specimens, from 24 genera and 13 families of Squamata. To reduce the dimensions of the dataset and to organize the original variables into a simpler system, three PCAs (Principal Component Analyses) were performed using the subsets of (1) carpal variables, (2) metacarpal variables, and (3) phalanges variables. The variables that demonstrated the most significant contributions to the construction of the PCA synthetic variables were then used in subsequent analyses. To explore which morphological variables better explain the variations in the functional setting, we ran Generalized Linear Models for the three different sets. This method allows us to model the morphology that enables a particular functional trait. Grasping was considered the only response variable, taking the value of 0 or 1, while the original variables retained by the PCAs were considered predictor variables. Our analyses yielded six variables associated with grasping abilities: two belong to the carpal bones, two belong to the metacarpals and two belong to the phalanges. Grasping in lizards can be performed with hands exhibiting at least two different independently originated combinations of bones. The first is a combination of a highly elongated centrale

  12. Tail loss and thermoregulation in the common lizard Zootoca vivipara

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herczeg, Gábor; Kovács, Tibor; Tóth, Tamás; Török, János; Korsós, Zoltán; Merilä, Juha

    2004-10-01

    Tail autotomy in lizards is an adaptive strategy that has evolved to reduce the risk of predation. Since tail loss reduces body mass and moving ability—which in turn are expected to influence thermal balance—there is potential for a trade-off between tail autotomy and thermoregulation. To test this hypothesis, we studied a common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) population at high latitude, inhabiting a high-cost thermal environment. Z. vivipara is a small, non-territorial lizard known as a very accurate thermoregulator. We made two predictions: (1) the reduced body weight due to tail loss results in faster heating rate (a benefit), and (2) the reduction in locomotor ability after tail loss induces a shift to the use of thermally poorer microhabitats (a cost), thus decreasing the field body temperatures of active lizards. We did not find any effect of tail loss on heating rate in laboratory experiments conducted under different thermal conditions. Likewise, no significant relationship between tail condition and field body temperatures, or between tail condition and thermal microhabitat use, were detected. Thus, our results suggest that tail autotomy does not influence the accuracy of thermoregulation in small-bodied lizards.

  13. Nereididae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Glasby, Christopher J

    2015-01-01

    Nereididae is one of the most ubiquitous of polychaete families, yet knowledge of their diversity in the northern Great Barrier Reef is poor; few species have been previously reported from any of the atolls or islands including Lizard Island. In this study, the diversity of the family from Lizard Island and surrounding reefs is documented based on museum collections derived from surveys conducted mostly over the last seven years. The Lizard Island nereidid fauna was found to be represented by 14 genera and 38 species/species groups, including 11 putative new species. Twelve species are newly reported from Lizard Island; four of these are also first records for Australia. For each genus and species, diagnoses and/or taxonomic remarks are provided in addition to notes on their habitat on Lizard Island, and general distribution; the existence of tissue samples tied to vouchered museum specimens is indicated. Fluorescence photography is used to help distinguish closely similar species of Nereis and Platynereis. A key is provided to facilitate identification and encourage further taxonomic, molecular and ecological studies on the group. PMID:26624071

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  15. Pleistocene leopards in the Iberian Peninsula: New evidence from palaeontological and archaeological contexts in the Mediterranean region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchis, Alfred; Tormo, Carmen; Sauqué, Víctor; Sanchis, Vicent; Díaz, Rebeca; Ribera, Agustí; Villaverde, Valentín

    2015-09-01

    This study analyses the fossil record of leopards in the Iberian Peninsula. According to the systematic and morphometric features of new remains, identified mainly in Late Pleistocene palaeontological and archaeological sites of the Mediterranean region, they can be attributed to Panthera pardus Linnaeus 1758. The findings include the most complete leopard skeleton from the Iberian Peninsula and one of the most complete in Europe, found in a chasm (Avenc de Joan Guitón) south of Valencia. The new citations and published data are used to establish the leopard's distribution in the Iberian Peninsula, showing its maximum development during the Late Pleistocene. Some references suggest that the species survived for longer here (Lateglacial-Early Holocene) than in other parts of Europe. Finally, the contexts of appearance and origin of leopard remains are described and the processes of interaction with prehistoric human groups are assessed.

  16. Seasonal reproductive endothermy in tegu lizards

    PubMed Central

    Tattersall, Glenn J.; Leite, Cleo A. C.; Sanders, Colin E.; Cadena, Viviana; Andrade, Denis V.; Abe, Augusto S.; Milsom, William K.

    2016-01-01

    With some notable exceptions, small ectothermic vertebrates are incapable of endogenously sustaining a body temperature substantially above ambient temperature. This view was challenged by our observations of nighttime body temperatures sustained well above ambient (up to 10°C) during the reproductive season in tegu lizards (~2 kg). This led us to hypothesize that tegus have an enhanced capacity to augment heat production and heat conservation. Increased metabolic rates and decreased thermal conductance are the same mechanisms involved in body temperature regulation in those vertebrates traditionally acknowledged as “true endotherms”: the birds and mammals. The appreciation that a modern ectotherm the size of the earliest mammals can sustain an elevated body temperature through metabolic rates approaching that of endotherms enlightens the debate over endothermy origins, providing support for the parental care model of endothermy, but not for the assimilation capacity model of endothermy. It also indicates that, contrary to prevailing notions, ectotherms can engage in facultative endothermy, providing a physiological analog in the evolutionary transition to true endothermy. PMID:26844295

  17. Interactions between a lizard and its thermal environment: implications for sprint performance and space utilization in the lizard Uta stansburiana

    SciTech Connect

    Waldschmidt, S.; Tracy, C.R.

    1983-06-01

    At the end of their breeding season, male side-blotched lizards, Uta stansburiana from western Colorado decreased their home range to a size not different from that of females. Both males and females showed a high degree of overlap in home ranges, not found in populations previously studied in Texas. Uta's sprint speed was dependent on body temperature, with maximum sprint speed occurring at body temperatures between 35/sup 0/C and 38/sup 0/C, with lower speeds at higher and lower temperatures. An energy budget model was used to predict the range of body temperatures (and thus sprint speeds) available to lizards in four microhabitats within each animal's home range. Predicted body temperatures were converted to a space-time index. The distribution of the space-time index in each microhabitat was used to predict the spatial and temporal distributions of lizards. Predicted distributions accurately reflected the measured distributions of lizards in the morning and late afternoon, but did not reflect the measured distributions during midday. These inconsistencies are thought to be the result of lizard responses to other temperature-dependent processes, such as evaporite water loss.

  18. [Individual identification of Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis) using molecular-genetic methods and estimation of the population].

    PubMed

    Rozhnov, V V; Sorokin, P A; Lukarevskiĭ, V S; Naĭdenko, S V; Ernandes-Blanko, Kh A; Lukarevskiĭ, S V

    2013-01-01

    For the first time, the genetic structure of a population of Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis) in southwest Primorie was analyzed in detail. In 2010-2012, 23 individuals were identified individually. It was shown that the studied microsatellite markers are suitable for individual identification of leopards, monitoring the population numbers, and creating a unified database of genetic profiles of this species to solve research and nature-preserving tasks. PMID:23789419

  19. Serpulidae (Annelida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Kupriyanova, Elena K; Sun, Yanan; Hove, Harry A Ten; Wong, Eunice; Rouse, Greg W

    2015-01-01

    Serpulidae are obligatory sedentary polychaetes inhabiting calcareous tubes that are most common in subtropical and tropical areas of the world. This paper describes serpulid polychaetes collected from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia in 1983-2013 and deposited in Australian museums and overseas. In total, 17 serpulid genera were recorded, but although the study deals with 44 nominal taxa, the exact number of species remains unclear because a number of genera (i.e., Salmacina, Protula, Serpula, Spirobranchus, and Vermiliopsis) need world-wide revisions. Some species described herein are commonly found in the waters around Lizard Island, but had not previously been formally reported. A new species of Hydroides (H. lirs) and two new species of Semivermilia (S. annehoggettae and S. lylevaili) are described. A taxonomic key to all taxa found at Lizard Island is provided. PMID:26624073

  20. Tail-assisted pitch control in lizards, robots and dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Libby, Thomas; Moore, Talia Y; Chang-Siu, Evan; Li, Deborah; Cohen, Daniel J; Jusufi, Ardian; Full, Robert J

    2012-01-12

    In 1969, a palaeontologist proposed that theropod dinosaurs used their tails as dynamic stabilizers during rapid or irregular movements, contributing to their depiction as active and agile predators. Since then the inertia of swinging appendages has been implicated in stabilizing human walking, aiding acrobatic manoeuvres by primates and rodents, and enabling cats to balance on branches. Recent studies on geckos suggest that active tail stabilization occurs during climbing, righting and gliding. By contrast, studies on the effect of lizard tail loss show evidence of a decrease, an increase or no change in performance. Application of a control-theoretic framework could advance our general understanding of inertial appendage use in locomotion. Here we report that lizards control the swing of their tails in a measured manner to redirect angular momentum from their bodies to their tails, stabilizing body attitude in the sagittal plane. We video-recorded Red-Headed Agama lizards (Agama agama) leaping towards a vertical surface by first vaulting onto an obstacle with variable traction to induce a range of perturbations in body angular momentum. To examine a known controlled tail response, we built a lizard-sized robot with an active tail that used sensory feedback to stabilize pitch as it drove off a ramp. Our dynamics model revealed that a body swinging its tail experienced less rotation than a body with a rigid tail, a passively compliant tail or no tail. To compare a range of tails, we calculated tail effectiveness as the amount of tailless body rotation a tail could stabilize. A model Velociraptor mongoliensis supported the initial tail stabilization hypothesis, showing as it did a greater tail effectiveness than the Agama lizards. Leaping lizards show that inertial control of body attitude can advance our understanding of appendage evolution and provide biological inspiration for the next generation of manoeuvrable search-and-rescue robots. PMID:22217942

  1. Earliest Example of a Giant Monitor Lizard (Varanus, Varanidae, Squamata)

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Jack L.; Balcarcel, Ana M.; Mehling, Carl M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Varanidae is a clade of tiny (<20 mm pre-caudal length [PCL]) to giant (>600 mm PCL) lizards first appearing in the Cretaceous. True monitor lizards (Varanus) are known from diagnostic remains beginning in the early Miocene (Varanus rusingensis), although extremely fragmentary remains have been suggested as indicating earlier Varanus. The paleobiogeographic history of Varanus and timing for origin of its gigantism remain uncertain. Methodology/Principal Findings A new Varanus from the Mytilini Formation (Turolian, Miocene) of Samos, Greece is described. The holotype consists of a partial skull roof, right side of a braincase, partial posterior mandible, fragment of clavicle, and parts of six vertebrae. A cladistic analysis including 83 taxa coded for 5733 molecular and 489 morphological characters (71 previously unincluded) demonstrates that the new fossil is a nested member of an otherwise exclusively East Asian Varanus clade. The new species is the earliest-known giant (>600 mm PCL) terrestrial lizard. Importantly, this species co-existed with a diverse continental mammalian fauna. Conclusions/Significance The new monitor is larger (longer) than 99% of known fossil and living lizards. Varanus includes, by far, the largest limbed squamates today. The only extant non-snake squamates that approach monitors in maximum size are the glass-snake Pseudopus and the worm-lizard Amphisbaena. Mosasauroids were larger, but exclusively marine, and occurred only during the Late Cretaceous. Large, extant, non-Varanus, lizards are limbless and/or largely isolated from mammalian competitors. By contrast, our new Varanus achieved gigantism in a continental environment populated by diverse eutherian mammal competitors. PMID:22900001

  2. The effects of prey species on food conversion efficiency and growth of an insectivorous lizard.

    PubMed

    Rich, C Nelson; Talent, Larry G

    2008-05-01

    Little is known about the effects of different prey species on lizard growth. We conducted a 6-week study to determine the relative effects of prey species on growth parameters of hatchling western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis. Lizards were fed house cricket nymphs, Acheta domesticus, or mealworm larvae, Tenebrio molitor. The effects of prey species on growth were determined by measuring prey consumption, gross conversion efficiency of food [gain in mass (g)/food consumed (g)], gain in mass, and gain in snout-vent length. Lizards grew well on both the prey species. However, lizards that fed on crickets consumed a significantly higher percentage of their body mass per day than those fed mealworms. Nevertheless, lizards that consumed mealworms ingested significantly more metabolizable energy, had significantly higher food conversion efficiencies, significantly higher daily gains in mass, and significantly greater total growth in mass than lizards that fed on crickets. PMID:19360616

  3. Costs and benefits of the presence of leopards to the sport-hunting industry and local communities in Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique.

    PubMed

    Jorge, Agostinho A; Vanak, Abi T; Thaker, Maria; Begg, Colleen; Slotow, Rob

    2013-08-01

    Sport hunting is often proposed as a tool to support the conservation of large carnivores. However, it is challenging to provide tangible economic benefits from this activity as an incentive for local people to conserve carnivores. We assessed economic gains from sport hunting and poaching of leopards (Panthera pardus), costs of leopard depredation of livestock, and attitudes of people toward leopards in Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique. We sent questionnaires to hunting concessionaires (n = 8) to investigate the economic value of and the relative importance of leopards relative to other key trophy-hunted species. We asked villagers (n = 158) the number of and prices for leopards poached in the reserve and the number of goats depredated by leopard. Leopards were the mainstay of the hunting industry; a single animal was worth approximately U.S.$24,000. Most safari revenues are retained at national and international levels, but poached leopard are illegally traded locally for small amounts ($83). Leopards depredated 11 goats over 2 years in 2 of 4 surveyed villages resulting in losses of $440 to 6 households. People in these households had negative attitudes toward leopards. Although leopard sport hunting generates larger gross revenues than poaching, illegal hunting provides higher economic benefits for households involved in the activity. Sport-hunting revenues did not compensate for the economic losses of livestock at the household level. On the basis of our results, we propose that poaching be reduced by increasing the costs of apprehension and that the economic benefits from leopard sport hunting be used to improve community livelihoods and provide incentives not to poach. PMID:23772986

  4. Evolution of Anolis Lizard Dewlap Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Nicholson, Kirsten E.; Harmon, Luke J.; Losos, Jonathan B.

    2007-01-01

    Background The dewlaps of Anolis lizards provide a classic example of a complex signaling system whose function and evolution is poorly understood. Dewlaps are flaps of skin beneath the chin that are extended and combined with head and body movements for visual signals and displays. They exhibit extensive morphological variation and are one of two cladistic features uniting anoles, yet little is known regarding their function and evolution. We quantified the diversity of anole dewlaps, investigated whether dewlap morphology was informative regarding phylogenetic relationships, and tested two separate hypotheses: (A) similar Anolis habitat specialists possess similar dewlap configurations (Ecomorph Convergence hypothesis), and (B) sympatric species differ in their dewlap morphologies to a greater extent than expected by chance (Species Recognition hypothesis). Methodology/Principal Findings We found that dewlap configurations (sizes, patterns and colors) exhibit substantial diversity, but that most are easily categorized into six patterns that incorporate one to three of 13 recognizable colors. Dewlap morphology is not phylogenetically informative and, like other features of anoles, exhibits convergence in configurations. We found no support for the Ecomorph Convergence hypothesis; species using the same structural habitat were no more similar in dewlap configuration than expected by chance. With one exception, all sympatric species in four communities differ in dewlap configuration. However, this provides only weak support for the Species Recognition hypothesis because, due to the great diversity in dewlap configurations observed across each island, few cases of sympatric species with identical dewlaps would be expected to co-occur by chance alone. Conclusions/Significance Despite previous thought, most dewlaps exhibit easily characterizable patterns and colorations. Nevertheless, dewlap variation is extensive and explanations for the origin and evolution of this

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Simulation modeling of population viability for the leopard darter (Percidae: Percina pantherina)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, L.R.; Echelle, A.A.; Toepfer, C.S.; Williams, M.G.; Fisher, W.L.

    1999-01-01

    We used the computer program RAMAS to perform a population viability analysis for the leopard darter, Percina pantherina. This percid fish is a threatened species confined to five isolated rivers in the Ouachita Mountains of Oklahoma and Arkansas. A base model created from life history data indicated a 6% probability that the leopard darter would go extinct in 50 years. We performed sensitivity analyses to determine the effects of initial population size, variation in age structure, variation in severity and probability of catastrophe, and migration rate. Catastrophe (modeled as the probability and severity of drought) and migration had the greatest effects on persistence. Results of these simulations have implications for management of this species.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Patent ductus arteriosus in an adult amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis).

    PubMed

    Douay, Guillaume; Drut, Amandine; Ribas, Thibault; Gomis, David; Graille, Mélanie; Lemberger, Karin; Bublot, Isabelle

    2013-03-01

    A clinically healthy 16-yr-old female leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) was diagnosed with a patent ductus arteriosus on echocardiography and later confirmed on necropsy A murmur was heard on auscultation during a routine examination, and the congenital defect was an incidental finding. The animal had been asymptomatic its entire life. This deformity is rarely observed in nondomestic felids and may be asymptomatic, as has been described in domestic cats. PMID:23505729

  9. Assessment of the prevailing physics codes: LEOPARD, LASER, and EPRI-CELL

    SciTech Connect

    Lan, J.S.

    1981-01-01

    In order to analyze core performance and fuel management, it is necessary to verify reactor physics codes in great detail. This kind of work not only serves the purpose of understanding and controlling the characteristics of each code, but also ensures the reliability as codes continually change due to constant modifications and machine transfers. This paper will present the results of a comprehensive verification of three code packages - LEOPARD, LASER, and EPRI-CELL.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Petrovska-Delacretaz, D.; Edwards, A.; Chiasson, J.; Chollet, G.; Pilliod, D.S.

    2014-01-01

    Reference systems and public databases are available for human biometrics, but to our knowledge nothing is available for animal biometrics. This is surprising because animals are not required to give their agreement to be in a database. This paper proposes a reference system and database for the northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens). Both are available for reproducible experiments. Results of both open set and closed set experiments are given.

  11. Threats from the past: Barbados green monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) fear leopards after centuries of isolation.

    PubMed

    Burns-Cusato, Melissa; Glueck, Amanda C; Merchak, Andrea R; Palmer, Cristin L; Rieskamp, Joshua D; Duggan, Ivy S; Hinds, Rebecca T; Cusato, Brian

    2016-05-01

    Ability to recognize and differentiate between predators and non-predators is a crucial component of successful anti-predator behavior. While there is evidence that both genetic and experiential mechanisms mediate anti-predator behaviors in various animal species, it is unknown to what extent each of these two mechanisms are utilized by the green monkey (Chlorocebus sabaeus). Green monkeys on the West Indies island of Barbados offer a unique opportunity to investigate the underpinnings of anti-predator behaviors in a species that has been isolated from ancestral predators for over 350 years. In the first experiment, monkeys in two free-ranging troops were presented with photographs of an ancestral predator (leopard, Panthera pardus) and a non-predator (African Buffalo, Syncerus caffer). Relative to non-predator stimuli, images of a leopard elicited less approach, more alarm calls, and more escape responses. Subsequent experiments were conducted to determine whether the monkeys were responding to a leopard-specific feature (spotted fur) or a general predator feature (forward facing eyes). The monkeys showed similar approach to images of an unfamiliar non-predator regardless of whether the image had forward facing predator eyes or side facing non-predator eyes. However, once near the images, the monkeys were less likely to reach for peanuts near the predator eyes than the non-predator eyes. The monkeys avoided an image of spotted leopard fur but approached the same image of fur when the dark spots had been removed. Taken together, the results suggest that green monkey anti-predator behavior is at least partially mediated by genetic factors. PMID:26910174

  12. Two-stage Turing model for generating pigment patterns on the leopard and the jaguar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, R. T.; Liaw, S. S.; Maini, P. K.

    2006-07-01

    Based on the results of phylogenetic analysis, which showed that flecks are the primitive pattern of the felid family and all other patterns including rosettes and blotches develop from it, we construct a Turing reaction-diffusion model which generates spot patterns initially. Starting from this spotted pattern, we successfully generate patterns of adult leopards and jaguars by tuning parameters of the model in the subsequent phase of patterning.

  13. Rapid change in the thermal tolerance of a tropical lizard.

    PubMed

    Leal, Manuel; Gunderson, Alex R

    2012-12-01

    The predominant view is that the thermal physiology of tropical ectotherms, including lizards, is not labile over ecological timescales. We used the recent introduction (∼35 years ago) of the Puerto Rican lizard Anolis cristatellus to Miami, Florida, to test this thermal rigidity hypothesis. We measured lower (critical thermal minimum [CT(min)]) and upper (critical thermal maximum [CT(max)]) thermal tolerances and found that the introduced population tolerates significantly colder temperatures (by ∼3°C) than does the Puerto Rican source population; however, CT(max) did not differ. These results mirror the thermal regimes experienced by each population: Miami reaches colder ambient temperatures than Puerto Rico, but maximum ambient temperatures are similar. The differences in CT(min) were observed even though lizards from both sites experienced nearly identical conditions for 49 days before CT(min) measurement. Our results demonstrate that changes in thermal tolerance occurred relatively rapidly (∼35 generations), which strongly suggests that the thermal physiology of tropical lizards is more labile than previously proposed. PMID:23149405

  14. Technique for Measuring Speed and Visual Motion Sensitivity in Lizards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woo, Kevin L.; Burke, Darren

    2008-01-01

    Testing sensory characteristics on herpetological species has been difficult due to a range of properties related to physiology, responsiveness, performance ability, and the type of reinforcer used. Using the Jacky lizard as a model, we outline a successfully established procedure in which to test the visual sensitivity to motion characteristics.…

  15. Structure and function of the hearts of lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Bjarke; Moorman, Antoon F M; Wang, Tobias

    2014-05-01

    With approximately 7000 species, snakes and lizards, collectively known as squamates, are by far the most species-rich group of reptiles. It was from reptile-like ancestors that mammals and birds evolved and squamates can be viewed as phylogenetically positioned between them and fishes. Hence, their hearts have been studied for more than a century yielding insights into the group itself and into the independent evolution of the fully divided four-chambered hearts of mammals and birds. Structurally the heart is complex and debates persist on rudimentary issues such as identifying structures critical to understanding ventricle function. In seeking to resolve these controversies we have generated three-dimensional (3D) models in portable digital format (pdf) of the anaconda and anole lizard hearts ('typical' squamate hearts) and the uniquely specialized python heart with comprehensive annotations of structures and cavities. We review the anatomy and physiology of squamate hearts in general and emphasize the unique features of pythonid and varanid lizard hearts that endow them with mammal-like blood pressures. Excluding pythons and varanid lizards it is concluded that the squamate heart has a highly consistent design including a disproportionately large right side (systemic venous) probably due to prevailing pulmonary bypass (intraventricular shunting). Unfortunately, investigations on rudimentary features are sparse. We therefore point out gaps in our knowledge, such as the size and functional importance of the coronary vasculature and of the first cardiac chamber, the sinus venosus, and highlight areas with implications for vertebrate cardiac evolution. PMID:23998743

  16. Convergent evolution of kin-based sociality in a lizard

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Alison R.; Corl, Ammon; Surget-Groba, Yann; Sinervo, Barry

    2011-01-01

    Studies of social birds and mammals have produced extensive theory regarding the formation and dynamics of kin-based social groups in vertebrates. However, comparing kin dynamics in birds and mammals to social reptiles provides the opportunity to identify selective factors that promote independent origins of kin sociality across vertebrates. We combined a 5-year mark-recapture study with a DNA microsatellite analysis of relatedness in a social lizard (Xantusia vigilis) to examine the formation and stability of kin groups. We found that these lizards are highly sedentary and that groups often form through the delayed dispersal of offspring. Groups containing juveniles had higher relatedness than adult-only groups, as juveniles were commonly found in aggregations with at least one parent and/or sibling. Groups containing nuclear family members were more stable than groups of less-related lizards, as predicted by social theory. We conclude that X. vigilis aggregations conform to patterns of kin sociality observed in avian and mammalian systems and represent an example of convergent evolution in social systems. We suggest that kin-based sociality in this and other lizards may be a by-product of viviparity, which can promote delayed juvenile dispersal by allowing prolonged interaction between a neonate and its mother. PMID:20926442

  17. Leaping Lizards And Learning. In the Curriculum: Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petersen, Diane; Nelson, Cathi

    2004-01-01

    In the broad fields that stretch toward the horizon in the Columbia Basin region of Washington state, the land is just right for at least two purposes: growing dryland wheat and providing habitat for shorthorned lizards, also known as horny toads. Our elementary school, enrolling 150 children from this rural farming community, has become a hub for…

  18. Microhabitat choice in island lizards enhances camouflage against avian predators.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Kate L A; Philpot, Kate E; Stevens, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Camouflage can often be enhanced by genetic adaptation to different local environments. However, it is less clear how individual behaviour improves camouflage effectiveness. We investigated whether individual Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) inhabiting different islands rest on backgrounds that improve camouflage against avian predators. In free-ranging lizards, we found that dorsal regions were better matched against chosen backgrounds than against other backgrounds on the same island. This suggests that P. erhardii make background choices that heighten individual-specific concealment. In achromatic camouflage, this effect was more evident in females and was less distinct in an island population with lower predation risk. This suggests that behavioural enhancement of camouflage may be more important in females than in sexually competing males and related to predation risk. However, in an arena experiment, lizards did not choose the background that improved camouflage, most likely due to the artificial conditions. Overall, our results provide evidence that behavioural preferences for substrates can enhance individual camouflage of lizards in natural microhabitats, and that such adaptations may be sexually dimorphic and dependent on local environments. This research emphasizes the importance of considering links between ecology, behaviour, and appearance in studies of intraspecific colour variation and local adaptation. PMID:26804463

  19. A preliminary report on the distribution of lizards in Qatar.

    PubMed

    Cogălniceanu, Dan; Castilla, Aurora M; Valdeón, Aitor; Gosá, Alberto; Al-Jaidah, Noora; Alkuwary, Ali; Saifelnasr, Essam O H; Mas-Peinado, Paloma; Richer, Renee; Al-Hemaidi, Ahmad Amer Mohd

    2014-01-01

    We have updated the list of the lizard species present in Qatar and produced the first distribution maps based on two field surveys in 2012 and 2013. We used the QND95/Qatar National Grid with a grid of 10 × 10 km squares for mapping. Our results show the occurrence of 21 lizard species in Qatar, from the 15 species indicated in the last biodiversity report conducted in 2004. The most abundant family found in Qatar is Gekkonidae with nine species (Bunopus tuberculatus, Cyrtopodion scabrum, Hemidactylus robustus, H. flaviviridis, H. persicus, Stenodactylus arabicus, S. slevini, S. doriae, Pseudoceramodactylus khobarensis), followed by Lacertidae with four species (Acanthodactylus schmidti, A. opheodurus, Mesalina brevirostris, M. adramitana), Agamidae with three species (Trapelus flavimaculatus, Uromastyx aegyptia, Phrynocephalus arabicus), Scincidae with two species (Scincus mitranus, Trachylepis septemtaeniata), and Varanidae (Varanus griseus), Sphaerodactylidae (Pristurus rupestris) and Trogonophiidae (Diplometopon zarudnyi) with one species each. The species richness fluctuated largely across Qatar between one and eleven species per grid square. We believe that the lizard fauna records in Qatar are still incomplete and that additional studies are required. However, our study here fills a gap concerning lizard biodiversity knowledge in the Gulf Region. PMID:24493961

  20. Microhabitat choice in island lizards enhances camouflage against avian predators

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Kate L. A.; Philpot, Kate E.; Stevens, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Camouflage can often be enhanced by genetic adaptation to different local environments. However, it is less clear how individual behaviour improves camouflage effectiveness. We investigated whether individual Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) inhabiting different islands rest on backgrounds that improve camouflage against avian predators. In free-ranging lizards, we found that dorsal regions were better matched against chosen backgrounds than against other backgrounds on the same island. This suggests that P. erhardii make background choices that heighten individual-specific concealment. In achromatic camouflage, this effect was more evident in females and was less distinct in an island population with lower predation risk. This suggests that behavioural enhancement of camouflage may be more important in females than in sexually competing males and related to predation risk. However, in an arena experiment, lizards did not choose the background that improved camouflage, most likely due to the artificial conditions. Overall, our results provide evidence that behavioural preferences for substrates can enhance individual camouflage of lizards in natural microhabitats, and that such adaptations may be sexually dimorphic and dependent on local environments. This research emphasizes the importance of considering links between ecology, behaviour, and appearance in studies of intraspecific colour variation and local adaptation. PMID:26804463

  1. A preliminary report on the distribution of lizards in Qatar

    PubMed Central

    Cogălniceanu, Dan; Castilla, Aurora M; Valdeón, Aitor; Gosá, Alberto; Al-Jaidah, Noora; Alkuwary, Ali; Saifelnasr, Essam O. H.; Mas-Peinado, Paloma; Richer, Renee; Al-Hemaidi, Ahmad Amer Mohd

    2014-01-01

    Abstract We have updated the list of the lizard species present in Qatar and produced the first distribution maps based on two field surveys in 2012 and 2013. We used the QND95/Qatar National Grid with a grid of 10 × 10 km squares for mapping. Our results show the occurrence of 21 lizard species in Qatar, from the 15 species indicated in the last biodiversity report conducted in 2004. The most abundant family found in Qatar is Gekkonidae with nine species (Bunopus tuberculatus, Cyrtopodion scabrum, Hemidactylus robustus, H. flaviviridis, H. persicus, Stenodactylus arabicus, S. slevini, S. doriae, Pseudoceramodactylus khobarensis), followed by Lacertidae with four species (Acanthodactylus schmidti, A. opheodurus, Mesalina brevirostris, M. adramitana), Agamidae with three species (Trapelus flavimaculatus, Uromastyx aegyptia, Phrynocephalus arabicus), Scincidae with two species (Scincus mitranus, Trachylepis septemtaeniata), and Varanidae (Varanus griseus), Sphaerodactylidae (Pristurus rupestris) and Trogonophiidae (Diplometopon zarudnyi) with one species each. The species richness fluctuated largely across Qatar between one and eleven species per grid square. We believe that the lizard fauna records in Qatar are still incomplete and that additional studies are required. However, our study here fills a gap concerning lizard biodiversity knowledge in the Gulf Region. PMID:24493961

  2. Functional Responses of Retaliatory Killing versus Recreational Sport Hunting of Leopards in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Swanepoel, Lourens H.; Somers, Michael J.; Dalerum, Fredrik

    2015-01-01

    Predation strategies in response to altering prey abundances can dramatically influence the demographic effects of predation. Despite this, predation strategies of humans are rarely incorporated into quantitative assessments of the demographic impacts of humans killing carnivores. This scarcity largely seems to be caused by a lack of data. In this study, we contrasted predation strategies exhibited by people involved in retaliatory killing and recreational sport hunting of leopards (Panthera pardus) in the Waterberg District Municipality, South Africa. We predicted a specialist predation strategy exemplified by a type II functional response for retaliatory killing, and a generalist strategy exemplified by a type III functional response for recreational sport hunting. We could not distinguish between a type I, a type II, or a type III functional response for retaliatory killing, but the most parsimonious model for recreational sport hunting corresponded to a type I functional response. Kill rates were consistently higher for retaliatory killing than for recreational sport hunting. Our results indicate that retaliatory killing of leopards may have severe demographic consequences for leopard populations, whereas the demographic consequences of recreational sport hunting likely are less dramatic. PMID:25905623

  3. Effects of prey size and mobility on prey-capture kinematics in leopard sharks triakis semifasciata

    PubMed

    Ferry-Graham

    1998-08-01

    Recent work on teleosts suggests that attack behaviors or kinematics may be modified by a predator on the basis of the size of the prey or the ability of the prey to sense predators and escape capture (elusivity). Sharks are generally presumed to be highly visual predators; thus, it is reasonable to expect that they might also be capable of such behavioral modulation. In this study, I investigated the effect of prey item size and type on prey-capture behavior in leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) that had been acclimated to feeding in the laboratory. Using high-speed video, sharks were filmed feeding on two sizes of the same prey item (thawed shrimp pieces) and two potentially more elusive prey items (live earthworms and live mud shrimp). In leopard sharks, little effect of prey elusivity was found for kinematic variables during prey capture. However, the large proportion of successful captures of the live prey suggests that they did not prove to be truly elusive prey items for the leopard shark. There were significant size effects on prey-capture kinematics, with the larger non-elusive items inducing greater head expansion during prey capture. Ram-suction index values also indicated that strikes on large, non-elusive prey had a significantly larger suction component than strikes on similar small prey items. This finding is interesting given that the two sizes of non-elusive prey item offered no differential challenge in terms of a performance consequence (reduced capture success). PMID:9679105

  4. Canine distemper epizootic in lions, tigers, and leopards in North America.

    PubMed

    Appel, M J; Yates, R A; Foley, G L; Bernstein, J J; Santinelli, S; Spelman, L H; Miller, L D; Arp, L H; Anderson, M; Barr, M

    1994-07-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) infection occurred in captive leopards (Panthera pardus), tigers (Panthera tigris), lions (Panthera leo), and a jaguar (Panthera onca) in 1991 and 1992. An epizootic affected all 4 types of cats at the Wildlife Waystation, San Fernando, California, with 17 mortalities. CDV-infected raccoons were thought to be the source of infection in these cats. Two black leopards died at the Naibi Zoo, Coal Valley, Illinois, and 2 tigers died at the Shambala Preserve, Acton, California. Initial clinical signs were anorexia with gastrointestinal and/or respiratory disease followed by seizures. Canine distemper virus was isolated from 3 leopards, 3 tigers, and 3 lions that died or were euthanized when moribund. Monoclonal antibody testing identified the virus isolates as CDV. Gross and histopathologic findings were similar to those found in canids with distemper with a few exceptions. There were fewer lesions in the brain, and there was a pronounced type 2 cell proliferation in the lung, with inclusion bodies and CDV antigen demonstrated by immunohistology. Neutralizing antibody to CDV was found in high titers in serum from most animals but was absent or was found only in low titers in some cats that succumbed after CDV infection. There was a marked difference in neutralizing antibody titers when tests were done with different strains of CDV. PMID:7948195

  5. A new species of leopard frog (Anura: Ranidae) from the urban northeastern US

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Catherine E.; Feinberg, Jeremy A.; Rissler, Leslie J.; Burger, Joanna; Shaffer, H. Bradley

    2014-01-01

    Past confusion about leopard frog (genus Rana) species composition in the Tri-State area of the US that includes New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), and Connecticut (CT) has hindered conservation and management efforts, especially where populations are declining or imperiled. We use nuclear and mitochondrial genetic data to clarify the identification and distribution of leopard frog species in this region. We focus on four problematic frog populations of uncertain species affiliation in northern NJ, southeastern mainland NY, and Staten Island to test the following hypotheses: (1) they are conspecific with Rana sphenocephala or R. pipiens, (2) they are hybrids between R. sphenocephala and R. pipiens, or (3) they represent one or more previously undescribed cryptic taxa. Bayesian phylogenetic and cluster analyses revealed that the four unknown populations collectively form a novel genetic lineage, which represents a previously undescribed cryptic leopard frog species, Rana sp. nov. Statistical support for R. sp. nov. was strong in both the Bayesian (pp = 1.0) and maximum-likelihood (bootstrap = 99) phylogenetic analyses as well as the Structure cluster analyses. While our data support recognition of R. sp. nov. as a novel species, we recommend further study including fine-scaled sampling and ecological, behavioral, call, and morphological analyses before it is formally described. PMID:22321689

  6. Dissatisfaction with Veterinary Services Is Associated with Leopard (Panthera pardus) Predation on Domestic Animals

    PubMed Central

    Khaleghi Hamidi, Amirhossein; Ghoddousi, Arash; Waltert, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflicts challenge biodiversity conservation and local livelihoods, but the role of diseases of domestic animals in their predation by carnivores is poorly understood. We conducted a human-leopard (Panthera pardus) conflict study throughout all 34 villages around Golestan National Park, Iran in order to find the most important conflict determinants and to use them in predicting the probabilities of conflict and killing of cattle, sheep and goats, and dogs. We found that the more villagers were dissatisfied with veterinary services, the more likely they were to lose livestock and dogs to leopard predation. Dissatisfaction occurred when vaccination crews failed to visit villages at all or, in most cases, arrived too late to prevent diseases from spreading. We suggest that increased morbidity of livestock makes them particularly vulnerable to leopard attacks. Moreover, conflicts and dog killing were higher in villages located closer to the boundaries of the protected area than in distant villages. Therefore, we appeal for improved enforcement and coordination of veterinary services in our study area, and propose several priority research topics such as veterinarian studies, role of wild prey in diseases of domestic animals, and further analysis of potential conflict predictors. PMID:26114626

  7. Dissatisfaction with Veterinary Services Is Associated with Leopard (Panthera pardus) Predation on Domestic Animals.

    PubMed

    Khorozyan, Igor; Soofi, Mahmood; Khaleghi Hamidi, Amirhossein; Ghoddousi, Arash; Waltert, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflicts challenge biodiversity conservation and local livelihoods, but the role of diseases of domestic animals in their predation by carnivores is poorly understood. We conducted a human-leopard (Panthera pardus) conflict study throughout all 34 villages around Golestan National Park, Iran in order to find the most important conflict determinants and to use them in predicting the probabilities of conflict and killing of cattle, sheep and goats, and dogs. We found that the more villagers were dissatisfied with veterinary services, the more likely they were to lose livestock and dogs to leopard predation. Dissatisfaction occurred when vaccination crews failed to visit villages at all or, in most cases, arrived too late to prevent diseases from spreading. We suggest that increased morbidity of livestock makes them particularly vulnerable to leopard attacks. Moreover, conflicts and dog killing were higher in villages located closer to the boundaries of the protected area than in distant villages. Therefore, we appeal for improved enforcement and coordination of veterinary services in our study area, and propose several priority research topics such as veterinarian studies, role of wild prey in diseases of domestic animals, and further analysis of potential conflict predictors. PMID:26114626

  8. Leopard (Panthera pardus) status, distribution, and the research efforts across its range

    PubMed Central

    Gerngross, Peter; Lemeris Jr., Joseph R.; Schoonover, Rebecca F.; Anco, Corey; Breitenmoser-Würsten, Christine; Durant, Sarah M.; Farhadinia, Mohammad S.; Henschel, Philipp; Kamler, Jan F.; Laguardia, Alice; Rostro-García, Susana; Stein, Andrew B.; Dollar, Luke

    2016-01-01

    The leopard’s (Panthera pardus) broad geographic range, remarkable adaptability, and secretive nature have contributed to a misconception that this species might not be severely threatened across its range. We find that not only are several subspecies and regional populations critically endangered but also the overall range loss is greater than the average for terrestrial large carnivores. To assess the leopard’s status, we compile 6,000 records at 2,500 locations from over 1,300 sources on its historic (post 1750) and current distribution. We map the species across Africa and Asia, delineating areas where the species is confirmed present, is possibly present, is possibly extinct or is almost certainly extinct. The leopard now occupies 25–37% of its historic range, but this obscures important differences between subspecies. Of the nine recognized subspecies, three (P. p. pardus, fusca, and saxicolor) account for 97% of the leopard’s extant range while another three (P. p. orientalis, nimr, and japonensis) have each lost as much as 98% of their historic range. Isolation, small patch sizes, and few remaining patches further threaten the six subspecies that each have less than 100,000 km2 of extant range. Approximately 17% of extant leopard range is protected, although some endangered subspecies have far less. We found that while leopard research was increasing, research effort was primarily on the subspecies with the most remaining range whereas subspecies that are most in need of urgent attention were neglected. PMID:27168983

  9. Nocturnal activity by diurnal lizards (Sceloporus jarrovi, S. virgatus) eaten by small owls (Glaucidium gnoma, Otus trichopsis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duncan, W.W.; Gehlbach, F.R.; Middendorf, G. A., III

    2003-01-01

    Whiskered screech-owls (Otus trichopsis) and northern pygmy-owls (Glaucidium gnoma) delivered freshly caught Yarrow's spiny lizards (Sceloporus jarrovi) and striped plateau lizards (S. virgatus) to nestlings from dusk to dark in southeastern Arizona. This observation stimulated studies of the prey deliveries by the owls and lizard activity patterns, because the lizards are not known to be nocturnal. Lizards were more frequent prey of both owls than endothermic vertebrates but infrequent compared to arthropods, a pattern in the pygmy-owl that differs from its northern populations. Yarrow's spiny lizard, the most abundant and frequently captured lizard, was most active in the morning but also active in the evening. Striped plateau lizard, the second most abundant and depredated species, had morning and evening peaks of activity. Few lizards, including S. clarki and Urosaurus ornatus, but not Cnemidophorus exsanguis and C. sonorae, were active at or after dark, when relatively few were captured by the owls.

  10. Spotted in the News: Using Media Reports to Examine Leopard Distribution, Depredation, and Management Practices outside Protected Areas in Southern India.

    PubMed

    Athreya, Vidya; Srivathsa, Arjun; Puri, Mahi; Karanth, Krithi K; Kumar, N Samba; Karanth, K Ullas

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence of large carnivore presence outside protected areas, globally. Although this spells conservation success through population recoveries, it makes carnivore persistence in human-use landscapes tenuous. The widespread distribution of leopards in certain regions of India typifies this problem. We obtained information on leopard-human interactions at a regional scale in Karnataka State, India, based on systematic surveys of local media reports. We applied an innovative occupancy modelling approach to map their distribution patterns and identify hotspots of livestock/human depredation. We also evaluated management responses like removals of 'problem' leopards through capture and translocations. Leopards occupied around 84,000 km2 or 47% of the State's geographic area, outside designated national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Their presence was facilitated by extent of vegetative cover- including irrigated croplands, rocky escarpments, and prey base in the form of feral and free-ranging dogs. Higher probabilities of livestock/human attacks by leopards were associated with similar ecological features as well as with capture/removals of leopards. Of the 56 cases of leopard removals reported, 91% did not involve human attacks, but followed livestock predation or only leopard sightings. The lack of knowledge on leopard ecology in human-use areas has resulted in unscientific interventions, which could aggravate the problem rather than mitigating it. Our results establish the presence of resident, breeding leopards in human-use areas. We therefore propose a shift in management focus, from current reactive practices like removal and translocation of leopards, to proactive measures that ensure safety of human lives and livelihoods. PMID:26556229

  11. Spotted in the News: Using Media Reports to Examine Leopard Distribution, Depredation, and Management Practices outside Protected Areas in Southern India

    PubMed Central

    Athreya, Vidya; Srivathsa, Arjun; Puri, Mahi; Karanth, Krithi K.; Kumar, N. Samba; Karanth, K. Ullas

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence of large carnivore presence outside protected areas, globally. Although this spells conservation success through population recoveries, it makes carnivore persistence in human-use landscapes tenuous. The widespread distribution of leopards in certain regions of India typifies this problem. We obtained information on leopard-human interactions at a regional scale in Karnataka State, India, based on systematic surveys of local media reports. We applied an innovative occupancy modelling approach to map their distribution patterns and identify hotspots of livestock/human depredation. We also evaluated management responses like removals of ‘problem’ leopards through capture and translocations. Leopards occupied around 84,000 km2 or 47% of the State’s geographic area, outside designated national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Their presence was facilitated by extent of vegetative cover- including irrigated croplands, rocky escarpments, and prey base in the form of feral and free-ranging dogs. Higher probabilities of livestock/human attacks by leopards were associated with similar ecological features as well as with capture/removals of leopards. Of the 56 cases of leopard removals reported, 91% did not involve human attacks, but followed livestock predation or only leopard sightings. The lack of knowledge on leopard ecology in human-use areas has resulted in unscientific interventions, which could aggravate the problem rather than mitigating it. Our results establish the presence of resident, breeding leopards in human-use areas. We therefore propose a shift in management focus, from current reactive practices like removal and translocation of leopards, to proactive measures that ensure safety of human lives and livelihoods. PMID:26556229

  12. Results of preconstruction surveys used as a management technique for conserving endangered species and their habitats on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (Elk Hills), Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, T.T.; O'Farrell, T.P.; Johnson, J.W.

    1985-08-01

    In 1976 an intensive program of petroleum production at maximum efficient rate was initiated on the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (Elk Hills) in western Kern County, California. In a Biological Opinion required by the Endangered Species Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that proposed construction and production activities may jeopardize the continued existence of the endangered San Joaquin kit fox, Vulpes macrotis mutica, and the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Gambelia silus, inhabiting the Reserve. DOE committed itself to carrying out a compensation/mitigation plan to offset impacts of program activities on endangered species and their habitats. One compensation/mitigation strategy was to develop and implement preconstruction surveys to assess potential conflicts between proposed construction activities, and endangered species and their critical habitats, and to propose reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid conflicts. Between 1980 and 1984, preconstruction surveys were completed for 296 of a total of 387 major construction projects encompassing 3590 acres. Fewer than 22% of the projects potentially conflicted with conservation of endangered species, and most conflicts were easily resolved by identifying sensitive areas that required protection. Only 8% of the projects received minor modification in their design or locations to satisfy conservation needs, and only three projects had to be completely relocated. No projects were cancelled or delayed because of conflicts with endangered species, and costs to conduct preconstruction surveys were minimal. 27 refs., 9 figs., 2 tabs.

  13. Endangered Species Program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-01

    Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) is operated by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Chevron USA (CUSA). Four federally-listed endangered animal species and one federally-threatened plant species are known to occur on the Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC): the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides), and Hoover's wooly-star (Eriastrum hooveri). All five are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) (Public Law 93-205), which declaresthat it is the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the EG G Energy Measurements, Inc. Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered SpeciesAct. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1992 (FY92).

  14. Endangered Species Program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California. Annual report, FY92

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-01

    Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) is operated by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Chevron USA (CUSA). Four federally-listed endangered animal species and one federally-threatened plant species are known to occur on the Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC): the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes velox macrotis), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides), and Hoover`s wooly-star (Eriastrum hooveri). All five are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) (Public Law 93-205), which declaresthat it is the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the EG&G Energy Measurements, Inc. Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered SpeciesAct. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1992 (FY92).

  15. Endangered species and cultural resources program Naval petroleum Reserves in California. Annual report FY96

    SciTech Connect

    1997-07-01

    In FY96, Enterprise Advisory Services, Inc. (EASI) continued to support efforts to protect endangered species and cultural resources at the Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC). These efforts are conducted to ensure NPRC compliance with regulations regarding the protection of listed species and cultural resources on federal properties. Population monitoring activities were conducted for San Joaquin kit foxes, giant kangaroo rats, blunt-nosed leopard lizards, and Hoover`s wooly-star. Kit fox abundance and distribution was assessed by live-trapping over a 329-km{sup 2} area. Kit fox reproduction and mortality were assessed by radiocollaring and monitoring 22 adults and two pups. Reproductive success and litter size were determined through live-trapping and den observations. Rates and sources of kit fox mortality were assessed by recovering dead radiocollared kit foxes and conducting necropsies to determine cause of death. Abundance of coyotes and bobcats, which compete with kit foxes, was determined by conducting scent station surveys. Kit fox diet was assessed through analysis of fecal samples collected from live-trapped foxes. Abundance of potential prey for kit foxes was determined by conducting transect surveys for lagornorphs and live-trapping small mammals.

  16. Endangered species and cultural resources program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California, annual report FY97

    SciTech Connect

    1998-05-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) are oil fields administered by the DOE in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California. Four federally endangered animal species and one federally threatened plant species are known to occur on NPRC: San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides), and Hoover`s wooly-star (Eriastrum hooveri). All five are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. The DOE/NPRC is obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any effects on endangered species or their habitats. The primary objective of the Endangered Species and Cultural Resources Program is to provide NPRC with the scientific expertise necessary for compliance with the ESA, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress, results, and accomplishments of the program during fiscal year 1997 (FY97).

  17. Endangered Species Program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California. Annual report FY93

    SciTech Connect

    1995-02-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) are operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Chevron USA. Production Company (CPDN). Four federally-listed endangered animal species and one federally-threatened plant species are known to occur on NPRC: San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, giant kangaroo rat, Tipton kangaroo rat, and Hoover`s wooly-star. All five are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which declares that it is ``...the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered species and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.`` DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 will have any effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the EG&G Energy Measurements, Inc. Endangered Species Program on NPRC is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise necessary for compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during fiscal year 1993.

  18. Biological survey of Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (Buena Vista), Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Sauls, M.L.

    1987-06-01

    A field survey of Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2, Kern County, California, was conducted to determine the distribution and relative abundance of endangered species and other wildlife. Of the 343 San Joaquin kit fox dens found in 40 sections, 33 were observed by surveyors in transit and 310 were found along transects. Of the latter, 264 were typical subterranean dens and 46 were atypical dens in man-made structures. Estimated density of dens was 28.8 +- 4.4 per square mile; relative density was 9.2/1000 acres. The number of typical dens observed per section was inversely correlated with the number of petroleum wells per section (intensity of development). Atypical dens were usually found to be in pipes or pipe culverts and were positively correlated with density of wells. Relative densities of black-tailed jackrabbits (41.9/1000 acres) and desert cottontails (17.1/1000 acres), preferred prey for foxes, were high compared with densities reported on other public lands. Most (81%) of the 19 blunt-nosed leopard lizards were observed in six adjacent sections located in the gentle foothills near Buena Vista Lake playa. Most (86%) of the 275 giant kangaroo rat burrow systems were observed in ten sections containing flat, relatively undeveloped terrain in and around upper Buena Vista Valley. San Joaquin antelope ground squirrels were the second most commonly observed diurnal vertebrate: 761 observations in 45 sections. A total of 6740 observations of 61 species of wildlife were made.

  19. Endangered Species Program Naval Petroleum Reserves in California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-03-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) are operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Chevron USA. (CUSA). Four federally-listed endangered animal species and one threatened plant species are known to occur on NPRC: the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides) and Hoover's Wooly-star (Eriastrum hooveri). All five are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) (Public Law 93-205), which declares that it is the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for the continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1991 (FY91).

  20. Endangered Species Program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-12-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPR-C) are operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Construction and development activities, which are conducted at Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR- 1), potentially threaten the continued existence of four federally-listed endangered species: the San Joaquin kit fox, ({ital Vulpes macrotis mutica}), blunt-nosed leopard lizard ({ital Gambelia silus}), giant kangaroo rat ({ital Dipodomys ingens}), and Tipton kangaroo rat ({ital Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides}). All four are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which declares that it is the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any detrimental effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during FY 1989. 5 figs., 16 tabs.

  1. Endangered species program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-01-01

    Construction and development activities conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPR-C), at Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) to comply with the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 potentially threatened the continued existence of four federally-listed endangered species: the San Joaquin kit fox. (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens) and Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides). All four are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. DOE is obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any detrimental effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1989 (FY89). 4 figs., 18 tabs.

  2. Endangered Species Program Naval Petroleum Reserves in California. Annual report, FY91

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-03-01

    The Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) are operated by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Chevron USA. (CUSA). Four federally-listed endangered animal species and one threatened plant species are known to occur on NPRC: the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides) and Hoover`s Wooly-star (Eriastrum hooveri). All five are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) (Public Law 93-205), which declares that it is the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any effects on endangered species or their habitats. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for the continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1991 (FY91).

  3. Endangered species program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California: Annual report FY88

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-01-01

    Construction and development activities conducted at Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) potentially threatened the continued existence of four federally-listed endangered species; the San Joaquin kit fox, (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys engines), and Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides). All four are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. We are also obliged to determine whether actions taken by lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any detrimental effects on endangered species or their habitats. NPR-1 and NPR-2 are located approximately 26 miles west-southwest and southwest, respectively, of Bakersfield, Kern County, California. NPR-1 consists of 47,245 acres and is located just north of NPR-2 and abuts its northwestern border. NPR-2 consists of 30,080 acres of which 10,400 acres are administered by DOE. The remainder of NPR-2 is privately owned and the city of Taft occupies 1,280 acres in the southern corner. The major objective of the Endangered Species Program on NPR-1 and NPR-2 is to provide DOE with the scientific expertise and continuity of programs necessary for continued compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The specific objective of this report is to summarize progress and results of the Endangered Species Program made during Fiscal Year 1988 (FY88).

