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Sample records for caiman caiman latirostris

  1. Macrogeographic genetic variation in broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris).

    PubMed

    Villela, Priscilla Marqui Schmidt; Coutinho, Luiz Lehmann; Piña, Carlos Ignacio; Verdade, Luciano M

    2008-12-01

    Broad-snouted caiman's (Caiman latirostris) geographic distribution comprises one of the widest latitudinal ranges among all crocodilians. In this study we analyzed the relationship between geographic distance (along the species latitudinal range) and genetic differentiation using DNA microsatellite loci developed for C. latirostris and Alligator mississippiensis. The results suggest that there is a consistent relationship between geographic distance and genetic differentiation; however, other biogeographical factors seem to be relevant. The Atlantic Chain (Serra do Mar) seems to be an effective geographic barrier, as well as the relatively narrow (< or =1.5 km) sea channel between Cardoso Island and the continent. In addition, coastal populations seem to have been well connected in recent geological time (Pleistocene 16,000 years ago) all along the eastern Brazilian coast. Further studies should focus on the São Francisco River drainage, which is still poorly known for this species. PMID:18661469

  2. Anurans as paratenic hosts in the transmission of Hepatozoon caimani to caimans Caiman yacare and Caiman latirostris.

    PubMed

    Viana, Lúcio André; Soares, Priscilla; Silva, Jhonatan Eber; Paiva, Fernando; Coutinho, Marcos Eduardo

    2012-02-01

    Prevalence of Hepatozoon caimani has been reported in 76% of caimans Caiman yacare from the Pantanal region. Culex (Melanoconion) spp. mosquitoes were recently identified as natural vectors of this parasite. However, culicids are not typically eaten by crocodilians, suggesting that the main transmission route is through ingestion of insectivorous vertebrates, such as anurans. The susceptibility of wild frogs Leptodactylus chaquensis, Leptodactylus podicipinus and Scinax nasicus to infection by H. caimani was verified. Wild-caught anurans were force fed with sporulated oocysts from laboratory-bred Culex (Melanoconion) mosquitoes. Frogs were killed 30 days postinfection, and their internal organs were fed to caimans C. yacare and Caiman latirostris. Cystozoites were identified in fresh liver impression smears of L. chaquensis. C. yacare fed on anuran organ presented gametocytes in peripheral blood circulation between 74 and 80 days postinoculation (dpi). Gametocytes were also verified in C. latirostris fed on the internal organs of L. podicipinus and S. nasicus between 60-70 and 69-75 dpi, respectively. Since frogs used in experiment are sympatric with C. yacare and C. latirostris and may occur in the diet of these caimans, the results suggest these amphibians are paratenic hosts in the natural transmission cycle of H. caimani in Pantanal. PMID:21808978

  3. Irregularly calcified eggs and eggshells of Caiman latirostris (Alligatoridae: Crocodylia).

    PubMed

    Fernández, Mariela Soledad; Simoncini, Melina Soledad; Dyke, Gareth

    2013-05-01

    We describe irregularly calcified egg and eggshell morphologies for the first time in nests of the broad-snouted caiman, Caiman latirostris. Research is based on detailed descriptions of 270 eggs from a total sample of 46,800 collected between 2005 and 2011 in Santa Fe Province, Argentina, and encompasses animals from both natural habitats and held in captivity. We discuss possible reasons for the occurrence of eggs with different mineralisation patterns in our extensive C. latirostris field sample and its conservation significance; the chemistry of egg laying in amniotes is sensitive to environmental contamination which, in turn, has biological implications. Based on our egg sample, we identify two caiman eggshell abnormalities: (1) regularly calcified eggs with either calcitic nodules or superficial wrinkles at one egg end and (2) irregularly calcified eggs with structural gaps that weaken the shell. Some recently laid clutches we examined included eggs with most of the shell broken and detached from the flexible membrane. Most type 1 regularly calcified eggs lost their initial calcified nodules during incubation, suggesting that these deposits do not affect embryo survival rates. In contrast, irregularly calcified caiman eggs have a mean hatching success rate of 8.9% (range 0-38%) across our sample compared to a mean normal success of 75%. Most irregularly calcified caiman eggs probably die because of infections caused by fungi and bacteria in the organic nest material, although another possible explanation that merits further investigation could be an increase in permeability, leading to embryo dehydration. PMID:23604383

  4. Irregularly calcified eggs and eggshells of Caiman latirostris (Alligatoridae: Crocodylia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Mariela Soledad; Simoncini, Melina Soledad; Dyke, Gareth

    2013-05-01

    We describe irregularly calcified egg and eggshell morphologies for the first time in nests of the broad-snouted caiman, Caiman latirostris. Research is based on detailed descriptions of 270 eggs from a total sample of 46,800 collected between 2005 and 2011 in Santa Fe Province, Argentina, and encompasses animals from both natural habitats and held in captivity. We discuss possible reasons for the occurrence of eggs with different mineralisation patterns in our extensive C. latirostris field sample and its conservation significance; the chemistry of egg laying in amniotes is sensitive to environmental contamination which, in turn, has biological implications. Based on our egg sample, we identify two caiman eggshell abnormalities: (1) regularly calcified eggs with either calcitic nodules or superficial wrinkles at one egg end and (2) irregularly calcified eggs with structural gaps that weaken the shell. Some recently laid clutches we examined included eggs with most of the shell broken and detached from the flexible membrane. Most type 1 regularly calcified eggs lost their initial calcified nodules during incubation, suggesting that these deposits do not affect embryo survival rates. In contrast, irregularly calcified caiman eggs have a mean hatching success rate of 8.9 % (range 0-38 %) across our sample compared to a mean normal success of 75 %. Most irregularly calcified caiman eggs probably die because of infections caused by fungi and bacteria in the organic nest material, although another possible explanation that merits further investigation could be an increase in permeability, leading to embryo dehydration.

  5. Immunotoxicity of commercial-mixed glyphosate in broad snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris).

    PubMed

    Siroski, Pablo A; Poletta, Gisela L; Latorre, María A; Merchant, Mark E; Ortega, Hugo H; Mudry, Marta D

    2016-01-25

    The expansion and intensification of agriculture during the past 50 years is unprecedented, and thus environmental problems have been triggered at different scales. These transformations have caused the loss of habitat and biodiversity, and disruption of the structure and functioning of ecosystems. As a result of the expansion of the agricultural frontier in the recent past, many areas of the natural geographic distribution of the local wildlife, among them crocodilians and particularly the broad snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris), are being exposed to contaminants. The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of commercially-mixed glyphosate (RU) on some parameters of the immune system of C. latirostris. Two groups of caimans were exposed for two months to different concentrations of RU recommended for its application in the field, while one group was maintained as an unexposed control. The RU concentration was progressively decreased through the exposure period to simulate glyphosate degradation in water. After exposure, total and differential white blood cell (WBC), and complement system activity (CS) were determined. In addition, the animals were injected with a solution of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Escherichia coli to trigger an immune response and evaluate the parameters associated with it. The results showed that an effect of the herbicide on CS was observed, as animals exposed to RU showed a lower CS activity than animals from the negative control (NC) but not in total WBC. In the case of leukocyte population counts, differences were only found for heterophils and lymphocytes. PMID:26658029

  6. Distribution of populations of broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris, Daudin 1802, Alligatoridae) in the São Francisco River basin, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Filogonio, R; Assis, V B; Passos, L F; Coutinho, M E

    2010-11-01

    We surveyed populations of the broad-snouted caiman, Caiman latirostris, throughout the São Francisco River basin, from Três Marias reservoir, State of Minas Gerais, to the river delta, at the boarder of Sergipe and Alagoas states. We registered the occurrence of crocodilians in 61% of all surveyed localities (n = 64), in which the presence of C. latirostris was confirmed in 44% of the surveyed sites. Caimans occurred in both lentic and lotic habitats, although there was a preference for small dams, oxbow lakes and wetlands. Despite the hunting pressure and human impact on natural habitats, our results indicate that the populations of C. latirostris in the São Francisco basin are not fragmented. PMID:21180900

  7. Biomarkers of oxidative damage and antioxidant defense capacity in Caiman latirostris blood.

    PubMed

    Poletta, Gisela L; Simoniello, María Fernanda; Mudry, Marta D

    2016-01-01

    Several xenobiotics, and among them pesticides, can produce oxidative stress, providing a mechanistic basis for their observed toxicity. Chronic oxidative stress induces deleterious modifications to DNA, lipids and proteins that are used as effective biomarkers to study pollutant-mediated oxidative stress. No previous report existed on the application of oxidative damage and antioxidant defense biomarkers in Caiman latirostris blood, while few studies reported in other crocodilians were done in organs or muscles of dead animals. The aim of this study was to characterize a new set of oxidative stress biomarkers in C. latirostris blood, through the modification of conventional techniques: 1) damage to lipids by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), 2) damage to DNA by comet assay modified with the enzymes FPG and Endo III, and 3) antioxidant defenses: catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione; in order to apply them in future biomonitoring studies. We successfully adapted standard procedures for CAT, SOD, GSH and TBARS determination in C. latirostris blood. Calibration curves for FPG and Endo III showed that the three dilutions tested were appropriate to conduct the modified comet assay for the detection of oxidized bases in C. latirostris erythrocytes. One hour of incubation allowed a complete repair of the damage generated. The incorporation of these biomarkers in biomonitoring studies of caiman populations exposed to xenobiotics is highly important considering that this species has recovered from a serious endangered state through the implementation of sustainable use programs in Argentina, and represents nowadays a relevant economic resource for many human communities. PMID:26299575

  8. Ultraviolet radiation on innate immunity and growth of broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris): implications for facilities design.

    PubMed

    Siroski, Pablo Ariel; Poletta, Gisela Laura; Fernandez, Lucia; Ortega, Hugo Héctor; Merchant, Mark Edwin

    2012-01-01

    Sunlight is a key environmental factor in almost all ecosystems, and it is necessary for many physiological functions. Many vertebrates require ultraviolet (UV) radiation to perform different physiological processes. Artificial light is used to supplement UV in captive animals, through appropriate photoperiods and UV wavelengths. Previous studies reported that repeated exposure to artificial UV radiation may cause damage to the immune system. Taking into account the importance of UV effects and the serum complement system, the relationship between them was investigated. The study lasted 90 days and was carried out in plastic chambers. Ninety six broad-snouted caiman (C. latirostris) were assigned to four treatment groups with two replicates each: total darkness (TD), 8 hr per day (8 hr) and 16 hr per day (16 hr) of artificial UV/visible light exposure, and normal photoperiod of natural light (NP). Snout-vent length was measured to determine animal growth. Hemolytic assays were performed to evaluate the effects of artificial UV/visible light, TD, and NP on the serum complement system. Results showed that animals grew more in the NP group. The capacity of C. latirostris serum to hemolyze sheep red blood cells was higher in the NP group than when they are maintained in constant light-dark cycles (8 and 16 hr) or in TD. These data demonstrate that artificial UV should be considered as a potential hazard for captive crocodilians if it is not properly managed, and this should be taken into account in the general design of facilities for reptilian husbandry. PMID:21850705

  9. In ovum exposure to pesticides increases the egg weight loss and decreases hatchlings weight of Caiman latirostris (Crocodylia: Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Beldomenico, P M; Rey, F; Prado, W S; Villarreal, J C; Muñoz-de-Toro, M; Luque, E H

    2007-10-01

    The increasing use of pesticides affects ecosystem health. Caiman latirostris is a South American species with ecological and physiological features that render it vulnerable to exposure to pesticides with endocrine disruptor's action. Our main objective was to test the effect of in ovum exposure to atrazine and endosulfan on the sex ratio of caiman hatchlings; however, we are also presenting unexpected findings regarding pesticide effects on egg weight loss during incubation and hatchlings relative weight. Caiman eggs were incubated under controlled temperature (30 and 33 degrees C) and humidity (>90%). They were treated with vehicle, 17 beta-estradiol (1.4ppm), atrazine (0.2ppm) and endosulfan (0.02; 2; 20ppm). Pesticides did not cause estrogen-like effects on sex determination. Greater egg weight loss was observed in eggs treated with atrazine and higher doses of endosulfan (2 and 20ppm) (p=0.0005). These pesticides also caused a reduction in hatchling fractional weight (p=0.0497). These effects might have a significant impact on caiman population dynamics. PMID:17280716

  10. Detection of Antibodies to a Pathogenic Mycoplasma in American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), Broad-Nosed Caimans (Caiman latirostris), and Siamese Crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis)

    PubMed Central

    Brown, D. R.; Schumacher, I. M.; Nogueira, M. F.; Richey, L. J.; Zacher, L. A.; Schoeb, T. R.; Vliet, K. A.; Bennett, R. A.; Jacobson, E. R.; Brown, M. B.

    2001-01-01

    An epidemic of pneumonia with fibrinous polyserositis and multifocal arthritis emerged in captive American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida, United States, in 1995. Mycoplasma alligatoris sp. nov. was cultured from multiple organs, peripheral blood, synovial fluid, and cerebrospinal fluid of affected alligators. In a subsequent experimental inoculation study, the Henle-Koch-Evans postulates were fulfilled for M. alligatoris as the etiological agent of fatal mycoplasmosis of alligators. That finding was remarkable because mycoplasmal disease is rarely fatal in animals. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of antibodies produced by alligators in response to M. alligatoris exposure was developed by using plasma obtained from naturally infected alligators during the original epidemic. The assay was validated by using plasma obtained during an experimental dose-response study and applied to analyze plasma obtained from captive and wild crocodilian species. The ELISA reliably detected alligator seroconversion (P < 0.05) beginning 6 weeks after inoculation. The ELISA also detected seroconversion (P < 0.05) in the relatively closely related broad-nosed caiman Caiman latirostris and the relatively distantly related Siamese crocodile Crocodylus siamensis following experimental inoculation with M. alligatoris. The ELISA may be used to monitor exposure to the lethal pathogen M. alligatoris among captive, repatriated, and wild crocodilian species. PMID:11136785

  11. Phenotypic variability and heritability of the cephalic region of Caiman latirostris.

    PubMed

    Imhoff, Carolina; Giri, Federico; Siroski, Pablo; Amavet, Patricia

    2016-03-01

    The study of the cephalic shape of crocodilian is relevant in the fields of ecology, systematics, evolution, and conservation. Therefore, the integration of geometric analysis within quantitative genetics allows the evaluation of the inheritable shape components. In this study, the dorsal cephalic region of 210 Caiman latirostris hatchlings was analyzed from seven populations in Santa Fe, Argentina, to detect intra-, and inter-population phenotypic variability, and to determine the heritability of biological shape and size, using newly available geometric morphometric tools. The principal component analysis showed two configurations of cephalic shape that could be related to sexual dimorphism. In the canonical variate analysis, Procrustes distances between groups indicated that there are differences in shape among populations. Furthermore, the method of partial least squares indicated a covariation between cephalic shape and environmental variables. Regarding to CS of the skull we found significant differences among populations, moreover the partial least squares was also significant. Estimates of the heritability of shape and size were high, indicating that the components of these features are susceptible to the selection. PMID:26682625

  12. Aerobic bacterial microflora of Broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) oral cavity and cloaca, originating from parque Zoológico Arruda Câmara, Paraíba, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Silva, J S A; Mota, R A; Pinheiro Júnior, J W; Almeida, M C S; Silva, D R; Ferreira, D R A; Azevedo, J C N

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to isolate and identify the aerobic bacterial microflora from the oral cavity mucosa and cloaca's samples, collected from Broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris), born and bred in captivity at Parque Zoológico Arruda Câmara, João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil. The most common bacteria were Staphylococcus sp. (14.74%), Corynebacterium sp. (13.68%), Escherichia coli (13.68%) and Shigella sp.(11.58%), and the less common were Citrobacter sp. (1.05%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (1.05%) and Salmonella sp. (1.05%).This emphasizes the importance of these microorganisms' participation in infectious processes (sepsis) and injuries caused by crocodilians. PMID:24031343

  13. First Report of Trypanosoma sp. in Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus): Morphological and Phylogenetic Relationships

    PubMed Central

    da Costa, Andrea P.; Acosta, Igor C. L.; de Lima, Julia T. R.; Minervino, Antonio H. H.; Gennari, Solange M.

    2013-01-01

    In Crocodylidae family three trypanosomes species were described, T. grayi in African crocodilian and T. cecili and Trypanosoma sp. in Caimans species from Brazil. T. grayi was transmitted by tsetse flies and the vector of Brazilian caimans trypanosomes is unknown. We characterized first Brazilian trypanosome isolated in spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) from Mato Grosso State in Brazil. Morphological findings in epimastigotes forms from axenic culture showed high similarity with Trypanosoma sp. described in Caiman yacare from Brazilian Pantanal. Phylogenetic studies performed with SSU rDNA and gGAPDH (glyceraldehydes-3-phosphato dehydrogenase glycosomal) clustering in T. grayi Clade and together to genotype Cay 01 from Trypanosoma unnamed species isolated in C. yacare. This is the first isolate of Trypanosoma sp. from C. crocodilus and the phylogenetic position with isolates in C. yacare from Pantanal region and demonstrates the low host specificity of cayman trypanosomes in Brazil. PMID:27335853

  14. Acoustic signals of baby black caimans.

    PubMed

    Vergne, Amélie L; Aubin, Thierry; Taylor, Peter; Mathevon, Nicolas

    2011-12-01

    In spite of the importance of crocodilian vocalizations for the understanding of the evolution of sound communication in Archosauria and due to the small number of experimental investigations, information concerning the vocal world of crocodilians is limited. By studying black caimans Melanosuchus niger in their natural habitat, here we supply the experimental evidence that juvenile crocodilians can use a graded sound system in order to elicit adapted behavioral responses from their mother and siblings. By analyzing the acoustic structure of calls emitted in two different situations ('undisturbed context', during which spontaneous calls of juvenile caimans were recorded without perturbing the group, and a simulated 'predator attack', during which calls were recorded while shaking juveniles) and by testing their biological relevance through playback experiments, we reveal the existence of two functionally different types of juvenile calls that produce a different response from the mother and other siblings. Young black caimans can thus modulate the structure of their vocalizations along an acoustic continuum as a function of the emission context. Playback experiments show that both mother and juveniles discriminate between these 'distress' and 'contact' calls. Acoustic communication is thus an important component mediating relationships within family groups in caimans as it is in birds, their archosaurian relatives. Although probably limited, the vocal repertoire of young crocodilians is capable of transmitting the information necessary for allowing siblings and mother to modulate their behavior. PMID:21978842

  15. Morphometric analysis of the Rio Apaporis Caiman (Reptilia, Crocodylia, Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Escobedo-Galván, Armando H; Velasco, Julián A; González-Maya, José F; Resetar, Alan

    2015-01-01

    Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis has been considered by several authors as an extreme of morphological variation within the Caiman crocodilus complex. Here, we evaluate its position in the Caiman crocodilus complex morphospace using morphological traits from head shape. We examined the holotype and seventeen paratypes of Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis Medem 1955 deposited at the Field Museum of Natural History. We performed multivariate morphometric analyses: principal component analysis (PCA) and discriminant function analysis (DFA), based on 21 cranial traits of of C. c. apaporiensis, C. yacare and the C. crocodilus complex (C. c. chiapasius, C. c. fuscus andC. c. crocodilus). We find a notable separation of C.c. apaporiensis from C. yacare and C. crocodilus complex in the morphospace. We suggest that geographic isolation might have driven this morphological separation from the C. crocodilus complex, but further analysis are necessary to confirm whether these differences are related with genetic differentiation within the complex. In addition, we suggest that environmental heterogeneity might drive the evolution of independent lineages within the C. crocodilus complex. PMID:26701577

  16. Evaluation of the infectivity of Trichinella spp. for reptiles (Caiman sclerops).

    PubMed

    Kapel, C M; Webster, P; Bjørn, H; Murrell, K D; Nansen, P

    1998-12-01

    Experimental inoculation with nine well-characterised Trichinella isolates was performed on caimans (Caiman sclerops) to determine their infectivity for reptiles belonging to the family Crocodilidae. As controls, the same larval batches of Trichinella isolates were inoculated into mice and guinea pigs. It was suggested that Trichinella pseudospiralis was more likely to infect reptiles than encapsulating species, but whereas all Trichinella species established in mice and guinea pigs, the caimans remained negative. The finding that caimans could not be experimentally infected contrasts with a recent report on infections in farmed crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus). PMID:9925275

  17. In vitro evaluation of synergistic activity between ciprofloxacin and broad snouted caiman serum against Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Siroski, P A; Russi, N B; Ortega, H H; Formentini, E A

    2015-02-01

    The in vitro synergistic activity between ciprofloxacin and serum of broad snouted caiman on Escherichia coli was studied. The estimated MIC value of ciprofloxacin was 0.0188 µg/ml, and two assays of kill curve during 5 hours were performed: the first one in a standard culture medium and the second one in the presence of caiman serum. Different concentrations of ciprofloxacin were tested. Ciprofloxacin showed higher values of bacterial elimination rate in the presence of caiman serum in all concentrations tested. The combined activity of sub-inhibitory concentrations of ciprofloxacin and the humoral immune factors present in caiman serum determined an increase in the bacterial elimination observed in this assay. We suggest that the antibacterial activity of complement and natural antibodies present in caiman serum, which can bind to both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and acting through the classical complement pathway, can inhibit bacterial growth of Escherichia coli by lysis. PMID:25468795

  18. Geographical classification of wine and olive oil by means of classification and influence matrix analysis (CAIMAN).

    PubMed

    Ballabio, Davide; Mauri, Andrea; Todeschini, Roberto; Buratti, Susanna

    2006-06-16

    Classification and influence matrix analysis (CAIMAN) is a new classification method, recently proposed and based on the influence matrix (also called leverage matrix). Depending on the purposes of the classification analysis, CAIMAN can be used in three outlines: (1) D-CAIMAN is a discriminant classification method, (2) M-CAIMAN is a class modelling method allowing a sample to be classified, not classified at all, or assigned to more than one class (confused) and (3) A-CAIMAN deals with the asymmetric case, where only a reference class needs to be modelled. In this work, the geographic classification of samples of wine and olive oil has been carried out by means of CAIMAN and its results compared with discriminant analysis, by focusing great attention on the model predictive capabilities. The geographic characterization has been carried out on three different datasets: extra virgin olive oils produced in a small area, with a "protected denomination of origin" label, wines with different denominations of origin, but produced in enclosed geographical areas, and olive oils belonging to different production areas. Final results seem to indicate that the application of CAIMAN to the geographical origin identification offers several advantages: first, it shows--on an average basis--good performances; second, it is able to deal in a simple way classification problems related to tipicity, authenticity, and uniqueness characterization, which are of increasing interest in food quality issues. PMID:17723406

  19. Thalamic reticular nucleus in Caiman crocodilus: forebrain connections.

    PubMed

    Pritz, Michael B

    2016-08-01

    Forebrain connections of the thalamic reticular nucleus associated with the lateral forebrain bundle were analyzed in Caiman crocodilus. Both the compact portion, the dorsal peduncular nucleus, and the diffuse part, the perireticular region, associated with the lateral forebrain bundle, were studied. A small tracer injection into the dorsal peduncular nucleus demonstrated reciprocal connections with a restricted portion of the dorsal thalamus. Tracer placements into this nucleus retrogradely labeled cells in a caudal portion of the ventrolateral area of the telencephalon. These results are compared with similar studies in other amniotes. PMID:27233216

  20. Field and experimental evidence of a new caiman trypanosome species closely phylogenetically related to fish trypanosomes and transmitted by leeches.

    PubMed

    Fermino, Bruno R; Paiva, Fernando; Soares, Priscilla; Tavares, Luiz Eduardo R; Viola, Laerte B; Ferreira, Robson C; Botero-Arias, Robinson; de-Paula, Cátia D; Campaner, Marta; Takata, Carmen S A; Teixeira, Marta M G; Camargo, Erney P

    2015-12-01

    Trypanosoma terena and Trypanosoma ralphi are known species of the South American crocodilians Caiman crocodilus, Caiman yacare and Melanosuchus niger and are phylogenetically related to the tsetse-transmitted Trypanosoma grayi of the African Crocodylus niloticus. These trypanosomes form the Crocodilian clade of the terrestrial clade of the genus Trypanosoma. A PCR-survey for trypanosomes in caiman blood samples and in leeches taken from caimans revealed unknown trypanosome diversity and frequent mixed infections. Phylogenies based on SSU (small subunit) of rRNA and gGAPDH (glycosomal Glyceraldehyde Phosphate Dehydrogenase) gene sequences revealed a new trypanosome species clustering with T. terena and T. ralphi in the crocodilian clade and an additional new species nesting in the distant Aquatic clade of trypanosomes, which is herein named Trypanosoma clandestinus n. sp. This new species was found in Caiman yacare, Caiman crocodilus and M. niger from the Pantanal and Amazonian biomes in Brazil. Large numbers of dividing epimastigotes and unique thin and long trypomastigotes were found in the guts of leeches (Haementeria sp.) removed from the mouths of caimans. The trypanosomes recovered from the leeches had sequences identical to those of T. clandestinus of caiman blood samples. Experimental infestation of young caimans (Caiman yacare) with infected leeches resulted in long-lasting T. clandestinus infections that permitted us to delineate its life cycle. In contrast to T. terena, T. ralphi and T. grayi, which are detectable by hemoculturing, microscopy and standard PCR of caiman blood, T. clandestinus passes undetected by these methods due to very low parasitemia and could be detected solely by the more sensitive nested PCR method. T. clandestinus n. sp. is the first crocodilian trypanosome known to be transmitted by leeches and positioned in the aquatic clade closest to fish trypanosomes. Our data show that caimans can host trypanosomes of the aquatic or

  1. Field and experimental evidence of a new caiman trypanosome species closely phylogenetically related to fish trypanosomes and transmitted by leeches

    PubMed Central

    Fermino, Bruno R.; Paiva, Fernando; Soares, Priscilla; Tavares, Luiz Eduardo R.; Viola, Laerte B.; Ferreira, Robson C.; Botero-Arias, Robinson; de-Paula, Cátia D.; Campaner, Marta; Takata, Carmen S.A.; Teixeira, Marta M.G.; Camargo, Erney P.

    2015-01-01

    Trypanosoma terena and Trypanosoma ralphi are known species of the South American crocodilians Caiman crocodilus, Caiman yacare and Melanosuchus niger and are phylogenetically related to the tsetse-transmitted Trypanosoma grayi of the African Crocodylus niloticus. These trypanosomes form the Crocodilian clade of the terrestrial clade of the genus Trypanosoma. A PCR-survey for trypanosomes in caiman blood samples and in leeches taken from caimans revealed unknown trypanosome diversity and frequent mixed infections. Phylogenies based on SSU (small subunit) of rRNA and gGAPDH (glycosomal Glyceraldehyde Phosphate Dehydrogenase) gene sequences revealed a new trypanosome species clustering with T. terena and T. ralphi in the crocodilian clade and an additional new species nesting in the distant Aquatic clade of trypanosomes, which is herein named Trypanosoma clandestinus n. sp. This new species was found in Caiman yacare, Caiman crocodilus and M. niger from the Pantanal and Amazonian biomes in Brazil. Large numbers of dividing epimastigotes and unique thin and long trypomastigotes were found in the guts of leeches (Haementeria sp.) removed from the mouths of caimans. The trypanosomes recovered from the leeches had sequences identical to those of T. clandestinus of caiman blood samples. Experimental infestation of young caimans (Caiman yacare) with infected leeches resulted in long-lasting T. clandestinus infections that permitted us to delineate its life cycle. In contrast to T. terena, T. ralphi and T. grayi, which are detectable by hemoculturing, microscopy and standard PCR of caiman blood, T. clandestinus passes undetected by these methods due to very low parasitemia and could be detected solely by the more sensitive nested PCR method. T. clandestinus n. sp. is the first crocodilian trypanosome known to be transmitted by leeches and positioned in the aquatic clade closest to fish trypanosomes. Our data show that caimans can host trypanosomes of the aquatic or

  2. A PUFFERFISH (TETRADON NIGROVIRIDIS) AVAILABLE IN THE COMMON PET TRADE HARBORS LETHAL CONCENTRATIONS OF TETRODOTOXIN: A CASE STUDY OF POISONING IN A CUVIER'S DWARF CAIMAN (PALEOSUCHUS PALPEBROSUS).

    PubMed

    Williams, Becky L; Powers, Lauren V; Garner, Michael M

    2016-06-01

    Many pufferfish possess tetrodotoxin (TTX). Unaware of this fact, the owner of a 3-mo-old pet Cuvier's dwarf caiman ( Paleosuchus palpebrosus ) fed the caiman a green spotted pufferfish ( Tetraodon nigroviridis ), acquired from a local discount department store. The caiman was nonresponsive within an hour of consumption of the fish. The caiman was presented for veterinary evaluation but died despite intensive medical care. High-performance liquid chromatography and a competitive inhibition enzyme immunoassay were used to determine whether the pufferfish was tetrodotoxic and whether the deceased caiman had TTX in its system. Skin and liver of the pufferfish harbored high concentrations of TTX, and the caiman had TTX in the blood, liver, and kidney. The clinical signs and presence of TTX in the caiman suggest that the caiman succumbed to tetrodotoxicosis. The implication is that lethally poisonous species are available commercially and pose a danger to other pets and possibly small children. PMID:27468050

  3. Economic aspects of production of Caiman crocodilus yacare.

    PubMed

    Carreira, Laura B T; Sabbag, Omar J

    2015-03-01

    The breeding of crocodilians is still a recent activity in Brazil. Its peak was in the 1990's, but it has gaps in its production, as there are no norms for the commercial breeding of these animals in captivity. However, its economic potential is great, and the search for ecological balance and viability of commercial production has become a challenge among farmers of this activity. Therefor, the objective of the study was to economically analyze the production of Caiman crocodilus yacare on a farm located in Caceres, state of Mato Grosso, identifying relevant items of costs in the activity, as well as the parameters related to the profitability and viability of the activity. The economic results for the breeding of this animal were positive, with profitability ratios higher than 70%. PMID:25806993

  4. [Growth of the Orinoco Caiman (Crocodylus intermedius, Crocodylia: Crocodylidae) under two captivity conditions].

    PubMed

    Perez, Aldeima T T

    2008-03-01

    Growth of the Orinoco Caiman (Crocodylus intermedius, Crocodylia: Crocodylidae) under two captivity conditions. In order to determine the growth of Caiman of the Orinoco (Crocodylus intermedius) under two conditions of captivity, 40 specimens were raised during 11 months and 15 days in two circular tanks, with 28.3 m2 of surface area and a volume of 62.2 m3 in each tank. The tanks were built with concrete walls and guarded blocks covered internally with sheets of myrrhlike resin, and a roof of galvanized sheets. One tank was covered partially with the galvanized sheets (tank I), the other was totally covered (tank II). Twenty caimans were placed in each tank, and both groups were fed with 85% beef, 10% fresh fish, 5% hen eggs and a mixture of minerals and vitamins. The length and weight differed significantly between the groups (p < 0.001). Mean growth (103.0 +/- 6.81 cm) and weight (3 987 +/- 0.98 g) were higher in tank II, (tank I: 88.9 +/- 7.58 cm; 2 705 +/- 0.69 g). The greater growth in tank II reflects higher air and water temperatures. The survival rate was 97.5%. These results can be used for rearing caimans in captivity for conservation and commercial purposes. PMID:18624249

  5. Unidirectional Photoreceptor-to-Müller Glia Coupling and Unique K+ Channel Expression in Caiman Retina

    PubMed Central

    Rivera, Yomarie; Benedikt, Jan; Ulbricht, Elke; Karl, Anett; Dávila, José; Savvinov, Alexey; Kucheryavykh, Yuriy; Inyushin, Mikhail; Cubano, Luis A.; Pannicke, Thomas; Veh, Rüdiger W.; Francke, Mike; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Eaton, Misty J.; Reichenbach, Andreas; Skatchkov, Serguei N.

    2014-01-01

    Background Müller cells, the principal glial cells of the vertebrate retina, are fundamental for the maintenance and function of neuronal cells. In most vertebrates, including humans, Müller cells abundantly express Kir4.1 inwardly rectifying potassium channels responsible for hyperpolarized membrane potential and for various vital functions such as potassium buffering and glutamate clearance; inter-species differences in Kir4.1 expression were, however, observed. Localization and function of potassium channels in Müller cells from the retina of crocodiles remain, hitherto, unknown. Methods We studied retinae of the Spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus fuscus), endowed with both diurnal and nocturnal vision, by (i) immunohistochemistry, (ii) whole-cell voltage-clamp, and (iii) fluorescent dye tracing to investigate K+ channel distribution and glia-to-neuron communications. Results Immunohistochemistry revealed that caiman Müller cells, similarly to other vertebrates, express vimentin, GFAP, S100β, and glutamine synthetase. In contrast, Kir4.1 channel protein was not found in Müller cells but was localized in photoreceptor cells. Instead, 2P-domain TASK-1 channels were expressed in Müller cells. Electrophysiological properties of enzymatically dissociated Müller cells without photoreceptors and isolated Müller cells with adhering photoreceptors were significantly different. This suggests ion coupling between Müller cells and photoreceptors in the caiman retina. Sulforhodamine-B injected into cones permeated to adhering Müller cells thus revealing a uni-directional dye coupling. Conclusion Our data indicate that caiman Müller glial cells are unique among vertebrates studied so far by predominantly expressing TASK-1 rather than Kir4.1 K+ channels and by bi-directional ion and uni-directional dye coupling to photoreceptor cells. This coupling may play an important role in specific glia-neuron signaling pathways and in a new type of K+ buffering. PMID

  6. Thalamic reticular nucleus in Caiman crocodilus: Relationship with the dorsal thalamus.

    PubMed

    Pritz, M B

    2016-05-13

    The thalamic reticular nucleus was investigated in one group of crocodilians, Caiman crocodilus. This neuronal aggregate is composed of two parts: a compact portion and a diffuse region made up of scattered cells within the forebrain bundles. In Caiman, both the lateral and medial forebrain bundles project to the telencephalon and the thalamic reticular nucleus is associated with each fiber tract. In the lateral forebrain bundle, the compact area is termed the nucleus of the dorsal peduncle (dorsal peduncular nucleus) while the diffuse part is called the perireticular area. In the medial forebrain bundle, the interstitial nucleus comprises one part of the compact area while another region without a specific neuronal label is also present. Similar to the perireticular cells of the lateral forebrain bundle, scattered cells are also present in the medial forebrain bundle. Morphological features of the thalamic reticular nucleus are revealed with stains for the following: fibers; cells; succinic acid dehydrogenase; and acetylcholinesterase. Regardless of which dorsal thalamic nucleus was injected, a localized region of the thalamic reticular nucleus contained retrogradely labeled cells and anterogradely labeled axons and terminals. This grouping was termed clusters and was felt to represent the densest interconnection between the dorsal thalamus and the reticular nucleus. Using clusters as an index of interconnections, the reticular nucleus was divided into sectors, each of which was associated with a specific dorsal thalamic nucleus. An organization similar to that found in Caiman is present in other sauropsids as well as in mammals. These data suggest that a thalamic reticular nucleus is present in all amniotes and has morphological properties similar to those described in this analysis. Lastly, a hypothesis is presented to explain how the external shape of the reticular nucleus in Caiman might be transformed into the homologous area in a representative bird and

  7. Trichinella papuae and Trichinella zimbabwensis induce infection in experimentally infected varans, caimans, pythons and turtles.

    PubMed

    Pozio, E; Marucci, G; Casulli, A; Sacchi, L; Mukaratirwa, S; Foggin, C M; La Rosa, G

    2004-03-01

    The discovery of Trichinella zimbabwensis in farm crocodiles of Zimbabwe has opened up a new frontier in the epidemiology of the Trichinella genus. The objective of the present study was to investigate the infectivity of encapsulated species (T. spiralis, T. nativa, T. britovi, T. murrelli and T. nelsoni) and non-encapsulated species (T. pseudospiralis, T. papuae and T. zimbabwensis) in caimans (Caiman crocodilus), varans (Varanus exanthematicus), pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) and turtles (Pelomedusa subrufa) raised at their natural temperature range (26-32 degrees C). Mice and chickens were used as controls. At 6 days post-infection (p.i.), adult worms were detected in the small intestine of reptiles infected with T. papuae and T. zimbabwensis, of chickens infected with T. pseudospiralis and of mice infected with all encapsulated and non-encapsulated species. At 60 days p.i., T. papuae and T. zimbabwensis adult worms were collected from the intestine of varans and caimans and larvae from muscles of the four reptile species, T. pseudospiralis larvae from muscles of chickens, and larvae of all Trichinella species from mouse muscles. The highest reproductive capacity index of both T. papuae and T. zimbabwensis was observed in varans. The results show that T. papuae and T. zimbabwensis are able to complete their entire life-cycle in both poikilothermic and homoiothermic animals. PMID:15074882

  8. Mercury concentrations in different tissues of turtle and caiman species from the Rio Purus, Amazonas, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Eggins, Sam; Schneider, Larissa; Krikowa, Frank; Vogt, Richard C; Da Silveira, Ronis; Maher, William

    2015-12-01

    Total mercury (Hg) concentrations of muscle, liver, blood, and epidermal keratin were measured in typically consumed, economically and culturally important species of turtle (Podocnemis unifilis and Podocnemis expansa) and caiman (Melanosuchus niger and Caiman crocodilus) from the Rio Purus in the Amazon basin, Brazil. Methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were also measured in muscle tissue, representing the first analysis of MeHg concentrations in Amazonian reptile species. In muscle tissues Hg was mostly MeHg (79-96%) for all species. No correlations existed between animal size and total Hg or MeHg concentrations for any species other than M. niger, possibly as a result of growth dilution or the evolution of efficient Hg elimination mechanisms. Significant linear correlations were found between total Hg concentrations in all pairs of nonlethally sampled tissues (keratin and blood) and internal tissues (muscle and liver) for M. niger and between keratin and internal tissues for P. expansa, indicating that nonlethally sampled tissues can be analyzed to achieve more widespread and representative monitoring of Hg bioaccumulation in Amazonian reptiles. Although mean Hg concentrations in muscle for all species were below the World Health Organization guideline for safe consumption (500 µg kg(-1)), mean concentrations in caiman liver were above the safe limit for pregnant women and children (200 µg kg(-1)). No significant differences were found between total Hg and MeHg concentrations in tissues from wild-caught and farm-raised P. expansa, suggesting that farming may not reduce Hg exposure to humans. PMID:26387493

  9. Retinal projections in two crocodilian species, Caiman crocodilus and Crocodylus niloticus.

    PubMed

    Derobert, Y; Médina, M; Rio, J P; Ward, R; Repérant, J; Marchand, M J; Miceli, D

    1999-08-01

    The retinal projections of Caiman crocodilus and Crocodylus niloticus were investigated by means of the orthograde axonal transport of either rhodamine beta-isothiocyanate or tritiated proline. In these two species, each tracer revealed contralateral retinal projections to three hypothalamic regions (subventricular gray matter, nucleus suprachiasmaticus, and area optica hypothalami lateralis), five thalamic regions (nuclei ovalis, dorsolateralis anterior, ventrolateralis and ventrobasalis, and lateral geniculate complex, of which six subcomponents can be distinguished), six pretectal regions (nuclei posterodorsalis, lentiformis mesencephali, griseus tectalis, geniculatus pretectalis, area optica commissurae posterior and area optica pretectalis lateroventralis), six outermost layers of the optic tectum, and the nucleus opticus tegmenti. Weak ipsilateral retinal projections have been observed in two hypothalamic nuclei and in the nucleus opticus tegmenti. Comparative analysis with other data show that the contralateral retinal projections of crocodiles are considerably more reptilian than avian. Moreover, crocodiles share with birds an extremely poor contingent of ipsilateral retinal projections. PMID:10424875

  10. Morphology of the male reproductive duct system of Caiman crocodilus (Crocodylia, Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Guerrero, Sandra M; Calderón, Martha L; de Pérez, Gloria R; Ramírez Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2004-06-01

    The male reproductive duct system of Caiman crocodilus in different reproductive stages was studied using light and electron microscopy, to determine whether shared morphological features exist between Crocodylia and Aves, in concurrence with the Archosauria hypothesis. The sexual duct system of Caiman crocodilus is constituted of the rete testis, ductuli efferentes, ductuli epididymides, ductus epididymidis, and ductus deferens. The morphology and histochemical properties of these ducts suggest their involvement in seminal fluid production and/or its modification. Three types of non-ciliated cells were identified along the duct system. 1. The noncliated cells of the ductuli efferentes contain electron dense worm-like structures and coated vesicles, both related to absorptive processes, as has been suggested in Aves. 2. The non-ciliated cells of the ductuli epididymides have apical electron dense granules suggesting a secretory role, and 3. The non-ciliated cells of the ductus epididymidis and ductus deferens did not exhibit conspicuous storage of secretory material, but have a prominent rough endoplasmic reticulum content indicating active protein production. The occurrence of abundant secretory granules in the epithelial cells of the distal ductus deferens during non-reproductive stages suggests its participation in the removal of luminal debris when the reproductive season ends. Additional ducts were observed running along the ductus deferens; they shared morphological characteristics with the ductuli epididymides. The maximum diameter and therefore the greatest sperm accumulation of the excurrent ducts were observed during the initial testicular regression. The comparative analysis suggests that the male reproductive system of the Crocodylia exhibits structural characteristics nearer to those of Aves than to Lepidosauria, Testudines, and Mammalia, additional data that support an Aves and Crocodylia sister group relationship. PMID:15255300

  11. Spatial and Temporal Variation in Reproduction of a Generalist Crocodilian, Caiman crocodilus yacare, in a Seasonally Flooded Wetland

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Zilca; Mourão, Guilherme; Coutinho, Marcos; Magnusson, William E.; Soriano, Balbina M. A.