  4. Naval Petroleum Reserves in California site environmental report for calendar year 1989

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-01-01

    This summary for Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC) is divided into NPR-1 and NPR-2. Monitoring efforts at NPR-1 include handling and disposal of oilfield wastes; environmental preactivity surveys for the protection of endangered species and archaeological resources; inspections of topsoil stockpiling; monitoring of revegetated sites; surveillance of production facilities for hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen (NO{sub x}) emissions; monitoring of oil spill prevention and cleanup; and monitoring of wastewater injection. No major compliance issues existed for NPR-1 during 1989. Oil spills are recorded, reviewed for corrective action, and reported. Environmental preactivity surveys for proposed projects which may disturb or contaminate the land are conducted to prevent damage to the federally protected San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Tipton kangaroo rat and the giant kangaroo rat. Projects are adjusted or relocated as necessary to avoid impact to dens, burrows, or flat-bottomed drainages. A major revegetation program was accomplished in 1989 for erosion control enhancement of endangered species habitat. The main compliance issue on NPR-2 was oil and produced water discharges into drainages by lessees. An additional compliance issue on NPR-2 is surface refuse from past oilfield operations. 17 refs.

  5. Endangered Species Program: Naval Petroleum Reserves in California: Annual report FY87

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-02-01

    Construction and development activities conducted by the US Department of Energy (DOE), Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPR-C), at Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) in compliance with the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-258) potentially threatened the continued existence of three federally-listed endangered species: the San Joaquin kit fox, (Vulpes macrotis mutica), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus), and giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens). All three are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) (Public Law 93-205) which declares that it is the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. DOE is also obliged to determine whether actions taken by their lessees on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 (NPR-2) will have any detrimental effects on endangered species or their habitats. 54 refs., 2 figs., 19 tabs.

  6. Condition-dependent chemosignals in reproductive behavior of lizards.

    PubMed

    Martín, José; López, Pilar

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Many lizards have diverse glands that produce chemosignals used in intraspecific communication and that can have reproductive consequences. For example, information in chemosignals of male lizards can be used in intrasexual competition to identify and assess the fighting potential or dominance status of rival males either indirectly through territorial scent-marks or during agonistic encounters. Moreover, females of several lizard species "prefer" to establish or spend more time on areas scent-marked by males with compounds signaling a better health or body condition or a higher genetic compatibility, which can have consequences for their mating success and inter-sexual selection processes. We review here recent studies that suggest that the information content of chemosignals of lizards may be reliable because several physiological and endocrine processes would regulate the proportions of chemical compounds available for gland secretions. Because chemosignals are produced by the organism or come from the diet, they should reflect physiological changes, such as different hormonal levels (e.g. testosterone or corticosterone) or different health states (e.g. parasitic infections, immune response), and reflect the quality of the diet of an individual. More importantly, some compounds that may function as chemosignals also have other important functions in the organism (e.g. as antioxidants or regulating the immune system), so there could be trade-offs between allocating these compounds to attending physiological needs or to produce costly sexual "chemical ornaments". All these factors may contribute to maintain chemosignals as condition-dependent sexual signals, which can inform conspecifics on the characteristics and state of the sender and allow making behavioral decisions with reproductive consequences. To understand the evolution of chemical secretions of lizards as sexual signals and their

  7. Stable social aggregations in an Australian lizard, Egernia stokesii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffield, Glen; Bull, Michael

    2002-08-01

    Social groups in many animal species contain family members, and are maintained by parental care, and then tolerance of related individuals in the group. Lizards rarely show prolonged parental care, and rarely form stable social aggregations, although cohesive groups have been reported in the Australian skink genus, Egernia. A population of Egernia stokesii was surveyed for six seasons on Camel Hill, South Australia. At this site individuals occupied rock crevices for refuges on an isolated rocky outcrop of about 1.5 ha. The population was divided into 17 stable social groups, each containing 2-17 individual lizards. Surveyed juveniles took more than 5 years to reach mature size, and most juveniles and subadults remained in the social group of their parents for that period and longer. There were 2-8 permanent adult members of each group. Group members shared common crevice refuges, basked close together (and sometimes on top of each other) and defecated in common scat piles. There was low mortality after the first 2 years of life, and low dispersal either into or out of the population. Some individuals were "floaters" that did not belong to a social group. Over the study a number of these became established in groups. The social structure of these lizards resembles the family groups reported in many species of birds and mammals where group members help to raise the offspring of relatives. The low level of parental care in lizards suggests that the evolution of this form of social organisation in lizards has resulted from different processes than in other vertebrate taxa.

  8. Functional and Structural Diversification of the Anguimorpha Lizard Venom System*

    PubMed Central

    Fry, Bryan G.; Winter, Kelly; Norman, Janette A.; Roelants, Kim; Nabuurs, Rob J. A.; van Osch, Matthias J. P.; Teeuwisse, Wouter M.; van der Weerd, Louise; Mcnaughtan, Judith E.; Kwok, Hang Fai; Scheib, Holger; Greisman, Laura; Kochva, Elazar; Miller, Laurence J.; Gao, Fan; Karas, John; Scanlon, Denis; Lin, Feng; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Shaw, Chris; Wong, Lily; Hodgson, Wayne C.

    2010-01-01

    Venom has only been recently discovered to be a basal trait of the Anguimorpha lizards. Consequently, very little is known about the timings of toxin recruitment events, venom protein molecular evolution, or even the relative physical diversifications of the venom system itself. A multidisciplinary approach was used to examine the evolution across the full taxonomical range of this ∼130 million-year-old clade. Analysis of cDNA libraries revealed complex venom transcriptomes. Most notably, three new cardioactive peptide toxin types were discovered (celestoxin, cholecystokinin, and YY peptides). The latter two represent additional examples of convergent use of genes in toxic arsenals, both having previously been documented as components of frog skin defensive chemical secretions. Two other novel venom gland-overexpressed modified versions of other protein frameworks were also recovered from the libraries (epididymal secretory protein and ribonuclease). Lectin, hyaluronidase, and veficolin toxin types were sequenced for the first time from lizard venoms and shown to be homologous to the snake venom forms. In contrast, phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that the lizard natriuretic peptide toxins were recruited independently of the form in snake venoms. The de novo evolution of helokinestatin peptide toxin encoding domains within the lizard venom natriuretic gene was revealed to be exclusive to the helodermatid/anguid subclade. New isoforms were sequenced for cysteine-rich secretory protein, kallikrein, and phospholipase A2 toxins. Venom gland morphological analysis revealed extensive evolutionary tinkering. Anguid glands are characterized by thin capsules and mixed glands, serous at the bottom of the lobule and mucous toward the apex. Twice, independently this arrangement was segregated into specialized serous protein-secreting glands with thick capsules with the mucous lobules now distinct (Heloderma and the Lanthanotus/Varanus clade). The results obtained highlight

  9. Comparison of Subjective Well-Being and Personality Assessments in the Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia), and African Lion (Panthera leo).

    PubMed

    Gartner, Marieke Cassia; Powell, David M; Weiss, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    The study of subjective well-being in nonhuman animals is growing in the field of psychology, but there are still only a few published studies and the focus is on primates. To consider whether the construct of subjective well-being could be found in another mammal, this study aimed to assess subjective well-being in felids and to examine its association with personality. Personality is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of well-being in humans. This relationship could have important implications for other species, because personality has also been shown to affect health outcomes including stress, morbidity, and mortality. As in previous studies in nonhuman animals, the study results revealed that subjective well-being was related to agreeableness/openness and neuroticism in clouded leopards, neuroticism in snow leopards, and impulsiveness and neuroticism in African lions. The implications of these results for health outcomes and the welfare of animals in captivity are discussed. More research on any direct links among personality, subjective well-being, and these outcomes is important to advancing this field and adding another tool for improving captive animals' lives. PMID:26983676

  10. Predicting the distributions of predator (snow leopard) and prey (blue sheep) under climate change in the Himalaya.

    PubMed

    Aryal, Achyut; Shrestha, Uttam Babu; Ji, Weihong; Ale, Som B; Shrestha, Sujata; Ingty, Tenzing; Maraseni, Tek; Cockfield, Geoff; Raubenheimer, David

    2016-06-01

    Future climate change is likely to affect distributions of species, disrupt biotic interactions, and cause spatial incongruity of predator-prey habitats. Understanding the impacts of future climate change on species distribution will help in the formulation of conservation policies to reduce the risks of future biodiversity losses. Using a species distribution modeling approach by MaxEnt, we modeled current and future distributions of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and its common prey, blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), and observed the changes in niche overlap in the Nepal Himalaya. Annual mean temperature is the major climatic factor responsible for the snow leopard and blue sheep distributions in the energy-deficient environments of high altitudes. Currently, about 15.32% and 15.93% area of the Nepal Himalaya are suitable for snow leopard and blue sheep habitats, respectively. The bioclimatic models show that the current suitable habitats of both snow leopard and blue sheep will be reduced under future climate change. The predicted suitable habitat of the snow leopard is decreased when blue sheep habitats is incorporated in the model. Our climate-only model shows that only 11.64% (17,190 km(2)) area of Nepal is suitable for the snow leopard under current climate and the suitable habitat reduces to 5,435 km(2) (reduced by 24.02%) after incorporating the predicted distribution of blue sheep. The predicted distribution of snow leopard reduces by 14.57% in 2030 and by 21.57% in 2050 when the predicted distribution of blue sheep is included as compared to 1.98% reduction in 2030 and 3.80% reduction in 2050 based on the climate-only model. It is predicted that future climate may alter the predator-prey spatial interaction inducing a lower degree of overlap and a higher degree of mismatch between snow leopard and blue sheep niches. This suggests increased energetic costs of finding preferred prey for snow leopards - a species already facing energetic constraints due to the

  11. Advantages in exploring a new environment with the left eye in lizards.

    PubMed

    Bonati, Beatrice; Csermely, Davide; Sovrano, Valeria Anna

    2013-07-01

    Lizards (Podarcis muralis) preferentially use the left eye during spatial exploration in a binocular condition. Here we allowed 44 adult wild lizards to explore an unknown maze for 20 min under a temporary monocular condition whilst recording their movements, particularly the direction of turns made whilst walking within the maze. Lizards with a patch on their right eye, i.e. using their left eye to monitor the environment, moved faster than lizards with a patch on their left eye when turning both leftward and rightward in a T-cross. Hence, right eye-patched lizards were faster than left eye-patched lizards also in turning right, although their right eye was covered. Thus, lizards that could use the left eye/right hemisphere to attend spatial cues appeared to have more control and to be more prompt in exploring the maze. In addition, female lizards with their left eye covered stopped very frequently when they reached crosses, showing a high level of indecision. Results confirm that P. muralis lizards using their left eye only in exploring a new environment react faster and more efficiently than those using the right eye only in exploration. Hence lateralisation of spatial stimuli mediated by the left eye/right hemisphere could provide an advantage to this species. PMID:23590962

  12. PREVALENCE OF VALVULAR REGURGITATIONS IN CLINICALLY HEALTHY CAPTIVE LEOPARDS AND CHEETAHS: A PROSPECTIVE STUDY FROM THE WILDLIFE CARDIOLOGY (WLC) GROUP (2008-2013).

    PubMed

    Chai, Norin; Petit, Thierry; Kohl, Muriel; Bourgeois, Aude; Gouni, Vassiliki; Trehiou-Sechi, Emilie; Misbach, Charlotte; Petit, Amandine; Damoiseaux, Cécile; Garrigou, Audrey; Guepin, Raphaëlle; Pouchelon, Jean Louis; Chetboul, Valérie

    2015-09-01

    The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate transthoracic echocardiograms from clinically healthy large felids for the presence of valvular regurgitations (VR). Physiologic VR commonly occur in normal dogs and cats, but the percentage of large felids with VR has not been previously reported. During a 5-yr study period (2008-2013), 28 healthy animals were evaluated under general anesthesia: 16 cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringuii) with a mean age of 1.5±0.8 yr (range 0.7-3.5 yr), 5 Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis), 1 snow leopard (Uncia uncia), and 6 clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa). For this study, all the leopards were gathered in one so-called "leopards group" with a mean age of 2.8±3.4 yr (range 0.3-10.7 yr). All valves observed in each view were examined for evidence of regurgitant jets and turbulent blood flow using the color-flow Doppler mode. Valves were also examined for structural changes. Mitral valve and aortic cusp abnormalities were considered to be of congenital origin. Mitral valve lesions led to mitral insufficiency in all the felids. Aortic cusp abnormalities led to aortic regurgitation in 94% of the cheetahs and 67% of the leopards. Leopards showed a predominance of early systolic mitral regurgitations, whereas all the mitral regurgitation jets in cheetahs were holosystolic. Tricuspid regurgitation was found in 81% of the cheetahs and in 50% of the leopards, whereas pulmonic regurgitation was detected in 44% of the cheetahs and 33% of the leopards. Interestingly, none of these tricuspid and pulmonic regurgitations were associated with two-dimensional structural valve abnormalities, thus suggesting their physiologic origin, as described in humans, cats, and dogs. In conclusion, subclinical valvular diseases are common in apparently healthy leopards and cheetahs. Longitudinal follow-up of affected animals is therefore required to assess their clinical outcome. PMID:26352956

  13. Colorful displays signal male quality in a tropical anole lizard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Ellee G.; Murphy, Troy G.; Johnson, Michele A.

    2013-10-01

    Parasites influence colorful ornaments and their behavioral display in many animal hosts. Because coloration and display behavior are often critical components of communication, variation in these traits may have important implications for individual fitness, yet it remains unclear whether such traits are signals of quality in many taxa. We investigated the association between ectoparasitic mite load and the color and behavioral use of the throat fan (dewlap) by male Anolis brevirostris lizards. We found that heavily parasitized lizards exhibited lower body condition, duller dewlaps, and less frequent dewlap displays than less parasitized individuals. Our results thus suggest that highly parasitized individuals invest less in both ornamental color and behavioral display of that color. Because the two components of the signal simultaneously provide information on male quality, this study provides novel support for the long-standing hypothesis that colorful traits may function as social or sexual signals in reptiles.

  14. Low Incubation Temperature Induces DNA Hypomethylation in Lizard Brains.

    PubMed

    Paredes, Ursula; Radersma, Reinder; Cannell, Naomi; While, Geoffrey M; Uller, Tobias

    2016-07-01

    Developmental stress can have organizational effects on suites of physiological, morphological, and behavioral characteristics. In lizards, incubation temperature is perhaps the most significant environmental variable affecting embryonic development. Wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) recently introduced by humans from Italy to England experience stressfully cool incubation conditions, which we here show reduce growth and increase the incidence of scale malformations. Using a methylation-sensitive AFLP protocol optimized for vertebrates, we demonstrate that this low incubation temperature also causes hypomethylation of DNA in brain tissue. A consistent pattern across methylation-susceptible AFLP loci suggests that hypomethylation is a general response and not limited to certain CpG sites. The functional consequences of hypomethylation are unknown, but it could contribute to genome stability and regulation of gene expression. Further studies of the effects of incubation temperature on DNA methylation in ectotherm vertebrates may reveal mechanisms that explain why the embryonic thermal environment often has physiological and behavioral consequences for offspring. PMID:27328739

  15. Frequency Clustering in Spontaneous Otoacoustic Emissions from a Lizard's Ear

    PubMed Central

    Vilfan, Andrej; Duke, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) are indicators of an active process in the inner ear that enhances the sensitivity and frequency selectivity of hearing. They are particularly regular and robust in certain lizards, so these animals are good model organisms for studying how SOAEs are generated. We show that the published properties of SOAEs in the bobtail lizard are wholly consistent with a mathematical model in which active oscillators, with exponentially varying characteristic frequencies, are coupled together in a chain by visco-elastic elements. Physically, each oscillator corresponds to a small group of hair cells, covered by a tectorial sallet, so our theoretical analysis directly links SOAEs to the micromechanics of active hair bundles. PMID:18689448

  16. Live birth among Iguanian lizards predates Pliocene–Pleistocene glaciations

    PubMed Central

    Schulte, James A.; Moreno-Roark, Franck

    2010-01-01

    Among tetrapods, viviparity is estimated to have evolved independently within Squamata (lizards and snakes) more than 100 times, most frequently in species occupying cold climate environments. Because of this relationship with cold climates, it is sometimes assumed that many origins of squamate viviparity occurred over the past 2.5–4 Myr during the Pliocene–Pleistocene glaciations; however, this hypothesis is untested. Divergence-dating analysis on a 733-species tree of Iguanian lizards recovers 20 independent lineages that have evolved viviparity, of which 13 multispecies groups derived live birth prior to glacial advances (8–66 Myr ago). These results place the transitions from egg-laying to live birth among squamates in a well-supported historical context to facilitate examination of the underlying phenotypic and genetic changes associated with this complex shift in reproduction. PMID:19812068

  17. Partial characterization of new adenoviruses found in lizards.

    PubMed

    Ball, Inna; Behncke, Helge; Schmidt, Volker; Geflügel, F T A; Papp, Tibor; Stöhr, Anke C; Marschang, Rachel E

    2014-06-01

    In the years 2011-2012, a consensus nested polymerase chain reaction was used for the detection of adenovirus (AdV) infection in reptiles. During this screening, three new AdVs were detected. One of these viruses was detected in three lizards from a group of green striped tree dragons (Japalura splendida). Another was detected in a green anole (Anolis carolinensis). A third virus was detected in a Jackson's chameleon (Chamaeleo jacksonii). Analysis of a portion of the DNA-dependent DNA polymerase genes of each of these viruses revealed that they all were different from one another and from all previously described reptilian AdVs. Phylogenetic analysis of the partial DNA polymerase gene sequence showed that all newly detected viruses clustered within the genus Atadenovirus. This is the first description of AdVs in these lizard species. PMID:25000689

  18. Unidirectional pulmonary airflow patterns in the savannah monitor lizard.

    PubMed

    Schachner, Emma R; Cieri, Robert L; Butler, James P; Farmer, C G

    2014-02-20

    The unidirectional airflow patterns in the lungs of birds have long been considered a unique and specialized trait associated with the oxygen demands of flying, their endothermic metabolism and unusual pulmonary architecture. However, the discovery of similar flow patterns in the lungs of crocodilians indicates that this character is probably ancestral for all archosaurs--the group that includes extant birds and crocodilians as well as their extinct relatives, such as pterosaurs and dinosaurs. Unidirectional flow in birds results from aerodynamic valves, rather than from sphincters or other physical mechanisms, and similar aerodynamic valves seem to be present in crocodilians. The anatomical and developmental similarities in the primary and secondary bronchi of birds and crocodilians suggest that these structures and airflow patterns may be homologous. The origin of this pattern is at least as old as the split between crocodilians and birds, which occurred in the Triassic period. Alternatively, this pattern of flow may be even older; this hypothesis can be tested by investigating patterns of airflow in members of the outgroup to birds and crocodilians, the Lepidosauromorpha (tuatara, lizards and snakes). Here we demonstrate region-specific unidirectional airflow in the lungs of the savannah monitor lizard (Varanus exanthematicus). The presence of unidirectional flow in the lungs of V. exanthematicus thus gives rise to two possible evolutionary scenarios: either unidirectional airflow evolved independently in archosaurs and monitor lizards, or these flow patterns are homologous in archosaurs and V. exanthematicus, having evolved only once in ancestral diapsids (the clade encompassing snakes, lizards, crocodilians and birds). If unidirectional airflow is plesiomorphic for Diapsida, this respiratory character can be reconstructed for extinct diapsids, and evolved in a small ectothermic tetrapod during the Palaeozoic era at least a hundred million years before the

  19. Population status and population genetics of northern leopard frogs in Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Theimer, Tad C.; Drost, Charles A.; O'Donnell, Ryan P.; Mock, Karen E.

    2011-01-01

    Increasing isolation of populations by habitat fragmentation threatens the persistence of many species, both from stochastic loss of small isolated populations, and from inbreeding effects in populations that have become genetically isolated. In the southwestern United States, amphibian habitat is naturally patchy in occurrence because of the prevailing aridity of the region. Streams, rivers, and other wetlands are important both as habitat and as corridors that connect populations. However, populations of some species have become more fragmented and isolated by habitat degradation and loss. Northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) have experienced serious declines in the Southwest. We conducted an extensive survey across the known range of northern leopard frogs in Arizona to determine the current distribution and abundance of the species. From a range that once spanned much of the northern and central part of the State, northern leopard frogs have been reduced to three or four widely separated populations, near Lyman Lake in east-central Arizona, in the Stoneman Lake area south of Flagstaff, along Truxton Wash near Peach Springs, and a population of uncertain extent on Navajo Nation lands. The Lyman Lake and Truxton Wash populations are small and extremely isolated. The Stoneman Lake population, however, is an extensive metapopulation spread across several stream drainages, including numerous ponds, wetlands, and artificial tanks. This is the only population in Arizona that is increasing in extent and numbers, but there is concern about the apparent introduction of nonnative genetic stock from eastern North America into this area. We analyzed genetic diversity within and genetic divergence among populations of northern leopard frogs, across both extant and recently extirpated populations in Arizona. We also analyzed mitochondrial DNA to place these populations into a larger phylogenetic framework and to determine whether any populations contained genetic material

  20. Verification tests of the U. S. Electricar Corporation Lectric Leopard. Technical report 3 Aug-25 Sep 81

    SciTech Connect

    Dowgiallo, E.J. Jr; Snellings, I.R.; Chapman, R.D.

    1982-04-01

    The Lectric Leopard manufactured by U.S. Electricar Corporation was tested at MERADCOM as part of the Department of Energy project to verify conformity to performance standards of electric vehicles. The Leopard is a standard Fiat Strada sedan which has been converted to an electric vehicle. It is powered by 16 6-V batteries through a silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) Controller to a 23-hp series-wound d.c. motor. It is equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, power-assisted disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear. It is not equipped with regenerative braking.

  1. Behavioural flexibility and problem-solving in a tropical lizard

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Manuel; Powell, Brian J.

    2012-01-01

    The role of behavioural flexibility in responding to new or changing environmental challenges is a central theme in cognitive ecology. Studies of behavioural flexibility have focused mostly on mammals and birds because theory predicts that behavioural flexibility is favoured in species or clades that exploit a diversity of habitats or food sources and/or have complex social structure, attributes not associated with ectothermic vertebrates. Here, we present the results of a series of experiments designed to test cognitive abilities across multiple cognitive modules in a tropical arboreal lizard: Anolis evermanni. This lizard shows behavioural flexibility across multiple cognitive tasks, including solving a novel motor task using multiple strategies and reversal learning, as well as rapid associative learning. This flexibility was unexpected because lizards are commonly believed to have limited cognitive abilities and highly stereotyped behaviour. Our findings indicate that the cognitive abilities of A. evermanni are comparable with those of some endothermic species that are recognized to be highly flexible, and strongly suggest a re-thinking of our understanding of the cognitive abilities of ectothermic tetrapods and of the factors favouring the evolution of behavioural flexibility. PMID:21752816

  2. Age-dependent social learning in a lizard

    PubMed Central

    Noble, Daniel W. A.; Byrne, Richard W.; Whiting, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    Evidence of social learning, whereby the actions of an animal facilitate the acquisition of new information by another, is taxonomically biased towards mammals, especially primates, and birds. However, social learning need not be limited to group-living animals because species with less interaction can still benefit from learning about potential predators, food sources, rivals and mates. We trained male skinks (Eulamprus quoyii), a mostly solitary lizard from eastern Australia, in a two-step foraging task. Lizards belonging to ‘young’ and ‘old’ age classes were presented with a novel instrumental task (displacing a lid) and an association task (reward under blue lid). We did not find evidence for age-dependent learning of the instrumental task; however, young males in the presence of a demonstrator learnt the association task faster than young males without a demonstrator, whereas old males in both treatments had similar success rates. We present the first evidence of age-dependent social learning in a lizard and suggest that the use of social information for learning may be more widespread than previously believed. PMID:25009244

  3. Polyandry in dragon lizards: inbred paternal genotypes sire fewer offspring

    PubMed Central

    Frère, Celine H; Chandrasoma, Dani; Whiting, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    Multiple mating in female animals is something of a paradox because it can either be risky (e.g., higher probability of disease transmission, social costs) or provide substantial fitness benefits (e.g., genetic bet hedging whereby the likelihood of reproductive failure is lowered). The genetic relatedness of parental units, particularly in lizards, has rarely been studied in the wild. Here, we examined levels of multiple paternity in Australia's largest agamid lizard, the eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii), and determined whether male reproductive success is best explained by its heterozygosity coefficient or the extent to which it is related to the mother. Female polyandry was the norm: 2/22 clutches (9.2%) were sired by three or more fathers, 17/22 (77.2%) were sired by two fathers, and only 3/22 (13.6%) clutches were sired by one father. Moreover, we reconstructed the paternal genotypes for 18 known mother–offspring clutches and found no evidence that females were favoring less related males or that less related males had higher fitness. However, males with greater heterozygosity sired more offspring. While the postcopulatory mechanisms underlying this pattern are not understood, female water dragons likely represent another example of reproduction through cryptic means (sperm selection/sperm competition) in a lizard, and through which they may ameliorate the effects of male-driven precopulatory sexual selection. PMID:25937911

  4. Speed and Endurance Do Not Trade Off in Phrynosomatid Lizards.

    PubMed

    de Albuquerque, Ralph Lacerda; Bonine, Kevin E; Garland, Theodore

    2015-01-01

    Trade-offs are a common focus of study in evolutionary biology and in studies of locomotor physiology and biomechanics. A previous comparative study of 12 species of European lacertid lizards found a statistically significant negative correlation between residual locomotor speed and stamina (controlling for variation in body size), consistent with ideas about trade-offs in performance based on variation in muscle fiber type composition and other subordinate traits. To begin examining the generality of this finding in other groups of squamates, we measured maximal sprint running speed on a high-speed treadmill and endurance at 1.0 km/h (0.28 m/s) in 14 species of North American phrynosomatid lizards, plus a sample of nine additional species to encompass some of the broadscale diversity of lizards. We used both conventional and phylogenetically informed regression analyses to control for some known causes of performance variation (body size, stockiness, body temperature) and then computed residual performance values. We found no evidence for a trade-off between speed and endurance among the 14 phrynosomatids or among the 23 species in the extended data set. Possible explanations for the apparent difference between lacertids and phrynosomatids are discussed. PMID:26658411

  5. Morphology of the feeding system in agamid lizards: ecological correlates.

    PubMed

    Herrel, A; Aerts, P; Fret, J; de Vree, F

    1999-04-01

    The interaction of organismal design with ecology, and its evolutionary development are the subject of many functional and ecomorphological studies. Many studies have shown that the morphology and mechanics of the masticatory apparatus in mammals are adapted to diet. To investigate the relations between diet and the morphological and physiological properties of the lizard jaw system, a detailed analysis of the structure of the jaw apparatus was undertaken in the insectivorous lizard Plocederma stellio and in closely related herbivorous lizards of the genus Uromastix. The morphological and physiological properties of the jaw system in P. stellio and U. aegyptius were studied by means of dissections, light microscopy, histochemical characterisations, and in vivo stimulation experiments. The skull of Uromastix seems to be built for forceful biting (high, short snout). Additionally, the pterygoid muscle is modified in P. stellio, resulting in an additional force component during static biting. Stimulation experiments indicate that jaw muscles in both species are fast, which is supported by histochemical stainings. However, the oxidative capacity of the jaw muscles is larger in Uromastix. Contraction characteristics and performance of the feeding system (force output) are clearly thermally dependent. We conclude that several characteristics of the jaw system (presence of extra portion of the pterygoid muscle, large oxidative capacity of jaw muscles) in Uromastix may be attributed to its herbivorous diet. Jaw muscles, however, are still faster than expected. This is presumably the result of trade-offs between the thermal characteristics of the jaw adductors and the herbivorous lifestyle of these animals. PMID:10203257

  6. Embryonic thermosensitivity and hatchling morphology differ between two coexisting lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qu, Yan-Fu; Li, Hong; Gao, Jian-Fang; Ji, Xiang

    2011-07-01

    We incubated eggs of two coexisting lizards, Phrynocephalus frontalis and Phrynocephalus versicolor, at three constant temperatures (24, 28 and 32 °C) to examine whether they differ in embryonic thermosensitivity and hatchling morphology. Eggs incubated at the three temperatures produced morphologically different hatchlings in P. versicolor but not in P. frontalis. Snout-vent length (SVL), body mass and head width were greater in P. versicolor hatchlings from the 24 °C treatment than those from the 32 °C treatment when accounting for differences in initial egg mass, and tail length was smaller in P. versicolor hatchlings from the 24 °C treatment than those from the 32 °C treatment when accounting for differences in final egg mass. Body mass, head length, head width, tail length, fore-limb length and hind-limb length were greater in P. frontalis hatchlings than in P. versicolor hatchling when accounting for differences in initial or final egg mass. Moreover, P. frontalis females produce larger hatchlings than do P. versicolor females of the same SVL not only by laying larger eggs, but also by investing more dry materials (and thus, more energy) into the egg. Given a link between interspecific competition (and niche restriction) and morphology, it seems likely that morphological differences at hatching may facilitate the coexistence of the two lizards. The two lizards differed in embryonic thermosensitivity and water uptake by eggs during incubation, suggesting that they use different microhabitats in the area of sympatry.

  7. Polyandry in dragon lizards: inbred paternal genotypes sire fewer offspring.

    PubMed

    Frère, Celine H; Chandrasoma, Dani; Whiting, Martin J

    2015-04-01

    Multiple mating in female animals is something of a paradox because it can either be risky (e.g., higher probability of disease transmission, social costs) or provide substantial fitness benefits (e.g., genetic bet hedging whereby the likelihood of reproductive failure is lowered). The genetic relatedness of parental units, particularly in lizards, has rarely been studied in the wild. Here, we examined levels of multiple paternity in Australia's largest agamid lizard, the eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii), and determined whether male reproductive success is best explained by its heterozygosity coefficient or the extent to which it is related to the mother. Female polyandry was the norm: 2/22 clutches (9.2%) were sired by three or more fathers, 17/22 (77.2%) were sired by two fathers, and only 3/22 (13.6%) clutches were sired by one father. Moreover, we reconstructed the paternal genotypes for 18 known mother-offspring clutches and found no evidence that females were favoring less related males or that less related males had higher fitness. However, males with greater heterozygosity sired more offspring. While the postcopulatory mechanisms underlying this pattern are not understood, female water dragons likely represent another example of reproduction through cryptic means (sperm selection/sperm competition) in a lizard, and through which they may ameliorate the effects of male-driven precopulatory sexual selection. PMID:25937911

  8. Evolution of extreme body size disparity in monitor lizards (Varanus).

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Schulte, James A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2011-09-01

    Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass. We demonstrate that the remarkable body size disparity of this clade is a consequence of different selective demands imposed by three major habitat use patterns-arboreality, terrestriality, and rock-dwelling. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and ancestral habitat use and applied model selection to determine that the best-fitting evolutionary models for species' adult size are those that infer oppositely directed adaptive evolution associated with terrestriality and rock-dwelling, with terrestrial lineages evolving extremely large size and rock-dwellers becoming very small. We also show that habitat use affects the evolution of several ecologically important morphological traits independently of body size divergence. These results suggest that habitat use exerts a strong, multidimensional influence on the evolution of morphological size and shape disparity in monitor lizards. PMID:21884063

  9. Climatic control of trophic interaction strength: the effect of lizards on spiders.

    PubMed

    Spiller, David A; Schoener, Thomas W

    2008-01-01

    We investigated how temporal variation in rainfall influences the impact of lizards on spiders inhabiting small islands in Abaco, Bahamas. Annual censuses of web spiders were conducted on nine lizard islands and on eight no-lizard islands 1994-2003. Repeated-measures ANOVA showed that annual variation in spider density (time) and in the lizard effect on spider density (lizard x time) were both significant. Correlation coefficients between the lizard effect (ln ratio of no-lizard to lizard spider densities) and number of rainfall days were generally negative, and strengthened with length of the time period during which rainfall was measured prior to annual spider censuses. Spider density was also negatively correlated with rainfall days and strengthened with length of the prior time period. Longer time intervals included the hurricane season, suggesting that the strong negative correlations were linked to high rainfall years during which tropical storms impacted the region and reduced spider and lizard densities. Split-plot ANOVA showed that rainfall during the hurricane season had a significant effect on the lizard effect and on spider density. Results in this study are opposite to those found in our previous 10-year study (1981-1990) conducted in the Exuma Cays, a moderately xeric region of the Bahamas, where the relation between rainfall and the lizard effect on spider density was positive. Combined data from the Exuma and Abaco studies produce a unimodal relation between trophic interaction strength and rainfall; we suggest that the negative effect of storms associated with rainfall was paramount in the present study, whereas the positive bottom-up effect of rainfall prevailed in our previous study. We conclude that climatic variability has a major impact on the trophic interaction and suggest that a substantial change in precipitation in either direction may weaken the interaction significantly. PMID:17972107

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

    PubMed

    Rhen, T; Ross, J; Crews, D

    1999-10-01

    The leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, is a species in which testosterone (T) is the primary circulating sex hormone in adults of both sexes. There are, however, sex differences in T physiology. Whereas males have prolonged periods with high T levels, T levels cycle in accord with follicular development in females. Specifically, T concentration increases during vitellogenesis, drops after ovulation, and then remains at previtellogenic levels until eggs are laid and the next follicular cycle begins. To determine the function of T in females, we manipulated both the level and the duration of T elevation using Silastic implants in intact, adult female leopard geckos. Females had low ( approximately 1 ng/ml), medium ( approximately 100 ng/ml), or high ( approximately 200 ng/ml) T levels for either a short (8 days) or a long (35 days) duration. Behavior tests with males were conducted on days 1-5 in the short-duration group or on days 29-33 in the long-duration group. For both short- and long-duration groups, T treatment decreased attractivity in females with medium and high T levels compared to females with low T levels. In contrast, females with a medium T level were more receptive than females with a low T level in the short-duration group. Females in the long-duration group were unreceptive regardless of T level. Females treated for a long duration also displayed more aggression toward and evoked more aggression from males than short duration females. Short-duration T treatment had no masculinizing effect on female morphology, whereas medium and high T levels for a long duration induced development of hemipenes. Overall, these results suggest that T can both increase and decrease sexual behaviors in the female leopard gecko. PMID:10506536

  11. The ultrastructure of the tracheal epithelium in European common lizard (Lacerta agilis L.) and in sand lizard (Lacerta vivipara Jacq.).

    PubMed

    Tĕsík, I

    1984-01-01

    This study describes the ultrastructure of the tracheal epithelium in the European Common lizard (Lacerta agilis L.) and in the Sand lizard (Lacerta vivipara Jacq .). The main attention is paid to the granular cells of secret-producing type, which form the substantial part of this epithelium and which were observed for the first time in the house gekko . Contrary to the findings in house gekko , in the representatives of the genus Lacerta 2 types of electrondense granules were observed. One type is homogeneous and lighter in colour, the other is darker with lamellar pattern. Among other elements, the ciliated cells as well as basal and plasmatic cells were found. In both species we also succeeded in proving the presence of isolated neurosecret -producing cells. PMID:6721200

  12. Extinction of montane populations of the northern leopard frog (Rana pippins) in Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, Paul Stephen; Fogleman, James C.

    1984-01-01

    Between 1973 and 1982 nine populations of the northern leopard frog in the Red Feather Lakes region of Larimer County, Colorado, failed in reproduce. These failures all resulted in extinction of the populations. One area formerly supporting a population was recolonized in 1980, but no frogs were observed at any of the nine sites in 1981 or 1982. Six of the populations went extinct because the breeding ponds dried up. The remaining populations were small enough to be susceptible to random events, but the nature of these events is unknown.

  13. Temperature-dependent elaboration of collagenase by the renal adenocarcinoma of the leopard frog, Rana pipiens.

    PubMed

    Ogilvie, D J; McKinnell, R G; Tarin, D

    1984-08-01

    Naturally occurring renal adenocarcinoma in North American leopard frogs, Rana pipiens, metastasize frequently (77%) when these ectothermic animals are kept in a warm environment but not when they are kept cold. We have found that explants of these tumors secrete collagenase, an enzyme capable of dissolving connective tissue fibers and found previously to be closely correlated with metastatic colony-forming capability of murine mammary tumors, and that the amount released sequentially rises and falls as the ambient temperature is shifted between metastasis-permissive and -inhibitory levels. In contrast, normal frog renal tissue has low collagenase output, unaffected by temperature changes. PMID:6331646

  14. The phylogeny of varanoid lizards and the affinities of snakes

    PubMed Central

    Lee, M. S. Y.

    1997-01-01

    Evidence that platynotan squamates (living varanoid lizards, snakes and their fossil relatives) are monophyletic is presented. Evolutionary relationships within this group are then ascertained through a cladistic analysis of 144 osteological characters. Mosasauroids (aigialosaurs and mosasaurs), a group of large marine lizards, are identified as the nearest relatives of snakes, thus resolving the long-standing problem of snake affinities. The mosasauroid–snake clade (Pythonomorpha) is corroborated by 40 derived characters, including recumbent replacement teeth, thecodonty, four or fewer premaxillary teeth, supratemporal–prootic contact, free mandibular tips, crista circumfenestralis, straight vertical splenio-angular joint, loss of posterior ramus of the coronoid, reduced basipterygoid processes, reduced interpterygoid vacuity, zygosphene–zygantral articulations, and absence of epiphyses on the axial skeleton and skull. After mosasauroids, the next closest relatives of snakes are varanids (Varanus, Saniwa and Saniwides) and lanthanotids (Lanthanotus and Cherminotus). Derived features uniting varanids and lanthanotids include nine cervical vertebrae and three or fewer pairs of sternal ribs. The varanid–lanthanotid–pythonomorph clade, here termed Thecoglossa, is supported by features such as the anteriorly positioned basal tubera, and the loss of the second epibranchial. Successive outgroups to thecoglossans are Telmasaurus, an unresolved polytomy (Estesia, Gobidermatidae and Helodermatidae), Paravaranus and Proplatynota. The 'necrosaurs' are demonstrated to be an artificial (polyphyletic) assemblage of primitive platynotans that are not particularly closely related to each other. Snakes are presumed to have evolved from small, limbless, burrowing lizards and the inability of previous analyses to resolve the affinities of snakes has been attributed to extensive convergence among the numerous lineages of such lizards. The present study contradicts this claim

  15. OFF THE SAND AND ONTO THE ASPHALT: DOES THE URBAN HEAT ISLAND INFLUENCE DESERT LIZARDS?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Lower lizard diversity and potential activity likely will be found at hotter sites in summer, with higher potential lizard activity at hotter sites in winter.

    Potential to Further Environmental/Human Health Protection

    This study will i...

  16. 76 FR 19304 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-07

    ..., 2010 (75 FR 77801). We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on... the species. If you submitted comments or information on the proposed rule (75 FR 77801, December 14... a proposed rule (75 FR 77801) to list the dunes sagebrush lizard, a lizard known from...

  17. Stable isotope analysis of diet confirms niche separation of two sympatric species of Namib Desert lizard.

    PubMed

    Murray, Ian W; Lease, Hilary M; Hetem, Robyn S; Mitchell, Duncan; Fuller, Andrea; Woodborne, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    We used stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen to study the trophic niche of two species of insectivorous lizards, the Husab sand lizard Pedioplanis husabensis and Bradfield's Namib day gecko living sympatrically in the Namib Desert. We measured the δ(13) C and δ(15) N ratios in lizard blood tissues with different turnover times (whole blood, red blood cells and plasma) to investigate lizard diet in different seasons. We also measured the δ(13) C and δ(15) N ratios in available arthropod prey and plant tissues on the site, to identify the avenues of nutrient movement between lizards and their prey. Through the use of stable isotope mixing models, we found that the two lizard species relied on a largely non-overlapping but seasonally variable array of arthropods: P. husabensis primarily fed on termites, beetles and wasps, while R. bradfieldi fed mainly on ants, wasps and hemipterans. Nutrients originating from C3 plants were proportionally higher for R. bradfieldi than for P. husabensis during autumn and late autumn/early winter, although not summer. Contrary to the few available data estimating the trophic transfer of nutrients in ectotherms in mixed C3 and C4 /crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant landscapes, we found that our lizard species primarily acquired nutrients that originated from C4 /CAM plants. This work adds an important dimension to the general lack of studies using stable isotope analyses to estimate lizard niche partitioning and resource use. PMID:26817923

  18. Comparative analysis of the size and shape of the lizard eye.

    PubMed

    Hall, Margaret I

    2008-01-01

    Lizards occupy both scotopic (light-limited) and photopic (light-rich) environments, thereby making this clade ideal for analyses of eye morphology adaptations. This study examines how in lizards the morphology of the eye varies according to activity in these different light environments. Measurements were collected on corneal diameters and axial lengths of the eye for 239 specimens of 116 lizard species (including Sphenodon) that include both species with scotopic and photopic visual adaptations. I show that the light level available to a lizard for vision has a significant effect on eye shape and size. Scotopic lizards have eye shapes that are optimized for visual sensitivity, with larger corneal diameters relative to axial lengths. However, photopic lizards do not exhibit absolutely larger axial lengths than do scotopic lizards, and the groups have the same absolute axial lengths of the eye. Results also indicate that the light level the lizard functions under is a more significant influence on eye shape, as defined by the relationship between corneal diameter and axial length of the eye, than is phylogeny. PMID:18054216

  19. Physiological and microbial adjustments to diet quality permit facultative herbivory in an omnivorous lizard.

    PubMed

    Kohl, Kevin D; Brun, Antonio; Magallanes, Melisa; Brinkerhoff, Joshua; Laspiur, Alejandro; Acosta, Juan Carlos; Bordenstein, Seth R; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique

    2016-06-15

    While herbivory is a common feeding strategy in a number of vertebrate classes, less than 4% of squamate reptiles feed primarily on plant material. It has been hypothesized that physiological or microbial limitations may constrain the evolution of herbivory in lizards. Herbivorous lizards exhibit adaptations in digestive morphology and function that allow them to better assimilate plant material. However, it is unknown whether these traits are fixed or perhaps phenotypically flexible as a result of diet. Here, we maintained a naturally omnivorous lizard, Liolaemus ruibali, on a mixed diet of 50% insects and 50% plant material, or a plant-rich diet of 90% plant material. We compared parameters of digestive performance, gut morphology and function, and gut microbial community structure between the two groups. We found that lizards fed the plant-rich diet maintained nitrogen balance and exhibited low minimum nitrogen requirements. Additionally, lizards fed the plant-rich diet exhibited significantly longer small intestines and larger hindguts, demonstrating that gut morphology is phenotypically flexible. Lizards fed the plant-rich diet harbored small intestinal communities that were more diverse and enriched in Melainabacteria and Oscillospira compared with mixed diet-fed lizards. Additionally, the relative abundance of sulfate-reducing bacteria in the small intestine significantly correlated with whole-animal fiber digestibility. Thus, we suggest that physiological and microbial limitations do not sensu stricto constrain the evolution of herbivory in lizards. Rather, ecological context and fitness consequences may be more important in driving the evolution of this feeding strategy. PMID:27307545

  20. Intraspecific competition and high food availability are associated with insular gigantism in a lizard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pafilis, Panayiotis; Meiri, Shai; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Valakos, Efstratios

    2009-09-01

    Resource availability, competition, and predation commonly drive body size evolution. We assess the impact of high food availability and the consequent increased intraspecific competition, as expressed by tail injuries and cannibalism, on body size in Skyros wall lizards ( Podarcis gaigeae). Lizard populations on islets surrounding Skyros (Aegean Sea) all have fewer predators and competitors than on Skyros but differ in the numbers of nesting seabirds. We predicted the following: (1) the presence of breeding seabirds (providing nutrients) will increase lizard population densities; (2) dense lizard populations will experience stronger intraspecific competition; and (3) such aggression, will be associated with larger average body size. We found a positive correlation between seabird and lizard densities. Cannibalism and tail injuries were considerably higher in dense populations. Increases in cannibalism and tail loss were associated with large body sizes. Adult cannibalism on juveniles may select for rapid growth, fuelled by high food abundance, setting thus the stage for the evolution of gigantism.

  1. Effect of temperature on feeding period of larval blacklegged ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) on eastern fence lizards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rulison, Eric L.; LeBrun, Roger A.; Ginsberg, Howard S.

    2014-01-01

    Ambient temperature can influence tick development time, and can potentially affect tick interactions with pathogens and with vertebrate hosts. We studied the effect of ambient temperature on duration of attachment of larval blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, to eastern fence lizards, Sceloporus undulatus (Bose & Daudin). Feeding periods of larvae that attached to lizards under preferred temperature conditions for the lizards (WARM treatment: temperatures averaged 36.6°C at the top of the cage and 25.8°C at the bottom, allowing behavioral thermoregulation) were shorter than for larvae on lizards held under cool conditions (COOL treatment temperatures averaged 28.4°C at top of cage and 24.9°C at the bottom). The lizards were infested with larvae four times at roughly monthly intervals. Larval numbers successfully engorging and dropping declined and feeding period was longer after the first infestation.

  2. Change your diet or die: predator-induced shifts in insectivorous lizard feeding ecology.

    PubMed

    Hawlena, Dror; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2009-08-01

    Animal feeding ecology and diet are influenced by the fear of predation. While the mechanistic bases for such changes are well understood, technical difficulties often prevent testing how these mechanisms interact to affect a mesopredator's diet in natural environments. Here, we compared the insectivorous lizard Acanthodactylus beershebensis' feeding ecology and diet between high- and low-risk environments, using focal observations, intensive trapping effort and fecal pellet analysis. To create spatial variation in predation risk, we planted "artificial trees" in a scrubland habitat that lacks natural perches, allowing avian predators to hunt for lizards in patches that were previously unavailable to them. Lizards in elevated-risk environments became less mobile but did not change their microhabitat use or temporal activity. These lizards changed their diet, consuming smaller prey and less plant material. We suggest that diet shifts were mainly because lizards from risky environments consumed prey items that required shorter handling time. PMID:19466458

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Cutaneous wounds heal with two possible outcomes: scarification or near-perfect integumentary restoration. Whereas scar formation has been intensively investigated, less is known about the tissue-level events characterising wounds that spontaneously heal scar-free, particularly in non-foetal amniotes. Here, a spatiotemporal investigation of scar-free cutaneous wound healing following full-thickness excisional biopsies to the tail and body of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) is provided. All injuries healed without scarring. Cutaneous repair involves the development of a cell-rich aggregate within the wound bed, similar to scarring wounds. Unlike scar formation, scar-free healing involves a more rapid closure of the wound epithelium, and a delay in blood vessel development and collagen deposition within the wound bed. It was found that, while granulation tissue of scarring wounds is hypervascular, scar-free wound healing conspicuously does not involve a period of exuberant blood vessel formation. In addition, during scar-free wound healing the newly formed blood vessels are typically perivascular cell-supported. Immunohistochemistry revealed widespread expression of both the pro-angiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor A and the anti-angiogenic factor thrombospondin-1 within the healing wound. It was found that scar-free wound healing is an intrinsic property of leopard gecko integument, and involves a modulation of the cutaneous scar repair program. This proportional revascularisation is an important factor in scar-free wound healing. PMID:26360824

  4. Complex spatial dynamics maintain northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) genetic diversity in a temporally varying landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Chen, Yongjiu; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2013-01-01

    In contrast to most local amphibian populations, northeastern populations of the Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) have displayed uncharacteristically high levels of genetic diversity that have been attributed to large, stable populations. However, this widely distributed species also occurs in areas known for great climatic fluctuations that should be reflected in corresponding fluctuations in population sizes and reduced genetic diversity. To test our hypothesis that Northern Leopard Frog genetic diversity would be reduced in areas subjected to significant climate variability, we examined the genetic diversity of L. pipiens collected from 12 sites within the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. Despite the region's fluctuating climate that includes periods of recurring drought and deluge, we found unexpectedly high levels of genetic diversity approaching that of northeastern populations. Further, genetic structure at a landscape scale was strikingly homogeneous; genetic differentiation estimates (Dest) averaged 0.10 (SD = 0.036) across the six microsatellite loci we studied, and two Bayesian assignment tests (STRUCTURE and BAPS) failed to reveal the development of significant population structure across the 68 km breadth of our study area. These results suggest that L. pipiens in the Prairie Pothole Region consists of a large, panmictic population capable of maintaining high genetic diversity in the face of marked climate variability.

  5. Field evidence for linking Altosid applications with increased amphibian deformities in southern leopard frogs [abstract

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.

    1998-01-01

    During the summer of 1997 we repeatedly sprayed Altosid, a formulation of 4% methoprene used for mosquito control, on six constructed macrocosms. Six additional macrocosms were sprayed with Abate4E, containing the organophosphate pesticide temephos, and six were sprayed with water (controls). The wetlands were created on an impermeable foundation for research purposes and averaged 215 m2 in area and 0.5 m deep. Application rates and frequency of Abate4E and Altosid followed label directions and mimicked procedures for mosquito control in National Wildlife Refuges. In early September juvenile frogs and metamorphing tadpoles were collected with dip nets from each pond and examined for deformities. In all, 91 juveniles and metamorph southern leopard frogs (Rana utricularia) were collected from Altosid sprayed wetlands with 14 (15%) demonstrating deformities. Seventyseven juveniles and metamorphs were collected from control wetlands with three (4%) showing deformities. Only six juveniles and metamorphs were collected from Abate4E wetlands and none showed deformities. Deformities included missing or deformed hind limbs (9 of 10 involving only the right hind limb), missing eyes, and abnormal color. The differences in rate of deformities was dependent on treatment (X2=6.44, p< 0.02). The number of leopard frogs caught per unit effort (tadpoles and juveniles) differed among treatments (p=0.032) with Abate4E wetlands producing fewer individuals per capture effort than either Altosid or control wetlands.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The ancestor of all modern domestic cats is the wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica, with archaeological evidence indicating it was domesticated as early as 10,000 years ago in South-West Asia. A recent study, however, claims that cat domestication also occurred in China some 5,000 years ago and involved the same wildcat ancestor (F. silvestris). The application of geometric morphometric analyses to ancient small felid bones from China dating between 5,500 to 4,900 BP, instead reveal these and other remains to be that of the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). These data clearly indicate that the origins of a human-cat 'domestic' relationship in Neolithic China began independently from South-West Asia and involved a different wild felid species altogether. The leopard cat's 'domestic' status, however, appears to have been short-lived--its apparent subsequent replacement shown by the fact that today all domestic cats in China are genetically related to F. silvestris. PMID:26799955

  7. Earliest “Domestic” Cats in China Identified as Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The ancestor of all modern domestic cats is the wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica, with archaeological evidence indicating it was domesticated as early as 10,000 years ago in South-West Asia. A recent study, however, claims that cat domestication also occurred in China some 5,000 years ago and involved the same wildcat ancestor (F. silvestris). The application of geometric morphometric analyses to ancient small felid bones from China dating between 5,500 to 4,900 BP, instead reveal these and other remains to be that of the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). These data clearly indicate that the origins of a human-cat ‘domestic’ relationship in Neolithic China began independently from South-West Asia and involved a different wild felid species altogether. The leopard cat’s ‘domestic’ status, however, appears to have been short-lived—its apparent subsequent replacement shown by the fact that today all domestic cats in China are genetically related to F. silvestris. PMID:26799955

  8. Phylogeography of declining relict and lowland leopard frogs in the desert Southwest of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olah-Hemmings, V.; Jaeger, J.R.; Sredl, M.J.; Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Jennings, R.D.; Drost, C.A.; Bradford, D.F.; Riddle, B.R.