    2015-01-01

    We monitored the number of caiman (Caiman crocodilus yacare) nests in two ranches in the Brazilian Pantanal that cover an area of about 50.000 ha for 28 years (1987–2014). The number of nests was related to combinations of rainfall, water level, and number of days with temperature below 20°C, depending on the area. Most of the variation in number of nests could not be predicted by the environmental variables, but could be represented mathematically by a sine wave. We were not able to identify any external driver and suspect that the regular fluctuations may have resulted from an intrinsic population process. Presently, ranches are used as management units under the legislation for ranching Pantanal caimans. However, although some breeding females were recaptured in the area after periods of up to 21 years, most were not recaptured near nests or in general surveys of the area, suggesting that females are not strongly philopatric and that ranches do not represent isolated demographic units. PMID:26107847

  12. Physico-chemical and sensory attributes of low-sodium restructured caiman steaks containing microbial transglutaminase and salt replacers.

    PubMed

    Canto, Anna C V C S; Lima, Bruno R C Costa; Suman, Surendranath P; Lazaro, Cesar A; Monteiro, Maria Lucia G; Conte-Junior, Carlos A; Freitas, Monica Q; Cruz, Adriano G; Santos, Erica B; Silva, Teofilo J P

    2014-01-01

    Our objective was to examine the physico-chemical and sensory attributes of low-sodium restructured caiman steaks containing microbial transglutaminase (MTG) and salt replacers (KCl and MgCl2). Trimmings from caiman carcasses were processed into restructured steaks with or without MTG and salt replacers; the five treatments were CON (1.5% NaCl), T-1 (1.5% NaCl+1% MTG), T-2 (0.75% NaCl+1% MTG+0.75% KCl), T-3 (0.75% NaCl+1% MTG+0.75% MgCl2), and T-4 (0.75% NaCl+1% MTG+0.375% KCl+0.375% MgCl2). T-4 demonstrated the greatest (P<0.05) succulence and the lowest (P<0.05) values for cooked hardness, springiness, and cohesiveness. The greatest (P<0.05) purchase intention was for T-3. Furthermore, T-3 and T-4 were similar (P>0.05) to controls in salty flavor. Our findings suggest that the combination of MTG, KCl, and MgCl2 can be employed as a suitable salt reduction strategy in restructured caiman steaks without compromising sensory attributes and consumer acceptance. PMID:24036259

  13. Spatial and Temporal Variation in Reproduction of a Generalist Crocodilian, Caiman crocodilus yacare, in a Seasonally Flooded Wetland.

    PubMed

    Campos, Zilca; Mourão, Guilherme; Coutinho, Marcos; Magnusson, William E; Soriano, Balbina M A

    2015-01-01

    We monitored the number of caiman (Caiman crocodilus yacare) nests in two ranches in the Brazilian Pantanal that cover an area of about 50.000 ha for 28 years (1987-2014). The number of nests was related to combinations of rainfall, water level, and number of days with temperature below 20°C, depending on the area. Most of the variation in number of nests could not be predicted by the environmental variables, but could be represented mathematically by a sine wave. We were not able to identify any external driver and suspect that the regular fluctuations may have resulted from an intrinsic population process. Presently, ranches are used as management units under the legislation for ranching Pantanal caimans. However, although some breeding females were recaptured in the area after periods of up to 21 years, most were not recaptured near nests or in general surveys of the area, suggesting that females are not strongly philopatric and that ranches do not represent isolated demographic units. PMID:26107847

  14. Ultrastructural studies on the sporogony of Hepatozoon spp. in Culex quinquefasciatus say, 1823 fed on infected Caiman crocodilus and Boa constrictor from northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Paperna, I; Lainson, R

    2003-08-01

    Laboratory reared Culex quinquefasciatus Say, 1823 originating from the vicinity of Belem, in northern Brazil, were allowed to engorge on caimans (Caiman c. crocodilus) infected with Hepatozoon caimani (Carini, 1909) and boas (Boa constrictor) infected with H. cf. terzii (Sambon and Seligmann, 1907) both from Para State. Engorged mosquitoes killed on successive days post-feeding (p.f.) were studied by transmission electron microscopy. Images of oocysts from 13 days p.f., caiman-fed mosquitoes were also examined by scanning electron microscopy. The Hepatozoon spp. from the respective hosts differed in their ability to develop in C. quinquefasciatus. Most female mosquitoes fed on caimans, became fully engorged, and survived beyond 22 days p.f., whereas those engorged on boa became debilitated and did not survive beyond 9 days p.f. In boa-fed mosquitoes oocysts were found on the 6th day p.f. The few mosquitoes surviving to the 9th day p.f. contained either undivided oocysts or those that had already commenced sporogenic division. By 8-10 days p.f. caiman-fed mosquitoes contained uninucleate oocysts. Sporogonic divisions were observed from day 12 p.f. onwards. Although sporogenic development conformed in general with the previously reported accounts, the study allowed a more detailed examination of the plasmalemmal endocytotic system, and the consolidation of the crystalline body in specialized 'factories' of cystalline material. Sporozoite differentiation occasionally started on the 18th day p.f., but otherwise was observed only on day 22 p.f. PMID:12954016

  15. Lack of conventional oxygen-linked proton and anion binding sites does not impair allosteric regulation of oxygen binding in dwarf caiman hemoglobin

    PubMed Central

    Fago, Angela; Malte, Hans; Storz, Jay F.; Gorr, Thomas A.

    2013-01-01

    In contrast to other vertebrate hemoglobins (Hbs) whose high intrinsic O2 affinities are reduced by red cell allosteric effectors (mainly protons, CO2, organic phosphates, and chloride ions), crocodilian Hbs exhibit low sensitivity to organic phosphates and high sensitivity to bicarbonate (HCO3−), which is believed to augment Hb-O2 unloading during diving and postprandial alkaline tides when blood HCO3− levels and metabolic rates increase. Examination of α- and β-globin amino acid sequences of dwarf caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus) revealed a unique combination of substitutions at key effector binding sites compared with other vertebrate and crocodilian Hbs: β82Lys→Gln, β143His→Val, and β146His→Tyr. These substitutions delete positive charges and, along with other distinctive changes in residue charge and polarity, may be expected to disrupt allosteric regulation of Hb-O2 affinity. Strikingly, however, P. palpebrosus Hb shows a strong Bohr effect, and marked deoxygenation-linked binding of organic phosphates (ATP and DPG) and CO2 as carbamate (contrasting with HCO3− binding in other crocodilians). Unlike other Hbs, it polymerizes to large complexes in the oxygenated state. The highly unusual properties of P. palpebrosus Hb align with a high content of His residues (potential sites for oxygenation-linked proton binding) and distinctive surface Cys residues that may form intermolecular disulfide bridges upon polymerization. On the basis of its singular properties, P. palpebrosus Hb provides a unique opportunity for studies on structure-function coupling and the evolution of compensatory mechanisms for maintaining tissue O2 delivery in Hbs that lack conventional effector-binding residues. PMID:23720132

  16. Lack of conventional oxygen-linked proton and anion binding sites does not impair allosteric regulation of oxygen binding in dwarf caiman hemoglobin.

    PubMed

    Weber, Roy E; Fago, Angela; Malte, Hans; Storz, Jay F; Gorr, Thomas A

    2013-08-01

    In contrast to other vertebrate hemoglobins (Hbs) whose high intrinsic O2 affinities are reduced by red cell allosteric effectors (mainly protons, CO2, organic phosphates, and chloride ions), crocodilian Hbs exhibit low sensitivity to organic phosphates and high sensitivity to bicarbonate (HCO3(-)), which is believed to augment Hb-O2 unloading during diving and postprandial alkaline tides when blood HCO3(-) levels and metabolic rates increase. Examination of α- and β-globin amino acid sequences of dwarf caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus) revealed a unique combination of substitutions at key effector binding sites compared with other vertebrate and crocodilian Hbs: β82Lys→Gln, β143His→Val, and β146His→Tyr. These substitutions delete positive charges and, along with other distinctive changes in residue charge and polarity, may be expected to disrupt allosteric regulation of Hb-O2 affinity. Strikingly, however, P. palpebrosus Hb shows a strong Bohr effect, and marked deoxygenation-linked binding of organic phosphates (ATP and DPG) and CO2 as carbamate (contrasting with HCO3(-) binding in other crocodilians). Unlike other Hbs, it polymerizes to large complexes in the oxygenated state. The highly unusual properties of P. palpebrosus Hb align with a high content of His residues (potential sites for oxygenation-linked proton binding) and distinctive surface Cys residues that may form intermolecular disulfide bridges upon polymerization. On the basis of its singular properties, P. palpebrosus Hb provides a unique opportunity for studies on structure-function coupling and the evolution of compensatory mechanisms for maintaining tissue O2 delivery in Hbs that lack conventional effector-binding residues. PMID:23720132

  17. Morphometry, Bite-Force, and Paleobiology of the Late Miocene Caiman Purussaurus brasiliensis

    PubMed Central

    Aureliano, Tito; Ghilardi, Aline M.; Guilherme, Edson; Souza-Filho, Jonas P.; Cavalcanti, Mauro; Riff, Douglas

    2015-01-01

    Purussaurus brasiliensis thrived in the northwestern portion of South America during the Late Miocene. Although substantial material has been recovered since its early discovery, this fossil crocodilian can still be considered as very poorly understood. In the present work, we used regression equations based on modern crocodilians to present novel details about the morphometry, bite-force and paleobiology of this species. According to our results, an adult Purussaurus brasiliensis was estimated to reach around 12.5 m in length, weighing around 8.4 metric tons, with a mean daily food intake of 40.6 kg. It was capable of generating sustained bite forces of 69,000 N (around 7 metric tons-force). The extreme size and strength reached by this animal seems to have allowed it to include a wide range of prey in its diet, making it a top predator in its ecosystem. As an adult, it would have preyed upon large to very large vertebrates, and, being unmatched by any other carnivore, it avoided competition. The evolution of a large body size granted P. brasiliensis many advantages, but it may also have led to its vulnerability. The constantly changing environment on a large geological scale may have reduced its long-term survival, favoring smaller species more resilient to ecological shifts. PMID:25689140

  18. Morphometry, bite-force, and paleobiology of the late miocene caiman Purussaurus brasiliensis.

    PubMed

    Aureliano, Tito; Ghilardi, Aline M; Guilherme, Edson; Souza-Filho, Jonas P; Cavalcanti, Mauro; Riff, Douglas

    2015-01-01

    Purussaurus brasiliensis thrived in the northwestern portion of South America during the Late Miocene. Although substantial material has been recovered since its early discovery, this fossil crocodilian can still be considered as very poorly understood. In the present work, we used regression equations based on modern crocodilians to present novel details about the morphometry, bite-force and paleobiology of this species. According to our results, an adult Purussaurus brasiliensis was estimated to reach around 12.5 m in length, weighing around 8.4 metric tons, with a mean daily food intake of 40.6 kg. It was capable of generating sustained bite forces of 69,000 N (around 7 metric tons-force). The extreme size and strength reached by this animal seems to have allowed it to include a wide range of prey in its diet, making it a top predator in its ecosystem. As an adult, it would have preyed upon large to very large vertebrates, and, being unmatched by any other carnivore, it avoided competition. The evolution of a large body size granted P. brasiliensis many advantages, but it may also have led to its vulnerability. The constantly changing environment on a large geological scale may have reduced its long-term survival, favoring smaller species more resilient to ecological shifts. PMID:25689140

  19. Mycobacteriosis in two captive Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Sato, Tsuneo; Shibuya, Hisashi; Ohba, Shigeo; Nojiri, Toshio; Shirai, Wataru

    2003-06-01

    Two male Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) died at the marine aquarium in Inagi City, Tokyo, Japan. Acid-fast bacteria were demonstrated in tuberculoid nodules in the lungs from both manatees. Mycobacterium marinum and M. fortuitum were isolated from one manatee; M. marinum and M. kansasii were cultured from the second animal. This report confirms the pathogenicity and potentially fatal outcome of mycobacterial infection in manatees. In addition, the pathologic response to infection with these mycobacteria in manatees is similar to that associated with Mycobacterium spp. in other animals. PMID:12885137

  20. Viral papillomatosis in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Bossart, Gregory D; Ewing, Ruth Y; Lowe, Mark; Sweat, Mark; Decker, Susan J; Walsh, Catherine J; Ghim, Shin-je; Jenson, A Bennett

    2002-02-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is one of the most endangered marine mammals in American coastal waters. Naturally resistant to infectious disease, the manatee immune system appears highly developed to protect it against the harsh marine environment and the effects of human-related injury. In 1997, seven captive Florida manatees developed multiple, cutaneous, pedunculated papillomas over a period of 6 months. Approximately 3 years later, four of the seven manatees developed multiple, cutaneous, sessile papillomas topically and clinically distinct from the initial lesions, some of which are still present. Histologic, ultrastructural, and immunohistochemical features indicated that the two distinct phenotypic lesions were caused by papillomaviruses (PVs). Preliminary immunologic data correlated with daily clinical observations suggested that the manatees were immunologically suppressed and that the papillomas were caused by activation of latent PV infections and reinoculation from active infections. The emergence of PV-induced papillomas in captive manatees, the possibility of activation of latent infection or transmission of active infection to free-ranging manatees, and the underlying cause of immune suppression predisposing manatees to develop viral papillomatosis are serious concerns for the future management of this highly endangered species. PMID:11784121

  1. Echocardiographic evaluation of clinically healthy Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; Estrada, Amara H; Sosa, Ivan S; Powell, Melanie; Maisenbacher, Herbert W; de Wit, Martine; Ball, Ray L; Walsh, Michael T

    2013-06-01

    Antemortem studies pertaining to the manatee cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary systems are limited despite reports of cardiac disease in postmortem specimens. The objective of this project was to develop a technique for echocardiography in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Because of their unique anatomy, a ventral approach was employed by use of an echocardiography table designed specifically for this study. Fourteen clinically healthy, free-ranging and captive Florida manatees underwent echocardiography between the fall of 2011 and winter of 2012. Eight females and six males of various age categories were included in the study. Clear visualization of all valves and chambers was accomplished, and length and width measurements of the left atrium, peak aortic flow velocity, and ejection fraction percentage were calculated in most animals. Abnormalities observed during the study included atrioventricular regurgitation and severe right-atrial enlargement. Based on the results of this study, echocardiography in the Florida manatee is possible, which has both clinical and research implications in larger epidemiologic studies evaluating diseases of the cardiopulmonary and cardiovascular systems. PMID:23805547

  2. Diaphragmatic hernia and right-sided heart enlargement in a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; de Wit, Martine; Landolfi, Jennifer A

    2012-10-01

    Postmortem evaluation of a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) revealed cold stress lesions and previous watercraft trauma that included broken ribs, a diaphragmatic hernia, an enlarged vena cava, and right-sided cardiomegaly. We discuss these findings and present a possible pathogenesis for the cardiomegaly. PMID:23060518

  3. Clinical biochemistry in healthy manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harvey, J.W.; Harr, K.E.; Murphy, D.; Walsh, M.T.; Chittick, E.J.; Bonde, R.K.; Pate, M.G.; Deutsch, C.J.; Edwards, H.H.; Haubold, E.M.

    2007-01-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are endangered aquatic mammals living in coastal and riverine waterways of Florida and adjacent states. Serum or plasma biochemical analyses are important tools in evaluating the health of free-ranging and captive manatees. The purpose of this study was to measure diagnostically important analytes in the plasma of healthy manatees and to determine whether there was significant variation with respect to location (free-ranging versus captive), age class (small calves, large calves, subadults, adults), and gender. No significant differences in plasma sodium, potassium, bilirubin, glucose, alanine aminotransferase, or creatine kinase were found among these classes of animals. Compared to free-ranging manatees, captive animals had significantly lower mean concentrations of plasma chloride, phosphate, magnesium, triglycerides, anion gap, and lactate. Captive manatees had significantly higher mean values of total CO2, calcium, urea, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, total protein, albumin, and albumin/globulin ratio than did free-ranging animals. Differences in the environments of these two groups, including diet, temperature, salinity, and stress, might account for some of these results. The higher plasma lactate and anion gap concentrations and lower total CO2 concentrations of free-ranging manatees were probably due to greater exertion during capture, but the lack of elevated plasma creatine kinase activity relative to captive animals indicates that there was no serious muscle injury associated with capture. Plasma phosphate decreased and total globulins increased with age. Plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations were highest in small calves. Plasma aspartate aminotransferase was higher in large calves than in adults and subadults, and the albumin/ globulin ratio was higher in subadults than in adults. Plasma total CO2 was higher and chloride was slightly lower in females than in

  4. Digesta passage rates in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Larkin, Iskande L V; Fowler, Vivienne F; Reep, Roger L

    2007-11-01

    The Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris (Sirenia: Trichechidae), is an herbivorous marine mammal found within coastal areas throughout the state of Florida, which feeds on both fresh and salt water sea grasses. Manatees, like other Sirenians, are a tropical species with little tolerance for water temperatures below 20 degrees C, rely on a relatively poor nutritional food source, and have a low metabolic rate. Although manatees are hindgut fermenting herbivores, they are very efficient at extracting nutrients from the plants on which they feed. Slow passage rates of digesta have been suggested to be a factor in this increased efficiency. Two studies monitored the digesta passage times and mixing of particulate digesta within the manatee digestive tract using MicroGrits colored corncob grit as a fecal marker. Fecal samples were collected subsequently from four manatees in Study 1 and 3 manatees in Study 2, grit pieces removed, counted, and measured. The digesta passage times ranged from 6 and 10 days in Study 1, and 4.3 and 8.3 days in Study 2, supporting data presented in previous studies. When two different colored markers were administered on sequential days, minimal to no mixing was seen in recovered feces, suggesting that the digesta from a given day traveled through the tract as a bolus. Less than 1% of the marker fed was recovered and we hypothesize that perpendicular folds of the large intestine may be the major contributing factor, with pieces being retained and eventually digested. Zoo Biol 26:503-515, 2007. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:19360597

  5. Clinical biochemistry in healthy manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Harvey, John W; Harr, Kendal E; Murphy, David; Walsh, Michael T; Chittick, Elizabeth J; Bonde, Robert K; Pate, Melanie G; Deutsch, Charles J; Edwards, Holly H; Haubold, Elsa M

    2007-06-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are endangered aquatic mammals living in coastal and riverine waterways of Florida and adjacent states. Serum or plasma biochemical analyses are important tools in evaluating the health of free-ranging and captive manatees. The purpose of this study was to measure diagnostically important analytes in the plasma of healthy manatees and to determine whether there was significant variation with respect to location (free-ranging versus captive), age class (small calves, large calves, subadults, adults), and gender. No significant differences in plasma sodium, potassium, bilirubin, glucose, alanine aminotransferase, or creatine kinase were found among these classes of animals. Compared to free-ranging manatees, captive animals had significantly lower mean concentrations of plasma chloride, phosphate, magnesium, triglycerides, anion gap, and lactate. Captive manatees had significantly higher mean values of total CO2, calcium, urea, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, total protein, albumin, and albumin/globulin ratio than did free-ranging animals. Differences in the environments of these two groups, including diet, temperature, salinity, and stress, might account for some of these results. The higher plasma lactate and anion gap concentrations and lower total CO2 concentrations of free-ranging manatees were probably due to greater exertion during capture, but the lack of elevated plasma creatine kinase activity relative to captive animals indicates that there was no serious muscle injury associated with capture. Plasma phosphate decreased and total globulins increased with age. Plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations were highest in small calves. Plasma aspartate aminotransferase was higher in large calves than in adults and subadults, and the albumin/ globulin ratio was higher in subadults than in adults. Plasma total CO2 was higher and chloride was slightly lower in females than in

  6. Polymorphic microsatellite DNA markers for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pause, K.C.; Nourisson, C.; Clark, A.; Kellogg, M.E.; Bonde, R.K.; McGuire, P.M.

    2007-01-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are marine mammals that inhabit the coastal waters and rivers of the southeastern USA, primarily Florida. Previous studies have shown that Florida manatees have low mitochondrial DNA variability, suggesting that nuclear DNA loci are necessary for discriminatory analyses. Here we report 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci with an average of 4.2 alleles per locus, and average heterozygosity of 50.1%. These loci have been developed for use in population studies, parentage assignment, and individual identification. ?? 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  7. Diagnostic stages of the parasites of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Bando, Monica; Larkin, Iskande V; Wright, Scott D; Greiner, Ellis C

    2014-02-01

    Limited information is available on diagnostic stages of parasites in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). We examined 67 fecal samples from captive and wild manatees to define the diagnostic stages of the parasite fauna known to occur in Florida manatees. Parasite eggs were freshly extracted ex utero from identified mature helminths and subsequently characterized, illustrated, and matched to those isolated from fecal samples. In addition, coccidian oocysts in the fecal samples were identified. These diagnostic stages included eggs from 5 species of trematodes (Chiorchis fabaceus, Chiorchis groschafti, Pulmonicola cochleotrema, Moniligerum blairi, and Nudacotyle undicola), 1 nematode (Heterocheilus tunicatus), and oocysts of 2 coccidians (Eimeria manatus and Eimeria nodulosa). PMID:24116863

  8. Ultrastructure of the spermatozoa from a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Miller, D L; Dougherty, M M; Decker, S J; Bossart, G D

    2001-08-01

    Semen was opportunistically collected from a free-ranging, 10-year-old, 275 cm (total length) Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) during rehabilitation treatments. Ultrastructure of the spermatozoa was examined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy and differed slightly from that described for other mammals. Comparisons to the manatee's closest phylogenetic relatives, the elephant and hyrax, were made. The manatee spermatozoa had a similar acrosome but a distinct annulus and lacked the dense bodies observed in the neck of the elephant spermatozoa. Additionally, manatee spermatozoa lacked the lateral vacuoles observed in the nuclear chromatin from of the hyrax spermatozoa. These data add to our understanding of manatees and allow for comparative studies with other species that may be useful in phylogenetic and reproductive studies. PMID:11534332

  9. Temporal resolution of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) auditory system.

    PubMed

    Mann, David A; Colbert, Debborah E; Gaspard, Joseph C; Casper, Brandon M; Cook, Mandy L H; Reep, Roger L; Bauer, Gordon B

    2005-10-01

    Auditory evoked potential (AEP) measurements of two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were measured in response to amplitude modulated tones. The AEP measurements showed weak responses to test stimuli from 4 kHz to 40 kHz. The manatee modulation rate transfer function (MRTF) is maximally sensitive to 150 and 600 Hz amplitude modulation (AM) rates. The 600 Hz AM rate is midway between the AM sensitivities of terrestrial mammals (chinchillas, gerbils, and humans) (80-150 Hz) and dolphins (1,000-1,200 Hz). Audiograms estimated from the input-output functions of the EPs greatly underestimate behavioral hearing thresholds measured in two other manatees. This underestimation is probably due to the electrodes being located several centimeters from the brain. PMID:16001184

  10. Conservative management of pneumothorax and pneumoperitoneum in two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; Sadler, Valerie M; Ball, Ray L

    2013-12-01

    Two distressed Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The first animal was determined to be an abandoned, emaciated calf. The second animal was a nursing calf that had sustained watercraft-related trauma. Both animals were captured and transported to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, where diagnostic evaluations, including physical examinations, blood work, computed tomography (CT), and radiographs were performed. Radiograph and CT scans identified the presence of free air within the pleural and abdominal cavities of both animals. Based on the lack of substantial findings in the first animal and a rapid resolution of clinical signs in the second animal, both animals were managed conservatively. This report documents simultaneous pneumothorax and pneumoperitoneum, the associated clinical and diagnostic findings, and conservative medical management of these conditions in the Florida manatee. PMID:24450060

  11. PERMANENT GENETIC RESOURCES: Eighteen new polymorphic microsatellite markers for the endangered Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Tringali, Michael D; Seyoum, Seifu; Carney, Susan L; Davis, Michelle C; Rodriguez-Lopez, Marta A; Reynolds Iii, John E; Haubold, Elsa

    2008-03-01

    Here we describe 18 polymorphic microsatellite loci for Trichechus manatus latirostris (Florida manatee), isolated using a polymerase chain reaction-based technique. The number of alleles at each locus ranged from two to four (mean = 2.5) in specimens from southwest (n = 58) and northeast (n = 58) Florida. Expected and observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.11 to 0.67 (mean = 0.35) and from 0.02 to 0.78 (mean = 0.34), respectively. Departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium occurred at two loci. There was no evidence of genotypic disequilibrium for any pair of loci. For individual identification, mean random-mating and θ-corrected match probabilities were 9.36 × 10(-7) and 1.95 × 10(-6) , respectively. PMID:21585782

  12. REPRODUCTIVE NEOPLASMS IN WILD AND LONG-TERM CAPTIVE FEMALE FLORIDA MANATEES (TRICHECHUS MANATUS LATIROSTRIS).

    PubMed

    Smith, Lauren N; Rotstein, David S; Ball, Ray L; Gerlach, Trevor J; Kinsel, Michael; Rodriguez, Maya; de Wit, Martine

    2015-12-01

    Few reports of neoplastic diseases in manatees exist in the veterinary literature. This case series presents reproductive neoplasia noted in eight wild and long-term captive female Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) obtained through carcass recovery and animal rehabilitation programs between April 2009 and May 2014. All cases were evaluated histologically, and diagnoses of uterine carcinoma (n = 1), granulosa cell tumor (n = 2), ovarian adnexal tumor (n = 1), and leiomyoma (n = 5) were made. The underlying cause of tumor development and effects on reproductive success is currently unknown, but possible asymmetric reproductive aging and/or a correlation between obesity and reproductive disorder in long-term nonreproductive female manatees are of interest and warrant further investigation. PMID:26667547

  13. ESTABLISHMENT OF ECHOCARDIOGRAPHIC PARAMETERS OF CLINICALLY HEALTHY FLORIDA MANATEES (TRICHECHUS MANATUS LATIROSTRIS).

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Trevor J; Estrada, Amara H; Sosa, Ivan S; Powell, Melanie; Lamb, Kenneth E; Ball, Ray L; de Wit, Martine; Walsh, Mike T

    2015-06-01

    A standardized echocardiographic technique was recently established for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). There are no available published data on normal echocardiographic parameters in any Sirenian species. The purpose of this study was to report reference parameters for various echocardiographic measurements. These parameters are intended to serve as a comparison for future research into the prevalence of cardiac diseases in the manatee and to aid in diagnosing animals with suspected cardiac disease in rehabilitation facilities. Annual health assessments of free-ranging manatees in Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, and pre-release health assessments of rehabilitated manatees at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo permitted comparison of echocardiographic measurements in adult (n=14), subadult (n=7), and calf (n=8) animals under manual restraint. PMID:26056870

  14. CT scans and 3D reconstructions of Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) heads and ear bones.

    PubMed

    Chapla, Marie E; Nowacek, Douglas P; Rommel, Sentiel A; Sadler, Valerie M

    2007-06-01

    The auditory anatomy of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) was investigated using computerized tomography (CT), three-dimensional reconstructions, and traditional dissection of heads removed during necropsy. The densities (kg/m3) of the soft tissues of the head were measured directly using the displacement method and those of the soft tissues and bone were calculated from CT measurements (Hounsfield units). The manatee's fatty tissue was significantly less dense than the other soft tissues within the head (p<0.05). The squamosal bone was significantly less dense than the other bones of the head (p<0.05). Measurements of the ear bones (tympanic, periotic, malleus, incus, and stapes) collected during dissection revealed that the ossicular chain was overly massive for the mass of the tympanoperiotic complex. PMID:17420106

  15. First report of a Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in Cuba

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alvarez-Aleman, Anmari; Beck, Cathy A.; Powell, James A.

    2010-01-01

    Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in Florida utilize intake and effluent canals of power plants as resting and thermoregulatory habitat. We report the use of a power plant canal in Cuba by a known Florida manatee, the first documented case of movement by a manatee between Florida and Cuba. In January, February, and April 2007, two manatees (mother and calf) were reported entering a power plant canal in north Havana, Cuba. The larger manatee had several distinctive scars which were photographed. Digital images were matched to a previously known Florida manatee (CR131) with a sighting history dating from December 1979 to July 2006. Exchanges of individuals between Florida and Cuba may have important genetic implications, particularly since there appears to be little genetic exchange between the Florida manatee subspecies with populations of the Antillean manatee subspecies (T. m. manatus) in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

  16. A first generation cytogenetic ideogram for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) based on multiple chromosome banding techniques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, B.A.; Zori, Roberto T.; McGuire, P.M.; Bonde, R.K.

    2002-01-01

    Detailed chromosome studies were conducted for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) utilizing primary chromosome banding techniques (G- and Q-banding). Digital microscopic imaging methods were employed and a standard G-banded karyotype was constructed for both sexes. Based on chromosome banding patterns and measurements obtained in these studies, a standard karyotype and ideogram are proposed. Characterization of additional cytogenetic features of this species by supplemental chromosome banding techniques, C-banding (constitutive heterochromatin), Ag-NOR staining (nucleolar organizer regions), and DA/DAPI staining, was also performed. These studies provide detailed cytogenetic data for T. manatus latirostris, which could enhance future genetic mapping projects and interspecific and intraspecific genomic comparisons by techniques such as zoo-FISH.

  17. Diaphragm structure and function in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Rommel, S; Reynolds, J E

    2000-05-01

    Relative to many other mammals, little is known about the functional morphology of the four extant species of the order Sirenia. In this study, 166 Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) carcasses fresh enough to collect detailed anatomical information were examined to describe the gross anatomy of the diaphragm. Our results show that the Florida manatee's diaphragm differs from those of other mammals in that it: lies in a dorsal plane, rather than in the more typical transverse plane; is located dorsal to the heart and does not attach to the sternum; and attaches medially at the "I"-shaped central tendon to bony projections extending ventrally from the vertebral bodies, forming two distinct hemidiaphragms. The manatee's transverse septum is a separate structure that lies at a right angle to the diaphragm and separates the heart from the liver and other viscera. The extreme muscularity of the diaphragm and the ability of manatees to adjust their position in the water column with minimal external movement suggest that diaphragmatic contractions may change the volume of each pleural cavity to affect buoyancy, roll, and pitch. We also hypothesize that such contractions, in concert with contractions of powerful abdominal muscles, may compress gas in the massive large intestine, and thereby also contribute to buoyancy control. PMID:10760742

  18. Status and threats analysis for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), 2012

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, Michael C.; Langtimm, Catherine A.; Martin, Julien; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    The endangered West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), especially the Florida subspecies (T. m. latirostris), has been the focus of conservation efforts and extensive research since its listing under the Endangered Species Act. On the basis of the best information available as of December 2012, the threats facing the Florida manatee were determined to be less severe than previously thought, either because the conservation efforts have been successful, or because our knowledge of the demographic effects of those threats is increased, or both. Using the manatee Core Biological Model, we estimated the probability of the Florida manatee population on either the Atlantic or Gulf coast falling below 500 adults in the next 150 years to be 0.92 percent. The primary threats remain watercraft-related mortality and long-term loss of warm-water habitat. Since 2009, however, there have been a number of unusual events that have not yet been incorporated into this analysis, including several severely cold winters, a severe red-tide die off, and substantial loss of seagrass habitat in Brevard County, Fla. Further, the version of the Core Biological Model used in 2012 makes a number of assumptions that are under investigation. A revision of the Core Biological Model and an update of this quantitative threats analysis are underway as of 2015.

  19. Electrocardiography in two subspecies of manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Siegal-Willott, J.; Estrada, A.; Bonde, R.K.; Wong, A.; Estrada, D.J.; Harr, K.

    2006-01-01

    Electrocardiographic (ECG) measurements were recorded in two subspecies of awake, apparently healthy, wild manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus) undergoing routine field examinations in Florida and Belize. Six unsedated juveniles (dependent and independent calves) and 6 adults were restrained in ventral recumbency for ECG measurements. Six lead ECGs were recorded for all manatees and the following parameters were determined: heart rate and rhythm; P, QRS, and T wave morphology, amplitude, and duration; and mean electrical axis (MEA). Statistical differences using a t-test for equality of means were determined. No statistical difference was seen based on sex or subspecies of manatees in the above measured criteria. Statistical differences existed in heart rate (P = 0.047), P wave duration (P = 0.019), PR interval (P = 0.025), and MEA (P = 0.021) between adult manatees and calves. Our findings revealed normal sinus rhythms, no detectable arrhythmias, prolonged PR and QT intervals, prolonged P wave duration, and small R wave amplitude as compared with cetacea and other marine mammals. This paper documents the techniques for and baseline recordings of ECGs in juvenile and adult free-living manatees. It also demonstrates that continual assessment of cardiac electrical activity in the awake manatee can be completed and can be used to aid veterinarians and biologists in routine health assessment, during procedures, and in detecting the presence of cardiac disease or dysfunction.

  20. Low-frequency vocalizations in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, Katherine; Frisch, Stefan

    2003-10-01

    Vocalizations produced by Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) have been characterized as being of relatively high frequency, with fundamental tones ranging from 2500-5000 Hz. These sounds have been variously described as squeaks, squeals, and chirps. Vocalizations below 500 Hz have not been previously reported. Two captive-born Florida manatees were recorded at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. The analysis of these vocalizations provides evidence of a new category of low-frequency sounds produced by manatees. These sounds are often heard in conjunction with higher-frequency vocalizations. The low-frequency vocalizations are relatively brief and of low amplitude. These vocalizations are perceived as a series of impulses rather than a low-frequency periodic tone. Knowledge of these low-frequency vocalizations could be useful to those developing future management strategies. Interest has recently increased in the development of acoustic detection and deterrence devices to reduce the number of manatee watercraft interactions. The design of appropriate devices must take into account the apparent ability of manatees to perceive and produce sounds of both high and low frequency. It is also important to consider the possibility that acoustic deterrence devices may disrupt the potentially communicative frequencies of manatee vocalizations.

  1. Manatee cerebral cortex: cytoarchitecture of the caudal region in Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Marshall, C D; Reep, R L

    1995-01-01

    In several brains of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, the architecture of caudal regions of cerebral cortex was examined in order to complete a map of cortical areas in the brain of this unique herbivore. Through observation of sections stained for Nissl substance, myelinated axons, acetylcholinesterase and cytochrome oxidase, we have identified 11 new cortical areas based on qualitative cytoarchitectural appearance and measurements of laminar thicknesses, for a total of 24 such cortical areas in manatee cerebral cortex. Some areas exhibit poorly differentiated laminae while in others there are 6 clearly demarcated layers, often with sublaminar organization. Some previously identified areas were found to extend into the region caudal to the vertically oriented lateral fissure. As in other mammalian brains, cortical areas in manatees are organized in concentric rings of allocortex, mesocortex, and isocortex. Putative functional roles have been assigned to most of the identified areas based on location, architecture, behavioral and anatomical considerations, and extrapolation from other taxa in which functional mapping has been done. PMID:7866767

  2. Vascular adaptations for heat conservation in the tail of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Rommel, Sentiel A; Caplan, Heather

    2003-04-01

    Although Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) have relatively low basal metabolic rates for aquatic mammals of their size, they maintain normal mammalian core temperatures. We describe vascular structures in the manatee tail that permit countercurrent heat exchange (CCHE) to conserve thermal energy. Approximately 1000 arteries juxtaposed to 2000 veins are found at the cranial end of the caudal vascular bundle (CVB); these numbers decrease caudally, but the 1:2 ratio of arteries to veins persists. Arterial walls are relatively thin when compared to those previously described in vascular countercurrent heat exchangers in cetaceans. It is assumed that CCHE in the CVB helps manatees to maintain core temperatures. Activity in warm water, however, mandates a mechanism that prevents elevated core temperatures. The tail could transfer heat to the environment if arterial blood delivered to the skin were warmer than the surrounding water; unfortunately, CCHE prevents this heat transfer. We describe deep caudal veins that provide a collateral venous return from the tail. This return, which is physically outside the CVB, reduces the venous volume within the bundle and allows arterial expansion and increased arterial supply to the skin, and thus helps prevent elevated core temperatures. PMID:12739612

  3. Gross and microscopic observations on the lingual structure of the Florida Manatee Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Levin, M J; Pfeiffer, C J

    2002-10-01

    The tongue of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) was studied macroscopically, light and electron microscopically. The tongue was slender, muscular and firmly fixed in the oral cavity; only the cranial tip was free and mobile. Numerous filiform papillae were distributed over the dorsal surface of the rostral tongue. Multiple raised, round fungiform-like papillae were distributed over most of the dorsum. Typical fungiform papillae were restricted to the lateral margins of the tongue. Foliate papillae, presenting as multi-fossulate openings, were noted on the caudolateral margins. Open pits were located on the dorsocaudal surface and lateral walls. Microscopic examination showed that most of the lingual dorsum was covered with a thick stratified squamous epithelium. Open pits led to well-developed mucous salivary glands. Glands within the foliate papillae were mostly mucous, although some seromucous glands were present. Taste buds were restricted to the epithelium of the foliate papillae. Throughout the tongue, striated muscle was abundant below the epithelium. Blood vessels, lymph channels and nerve fibres were freely distributed throughout the intermuscular stroma. Nerve fibres reacted positively with neurone specific enolase (NSE) antibody throughout the tongue, including nerve bundles, glands and taste buds. Clear to translucent vacuoles were found juxtaposed to nuclei in the stratum spinosum in the foliate papillae epithelium. PMID:12484420

  4. Characterization of kidney epithelial cells from the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Sweat JMDunigan, D D; Wright, S D

    2001-06-01

    The West-Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, is a herbivorous marine mammal found in the coastal waters of Florida. Because of their endangered status, animal experimentation is not allowed. Therefore, a cell line was developed and characterized from tissue collected during necropsies of the manatees. A primary cell culture was established by isolating single cells from kidney tissue using both enzymatic and mechanical techniques. Primary manatee kidney (MK) cells were subcultured for characterization. These cells were morphologically similar to the cell lines of epithelial origin. An immunocytochemistry assay was used to localize the cytokeratin filaments common to cells of epithelial origin. At second passage, epithelial-like cells had an average population-doubling time of 48 h, had an optimum seeding density of 5 x 10(3) cells/cm2, and readily attached to plastic culture plates with a high level of seeding efficiency. Although the epithelial-like cells had a rapid growth rate during the first three passages, the cloning potential was low. These cells did not form colonies in agar medium, were serum dependent, had a limited life span of approximately nine passages, and possessed cell-contact inhibition. These data suggest that the cells were finite (noncontinuous growth), did not possess transformed properties, and were of epithelial origin. These cells are now referred to as MK epithelial cells. PMID:11515973

  5. Brevetoxicosis in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) from the 1996 epizootic: gross, histologic, and immunohistochemical features.

    PubMed

    Bossart, G D; Baden, D G; Ewing, R Y; Roberts, B; Wright, S D

    1998-01-01

    In 1996, at least 149 manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) died in an unprecedented epizootic along the southwest coast of Florida. At about the same time, a bloom of the brevetoxin-producing dinoflagellates, Gymnodinium breve, was present in the same area. Grossly, severe nasopharyngeal, pulmonary, hepatic, renal, and cerebral congestion was present in all cases. Nasopharyngeal and pulmonary edema and hemorrhage were also seen. Consistent microscopic lesions consisted of catarrhal rhinitis, pulmonary hemorrhage and edema, multiorgan hemosiderosis, and nonsuppurative leptomeningitis. Immunohistochemical staining using a polyclonal primary antibody to brevetoxin (GAB) showed intense positive staining of lymphocytes and macrophages in the lung, liver, and secondary lymphoid tissues. Additionally, lymphocytes and macrophages associated with the inflammatory lesions of the nasal mucosa and meninges were also positive for brevetoxin. These findings implicate brevetoxicosis as a component of and the likely primary etiology for the epizootic. The data suggest that mortality resulting from brevetoxicosis may not necessarily be acute but may occur after chronic inhalation and/or ingestion. Immunohistochemical staining with interleukin-1-beta-converting enzyme showed positive staining with a cellular tropism similar to GAB. This suggests that brevetoxicosis may initiate apoptosis and/or the release of inflammatory mediators that culminate in fatal toxic shock. PMID:9547868

  6. Population viability analysis of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), 1976-1991

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marmontel, M.; Humphrey, S.R.; O'Shea, T.J.

    1997-01-01

    Recent development of age-determination techniques for Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has permitted derivation of age-specific data on reproduction and survival of a sample of 1212 carcasses obtained throughout Florida from 1976–1991. Population viability analysis using these data projects a slightly negative growth rate (−0.003) and an unacceptably low probability of persistence (0.44) over 1000 years. The main factors affecting population projections were adult survival and fecundity. A 10% increase in adult mortality would drive the population to extinction over a 1000-year time scale, whereas a 10% decrease in adult mortality would allow slow population growth. A 10% decrease in reproduction would also result in extinction. We conclude that management must focus on retaining and improving the conditions under which manatee demography operates. The major identified agent of mortality is boat-manatee collisions, and rapidly increasing numbers of humans and registered boats portend an increase in manatee mortality. Zoning of manatee-occupied waters for reductions in boating activity and speed is essential to safeguard the manatee population. If boating regulations being implemented by the state of Florida in each of 13 key coastal counties are completed, enforced, and effective, manatees and human recreation could coexist indefinitely. If regulation is unsuccessful, the Florida manatee population is likely to decline slowly toward extinction.

  7. Electrocardiography in two subspecies of manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus).

    PubMed

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica; Estrada, Amara; Bonde, Robert; Wong, Arthur; Estrada, Daniel J; Harr, Kendal

    2006-12-01

    Electrocardiographic (ECG) measurements were recorded in two subspecies of awake, apparently healthy, wild manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus) undergoing routine field examinations in Florida and Belize. Six unsedated juveniles (dependent and independent calves) and 6 adults were restrained in ventral recumbency for ECG measurements. Six lead ECGs were recorded for all manatees and the following parameters were determined: heart rate and rhythm; P, QRS, and T wave morphology, amplitude, and duration; and mean electrical axis (MEA). Statistical differences using a t-test for equality of means were determined. No statistical difference was seen based on sex or subspecies of manatees in the above measured criteria. Statistical differences existed in heart rate (P = 0.047), P wave duration (P = 0.019), PR interval (P = 0.025), and MEA (P = 0.021) between adult manatees and calves. Our findings revealed normal sinus rhythms, no detectable arrhythmias, prolonged PR and QT intervals, prolonged P wave duration, and small R wave amplitude as compared with cetacea and other marine mammals. This paper documents the techniques for and baseline recordings of ECGs in juvenile and adult free-living manatees. It also demonstrates that continual assessment of cardiac electrical activity in the awake manatee can be completed and can be used to aid veterinarians and biologists in routine health assessment, during procedures, and in detecting the presence of cardiac disease or dysfunction. PMID:17315428

  8. Vertebral anatomy in the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris: a developmental and evolutionary analysis.

    PubMed

    Buchholtz, Emily A; Booth, Amy C; Webbink, Katherine E

    2007-06-01

    The vertebral column of the Florida manatee presents an unusual suite of morphological traits. Key among these are a small precaudal count, elongate thoracic vertebrae, extremely short neural spines, lack of a sacral series, high lumbar variability, and the presence of six instead of seven cervical vertebrae. This study documents vertebral morphology, size, and lumbar variation in 71 skeletons of Trichechus manatus latirostris (Florida manatee) and uses the skeletons of Trichechus senegalensis (west African manatee) and Dugong dugon (dugong) in comparative analysis. Vertebral traits are used to define morphological, and by inference developmental, column modules and to propose their hierarchical relationships. A sequence of evolutionary innovations in column morphology is proposed. Results suggest that the origin of the fluke and low rates of cervical growth originated before separation of trichechids (manatees) and dugongids (dugongs). Meristic reduction in count is a later, trichechid innovation and is expressed across the entire precaudal column. Elongation of thoracic vertebrae may be an innovative strategy to generate an elongate column in an animal with a small precaudal count. Elimination of the lumbus through both meristic and homeotic reduction is currently in progress. PMID:17516429

  9. Molecular characterization of novel mucosotropic papillomaviruses from a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    2015-12-01

    We isolated two new manatee papillomavirus (PV) types, TmPV3 and TmPV4, from a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Two PV types were previously isolated from this species. TmPV1 is widely dispersed amongst manatees and a close-to-root PV; not much is known about TmPV2. The genomes of TmPV3 and TmPV4 were 7622 and 7771 bp in size, respectively. Both PVs had a genomic organization characteristic of all PVs, with one non-coding region and seven ORFs, including the E7 ORF that is absent in other cetacean PVs. Although these PVs were isolated from separate genital lesions of the same manatee, an enlarged E2/E4 ORF was found only in the TmPV4 genome. The full genome and L1 sequence similarities between TmPV3 and TmPV4 were 63.2 and 70.3 %, respectively. These genomes shared only 49.1 and 50.2 % similarity with TmPV1. The pairwise alignment of L1 nucleotide sequences indicated that the two new PVs nested in a monophyletic group of the genus Rhopapillomavirus, together with the cutaneotropic TmPV1 and TmPV2. PMID:26395390

  10. Ganglion cell distribution and retinal resolution in the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Mass, Alla M; Ketten, Darlene R; Odell, Daniel K; Supin, Alexander Ya

    2012-01-01

    The topographic organization of retinal ganglion cells was examined in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to assess ganglion cell size and distribution and to estimate retinal resolution. The ganglion cell layer of the manatee's retina was comprised primarily of large neurons with broad intercellular spaces. Cell sizes varied from 10 to 60 μm in diameter (mean 24.3 μm). The retinal wholemounts from adult animals measured 446-501 mm(2) in area with total ganglion cell counts of 62,000-81,800 (mean 70,200). The cell density changed across the retina, with the maximum in the area below the optic disc and decreasing toward the retinal edges and in the immediate vicinity of the optic disc. The maximum cell density ranged from 235 to 337 cells per millimeter square in the adult retinae. Two wholemounts obtained from juvenile animals were 271 and 282 mm(2) in area with total cell numbers of 70,900 and 68,700, respectively (mean 69,800), that is, nearly equivalent to those of adults, but juvenile retinae consequently had maximum cell densities that were higher than those of adults: 478 and 491 cells per millimeter square. Calculations indicate a retinal resolution of ∼19' (1.6 cycles per degree) in both adult and juvenile retinae. PMID:21964938

  11. Seroepidemiology of TmPV1 infection in captive and wild Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dona, Maria Gabriella; Rehtanz, Manuela; Adimey, Nicole M.; Bossart, Gregory D.; Jenson, Alfred B.; Bonde, Robert K.; Ghim, Shin-je

    2011-01-01

    In 1997, cutaneous papillomatosis caused by Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris [Tm]) papillomavirus 1 (TmPV1) was detected in seven captive manatees at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Florida, USA, and, subsequently, in two wild manatees from the adjacent Homosassa River. Since then, papillomatosis has been reported in captive manatees housed in other locations, but not in wild animals. To determine TmPV1 antibody prevalence in captive and wild manatees sampled at various locations throughout Florida coastal regions, virus-like particles, composed of the L1 capsid protein of TmPV1, were generated with a baculovirus expression system and used to measure anti-TmPV1 antibodies in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serologic analysis of 156 manatees revealed a TmPV1 antibody prevalence of 26.3%, with no significant difference between captive (n=39) and wild (n=117) manatees (28.2% and 25.6%, respectively). No antibody-positive wild animal showed PV-induced cutaneous lesions, whereas papillomatosis was observed in 72.7% of antibody-positive captive manatees. Our data indicate that Florida manatees living in the wild are naturally infected by TmPV1 but rarely show TmPV1-induced papillomatosis. Hence, it appears that the wild population would not be harmed in a case of contact with captive animals without visible lesions and productive infections, which could be thus released into the wild.

  12. Seroepidemiology of TmPV1 infection in captive and wild Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Donà, Maria Gabriella; Rehtanz, Manuela; Adimey, Nicole M; Bossart, Gregory D; Jenson, Alfred B; Bonde, Robert K; Ghim, Shin-je

    2011-07-01

    In 1997, cutaneous papillomatosis caused by Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris [Tm]) papillomavirus 1 (TmPV1) was detected in seven captive manatees at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Florida, USA, and, subsequently, in two wild manatees from the adjacent Homosassa River. Since then, papillomatosis has been reported in captive manatees housed in other locations, but not in wild animals. To determine TmPV1 antibody prevalence in captive and wild manatees sampled at various locations throughout Florida coastal regions, virus-like particles, composed of the L1 capsid protein of TmPV1, were generated with a baculovirus expression system and used to measure anti-TmPV1 antibodies in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serologic analysis of 156 manatees revealed a TmPV1 antibody prevalence of 26.3%, with no significant difference between captive (n=39) and wild (n=117) manatees (28.2% and 25.6%, respectively). No antibody-positive wild animal showed PV-induced cutaneous lesions, whereas papillomatosis was observed in 72.7% of antibody-positive captive manatees. Our data indicate that Florida manatees living in the wild are naturally infected by TmPV1 but rarely show TmPV1-induced papillomatosis. Hence, it appears that the wild population would not be harmed in a case of contact with captive animals without visible lesions and productive infections, which could be thus released into the wild. PMID:21719832

  13. Manatee cerebral cortex: cytoarchitecture of the frontal region in Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Reep, R L; Johnson, J I; Switzer, R C; Welker, W I

    1989-01-01

    Members of the order Sirenia are unique among mammals in being the only totally aquatic herbivores. They display correspondingly specialized physiological, behavioral and anatomical features. There have been few reports concerning sirenian neuroanatomy, and most of these have consisted of gross anatomical observations. Our interest in Sirenia stems from the desire to understand neuroanatomical specializations in the context of behavior and the effort to elucidate trends in mammalian brain evolution. The architecture of frontal regions of cerebral cortex was investigated in several brains of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris. Through observation of sections stained for Nissl substance or myelinated fibers, several distinct cortical areas were identified on the basis of laminar organization. These range from areas with poorly defined laminae to those having 6 well-defined layers, some of which exhibit sublayers. Two cortical areas exhibit pronounced cell clusters in layer VI, and these stain positively for acetylcholinesterase and cytochrome oxidase. We hypothesize that these clusters may be involved in perioral tactile bristle function. Certain of our findings are consistent with previous observations in the literature on the brains of dugongs. On the basis of their lamination patterns, these frontal cortical areas appear to be organized into concentric zones of allocortex, mesocortex and isocortex. PMID:2611642

  14. Comparison of methods used to diagnose generalized inflammatory disease in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harr, K.E.; Harvey, J.W.; Bonde, R.K.; Murphy, D.; Lowe, Mark; Menchaca, M.; Haubold, E.M.; Francis-Floyd, R.

    2006-01-01

    Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are afflicted with inflammatory and infectious disease secondary to human interaction, such as boat strike and entanglement, as well as “cold stress syndrome” and pneumonia. White-blood-cell count and fever, primary indicators of systemic inflammation in most species, are insensitive in diagnosing inflammatory disease in manatees. Acute phase-response proteins, such as haptoglobin and serum amyloid A, have proven to be sensitive measures of inflammation/infection in domestic large animal species. This study assessed diagnosis of generalized inflammatory disease by different methods including total white-blood-cell count, albumin: globulin ratio, gel electrophoresis analysis, C-reactive protein, alpha1 acid glycoprotein, haptoglobin, fibrinogen, and serum amyloid A. Samples were collected from 71 apparently healthy and 27 diseased animals during diagnostic medical examination. Serum amyloid A, measured by ELISA, followed by albumin:globulin ratio, measured by plasma gel electrophoresis, were most sensitive in diagnosing inflammatory disease, with diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of approximately 90%. The reference interval for serum amyloid A is <10–50 μg/ml with an equivocal interval of 51–70 μg/ml. The reference interval for albumin:globulin ratio by plasma gel electrophoresis is 0.7–1.1. Albumin: globulin ratio, calculated using biochemical techniques, was not accurate due to overestimation of albumin by bromcresol green dye-binding methodology. Albumin:globulin ratio, measured by serum gel electrophoresis, has a low sensitivity of 15% due to the lack of fibrinogen in the sample. Haptoglobin, measured by hemoglobin titration, had a reference interval of 0.4–2.4 mg/ml, a diagnostic sensitivity of 60%, and a diagnostic specificity of 93%. The haptoglobin assay is significantly affected by hemolysis. Fibrinogen, measured by heat precipitation, has a reference interval of 100–400 mg/dl, a diagnostic

  15. Blood mineral concentrations in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Siegal-Willott, J.; Harr, Kendal E.; Hall, Jeffery O.; Hayek, Lee-Ann C.; Auil-Gomez, Nicole; Powell, James A.; Bonde, Robert K.; Heard, Darryl

    2013-01-01

    Limited information is available regarding the role of minerals and heavy metals in the morbidity and mortality of manatees. Whole-blood and serum mineral concentrations were evaluated in apparently healthy, free-ranging Florida (Trichechus manatus latirostris, n = 31) and Belize (Trichechus manatus manatus, n = 14) manatees. Toxicologic statuses of the animals and of their environment had not been previously determined. Mean mineral whole-blood (WB) and serum values in Florida (FL) and Belize (BZ) manatees were determined, and evaluated for differences with respect to geographic location, relative age, and sex. Mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, magnesium, molybdenum, and WB cadmium concentrations were significantly higher in BZ versus FL manatees (P ≤ 0.05). Mean WB aluminum, calcium, manganese, sodium, phosphorus, vanadium, and serum zinc concentrations were significantly lower in BZ versus FL manatees. Adult manatees had significant and higher mean WB aluminum, manganese, sodium, antimony, vanadium, and serum manganese and zinc concentrations compared to juvenile animals. Significant and lower mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, and serum copper and strontium concentrations were present in adults compared to juveniles (P ≤ 0.05). Females had significant and higher mean WB nickel and serum barium compared to males (P ≤ 0.05). Mean WB arsenic and zinc, and mean serum iron, magnesium, and zinc concentrations fell within toxic ranges reported for domestic species. Results reveal manatee blood mineral concentrations differ with location, age, and sex. Influence from diet, sediment, water, and anthropogenic sources on manatee mineral concentration warrant further investigation.

  16. Effects of environmental stressors on lymphocyte proliferation in Florida manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Cathy J; Luer, Carl A; Noyes, David R

    2005-02-10

    The health of many Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is adversely affected each year by exposure to cold weather or harmful algal blooms (red tide; Karenia brevis). Exposures can be sublethal, resulting in stressed animals that are rescued and taken to authorized facilities for rehabilitation, or lethal if exposures are prolonged or unusually severe. To investigate whether sublethal environmental exposures can impair immune function in manatees, rendering animals vulnerable to disease or death, mitogen-induced proliferation was assessed in lymphocytes from manatees exposed to cold temperatures (N=20) or red tide (N=19) in the wild, and compared to lymphocyte responses from healthy free-ranging manatees (N=32). All animals sampled for this study were adults. Lymphocytes were stimulated in vitro with either concanavalin A (ConA) or phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and proliferation was assessed after 96 h using incorporation of the thymidine analog, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), into newly synthesized DNA. Proliferation of lymphocytes from manatees rescued from exposure to red tide or cold-stress was approximately one-third that of lymphocytes from healthy free-ranging manatees. To examine the direct effects of red tide toxins on lymphocyte function, mitogen-induced proliferation was assessed following co-culture of lymphocytes with K. brevis toxin extracts. Stimulation indices decreased with increasing toxin concentration, with a significant decrease in proliferation occurring in the presence of 400 ng red tide toxins/ml. When lymphocytes from cold-stressed manatees were co-cultured with red tide toxin extracts, proliferative responses were reduced even further, suggesting multiple stressors may have synergistic effects on immune function in manatees. PMID:15621310

  17. Four-choice sound localization abilities of two Florida manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Colbert, Debborah E; Gaspard, Joseph C; Reep, Roger; Mann, David A; Bauer, Gordon B

    2009-07-01

    The absolute sound localization abilities of two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were measured using a four-choice discrimination paradigm, with test locations positioned at 45 deg., 90 deg., 270 deg. and 315 deg. angles relative to subjects facing 0 deg. Three broadband signals were tested at four durations (200, 500, 1000, 3000 ms), including a stimulus that spanned a wide range of frequencies (0.2-20 kHz), one stimulus that was restricted to frequencies with wavelengths shorter than their interaural time distances (6-20 kHz) and one that was limited to those with wavelengths longer than their interaural time distances (0.2-2 kHz). Two 3000 ms tonal signals were tested, including a 4 kHz stimulus, which is the midpoint of the 2.5-5.9 kHz fundamental frequency range of manatee vocalizations and a 16 kHz stimulus, which is in the range of manatee best-hearing sensitivity. Percentage correct within the broadband conditions ranged from 79% to 93% for Subject 1 and from 51% to 93% for Subject 2. Both performed above chance with the tonal signals but had much lower accuracy than with broadband signals, with Subject 1 at 44% and 33% and Subject 2 at 49% and 32% at the 4 kHz and 16 kHz conditions, respectively. These results demonstrate that manatees are able to localize frequency bands with wavelengths that are both shorter and longer than their interaural time distances and suggest that they have the ability to localize both manatee vocalizations and recreational boat engine noises. PMID:19525437

  18. Production of nitric oxide by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Catherine J; Stuckey, Joyce E; Cox, Heather; Smith, Brett; Funke, Christina; Stott, Jeff; Colle, Clarence; Gaspard, Joseph; Manire, Charles A

    2007-08-15

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are exposed to many conditions in their habitat that may adversely impact health and impair immune function in this endangered species. In an effort to increase the current knowledge base regarding the manatee immune system, the production of an important reactive nitrogen intermediate, nitric oxide (NO), by manatee peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was investigated. PBMC from healthy captive manatees were stimulated with LPS, IFN-gamma, or TNF-alpha, either alone or in various combinations, with NO production assessed after 24, 48, 72, and 96 h of culture. NO production in response to LPS stimulation was significantly greater after 48, 72, or 96 h of culture compared to NO production after 24h of culture. A specific inhibitor of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), L-NIL (L-N(6)-(1-iminoethyl)lysine), significantly decreased NO production by LPS-stimulated manatee PBMC. Manatee specific oligonucleotide primers for iNOS were designed to measure expression of relative amounts of mRNA in LPS-stimulated manatee PBMC from captive manatees. NO production by PBMC from manatees exposed to red tide toxins was analyzed, with significantly greater NO production by both unstimulated and LPS stimulated PBMC from red tide exposed compared with healthy captive or cold-stress manatees. Free-ranging manatees produced significantly lower amounts of nitric oxide compared to either captive or red tide rescued manatees. Results presented in this paper contribute to the current understanding of manatee immune function and represent the first report of nitric oxide production in the immune system of a marine mammal. PMID:17614139

  19. Topographical organization of the facial motor nucleus in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Marshall, Christopher D; Vaughn, Susan D; Sarko, Diana K; Reep, Roger L

    2007-01-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) possess modified vibrissae that are used in conjunction with specialized perioral musculature to manipulate vegetation for ingestion, and aid in the tactile exploration of their environment. Therefore it is expected that manatees possess a large facial motor nucleus that exhibits a complex organization relative to other taxa. The topographical organization of the facial motor nucleus of five adult Florida manatees was analyzed using neuroanatomical methods. Cresyl violet and hematoxylin staining were used to localize the rostrocaudal extent of the facial motor nucleus as well as the organization and location of subdivisions within this nucleus. Differences in size, length, and organization of the facial motor nucleus among mammals correspond to the functional importance of the superficial facial muscles, including perioral musculature involved in the movement of mystacial vibrissae. The facial motor nucleus of Florida manatees was divided into seven subnuclei. The mean rostrocaudal length, width, and height of the entire Florida manatee facial motor nucleus was 6.6 mm (SD 8 0.51; range: 6.2-7.5 mm), 4.7 mm (SD 8 0.65; range: 4.0-5.6 mm), and 3.9 mm (SD 8 0.26; range: 3.5-4.2 mm), respectively. It is speculated that manatees could possess direct descending corticomotorneuron projections to the facial motornucleus. This conjecture is based on recent data for rodents, similiarities in the rodent and sirenian muscular-vibrissal complex, and the analogous nature of the sirenian cortical Rindenkerne system with the rodent barrel system. PMID:17595536

  20. Swimming kinematics of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris): hydrodynamic analysis of an undulatory mammalian swimmer.

    PubMed

    Kojeszewski, Tricia; Fish, Frank E

    2007-07-01

    The submerged swimming of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, was studied by filming individuals as they swam rectilinearly in a large pool at several rehabilitation centers. The swimming was analyzed using videography to detail the kinematics in conjunction with a hydromechanical model to determine the power output (P(t)) and propulsive efficiency (eta(p)). Manatees swam at velocities of 0.06-1.14 m s(-1). Locomotion was accomplished by undulation of the body and caudal fluke. Undulatory locomotion is a rapid and relatively high-powered propulsive mode involved in cruising and migrating by a variety of swimmers. Manatees displayed an undulatory swimming mode by passing a dorso-ventrally oriented traveling wave posteriorly along the body. The propulsive wave traveled at a higher velocity than the forward velocity of the animal. The frequency of the propulsive cycle (f) increased linearly with increasing swimming velocity (U). Amplitude at the tip of the caudal fluke (A) remained constant with respect to U and was 22% of body length. P(t) increased curvilinearly with U. The mean eta(p), expressing the relationship of the thrust power generated by the paddle-shaped caudal fluke to the total mechanical power, was 0.73. The maximum eta(p) was 0.82 at 0.95 m s(-1). Despite use of a primitive undulatory swimming mode and paddle-like fluke for propulsion, the manatee is capable of swimming with a high efficiency but lower power outputs compared with the oscillatory movements of the high-aspect ratio flukes of cetaceans. The swimming performance of the manatee is in accordance with its habits as an aquatic grazer that seasonally migrates over extended distances. PMID:17601944

  1. Blood mineral concentrations in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus).

    PubMed

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica L; Harr, Kendal E; Hall, Jeffery O; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Auil-Gomez, Nicole; Powell, James A; Bonde, Robert K; Heard, Darryl

    2013-06-01

    Limited information is available regarding the role of minerals and heavy metals in the morbidity and mortality of manatees. Whole-blood and serum mineral concentrations were evaluated in apparently healthy, free-ranging Florida (Trichechus manatus latirostris, n = 31) and Belize (Trichechus manatus manatus, n = 14) manatees. Toxicologic statuses of the animals and of their environment had not been previously determined. Mean mineral whole-blood (WB) and serum values in Florida (FL) and Belize (BZ) manatees were determined, and evaluated for differences with respect to geographic location, relative age, and sex. Mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, magnesium, molybdenum, and WB cadmium concentrations were significantly higher in BZ versus FL manatees (P < 0.05). Mean WB aluminum, calcium, manganese, sodium, phosphorus, vanadium, and serum zinc concentrations were significantly lower in BZ versus FL manatees. Adult manatees had significant and higher mean WB aluminum, manganese, sodium, antimony, vanadium, and serum manganese and zinc concentrations compared to juvenile animals. Significant and lower mean WB and serum silver, boron, cobalt, and serum copper and strontium concentrations were present in adults compared to juveniles (P < or = 0.05). Females had significant and higher mean WB nickel and serum barium compared to males (P < or = 0.05). Mean WB arsenic and zinc, and mean serum iron, magnesium, and zinc concentrations fell within toxic ranges reported for domestic species. Results reveal manatee blood mineral concentrations differ with location, age, and sex. Influence from diet, sediment, water, and anthropogenic sources on manatee mineral concentration warrant further investigation. PMID:23805546

  2. Digestive efficiencies of ex situ and in situ West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Worthy, Graham A J; Worthy, Tamara A M

    2014-01-01

    Digestive efficiencies (Dm) of ex situ and in situ manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were, for the first time, assessed using manganese (Mn(2+)) as a naturally occurring marker. The Dm of ex situ manatees determined using [Mn(2+)] did not differ significantly from the Dm assessed using lignin, supporting the efficacy of the manganese approach. Gastrointestinal tract samples, obtained from recently dead animals, showed [Mn(2+)] concentrations were lowest in the stomach and remained low in the duodenum and small intestine but increased in the cecum, colon, and rectum, consistent with colonic digestion and absorption. In situ manatees consuming marine vegetation had significantly lower Dm (mean ± SE, 46.9% ± 1.8%; n=8) than did in situ manatees consuming freshwater vegetation (77.8% ± 2.6%; n=7), which in turn had significantly lower values than did ex situ manatees consuming lettuce (84.0% ± 0.7%; n=37). In situ manatees eating seagrasses had significantly higher Dm than did long-term ex situ animals consuming seagrass for short periods of time (46.9% ± 1.8% vs. 36.2% ± 1.2%, respectively), suggesting potential modification of gut flora over time. One significant ramification of our results is that manatees consuming seagrasses would require a greater standing biomass to support their needs than would be required if they were eating freshwater vegetation. This reinforces the critical need to implement habitat conservation and protection before considering downlisting or delisting manatees as an endangered species. PMID:24457923

  3. Comparison of methods used to diagnose generalized inflammatory disease in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Harr, Kendal; Harvey, John; Bonde, Robert; Murphy, David; Lowe, Mark; Menchaca, Maya; Haubold, Elsa; Francis-Floyd, Ruth

    2006-06-01

    Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are afflicted with inflammatory and infectious disease secondary to human interaction, such as boat strike and entanglement, as well as "cold stress syndrome" and pneumonia. White-blood-cell count and fever, primary indicators of systemic inflammation in most species, are insensitive in diagnosing inflammatory disease in manatees. Acute phase-response proteins, such as haptoglobin and serum amyloid A, have proven to be sensitive measures of inflammation/infection in domestic large animal species. This study assessed diagnosis of generalized inflammatory disease by different methods including total white-blood-cell count, albumin: globulin ratio, gel electrophoresis analysis, C-reactive protein, alpha, acid glycoprotein, haptoglobin, fibrinogen, and serum amyloid A. Samples were collected from 71 apparently healthy and 27 diseased animals during diagnostic medical examination. Serum amyloid A, measured by ELISA, followed by albumin:globulin ratio, measured by plasma gel electrophoresis, were most sensitive in diagnosing inflammatory disease, with diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of approximately 90%. The reference interval for serum amyloid A is <10-50 microg/ml with an equivocal interval of 51-70 microg/ml. The reference interval for albumin:globulin ratio by plasma gel electrophoresis is 0.7-1.1. Albumin: globulin ratio, calculated using biochemical techniques, was not accurate due to overestimation of albumin by bromcresol green dye-binding methodology. Albumin:globulin ratio, measured by serum gel electrophoresis, has a low sensitivity of 15% due to the lack of fibrinogen in the sample. Haptoglobin, measured by hemoglobin titration, had a reference interval of 0.4-2.4 mg/ml, a diagnostic sensitivity of 60%, and a diagnostic specificity of 93%. The haptoglobin assay is significantly affected by hemolysis. Fibrinogen, measured by heat precipitation, has a reference interval of 100-400 mg/dl, a diagnostic sensitivity

  4. Audiogram and auditory critical ratios of two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gaspard, Joseph C; Bauer, Gordon B; Reep, Roger L; Dziuk, Kimberly; Cardwell, Adrienne; Read, Latoshia; Mann, David A

    2012-05-01

    Manatees inhabit turbid, shallow-water environments and have been shown to have poor visual acuity. Previous studies on hearing have demonstrated that manatees possess good hearing and sound localization abilities. The goals of this research were to determine the hearing abilities of two captive subjects and measure critical ratios to understand the capacity of manatees to detect tonal signals, such as manatee vocalizations, in the presence of noise. This study was also undertaken to better understand individual variability, which has been encountered during behavioral research with manatees. Two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were tested in a go/no-go paradigm using a modified staircase method, with incorporated 'catch' trials at a 1:1 ratio, to assess their ability to detect single-frequency tonal stimuli. The behavioral audiograms indicated that the manatees' auditory frequency detection for tonal stimuli ranged from 0.25 to 90.5 kHz, with peak sensitivity extending from 8 to 32 kHz. Critical ratios, thresholds for tone detection in the presence of background masking noise, were determined with one-octave wide noise bands, 7-12 dB (spectrum level) above the thresholds determined for the audiogram under quiet conditions. Manatees appear to have quite low critical ratios, especially at 8 kHz, where the ratio was 18.3 dB for one manatee. This suggests that manatee hearing is sensitive in the presence of background noise and that they may have relatively narrow filters in the tested frequency range. PMID:22496279

  5. A core stochastic population projection model for Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, M.C.; Sanders-Reed, C.A.; Fonnesbeck, C.J.

    2007-01-01

    A stochastic, stage-based population model was developed to describe the life history and forecast the population dynamics of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in four separate regions of Florida. This population model includes annual variability in survival and reproductive rates, demographic stochasticity, effects of changes in warm-water capacity, and catastrophes. Further, the model explicitly accounts for uncertainty in parameter estimates. This model is meant to serve as a flexible tool for use in assessments relevant to management decision making, and was used in the State of Florida?s recent biological status review. The parameter estimates and model structure described herein reflect our understanding of manatee demography at the time that this status review was completed. In the Northwest and Upper St. Johns regions, the model predicts that the populations will increase over time until warm-water capacity is reached, at which point growth will taper off. In the Atlantic region, the model predicts a stable or slightly increasing population over the next decade or so, and then a decrease as industrial warm-water capacity is lost. In the Southwest region, the model predicts a decline over time, driven by high annual mortality in the short-term and exacerbated by loss of industrial warmwater winter refuges over the next 40 years. Statewide, the likelihood of a 50% or greater decline in three manatee generations was 12%; the likelihood of a 20% or greater decline in two generations was 56%. These declines are largely driven by the anticipated loss of warm-water capacity, especially in the Atlantic and Southwest regions. The estimates of probability of extinction within 100 years were 11.9% for the Southwest region, 0.6% for the Northwest, 0.04% for the Atlantic, and <0.02% for the Upper St. Johns. The estimated probability that the statewide population will fall below 1000 animals within 100 years was 2.3%. Thus, while the estimated

  6. A Core Stochastic Population Projection Model for Florida Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, Michael C.; Sanders-Reed, Carol A.; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.

    2007-01-01

    A stochastic, stage-based population model was developed to describe the life history and forecast the population dynamics of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in four separate regions of Florida. This population model includes annual variability in survival and reproductive rates, demographic stochasticity, effects of changes in warm-water capacity, and catastrophes. Further, the model explicitly accounts for uncertainty in parameter estimates. This model is meant to serve as a flexible tool for use in assessments relevant to management decision making, and was used in the State of Florida's recent biological status review. The parameter estimates and model structure described herein reflect our understanding of manatee demography at the time that this status review was completed. In the Northwest and Upper St. Johns regions, the model predicts that the populations will increase over time until warm-water capacity is reached, at which point growth will taper off. In the Atlantic region, the model predicts a stable or slightly increasing population over the next decade or so, and then a decrease as industrial warm-water capacity is lost. In the Southwest region, the model predicts a decline over time, driven by high annual mortality in the short-term and exacerbated by loss of industrial warm-water winter refuges over the next 40 years. Statewide, the likelihood of a 50% or greater decline in three manatee generations was 12%; the likelihood of a 20% or greater decline in two generations was 56%. These declines are largely driven by the anticipated loss of warm-water capacity, especially in the Atlantic and Southwest regions. The estimates of probability of extinction within 100 years were 11.9% for the Southwest region, 0.6% for the Northwest, 0.04% for the Atlantic, and <0.02% for the Upper St. Johns. The estimated probability that the statewide population will fall below 1000 animals within 100 years was 2.3%. Thus, while the estimated

  7. Estimates of annual survival probabilities for adult Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langtimm, C.A.; O'Shea, T.J.; Pradel, R.; Beck, C.A.

    1998-01-01

    The population dynamics of large, long-lived mammals are particularly sensitive to changes in adult survival. Understanding factors affecting survival patterns is therefore critical for developing and testing theories of population dynamics and for developing management strategies aimed at preventing declines or extinction in such taxa. Few studies have used modern analytical approaches for analyzing variation and testing hypotheses about survival probabilities in large mammals. This paper reports a detailed analysis of annual adult survival in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), an endangered marine mammal, based on a mark-recapture approach. Natural and boat-inflicted scars distinctively 'marked' individual manatees that were cataloged in a computer-based photographic system. Photo-documented resightings provided 'recaptures.' Using open population models, annual adult-survival probabilities were estimated for manatees observed in winter in three areas of Florida: Blue Spring, Crystal River, and the Atlantic coast. After using goodness-of-fit tests in Program RELEASE to search for violations of the assumptions of mark-recapture analysis, survival and sighting probabilities were modeled under several different biological hypotheses with Program SURGE. Estimates of mean annual probability of sighting varied from 0.948 for Blue Spring to 0.737 for Crystal River and 0.507 for the Atlantic coast. At Crystal River and Blue Spring, annual survival probabilities were best estimated as constant over the study period at 0.96 (95% CI = 0.951-0.975 and 0.900-0.985, respectively). On the Atlantic coast, where manatees are impacted more by human activities, annual survival probabilities had a significantly lower mean estimate of 0.91 (95% CI = 0.887-0.926) and varied unpredictably over the study period. For each study area, survival did not differ between sexes and was independent of relative adult age. The high constant adult-survival probabilities estimated

  8. Neuron Types in the Presumptive Primary Somatosensory Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Stimpson, Cheryl D; Gupta, Kanika; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Hof, Patrick R; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C

    2015-01-01

    Within afrotherians, sirenians are unusual due to their aquatic lifestyle, large body size and relatively large lissencephalic brain. However, little is known about the neuron type distributions of the cerebral cortex in sirenians within the context of other afrotherians and aquatic mammals. The present study investigated two cortical regions, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2), in the presumptive primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to characterize cyto- and chemoarchitecture. The mean neuron density for both cortical regions was 35,617 neurons/mm(3) and fell within the 95% prediction intervals relative to brain mass based on a reference group of afrotherians and xenarthrans. Densities of inhibitory interneuron subtypes labeled against calcium-binding proteins and neuropeptide Y were relatively low compared to afrotherians and xenarthrans and also formed a small percentage of the overall population of inhibitory interneurons as revealed by GAD67 immunoreactivity. Nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein-immunoreactive (NPNFP-ir) neurons comprised a mean of 60% of neurons in layer V across DL1 and CL2. DL1 contained a higher percentage of NPNFP-ir neurons than CL2, although CL2 had a higher variety of morphological types. The mean percentage of NPNFP-ir neurons in the two regions of the presumptive S1 were low compared to other afrotherians and xenarthrans but were within the 95% prediction intervals relative to brain mass, and their morphologies were comparable to those found in other afrotherians and xenarthrans. Although this specific pattern of neuron types and densities sets the manatee apart from other afrotherians and xenarthrans, the manatee isocortex does not appear to be explicitly adapted for an aquatic habitat. Many of the features that are shared between manatees and cetaceans are also shared with a diverse array of terrestrial mammals and likely represent highly conserved

  9. Interactions between non-native armored suckermouth catfish (Loricariidae: Pterygoplichthys) and native Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in artesian springs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nico, Leo G.; Loftus, William F.; Reid, James P.

    2009-01-01

    Non-native suckermouth armored catfishes (Loricariidae) of the genus Pterygoplichthys are now common throughout much of peninsular Florida. In this paper, we present preliminary observations on interactions between a Pterygoplichthys species, tentatively identified as P. disjunctivus (Weber, 1991), and endangered native Florida manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris (Harlan, 1824), in artesian spring systems in Florida's St. Johns River drainage. The introduced catfish have become abundant in spring habitats, sites used by manatees as winter thermal refuges. In the spring runs, Pterygoplichthys regularly attaches to manatees and grazes the epibiota on their skin. On occasion, dozens of Pterygoplichthys congregate on individual manatees. Manatee responses varied widely; some did not react visibly to attached catfish whereas others appeared agitated and attempted to dislodge the fish. The costs and/or benefits of this interaction to manatees remain unclear.

  10. Characterization of a novel close-to-root papillomavirus from a Florida manatee by using multiply primed rolling-circle amplification: Trichechus manatus latirostris papillomavirus type 1.

    PubMed

    Rector, Annabel; Bossart, Gregory D; Ghim, Shin-Je; Sundberg, John P; Jenson, A Bennett; Van Ranst, Marc

    2004-11-01

    By using an isothermal multiply primed rolling-circle amplification protocol, the complete genomic DNA of a novel papillomavirus was amplified from a skin lesion biopsy of a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), one of the most endangered marine mammals in United States coastal waters. The nucleotide sequence, genome organization, and phylogenetic position of the Trichechus manatus latirostris papillomavirus type 1 (TmPV-1) were determined. TmPV-1 is the first virus isolated from the order of Sirenia. A phylogenetic analysis shows that TmPV-1 is only distantly related to other papillomavirus sequences, and it appears in our phylogenetic tree as a novel close-to-root papillomavirus genus. PMID:15507660

  11. A Quantitative Threats Analysis for the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, Michael C.; Sanders-Reed, Carol A.; Langtimm, Catherine A.; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.

    2007-01-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is an endangered marine mammal endemic to the southeastern United States. The primary threats to manatee populations are collisions with watercraft and the potential loss of warm-water refuges. For the purposes of listing, recovery, and regulation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), an understanding of the relative effects of the principal threats is needed. This work is a quantitative approach to threats analysis, grounded in the assumption that an appropriate measure of status under the ESA is based on the risk of extinction, as quantified by the probability of quasi-extinction. This is related to the qualitative threats analyses that are more common under the ESA, but provides an additional level of rigor, objectivity, and integration. In this approach, our philosophy is that analysis of the five threat factors described in Section 4(a)(1) of the ESA can be undertaken within an integrated quantitative framework. The basis of this threats analysis is a comparative population viability analysis. This involves forecasting the Florida manatee population under different scenarios regarding the presence of threats, while accounting for process variation (environmental, demographic, and catastrophic stochasticity) as well as parametric and structural uncertainty. We used the manatee core biological model (CBM) for this viability analysis, and considered the role of five threats: watercraft-related mortality, loss of warm-water habitat in winter, mortality in water-control structures, entanglement, and red tide. All scenarios were run with an underlying parallel structure that allowed a more powerful estimation of the effects of the various threats. The results reflect our understanding of manatee ecology (as captured in the structure of the CBM), our estimates of manatee demography (as described by the parameters in the model), and our characterization of the mechanisms by which the threats act on manatees. As an

  12. Primate diversity, habitat preferences, and population density estimates in Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Santa Cruz Department, Bolivia.