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the phylogeography of the closely related relict leopard frog Rana onca (=Lithobates onca) and lowland leopard frog Rana yavapaiensis (=Lithobates yavapaiensis) – two declining anurans from the warm-desert regions of south-western North America. We used sequence data from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to assess 276 individuals representing 30 sites from across current distributions. Our analysis supports a previously determined phylogenetic break between these taxa, and we found no admixing of R. onca and R. yavapaiensis haplotypes within our extensive sampling of sites. Our phylogeographic assessment, however, further divided R. yavapaiensis into two distinct mtDNA lineages, one representing populations across Arizona and northern Mexico and the other a newly discovered population within the western Grand Canyon, Arizona. Estimates of sequence evolution indicate a possible Early Pleistocene divergence of R. onca and R. yavapaiensis, followed by a Middle Pleistocene separation of the western Grand Canyon population of R. yavapaiensis from the main R. yavapaiensis clade. Phylogeographic and demographic analyses indicate population or range expansion for R. yavapaiensis within its core distribution that appears to predate the latest glacial maximum. Species distribution models under current and latest glacial climatic conditions suggest that R. onca and R. yavapaiensis may not have greatly shifted ranges.

  9. Development of the Zebra load region for increased capability plasma diagnostics and improved Leopard laser access

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astanovitskiy, Alexey; Presura, R.; Ivanov, V. V.; Haboub, A.; Plachaty, C.; Kindel, J. M.

    2008-11-01

    A new geometry for the load area in the Zebra (1MA pulse generator) is developed. It will form the basis for future experiments requiring Leopard (1057nm, 50TW laser) to Zebra coupling and give extended capability to z-pinch diagnostics. This required the development of a new current return, which allows laser access and installation of the OD 4'' parabolic mirror for the x-ray radiography, isochoric heating and magnetized plasma experiments, and accommodates wire-array z-pinch loads, to which the laser may then be coupled. In addition, this configuration allows diagnostics access close to the plasma, leading to a significant increase of the spatial resolution for imaging of z-pinches, as well as the photon flux in imaging and spectroscopy of laser produced plasmas. These diagnostics will allow coupling of the Leopard beam for x-ray laser probing of the pinch plasma and we will test point-projection x-ray backlighting of the pinch plasma.

  10. How the Leopard Hides Its Spots: ASIP Mutations and Melanism in Wild Cats

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Alexsandra; David, Victor A.; Johnson, Warren E.; O'Brien, Stephen J.; Barsh, Gregory S.; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    The occurrence of melanism (darkening of the background coloration) is documented in 13 felid species, in some cases reaching high frequencies at the population level. Recent analyses have indicated that it arose multiple times in the Felidae, with three different species exhibiting unique mutations associated with this trait. The causative mutations in the remaining species have so far not been identified, precluding a broader assessment of the evolutionary dynamics of melanism in the Felidae. Among these, the leopard (Panthera pardus) is a particularly important target for research, given the iconic status of the ‘black panther’ and the extremely high frequency of melanism observed in some Asian populations. Another felid species from the same region, the Asian golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii), also exhibits frequent records of melanism in some areas. We have sequenced the coding region of the Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) gene in multiple leopard and Asian golden cat individuals, and identified distinct mutations strongly associated with melanism in each of them. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detected among the P. pardus individuals was caused by a nonsense mutation predicted to completely ablate ASIP function. A different SNP was identified in P. temminckii, causing a predicted amino acid change that should also induce loss of function. Our results reveal two additional cases of species-specific mutations implicated in melanism in the Felidae, and indicate that ASIP mutations may play an important role in naturally-occurring coloration polymorphism. PMID:23251368

  11. How the leopard hides its spots: ASIP mutations and melanism in wild cats.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Alexsandra; David, Victor A; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Barsh, Gregory S; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    The occurrence of melanism (darkening of the background coloration) is documented in 13 felid species, in some cases reaching high frequencies at the population level. Recent analyses have indicated that it arose multiple times in the Felidae, with three different species exhibiting unique mutations associated with this trait. The causative mutations in the remaining species have so far not been identified, precluding a broader assessment of the evolutionary dynamics of melanism in the Felidae. Among these, the leopard (Panthera pardus) is a particularly important target for research, given the iconic status of the 'black panther' and the extremely high frequency of melanism observed in some Asian populations. Another felid species from the same region, the Asian golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii), also exhibits frequent records of melanism in some areas. We have sequenced the coding region of the Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) gene in multiple leopard and Asian golden cat individuals, and identified distinct mutations strongly associated with melanism in each of them. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detected among the P. pardus individuals was caused by a nonsense mutation predicted to completely ablate ASIP function. A different SNP was identified in P. temminckii, causing a predicted amino acid change that should also induce loss of function. Our results reveal two additional cases of species-specific mutations implicated in melanism in the Felidae, and indicate that ASIP mutations may play an important role in naturally-occurring coloration polymorphism. PMID:23251368

  12. Gene flow and demographic history of leopards (Panthera pardus) in the central Indian highlands

    PubMed Central

    Dutta, Trishna; Sharma, Sandeep; Maldonado, Jesús E; Wood, Thomas C; Panwar, Hemendra S; Seidensticker, John

    2013-01-01

    Gene flow is a critical ecological process that must be maintained in order to counteract the detrimental effects of genetic drift in subdivided populations, with conservation benefits ranging from promoting the persistence of small populations to spreading adaptive traits in changing environments. We evaluated historical and contemporary gene flow and effective population sizes of leopards in a landscape in central India using noninvasive sampling. Despite the dramatic changes in land-use patterns in this landscape through recent times, we did not detect any signs that the leopard populations have been through a genetic bottleneck, and they appear to have maintained migration–drift equilibrium. We found that historical levels of gene flow (mean mh = 0.07) were significantly higher than contemporary levels (mean mc = 0.03), and populations with large effective population sizes (Satpura and Kanha Tiger Reserves) are the larger exporters of migrants at both timescales. The greatest decline in historical versus contemporary gene flow is between pairs of reserves that are currently not connected by forest corridors (i.e., Melghat-Pench mh − mc = 0.063; and Kanha-Satpura mh − mc = 0.054). We attribute this reduction in gene flow to accelerated fragmentation and habitat alteration in the landscape over the past few centuries, and suggest protection of forest corridors to maintain gene flow in this landscape. PMID:24062803

  13. Ecological disturbance in a sandhills prairie: impact and importance to the lizard community on Arapaho Prairie in western Nebraska

    SciTech Connect

    Ballinger, R.E.; Jones, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    Lizard species occurring in the sandhills prairie of western Nebraska are typically restricted to microhabitats which have sparse vegetation. The fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) and the lesser earless lizard (Holbrookia maculata) are especially abundant in open blowouts. Only the six-lined racerunner (Cnemidophorus sexlineatus) occupies microhabitats with dense grass. Since cattle grazing was discontinued on Arapaho Prairie in 1977, associated vegetational changes have tended to reduce the microhabitats available for lizards. As a result of the decreased disturbance to the vegetation, lizards have become more restricted and less abundant on Arapaho Prairie. 19 references, 1 figure, 3 tables.

  14. Thermal dependence of sprint performance in the lizard Psammodromus algirus along a 2200-meter elevational gradient: Cold-habitat lizards do not perform better at low temperatures.

    PubMed

    Zamora-Camacho, Francisco Javier; Rubiño-Hispán, María Virtudes; Reguera, Senda; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2015-08-01

    Sprint speed has a capital relevance in most animals' fitness, mainly for fleeing from predators. Sprint performance is maximal within a certain range of body temperatures in ectotherms, whose thermal upkeep relies on exogenous thermal sources. Ectotherms can respond to diverse thermal environments either by shifting their thermal preferences or maintaining them through different adaptive mechanisms. Here, we tested whether maximum sprint speed of a lizard that shows conservative thermal ecology along a 2200-meter elevational gradient differs with body temperature in lizards from different elevations. Lizards ran faster at optimum than at suboptimum body temperature. Notably, high-elevation lizards were not faster than mid- and low-elevation lizards at suboptimum body temperature, despite their low-quality thermal environment. This result suggests that both preferred body temperature and thermal dependence of speed performance are co-adapted along the elevational gradient. High-elevation lizards display a number of thermoregulatory strategies that allow them to achieve high optimum body temperatures in a low thermal-quality habitat and thus maximize speed performance. As for reproductive condition, we did not find any effect of it on sprint speed, or any significant interaction with elevation or body temperature. However, strikingly, gravid females were significantly slower than males and non-gravid females at suboptimum temperature, but performed similarly well at optimal temperature. PMID:26267503

  15. Examining Temporal Sample Scale and Model Choice with Spatial Capture-Recapture Models in the Common Leopard Panthera pardus.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Joshua F; Tempa, Tshering; Norbu, Nawang; Hebblewhite, Mark; Mills, L Scott; Wangchuk, Tshewang R; Lukacs, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Many large carnivores occupy a wide geographic distribution, and face threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, prey depletion, and human wildlife-conflicts. Conservation requires robust techniques for estimating population densities and trends, but the elusive nature and low densities of many large carnivores make them difficult to detect. Spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models provide a means for handling imperfect detectability, while linking population estimates to individual movement patterns to provide more accurate estimates than standard approaches. Within this framework, we investigate the effect of different sample interval lengths on density estimates, using simulations and a common leopard (Panthera pardus) model system. We apply Bayesian SCR methods to 89 simulated datasets and camera-trapping data from 22 leopards captured 82 times during winter 2010-2011 in Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan. We show that sample interval length from daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly periods did not appreciably affect median abundance or density, but did influence precision. We observed the largest gains in precision when moving from quarterly to shorter intervals. We therefore recommend daily sampling intervals for monitoring rare or elusive species where practicable, but note that monthly or quarterly sample periods can have similar informative value. We further develop a novel application of Bayes factors to select models where multiple ecological factors are integrated into density estimation. Our simulations demonstrate that these methods can help identify the "true" explanatory mechanisms underlying the data. Using this method, we found strong evidence for sex-specific movement distributions in leopards, suggesting that sexual patterns of space-use influence density. This model estimated a density of 10.0 leopards/100 km2 (95% credibility interval: 6.25-15.93), comparable to contemporary estimates in Asia. These SCR methods provide a guide to

  16. Examining Temporal Sample Scale and Model Choice with Spatial Capture-Recapture Models in the Common Leopard Panthera pardus

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Joshua F.; Tempa, Tshering; Norbu, Nawang; Hebblewhite, Mark; Mills, L. Scott; Wangchuk, Tshewang R.; Lukacs, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Many large carnivores occupy a wide geographic distribution, and face threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, prey depletion, and human wildlife-conflicts. Conservation requires robust techniques for estimating population densities and trends, but the elusive nature and low densities of many large carnivores make them difficult to detect. Spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models provide a means for handling imperfect detectability, while linking population estimates to individual movement patterns to provide more accurate estimates than standard approaches. Within this framework, we investigate the effect of different sample interval lengths on density estimates, using simulations and a common leopard (Panthera pardus) model system. We apply Bayesian SCR methods to 89 simulated datasets and camera-trapping data from 22 leopards captured 82 times during winter 2010–2011 in Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan. We show that sample interval length from daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly periods did not appreciably affect median abundance or density, but did influence precision. We observed the largest gains in precision when moving from quarterly to shorter intervals. We therefore recommend daily sampling intervals for monitoring rare or elusive species where practicable, but note that monthly or quarterly sample periods can have similar informative value. We further develop a novel application of Bayes factors to select models where multiple ecological factors are integrated into density estimation. Our simulations demonstrate that these methods can help identify the “true” explanatory mechanisms underlying the data. Using this method, we found strong evidence for sex-specific movement distributions in leopards, suggesting that sexual patterns of space-use influence density. This model estimated a density of 10.0 leopards/100 km2 (95% credibility interval: 6.25–15.93), comparable to contemporary estimates in Asia. These SCR methods provide a guide

  17. Presence-absence surveys of prey and their use in predicting leopard (Panthera pardus) densities: a case study from Armenia.

    PubMed

    Khorozyan, Igor G; Malkhasyan, Alexander G; Abramov, Alexei V

    2008-12-01

    It is important to predict how many individuals of a predator species can survive in a given area on the basis of prey sufficiency and to compare predictive estimates with actual numbers to understand whether or not key threats are related to prey availability. Rugged terrain and low detection probabilities do not allow for the use of traditional prey count techniques in mountain areas. We used presence-absence occupancy modeling and camera-trapping to estimate the abundance and densities of prey species and regression analysis to predict leopard (Panthera pardus) densities from estimated prey biomass in the mountains of the Nuvadi area, Meghri Ridge, southern Armenia. The prey densities were 12.94 ± 2.18 individuals km(-2) for the bezoar goat (Capra aegagrus), 6.88 ± 1.56 for the wild boar (Sus scrofa) and 0.44 ± 0.20 for the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). The detection probability of the prey was a strong function of the activity patterns, and was highest in diurnal bezoar goats (0.59 ± 0.09). Based on robust regression, the estimated total ungulate prey biomass (720.37 ± 142.72 kg km(-2) ) can support a leopard density of 7. 18 ± 3.06 individuals 100 km(-2) . The actual leopard density is only 0.34 individuals 100 km(-2) (i.e. one subadult male recorded over the 296.9 km(2) ), estimated from tracking and camera-trapping. The most plausible explanation for this discrepancy between predicted and actual leopard density is that poaching and disturbance caused by livestock breeding, plant gathering, deforestation and human-induced wild fires are affecting the leopard population in Armenia. PMID:21396082

  18. The disappearing northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens): conservation genetics and implications for remnant populations in western Nevada

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Serena D; Peacock, Mary M

    2012-01-01

    Global amphibian declines suggest a major shift in the amount and quality of habitat for these sensitive taxa. Many species that were once widespread are now experiencing declines either in part of or across their historic range. The northern leopard frog (Rana [Lithobates] pipiens] has undergone significant declines particularly in the western United States and Canada. Leopard frog population losses in Nevada are largely due to habitat fragmentation and the introduction of nonnative fish, amphibian, and plant species. Only two populations remain in the Truckee and Carson River watersheds of western Nevada which represents the western boundary of this species range. We used sequence data for an 812 base pair fragment of the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase 1 (ND1) gene to support a native origin for western Nevada populations. All frogs had a single haplotype (W07) from the distinct western North America ND1 haplotype clade. Data from seven polymorphic microsatellite loci show that Truckee and Carson River populations are highly differentiated from each other and from leopard frogs collected from eastern Nevada sites. Lack of gene flow among and distinct color morphs among the western Nevada populations likely predates the current geographical isolation. Comparisons with other peripheral L. pipiens populations show western Nevada populations have similar levels of gene diversity despite their contemporary isolation (HE 0.411, 0.482). Restoration of leopard frog populations in these watersheds will be challenging given well-entrenched nonnative bullfrog populations and major changes to the riparian zone over the past century. Declines of once common amphibian species has become a major conservation concern. Contemporary isolation of populations on a species range periphery such as the leopard frog populations in the Truckee and Carson rivers further exacerbate extirpation risk as these populations are likely to have fewer genetic resources to adaptively respond to

  19. Thermoregulatory consequences of salt loading in the lizard Pogona vitticeps.

    PubMed

    Scarpellini, Carolina da Silveira; Bícego, Kênia C; Tattersall, Glenn J

    2015-04-15

    Previous research has demonstrated that dehydration increases the threshold temperature for panting and decreases the thermal preference of lizards. Conversely, it is unknown whether thermoregulatory responses such as shuttling and gaping are similarly influenced. Shuttling, as an active behavioural response, is considered one of the most effective thermoregulatory behaviours, whereas gaping has been proposed to be involved in preventing brain over-heating in lizards. In this study we examined the effect of salt loading, a proxy for increased plasma osmolality, on shuttling and gaping in Pogona vitticeps. Then, we determined the upper and lower escape ambient temperatures (UETa and LETa), the percentage of time spent gaping, the metabolic rate (V̇O2 ), the evaporative water loss (EWL) during gaping and non-gaping intervals and the evaporative effectiveness (EWL/V̇O2 ) of gaping. All experiments were performed under isotonic (154 mmol l(-1)) and hypertonic saline injections (625, 1250 or 2500 mmol l(-1)). Only the highest concentration of hypertonic saline altered the UETa and LETa, but this effect appeared to be the result of diminishing the animal's propensity to move, instead of any direct reduction in thermoregulatory set-points. Nevertheless, the percentage of time spent gaping was proportionally reduced according to the saline concentration; V̇O2 was also decreased after salt loading. Thermographic images revealed lower head than body surface temperatures during gaping; however this difference was inhibited after salt loading. Our data suggest that EWL/V̇O2 is raised during gaping, possibly contributing to an increase in heat transfer away from the lizard, and playing a role in head or brain cooling. PMID:25714566

  20. Field energetics and foraging mode of Kalahari lacertid lizards

    SciTech Connect

    Nagy, K.A.; Huey, R.B.; Bennett, A.F.

    1984-04-01

    The authors examined the energetic costs associated with foraging mode in the widely foraging lizard Eremias lugubris (mean mass 3.83 g) and the sit-and-wait lizard Eremias lineoocellata (3.27 g). These lizards are broadly sympatric in the Kalahari desert. The widely foraging species had significantly higher field metabolic rates (800 vs. 544 J/d, as measured with doubly labeled water), feeding rates (metabolizable energy of 1165 vs. 739 J/d), production rates (365 vs. 195 J/d) and water influx rates (0.285 vs. 0.156 mL/d). Measurements were made before the reproductive season began; there were no significant differences in these measures between sexes within either species. Resting metabolic rates (measured as O/sub 2/ consumed) were similar at 37/sup 0/C (0.240 vs. 0.252 mL g/sup -1/ H/sup -1/) and 26/sup 0/ (0.094 vs. 0.103 mL g/sup -1/ h/sup -1/), the field active and nocturnal burrow temperatures respectively, of both species. Field metabolic rates, on a 24-h basis, were 3.1 x resting in E. lugubris and 2.2 x resting in E. lineoocellata. Energy expenditures during the activity period were 12.0 x resting in the wide forager and 2.8 x resting in the sit-and-wait predator. Foraging efficiency (metabolizable energy gained while foraging/total energy spent while foraging) was higher in the wide forager (2.0 than in the sit-and-wait predator. The wide forager grew nearly twice as fast as did the sit-and-wait predator during this study. On an annual basis, variation in food availability or differences in predation rate may alter the relative fitness of these foraging modes.

  1. Food chemical discriminations by an herbivorous lizard, Corucia zebrata.

    PubMed

    Cooper, W E

    2000-03-01

    Adjustment of chemosensory response to diet should be apparent in evolutionary changes corresponding to dietary shifts. Because most lizards are generalist predators of small animals, relationships between chemosensory behavior and diet are difficult to detect. Nevertheless, the evolution of herbivory by a small number of lizards provides an opportunity to detect any corresponding change in response to plant chemicals. I studied tongue-flicking and biting by the large, herbivorous scincid lizard Corucia zebrata in response to chemical cues from crickets, romaine lettuce, and control stimuli presented on cotton swabs. The skinks exhibited significantly stronger response to plant and animal chemicals than to controls for several variables: greater number of individuals that bit swabs, shorter latency to bite, greater rate of tongue-flicks, and greater tongue-flick attack score. The clearest differences were observed for tongue-flick attack score, a composite variable that combines the effects of tongue-flicking and biting. An insectivorous member of the same subfamily, Scincella lateralis, shows strong tongue-flicking and biting response to chemical prey cues, but not to plant chemicals. This suggests that response to plant chemicals by C. zebrata may have evolved in tandem with the incorporation of plants into the diet and that response to cricket chemicals has been retained, perhaps due to similarities between plant and animal food. The findings support the hypothesis that dietary shifts induce corresponding changes in chemosensory response, but provide only a single independent contrast for a study of correlated evolution between plant diet and chemosensory response to plants. J. Exp. Zool. 286:372-378, 2000. PMID:10684560

  2. The blue lizard spandrel and the island syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Many small vertebrates on islands grow larger, mature later, lay smaller clutches/litters, and are less sexually dimorphic and aggressive than their mainland relatives. This set of observations is referred to as the 'Island Syndrome'. The syndrome is linked to high population density on islands. We predicted that when population density is low and/or fluctuating insular vertebrates may evolve correlated trait shifts running opposite to the Island Syndrome, which we collectively refer to as the 'reversed island syndrome' (RIS) hypothesis. On the proximate level, we hypothesized that RIS is caused by increased activity levels in melanocortin receptors. Melanocortins are postranslational products of the proopiomelanocortin gene, which controls pleiotropically pigmentation, aggressiveness, sexual activity, and food intake in vertebrates. Results We tested the RIS hypothesis performing a number of behavioral, genetic, and ontogenetic tests on a blue colored insular variant of the Italian Wall lizard Podarcis sicula, living on a small island off the Southern Italian coast. The population density of this blue-colored variant was generally low and highly fluctuating from one year to the next. In keeping with our predictions, insular lizards were more aggressive and sexually dimorphic than their mainland relatives. Insular males had wide, peramorphic heads. The growth rate of insular females was slower than growth rates of mainland individuals of both sexes, and of insular males. Consequently, size and shape dimorphism are higher on the Island. As predicted, melanocortin receptors were much more active in individuals of the insular population. Insular lizards have a higher food intake rate than mainland individuals, which is consistent with the increased activity of melanocortin receptors. This may be adaptive in an unpredictable environment such as Licosa Island. Insular lizards of both sexes spent less time basking than their mainland relatives. We suspect this

  3. Diagnostic sensitivity of ultrasound, radiography and computed tomography for gender determination in four species of lizards.

    PubMed

    Di Ianni, Francesco; Volta, Antonella; Pelizzone, Igor; Manfredi, Sabrina; Gnudi, Giacomo; Parmigiani, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    Gender determination is frequently requested by reptile breeders, especially for species with poor or absent sexual dimorphism. The aims of the current study were to describe techniques and diagnostic sensitivities of ultrasound, radiography, and computed tomography for gender determination (identification of hemipenes) in four species of lizards. Nineteen lizards of known sex, belonging to four different species (Pogona vitticeps, Uromastyx aegyptia, Tiliqua scincoides, Gerrhosaurus major) were prospectively enrolled. With informed owner consent, ultrasound, noncontrast CT, contrast radiography, and contrast CT (with contrast medium administered into the cloaca) were performed in conscious animals. Imaging studies were reviewed by three different operators, each unaware of the gender of the animals and of the results of the other techniques. The lizard was classified as a male when hemipenes were identified. Nineteen lizards were included in the study, 10 females and nine males. The hemipenes were seen on ultrasound in only two male lizards, and appeared as oval hypoechoic structures. Radiographically, hemipenes filled with contrast medium appeared as spindle-shaped opacities. Noncontrast CT identified hemipenes in only two lizards, and these appeared as spindle-shaped kinked structures with hyperattenuating content consistent with smegma. Hemipenes were correctly identified in all nine males using contrast CT (accuracy of 100%). Accuracy of contrast radiography was excellent (94.7%). Accuracy of ultrasound and of noncontrast CT was poor (64.3% and 63.1%, respectively). Findings from the current study supported the use of contrast CT or contrast radiography for gender determination in lizards. PMID:25065912

  4. The relative influence of road characteristics and habitat on adjacent lizard populations in arid shrublands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hubbard, Kaylan A.; Chalfoun, Anna L.; Gerow, Kenneth G.

    2016-01-01

    As road networks continue to expand globally, indirect impacts to adjacent wildlife populations remain largely unknown. Simultaneously, reptile populations are declining worldwide and anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are frequently cited causes. We evaluated the relative influence of three different road characteristics (surface treatment, width, and traffic volume) and habitat features on adjacent populations of Northern Sagebrush Lizards (Sceloporus graciosus graciosus), Plateau Fence Lizards (S. tristichus), and Greater Short-Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma hernandesi) in mixed arid shrubland habitats in southwest Wyoming. Neither odds of lizard presence nor relative abundance was significantly related to any of the assessed road characteristics, although there was a trend for higher Sceloporus spp. abundance adjacent to paved roads. Sceloporus spp. relative abundance did not vary systematically with distance to the nearest road. Rather, both Sceloporus spp. and Greater Short-Horned Lizards were associated strongly with particular habitat characteristics adjacent to roads. Sceloporus spp. presence and relative abundance increased with rock cover, relative abundance was associated positively with shrub cover, and presence was associated negatively with grass cover. Greater Short-Horned Lizard presence increased with bare ground and decreased marginally with shrub cover. Our results suggest that habitat attributes are stronger correlates of lizard presence and relative abundance than individual characteristics of adjacent roads, at least in our system. Therefore, an effective conservation approach for these species may be to consider the landscape through which new roads and their associated development would occur, and the impact that placement could have on fragment size and key habitat elements.

  5. Prey snapping and visual distance estimation in Texas horned lizards, Phrynosoma cornutum.

    PubMed

    Ott, Matthias; Ostheim, Joachim; Sherbrooke, Wade C

    2004-08-01

    Captive Texas horned lizards were high-speed videotaped while feeding on ants in order to study the role of vision in facilitating tongue-protrusion capture of prey. Analysis of tongue movements revealed that prey snapping in these lizards is not a typical fixed-action pattern. By contrast, it is variable in performance and duration. Lizards adjusted head and tongue direction during the strike, within a few milliseconds, in response to movements of the prey. The duration of a typical tongue strike was 100-150 ms. The strike duration was prolonged after ophthalmic lenses were placed in front of one or both eyes. These lenses were used to investigate whether horned lizards use accommodation to judge prey distance. Focal changes of negatively powered ophthalmic lenses (employed monocularly) induced a clear underestimation of prey distance by the lizards, confirming the hypothesized expectation that accommodation is used for depth perception. The effect of the lenses was different in the two animals tested with monocular restriction. This, together with the lack of difference in responses by the lizards when untreated and when both eyes were lens covered (binocular treatment of equal power, -9 D), illustrates that horned lizards also use other visual parameters for depth perception. PMID:15277561

  6. One Solution for Two Challenges: The Lizard Microlophus atacamensis Avoids Overheating by Foraging in Intertidal Shores

    PubMed Central

    Sepúlveda, Maritza; Sabat, Pablo; Porter, Warren P.; Fariña, José Miguel

    2014-01-01

    In lizards, one of the most important behavioral mechanisms to cope with spatial and temporal variations in thermal resources observed is activity time. The longer a lizard can maintain activity, the more time it has to forage and reach larger adult body size. We studied the behavioral adjustments to different climatic regimens on daily and seasonal scales in three natural populations of the lizard Microlophus atacamensis along a latitudinal temperature and rainfall gradient. We also used Niche Mapper to determinate the amount of thermally suitable time for activity for this species. Abundance and daily activity patterns varied greatly over the year for the three populations. In summer and spring, the daily activity times were greater, and were reduced in fall and winter seasons. In summer, when stressful heat loads should prohibit activity over a midday gap, lizards did not show bimodal patterns of activity. Instead, they move to the cooler intertidal habitat. Abundance and thermal quality in the southernmost coolest site was lower, and the potential annual activity time decreases with latitude. Contrary to expectations, lizards from this locality showed the largest body sizes possibly due to diet and/or time to sexual maturation. Our results indicate that the intertidal habitat is a key factor that influences daily and seasonal activity of M. atacamensis lizards. While this habitat is not climatically optimal for lizards, it allows them to behaviorally extend their activity window and gain access to food in the intertidal areas. PMID:24839969

  7. Who's behind that mask and cape? The Asian leopard cat's Agouti (ASIP) allele likely affects coat colour phenotype in the Bengal cat breed.

    PubMed

    Gershony, L C; Penedo, M C T; Davis, B W; Murphy, W J; Helps, C R; Lyons, L A

    2014-12-01

    Coat colours and patterns are highly variable in cats and are determined mainly by several genes with Mendelian inheritance. A 2-bp deletion in agouti signalling protein (ASIP) is associated with melanism in domestic cats. Bengal cats are hybrids between domestic cats and Asian leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis), and the charcoal coat colouration/pattern in Bengals presents as a possible incomplete melanism. The complete coding region of ASIP was directly sequenced in Asian leopard, domestic and Bengal cats. Twenty-seven variants were identified between domestic and leopard cats and were investigated in Bengals and Savannahs, a hybrid with servals (Leptailurus serval). The leopard cat ASIP haplotype was distinguished from domestic cat by four synonymous and four non-synonymous exonic SNPs, as well as 19 intronic variants, including a 42-bp deletion in intron 4. Fifty-six of 64 reported charcoal cats were compound heterozygotes at ASIP, with leopard cat agouti (A(P) (be) ) and domestic cat non-agouti (a) haplotypes. Twenty-four Bengals had an additional unique haplotype (A2) for exon 2 that was not identified in leopard cats, servals or jungle cats (Felis chaus). The compound heterozygote state suggests the leopard cat allele, in combination with the recessive non-agouti allele, influences Bengal markings, producing a darker, yet not completely melanistic coat. This is the first validation of a leopard cat allele segregating in the Bengal breed and likely affecting their overall pelage phenotype. Genetic testing services need to be aware of the possible segregation of wild felid alleles in all assays performed on hybrid cats. PMID:25143047

  8. Postautotomy tail activity in the Balearic lizard, Podarcis lilfordi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pafilis, Panayiotis; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín; Valakos, Efstratios

    2008-03-01

    Caudal autotomy is an effective antipredator strategy widespread among lizards. The shed tail thrashes vigorously for long periods to distract the predator and facilitate the lizard’s escape. This movement is maintained by energy supplied by the anaerobic conversion of glycogen into lactate. It has been suggested that lactate accumulation serves as an index for the vigor of tail thrashing. We made three predictions: (1) tail loss frequency should be higher under heavier predation regime, (2) the duration of postautotomy tail movement should be extended in populations under heavy predation pressure as an adaptation to the higher risk and the increased need for defense, and (3) as result, lactate in these tail tissues should be concentrated at higher levels. To eliminate the impact of phylogeny and environmental factors on the interpretation of our result, we focused exclusively on one species, the Balearic lizard ( Podarcis lilfordi). We studied three populations under different predation pressure but sharing the same climatic conditions. We found no differences among the studied populations either in postautotomy duration of tail movement or in levels of final lactate accumulation while autotomy frequency was higher where predation pressure was more intense. Τail loss effectiveness is directly influenced by the level of predation, while secondary features of the trait appear to remain independent from the impact of environment.

  9. Age structured dynamical model for an endangered lizard Eulamprus leuraensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Supriatna, A. K.; Rachmadani, Q.; Ilahi, F.; Anggriani, N.; Nuraini, N.

    2014-02-01

    The Blue Mountains Water Skink, Eulamprus leuraensis, is listed as an endangered species under the IUCN Red List. This lizard species has a typical characteristic of growth with a low fecundity. It is known that the offspring quality may decline with maternal age of the parents despite they can grow rapidly from neonatal size to adult size within two to three years. It is also believed that low adult survival rates and specialization on rare and fragmented type of habitat are the main cause leading to the endangered status of the lizard. A mathematical model with age structure for Eulamprus leuraensis, taking into account the variation of survival rate in each structure and the declining of offspring quality with respect to maternal age is considered here. Stable coexistence of non-trivial equilibriumis shown. It is also shown that an endangered status is due to combination oflow reproductive output and low rates of adult survival. Further, understanding the age structure within populations can facilitate efective management of the endangered species.

  10. Motion perception and visual signal design in Anolis lizards

    PubMed Central

    Fleishman, Leo J.; Pallus, Adam C.

    2010-01-01

    Anolis lizards communicate with displays consisting of motion of the head and body. Early portions of long-distance displays require movements that are effective at eliciting the attention of potential receivers. We studied signal-motion efficacy using a two-dimensional visual-motion detection (2DMD) model consisting of a grid of correlation-type elementary motion detectors. This 2DMD model has been shown to accurately predict Anolis lizard behavioural response. We tested different patterns of artificially generated motion and found that an abrupt 0.3° shift of position in less than 100 ms is optimal. We quantified motion in displays of 25 individuals from five species. Four species employ near-optimal movement patterns. We tested displays of these species using the 2DMD model on scenes with and without moderate wind. Display movements can easily be detected, even in the presence of windblown vegetation. The fifth species does not typically use the most effective display movements and display movements cannot be discerned by the 2DMD model in the presence of windblown vegetation. A number of Anolis species use abrupt up-and-down head movements approximately 10 mm in amplitude in displays, and these movements appear to be extremely effective for stimulating the receiver visual system. PMID:20591869

  11. Intercontinental community convergence of ecology and morphology in desert lizards

    PubMed Central

    Melville, Jane; Harmon, Luke J; Losos, Jonathan B

    2005-01-01

    Evolutionary ecologists have long debated the extent to which communities in similar environments but different geographic regions exhibit convergence. On the one hand, if species' adaptations and community structure are determined by environmental features, convergence would be expected. However, if historical contingencies have long-lasting effects convergence would be unlikely. Most studies to date have emphasized the differences between communities in similar environments and little quantitative evidence for convergence exists. The application of comparative phylogenetic methods to ecological studies provides an opportunity to further investigate hypotheses of convergence. We compared the evolutionary patterns of structural ecology and morphology of 42 species of iguanian lizards from deserts of Australia and North America. Using a comparative approach, we found that evolutionary convergence of ecology and morphology occurs both in overall, community-wide patterns and in terms of pairs of highly similar intercontinental pairs of species. This result indicates that in these desert lizards, deterministic adaptive evolution shapes community patterns and overrides the historical contingencies unique to particular lineages. PMID:16537126

  12. Historical contingency and behavioural divergence in territorial Anolis lizards.

    PubMed

    Ord, T J

    2012-10-01

    The extent that evolution - including adaptation - is historically contingent (dependent on past events) has often been hotly debated, but is still poorly understood. In particular, there are little data on the degree that behaviour, an aspect of the phenotype that is strongly linked to contemporary environments (social or physical), retains the imprint of evolutionary history. In this study, I examined whether differences in the design of the territorial displays among species of Caribbean Anolis lizards reflect island-specific selection regimes, or historically contingent predispositions associated with different clade histories. Adult males advertise territory ownership using a series of headbobs and dewlap extensions, bouts of which vary in duration among species. When display durations were mapped onto the Anolis phylogeny, prominent differences between species belonging to the Western and Eastern Caribbean radiations were apparent. Statistical analyses confirmed that species differences in the duration of headbob displays, and to some extent the duration of dewlap extensions, were historically contingent. The unique evolutionary histories of each clade have seemingly had a profound effect on the subsequent direction of display evolution among descendent taxa. These results combined with those from previous studies on these lizards show that past history can have an important impact on the type of behaviour exhibited by species today, to the point that adaptive evolution can proceed quite differently in lineages originating from different evolutionary starting points. PMID:22862423

  13. Retinal characteristics of the ornate dragon lizard, Ctenophorus ornatus.

    PubMed

    Barbour, Helen R; Archer, Michael A; Hart, Nathan S; Thomas, Nicole; Dunlop, Sarah A; Beazley, Lyn D; Shand, Julia

    2002-09-01

    The retina of a diurnal insectivorous lizard, Ctenophorus ornatus (Agamidae) was investigated using microspectrophotometry and light and electron microscopy. A prominent broad yellow band was observed that extended across the mid-retina. The yellow coloration was found to originate from both oil droplets and diffuse pigmentation within cone inner segments. Microspectrophotometric analysis revealed yellow oil droplets with variable absorption of wavelengths below 520 nm and transparent oil droplets with no detectable absorptance between 350 and 750 nm. Cones with transparent oil droplets lacked the diffuse yellow pigmentation. The mean wavelengths of maximum absorbance of visual pigments in the isolated cone outer segments were at 440, 493, and 571 nm. The retina was found to possess a deep convexiclivate fovea located within the yellow band, slightly dorsotemporal of the retinal midpoint. The topography of the retinal ganglion cells revealed that the fovea was contained within an area centralis. Photoreceptors were either single (80%) or unequal double (20%) cones. Within the region of the fovea, the cones were approximately 20% the diameter of those in the peripheral retina. Colored oil droplets and yellow pigment may increase visual acuity by absorbing short wavelength light scattered either by the atmosphere or the optical structures of the eye. The presence of a fovea containing slender cone photoreceptors and three visual pigments suggests that the lizard has high acuity and the potential for color vision. PMID:12209847

  14. Phenotypic resonance from a single meal in an insectivorous lizard.

    PubMed

    Massot, Manuel; Aragón, Pedro

    2013-07-22

    Environmental variations are usually thought to require a nonanecdotal intensity or duration to have major effects on individuals and evolutionary outputs. However, environmental variations of weak intensity and short duration could be of major importance when they influence key targets or critical stages. Because conditions experienced early in life can be critical determinants of life history trajectories, especially early nutrition, we tested this hypothesis by experimentally manipulating the first meal of life in the lizard Zootoca vivipara. The species is a live-bearing lizard without parental care, and it consumes small arthropods. Neonates face a great challenge in acquiring their first meal, as is the case in many species that develop skills through learning to capture live prey. We show that this single meal had an overall and long-lasting impact. Effects on dispersal arose within 10 days, and we found effects 1-2 months later on growth, recapture probability, and juvenile survival. Interestingly, we detected effects on reproduction up to 2 years later. Such a "phenotypic resonance" reveals that the influence of small and ephemeral events should not be neglected by evolutionary biologists. PMID:23831289

  15. Mother-offspring interactions affect natal dispersal in a lizard.

    PubMed Central

    Le Galliard, Jean-François; Ferrière, Régis; Clobert, Jean

    2003-01-01

    Interactions between relatives operate strong selective pressures on dispersal. Recently, a correlative study in the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara) suggested that natal dispersal might respond plastically to mother-offspring interactions. Here, we describe a factorial experiment supporting this observation. Two crossed treatments were applied to experimental patches of the common lizard: (i) presence versus absence of the mother, inducing a difference of kinship in offspring neighbourhoods; and (ii) high versus low patch density, resulting in two levels of conspecific abundance and modulating the effect of mother presence on the average kinship within a patch. Dispersal of the same cohort of offspring was observed at the juvenile and yearling stages. We found a sex-dependent response of offspring dispersal to the removal of the mother at the two stages. During the juvenile stage, higher dispersal was found in females in the presence of the mother, with males unaffected. During the yearling stage, the responses of both sexes to the presence of the mother opposed each other. In addition, we found a negative relationship between dispersal and patch density at the juvenile stage. No interaction between density and the presence of the mother was detected, which suggests that behavioural responses to kinship and density are disconnected and that kinship is assessed at a small social scale. We discuss the role of competition and inbreeding avoidance to explain the observed pattern. PMID:12816655

  16. Conserved sex chromosomes across adaptively radiated Anolis lizards.

    PubMed

    Rovatsos, Michail; Altmanová, Marie; Pokorná, Martina; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2014-07-01

    Vertebrates possess diverse sex-determining systems, which differ in evolutionary stability among particular groups. It has been suggested that poikilotherms possess more frequent turnovers of sex chromosomes than homoiotherms, whose effective thermoregulation can prevent the emergence of the sex reversals induced by environmental temperature. Squamate reptiles used to be regarded as a group with an extensive variability in sex determination; however, we document how the rather old radiation of lizards from the genus Anolis, known for exceptional ecomorphological variability, was connected with stability in sex chromosomes. We found that 18 tested species, representing most of the phylogenetic diversity of the genus, share the gene content of their X chromosomes. Furthermore, we discovered homologous sex chromosomes in species of two genera (Sceloporus and Petrosaurus) from the family Phrynosomatidae, serving here as an outgroup to Anolis. We can conclude that the origin of sex chromosomes within iguanas largely predates the Anolis radiation and that the sex chromosomes of iguanas remained conserved for a significant part of their evolutionary history. Next to therian mammals and birds, Anolis lizards therefore represent another adaptively radiated amniote clade with conserved sex chromosomes. We argue that the evolutionary stability of sex-determining systems may reflect an advanced stage of differentiation of sex chromosomes rather than thermoregulation strategy. PMID:24433436

  17. Classification and distribution of large intestinal bacteria in nonhibernating and hibernating leopard frogs (Rana pipiens).

    PubMed Central

    Banas, J A; Loesche, W J; Nace, G W

    1988-01-01

    The large intestinal flora of the leopard frog, Rana pipiens, was examined to determine whether differences existed between the nonhibernating and hibernating states of the animal and to determine the relative concentrations and proportions of potential frog pathogens. Hibernators had a logarithmic decrease of bacteria per milligram of intestine averaging one, and significantly greater proportions of facultative bacteria and psychrophiles relative to nonhibernators. The predominant anaerobic bacteria were gram-positive Clostridium species and gram-negative Bacteroides and Fusobacterium species. The predominant facultative bacteria were enterobacteria in nonhibernators but Pseudomonas species in hibernators. Many species of Pseudomonas are pathogenic for frogs, and thus the intestinal flora in hibernators may be a potential source of infectious disease. PMID:3263838

  18. Representation of the visual field in the anterior thalamus of the leopard frog, Rana pipiens.

    PubMed

    Skorina, Laura K; Recktenwald, Eric W; Dudkin, Elizabeth A; Saidel, William M; Gruberg, Edward R

    2016-05-16

    We used physiological and anatomical methods to elucidate how the visual field is represented in the part of the dorsal anterior thalamus of the leopard frog that receives direct retinal projections. We recorded extracellularly while presenting visual stimuli, and characterized a physiologically defined region that encompasses the retinal projections as well as an extended zone beyond them. We probed the area systematically to determine if the zone is organized in a visuotopic map: we found that it is not. We found that units in this region respond only to stimuli in the contralateral half of the visual field, which is similar to what is seen in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus in mammals. When we backfilled retinal ganglion cells from application of HRP to the anterior thalamus, we found labeled cells only in those parts of the retina corresponding to the contralateral hemifield, confirming our physiological observations. PMID:27064110

  19. Femoral head and neck excision arthroplasty in a leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis).

    PubMed

    Naylor, Adam D

    2013-12-01

    Cases of femoral head and neck excision arthroplasty are infrequently reported in reptiles, and details of surgical technique and clinical outcome in chelonia are lacking. An adult female leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) was presented with chronic non-weight-bearing lameness of the left hind limb. Examination and radiography were consistent with coxofemoral luxation, and as a result of the chronic presentation, surgical intervention was recommended. A cranial approach to the joint via the prefemoral fossa afforded good surgical exposure. A depressed lytic acetabular lesion was noted during the procedure, postulated to be a result of abnormal wear from the luxated femoral head. A fiberglass prop was used during recovery to allow extension of the limb without full weight-bearing. Lameness persisted postoperatively, but limb usage significantly improved. PMID:24450058

  20. Identification of a PTPN11 hot spot mutation in a child with atypical LEOPARD syndrome.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jia; Shen, Jinwen; Cheng, Ruhong; Ni, Cheng; Liang, Jianying; Li, Ming; Yao, Zhirong

    2016-09-01

    LEOPARD syndrome (LS) is an autosomal dominant inherited disorder primarily caused by mutations in the PTPN11, RAF1 and BRAF genes. Characteristic features include lentigines, craniofacial dysmorphism, myocardium or valve abnormalities, eletrocardiographic conduction defects and deafness. LS, neurofibromatosis type 1, Noonan syndrome and Legius syndrome are a group of highly overlapped disorders termed 'RASopathies'. Therefore, clinical discrimination between these syndromes represents a huge challenge. The present study reports a young child diagnosed with LS via identification of a common p.Thr468Met mutation in PTPN11. Taking into account two Taiwanese LS cases with an identical mutation, Thr468Met is likely to be the most prevalent mutation in the Chinese population. Furthermore, this study suggests that a clinical diagnosis of LS should be considered for individuals with congenital cardiac defects and atypical lentigines (i.e., light brown freckles) scattered particularly on the face. PMID:27484170

  1. Vigorous Dynamics Underlie a Stable Population of the Endangered Snow Leopard Panthera uncia in Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Koustubh; Bayrakcismith, Rana; Tumursukh, Lkhagvasumberel; Johansson, Orjan; Sevger, Purevsuren; McCarthy, Tom; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-01-01

    Population monitoring programmes and estimation of vital rates are key to understanding the mechanisms of population growth, decline or stability, and are important for effective conservation action. We report, for the first time, the population trends and vital rates of the endangered snow leopard based on camera trapping over four years in the Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. We used robust design multi-season mark-recapture analysis to estimate the trends in abundance, sex ratio, survival probability and the probability of temporary emigration and immigration for adult and young snow leopards. The snow leopard population remained constant over most of the study period, with no apparent growth (λ = 1.08+−0.25). Comparison of model results with the “known population” of radio-collared snow leopards suggested high accuracy in our estimates. Although seemingly stable, vigorous underlying dynamics were evident in this population, with the adult sex ratio shifting from being male-biased to female-biased (1.67 to 0.38 males per female) during the study. Adult survival probability was 0.82 (SE+−0.08) and that of young was 0.83 (SE+−0.15) and 0.77 (SE +−0.2) respectively, before and after the age of 2 years. Young snow leopards showed a high probability of temporary emigration and immigration (0.6, SE +−0.19 and 0.68, SE +−0.32 before and after the age of 2 years) though not the adults (0.02 SE+−0.07). While the current female-bias in the population and the number of cubs born each year seemingly render the study population safe, the vigorous dynamics suggests that the situation can change quickly. The reduction in the proportion of male snow leopards may be indicative of continuing anthropogenic pressures. Our work reiterates the importance of monitoring both the abundance and population dynamics of species for effective conservation. PMID:25006879

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

    PubMed

    Rhen, T; Crews, D

    2000-04-01

    Gonadal sex is determined by the temperature experienced during incubation in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). Furthermore, both factors, incubation temperature and gonadal sex, influence adult sexual and agonistic behavior in this species. Yet it is unclear whether such differences in behavior are irreversibly organized during development or are mediated by differences in hormone levels in adulthood. To address this question, we gonadectomized adult females and males generated from a female-biased (30 degrees C) and a male-biased (32.5 degrees C) incubation temperature and treated them with equivalent levels of various sex steroids. We found that 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) activated sexual receptivity in females but not males, suggesting an organized sex difference in behavioral sensitivity to E(2). There were also organized and activated sex differences in attractivity to stimulus males. Although females were more attractive than males when treated with E(2), both sexes were equally unattractive when treated with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or testosterone (T). Likewise, sex differences in aggressive and submissive behavior were organized and activated. Attacks on stimulus males were activated by T in males but not in females. In contrast, hormones did not influence flight behavior in males but did affect female submissiveness. Overall, males also evoked more attacks by stimulus males than did females. Nevertheless, females and males treated with androgens evoked more attacks than animals of the same sex that were treated with cholesterol or E(2). Incubation temperature had some weak effects on certain behaviors and no effect on others. This suggests that temperature effects in gonadally intact geckos may be due primarily to differences in circulating levels of hormones in adulthood. We conclude that gonadal sex has both organizational and activational effects on various behaviors in the leopard gecko. PMID:10773745

  3. Changes in digestive enzyme activities during larval development of leopard grouper (Mycteroperca rosacea).

    PubMed

    Martínez-Lagos, R; Tovar-Ramírez, D; Gracia-López, V; Lazo, J P

    2014-06-01

    The leopard grouper is an endemic species of the Mexican Pacific with an important commercial fishery and good aquaculture potential. In order to assess the digestive capacity of this species during the larval period and aid in the formulation of adequate weaning diets, this study aimed to characterize the ontogeny of digestive enzymes during development of the digestive system. Digestive enzymes trypsin, chymotrypsin, acid protease, leucine-alanine peptidase, alkaline phosphatase, aminopeptidase N, lipase, amylase and maltase were quantified in larvae fed live prey and weaned onto a formulated microdiet at 31 days after hatching (DAH) and compared with fasting larvae. Enzyme activity for trypsin, lipase and amylase were detected before the opening of the mouth and the onset of exogenous feeding, indicating a precocious development of the digestive system that has been described in many fish species. The intracellular enzyme activity of leucine-alanine peptidase was high during the first days of development, with a tendency to decrease as larvae developed, reaching undetectable levels at the end of the experimental period. In contrast, activities of enzymes located in the intestinal brush border (i.e., aminopeptidase and alkaline phosphatase) were low at the start of exogenous feeding but progressively increased with larval development, indicating the gradual maturation of the digestive system. Based on our results, we conclude that leopard grouper larvae possess a functional digestive system at hatching and before the onset of exogenous feeding. The significant increase in the activity of trypsin, lipase, amylase and acid protease between 30 and 40 DAH suggests that larvae of this species can be successfully weaned onto microdiets during this period. PMID:24189829

  4. Body mass dynamics in hand reared clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) cubs from birth to weaning.

    PubMed

    Nájera, Fernando; Brown, Janine; Wildt, David E; Virolle, Laurie; Kongprom, Urarikha; Revuelta, Luis; Goodrowe-Beck, Karen

    2015-01-01

    To study the dynamics of body mass changes in hand reared clouded leopards, we analyzed 3,697 weight data points during the first 3 months of life in 49 cubs from 24 zoo-born litters from 2003 through 2012. All cubs were fed the same formula mixture after a similar weaning protocol. The hand rearing process was divided into three periods based on feeding protocols: Stage 1: formula only (Days 1-28; Day 0 = day of birth); Stage 2, formula supplemented with protein (e.g., turkey baby food; Days 29-42); Stage 3, formula in decreasing amounts supplemented with meat (chicken and/or beef; Days 43-90). Weights at birth were 11.2% higher (P < 0.001) for males (n = 29) than females (n = 20). Daily weight gain was slowest (P < 0.05) during Stage 1 when cubs were fed straight formula only and fastest during Stage 3 when provided a mixture of formula and meat. Mean growth rate (± SD) during hand rearing differed (P < 0.05) by gender, being 34.6 ± 1.4 g/day for male and 30.0 ± 1.2 g/day for female cubs. Eighteen cubs (37%) exhibited mild to severe diarrhea during the study; however, palliative treatment resulted in similar (P > 0.05) growth and weaning weights compared to healthy counterparts. These are the first data documenting, on a large scale, the growth patterns for zoo born, hand reared clouded leopard cubs. Findings are valuable as an aid in managing this rare species, including for helping identify early onset of medical issues and further determining key factors regulating the first 3 months of development. PMID:25716685

  5. Oxidative stress induced in PCB 126-exposed northern leopard frogs, Rana pipiens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Huang, Y.-W.; Hoffman, D.J.; Karasov, W.H.

    2007-01-01

    Northern leopard frogs Rana pipiens exposed to PCB 126 (3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl) were examined for hepatic oxidative stress. In a dose-response study, northern leopard frogs were injected intraperitoneally with either PCB 126 in corn oil (0.2, 0.7, 2.3, or 7.8 mg/kg body weight) or corn oil alone. In a time-course study, frogs received 7.8 mg/kg or corn oil alone, and were examined at 1, 2, 3, and 4 wk after dosing. Hepatic concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH), thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), and total sulfhydryls (total SH), as well as activities of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-P), GSSG reductase (GSSG-R), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PDH), and glutathione S-transferase (GSH-S-T) were measured. In the dose-response experiment, few effects were apparent 1 wk after dosing. In the time-course experiment, significant changes were observed in the 7.8-mg/kg group at 2 wk or more posttreatment. Hepatic concentrations of GSH and TBARS were higher than in corresponding controls at wk 3 and 4; the activities of GSSG-R and GSH-S-T were higher than in controls at wk 2 and 4; and the activity of G-6-PDH was increased at wk 2 and 4. These data collectively indicate that altered glutathione metabolism and oxidative stress occurred and were indicative of both toxicity and induction of protective mechanisms in frogs exposed to PCB. A similar delay in response was reported in fish and may relate to lower metabolic rate and physiological reactions in ectothermic vertebrates

  6. Structural habitat predicts functional dispersal habitat of a large carnivore: how leopards change spots.

    PubMed

    Fattebert, Julien; Robinson, Hugh S; Balme, Guy; Slotow, Rob; Hunter, Luke

    2015-10-01

    Natal dispersal promotes inter-population linkage, and is key to spatial distribution of populations. Degradation of suitable landscape structures beyond the specific threshold of an individual's ability to disperse can therefore lead to disruption of functional landscape connectivity and impact metapopulation function. Because it ignores behavioral responses of individuals, structural connectivity is easier to assess than functional connectivity and is often used as a surrogate for landscape connectivity modeling. However using structural resource selection models as surrogate for modeling functional connectivity through dispersal could be erroneous. We tested how well a second-order resource selection function (RSF) models (structural connectivity), based on GPS telemetry data from resident adult leopard (Panthera pardus L.), could predict subadult habitat use during dispersal (functional connectivity). We created eight non-exclusive subsets of the subadult data based on differing definitions of dispersal to assess the predictive ability of our adult-based RSF model extrapolated over a broader landscape. Dispersing leopards used habitats in accordance with adult selection patterns, regardless of the definition of dispersal considered. We demonstrate that, for a wide-ranging apex carnivore, functional connectivity through natal dispersal corresponds to structural connectivity as modeled by a second-order RSF. Mapping of the adult-based habitat classes provides direct visualization of the potential linkages between populations, without the need to model paths between a priori starting and destination points. The use of such landscape scale RSFs may provide insight into predicting suitable dispersal habitat peninsulas in human-dominated landscapes where mitigation of human-wildlife conflict should be focused. We recommend the use of second-order RSFs for landscape conservation planning and propose a similar approach to the conservation of other wide-ranging large

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    The ICSI procedure is potentially of great value for felids, and it has not been extensively studied in these species. The objectives of this work were to determine the best conditions for ICSI in the domestic cat (DC) to generate interspecific embryos by injecting cheetah (Ch) and leopard (Leo) spermatozoa. Firstly, DC oocytes were matured with insulin-transferrin-selenium (ITS) or without it (MM) and cultured using atmospheric (21%) or low (5%) oxygen tension after ICSI. The group ITS-5%O2 showed the highest blastocyst rate (p < 0.05), 20.9% vs 8.7%, 7% and 6.5%, for MM-21%O2 , MM-5%O2 and ITS-21%O2 , respectively. The best conditions were used to generate the interspecific embryos, together with ionomycin activation (Io) after ICSI. Interspecific embryos resulted in high rates of blastocysts that were not positively affected by Io activation: 32.6% vs 21% for Ch and Ch-Io, 9.8% vs 21% for Leo and Leo-Io, and 20% vs 17.4% for DC and DC-Io. We also evaluated DNA-fragmented nuclei of experiment 1 and 2 blastocysts, using TUNEL assay. The fragmented nucleus proportion was higher in the ITS-5%O2 group, 67.6%. Surprisingly, interspecific blastocysts showed the lowest fragmented nucleus proportion: 27% and 29.9% for Ch and Leo, respectively. We concluded that ITS and 5%O2 improve blastocyst formation in DC, although with a concomitant increase in DNA fragmentation. Most importantly, cheetah and leopard spermatozoa were able to generate blastocysts without artificial activation, which suggests that developmental capacity of wild felid spermatozoa can be evaluated by interspecific ICSI. This technique should be used to assist wild felid reproduction. PMID:24966115

  8. Monitor lizard bite-induced acute kidney injury--a case report.

    PubMed

    Vikrant, Sanjay; Verma, Balbir Singh

    2014-04-01

    Envenomations by venomous lizards are rare. Monitor lizard bite-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) is a previously unreported complication in humans. A 55-year-old female was bitten on her right leg during farming activity by a monitor lizard (Varanus bengalensis). The patient experienced severe local pain and bleeding from the wound, coagulopathy, hemolysis, rhabdomyolysis, sepsis, and AKI. Patient was treated with supportive care and peritoneal dialysis but succumbed to a sudden cardiac arrest. Post mortem kidney biopsy revealed pigment induced-acute tubular injury. AKI after monitor lizard envenomation is caused by acute tubular injury in the setting of intravascular hemolysis, rhabdomyolysis and sepsis. Coagulopathy and direct nephrotoxicity may be the other contributory factors in causing AKI. PMID:24341640

  9. Rates of pulmonary infection by pentastomids in lizards species from a restinga habitat in northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Almeida, W O; Santana, G G; Vieira, W L S; Wanderley, I C; Ribeiro, S C

    2009-02-01

    Pulmonary parasitism by pentastomids was examined in two lizard species inhabiting an area of restinga vegetation (coastal sand dunes) situated in the municipality of Mataraca (6 degrees 29' S and 34 degrees 56' W), on the extreme northern coast of Paraíba State, Brazil. A total of 123 lizards were collected, being 75 specimens of Micrablepharus maximiliani (Gymnophtalmidae) and 48 specimens of Cnemidophorus ocellifer (Teiidae). Only a single species of Pentastomida (Raillietiella mottae) was found parasitizing three females M. maximiliani, with a prevalence of 4% and an average infection intensity of 2.3 +/- 1.3 (range 1-5). The infection rate by pentastomids encountered in the present study was similar to that seen with other species of restinga lizards. Raillietiella mottae is a generalist parasite species that is probably transmitted by common and widely distributed insects making up part of the diet of many insectivorous lizard species from northeastern Brazil. PMID:19347165

  10. Six genetically distinct clades of Palola (Eunicidae, Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Anja

    2015-01-01

    A total of 36 lots of Palola spp. (Eunicidae, Annelida) were collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop on Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. Of these, 21 specimens were sequenced for a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene. These sequences were analysed in conjunction with existing sequences of Palola spp. from other geographic regions. The samples from Lizard Island form six distinct clades, although none of them can clearly be assigned to any of the nominal species. Four of the six Lizard Island clades fall into species group A and the remaining two into species group B (which also includes the type species, Palola viridis). All sequenced specimens were characterized morphologically as far as possible and a dichotomous key was assembled. Based on this key, the remaining samples were identified as belonging to one of the clades. PMID:26624083

  11. Post-Wildfire Sedimentation in Saguaro National Park, Rincon Mountain District, and Effects on Lowland Leopard Frog Habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parker, John T.C.

    2006-01-01

    The Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park occupies about 272 square kilometers of mountains, canyons, and alluvial fans in southeastern Arizona just east of Tucson. The park contains some of the last remaining habitat in the Tucson Basin of the lowland leopard frog that lives in the bedrock pools called tinajas in canyons at elevations between 850 and 1,800 meters. Those tinajas that contain water year-round are critical winter habitat for tadpoles, and the breeding success of the leopard frogs depends on these features. In recent years, many tinajas that previously had provided habitat for the leopard frogs have been buried beneath large volumes of coarse sandy gravel that resulted from severe, stand-replacing wildfires in the watersheds above them. The U. S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Park Service, conducted a study in 2004-06 to determine critical sediment-source areas, and the mechanisms of sediment delivery from hillslopes to stream channels to areas of leopard frog habitat and to estimate the increase in rates of sedimentation resulting from wildfires. Spatial data of watershed characteristics, as well as historical data, including photographs, monitoring surveys, precipitation and stream discharge records, were used in conjunction with field observations conducted between spring 2004 and fall 2005. The Helens II fire in 2003, the fifth largest wildfire to burn in the Rincon Mountains since 1989, offered an opportunity to observe mechanisms of sediment erosion, transport, and deposition in the immediate post-fire environment. Reduction of the forest canopy, understory vegetation, and organic litter on the ground surface in severe burn areas caused increased surface runoff in the Joaquin Canyon watershed that led to intensified erosion of hillslopes. An initial flush of fine material, mostly ash, was transported to lower channel reaches with the first significant precipitation event following the fire. Subsequently, the main

  12. Telling tails: selective pressures acting on investment in lizard tails.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Patricia A; Valentine, Leonie E; Bateman, Philip W

    2013-01-01

    Caudal autotomy is a common defense mechanism in lizards, where the animal may lose part or all of its tail to escape entrapment. Lizards show an immense variety in the degree of investment in a tail (i.e., length) across species, with tails of some species up to three or four times body length (snout-vent length [SVL]). Additionally, body size and form also vary dramatically, including variation in leg development and robustness and length of the body and tail. Autotomy is therefore likely to have fundamentally different effects on the overall body form and function in different species, which may be reflected directly in the incidence of lost/regenerating tails within populations or, over a longer period, in terms of relative tail length for different species. We recorded data (literature, museum specimens, field data) for relative tail length (n=350 species) and the incidence of lost/regenerating tails (n=246 species). We compared these (taking phylogeny into account) with intrinsic factors that have been proposed to influence selective pressures acting on caudal autotomy, including body form (robustness, body length, leg development, and tail specialization) and ecology (foraging behavior, physical and temporal niches), in an attempt to identify patterns that might reflect adaptive responses to these different factors. More gracile species have relatively longer tails (all 350 spp., P < 0.001; also significant for five of the six families tested separately), as do longer (all species, P < 0.001; Iguanidae, P < 0.05; Lacertidae, P < 0.001; Scindidae, P < 0.001), climbing (all species, P < 0.05), and diurnal (all species, P < 0.01; Pygopodidae, P < 0.01) species; geckos without specialized tails (P < 0.05); or active-foraging skinks (P < 0.05). We also found some relationships with the data for caudal autotomy, with more lost/regenerating tails for nocturnal lizards (all 246 spp., P < 0.01; Scindidae, P < 0.05), larger skinks (P < 0.05), climbing geckos (P < 0

  13. Influence of stress on gonadotrophin induced testicular recrudescence in the lizard Mabuya Carinata.

    PubMed

    Yajurvedi, H N; Menon, Sneha

    2005-07-01

    Administration (ip) of FSH (10 IU/0.1 ml distilled water (dw)/lizard/alternate days/30 days) to adult male lizards, Mabuya carinata, during the early recrudescence phase of the reproductive cycle caused activation of spermatogenic and steroidogenic activity of the testis, as shown by a significant increase in mean number of spermatogonia, primary spermatocytes and spermatids, and serum levels of testosterone, as compared to initial controls. In addition, there were abundant spermatozoa in the lumen of the seminiferous tubules. Interestingly, administration of a similar dosage of FSH to lizards exposed to stressors (handling, chasing, and noise randomly applied, five times a day for 30 days) resulted in a significant increase in mean number of spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes over initial control values, whereas the number of secondary spermatocytes and spermatids and serum levels of testosterone did not significantly differ from those of initial controls, and were significantly lower than FSH treated normal lizards. Further, spermatozoa were infrequently found in the seminiferous tubules of these lizards. Treatment controls (receiving 0.1 ml dw/lizard/alternate days for 30 days) did not show significant variation in mean number of spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids, and serum levels of testosterone from initial controls. Another group of lizards was exposed to stressors and did not receive FSH. These lizards showed a significant decrease in mean number of secondary spermatocytes compared to treatment controls and all other parameters did not significantly differ from those of both control groups. The results reveal that gonadotrophin-induced spermatogonial proliferation occurs under stressful conditions, whereas progress of spermatogenesis beyond primary spermatocyte stage is impaired due to inhibition (under stress) of gonadotrophin induced steroidogenic activity in M. carinata. PMID:15945072

  14. The peak of thermoregulation effectiveness: Thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-02-01

    We studied, at 2200m altitude, the thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali, in the glacial cirque of Cotatuero (National Park of Ordesa, Huesca, Spain). The preferred thermal range (PTR) of I. bonnali indicates that it is a cold-adapted ectotherm with a narrow PTR (29.20-32.77°C). However, its PTR (3.57°C) is twice as wide as other Iberolacerta lizards, which may be explained by its broader historical distribution. The studied area is formed by a mosaic of microhabitats which offer different operative temperatures, so that lizards have, throughout their entire daily period of activity, the opportunity to choose the most thermally suitable substrates. I. bonnali achieves an effectiveness of thermoregulation of 0.95, which makes it the highest value found to date among the Lacertidae, and one of the highest among lizards. Their relatively wide distribution, their wider PTR, and their excellent ability of thermoregulation, would make I. bonnali lizards less vulnerable to climate change than other species of Iberolacerta. Thanks to its difficult access, the studied area is not visited by a large number of tourists, as are other areas of the National Park. Thus, it is a key area for the conservation of the Pyrenean rock lizard. By shuttling between suitable microhabitats, lizards achieve suitable body temperatures during all day. However, such thermally suitable microhabitats should vary in other traits than thermal quality, such as prey availability or predation risk. Hence, it seems that these not-thermal traits are not constraining habitat selection and thermoregulation in this population. Therefore, future research in this population may study the causes that would lead lizards to prioritize thermoregulation to such extent in this population. PMID:26857980

  15. Dicofol and DDT residues in lizard carcasses and bird eggs from Texas, Florida, and California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.R.; Flickinger, Edward L.; White, D.H.; Hothem, R.L.; Belisle, A.A.

    1995-01-01

    Relatively high dicofol residues occured in some lizards in Texas citrus orchards in early summer when female lizards were producing eggs. The data from bird eggs were too few for conclusions, but to detect peak residue loads, future dicofol studies should concentrate on predaceous bird species likely to feed within the treated agricultural habitats, and collecting of eggs for analysis should begin within days after spray application.

  16. 75 FR 77801 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-14

    ...We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose to list the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus), a lizard known from southeastern New Mexico and adjacent west Texas, as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. If we finalize the rule as proposed, it would extend the Act's protections to this species. We have determined that critical habitat for the dunes......

  17. Temporal occurrence and community structure of helminth parasites in southern leopard frogs, Rana sphenocephala, from north central Oklahoma.

    PubMed

    Vhora, M Suhail; Bolek, Matthew G

    2015-03-01

    Currently, little information is available about the temporal recruitment of helminth communities in amphibian hosts. We examined the helminth community structure and temporal recruitment of helminth parasites in southern leopard frogs, Rana sphenocephala. Specifically, we were interested in how host life history such as habitat, age and/or size, diet, sex, and temporal variation in abiotic factors (precipitation and temperature) were important in determining monthly infection patterns of helminth populations and communities in southern leopard frogs. From May to September 2011, 74 southern leopard frogs were collected from Teal Ridge in Stillwater Payne County, OK, USA. Sixty-nine (93 %) of 74 frogs were infected with 1 or more helminth species. During our collecting period, the average monthly temperature was lowest in May and highest in July, and monthly precipitation was highest in May and lowest during the first week of September. The component community consisted of 11 species of helminth, including 1 larval and 1 adult cestode, 2 larval and 3 adult trematodes, and 1 juvenile and 3 adult nematodes. Of the 1790 helminths recovered, 51 % (911) were nematodes, 47 % (842) were cestodes, and 2 % (37) were trematodes. There were significant differences in the total abundance and mean species richness of helminths acquired by skin contact or through frog diet in monthly component communities of southern leopard frogs. A positive correlation existed for percentage of all helminths acquired by skin contact and monthly precipitation (r = 0.94, P < 0.01). Conversely, a negative correlation existed for monthly precipitation and percentage of helminths acquired by diet (r = -0.94, P < 0.01). Our results indicate that abiotic conditions such as precipitation have a major influence on the avenues for and constraints on the transmission of helminths with life cycles associated with water/moisture or terrestrial intermediate/paratenic hosts and are important in structuring

  18. Watch out where you sleep: nocturnal sleeping behaviour of Bay Island lizards.

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Nitya Prakash; Harikrishnan, Surendran; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan

    2016-01-01

    Sleeping exposes lizards to predation. Therefore, sleeping strategies must be directed towards avoiding predation and might vary among syntopic species. We studied sleeping site characteristics of two syntopic, congeneric lizards-the Bay Island forest lizard, Coryphophylax subcristatus and the short-tailed Bay Island lizard, C. brevicaudus and evaluated inter-specific differences. We measured structural, microclimatic and potential predator avoidance at the sleeping perches of 386 C. subcristatus and 185 C. brevicaudus. Contrary to our expectation, we found similar perch use in both species. The lizards appeared to use narrow girth perch plants and accessed perches by moving both vertically and horizontally. Most lizards slept on leaves, with their heads directed towards the potential path of a predator approaching from the plant base. There was no inter-specific competition in the choices of sleeping perches. These choices indicate an anti-predator strategy involving both tactile and visual cues. This study provides insight into a rarely studied behaviour in reptiles and its adaptive significance. PMID:27168958

  19. Male-biased predation of western green lizards by Eurasian kestrels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costantini, David; Bruner, Emiliano; Fanfani, Alberto; Dell'Omo, Giacomo

    2007-12-01

    Selective predation can be an important force driving the evolution of organisms. In particular, sex-biased predation is expected to have implications for sexual selection, sex allocation and population dynamics. In this study, we analysed sex differences in the predation of the western green lizard ( Lacerta bilineata) by the Eurasian kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus) during the reproductive season. In addition, we investigated whether the rate of predation differed during the 8-year study period and among the three habitats studied. We collected lizard remains from nest boxes of kestrels. Freshly killed lizards were sexed by visual inspection, whilst the sex of head remains was assigned by analysing the cephalic scale morphology using geometric morphometrics. Our results show that the risk of being predated by a kestrel in our population was overall about 3.55 times higher for males than for females. To our knowledge this is the first study showing a male-biased predation in a lizard species. The selective predation of males was consistent between years over the 8-year study period (1999-2006) and also consistent between the three types of kestrel hunting habitat. Overall predation rates on lizards differed between habitats, depending on the year. We propose that the observed sex-biased predation is mainly due to sex differences in lizard behaviour.

  20. The impact of the introduction of the colubrid snake, Boiga irregularis, on Guam's lizards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodda, G.H.; Fritts, T.H.

    1992-01-01

    The extirpation of Guam's forest avifauna has been attributed to the accidental introduction and subsequent irruption of the brown tree snake, Boiga irregularis. However, recent dietary studies of this nocturnal arboreal snake indicate that it now preys primarily on lizards, not birds. We evaluated the effect the snake has had on Guam's lizards by contrasting lizard communities on Guam with those on adjacent snake-free islands and by comparing the extant lizard communities on Guam with those that were present before the snake arrived. Both comparisons revealed radical reductions in abundance of Guam's native nocturnal lizards and the extirpation of several species. The effect of the snake on diurnal lizards (skinks) is more equivocal. Skinks are still common on Guam, but several species no longer exist on the island. Identification of causes of these extirpations is complicated by the snake's elimination of an important avian skink predator, the concurrent irruption of a shrew, and the effects of predation and competition between the native skinks and an introduced skink.

  1. Coloration affects heating and cooling in three color morphs of the Australian bluetongue lizard, Tiliqua scincoides.

    PubMed

    Geen, Michael R S; Johnston, Gregory R

    2014-07-01

    The color-mediated thermoregulation hypothesis predicts that dark body color (low reflectance) allows organisms to gain heat more efficiently than does pale coloration (high reflectance). This prediction is intuitive and widely assumed to be true, but has poor empirical support. We used rare, captive-bred, mutant melanistic, albino and wild-type Australian bluetongue lizards, Tiliqua scincoides to measure the effects of skin reflectance on the heating and cooling rates. We measured heating under an artificial radiant heat source and cooling rates in an ice-cooled box using live lizards in a room with still air. The effect of skin reflectance on heat transfer was clear, despite the substantial influence of body size. Melanistic T. scincoides showed low reflectance and gained heat faster than highly reflective albinos. Melanistic lizards also lost heat faster than albinos. Wild-type lizards were intermediate in reflectance, gained heat at rates indistinguishable from melanistic lizards, and lost heat at rates indistinguishable from albino lizards. This study system allowed us to control for variables that were confounded in other studies and may explain the inconsistent support for the color-mediated thermoregulation hypothesis. Our results provide clear evidence that skin reflectance influences the rate of heating and cooling in ectotherms. PMID:24956958

  2. Histology of selected tissues of the leopard seal and implications for functional adaptations to an aquatic lifestyle

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Rachael; Canfield, Paul; Rogers, Tracey

    2006-01-01

    The microscopic anatomy of the cardio-respiratory system, digestive system, kidney, lymphatic system and integument was investigated in the leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx, by examining histological sections of tissues collected from leopard seals in Antarctica and New South Wales, Australia. The majority of the tissues had similar histological features to those described in terrestrial mammals and other pinniped species, particularly phocid seals. Differences noted included readily identifiable Purkinje cells within the endocardium, muscular rather than cartilaginous reinforcement of the smaller airways, a single capillary layer within the alveolar septa, limited and variable keratinization of the oesophageal epithelium, few lymphoid follicles within the lamina propria of the gastrointestinal tract, and an absence of a sporta perimedullaris musculosa described in the kidney of cetaceans and some pinniped species. Adaptations of the lung, spleen and integument, similar to those described in other pinnipeds, including reinforcement of the pulmonary terminal airways, prominent pulmonary interlobular septa, ample smooth muscle in the capsule and trabeculae of the spleen, increased thickness of the epidermis, well-developed dermal sebaceous glands, and a thick blubber layer, appear to confer upon the leopard seal advantages related to its aquatic lifestyle. PMID:16879598

  3. Twenty-five thousand years of fluctuating selection on leopard complex spotting and congenital night blindness in horses

    PubMed Central

    Ludwig, Arne; Reissmann, Monika; Benecke, Norbert; Bellone, Rebecca; Sandoval-Castellanos, Edson; Cieslak, Michael; Fortes, Gloria G.; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; Hofreiter, Michael; Pruvost, Melanie

    2015-01-01

    Leopard complex spotting is inherited by the incompletely dominant locus, LP, which also causes congenital stationary night blindness in homozygous horses. We investigated an associated single nucleotide polymorphism in the TRPM1 gene in 96 archaeological bones from 31 localities from Late Pleistocene (approx. 17 000 YBP) to medieval times. The first genetic evidence of LP spotting in Europe dates back to the Pleistocene. We tested for temporal changes in the LP associated allele frequency and estimated coefficients of selection by means of approximate Bayesian computation analyses. Our results show that at least some of the observed frequency changes are congruent with shifts in artificial selection pressure for the leopard complex spotting phenotype. In early domestic horses from Kirklareli–Kanligecit (Turkey) dating to 2700–2200 BC, a remarkably high number of leopard spotted horses (six of 10 individuals) was detected including one adult homozygote. However, LP seems to have largely disappeared during the late Bronze Age, suggesting selection against this phenotype in early domestic horses. During the Iron Age, LP reappeared, probably by reintroduction into the domestic gene pool from wild animals. This picture of alternating selective regimes might explain how genetic diversity was maintained in domestic animals despite selection for specific traits at different times. PMID:25487337

  4. Reconstructing the historical distribution of the Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) in Northeast China based on historical records.

    PubMed

    Yang, Li; Huang, Mujiao; Zhang, Rui; Lv, Jiang; Ren, Yueheng; Jiang, Zhe; Zhang, Wei; Luan, Xiaofeng

    2016-01-01

    The range of the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) has decreased dramatically over the last 100 years. This species is still under extreme risk of extinction and conservation efforts are rigorous. Understanding the long-term dynamics of the population decline would be helpful to offer insight into the mechanism behind the decline and endangerment and improve conservation perspectives and strategies. Historical data collection has been the challenge for reconstructing the historical distribution. In China, new gazetteers having systematic compilation and considerable local ecological data can be considered as an important complementary for reconstruction. Therefore, we have set up a data set (mainly based on the new gazetteers) in order to identify the historical range of the Amur Leopard from the 1950s to 2014. The result shows that the Amur leopard was historically widely distributed with large populations in Northeastern China, but it presented a sharp decline after the 1970s. The decline appeared from the plains to the mountains and northeast to southwest since the 1950s. Long-term historical data, mainly from new gazetteers, demonstrates that such resources are capable of tracking species change through time and offers an opportunity to reduce data shortage and enhance understanding in conservation. PMID:27408548

  5. Reconstructing the historical distribution of the Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) in Northeast China based on historical records

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Li; Huang, Mujiao; Zhang, Rui; Lv, Jiang; Ren, Yueheng; Jiang, Zhe; Zhang, Wei; Luan, Xiaofeng

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The range of the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) has decreased dramatically over the last 100 years. This species is still under extreme risk of extinction and conservation efforts are rigorous. Understanding the long-term dynamics of the population decline would be helpful to offer insight into the mechanism behind the decline and endangerment and improve conservation perspectives and strategies. Historical data collection has been the challenge for reconstructing the historical distribution. In China, new gazetteers having systematic compilation and considerable local ecological data can be considered as an important complementary for reconstruction. Therefore, we have set up a data set (mainly based on the new gazetteers) in order to identify the historical range of the Amur Leopard from the 1950s to 2014. The result shows that the Amur leopard was historically widely distributed with large populations in Northeastern China, but it presented a sharp decline after the 1970s. The decline appeared from the plains to the mountains and northeast to southwest since the 1950s. Long-term historical data, mainly from new gazetteers, demonstrates that such resources are capable of tracking species change through time and offers an opportunity to reduce data shortage and enhance understanding in conservation. PMID:27408548

  6. Uncommon or cryptic? Challenges in estimating leopard seal abundance by conventional but state-of-the-art methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Southwell, Colin; Paxton, Charles G. M.; Borchers, David; Boveng, Peter; Rogers, Tracey; de la Mare, William K.

    2008-04-01

    The method traditionally used to estimate pack-ice seal abundance employs sighting surveys from ships or aircraft to estimate the number of seals hauled out on the ice, combined with studies of haul-out behaviour to estimate the proportion of time spent on the ice. Application of this approach has been improved in recent times by developments in survey methodology and satellite technology that theoretically allow biases in the estimation of hauled-out abundance and haul-out behaviour to be accounted for that previously could not be addressed. A survey using these conventional but state-of-the-art methods was undertaken in the summer of 1999/2000 off east Antarctica between longitudes 64°E and 150°E to estimate the abundance of leopard ( Hydrurga leptonyx) and other pack-ice seal species. Because they are either uncommon or very cryptic, very few leopard seals were encountered despite a large survey effort. This presented challenges in both application of the methods and analysis of the data. Abundance estimates were derived using a number of plausible predictive models. The model considered as the most reliable returned best estimates of 7300 and 12,100 for definite and definite plus probable leopard seal sightings, respectively, with 95% confidence intervals of 3700-14,500 and 7100-23,400. These estimates are likely to be negatively biased and should be treated as minimum estimates only.

  7. Twenty-five thousand years of fluctuating selection on leopard complex spotting and congenital night blindness in horses.

    PubMed

    Ludwig, Arne; Reissmann, Monika; Benecke, Norbert; Bellone, Rebecca; Sandoval-Castellanos, Edson; Cieslak, Michael; Fortes, Gloria G; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; Hofreiter, Michael; Pruvost, Melanie

    2015-01-19

    Leopard complex spotting is inherited by the incompletely dominant locus, LP, which also causes congenital stationary night blindness in homozygous horses. We investigated an associated single nucleotide polymorphism in the TRPM1 gene in 96 archaeological bones from 31 localities from Late Pleistocene (approx. 17 000 YBP) to medieval times. The first genetic evidence of LP spotting in Europe dates back to the Pleistocene. We tested for temporal changes in the LP associated allele frequency and estimated coefficients of selection by means of approximate Bayesian computation analyses. Our results show that at least some of the observed frequency changes are congruent with shifts in artificial selection pressure for the leopard complex spotting phenotype. In early domestic horses from Kirklareli-Kanligecit (Turkey) dating to 2700-2200 BC, a remarkably high number of leopard spotted horses (six of 10 individuals) was detected including one adult homozygote. However, LP seems to have largely disappeared during the late Bronze Age, suggesting selection against this phenotype in early domestic horses. During the Iron Age, LP reappeared, probably by reintroduction into the domestic gene pool from wild animals. This picture of alternating selective regimes might explain how genetic diversity was maintained in domestic animals despite selection for specific traits at different times. PMID:25487337

  8. Syllidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Aguado, M Teresa; Murray, Anna; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    Thirty species of the family Syllidae (Annelida, Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island have been identified. Three subfamilies (Eusyllinae, Exogoninae and Syllinae) are represented, as well as the currently unassigned genera Amblyosyllis and Westheidesyllis. The genus Trypanobia (Imajima & Hartman 1964), formerly considered a subgenus of Trypanosyllis, is elevated to genus rank. Seventeen species are new reports for Queensland and two are new species. Odontosyllis robustus n. sp. is characterized by a robust body and distinct colour pattern in live specimens consisting of lateral reddish-brown pigmentation on several segments, and bidentate, short and distally broad falcigers. Trypanobia cryptica n. sp. is found in association with sponges and characterized by a distinctive bright red colouration in live specimens, and one kind of simple chaeta with a short basal spur. PMID:26624065

  9. Standardization of some electrocardiographic parameters of captive leopard cats (Leopardus tigrinus).

    PubMed

    Oda, Sam Goldy Shoyama; Yamato, Ronaldo Jun; Fedullo, José Daniel Luzes; Leomil Neto, Moacir; Larsson, Maria Helena Matiko Akao

    2009-09-01

    Thirty-three captive leopard cats, Leopardus tigrinus, were anesthetized with xylazine (1-2 mg/kg) and ketamine (10 mg/kg), and electrocardiograph (ECG) tests were recorded in all leads with 1 cm = 1 mV sensibility and 25 mm/sec speed repeating DII lead at 50 mm/sec speed with the same sensibility. Results expressed by mean and standard deviation were: heart rate (HR) = 107 +/- 17 (bpm); P-wave = 0.048 +/- 0.072 (s) x 0.128 +/- 0.048 (mV); PR interval = 0.101 +/- 0.081 (s); QRS compound = 0.053 +/- 0.012 (s) x 1.446 +/- 0.602 (mV); QT interval = 0.231 +/- 0.028 (s); R-wave (CV6LL) = 1.574 +/- 0.527 (mV); R-wave (CV6LU) = 1.583 +/- 0.818 (mV); heart rhythm: normal sinus rhythm (15.2%), sinus rhythm with wandering pacemaker (WPM) (60.6%), sinus arrhythmia with WPM (24.2%); electric axis: between +30 degrees and +60 degrees (6.1%), +60 (6.1%), between +60 degrees and +90 degrees (57.6%), +90 degrees (9%), between +90 degrees and +120 degrees (21.2%); ST segment: normal (75.7%), elevation (18.2%), depression (6.1%); T-wave polarity (DII): positive (100%); T-wave (V10): absent (6.1%), negative (63.6%), positive (18.2%), and with interference (12.1%). Through ECG data comparison with other species, unique features of Leopardus tigrinus' (leopard cat) ECG parameters were detected. Some of the study animals presented with an R-wave amplitude that was indicative of left ventricle overload according to patterns for normal domestic cats (Felis cati). Echocardiographic exams revealed normal heart cavities' function and morphology. The aim of this study was to establish some electrocardiographic parameters of captive L. tigrinus. PMID:19746854

  10. Comparison of tiletamine and zolazepam pharmacokinetics in tigers (Panthera tigris) and leopards (Panthera pardus): do species differences account for adverse effects in tigers?

    PubMed

    Lewis, J C M; Teale, P; Webber, G; Sear, J W; Taylor, P M

    2014-09-01

    Serious post-operative neurological complications of unknown aetiology are reported in tigers after immobilisation using tiletamine and zolazepam. These complications may arise from the persistent effects of tiletamine or active metabolites of tiletamine or zolazepam. Concentrations of tiletamine, zolazepam and some metabolites were measured using high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in plasma from captive tigers (n = 8) and leopards (n = 9; an unaffected species, for comparison) during anaesthesia for routine clinical procedures. The zolazepam:tiletamine (Z:T) ratio was calculated. Peak concentrations occurred at 9-33 min and ranged from 83.5 to 379.2 ng/mL for tiletamine and 301.1 to 1239.3 ng/mL for zolazepam after correction for dose by weight. There were no significant differences between tigers and leopards. The Z:T ratio was generally <5 and did not differ between species. In both tigers and leopards, zolazepam metabolism appeared to be primarily via demethylation. There was evidence for hydroxylation in leopards, but much less in tigers than leopards. No major differences between the species in parent pharmacokinetics were identified. The metabolism of tiletamine could not be defined with any degree of certainty for either species. PMID:25011709

  11. Direct and indirect effects of petroleum production activities on the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) as a surrogate for the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus).

    PubMed

    Weir, Scott M; Knox, Ami; Talent, Larry G; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2016-05-01

    The dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) is a habitat specialist of conservation concern limited to shin oak sand dune systems of New Mexico and Texas (USA). Because much of the dunes sagebrush lizard's habitat occurs in areas of high oil and gas production, there may be direct and indirect effects of these activities. The congeneric Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) was used as a surrogate species to determine direct effects of 2 contaminants associated with oil and gas drilling activities in the Permian Basin (NM and TX, USA): herbicide formulations (Krovar and Quest) and hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). Lizards were exposed to 2 concentrations of H2 S (30 ppm or 90 ppm) and herbicide formulations (1× or 2× label application rate) representing high-end exposure scenarios. Sublethal behavioral endpoints were evaluated, including sprint speed and time to prey detection and capture. Neither H2S nor herbicide formulations caused significant behavioral effects compared to controls. To understand potential indirect effects of oil and gas drilling on the prey base, terrestrial invertebrate biomass and order diversity were quantified at impacted sites to compare with nonimpacted sites. A significant decrease in biomass was found at impacted sites, but no significant effects on diversity. The results suggest little risk from direct toxic effects, but the potential for indirect effects should be further explored. PMID:26456391

  12. Characterization and steroidal regulation of gonadotropin beta subunits in the male leopard frog, Rana pipiens.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lihong; Kessler, Ann E; Tsai, Pei-San

    2007-01-01

    In ranid frogs, the secretion of gonadotropins (GtHs), luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), is potently regulated by gonadal steroids. To better understand the gonadal regulation of GtHs at the molecular level, we elucidated the full-length cDNA sequences of LH and FSH beta subunits from the leopard frog, Rana pipiens. The cDNAs for LHbeta and FSHbeta were 1084 and 667 bp in size excluding the poly (A) tail, and encoded proteins of 138 and 127 amino acids, respectively. Using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), the messages for LHbeta and FSHbeta were found in the pituitary, but not in the brain, heart, kidney, or the liver. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR revealed a significant elevation of FSHbeta, but not LHbeta, in mature male R. pipiens 21 days after gonadectomy (GDX). 17beta-estradiol implant for 21 days in GDX male frogs significantly suppressed the levels of both LHbeta and FSHbeta transcripts, whereas 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone implant suppressed only the latter. Together, these results laid the groundwork for investigating gonadal regulation of GtHbeta subunits in a ranid frog. Importantly, these data also revealed differential feedback effects of an androgen and an estrogen upon GtHbeta expression. PMID:16920113

  13. Directionality of phase locking in auditory nerve fibers of the leopard frog Rana pipiens pipiens.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, B; White, T D; Narins, P M

    1992-06-01

    A dorsal approach to the eighth nerve and free-field stimulation were used to investigate the effect of sound direction and intensity on phase locking in auditory nerve fibers of the leopard frog Rana pipiens pipiens. Tuning curves of 75 auditory neurons were analyzed (Fig. 2). Amphibian papillar neurons, but not basilar papillar neurons, exhibit significant phase locking to short tone bursts at the characteristic frequency (CF), the degree of phase locking (vector strength) decreasing with the neuron's CF (Figs. 3, 4 and 10E). Vector strength increases with sound pressure level to saturate about 20 dB above threshold, while the preferred firing phase is only slightly affected (Figs. 5 and 6). In contrast, sound direction hardly affects vector strength (Figs. 7, 8, 9A and 10A and C), but has a strong influence on the preferred firing phase (Figs. 7, 8, 9B and C, 10B and D): With respect to anterior tone presentation there are phase lags for ipsilateral and phase leads for posterior and contralateral presentation. Phase differences between both ears show a sinusoidal or cardioid/ovoidal directional characteristic; maximum differences are found with antero-lateral tone presentation (Fig. 11). The directionality of phase locking decreases with the neuron's CF (Fig. 10F) and only slightly changes with sound pressure level (Fig. 12). Thus, phase locking of amphibian papilla neurons can potentially provide intensity-independent information for sound localization. PMID:1507157

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

    Male leopard geckos that hatch from eggs incubated at a female-biased temperature (Tf) behave differently when compared with males hatching at a temperature which produces a male-biased sex ratio (Tm). We investigated the effect of incubation temperature and androgen implantation on aspects of the dopaminergic system of Tf and Tm males. Our data suggest that more dopamine (DA) is stored in the nucleus accumbens of naive Tf males compared with naïve Tm males when they encounter a receptive female conspecific across a barrier. No difference was measured in the preoptic area and the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This difference in intracellular DA levels in a motivation-related brain nucleus might be correlated with differences in sociosexual behavior observed between the two morphs. There were no differences in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expressing cell numbers in the VTA of cholesterol (CH)-implanted naive castrated Tf and Tm males. Only Tf males implanted with testosterone had significantly higher TH immunopositive cell numbers in the VTA compared with CH- and dihydrotestosterone-implanted Tf males. These data indicate that both the embryonic environment as well as the circulating hormonal milieu can modulate neurochemistry, which might in turn be a basis for individual variation in behavior. PMID:17443813

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

    PubMed

    Edwards, Nora; Kriegsfeld, Lance; Crews, David

    2004-12-10

    The preoptic area-anterior hypothalamus (POAH) continuum is critical for the integration of environmental, physiological, and behavioral cues associated with reproduction in vertebrates. In the present study, radiofrequency lesions in the POAH abolished sexual behavior in the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). Furthermore, results suggest a differential effect of POAH lesions on those behaviors regarded as appetitive (tail vibration and grip) and those regarded as consummatory (mounting and copulation), with consummatory behaviors being affected to a greater extent. E. macularius is an ectothermic vertebrate that modulates body temperature behaviorally relative to ambient temperature. In vertebrates, the POAH is also an important integrator of thermoregulation. Thus, the present study investigated whether lesions that disrupt reproductive behavior also disrupt body temperature regulation. While virtually all males displayed diurnal rhythms in thermoregulatory behavior prior to surgery, this pattern was abolished in a small proportion of animals bearing POAH lesions. Lesions that abolished thermoregulatory rhythms involved the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), whereas lesions confined to the POAH, while dramatically influencing sexual behavior, did not affect thermoregulatory rhythms or temperature set point. Together, these findings identify the POAH as an important neural locus regulating sexual behavior but not thermoregulation and suggest that the SCN acts as a pacemaker controlling daily behavioral temperature regulation in this species. PMID:15533318

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

    PubMed

    Flores, D; Tousignant, A; Crews, D

    1994-06-01

    The leopard gecko has temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD); females are predominantly produced when incubated at 26 degrees C (100%), 30 degrees C (70%), and 34 degrees C (95%), whereas males are predominantly produced at 32.5 degrees C (75%). Exogenous estradiol can override the effect of temperature on sex determination. To compare temperature-determined females with hormone-determined females, eggs from the male-biased temperature were treated with estradiol benzoate during incubation. As adults, animals from a male-biased incubation temperature were more likely to exhibit aggression than animals from female-biased incubation temperatures. Furthermore, females from a male-biased incubation temperature tended to be less attractive than females from female-biased temperatures. Hormone-determined females were both attractive and aggressive. This suggests that incubation temperature is an important development determinant of adult aggressiveness and attractiveness. The 26 degrees C animals ovariectomized on the day of hatch exhibited more frequent aggression and were unreceptive to males, indicating that postnatal ovarian hormones also play a role in adult sociosexual behaviors. The parallel between incubation temperature and intrauterine position in laboratory mammals is discussed. PMID:8047573

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

    PubMed

    Lazzari, Maurizio; Franceschini, Valeria

    2005-11-01

    The distribution of intermediate filament molecular markers, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin, has been studied in the central nervous system (CNS) of the adult leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. This immunohistochemical study points out the presence of different astroglial cell types. The main pattern is constituted by ependymal radial glia, which have their cell bodies located in the ependymal layer throughout the brain ventricular system. Radial glia proper or radial astrocytes show their cell bodies displaced from the ependymal layer into a periependymal zone and are observed only in the spinal cord. Star-shaped astrocytes are scarce. They are detected in the ventral and lateral regions of the diencephalon and mesencephalon, in the superficial layer of the optic tectum, in the ventral medulla oblongata, and in the ventral and lateral spinal cord. In the different regions of the CNS, the staining intensity appears not to be identical even in the same cellular type. The results reported in the present study show an heterogeneous feature of the astroglial pattern in E. macularius. PMID:16222544

  18. Spectroscopic Analysis of High Intensity Laser Beam Jets Interaction Experiments on the Leopard Laser at UNR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petkov, E. E.; Weller, M. E.; Kantsyrev, V. L.; Safronova, A. S.; Moschella, J. J.; Shrestha, I.; Shlyapsteva, V. V.; Stafford, A.; Keim, S. F.; University of Nevada Reno Team

    2013-10-01

    Results of Ar gas-puff experiments performed on the high power Leopard laser at UNR are presented. Flux density of laser radiation in focal spot was up to 2 × 1016 W/cm2 (pulse duration was 0.8 ns and laser wavelength was 1.057 μm). Specifically, spectroscopic analysis of K-shell Ar spectra are investigated and compared as functions of the orientation of the laser beam to linear gas jet. The laser beam axis was positioned either along the jet plane or orthogonal to it at a distance of 1 mm from the nozzle output. The diagnostics used included a time-integrated x-ray spectrometer along with a set of filtered Si diodes with various cutoff energies. In order to identify lines, a non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) kinetic model was utilized and was also used to determine plasma parameters such as electron temperature and density. The importance of the spectroscopic study of high intensity laser beam-jets interaction experiments is discussed. This work was supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Basic Research Award # HDTRA1-13-1-0033, to University of Nevada, Reno, and in part by the DOE/NNSA Cooperative agreements DE-NA0001984 and DE-FC52-06NA27616.

  19. Investigation of energy partitioning from Leopard short-pulse laser interactions in mass limited targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, B.; Sawada, H.; Yabuuchi, T.; McLean, H.; Patel, P.; Beg, F.

    2013-10-01

    The energy distribution in the interaction of a high-intensity, short-pulse laser with a mass limited target was investigated by simultaneously collecting x-ray and particle data. The Leopard laser system at the Nevada Terawatt Facility delivered 15 J of energy in a 350 fs pulse duration. With a beam spot size limited to within 8 μm, the target interaction achieved a peak intensity of 1019 W/cm2 at 20° incidence. The size of the Cu foil targets was varied from 2-20 μm in thickness and from 50 by 50 μm to 2000 by 2000 μm in surface area. A Bragg crystal x-ray spectrometer and a spherical crystal imager were used to measure 7.5-9.5 keV x-rays and 8.05 keV monochromatic x-ray images respectively. The escaping electrons and protons in the rear were monitored with a magnet-based electron spectrometer and radiochromic film. Preliminary results show both a decrease of the K β/K α ratio and a stronger He α emission for smaller sized targets, less than 250 by 250 μm. The detailed analyses of the K α images and particle data will be presented.

  20. Modeling habitat connectivity to inform reintroductions: a case study with the Chiricahua Leopard Frog

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jarchow, Christopher J; Hossack, Blake R.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Managing species with intensive tools such as reintroduction may focus on single sites or entire landscapes. For vagile species, long-term persistence will require colonization and establishment in neighboring habitats. Therefore, both suitable colonization sites and suitable dispersal corridors between sites are required. Assessment of landscapes for both requirements can contribute to ranking and selection of reintroduction areas, thereby improving management success. Following eradication of invasive American Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) from most of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR; Arizona, United States), larval Chiricahua Leopard Frogs (Lithobates chiricahuensis) from a private pond were reintroduced into three stock ponds. Populations became established at all three reintroduction sites followed by colonization of neighboring ponds in subsequent years. Our aim was to better understand colonization patterns by the federally threatened L. chiricahuensis which could help inform other reintroduction efforts. We assessed the influence of four landscape features on colonization. Using surveys from 2007 and information about the landscape, we developed a habitat connectivity model, based on electrical circuit theory, that identified potential dispersal corridors after explicitly accounting for imperfect detection of frogs. Landscape features provided little insight into why some sites were colonized and others were not, results that are likely because of the uniformity of the BANWR landscape. While corridor modeling may be effective in more-complex landscapes, our results suggest focusing on local habitat will be more useful at BANWR. We also illustrate that existing data, even when limited in spatial or temporal resolution, can provide information useful in formulating management actions.

  1. Granulomatous myositis associated with a novel alveolate pathogen in an adult southern leopard frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

    PubMed

    Jones, Megan E B; Armién, Aníbal G; Rothermel, Betsie B; Pessier, Allan P

    2012-12-27

    Since 1999, infections with an incompletely characterized alveolate protozoan variously reported as a Dermocystidium-like organism, a Perkinsus-like agent, and Dermomycoides sp. have been associated with mortality events in tadpoles of ranid frogs from the USA. However, disease or mortality events due to this organism have not been described in post-metamorphic animals. We describe infection with a morphologically similar protozoan presenting itself as a leg mass in a free-ranging adult southern leopard frog Lithobates sphenocephalus. Using histological examination, we found a mass within skeletal muscle; this mass was composed of macrophages with intracytoplasmic, thick-walled, 4 to 6 µm in diameter, spherical basophilic protozoal organisms that exhibited green autofluorescence with epiflorescence illumination. Using transmission electron microscopy, organism cell walls were found to have electron-dense plates that, when viewed by scanning electron microscopy, were reminiscent of the thecal plates of dinoflagellates. Additional morphologic and molecular phylogenetic research is needed to resolve the taxonomic status of this organism. PMID:23269391

  2. "Leopard skin sign": the use of narrow-band imaging with magnification endoscopy in celiac disease.

    PubMed

    Tchekmedyian, Asadur J; Coronel, Emmanuel; Czul, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Celiac Disease (CD) is an immune reaction to gluten containing foods such as rye, wheat and barley. This condition affects individuals with a genetic predisposition; it targets the small bowel and may cause symptoms including diarrhea, malabsorption, weight loss, abdominal pain and bloating. The diagnosis is made by serologic testing of celiac-specific antibodies and confirmed by histology. Certain endoscopic characteristics, such as scalloping, reduction in the number of folds, mosaic-pattern mucosa or nodular mucosa, are suggestive of CD and can be visualized under white light endoscopy. Due to its low sensitivity, endoscopy alone is not recommended to diagnose CD; however, enhanced visual identification of suspected mucosal abnormalities through the use of new technologies, such as narrow band imaging with magnification (NBI-ME), could assist in targeting biopsies and thereby increasing the sensitivity of endoscopy. This is a case series of seven patients with serologic and histologic diagnoses of CD who underwent upper endoscopies with NBI-ME imaging technology as part of their CD evaluation. By employing this imaging technology, we could identify patchy atrophy sites in a mosaic pattern, with flattened villi and alteration of the central capillaries of the duodenal mucosa. We refer to this epithelial pattern as "Leopard Skin Sign". Since epithelial lesions are easily seen using NBI-ME, we found it beneficial for identifying and targeting biopsy sites. Larger prospective studies are warranted to confirm our findings. PMID:25594756

  3. Metabolic rate, heart rate, and tailbeat frequency during sustained swimming in the leopard shark Triakis semifasciata.

    PubMed

    Scharold, J; Lai, N C; Lowell, W R; Graham, J B

    1989-01-01

    Heart rate, metabolic rate, and tailbeat frequency were simultaneously recorded from seven leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) during steady swimming at controlled speeds to evaluate the usefulness of heart rate as a measure of field metabolic rate. Heart rate was monitored by acoustic telemetry using a frequency modulated ECG transmitter. Metabolic rate was measured as oxygen consumption in a swimming tunnel respirometer. For instrumented sharks, mean resting oxygen consumption rate and heart rate were 105.3 +/- 35.6 (SE) mg O2.kg-1.h-1 and 36.6 +/- 1.8 (SE) beats.min-1, respectively. While swimming at the maximum sustained speed (0.84 +/- 0.03 lengths.s-1) for 30-60 min, these rates were 229.3 +/- 13.2 mg O2.kg-1.h-1 and 46.9 +/- 0.9 beats.min-1. Although a significant linear regression was obtained between metabolic rate and heart rate, a low overall correlation coefficient may result from the existence of separate individual regressions and confounding changes in stroke volume and/or arteriovenous oxygen difference. Heart rate was approximately as closely correlated with oxygen consumption rate as swimming speed was. A significant linear relationship was obtained between tailbeat frequency and swimming speed to speeds of 0.75 lengths.s-1. PMID:2776865

  4. Unlikely Remedy: Fungicide Clears Infection from Pathogenic Fungus in Larval Southern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates sphenocephalus)

    PubMed Central

    Hanlon, Shane M.; Kerby, Jacob L.; Parris, Matthew J.

    2012-01-01

    Amphibians are often exposed to a wide variety of perturbations. Two of these, pesticides and pathogens, are linked to declines in both amphibian health and population viability. Many studies have examined the separate effects of such perturbations; however, few have examined the effects of simultaneous exposure of both to amphibians. In this study, we exposed larval southern leopard frog tadpoles (Lithobates sphenocephalus) to the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and the fungicide thiophanate-methyl (TM) at 0.6 mg/L under laboratory conditions. The experiment was continued until all larvae completed metamorphosis or died. Overall, TM facilitated increases in tadpole mass and length. Additionally, individuals exposed to both TM and Bd were heavier and larger, compared to all other treatments. TM also cleared Bd in infected larvae. We conclude that TM affects larval anurans to facilitate growth and development while clearing Bd infection. Our findings highlight the need for more research into multiple perturbations, specifically pesticides and disease, to further promote amphibian heath. PMID:22912890

  5. Pathogenesis of multiple lentigines in LEOPARD syndrome with PTPN11 gene mutation.

    PubMed

    Motegi, Sei-Ichiro; Yokoyama, Yoko; Ogino, Sachiko; Yamada, Kazuya; Uchiyama, Akihiko; Perera, Buddhini; Takeuchi, Yuko; Ohnishi, Hiroshi; Ishikawa, Osamu

    2015-11-01

    LEOPARD syndrome (LS) is an autosomal dominant condition with multiple anomalies, including multiple lentigines. LS is caused by mutations in PTPN11, encoding the protein tyrosine phosphatase, SHP-2. We report here 2 unrelated Japanese cases of LS with different PTPN11 mutations (p.Y279C and p.T468P). To elucidate the pathogenesis of multiple lentigines in LS, ultrastructural and immunohistochemical analyses of lentigines and non-lesional skin were performed. Numerous mature giant melanosomes in melanocytes and keratinocytes were observed in lentigines. In addition, the levels of expression of endothelin-1 (ET-1), phosphorylated Akt, mTOR and STAT3 in the epidermis in lentigines were significantly elevated compared with non-lesional skin. In in vitro assays, melanin synthesis in human melanoma cells expressing SHP-2 with LS-associated mutations was higher than in cells expressing normal SHP-2, suggesting that LS-associated SHP-2 mutations might enhance melanin synthesis in melanocytes, and that the activation of Akt/mTOR signalling may contribute to this process. PMID:25917897

  6. Evolutionary basis of parallelism in North American scincid lizards.

    PubMed

    Richmond, Jonathan Q

    2006-01-01

    This study uses a phylogenetic framework to explore the causes of parallelism in two North American scincid lizard assemblages: the skiltonianus and fasciatus species groups of the genus Plestiodon. Each group consists of several closely related species with conserved neonate morphology; features that distinguish species become accentuated during ontogeny, and these differences often resemble different endpoints along a developmental continuum. This continuum is believed to be an expression of the ancestral ontogeny, and has led to the hypothesis that evolutionary change in development has generated much of the observed morphological diversity. However, progress on understanding these mechanisms is limited by a lack of well-supported phylogenetic data for the fasciatus group, and for Plestiodon in general. Recent phylogenetic studies on the skiltonianus group have revealed previously undetected cases of parallelism, and raise the possibility that similar cases have yet to be discovered in the fasciatus group. Here, I estimate a phylogeny to test the monophyly of the fasciatus group and infer its relationship with other North American Plestiodon using 2537 bp from six mtDNA genes. I use the phylogeny to reconstruct the mode (graduated vs. punctuated) and direction of body size evolution, to map the evolution of two predominant color morphs, and to test whether size and color pattern evolve concertedly. The results show that the morphotypes of the traditional fasciatus group constitute good species, but that the species group is rendered paraphyletic by several geographically overlapping species that deviate from the fasciatus-like ontogeny. Body size evolution has occurred gradually and bi-directionally, and shifts to large body size have been consistently associated with the loss of the striped color pattern during ontogeny. I show that parallelism, a lack of rigorous phylogenetic analysis, and a reliance on shared ontogenetic features for predicting phylogenetic

  7. Legitimate seed dispersal by lizards in an alpine habitat: The case of Berberis empetrifolia (Berberidaceae) dispersed by Liolaemus belii (Tropiduridae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celedón-Neghme, Constanza; San Martin, Leonardo A.; Victoriano, Pedro F.; Cavieres, Lohengrin A.