    PubMed

    Wallace, R B; Painter, R L; Taber, A B

    1998-01-01

    This report documents primate communities at two sites within Noel Kempff Mercado National Park in northeastern Santa Cruz Department, Bolivia. Diurnal line transects and incidental observations were employed to survey two field sites, Lago Caiman and Las Gamas, providing information on primate diversity, habitat preferences, relative abundance, and population density. Primate diversity at both sites was not particularly high, with six observed species: Callithrix argentata melanura, Aotus azarae, Cebus apella, Alouatta caraya, A. seniculus, and Ateles paniscus chamek. Cebus showed no significant habitat preferences at Lago Caiman and was also more generalist in use of forest strata, whereas Ateles clearly preferred the upper levels of structurally tall forest. Callithrix argentata melanura was rarely encountered during surveys at Lago Caiman, where it preferred low vine forest. Both species of Alouatta showed restricted habitat use and were sympatric in Igapo forest in the Lago Caiman area. The most abundant primate at both field sites was Ateles, with density estimates reaching 32.1 individuals/km2 in the lowland forest at Lago Caiman, compared to 14.1 individuals/km2 for Cebus. Both Ateles and Cebus were absent from smaller patches of gallery forest at Las Gamas. These densities are compared with estimates from other Neotropical sites. The diversity of habitats and their different floristic composition may account for the numerical dominance of Ateles within the primate communities at both sites. PMID:9802511

  13. Functional morphology of venous structures associated with the male and female reproductive systems in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Rommel, S A; Pabst, D A; McLellan, W A

    2001-12-01

    The reproductive organs of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are surrounded by thermogenic locomotory muscles and insulating fat. Manatees are reported to maintain core body temperatures of 35.6 degrees -36.4 degrees C, temperatures known to interfere with production and maturation of viable sperm in terrestrial mammals. We describe two novel venous plexuses associated with the manatee epididymis. Each epididymis is located in a hypogastric fossa at the caudolateral extremity of the abdominal cavity. Each hypogastric fossa is lined by an inguinal venous plexus that receives cooled blood from a superficial thoracocaudal plexus. We conclude that male manatees may prevent hyperthermic insult to their reproductive tissues by feeding cooled superficial blood to venous plexuses deep within their bodies. Female manatees also possess hypogastric fossae and venous structures similar to those found in male manatees. The ovaries, uterine tubes, and distal tips of the uterine horns are located in the hypogastric fossae. We suggest that the thermovascular structures we describe also prevent hypothermic insult to female manatee reproductive tissues. The venous structures in manatees are functionally similar to structures associated with reproductive thermoregulation in cetaceans and phocid seals. Thus, these thermovascular structures appear to be convergent morphological adaptations that occur in three clades of diving mammals with independent evolutionary histories. PMID:11745089

  14. Characterization of surface interleukin-2 receptor expression on gated populations of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris.

    PubMed

    Sweat, J M; Johnson, C M; Marikar, Y; Gibbs, E P

    2005-12-15

    An in vitro system to determine surface interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R) expression on mitogen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from free-ranging manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris was developed. Human recombinant IL-2, conjugated with a fluorescein dye was used in conjunction with flow cytometric analysis to determine changes in surface expression of IL-2R at sequential times over a 48-h period of in vitro stimulation. Surface expression of IL-2R was detected on manatee PBMC, which also cross-reacted with an anti-feline pan T-cell marker. An expression index (EI) was calculated by comparing mitogen-activated and non-activated PBMC. Based on side- and forward-scatter properties, flow cytometric analysis showed an increase in the number of larger, more granular "lymphoblasts" following concanavalin A (Con A) stimulation. The appearance of lymphoblasts was correlated with an increase in their surface expression of IL-2 receptors. Surface IL-2R expression, in Con A-stimulated PBMC, was detected at 16 h, peaked at 24-36 h, and began to decrease by 48 h. Characterization of the IL-2R expression should provide additional information on the health status of manatees, and the effect of their sub lethal exposure to brevetoxin. PMID:16112745

  15. Composition of the milks of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops trucatus) and the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Pervaiz, S; Brew, K

    1986-01-01

    Milk samples from four individual bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) of known lactation stages were analyzed for protein, carbohydrate and lipid composition, as well as for activity levels of alpha-lactalbumin, the regulatory protein of lactose synthase. The milk from both species had relatively high protein and lipid levels, as reported previously for other marine mammals. The major proportion of the lipid was in the form of triglycerides. Dolphin milk contained an average of 2.2% neutral sugars, which was essentially all in the form of lactose, as determined by several criteria. Manatee milk samples contained 0.6% of neutral sugars, and a larger proportion (about 2%) of amino sugars. Lactose was not detected by enzymatic assay or paper chromatography, but HPLC analysis indicated the presence of low levels of lactose together with two components that were tentatively identified as oligosaccharides. alpha-Lactalbumin activity, determined by assay with bovine galactosyltransferase, was found in both dolphin and manatee milk. The level in dolphin milk was comparable with that found in bovine and other milk, but the level in the manatee was less than 10% of that in the dolphin. PMID:2873935

  16. Variation in the hindgut microbial communities of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris over winter in Crystal River, Florida.

    PubMed

    Merson, Samuel D; Ouwerkerk, Diane; Gulino, Lisa-Maree; Klieve, Athol; Bonde, Robert K; Burgess, Elizabeth A; Lanyon, Janet M

    2014-03-01

    The Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, is a hindgut-fermenting herbivore. In winter, manatees migrate to warm water overwintering sites where they undergo dietary shifts and may suffer from cold-induced stress. Given these seasonally induced changes in diet, the present study aimed to examine variation in the hindgut bacterial communities of wild manatees overwintering at Crystal River, west Florida. Faeces were sampled from 36 manatees of known sex and body size in early winter when manatees were newly arrived and then in mid-winter and late winter when diet had probably changed and environmental stress may have increased. Concentrations of faecal cortisol metabolite, an indicator of a stress response, were measured by enzyme immunoassay. Using 454-pyrosequencing, 2027 bacterial operational taxonomic units were identified in manatee faeces following amplicon pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V3/V4 region. Classified sequences were assigned to eight previously described bacterial phyla; only 0.36% of sequences could not be classified to phylum level. Five core phyla were identified in all samples. The majority (96.8%) of sequences were classified as Firmicutes (77.3 ± 11.1% of total sequences) or Bacteroidetes (19.5 ± 10.6%). Alpha-diversity measures trended towards higher diversity of hindgut microbiota in manatees in mid-winter compared to early and late winter. Beta-diversity measures, analysed through PERMANOVA, also indicated significant differences in bacterial communities based on the season. PMID:24215517

  17. Methods used during gross necropsy to determine watercraft-related mortality in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Lightsey, Jessica D; Rommel, Sentiel A; Costidis, Alexander M; Pitchford, Thomas D

    2006-09-01

    Between 1993 and 2003, 713 (24%) of 2,940 dead Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) recovered from Florida waters and examined were killed by watercraft-induced trauma. It was determined that this mortality was the result of watercraft trauma because the external wound patterns and the internal lesions seen during gross necropsy are recognizable and diagnostic. This study documents the methods used in determining watercraft-related mortality during gross necropsy and explains why these findings are diagnostic. Watercraft can inflict sharp- and blunt-force trauma to manatees, and both types of trauma can lead to mortality. This mortality may be a direct result of the sharp and blunt forces or from the chronic effects resulting from either force. In cases in which death is caused by a chronic wound-related complication, the original incident is usually considered to be the cause of death. Once a cause of death is determined, it is recorded in an extensive database and is used by Federal and state managers in developing strategies for the conservation of the manatee. Common sequelae to watercraft-induced trauma include skin lesions, torn muscles, fractured and luxated bones, lacerated internal organs, hemothorax, pneumothorax, pyothorax, hydrothorax, abdominal hemorrhage and ascites, and pyoperitoneum. PMID:17319124

  18. Variation in the hindgut microbial communities of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris over winter in Crystal River, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merson, Samuel D.; Ouwerkerk, Diane; Gulino, Lisa-Maree; Klieve, Athol; Bonde, Robert K.; Burgess, Elizabeth A.; Lanyon, Janet M.

    2014-01-01

    The Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, is a hindgut-fermenting herbivore. In winter, manatees migrate to warm water overwintering sites where they undergo dietary shifts and may suffer from cold-induced stress. Given these seasonally induced changes in diet, the present study aimed to examine variation in the hindgut bacterial communities of wild manatees overwintering at Crystal River, west Florida. Faeces were sampled from 36 manatees of known sex and body size in early winter when manatees were newly arrived and then in mid-winter and late winter when diet had probably changed and environmental stress may have increased. Concentrations of faecal cortisol metabolite, an indicator of a stress response, were measured by enzyme immunoassay. Using 454-pyrosequencing, 2027 bacterial operational taxonomic units were identified in manatee faeces following amplicon pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V3/V4 region. Classified sequences were assigned to eight previously described bacterial phyla; only 0.36% of sequences could not be classified to phylum level. Five core phyla were identified in all samples. The majority (96.8%) of sequences were classified as Firmicutes (77.3 ± 11.1% of total sequences) or Bacteroidetes (19.5 ± 10.6%). Alpha-diversity measures trended towards higher diversity of hindgut microbiota in manatees in mid-winter compared to early and late winter. Beta-diversity measures, analysed through permanova, also indicated significant differences in bacterial communities based on the season.

  19. Assessement of serum amyloid A levels in the rehabilitation setting in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Cray, Carolyn; Dickey, Meranda; Brewer, Leah Brinson; Arheart, Kristopher L

    2013-12-01

    The acute phase protein serum amyloid A (SAA) has been previously shown to have value as a biomarker of inflammation and infection in many species, including manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). In the current study, results from an automated assay for SAA were used in a rehabilitation setting. Reference intervals were established from clinically normal manatees using the robust method: 0-46 mg/L. More than 30-fold higher mean SAA levels were observed in manatees suffering from cold stress and boat-related trauma. Poor correlations were observed between SAA and total white blood count, percentage of neutrophils, albumin, and albumin/globulin ratio. A moderate correlation was observed between SAA and the presence of nucleated red blood cells. The sensitivity of SAA testing was 93% and the specificity was 98%, representing the highest combined values of all the analytes. The results indicate that the automated method for SAA quantitation can provide important clinical data for manatees in a rehabilitation setting. PMID:24450049

  20. Nocturnal and diurnal activity of armored suckermouth catfish (Loricariidae: Pterygoplichthys) associated with wintering Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nico, Leo G.

    2010-01-01

    Several Pterygoplichthys species, members of the Neotropical catfish family Loricariidae, have been widely introduced outside their native ranges. In this paper, I present observations on the diel activity pattern of non-native Pterygoplichthys, tentatively identified as P. disjunctivus, with respect to their attachment and grazing on endangered Florida manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris. The study was conducted in December 2009 at Volusia Blue Spring, an artesianal spring system in the St. Johns River basin, Florida (USA). Supplemented by information gathered during previous visits to the spring site, this study revealed that adult Pterygoplichthys are active throughout the diel period (day, twilight and night). However, juvenile Pterygoplichthys were largely nocturnal and only at night did they consistently join adults in attaching to manatees. The juveniles generally remain hidden during the day, probably responding to presence of diurnal predators, mainly birds. Differences in diel behaviors among different Pterygoplichthys size classes in Florida are consistent with published observations on loricariids inhabiting clearwater streams within their native ranges.

  1. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope turnover rates and diet-tissue discrimination in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Alves-Stanley, Christy D; Worthy, Graham A J

    2009-08-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is a herbivorous marine mammal that occupies freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats. Despite being considered endangered, relatively little is known about its feeding ecology. The present study expands on previous work on manatee feeding ecology by providing critical baseline parameters for accurate isotopic data interpretation. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios were examined over a period of more than 1 year in the epidermis of rescued Florida manatees that were transitioning from a diet of aquatic forage to terrestrial forage (lettuce). The mean half-life for (13)C turnover was 53 and 59 days for skin from manatees rescued from coastal and riverine regions, respectively. The mean half-life for (15)N turnover was 27 and 58 days, respectively. Because of these slow turnover rates, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis in manatee epidermis is useful in summarizing average dietary intake over a long period of time rather than assessing recent diet. In addition to turnover rate, a diet-tissue discrimination value of 2.8 per thousand for (13)C was calculated for long-term captive manatees on a lettuce diet. Determining both turnover rate and diet-tissue discrimination is essential in order to accurately interpret stable isotope data. PMID:19617427

  2. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche. PMID:27166161

  3. Helminths of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, with a discussion and summary of the parasites of sirenians.

    PubMed

    Beck, C A; Forrester, D J; Beck, C

    1988-08-01

    We examined 215 Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) at necropsy to determine the helminth fauna. Six species were identified: Heterocheilus tunicatus (Nematoda: Ascaridoidea); Anoplocephala sp. (Cestoda: Cyclophyllidea); and 4 species of trematodes, Cochleotrema cochleotrema (Digenea: Opisthotrematidae), Chiorchis fabaceus (Digenea: Paramphistomatidae), Nudacotyle undicola (Digenea: Nudacotylidae), and Moniligerum blairi (Digenea: Opisthotrematidae). Seventy-three percent of the manatees examined were infected with at least 1 species of helminth. The mean number of species of helminths per infected manatee was 1.9 with a range of 1-4. Fifty-nine manatees were helminth-free; 30 of these were calves. No associations were found between the intensity of helminth infections and host sex, age class, season, and geographic location of recovery, or cause of death. Differences in parasite prevalence between age classes were highly significant for Chiorchis, Cochleotrema, and Heterocheilus, due to a low number of infected calves. A higher prevalence of Cochleotrema was found in manatees recovered from eastern Florida, and Heterocheilus was evident in significantly more manatees from western and souther Florida. Comparisons in the parasite fauna are made among Florida manatees and other sirenian populations, and a brief review of sirenian parasites is included. PMID:3397825

  4. FullSSR: Microsatellite Finder and Primer Designer.

    PubMed

    Metz, Sebastián; Cabrera, Juan Manuel; Rueda, Eva; Giri, Federico; Amavet, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Microsatellites are genomic sequences comprised of tandem repeats of short nucleotide motifs widely used as molecular markers in population genetics. FullSSR is a new bioinformatic tool for microsatellite (SSR) loci detection and primer design using genomic data from NGS assay. The software was tested with 2000 sequences of Oryza sativa shotgun sequencing project from the National Center of Biotechnology Information Trace Archive and with partial genome sequencing with ROCHE 454® from Caiman latirostris, Salvator merianae, Aegla platensis, and Zilchiopsis collastinensis. FullSSR performance was compared against other similar SSR search programs. The results of the use of this kind of approach depend on the parameters set by the user. In addition, results can be affected by the analyzed sequences because of differences among the genomes. FullSSR simplifies the detection of SSRs and primer design on a big data set. The command line interface of FullSSR was intended to be used as part of genomic analysis tools pipeline; however, it can be used as a stand-alone program because the results are easily interpreted for a nonexpert user. PMID:27366148

  5. FullSSR: Microsatellite Finder and Primer Designer

    PubMed Central

    Metz, Sebastián; Cabrera, Juan Manuel; Rueda, Eva; Giri, Federico; Amavet, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Microsatellites are genomic sequences comprised of tandem repeats of short nucleotide motifs widely used as molecular markers in population genetics. FullSSR is a new bioinformatic tool for microsatellite (SSR) loci detection and primer design using genomic data from NGS assay. The software was tested with 2000 sequences of Oryza sativa shotgun sequencing project from the National Center of Biotechnology Information Trace Archive and with partial genome sequencing with ROCHE 454® from Caiman latirostris, Salvator merianae, Aegla platensis, and Zilchiopsis collastinensis. FullSSR performance was compared against other similar SSR search programs. The results of the use of this kind of approach depend on the parameters set by the user. In addition, results can be affected by the analyzed sequences because of differences among the genomes. FullSSR simplifies the detection of SSRs and primer design on a big data set. The command line interface of FullSSR was intended to be used as part of genomic analysis tools pipeline; however, it can be used as a stand-alone program because the results are easily interpreted for a nonexpert user. PMID:27366148

  6. Do crocodilians get the flu? Looking for influenza A in captive crocodilians.

    PubMed

    Davis, Lisa Marie; Spackman, Erica

    2008-12-01

    It is well established that several wild aquatic bird species serve as reservoirs for the influenza A virus. It has also been shown that the influenza A virus can be transmitted to mammalian species such as tigers and domestic cats and dogs through ingestion of infected birds. Another group of animals that should also be considered as potential hosts for the influenza A virus are the crocodilians. Many crocodilian species share aquatic environments with wild birds that are known to harbor influenza viruses. In addition, many large crocodilians utilize birds as a significant food source. Given these factors in addition to the close taxonomic proximity of aves to the crocodilians, it is feasible to ask whether crocodilian species may also harbor the influenza A virus. Here we analyzed 37 captive crocodilians from two locations in Florida (plus 5 wild bird fecal-samples from their habitat) to detect the presence of influenza A virus. Several sample types were examined. Real-time RT-PCR tests targeting the influenza A matrix gene were positive for four individual crocodilians--Alligator sinensis, Paleosuchus trigonatus, Caiman latirostris and Crocodylus niloticus. Of the seven serum samples tested with the avian influenza virus agar gel immunodiffusion assay, three showed a nonspecific reaction to the avian influenza virus antigen-A. sinensis, P. trigonatus and C. niloticus (C. latirostris was not tested). Viable virus could not be recovered from RT-PCR-positive samples, although this is consistent with previous attempts at viral isolation in embryonated chicken eggs with crocodilian viruses. PMID:18381628

  7. Secretion of anti-Müllerian hormone in the Florida manatee Trichechus manatus latirostris, with implications for assessing conservation status

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, Rhian C.; Reynolds, John E., III; Wetzel, Dana L.; Schwierzke-Wade, Leslie; Bonde, Robert K.; Breuel, Kevin F.; Roudebush, William E.

    2011-01-01

    Environmental and anthropogenic stressors can affect wildlife populations in a number of ways. For marine mammals (e.g. the Florida manatee Trichechus manatus latirostris), certain stressors or conservation risk factors have been identified, but sublethal effects have been very difficult to assess using traditional methods. The development of 'biomarkers' allows us to correlate effects, such as impaired reproduction, with possible causes. A recently developed biomarker (anti-Müllerian hormone, AMH) provides an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of gonadal function. The study objective was to determine AMH levels in wild manatees. In total, 28 male and 17 female manatee serum samples were assayed. Animal demographics included collection date, body weight (kg) and total length (cm). In certain cases, age of individuals was also known. AMH levels ranged from 160 to 2451.85 ng ml-1 (mean = 844.65 ng ml-1) in males and 0.00 to 0.38 ng ml-1 (mean = 0.10 ng ml-1) in females. Linear regression analyses revealed a significant relationship between male AMH levels and body weight (R2 = 0.452; p 2 = 0.338; p < 0.001). Due to the small sample size, regression analyses for female AMH and body weight and length were not significant. This represents the first report of AMH detection in a marine mammal. AMH levels in male manatees are the highest of any species observed to date, whereas levels in females are within reported ranges. Further studies will promote improved conservation decision by assessing AMH levels in the manatee as a function of various stressors including, but not limited to, nutritional status, serious injuries (e.g. watercraft collisions), exposure to biotoxins or contaminants, or disease.

  8. Bile salts of the West Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris: novel bile alcohol sulfates and absence of bile acids.

    PubMed

    Kuroki, S; Schteingart, C D; Hagey, L R; Cohen, B I; Mosbach, E H; Rossi, S S; Hofmann, A F; Matoba, N; Une, M; Hoshita, T

    1988-04-01

    The bile salts present in gallbladder bile of the West Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, an herbivorous marine mammal of the tropical and subtropical margins of the Atlantic Ocean, were found to consist of a mixture of bile alcohol sulfates. Bile acids, previously believed to be present in all mammals, were not detected. Using chromatography, mass spectrometry, and 1H- and 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, the major bile alcohol was identified as 5 beta-cholestane-3 alpha,6 beta,7 alpha-25,26-pentol; that is, it had the nuclear structure of alpha-muricholic acid and the side chain structure of bufol. This compound has not been described previously and the trivial name "alpha-trichechol" is proposed. The second most abundant compound was 5 beta-cholestane-3 alpha,7 alpha,25,26-tetrol. Other bile alcohols were tentatively identified as 5 beta-cholestane-3 alpha,6 beta,7 beta,25,26-pentol (named beta-trichechol), 3 alpha,6 alpha,7 beta, 25-26-pentol (named omega-trichechol) and 5 beta-cholestane-3 alpha,6 beta,7 alpha,26-tetrol. The 1H and 13C NMR spectra of the four 6,7 epimers of 3,6,7 trihydroxy bile acids are described and discussed. All bile alcohols were present as ester sulfates, the sulfate group being tentatively assigned to the 26-hydroxy group. 12-Hydroxy compounds were not detected. The manatee is the first mammal found to lack bile acids, presumably because it lacks the enzymes required for oxidation of the 26-hydroxy group to a carboxylic acid. Trichechols, like other bile salts, are water-soluble end products of cholesterol metabolism; whether they also function as biological surfactants in promoting biliary cholesterol secretion or lipid digestion is unknown. PMID:3392467

  9. Comparison of blood aminotransferase methods for assessment of myopathy and hepatopathy in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Harr, Kendal E; Allison, Kathryn; Bonde, Robert K; Murphy, David; Harvey, John W

    2008-06-01

    Muscle injury is common in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Plasma aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is frequently used to assess muscular damage in capture myopathy and traumatic injury. Therefore, accurate measurement of AST and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is important in managed, free-ranging animals, as well as in those rehabilitating from injury. Activities of these enzymes, however, are usually not increased in manatees with either acute or chronic muscle damage, despite marked increases in plasma creatine kinase activity. It is hypothesized that this absence of response is due to apoenzymes in the blood not detected by commonly used veterinary assays. Addition of coenzyme pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P or vitamin B6) should, therefore, result in higher measured enzyme activities. The objective of this study was to determine the most accurate, precise, and diagnostically useful method for aminotransferase measurement in manatees that can be used in veterinary practices and diagnostic laboratories. Additionally, appropriate collection and storage techniques were assessed. The use of an optimized commercial wet chemical assay with 100 micromol P5P resulted in a positive bias of measured enzyme activities in a healthy population of animals. However, AST and ALT were still much lower than that typically observed in domestic animals and should not be used alone in the assessment of capture myopathy and muscular trauma. Additionally, the dry chemistry analyzer, typically used in clinics, reported significantly higher and less precise AST and ALT activities with poor correlation to those measured with wet chemical methods found in diagnostic laboratories. Therefore, these results cannot be clinically compared. Overall, the optimized wet chemical method was the most precise and diagnostically useful measurement of aminotransferase in samples. Additionally, there was a statistically significant difference between paired serum and plasma measurement

  10. Detection and identification of plasma progesterone metabolites in the female Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) using GC/MS/MS.

    PubMed

    Tripp, K M; Dubois, M; Delahaut, P; Verstegen, J P

    2009-08-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) have relatively low peripheral concentrations of progesterone (P4). The objective of this study was to determine if these relatively low P4 concentrations are associated with a high ratio of progestin metabolites and to document metabolite concentrations from individual blood samples obtained from manatees during diestrus or pregnancy. Metabolites known to exist in elephants-terrestrial manatee relatives-were targeted. These included 5alpha-reduced progestins (5alpha-pregnane-3,20-dione [5alpha-DHP] and 3alpha-hydroxy-5alpha-pregnan-20-one [5alpha-P3-OH]) and 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone (17alpha-OHP), which occurs in Asian elephants. An additional, inactive metabolite, 20alpha-hydroxyprogesterone (20alpha-OHP), indicative of P4 overproduction, was also targeted. Progesterone itself was the predominant progestin detected in pregnant and nonpregnant manatee plasma (n = 10) using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with tandem quadrupole detectors (GC/MS/MS). Progesterone concentrations in pregnant females varied from early (moderate to high) through mid and late (low) pregnancy. Progesterone concentrations ranged from low to high in nonpregnant, nonlactating females. The most commonly detected metabolite was 5alpha-P3-OH (n = 7), which occurred in pregnant (lower limit of detection [LLOD] to high) and nonpregnant (trace to high) females. The 5alpha-DHP metabolite was also detected in pregnant (LLOD to moderate) and nonpregnant (low) females. The 17alpha-OHP metabolite was not detected in any tested female. The 20alpha-OHP metabolite was detected in one nonpregnant, nonlactating, captive female (LLOD). Metabolites were most prevalent during early pregnancy, concurrent with maximum P4 concentrations. Based on their concentrations in peripheral circulation, we inferred that these metabolites may have, opposite to elephants, a limited physiologic role during luteal, pregnant, and nonpregnant phases in the manatee. PMID

  11. Comparison of blood aminotransferase methods for assessment of myopathy and hepatopathy in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harr, K.E.; Allison, K.; Bonde, R.K.; Murphy, D.; Harvey, J.W.

    2008-01-01

    Muscle injury is common in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Plasma aspartate amino-transferase (AST) is frequently used to assess muscular damage in capture myopathy and traumatic injury. Therefore, accurate measurement of AST and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is important in managed, free-ranging animals, as well as in those rehabilitating from injury. Activities of these enzymes, however, are usually not increased in manatees with either acute or chronic muscle damage, despite marked increases in plasma creatine kinase activity. It is hypothesized that this absence of response is due to apoenzymes in the blood not detected by commonly used veterinary assays. Addition of coenzyme pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P or vitamin B6) should, therefore, result in higher measured enzyme activities. The objective of this study was to determine the most accurate, precise, and diagnostically useful method for aminotransferase measurement in manatees that can be used in veterinary practices and diagnostic laboratories. Additionally, appropriate collection and storage techniques were assessed. The use of an optimized commercial wet chemical assay with 100 ??mol P5P resulted in a positive bias of measured enzyme activities in a healthy population of animals. However, AST and ALT were still much lower than that typically observed in domestic animals and should not be used alone in the assessment of capture myopathy and muscular trauma. Additionally, the dry chemistry analyzer, typically used in clinics, reported significantly higher and less precise AST and ALT activities with poor correlation to those measured with wet chemical methods found in diagnostic laboratories. Therefore, these results cannot be clinically compared. Overall, the optimized wet chemical method was the most precise and diagnostically useful measurement of aminotransferase in samples. Additionally, there was a statistically significant difference between paired serum and plasma measurement

  12. Energy production per circulatory cycle: a constant in resting land vertebrates?

    PubMed

    Coulson, R A; Herbert, J D

    1984-01-01

    Correcting for differences in blood flow, resting alligators, caimans, lizards, turtles, rats and dogs deaminated amino acids at the same rate. Each produced about 21 calories/kg during one complete circulatory revolution, irrespective of body temperature, size or species. Uniform O2 and substrate A-V differences are responsible for the phenomenon. PMID:6148175

  13. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order...

  14. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order...

  15. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order...

  16. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order...

  17. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order...

  18. An evaluation of the use of reptile dermal scutes as a non-invasive method to monitor mercury concentrations in the environment.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Larissa; Eggins, Sam; Maher, William; Vogt, Richard C; Krikowa, Frank; Kinsley, Les; Eggins, Stephen M; Da Silveira, Ronis

    2015-01-01

    Reptiles are ideal organisms for the non-invasive monitoring of mercury (Hg) contamination. We have investigated Hg bioaccumulation in tissue layers of reptile dermis as a basis for establishing a standardized collection method for Hg analysis. Tissue samples from freshwater turtle species Podocnemis unifilis and Podocnemis expansa and caiman species Melanosuchus niger and Caiman crocodilus, all from the Amazonian region, were analysed in this study. We first tested the relationships between Hg concentrations in keratin and bone to Hg concentrations in muscle to determine the best predictor of Hg concentration in muscle tissue. We then investigated the potential for measuring Hg concentrations across turtle carapace growth rings as an indicator of longer term changes in Hg concentration in the environment. Hg concentrations were significantly lower in bone (120 ng g(-1) caimans and 1 ng g(-1) turtles) than keratin (3600 ng g(-1) caimans and 2200 ng g(-1) turtles). Keratin was found to be a better predictor of exposure to Hg than muscle and bone tissues for both turtles and caimans and also to be a reliable non-invasive tissue for Hg analysis in turtles. Measurement of Hg in carapace growth rings has significant potential for estimating Hg bioaccumulation by turtles over time, but full quantification awaits development and use of a matrix-matched reference material for laser ablation ICPMS analysis of Hg concentrations in keratin. Realising this potential would make a valuable advance to the study of the history of contamination in mining and industrial sites, which have until now relied on the analysis of Hg concentrations in sediments. PMID:24974226

  19. DEVELOPMENT OF REFERENCE RANGES FOR PLASMA TOTAL CHOLINESTERASE AND BRAIN ACETYLCHOLINESTERASE ACTIVITY IN FREE-RANGING CARNABY'S BLACK-COCKATOOS (CALYPTORHYNCHUS LATIROSTRIS).

    PubMed

    Vaughan-Higgins, Rebecca; Vitali, Simone; Reiss, Andrea; Besier, Shane; Hollingsworth, Tom; Smith, Gerard

    2016-07-01

    Published avian reference ranges for plasma cholinesterase (ChE) and brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) are numerous. However, a consistently reported recommendation is the need for species- and laboratory-specific reference ranges because of variables, including assay methods, sample storage conditions, season, and bird sex, age, and physiologic status. We developed normal reference ranges for brain AChE and plasma total ChE (tChE) activity for Carnaby's Black-Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) using a standardized protocol (substrate acetylthiocholine at 25 C). We report reference ranges for brain AChE (19-41 μmol/min per g, mean 21±6.38) and plasma tChE (0.41-0.53 μmol/min per mL, mean 0.47±0.11) (n=15). This information will be of use in the ongoing field investigation of a paresis-paralysis syndrome in the endangered Carnaby's Black-Cockatoos, suspected to be associated with exposure to anticholinesterase compounds and add to the paucity of reference ranges for plasma tChE and brain AChE in Australian psittacine birds. PMID:27195690

  20. Characterization of highly informative cross-species microsatellite panels for the Australian dugong (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) including five novel primers.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Margaret Kellogg; Broderick, Damien; Ovenden, Jennifer R; Tucker, Kimberly Pause; Bonde, Robert K; McGuire, Peter M; Lanyon, Janet M

    2010-03-01

    The Australian dugong (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are threatened species of aquatic mammals in the order Sirenia. Sirenian conservation and management actions would benefit from a more complete understanding of genetic diversity and population structure. Generally, species-specific microsatellite markers are employed in conservation genetic studies; however, robust markers can be difficult and costly to isolate. To increase the number of available markers, dugong and manatee microsatellite primers were evaluated for cross-species amplification. Furthermore, one manatee and four dugong novel primers are reported. After polymerase chain reaction optimization, 23 (92%) manatee primers successfully amplified dugong DNA, of which 11 (48%) were polymorphic. Of the 32 dugong primers tested, 27 (84%) yielded product in the manatee, of which 17 (63%) were polymorphic. Dugong and manatee primers were compared and the most informative markers were selected to create robust and informative marker-panels for each species. These cross-species microsatellite marker-panels can be employed to assess other sirenian populations and can provide beneficial information for the protection and management of these unique mammals. PMID:21565032

  1. Sexing sirenians: validation of visual and molecular sex determination in both wild dugongs (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Aquatic Mammals 35(2):187-192.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bonde, Robert K.; Lanyon, J.; Sneath, H.; Ovenden, J.; Broderick, D.

    2009-01-01

    Sexing wild marine mammals that show little to no sexual dimorphism is challenging. For sirenians that are difficult to catch or approach closely, molecular sexing from tissue biopsies offers an alternative method to visual discrimination. This paper reports the results of a field study to validate the use of two sexing methods: (1) visual discrimination of sex vs (2) molecular sexing based on a multiplex PCR assay which amplifies the male-specific SRY gene and differentiates ZFX and ZFY gametologues. Skin samples from 628 dugongs (Dugong dugon) and 100 Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were analysed and assigned as male or female based on molecular sex. These individuals were also assigned a sex based on either direct observation of the genitalia and/or the association of the individual with a calf. Individuals of both species showed 93 to 96% congruence between visual and molecular sexing. For the remaining 4 to 7%, the discrepancies could be explained by human error. To mitigate this error rate, we recommend using both of these robust techniques, with routine inclusion of sex primers into microsatellite panels employed for identity, along with trained field observers and stringent sample handling.

  2. Characterization of highly informative cross-species microsatellite panels for the Australian dugong (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) including five novel primers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, Margaret Kellogg; Broderick, Damien; Ovenden, Jennifer R.; Tucker, Kimberly Pause; Bonde, Robert K.; McGuire, Peter M.; Lanyon, Janet M.

    2010-01-01

    The Australian dugong (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are threatened species of aquatic mammals in the order Sirenia. Sirenian conservation and management actions would benefit from a more complete understanding of genetic diversity and population structure. Generally, species-specific microsatellite markers are employed in conservation genetic studies; however, robust markers can be difficult and costly to isolate. To increase the number of available markers, dugong and manatee microsatellite primers were evaluated for cross-species amplification. Furthermore, one manatee and four dugong novel primers are reported. After polymerase chain reaction optimization, 23 (92%) manatee primers successfully amplified dugong DNA, of which 11 (48%) were polymorphic. Of the 32 dugong primers tested, 27 (84%) yielded product in the manatee, of which 17 (63%) were polymorphic. Dugong and manatee primers were compared and the most informative markers were selected to create robust and informative marker-panels for each species. These crossspecies microsatellite marker-panels can be employed to assess other sirenian populations and can provide beneficial information for the protection and management of these unique mammals.

  3. Proximate nutrient analyses of four species of submerged aquatic vegetation consumed by Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) compared to romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. longifolia).

    PubMed

    Siegal-Willott, Jessica L; Harr, Kendal; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Scott, Karen C; Gerlach, Trevor; Sirois, Paul; Reuter, Mike; Crewz, David W; Hill, Richard C

    2010-12-01

    Free-ranging Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) consume a variety of sea grasses and algae. This study compared the dry matter (DM) content, proximate nutrients (crude protein [CP], ether-extracted crude fat [EE], nonfiber carbohydrate [NFC], and ash), and the calculated digestible energy (DE) of sea grasses (Thalassia testudinum, Halodule wrightii, and Syringodium filiforme) collected in spring, summer, and winter, and an alga (Chara sp.) with those of romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. longifolia). Neutral-detergent fiber (NDF), acid-detergent fiber (ADF), and lignin (L) measured after ash-extraction were also compared. Results of statistical tests (C = 0.01) revealed DM content was higher in aquatic vegetation than in lettuce (P = 0.0001), but NDF and ADF were up to threefold greater, EE (P = 0.00001) and CP (P = 0.00001) were 2-9 times less, and NFC (P = 0.0001) was 2-6 times lower in sea grass than in lettuce, on a DM basis. Chara was lower in NDF, ADF, L, EE, CP, and NFC relative to lettuce on a DM basis. Ash content (DM basis) was higher (P = 0.0001), and DE was 2-6 times lower in aquatic vegetation than in lettuce. Sea grass rhizomes had lower L and higher ash contents (DM basis) than sea grass leaves. Based on the nutrient analyses, romaine lettuce and sea grasses are not equivalent forages, which suggests that the current diet of captive Florida manatees should be reassessed. PMID:21370638

  4. Sexing sirenians: Validation of visual and molecular sex determination in both wild dugongs (Dugong dugon) and Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lanyon, J.M.; Sneath, H.L.; Ovenden, J.R.; Broderick, D.; Bonde, R.K.

    2009-01-01

    Sexing wild marine mammals that show little to no sexual dimorphism is challenging. For sirenians that are difficult to catch or approach closely, molecular sexing from tissue biopsies offers an alternative method to visual discrimination. This paper reports the results of a field study to validate the use of two sexing methods: (1) visual discrimination of sex vs (2) molecular sexing based on a multiplex PCR assay which amplifies the male-specific SRY gene and differentiates ZFX and ZFY gametologues. Skin samples from 628 dugongs (Dugong dugon) and 100 Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were analysed and assigned as male or female based on molecular sex. These individuals were also assigned a sex based on either direct observation of the genitalia and/or the association of the individual with a calf. Individuals of both species showed 93 to 96% congruence between visual and molecular sexing. For the remaining 4 to 7%, the discrepancies could be explained by human error. To mitigate this error rate, we recommend using both of these robust techniques, with routine inclusion of sex primers into microsatellite panels employed for identity, along with trained field observers and stringent sample handling.

  5. Twenty-six years of post-release monitoring of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris): evaluation of a cooperative rehabilitation program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adimey, Nicole M.; Ross, Monica; Hall, Madison; Reid, James P.; Barlas, Margie E.; Keith Diagne, Lucy W; Bonde, Robert K.

    2016-01-01

    The rescue, rehabilitation, and release of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) into the wild has occurred since 1974; however, a comprehensive evaluation of the outcomes of the releases has never been conducted. Herein, we examined data for 136 Florida manatees that were rehabilitated and released with telemetry tags between 1988 and 2013 to determine release outcome of each individual as either success (acclimation) or failure after at least 1 y. Ten predictor variables were statistically evaluated for potential relationships to release outcome. To assess the contribution of each predictor variable to release outcome, each variable was tested for significance in univariate analyses. Manatees born in captivity experienced poor success after release (14%), whereas the overall success of wild-born individuals was higher (72%). When compared with other variables in our dataset, number of days in captivity was the strongest predictor for determining success. Manatees rescued as calves and held in captivity for more than 5 y had a high likelihood of failure, while subadults and adults had a high likelihood of success, regardless of the amount of time spent in captivity. Ensuring the success of individual manatees after release is critical for evaluating the contribution of the manatee rehabilitation program to the growth of the wild population.

  6. Expression profiling without genome sequence information in a non-model species, Pandalid shrimp (Pandalus latirostris), by next-generation sequencing.