    2008-05-01

    In this study we determined the effect of seed passage through Liolaemus bellii lizard digestive tracts on germination of fleshy-fruited Andean shrub species Berberis empetrifolia (Berberidaceae), and evaluated the effect of this passage on seed coat characteristics. In addition, we assessed the spatial patterns of fecal deposition by lizards onto various microhabitats available in the Andean environments of central Chile. The germination rate and the final percentage of lizard-ingested B. empetrifolia seeds was greater than control seeds. Comparing photographs and seed coat histological cuts, we suggest that the cutine wax present on seed coats from lizard-ingested seeds was probably removed by abrasion inside the lizards' digestive tract. Sixty-two percent of the lizard's feces was deposited on bare soil near rocks commonly inhabited by lizards. However, this microhabitat represents only 29% of the available ground cover at the study site. By enhancing seed germination and depositing seeds onto potential safe sites for recruitment, the lizard Liolaemus bellii is acting, at least qualitatively, as an effective disperser of Berberis empetrifolia.

  8. 75 FR 9377 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Flat-Tailed Horned Lizard as Threatened

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-02

    ... distinct vertebrate population segments (61 FR 4722). (6) The potential effects global climate change may..., 1993 (58 FR 62624), to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as a threatened species, and reopens the... proposed rule to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as a threatened species under the Act (58 FR 62624)....

  9. What are carotenoids signaling? Immunostimulatory effects of dietary vitamin E, but not of carotenoids, in Iberian green lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopena, Renata; López, Pilar; Martín, José

    2014-12-01

    In spite that carotenoid-based sexual ornaments are one of the most popular research topics in sexual selection of animals, the antioxidant and immunostimulatory role of carotenoids, presumably signaled by these colorful ornaments, is still controversial. It has been suggested that the function of carotenoids might not be as an antioxidant per se, but that colorful carotenoids may indirectly reflect the levels of nonpigmentary antioxidants, such as melatonin or vitamin E. We experimentally fed male Iberian green lizards ( Lacerta schreiberi) additional carotenoids or vitamin E alone, or a combination of carotenoids and vitamin E dissolved in soybean oil, whereas a control group only received soybean oil. We examined the effects of the dietary supplementations on phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-induced skin-swelling immune response and body condition. Lizards that were supplemented with vitamin E alone or a combination of vitamin E and carotenoids had greater immune responses than control lizards, but animals supplemented with carotenoids alone had lower immune responses than lizards supplemented with vitamin E and did not differ from control lizards. These results support the hypothesis that carotenoids in green lizards are not effective as immunostimulants, but that they may be visually signaling the immunostimulatory effects of non-pigmentary vitamin E. In contrast, lizards supplemented with carotenoids alone have higher body condition gains than lizards in the other experimental groups, suggesting that carotenoids may be still important to improve condition.

  10. Watch out where you sleep: nocturnal sleeping behaviour of Bay Island lizards

    PubMed Central

    Mohanty, Nitya Prakash; Harikrishnan, Surendran

    2016-01-01

    Sleeping exposes lizards to predation. Therefore, sleeping strategies must be directed towards avoiding predation and might vary among syntopic species. We studied sleeping site characteristics of two syntopic, congeneric lizards—the Bay Island forest lizard, Coryphophylax subcristatus and the short-tailed Bay Island lizard, C. brevicaudus and evaluated inter-specific differences. We measured structural, microclimatic and potential predator avoidance at the sleeping perches of 386 C. subcristatus and 185 C. brevicaudus. Contrary to our expectation, we found similar perch use in both species. The lizards appeared to use narrow girth perch plants and accessed perches by moving both vertically and horizontally. Most lizards slept on leaves, with their heads directed towards the potential path of a predator approaching from the plant base. There was no inter-specific competition in the choices of sleeping perches. These choices indicate an anti-predator strategy involving both tactile and visual cues. This study provides insight into a rarely studied behaviour in reptiles and its adaptive significance. PMID:27168958

  11. Microgeographic variation in locomotor traits among lizards in a human-built environment

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Microgeographic variation in fitness-relevant traits may be more common than previously appreciated. The fitness of many vertebrates is directly related to their locomotor capacity, a whole-organism trait integrating behavior, morphology, and physiology. Because locomotion is inextricably related to context, I hypothesized that it might vary with habitat structure in a wide-ranging lizard, Podarcis erhardii, found in the Greek Cyclade Islands. I compared lizard populations living on human-built rock walls, a novel habitat with complex vertical structure, with nearby lizard populations that are naive to human-built infrastructure and live in flat, loose-substrate habitat. I tested for differences in morphology, behavior, and performance. Lizards from built sites were larger and had significantly (and relatively) longer forelimbs and hindlimbs. The differences in hindlimb morphology were especially pronounced for distal components—the foot and longest toe. These morphologies facilitated a significant behavioral shift in jumping propensity across a rocky experimental substrate. I found no difference in maximum velocity between these populations; however, females originating from wall sites potentially accelerated faster over the rocky experimental substrate. The variation between these closely neighboring populations suggests that the lizards inhabiting walls have experienced a suite of trait changes enabling them to take advantage of the novel habitat structure created by humans. PMID:26989616

  12. Social context affects tail displays by Phrynocephalus vlangalii lizards from China

    PubMed Central

    Peters, Richard A.; Ramos, Jose A.; Hernandez, Juan; Wu, Yayong; Qi, Yin

    2016-01-01

    Competition between animals for limited resources often involves signaling to establish ownership or dominance. In some species, the defended resource relates to suitable thermal conditions and refuge from predators. This is particularly true of burrow-dwelling lizards such as the Qinghai toad-headed agama (Phrynocephalus vlangalii), which are found on the Tibetan plateau of western China. Male and female lizards occupy separate burrows, which are vital for anti-predator behaviour during warmer months when lizards are active and, crucially, provide shelter from harsh winter conditions. These lizards are readily observed signaling by means of tail displays on the sand dunes they inhabit. Given the selective pressure to hold such a resource, both males and females should exhibit territorial behaviour and we considered this study system to examine in detail how social context influences motion based territorial signaling. We confirmed that territorial signaling was used by both sexes, and by adopting a novel strategy that permitted 3D reconstruction of tail displays, we identified significant variation due to social context. However, signal structure was not related to lizard morphology. Clearly, the burrow is a highly valued resource and we suggest that additional variation in signaling behaviour might be mediated by resource quality. PMID:27526625

  13. Social context affects tail displays by Phrynocephalus vlangalii lizards from China.

    PubMed

    Peters, Richard A; Ramos, Jose A; Hernandez, Juan; Wu, Yayong; Qi, Yin

    2016-01-01

    Competition between animals for limited resources often involves signaling to establish ownership or dominance. In some species, the defended resource relates to suitable thermal conditions and refuge from predators. This is particularly true of burrow-dwelling lizards such as the Qinghai toad-headed agama (Phrynocephalus vlangalii), which are found on the Tibetan plateau of western China. Male and female lizards occupy separate burrows, which are vital for anti-predator behaviour during warmer months when lizards are active and, crucially, provide shelter from harsh winter conditions. These lizards are readily observed signaling by means of tail displays on the sand dunes they inhabit. Given the selective pressure to hold such a resource, both males and females should exhibit territorial behaviour and we considered this study system to examine in detail how social context influences motion based territorial signaling. We confirmed that territorial signaling was used by both sexes, and by adopting a novel strategy that permitted 3D reconstruction of tail displays, we identified significant variation due to social context. However, signal structure was not related to lizard morphology. Clearly, the burrow is a highly valued resource and we suggest that additional variation in signaling behaviour might be mediated by resource quality. PMID:27526625

  14. Carotenoid-Based Colours Reflect the Stress Response in the Common Lizard

    PubMed Central

    Fitze, Patrick S.; Cote, Julien; San-Jose, Luis Martin; Meylan, Sandrine; Isaksson, Caroline; Andersson, Staffan; Rossi, Jean-Marc; Clobert, Jean

    2009-01-01

    Under chronic stress, carotenoid-based colouration has often been shown to fade. However, the ecological and physiological mechanisms that govern colouration still remain largely unknown. Colour changes may be directly induced by the stressor (for example through reduced carotenoid intake) or due to the activation of the physiological stress response (PSR, e.g. due to increased blood corticosterone concentrations). Here, we tested whether blood corticosterone concentration affected carotenoid-based colouration, and whether a trade-off between colouration and PSR existed. Using the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara), we correlatively and experimentally showed that elevated blood corticosterone levels are associated with increased redness of the lizard's belly. In this study, the effects of corticosterone did not depend on carotenoid ingestion, indicating the absence of a trade-off between colouration and PSR for carotenoids. While carotenoid ingestion increased blood carotenoid concentration, colouration was not modified. This suggests that carotenoid-based colouration of common lizards is not severely limited by dietary carotenoid intake. Together with earlier studies, these findings suggest that the common lizard's carotenoid-based colouration may be a composite trait, consisting of fixed (e.g. genetic) and environmentally elements, the latter reflecting the lizard's PSR. PMID:19352507

  15. Are mountain habitats becoming more suitable for generalist than cold-adapted lizards thermoregulation?

    PubMed Central

    Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Mountain lizards are highly vulnerable to climate change, and the continuous warming of their habitats could be seriously threatening their survival. We aim to compare the thermal ecology and microhabitat selection of a mountain lizard, Iberolacerta galani, and a widely distributed lizard, Podarcis bocagei, in a montane area. Both species are currently in close syntopy in the study area, at 1,400 m above the sea level. We determined the precision, accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation, and the thermal quality of habitat for both species. We also compared the selection of thermal microhabitats between both species. Results show that I. galani is a cold-adapted thermal specialist with a preferred temperature range of 27.9–29.7 °C, while P. bocagei would be a thermal generalist, with a broader and higher preferred temperature range (30.1–34.5 °C). In addition, I. galani selects rocky substrates while P. bocagei selects warmer soil and leaf litter substrates. The thermal quality of the habitat is higher for P. bocagei than for I. galani. Finally, P. bocagei achieves a significantly higher effectiveness of thermoregulation (0.87) than I. galani (0.80). Therefore, these mountain habitat conditions seem currently more suitable for performance of thermophilic generalist lizards than for cold-specialist lizards. PMID:27280076

  16. Understanding lizard's microhabitat use based on a mechanistic model of behavioral thermoregulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fei, Teng; Venus, Valentijn; Toxopeus, Bert; Skidmore, Andrew K.; Schlerf, Martin; Liu, Yaolin; van Overdijk, Sjef; Bian, Meng

    2008-12-01

    Lizards are an "excellent group of organisms" to examine the habitat and microhabitat use mainly because their ecology and physiology is well studied. Due to their behavioral body temperature regulation, the thermal environment is especially linked with their habitat use. In this study, for mapping and understanding lizard's distribution at microhabitat scale, an individual of Timon Lepidus was kept and monitored in a terrarium (245×120×115cm) in which sand, rocks, burrows, hatching chambers, UV-lamps, fog generators and heating devices were placed to simulate its natural habitat. Optical cameras, thermal cameras and other data loggers were fixed and recording the lizard's body temperature, ground surface temperature, air temperature, radiation and other important environmental parameters. By analysis the data collected, we propose a Cellular Automata (CA) model by which the movement of lizards is simulated and translated into their distribution. This paper explores the capabilities of applying GIS techniques to thermoregulatory activity studies in a microhabitat-scale. We conclude that microhabitat use of lizards can be explained in some degree by the rule based CA model.

  17. High antipredatory efficiency of insular lizards: a warning signal of excessive specimen collection?

    PubMed

    Delibes, Miguel; Blázquez, María del Carmen; Soriano, Laura; Revilla, Eloy; Godoy, José Antonio

    2011-01-01

    We live-captured lizards on islands in the Gulf of California and the Baja California peninsula mainland, and compared their ability to escape predation. Contrary to expectations, endemic lizard species from uninhabited islands fled from humans earlier and more efficiently than those from peninsular mainland areas. In fact, 58.2% (n=146) of the lizards we tried to capture on the various islands escaped successfully, while this percentage was only 14.4% (n=160) on the peninsular mainland. Separate evidence (e.g., proportion of regenerated tails, low human population at the collection areas, etc.) challenges several potential explanations for the higher antipredatory efficiency of insular lizards (e.g., more predation pressure on islands, habituation to humans on the peninsula, etc.). Instead, we suggest that the ability of insular lizards to avoid predators may be related to harvesting by humans, perhaps due to the value of endemic species as rare taxonomic entities. If this hypothesis is correct, predation-related behavioral changes in rare species could provide early warning signals of their over-exploitation, thus encouraging the adoption of conservation measures. PMID:22216244

  18. Learning outdoors: male lizards show flexible spatial learning under semi-natural conditions.

    PubMed

    Noble, Daniel W A; Carazo, Pau; Whiting, Martin J

    2012-12-23

    Spatial cognition is predicted to be a fundamental component of fitness in many lizard species, and yet some studies suggest that it is relatively slow and inflexible. However, such claims are based on work conducted using experimental designs or in artificial contexts that may underestimate their cognitive abilities. We used a biologically realistic experimental procedure (using simulated predatory attacks) to study spatial learning and its flexibility in the lizard Eulamprus quoyii in semi-natural outdoor enclosures under similar conditions to those experienced by lizards in the wild. To evaluate the flexibility of spatial learning, we conducted a reversal spatial-learning task in which positive and negative reinforcements of learnt spatial stimuli were switched. Nineteen (32%) male lizards learnt both tasks within 10 days (spatial task mean: 8.16 ± 0.69 (s.e.) and reversal spatial task mean: 10.74 ± 0.98 (s.e.) trials). We demonstrate that E. quoyii are capable of flexible spatial learning and suggest that future studies focus on a range of lizard species which differ in phylogeny and/or ecology, using biologically relevant cognitive tasks, in an effort to bridge the cognitive divide between ecto- and endotherms. PMID:23075525

  19. Can changes in the distribution of lizard species over the past 50 years be attributed to climate change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jianguo

    2015-07-01

    We analyzed changes in the distributions of nine lizard species in China over the past 50 years and identified whether these changes could be attributed to climate change. Long-term records of lizard distributions, grey relational analysis, fuzzy set classification techniques, and attribution methods were used. The distribution of nearly half of the lizard species primarily shifted northward, westward, or eastward since the 1970s, and most changes were related to the thermal index. In response to climate change over the past 50 years, the distribution boundary and center of some species have mainly shifted northward, westward, or eastward, with some irregular shifting during the process. The observed and predicted changes in distribution were highly consistent for some lizard species. The changes in the northern and eastern distribution limits of nearly half of the lizard species and the western limits and distribution centers of several species can be attributed to climate change.

  20. Can changes in the distribution of lizard species over the past 50 years be attributed to climate change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jianguo

    2016-08-01

    We analyzed changes in the distributions of nine lizard species in China over the past 50 years and identified whether these changes could be attributed to climate change. Long-term records of lizard distributions, grey relational analysis, fuzzy set classification techniques, and attribution methods were used. The distribution of nearly half of the lizard species primarily shifted northward, westward, or eastward since the 1970s, and most changes were related to the thermal index. In response to climate change over the past 50 years, the distribution boundary and center of some species have mainly shifted northward, westward, or eastward, with some irregular shifting during the process. The observed and predicted changes in distribution were highly consistent for some lizard species. The changes in the northern and eastern distribution limits of nearly half of the lizard species and the western limits and distribution centers of several species can be attributed to climate change.

  1. Proximate determinants of bite force in Anolis lizards.

    PubMed

    Wittorski, Antoine; Losos, Jonathan B; Herrel, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    Performance measures associated with the vertebrate jaw system may provide important insights into vertebrate ecology and evolution because of their importance in many ecologically relevant tasks. Previous studies have shown that in many taxa, evolution toward higher bite force has gone hand in hand with the evolution of larger body size. However, independent of differences in overall body size, bite force may vary depending on head size and shape as well. Moreover, the underlying musculature may also drive variation in bite force. Here, we investigate the proximate determinants of bite force in lizards of the genus Anolis. We dissected the jaw muscles and quantified muscle mass, fibre length, and cross-sectional area. Data were analysed for both sexes independently given the sexual dimorphism detected in the dataset. Our results show that the traits that explain bite force are similar in both males and females with overall body size and muscle mass being the principal determinants. Among the different muscles examined, the adductor externus and the pseudotemporalis groups were the best determinants of bite force. However, models run for males predicted the variation in bite force better than models for females, suggesting that selection on morphology improving bite force may be stronger in males. PMID:26471984

  2. Corticosterone stimulates hatching of late-term tree lizard embryos.

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Stacey L.; Johnston, Gwynne; Moore, Michael C.

    2007-01-01

    The regulation of hatching in oviparous animals is important for successful reproduction and survival, but is poorly understood. We unexpectedly found that RU-486, a progesterone and glucocorticoid antagonist, interferes with hatching of viable tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus) embryos in a dose-dependent manner and hypothesized that embryonic glucocorticoids regulate hatching. To test this hypothesis, we treated eggs with corticosterone (CORT) or vehicle on Day 30 (85%) of incubation, left other eggs untreated, and observed relative hatch order and hatch time. In one study, the CORT egg hatched first in 9 of 11 clutches. In a second study, the CORT egg hatched first in 9 of 12 clutches, before vehicle-treated eggs in 10 of 12 clutches, and before untreated eggs in 7 of 9 clutches. On average, CORT eggs hatched 18.2h before vehicle-treated eggs and 11.6h before untreated eggs. Thus, CORT accelerates hatching of near-term embryos and RU-486 appears to block this effect. CORT may mobilize energy substrates that fuel hatching and/or accelerate lung development, and may provide a mechanism by which stressed embryos escape environmental stressors. PMID:17208477

  3. Sex ratio bias, male aggression, and population collapse in lizards.

    PubMed

    Le Galliard, Jean-François; Fitze, Patrick S; Ferrière, Régis; Clobert, Jean

    2005-12-13

    The adult sex ratio (ASR) is a key parameter of the demography of human and other animal populations, yet the causes of variation in ASR, how individuals respond to this variation, and how their response feeds back into population dynamics remain poorly understood. A prevalent hypothesis is that ASR is regulated by intrasexual competition, which would cause more mortality or emigration in the sex of increasing frequency. Our experimental manipulation of populations of the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara) shows the opposite effect. Male mortality and emigration are not higher under male-biased ASR. Rather, an excess of adult males begets aggression toward adult females, whose survival and fecundity drop, along with their emigration rate. The ensuing prediction that adult male skew should be amplified and total population size should decline is supported by long-term data. Numerical projections show that this amplifying effect causes a major risk of population extinction. In general, such an "evolutionary trap" toward extinction threatens populations in which there is a substantial mating cost for females, and environmental changes or management practices skew the ASR toward males. PMID:16322105

  4. Solubilization and purification of melatonin receptors from lizard brain

    SciTech Connect

    Rivkees, S.A.; Conron, R.W. Jr.; Reppert, S.M. )

    1990-09-01

    Melatonin receptors in lizard brain were identified and characterized using {sup 125}I-labeled melatonin (({sup 125}I)MEL) after solubilization with the detergent digitonin. Saturation studies of solubilized material revealed a high affinity binding site, with an apparent equilibrium dissociation constant of 181 +/- 45 pM. Binding was reversible and inhibited by melatonin and closely related analogs, but not by serotonin or norepinephrine. Treatment of solubilized material with the non-hydrolyzable GTP analog, guanosine 5'-(3-O-thiotriphosphate) (GTP-gamma-S), significantly reduced receptor affinity. Gel filtration chromatography of solubilized melatonin receptors revealed a high affinity, large (Mr 400,000) peak of specific binding. Pretreatment with GTP-gamma-S before solubilization resulted in elution of a lower affinity, smaller (Mr 150,000) peak of specific binding. To purify solubilized receptors, a novel affinity chromatography resin was developed by coupling 6-hydroxymelatonin with Epoxy-activated Sepharose 6B. Using this resin, melatonin receptors were purified approximately 10,000-fold. Purified material retained the pharmacologic specificity of melatonin receptors. These results show that melatonin receptors that bind ligand after detergent treatment can be solubilized and substantially purified by affinity chromatography.

  5. Ground resistance influences lizard burial in dry and wet sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharpe, Sarah; Kuckuk, Robyn; Goldman, Daniel

    2012-11-01

    Many terrestrial animals move within soil in which water content can vary, and little is known about how water content affects locomotor performance. To investigate the effect of water content on burial, we created controlled dry and wet substrates. We used 0.3 mm glass particles and varied water content W, the mass of water to mass of dry loosely packed sand. Drag force on a submerged 1.6 cm diameter rod increased by a factor of 4 as W increased from 0 to 0.03, after which force increases were small. Drag force in wet media periodically fluctuated with time and corresponded with surface fracturing. We characterized how W affected burial performance and strategy of a generalist burrower, the ocellated skink lizard (Chalcides ocellatus). High speed x-ray imaging was used to measure head, body and limb kinematics in substrates with W= 0 and W= 0.03. In both states during burial the body was maintained in a curved posture and the animal moved using a start-stop motion. During movement, the head oscillated and the forelimb on the convex side of the body was used to push the animal forward. Both speed and angular excursion of the head oscillation decreased in the W= 0.03 state. The differences in locomotion were attributed to the changing resistance force within the media.

  6. Habitat use affects morphological diversification in dragon lizards

    PubMed Central

    COLLAR, D C; SCHULTE, J A; O’MEARA, B C; LOSOS, J B

    2010-01-01

    Habitat use may lead to variation in diversity among evolutionary lineages because habitats differ in the variety of ways they allow for species to make a living. Here, we show that structural habitats contribute to differential diversification of limb and body form in dragon lizards (Agamidae). Based on phylogenetic analysis and ancestral state reconstructions for 90 species, we find that multiple lineages have independently adopted each of four habitat use types: rock-dwelling, terrestriality, semi-arboreality and arboreality. Given these reconstructions, we fit models of evolution to species’ morphological trait values and find that rock-dwelling and arboreality limit diversification relative to terrestriality and semi-arboreality. Models preferred by Akaike information criterion infer slower rates of size and shape evolution in lineages inferred to occupy rocks and trees, and model-averaged rate estimates are slowest for these habitat types. These results suggest that ground-dwelling facilitates ecomorphological differentiation and that use of trees or rocks impedes diversification. PMID:20345808

  7. Lizards speed up visual displays in noisy motion habitats

    PubMed Central

    Ord, Terry J; Peters, Richard A; Clucas, Barbara; Stamps, Judy A

    2007-01-01

    Extensive research over the last few decades has revealed that many acoustically communicating animals compensate for the masking effect of background noise by changing the structure of their signals. Familiar examples include birds using acoustic properties that enhance the transmission of vocalizations in noisy habitats. Here, we show that the effects of background noise on communication signals are not limited to the acoustic modality, and that visual noise from windblown vegetation has an equally important influence on the production of dynamic visual displays. We found that two species of Puerto Rican lizard, Anolis cristatellus and A. gundlachi, increase the speed of body movements used in territorial signalling to apparently improve communication in visually ‘noisy’ environments of rapidly moving vegetation. This is the first evidence that animals change how they produce dynamic visual signals when communicating in noisy motion habitats. Taken together with previous work on acoustic communication, our results show that animals with very different sensory ecologies can face similar environmental constraints and adopt remarkably similar strategies to overcome these constraints. PMID:17264059

  8. Sleep and wakefulness in the green iguanid lizard (Iguana iguana).

    PubMed

    Ayala-Guerrero, F; Mexicano, G

    2008-11-01

    The reptile Iguana iguana exhibits four states of vigilance: active wakefulness (AW), quiet wakefulness (QW), quiet sleep (QS) and active sleep (AS). Cerebral activity decreases in amplitude and frequency when passing from wakefulness to QS. Both parameters show a slight increase during AS. Heart rate is at a maximum during AW (43.8+/-7.9 beats/min), decreases to a minimum in QS (25.3+/-3.2 beats/min) and increases in AS (36.1+/-5.7 beats/min). Tonical and phasical muscular activity is present in wakefulness, decreases or disappears in QS and reappears in AS. Single or conjugate ocular movements are observed during wakefulness, then disappear in QS and abruptly reappear in AS. Although these reptiles are polyphasic, their sleep shows a tendency to concentrate between 20:00 and 8:00 h. Quiet sleep occupies the greater percentage of the total sleep time. Active sleep episodes are of very short duration, showing an average of 21.5+/-4.9 (mean+/-SD). Compensatory increment of sleep following its total deprivation was significant only for QS. Reaction to stimuli decreased significantly when passing from wakefulness to sleep. It is suggested that the lizard I. iguana displays two sleep phases behaviorally and somatovegetatively similar to slow wave sleep and paradoxical sleep in birds and mammals. PMID:17462928

  9. Undulatory swimming of a sandfish lizard in granular media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldman, Daniel; Maladen, Ryan; Li, Chen; Ding, Yang

    2009-03-01

    We study the locomotion of the desert dwelling sandfish lizard (Scincus scincus) as it dives into and swims beneath the surface of sand (300 μm glass beads). Above the surface, the animal uses a diagonal gait to move rapidly across the sand. High speed x-ray imaging reveals that once subsurface the animal no longer uses limbs for propulsion but instead folds the limbs against the body and generates thrust using a large amplitude undulatory motion consisting of a traveling wave with frequency f that propagates down the body with one wave period. The forward swimming speed v (maximum 10 cm/sec) increases with increasing f. We measure v versus f as a function of packing fraction of the material φ. To predict v as a function of f and φ, we model the animal as a series of elements, each which produces thrust and experiences drag along its surface. We measure thrust and drag coefficients by performing drag measurements on a small stainless steel rod (grain-rod friction comparable to the animal's skin) as a function of rod angle, rod speed, and φ. Integrating the drag law over a sinusoidal wave form accurately predicts the v-f relationship of the animal in loose and close packed granular media.

  10. The Anolis Lizard Genome: An Amniote Genome without Isochores?

    PubMed Central

    Costantini, Maria; Greif, Gonzalo; Alvarez-Valin, Fernando; Bernardi, Giorgio

    2016-01-01

    Two articles published 5 years ago concluded that the genome of the lizard Anolis carolinensis is an amniote genome without isochores. This claim was apparently contradicting previous results on the general presence of an isochore organization in all vertebrate genomes tested (including Anolis). In this investigation, we demonstrate that the Anolis genome is indeed heterogeneous in base composition, since its macrochromosomes comprise isochores mainly from the L2 and H1 families (a moderately GC-poor and a moderately GC-rich family, respectively), and since the majority of the sequenced microchromosomes consists of H1 isochores. These families are associated with different features of genome structure, including gene density and compositional correlations (e.g., GC3 vs flanking sequence GC and intron GC), as in the case of mammalian and avian genomes. Moreover, the assembled Anolis chromosomes have an enormous number of gaps, which could be due to sequencing problems in GC-rich regions of the genome. In conclusion, the Anolis genome is no exception to the general rule of an isochore organization in the genomes of vertebrates (and other eukaryotes). PMID:26992416

  11. Using Landscape and Bioclimatic Features to Predict the Distribution of Lions, Leopards and Spotted Hyaenas in Tanzania's Ruaha Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Abade, Leandro; Macdonald, David W.; Dickman, Amy J.

    2014-01-01

    Tanzania's Ruaha landscape is an international priority area for large carnivores, supporting over 10% of the world's lions and important populations of leopards and spotted hyaenas. However, lack of ecological data on large carnivore distribution and habitat use hinders the development of effective carnivore conservation strategies in this critical landscape. Therefore, the study aimed to (i) identify the most significant ecogeographical variables influencing the potential distribution of lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas across the Ruaha landscape; (ii) identify zones with highest suitability for harbouring those species; and (iii) use species distribution modelling algorithms (SDMs) to define important areas for conservation of large carnivores. Habitat suitability was calculated based on environmental features from georeferenced presence-only carnivore location data. Potential distribution of large carnivores appeared to be strongly influenced by water availability; highly suitable areas were situated close to rivers and experienced above average annual precipitation. Net primary productivity and tree cover also exerted some influence on habitat suitability. All three species showed relatively narrow niche breadth and low tolerance to changes in habitat characteristics. From 21,050 km2 assessed, 8.1% (1,702 km2) emerged as highly suitable for all three large carnivores collectively. Of that area, 95.4% (1,624 km2) was located within 30 km of the Park-village border, raising concerns about human-carnivore conflict. This was of particular concern for spotted hyaenas, as they were located significantly closer to the Park boundary than lions and leopards. This study provides the first map of potential carnivore distribution across the globally important Ruaha landscape, and demonstrates that SDMs can be effective for understanding large carnivore habitat requirements in poorly sampled areas. This approach could have relevance for many other important wildlife

  12. Using landscape and bioclimatic features to predict the distribution of lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas in Tanzania's Ruaha landscape.

    PubMed

    Abade, Leandro; Macdonald, David W; Dickman, Amy J

    2014-01-01

    Tanzania's Ruaha landscape is an international priority area for large carnivores, supporting over 10% of the world's lions and important populations of leopards and spotted hyaenas. However, lack of ecological data on large carnivore distribution and habitat use hinders the development of effective carnivore conservation strategies in this critical landscape. Therefore, the study aimed to (i) identify the most significant ecogeographical variables influencing the potential distribution of lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas across the Ruaha landscape; (ii) identify zones with highest suitability for harbouring those species; and (iii) use species distribution modelling algorithms (SDMs) to define important areas for conservation of large carnivores. Habitat suitability was calculated based on environmental features from georeferenced presence-only carnivore location data. Potential distribution of large carnivores appeared to be strongly influenced by water availability; highly suitable areas were situated close to rivers and experienced above average annual precipitation. Net primary productivity and tree cover also exerted some influence on habitat suitability. All three species showed relatively narrow niche breadth and low tolerance to changes in habitat characteristics. From 21,050 km2 assessed, 8.1% (1,702 km2) emerged as highly suitable for all three large carnivores collectively. Of that area, 95.4% (1,624 km2) was located within 30 km of the Park-village border, raising concerns about human-carnivore conflict. This was of particular concern for spotted hyaenas, as they were located significantly closer to the Park boundary than lions and leopards. This study provides the first map of potential carnivore distribution across the globally important Ruaha landscape, and demonstrates that SDMs can be effective for understanding large carnivore habitat requirements in poorly sampled areas. This approach could have relevance for many other important wildlife

  13. Mid-Cretaceous amber fossils illuminate the past diversity of tropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Daza, Juan D; Stanley, Edward L; Wagner, Philipp; Bauer, Aaron M; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-03-01

    Modern tropical forests harbor an enormous diversity of squamates, but fossilization in such environments is uncommon and little is known about tropical lizard assemblages of the Mesozoic. We report the oldest lizard assemblage preserved in amber, providing insight into the poorly preserved but potentially diverse mid-Cretaceous paleotropics. Twelve specimens from the Albian-Cenomanian boundary of Myanmar (99 Ma) preserve fine details of soft tissue and osteology, and high-resolution x-ray computed tomography permits detailed comparisons to extant and extinct lizards. The extraordinary preservation allows several specimens to be confidently assigned to groups including stem Gekkota and stem Chamaleonidae. Other taxa are assignable to crown clades on the basis of similar traits. The detailed preservation of osteological and soft tissue characters in these specimens may facilitate their precise phylogenetic placement, making them useful calibration points for molecular divergence time estimates and potential keys for resolving conflicts in higher-order squamate relationships. PMID:26973870

  14. Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longrich, Nicholas R.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2012-12-01

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary is marked by a major mass extinction, yet this event is thought to have had little effect on the diversity of lizards and snakes (Squamata). A revision of fossil squamates from the Maastrichtian and Paleocene of North America shows that lizards and snakes suffered a devastating mass extinction coinciding with the Chicxulub asteroid impact. Species-level extinction was 83%, and the K-Pg event resulted in the elimination of many lizard groups and a dramatic decrease in morphological disparity. Survival was associated with small body size and perhaps large geographic range. The recovery was prolonged; diversity did not approach Cretaceous levels until 10 My after the extinction, and resulted in a dramatic change in faunal composition. The squamate fossil record shows that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was far more severe than previously believed, and underscores the role played by mass extinctions in driving diversification.

  15. Booming during a bust: Asynchronous population responses of arid zone lizards to climatic variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Read, John L.; Kovac, Kelli-Jo; Brook, Barry W.; Fordham, Damien A.

    2012-04-01

    The productivity of arid environments and the reproductive success of vertebrates in these systems, are typically thought to be primarily influenced by rainfall patterns. Data from our 15 year study at an Australian arid zone site reveals asynchronous demographic responses to rainfall and other climatic variables among different lizard species. We show that, in addition to precipitation, key demographic rates (fecundity, recruitment and survival) are correlated strongly with temporal variability in temperature, during and prior to the breeding season, and also to the density of sympatric lizard species. There were nine-fold fluctuations through time in the relative abundance of two similar-sized Ctenotus species, and asynchronous recruitment success and survival among other species, despite the absence of direct anthropogenic affects Understanding the drivers and magnitude of the substantial natural variability in arid-zone lizard assemblages is integral to predicting and interpreting their responses to future land use or climate-change scenarios.

  16. Granulomatous pneumonia and hepatitis associated with Providencia rettgeri infection in a crocodile monitor lizard (Varanus salvadorii).

    PubMed

    Kycko, Anna; Kozaczyński, Wojciech; Jasik, Agnieszka; Kędrak-Jabłońska, Agnieszka; Borkowska-Opacka, Bogna; Reichert, Michał

    2013-03-01

    The present report describes a case of granulomatous pneumonia and hepatitis in a male crocodile monitor lizard (Varanus salvadorii). During the necropsy of the monitor lizard, multifocal to coalescing pale yellow lesions were observed in both lung lobes, as well as similar, though milder, changes in the liver, and an ulcerative lesion on the food pad of the right hindlimb. Histopathologically, the presence of multiple necrotising, chronic granulomas containing bacterial clumps were observed in the parenchyma of the lung and the liver. By microbiological examination of the pathologically altered lung tissues, Providencia rettgeri was identified. Altogether, our findings indicate that the bacterial infection resulting in extensive chronic necrotising granulomatous inflammation was the primary cause of the reptile's death. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Providencia rettgeri-associated granulomatous pneumonia and hepatitis in the monitor lizard. PMID:23439291

  17. Mid-Cretaceous amber fossils illuminate the past diversity of tropical lizards

    PubMed Central

    Daza, Juan D.; Stanley, Edward L.; Wagner, Philipp; Bauer, Aaron M.; Grimaldi, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Modern tropical forests harbor an enormous diversity of squamates, but fossilization in such environments is uncommon and little is known about tropical lizard assemblages of the Mesozoic. We report the oldest lizard assemblage preserved in amber, providing insight into the poorly preserved but potentially diverse mid-Cretaceous paleotropics. Twelve specimens from the Albian-Cenomanian boundary of Myanmar (99 Ma) preserve fine details of soft tissue and osteology, and high-resolution x-ray computed tomography permits detailed comparisons to extant and extinct lizards. The extraordinary preservation allows several specimens to be confidently assigned to groups including stem Gekkota and stem Chamaleonidae. Other taxa are assignable to crown clades on the basis of similar traits. The detailed preservation of osteological and soft tissue characters in these specimens may facilitate their precise phylogenetic placement, making them useful calibration points for molecular divergence time estimates and potential keys for resolving conflicts in higher-order squamate relationships. PMID:26973870

  18. Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary

    PubMed Central

    Longrich, Nicholas R.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2012-01-01

    The Cretaceous–Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary is marked by a major mass extinction, yet this event is thought to have had little effect on the diversity of lizards and snakes (Squamata). A revision of fossil squamates from the Maastrichtian and Paleocene of North America shows that lizards and snakes suffered a devastating mass extinction coinciding with the Chicxulub asteroid impact. Species-level extinction was 83%, and the K-Pg event resulted in the elimination of many lizard groups and a dramatic decrease in morphological disparity. Survival was associated with small body size and perhaps large geographic range. The recovery was prolonged; diversity did not approach Cretaceous levels until 10 My after the extinction, and resulted in a dramatic change in faunal composition. The squamate fossil record shows that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was far more severe than previously believed, and underscores the role played by mass extinctions in driving diversification. PMID:23236177

  19. Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop: sampling sites and a checklist of polychaetes.

    PubMed

    Ribas, Julia; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-01-01

    In August 2013, a two week polychaete workshop was held at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Twenty-one sites representing 121 collection events were sampled for polychetes around Lizard and on the Outer Barrier. Workshop participants sorted polychaetes to family and each participant received on loan selected families to work up. This Zootaxa monograph describes 91 new species, 67 new records for Lizard Island, and 19 for Australia. Details regarding the habitats and locations are provided in Table 2 together with two maps (Figs 1, 2) showing sampling locations. In this paper we also list previously collected polychaete material from the region together with any published records for families which are not included in this volume. PMID:26624064

  20. Habitat restoration plan for Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Mitchell, D.L.

    1985-10-01

    In 1976 Congress directed that production on the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) in Kern County, California, be increased to the maximum efficient rate to fulfill some United States needs for domestic oil and gas. The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a Biological Opinion, required under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, that proposed construction activities on NPR-1 would jeopardize the continued existence of the endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) and blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus) and damage their critical habitats. One of the reasonable and prudent alternatives that the FWS required if the project were to proceed was that DOE prepare this plan to restore disturbed habitats. The plan was based on published information and the results of habitat restoration studies conducted on NPR-1 between 1981 and 1983. Preconstruction surveys will be used to insure that new disturbances are the minimum size necessary, topsoil is salvaged, and engineering practices are implemented to control soil erosion and enhance revegetation. Existing disturbances will be located, inventoried, classified, and restored using existing guidelines. Native and naturalized plant seeds will be harvested and cultivated; shrub seedlings will be grown in containers suitable for transplantation. An inventory of disturbances, results of preconstruction activities, inventory of topsoil reserves, changes in habitat quality, uses of herbicides and toxic substances, and program costs will be monitored and used to document progress and evaluate the success of the program. Results of the program will be documented in an annual report, at technical information meetings and published in DOE topical reports and scientific journals. 46 refs., 1 fig. 4 tabs.

  1. Endangered species and cultural resources program, Naval Petroleum Reserves in California: Annual report FY95

    SciTech Connect

    1996-04-01

    In FY95, EG and G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG and G/EM) continued to support efforts to protect endangered species and cultural resources at the Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC). These efforts are conducted to ensure NPRC compliance with regulations regarding the protection of listed species and cultural resources on Federal properties. Population monitoring activities are conducted annually for San Joaquin kit foxes, giant kangaroo rats, blunt-nosed leopard lizards, and Hoover`s wooly-star. To mitigate impacts of oil field activities on listed species, 674 preactivity surveys covering approximately 211 hectares (521 acres) were conducted in FY95. EG and G/EM also assisted with mitigating effects from third-party projects, primarily by conducting biological and cultural resource consultations with regulatory agencies. EG and G/EM has conducted an applied habitat reclamation program at NPRC since 1985. In FY95, an evaluation of revegetation rates on reclaimed and non-reclaimed disturbed lands was completed, and the results will be used to direct future habitat reclamation efforts at NPRC. In FY95, reclamation success was monitored on 50 sites reclaimed in 1985. An investigation of factors influencing the distribution and abundance of kit foxes at NPRC was initiated in FY94. Factors being examined include habitat disturbance, topography, grazing, coyote abundance, lagomorph abundance, and shrub density. This investigation continued in FY95 and a manuscript on this topic will be completed in FY96. Also, Eg and G/EM completed collection of field data to evaluate the effects of a well blow-out on plant and animal populations. A final report will be prepared in FY96. Finally, EG and G/EM completed a life table analysis on San Joaquin kit foxes at NPRC.

  2. Endangered species program Naval Petroleum Reserves in California. Annual report FY94

    SciTech Connect

    1995-04-01

    In FY94, EG and G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG and G/EM) continued to support efforts to conserve endangered species and cultural resources at the Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC). These efforts are conducted to ensure NPRC compliance with regulations regarding the protection of listed species and cultural resources on Federal properties. Population monitoring activities are conducted annually for San Joaquin kit foxes, giant kangaroo rats, blunt-nosed leopard lizards, and Hoover`s wooly star. To mitigate impacts of oil field activities on listed species, 400 preactivity surveys covering approximately 315 acres were conducted in FY94. Mitigation measures implemented as a result of survey findings resulted in avoidance of incidental takes of listed species during construction activities. EG and G/EM also assisted with mitigating effects from third-party projects, primarily by conducting biological and cultural resource consultations with regulatory agencies. Third-party projects in FY94 included three pipeline projects and two well abandonment/clean-up projects. Cultural resource support provided to NPRC consisted primarily of conducting preliminary surveys for cultural resources, and preparing a Cultural Resource Management Plan and Programmatic Agreement for NPR-1. These two documents will be finalized in FY95. EG and G/EM has conducted an applied habitat reclamation program at NPRC since 1985. In FY94, an evaluation of revegetation rates on reclaimed and non-reclaimed disturbed lands was initiated to assess reclamation efficacy. Results will be used to direct future habitat reclamation efforts at NPRC. In addition to this effort, 347 reclaimed sites were assessed to evaluate reclamation success.

  3. Thermal dependence of contractile properties of the aerobic locomotor muscle in the leopard shark and shortfin mako shark.

    PubMed

    Donley, Jeanine M; Shadwick, Robert E; Sepulveda, Chugey A; Syme, Douglas A

    2007-04-01

    The work loop technique was used to examine contractile properties of the red aerobic locomotor muscle (RM) in the ectothermic leopard shark Triakis semifasciata and endothermic shortfin mako shark Isurus oxyrinchus. The effects of axial position and temperature on the twitch kinetics, and the stimulus duration and phase producing maximum net positive work and power output were investigated. Contractile performance was measured over the temperature range of 15 to 25 degrees C for Triakis and 15 to 28 degrees C for Isurus at cycle frequencies (analogous to tailbeat frequencies) ranging from 0.25 to 3 Hz using muscle bundles isolated from anterior (0.4 L where L is total body length) and posterior (0.6-0.65 L) axial positions. Pairwise comparisons of twitch times for anterior and posterior muscle samples indicated that there were no significant differences related to body position, except in mako sharks at unphysiologically cool temperatures (<20 degrees C). We found no significant differences in optimal stimulus duration, phase, net work or power output between anterior and posterior bundles in each species. With increasing cycle frequency the stimulus duration yielding maximum power decreased while optimal phase occurred earlier. The cycle frequency at which peak power was generated in leopard shark RM was only affected slightly by temperature, increasing from about 0.6 to 1.0 Hz between 15 and 25 degrees C. In contrast, mako RM showed a much more dramatic temperature sensitivity, with the peak power frequency rising from <0.25 to 2.25 Hz between 15 and 28 degrees C. These data support the hypothesis that the contractile properties of RM are functionally similar along the body in both species. In addition, our data identify a significant difference in the effect of temperature on net work and power output between these two shark species; at 15 degrees C muscle from the ectothermic leopard shark performs relatively well in comparison with mako, while at higher

  4. Phylogenetic relationships of leopard frogs (Rana pipiens complex) from an isolated coastal mountain range in southern Sonora, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Pfeiler, E; Markow, T A

    2008-10-01

    Mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the control region and 12S rRNA in leopard frogs from the Sierra El Aguaje of southern Sonora, Mexico, together with GenBank sequences, were used to infer taxonomic identity and provide phylogenetic hypotheses for relationships with other members of the Rana pipiens complex. We show that frogs from the Sierra El Aguaje belong to the Rana berlandieri subgroup, or Scurrilirana clade, of the R. pipiens group, and are most closely related to Rana magnaocularis from Nayarit, Mexico. We also provide further evidence that Rana magnaocularis and R. yavapaiensis are close relatives. PMID:18625327

  5. Phenotypic shifts in urban areas in the tropical lizard Anolis cristatellus.

    PubMed

    Winchell, Kristin M; Reynolds, R Graham; Prado-Irwin, Sofia R; Puente-Rolón, Alberto R; Revell, Liam J

    2016-05-01

    Urbanization is an increasingly important dimension of global change, and urban areas likely impose significant natural selection on the species that reside within them. Although many species of plants and animals can survive in urban areas, so far relatively little research has investigated whether such populations have adapted (in an evolutionary sense) to their newfound milieu. Even less of this work has taken place in tropical regions, many of which have experienced dramatic growth and intensification of urbanization in recent decades. In the present study, we focus on the neotropical lizard, Anolis cristatellus. We tested whether lizard ecology and morphology differ between urban and natural areas in three of the most populous municipalities on the island of Puerto Rico. We found that environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, and substrate availability differ dramatically between neighboring urban and natural areas. We also found that lizards in urban areas use artificial substrates a large proportion of the time, and that these substrates tend to be broader than substrates in natural forest. Finally, our morphological data showed that lizards in urban areas have longer limbs relative to their body size, as well as more subdigital scales called lamellae, when compared to lizards from nearby forested habitats. This shift in phenotype is exactly in the direction predicted based on habitat differences between our urban and natural study sites, combined with our results on how substrates are being used by lizards in these areas. Findings from a common-garden rearing experiment using individuals from one of our three pairs of populations provide evidence that trait differences between urban and natural sites may be genetically based. Taken together, our data suggest that anoles in urban areas are under significant differential natural selection and may be evolutionarily adapting to their human-modified environments. PMID:27074746

  6. The importance of remnant native vegetation of Amazonian submontane forest for the conservation of lizards.

    PubMed

    Silva, D J; Santos-Filho, M; Canale, G R

    2014-08-01

    Forest fragmentation affects animal population dynamics mainly by loss of habitat and disruption of animal movement. Lizard assemblages are affected by environmental changes, but, depending on their ecological needs, some species might be more vulnerable than others. The southern Amazon suffers accelerated anthropic actions replacing natural environments by farmland (crops and pasture). This region is considerably drier than most of the northern Amazon, with stational semi-deciduous forests fragmented and isolated by pasture, and crops to a lesser extent. Here we report data on lizard assemblages using semi-deciduous forests, forest edge and the surrounding pasture in the southern Amazon in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Lizards were collected in 21 forest fragments (41 to 7,035 ha) surrounded by pasture; using pitfall traps placed on a degradation gradient - from pasture inwards forest fragment (up to 200 m). We collected 242 individuals (14 species, seven families) in 6,300 trap-days. The pattern of species occurrence was largely nested and this nesting was associated with three habitat guilds (generalist, edge-tolerant, and forest species). Although there was no obvious fragmentation effect on lizards diversity community-wise, Hoplocercus spinosus, Bachia dorbignyi, Micrablepharus maximiliani and Kentropyx calcarta were more vulnerable to such effects than all other ten species collected. We verified that assemblages inhabiting pasture and forest edge are a nested subset of assemblages from the forest core. The remnant native vegetation is not distributed homogeneously and lizards species can persist in different parts of the landscape, therefore we recommend the protection of forest remnants as an important conservation action for lizards of the southern Amazon. PMID:25296198

  7. Adherence to Bergmann's rule by lizards may depend on thermoregulatory mode: support from a nocturnal gecko.

    PubMed

    Penniket, Sophie; Cree, Alison

    2015-06-01

    Bergmann's rule predicts an increase in body size with decreasing environmental temperature; however, the converse pattern has been found in the majority of lizards studied to date. For these ectotherms, small body size may provide thermal benefits (rapid heat uptake when basking), which would be highly advantageous in cold environments. Yet such an advantage may not exist in nocturnal lizards (which do not avidly bask), in which Bergmann's rule has not been closely studied. We have examined whether the body size of a primarily nocturnal gecko, Woodworthia "Otago/Southland" changed with elevation and operative temperature (determined using physical copper models). In a laboratory study, we investigated whether thermoregulatory mode (heliothermy or thigmothermy) alters the effect of body size on heating and cooling rates. This gecko followed Bergmann's rule, thereby showing the opposite of the dominant pattern in diurnal lizards. Size at maturity, maximum size of adults and size at birth were larger at higher elevations and at lower operative temperatures. Using physical models, we found that large body size can confer thermal benefits for nocturnal lizards that remain within diurnal retreats. Bergmann's rule should not be dismissed for all lizards. Our results clearly support Bergmann's rule for at least one thigmothermic species, for which large body size may provide thermal benefits. Future studies on Bergmann's rule in lizards should consider thermoregulatory mode. We advocate that this ecogeographic rule be examined in relation to operative temperature measured at field sites. Finally, we predict that climate warming may weaken the relationship between body size and elevation in this gecko. PMID:25663371

  8. Temporal overlap of humans and giant lizards (Varanidae; Squamata) in Pleistocene Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Gilbert J.; Louys, Julien; Cramb, Jonathan; Feng, Yue-xing; Zhao, Jian-xin; Hocknull, Scott A.; Webb, Gregory E.; Nguyen, Ai Duc; Joannes-Boyau, Renaud

    2015-10-01

    An obvious but key prerequisite to testing hypotheses concerning the role of humans in the extinction of late Quaternary 'megafauna' is demonstrating that humans and the extinct taxa overlapped, both temporally and spatially. In many regions, a paucity of reliably dated fossil occurrences of megafauna makes it challenging, if not impossible, to test many of the leading extinction hypotheses. The giant monitor lizards of Australia are a case in point. Despite commonly being argued to have suffered extinction at the hands of the first human colonisers (who arrived by 50 ka), it has never been reliably demonstrated that giant monitors and humans temporally overlapped in Australia. Here we present the results of an integrated U-Th and 14C dating study of a late Pleistocene fossil deposit that has yielded the youngest dated remains of giant monitor lizards in Australia. The site, Colosseum Chamber, is a cave deposit in the Mt Etna region, central eastern Australia. Sixteen new dates were generated and demonstrate that the bulk of the material in the deposit accumulated since ca. 50 ka. The new monitor fossil is, minimally, 30 ky younger than the previous youngest reliably dated record for giant lizards in Australia and for the first time, demonstrates that on a continental scale, humans and giant lizards overlapped in time. The new record brings the existing geochronological dataset for Australian giant monitor lizards to seven dated occurrences. With such sparse data, we are hesitant to argue that our new date represents the time of their extinction from the continent. Rather, we suspect that future fossil collecting will yield new samples both older and younger than 50 ka. Nevertheless, we unequivocally demonstrate that humans and giant monitor lizards overlapped temporally in Australia, and thus, humans can only now be considered potential drivers for their extinction.

  9. Anatomy, morphology and evolution of the patella in squamate lizards and tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus).

    PubMed

    Regnault, Sophie; Jones, Marc E H; Pitsillides, Andrew A; Hutchinson, John R

    2016-05-01

    The patella (kneecap) is the largest and best-known of the sesamoid bones, postulated to confer biomechanical advantages including increasing joint leverage and reinforcing the tendon against compression. It has evolved several times independently in amniotes, but despite apparently widespread occurrence in lizards, the patella remains poorly characterised in this group and is, as yet, completely undescribed in their nearest extant relative Sphenodon (Rhynchocephalia). Through radiography, osteological and fossil studies we examined patellar presence in diverse lizard and lepidosauromorph taxa, and using computed tomography, dissection and histology we investigated in greater depth the anatomy and morphology of the patella in 16 lizard species and 19 Sphenodon specimens. We have found the first unambiguous evidence of a mineralised patella in Sphenodon, which appears similar to the patella of lizards and shares several gross and microscopic anatomical features. Although there may be a common mature morphology, the squamate patella exhibits a great deal of variability in development (whether from a cartilage anlage or not, and in the number of mineralised centres) and composition (bone, mineralised cartilage or fibrotendinous tissue). Unlike in mammals and birds, the patella in certain lizards and Sphenodon appears to be a polymorphic trait. We have also explored the evolution of the patella through ancestral state reconstruction, finding that the patella is ancestral for lizards and possibly Lepidosauria as a whole. Clear evidence of the patella in rhynchocephalian or stem lepidosaurian fossil taxa would clarify the evolutionary origin(s) of the patella, but due to the small size of this bone and the opportunity for degradation or loss we could not definitively conclude presence or absence in the fossils examined. The pattern of evolution in lepidosaurs is unclear but our data suggest that the emergence of this sesamoid may be related to the evolution of secondary

  10. Testing amniote models of prey transport kinematics: a quantitative analysis of mouth opening patterns in lizards.

    PubMed

    McBrayer, Lance D; Reilly, Stephen M

    2002-01-01

    Two models have been proposed to describe the prey transport kinematics of terrestrial vertebrates (Bramble and Wake, 1985; Reilly and Lauder, 1990). The critical difference between the models is the presence or absence of a slow open-II phase (SO-II) in the gape profile during mouth opening. Each of these models has been applied to lizards, however to date, lizard feeding kinematics have not been adequately quantified to assess the utility of these models for this clade. Neither model has been sufficiently tested due to the lack of a methodology to assess the specific differences between the models. We describe a method that uses explicit mathematical criteria to define the kinematic phases in tetrapod feeding. This "slope analysis& is used to precisely quantify and compare the transport kinematics of seven lizard species. Lizard transport kinematics were highly variable both within and across taxa. However, several common gape cycle patterns were identified. The predominant patterns were slow-fast opening (37.3%), fast opening only (22.9%) and slow opening only (21.2%). The most common pattern explicitly fits the prediction of the Reilly and Lauder model while the other two are similar to patterns observed in salamanders. Thus, lizards possess both the slow opening-fast opening pattern predicted for amniotes and the more primitive, simple opening pattern characteristic of more basal tetrapods. Plateau phases were found in only 12.8% of the profiles and only a fourth of these (3.4% of the total) explicitly fit the Bramble and Wake model (slow opening, plateau, fast opening) and two species never exhibited plateaus in their gape cycles. Thus, it is clear that the Bramble and Wake model is not supported as a generalized model for lizards or generalized tetrapods. PMID:16351858

  11. The western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis: evidence of field exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi in relation to infestation by Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Manweiler, S A; Lane, R S; Tempelis, C H

    1992-09-01

    The role of the Western fence lizard Sceloporus occidentalis in the enzootiology of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi was evaluated in the Hopland and Ukiah areas of Mendocino County, California. In 1989, half of 74 lizards collected monthly from April to October at Hopland were infested by the immature western black-legged tick Ixodes pacificus at a mean intensity of 6.0 ticks per lizard. The prevalence of infestation of lizards by immature I. pacificus (36 of 73) at Ukiah was similar, but the mean intensity (12.9) was approximately twice as great. Overall, zero of 223 larvae and 2 (0.6%) of 330 nymphs from both sites were found to contain spirochetes by direct immunofluorescence. Larval and nymphal I. pacificus fit the negative binomial distribution in spring, and the prevalence and abundance of these stages were significantly greater in spring than in summer at both sites. Spirochetes were not visualized in thick blood films prepared from 133 lizards from both localities. Plasma antibodies against B. burgdorferi were detected in seven of 10 experimentally inoculated lizards, in five (8%) of 63 lizards from Hopland, and in 10 (14%) of 70 lizards from Ukiah. Adult lizards had a significantly greater tick burden and seropositivity rate than juvenile lizards only at Ukiah. In 1991, efforts to detect and culture spirochetes from the blood of 21 wild-caught lizards and from the tissues of 189 associated ticks that fed xenodiagnostically on them were unsuccessful.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1524146

  12. Male Texas Horned Lizards increase daily movements and area covered in spring: A mate searching strategy?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stark, Richard C.; Fox, S. F.; David, M.L., Jr.

    2005-01-01

    Texas Horned Lizards, Phrynosoma cornutum, were tracked using fluorescent powder to determine exact daily movements. Daily linear movements and daily space use were compared between adult males and females. Lizards that traveled the greatest linear distances also covered the largest areas. In Oklahoma, adults emerge from hibernation in late April and early May and mate soon afterward. Males traveled significantly greater distances (and covered significantly larger areas in a day) than females in May but not after May. We propose that males move more and cover more area than females early in the mating season to intercept receptive females. Copyright 2005 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  13. Interactive effects of competition and predator cues on immune responses of leopard frogs at metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Groner, Maya L; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Reinert, Laura K; Hempel, John; Bier, Mark E; Relyea, Rick A

    2014-02-01

    Recent hypotheses suggest that immunosuppression, resulting from altered environmental conditions, may contribute to the increased incidence of amphibian disease around the world. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in amphibian skin are an important innate immune defense against fungal, viral and bacterial pathogens. Their release is tightly coupled with release of the stress hormone noradrenaline (norepinephrine). During metamorphosis, AMPs may constitute the primary immune response in the skin of some species because acquired immune functions are temporarily suppressed in order to prevent autoimmunity against new adult antigens. Suppression of AMPs during this transitional stage may impact disease rates. We exposed leopard frog tadpoles (Lithobates pipiens) to a factorial combination of competitor and caged-predator environments and measured their development, growth and production of hydrophobic skin peptides after metamorphosis. In the absence of predator cues, or if the exposure to predator cues was late in ontogeny, competition caused more than a 250% increase in mass-standardized hydrophobic skin peptides. Predator cues caused a decrease in mass-standardized hydrophobic skin peptides when the exposure was late in ontogeny under low competition, but otherwise had no effect. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry of the skin peptides showed that they include six AMPs in the brevinin and temporin families and at least three of these peptides are previously uncharacterized. Both of these peptide families have previously been shown to inhibit harmful microbes including Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the fungal pathogen associated with global amphibian declines. Our study shows that amphibians may be able to adjust their skin peptide defenses in response to stressors that are experienced early in ontogeny and that these effects extend through an important life-history transition. PMID:24115058

  14. Molecular Basis of Gain-of-Function LEOPARD Syndrome-Associated SHP2 Mutations

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The Src homology 2 (SH2) domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2 (SHP2) is a critical signal transducer downstream of growth factors that promotes the activation of the RAS-ERK1/2 cascade. In its basal state, SHP2 exists in an autoinhibited closed conformation because of an intramolecular interaction between its N-SH2 and protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) domains. Binding to pTyr ligands present on growth factor receptors and adaptor proteins with its N-SH2 domain localizes SHP2 to its substrates and frees the active site from allosteric inhibition. Germline mutations in SHP2 are known to cause both Noonan syndrome (NS) and LEOPARD syndrome (LS), two clinically similar autosomal dominant developmental disorders. NS-associated SHP2 mutants display elevated phosphatase activity, while LS-associated SHP2 mutants exhibit reduced catalytic activity. A conundrum in how clinically similar diseases result from mutations to SHP2 that have opposite effects on this enzyme’s catalytic functionality exists. Here we report a comprehensive investigation of the kinetic, structural, dynamic, and biochemical signaling properties of the wild type as well as all reported LS-associated SHP2 mutants. The results reveal that LS-causing mutations not only affect SHP2 phosphatase activity but also induce a weakening of the intramolecular interaction between the N-SH2 and PTP domains, leading to mutants that are more readily activated by competing pTyr ligands. Our data also indicate that the residual phosphatase activity associated with the LS SHP2 mutant is required for enhanced ERK1/2 activation. Consequently, catalytically impaired SHP2 mutants could display gain-of-function properties because of their ability to localize to the vicinity of substrates for longer periods of time, thereby affording the opportunity for prolonged substrate turnover and sustained RAS-ERK1/2 activation. PMID:24935154

  15. Variant in the RFWD3 gene associated with PATN1, a modifier of leopard complex spotting.

    PubMed

    Holl, H M; Brooks, S A; Archer, S; Brown, K; Malvick, J; Penedo, M C T; Bellone, R R

    2016-02-01

    Leopard complex spotting (LP), the result of an incompletely dominant mutation in TRPM1, produces a collection of unique depigmentation patterns in the horse. Although the LP mutation allows for expression of the various patterns, other loci are responsible for modification of the extent of white. Pedigree analysis of families segregating for high levels of patterning indicated a single dominant gene, named Pattern-1 (PATN1), as a major modifier of LP. Linkage analysis in two half-sibling families segregating for PATN1 identified a 15-Mb region on ECA3p that warranted further investigation. Whole transcriptome sequencing of skin samples from horses with and without the PATN1 allele was performed to identify genic SNPs for fine mapping. Two Sequenom assays were utilized to genotype 192 individuals from five LP-carrying breeds. The initial panel highlighted a 1.6-Mb region without a clear candidate gene. In the second round of fine mapping, SNP ECA3:23 658 447T>G in the 3'-UTR of RING finger and WD repeat domain 3 (RFWD3) reached a significance level of P = 1.063 × 10(-39). Sequencing of RFWD3 did not identify any coding polymorphisms specific to PATN1 horses. Genotyping of the RFWD3 3'-UTR SNP in 54 additional LP animals and 327 horses from nine breeds not segregating for LP further supported the association (P = 4.17 × 10(-115)). This variant is a strong candidate for PATN1 and may be particularly useful for LP breeders to select for high levels of white patterning. PMID:26568529

  16. Toxic effects of endrin and toxaphene on the southern leopard frog Rana sphenocephala

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.J.; Swineford, D.

    1980-01-01

    Eggs, larvae and sub-adults of the southern leopard frog Rana sphenocephala were exposed to endrin and toxaphene. Exposure was in water by a continuous-flow technique, following standards that have been used successfully in the study of fish and invertebrates. R. sphenocephala is more sensitive to both pesticides than are higher vertebrates but is slightly less sensitive than fish. Eggs seem to be resistant to the effects of both pesticides and are probably poor indicators of environmental hazard. The toxic level of endrin is about equal in larvae and transformed frogs (LC50, 0?005-0?015 ppm). Toxaphene is less toxic to sub-adults (LC50, 0?37-0?790 ppm) than to larvae (LC50, 0?032-0?054 ppm). Delayed mortality, behavioural aberrations and effects on growth have been seen in toxaphene-dosed larvae observed over 30-day periods. Behavioural effects are more severe than those reported in other groups of animals. Effects on growth resulting from a 96-h exposure begin in the 0?013-0?018 ppm range. The maximum accumulation of residues observed for each chemical represented bioconcentration factors of about 100. Endrin residues are apparently lost more readily than toxaphene residues; relative depuration rates correlate well with the time course of toxic action in each chemical. Although less sensitive to these pesticides than fish, amphibians may not be protected in their natural habitats. Future studies of the effects of toxicants on amphibians should employ larvae if only one stage can be tested, should expose subjects for at least 96 h and should continue observations for a total of at least 30 days.

  17. LEOPARD syndrome-associated SHP2 mutation confers leanness and protection from diet-induced obesity.

    PubMed

    Tajan, Mylène; Batut, Aurélie; Cadoudal, Thomas; Deleruyelle, Simon; Le Gonidec, Sophie; Saint Laurent, Céline; Vomscheid, Maëlle; Wanecq, Estelle; Tréguer, Karine; De Rocca Serra-Nédélec, Audrey; Vinel, Claire; Marques, Marie-Adeline; Pozzo, Joffrey; Kunduzova, Oksana; Salles, Jean-Pierre; Tauber, Maithé; Raynal, Patrick; Cavé, Hélène; Edouard, Thomas; Valet, Philippe; Yart, Armelle

    2014-10-21

    LEOPARD syndrome (multiple Lentigines, Electrocardiographic conduction abnormalities, Ocular hypertelorism, Pulmonary stenosis, Abnormal genitalia, Retardation of growth, sensorineural Deafness; LS), also called Noonan syndrome with multiple lentigines (NSML), is a rare autosomal dominant disorder associating various developmental defects, notably cardiopathies, dysmorphism, and short stature. It is mainly caused by mutations of the PTPN11 gene that catalytically inactivate the tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 (Src-homology 2 domain-containing phosphatase 2). Besides its pleiotropic roles during development, SHP2 plays key functions in energetic metabolism regulation. However, the metabolic outcomes of LS mutations have never been examined. Therefore, we performed an extensive metabolic exploration of an original LS mouse model, expressing the T468M mutation of SHP2, frequently borne by LS patients. Our results reveal that, besides expected symptoms, LS animals display a strong reduction of adiposity and resistance to diet-induced obesity, associated with overall better metabolic profile. We provide evidence that LS mutant expression impairs adipogenesis, triggers energy expenditure, and enhances insulin signaling, three features that can contribute to the lean phenotype of LS mice. Interestingly, chronic treatment of LS mice with low doses of MEK inhibitor, but not rapamycin, resulted in weight and adiposity gains. Importantly, preliminary data in a French cohort of LS patients suggests that most of them have lower-than-average body mass index, associated, for tested patients, with reduced adiposity. Altogether, these findings unravel previously unidentified characteristics for LS, which could represent a metabolic benefit for patients, but may also participate to the development or worsening of some traits of the disease. Beyond LS, they also highlight a protective role of SHP2 global LS-mimicking modulation toward the development of obesity and associated disorders

  18. Heterocercal tail function in leopard sharks: a three-dimensional kinematic analysis of two models

    PubMed

    Ferry; Lauder

    1996-01-01

    Two different models have been proposed to explain the function of the heterocercal tail in shark locomotion. The classical model proposes that, as a result of lift generated by the tail as it beats, the net force acting on the tail is directed dorsally and anteriorly. In contrast, Thomson's model suggests that the tail generates a net force directed through the shark's center of gravity, i.e. ventrally and anteriorly. In this study, we evaluate these two models by describing the three-dimensional kinematics of the heterocercal tail in the leopard shark Triakis semifasciata during swimming. Lateral and posterior views of the tail were examined from four individuals swimming in a flow tank at 1.2 L s-1 (where L is total length) using two high-speed video cameras filming simultaneously at 250 fields s-1. These two simultaneous views allowed eight landmarks on the tail to be followed in three dimensions through time. These landmarks allowed the tail to be divided into separate surfaces whose orientation over time was calculated. Points located anteriorly on the tail go through significantly smaller excursions and reach their maximum lateral excursion significantly earlier in the beat cycle than points on the trailing edge of the tail. Three-dimensional angle calculations show that the terminal lobe leads the ventral lobe through a beat, as predicted by the classical model. Dye-stream visualizations confirmed that this pattern of movement deflects water ventrally and posteriorly to the moving tail, providing strong support for the classical model. Additionally, our results show that a three-dimensional analysis is critical to understanding the function of the heterocercal tail. PMID:9320170

  19. Magnetooptical Faraday and Light-Scattering Diagnostics of Laser Plasma in Leopard Laser Facility at UNR/NTF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarkisov, G. S.; Yates, K.; Ivanov, V. V.; Sotnikov, V. I.; Yasin, E.; Wiewior, P.; Astanovitsky, A.; Chaly, O.; Kindel, J.

    2009-11-01

    Laser plasma of the solid target on Leopard Laser Facility at University of Nevada Reno was investigated using polarimetry, interferometry and laser-scattering diagnostics. 50 TW Nd:glass Leopard laser operates on 1056 nm wavelength, 10 J energy and 1ns/400 fs pulse width. Power flux on a target surface varied from 10^14 to 10^19W/cm^2 with 20 μm focus spot from off-axis parabola. The diagnostic of spontaneous magnetic fields in laser plasma was carried out using three-channel polarinterferometer with Faraday, shadow and interferogram channels. Ultrafast two-frame shadowgrams/interferograms with two probing beams with orthogonal polarizations were used for investigation of fast moving plasma phenomena (jets, ionization front propagation). Continuous 1W green DPSS-laser with external modulation was used for light scattering experiments for investigation of the late-time micro-particles generation in laser plasma with expected large charge number of the grain Z ˜ 100-1000.

  20. Effects of polychlorinated biphenyl 126 on green frog (Rana clamitans) and leopard frog (Rana pipiens) hatching success, development, and metamorphosis

    SciTech Connect

    Rosenshield, M.L.; Jofre, M.B.; Karasov, W.H.

    1999-11-01

    Although increasing evidence links plana chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), to decreases in survival and reproduction of fish, mammals, and birds near Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the Great Lakes, USA, relatively little is known of their bioaccumulation or of their possible effects in amphibians. The authors exposed embryos and larvae of two ranid species commonly occurring in the Green Bay ecosystem, the green frog (Rana clamitans) and the leopard frog (Rana pipiens), to PCB 126, a model coplanar PCB compound. Nominal concentrations ranged from 0.005 to 50 {micro}g/L, and exposure lasted through metamorphosis. Tissue concentrations of PCB 126 in tadpoles that did not metamorphose by the end of the experiment ranged from 1.2 to 9,600 ng/g wet mass. No significant mortality of embryos occurred before hatching; however, survival of larvae was significantly reduced at the highest concentration for both species. Few deformities were observed, but the incidence of edema was significantly higher in tadpoles exposed to 50 {micro}g/L. Swimming speed and growth of tadpoles was also significantly reduced in this treatment. The percent of tadpoles that reached metamorphosis was significantly lower in green frogs at the highest concentration, and no leopard frogs survived past day 47 of the experiment in this treatment. At high concentrations, PCB 126 affected both ranid species; however, sublethal effects were not apparent for the parameters the authors measured at concentrations that occur in water in the Green Bay ecosystem.

  1. Abundance of ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) infesting the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, in relation to environmental factors.

    PubMed

    Tälleklint-Eisen, L; Eisen, R J

    1999-09-01

    We examined the impact of environmental characteristics, such as habitat type, topographic exposure and presence of leaf litter, on the abundance of Ixodes pacificus ticks infesting the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) at the University of California Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC), Mendocino County, California. A total of 383 adult lizards were slip-noosed and examined for tick infestation in April and May 1998. At least 94% of the lizards were infested by ticks and at least 20% of the females and 33% of the males carried > 15 ticks. This intensive utilization of western fence lizards (which do not serve as natural reservoirs for Lyme disease spirochetes) by subadult ticks, is probably the primary reason for the low prevalence of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi in I. pacificus nymphs and adults previously recorded at the HREC. Tick loads were higher on male than female lizards. Also, male lizards were generally more heavily infested in late April than in late May. The prevalence of tick infestation exceeded 88% in all habitat types but males collected in woodland and grass/woodland edges had higher tick loads than those collected in open grassland. Male lizards captured in open, exposed grassland tended to carry heavier tick loads in northern/eastern, as compared to southern/western, exposures, and when leaf litter was present. PMID:10581712

  2. A fossil Diploglossus (Squamata, Anguidae) lizard from Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre Islands (Guadeloupe, French West Indies).

    PubMed

    Bochaton, Corentin; Boistel, Renaud; Casagrande, Fabrice; Grouard, Sandrine; Bailon, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Today, Diploglossine lizards (Anguidae) are common on the Greater Antillean Islands (West Indies), where they are represented by many endemic species. However these lizards are very rare on the Lesser Antillean Islands, where they are only represented by a single species, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati). Here, we show that diploglossine lizards were present in the past on other Lesser Antillean islands, by reporting the discovery of Anguidae fossil remains in two Amerindian archaeological deposits and in a modern deposit. These remains are compared to skeletons of extant diploglossine lizards, including D. montisserrati, using X-ray microtomography of the type specimen of this critically endangered lizard. We also conducted a histological study of the osteoderms in order to estimate the putative age of the specimen. Our results show that the fossil specimens correspond to a member of the Diploglossus genus presenting strong similarities, but also minor morphological differences with D. montisserrati, although we postulate that these differences are not sufficient to warrant the description of a new species. These specimens, identified as Diploglossus sp., provide a new comparison point for the study of fossil diploglossine lizards and reflect the historical 17(th) century mentions of anguid lizards, which had not been observed since. PMID:27354326

  3. A fossil Diploglossus (Squamata, Anguidae) lizard from Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre Islands (Guadeloupe, French West Indies)

    PubMed Central

    Bochaton, Corentin; Boistel, Renaud; Casagrande, Fabrice; Grouard, Sandrine; Bailon, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    Today, Diploglossine lizards (Anguidae) are common on the Greater Antillean Islands (West Indies), where they are represented by many endemic species. However these lizards are very rare on the Lesser Antillean Islands, where they are only represented by a single species, the Montserrat galliwasp (Diploglossus montisserrati). Here, we show that diploglossine lizards were present in the past on other Lesser Antillean islands, by reporting the discovery of Anguidae fossil remains in two Amerindian archaeological deposits and in a modern deposit. These remains are compared to skeletons of extant diploglossine lizards, including D. montisserrati, using X-ray microtomography of the type specimen of this critically endangered lizard. We also conducted a histological study of the osteoderms in order to estimate the putative age of the specimen. Our results show that the fossil specimens correspond to a member of the Diploglossus genus presenting strong similarities, but also minor morphological differences with D. montisserrati, although we postulate that these differences are not sufficient to warrant the description of a new species. These specimens, identified as Diploglossus sp., provide a new comparison point for the study of fossil diploglossine lizards and reflect the historical 17th century mentions of anguid lizards, which had not been observed since. PMID:27354326

  4. Variation in stress and innate immunity in the tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus) across an urban-rural gradient

    PubMed Central

    French, Susannah S.; Fokidis, H. Bobby; Moore, Michael C.

    2009-01-01

    The urban environment presents new and different challenges to wildlife, but also potential opportunities depending on the species. As urban encroachment onto native habitats continues, understanding the impact of this expansion on native species is vital to conservation. A key physiological indicator of environmental disturbance is the vertebrate stress response, involving increases in circulating glucocorticoids (i.e., corticosterone), which exert influence on numerous physiological parameters including energy storage, reproduction, and immunity. We examined how urbanization in Phoenix, Arizona influences corticosterone levels, blood parasitism, and innate immunity in populations of tree lizards (Urosaurus ornatus) to determine whether urbanization may be detrimental or beneficial to this species. Both baseline and stress-induced corticosterone concentrations were significantly lower in urban lizards relative to the rural ones, however, the magnitude of the increase in corticosterone with stress did not differ across populations. Urban lizards also had a lower ratio of heterophils to lymphocytes, but elevated overall leukocyte count, as compared to lizards from the natural site. Urban and rural lizards did not differ in their prevalence of the blood parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum. Taken together, these results suggest that urban tree lizards may have suppressed overall corticosterone concentrations possibly from down-regulation as a result of frequent exposure to stressors, or increased access to urban resources. Also, urban lizards may have bolstered immunocompetence possibly from increased immune challenges, such as wounding, in the urban environment, or from greater energetic reserves being available as a result of access to urban resources. PMID:18594834

  5. Mammalian X homolog acts as sex chromosome in lacertid lizards.

    PubMed

    Rovatsos, M; Vukić, J; Kratochvíl, L

    2016-07-01

    Among amniotes, squamate reptiles are especially variable in their mechanisms of sex determination; however, based largely on cytogenetic data, some lineages possess highly evolutionary stable sex chromosomes. The still very limited knowledge of the genetic content of squamate sex chromosomes precludes a reliable reconstruction of the evolutionary history of sex determination in this group and consequently in all amniotes. Female heterogamety with a degenerated W chromosome typifies the lizards of the family Lacertidae, the widely distributed Old World clade including several hundreds of species. From the liver transcriptome of the lacertid Takydromus sexlineatus female, we selected candidates for Z-specific genes as the loci lacking single-nucleotide polymorphisms. We validated the candidate genes through the comparison of the copy numbers in the female and male genomes of T. sexlineatus and another lacertid species, Lacerta agilis, by quantitative PCR that also proved to be a reliable technique for the molecular sexing of the studied species. We suggest that this novel approach is effective for the detection of Z-specific and X-specific genes in lineages with degenerated W, respectively Y chromosomes. The analyzed gene content of the Z chromosome revealed that lacertid sex chromosomes are not homologous with those of other reptiles including birds, but instead the genes have orthologs in the X-conserved region shared by viviparous mammals. It is possible that this part of the vertebrate genome was independently co-opted for the function of sex chromosomes in viviparous mammals and lacertids because of its content of genes involved in gonad differentiation. PMID:26980341

  6. Patterns of coccidial prevalence in lizards of Mauritius.

    PubMed

    Leinwand, Ian; Kilpatrick, A Marm; Cole, Nik; Jones, Carl G; Daszak, Peter

    2005-10-01

    This paper reports prevalence of coccidial oocysts in fecal samples from 6 endemic and 2 introduced lizard species on Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Total coccidian prevalence was 54% (n = 341) for the endemic 'ornate day gecko,' Phelsuma ornata; 48% (n = 159) for the endemic 'Durrell's night gecko,' Nactus durrelli; 53% (n = 15) for the endemic 'Serpent Island night gecko,' N. serpensinsula; and 78% (n = 248) for the introduced gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus. These high prevalences may reflect lack of long-lasting immune response to coccidial infection. There were few significant differences in prevalence among age, island, sex, or body condition within species, suggesting that these coccidia are relatively nonpathogenic and have little effect on host fitness. Prevalence was higher in the dry season than the wet season. These data suggest other factors, such as low host immune response to reinfection, affect overall prevalence more significantly than the effect of humidity on oocyst survival on Mauritius. No coccidia were found in samples from the endemic 'Gunner's Quoin night gecko,' N. coindemirensis (n = 155), probably reflecting parasite extinction due to a host population bottleneck following historical introduction of rats. There was no evidence of competitive or facilitative interactions between Eimeria sp. and Isospora sp., but evidence of competition between 2 Eimeria species in the 'ornate day gecko,' Phelsuma ornata. No evidence was found of cross-species infection, suggesting that reptile coccidia have high host specificity and are, therefore, poor subjects for studies of parasite-mediated competition and the evolution of sex. PMID:16419754

  7. Polymorphic ROS scavenging revealed by CCCP in a lizard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsson, Mats; Wilson, Mark; Isaksson, Caroline; Uller, Tobias

    2009-07-01

    Ingestion of antioxidants has been argued to scavenge circulating reactive molecules (e.g., free radicals), play a part in mate choice (by mediating access to this important resource), and perhaps increase life span. However, recent work has come to question these relationships. We have shown elsewhere in the polychromatic lizard, Ctenophorus pictus, that diet supplementation of carotenoids as antioxidants does not depress circulating natural reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and leads to no corresponding improvement of color traits. However, a much stronger test would be to experimentally manipulate the ROS levels themselves and assess carotenoid-induced ROS depression. Here, we achieve this by using carbonyl cyanide 3-chlorophenylhydrazone, which elevates superoxide (SO) formation approximately threefold at 10 μM in this model system. We then look for depressing effects on ROS of the carotenoids in order to assess whether ‘super-production’ of SO makes carotenoid effects on elevated ROS levels detectable. The rationale for this treatment was that if not even such elevated levels of SO are reduced by carotenoid supplementation, the putative link carotenoids, ROS depression, and mate quality (in terms of antioxidant capacity) is highly questionable. We conclude that there is no significant effect of carotenoids on mean SO levels even at the induced ROS levels. However, our results showed a significant interaction effect between carotenoid treatment and male color, with red males having higher ROS levels than yellow males. We suggest that this may be because different pigments are differently involved in the generation of the integumental colors in the two morphs with concomitant effects on ROS depletion depending on carotenoid uptake or allocation to coloration and antioxidation.

  8. Musculoskeletal anatomical changes that accompany limb reduction in lizards.

    PubMed

    Abdala, Virginia; Grizante, Mariana B; Diogo, Rui; Molnar, Julia; Kohlsdorf, Tiana

    2015-11-01

    Muscles, bones, and tendons in the adult tetrapod limb are intimately integrated, both spatially and functionally. However, muscle and bone evolution do not always occur hand in hand. We asked, how does the loss of limb bones affect limb muscle anatomy, and do these effects vary among different lineages? To answer these questions, we compared limb muscular and skeletal anatomy among gymnophthalmid lizards, which exhibit a remarkable variation in limb morphology and different grades of digit and limb reduction. We mapped the characters onto a phylogeny of the group to assess the likelihood that they were acquired independently. Our results reveal patterns of reduction of muscle and bone elements that did not always coincide and examples of both, convergent and lineage-specific non-pentadactyl musculoskeletal morphologies. Among lineages in which non-pentadactyly evolved independently, the degree of convergence seems to depend on the number of digits still present. Most tetradactyl and tridactyl limbs exhibited profound differences in pattern and degree of muscle loss/reduction, and recognizable morphological convergence occurred only in extremely reduced morphologies (e.g., spike-like appendix). We also found examples of muscles that persisted although the bones to which they plesiomorphically attach had been lost, and examples of muscles that had been lost although their normal bony attachments persisted. Our results demonstrate that muscle anatomy in reduced limbs cannot be predicted from bone anatomy alone, meaning that filling the gap between osteological and myological data is an important step toward understanding this recurrent phenomenon in the evolution of tetrapods. PMID:26251347

  9. Genetically based low oxygen affinities of felid hemoglobins: lack of biochemical adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia in the snow leopard

    PubMed Central

    Janecka, Jan E.; Nielsen, Simone S. E.; Andersen, Sidsel D.; Hoffmann, Federico G.; Weber, Roy E.; Anderson, Trevor; Storz, Jay F.; Fago, Angela

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Genetically based modifications of hemoglobin (Hb) function that increase blood–O2 affinity are hallmarks of hypoxia adaptation in vertebrates. Among mammals, felid Hbs are unusual in that they have low intrinsic O2 affinities and reduced sensitivities to the allosteric cofactor 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (DPG). This combination of features compromises the acclimatization capacity of blood–O2 affinity and has led to the hypothesis that felids have a restricted physiological niche breadth relative to other mammals. In seeming defiance of this conjecture, the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) has an extraordinarily broad elevational distribution and occurs at elevations above 6000 m in the Himalayas. Here, we characterized structural and functional variation of big cat Hbs and investigated molecular mechanisms of Hb adaptation and allosteric regulation that may contribute to the extreme hypoxia tolerance of the snow leopard. Experiments revealed that purified Hbs from snow leopard and African lion exhibited equally low O2 affinities and DPG sensitivities. Both properties are primarily attributable to a single amino acid substitution, β2His→Phe, which occurred in the common ancestor of Felidae. Given the low O2 affinity and reduced regulatory capacity of feline Hbs, the extreme hypoxia tolerance of snow leopards must be attributable to compensatory modifications of other steps in the O2-transport pathway. PMID:26246610

  10. A review of the proposed reintroduction program for the Far Eastern leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) and the role of conservation organizations, veterinarians, and zoos.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Paul; Stack, David; Harley, Jessica

    2013-11-01

    The Amur leopard is at the point of extinction. At present there are fewer than 35 in the wild. Their natural habitat ranges from China to the North Korean peninsula to Primorsky Krai in Russia. A reintroduction plan has been proposed to increase the population in the wild; however, this proposed plan still has many questions to be answered as to how effective it will be. The main objective is to reintroduce animals from a select group within the Far Eastern leopard programme or the Species Survival programme, which consist of leopards from select populations in the Northern Hemisphere. Zoos are central to the success of this plan, providing suitable breeding pairs to breed animals for reintroduction and also raising much needed funds to finance the project. Zoos are also central in educating the public about the critical status of the Amur leopard and other endangered animals of the world. Veterinary surgeons, by the very nature of their professional skills, are at the forefront of this seemingly endless battle against extinction of thousands of species that are critical to maintaining the balance of our fragile ecosystem. Veterinarians can analyze the health risks and health implications of reintroduction on the animals to be reintroduced and also on the native population. A world without large cats is a world hard to imagine. If we look closer at the implications of extinction, we see the domino effect of their loss and an ecosystem out of control. PMID:24331556

  11. STATUS OF THE RELICT LEOPARD FROG (RANA ONCA): OUR LIMITED UNDERSTANDING OF THE DISTRIBUTION, SIZE, AND DYNAMICS OF EXTANT AND RECENTLY EXTINCT POPULATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The relict leopard frog (Rana onca) was once thought to be extinct, but has recently been shown to comprise a valid taxon with extant populations. Here, we discuss research from several studies, conducted between 1991 and 200 1, that represent the basis for our understanding of t...

  12. Genetically based low oxygen affinities of felid hemoglobins: lack of biochemical adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia in the snow leopard.

    PubMed

    Janecka, Jan E; Nielsen, Simone S E; Andersen, Sidsel D; Hoffmann, Federico G; Weber, Roy E; Anderson, Trevor; Storz, Jay F; Fago, Angela

    2015-08-01

    Genetically based modifications of hemoglobin (Hb) function that increase blood-O2 affinity are hallmarks of hypoxia adaptation in vertebrates. Among mammals, felid Hbs are unusual in that they have low intrinsic O2 affinities and reduced sensitivities to the allosteric cofactor 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (DPG). This combination of features compromises the acclimatization capacity of blood-O2 affinity and has led to the hypothesis that felids have a restricted physiological niche breadth relative to other mammals. In seeming defiance of this conjecture, the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) has an extraordinarily broad elevational distribution and occurs at elevations above 6000 m in the Himalayas. Here, we characterized structural and functional variation of big cat Hbs and investigated molecular mechanisms of Hb adaptation and allosteric regulation that may contribute to the extreme hypoxia tolerance of the snow leopard. Experiments revealed that purified Hbs from snow leopard and African lion exhibited equally low O2 affinities and DPG sensitivities. Both properties are primarily attributable to a single amino acid substitution, β2His→Phe, which occurred in the common ancestor of Felidae. Given the low O2 affinity and reduced regulatory capacity of feline Hbs, the extreme hypoxia tolerance of snow leopards must be attributable to compensatory modifications of other steps in the O2-transport pathway. PMID:26246610

  13. Lizard movement tracks: variation in path re-use behaviour is consistent with a scent-marking function

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Grant; Roddick, John F.; Bull, C. Michael

    2016-01-01

    Individual movement influences the spatial and social structuring of a population. Animals regularly use the same paths to move efficiently to familiar places, or to patrol and mark home ranges. We found that Australian sleepy lizards (Tiliqua rugosa), a monogamous species with stable pair-bonds, repeatedly used the same paths within their home ranges and investigated whether path re-use functions as a scent-marking behaviour, or whether it is influenced by site familiarity. Lizards can leave scent trails on the substrate when moving through the environment and have a well-developed vomeronasal system to detect and respond to those scents. Path re-use would allow sleepy lizards to concentrate scent marks along these well-used trails, advertising their presence. Hypotheses of mate attraction and mating competition predict that sleepy lizard males, which experience greater intra-sexual competition, mark more strongly. Consistent with those hypotheses, males re-used their paths more than females, and lizards that showed pairing behaviour with individuals of the opposite sex re-used paths more than unpaired lizards, particularly among females. Hinterland marking is most economic when home ranges are large and mobility is low, as is the case in the sleepy lizard. Consistent with this strategy, re-used paths were predominantly located in the inner 50% home range areas. Together, our detailed movement analyses suggest that path re-use is a scent marking behaviour in the sleepy lizard. We also investigated but found less support for alternative explanations of path re-use behaviour, such as site familiarity and spatial knowledge. Lizards established the same number of paths, and used them as often, whether they had occupied their home ranges for one or for more years. We discuss our findings in relation to maintenance of the monogamous mating system of this species, and the spatial and social structuring of the population. PMID:27019790

  14. Lizard movement tracks: variation in path re-use behaviour is consistent with a scent-marking function.

    PubMed

    Leu, Stephan T; Jackson, Grant; Roddick, John F; Bull, C Michael

    2016-01-01

    Individual movement influences the spatial and social structuring of a population. Animals regularly use the same paths to move efficiently to familiar places, or to patrol and mark home ranges. We found that Australian sleepy lizards (Tiliqua rugosa), a monogamous species with stable pair-bonds, repeatedly used the same paths within their home ranges and investigated whether path re-use functions as a scent-marking behaviour, or whether it is influenced by site familiarity. Lizards can leave scent trails on the substrate when moving through the environment and have a well-developed vomeronasal system to detect and respond to those scents. Path re-use would allow sleepy lizards to concentrate scent marks along these well-used trails, advertising their presence. Hypotheses of mate attraction and mating competition predict that sleepy lizard males, which experience greater intra-sexual competition, mark more strongly. Consistent with those hypotheses, males re-used their paths more than females, and lizards that showed pairing behaviour with individuals of the opposite sex re-used paths more than unpaired lizards, particularly among females. Hinterland marking is most economic when home ranges are large and mobility is low, as is the case in the sleepy lizard. Consistent with this strategy, re-used paths were predominantly located in the inner 50% home range areas. Together, our detailed movement analyses suggest that path re-use is a scent marking behaviour in the sleepy lizard. We also investigated but found less support for alternative explanations of path re-use behaviour, such as site familiarity and spatial knowledge. Lizards established the same number of paths, and used them as often, whether they had occupied their home ranges for one or for more years. We discuss our findings in relation to maintenance of the monogamous mating system of this species, and the spatial and social structuring of the population. PMID:27019790

  15. Immunolocalization of FGF1 and FGF2 in the regenerating tail of the lizard Lampropholis guichenoti: implications for FGFs as trophic factors in lizard tail regeneration.

    PubMed

    Alibardi, Lorenzo; Lovicu, Frank J

    2010-09-01

    A role for fibroblast growth factors in stimulating limb and tail regeneration in amphibians has been shown; however, it is unknown whether these growth factors are also involved in the regeneration of the tail of lizard, an amniote model for studies on tissue regeneration. The presence of fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF1) and -2 (FGF2) in the regenerating tail of the lizard Lampropholis guichenoti has been studied using immunofluorescence labeling. The study reveals that FGF2 is mainly localized in the wound and scaling epidermis, in differentiating muscles, in spinal ganglia, regenerating nerves and spinal cord. FGF1 is also present in the wound and differentiating epidermis, but is detectable at lower levels in the regenerating muscles and spinal cord. FGF1 is present in blastema cells, while FGF2 labeling is relatively low in these cells. Fibroblasts of the forming dermis are rich in FGF1 but not in FGF2. Developing blood vessels label for both FGF1 and FGF2 while the cartilaginous, bone and fat tissues are poorly labeled or unlabeled for FGFs. The present study suggests that most FGFs in the regenerating tail are located in the nervous system, in the epidermis and muscles, and these tissues most likely require these growth factors for their differentiation and growth. The present study suggests that FGFs produced in the regenerating epidermis, spinal cord and nerves can stimulate tail regeneration in lizards. PMID:19589562

  16. Thermal ecology and activity patterns of the short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglassi) and the sage brush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) in southeastern Idaho

    SciTech Connect

    Guyer, C.; Linder, A.D.

    1985-10-31

    A mark-recapture study of the short-horned lizard (Phyrnosoma douglassi) and the sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) was performed from 1976 to 1977 in southeastern Idaho. Both species had mean cloacal temperatures of approximately 33 C. However, P. douglassi had more variable cloacal temperatures, particularly during morning and evening periods. This was caused by differences in sleeping sites chosen by the two species. Adults of both species were active from mid-April through late August, with peak activity in June. Juvenile P. douglassi displayed a seasonal activity pattern similar to that of adults. Juvenile S. graciosus were most active later in the year (August), when adults were disappearing. In both species, young-of-the-year appeared in early to mid-August. Adult and juvenile P. douglassi were active during all daylight hours and displayed no activity peaks, whereas young-of-the-year displayed a bimodal activity pattern. Adult and juvenile S. graciosus were active over all daylight hours but had peak activity between 1200 and 1500 h. Ants (Pogonomyrmex) were the lizard's principle prey. However, only young-of-the-year P. douglassi had activity patterns that paralleled that of ants on their mounds. 22 references, 4 figures.

  17. Habitat-related variation in infestation of lizards and rodents with Ixodes ticks in dense woodlands in Mendocino County, California.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Eisen, Lars; Lane, Robert S

    2004-01-01

    During the spring and early summer of 2002, we examined the relative importance of Borrelia-refractory lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis, Elgaria spp.) versus potential Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.)-reservoirs (rodents) as hosts for Ixodes pacificus immatures in 14 woodland areas (six oak, five mixed oak/Douglas fir, and three redwood/tanoak areas) distributed throughout Mendocino County, California. Lizards were estimated to serve as hosts for 93-98% of all larvae and > or =99.6% of all nymphs infesting lizards or rodents in oak woodlands and oak/Douglas fir sites in the southern part of the county. In redwood/tanoak woodlands and oak/Douglas fir sites in northern Mendocino County, the contribution of rodents to larval feedings reached 36-69% but lizards still accounted for 94-100% of nymphal bloodmeals. From late April to mid-June, I. pacificus larvae were recovered from 95 to 96% of lizards and dusky-footed woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes) and from 59% of Peromyscus spp. mice. In contrast, 99% of lizards but few woodrats (15%) and none of the mice were infested by nymphs. Comparisons of tick loads for 19 lizard-Peromyscus spp. mouse pairings, where the lizard and mouse were captured within 10m of each other, revealed that the lizards harbored 36 times more larvae and >190 times more nymphs than the mice. In oak woodlands, loads of I. pacificus larvae decreased from late April/early May to late June for S. occidentalis lizards but increased for Peromyscus spp. mice. We conclude that the relative utilization of Borrelia-refractory lizards, as compared to rodents, by I. pacificus larvae was far higher in dry oak woodlands than in moister habitats such as redwood/tanoak and oak/Douglas fir woodlands in northern Mendocino County. Non-lizard-infesting potential enzootic vectors of B. burgdorferi s.l. (I. angustus and I. spinipalpis) were recorded from rodents in three of six oak woodland areas, two of five oak/Douglas fir woodland areas, and two of three redwood

  18. The influence of competitor density on space use in juvenile striped plateau lizards ( Sceloporus virgatus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manteuffel, V. Mark; Eiblmaier, Martin

    2008-05-01

    To investigate the role of competitor density in influencing space use patterns of juvenile striped plateau lizards ( Sceloporus virgatus), a density manipulation experiment was conducted within large (800 m 2) field enclosures treated with low (20) and high (60) densities of hatchlings. Enclosures were monitored for 10 months, after which the experiment was replicated. Home range and core area sizes after release of lizards and initial establishment in the fall were significantly reduced in the high-density treatments; fall home range shape, measured as the perimeter-to-area ratio, was significantly reduced in low-density treatments; no significant differences were detected between treatments in core area shape or overlap. During the spring/early summer activity season after the lizard's first winter, no significant differences between density treatments were detected for any of these variables, as enclosure densities had converged between treatments. Individuals in high-density enclosures had increased their space use as competitor density had declined. These results illustrate that competitor density has significant influence on space use by juvenile lizards.

  19. Sound Localization in Lizards: Functioning of a Pressure-Gradient Receiver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hemmen, J. Leo

    2009-03-01

    Because of their small interaural distance, lizards as well as some other animals have developed a special hearing mechanism, the ``pressure-gradient receiver''. The lizard peripheral auditory system differs from the mammalian one by a coupling of the two eardrums through the internal mouth cavity. We present a three-dimensional analytical model of the pressure-gradient receiver. The central aspect of the coupling of the membranes through the mouth cavity is realized by means of the boundary conditions. Moreover, the lizard's middle ear, a simple lever construction called columella, is asymmetrically attached to the tympanic membrane. This has motivated us to solve the problem of how the middle ear influences the spatial-amplitude profile and the frequency distribution of the tympanic membrane vibration. Finally, we show results from numerical simulations of the eigenfunctions and eigenfrequencies in a lizard's internal mouth cavity bounded by the eardrums. To this end, we have constructed the complex geometry from a cast imprint of the cavity with the help of three-dimensional scans. Our results led to an interesting speculation regarding the neurobiological use of the pressure-gradient system.

  20. Vitamin D supplementation increases the attractiveness of males' scent for female Iberian rock lizards

    PubMed Central

    Martín, José; López, Pilar

    2006-01-01

    Evolutionary theory proposes that signals used in sexual selection can only be stable if they are honest and condition dependent. However, despite the fact that chemical signals are used by many animals, empirical research has mainly focused on visual and acoustic signals. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for lizards, but in some lizards its precursor (cholesta-5,7-dien-3-ol=provitamin D) is found in femoral gland secretions, which males use for scent marking and intraspecific communication. By allocating provitamin D to secretions, males might need to divert vitamin D from metabolism. This might be costly and condition dependent. We tested whether diet quality affected chemical signals of male Iberian rock lizards (Lacerta monticola) and its consequences for sexual selection. After experimental supplementation of dietary vitamin D, males increased the proportion of provitamin D in femoral secretions. Further experiments showed that females detected these changes in males' signals by chemosensory cues, and discriminated provitamin D, and changes in its concentration, from similar steroids (i.e. cholesterol) found in secretions. Moreover, females preferred areas scent marked by males with more provitamin D in their secretions. This mechanism would confer honesty to chemical signals of male lizards, and, thus, females may rely on it to select high-quality males. We suggest that the allocation of vitamins and other essential nutrients to either visual (e.g. carotenoids) or chemical ornaments might be the common basis of honest sexual displays in many animals. PMID:17002947

  1. Immune responses of eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) to repeated acute elevation of corticosterone.

    PubMed

    McCormick, Gail L; Langkilde, Tracy

    2014-08-01

    Prolonged elevations of glucocorticoids due to long-duration (chronic) stress can suppress immune function. It is unclear, however, how natural stressors that result in repeated short-duration (acute) stress, such as frequent agonistic social encounters or predator attacks, fit into our current understanding of the immune consequences of stress. Since these types of stressors may activate the immune system due to increased risk of injury, immune suppression may be reduced at sites where individuals are repeatedly exposed to potentially damaging stressors. We tested whether repeated acute elevation of corticosterone (CORT, a glucocorticoid) suppresses immune function in eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus), and whether this effect varies between lizards from high-stress (high baseline CORT, invaded by predatory fire ants) and low-stress (low baseline CORT, uninvaded) sites. Lizards treated daily with exogenous CORT showed higher hemagglutination of novel proteins by their plasma (a test of constitutive humoral immunity) than control lizards, a pattern that was consistent across sites. There was no significant effect of CORT treatment on bacterial killing ability of plasma. These results suggest that repeated elevations of CORT, which are common in nature, produce immune effects more typical of those expected at the acute end of the acute-chronic spectrum and provide no evidence of modulated consequences of elevated CORT in animals from high-stress sites. PMID:24852352

  2. Fifty years of chasing lizards: new insights advance optimal escape theory.

    PubMed

    Samia, Diogo S M; Blumstein, Daniel T; Stankowich, Theodore; Cooper, William E

    2016-05-01

    Systematic reviews and meta-analyses often examine data from diverse taxa to identify general patterns of effect sizes. Meta-analyses that focus on identifying generalisations in a single taxon are also valuable because species in a taxon are more likely to share similar unique constraints. We conducted a comprehensive phylogenetic meta-analysis of flight initiation distance in lizards. Flight initiation distance (FID) is a common metric used to quantify risk-taking and has previously been shown to reflect adaptive decision-making. The past decade has seen an explosion of studies focused on quantifying FID in lizards, and, because lizards occur in a wide range of habitats, are ecologically diverse, and are typically smaller and differ physiologically from the better studied mammals and birds, they are worthy of detailed examination. We found that variables that reflect the costs or benefits of flight (being engaged in social interactions, having food available) as well as certain predator effects (predator size and approach speed) had large effects on FID in the directions predicted by optimal escape theory. Variables that were associated with morphology (with the exception of crypsis) and physiology had relatively small effects, whereas habitat selection factors typically had moderate to large effect sizes. Lizards, like other taxa, are very sensitive to the costs of flight. PMID:25620002

  3. Estrogenic contamination by manure fertilizer in organic farming: a case study with the lizard Podarcis sicula.

    PubMed

    Verderame, Mariailaria; Limatola, Ermelinda; Scudiero, Rosaria

    2016-01-01

    In the last years, worldwide organic farming has grown exponentially; as a consequence, the use of animal manure as a soil fertility source has become the principal agricultural choice. However, the use of manure as fertilizer can increase the amount of steroid hormone metabolites in the soil. In southern Italy, lacertidae lizards are the most abundant vertebrate group in agroecosystems and have been identified as potential model species for ecotoxicological studies. The aim of this study was to understand if the manure applied in organic farming has estrogen-like effects in the lizard Podarcis sicula. Adult male lizards were captured in two organic agricultural fields (manure-treated sites) and in an uncultivated field (control site). Lizards from the two organic farms displayed hepatic biosynthetic alterations typical of an estrogenic contamination; hepatocytes contained both vitellogenin and estrogen receptor alpha transcripts and proteins, detected by in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry. The same cells did not show cadmium, lead and metallothionein accumulation, indicative of the lack of inorganic contamination. These findings suggest that exogenous estrogens, arising from the use of manure, could affect the welfare of wild animals and animal breeding, leading to bioaccumulation of estrogens in food chain, with possible risk for human consumers. For this reason, organic farming should implement the use of sustainable practices such as crop rotation to preserve the soil biological activity, rather than organic manure as fertilizer. PMID:26475047

  4. Thermal and energetic constraints on ectotherm abundance: A global test using lizards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buckley, L.B.; Rodda, G.H.; Jetz, W.

    2008-01-01

    Population densities of birds and mammals have been shown to decrease with body mass at approximately the same rate as metabolic rates increase, indicating that energetic needs constrain endotherm population densities. In ectotherms, the exponential increase of metabolic rate with body temperature suggests that environmental temperature may additionally constrain population densities. Here we test simple bioenergetic models for an ecologically important group of ectothermic vertebrates by examining 483 lizard populations. We find that lizard population densities decrease as a power law of body mass with a slope approximately inverse to the slope of the relationship between metabolic rates and body mass. Energy availability should limit population densities. As predicted, environmental productivity has a positive effect on lizard density, strengthening the relationship between lizard density and body mass. In contrast, the effect of environmental temperature is at most weak due to behavioral thermoregulation, thermal evolution, or the temperature dependence of ectotherm performance. Our results provide initial insights into how energy needs and availability differentially constrain ectotherm and endotherm density across broad spatial scales. ?? 2008 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. Ecological explanations to island gigantism: dietary niche divergence, predation, and size in an endemic lizard.

    PubMed

    Runemark, Anna; Sagonas, Kostas; Svensson, Erik I

    2015-08-01

    Although rapid evolution of body size on islands has long been known, the ecological mechanisms behind this island phenomenon remain poorly understood. Diet is an important selective pressure for morphological divergence. Here we investigate if selection for novel diets has contributed to the multiple independent cases of island gigantism in the Skyros wall lizard (Podarcis gaigeae) and if diet, predation, or both factors best explain island gigantism. We combined data on body size, shape, bite force, and realized and available diets to address this. Several lines of evidence suggest that diet has contributed to the island gigantism. The larger islet lizards have relatively wider heads and higher bite performance in relation to mainland lizards than would be expected from size differences alone. The proportions of consumed and available hard prey are higher on islets than mainland localities, and lizard body size is significantly correlated with the proportion of hard prey. Furthermore, the main axis of divergence in head shape is significantly correlated with dietary divergence. Finally, a model with only diet and one including diet and predation regime explain body size divergence equally well. Our results suggest that diet is an important ecological factor behind insular body size divergence, but could be consistent with an additional role for predation. PMID:26405734

  6. Photoresponsive control of color, albedo, and structure in lizard skin: a smart functional system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughan, Gerald L.

    1996-02-01

    Skin from the lizard, Anolis carolinensis, carries a molecular photosensor and will, in response to visible light, change from bright green to dark brown within minutes. The color/albedo change, involving control of three types of pigment cell, exhibits the sensor, effector, and function aspects of a smart functional system.