    PubMed

    Kawahara-Miki, Ryouka; Wada, Kenta; Azuma, Noriko; Chiba, Susumu

    2011-01-01

    While the study of phenotypic variation is a central theme in evolutionary biology, the genetic approaches available to understanding this variation are usually limited because of a lack of genomic information in non-model organisms. This study explored the utility of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies for studying phenotypic variations between 2 populations of a non-model species, the Hokkai shrimp (Pandalus latirostris; Decapoda, Pandalidae). Before we performed transcriptome analyses using NGS, we examined the genetic and phenotypic differentiation between the populations. Analyses using microsatellite DNA markers suggested that these populations genetically differed from one another and that gene flow is restricted between them. Moreover, the results of our 4-year field observations indicated that the egg traits varied genetically between the populations. Using mRNA extracted from the ovaries of 5 females in each population of Hokkai shrimp, we then performed a transcriptome analysis of the 2 populations. A total of 13.66 gigabases (Gb) of 75-bp reads was obtained. Further, 58,804 and 33,548 contigs for the first and second population, respectively, and 47,467 contigs for both populations were produced by de novo assembly. We detected 552 sequences with the former approach and 702 sequences with the later one; both sets of sequences showed greater than twofold differences in the expression levels between the 2 populations. Twenty-nine sequences were found in both approaches and were considered to be differentially expressed genes. Among them, 9 sequences showed significant similarity to functional genes. The present study showed a de novo assembly approach for the transcriptome of a non-model species using only short-read sequence data, and provides a strategy for identifying sequences showing significantly different expression levels between populations. PMID:22016807

  7. Expression Profiling without Genome Sequence Information in a Non-Model Species, Pandalid Shrimp (Pandalus latirostris), by Next-Generation Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Kawahara-Miki, Ryouka; Wada, Kenta; Azuma, Noriko; Chiba, Susumu

    2011-01-01

    While the study of phenotypic variation is a central theme in evolutionary biology, the genetic approaches available to understanding this variation are usually limited because of a lack of genomic information in non-model organisms. This study explored the utility of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies for studying phenotypic variations between 2 populations of a non-model species, the Hokkai shrimp (Pandalus latirostris; Decapoda, Pandalidae). Before we performed transcriptome analyses using NGS, we examined the genetic and phenotypic differentiation between the populations. Analyses using microsatellite DNA markers suggested that these populations genetically differed from one another and that gene flow is restricted between them. Moreover, the results of our 4-year field observations indicated that the egg traits varied genetically between the populations. Using mRNA extracted from the ovaries of 5 females in each population of Hokkai shrimp, we then performed a transcriptome analysis of the 2 populations. A total of 13.66 gigabases (Gb) of 75-bp reads was obtained. Further, 58,804 and 33,548 contigs for the first and second population, respectively, and 47,467 contigs for both populations were produced by de novo assembly. We detected 552 sequences with the former approach and 702 sequences with the later one; both sets of sequences showed greater than twofold differences in the expression levels between the 2 populations. Twenty-nine sequences were found in both approaches and were considered to be differentially expressed genes. Among them, 9 sequences showed significant similarity to functional genes. The present study showed a de novo assembly approach for the transcriptome of a non-model species using only short-read sequence data, and provides a strategy for identifying sequences showing significantly different expression levels between populations. PMID:22016807

  8. Seasonal response of ghrelin, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor I in the free-ranging Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tighe, Rachel L; Bonde, Robert K.; Avery, Julie P.

    2016-01-01

    Seasonal changes in light, temperature, and food availability stimulate a physiological response in an animal. Seasonal adaptations are well studied in Arctic, Sub-Arctic, and hibernating mammals; however, limited studies have been conducted in sub-tropical species. The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a sub-tropical marine mammal, forages less during colder temperatures and may rely on adipose stores for maintenance energy requirements. Metabolic hormones, growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, and ghrelin influence growth rate, accretion of lean and adipose tissue. They have been shown to regulate seasonal changes in body composition. The objective of this research was to investigate manatee metabolic hormones in two seasons to determine if manatees exhibit seasonality and if these hormones are associated with seasonal changes in body composition. In addition, age related differences in these metabolic hormones were assessed in multiple age classes. Concentrations of GH, IGF-I, and ghrelin were quantified in adult manatee serum using heterologous radioimmunoassays. Samples were compared between short (winter) and long (summer) photoperiods (n = 22 male, 20 female) and by age class (adult, juvenile, and calf) in long photoperiods (n = 37). Short photoperiods tended to have reduced GH (p = 0.08), greater IGF-I (p = 0.01), and greater blubber depth (p = 0.03) compared with long photoperiods. No differences were observed in ghrelin (p = 0.66). Surprisingly, no age related differences were observed in IGF-I or ghrelin concentrations (p > 0.05). However, serum concentrations of GH tended (p = 0.07) to be greater in calves and juveniles compared with adults. Increased IGF-I, greater blubber thickness, and reduced GH during short photoperiod suggest a prioritization for adipose deposition. Whereas, increased GH, reduced blubber thickness, and decreased IGF-I in long photoperiod suggest prioritization of lean tissue

  9. Serum amyloid A (SAA) as a biomarker of chronic infection due to boat strike trauma in a free-ranging Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) with incidental polycystic kidneys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harr, Kendal E.; Rember, Renee; Ginn, Pamela E.; Lightsey, Jessica; Keller, Martha; Reid, James; Bonde, Robert K.

    2011-01-01

    Watercraft-related trauma is the predominant cause of human-induced mortality in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a federal- and state-listed endangered species. Pyothorax (documented in this case report) and other secondary infections are common sequelae of inhalation of water and the open wounds caused by boat propellers. These secondary infections can lead to the demise of the animal weeks to months after the traumatic incident when external wounds have healed. Diagnosis of underlying disease on physical examination during capture and restraint can be difficult. Acute phase proteins, including serum amyloid A, fibrinogen, and albumin can be used to diagnose inflammatory disease in manatees and improve quality of medical care and husbandry. We also provide the first report of polycystic kidneys in Sirenians.

  10. Serum amyloid A (SAA) as a biomarker of chronic infection due to boat strike trauma in a free-ranging Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) with incidental polycystic kidneys.

    PubMed

    Harr, Kendal E; Rember, Renee; Ginn, Pamela E; Lightsey, Jessica; Keller, Martha; Reid, James; Bonde, Robert K

    2011-10-01

    Watercraft-related trauma is the predominant cause of human-induced mortality in manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a federal- and state-listed endangered species. Pyothorax (documented in this case report) and other secondary infections are common sequelae of inhalation of water and the open wounds caused by boat propellers. These secondary infections can lead to the demise of the animal weeks to months after the traumatic incident when external wounds have healed. Diagnosis of underlying disease on physical examination during capture and restraint can be difficult. Acute phase proteins, including serum amyloid A, fibrinogen, and albumin can be used to diagnose inflammatory disease in manatees and improve quality of medical care and husbandry. We also provide the first report of polycystic kidneys in Sirenians. PMID:22102678

  11. A Miocene hyperdiverse crocodylian community reveals peculiar trophic dynamics in proto-Amazonian mega-wetlands.

    PubMed

    Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Flynn, John J; Baby, Patrice; Tejada-Lara, Julia V; Wesselingh, Frank P; Antoine, Pierre-Olivier

    2015-04-01

    Amazonia contains one of the world's richest biotas, but origins of this diversity remain obscure. Onset of the Amazon River drainage at approximately 10.5 Ma represented a major shift in Neotropical ecosystems, and proto-Amazonian biotas just prior to this pivotal episode are integral to understanding origins of Amazonian biodiversity, yet vertebrate fossil evidence is extraordinarily rare. Two new species-rich bonebeds from late Middle Miocene proto-Amazonian deposits of northeastern Peru document the same hyperdiverse assemblage of seven co-occurring crocodylian species. Besides the large-bodied Purussaurus and Mourasuchus, all other crocodylians are new taxa, including a stem caiman-Gnatusuchus pebasensis-bearing a massive shovel-shaped mandible, procumbent anterior and globular posterior teeth, and a mammal-like diastema. This unusual species is an extreme exemplar of a radiation of small caimans with crushing dentitions recording peculiar feeding strategies correlated with a peak in proto-Amazonian molluscan diversity and abundance. These faunas evolved within dysoxic marshes and swamps of the long-lived Pebas Mega-Wetland System and declined with inception of the transcontinental Amazon drainage, favouring diversification of longirostrine crocodylians and more modern generalist-feeding caimans. The rise and demise of distinctive, highly productive aquatic ecosystems substantially influenced evolution of Amazonian biodiversity hotspots of crocodylians and other organisms throughout the Neogene. PMID:25716785

  12. Acoustic communication in crocodilians: information encoding and species specificity of juvenile calls.

    PubMed

    Vergne, Amélie L; Aubin, Thierry; Martin, Samuel; Mathevon, Nicolas

    2012-11-01

    In the Crocodylia order, all species are known for their ability to produce sounds in several communication contexts. Though recent experimental studies have brought evidence of the important biological role of young crocodilian calls, especially at hatching time, the juvenile vocal repertoire still needs to be clarified in order to describe thoroughly the crocodilian acoustic communication channel. The goal of this study is to investigate the acoustic features (structure and information coding) in the contact call of juveniles from three different species (Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus, Black caiman, Melanosuchus niger and Spectacled caiman, Caiman crocodilus). We have shown that even though substantial structural differences exist between the calls of different species, they do not seem relevant for crocodilians. Indeed, juveniles and adults from the species studied use a similar and non-species-specific way of encoding information, which relies on frequency modulation parameters. Interestingly, using conditioning experiments, we demonstrated that this tolerance in responses to signals of different acoustic structures was unlikely to be related to a lack of discriminatory abilities. This result reinforced the idea that crocodilians have developed adaptations to use sounds efficiently for communication needs. PMID:22820991

  13. Identification and characterization of amelogenin genes in monotremes, reptiles, and amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Toyosawa, Satoru; O’hUigin, Colm; Figueroa, Felipe; Tichy, Herbert; Klein, Jan

    1998-01-01

    Two features make the tooth an excellent model in the study of evolutionary innovations: the relative simplicity of its structure and the fact that the major tooth-forming genes have been identified in eutherian mammals. To understand the nature of the innovation at the molecular level, it is necessary to identify the homologs of tooth-forming genes in other vertebrates. As a first step toward this goal, homologs of the eutherian amelogenin gene have been cloned and characterized in selected species of monotremes (platypus and echidna), reptiles (caiman), and amphibians (African clawed toad). Comparisons of the homologs reveal that the amelogenin gene evolves quickly in the repeat region, in which numerous insertions and deletions have obliterated any similarity among the genes, and slowly in other regions. The gene organization, the distribution of hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments in the encoded protein, and several other features have been conserved throughout the evolution of the tetrapod amelogenin gene. Clones corresponding to one locus only were found in caiman, whereas the clawed toad possesses at least two amelogenin-encoding loci. PMID:9789040

  14. Non-lethal sampling for mercury evaluation in crocodilians.

    PubMed

    Lázaro, Wilkinson L; de Oliveira, Robson F; dos Santos-Filho, Manoel; da Silva, Carolina J; Malm, Olaf; Ignácio, Áurea R A; Díez, Sergi

    2015-11-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that poses potential threats to ecosystems due to its toxicity to humans and wildlife. The development of non-lethal sampling techniques is a critical step for evaluation of Hg in threatened species in tropical floodplain environments, where most of Hg found is the result of land use and gold mining activities, and more methylation sites are available. We evaluated the spatial and seasonal effectiveness of caudal scutes and claws to estimate Hg bioaccumulation in crocodilians (Caiman yacare), in the scarcely documented Pantanal. Hence, we investigated the potential for Hg bioaccumulation in top predators according to its proximity to mining sites, and in water bodies with different hydrological characteristics and connectivity with the main river during two phases of the flood pulse (dry and flood). The highest Hg concentrations were detected in caimans captured close to mining activities, in claws (2176 ng g(-1) ww) and caudal scutes (388 ng g(-1) ww). THg concentration in claws was related to the flood season and its mean concentration was thirteen fold higher than Hg concentration in scutes during whole year. Both tissues were found to be effective as non-lethal sampling techniques for measuring Hg bioaccumulation in reptiles over time. Nevertheless, claw tissue seems to have a more consistent result, since its constitutional chemical characteristics makes it a better indicator of spatial patterns that influence on Hg exposure. PMID:26026900

  15. A Miocene hyperdiverse crocodylian community reveals peculiar trophic dynamics in proto-Amazonian mega-wetlands

    PubMed Central

    Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Flynn, John J.; Baby, Patrice; Tejada-Lara, Julia V.; Wesselingh, Frank P.; Antoine, Pierre-Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Amazonia contains one of the world's richest biotas, but origins of this diversity remain obscure. Onset of the Amazon River drainage at approximately 10.5 Ma represented a major shift in Neotropical ecosystems, and proto-Amazonian biotas just prior to this pivotal episode are integral to understanding origins of Amazonian biodiversity, yet vertebrate fossil evidence is extraordinarily rare. Two new species-rich bonebeds from late Middle Miocene proto-Amazonian deposits of northeastern Peru document the same hyperdiverse assemblage of seven co-occurring crocodylian species. Besides the large-bodied Purussaurus and Mourasuchus, all other crocodylians are new taxa, including a stem caiman—Gnatusuchus pebasensis—bearing a massive shovel-shaped mandible, procumbent anterior and globular posterior teeth, and a mammal-like diastema. This unusual species is an extreme exemplar of a radiation of small caimans with crushing dentitions recording peculiar feeding strategies correlated with a peak in proto-Amazonian molluscan diversity and abundance. These faunas evolved within dysoxic marshes and swamps of the long-lived Pebas Mega-Wetland System and declined with inception of the transcontinental Amazon drainage, favouring diversification of longirostrine crocodylians and more modern generalist-feeding caimans. The rise and demise of distinctive, highly productive aquatic ecosystems substantially influenced evolution of Amazonian biodiversity hotspots of crocodylians and other organisms throughout the Neogene. PMID:25716785

  16. Crocodilian phylogeny inferred from twelve mitochondrial protein-coding genes, with new complete mitochondrial genomic sequences for Crocodylus acutus and Crocodylus novaeguineae.

    PubMed

    Man, Zhang; Yishu, Wang; Peng, Yan; Xiaobing, Wu

    2011-07-01

    We report complete mitochondrial genomic sequences for Crocodylus acutus and Crocodylus novaeguineae, whose gene orders match those of other crocodilians. Phylogenetic analyses based on the sequences of 12 mitochondrial protein-coding genes support monophyly of two crocodilian taxonomic families, Alligatoridae (genera Alligator, Caiman, and Paleosuchus) and Crocodylidae (genera Crocodylus, Gavialis, Mecistops, Osteolaemus, and Tomistoma). Our results are consistent with monophyly of all crocodilian genera. Within Alligatoridae, genus Alligator is the sister taxon of a clade comprising Caiman and Paleosuchus. Within Crocodylidae, the basal phylogenetic split separates a clade comprising Gavialis and Tomistoma from a clade comprising Crocodylus, Mecistops, and Osteolaemus. Mecistops and Osteolaemus form the sister taxon to Crocodylus. Within Crocodylus, we sampled five Indopacific species, whose phylogenetic ordering is ((C. mindorensis, C. novaeguineae), (C. porosus, (C. siamensis, C. palustris))). The African species C. niloticus and New World species C. acutus form the sister taxon to the Indopacific species, although our sampling lacks three other New World species and an Australian species of Crocodylus. PMID:21463698

  17. Neutralising antibodies for Mayaro virus in Pantanal, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pauvolid-Corrêa, Alex; Juliano, Raquel Soares; Campos, Zilca; Velez, Jason; Nogueira, Rita Maria Ribeiro; Komar, Nicholas

    2015-02-01

    The Pantanal hosts diverse wildlife species and therefore is a hotspot for arbovirus studies in South America. A serosurvey for Mayaro virus (MAYV), eastern (EEEV), western (WEEV) and Venezuelan (VEEV) equine encephalitis viruses was conducted with 237 sheep, 87 free-ranging caimans and 748 equids, including 37 collected from a ranch where a neurologic disorder outbreak had been recently reported. Sera were tested for specific viral antibodies using plaque-reduction neutralisation test. From a total of 748 equids, of which 264 were immunised with vaccine composed of EEEV and WEEV and 484 had no history of immunisation, 10 (1.3%) were seropositive for MAYV and two (0.3%) for VEEV using criteria of a ≥ 4-fold antibody titre difference. Among the 484 equids without history of immunisation, 48 (9.9%) were seropositive for EEEV and four (0.8%) for WEEV using the same criteria. Among the sheep, five were sero- positive for equine encephalitis alphaviruses, with one (0.4%) for EEEV, one (0.4%) for WEEV and three (1.3%) for VEEV. Regarding free-ranging caimans, one (1.1%) and three (3.4%), respectively, had low titres for neutralising antibodies to VEEV and undetermined alphaviruses. The neurological disorder outbreak could not be linked to the alphaviruses tested. Our findings represent strong evidence that MAYV and all equine encephalitis alphaviruses circulated in the Pantanal. PMID:25742272

  18. Crocodylians evolved scattered multi-sensory micro-organs

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background During their evolution towards a complete life cycle on land, stem reptiles developed both an impermeable multi-layered keratinized epidermis and skin appendages (scales) providing mechanical, thermal, and chemical protection. Previous studies have demonstrated that, despite the presence of a particularly armored skin, crocodylians have exquisite mechanosensory abilities thanks to the presence of small integumentary sensory organs (ISOs) distributed on postcranial and/or cranial scales. Results Here, we analyze and compare the structure, innervation, embryonic morphogenesis and sensory functions of postcranial, cranial, and lingual sensory organs of the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) and the spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus). Our molecular analyses indicate that sensory neurons of crocodylian ISOs express a large repertoire of transduction channels involved in mechano-, thermo-, and chemosensory functions, and our electrophysiological analyses confirm that each ISO exhibits a combined sensitivity to mechanical, thermal and pH stimuli (but not hyper-osmotic salinity), making them remarkable multi-sensorial micro-organs with no equivalent in the sensory systems of other vertebrate lineages. We also show that ISOs all exhibit similar morphologies and modes of development, despite forming at different stages of scale morphogenesis across the body. Conclusions The ancestral vertebrate diffused sensory system of the skin was transformed in the crocodylian lineages into an array of discrete multi-sensory micro-organs innervated by multiple pools of sensory neurons. This discretization of skin sensory expression sites is unique among vertebrates and allowed crocodylians to develop a highly-armored, but very sensitive, skin. PMID:23819918

  19. Can Scat Analysis Describe the Feeding Habits of Big Cats? A Case Study with Jaguars (Panthera onca) in Southern Pantanal, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Perilli, Miriam L. L.; Lima, Fernando; Rodrigues, Flávio H. G.; Cavalcanti, Sandra M. C.

    2016-01-01

    Large cats feeding habits have been studied through two main methods: scat analysis and the carcasses of prey killed by monitored animals. From November 2001 to April 2004, we studied jaguar predation patterns using GPS telemetry location clusters on a cattle ranch in southern Pantanal. During this period, we recorded 431 carcasses of animals preyed upon by monitored jaguars. Concurrently, we collected 125 jaguar scats opportunistically. We compared the frequencies of prey found through each method. We also compared the prey communities using Bray-Curtis similarity coefficient. These comparisons allowed us to evaluate the use of scat analysis as a means to describe jaguar feeding habits. Both approaches identified prey communities with high similarity (Bray-Curtis coefficient > 70). According to either method, jaguars consume three main prey: cattle (Bos taurus), caiman (Caiman yacare) and peccaries (Tayassu pecari and Pecari tajacu). The two methods did not differ in the frequency of the three main prey over dry and wet seasons or years sampled. Our results show that scat analysis is effective and capable of describing jaguar feeding habits. PMID:27002524

  20. Can Scat Analysis Describe the Feeding Habits of Big Cats? A Case Study with Jaguars (Panthera onca) in Southern Pantanal, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Perilli, Miriam L L; Lima, Fernando; Rodrigues, Flávio H G; Cavalcanti, Sandra M C

    2016-01-01

    Large cats feeding habits have been studied through two main methods: scat analysis and the carcasses of prey killed by monitored animals. From November 2001 to April 2004, we studied jaguar predation patterns using GPS telemetry location clusters on a cattle ranch in southern Pantanal. During this period, we recorded 431 carcasses of animals preyed upon by monitored jaguars. Concurrently, we collected 125 jaguar scats opportunistically. We compared the frequencies of prey found through each method. We also compared the prey communities using Bray-Curtis similarity coefficient. These comparisons allowed us to evaluate the use of scat analysis as a means to describe jaguar feeding habits. Both approaches identified prey communities with high similarity (Bray-Curtis coefficient > 70). According to either method, jaguars consume three main prey: cattle (Bos taurus), caiman (Caiman yacare) and peccaries (Tayassu pecari and Pecari tajacu). The two methods did not differ in the frequency of the three main prey over dry and wet seasons or years sampled. Our results show that scat analysis is effective and capable of describing jaguar feeding habits. PMID:27002524

  1. Neutralising antibodies for Mayaro virus in Pantanal, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Pauvolid-Corrêa, Alex; Juliano, Raquel Soares; Campos, Zilca; Velez, Jason; Nogueira, Rita Maria Ribeiro; Komar, Nicholas

    2015-01-01

    The Pantanal hosts diverse wildlife species and therefore is a hotspot for arbovirus studies in South America. A serosurvey for Mayaro virus (MAYV), eastern (EEEV), western (WEEV) and Venezuelan (VEEV) equine encephalitis viruses was conducted with 237 sheep, 87 free-ranging caimans and 748 equids, including 37 collected from a ranch where a neurologic disorder outbreak had been recently reported. Sera were tested for specific viral antibodies using plaque-reduction neutralisation test. From a total of 748 equids, of which 264 were immunised with vaccine composed of EEEV and WEEV and 484 had no history of immunisation, 10 (1.3%) were seropositive for MAYV and two (0.3%) for VEEV using criteria of a ≥ 4-fold antibody titre difference. Among the 484 equids without history of immunisation, 48 (9.9%) were seropositive for EEEV and four (0.8%) for WEEV using the same criteria. Among the sheep, five were sero- positive for equine encephalitis alphaviruses, with one (0.4%) for EEEV, one (0.4%) for WEEV and three (1.3%) for VEEV. Regarding free-ranging caimans, one (1.1%) and three (3.4%), respectively, had low titres for neutralising antibodies to VEEV and undetermined alphaviruses. The neurological disorder outbreak could not be linked to the alphaviruses tested. Our findings represent strong evidence that MAYV and all equine encephalitis alphaviruses circulated in the Pantanal. PMID:25742272

  2. Crocodylus niloticus (Crocodilia) is highly sensitive to water surface waves.

    PubMed

    Grap, Nadja J; Monzel, Anna S; Kohl, Tobias; Bleckmann, Horst

    2015-10-01

    Crocodiles show oriented responses to water surface wave stimuli but up to now behavioral thresholds are missing. This study determines the behavioral thresholds of crocodilians to water surface waves. Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) were conditioned to respond to single-frequency water surface wave stimuli (duration 1150 ms, frequency 15, 30, 40, 60 and 80 Hz), produced by blowing air onto the water surface. Our study shows that C. niloticus is highly sensitive to capillary water surface waves. Threshold values decreased with increasing frequency and ranged between 10.3 μm (15 Hz) and 0.5 μm (80 Hz) peak-to-peak wave amplitude. For the frequencies 15 Hz and 30 Hz the sensitivity of one spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) to water surface waves was also tested. Threshold values were 12.8 μm (15 Hz) down to 1.76 μm (30 Hz), i.e. close to the threshold values of C. niloticus. The surface wave sensitivity of crocodiles is similar to the surface wave sensitivity of semi-aquatic insects and fishing spiders but does not match the sensitivity of surface-feeding fishes which is higher by one to two orders of magnitude. PMID:26153334

  3. Serological Evidence of Widespread Circulation of West Nile Virus and Other Flaviviruses in Equines of the Pantanal, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Pauvolid-Corrêa, Alex; Campos, Zilca; Juliano, Raquel; Velez, Jason; Nogueira, Rita Maria Ribeiro; Komar, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    A recent study reported neutralizing antibodies to West Nile virus (WNV) in horses from four ranches of southern Pantanal. To extend that study, a serosurvey for WNV and 11 Brazilian flaviviruses was conducted with 760 equines, 238 sheep and 61 caimans from 17 local cattle ranches. Among the tested equines, 32 were collected from a ranch where a neurologic disorder outbreak had been recently reported. The sera were initially screened by using a blocking ELISA and then titrated by 90% plaque-reduction neutralization test (PRNT90) for 12 flaviviruses. Employing the criterion of 4-fold greater titer, 78 (10.3%) equines were seropositive for Ilheus virus, 59 (7.8%) for Saint Louis encephalitis virus, 24 (3.2%) for WNV, two (0.3%) for Cacipacore virus and one (0.1%) for Rocio virus. No serological evidence was found linking the neurological disease that affected local equines to WNV. All caimans and sheep were negative by blocking ELISA for flaviviruses. There were no seropositive equines for Bussuquara, Iguape, Yellow fever and all four Dengue virus serotypes. The detection of WNV-seropositive equines in ten ranches and ILHV and SLEV-seropositive equines in fourteen ranches of two different sub-regions of Pantanal is strong evidence of widespread circulation of these flaviviruses in the region. PMID:24551266

  4. Similarity of Crocodilian and Avian Lungs Indicates Unidirectional Flow Is Ancestral for Archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Farmer, C G

    2015-12-01

    Patterns of airflow and pulmonary anatomy were studied in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), the black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), the spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus), the dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis), the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), and Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii). In addition, anatomy was studied in the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius). Airflow was measured using heated thermistor flow meters and visualized by endoscopy during insufflation of aerosolized propolene glycol and glycerol. Computed tomography and gross dissection were used to visualize the anatomy. In all species studied a bird-like pattern of unidirectional flow was present, in which air flowed caudad in the cervical ventral bronchus and its branches during both lung inflation and deflation and craniad in dorsobronchi and their branches. Tubular pathways connected the secondary bronchi to each other and allowed air to flow from the dorsobronchi into the ventrobronchi. No evidence for anatomical valves was found, suggesting that aerodynamic valves cause the unidirectional flow. In vivo data from the American alligator showed that unidirectional flow is present during periods of breath-holding (apnea) and is powered by the beating heart, suggesting that this pattern of flow harnesses the heart as a pump for air. Unidirectional flow may also facilitate washout of stale gases from the lung, reducing the cost of breathing, respiratory evaporative water loss, heat loss through the heat of vaporization, and facilitating crypsis. The similarity in structure and function of the bird lung with pulmonary anatomy of this broad range of crocodilian species indicates that a similar morphology and pattern of unidirectional flow were present in the lungs of the common ancestor of crocodilians and birds. These data suggest a paradigm shift is needed in our understanding of the evolution of this

  5. Contrasting DNA sequence organisation patterns in sauropsidian genomes.

    PubMed

    Epplen, J T; Diedrich, U; Wagenmann, M; Schmidtke, J; Engel, W

    1979-11-01

    The genomic DNA organisation patterns of four sauropsidian species, namely Python reticularis, Caiman crocodilus, Terrapene carolina triungius and Columba livia domestica were investigated by reassociation of short and long DNA fragments, by hyperchromicity measurements of reannealed fragments and by length estimations of S1-nuclease resistant repetitive duplexes. While the genomic DNA of the three reptilian species shows a short period interspersion pattern, the genome of the avian species is organised in a long period interspersion pattern apparently typical for birds. These findings are discussed in view of the close phylogenetic relationships of birds and reptiles, and also with regard to a possible relationship between the extent of sequence interspersion and genome size. PMID:533670

  6. Phylogenetic Approaches Toward Crocodylian History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brochu, Christopher A.

    A review of crocodylian phylogeny reveals a more complex history than might have been anticipated from a direct reading of the fossil record without consideration of phylogenetic relationships. The three main extant crocodylian lineagesGavialoidea, Alligatoroidea, Crocodyloideaare known from fossils in the Late Cretaceous, and the group is found nearly worldwide during the Cenozoic. Some groups have distributions that are best explained by the crossing of marine barriers during the Tertiary. Early Tertiary crocodylian faunas are phylogenetically composite, and clades tend to be morphologically uniform and geographically widespread. Later in the Tertiary, Old World crocodylian faunas are more endemic. Crocodylian phylogeneticists face numerous challenges, the most important being the phylogenetic relationships and time of divergence of the two living gharials (Gavialis gangeticus and Tomistoma schlegelii), the relationships among living true crocodiles (Crocodylus), and the relationships among caimans.

  7. Salmonella serotypes in reptiles and humans, French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Gay, Noellie; Le Hello, Simon; Weill, François-Xavier; de Thoisy, Benoit; Berger, Franck

    2014-05-14

    In French Guiana, a French overseas territory located in the South American northern coast, nearly 50% of Salmonella serotypes isolated from human infections belong to serotypes rarely encountered in metropolitan France. A reptilian source of contamination has been investigated. Between April and June 2011, in the area around Cayenne, 151 reptiles were collected: 38 lizards, 37 snakes, 32 turtles, 23 green iguanas and 21 caimans. Cloacal swab samples were collected and cultured. Isolated Salmonella strains were identified biochemically and serotyped. The overall carriage frequency of carriage was 23.2% (95% confidence interval: 16.7-30.4) with 23 serotyped strains. The frequency of Salmonella carriage was significantly higher for wild reptiles. Near two-thirds of the Salmonella serotypes isolated from reptiles were also isolated from patients in French Guiana. Our results highlight the risk associated with the handling and consumption of reptiles and their role in the spread of Salmonella in the environment. PMID:24560590

  8. Evaluation of adrenocortical function in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tripp, K.M.; Verstegen, J.P.; Deutsch, C.; Bonde, Robert K.; de Wit, M.; Manire, C.A.; Gaspard, J.; Harr, K.E.

    2011-01-01

    The study objectives were to determine the predominant manatee glucocorticoid; validate assays to measure this glucocorticoid and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH); determine diagnostic thresholds to distinguish physiological vs. pathological concentrations; identify differences associated with sex, age class, female reproductive status, capture time, and lactate; and determine the best methods for manatee biologists and clinicians to diagnose stress. Cortisol is the predominant manatee glucocorticoid. IMMULITE 1000 assays for cortisol and ACTH were validated. Precision yielded intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation for serum cortisol: ≤23.5 and ≤16.7%; and ACTH: ≤6.9 and ≤8.5%. Accuracy resulted in a mean adjusted R(2)≥0.87 for serum cortisol and ≥0.96 for ACTH. Assay analytical sensitivities for cortisol (0.1 µg/dl) and ACTH (10.0 pg/ml) were verified. Methods were highly correlated with another IMMULITE 1000 for serum cortisol (r=0.97) and ACTH (r=0.98). There was no significant variation in cortisol or ACTH with sex or age class and no correlation with female progesterone concentrations. Cortisol concentrations were highest in unhealthy manatees, chronically stressed by disease or injury. ACTH was greatest in healthy free-ranging or short-term rehabilitating individuals, peracutely stressed by capture and handling. Cortisol concentrations ≥1.0 µg/dl were diagnostic of chronic stress; ACTH concentrations ≥87.5 pg/ml were diagnostic of peracute stress. In healthy long-term captive manatees, cortisol (0.4±0.2 µg/dl) and ACTH (47.7±15.9 pg/ml) concentrations were lower than healthy free-ranging, short-term rehabilitated or unhealthy manatees. Capture time was not significantly correlated with cortisol; ACTH correlation was borderline significant. Cortisol and ACTH were positively correlated with lactate.

  9. Evaluation of adrenocortical function in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tripp, K.M.; Verstegen, J.P.; Deutsch, C.J.; Bonde, R.K.; Wit, M.D.; Manire, C.A.; Gaspard, J.; Harr, K.E.

    2011-01-01

    The study objectives were to determine the predominant manatee glucocorticoid; validate assays to measure this glucocorticoid and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH); determine diagnostic thresholds to distinguish physiological vs. pathological concentrations; identify differences associated with sex, age class, female reproductive status, capture time, and lactate; and determine the best methods for manatee biologists and clinicians to diagnose stress. Cortisol is the predominant manatee glucocorticoid. IMMULITE 1000 assays for cortisol and ACTH were validated. Precision yielded intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation for serum cortisol: ???23.5 and ???16.7%; and ACTH: ???6.9 and ???8.5%. Accuracy resulted in a mean adjusted R2???0.87 for serum cortisol and ???0.96 for ACTH. Assay analytical sensitivities for cortisol (0.1??g/dl) and ACTH (10.0pg/ml) were verified. Methods were highly correlated with another IMMULITE 1000 for serum cortisol (r=0.97) and ACTH (r=0.98). There was no significant variation in cortisol or ACTH with sex or age class and no correlation with female progesterone concentrations. Cortisol concentrations were highest in unhealthy manatees, chronically stressed by disease or injury. ACTH was greatest in healthy free-ranging or short-term rehabilitating individuals, peracutely stressed by capture and handling. Cortisol concentrations ???1.0??g/dl were diagnostic of chronic stress; ACTH concentrations ???87.5pg/ml were diagnostic of peracute stress. In healthy long-term captive manatees, cortisol (0.4??0.2??g/dl) and ACTH (47.7??15.9pg/ml) concentrations were lower than healthy free-ranging, short-term rehabilitated or unhealthy manatees. Capture time was not significantly correlated with cortisol; ACTH correlation was borderline significant. Cortisol and ACTH were positively correlated with lactate. ?? 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. Evaluation of adrenocortical function in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Tripp, Kathleen M; Verstegen, John P; Deutsch, Charles J; Bonde, Robert K; de Wit, Martine; Manire, Charles A; Gaspard, Joseph; Harr, Kendal E

    2011-01-01

    The study objectives were to determine the predominant manatee glucocorticoid; validate assays to measure this glucocorticoid and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH); determine diagnostic thresholds to distinguish physiological vs. pathological concentrations; identify differences associated with sex, age class, female reproductive status, capture time, and lactate; and determine the best methods for manatee biologists and clinicians to diagnose stress. Cortisol is the predominant manatee glucocorticoid. IMMULITE 1000 assays for cortisol and ACTH were validated. Precision yielded intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation for serum cortisol: ≤23.5 and ≤16.7%; and ACTH: ≤6.9 and ≤8.5%. Accuracy resulted in a mean adjusted R(2)≥0.87 for serum cortisol and ≥0.96 for ACTH. Assay analytical sensitivities for cortisol (0.1 µg/dl) and ACTH (10.0 pg/ml) were verified. Methods were highly correlated with another IMMULITE 1000 for serum cortisol (r=0.97) and ACTH (r=0.98). There was no significant variation in cortisol or ACTH with sex or age class and no correlation with female progesterone concentrations. Cortisol concentrations were highest in unhealthy manatees, chronically stressed by disease or injury. ACTH was greatest in healthy free-ranging or short-term rehabilitating individuals, peracutely stressed by capture and handling. Cortisol concentrations ≥1.0 µg/dl were diagnostic of chronic stress; ACTH concentrations ≥87.5 pg/ml were diagnostic of peracute stress. In healthy long-term captive manatees, cortisol (0.4±0.2 µg/dl) and ACTH (47.7±15.9 pg/ml) concentrations were lower than healthy free-ranging, short-term rehabilitated or unhealthy manatees. Capture time was not significantly correlated with cortisol; ACTH correlation was borderline significant. Cortisol and ACTH were positively correlated with lactate. PMID:20187090

  11. "Pig in a poke (gato por liebre)": the "mota" (Calophysus macropterus) fishery, molecular evidence of commercialization in Colombia and toxicological analyses.

    PubMed

    Salinas, Cristian; Cubillos, Juan Camilo; Gómez, Rigoberto; Trujillo, Fernando; Caballero, Susana

    2014-06-01

    Overfishing has affected the population abundance trends of many commercial fish species. In the Amazon, the fishery of a catfish commonly known as "mota" or "piracatinga" (Calophysus macropterus) has become an important economic activity in the region as this species has replaced a number of other overexploited great catfish species in the markets. Due to this high exploitation, ways in which to increase captures have been identified. One strategy is to use decomposing animal carcasses as bait. Such strategy has increased the hunting pressure on endangered species such as caimans and river dolphins. We investigated which catfish species are currently commercialized in Colombian fish markets using DNA barcoding, and measured mercury concentration in the tissues of fish molecularly identified as C. macropterus. We collected 86 fish samples in markets of four Colombian cities. Sixty-eight of these were identified molecularly as C.macropterus. The mercury concentration of 29 such samples was analyzed. Samples presented total Hg concentrations higher than the limit for human consumption established by the WHO (0.5 μg/g). These results are worrisome and suggest that (1) C. macropterus is a widely used fish species for human consumption in Colombia and (2) C. macropterus has high concentrations of total Hg, making its consumption a public health risk. Results presented here suggest that C. macropterus has replaced capaz in most Colombian markets. This fishery threatens wild species of river dolphins and caimans, and is also a public health risk given the high mercury levels we found in a subsample of these fishes. PMID:24419666

  12. [Vertebrate mortality in the Guanare-Guanarito road, Portuguesa state, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Seijas, Andrés Eloy; Araujo-Quintero, Alexis; Velásquez, Nadines

    2013-12-01

    Roads directly or indirectly affect the structure, dynamics and function of ecosystems that they traverse. Most studies on the effect of roads on wildlife focus on the evaluation of mortality of vertebrates by vehicle collisions. Despite the extensive road network that exists in Venezuela, studies of wildlife mortality in them are scarce. In this paper, we analyzed the temporal and spatial pattern of vertebrate's collisions along the road Guanare-Guanarito, in Portuguesa state. We travelled 26 times between these towns (74 km) to localize dead vertebrates, at a speed of 50-60km/h. of those trips were conducted from March 13 to October 26, 2010, and 10 additional trips from December 7, 2009 to December 14, 2010; these ones, with the aim to include months and seasons that were insufficiently sampled during the first period. The elapsed time between trips varied from 14 to 37 days. The total distance traveled was 1 924 km. Dead animals found amounted 464 individuals, 66 of them were birds (25 identified species), 130 mammals (15 species) and 268 reptiles (18 species). The species with the highest number of individuals were the snake Leptodeira annulata (n=119), the oppossum Didelphis marsupialis (n=39) and the spectacled caiman Caiman crocodilus (n=33). Excluding domestic animals, the rate of road-killed vertebrates was 0.2282 indiv./km, a figure 28.3% higher than previous studies in the same road. Changes in the relative number of collisions for some species, respect to the numbers reported 20 years ago, were linked to the increase in traffic flow and changes in land use. Road segments with collision rates higher than expected by chance were identified. Collition by cars may be the principal cause of mortality for species like the tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla) and the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), the last considered a vulnerable species. Some basic measures are proposed to reduce wildlife mortality on the road. PMID:24432523

  13. The phylogeography of trypanosomes from South American alligatorids and African crocodilids is consistent with the geological history of South American river basins and the transoceanic dispersal of Crocodylus at the Miocene

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Little is known about the diversity, phylogenetic relationships, and biogeography of trypanosomes infecting non-mammalian hosts. In this study, we investigated the influence of host species and biogeography on shaping the genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationship, and distribution of trypanosomes from South American alligatorids and African crocodilids. Methods Small Subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA) and glycosomal Glyceraldehyde Phosphate Dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes were employed for phylogenetic inferences. Trypanosomes from crocodilians were obtained by haemoculturing. Growth behaviour, morphology, and ultrastructural features complement the molecular description of two new species strongly supported by phylogenetic analyses. Results The inferred phylogenies disclosed a strongly supported crocodilian-restricted clade comprising three subclades. The subclade T. grayi comprised the African Trypanosoma grayi from Crocodylus niloticus and tsetse flies. The subclade T. ralphi comprised alligatorid trypanosomes represented by Trypanosoma ralphi n. sp. from Melanosuchus niger, Caiman crocodilus and Caiman yacare from Brazilian river basins. T. grayi and T. ralphi were sister subclades. The basal subclade T. terena comprised alligatorid trypanosomes represented by Trypanosoma terena n. sp. from Ca. yacare sharing hosts and basins with the distantly genetic related T. ralphi. This subclade also included the trypanosome from Ca. crocodilus from the Orinoco basin in Venezuela and, unexpectedly, a trypanosome from the African crocodilian Osteolaemus tetraspis. Conclusion The close relationship between South American and African trypanosomes is consistent with paleontological evidence of recent transoceanic dispersal of Crocodylus at the Miocene/Pliocene boundaries (4–5 mya), and host-switching of trypanosomes throughout the geological configuration of South American hydrographical basins shaping the evolutionary histories of the crocodilians and their trypanosomes

  14. Distribution patterns and predilection muscles of Trichinella zimbabwensis larvae in experimentally infected Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus Laurenti).