  7. Functional characterization and expression analysis of myoglobin in high-altitude lizard Phrynocephalus erythrurus.

    PubMed

    Xin, Ying; Tang, Xiaolong; Wang, Huihui; Lu, Songsong; Wang, Yan; Zhang, Yang; Chen, Qiang

    2015-10-01

    Myoglobin (Mb) is a monomeric hemoprotein which plays an important role in oxygen storage and transport in cardiac and skeletal muscle under hypoxia. The red tail toad-headed lizard Phrynocephalus erythrurus (Lacertilia: Agamidae), which inhabits at an elevation of 4500-5300 m on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, is known to be the highest living lizard in the world. To investigate the characters of myoglobin of this unique species, another low altitude lizard Phrynocephalus przewalskii (Lacertilia: Agamidae) was selected as a reference. The open reading frame (ORF) of myoglobin in two lizards was 465 bp which encodes a polypeptide of 154 amino acids with different theoretical molecular weight and isoelectric point. The amino acid substitutions of myoglobin between two species were found at Thr13Ile, Lys87Thr and His118Asn. Homology modeling results indicated that P. erythrurus myoglobin has a greater heme pocket, which may be more favorable to oxygen binding and unloading. On the other hand, the mRNA levels of myoglobin in both cardiac and skeletal muscle in P. erythrurus were significantly larger than those in low altitude P. przewalskii. At protein level, myoglobin concentration in skeletal muscle in P. erythrurus was notably increased, but no significant difference was observed in cardiac muscle. PMID:26116966

  8. How do food passage rate and assimilation differ between herbivorous lizards and nonruminant mammals?

    PubMed

    Karasov, W H; Petrossian, E; Rosenberg, L; Diamond, J M

    1986-01-01

    What digestive adaptations permit herbivorous nonruminant mammals to sustain much higher metabolic rates than herbivorous lizards, despite gross similarity in digestive anatomy and physiology? We approached this question by comparing four herbivorous species eating the same diet of alfalfa pellets: two lizards (chuckwalla and desert iugana) and two mammals (desert woodrat and laboratory mouse). The mammals had longer small and large intestines, greater intestinal surface area, much higher (by an order of magnitude) food intake normalized to metabolic live mass, and much faster food passage times (a few hours instead of a few days). Among both reptiles and mammals, passage times increase with body size and are longer for herbivores than for carnivores. The herbivorous lizards, despite these much slower passage times, had slightly lower apparent digestive efficiencies than the mammals. At least for chuckwallas, this difference from mammals was not due to differences in body temperature regime. Comparisons of chuckwallas and woodrats in their assimilation of various dietary components showed that the woodrat's main advantage lay in greater assimilation of the dietary fiber fraction. Woodrats achieved greater fiber digestion despite shorter residence time, but possibly because of a larger fermentation chamber, coprophagy, and/or different conditions for microbial fermentation. We conclude with a comparative overview of digestive function in herbivorous lizards and mammals, and with a list of four major unsolved questions. PMID:3734193

  9. Impact and intrusion of the foot of a lizard running rapidly on sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chen; Hsieh, Tonia; Umbanhowar, Paul; Goldman, Daniel

    2012-11-01

    The desert-dwelling zebra-tailed lizard (Callisaurus draconoides, 10 cm, 10 g) runs rapidly (~10 BL/s) on granular media (GM) like sand and gravel. On loosely packed GM, its large hind feet penetrate into the substrate during each step. Based on above-ground observation, a previous study (Li et al., JEB 2012) hypothesized that the hind foot rotated in the vertical plane subsurface to generate lift. To explain the observed center-of-mass dynamics, the model assumed that ground reaction force was dominated by speed-independent frictional drag. Here we use x-ray high speed video to obtain subsurface foot kinematics of the lizard running on GM, which confirms the hypothesized subsurface foot rotation following rapid foot impact at touchdown. However, using impact force measurements, a resistive force model, and the observed foot kinematics, we find that impact force during initial foot touchdown and speed-independent frictional drag during rotation only account for part of the required lift to support locomotion. This suggests that the rapid foot rotation further allows the lizard to utilize inertial forces from the local acceleration of the substrate (particles), similar to small robots running on GM (Qian et al., RSS 2012) and the basilisk (Jesus) lizard running on water.

  10. 76 FR 62087 - Draft Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Assessment; Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, Texas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-06

    ... application includes the draft Texas Conservation Plan for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (TCP). The draft TCP... future, the draft TCP will also serve as a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) in support of future applications for Incidental Take Permits under the Act. The draft TCP and the draft Environmental...

  11. Thermoregulatory Behavior in Diurnal Lizards as a Vehicle for Teaching Scientific Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Platz, James E.

    2009-01-01

    Field experiments offer the opportunity for hands on experience with the scientific process. While this is true of a wide variety of activities, many have pitfalls both experimental and logistical that reduce the overall rate of success, in turn, influencing student learning outcomes. Relying on small, territorial, diurnal lizards and an array of…

  12. Quantification of correlational selection on thermal physiology, thermoregulatory behavior, and energy metabolism in lizards

    PubMed Central

    Artacho, Paulina; Saravia, Julia; Ferrandière, Beatriz Decencière; Perret, Samuel; Le Galliard, Jean-François

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic selection is widely accepted as the primary cause of adaptive evolution in natural populations, but selection on complex functional properties linking physiology, behavior, and morphology has been rarely quantified. In ectotherms, correlational selection on thermal physiology, thermoregulatory behavior, and energy metabolism is of special interest because of their potential coadaptation. We quantified phenotypic selection on thermal sensitivity of locomotor performance (sprint speed), thermal preferences, and resting metabolic rate in captive populations of an ectothermic vertebrate, the common lizard, Zootoca vivipara. No correlational selection between thermal sensitivity of performance, thermoregulatory behavior, and energy metabolism was found. A combination of high body mass and resting metabolic rate was positively correlated with survival and negatively correlated with fecundity. Thus, different mechanisms underlie selection on metabolism in lizards with small body mass than in lizards with high body mass. In addition, lizards that selected the near average preferred body temperature grew faster that their congeners. This is one of the few studies that quantifies significant correlational selection on a proxy of energy expenditure and stabilizing selection on thermoregulatory behavior. PMID:26380689

  13. Molecular survey of Apicomplexa in Podarcis wall lizards detects Hepatozoon, Sarcocystis, and Eimeria species.

    PubMed

    Harris, D James; Maia, João P M C; Perera, Ana

    2012-06-01

    The occurrence of apicomplexan parasites in Podarcis sp. wall lizards from the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic islands was studied by amplification and sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene. Species from 3 genera, Hepatozoon , Sarcocystis , and Eimeria , were found. The phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rRNA gene provides unexpected insights into the evolutionary history of these parasites. All Hepatozoon spp. specimens were recovered as part of a clade already identified in lizards from North Africa. The Sarcocystis species, detected in Podarcis lilfordi from Cabrera Island in the Balearic Islands, appears related to Sarcocystis gallotiae , known only from endemic Gallotia sp. lizards from the Canary Islands. Based on the lack of snake predators on this island, this parasite presumably presents an atypical transmission cycle that uses the same host species as both intermediate and final host through cannibalism, like S. gallotiae . Eimeria sp. is reported for the first time from Podarcis spp. lizards. This study shows the power of detecting multiple different apicomplexan parasites through screening of tail tissue samples and blood drops that are often collected in reptiles for other purposes. PMID:22746392

  14. Phylogenetic Analyses of Novel Squamate Adenovirus Sequences in Wild-Caught Anolis Lizards

    PubMed Central

    Ascher, Jill M.; Geneva, Anthony J.; Ng, Julienne; Wyatt, Jeffrey D.; Glor, Richard E.

    2013-01-01

    Adenovirus infection has emerged as a serious threat to the health of captive snakes and lizards (i.e., squamates), but we know relatively little about this virus' range of possible hosts, pathogenicity, modes of transmission, and sources from nature. We report the first case of adenovirus infection in the Iguanidae, a diverse family of lizards that is widely-studied and popular in captivity. We report adenovirus infections from two closely-related species of Anolis lizards (anoles) that were recently imported from wild populations in the Dominican Republic to a laboratory colony in the United States. We investigate the evolution of adenoviruses in anoles and other squamates using phylogenetic analyses of adenovirus polymerase gene sequences sampled from Anolis and a range of other vertebrate taxa. These phylogenetic analyses reveal that (1) the sequences detected from each species of Anolis are novel, and (2) adenoviruses are not necessarily host-specific and do not always follow a co-speciation model under which host and virus phylogenies are perfectly concordant. Together with the fact that the Anolis adenovirus sequences reported in our study were detected in animals that became ill and subsequently died shortly after importation while exhibiting clinical signs consistent with acute adenovirus infection, our discoveries suggest the need for renewed attention to biosecurity measures intended to prevent the spread of adenovirus both within and among species of snakes and lizards housed in captivity. PMID:23593364

  15. Correlates of average daily metabolism of field-active zebra-tailed lizards (Callisaurus draconoides).

    PubMed

    Karasov, W H; Anderson, R A

    1998-01-01

    The extent of variation in reptile field metabolism, and its causal bases, are poorly understood. We studied the energetics of the insectivorous lizard Callisaurus draconoides at a site in the California Desert (Desert Center) and at a site at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula (Cabo San Lucas; hereafter, Cabo). Reproducing Callisaurus were smaller at Cabo than at Desert Center. The allometry of metabolism with body mass can account for most differences in whole-animal metabolism. There was no significant effect of sex or source population on mass-adjusted metabolic rate in the laboratory (resting metabolism, measured by closed-system respirometry) or in the field (field metabolism, measured with doubly labeled water). The mass-adjusted resting metabolism and field metabolism of gravid females and the field metabolism of juvenile lizards were not significantly different from those of nonreproductive adults. Temperature had a significant effect on resting metabolism (Q10 = 2.7); fed lizards had resting metabolism that was 22% higher than that of fasted lizards; field metabolism was positively correlated with growth rate in juveniles; and field metabolism of adults increased from spring to late summer at Desert Center by 25%, probably because of longer activity period length and slightly higher activity period body temperature. We calculated from water influx and field metabolism that juveniles allocated 18% of their metabolizable energy intake to growth and that most energy deposited into eggs was transferred from energy stores rather than ingested in the weeks prior to laying. PMID:9472817

  16. Genome Sequence of Devriesea agamarum, Isolated from Agamid Lizards with Dermatitis

    PubMed Central

    Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Deforce, Dieter; Pasmans, Frank; Martel, An

    2015-01-01

    We report the genome sequence of Devriesea agamarum strain IMP2, isolated from the liver of a female Agama impalearis. This actinobacterium is associated with septicemia and dermatitis in agamid lizards. Availability of this genome sequence will contribute to the understanding of this pathogen’s virulence. PMID:26294637

  17. The dragon lizard Pogona vitticeps has ZZ/ZW micro-sex chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Ezaz, Tariq; Quinn, Alexander E; Miura, Ikuo; Sarre, Stephen D; Georges, Arthur; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A

    2005-01-01

    The bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps (Agamidae: Reptilia) is an agamid lizard endemic to Australia. Like crocodilians and many turtles, temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) is common in agamid lizards, although many species have genotypic sex determination (GSD). P. vitticeps is reported to have GSD, but no detectable sex chromosomes. Here we used molecular cytogenetic and differential banding techniques to reveal sex chromosomes in this species. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), GTG- and C-banding identified a highly heterochromatic microchromosome specific to females, demonstrating female heterogamety (ZZ/ZW) in this species. We isolated the P. vitticeps W chromosome by microdissection, re-amplified the DNA and used it to paint the W. No unpaired bivalents were detected in male synaptonemal complexes at meiotic pachytene, confirming male homogamety. We conclude that P. vitticeps has differentiated previously unidentifable W and Z micro-sex chromosomes, the first to be demonstrated in an agamid lizard. Our finding implies that heterochromatinization of the heterogametic chromosome occurred during sex chromosome differentiation in this species, as is the case in some lizards and many snakes, as well as in birds and mammals. Many GSD reptiles with cryptic sex chromosomes may also prove to have micro-sex chromosomes. Reptile microchromosomes, long dismissed as non-functional minutiae and often omitted from karyotypes, therefore deserve closer scrutiny with new and more sensitive techniques. PMID:16331408

  18. Vitamin D supplementation increases the attractiveness of males' scent for female Iberian rock lizards.

    PubMed

    Martín, José; López, Pilar

    2006-10-22

    Evolutionary theory proposes that signals used in sexual selection can only be stable if they are honest and condition dependent. However, despite the fact that chemical signals are used by many animals, empirical research has mainly focused on visual and acoustic signals. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for lizards, but in some lizards its precursor (cholesta-5,7-dien-3-ol=provitamin D) is found in femoral gland secretions, which males use for scent marking and intraspecific communication. By allocating provitamin D to secretions, males might need to divert vitamin D from metabolism. This might be costly and condition dependent. We tested whether diet quality affected chemical signals of male Iberian rock lizards (Lacerta monticola) and its consequences for sexual selection. After experimental supplementation of dietary vitamin D, males increased the proportion of provitamin D in femoral secretions. Further experiments showed that females detected these changes in males' signals by chemosensory cues, and discriminated provitamin D, and changes in its concentration, from similar steroids (i.e. cholesterol) found in secretions. Moreover, females preferred areas scent marked by males with more provitamin D in their secretions. This mechanism would confer honesty to chemical signals of male lizards, and, thus, females may rely on it to select high-quality males. We suggest that the allocation of vitamins and other essential nutrients to either visual (e.g. carotenoids) or chemical ornaments might be the common basis of honest sexual displays in many animals. PMID:17002947

  19. Immune responses of a wall lizard to whole-body exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation.

    PubMed

    Mina, Despoina; Sagonas, Kostas; Fragopoulou, Adamantia F; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Skouroliakou, Aikaterini; Margaritis, Lukas H; Tsitsilonis, Ourania E; Valakos, Efstratios D

    2016-03-01

    Purpose During the last three decades, the number of devices that emit non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (EMR) at the wireless communication spectrum has rapidly increased and possible effects on living organisms have become a major concern. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of radiofrequency EMR emitted by a widely used wireless communication device, namely the Digital Enhanced Communication Telephony (DECT) base, on the immune responses of the Aegean wall lizard (Podarcis erhardii). Materials and methods Adult male lizards were exposed 24 h/day for 8 weeks to 1880-1900 MHz DECT base radiation at average electric field intensity of 3.2 V/m. Immune reactivity was assessed using the phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin swelling and mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) tests. Results Our results revealed a noticeable suppression (approximately 45%) of inflammatory responses in EMR-exposed lizards compared to sham-exposed animals. T cell-mediated responses were marginally affected. Conclusion Daily radiofrequency EMR exposure seems to affect, at least partially, the immunocompetence of the Aegean wall lizard. PMID:26853383

  20. Early Holocene turnover, followed by stability, in a Caribbean lizard assemblage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemp, Melissa E.; Hadly, Elizabeth A.

    2016-03-01

    Understanding how communities are impacted by environmental perturbations is integral for addressing the ongoing biodiversity crisis that impacts ecosystems worldwide. The fossil record serves as a window into ancient interactions and the responses of communities to past perturbations. Here, we re-examine paleontological data from Katouche Bay, Anguilla, a Holocene site in the Lesser Antilles. We reveal that the site was more diverse than previously indicated, with long-term, continuous records of three genera of extant lizards (Anolis, Ameiva, and Thecadactylus), and the early Holocene presence of Leiocephalus, a large ground-dwelling lizard that has since been completely extirpated from the Lesser Antilles. The disappearance of Leiocephalus from Katouche Bay resulted in high turnover, decreased evenness, and decreased species richness-a trend that continues to the present day. Our body size reconstructions for the most abundant genus, Anolis, are consistent with the presence of only one species, Anolis cf. gingivinus, at Katouche Bay throughout the Holocene, contrary to previously published studies. Additionally, we find no evidence of dwarfism in A. cf. gingivinus, which contrasts with a global study of contemporary insular lizards. Our data reveal that the impacts of diversity loss on lizard communities are long lasting and irreversible over millennia.

  1. Species interactions mediate phylogenetic community structure in a hyperdiverse lizard assemblage from arid Australia.

    PubMed

    Rabosky, Daniel L; Cowan, Mark A; Talaba, Amanda L; Lovette, Irby J

    2011-11-01

    Evolutionary history can exert a profound influence on ecological communities, but few generalities have emerged concerning the relationships among phylogeny, community membership, and niche evolution. We compared phylogenetic community structure and niche evolution in three lizard clades (Ctenotus skinks, agamids, and diplodactyline geckos) from arid Australia. We surveyed lizard communities at 32 sites in the northwestern Great Victoria Desert and generated complete species-level molecular phylogenies for regional representatives of the three clades. We document a striking pattern of phylogenetic evenness within local communities for all groups: pairwise correlations in species abundance across sites are negatively related to phylogenetic similarity. By modeling site suitability on the basis of species' habitat preferences, we demonstrate that phylogenetic evenness generally persists even after controlling for habitat filtering among species. This phylogenetic evenness is coupled with evolutionary lability of habitat-associated traits, to the extent that closely related species are more divergent in habitat use than distantly related species. In contrast, lizard diets are phylogenetically conserved, and pairwise dietary overlap between species is negatively related to phylogenetic distance in two of the three clades. Our results suggest that contemporary and historical species interactions have led to similar patterns of community structure across multiple clades in one of the world's most diverse lizard communities. PMID:22030728

  2. The regeneration blastema of lizards: an amniote model for the study of appendage replacement

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, E. A. B.; Delorme, S. L.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Although amniotes (reptiles, including birds, and mammals) are capable of replacing certain tissues, complete appendage regeneration is rare. Perhaps the most striking example is the lizard tail. Tail loss initiates a spontaneous epimorphic (blastema‐mediated) regenerative program, resulting in a fully functional but structurally non‐identical replacement. Here we review lizard tail regeneration with a particular focus on the blastema. In many lizards, the original tail has evolved a series of fracture planes, anatomical modifications that permit the tail to be self‐detached or autotomized. Following tail loss, the wound site is covered by a specialized wound epithelium under which the blastema develops. An outgrowth of the spinal cord, the ependymal tube, plays a key role in governing growth (and likely patterning) of the regenerate tail. In some species (e.g., geckos), the blastema forms as an apical aggregation of proliferating cells, similar to that of urodeles and teleosts. For other species (e.g., anoles) the identification of a proliferative blastema is less obvious, suggesting an unexpected diversity in regenerative mechanisms among tail‐regenerating lizards. PMID:27499867

  3. Making Olympic lizards: the effects of specialised exercise training on performance.

    PubMed

    Husak, Jerry F; Keith, Allison R; Wittry, Beth N

    2015-03-01

    Exercise training is well known to affect a suite of physiological and performance traits in mammals, but effects of training in other vertebrate tetrapod groups have been inconsistent. We examined performance and physiological differences among green anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis) that were trained for sprinting or endurance, using an increasingly rigorous training regimen over 8 weeks. Lizards trained for endurance had significantly higher post-training endurance capacity compared with the other treatment groups, but groups did not show post-training differences in sprint speed. Although acclimation to the laboratory environment and training explain some of our results, mechanistic explanations for these results correspond with the observed performance differences. After training, endurance-trained lizards had higher haematocrit and larger fast glycolytic muscle fibres. Despite no detectable change in maximal performance of sprint-trained lizards, we detected that they had significantly larger slow oxidative muscle fibre areas compared with the other treatments. Treatment groups did not differ in the proportion of number of fibre types, nor in the mass of most limb muscles or the heart. Our results offer some caveats for investigators conducting training research on non-model organisms and they reveal that muscle plasticity in response to training may be widespread phylogenetically. PMID:25617462

  4. Does the conceptus of the viviparous lizard Barisia imbricata imbricata participates in the regulation of progesterone production and the control of luteolysis?

    PubMed

    Martínez-Torres, Martín; Salcedo-Álvarez, Martha; Alvarez-Rodríguez, Carmen; Cárdenas-León, Mario; Luis, Juana; Moreno-Fierros, Leticia

    2014-08-01

    It is generally accepted that progesterone is necessary to maintain gestation; however, the mechanisms that control the production of this steroid remain unknown. The corpus luteum has been assigned a central role in the maintenance of gestation based on its capacity to produce progesterone. A pseudopregnancy model was performed in a viviparous lizard, Barisia imbricata imbricata, to determine whether the absence of embryos would affect the pattern of progesterone production or the corpus luteum histology. Blood samples were obtained prior to ovulation and at 8, 16, and 24 weeks after ovulation (pseudopregnant and pregnant lizards), as well as one day after parturition (pregnant lizards) or 32 weeks after ovulation (pseudopregnant lizards). The corpus luteum was surgically removed one day after blood samples were obtained. Blood aliquots from nongravid females were obtained at similar timepoints. We found a significant reduction in plasma progesterone concentrations at 24 and 32 weeks post-ovulation in pseudopregnant lizards compared with those observed at similar times in intact pregnant lizards, whereas the progesterone levels in non-gestant lizards remained significantly lower than in either pseudopregnant or pregnant lizards. Moreover, we observed that the histological appearance of the corpus luteum from pseudogestational females (obtained 24 and 32 weeks post-ovulation) differed from the corpora lutea from lizards in late gestation and intact parturient lizards. These observations suggest that the conceptus participates in the regulation of progesterone production in late gestation and also in luteolysis control. PMID:24975848

  5. Effective population sizes and temporal stability of genetic structure in Rana pipiens, the northern leopard frog.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Eric A; Schueler, Frederick W; Blouin, Michael S

    2004-11-01

    Although studies of population genetic structure are very common, whether genetic structure is stable over time has been assessed for very few taxa. The question of stability over time is particularly interesting for frogs because it is not clear to what extent frogs exist in dynamic metapopulations with frequent extinction and recolonization, or in stable patches at equilibrium between drift and gene flow. In this study we collected tissue samples from the same five populations of leopard frogs, Rana pipiens, over a 22-30 year time interval (11-15 generations). Genetic structure among the populations was very stable, suggesting that these populations were not undergoing frequent extinction and colonization. We also estimated the effective size of each population from the change in allele frequencies over time. There exist few estimates of effective size for frog populations, but the data available suggest that ranid frogs may have much larger ratios of effective size (Ne) to census size (Nc) than toads (bufonidae). Our results indicate that R. pipiens populations have effective sizes on the order of hundreds to at most a few thousand frogs, and Ne/Nc ratios in the range of 0.1-1.0. These estimates of Ne/Nc are consistent with those estimated for other Rana species. Finally, we compared the results of three temporal methods for estimating Ne. Moment and pseudolikelihood methods that assume a closed population gave the most similar point estimates, although the moment estimates were consistently two to four times larger. Wang and Whitlock's new method that jointly estimates Ne and the rate of immigration into a population (m) gave much smaller estimates of Ne and implausibly large estimates of m. This method requires knowing allele frequencies in the source of immigrants, but was thought to be insensitive to inexact estimates. In our case the method may have failed because we did not know the true source of immigrants for each population. The method may be more

  6. Does ecophysiology mediate reptile responses to fire regimes? Evidence from Iberian lizards

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Catarina C.; Santos, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Background. Reptiles are sensitive to habitat disturbance induced by wildfires but species frequently show opposing responses. Functional causes of such variability have been scarcely explored. In the northernmost limit of the Mediterranean bioregion, lizard species of Mediterranean affinity (Psammodromus algirus and Podarcis guadarramae) increase in abundance in burnt areas whereas Atlantic species (Lacerta schreiberi and Podarcis bocagei) decrease. Timon lepidus, the largest Mediterranean lizard in the region, shows mixed responses depending on the locality and fire history. We tested whether such interspecific differences are of a functional nature, namely, if ecophysiological traits may determine lizard response to fire. Based on the variation in habitat structure between burnt and unburnt sites, we hypothesise that Mediterranean species, which increase density in open habitats promoted by frequent fire regimes, should be more thermophile and suffer lower water losses than Atlantic species. Methods. We submitted 6–10 adult males of the five species to standard experiments for assessing preferred body temperatures (Tp) and evaporativewater loss rates (EWL), and examined the variation among species and along time by means of repeated-measures AN(C)OVAs. Results. Results only partially supported our initial expectations, since the medium-sized P. algirus clearly attained higher Tp and lower EWL. The two small wall lizards (P. bocagei and P. guadarramae) displayed low Tp and high EWL while the two large green lizards (T. lepidus and L. schreiberi) displayed intermediate values for both parameters. Discussion. The predicted differences according to the biogeographic affinities within each pair were not fully confirmed. We conclude that ecophysiology may help to understand functional reptile responses to fire but other biological traits are also to be considered. PMID:27330864

  7. Does ecophysiology mediate reptile responses to fire regimes? Evidence from Iberian lizards.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Catarina C; Santos, Xavier; Carretero, Miguel A

    2016-01-01

    Background. Reptiles are sensitive to habitat disturbance induced by wildfires but species frequently show opposing responses. Functional causes of such variability have been scarcely explored. In the northernmost limit of the Mediterranean bioregion, lizard species of Mediterranean affinity (Psammodromus algirus and Podarcis guadarramae) increase in abundance in burnt areas whereas Atlantic species (Lacerta schreiberi and Podarcis bocagei) decrease. Timon lepidus, the largest Mediterranean lizard in the region, shows mixed responses depending on the locality and fire history. We tested whether such interspecific differences are of a functional nature, namely, if ecophysiological traits may determine lizard response to fire. Based on the variation in habitat structure between burnt and unburnt sites, we hypothesise that Mediterranean species, which increase density in open habitats promoted by frequent fire regimes, should be more thermophile and suffer lower water losses than Atlantic species. Methods. We submitted 6-10 adult males of the five species to standard experiments for assessing preferred body temperatures (T p ) and evaporativewater loss rates (EWL), and examined the variation among species and along time by means of repeated-measures AN(C)OVAs. Results. Results only partially supported our initial expectations, since the medium-sized P. algirus clearly attained higher Tp and lower EWL. The two small wall lizards (P. bocagei and P. guadarramae) displayed low Tp and high EWL while the two large green lizards (T. lepidus and L. schreiberi) displayed intermediate values for both parameters. Discussion. The predicted differences according to the biogeographic affinities within each pair were not fully confirmed. We conclude that ecophysiology may help to understand functional reptile responses to fire but other biological traits are also to be considered. PMID:27330864

  8. Regeneration of Articular Cartilage in Lizard Knee from Resident Stem/Progenitor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    The epiphysis of femur and tibia in the lizard Podarcis muralis can extensively regenerate after injury. The process involves the articular cartilage and metaphyseal (growth) plate after damage. The secondary ossification center present between the articular cartilage and the growth plate is replaced by cartilaginous epiphyses after about one month of regeneration at high temperature. The present study analyzes the origin of the chondrogenic cells from putative stem cells located in the growing centers of the epiphyses. The study is carried out using immunocytochemistry for the detection of 5BrdU-labeled long retaining cells and for the localization of telomerase, an enzyme that indicates stemness. The observations show that putative stem cells retaining 5BrdU and positive for telomerase are present in the superficial articular cartilage and metaphyseal growth plate located in the epiphyses. This observation suggests that these areas represent stem cell niches lasting for most of the lifetime of lizards. In healthy long bones of adult lizards, the addition of new chondrocytes from the stem cells population in the articular cartilage and the metaphyseal growth plate likely allows for slow, continuous longitudinal growth. When the knee is injured in the adult lizard, new populations of chondrocytes actively producing chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan are derived from these stem cells to allow for the formation of completely new cartilaginous epiphyses, possibly anticipating the re-formation of secondary centers in later stages. The study suggests that in this lizard species, the regenerative ability of the epiphyses is a pre-adaptation to the regeneration of the articular cartilage. PMID:26340619

  9. Behavioral buffering of global warming in a cold-adapted lizard.

    PubMed

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-07-01

    Alpine lizards living in restricted areas might be particularly sensitive to climate change. We studied thermal biology of Iberolacerta cyreni in high mountains of central Spain. Our results suggest that I. cyreni is a cold-adapted thermal specialist and an effective thermoregulator. Among ectotherms, thermal specialists are more threatened by global warming than generalists. Alpine lizards have no chance to disperse to new suitable habitats. In addition, physiological plasticity is unlikely to keep pace with the expected rates of environmental warming. Thus, lizards might rely on their behavior in order to deal with ongoing climate warming. Plasticity of thermoregulatory behavior has been proposed to buffer the rise of environmental temperatures. Therefore, we studied the change in body and environmental temperatures, as well as their relationships, for I. cyreni between the 1980s and 2012. Air temperatures have increased more than 3.5°C and substrate temperatures have increased by 6°C in the habitat of I. cyreni over the last 25 years. However, body temperatures of lizards have increased less than 2°C in the same period, and the linear relationship between body and environmental temperatures remains similar. These results show that alpine lizards are buffering the potential impact of the increase in their environmental temperatures, most probably by means of their behavior. Body temperatures of I. cyreni are still cold enough to avoid any drop in fitness. Nonetheless, if warming continues, behavioral buffering might eventually become useless, as it would imply spending too much time in shelter, losing feeding, and mating opportunities. Eventually, if body temperature exceeds the thermal optimum in the near future, fitness would decrease abruptly. PMID:27386098

  10. Late Pleistocene leopards across Europe - northernmost European German population, highest elevated records in the Swiss Alps, complete skeletons in the Bosnia Herzegowina Dinarids and comparison to the Ice Age cave art

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2013-09-01

    European leopard sites in Europe demonstrate Early/Middle Pleistocene out of Africa lowland, and Late Pleistocene Asian alpine migrations being driven by climatic changes. Four different European Pleistocene subspecies are known. The final European Late Pleistocene “Ice Age leopard” Panthera pardus spelaea (Bächler, 1936) is validated taxonomically. The skull shows heavy signs of sexual dimorphism with closest cranial characters to the Caucasian Panthera pardus ciscaucasica (Persian leopard). Late Pleistocene leopards were distributed northernmost, up to S-England with the youngest stratigraphic records by skeletons and cave art in the MIS 2/3 (about 32,000-26,000 BP). The oldest leopard painting left by Late Palaeolithics (Aurignacians/Gravettians) in the Chauvet Cave (S-France) allows the reconstruction of the Ice Age leopard fur spot pattern being close to the snow or Caucasian leopards. The last Ice Age glacial leopard habitat was the mountain/alpine boreal forest (not mammoth steppe lowland), where those hunted even larger prey such as alpine game (Ibex, Chamois). Into some lairs, those imported their prey by short-term cave dwelling (e.g. Baumann's Cave, Harz Mountains, Germany). Only Eurasian Ice Age leopards specialized, similar as other Late Pleistocene large felids (steppe lions), on cave bear predation/scavenging partly very deep in caves. In Vjetrenica Cave (Dinarid Mountains, Bosnia Herzegovina), four adult leopards (two males/two females) of the MIS 3 were found about two km deep from the entrance in a cave bear den, near to one cave bear skeleton, that remained articulated in its nest. Leopards died there, partly being trapped by raising water levels of an active ponor stream, but seem to have been killed possibly either, similar as for lions known, in battles with cave bears in several cave bear den sites of Europe (e.g. Baumann's Cave, Wildkirchli Cave, Vjetrenica Cave). At other large cave sites, with overlap of hyena, wolf and dhole dens at

  11. Relationship between lizard home range and body size: A reanalysis of the data. [Uta stansburiana, Conolophus pallidus

    SciTech Connect

    Christian, K.A.; Waldschmidt, S.

    1984-01-01

    The authors reanalyzed the relationship between range and lizard body size. Their analysis includes home ranges estimated with the convex polygon technique and a recently proposed method for eliminating sample size bias. When analyzed separately, neither insectivorous, carnivorous nor female herbivorous lizards had a significant regression of home range size against body mass; male herbivores had a marginally significant regression. Combining data for the different foraging types resulted in significant regressions for both males and females; the regression for the pooled data set (males plus females) was also significant. These regression equations differ significantly from previously published equations derived from home range estimates adjusted for sample size bias. Except for the intercepts of the female regressions, the equations do not differ significantly from earlier equations derived from unadjusted home range estimates. The analysis showed that home range size for the side-blotched lizard, Uta stansburiana, could be accurately determined, without sample size bias, with an average of 13 resightings per lizard.

  12. Ecological immunization: in situ training of free-ranging predatory lizards reduces their vulnerability to invasive toxic prey.

    PubMed

    Ward-Fear, G; Pearson, D J; Brown, G P; Rangers, Balanggarra; Shine, R

    2016-01-01

    In Australia, large native predators are fatally poisoned when they ingest invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina). As a result, the spread of cane toads has caused catastrophic population declines in these predators. Immediately prior to the arrival of toads at a floodplain in the Kimberley region, we induced conditioned taste aversion in free-ranging varanid lizards (Varanus panoptes), by offering them small cane toads. By the end of the 18-month study, only one of 31 untrained lizards had survived longer than 110 days, compared to more than half (nine of 16) of trained lizards; the maximum known survival of a trained lizard in the presence of toads was 482 days. In situ aversion training (releasing small toads in advance of the main invasion front) offers a logistically simple and feasible way to buffer the impact of invasive toads on apex predators. PMID:26740565

  13. Joeropsididae Nordenstam, 1933 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Asellota) from the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, Niel L.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The marine isopod family Joeropsididae (Asellota) is documented for the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Fifteen species of Joeropsis are recorded, including ten new species; descriptive notes are provided for five species that lacked adequate material for description. A revised family and genus diagnosis is presented together with comments on the most useful characters for species identification and a key to Joeropsis of the Lizard Island region. PMID:25878536

  14. Potential Mortality Effects of Off-Highway Vehicles on the Flat-Tailed Horned Lizard ( Phrynosoma mcallii): A Manipulative Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, Tyler J.; Doherty, Paul F.

    2009-03-01

    Southern California desert public lands receive especially high levels of off-highway recreation due to large population centers nearby and popular riding environments such as sand dunes. Controversy has developed over the flat-tailed horned lizard ( Phrynosoma mcallii), previously a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Some evidence suggests lower lizard abundance in areas of higher recreational use than in areas with low or no use. We designed a manipulative experiment to ensure maximum inference in evaluating the direct impact of recreational riding of off-highway vehicles on lizards. Thirty-six lizards, in situ, were treated with an off-highway vehicle treatment during hibernation season in three treatment groups: high impact, low impact, and control. Treatments consisted of timed riding by off-highway vehicles. In all treatment groups survival was 100%, despite hibernation of lizards at very shallow depths. Consequently, indirect effects of off-highway vehicles deserve increased attention. The relative importance of direct versus indirect (i.e., degradation of lizard habitat) impacts caused by off-highway vehicles remains unknown. These indirect effects may include the altering of vegetation, substrate, and prey. We recommend that a manipulative approach be adopted to investigate these possibilities.

  15. The Functional Significance of Aposematic Signals: Geographic Variation in the Responses of Widespread Lizard Predators to Colourful Invertebrate Prey

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, Hui-Yun; Lin, Chung-Ping; Hsu, Jung-Ya; Pike, David A.; Huang, Wen-San

    2014-01-01

    Conspicuous colouration can evolve as a primary defence mechanism that advertises unprofitability and discourages predatory attacks. Geographic overlap is a primary determinant of whether individual predators encounter, and thus learn to avoid, such aposematic prey. We experimentally tested whether the conspicuous colouration displayed by Old World pachyrhynchid weevils (Pachyrhynchus tobafolius and Kashotonus multipunctatus) deters predation by visual predators (Swinhoe’s tree lizard; Agamidae, Japalura swinhonis). During staged encounters, sympatric lizards attacked weevils without conspicuous patterns at higher rates than weevils with intact conspicuous patterns, whereas allopatric lizards attacked weevils with intact patterns at higher rates than sympatric lizards. Sympatric lizards also attacked masked weevils at lower rates, suggesting that other attributes of the weevils (size/shape/smell) also facilitate recognition. Allopatric lizards rapidly learned to avoid weevils after only a single encounter, and maintained aversive behaviours for more than three weeks. The imperfect ability of visual predators to recognize potential prey as unpalatable, both in the presence and absence of the aposematic signal, may help explain how diverse forms of mimicry exploit the predator’s visual system to deter predation. PMID:24614681

  16. Anatomy of the crus and pes of neotropical iguanian lizards in relation to habitat use and digitally based grasping capabilities.

    PubMed

    Abdala, Virginia; Tulli, María José; Russell, Anthony P; Powell, George L; Cruz, Félix B

    2014-03-01

    Ecomorphological studies of lizards have explored the role of various morphological traits and how these may be associated with, among other things, habitat use. We present an analysis of selected traits of internal morphology of the hind limbs of Neotropical iguanian lizards and their relationship to habitat use. Considering that one of the most widely-held hypotheses relating to the origin of grasping is associated with the exploitation of the narrow-branch arboreal habitat, we include subdivisions of this designation as two of our ecologically defined categories of habitat exploitation for analysis, and compare lizards assigned to these categories to the features displayed by terrestrial lizards. The influence of phylogeny in shaping the morphology of lizards was assessed by using the comparative method. K values were significant for several osteological traits. Most of the K values for the variables based upon muscle and tendon morphometric characters (13 out 21), by contrast, had values <1, suggesting that their variation cannot be explained by phylogeny alone. Results of our phylogenetic and conventional ANCOVA analyses reveal that the characters highlighted through the application of the comparative method are not absolutely related to habitat in terms of the categories considered here. It appears that the bauplan of the lizard pes incorporates a morphological configuration that is sufficiently versatile to enable exploitation of almost all of the available habitats. As unexpected as conservation of internal gross morphology appears, it represents a means of accommodating to environmental challenges by apparently permitting adequacy for all situations examined. PMID:24482428

  17. Phosphoproteomics-Mediated Identification of Fer Kinase as a Target of Mutant Shp2 in Noonan and LEOPARD Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Paardekooper Overman, Jeroen; Preisinger, Christian; Prummel, Karin; Bonetti, Monica; Giansanti, Piero; Heck, Albert; den Hertog, Jeroen

    2014-01-01

    Noonan syndrome (NS) and LEOPARD syndrome (LS) cause congenital afflictions such as short stature, hypertelorism and heart defects. More than 50% of NS and almost all of LS cases are caused by activating and inactivating mutations of the phosphatase Shp2, respectively. How these biochemically opposing mutations lead to similar clinical outcomes is not clear. Using zebrafish models of NS and LS and mass spectrometry-based phosphotyrosine proteomics, we identified a down-regulated peptide of Fer kinase in both NS and LS. Further investigation showed a role for Fer during development, where morpholino-based knockdown caused craniofacial defects, heart edema and short stature. During gastrulation, loss of Fer caused convergence and extension defects without affecting cell fate. Moreover, Fer knockdown cooperated with NS and LS, but not wild type Shp2 to induce developmental defects, suggesting a role for Fer in the pathogenesis of both NS and LS. PMID:25184253

  18. Phenotypical diversity of patients with LEOPARD syndrome carrying the worldwide recurrent p.Tyr279Cys PTPN11 mutation.

    PubMed

    Nemes, Edina; Farkas, Katalin; Kocsis-Deák, Barbara; Drubi, Andrea; Sulák, Adrienn; Tripolszki, Kornélia; Dósa, Piroska; Ferenc, Lakatos; Nagy, Nikoletta; Széll, Márta

    2015-12-01

    LEOPARD syndrome (LS, OMIM 151100) is a rare monogenic disorder. The name is an acronym of its major features such as multiple lentigines, electrocardiographic conduction defects, ocular hypertelorism, pulmonary stenosis, abnormalities of genitalia, retardation of growth and sensorineural deafness. LS develops due to mutations in the protein-tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor-type 11, PTPN11. Here, we have investigated a 51-year-old Hungarian male patient affected by LS. Direct sequencing of the PTPN11 gene revealed a worldwide recurrent missense mutation (c.836A/G; p.Tyr279Cys), which has been previously identified in 47 LS patients. Comparison of the clinical phenotypes of our patient and the ones reported in the literature demonstrates great phenotypic diversity despite the same genotype. PMID:26377839

  19. Study of energy partitioning in mass limited targets using the 50 TW Leopard short-pulse laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, Brandon; Sawada, Hiroshi; Sentoku, Yasuhiko; Yabuuchi, Toshinori; Chen, Hui; Park, J.-B.; McClean, Harry; Patel, Prav; Beg, Farhat

    2014-10-01

    Mass limited Cu targets were used to study the energy distribution in the interaction of an ultra-intense, short-pulse laser by measuring characteristic x-rays and energetic particles. At the Nevada Terawatt Facility, Leopard delivered 15 J to an 8 μm spot size in a 350 fs pulse, achieving a peak intensity of 1019 W/cm2 at 20° incidence. The 2 μm thick Cu foil targets varied in size from 1 mm2 to 75 μm by 60 μm. A spherical crystal imager and a Bragg crystal x-ray spectrometer were used to measure 8.05 keV monochromatic x-ray images and 7.5-9.5 keV x-rays respectively. A magnet-based electron spectrometer in the rear monitored escaping electrons. Results show a decrease in the absolute yield of both escaped electrons and Cu K-shell x-rays as targets sizes are reduced, while He α emission remains nearly constant. In the smallest target, a bulk temperature of about 150 eV was inferred from the ratio of K β to K α. The interaction of the Leopard laser with the targets was simulated with 2-D implicit Particle-in-cell code PICLS. Comparisons of the simulation and experiment will be presented. This work was supported by the DOE Office of Fusion Energy Science under Fusion Science Center, and the National Nuclear Security Administration under cooperative agreements DE-FC52-06NA27616 and DE-NA0002075. T.Y. was supported by Japan/U.S. Cooperation.

  20. Understanding the role of representations of human-leopard conflict in Mumbai through media-content analysis.

    PubMed

    Bhatia, Saloni; Athreya, Vidya; Grenyer, Richard; MacDonald, David W

    2013-06-01

    Attempts to minimize the effects of human-wildlife conflict (HWC) on conservation goals require an understanding of the mechanisms by which such conflicts are caused and sustained. This necessitates looking beyond the natural sciences to the human dimensions of wildlife management. Public dissemination of information regarding HWC occurs largely through the mass media. We conducted a content analysis of print media articles on human-leopard conflict in Mumbai, India. We sought to understand the framing of HWC and the changes in media coverage over a 10-year period (2001-2011) during which a large number of attacks on people prior to 2005 were followed by a program of trapping and relocation. After 2005, when there was a decrease in the level of conflict, the tone of English-language media reports changed. The perpetrator framing was over 5 times more likely before 2005, whereas a neutral framing was twice as likely after 2005. English-language and non-English-language print media differed significantly in their framing of HWC and in the kinds of solutions advocated. Our results also suggest the print mass media in Mumbai could be an influential conduit for content that diminishes HWC. These media outlets seem attentive to human-leopard conflict, capable of correcting erroneous perceptions and facilitating mitigation and effective management. We believe better contact and mutual understanding between conservation professionals and the mass media could be an important component of managing HWC. We further suggest that in such interactions conservation professionals need to be aware of cultural and linguistic differences in reporting within the country. PMID:23530914

  1. Clonal diversity of a lizard malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, in its vertebrate host, the western fence lizard: role of variation in transmission intensity over time and space.

    PubMed

    Vardo, A M; Schall, J J

    2007-07-01

    Within the vertebrate host, infections of a malaria parasite (Plasmodium) could include a single genotype of cells (single-clone infections) or two to several genotypes (multiclone infections). Clonal diversity of infection plays an important role in the biology of the parasite, including its life history, virulence, and transmission. We determined the clonal diversity of Plasmodium mexicanum, a lizard malaria parasite at a study region in northern California, using variable microsatellite markers, the first such study for any malaria parasite of lizards or birds (the most common hosts for Plasmodium species). Multiclonal infections are common (50-88% of infections among samples), and measures of genetic diversity for the metapopulation (expected heterozygosity, number of alleles per locus, allele length variation, and effective population size) all indicated a substantial overall genetic diversity. Comparing years with high prevalence (1996-1998 = 25-32% lizards infected), and years with low prevalence (2001-2005 = 6-12%) found fewer alleles in samples taken from the low-prevalence years, but no reduction in overall diversity (H = 0.64-0.90 among loci). In most cases, rare alleles appeared to be lost as prevalence declined. For sites chronically experiencing low transmission intensity (prevalence approximately 1%), overall diversity was also high (H = 0.79-0.91), but there were fewer multiclonal infections. Theory predicts an apparent excess in expected heterozygosity follows a genetic bottleneck. Evidence for such a distortion in genetic diversity was observed after the drop in parasite prevalence under the infinite alleles mutation model but not for the stepwise mutation model. The results are similar to those reported for the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, worldwide, and support the conclusion that malaria parasites maintain high genetic diversity in host populations despite the potential for loss in alleles during the transmission cycle or

  2. Female Iberian wall lizards prefer male scents that signal a better cell-mediated immune response.

    PubMed

    López, Pilar; Martín, José

    2005-12-22

    In spite of the importance of chemoreception in sexual selection of lizards, only a few studies have examined the composition of chemical signals, and it is unknown whether and how chemicals provide honest information. Chemical signals might be honest if there were a trade-off between sexual advertisement and the immune system. Here, we show that proportions of cholesta-5,7-dien-3-ol in femoral secretions of male Iberian wall lizards (Podarcis hispanica) were related to their T-cell-mediated immune response. Thus, only males with a good immune system may allocate higher amounts of this chemical to signalling. Furthermore, females selected scents of males with higher proportions of cholesta-5,7-dien-3-ol and lower proportions of cholesterol. Thus, females might base their mate choice on the males' quality as indicated by the composition of their chemical signals. PMID:17148218

  3. Life history and demographic variation in the lizard Sceloporus graciosus: A long-term study

    SciTech Connect

    Tinkle, D.W. ); Dunham, A.E. ); Congdon, J.D. )

    1993-12-01

    An 11-yr study of life history and demographic variation in the sagebrush lizard Sceloporus graciosus was carried out on two study areas (Rattlesnake Ridge and Ponderosa Flat) in the Kolob Mesa Section of Zion National Park, Utah. Two primary objectives of this mark-recapture study were to: (1) quantify variation in age structure, age, and size at maturity, age-specific survivorship and fecundity, and individual growth rates, and (2) conduct a series of density reduction experiments designed to elucidate the effects of density on growth rates and survival of posthatchling lizards. In addition, the authors examined the relationships of variation in population density and deviation from long-term average precipitation and temperature to variation in individual growth, reproduction, and demography. 43 refs., 5 figs., 11 tabs.

  4. Lack of supercooling evolution related to winter severity in a lizard.

    PubMed

    Michels-Boyce, Madeline; Zani, Peter A

    2015-10-01

    As organisms move into higher latitudes, they may evolve physiological mechanisms to survive in harsher climates. One such mechanism is supercooling, the capacity to survive at subzero temperatures without freezing. While interspecific comparisons reveal greater thermal tolerances at higher latitudes in insects and vertebrates, evidence for intraspecific evolution in supercooling related to latitude is only evident in insects. We measured the supercooling points of lizards from 12 populations reared from hatch in common laboratory conditions to test for evolved differences in supercooling related to winter. Results indicate that winter harshness (depth or length) cannot explain supercooling points regardless of how data are analyzed, which suggests that populations have not evolved greater supercooling capacity. While our results are consistent with the idea that thermal physiology is evolutionarily conserved in vertebrates, we cannot reject several alternatives including the possibility that lizards are able to behaviorally avoid the extreme temperatures that would select for thermal evolution. PMID:26590458

  5. Cloning and Expression of Leishmania infantum LPG3 Gene by the Lizard Leishmania Expression System

    PubMed Central

    Pirdel, Leila; Hosseini, Ahmad Zavaran; Kazemi, Bahram; Rasouli, Manoochehr; Bandehpour, Mojgan; Soudi, Sara

    2012-01-01

    Background Various prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems have been developed for the production of recombinant proteins. In the present study, we used a new protein expression system based on the Iranian Lizard Leishmania, a trypanosomatid protozoan as a host, for the expression of LPG3 gene from Leishmania infantum (L.infantum). Methods The LPG3 gene was cloned in the expression cassette for integration into the small subunit of the ribosomal RNA locus of Lizard Leishmania genome by electroporation. Expression of the recombinant LPG3 protein was confirmed by western blotting and immunofluorescence staining. Results Western blotting confirmed the expression and production of rLPG3 protein. Immunofluoresence analysis also revealed the staining throughout the cytoplasm of transfected parasites, indicating that the protein has been expressed. Conclusion These results demonstrate that Leishmania cells can be suggested an expression system for the production of recombinant LPG3 (rLPG3) to further research in vaccine designing against leishmaniasis. PMID:23407850

  6. Telothelepodidae, Thelepodidae and Trichobranchidae (Annelida, Terebelliformia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Hutchings, Pat; de Matos Nogueira, João Miguel; Carrerette, Orlemir

    2015-01-01

    In a survey of the polychaetes of the Lizard Island region, six species of polychaetes belonging to the families Telothelepodidae Nogueira, Fitzhugh & Hutchings, 2013, Thelepodidae Hessle, 1917 and Trichobranchidae Malmgren, 1866 were found, from material collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Taxonomic Workshop, and material collected by previous projects undertaken by the Australian Museum. This material includes one new species of Rhinothelepus Hutchings, 1974 (Telothelepodidae); one new species of each of the genera, Euthelepus McIntosh, 1885, Streblosoma Sars, 1872, and Thelepus Leuckart, 1849 (Thelepodidae); and one new species of Terebellides Sars, 1835 and another of Trichobranchus Malmgren, 1866 (Trichobranchidae). Keys for identification of these species are provided, together with full descriptions for all species, as well as comparisons with the morphologically most similar congeners. PMID:26624072

  7. Erosion of lizard diversity by climate change and altered thermal niches.

    PubMed

    Sinervo, Barry; Méndez-de-la-Cruz, Fausto; Miles, Donald B; Heulin, Benoit; Bastiaans, Elizabeth; Villagrán-Santa Cruz, Maricela; Lara-Resendiz, Rafael; Martínez-Méndez, Norberto; Calderón-Espinosa, Martha Lucía; Meza-Lázaro, Rubi Nelsi; Gadsden, Héctor; Avila, Luciano Javier; Morando, Mariana; De la Riva, Ignacio J; Victoriano Sepulveda, Pedro; Rocha, Carlos Frederico Duarte; Ibargüengoytía, Nora; Aguilar Puntriano, César; Massot, Manuel; Lepetz, Virginie; Oksanen, Tuula A; Chapple, David G; Bauer, Aaron M; Branch, William R; Clobert, Jean; Sites, Jack W

    2010-05-14

    It is predicted that climate change will cause species extinctions and distributional shifts in coming decades, but data to validate these predictions are relatively scarce. Here, we compare recent and historical surveys for 48 Mexican lizard species at 200 sites. Since 1975, 12% of local populations have gone extinct. We verified physiological models of extinction risk with observed local extinctions and extended projections worldwide. Since 1975, we estimate that 4% of local populations have gone extinct worldwide, but by 2080 local extinctions are projected to reach 39% worldwide, and species extinctions may reach 20%. Global extinction projections were validated with local extinctions observed from 1975 to 2009 for regional biotas on four other continents, suggesting that lizards have already crossed a threshold for extinctions caused by climate change. PMID:20466932

  8. Prevalence and molecular identification of Cryptosporidium isolates from pet lizards and snakes in Italy.

    PubMed

    Rinaldi, L; Capasso, M; Mihalca, A D; Cirillo, R; Cringoli, G; Cacciò, S

    2012-11-01

    In order to acquire prevalence and genetic data on Cryptosporidium infections in captive lizards and snakes kept as pets, a survey was conducted on 150 individual reptiles from southern Italy. Fecal samples were preserved in 5% formalin and analyzed using a commercial immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for the detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts. IFA revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in nine of the 150 samples examined (6.0%), precisely in 6/125 snakes (4.8%) and in 3/25 lizards (12.0%); all fecal samples tested negative for the presence of Giardia cysts. Molecular characterization based on nested PCR amplification and sequencing of the SSU-rRNA gene, revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium serpentis in three samples from snakes (Boa constrictor constrictor, Elapheguttata guttata guttata and Python molurus). PMID:23193530

  9. Prevalence and molecular identification of Cryptosporidium isolates from pet lizards and snakes in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Rinaldi, L.; Capasso, M.; Mihalca, A.D.; Cirillo, R.; Cringoli, G.; Cacciò, S.