    PubMed

    La Grange, Louis J; Mukaratirwa, Samson

    2014-01-01

    No controlled studies have been conducted to determine the predilection muscles of Trichinella zimbabwensis larvae in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) or the influence of infection intensity on the distribution of the larvae in crocodiles. The distribution of larvae in muscles of naturally infected Nile crocodiles and experimentally infected caimans (Caiman crocodilus) and varans (Varanus exanthematicus) have been reported in literature. To determine the distribution patterns of T. zimbabwensis larvae and predilection muscles, 15 crocodiles were randomly divided into three cohorts of five animals each, representing high infection (642 larvae/kg of bodyweight average), medium infection (414 larvae/kg of bodyweight average) and low infection (134 larvae/kg of bodyweight average) cohorts. In the high infection cohort, high percentages of larvae were observed in the triceps muscles (26%) and hind limb muscles (13%). In the medium infection cohort, high percentages of larvae were found in the triceps muscles (50%), sternomastoid (18%) and hind limb muscles (13%). In the low infection cohort, larvae were mainly found in the intercostal muscles (36%), longissimus complex (27%), forelimb muscles (20%) and hind limb muscles (10%). Predilection muscles in the high and medium infection cohorts were similar to those reported in naturally infected crocodiles despite changes in infection intensity. The high infection cohort had significantly higher numbers of larvae in the sternomastoid, triceps, intercostal, longissimus complex, external tibial flexor, longissimus caudalis and caudal femoral muscles (p < 0.05) compared with the medium infection cohort. In comparison with the low infection cohort, the high infection cohort harboured significantly higher numbers of larvae in all muscles (p < 0.05) except for the tongue. The high infection cohort harboured significantly higher numbers of larvae (p < 0.05) in the sternomastoid, triceps, intercostal, longissimus complex

  15. The sources of supraspinal afferents to the spinal cord in a variety of limbed reptiles. I. Reticulospinal systems.

    PubMed

    Newman, D B; Cruce, W L; Bruce, L L

    1983-03-20

    Horseradish peroxidase was injected into various levels of the spinal cord of turtles (Pseudemys and Chrysemys), lizards (Tupinambis, Iquana, Gekko, Sauromelus, and Gerrhonotus), and a crocodilian (Caiman). The results suggest that brainstem reticulospinal projections in limbed reptiles rival mammalian reticulospinal systems in complexity. The reptilian myelencephalic reticular formation can be divided into four distinct reticulospinal nuclei. Reticularis inferior pars dorsalis (RID) contains multipolar neurons which project bilaterally to the spinal cord. Reticularis inferior pars ventralis (RIV), which is only found in lizards and crocodilians, contains fusiform neurons with horizontally running dendrites and it projects ipsilaterally to the spinal cord. Reticularis ventrolateralis (RVL), which is found only in field lizards, contains triangular neurons whose dendrites parallel the ventrolateral edge of the brainstem and it projects ipsilaterally to the spinal cord. The myelencephalic raphe (RaI) varies considerably. RaI of turtles contains large reticulospinal neurons which form a continuous population with more laterally situated RID cells. RaI of lizards contains a few small reticulospinal neurons. RaI of the crocodilian Caiman contains giant reticulospinal neurons with laterally directed dendrites. The caudal metencephalic reticular formation of reptiles can be divided into two distinct reticulospinal nuclei. Reticularis medius (RM) contains large neurons with long, ventrally directed dendrites; it projects ipsilaterally to the spinal cord. Reticularis medius pars lateralis (RML) contains small neurons with laterally directed dendrites; it projects contralaterally to the spinal cord. The rostral mesencephalic and caudal mesencephalic reticular formation of reptiles can be divided into three distinct reticulospinal nuclei. Reticularis superior pars medialis (RSM) consists mostly of small, spindle-shaped neurons which project bilaterally to the spinal cord. In

  16. Experimental study of the response functions of direct-reading instruments measuring surface-area concentration of airborne nanostructured particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bau, Sébastien; Witschger, Olivier; Gensdarmes, François; Thomas, Dominique

    2009-05-01

    An increasing number of experimental and theoretical studies focus on airborne nanoparticles (NP) in relation with many aspects of risk assessment to move forward our understanding of the hazards, the actual exposures in the workplace, and the limits of engineering controls and personal protective equipment with regard to NP. As a consequence, generating airborne NP with controlled properties constitutes an important challenge. In parallel, toxicological studies have been carried out, and most of them support the concept that surface-area could be a relevant metric for characterizing exposure to airborne NP [1]. To provide NP surface-area concentration measurements, some direct-reading instruments have been designed, based on attachment rate of unipolar ions to NP by diffusion. However, very few information is available concerning the performances of these instruments and the parameters that could affect their responses. In this context, our work aims at characterizing the actual available instruments providing airborne NP surface-area concentration. The instruments (a- LQ1-DC, Matter Engineering; b-AeroTrak™ 9000, TSI; c- NSAM, TSI model 3550;) are thought to be relevant for further workplace exposure characterization and monitoring. To achieve our work, an experimental facility (named CAIMAN) was specially designed, built and characterized.

  17. Molecular cloning of estrogen receptor alpha of the Nile crocodile.

    PubMed

    Katsu, Yoshinao; Myburgh, Jan; Kohno, Satomi; Swan, Gerry E; Guillette, Louis J; Iguchi, Taisen

    2006-03-01

    Estrogens are essential for normal reproductive activity in female and male vertebrates. In female reptiles, they are essential for ovarian differentiation during a critical developmental stage. To understand the molecular mechanisms of estrogen action in the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), we have isolated cDNA encoding the estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) from the ovary. Degenerate PCR primers specific to ER were designed and used to amplify Nile crocodile cDNA from the ovary. The full-length Nile crocodile ERalpha cDNA was obtained using 5' and 3' rapid amplification cDNA ends (RACE). The deduced amino acid sequence of the Nile crocodile ERalpha showed high identity to the American alligator ERalpha (98%), caiman ER (98%), lizard ER (82%) and chicken ERalpha (92%), although phylogenetic analysis suggested profound differences in the rate of sequence evolution for vertebrate ER sequences. Expression of ERalpha was observed in the ovary and testis of juvenile Nile crocodiles. These data provide a novel tool allowing future studies examining the regulation and ontogenic expression of ERalpha in crocodiles and expands our knowledge of estrogen receptor evolution. PMID:16455277

  18. When You Get What You Haven't Paid for: Molecular Identification of "Douradinha" Fish Fillets Can Help End the Illegal Use of River Dolphins as Bait in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Haydée A; da Silva, Vera M F; Santos, Teresa E C; Moreira, Stella M; do Carmo, Nivia A S; Solé-Cava, Antonio M

    2015-01-01

    The fishery for Calophysus macropterus, an Amazonian necrophagous catfish, is highly detrimental to river dolphins and caimans, which are deliberately killed for use as bait. In the Brazilian Amazon, this fishery has increased over the last decade, in spite of the rejection of scavenger fishes by Brazilian consumers. It was suspected that C. macropterus fillets were being sold in Brazilian markets, disguised as a fictitious fish (the "douradinha"). We collected 62 fillets from "douradinha" and other suspiciously named fish from 4 fish-processing plants sold at 6 markets in Manaus, in the Brazilian Amazon, and sequenced the cytochrome b gene to identify fillets to species. Sixty percent of fillets labeled "douradinha" or with other deceptive names were actually C. macropterus. Six other fish species of low commercial value were also found. The presence of dolphin tissue in the stomach contents of C. macropterus was confirmed by mtDNA control region sequencing. Our results formed the scientific basis for a moratorium on the fishing and fraudulent selling of C. macropterus, issued by the Brazilian Ministries of the Environment and Fisheries. Exposure of this fraud via the mass media can help end the illegal use of dolphins as bait in Brazil. PMID:26245791

  19. An urban Northeastern United States alligator bite.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Suzanne Moore; Shoff, William H

    2014-05-01

    Individuals who live and work in the Southeastern coastal range of the 3 US crocodilian carnivores, American alligators, American crocodiles, and caiman, understand the risks of reptile-human encounters. Individuals who live in other parts of the country maybe exposed through contact with exotic pets at private homes, small menageries, or petting zoos or from escaped or abandoned animals. During these encounters, individuals may be severely injured.Emergency medical services, law enforcement, and animal welfare workers in nonhabitat areas are usually not trained in the handling and safe removal of injured individuals from the scene when the reptile is present. The emergency management of large crocodilian injuries is similar to that of other major trauma; however, providers also must take into consideration the significant crush component potentially inflicted by the tremendous bite power and shaking inflicting during attacks by these large reptiles, appropriate antibiotic coverage for less common organisms that inhabit their mouths, and management of possible psychological distress, including posttraumatic stress disorder produced by such an unusual attack. Emergency physicians should support the development of a readily available national database of scientifically collect information on attacks to inform appropriate care and support efforts to explore responsible measures that the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and other appropriate local, state, and federal agencies can take to ensure ethical and biologically sustainable management of our large reptiles, which also helps to ensure the safety of the public. PMID:24332253

  20. Creating sustainable performance.

    PubMed

    Spreitzer, Gretchen; Porath, Christine

    2012-01-01

    What makes for sustainable individual and organizational performance? Employees who are thriving-not just satisfied and productive but also engaged in creating the future. The authors found that people who fit this description demonstrated 16% better overall performance, 125% less burnout, 32% more commitment to the organization, and 46% more job satisfaction than their peers. Thriving has two components: vitality, or the sense of being alive and excited, and learning, or the growth that comes from gaining knowledge and skills. Some people naturally build vitality and learning into their jobs, but most employees are influenced by their environment. Four mechanisms, none of which requires heroic effort or major resources, create the conditions for thriving: providing decision-making discretion, sharing information about the organization and its strategy, minimizing incivility, and offering performance feedback. Organizations such as Alaska Airlines, Zingerman's, Quicken Loans, and Caiman Consulting have found that helping people grow and remain energized at work is valiant on its own merits-but it can also boost performance in a sustainable way. PMID:22299508

  1. Limited species differences in estrogen receptor alpha-medicated reporter gene transactivation by xenoestrogens.

    PubMed

    Sumida, Kayo; Ooe, Norihisa; Saito, Koichi; Kaneko, Hideo

    2003-01-01

    Estrogen receptors (ERs) play an important role in estrogen function. However, it is well known that there are species differences in amino acid sequences of the ligand binding domains. Here, we report on the analysis of species differences in ER-dependent transactivation with some chemicals using reporter gene assays. Full-length ER cDNAs from human, rat, chicken, alligator (Caiman), whiptail lizard, African clawed frog and rainbow trout were prepared from hepatic mRNA by the RT-PCR method and inserted into expression plasmids. Both expression and reporter plasmids were transiently transfected into HeLa cells, and then the estrogenic effects of chemicals were analyzed in terms of induction of luciferase activity. No species differences in transactivation were found among human, rat, chicken, alligator, whiptail lizard and African clawed frog ERs. However, thermo-dependent alteration in susceptibility to 17-beta-estradiol was observed with the rainbow trout ER because of thermo-dependence of estrogen binding. PMID:12648522

  2. Role of Chromosome Changes in Crocodylus Evolution and Diversity.

    PubMed

    Srikulnath, Kornsorn; Thapana, Watcharaporn; Muangmai, Narongrit

    2015-12-01

    The karyotypes of most species of crocodilians were studied using conventional and molecular cytogenetics. These provided an important contribution of chromosomal rearrangements for the evolutionary processes of Crocodylia and Sauropsida (birds and reptiles). The karyotypic features of crocodilians contain small diploid chromosome numbers (30~42), with little interspecific variation of the chromosome arm number (fundamental number) among crocodiles (56~60). This suggested that centric fusion and/or fission events occurred in the lineage, leading to crocodilian evolution and diversity. The chromosome numbers of Alligator, Caiman, Melanosuchus, Paleosuchus, Gavialis, Tomistoma, Mecistops, and Osteolaemus were stable within each genus, whereas those of Crocodylus (crocodylians) varied within the taxa. This agreed with molecular phylogeny that suggested a highly recent radiation of Crocodylus species. Karyotype analysis also suggests the direction of molecular phylogenetic placement among Crocodylus species and their migration from the Indo-Pacific to Africa and The New World. Crocodylus species originated from an ancestor in the Indo-Pacific around 9~16 million years ago (MYA) in the mid-Miocene, with a rapid radiation and dispersion into Africa 8~12 MYA. This was followed by a trans-Atlantic dispersion to the New World between 4~8 MYA in the Pliocene. The chromosomes provided a better understanding of crocodilian evolution and diversity, which will be useful for further study of the genome evolution in Crocodylia. PMID:26865840

  3. A laboratory study of the performance of the handheld diffusion size classifier (DiSCmini) for various aerosols in the 15-400 nm range.

    PubMed

    Bau, S; Zimmermann, B; Payet, R; Witschger, O

    2015-02-01

    In addition to chemical composition, particle concentration and size are among the main parameters used to characterize exposure to airborne ultrafine or nanoparticles. To assess occupational inhalation exposure, real-time instruments are recommended in recent strategies published. Among portable devices for personal exposure assessment in the workplace, DiSCmini (Matter Aerosol AG, Switzerland) has been identified as a potential candidate with its capacity to measure the airborne nanoparticle concentration and average particle size with good time-resolution. Monodisperse and polydisperse test nanoaerosols of varying compositions and morphologies were produced in the laboratory using the CAIMAN facility. These aerosols covered a range of particle sizes between 15 and 400 nm and number concentrations from 700 to 840,000 cm(-3). The aerosols were used to investigate the behavior of DiSCmini, comparing experimental data to reference data. In spite of a slight tendency to underestimate particle size, all particle diameters, number concentrations and surface area concentrations measured were in the same order of magnitude as reference data. Furthermore, no significant effect due to particle composition or morphology was noted. PMID:25366997

  4. Measurements of Sr/Ca in bones to evaluate differences in temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, P. R.; Added, N.; Aburaya, J. H.; Rizzutto, M. A.

    2008-04-01

    Analysis of aragonite from sea shells and coral skeletons showed a clear correlation between the strontium and calcium concentrations for these crystals (Sr/Ca ratio) and seawater temperature obtained by satellites and ship readings. In this work we present the results of a study that correlates Sr/Ca ratio with formation temperature of another calcium crystal, the hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2), main mineral compound of teeth and bones from vertebrates. These animals, independent of its thermoregulation pattern (endothermic or ectothermic) have variations of internal temperature along the body. One interesting application of this work is to differentiate warm-blooded animals from cold-blooded ones just by measuring Sr/Ca ratio in their bones. Bones from a crocodile from Caiman yacare species and two dogs, a poodle and a non defined race, were analyzed using PIXE technique and thick target correction. A 1.78 (18) MeV external proton beam was used in LAMFI-USP with an accumulated charge of about 10 μC for probing the samples. Emitted X-rays were collected using Si-PIN detectors (140 keV for Fe). As in coral skeletons, the Sr/Ca ratio of animals is lower in the body's warmer parts and higher in colder parts.

  5. Role of Chromosome Changes in Crocodylus Evolution and Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Thapana, Watcharaporn; Muangmai, Narongrit

    2015-01-01

    The karyotypes of most species of crocodilians were studied using conventional and molecular cytogenetics. These provided an important contribution of chromosomal rearrangements for the evolutionary processes of Crocodylia and Sauropsida (birds and reptiles). The karyotypic features of crocodilians contain small diploid chromosome numbers (30~42), with little interspecific variation of the chromosome arm number (fundamental number) among crocodiles (56~60). This suggested that centric fusion and/or fission events occurred in the lineage, leading to crocodilian evolution and diversity. The chromosome numbers of Alligator, Caiman, Melanosuchus, Paleosuchus, Gavialis, Tomistoma, Mecistops, and Osteolaemus were stable within each genus, whereas those of Crocodylus (crocodylians) varied within the taxa. This agreed with molecular phylogeny that suggested a highly recent radiation of Crocodylus species. Karyotype analysis also suggests the direction of molecular phylogenetic placement among Crocodylus species and their migration from the Indo-Pacific to Africa and The New World. Crocodylus species originated from an ancestor in the Indo-Pacific around 9~16 million years ago (MYA) in the mid-Miocene, with a rapid radiation and dispersion into Africa 8~12 MYA. This was followed by a trans-Atlantic dispersion to the New World between 4~8 MYA in the Pliocene. The chromosomes provided a better understanding of crocodilian evolution and diversity, which will be useful for further study of the genome evolution in Crocodylia. PMID:26865840

  6. Generic affinities among crocodilians as revealed by DNA fingerprinting with a Bkm-derived probe.

    PubMed Central

    Aggarwal, R K; Majumdar, K C; Lang, J W; Singh, L

    1994-01-01

    Genetic fingerprint profiles have been successfully used for establishing biological relationships, in linkage analysis, and in studies of population structure but have not so far been used for ascertaining phylogenetic relationships among related groups of species and genera. This is largely because these profiles are thought to evolve too rapidly to be informative over large time intervals. However, we show here that among the Crocodilia, whose phylogeny is a debated issue, these profiles can provide phylogenetically useful information. By using the probe Bkm-2(8), DNA fingerprints with distinct bands distributed in the size range 0.5-23.0 kb were obtained for individuals of 18 species belonging to seven of the eight genera of crocodilians. These genetic profiles showed individual-, species-, and restriction enzyme-specific patterns. In addition, striking differences were observed in the copy number of Bkm-related sequences in genomes of different crocodilian species. The qualitative data from DNA fingerprint profiles, and quantitative data on copy number variation in Bkm-related sequences, suggest that these genera belong to two distinct groups, one of which includes Alligator, Paleosuchus, and Caiman; the other includes Crocodylus, Osteolaemus, Tomistoma, and Gavialis. A close relationship between Tomistoma and Gavialis is also suggested by these results. Images PMID:7937999

  7. Repetitive sequences in the crocodilian mitochondrial control region: poly-A sequences and heteroplasmic tandem repeats.

    PubMed

    Ray, David A; Densmore, Llewellyn D

    2003-06-01

    Heteroplasmic tandem repeats in the mitochondrial control region have been documented in a wide variety of vertebrate species. We have examined the control region from 11 species in the family Crocodylidae and identified two different types of heteroplasmic repetitive sequences in the conserved sequence block (CSB) domain-an extensive poly-A tract that appears to be involved in the formation of secondary structure and a series of tandem repeats located downstream ranging from approximately 50 to approximately 80 bp in length. We describe this portion of the crocodylian control region in detail and focus on members of the family Crocodylidae. We then address the origins of the tandemly repeated sequences in this family and suggest hypotheses to explain possible mechanisms of expansion/contraction of the sequences. We have also examined control region sequences from Alligator and Caiman and offer hypotheses for the origin of tandem repeats found in those taxa. Finally, we present a brief analysis of intraindividual and interindividual haplotype variation by examining representatives of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii). PMID:12716979

  8. Corneal vascularization in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and three-dimensional reconstruction of vessels.

    PubMed

    Harper, Jennifer Y; Samuelson, Don A; Reep, Roger L

    2005-01-01

    The cornea of the Florida manatee is unique and unusual in its anatomy in that blood vessels have been found throughout. In all other animal species, this is considered a pathological condition impeding vision, and is usually caused by injury or trauma. The purpose of this study was to more clearly describe corneal vascularization by examining the architecture through three-dimensional reconstruction in order to find possible patterns in size, distribution, and location of blood vessels relative to gender, age, location, and season. Twenty-six eyes from 22 individuals were prepared for histologic examination and subsequent three-dimensional reconstruction. Every specimen examined had blood vessels in the cornea, comprising an average of 0.3% of total surface density (volume) of the cornea. No differences were found between individuals based on gender, age, and season. Environmental influences were not a significant factor either, which was not originally anticipated. The presence of vessels at the level of the anterior epithelium was surprising and it appeared that the vascularization was directed more anteriorly than was originally thought. The presence of blood vessels in a prenatal eye was also found. In all the eyes examined, no signs of injury or trauma could be observed. The presence of blood vessels appears to minimally impair vision based on their low density, size, and location. The association of vessels with the anterior epithelium and development of vessels within the fetus point to an evolutionary adaptation possibly due to the manatee's unique ability to move between water bodies. PMID:15762922

  9. Detection of hydrodynamic stimuli by the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Gaspard, Joseph C; Bauer, Gordon B; Reep, Roger L; Dziuk, Kimberly; Read, Latoshia; Mann, David A

    2013-06-01

    Florida manatees inhabit the coastal and inland waters of the peninsular state. They have little difficulty navigating the turbid waterways, which often contain obstacles that they must circumnavigate. Anatomical and behavioral research suggests that the vibrissae and associated follicle-sinus complexes that manatees possess over their entire body form a sensory array system for detecting hydrodynamic stimuli analogous to the lateral line system of fish. This is consistent with data highlighting that manatees are tactile specialists, evidenced by their specialized facial morphology and use of their vibrissae during feeding and active investigation/manipulation of objects. Two Florida manatees were tested in a go/no-go procedure using a staircase method to assess their ability to detect low-frequency water movement. Hydrodynamic vibrations were created by a sinusoidally oscillating sphere that generated a dipole field at frequencies from 5 to 150 Hz, which are below the apparent functional hearing limit of the manatee. The manatees detected particle displacement of less than 1 μm for frequencies of 15-150 Hz and of less than a nanometer at 150 Hz. Restricting the facial vibrissae with various size mesh openings indicated that the specialized sensory hairs played an important role in the manatee's exquisite tactile sensitivity. PMID:23660811

  10. Selection and trans-species polymorphism of major histocompatibility complex class II genes in the order Crocodylia.

    PubMed

    Jaratlerdsiri, Weerachai; Isberg, Sally R; Higgins, Damien P; Miles, Lee G; Gongora, Jaime

    2014-01-01

    Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class II genes encode for molecules that aid in the presentation of antigens to helper T cells. MHC characterisation within and between major vertebrate taxa has shed light on the evolutionary mechanisms shaping the diversity within this genomic region, though little characterisation has been performed within the Order Crocodylia. Here we investigate the extent and effect of selective pressures and trans-species polymorphism on MHC class II α and β evolution among 20 extant species of Crocodylia. Selection detection analyses showed that diversifying selection influenced MHC class II β diversity, whilst diversity within MHC class II α is the result of strong purifying selection. Comparison of translated sequences between species revealed the presence of twelve trans-species polymorphisms, some of which appear to be specific to the genera Crocodylus and Caiman. Phylogenetic reconstruction clustered MHC class II α sequences into two major clades representing the families Crocodilidae and Alligatoridae. However, no further subdivision within these clades was evident and, based on the observation that most MHC class II α sequences shared the same trans-species polymorphisms, it is possible that they correspond to the same gene lineage across species. In contrast, phylogenetic analyses of MHC class II β sequences showed a mixture of subclades containing sequences from Crocodilidae and/or Alligatoridae, illustrating orthologous relationships among those genes. Interestingly, two of the subclades containing sequences from both Crocodilidae and Alligatoridae shared specific trans-species polymorphisms, suggesting that they may belong to ancient lineages pre-dating the divergence of these two families from the common ancestor 85-90 million years ago. The results presented herein provide an immunogenetic resource that may be used to further assess MHC diversity and functionality in Crocodylia. PMID:24503938

  11. Phylogenomic analyses support the position of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The morphological peculiarities of turtles have, for a long time, impeded their accurate placement in the phylogeny of amniotes. Molecular data used to address this major evolutionary question have so far been limited to a handful of markers and/or taxa. These studies have supported conflicting topologies, positioning turtles as either the sister group to all other reptiles, to lepidosaurs (tuatara, lizards and snakes), to archosaurs (birds and crocodiles), or to crocodilians. Genome-scale data have been shown to be useful in resolving other debated phylogenies, but no such adequate dataset is yet available for amniotes. Results In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to obtain seven new transcriptomes from the blood, liver, or jaws of four turtles, a caiman, a lizard, and a lungfish. We used a phylogenomic dataset based on 248 nuclear genes (187,026 nucleotide sites) for 16 vertebrate taxa to resolve the origins of turtles. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian concatenation analyses and species tree approaches performed under the most realistic models of the nucleotide and amino acid substitution processes unambiguously support turtles as a sister group to birds and crocodiles. The use of more simplistic models of nucleotide substitution for both concatenation and species tree reconstruction methods leads to the artefactual grouping of turtles and crocodiles, most likely because of substitution saturation at third codon positions. Relaxed molecular clock methods estimate the divergence between turtles and archosaurs around 255 million years ago. The most recent common ancestor of living turtles, corresponding to the split between Pleurodira and Cryptodira, is estimated to have occurred around 157 million years ago, in the Upper Jurassic period. This is a more recent estimate than previously reported, and questions the interpretation of controversial Lower Jurassic fossils as being part of the extant turtles radiation. Conclusions These results

  12. Non-legalized commerce in game meat in the Brazilian Amazon: a case study.

    PubMed

    Baía Jr, Pedro Chaves; Guimarães, Diva Anelie; Le Pendu, Yvonnick

    2010-09-01

    In tropical forests, wild game meat represents an option or the only protein source for some human populations. This study analyzed the wildlife meat trade destined to human consumption in an open market of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil. Wildlife meat trade was monitored during 2005 through interviews to vendors and consumers in order to evaluate the socioeconomic profile of the sellers, the main species and byproducts sold, their geographical origin, commercial value, frequency of sale and product demand. Data indicated that vendors were financially highly dependant of this activity, getting a monthly income up to US$271.49. During the survey, the amount of wildlife meat on sale added a total of 5 970kg, as follows: 63.2% capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), 34.4% cayman (Melanosuchus niger and/or Caiman crocodilus crocodilus), 1.1% paca (Cuniculus paca); 0.6% armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), 0.5% deer (Mazama americana), 0.2% matamata (Chelus fimbriatus), and 0.1% opossum (Didelphis marsupialis). Most of the commercialized species were not slaughtered locally. The consumption of wildlife meat was admitted by 94% of the interviewed, consisting of 27 ethno-species: 19 mammals, 6 reptiles, and 2 birds. The same percentage of the interviewed (94%) already bought wildlife meat of 18 species: 12 mammals and 6 reptiles. The great amount of wildlife meat traded and the important demand for these products by the local population, point out the necessity to adopt policies for a sustainable management of cinegetic species, guaranteeing the conservation of the environment, the improvement of living standards, and the maintenance of the local culture. PMID:20737856

  13. Spreading Factors of Mycoplasma alligatoris, a Flesh-Eating Mycoplasma

    PubMed Central

    Brown, D. R.; Zacher, L. A.; Farmerie, W. G.

    2004-01-01

    Mycoplasma alligatoris causes lethal invasive disease of alligators and caimans. A homolog of the nagH gene, encoding a hyaluronidase secreted by Clostridium perfringens, and a C. perfringens hyaluronidase nagI or nagK pseudogene were discovered in the M. alligatoris genome. The nagH gene was detected by PCR in the closest relative of M. alligatoris, Mycoplasma crocodyli, but not in 40 other species representing the Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Spiroplasma phylogenetic clusters. The hyaluronidase activity in the cellular fraction of M. alligatoris and M. crocodyli SP4 broth cultures was equivalent to 10−16 U of Streptomyces hyalurolyticus hyaluronidase CFU−1. Negligible activity was present in the cell-free supernatant fraction. No chondroitinase activity was detected. There is also a novel homolog of the nanI gene, which encodes a sialidase secreted by C. perfringens, in the M. alligatoris genome. The signature YRIP and SXDXGXTW motifs and catalytic residues of the clostridial sialidase are conserved in the mycoplasmal gene, but the leader sequence necessary for its secretion by C. perfringens is absent. The gene was not detected by PCR in any other mycoplasma. Potent cell-associated sialidase activity was present in M. alligatoris colonies on agar but not in the cell-free supernatants of broth cultures or in M. crocodyli. The presence of hyaluronidase and sialidase in M. alligatoris is consistent with the rapid invasiveness and necrotizing effects of this organism, and the lack of sialidase in M. crocodyli is consistent with its comparatively attenuated virulence. This genetic and biochemical evidence suggests that the spreading factors hyaluronidase and sialidase, a combination unprecedented in mycoplasmas, are the basis of the virulence of M. alligatoris. PMID:15175306

  14. Strong purifying selection in endogenous retroviruses in the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in the Northern Territory of Australia

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are remnants of exogenous retroviruses that have integrated into the nuclear DNA of a germ-line cell. Here we present the results of a survey into the ERV complement of Crocodylus porosus, the saltwater crocodile, representing 45 individuals from 17 sampling locations in the Northern Territory of Australia. These retroelements were compared with published ERVs from other species of Crocodylia (Crocodilians; alligators, caimans, gharials and crocodiles) as well as representatives from other vertebrates. This study represents one of the first in-depth studies of ERVs within a single reptilian species shedding light on the diversity of ERVs and proliferation mechanisms in crocodilians. Results Analyses of the retroviral pro-pol gene region have corroborated the presence of two major clades of ERVs in C. porosus and revealed 18 potentially functional fragments out of the 227 recovered that encode intact pro-pol ORFs. Interestingly, we have identified some patterns of diversification among those ERVs as well as a novel sequence that suggests the presence of an additional retroviral genus in C. porosus. In addition, considerable diversity but low genetic divergence within one of the C. porosus ERV lineages was identified. Conclusions We propose that the ERV complement of C. porosus has come about through a combination of recent infections and replication of ancestral ERVs. Strong purifying selection acting on these clades suggests that this activity is recent or still occurring in the genome of this species. The discovery of potentially functional elements is an interesting development that warrants further investigation. PMID:23217152

  15. Selection and Trans-Species Polymorphism of Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II Genes in the Order Crocodylia

    PubMed Central

    Jaratlerdsiri, Weerachai; Isberg, Sally R.; Higgins, Damien P.; Miles, Lee G.; Gongora, Jaime

    2014-01-01

    Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class II genes encode for molecules that aid in the presentation of antigens to helper T cells. MHC characterisation within and between major vertebrate taxa has shed light on the evolutionary mechanisms shaping the diversity within this genomic region, though little characterisation has been performed within the Order Crocodylia. Here we investigate the extent and effect of selective pressures and trans-species polymorphism on MHC class II α and β evolution among 20 extant species of Crocodylia. Selection detection analyses showed that diversifying selection influenced MHC class II β diversity, whilst diversity within MHC class II α is the result of strong purifying selection. Comparison of translated sequences between species revealed the presence of twelve trans-species polymorphisms, some of which appear to be specific to the genera Crocodylus and Caiman. Phylogenetic reconstruction clustered MHC class II α sequences into two major clades representing the families Crocodilidae and Alligatoridae. However, no further subdivision within these clades was evident and, based on the observation that most MHC class II α sequences shared the same trans-species polymorphisms, it is possible that they correspond to the same gene lineage across species. In contrast, phylogenetic analyses of MHC class II β sequences showed a mixture of subclades containing sequences from Crocodilidae and/or Alligatoridae, illustrating orthologous relationships among those genes. Interestingly, two of the subclades containing sequences from both Crocodilidae and Alligatoridae shared specific trans-species polymorphisms, suggesting that they may belong to ancient lineages pre-dating the divergence of these two families from the common ancestor 85–90 million years ago. The results presented herein provide an immunogenetic resource that may be used to further assess MHC diversity and functionality in Crocodylia. PMID:24503938

  16. Managing endangered species within the use-preservation paradox: the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as a tourism attraction.

    PubMed

    Sorice, Michael G; Shafer, C Scott; Ditton, Robert B

    2006-01-01

    A significant challenge to wildlife managers in tourism settings is to provide visitors with opportunities to observe rare and endangered wildlife while simultaneously protecting the target species from deleterious impacts. Nearly 100,000 people annually visit Crystal River, Florida, USA to observe and swim with the Florida manatee, an endangered species. This research aimed to investigate and describe human-manatee interactions in a tourism context, to understand the salient issues related to such interactions as identified by stakeholders, and to recommend a course of action to address multiple interests in the planning and management of human-manatee interactions. Five issues were identified by all stakeholder groups: water quality, harassment, density and crowding, education, and enforcement. Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is responsible for manatee management, does not have mechanisms in place to manage the tourism component of the manatee encounter. Although a regulatory approach can be taken, a better approach would be to create an organization of tour operators to establish "best practices" that reflect the goal of the managing agency to enhance manatee protection (and thus ensure their livelihood) and to enhance the visitor experience. PMID:16362492

  17. Fatty acid profiles as a potential lipidomic biomarker of exposure to brevetoxin for endangered Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Wetzel, Dana L; Reynolds, John E; Sprinkel, Jay M; Schwacke, Lori; Mercurio, Philip; Rommel, Sentiel A

    2010-11-15

    Fatty acid signature analysis (FASA) is an important tool by which marine mammal scientists gain insight into foraging ecology. Fatty acid profiles (resulting from FASA) represent a potential biomarker to assess exposure to natural and anthropogenic stressors. Florida manatees are well studied, and an excellent necropsy program provides a basis against which to assess this budding tool. Results using samples from 54 manatees assigned to four cause-of-death categories indicated that those animals exposed to or that died due to brevetoxin exposure (red tide, or RT samples) demonstrate a distinctive hepatic fatty acid profile. Discriminant function analysis indicated that hepatic fatty acids could be used to classify RT versus non-RT liver samples with reasonable certainty. A discriminant function was derived based on 8 fatty acids which correctly classified 100% of samples from a training dataset (10 RT and 25 non-RT) and 85% of samples in a cross-validation dataset (5 RT and 13 non-RT). Of the latter dataset, all RT samples were correctly classified, but two of thirteen non-RT samples were incorrectly classified. However, the "incorrect" samples came from manatees that died due to other causes during documented red tide outbreaks; thus although the proximal cause of death was due to watercraft collisions, exposure to brevetoxin may have affected these individuals in ways that increased their vulnerability. This use of FASA could: a) provide an additional forensic tool to help scientists and managers to understand cause of death or debilitation due to exposure to red tide in manatees; b) serve as a model that could be applied to studies to improve assessments of cause of death in other marine mammals; and c) be used, as in humans, to help diagnose metabolic disorders or disease states in manatees and other species. PMID:20880571

  18. Debromoaplysiatoxin in Lyngbya-dominated mats on manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in the Florida King's Bay ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Harr, Kendal E; Szabo, Nancy J; Cichra, Mary; Phlips, Edward J

    2008-08-01

    Proliferation of the potentially toxic cyanobacterium, Lyngbya, in Florida lakes and rivers has raised concerns about ecosystem and human health. Debromoaplysiatoxin (DAT) was measured in concentrations up to 6.31 microg/g wet weight lyngbyatoxin A equivalents (WWLAE) in Lyngbya-dominated mats collected from natural substrates. DAT was also detected (up to 1.19 microg/g WWLAE) in Lyngbya-dominated mats collected from manatee dorsa. Ulcerative dermatitis found on manatees is associated with, but has not been proven to be caused by DAT. PMID:18585400

  19. Managing Endangered Species Within the Use-Preservation Paradox: The Florida Manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris) as a Tourism Attraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorice, Michael G.; Shafer, C. Scott; Ditton, Robert B.

    2006-01-01

    A significant challenge to wildlife managers in tourism settings is to provide visitors with opportunities to observe rare and endangered wildlife while simultaneously protecting the target species from deleterious impacts. Nearly 100,000 people annually visit Crystal River, Florida, USA to observe and swim with the Florida manatee, an endangered species. This research aimed to investigate and describe human-manatee interactions in a tourism context, to understand the salient issues related to such interactions as identified by stakeholders, and to recommend a course of action to address multiple interests in the planning and management of human-manatee interactions. Five issues were identified by all stakeholder groups: water quality, harassment, density and crowding, education, and enforcement. Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is responsible for manatee management, does not have mechanisms in place to manage the tourism component of the manatee encounter. Although a regulatory approach can be taken, a better approach would be to create an organization of tour operators to establish “best practices” that reflect the goal of the managing agency to enhance manatee protection (and thus ensure their livelihood) and to enhance the visitor experience.

  20. Check-list of the pentastomid parasites crocodilians and freshwater chelonians.

    PubMed

    Junker, K; Boomker, J

    2006-03-01

    Based on published records and own data a summary is given of the geographical distribution of the currently known species of pentastomid parasites infecting crocodiles and alligators, as well as freshwater chelonians. A brief generic diagnosis is provided for each genus. Fourteen out of the currently 23 living crocodilian species have been recorded as being host to one or more pentastomes. Out of the 32 pentastome species six are considered species inquirendae. Presently, six genera of crocodilian pentastomes, Agema, Alofia, Leiperia, Sebekia, Selfia and Subtriquetra are recognized. African crocodiles harbour eight pentastome species, six of which have been recorded from the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus. Three species belong to the genus Sebekia, Alofia being represented by two and Leiperia by only one species. Two species, Alofia parva and Agema silvae-palustris, occur in the dwarf crocodile, Osteolaemus tetraspis, and the slender-snouted crocodile, Crocodylus cataphractus, exclusively, but a single Sebekia species is shared with the Nile crocodile. The genus Agema is endemic to the African region. Infective stages of the pentastome Subtriquetra rileyi, thought to utilize Nile crocodiles as final hosts, have been recovered only from fishes. The largest number of pentastome species is found in the Australasian region. Of these, the Indo-Pacific crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, harbours seven, representing the genera Alofia, Sebekia, Leiperia and Selfia. Selfia is exclusive to the latter host. The genus Subtriquetra has been reported from "Indian crocodiles", a term possibly referring to either Crocodylus palustris, Crocodylus porosus or Gavialis gangeticus. Ten species of pentastomes parasitizing the crocodilian genera Alligator, Caiman, Crocodylus and Melanosuchus have been recorded from the Neotropical region including the southern states of the North American continent. The two most wide-spread pentastome genera, Alofia and Sebekia, have been recorded

  1. One fledgling or two in the endangered Carnaby's Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris): a strategy for survival or legacy from a bygone era?

    PubMed Central

    Saunders, Denis A.; Mawson, Peter R.; Dawson, Rick

    2014-01-01

    Of the five species of black cockatoo in the genus Calyptorhynchus, those species with red tail bands (Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and Glossy Black Cockatoo) lay clutches of only one egg and those with white or yellow tail bands (Carnaby's Cockatoo, Baudin's Cockatoo and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo) usually lay clutches of two. The breeding of the endangered Carnaby's Cockatoo has been studied from 1969 to 2012 at a number of localities throughout its range in south-western Australia within a region largely cleared for agriculture. When raising nestlings the species feeds on seeds of native vegetation, and there was a strong but not significant negative relationship between nesting success and percentage loss of native vegetation within 6 and 12 km of nest hollows. There was a significant negative relationship between the health of nestlings and percentage loss of native vegetation around nest hollows. While the usual clutch size is two, average clutch size tended to be lower in areas where much native vegetation has been cleared. While both eggs hatch in 77% of two-egg clutches, the species normally fledges only one young. However, the species is capable of fledging both nestlings from a breeding attempt. Sets of siblings are usually the product of older, more experienced females nesting in areas where more native vegetation has been retained. The conservation implications of these findings are discussed in the light of predicted changes to the climate of south-western Australia. PMID:27293622

  2. Purification and characterization of the major whey proteins from the milks of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), and the beagle (Canis familiaris).

    PubMed

    Pervaiz, S; Brew, K

    1986-05-01

    The major whey proteins of the milks of the dolphin, manatee, and beagle were purified by gel filtration and ion exchange chromatography and characterized and identified by molecular weight determination, amino acid analysis, N-terminal sequencing, and activity measurements. The major whey protein components from all three species were found to be monomeric beta-lactoglobulins. These proteins were all active in binding retinol. Dolphin milk contained two beta-lactoglobulins (designated 1 and 2) which showed a slight difference in molecular weight and considerably divergent N-terminal sequences, whereas the other milks only contained a single form of beta-lactoglobulin. alpha-Lactalbumins were purified from dolphin and dog milks and were active in promoting lactose synthesis by bovine galactosyltransferase. The dolphin protein had an N-terminal sequence more similar to ruminant alpha-lactalbumins than to those known from other species. Although alpha-lactalbumin activity has been detected in manatee milk at low levels, the corresponding protein was not isolated. In addition, dog milk was found to contain high levels of lysozyme (greater than 1.0 mg/ml), which were identified by activity and sequencing. The functional and evolutionary implications of these results are discussed. PMID:3707136

  3. Hysteroscopy and episiotomy in a rescued, cold-stressed Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) for diagnosis and treatment of a retained fetal skeleton.