    2012-01-01

    In order to acquire prevalence and genetic data on Cryptosporidium infections in captive lizards and snakes kept as pets, a survey was conducted on 150 individual reptiles from southern Italy. Fecal samples were preserved in 5% formalin and analyzed using a commercial immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for the detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts. IFA revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in nine of the 150 samples examined (6.0%), precisely in 6/125 snakes (4.8%) and in 3/25 lizards (12.0%); all fecal samples tested negative for the presence of Giardia cysts. Molecular characterization based on nested PCR amplification and sequencing of the SSU-rRNA gene, revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium serpentis in three samples from snakes (Boa constrictor constrictor, Elapheguttata guttata guttata and Python molurus). PMID:23193530

  10. Immune activation affects chemical sexual ornaments of male Iberian wall lizards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López, Pilar; Gabirot, Marianne; Martín, José

    2009-01-01

    Many animals use chemical signals in sexual selection, but it is not clear how these sexual traits might have evolved to signal honestly male condition. It is possible that there is a trade-off between maintaining the immune system and the elaboration of ornaments. We experimentally challenged the immune system of male Iberian wall lizards, Podarcis hispanica, with a bacterial antigen (lipopolysaccharide), without pathogenic effects, to explore whether the immune activation affected chemical ornaments. Immune activation resulted in decreased proportions of a major chemical in femoral secretions (cholesta-5,7-dien-3-ol = provitamin D3) known to be selected in scent of males by females and which active form (vitamin D) has a variety of important effects on immune system function. This result suggests the existence of a potential trade-off between physiological regulation of the immune system and the allocation of essential nutrients (vitamins) to sexual chemical ornaments in male lizards.

  11. Galanin immunoreactivity in the brain of the desert lizard Uromastyx acanthinura during activity season.

    PubMed

    Hammouche, Sadjia Benmansour; Bennis, Mohammed

    2013-01-01

    The distribution of galanin immunoreactive perikarya and nerve fibers in the brain of the desert lizard U. acanthinura was studied by means of immunofluorescence using an antiserum against rabbit galanin. The animals were captured during the activity season in March (wet season) just before reproduction period and in June (arid season) after ovulation period. Immunoreactive neurons were mostly detected in the mediobasal and the infundibular recess nuclei, the nucleus of the paraventricular organ, the paraventricular organ, the periventricular nucleus and in the anterior hypothalamus at the level of the periventricular nucleus, the paraventricular nucleus and the supraoptic nucleus. The differences in brain galanin expression between animals collected under both sets of environmental conditions indicated changes which occur during the annual and reproductive cycles. The wide hypothalamic and extrahypothalamic distribution of galanin immunoreactive fibers suggests that this peptide may have hypophysiotropic, neuromodulator and neurotransmitter roles in the lizard U. acanthinura. PMID:23690217

  12. The Effect of Ear Canal Pressure on Spontaneous Otoacoustic Emissions:. Comparison Between Human and Lizard Ears

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Dijk, P.; Manley, G. A.

    2009-02-01

    The center frequency, height and width of peaks in SOAE spectra depend on ear canal pressure. The width is interpreted as a measure of the inner ear source-signal-to-(e.g. thermal)-noise ratio. In humans, width increases with decreasing height. Apparently, ear canal pressure modifies the amplitude of the inner ear emission source signal. In lizards, the relation between peak width and height is not consistent. Here, middle ear transmission changes may account for many the observed amplitude effects.

  13. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae)

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; León, Alicia; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource. PMID:26871439

  14. Elevational variation in body-temperature response to immune challenge in a lizard.

    PubMed

    Zamora-Camacho, Francisco Javier; Reguera, Senda; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2016-01-01

    Immunocompetence benefits animal fitness by combating pathogens, but also entails some costs. One of its main components is fever, which in ectotherms involves two main types of costs: energy expenditure and predation risk. Whenever those costs of fever outweigh its benefits, ectotherms are expected not to develop fever, or even to show hypothermia, reducing costs of thermoregulation and diverting the energy saved to other components of the immune system. Environmental thermal quality, and therefore the thermoregulation cost/benefit balance, varies geographically. Hence, we hypothesize that, in alpine habitats, immune-challenged ectotherms should show no thermal response, given that (1) hypothermia would be very costly, as the temporal window for reproduction is extremely small, and (2) fever would have a prohibitive cost, as heat acquisition is limited in such habitat. However, in temperate habitats, immune-challenged ectotherms might show a febrile response, due to lower cost/benefit balance as a consequence of a more suitable thermal environment. We tested this hypothesis in Psammodromus algirus lizards from Sierra Nevada (SE Spain), by testing body temperature preferred by alpine and non-alpine lizards, before and after activating their immune system with a typical innocuous pyrogen. Surprisingly, non-alpine lizards responded to immune challenge by decreasing preferential body-temperature, presumably allowing them to save energy and reduce exposure to predators. On the contrary, as predicted, immune-challenged alpine lizards maintained their body-temperature preferences. These results match with increased costs of no thermoregulation with elevation, due to the reduced window of time for reproduction in alpine environment. PMID:27168981

  15. Hysteresis of heart rate and heat exchange of fasting and postprandial savannah monitor lizards (Varanus exanthematicus).

    PubMed

    Zaar, Morten; Larsen, Einer; Wang, Tobias

    2004-04-01

    Reptiles are ectothermic, but regulate body temperatures (T(b)) by behavioural and physiological means. Body temperature has profound effects on virtually all physiological functions. It is well known that heating occurs faster than cooling, which seems to correlate with changes in cutaneous perfusion. Increased cutaneous perfusion, and hence elevated cardiac output, during heating is reflected in an increased heart rate (f(H)), and f(H), at a given T(b), is normally higher during heating compared to cooling ('hysteresis of heart rate'). Digestion is associated with an increased metabolic rate. This is associated with an elevated f(H) and many species of reptiles also exhibited a behavioural selection of higher T(b) during digestion. Here, we examine whether digestion affects the rate of heating and cooling as well as the hysteresis of heart rate in savannah monitor lizards (Varanus exanthematicus). Fasting lizards were studied after 5 days of food deprivation while digesting lizards were studied approximately 24 h after ingesting dead mice that equalled 10% of their body mass. Heart rate was measured while T(b) increased from 28 to 38 degrees C under a heat lamp and while T(b) decreased during a subsequent cooling phase. The lizards exhibited hysteresis of heart rate, and heating occurred faster than cooling. Feeding led to an increased f(H) (approximately 20 min(-1) irrespective of T(b)), but did not affect the rate of temperature change during heating or cooling. Therefore, it is likely that the increased blood flows during digestion are distributed exclusively to visceral organs and that the thermal conductance remains unaffected by the elevated metabolic rate during digestion. PMID:15123175

  16. A new Andean lizard of the genus Potamites (Sauria, Gymnophthalmidae) from Manu National Park, southeastern Peru.

    PubMed

    Chávez, Germán; Catenazzi, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new lizard of the genus Potamites from elevations of 1000-2100 m in the montane forests of the Cordillera de Paucartambo and the upper Kosñipata valley, Region of Cusco, Peru. The new species differs from other species of Potamites by having scattered keeled scales on dorsum, an undivided frontonasal and absence of femoral pores in females. PMID:24871404

  17. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; León, Alicia; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource. PMID:26871439

  18. Moisture harvesting and water transport through specialized micro-structures on the integument of lizards.

    PubMed

    Comanns, Philipp; Effertz, Christian; Hischen, Florian; Staudt, Konrad; Böhme, Wolfgang; Baumgartner, Werner

    2011-01-01

    Several lizard species that live in arid areas have developed special abilities to collect water with their bodies' surfaces and to ingest the so collected moisture. This is called rain- or moisture-harvesting. The water can originate from air humidity, fog, dew, rain or even from humid soil. The integument (i.e., the skin plus skin derivatives such as scales) has developed features so that the water spreads and is soaked into a capillary system in between the reptiles' scales. Within this capillary system the water is transported to the mouth where it is ingested. We have investigated three different lizard species which have developed the ability for moisture harvesting independently, viz. the Australian thorny devil (Moloch horridus), the Arabian toadhead agama (Phrynocephalus arabicus) and the Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum). All three lizards have a honeycomb like micro ornamentation on the outer surface of the scales and a complex capillary system in between the scales. By investigation of individual scales and by producing and characterising polymer replicas of the reptiles' integuments, we found that the honeycomb like structures render the surface superhydrophilic, most likely by holding a water film physically stable. Furthermore, the condensation of air humidity is improved on this surface by about 100% in comparison to unstructured surfaces. This allows the animals to collect moisture with their entire body surface. The collected water is transported into the capillary system. For Phrynosoma cornutum we found the interesting effect that, in contrast to the other two investigated species, the water flow in the capillary system is not uniform but directed to the mouth. Taken together we found that the micro ornamentation yields a superhydrophilic surface, and the semi-tubular capillaries allow for an efficient passive - and for Phrynosoma directed - transport of water. PMID:21977432

  19. Moisture harvesting and water transport through specialized micro-structures on the integument of lizards

    PubMed Central

    Comanns, Philipp; Effertz, Christian; Hischen, Florian; Staudt, Konrad; Böhme, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Summary Several lizard species that live in arid areas have developed special abilities to collect water with their bodies' surfaces and to ingest the so collected moisture. This is called rain- or moisture-harvesting. The water can originate from air humidity, fog, dew, rain or even from humid soil. The integument (i.e., the skin plus skin derivatives such as scales) has developed features so that the water spreads and is soaked into a capillary system in between the reptiles' scales. Within this capillary system the water is transported to the mouth where it is ingested. We have investigated three different lizard species which have developed the ability for moisture harvesting independently, viz. the Australian thorny devil (Moloch horridus), the Arabian toadhead agama (Phrynocephalus arabicus) and the Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum). All three lizards have a honeycomb like micro ornamentation on the outer surface of the scales and a complex capillary system in between the scales. By investigation of individual scales and by producing and characterising polymer replicas of the reptiles' integuments, we found that the honeycomb like structures render the surface superhydrophilic, most likely by holding a water film physically stable. Furthermore, the condensation of air humidity is improved on this surface by about 100% in comparison to unstructured surfaces. This allows the animals to collect moisture with their entire body surface. The collected water is transported into the capillary system. For Phrynosoma cornutum we found the interesting effect that, in contrast to the other two investigated species, the water flow in the capillary system is not uniform but directed to the mouth. Taken together we found that the micro ornamentation yields a superhydrophilic surface, and the semi-tubular capillaries allow for an efficient passive – and for Phrynosoma directed – transport of water. PMID:21977432

  20. Elevational variation in body-temperature response to immune challenge in a lizard

    PubMed Central

    Reguera, Senda; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2016-01-01

    Immunocompetence benefits animal fitness by combating pathogens, but also entails some costs. One of its main components is fever, which in ectotherms involves two main types of costs: energy expenditure and predation risk. Whenever those costs of fever outweigh its benefits, ectotherms are expected not to develop fever, or even to show hypothermia, reducing costs of thermoregulation and diverting the energy saved to other components of the immune system. Environmental thermal quality, and therefore the thermoregulation cost/benefit balance, varies geographically. Hence, we hypothesize that, in alpine habitats, immune-challenged ectotherms should show no thermal response, given that (1) hypothermia would be very costly, as the temporal window for reproduction is extremely small, and (2) fever would have a prohibitive cost, as heat acquisition is limited in such habitat. However, in temperate habitats, immune-challenged ectotherms might show a febrile response, due to lower cost/benefit balance as a consequence of a more suitable thermal environment. We tested this hypothesis in Psammodromus algirus lizards from Sierra Nevada (SE Spain), by testing body temperature preferred by alpine and non-alpine lizards, before and after activating their immune system with a typical innocuous pyrogen. Surprisingly, non-alpine lizards responded to immune challenge by decreasing preferential body-temperature, presumably allowing them to save energy and reduce exposure to predators. On the contrary, as predicted, immune-challenged alpine lizards maintained their body-temperature preferences. These results match with increased costs of no thermoregulation with elevation, due to the reduced window of time for reproduction in alpine environment. PMID:27168981

  1. Glyceriformia Fauchald, 1977 (Annelida: "Polychaeta") from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Böggemann, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Eight species of Glyceridae (Glycera brevicirris, Glycera cf. lapidum, Glycera onomichiensis, Glycera sagittariae, Glycera tesselata, Glycera tridactyla, Glycerella magellanica, Hemipodia cf. simplex) and six species of Goniadidae (Goniada antipoda, Goniada cf. brunnea, Goniada echinulata, Goniada emerita, Goniada grahami, Goniada paucidens) have been collected during several expeditions to the vicinity of Lizard Island (Australia, Queensland). An identification key to the Glyceriformia that inhabit the region is presented. Detailed and illustrated morphological descriptions are given for all investigated species. PMID:26624067

  2. Neosabellides lizae, a new species of Ampharetidae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Alvestad, Tom; Budaeva, Nataliya

    2015-01-01

    Neosabellides lizae, a new species of Ampharetidae, is described from the intertidal zone off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. The new species is referred to the genus Neosabellides based on the shape of the prostomium, three pairs of branchiae, 14 thoracic segments with notopodia, 12 thoracic uncinigerous segments, and the first two pairs of abdominal uncinigers of thoracic type. The new species differs from all known species of Neosabellides in having 14 abdominal uncinigerous segments. PMID:26624066

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

    PubMed

    Endo, Daisuke; Park, Min Kyun

    2004-08-01

    The gene for proopiomelanocortin (POMC), a common precursor of malanotropins, corticotropin, and beta-endorphin, was isolated and analyzed in the squamata species, the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius. Leopard gecko POMC (lgPOMC) cDNA is composed of 1299bp, excluding the poly(A) tail, and encodes 270 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence showed the same structural organization as that of other species and displayed identity with those of other vertebrates: 68% with mud turtles, 57/57% with African clawed frog A/B, 53% with chickens, and 45% with mice. In a phylogenic tree, the lgPOMC clustered with the sequences of the mud turtle POMC and python POMC. The lgPOMC gene comprises three exons and two introns and this structure is consistent with humans, rats, mice, African clawed frog and zebrafish. RT-PCR analysis revealed that the lgPOMC mRNA was expressed only in the whole brain, pituitary, and gonads. To analyze in more detail, a competitive assay system to quantify the expression levels of POMC mRNA was established. We measured the POMC mRNA expression levels in the leopard gecko testes following transfer from a condition of 29 degrees C, 16L/8D to 18 degrees C, 10L/14D over 6 weeks. This 6-week acclimation increased the POMC mRNA expression levels significantly. This suggests that the leopard gecko POMC-derived peptides play a role in the mediation of the effect of environmental factors on reproduction. PMID:15242753

  4. A new scincomorph lizard from the Palaeocene of Belgium and the origin of Scincoidea in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Folie, A.; Sigé, B.; Smith, T.

    2005-11-01

    Well-preserved jaw fragments and skull bones of a new scincomorphan lizard are described from the continental Hainin Formation (Middle Palaeocene) of the Mons Basin in southwestern Belgium. This taxon, Scincoideus haininensis gen. et sp. nov., is characterised by vermiculate dermal rugosities and represents the earliest formally recognised scincoid in Europe. It differs from cordylids (girdled lizards) by lacking the parietal downgrowth and differs from scincids (skinks) by having robustly built bones and a well-developed lingual cusp on tooth crowns. By its mosaic characters, S. haininensis is considered here as being a basal scincoid lizard close to the origin of cordylids and scincids. Palaeobiogeographic analysis suggests that scincoids were present in Europe from the Palaeocene or maybe even before the Cretaceous/Palaeogene boundary and that they were replaced by modern scincoids such as true scincids and cordylids during the Eocene. The origin of the latter two families in Europe was very likely related with the immigration of the first modern mammals.

  5. Controlled preparation of wet granular media reveals limits to lizard burial ability.

    PubMed

    Sharpe, Sarah S; Kuckuk, Robyn; Goldman, Daniel I

    2015-07-01

    Many animals move within ground composed of granular media (GM); the resistive properties of such substrates can depend on water content and compaction, but little is known about how such parameters affect locomotion or the physics of drag and penetration. Using apparatus to control compaction of GM, our recent studies of movement in dry GM have revealed locomotion strategies of specialized dry-sand-swimming reptiles. However, these animals represent a small fraction of the diversity and presumed burial strategies of fossorial reptilian fauna. Here we develop a system to create states of wet GM of varying moisture content and compaction in quantities sufficient to study the burial and subsurface locomotion of the Ocellated skink (C. ocellatus), a generalist lizard. X-ray imaging revealed that in wet and dry GM the lizard slowly buried (≈30 s) propagating a wave from head to tail, while moving in a start-stop motion. During forward movement, the head oscillated, and the forelimb on the convex side of the body propelled the animal. Although body kinematics and 'slip' were similar in both substrates, the burial depth was smaller in wet GM. Penetration and drag force experiments on smooth cylinders revealed that wet GM was ≈4× more resistive than dry GM. In total, our measurements indicate that while the rheology of the dry and wet GM differ substantially, the lizard's burial motor pattern is conserved across substrates, while its burial depth is largely constrained by environmental resistance. PMID:26109565

  6. Sex and boldness explain individual differences in spatial learning in a lizard

    PubMed Central

    Carazo, Pau; Noble, Daniel W. A.; Chandrasoma, Dani; Whiting, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding individual differences in cognitive performance is a major challenge to animal behaviour and cognition studies. We used the Eastern water skink (Eulamprus quoyii) to examine associations between exploration, boldness and individual variability in spatial learning, a dimension of lizard cognition with important bearing on fitness. We show that males perform better than females in a biologically relevant spatial learning task. This is the first evidence for sex differences in learning in a reptile, and we argue that it is probably owing to sex-specific selective pressures that may be widespread in lizards. Across the sexes, we found a clear association between boldness after a simulated predatory attack and the probability of learning the spatial task. In contrast to previous studies, we found a nonlinear association between boldness and learning: both ‘bold’ and ‘shy’ behavioural types were more successful learners than intermediate males. Our results do not fit with recent predictions suggesting that individual differences in learning may be linked with behavioural types via high–low-risk/reward trade-offs. We suggest the possibility that differences in spatial cognitive performance may arise in lizards as a consequence of the distinct environmental variability and complexity experienced by individuals as a result of their sex and social tactics. PMID:24619443

  7. Giant lizards occupied herbivorous mammalian ecospace during the Paleogene greenhouse in Southeast Asia

    PubMed Central

    Head, Jason J.; Gunnell, Gregg F.; Holroyd, Patricia A.; Hutchison, J. Howard; Ciochon, Russell L.

    2013-01-01

    Mammals dominate modern terrestrial herbivore ecosystems, whereas extant herbivorous reptiles are limited in diversity and body size. The evolution of reptile herbivory and its relationship to mammalian diversification is poorly understood with respect to climate and the roles of predation pressure and competition for food resources. Here, we describe a giant fossil acrodontan lizard recovered with a diverse mammal assemblage from the late middle Eocene Pondaung Formation of Myanmar, which provides a historical test of factors controlling body size in herbivorous squamates. We infer a predominately herbivorous feeding ecology for the new acrodontan based on dental anatomy, phylogenetic relationships and body size. Ranking body masses for Pondaung Formation vertebrates indicates that the lizard occupied a size niche among the larger herbivores and was larger than most carnivorous mammals. Paleotemperature estimates of Pondaung Formation environments based on the body size of the new lizard are approximately 2–5°C higher than modern. These results indicate that competitive exclusion and predation by mammals did not restrict body size evolution in these herbivorous squamates, and elevated temperatures relative to modern climates during the Paleogene greenhouse may have resulted in the evolution of gigantism through elevated poikilothermic metabolic rates and in response to increases in floral productivity. PMID:23740779

  8. Widespread primary, but geographically restricted secondary, human introductions of wall lizards, Podarcis muralis.

    PubMed

    Michaelides, Sozos N; While, Geoffrey M; Zajac, Natalia; Uller, Tobias

    2015-06-01

    Establishing the introduction pathways of alien species is a fundamental task in invasion biology. The common wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, has been widely introduced outside of its native range in both Europe and North America, primarily through escaped pets or deliberate release of animals from captive or wild populations. Here, we use Bayesian clustering, approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) methods and network analyses to reconstruct the origin and colonization history of 23 non-native populations of wall lizards in England. Our analyses show that established populations in southern England originate from at least nine separate sources of animals from native populations in France and Italy. Secondary introductions from previously established non-native populations were supported for eleven (47%) populations. In contrast to the primary introductions, secondary introductions were highly restricted geographically and appear to have occurred within a limited time frame rather than being increasingly common. Together, these data suggest that extant wall lizard populations in England are the result of isolated accidental and deliberate releases of imported animals since the 1970s, with only local translocation of animals from established non-native populations. Given that populations introduced as recently as 25 years ago show evidence of having adapted to cool climate, discouraging further translocations may be important to prevent more extensive establishment on the south coast of England. PMID:25891955

  9. Allelic expression of mammalian imprinted genes in a matrotrophic lizard, Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Oliver W; Brandley, Matthew C; Belov, Katherine; Thompson, Michael B

    2016-03-01

    Genomic imprinting is a process that results in the differential expression of genes depending on their parent of origin. It occurs in both plants and live-bearing mammals, with imprinted genes typically regulating the ability of an embryo to manipulate the maternal provision of nutrients. Genomic imprinting increases the potential for selection to act separately on paternally and maternally expressed genes, which increases the number of opportunities that selection can facilitate embryonic control over maternal nutrient provision. By looking for imprinting in an independent matrotrophic lineage, the viviparous lizard Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii (Scincidae), we test the hypothesis that genomic imprinting facilitates the evolution of substantial placental nutrient transport to embryos (matrotrophy). We sequenced transcriptomes from the embryonic component of lizard placentae to determine whether there are parent-of-origin differences in expression of genes that are imprinted in mammals. Of these genes, 19 had sufficiently high expression in the lizard to identify polymorphisms in transcribed sequences. We identified bi-allelic expression in 17 genes (including insulin-like growth factor 2), indicating that neither allele was imprinted. These data suggest that either genomic imprinting has not evolved in this matrotrophic skink or, if it has, it has evolved in different genes to mammals. We outline how these hypotheses can be tested. This study highlights important differences between mammalian and reptile pregnancy and the absence of any shared imprinting genes reflects fundamental differences in the way that pregnancy has evolved in these two lineages. PMID:26943808

  10. When Field Experiments Yield Unexpected Results: Lessons Learned from Measuring Selection in White Sands Lizards

    PubMed Central

    Hardwick, Kayla M.; Harmon, Luke J.; Hardwick, Scott D.; Rosenblum, Erica Bree

    2015-01-01

    Determining the adaptive significance of phenotypic traits is key for understanding evolution and diversification in natural populations. However, evolutionary biologists have an incomplete understanding of how specific traits affect fitness in most populations. The White Sands system provides an opportunity to study the adaptive significance of traits in an experimental context. Blanched color evolved recently in three species of lizards inhabiting the gypsum dunes of White Sands and is likely an adaptation to avoid predation. To determine whether there is a relationship between color and susceptibility to predation in White Sands lizards, we conducted enclosure experiments, quantifying survivorship of Holbrookia maculate exhibiting substrate-matched and substrate-mismatched phenotypes. Lizards in our study experienced strong predation. Color did not have a significant effect on survival, but we found several unexpected relationships including variation in predation over small spatial and temporal scales. In addition, we detected a marginally significant interaction between sex and color, suggesting selection for substrate matching may be stronger for males than females. We use our results as a case study to examine six major challenges frequently encountered in field-based studies of natural selection, and suggest that insight into the complexities of selection often results when experiments turn out differently than expected. PMID:25714838

  11. Low rate of interchromosomal rearrangements during old radiation of gekkotan lizards (Squamata: Gekkota).

    PubMed

    Johnson Pokorná, Martina; Trifonov, Vladimir A; Rens, Willem; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-06-01

    Gekkotan lizards are a highly specious (∼1600 described species) clade of squamate lizards with nearly cosmopolitan distribution in warmer areas. The clade is primarily nocturnal and forms an ecologically dominant part of the world nocturnal herpetofauna. However, molecular cytogenetic methods to study the evolution of karyotypes have not been widely applied in geckos. Our aim here was to uncover the extent of chromosomal rearrangements across the whole group Gekkota and to search for putative synapomorphies supporting the newly proposed phylogenetic relationships within this clade. We applied cross-species chromosome painting with the recently derived whole-chromosomal probes from the gekkonid species Gekko japonicus to members of the major gekkotan lineages. We included members of the families Diplodactylidae, Carphodactylidae, Pygopodidae, Eublepharidae, Phyllodactylidae and Gekkonidae. Our study demonstrates relatively high chromosome conservatism across the ancient group of gekkotan lizards. We documented that many changes in chromosomal shape across geckos can be attributed to intrachromosomal rearrangements. The documented rearrangements are not totally in agreement with the recently newly erected family Phyllodactylidae. The results also pointed to homoplasy, particularly in the reuse of chromosome breakpoints, in the evolution of gecko karyotypes. PMID:25665924

  12. Conspicuous male coloration impairs survival against avian predators in Aegean wall lizards, Podarcis erhardii.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Kate L A; Philpot, Kate E; Stevens, Martin

    2015-09-01

    Animal coloration is strikingly diverse in nature. Within-species color variation can arise through local adaptation for camouflage, sexual dimorphism and conspicuous sexual signals, which often have conflicting effects on survival. Here, we tested whether color variation between two island populations of Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) is due to sexual dimorphism and differential survival of individuals varying in appearance. On both islands, we measured attack rates by wild avian predators on clay models matching the coloration of real male and female P. erhardii from each island population, modeled to avian predator vision. Avian predator attack rates differed among model treatments, although only on one island. Male-colored models, which were more conspicuous against their experimental backgrounds to avian predators, were accordingly detected and attacked more frequently by birds than less conspicuous female-colored models. This suggests that female coloration has evolved primarily under selection for camouflage, whereas sexually competing males exhibit costly conspicuous coloration. Unexpectedly, there was no difference in avian attack frequency between local and non-local model types. This may have arisen if the models did not resemble lizard coloration with sufficient precision, or if real lizards behaviorally choose backgrounds that improve camouflage. Overall, these results show that sexually dimorphic coloration can affect the risk of predator attacks, indicating that color variation within a species can be caused by interactions between natural and sexual selection. However, more work is needed to determine how these findings depend on the island environment that each population inhabits. PMID:26442582

  13. Directional, passive liquid transport: the Texas horned lizard as a model for a biomimetic 'liquid diode'.

    PubMed

    Comanns, Philipp; Buchberger, Gerda; Buchsbaum, Andreas; Baumgartner, Richard; Kogler, Alexander; Bauer, Siegfried; Baumgartner, Werner

    2015-08-01

    Moisture-harvesting lizards such as the Texas horned lizard (Iguanidae: Phrynosoma cornutum) live in arid regions. Special skin adaptations enable them to access water sources such as moist sand and dew: their skin is capable of collecting and transporting water directionally by means of a capillary system between the scales. This fluid transport is passive, i.e. requires no external energy, and directs water preferentially towards the lizard's snout. We show that this phenomenon is based on geometric principles, namely on a periodic pattern of interconnected half-open capillary channels that narrow and widen. Following a biomimetic approach, we used these principles to develop a technical prototype design. Building upon the Young-Laplace equation, we derived a theoretical model for the local behaviour of the liquid in such capillaries. We present a global model for the penetration velocity validated by experimental data. Artificial surfaces designed in accordance with this model prevent liquid flow in one direction while sustaining it in the other. Such passive directional liquid transport could lead to process improvements and reduction of resources in many technical applications. PMID:26202685

  14. Location of fruit using only airborne odor cues by a lizard.

    PubMed

    Cooper, W E; Pérez-Mellado, V

    2001-10-01

    Although squamate reptiles are known to locate conspecifics by scent-trailing and to locate and identify prey by tongue-flicking substrates, an ability to locate food using only airborne cues has previously only been suspected based on observations that dead animals can be used as bait for Komodo dragons and that some nocturnal geckos aggregate on flowers. We conducted a simple field test of the ability of the omnivorous lizard Podarcis lilfordi to find fruit hidden under opaque cups. When a board having two identical cups spaced 1 m apart, one empty and the other hiding a freshly cut piece of apricot, was placed in the habitat, lizards first contacted the cup hiding fruit at well above chance frequency. Upon contact with a cup, lizards were significantly more likely to stay next to the cup, tongue-flick at high rates, climb the cup, and attempt to bite the cup if it hid a piece of apricot. The ability to follow a concentration gradient of airborne volatile chemicals to its source is very likely mediated by olfaction, but participation by or primacy of vomerolfaction cannot be excluded. PMID:11714497

  15. Spatiotemporal changes in metallothionein gene expression during embryogenesis in the wall lizard Podarcis sicula.

    PubMed

    Simoniello, Palma; Motta, Chiara Maria; Scudiero, Rosaria; Trinchella, Francesca; Filosa, Silvana

    2010-08-01

    Lizard embryos are nutritionally independent from their environment. During the early phases of oogenesis, the egg prepares for development by storing reserve organelles, proteins, and RNAs sufficient to allow the zygote to transform into a juvenile. This preparation also includes the storage of metallothionein (MT) transcripts. This study investigated the localization of these transcripts by in situ hybridization throughout Podarcis sicula developmental stages. Our data show that MT expression undergoes shifts in both regional and cellular localization. MT transcripts were detected early in the central nervous system, later in tissues implicated in metabolic processes. Results are discussed highlighting differences in lizard embryonic spatial and temporal MT expression compared with piscine, amphibian, and mammalian embryos. We hypothesize that, under natural conditions, the nutritionally closed system represented by the lizard egg protects the developing embryo from an unwanted excess of metals. This mechanism would make MT expression and accumulation in detoxifying organs in developing animals unnecessary until hatching and food intake begins. Conversely, the presence of MT transcripts during brain development may ensure the correct final architecture of this organ. PMID:20623798

  16. Controlled preparation of wet granular media reveals limits to lizard burial ability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharpe, Sarah S.; Kuckuk, Robyn; Goldman, Daniel I.

    2015-07-01

    Many animals move within ground composed of granular media (GM); the resistive properties of such substrates can depend on water content and compaction, but little is known about how such parameters affect locomotion or the physics of drag and penetration. Using apparatus to control compaction of GM, our recent studies of movement in dry GM have revealed locomotion strategies of specialized dry-sand-swimming reptiles. However, these animals represent a small fraction of the diversity and presumed burial strategies of fossorial reptilian fauna. Here we develop a system to create states of wet GM of varying moisture content and compaction in quantities sufficient to study the burial and subsurface locomotion of the Ocellated skink (C. ocellatus), a generalist lizard. X-ray imaging revealed that in wet and dry GM the lizard slowly buried (≈ 30 s) propagating a wave from head to tail, while moving in a start-stop motion. During forward movement, the head oscillated, and the forelimb on the convex side of the body propelled the animal. Although body kinematics and ‘slip’ were similar in both substrates, the burial depth was smaller in wet GM. Penetration and drag force experiments on smooth cylinders revealed that wet GM was ≈ 4× more resistive than dry GM. In total, our measurements indicate that while the rheology of the dry and wet GM differ substantially, the lizard's burial motor pattern is conserved across substrates, while its burial depth is largely constrained by environmental resistance.

  17. Pre- and Postcopulatory Traits of Salvator Male Lizards in Allopatry and Sympatry.

    PubMed

    Naretto, Sergio; Blengini, Cecilia S; Cardozo, Gabriela; Chiaraviglio, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    The reproductive traits of males are under influence of sexual pressures before and after copulation. The strength of sexual selection varies across populations because they undergo varying competition for mating opportunities. Besides intraspecific pressures, individuals seem to be subjected to pressures driven by interspecific interactions in sympatry. Lizards may vary their reproductive strategies through varying sexual characters, body size, gonadal investment, and sperm traits. We evaluated the reproductive traits, involved in pre- and postcopulatory competition, in allopatric and sympatric populations of Salvator lizards. We observed a spatial gradient of male competition among populations, with the following order: allopatric zone of S. rufescens; sympatric zone; and allopatric zone of S. merianae. Accordingly, variation in secondary sexual character, the relative testis mass, and the length of sperm component was observed between allopatry and sympatry in each species, suggesting differences in the investment of reproductive traits. However, we found that these two Salvator species did not differ in secondary sexual characters in sympatry. Interestingly, the trade-off between testes and muscle varied differently from allopatry to sympatry between these Salvator species, suggesting that the influence of social context on reproductive traits investment would affect lizard species differently. PMID:27110428

  18. Evidence for a carotid body homolog in the lizard Tupinambis merianae.

    PubMed

    Reichert, Michelle N; Brink, Deidre L; Milsom, William K

    2015-01-15

    The homolog to the mammalian carotid body has not yet been identified in lizards. Observational studies and evolutionary history provide indirect evidence for the existence of a chemoreceptor population at the first major bifurcation of the common carotid artery in lizards, but a chemoreceptive role for this area has not yet been definitively demonstrated. We explored this possibility by measuring changes in cardiorespiratory variables in response to focal arterial injections of the hypoxia mimic sodium cyanide (NaCN) into the carotid artery of 12 unanesthetized specimens of Tupinambis merianae. These injections elicited increases in heart rate (f(H); 101±35% increase) and respiratory rate (f(R); 620±119% increase), but not mean arterial blood pressure (MAP). These responses were eliminated by vagal denervation. Similar responses were elicited by injections of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine (ACh) and serotonin (5-HT) but not norepinephrine. Heart rate and respiratory rate increases in response to NaCN could be blocked or reduced by antagonists to ACh (atropine) and/or 5-HT (methysergide). Finally, using immunohistochemistry, we demonstrate the presence of putative chemoreceptive cells immunopositive for the cholinergic cell marker vesicular ACh transporter (VAChT) and 5-HT on internal lattice-like structures at the carotid bifurcation. These results provide evidence in lizards for the existence of dispersed chemoreceptor cells at the first carotid bifurcation in the central cardiovascular area that have similar properties to known carotid body homologs, adding to the picture of chemoreceptor evolution in vertebrates. PMID:25524981

  19. Giant lizards occupied herbivorous mammalian ecospace during the Paleogene greenhouse in Southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Head, Jason J; Gunnell, Gregg F; Holroyd, Patricia A; Hutchison, J Howard; Ciochon, Russell L

    2013-07-22

    Mammals dominate modern terrestrial herbivore ecosystems, whereas extant herbivorous reptiles are limited in diversity and body size. The evolution of reptile herbivory and its relationship to mammalian diversification is poorly understood with respect to climate and the roles of predation pressure and competition for food resources. Here, we describe a giant fossil acrodontan lizard recovered with a diverse mammal assemblage from the late middle Eocene Pondaung Formation of Myanmar, which provides a historical test of factors controlling body size in herbivorous squamates. We infer a predominately herbivorous feeding ecology for the new acrodontan based on dental anatomy, phylogenetic relationships and body size. Ranking body masses for Pondaung Formation vertebrates indicates that the lizard occupied a size niche among the larger herbivores and was larger than most carnivorous mammals. Paleotemperature estimates of Pondaung Formation environments based on the body size of the new lizard are approximately 2-5°C higher than modern. These results indicate that competitive exclusion and predation by mammals did not restrict body size evolution in these herbivorous squamates, and elevated temperatures relative to modern climates during the Paleogene greenhouse may have resulted in the evolution of gigantism through elevated poikilothermic metabolic rates and in response to increases in floral productivity. PMID:23740779

  20. A gravid lizard from the Cretaceous of China and the early history of squamate viviparity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yuan; Evans, Susan E.

    2011-09-01

    Although viviparity is most often associated with mammals, roughly one fifth of extant squamate reptiles give birth to live young. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the trait evolved more than 100 times within Squamata, a frequency greater than that of all other vertebrate clades combined. However, there is debate as to the antiquity of the trait and, until now, the only direct fossil evidence of squamate viviparity was in Late Cretaceous mosasauroids, specialised marine lizards without modern equivalents. Here, we document viviparity in a specimen of a more generalised lizard, Yabeinosaurus, from the Early Cretaceous of China. The gravid female contains more than 15 young at a level of skeletal development corresponding to that of late embryos of living viviparous lizards. This specimen documents the first occurrence of viviparity in a fossil reptile that was largely terrestrial in life, and extends the temporal distribution of the trait in squamates by at least 30 Ma. As Yabeinosaurus occupies a relatively basal position within crown-group squamates, it suggests that the anatomical and physiological preconditions for viviparity arose early within Squamata.

  1. Phylogenetic evidence for multiple losses of a sexually selected character in phrynosomatid lizards

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, J. J.

    1999-01-01

    The evolution of conspicuous male display ornaments is a common trend in diverse groups of organisms and a continuing challenge to studies of sexual selection. A phylogenetic approach was used to examine macro-evolutionary patterns of change in sexually dichromatic display coloration (distinctively coloured belly patches) among 130 taxa of phrynosomatid lizards. The results showed repeated losses of sexual dimorphism, which occur through losses of conspicuous male coloration or gains of conspicuous female coloration. The frequent loss of male traits is surprising, given that sexual selection presumably drives their evolutionary origin and maintenance, but is consistent with a recently proposed hypothesis suggesting that females may lose responsiveness to male traits over macro-evolutionary time-scales. The observation of repeated losses of male traits in phrynosomatid lizards (and other groups) may have implications for testing among competing models for the evolution of female preferences. A concentrated changes test showed that changes in male display coloration are significantly associated with the use of ground-dwelling habitat, as opposed to rock- or tree-dwelling habitats. This result suggests a role for natural selection in the loss of male display traits in phrynosomatid lizards, but habitat type alone may be insufficient to explain these losses.

  2. Intersexual chemo-sensation in a “visually-oriented” lizard, Anolis sagrei

    PubMed Central

    Driessens, Tess; Van Damme, Raoul

    2016-01-01

    While the conspicuous visual displays of anoles have been studied in great depth, the possibility that these lizards may also interact through chemical signalling has received hardly any consideration. In this study, we observed the behaviour of male brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) when introduced into an environment previously inhabited by female conspecifics, and compared it to when they were introduced into an untreated environment. The males in our tests exhibited significantly more elaborate display behaviour (i.e., greater number of dewlap extensions and head-nods) and a significantly greater number of tongue extrusions while in the cage formerly occupied by females than when placed in the untreated, control cage. The absolute numbers of tongue extrusions, however, were relatively low in comparison to average tongue-flick rates of ‘true’ chemically-oriented lizards. Our results strongly suggest that the males were capable of detecting chemical cues left behind by the females. These observations provide the first evidence of intersexual chemo-sensation in an anole lizard. PMID:27069809

  3. Lizard tail skeletal regeneration combines aspects of fracture healing and blastema-based regeneration.

    PubMed

    Lozito, Thomas P; Tuan, Rocky S

    2016-08-15

    Lizards are amniotes with the remarkable ability to regenerate amputated tails. The early regenerated lizard tail forms a blastema, and the regenerated skeleton consists of a cartilage tube (CT) surrounding the regenerated spinal cord. The proximal, but not distal, CT undergoes hypertrophy and ossifies. We hypothesized that differences in cell sources and signaling account for divergent cartilage development between proximal and distal CT regions. Exogenous spinal cord implants induced ectopic CT formation in lizard (Anolis carolinensis) blastemas. Regenerated spinal cords expressed Shh, and cyclopamine inhibited CT induction. Blastemas containing vertebrae with intact spinal cords formed CTs with proximal hypertrophic regions and distal non-hypertrophic regions, whereas removal of spinal cords resulted in formation of proximal CT areas only. In fate-mapping studies, FITC-labeled vertebra periosteal cells were detected in proximal, but not distal, CT areas. Conversely, FITC-labeled blastema cells were restricted to distal CT regions. Proximal cartilage formation was inhibited by removal of periosteum and could be recapitulated in vitro by periosteal cells treated with Ihh and BMP-2. These findings suggest that proximal CTs are directly derived from vertebra periosteal cells in response to BMP and Ihh signaling, whereas distal CTs form from blastema cells in response to Shh signals from regenerated spinal cords. PMID:27387871

  4. Ontogenetic Variation in the Thermal Biology of Yarrow's Spiny Lizard, Sceloporus jarrovii

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Anthony L.; Lattanzio, Matthew S.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is rapidly altering the way current species interact with their environment to satisfy life-history demands. In areas anticipated to experience extreme warming, rising temperatures are expected to diminish population growth, due either to environmental degradation, or the inability to tolerate novel temperature regimes. Determining how at risk ectotherms, and lizards in particular, are to changes in climate traditionally emphasizes the thermal ecology and thermal sensitivity of physiology of adult members of a population. In this study, we reveal ontogenetic differences in thermal physiological and ecological traits that have been used to anticipate how ectotherms will respond to climate change. We show that the thermal biological traits of juvenile Yarrow’s Spiny Lizards (Sceloporus jarrovii) differ from the published estimates of the same traits for adult lizards. Juvenile S. jarrovii differ in their optimal performance temperature, field field-active body temperature, and critical thermal temperatures compared to adult S. jarrovii. Within juvenile S. jarrovii, males and females exhibit differences in field-active body temperature and desiccation tolerance. Given the observed age- and sex-related variation in thermal physiology, we argue that not including physiological differences in thermal biology throughout ontogeny may lead to misinterpretation of patterns of ecological or evolutionary change due to climate warming. Further characterizing the potential for ontogenetic changes in thermal biology would be useful for a more precise and accurate estimation of the role of thermal physiology in mediating population persistence in warmer environments. PMID:26840620

  5. Pre- and Postcopulatory Traits of Salvator Male Lizards in Allopatry and Sympatry

    PubMed Central

    Naretto, Sergio; Blengini, Cecilia S.; Cardozo, Gabriela; Chiaraviglio, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    The reproductive traits of males are under influence of sexual pressures before and after copulation. The strength of sexual selection varies across populations because they undergo varying competition for mating opportunities. Besides intraspecific pressures, individuals seem to be subjected to pressures driven by interspecific interactions in sympatry. Lizards may vary their reproductive strategies through varying sexual characters, body size, gonadal investment, and sperm traits. We evaluated the reproductive traits, involved in pre- and postcopulatory competition, in allopatric and sympatric populations of Salvator lizards. We observed a spatial gradient of male competition among populations, with the following order: allopatric zone of S. rufescens; sympatric zone; and allopatric zone of S. merianae. Accordingly, variation in secondary sexual character, the relative testis mass, and the length of sperm component was observed between allopatry and sympatry in each species, suggesting differences in the investment of reproductive traits. However, we found that these two Salvator species did not differ in secondary sexual characters in sympatry. Interestingly, the trade-off between testes and muscle varied differently from allopatry to sympatry between these Salvator species, suggesting that the influence of social context on reproductive traits investment would affect lizard species differently. PMID:27110428

  6. Foraging behaviors of two sympatric ant species in response to lizard eggs.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wen-San

    2010-03-01

    The trade-off between behavioral dominance and resource discovery ability represents a mechanism which could facilitate the coexistence of species, but evidence of the existence of this trade-off is limited and is often derived from experiments using artificial bait. In this study, I performed a field experiment to investigate the outcome of potential food competition between an encounter species (Paratrechina longicornis) and an exploitative one (Pheidole taivanensis) and to examine the factors that may explain the behavior of P. taivanensis when obtaining food (lizard eggs) without being attacked by P. longicornis. When P. longicornis was experimentally introduced to eggs occupied by P. taivanensis for 1 day, it displaced P. taivanensis. However, P. longicornis ignored lizard eggs which had been occupied by P. taivanensis for 2 or more days, and did not displace P. taivanensis, because by that time the eggshells had been damaged by P. taivanensis so they could no longer be used by P. longicornis. Eggshells were damaged more quickly by P. taivanensis at Santimen, southwestern Taiwan, than at four other study sites where there were lower intensities of food competition between P. taivanensis and P. longicornis. The displacement percentage was higher at Santimen which had higher ant population densities. The present study shows that lizard eggs may constitute a natural, ephemeral resource for which ants compete in space and time. Comparisons between study sites with and without ants suggest the existence of a trade-off between resource discovery and territorial defense. PMID:20199855

  7. Parasites and health affect multiple sexual signals in male common wall lizards, Podarcis muralis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín, José; Amo, Luisa; López, Pilar

    2008-04-01

    Multiple advertising sexual traits may either advertise different characteristics of male condition or be redundant to reinforce reliability of signals. Research has focused on multiple visual traits. However, in animals that use different multiple additional sensory systems, such as chemoreception, different types of traits might have evolved to signal similar characteristics of a male quality using different sensory channels. We examined whether ventral coloration and chemicals in femoral gland secretions of male common wall lizards, Podarcis muralis, are affected by their health state (blood-parasite load and cell-mediated immune response). Our results indicated that less parasitized lizards had brighter and more yellowish ventral colorations and also femoral secretions with higher proportions of two esters of octadecenoic acid. In addition, lizards with a greater immune response had more saturated coloration and secretions with higher proportions of octadecenoic acid methyl ester. We suggest that these signals would be reliable because only healthier males seemed able to allocate more carotenoids to coloration and presumably costly chemicals to secretions. The use of multiple sensory channels may provide more opportunities to signal a male quality under different circumstances, but also may reinforce the reliability of the signal when both types of traits may be perceived simultaneously.

  8. Intersexual chemo-sensation in a "visually-oriented" lizard, Anolis sagrei.

    PubMed

    Baeckens, Simon; Driessens, Tess; Van Damme, Raoul

    2016-01-01

    While the conspicuous visual displays of anoles have been studied in great depth, the possibility that these lizards may also interact through chemical signalling has received hardly any consideration. In this study, we observed the behaviour of male brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) when introduced into an environment previously inhabited by female conspecifics, and compared it to when they were introduced into an untreated environment. The males in our tests exhibited significantly more elaborate display behaviour (i.e., greater number of dewlap extensions and head-nods) and a significantly greater number of tongue extrusions while in the cage formerly occupied by females than when placed in the untreated, control cage. The absolute numbers of tongue extrusions, however, were relatively low in comparison to average tongue-flick rates of 'true' chemically-oriented lizards. Our results strongly suggest that the males were capable of detecting chemical cues left behind by the females. These observations provide the first evidence of intersexual chemo-sensation in an anole lizard. PMID:27069809

  9. Correlation between ovarian steroidogenesis and beta-endorphin in the Lizard Uromastyx acanthinura: Immunohistochemical approach.

    PubMed

    Hammouche, Sadjia; Gernigon, Thérese; Exbrayat, Jean Marie

    2009-01-01

    In Mammals, opioid peptides are involved in various physiological processes including the reproductive function. The knowledge of the distribution of beta-endorphin, one of opioid peptides in Reptiles ovaries is very limited. Therefore, the present study used the lizard ovarian follicles to further elucidate the role of this peptide in steroidogenesis. In Uromastyx acanthinura, the localization of both this peptide and sex steroid hormone was investigated by the immunohistochemical approach. This technique was used to evaluate the distribution of these substances and their relationship. The beta-endorphin is strongly distributed in the granulosa cells and oocyte cytoplasm of the previtellogenic follicles in sexually quiescent lizards (winter) when steroidogenesis was interrupted. In spring, the signal became weak, or even absent, in the vitellogenic and previtellogenic follicles. The granulosa cells of the previtellogenic follicles showed an important synthesis of 17beta-estradiol. Females that did not undergo in vitellogenesis in spring showed the same profile than quiescent females of winter. These findings represent the first evidence of the presence of beta-endorphin in the ovary of this lizard. The seasonal variations observed in the reproductive cycle suggest that this opioid peptide is involved in the modulation of seasonal steroidogenesis. PMID:20067902

  10. Wall lizards display conspicuous signals to conspecifics and reduce detection by avian predators

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Visual signals are often under conflicting selection to be hidden from predators while being conspicuous to mates and rivals. Here, we investigated whether 3 different island populations of Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) with variable coloration among diverse island habitats exhibit simultaneous camouflage and sexual signals. We examined whether signals appear better tuned to conspecific vision as opposed to that of avian predators, and whether background-matching camouflage and sexual signals are partitioned to specific body regions. This could facilitate both covert sexual signaling and camouflage according to the viewing perspectives of predators and conspecifics. We found that lizards typically appeared twice as conspicuous to conspecifics than to avian predators against the same visual background, largely due to lizards’ enhanced sensitivity to ultraviolet, suggesting that P. erhardii signals are tuned to conspecific vision to reduce detection by predators. Males were more conspicuous than females to both predators and conspecifics. In 2 populations, male backs were relatively more camouflaged to predators compared to signaling flanks, whereas in females, exposed and concealed surfaces were camouflaged to predators and generally did not differ in background matching. These findings indicate that lizard coloration evolves under the competing demands of natural and sexual selection to promote signals that are visible to conspecifics while being less perceptible to avian predators. They also elucidate how interactions between natural and sexual selection influence signal detectability and partitioning to different body regions, highlighting the importance of considering receiver vision, viewing perspectives, and signaling environments in studies of signal evolution. PMID:25419083

  11. Responses to chemical cues from animal and plant foods by actively foraging insectivorous and omnivorous scincine lizards.

    PubMed

    Cooper, W E; Al-Johany, A M; Vitt, L J; Habegger, J J

    2000-10-01

    If tongue-flicking is important to lizards to sample chemical cues permitting identification of foods, tongue-flicking and subsequent feeding responses should be adjusted to match diet. This hypothesis can be examined for plant foods because most lizards are insectivores, but herbivory/omnivory has evolved independently in many lizard taxa. Here we present experimental data on chemosensory responses to chemical cues from animal prey and palatable plants by three species of the scincine lizards. When tested with chemical stimuli presented on cotton swabs, the insectivorous Eumeces fasciatus responded strongly to prey chemicals but not to chemicals from plants palatable to omnivorous lizards or to pungent or odorless control stimuli. Two omnivorous species, E. schneideri and Scincus mitranus, responded more strongly to chemical cues from both prey and food plants than to the control chemicals. All available data for actively foraging lizards, including these skinks, show that they are capable of prey chemical discrimination, and insectivores do not exhibit elevated tongue-flicking or biting responses to chemical cues from palatable plants. In all of the several species of herbivores/omnivores tested, the lizards show elevated responses to both animal and plant chemicals. We suggest two independent origins of both omnivory and plant chemical discrimination that may account for the evolution of diet and food chemical discriminations in the eight species of skinks studied, five of which are omnivores. All data are consistent with the hypothesis that acquisition of omnivory is accompanied by acquisition of plant chemical discrimination, but data on a broad diversity of taxa are needed for a definitive comparative test of the evolutionary hypothesis. J. Exp. Zool. 287:327-339, 2000. PMID:10980491

  12. Testing the robustness of transmission network models to predict ectoparasite loads. One lizard, two ticks and four years☆

    PubMed Central

    Wohlfiel, Caroline K.; Leu, Stephan T.; Godfrey, Stephanie S.; Bull, C. Michael

    2013-01-01

    We investigated transmission pathways for two tick species, Bothriocroton hydrosauri and Amblyomma limbatum, among their sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) hosts in a natural population in South Australia. Our aim was to determine whether a transmission network model continued to predict parasite load patterns effectively under varying ecological conditions. Using GPS loggers we identified the refuge sites used by each lizard on each day. We estimated infectious time windows for ticks that detached from a lizard in a refuge. Time windows were from the time when a detached tick molted and become infective, until the time it died from desiccation while waiting for a new host. Previous research has shown that A. limbatum molts earlier and survives longer than B. hydrosauri. We developed two transmission network models based on these differences in infective time windows for the two tick species. Directed edges were generated in the ne