    PubMed

    Hall, Natalie H; Walsh, Mike; DeLuca, Catherine; Bukoski, Alex

    2012-09-01

    A rescued female manatee was observed expelling a fetal bone from the vulva. The manatee was anesthetized and diagnosed with uterine retention of a fetal skeleton by ultrasound and hysteroscopy. Episiotomy was performed to gain manual access to the vagina and uterus for removal of the skeleton. Second intention healing of the episiotomy site produced excellent results. Rescued female manatees should receive a thorough reproductive tract evaluation since presence of retained fetal tissues might not be evident in blood or hormone analyses. Retention of a whole or partial dead fetus can be life-threatening to manatees, and retained tissues should be removed as early as possible. PMID:23082540

  4. Improving Conservation of Florida Manatees ( Trichechus manatus latirostris): Conceptualization and Contributions Toward a Regional Warm-Water Network Management Strategy for Sustainable Winter Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flamm, Richard Owen; Reynolds, John Elliot; Harmak, Craig

    2013-01-01

    We used southwestern Florida as a case study to lay the groundwork for an intended and organized decision-making process for managing warm-water habitat needed by endangered manatees to survive winters in Florida. Scientists and managers have prioritized (a) projecting how the network of warm-water sites will change over the next 50 years as warmed industrial discharges may expire and as flows of natural springs are reduced through redirection of water for human uses, and (b) mitigating such changes to prevent undue consequences to manatees. Given the complexities introduced by manatee ecology; agency organizational structure; shifting public demands; fluctuating resource availability; and managing within interacting cultural, social, political, and environmental contexts, it was clear that a structured decision process was needed. To help promote such a process, we collected information relevant to future decisions including maps of known and suspected warm-water sites and prototyped a characterization of sites and networks. We propose steps that would lead to models that might serve as core tools in manatee/warm-water decision-making, and we summarized topics relevant for informed decision-making (e.g., manatee spatial cognition, risk of cold-stress morbidity and mortality, and human dimensions). A major impetus behind this effort is to ensure proactively that robust modeling tools are available well in advance of the anticipated need for a critical management decision.

  5. Adaptations in the structure and innervation of follicle-sinus complexes to an aquatic environment as seen in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Sarko, Diana K; Reep, Roger L; Mazurkiewicz, Joseph E; Rice, Frank L

    2007-09-20

    Florida manatees are large-bodied aquatic herbivores that use large tactile vibrissae for several purposes. Facial vibrissae are used to forage in a turbid water environment, and the largest perioral vibrissae can also grasp and manipulate objects. Other vibrissae distributed over the entire postfacial body appear to function as a lateral line system. All manatee vibrissae emanate from densely innervated follicle-sinus complexes (FSCs) like those in other mammals, although proportionately larger commensurate with the caliber of the vibrissae. As revealed by immunofluorescence, all manatee FSCs have many types of C, Adelta and Abeta innervation including Merkel, club, and longitudinal lanceolate endings at the level of the ring sinus, but they lack other types such as reticular and spiny endings at the level of the cavernous sinus. As in non-whisking terrestrial species, the inner conical bodies of facial FSCs are well innervated but lack Abeta-fiber terminals. Importantly, manatee FSCs have two unique types of Abeta-fiber endings. First, all of the FSCs have exceptionally large-caliber axons that branch to terminate as novel, gigantic spindle-like endings located at the upper ring sinus. Second, facial FSCs have smaller caliber Abeta fibers that terminate in the trabeculae of the cavernous sinus as an ending that resembles a Golgi tendon organ. In addition, the largest perioral vibrissae, which are used for grasping, have exceptionally well-developed medullary cores that have a structure and dense small-fiber innervation resembling that of tooth pulp. Other features of the epidermis and upper dermis structure and innervation differ from that seen in terrestrial mammals. PMID:17640045

  6. Improving conservation of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris): conceptualization and contributions toward a regional warm-water network management strategy for sustainable winter habitat.

    PubMed

    Flamm, Richard Owen; Reynolds, John Elliot; Harmak, Craig

    2013-01-01

    We used southwestern Florida as a case study to lay the groundwork for an intended and organized decision-making process for managing warm-water habitat needed by endangered manatees to survive winters in Florida. Scientists and managers have prioritized (a) projecting how the network of warm-water sites will change over the next 50 years as warmed industrial discharges may expire and as flows of natural springs are reduced through redirection of water for human uses, and (b) mitigating such changes to prevent undue consequences to manatees. Given the complexities introduced by manatee ecology; agency organizational structure; shifting public demands; fluctuating resource availability; and managing within interacting cultural, social, political, and environmental contexts, it was clear that a structured decision process was needed. To help promote such a process, we collected information relevant to future decisions including maps of known and suspected warm-water sites and prototyped a characterization of sites and networks. We propose steps that would lead to models that might serve as core tools in manatee/warm-water decision-making, and we summarized topics relevant for informed decision-making (e.g., manatee spatial cognition, risk of cold-stress morbidity and mortality, and human dimensions). A major impetus behind this effort is to ensure proactively that robust modeling tools are available well in advance of the anticipated need for a critical management decision. PMID:23161252

  7. Calcium isotopes in fossil bones and teeth — Diagenetic versus biogenic origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuser, Alexander; Tütken, Thomas; Gussone, Nikolaus; Galer, Stephen J. G.

    2011-06-01

    We present the first systematic study of Ca isotopes ( δ44/40Ca) in Late Triassic to Late Cretaceous dinosaur bones and teeth (enamel and dentin) from sympatric herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs. The samples derive from five different localities, and data from embedding sediments are also presented. Additional δ44/40Ca in skeletal tissues from modern reptiles and birds (avian dinosaurs) were measured for comparison in order to examine whether the original Ca isotopic composition in dinosaur skeletal apatite was preserved or might have changed during the diagenesis and fossilization process. δ44/40Ca of fossil skeletal tissues range from -1.62‰ ( Tyrannosaurus rex enamel) to +1.08‰ ( Brachiosaurus brancai bone), while values in modern archosaur bones and teeth range from -1.63‰ (caiman enamel) to -0.37‰ (ostrich bone). The average δ44/40Ca of the three types of fossil skeletal tissue analyzed - bone, dentin and enamel - show some systematic differences: while δ44/40Ca in bone exhibits the highest values, while δ44/40Ca in enamel has the lowest values, and dentin δ44/40Ca falls in between. Values of δ44/40Ca in the remains of herbivorous dinosaurs (0.1-1.1‰) are generally higher than those of bones of modern mammalian herbivores (-2.6‰ to -0.8‰) and from modern herbivorous archosaurs, which exhibit intermediate δ44/40Ca (-0.8‰ to -0.4‰). These systematic isotopic shifts may reflect physiological differences between dinosaurs, mammals and reptiles representing different taxonomic groups of vertebrates. Systematic offsets in skeletal apatite δ44/40Ca between herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs are not obvious, indicating a lack of a clear-cut Trophic Level Effect (TLE) shift between herbivores and carnivores in dinosaurs. This observation can be explained if the carnivorous dinosaurs in this study fed mainly on soft tissues from their prey and did not ingest hard (calcified) tissue to much extent. The most striking indication that the

  8. 77 FR 22604 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-16

    ... Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; January 26, 2009... maritimus) and Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) held in captivity and to import...

  9. Intussusception in a Florida manatee.

    PubMed

    Forrester, D J; White, F H; Woodard, J C; Thompson, N P

    1975-10-01

    An intussusception resulting from an embedded fishhook and a mass of nylon cord, monofilament line, and wire was determined to be the cause of death in a Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Pathologic findings are given along with information on bacteria (Edwardsiella tarda), pesticide residues (DDE, PCB's and dieldrin), and parasites (Chiorchis fabaceus). PMID:1195505

  10. Microhistological characteristics of selected aquatic plants of Florida, with techniques for the study of manatee food habits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hurst, L.A.; Beck, C.A.

    1988-01-01

    This study was initiated in 1978 to develop a technique of identifying and quantifying the digestive tract contents of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and to serve as a manual for the identification and analysis of ingesta collected from manatee carcasses salvaged in Florida. This report includes key microhistological characters found useful in identifying fragments of 83 plant species and three invertebrate groups. Many species of aquatic and wetland plants and invertebrates are available to manatees in Florida as potential foods.

  11. Molecular phylogeny and morphological revision of Myotis bats (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from Taiwan and adjacent China.

    PubMed

    Ruedi, Manuel; Csorba, Gábor; Lin, Liang-Kong; Chou, Cheng-Han

    2015-01-01

    In taxonomic accounts, three species of Myotis have been traditionally reported to occur on the island of Taiwan: Watase's bat (M. formosus watasei Kishida), the Formosan broad-muzzled bat (M. muricola latirostris Kishida) and the Formosan mouse-eared bat (M. adversus taiwanensis Linde). The discovery in 1997 of an unknown taxon not fitting to the description of any of these species encouraged us to re-examine more thoroughly the systematics and phylogeny of Myotis bats inhabiting Taiwan. We used a combination of morphologic and molecular methods to aid the identification of the different taxa from this island and reconstruct their phylogenetic relationships. Multivariate analyses based on 17 craniodental characters of 105 specimens caught across Taiwan and further external characters allowed us to discriminate eight taxa of Myotinae co-occurring on this island. A subset of 80 specimens were further sequenced for the cytochrome b gene (1140 bp) and subjected to phylogenetic reconstructions including representative species from adjacent China and from all main lineages of the worldwide Myotis radiation. These molecular reconstructions showed that the Myotinae from Taiwan are phylogenetically diverse and are issued from several independent clades. The genetic results were completely congruent with the phenetic groupings based on craniodental and external morphology, as each of the eight Taiwanese taxa proved to be reciprocally monophyletic. Two unnamed taxa that did not fit into any of the known species were described as species new to science. Furthermore the taxon latirostris usually associated to the Asian M. muricola, was phylogenetically and morphologically distant from any other known Myotis and was assigned here to the fossil (Miocene) genus Submyotodon. Submyotodon latirostris, M. secundus sp. n. and M. soror sp. n. are endemic species from Taiwan, whereas the other five Myotis are more widespread and also found in the mainland. An identification key is

  12. Correcting the "correct" name for the Asian Brown Flycatcher (Aves: Passeriformes, Muscicapidae, Muscicapa).

    PubMed

    Dickinson, Edward C; Schodde, Richard; Kullander, Sven; Crochet, Pierre André; Elliott, Andy; Kirwan, Guy M

    2014-01-01

    Mlíkovský (2012) claimed that Muscicapa latirostris Raffles, 1822 was the correct name for the Asian Brown Flycatcher, and rejected its senior synonym, Muscicapa dauurica Pallas, 1811. Muscicapa dauurica is in equal or greater use today for this flycatcher, to which the references to it in Mlíkovský (2012) testify even though they are far from comprehensive. Other major references using dauurica Pallas are Sibley & Monroe (1990), Inskipp et al. (1996), Kennedy et al. (2000), Dickinson (2003), Rasmussen & Anderton (2005), Clement (2006), Wells (2007) and Mann (2008). PMID:25283921

  13. Population biology of the Florida manatee

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, Thomas J., (Edited By); Ackerman, Bruce B.; Percival, H. Franklin

    1995-01-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is a unique element of the U.S. fauna. It is a distinct subspecies of the West Indian manatee (Domning and Hayek 1986) and one of the largest inshore mammals of the continent, reaching weights to 1,650 kg (Rathbun et al. 1990). Annual migratory circuits of some individuals through the intracoastal waterways of the Atlantic Coast are 1,700 km round trips at seasonal travel rates as high as 50km/day (*3 Reid and O'Shea 1989; Reid et al. 1991), resulting in one of the longest remaining intact mammalian migrations in the eastern United States.

  14. Temperature inverted haloclines provide winter warm-water refugia for manatees in southwest Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stith, Bradley M.; Reid, James P.; Langtimm, Catherine A.; Swain, Eric D.; Doyle, Terry J.; Slone, Daniel H.; Decker, Jeremy D.; Soderqvist, Lars E.

    2010-01-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) overwintering in the Ten Thousand Islands and western Everglades have no access to power plants or major artesian springs that provide warm-water refugia in other parts of Florida. Instead, hundreds of manatees aggregate at artificial canals, basins, and natural deep water sites that act as passive thermal refugia (PTR). Monitoring at two canal sites revealed temperature inverted haloclines, which provided warm salty bottom layers that generally remained above temperatures considered adverse for manatees. At the largest PTR, the warmer bottom layer disappeared unless significant salt stratification was maintained by upstream freshwater inflow over a persistent tidal wedge. A detailed three-dimensional hydrology model showed that salinity stratification inhibited vertical convection induced by atmospheric cooling. Management or creation of temperature inverted haloclines may be a feasible and desirable option for resource managers to provide passive thermal refugia for manatees and other temperature sensitive aquatic species.

  15. Acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Niezrecki, Christopher; Phillips, Richard; Meyer, Michael; Beusse, Diedrich O

    2003-09-01

    The West Indian manatee (trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, that can signal to boaters that manatees are present in the immediate vicinity, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. In order to identify the presence of manatees, acoustic methods are employed. Within this paper, three different detection algorithms are used to detect the calls of the West Indian manatee. The detection systems are tested in the laboratory using simulated manatee vocalizations from an audio compact disk. The detection method that provides the best overall performance is able to correctly identify approximately 96% of the manatee vocalizations. However, the system also results in a false alarm rate of approximately 16%. The results of this work may ultimately lead to the development of a manatee warning system that can warn boaters of the presence of manatees. PMID:14514217

  16. Possible effects of the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes on manatee survival rates and movement

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langtimm, C.A.; Krohn, M.D.; Reid, J.P.; Stith, B.M.; Beck, C.A.

    2006-01-01

    Prior research on manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) survival in northwest Florida, based on mark-resighting photo-identification data from 1982-1998, showed that annual adult apparent survival rate was significantly lower during years with extreme storms. Mechanisms that we proposed could have led to lower estimates included stranding, injury from debris, being fatally swept out to sea, or displacement into poorly monitored areas due to storm-generated longshore currents or storm-related loss of habitat. In 2004 and 2005, seven major hurricanes impacted areas of Florida encompassing three regional manatee subpopulations, enabling us to further examine some of these mechanisms. Data from a group of manatees tracked in southwest Florida with satellite transmitters during Hurricanes Charley, Katrina, and Wilma showed that these animals made no significant movement before and during storm passage. Mark-resighting data are being collected to determine if survival rates were lower with the 2004 and 2005 storms. ?? 2006 Estuarine Research Federation.

  17. Molecular identification of a papilloma virus from cutaneous lesions of captive and free-ranging Florida manatees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodruff, R.A.; Bonde, R.K.; Bonilla, J.A.; Romero, C.H.

    2005-01-01

    Cutaneous papillomatous lesions were biopsied from three captive Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) at Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park (HSSWP), Homosassa, Florida, USA, and from six free-ranging Florida manatees from Crystal and Homosassa rivers, Florida. Total DNA extracted from these lesions was assayed for the presence of papilloma virus genomes using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with primers that target the L1 capsid protein gene. The amplification generated DNA fragments 458 base pairs in length that encompassed a highly conserved domain within the L1 capsid protein and translated into identical polypeptides of 152 amino acids, suggesting the involvement of a single papilloma virus genotype. Multiple amino acid sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the L1 fragment indicated that the Florida manatee papilloma virus is a unique and quite distinct papillomavirus from other known papilloma viruses. The emergence of this new pathogen raises concerns about its potential impact on the already endangered Florida manatee.

  18. Acoustic signal detection of manatee calls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niezrecki, Christopher; Phillips, Richard; Meyer, Michael; Beusse, Diedrich O.

    2003-04-01

    The West Indian manatee (trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, that can signal to boaters that manatees are present in the immediate vicinity, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. In order to identify the presence of manatees, acoustic methods are employed. Within this paper, three different detection algorithms are used to detect the calls of the West Indian manatee. The detection systems are tested in the laboratory using simulated manatee vocalizations from an audio compact disc. The detection method that provides the best overall performance is able to correctly identify ~=96% of the manatee vocalizations. However the system also results in a false positive rate of ~=16%. The results of this work may ultimately lead to the development of a manatee warning system that can warn boaters of the presence of manatees.

  19. Acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niezrecki, Christopher; Phillips, Richard; Meyer, Michael; Beusse, Diedrich O.

    2003-09-01

    The West Indian manatee (trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, that can signal to boaters that manatees are present in the immediate vicinity, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. In order to identify the presence of manatees, acoustic methods are employed. Within this paper, three different detection algorithms are used to detect the calls of the West Indian manatee. The detection systems are tested in the laboratory using simulated manatee vocalizations from an audio compact disk. The detection method that provides the best overall performance is able to correctly identify ~96% of the manatee vocalizations. However, the system also results in a false alarm rate of ~16%. The results of this work may ultimately lead to the development of a manatee warning system that can warn boaters of the presence of manatees.

  20. Molecular identification of a papilloma virus from cutaneous lesions of captive and free-ranging Florida manatees.

    PubMed

    Woodruff, Rebecca A; Bonde, Robert K; Bonilla, J Alfredo; Romero, Carlos H

    2005-04-01

    Cutaneous papillomatous lesions were biopsied from three captive Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) at Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park (HSSWP), Homosassa, Florida, USA, and from six free-ranging Florida manatees from Crystal and Homosassa rivers, Florida. Total DNA extracted from these lesions was assayed for the presence of papilloma virus genomes using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with primers that target the L1 capsid protein gene. The amplification generated DNA fragments 458 base pairs in length that encompassed a highly conserved domain within the L1 capsid protein and translated into identical polypeptides of 152 amino acids, suggesting the involvement of a single papilloma virus genotype. Multiple amino acid sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the L1 fragment indicated that the Florida manatee papilloma virus is a unique and quite distinct papillomavirus from other known papilloma viruses. The emergence of this new pathogen raises concerns about its potential impact on the already endangered Florida manatee. PMID:16107681

  1. Analysis of aerial survey data on Florida manatee using Markov chain Monte Carlo.

    PubMed

    Craig, B A; Newton, M A; Garrott, R A; Reynolds, J E; Wilcox, J R

    1997-06-01

    We assess population trends of the Atlantic coast population of Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, by reanalyzing aerial survey data collected between 1982 and 1992. To do so, we develop an explicit biological model that accounts for the method by which the manatees are counted, the mammals' movement between surveys, and the behavior of the population total over time. Bayesian inference, enabled by Markov chain Monte Carlo, is used to combine the survey data with the biological model. We compute marginal posterior distributions for all model parameters and predictive distributions for future counts. Several conclusions, such as a decreasing population growth rate and low sighting probabilities, are consistent across different prior specifications. PMID:9192449

  2. Estimating cause-specific mortality rates using recovered carcasses.

    PubMed

    Joly, Damien O; Heisey, Dennis M; Samuel, Michael D; Ribic, Christine A; Thomas, Nancy J; Wright, Scott D; Wright, Irene E

    2009-01-01

    Stranding networks, in which carcasses are recovered and sent to diagnostic laboratories for necropsy and determination of cause of death, have been developed to monitor the health of marine mammal and bird populations. These programs typically accumulate comprehensive, long-term datasets on causes of death that can be used to identify important sources of mortality or changes in mortality patterns that lead to management actions. However, the utility of these data in determining cause-specific mortality rates has not been explored. We present a maximum likelihood-based approach that partitions total mortality rate, estimated by independent sources, into cause-specific mortality rates. We also demonstrate how variance estimates are derived for these rates. We present examples of the method using mortality data for California sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) and Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). PMID:19204341

  3. Prevalence and diversity patterns of avian blood parasites in degraded African rainforest habitats.

    PubMed

    Chasar, Anthony; Loiseau, Claire; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2009-10-01

    Land use changes including deforestation, road construction and agricultural encroachments have been linked to the increased prevalence of several infectious diseases. In order to better understand how deforestation affects the prevalence of vector-borne infectious diseases in wildlife, nine paired sites were sampled (disturbed vs. undisturbed habitats) in Southern Cameroon. We studied the diversity, prevalence and distribution of avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) and other related haemosporidians (species of Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon) from these sites in two widespread species of African rainforest birds, the yellow-whiskered greenbul (Andropadus latirostris, Pycnonotidae) and the olive sunbird (Cyanomitra olivacea, Nectariniidae). Twenty-six mitochondrial cytochrome b lineages were identified: 20 Plasmodium lineages and 6 Haemoproteus lineages. These lineages showed no geographic specificity, nor significant differences in lineage diversity between habitat types. However, we found that the prevalence of Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus infections were significantly higher in undisturbed than in deforested habitats (Leucocytozoon spp. 50.3% vs. 35.8%, Haemoproteus spp. 16.3% vs. 10.8%). We also found higher prevalence for all haemosporidian parasites in C. olivacea than in A. latirostris species (70.2% vs. 58.2%). Interestingly, we found one morphospecies of Plasmodium in C. olivacea, as represented by a clade of related lineages, showed increased prevalence at disturbed sites, while another showed a decrease, testifying to different patterns of transmission, even among closely related lineages of avian malaria, in relation to deforestation. Our work demonstrates that anthropogenic habitat change can affect host-parasite systems and result in opposing trends in prevalence of haemosporidian parasites in wild bird populations. PMID:19754513

  4. Manatees in the Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bonde, Robert K.; Lefebvre, Lynn W.

    2001-01-01

    The endangered Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) inhabits rivers and estuaries along both coasts of Florida and, to a lesser extent, adjacent states (Figure 1). Since 1990, documented sightings of manatees outside of Florida have been increasing. This increase in sightings probably represents northward shifts in manatee distribution made possible by man-made sources of warm water (i.e., industrial effluents), as well as a decade of relatively warm winters. The most likely source of emigrants on the Gulf coast is the population of manatees that overwinter in the headwaters of the Crystal and Homosassa Rivers, Citrus County, FL. This group of manatees has undergone a steady increase in numbers, (approximately 7% per year from 1977-1991; Eberhardt and O’Shea 1995). Some emigrants may also come from the Tampa-Ft. Myers region, where human impacts on habitat are greater. Manatees are intelligent, long-lived mammals that appear to adapt readily to new environments and situations. However, manatees have relatively low metabolic rates, and cold winter temperatures restrict their northern distribution.

  5. Comparison of lipids in selected tissues of the Florida manatee (Order Sirenia) and bottlenose dolphin (Order Cetacea; Suborder Odontoceti).

    PubMed

    Ames, Audra L; Van Vleet, Edward S; Reynolds, John E

    2002-07-01

    The position, porosity and oil-filled nature of the zygomatic process of the squamosal bone (ZPSB) of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, suggest that it may have a similar sound conduction function to that of the intramandibular fat body (IMFB) of the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, and other odontocetes. To examine this possibility we determined the lipid composition of the ZPSB and adipose tissue from the dorsal part of the head region of the Florida manatee, and compared it to that of the dolphin IMFB and melon (another fatty area implicated in sound conduction in odontocetes). Lipids from manatee ZPSB and from adipose tissue were composed almost entirely of triacylglycerols. The most abundant fatty acids of the ZPSB were 18:1, 16:0, 14:0 and 16:1. The major fatty acids of the adipose tissue in the head were the four mentioned above, along with 12:0 and 18:0. Manatee samples did not contain isovaleric acid (iso-5:0), which was found in the bottlenose dolphin IMFB and melon, and has been related to sound conduction in dolphins and some other odontocetes. Thus, if manatee tissues are capable of sound conduction, and this process does occur through the ZPSB, a somewhat different suite of lipid components must support this function. PMID:12091108

  6. Tactile hairs on the postcranial body in Florida manatees: a Mammalian lateral line?

    PubMed

    Reep, R L; Marshall, C D; Stoll, M L

    2002-01-01

    Previous reports have suggested that the sparsely distributed hairs found on the entire postcranial body of sirenians are all sinus type tactile hairs. This would represent a unique arrangement because no other mammal has been reported to possess tactile hairs except on restricted regions of the body, primarily the face. In order to investigate this issue further, hair counts were made systematically in three Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), and hair follicle microanatomy was studied in 110 specimens gathered from 9 animals. We found that the postcranial body possesses approximately 1500 hairs per side, and hair density decreases from dorsal to ventral. External hair length ranged from 2-9 mm, and most hairs were separated from their nearest neighbor by 20-40 mm, resulting in an independent domain of movement for each hair. All hairs exhibited the anatomical characteristics of follicle-sinus complexes typical of tactile hairs, including a dense connective tissue capsule containing an elongated circumferential blood sinus and innervation by 20-50 axons which ascend the mesenchymal sheath. We conclude that this represents a unique distributed underwater tactile system capable of conveying detailed and significant external information concerning approaching animals, water currents and possibly the presence of large stationary features of the environment. Such a system would be analogous to the lateral line in fish, and would be particularly useful in the turbid habitat frequented by Florida manatees. PMID:12119533

  7. Low genetic diversity and minimal population substructure in the endangered Florida manatee: implications for conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tucker, Kimberly Pause; Hunter, Margaret E.; Bonde, Robert K.; Austin, James D.; Clark, Ann Marie; Beck, Cathy A.; McGuire, Peter M.; Oli, Madan K.

    2012-01-01

    Species of management concern that have been affected by human activities typically are characterized by low genetic diversity, which can adversely affect their ability to adapt to environmental changes. We used 18 microsatellite markers to genotype 362 Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), and investigated genetic diversity, population structure, and estimated genetically effective population size (Ne). The observed and expected heterozygosity and average number of alleles were 0.455 ± 0.04, 0.479 ± 0.04, and 4.77 ± 0.51, respectively. All measures of Florida manatee genetic diversity were less than averages reported for placental mammals, including fragmented or nonideal populations. Overall estimates of differentiation were low, though significantly greater than zero, and analysis of molecular variance revealed that over 95% of the total variance was among individuals within predefined management units or among individuals along the coastal subpopulations, with only minor portions of variance explained by between group variance. Although genetic issues, as inferred by neutral genetic markers, appear not to be critical at present, the Florida manatee continues to face demographic challenges due to anthropogenic activities and stochastic factors such as red tides, oil spills, and disease outbreaks; these can further reduce genetic diversity of the manatee population.

  8. Monitoring oral temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate of West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) during capture and handling in the field

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wong, Arthur W.; Bonde, Robert K.; Siegal-Willott, Jessica; Stamper, M. Andrew; Colee, James; Powell, James A.; Reid, James P.; Deutsch, Charles J.; Harr, Kendal E.

    2012-01-01

    West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) are captured, handled, and transported to facilitate conservation, research, and rehabilitation efforts. Monitoring manatee oral temperature (OT), heart rate (HR), and respiration rate (RR) during out-of-water handling can assist efforts to maintain animal well-being and improve medical response to evidence of declining health. To determine effects of capture on manatee vital signs, we monitored OT, HR, and RR continuously for a 50-min period in 38 healthy, awake, juvenile and adult Florida manatees (T. m. latirostris) and 48 similar Antillean manatees (T. m. manatus). We examined creatine kinase (CK), potassium (K+), serum amyloid A (SAA), and lactate values for each animal to assess possible systemic inflammation and muscular trauma. OT range was 29.5 to 36.2° C, HR range was 32 to 88 beats/min, and RR range was 0 to 17 breaths/5 min. Antillean manatees had higher initial OT, HR, and RR than Florida manatees (p < 0.001). As monitoring time progressed, mean differences between the subspecies were no longer significant. High RR over monitoring time was associated with high lactate concentration. Antillean manatees had higher overall lactate values ([mean ± SD] 20.6 ± 7.8 mmol/L) than Florida manatees (13.7 ± 6.7 mmol/L; p < 0.001). We recommend monitoring manatee OT, HR, and RR during capture and handling in the field or in a captive care setting.

  9. Pine as Fast Food: Foraging Ecology of an Endangered Cockatoo in a Forestry Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Stock, William D.; Finn, Hugh; Parker, Jackson; Dods, Ken

    2013-01-01

    Pine plantations near Perth, Western Australia have provided an important food source for endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) since the 1940s. Plans to harvest these plantations without re-planting will remove this food source by 2031 or earlier. To assess the impact of pine removal, we studied the ecological association between Carnaby’s Cockatoos and pine using behavioural, nutritional, and phenological data. Pine plantations provided high densities of seed (158 025 seeds ha−1) over a large area (c. 15 000 ha). Carnaby’s Cockatoos fed throughout these plantations and removed almost the entire annual crop of pine cones. Peak cockatoo abundance coincided with pine seed maturation. Pine seed had energy and protein contents equivalent to native food sources and, critically, is available in summer when breeding pairs have young offspring to feed. This strong and enduring ecological association clearly suggests that removing pine will have a significant impact on this endangered species unless restoration strategies, to establish alternative food sources, are implemented. PMID:23593413

  10. Passive thermal refugia provided warm water for Florida manatees during the severe winter of 2009-2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stith, B.M.; Slone, D.H.; de Wit, M.; Edwards, H.H.; Langtimm, C.A.; Swain, E.D.; Soderqvist, L.E.; Reid, J.P.

    2012-01-01

    Haloclines induced by freshwater inflow over tidal water have been identified as an important mechanism for maintaining warm water in passive thermal refugia (PTR) used by Florida manatees Trichechus manatus latirostris during winter in extreme southwestern Florida. Record-setting cold during winter 2009–2010 resulted in an unprecedented number of manatee deaths, adding to concerns that PTR may provide inadequate thermal protection during severe cold periods. Hydrological data from 2009–2010 indicate that 2 canal systems in the Ten Thousand Islands (TTI) region acted as PTR and maintained warm bottom-water temperatures, even during severe and prolonged cold periods. Aerial survey counts of live and dead manatees in TTI during the winter of 2009–2010 suggest that these PTR were effective at preventing mass mortality from hypothermia, in contrast to the nearby Everglades region, which lacks similar artificial PTR and showed high manatee carcass counts. Hydrological data from winter 2008–2009 confirmed earlier findings that without haloclines these artificial PTR may become ineffective as warm-water sites. Tidal pumping of groundwater appears to provide additional heat to bottom water during low tide cycles, but the associated thermal inversion is not observed unless salinity stratification is present. The finding that halocline-driven PTR can maintain warm water even under extreme winter conditions suggests that they may have significant potential as warm-water sites. However, availability and conflicting uses of freshwater and other management issues may make halocline-driven PTR unreliable or difficult to manage during winter.

  11. Survival estimates for Florida manatees from the photo-identification of individuals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langtimm, C.A.; Beck, C.A.; Edwards, H.H.; Fick-Child, K. J.; Ackerman, B.B.; Barton, S.L.; Hartley, W.C.

    2004-01-01

    We estimated adult survival probabilities for the endangered Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in four regional populations using photo-identification data and open-population capture-recapture statistical models. The mean annual adult survival probability over the most recent 10-yr period of available estimates was as follows: Northwest - 0.956 (SE 0.007), Upper St. Johns River - 0.960 (0.011), Atlantic Coast - 0.937 (0.008), and Southwest - 0.908 (0.019). Estimates of temporal variance independent of sampling error, calculated from the survival estimates, indicated constant survival in the Upper St. Johns River, true temporal variability in the Northwest and Atlantic Coast, and large sampling variability obscuring estimates for the Southwest. Calf and subadult survival probabilities were estimated for the Upper St. Johns River from the only available data for known-aged individuals: 0.810 (95% CI 0.727-0.873) for 1st year calves, 0.915 (0.827-0.960) for 2nd year calves, and 0.969 (0.946-0.982) for manatee 3 yr or older. These estimates of survival probabilities and temporal variance, in conjunction with estimates of reproduction probabilities from photoidentification data can be used to model manatee population dynamics, estimate population growth rates, and provide an integrated measure of regional status.

  12. Capture-recapture analysis for estimating manatee reproductive rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kendall, W.L.; Langtimm, C.A.; Beck, C.A.; Runge, M.C.

    2004-01-01

    Modeling the life history of the endangered Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is an important step toward understanding its population dynamics and predicting its response to management actions. We developed a multi-state mark-resighting model for data collected under Pollock's robust design. This model estimates breeding probability conditional on a female's breeding state in the previous year; assumes sighting probability depends on breeding state; and corrects for misclassification of a cow with first-year calf, by estimating conditional sighting probability for the calf. The model is also appropriate for estimating survival and unconditional breeding probabilities when the study area is closed to temporary emigration across years. We applied this model to photo-identification data for the Northwest and Atlantic Coast populations of manatees, for years 1982?2000. With rare exceptions, manatees do not reproduce in two consecutive years. For those without a first-year calf in the previous year, the best-fitting model included constant probabilities of producing a calf for the Northwest (0.43, SE = 0.057) and Atlantic (0.38, SE = 0.045) populations. The approach we present to adjust for misclassification of breeding state could be applicable to a large number of marine mammal populations.

  13. The effect of herbivore faeces on the edaphic mite community: implications for tapeworm transmission.

    PubMed

    Václav, Radovan; Kalúz, Stanislav

    2014-03-01

    Oribatid mites may be of epidemiological and medical importance because several species have been shown to serve as intermediate hosts for anoplocephalid tapeworms of wild and domestic animals. Despite their economic and conservation significance, relatively few studies examined factors influencing the effective number of oribatid mites that can serve as intermediate hosts. We examined variation in the structure of the edaphic arthropod community in functionally different territory parts of the Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota latirostris), a known definitive host of a prevalent anoplocephalid tapeworm, Ctenotaenia marmotae. We used a field experiment to test whether the abundance of oribatid mites in marmot pastures is affected by the presence of fresh herbivore faeces. We found that the abundance of soil and litter dwelling oribatid mites in marmot pastures did not change shortly after faeces addition. In contrast, numbers of other predominant soil-litter and phoretic microarthropods increased after faeces addition. The abundance of the two predominant phoretic mites colonizing the faeces was inversely related to the abundance of oribatid mites. In contrast, the abundance of a ubiquitous soil-litter mesostigmatid mite was a positive function of oribatid numbers. Although absolute numbers of oribatid mites did not change after faeces addition, our study suggests that, depending on soil quality or type, the probability of tapeworm egg ingestion by oribatid mites can be reduced due to increased interspecific prey-predatory and trophic interactions. Latrine site selection in Alpine marmots is consistent with a reduced probability of tapeworm transmission by oribatids. PMID:24114339

  14. Inadvertent consequences of fishing: the case of the sex-changing shrimp.

    PubMed

    Côté, Isabelle M

    2013-05-01

    The Hokkai shrimp Pandalus latirostris starts life as a male, but eventually turns into a female given the right size and social conditions. The traps used in the fishery targeting this species selectively retain the larger females, leaving a severely male-biased sex ratio in nature and social conditions that bear no resemblance to those that prompted (or prevented) sex change. Photo: Susumu Chiba Chiba, S., Yoshino, K., Kanaiwa, M., Kawajiri, T. & Goshima, S. (2013) Maladaptive sex ratio adjustment by a sex-changing shrimp in selective fishing environments. Journal of Animal Ecology, 82, 631-640. Fishing can have many unintended consequences. In this issue, Chiba et al. (2013) demonstrate that size-selective harvesting of a sex-changing shrimp effectively voids their normally adaptive adjustments to population sex ratio. The shrimp's 'decision' to change sex depends largely on the relative abundance of mature males and females in early summer, before fishing begins. However, fishing traps selectively retain females, leading to heavily male-biased sex ratios at the onset of autumn breeding that are different from the ratios that influenced sex-change decisions. Although this phenomenon is not yet expressed in catch trends, maladaptive sex-change decisions could ultimately affect population productivity and persistence. PMID:24499309

  15. Observations and relocation of a West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) off Bimini, The Bahamas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Melillo-Sweeting, Kelly; Reid, James P.; Gittens, Lester; Adimey, Nicole; Dillet, Jared Z.

    2011-01-01

    West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) are listed as vulnerable (IUCN Red List, 7 March 2009; Deutsch et al., 2008), with the subspecies Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus (Florida and Antillean, respectively) considered endangered (IUCN Red List, 21 January 2011; Deutsch, 2008; Self-Sullivan & Mignucci-Giannoni, 2008). Manatees are not native to The Bahamas; however, sightings have been recorded periodically since 1904, with an increase in sightings documented in the 1990s (Lefebvre et al., 2001). In the area of Bimini, The Bahamas, the first recorded manatee sighting was in 1904 of a single individual that was apparently killed (Allen, 1942). The second was not until 1996, which was poorly documented. The small adult remained for approximately 6 wks before disappearing (Lefebvre et al., 2001). In 1998, a third sighting was reported off Bimini of a single individual. Although the animal was seen for several weeks and was relatively habituated to human presence (Al Sweeting, Jr., pers. comm., 28 November 2008), no data were collected on this individual nor any photographs suitable for identification purposes.

  16. Determination of West Indian manatee vocalization levels and rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Richard; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich

    2001-05-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, based upon the vocalizations of manatees, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. The feasibility of this warning system would depend mainly upon two factors: the rate at which manatees vocalize and the distance in which the manatees can be detected. The research presented in this paper verifies that the average vocalization rate of the West Indian manatee is approximately one to two times per 5-min period. Several different manatee vocalization recordings were broadcast to the manatees and their response was observed. It was found that during the broadcast periods, the vocalization rates for the manatees increased substantially when compared with the average vocalization rates during nonbroadcast periods. An array of four hydrophones was used while recording the manatees. This allowed for position estimation techniques to be used to determine the location of the vocalizing manatee. Knowing the position of the manatee, the source level was determined and it was found that the mean source level of the manatee vocalizations is approximately 112 dB (re:1 Pa) @ 1 m.

  17. Determination of West Indian manatee vocalization levels and rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Richard; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich O.

    2004-01-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, based upon the vocalizations of manatees, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. The feasibility of this warning system would depend mainly upon two factors: the rate at which manatees vocalize and the distance in which the manatees can be detected. The research presented in this paper verifies that the average vocalization rate of the West Indian manatee is approximately one to two times per 5-min period. Several different manatee vocalization recordings were broadcast to the manatees and their response was observed. It was found that during the broadcast periods, the vocalization rates for the manatees increased substantially when compared with the average vocalization rates during nonbroadcast periods. An array of four hydrophones was used while recording the manatees. This allowed for position estimation techniques to be used to determine the location of the vocalizing manatee. Knowing the position of the manatee, the source level was determined and it was found that the mean source level of the manatee vocalizations is approximately 112 dB (re 1 μPa) @ 1 m.

  18. Florida manatee avoidance technology: A pilot program by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, Katherine; Haubold, Elsa

    2003-10-01

    Since 1976, approximately 25% of the annual Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) mortality has been attributed to collisions with watercraft. In 2001, the Florida Legislature appropriated $200,000 in funds for research projects using technological solutions to directly address the problem of collisions between manatees and watercraft. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission initially funded seven projects for the first two fiscal years. The selected proposals were designed to explore technology that had not previously been applied to the manatee/boat collision problem and included many acoustic concepts related to voice recognition, sonar, and an alerting device to be put on boats to warn manatees. The most promising results to date are from projects employing voice-recognition techniques to identify manatee vocalizations and warn boaters of the manatees' presence. Sonar technology, much like that used in fish finders, is promising but has met with regulatory problems regarding permitting and remains to be tested, as has the manatee-alerting device. The state of Florida found results of the initial years of funding compelling and plans to fund further manatee avoidance technology research in a continued effort to mitigate the problem of manatee/boat collisions.

  19. Reproductive biology and nectar production of the Mexican endemic Psittacanthus auriculatus (Loranthaceae), a hummingbird-pollinated mistletoe.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Crespo, M J; Ornelas, J F; Martén-Rodríguez, S; González-Rodríguez, A; Lara, C

    2016-01-01

    Many mistletoe species produce 'bird'-pollinated flowers; however, the reproductive biology of the majority of these species has not been studied. Psittacanthus auriculatus is a Mexican endemic mistletoe, most common in open, dry mesquite grassland. Knowledge of the reproductive biology of P. auriculatus is essential for understanding species formation and diversification of Psittacanthus mistletoes, but it is currently poorly understood. Thus, we studied floral biology and phenology, nectar production and breeding system and pollination of this species. The hermaphroditic red-pink flowers open from the middle to the tip and petals are curly, but remain partially fused forming a floral tube of ca. 20-mm long. Flowers are partially protandrous, produce large amounts of nectar, last 2 days, and stigma receptivity is highest during the second day. We recorded hummingbirds (Cynanthus latirostris, Hylocharis leucotis, Amazilia beryllina, A. violiceps, Calothorax lucifer, Archilochus colubris) and less commonly butterflies (Agraulis vanillae, Anteos clorinde, Papilio multicaudatus, Phocides urania, Phoebis sennae) as floral visitors. P. auriculatus flowers are self-compatible. However, this mistletoe is an obligate animal-pollinated species, as the sensitive stigma avoids self-pollination. Under natural conditions, reproductive success was higher than in manually selfed or cross-pollinated flowers, likely due to the traplining foraging behaviour of hummingbirds. We suggest that the apparent efficient foraging behaviour of hummingbirds maintains gene flow among P. auriculatus, promoting outcrossing. PMID:26154599

  20. Determination of West Indian manatee vocalization levels and rate.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Richard; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich O

    2004-01-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of a growing number of collisions with boats. A system to warn boaters of the presence of manatees, based upon the vocalizations of manatees, could potentially reduce these boat collisions. The feasibility of this warning system would depend mainly upon two factors: the rate at which manatees vocalize and the distance in which the manatees can be detected. The research presented in this paper verifies that the average vocalization rate of the West Indian manatee is approximately one to two times per 5-min period. Several different manatee vocalization recordings were broadcast to the manatees and their response was observed. It was found that during the broadcast periods, the vocalization rates for the manatees increased substantially when compared with the average vocalization rates during nonbroadcast periods. An array of four hydrophones was used while recording the manatees. This allowed for position estimation techniques to be used to determine the location of the vocalizing manatee. Knowing the position of the manatee, the source level was determined and it was found that the mean source level of the manatee vocalizations is approximately 112 dB (re 1 microPa) @ 1 m. PMID:14759033

  1. Background noise cancellation for improved acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Yan, Zheng; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich O

    2005-06-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of an increase in the number of collisions with boats. A device to alert boaters of the presence of manatees, so that a collision can be avoided, is desired. A practical implementation of the technology is dependent on the hydrophone spacing and range of detection. These parameters are primarily dependent on the manatee vocalization strength, the decay of the signal's strength with distance, and the background noise levels. An efficient method to extend the detection range by using background noise cancellation is proposed in this paper. An adaptive line enhancer (ALE) that can detect and track narrow band signals buried in broadband noise is implemented to cancel the background noise. The results indicate that the ALE algorithm can efficiently extract the manatee calls from the background noise. The improved signal-to-noise ratio of the signal can be used to extend the range of detection of manatee vocalizations and reduce the false alarm and missing detection rate in their natural habitat. PMID:16018460

  2. Chromosome painting among Proboscidea, Hyracoidea and Sirenia: Support for Paenungulata (Afrotheria, Mammalia) but not Tethytheria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pardini, A.T.; O'Brien, P. C. M.; Fu, B.; Bonde, R.K.; Elder, F.F.B.; Ferguson-Smith, M. A.; Yang, F.; Robinson, T.J.

    2007-01-01

    Despite marked improvements in the interpretation of systematic relationships within Eutheria, particular nodes, including Paenungulata (Hyracoidea, Sirenia and Proboscidea), remain ambiguous. The combination of a rapid radiation, a deep divergence and an extensive morphological diversification has resulted in a limited phylogenetic signal confounding resolution within this clade both at the morphological and nucleotide levels. Cross-species chromosome painting was used to delineate regions of homology between Loxodonta africana (2n = 56), Procavia capensis (2n=54), Trichechus manatus latirostris (2n = 48) and an outgroup taxon, the aardvark (Orycteropus afer, 2n = 20). Changes specific to each lineage were identified and although the presence of a minimum of 11 synapomorphies confirmed the monophyly of Paenungulata, no change characterizing intrapaenungulate relationships was evident. The reconstruction of an ancestral paenungulate karyotype and the estimation of rates of chromosomal evolution indicate a reduced rate of genomic repatterning following the paenungulate radiation. In comparison to data available for other mammalian taxa, the paenungulate rate of chromosomal evolution is slow to moderate. As a consequence, the absence of a chromosomal character uniting two paenungulates (at the level of resolution characterized in this study) may be due to a reduced rate of chromosomal change relative to the length of time separating successive divergence events. ?? 2007 The Royal Society.

  3. Background noise cancellation for improved acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Zheng; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich O.

    2005-04-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of an increase in the number of collisions with boats. A device to alert boaters of the presence of manatees, so that a collision can be avoided, is desired. Practical implementation of the technology is dependent on the hydrophone spacing and range of detection. These parameters are primarily dependent on the manatee vocalization strength, the decay of the signal strength with distance, and the background noise levels. An efficient method to extend the detection range by using background noise cancellation is proposed in this paper. An adaptive line enhancer (ALE) that can detect and track narrowband signals buried in broadband noise is implemented to cancel the background noise. The results indicate that the ALE algorithm can efficiently extract the manatee calls from the background noise. The improved signal-to-noise ratio of the signal can be used to extend the range of detection of manatee vocalizations and reduce the false alarm and missing detection rate in their natural habitat.

  4. Multiple conformations are a conserved and regulatory feature of the RB1 5′ UTR

    PubMed Central

    Kutchko, Katrina M.; Sanders, Wes; Ziehr, Ben; Phillips, Gabriela; Solem, Amanda; Halvorsen, Matthew; Weeks, Kevin M.; Moorman, Nathaniel

    2015-01-01

    Folding to a well-defined conformation is essential for the function of structured ribonucleic acids (RNAs) like the ribosome and tRNA. Structured elements in the untranslated regions (UTRs) of specific messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are known to control expression. The importance of unstructured regions adopting multiple conformations, however, is still poorly understood. High-resolution SHAPE-directed Boltzmann suboptimal sampling of the Homo sapiens Retinoblastoma 1 (RB1) 5′ UTR yields three distinct conformations compatible with the experimental data. Private single nucleotide variants (SNVs) identified in two patients with retinoblastoma each collapse the structural ensemble to a single but distinct well-defined conformation. The RB1 5′ UTRs from Bos taurus (cow) and Trichechus manatus latirostris (manatee) are divergent in sequence from H. sapiens (human) yet maintain structural compatibility with high-probability base pairs. SHAPE chemical probing of the cow and manatee RB1 5′ UTRs reveals that they also adopt multiple conformations. Luciferase reporter assays reveal that 5′ UTR mutations alter RB1 expression. In a traditional model of disease, causative SNVs disrupt a key structural element in the RNA. For the subset of patients with heritable retinoblastoma-associated SNVs in the RB1 5′ UTR, the absence of multiple structures is likely causative of the cancer. Our data therefore suggest that selective pressure will favor multiple conformations in eukaryotic UTRs to regulate expression. PMID:25999316

  5. Fishery gear interactions from stranded bottlenose dolphins, Florida manatees and sea turtles in Florida, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Adimey, Nicole M; Hudak, Christine A; Powell, Jessica R; Bassos-Hull, Kim; Foley, Allen; Farmer, Nicholas A; White, Linda; Minch, Karrie

    2014-04-15

    Documenting the extent of fishery gear interactions is critical to wildlife conservation efforts, especially for reducing entanglements and ingestion. This study summarizes fishery gear interactions involving common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus truncatus), Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and sea turtles: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) stranding in Florida waters during 1997-2009. Fishery gear interactions for all species combined were 75.3% hook and line, 18.2% trap pot gear, 4.8% fishing nets, and 1.7% in multiple gears. Total reported fishery gear cases increased over time for dolphins (p<0.05), manatees (p<0.01), loggerheads (p<0.05) and green sea turtles (p<0.05). The proportion of net interaction strandings relative to total strandings for loggerhead sea turtles increased (p<0.05). Additionally, life stage and sex patterns were examined, fishery gear interaction hotspots were identified and generalized linear regression modeling was conducted. PMID:24613263

  6. The insular cortex: a comparative perspective.

    PubMed

    Butti, Camilla; Hof, Patrick R

    2010-06-01

    The human insular cortex is involved in a variety of viscerosensory, visceromotor, and interoceptive functions, and plays a role in complex processes such as emotions, music, and language. Across mammals, the insula has considerable morphologic variability. We review the structure and connectivity of the insula in laboratory animals (mouse, domestic cat, macaque monkey), and we present original data on the morphology and cytoarchitecture of insular cortex in less common species including a large carnivore (the Atlantic walrus, Odobenus rosmarus), two artiodactyls (the pigmy hippopotamus, Hexaprotodon liberiensis, and the Western bongo, Tragelaphus eurycerus), two cetaceans (the beluga whale, Delphinapterus leucas, and the minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and a sirenian (the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris). The insula shows substantial variability in shape, extent, and gyral and sulcal patterns, as well as differences in laminar organization, cellular specialization, and structural association with the claustrum. Our observations reveal that the insular cortex is extremely variable among mammals. These differences could be related to the role exerted by specific and selective pressures on cortical structure during evolution. We conclude that it is not possible to identify a general model of organization for the mammalian insular cortex. PMID:20512368

  7. Wavelet based detection of manatee vocalizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gur, Berke M.; Niezrecki, Christopher

    2005-04-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of watercraft collisions in Florida's coastal waterways. Several boater warning systems, based upon manatee vocalizations, have been proposed to reduce the number of collisions. Three detection methods based on the Fourier transform (threshold, harmonic content and autocorrelation methods) were previously suggested and tested. In the last decade, the wavelet transform has emerged as an alternative to the Fourier transform and has been successfully applied in various fields of science and engineering including the acoustic detection of dolphin vocalizations. As of yet, no prior research has been conducted in analyzing manatee vocalizations using the wavelet transform. Within this study, the wavelet transform is used as an alternative to the Fourier transform in detecting manatee vocalizations. The wavelet coefficients are analyzed and tested against a specified criterion to determine the existence of a manatee call. The performance of the method presented is tested on the same data previously used in the prior studies, and the results are compared. Preliminary results indicate that using the wavelet transform as a signal processing technique to detect manatee vocalizations shows great promise.

  8. Measurement of the acoustic reflectivity of sirenia (Florida manatees) at 171 kHz.

    PubMed

    Jaffe, Jules S; Simonet, Fernando; Roberts, Paul L D; Bowles, Ann E

    2007-01-01

    The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is an endangered sirenian. At present, its adult population (approximately 2200) seems stable, but tenuous. Manatee-boat collisions are a significant proportion (approximately 25%) of mortalities. Here, the potential use of active sonar for detecting manatees by quantifying sonic reflectivity is explored. In order to estimate reflectivity two methods were used. One method measured live reflections from captive animals using a carefully calibrated acoustic and co-registered optical system. The other method consisted of the analysis of animal tissue in order to obtain estimates of the sound speed and density and to predict reflectivity. The impedance measurement predicts that for a lateral view, the tissue reflectivity is close to 0.13, with a critical grazing angle of 28 degrees. Data measured from live animals indicate that substantial reflections can be recorded, however in many instances observed "empirical target strengths" were less than an experimentally dependent -48-dB threshold. Conclusions favor the hypothesis that the animals reflect substantial amounts of sound; however, the reflections can often be specular, and therefore impractical for observation by a manatee detection sonar operating at 171 kHz. PMID:17297771

  9. Eight-choice sound localization by manatees: performance abilities and head related transfer functions.

    PubMed

    Colbert-Luke, Debborah E; Gaspard, Joseph C; Reep, Roger L; Bauer, Gordon B; Dziuk, Kimberly; Cardwell, Adrienne; Mann, David A

    2015-02-01

    Two experiments investigated the ability and means by which two male Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) may determine the direction of a sound source. An eight-choice discrimination paradigm was used to determine the subjects' sound localization abilities of five signal conditions covering a range of frequencies, durations, and levels. Subjects performed above the 12.5% chance level for all broadband frequencies and were able to localize sounds over a large level range. Errors were typically located to either side of the signal source location when presented in the front 180° but were more dispersed when presented from locations behind the subject. Front-to-back confusions were few and accuracy was greater when signals originated from the front 180°. Head-related transfer functions were measured to determine if frequencies were filtered by the manatee body to create frequency-specific interaural level differences (ILDs). ILDs were found for all frequencies as a function of source location, although they were largest with frequencies above 18 kHz and when signals originated to either side of the subjects. Larger ILDs were found when the signals originated behind the subjects. A shadowing-effect produced by the body may explain the relatively low occurrence of front-back confusions in the localization study. PMID:25533765

  10. Multiple conformations are a conserved and regulatory feature of the RB1 5' UTR.

    PubMed

    Kutchko, Katrina M; Sanders, Wes; Ziehr, Ben; Phillips, Gabriela; Solem, Amanda; Halvorsen, Matthew; Weeks, Kevin M; Moorman, Nathaniel; Laederach, Alain

    2015-07-01

    Folding to a well-defined conformation is essential for the function of structured ribonucleic acids (RNAs) like the ribosome and tRNA. Structured elements in the untranslated regions (UTRs) of specific messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are known to control expression. The importance of unstructured regions adopting multiple conformations, however, is still poorly understood. High-resolution SHAPE-directed Boltzmann suboptimal sampling of the Homo sapiens Retinoblastoma 1 (RB1) 5' UTR yields three distinct conformations compatible with the experimental data. Private single nucleotide variants (SNVs) identified in two patients with retinoblastoma each collapse the structural ensemble to a single but distinct well-defined conformation. The RB1 5' UTRs from Bos taurus (cow) and Trichechus manatus latirostris (manatee) are divergent in sequence from H. sapiens (human) yet maintain structural compatibility with high-probability base pairs. SHAPE chemical probing of the cow and manatee RB1 5' UTRs reveals that they also adopt multiple conformations. Luciferase reporter assays reveal that 5' UTR mutations alter RB1 expression. In a traditional model of disease, causative SNVs disrupt a key structural element in the RNA. For the subset of patients with heritable retinoblastoma-associated SNVs in the RB1 5' UTR, the absence of multiple structures is likely causative of the cancer. Our data therefore suggest that selective pressure will favor multiple conformations in eukaryotic UTRs to regulate expression. PMID:25999316

  11. Six novel gammaherpesviruses of Afrotheria provide insight into the early divergence of the Gammaherpesvirinae.

    PubMed

    Wellehan, James F X; Johnson, April J; Childress, April L; Harr, Kendal E; Isaza, Ramiro

    2008-03-18

    The Afrotheria represent an early branching of placental mammals. Only two herpesviruses from Afrotheria have been previously identified, and the genus Proboscivirus in the subfamily Betaherpesvirinae has been proposed for them. Six novel gammaherpesviruses were identified in four species in the superorder Afrotheria by detection and analysis of their DNA polymerase genes. Elephantid herpesvirus 3 (ElHV3) and Elephantid herpesvirus 4 (ElHV4) were identified from conjunctival swabs from Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). ElHV3 was also found in a vaginal swab from one elephant with vaginitis. Elephantid herpesvirus 5 (ElHV5) was identified from vaginal swabs of two Asian elephants with vaginal plaques. Elephantid herpesvirus 6 was discovered in a conjunctival swab from an African elephant (Loxodonta africana). Procavid herpesvirus 1 (PrHV1) was found in spleen and conjunctival swabs of rock hyrax (Procavia capensis). Trichechid herpesvirus 1 (TrHV1) was identified from skin and buffy coats of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). ElHV3 and ElHV4 form a distinct cluster, and ElHV5, ElHV6, TrHV1, and PrHV1 form a second cluster. These viruses may have codiverged with their host species. Phylogenetic analysis of these novel herpesviruses suggests that two separate groups of gammaherpesviruses may have codiverged with the Afrotheria. PMID:17884307

  12. A wavelet packet adaptive filtering algorithm for enhancing manatee vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Gur, M Berke; Niezrecki, Christopher

    2011-04-01

    Approximately a quarter of all West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) mortalities are attributed to collisions with watercraft. A boater warning system based on the passive acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations is one possible solution to reduce manatee-watercraft collisions. The success of such a warning system depends on effective enhancement of the vocalization signals in the presence of high levels of background noise, in particular, noise emitted from watercraft. Recent research has indicated that wavelet domain pre-processing of the noisy vocalizations is capable of significantly improving the detection ranges of passive acoustic vocalization detectors. In this paper, an adaptive denoising procedure, implemented on the wavelet packet transform coefficients obtained from the noisy vocalization signals, is investigated. The proposed denoising algorithm is shown to improve the manatee detection ranges by a factor ranging from two (minimum) to sixteen (maximum) compared to high-pass filtering alone, when evaluated using real manatee vocalization and background noise signals of varying signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). Furthermore, the proposed method is also shown to outperform a previously suggested feedback adaptive line enhancer (FALE) filter on average 3.4 dB in terms of noise suppression and 0.6 dB in terms of waveform preservation. PMID:21476661

  13. Chromosome painting among Proboscidea, Hyracoidea and Sirenia: support for Paenungulata (Afrotheria, Mammalia) but not Tethytheria.

    PubMed

    Pardini, A T; O'Brien, P C M; Fu, B; Bonde, R K; Elder, F F B; Ferguson-Smith, M A; Yang, F; Robinson, T J

    2007-05-22

    Despite marked improvements in the interpretation of systematic relationships within Eutheria, particular nodes, including Paenungulata (Hyracoidea, Sirenia and Proboscidea), remain ambiguous. The combination of a rapid radiation, a deep divergence and an extensive morphological diversification has resulted in a limited phylogenetic signal confounding resolution within this clade both at the morphological and nucleotide levels. Cross-species chromosome painting was used to delineate regions of homology between Loxodonta africana (2n=56), Procavia capensis (2n=54), Trichechus manatus latirostris (2n=48) and an outgroup taxon, the aardvark (Orycteropus afer, 2n=20). Changes specific to each lineage were identified and although the presence of a minimum of 11 synapomorphies confirmed the monophyly of Paenungulata, no change characterizing intrapaenungulate relationships was evident. The reconstruction of an ancestral paenungulate karyotype and the estimation of rates of chromosomal evolution indicate a reduced rate of genomic repatterning following the paenungulate radiation. In comparison to data available for other mammalian taxa, the paenungulate rate of chromosomal evolution is slow to moderate. As a consequence, the absence of a chromosomal character uniting two paenungulates (at the level of resolution characterized in this study) may be due to a reduced rate of chromosomal change relative to the length of time separating successive divergence events. PMID:17374594

  14. Theoretical detection ranges for acoustic based manatee avoidance technology.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Richard; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich O

    2006-07-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of watercraft collisions in Florida's coastal waterways. To reduce the number of collisions, warning systems based upon detecting manatee vocalizations have been proposed. One aspect of the feasibility of an acoustically based warning system relies upon the distance at which a manatee vocalization is detectable. Assuming a mixed spreading model, this paper presents a theoretical analysis of the system detection capabilities operating within various background and watercraft noise conditions. This study combines measured source levels of manatee vocalizations with the modeled acoustic properties of manatee habitats to develop a method for determining the detection range and hydrophone spacing requirements for acoustic based manatee avoidance technologies. In quiet environments (background noise approximately 70 dB) it was estimated that manatee vocalizations are detectable at approximately 250 m, with a 6 dB detection threshold, In louder environments (background noise approximately 100dB) the detection range drops to 2.5 m. In a habitat with 90 dB of background noise, a passing boat with a maximum noise floor of 120 dB would be the limiting factor when it is within approximately 100 m of a hydrophone. The detection range was also found to be strongly dependent on the manatee vocalization source level. PMID:16875213

  15. Autocorrelation based denoising of manatee vocalizations using the undecimated discrete wavelet transform.

    PubMed

    Gur, Berke M; Niezrecki, Christopher

    2007-07-01

    Recent interest in the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) vocalizations has been primarily induced by an effort to reduce manatee mortality rates due to watercraft collisions. A warning system based on passive acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations is desired. The success and feasibility of such a system depends on effective denoising of the vocalizations in the presence of high levels of background noise. In the last decade, simple and effective wavelet domain nonlinear denoising methods have emerged as an alternative to linear estimation methods. However, the denoising performances of these methods degrades considerably with decreasing signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and therefore are not suited for denoising manatee vocalizations in which the typical SNR is below 0 dB. Manatee vocalizations possess a strong harmonic content and a slow decaying autocorrelation function. In this paper, an efficient denoising scheme that exploits both the autocorrelation function of manatee vocalizations and effectiveness of the nonlinear wavelet transform based denoising algorithms is introduced. The suggested wavelet-based denoising algorithm is shown to outperform linear filtering methods, extending the detection range of vocalizations. PMID:17614478

  16. A source separation approach to enhancing marine mammal vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Gur, M Berke; Niezrecki, Christopher

    2009-12-01

    A common problem in passive acoustic based marine mammal monitoring is the contamination of vocalizations by a noise source, such as a surface vessel. The conventional approach in improving the vocalization signal to noise ratio (SNR) is to suppress the unwanted noise sources by beamforming the measurements made using an array. In this paper, an alternative approach to multi-channel underwater signal enhancement is proposed. Specifically, a blind source separation algorithm that extracts the vocalization signal from two-channel noisy measurements is derived and implemented. The proposed algorithm uses a robust decorrelation criterion to separate the vocalization from background noise, and hence is suitable for low SNR measurements. To overcome the convergence limitations resulting from temporally correlated recordings, the supervised affine projection filter update rule is adapted to the unsupervised source separation framework. The proposed method is evaluated using real West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) vocalizations and watercraft emitted noise measurements made within a typical manatee habitat in Florida. The results suggest that the proposed algorithm can improve the detection range of a passive acoustic detector five times on average (for input SNR between -10 and 5 dB) using only two receivers. PMID:20000920

  17. Background noise cancellation of manatee vocalizations using an adaptive line enhancer.

    PubMed

    Yan, Zheng; Niezrecki, Christopher; Cattafesta, Louis N; Beusse, Diedrich O

    2006-07-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become an endangered species partly because of an increase in the number of collisions with boats. A device to alert boaters of the presence of manatees is desired. Previous research has shown that background noise limits the manatee vocalization detection range (which is critical for practical implementation). By improving the signal-to-noise ratio of the measured manatee vocalization signal, it is possible to extend the detection range. The finite impulse response (FIR) structure of the adaptive line enhancer (ALE) can detect and track narrow-band signals buried in broadband noise. In this paper, a constrained infinite impulse response (IIR) ALE, called a feedback ALE (FALE), is implemented to reduce the background noise. In addition, a bandpass filter is used as a baseline for comparison. A library consisting of 100 manatee calls spanning ten different signal categories is used to evaluate the performance of the bandpass filter, FIR-ALE, and FALE. The results show that the FALE is capable of reducing background noise by about 6.0 and 21.4 dB better than that of the FIR-ALE and bandpass filter, respectively, when the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the original manatee call is -5 dB. PMID:16875212

  18. Background noise cancellation for improved acoustic detection of manatee vocalizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Zheng; Niezrecki, Christopher; Beusse, Diedrich O.

    2005-06-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has become endangered partly because of an increase in the number of collisions with boats. A device to alert boaters of the presence of manatees, so that a collision can be avoided, is desired. A practical implementation of the technology is dependent on the hydrophone spacing and range of detection. These parameters are primarily dependent on the manatee vocalization strength, the decay of the signal's strength with distance, and the background noise levels. An efficient method to extend the detection range by using background noise cancellation is proposed in this paper. An adaptive line enhancer (ALE) that can detect and track narrow band signals buried in broadband noise is implemented to cancel the background noise. The results indicate that the ALE algorithm can efficiently extract the manatee calls from the background noise. The improved signal-to-noise ratio of the signal can be used to extend the range of detection of manatee vocalizations and reduce the false alarm and missing detection rate in their natural habitat. .

  19. Manatee response to boating activity in a thermal refuge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buckingham, C.A.; Lefebvre, L.W.; Schaefer, J.M.; Kochman, H.I.

    1999-01-01

    Thermal refuges are important for the endangered Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) during winter cold periods in temperate latitudes. However, little research has examined impacts on manatees from human disturbance during these critical periods. We studied the effect of recreational boating activity on manatee use of established sanctuaries in the natural thermal refuge created by warm-water springs in Kings Bay, Crystal River, Florida. We examined the relationship among manatee use of the study area and sanctuaries, temperature, and level of boating activity. Manatees continued to use the Bay regardless of the number of boats present; however, their use of sanctuaries in the southern portion of the Bay increased (P<0.001) as number of boats increased. Temperature, as expected, was inversely related to manatee use of the study area. Human activity patterns were variable, with significantly greater numbers of boats in the study area on weekends (x??=32.7, SE=2.71) than on weekdays (x??=10.7, SE=1.23). We concluded that recreational boating influenced manatee distribution, sanctuaries are important to manatees in Kings Bay, and sanctuaries are an effective management tool to reduce the impact of boating activities on manatees.

  20. Age determination in manatees using growth-layer-group counts in bone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marmontel, M.; O'Shea, T.J.; Kochman, H.I.; Humphrey, S.R.

    1996-01-01

    Growth layers were observed in histological preparations of bones of known-age, known minimum-age, and tetracycline-marked free-ranging and captive Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), substantiating earlier preliminary findings of other studies. Detailed analysis of 17 new case histories showed that growth-layer group (GLG) counts in the periotic bone were consistent with known age, or time since tetracycline administration, but were less reliable in other bones. GLG counts were also made in periotic bones of 1,196 Florida manatees of unknown age found dead from 1974 through 1991. These counts were conducted in order to assess variability and to determine relationships among estimated age, size, sex, and degree of bone resorption. Resorption can interfere with accuracy of GLG counts. This effect does not occur until ages greater than about 15 yr and body lengths greater than 300 cm are attained. GLGs were also observed in periotic bones of Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) but were not validated against known-age specimens. Use of GLG counts in the periotic bone is suitable for application to studies of population dynamics and other age-related aspects of manatee biology.

  1. An epizootic of Florida manatees associated with a dinoflagellate bloom

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, T.J.; Rathbun, G.B.; Bonde, R.K.; Buergelt, C.D.; Odell, D.K.

    1991-01-01

    Over a 10-wk period in early 1982, 39 Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were found dead in the lower Caloosahatchee River and nearby waters of southwestern Florida. Two were killed by boats. The remainder showed no evidence of trauma. Lesions indicative of infectious agents were not identified, and bacteriological and contaminant residue findings were unremarkable. Nonspecific lesions of congestion and hemorrhage were identified in brain tissue. Numerous reports were also received of manatee morbidity. Some distressed manatees showed no biochemical lesions in clinical analyses of blood samples and recovered quickly. Timing of manatee illnesses coincided with fish and double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) mortality and morbidity. A widespread bloom of the dinoflagellate red tide organism (Gymnodinium breve) also coincided with these incidents. G. breve produces potent neurotoxins (brevetoxins). Circumstantial evidence links these events, and possible routes of exposure may include ingestion of filter-feeding ascidians. Ecological conditions that magnified the extent of the epizootic included an early dispersal of manatees into the area from a nearby winter aggregation site and unusually high salinities that facilitated the inshore spread of the red tide bloom. Management responses to future episodes of red tide in manatee areas are suggested.

  2. A stage-based model of manatee population dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, M.C.; Langtimm, C.A.; Kendall, W.L.

    2004-01-01

    A stage-structured population model for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) was developed that explicitly incorporates uncertainty in parameter estimates. The growth rates calculated with this model reflect the status of the regional populations over the most recent 10-yr period. The Northwest and Upper St. Johns River regions have growth rates (8) of 1.037 (95% interval, 1.016?1.056) and 1.062 (1.037?1.081), respectively. The Southwest region has a growth rate of 0.989 (0.946?1.024), suggesting this population has been declining at about 1.1% per year. The estimated growth rate in the Atlantic region is 1.010 (0.988?1.029), but there is some uncertainty about whether adult survival rates have been constant over the last 10 yr; using the mean survival rates from the most recent 5-yr period, the estimated growth rate in this region is 0.970 (0.938?0.998). Elasticity analysis indicates that the most effective management actions should seek to increase adult survival rates. Decomposition of the uncertainty in the growth rates indicates that uncertainty about population status can best be reduced through increased monitoring of adult survival rate.

  3. Behavioral response of manatees to variations in environmental sound levels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miksis-Olds, J. L.; Wagner, T.

    2011-01-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) inhabit coastal regions because they feed on the aquatic vegetation that grows in shallow waters, which are the same areas where human activities are greatest. Noise produced from anthropogenic and natural sources has the potential to affect these animals by eliciting responses ranging from mild behavioral changes to extreme aversion. Sound levels were calculated from recordings made throughout behavioral observation periods. An information theoretic approach was used to investigate the relationship between behavior patterns and sound level. Results indicated that elevated sound levels affect manatee activity and are a function of behavioral state. The proportion of time manatees spent feeding and milling changed in response to sound level. When ambient sound levels were highest, more time was spent in the directed, goal-oriented behavior of feeding, whereas less time was spent engaged in undirected behavior such as milling. This work illustrates how shifts in activity of individual manatees may be useful parameters for identifying impacts of noise on manatees and might inform population level effects. ?? 2010 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  4. Adjusting multistate capture-recapture models for misclassification bias: manatee breeding proportions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kendall, W.L.; Hines, J.E.; Nichols, J.D.

    2003-01-01

    Matrix population models are important tools for research and management of populations. Estimating the parameters of these models is an important step in applying them to real populations. Multistate capture-recapture methods have provided a useful means for estimating survival and parameters of transition between locations or life history states but have mostly relied on the assumption that the state occupied by each detected animal is known with certainty. Nevertheless, in some cases animals can be misclassified. Using multiple capture sessions within each period of interest, we developed a method that adjusts estimates of transition probabilities for bias due to misclassification. We applied this method to 10 years of sighting data for a population of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in order to estimate the annual probability of transition from nonbreeding to breeding status. Some sighted females were unequivocally classified as breeders because they were clearly accompanied by a first-year calf. The remainder were classified, sometimes erroneously, as nonbreeders because an attendant first-year calf was not observed or was classified as more than one year old. We estimated a conditional breeding probability of 0.31 + 0.04 (estimate + 1 SE) when we ignored misclassification bias, and 0.61 + 0.09 when we accounted for misclassification.

  5. Evaluation of exertion and capture stress in serum of wild dugongs (Dugong dugon).

    PubMed

    Lanyon, Janet M; Sneath, Helen L; Long, Trevor

    2012-03-01

    Seven hundred fifty-one dugongs (Dugong dugon) were pursued, captured, and handled for up to 20 min for population sampling. Fifty of these dugongs were then removed from the water for up to 55 min for comprehensive medical examination. Fifty whole blood and separated serum samples were analyzed for potassium, sodium, chloride, creatinine kinase (CK), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), urea, creatinine, glucose, anion gap, and total blood CO2. Serum biochemical variables of the dugong were compared with those obtained in previous studies of the related West Indian manatee, a mammal that does not appear to experience capture myopathy based on available data. Differences between these species included higher blood sodium and chloride in dugongs, which may reflect differences in salt balance and renal function, and higher blood lactate and CO2. Some biochemical analytes such as CK and AST, which may be indicative of rhabdomyolysis associated with capture stress myopathy (a potentially fatal condition for which dugongs have been thought to be highly susceptible) were high compared with levels previously measured in wild West Indian manatees (Trichechus latirostris). One of the 50 dugongs had marked elevations of CK and AST but showed no other clinical indications of rhabdomyolysis associated with capture myopathy such as hyperthermia. Rather, generally high levels of lactate, CK, and AST most probably reflect metabolic acidosis resulting from the exertion involved in the pursuit prior to capture. Earlier observations suggesting that dugongs were probably susceptible to capture stress myopathy (based on high serum potassium levels) were not supported by this study. Capture and handling methods currently used on dugongs in this research program do not appear to result in acute capture stress. PMID:22448507

  6. Influence of manatees' diving on their risk of collision with watercraft

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edwards, Holly H.; Martin, Julien; Deutsch, Charles J.; Muller, Robert G; Koslovsky, Stacie M.; Smith, Alexander J; Barlas, Margie E.

    2016-01-01

    Watercraft pose a threat to endangered Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Mortality from watercraft collisions has adversely impacted the manatee population’s growth rate, therefore reducing this threat is an important management goal. To assess factors that contribute to the risk of watercraft strikes to manatees, we studied the diving behavior of nine manatees carrying GPS tags and time–depth recorders in Tampa Bay, Florida, during winters 2002–2006. We applied a Bayesian formulation of generalized linear mixed models to depth data to model the probability (Pt) that manatees would be no deeper than 1.25 m from the water’s surface as a function of behavioral and habitat covariates. Manatees above this threshold were considered to be within striking depth of a watercraft. Seventy-eight percent of depth records (individual range 62–86%) were within striking depth (mean = 1.09 m, max = 16.20 m), illustrating how vulnerable manatees are to strikes. In some circumstances manatees made consecutive dives to the bottom while traveling, even in areas >14 m, possibly to conserve energy. This is the first documentation of potential cost-efficient diving behavior in manatees. Manatees were at higher risk of being within striking depth in shallow water (<0.91 m), over seagrass, at night, and while stationary or moving slowly; they were less likely to be within striking depth when ≤50 m from a charted waterway. In shallow water the probability of a manatee being within striking depth was 0.96 (CI = 0.93–0.98) and decreased as water depth increased. The probability was greater over seagrass (Pt = 0.96, CI = 0.93–0.98) than over other substrates (Pt = 0.73, CI = 0.58–0.84). Quantitative approaches to assessing risk can improve the effectiveness of manatee conservation measures by helping identify areas for protection.

  7. Influence of Manatees' Diving on Their Risk of Collision with Watercraft

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Holly H.; Martin, Julien; Deutsch, Charles J.; Muller, Robert G.; Koslovsky, Stacie M.; Smith, Alexander J.; Barlas, Margaret E.

    2016-01-01

    Watercraft pose a threat to endangered Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Mortality from watercraft collisions has adversely impacted the manatee population’s growth rate, therefore reducing this threat is an important management goal. To assess factors that contribute to the risk of watercraft strikes to manatees, we studied the diving behavior of nine manatees carrying GPS tags and time–depth recorders in Tampa Bay, Florida, during winters 2002–2006. We applied a Bayesian formulation of generalized linear mixed models to depth data to model the probability (Pt) that manatees would be no deeper than 1.25 m from the water’s surface as a function of behavioral and habitat covariates. Manatees above this threshold were considered to be within striking depth of a watercraft. Seventy-eight percent of depth records (individual range 62–86%) were within striking depth (mean = 1.09 m, max = 16.20 m), illustrating how vulnerable manatees are to strikes. In some circumstances manatees made consecutive dives to the bottom while traveling, even in areas >14 m, possibly to conserve energy. This is the first documentation of potential cost-efficient diving behavior in manatees. Manatees were at higher risk of being within striking depth in shallow water (<0.91 m), over seagrass, at night, and while stationary or moving slowly; they were less likely to be within striking depth when ≤50 m from a charted waterway. In shallow water the probability of a manatee being within striking depth was 0.96 (CI = 0.93–0.98) and decreased as water depth increased. The probability was greater over seagrass (Pt = 0.96, CI = 0.93–0.98) than over other substrates (Pt = 0.73, CI = 0.58–0.84). Quantitative approaches to assessing risk can improve the effectiveness of manatee conservation measures by helping identify areas for protection. PMID:27049326

  8. Feeding preferences of West Indian manatees in Florida, Belize, and Puerto Rico as indicated by stable isotope analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alves-Stanley, Christy D.; Worthy, Graham A.J.; Bonde, Robert K.

    2010-01-01

    The endangered West Indian manatee Trichechus manatus has 2 recognized subspecies: the Florida T. m. latirostris and Antillean T. m. manatus manatee, both of which are found in freshwater, estuarine, and marine habitats. A better understanding of manatee feeding preferences and habitat use is essential to establish criteria on which conservation plans can be based. Skin from manatees in Florida, Belize, and Puerto Rico, as well as aquatic vegetation from their presumed diet, were analyzed for stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios. This is the first application of stable isotope analysis to Antillean manatees. Stable isotope ratios for aquatic vegetation differed by plant type (freshwater, estuarine, and marine), collection location, and in one instance, season. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios for manatee skin differed between collection location and in one instance, season, but did not differ between sex or age class. Signatures in the skin of manatees sampled in Belize and Puerto Rico indicated a diet composed primarily of seagrasses, whereas those of Florida manatees exhibited greater regional variation. Mixing model results indicated that manatees sampled from Crystal River and Homosassa Springs (Florida, USA) ate primarily freshwater vegetation, whereas manatees sampled from Big Bend Power Plant, Ten Thousand Islands, and Warm Mineral Springs (Florida) fed primarily on seagrasses. Possible diet-tissue discrimination values for 15N were estimated to range from 1.0 to 1.5 per mil. Stable isotope analysis can be used to interpret manatee feeding behavior over a long period of time, specifically the use of freshwater vegetation versus seagrasses, and can aid in identifying critical habitats and improving conservation efforts.

  9. Puerto Rico and Florida manatees represent genetically distinct groups

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, Margaret E.; Mignucci-Giannoni, Antonio A.; Tucker, Kimberly Pause; King, Timothy L.; Bonde, Robert K.; Gray, Brian A.; McGuire, Peter M.

    2012-01-01

    The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) populations in Florida (T. m. latirostris) and Puerto Rico (T. m. manatus) are considered distinct subspecies and are listed together as endangered under the United States Endangered Species Act. Sustained management and conservation efforts for the Florida subspecies have led to the suggested reclassification of the species to a threatened or delisted status. However, the two populations are geographically distant, morphologically distinct, and habitat degradation and boat strikes continue to threaten the Puerto Rico population. Here, 15 microsatellite markers and mitochondrial control region sequences were used to determine the relatedness of the two populations and investigate the genetic diversity and phylogeographic organization of the Puerto Rico population. Highly divergent allele frequencies were identified between Florida and Puerto Rico using microsatellite (F ST = 0.16; R ST = 0.12 (P ST = 0.66; Φ ST = 0.50 (P E = 0.45; NA = 3.9), were similar, but lower than those previously identified in Florida (HE = 0.48, NA = 4.8). Within Puerto Rico, the mitochondrial genetic diversity values (π = 0.001; h = 0.49) were slightly lower than those previously reported (π = 0.002; h = 0.54) and strong phylogeographic structure was identified (F ST global = 0.82; Φ ST global = 0.78 (P < 0.001)). The genetic division with Florida, low diversity, small population size (N = 250), and distinct threats and habitat emphasize the need for separate protections in Puerto Rico. Conservation efforts including threat mitigation, migration corridors, and protection of subpopulations could lead to improved genetic variation in the endangered Puerto Rico manatee population.

  10. Integration of manatee life-history data and population modeling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eberhardt, L.L.; O'Shea, Thomas J.

    1995-01-01

    Aerial counts and the number of deaths have been a major focus of attention in attempts to understand the population status of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Uncertainties associated with these data have made interpretation difficult. However, knowledge of manatee life-history attributes increased and now permits the development of a population model. We describe a provisional model based on the classical approach of Lotka. Parameters in the model are based on data from'other papers in this volume and draw primarily on observations from the Crystal River, Blue Spring, and Adantic Coast areas. The model estimates X (the finite rate ofincrease) at each study area, and application ofthe delta method provides estimates of variance components and partial derivatives ofX with respectto key input parameters (reproduction, adult survival, and early survival). In some study areas, only approximations of some parameters are available. Estimates of X and coefficients of variation (in parentheses) of manatees were 1.07 (0.009) in the Crystal River, 1.06 (0.012) at Blue Spring, and 1.01 (0.012) on the Atlantic Coast. Changing adult survival has a major effect on X. Early-age survival has the smallest effect. Bootstrap comparisons of population growth estimates from trend counts in the Crystal River and at Blue Spring and the reproduction and survival data suggest that the higher, observed rates from counts are probably not due to chance. Bootstrapping for variance estimates based on reproduction and survival data from manatees at Blue Spring and in the Crystal River provided estimates of X, adult survival, and rates of reproduction that were similar to those obtained by other methods. Our estimates are preliminary and suggestimprovements for future data collection and analysis. However, results support efforts to reduce mortality as the most effective means to promote the increased growth necessary for the eventual recovery of the Florida manatee